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Monthly Grocery Budget

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  • MeganthedogmomMeganthedogmom Member Posts: 1,637 Member Member Posts: 1,637 Member
    2 people, 6 animals, approximately $600 a month including toiletries, paper towels, etc. That's down from $800. I used to do a lot of my shopping at Costco or Sam's until I moved to Texas. Now I have H-E-B and I love it! If I were to break it down to just human food and no extra household stuff or pet food, probably $500.

    What can I say? We like good food.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 23,775 Member Member Posts: 23,775 Member
    KelseyRL wrote: »
    @JeromeBarry1 - I don't think we throw out that much stuff, although my husband does most of the cooking/fridge clearing, so maybe I'm out of the loop on how much waste we really have. I find too that we seem to pay for convenience to some extent. Powdered milk and home-made yogurt may be cheaper, but I don't think we would find the time trade-off worth it. I guess it can't be convenient and cheap.

    @zdyb23456 and @Ninkyou - that seems insane to me. I've always been amazed and what people can feed families of 5 or 6 on, considering how much we spend on 2. We don't have Sam's Club but it would probably be worth it to get a Costco membership. It's just balancing the waste that can come with buying larger quantities for 2 people. My in-laws have a membership and we've gone with them and bought large portions of meat and things so we can freeze it. I thought that would cut down on the next month's spending, but nope. We just seem to find other grocery things to buy even though we did well at eating the frozen meat.

    Most of what I'm reading from everyone's responses seem to line up with "have a plan and follow it". I guess we'll just have to work harder at that. We're generally okay at making a plan, but I'm realizing we come up short on following it a lot of the time. At least I have a place to start working from now.

    I spent $200/month on myself when I lived in Florida, which included organic items and all the eggs/dairy/meat was more humanely raised.

    Until I read the bolded, I was going to guess the problem area was meat, because that's where I economize. Chicken is cheaper than beef, and thighs are cheaper than breast, and bone in is cheaper than boneless, plus I save the bones and make stock. How much are you spending per pound on different types of meat and fish?

    So now my new question is about making things from scratch vs using convenience foods? For example, big bags of rice are so much cheaper per serving than boxes of rice. Etc.

    There are some exceptions to "making from scratch is cheaper" - my OH used to buy already made brownies for $5 a container, and I spent months experimenting with making brownies from scratch, and finally came to the conclusion that the Ghirardhelli mix made more brownies than the pre-made ones, and at $2 a box at Walmart were less than what it cost me to make from scratch, and with a whole lot less effort too. When I'm not planning on having any, I use Dunkin Hines or Betty Crocker, which are only $1 a box, but include artificial flavors, which turn me off but not my OH.
  • Sp1tfireSp1tfire Member Posts: 1,120 Member Member Posts: 1,120 Member
    For just myself I spend about 70$ a week. It's a little on the higher end for a single female but that's because I buy protein bars, some natural products and frozen stuff.
  • beckycummingbeckycumming Member Posts: 74 Member Member Posts: 74 Member
    Awesome thread! This is an underdiscussed topic in my opinion!

    I live in Southern Ontario, and I live alone but feed my boyfriend on weekends. I spend on average about $60 a week on good-quality groceries (yes to fancy cheese, no to ramen!), which typically consists of fresh produce/dairy, and meat. I cook every meal for myself, only rarely eating out. I don't typically buy bread or snack foods, and only periodically spend more when I'm restocking staple foods in larger amounts (like oats, pasta, cheese, soup broth, cereal etc.). Im a student so keeping my grocery bill down is important, so I'm constantly shopping for sale items, and I also grow some of my own food in a small seasonal garden (some things are just sooo easy to grow) and preserve fresh things when I can! When things are in season and cheaper, I typically buy lots of it and can or freeze it for the winter/off season so I'm not paying a premium for good veggies in the winter etc.. I also have this app called Flipp, which, based on your location, shows you all your local grocery flyers and you can even compare deals by searching for individual items! It's super handy to have and I'd recommend it to anyone! Between all this, I'd say my grocery spending habits aren't bad! Message me if anyone wants to chat about these things further!
  • nutmegoreonutmegoreo Member Posts: 15,512 Member Member Posts: 15,512 Member
    Awesome thread! This is an underdiscussed topic in my opinion!

    I live in Southern Ontario, and I live alone but feed my boyfriend on weekends. I spend on average about $60 a week on good-quality groceries (yes to fancy cheese, no to ramen!), which typically consists of fresh produce/dairy, and meat. I cook every meal for myself, only rarely eating out. I don't typically buy bread or snack foods, and only periodically spend more when I'm restocking staple foods in larger amounts (like oats, pasta, cheese, soup broth, cereal etc.). Im a student so keeping my grocery bill down is important, so I'm constantly shopping for sale items, and I also grow some of my own food in a small seasonal garden (some things are just sooo easy to grow) and preserve fresh things when I can! When things are in season and cheaper, I typically buy lots of it and can or freeze it for the winter/off season so I'm not paying a premium for good veggies in the winter etc.. I also have this app called Flipp, which, based on your location, shows you all your local grocery flyers and you can even compare deals by searching for individual items! It's super handy to have and I'd recommend it to anyone! Between all this, I'd say my grocery spending habits aren't bad! Message me if anyone wants to chat about these things further!

    I just added this app (after reading your post), looks very helpful. Thanks for mentioning it!
  • Duchy82Duchy82 Member Posts: 558 Member Member Posts: 558 Member
    2 adults and 2 cats, I spend on average £60-£70 a week on shopping including cat food, cat litter, cleaning products, soap, etc. We also have take away once a week at around £15.

    I could save money if I wanted to but I prefer using the local butchers and the local farm shop for my fruit and veg because it tastes so much better that the stuff from the supermarket. Although for fruit and veg in season the farm shop is actually cheaper anyways.
  • Chef_BarbellChef_Barbell Member Posts: 6,277 Member Member Posts: 6,277 Member
    Definitely love the Flipp app.... Living in NYC, you need every penny you can save.
  • jayemesjayemes Member Posts: 865 Member Member Posts: 865 Member
    Westchester NY - about $500 a month on average for a family of 4. Add on another $100 a month for alcohol and toiletries from other stores. I miss Aldi's where I used to live closer to the city. There my food was about $350 a month for the same stuff.
    We rarely eat out.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 23,775 Member Member Posts: 23,775 Member
    I'm glad the Flipp people developed it. I saw the need for it in 2011 and recommended creating this type of service to an entrepreneur who was actively looking for his next thing and a friend who was a programmer, but neither of them ran with it. Their loss!

    Ghirardelli squares sales; you can't hide from me any longer!
    edited August 2017
  • kellyjellybellyjellykellyjellybellyjelly Member Posts: 9,480 Member Member Posts: 9,480 Member
    For those that shop at Wal-Mart don't forget to download the Wal-Mart App that includes The Savings Catcher. My mom has used her's for a little over two years & almost has around $400.00-$500.00 saved & then can be used for an e-gift card.

    It's also nice for people who throw away their receipts & need to return a larger item to the store since you can use the app & the service desk associate can either scan or type in the transaction bar code.
  • jdlobbjdlobb Member, Premium Posts: 1,232 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,232 Member
    I've started doing nearly all of my grocery shopping with Amazon Fresh, and it's amazing. Better than amazing.

    Probably spend about $200-$300 a month on groceries for myself and my brother/roommate.
  • TayAmazingnessTayAmazingness Member Posts: 7 Member Member Posts: 7 Member
    I spend roughly $150 - $200 per month in groceries for two people.

    I buy groceries once every two weeks. Here's some tips that help me save:
    • Make as many things from scratch as possible. Of course this cuts down cost but you'll be sacrificing time. An example would be making your own salad and vinaigrette over store bought salad kits and dressings.
    • Buy in bulk, especially items such as oats, rice, pasta, potatoes, eggs, meat and beans.
    • Dried beans over canned for cost
    • Buy things that are on sale (While still making healthy choices) Meats are a big one. I buy meat that is on sale and freeze extra for later use.
    • For me I find that meat is a big expense so I buy kess than I used to and eat more plant based meals. When buying meat, opt for cheaper cuts such as skirt steak, chicken thighs and breast and pork chops. Ground turkey has become relatively cheap over here (Southeast US), so it's a staple for me.
    • Frozen vegetables can not only be cheaper but also preserve a lot of the nurtrients that are lost in the processing time of fresh veggies.
    • Buy fruit and vegetables in season

    I never buy any soda, juices, alcohol, or snacks.
    I usually have 3 meals a day. If I'm in the mood for snacking I'll have some yogurt and nuts, fruit, veggie sticks, oat date bites or a smoothie.

    My typical grocery list:
    • Chicken breast / thighs
    • Ground turkey
    • Another meat of choice. Pork chops, sausage or a cheap steak on rare occasions (Pun intended!)
    • Frozen broccoli, brussel sprouts and corn
    • Produce: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, squash, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, russet and sweet potatoes, avocado, onions, spinach, etc.
    • Bananas, strawberries, blueberries, apples
    • Beans
    • Whole grain pasta, bread and rice
    • Toritllas
    • Off brand cereal
    • Lots of eggs
    • Goat cheese, feta or cheddar
    • Almond milk
    • Lots of Greek yogurt
    • Any condiments I may need. Mustard, hot sauce, etc.
    • Peanut butter
    • Almonds

    I would recommend looking up what grocery stores are around you. If you can find one that sells for cheap but is a little while away, it may be worth it to take a trip to do your grocery shopping.
    I buy my groceries at Aldi. They are a chain which has very low prices for a few reasons:
    • They do not provide bags. You must bring your own.
    • You put a 25¢ deposit to use their shopping cart. When you return the cart, you receive your 25¢ back.
    • The ones by us don't have very many employees. This cuts down their costs but lines can be long.

    If you have anything similar by you I would recommend it 100%. Aldi's prices are literally half that of other chains in my area.

    Sorry for the horrendously long post!
  • IsabeausRoseIsabeausRose Member Posts: 129 Member Member Posts: 129 Member
    I can only afford $150 dollars a month for groceries for just me. That gives me barely 1200 calories a day. That's all I can afford right now. I'm shocked at all of you spending hundreds.
  • descenedescene Member Posts: 96 Member Member Posts: 96 Member
    $160-200 a month for me. I don't do anything to save other than buy store brands and use digital coupons.
  • amandacaloriesamandacalories Member Posts: 107 Member Member Posts: 107 Member
    I pay probably about 50 - 70 a week for one person, not including random midweek grocery stops to get special ingredients. I don't eat meat or drink milk and very rarely eat cheese or anything fancy. I buy what I can in bulk at Costco (beans, quinoa, eggs, snack foods, sometimes veggies). Then I buy fresh things at the grocery store. I live in Hawaii so everything is much more expensive. I LOVE Greek yogurt but for a bigger sized container it's like 8 dollars if it's on sale. I paid 10 for a few zucchini recently. BUT one of the perks is that most everything grows around here. I have oranges, avocados, apple bananas, plantains, tangelos and a few other things on the property I live on.
  • OliveGirl128OliveGirl128 Member Posts: 801 Member Member Posts: 801 Member
    I can only afford $150 dollars a month for groceries for just me. That gives me barely 1200 calories a day. That's all I can afford right now. I'm shocked at all of you spending hundreds.

    I spend $100 a week/$400 a month, for 5 people, which breaks down to $80 per person, per month :)
  • OliveGirl128OliveGirl128 Member Posts: 801 Member Member Posts: 801 Member
    aylajane wrote: »
    I can only afford $150 dollars a month for groceries for just me. That gives me barely 1200 calories a day. That's all I can afford right now. I'm shocked at all of you spending hundreds.

    How much you spend has absolutely no bearing on how many calories you can eat. You can spend $3 on a jar of peanut butter and eat the whole thing for over 2000 calories, or you can spend $3 on a bag of sugar free popsicles and eat the whole thing for under 100 calories.

    "Healthy" food doesnt cost more. Eggs are under a dollar for a dozen and I get breakfast for 5 days. I get 12 salads worth of lettuce at costco for $4. etc.

    This.

    Beans, lentils, whole grains, frozen veggies, in season fresh veg/fruit, frozen meat (bulk bags), eggs etc are inexpensive, nutrient dense foods. And many of them are fairly low calories as well.
  • jdlobbjdlobb Member, Premium Posts: 1,232 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,232 Member
    Just found out that Amazon Fresh has Whole Foods Products now!!!!! THANK YOU JEFF BEZOS!
  • aylajaneaylajane Member Posts: 979 Member Member Posts: 979 Member
    aylajane wrote: »
    I can only afford $150 dollars a month for groceries for just me. That gives me barely 1200 calories a day. That's all I can afford right now. I'm shocked at all of you spending hundreds.

    How much you spend has absolutely no bearing on how many calories you can eat. You can spend $3 on a jar of peanut butter and eat the whole thing for over 2000 calories, or you can spend $3 on a bag of sugar free popsicles and eat the whole thing for under 100 calories.

    "Healthy" food doesnt cost more. Eggs are under a dollar for a dozen and I get breakfast for 5 days. I get 12 salads worth of lettuce at costco for $4. etc.

    Oh - and if this were true, poor people would all be skinny :)
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