Grocery Budget — The Bump
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Grocery Budget

Will anyone share their household grocery budget?  For a family of 4, we eat dinner at home more often than not, and I have lunches to pack for 2 kids during the week.  I'm almost positive our monthly grocery spending is waaay too high. 

Re: Grocery Budget

  • Our situation is a bit different.  We eat out for dinner once a week or so, and usually end up grabbing something quick on weekends for lunch.  Other than that, we eat at home, lunches and all.  We spend somewhere near $100-150 a week.  That's on groceries - not the eating out.
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  • Family of four. Approximately 250 every two weeks. Biggest expense is produce. Cecil's also about to go on cow's milk in a month or two, so that'll jack expenditures up.
    Lil' G was born April 25, 2008! Big C was born September 28, 2011! Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • I have been really keeping track of our grocery budget trying to pair down our spending. We were just going every few days and not coming home with a whole lot to show for our money each trip. I have been shopping every 2 weeks and planning out/clipping coupons and getting everything we need for all meals at once. I have been averaging about $200-250.00 every 2 weeks, depending on what household item I need. The only thing we get every week is milk.  
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  • I'm SAHM, so I feed lunches for myself and 2-3 kids every day.  We eat out for most weekend meals but week nights are dinners at home, most week day lunches are at home though we usually do eat out once a week.  We spend like $200 a week on groceries.  According to the above responses, I'm clearly doing something wrong.  right now I'm barely finding time to make it to the grocery store so I haven't been bothering to look at sales.  We are a family of five now though. But I spend close to $100 on produce alone a week, and we go through 5 gallons of milk a week.  Meat is definitely a big kicker for us because we are meat eaters and they will plow through it (think an 8 pack of pork chops for the five of us).  My husband also takes his breakfast/lunch to work, which is just an apple, oatmeal and a large lean cuisine meal.

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  • image hthomas02:

    I'm SAHM, so I feed lunches for myself and 2-3 kids every day.  We eat out for most weekend meals but week nights are dinners at home, most week day lunches are at home though we usually do eat out once a week.  We spend like $200 a week on groceries.  According to the above responses, I'm clearly doing something wrong.  right now I'm barely finding time to make it to the grocery store so I haven't been bothering to look at sales.  We are a family of five now though. But I spend close to $100 on produce alone a week, and we go through 5 gallons of milk a week.  Meat is definitely a big kicker for us because we are meat eaters and they will plow through it (think an 8 pack of pork chops for the five of us).  My husband also takes his breakfast/lunch to work, which is just an apple, oatmeal and a large lean cuisine meal.

    You're not doing anything wrong - you're feeding a household lunch! Geneva's lunch is prepared at school and Cecil gets whatever leftovers remain from dinner. DH and I generally eat out for lunch. I would say you're right on track. 

    Lil' G was born April 25, 2008! Big C was born September 28, 2011! Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • image hthomas02:

    I'm SAHM, so I feed lunches for myself and 2-3 kids every day.  We eat out for most weekend meals but week nights are dinners at home, most week day lunches are at home though we usually do eat out once a week.  We spend like $200 a week on groceries.  According to the above responses, I'm clearly doing something wrong.  right now I'm barely finding time to make it to the grocery store so I haven't been bothering to look at sales.  We are a family of five now though. But I spend close to $100 on produce alone a week, and we go through 5 gallons of milk a week.  Meat is definitely a big kicker for us because we are meat eaters and they will plow through it (think an 8 pack of pork chops for the five of us).  My husband also takes his breakfast/lunch to work, which is just an apple, oatmeal and a large lean cuisine meal.

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  • image hthomas02:

    I'm SAHM, so I feed lunches for myself and 2-3 kids every day.  We eat out for most weekend meals but week nights are dinners at home, most week day lunches are at home though we usually do eat out once a week.  We spend like $200 a week on groceries.  According to the above responses, I'm clearly doing something wrong.  right now I'm barely finding time to make it to the grocery store so I haven't been bothering to look at sales.  We are a family of five now though. But I spend close to $100 on produce alone a week, and we go through 5 gallons of milk a week.  Meat is definitely a big kicker for us because we are meat eaters and they will plow through it (think an 8 pack of pork chops for the five of us).  My husband also takes his breakfast/lunch to work, which is just an apple, oatmeal and a large lean cuisine meal.

     

    I don't think you're doing anything wrong either!  Produce and dairy products are expensive, not to mention meat.  We go through 2 gallons of milk a week, and spend a ton in produce as well.  As far as meat goes, I've recently discovered that Sams has chicken breasts for $1.77 a lb, so I've been getting a family pack per week.  We rarely eat much red meat, but it's cheaper there as well.  As far as milk, Aldi's has it for $1.99 a gallon, as does Costco.  SO much cheaper than the regular grocery store!  I do one big weekly shopping trip per week (I decide which store to go to based on the online ads and who has the things we need the cheapest), and then take the kids to Aldi's or Sams when necessary to pick up a few items.

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  • Obviously my situation is different beause with DH traveling, I cook dinner MAYBE 23 times a week. I grocery shop every week and buy a lot of produce and meats. I stock up on meats when they are in sale and freeze them. I like always having something to cook if DH's schedule changes and last minute he's home. I also buy milk and bread every week. I use coupons and shop sales only buy meats and produce as they go in sale. We rarely eat out for lunch or dinner. I spend around 300 a month, which seems like a lot considering our situation.
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    Abigail Taylor 09.18.2008


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  • Family of 3 here = $250 every two weeks. DH usually packs his lunch; I eat out maybe 3 out of 5 days.  Lunches out on weekends, but most dinners home during week.  The killer for us is organic meat, milk, and produce. Oh, and BOOZE.  We barely buy any packaged foods (snack junk for DD mostly).

     
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  • This has been a hot topic around our house for the last several months.  With me going part time later this fall, we have GOT to cut back on some expenses.  I knew that we had gotten bad about eating out after Sophie was born- I just didn't have time or energy to cook and clean up with 2 kids after a full day of work.  But then one day about 6 mos ago I looked at our monthly spending on food in mint.com, and I nearly threw up.  We spent over $1200 in one month on groceries, eating out, fast food, etc.   So I have been working hard at trying to get that under control. Right now, I'm averaging $250 every 2 weeks on groceries.  But we still eat out 2 times a week for dinner and DH and I eat lunches out at work at least twice a week.  We are trying the cash envelope system.  Haven't perfected it yet.  We have 3 categories for food: groceries, family eating out money, fun money.  The fun money is for DH and I to spend however we want but it has to include lunch money if we want to eat out at work.  So far, we've cut back significantly, but I'm hoping to do even better once I have a little more time to really detail meal plan, cut coupons, and prep food on the weekends. 

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  • image myrall:
    image hthomas02:

    I'm SAHM, so I feed lunches for myself and 2-3 kids every day.  We eat out for most weekend meals but week nights are dinners at home, most week day lunches are at home though we usually do eat out once a week.  We spend like $200 a week on groceries.  According to the above responses, I'm clearly doing something wrong.  right now I'm barely finding time to make it to the grocery store so I haven't been bothering to look at sales.  We are a family of five now though. But I spend close to $100 on produce alone a week, and we go through 5 gallons of milk a week.  Meat is definitely a big kicker for us because we are meat eaters and they will plow through it (think an 8 pack of pork chops for the five of us).  My husband also takes his breakfast/lunch to work, which is just an apple, oatmeal and a large lean cuisine meal.

    You're not doing anything wrong - you're feeding a household lunch! Geneva's lunch is prepared at school and Cecil gets whatever leftovers remain from dinner. DH and I generally eat out for lunch. I would say you're right on track. 

    This is similar to where we are so maybe I wasn't as far off as I was thinking. 

  • image mingaling2:
    Family of 3 here = $250 every two weeks. DH usually packs his lunch; I eat out maybe 3 out of 5 days.  Lunches out on weekends, but most dinners home during week.  The killer for us is organic meat, milk, and produce. Oh, and BOOZE.  We barely buy any packaged foods (snack junk for DD mostly).

    DH eats out for lunch almost everyday during the week.  I rarely even eat lunch anymore.  I have started buying more organic but less on packaged crap so I feel like the cost is offset. 

    I am working on our budget and went back and tallied up how much we've spent on groceries per month since March and the average was right at $900 per month. But that does include alcohol, household supplies, paper goods, etc.  Basically any and everything that can be purchased at Kroger or Publix.  And I did include Costco because 90% of the stuff we buy there is groceries.

    But sweet mother of Pearl, that is over $10,000 a year!  i.e. basically my entire yearly part time salary. 

  • image slwprincess:
    This has been a hot topic around our house for the last several months.  With me going part time later this fall, we have GOT to cut back on some expenses.  I knew that we had gotten bad about eating out after Sophie was born- I just didn't have time or energy to cook and clean up with 2 kids after a full day of work.  But then one day about 6 mos ago I looked at our monthly spending on food in mint.com, and I nearly threw up.  We spent over $1200 in one month on groceries, eating out, fast food, etc.   So I have been working hard at trying to get that under control. Right now, I'm averaging $250 every 2 weeks on groceries.  But we still eat out 2 times a week for dinner and DH and I eat lunches out at work at least twice a week.  We are trying the cash envelope system.  Haven't perfected it yet.  We have 3 categories for food: groceries, family eating out money, fun money.  The fun money is for DH and I to spend however we want but it has to include lunch money if we want to eat out at work.  So far, we've cut back significantly, but I'm hoping to do even better once I have a little more time to really detail meal plan, cut coupons, and prep food on the weekends. 

    YES!  the Mint app is exactly what started this whole debate, haha.  It's hard to argue with where you need to cut back when they have a color coded pie chart staring you right in the face.  Our problem with eating out isn't that we eat out too often, it's that when we do, I want to go to a good restaurant so it's $$$$$.

  • I spend about $80 and $115 per week on groceries for a family of 4.  The higher end is usually when they are lots of salese and I stock up. I cook 3 or 4 times a week with the intentions of having leftovers the days I don't cook.  We usually eat out or pick up on Saturdays. I basically go grocery shopping once a week because the more times I go the more I tend to spend.

  • We probably spend about $600/month for a family of 3.  A lot goes towards booze. 
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  • This is a hot topic in our house.  DH thinks I should spend about $100 a week to feed four people breakfast, lunch, and dinner and once in a while that should also include cat food, etc.  Which is insane.

    What actually happens is I write a menu on Saturdays and hit up the farmers market and spend about $100.  Then I hit up Publix on the way home for the stuff I can't get at YDFM. That's another $30-50.  Then various times during the week, we run out to get milk, because we go through a gallon every 2-3 days.

    Once a month we stock up on stuff at Costco, but I want to get out of that habit and our membership is expiring, so I'm not renewing it.  

    He gives me a hard time every once in a while, but you know what?  I'm not going to pinch pennies when it comes to feeding our family.  If he wants to cut costs, we can get rid of the deluxe cable package, or he can mow the lawn instead of paying someone to do it.   So I keep doing as I'm doing.

    We don't buy a lot of packaged stuff, 90% of our bill is produce.  We eat vegetarian 3-4 nights a week and on the weekends, we eat out at least once, maybe twice.  I don't clip coupons because I feel like the coupons are for processed foods (i.e., things we don't eat, like spaghetti-o's and canned soup).  Maybe there will be a coupon for laundry detergent, but I'm not going to get caught up in the time it takes to find coupons for the brands I use to save $.40.  

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