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View Full Version : What is your grocery budget for a family of 4


Lisa loves Pooh
08-26-2004, 11:16 AM
Okay--

I've never posted a poll, but I'm going to try.

Me and hubby's most heated debate is over what is an appropriate grocery budget. He wonders what everyone else's budget is.

So via the poll--please select the range your budget is in for a family of 4 or more.

Please be sure to calculate food and non-food (shampoo, cleaning supplies, diapers, etc)

And be sure to post on the poll at the top as well.

Thanks!

CookieGVB
08-26-2004, 11:32 AM
We average about $150 a week...sometimes less

cokegal19
08-26-2004, 11:53 AM
I live in Wisconsin, and groceries are very cheap here. We have a family of 3 (DH, me and DS - who is 2). We usually spend no more than $135 every 2 weeks.

Works for us!!!

kfeuer
08-26-2004, 01:15 PM
We usually spend around $350 (that's with LOTS of coupons and rebates). We were spending less until we started eating healthier. Our area doesn't have winetags (and traders want the moon for them) so the only way I save on meat and produce is when I can get overage on something else (which isn't too often). However, my family's health is worth spending a little more. That total includes one in diapers, but I get almost all our health and beauty items for free so that helps lower our total.

HunnyPots
08-26-2004, 02:41 PM
Are you asking per week, per month, or what?
We are a family of four: Me, DH, DD 17, and DS 13. We are averaging about $135 per week these days. A good portion of that goes toward keeping DS in cereal and milk! His sister has started calling him "Jethro"!

momx2
08-26-2004, 04:33 PM
Is this per month? I'll respond as if it is.

powellrj
08-26-2004, 05:10 PM
thats a hard question to answer. There are so many things that can affect your budget. If your kids are younger, your budget will be much, much less than if you are feeding teenagers. Do you fix 3 meals a day or does your family eat lunch out everyday ( school and work meals). Are you breakfast people or do you skip breakfast. Do you allow your children and their friends snacks? Do you usually have 1 or 2 extra people at dinner every night.


we spend about $600 a month, I have 1 teen and 1 pre-teen who usually invite a friend to dinner everynight. I also allow friends to snack at our house. I usually cook most meals from scratch and we usually eat out on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. We eat breakfast every morning, but the kids buy their lunch at school and dh and I both eat lunch out every day.

Lisa loves Pooh
08-26-2004, 09:37 PM
Oops--yes I meant once per month (see I told you it was my first survey--and I knew I would miss something :hyper: ).

In any case--our expenses went down by over $300 in one months time as we modified our dietary habits and haven't ate out except for one drive thru on a road trip in over a month.

So, in my case--I was looking for a hard numbers comparison and guess I goofed my survey. SORRY about that :(

Anyway--solid grocery numbers to include all toiletires and household items usually bought in a grocery store (or Walmart or equivelant) such as cleansers, paper towels and such.

As people are responding and not adding eating out expense--please do not include that in your figure.


(I posted a new post--but maybe I should've edited the old one).

Thanks for the responses!

Banshee
08-26-2004, 09:49 PM
We nd anywhere from 80- to 150- a week it all depends. On weeks when I need to stock up on staples again it costs more. It is sad though how the price of dairy has gone up, and how little of the price the farmers actually get.:(

jann1033
08-27-2004, 02:10 AM
actually i feed 5 adults and spend about $450 a month, sometimes less on everything including cleaning supplies, health and beauty ect but i am the coupon queen and we eat very well so i could and do cut back if i have to. i also do not work outside the home so i have time to cook.

i do find it hard to believe 33% spend less than 300 unless they have 2 babies, eat out a lot and don't count that or live someplace groceries are practically free! milk alone for kids would have to cost 30-40 a month at least! ( a gallon every 3 days) which means everything else would be $260... around here a lb of burger is close to $2.50 on sale! ( so even if you ate that for 30 days it would be another $75) something does not comput!

shirleyb
08-27-2004, 05:29 AM
About $100 per week for my family of 5, including 2 teenage boys. It's tough to do it on that, but shopping at a discount store, I can usually manage.
Shirley

PattiPB
08-27-2004, 11:45 AM
I voted in the $450-600 category. DH and I are 38, kids are 10, 8 and 6.

I do almost all of my shopping at Walmart Supercenter and Sam's Club. We eat (I think) very healthy, and I buy virtually no frozen or pre-packaged foods at all. We eat out maybe once every two weeks, and have pizza once every week or every two weeks. We have fast food lunch every so often on weekends if we are out and about.

Our budget downfall is cereal. My kids eat at least two bowls each per morning, and even with Malt-o-Meal, it adds up. Kids snack of choice is apples or grapes. I am the only soda drinker (HUGE help!) in the family. We go through a ton of bread (each kid eats 1 1/2 sandwiches for lunch) so I buy the cheap Walmart bread, which saves a lot of money.

Did I mention generic stuff is my life/budgt saver!!! LOL!

NotSoMini
08-27-2004, 11:58 AM
I am almost too embarrassed by the amount that we spend to respond to this poll!

What I would like is a grocery shopping list from one of you great shoppers (less than $150 a week)!

I agree that a lot of what we eat is expensive stuff (ie, chicken breast versus sausages), but our grocery expenditures (I refuse to use the word "budget" when referring to what I spend) is totally out of control.

For two adults, two teenagers plus the occassional visiting teen - about $225 a week.

HELP MEEE!!:earseek:

CheapMom
08-27-2004, 02:21 PM
Family of 5
kids are 8, 7, and 1.5.
We average $200 per week on food, supplies, diapers...
We are in the mid-Atlantic. Costs are a bit higher than average here.

mrspaha
08-27-2004, 10:06 PM
NotSoMini -- are these canadian dollars?

Anne34
08-27-2004, 10:39 PM
It depends on what you buy - I put $600 for my monthly budget (not always). With the kids home in summer I go through 7 or 8 gallons of milk per week (kids ages 11, 9 & 6) -- at over $2.00 per gallon it adds up quickly. Once school starts the costs will go down.
I go to regular grocery stores. Try to buy multiples packs of meat when it is on sale, G1G1 free offers, etc. I am somewhat of a budget shopper (I stock up on items when on sale), but I also like the convenience of chicken breasts, etc.

jann1033
08-27-2004, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by NotSoMini
I am almost too embarrassed by the amount that we spend to respond to this poll!

What I would like is a grocery shopping list from one of you great shoppers (less than $150 a week)!

I agree that a lot of what we eat is expensive stuff (ie, chicken breast versus sausages), but our grocery expenditures (I refuse to use the word "budget" when referring to what I spend) is totally out of control.

For two adults, two teenagers plus the occassional visiting teen - about $225 a week.

HELP MEEE!!:earseek:

isn't american money worth less ( or would it be more???)..i mean 100 american is 100+ Canadian so you may not be spending that much more! i shop sales at 3 stores ( which takes me all day but at least the stores are close by so not much gas, just time), don't buy hardly any pre-prepared stuff or lots of snack stuff like chips except for lunches. we have a garden in summer and i freeze some of the produce from that. i try to shop once a month except for produce since the more i go the more i spend and get most of my produce at a discount place that has stuff as good as any supermarket. i use coupons and our local stores offer double coupons ( my best saving ever was $150 in coupons and instore sales off $300) i get free samples at a sample site and usually get coupons from them and signup for all the laundry soap ect. sites for sample, coupons ect to be mailed to me since our stores no longer accept online coupons. if we run out of something hubby picks it up since he usually just buys that and i remember "oh yeah i wanted to try this" and end up spending more! we eat very little hamburger since imo it doesn't go very far except for things like spaghetti and i go to a meat market that has good prices if i can ( boneless skinless chicken breasts there are under $3 a lb vs in store $4.50) or buy what ever meat is on sale ( we eat lots of roasts, chicken dishes, fish once or twice a month and i buy some fast meals, like stuff to make vodka pasta or burgers for weekends and we love meals of soup or chili, homemade or bread machine bread and salad during cold months which are cheap.) i make up menus according to what is on sale so i don't waste expensive bonelss skinless chicken on something like chicken salad or soup. hope some of this might help

skiwee1
08-27-2004, 10:59 PM
I voted for $901 or more! There are two adults, one 16 y/o boy, and a 5 y/o girl. The 16 y/o boy and his friends eat us out of house had home every weekend! I easiluy spend $250 a week and that doesn't include the late night pizzas that come when I am in bed! LOL!

twinmomplus2new
08-27-2004, 11:02 PM
I have no idea how any of you do it for less than 150 per week.
Really how in the world?

We have 5 people dd17, ds,10 ds,4 ds,4 and myself 35.

I am never under $150 a week. And that is with no meat what soever. Occaisonal chicken and pasta dishes. Honestly it's mostly fruit and veggies ( fresh not frozen or canned) Even with spending this we eat out all the time:rolleyes:

For instance we were away last week, so the day we came home I had a 168 dollar grocery delivery.
The same day $52 on stuff I forgot.
2 days later another $75

And Now that I look at it I am mortified to say..... Even with buying all that....:confused: We ate lunch and dinner out Monday, Lunch out Tuesday, Wednsday dinner out. Thursday dinner and lunch out. And today we had dinner out as well. I think maybe I should just not bother to food shop anymore. It sure looks on paper like it doesn't make any sense!:rolleyes:

JessetheCowgirl
08-28-2004, 11:29 AM
We are at about $175 per week--one in diapers and on EXPENSIVE formula ($60 per week just for the formula!!).

Family of 5 here and we do not eat out much these days, maybe take out pizza every other week or so.

sln88
08-28-2004, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by NotSoMini
I am almost too embarrassed by the amount that we spend to respond to this poll!

What I would like is a grocery shopping list from one of you great shoppers (less than $150 a week)!

I agree that a lot of what we eat is expensive stuff (ie, chicken breast versus sausages), but our grocery expenditures (I refuse to use the word "budget" when referring to what I spend) is totally out of control.

For two adults, two teenagers plus the occassional visiting teen - about $225 a week.

HELP MEEE!!:earseek:

I don't think I spend anywhere near $300 a month in groceries- including everything. We have 2 adults, a teen and 2 boys. I can't post a shopping list because what I buy totally depends on sales and coupons. When there is a good deal, I buy alot, and then store it and we use it up, so I don't have to buy at higher prices. One of my best examples was a recent sale on Kelloggs cereal for $1.25 a box- I also had a $1 coupon, so I got it for .25 a box. I bought quite a few, but now I don't have to pay $3 for a box of cereal. If you live in a place that will double your coupons, you can do even better.

punkin
08-28-2004, 03:14 PM
You said you eat chicken breasts. Well, you are paying for someone to cut up your meat and bone it for you and charge you extra. If you buy a whole chicken (at a MUCH lower price than boneless chicken breasts), you can get 2 breasts; breast bones and wings for a soup stock and 2 chicken leg quarters.

If you use the chicken breasts in a stir fry, you have a filling meal for a family of 5. The dark meat can be made into fricassee which over rice or potatoes will serve 4 (if you add the wings it will serve 5) and you sill can make a veggie soup for another day with your stock.

So, for a two dollar chicken (less if it's on sale) you have 3 meals.

skiwee1
08-28-2004, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by sln88
I don't think I spend anywhere near $300 a month in groceries- including everything. We have 2 adults, a teen and 2 boys. I can't post a shopping list because what I buy totally depends on sales and coupons. When there is a good deal, I buy alot, and then store it and we use it up, so I don't have to buy at higher prices. One of my best examples was a recent sale on Kelloggs cereal for $1.25 a box- I also had a $1 coupon, so I got it for .25 a box. I bought quite a few, but now I don't have to pay $3 for a box of cereal. If you live in a place that will double your coupons, you can do even better.

Oh my gosh. I can't even imagine! We spend close to that a week with just 4 of us. I better not let DH read this or he will make me clip coupons!

Lisa loves Pooh
08-28-2004, 06:25 PM
Our spending is fluctuating while we tweak it so that we get the healthiest food for the best possible price.

That being said--we shop at Wild Oats (a natural food market) and Wal-Mart.

We have been on the south beach diet for over a month. So no pasta nights for us! We eat only whole grains, no added sugar, and fresh fruit and I eat chicken and hubby eats the allowable cuts of red meat (I don't eat red meat, so I don't know a ribeye from ground beef :hyper:)We do frozen veggies, and try to get things in there most natural format (meaning no added anything if possible). So it makes shopping inexpensively a bit complicated--though we are trying to make it as cheap as possible. I have stopped purchasing pre-packaged lettuce and that has helped cut cost.

I do evenutally want to try making my own bread and maybe that will reduce costs.

The chicken I buy is free range and just chicken breast meat. Unfortunately it is only sold skinless and boneless--so I have no choice to purchase non-prepped chicken breast. The whole grain items such as bread--I shop for no added sugars such as corn syrup and such. Hubby settles for rye bread as it is allowed on the diet we are on--and he wouldn't care if it was processed in a salami factory--so I am searching for the cheapest version with seeds that I can find. We steer clear of additives and preservatives and dyes as much as we can which unfortunately spikes the price of food. We also only buy organic milk & yogurt (everthing else is conventional). Thank goodness, our store (Wild OatS) has one of those coupon printing machines like they have at regular grocery stores, so I am able to do coupons. At least I can save some money.

Diapers--we do an off-brand as we do wipes. We purchase these items and other items at Super Wal-mart--if it meets the above criteria, we buy it at super wal-mart--otherwise we buy it at Wild Oats. Cleaning supplies and stuff--best deal we can find at Wal-mart.

I am trying to get the spending way below $200 per week inclusive of baby necessities and household non-food items. As hubby wants the budget to remain at $800 per month. Wal-mart will be new for us--it isn't as convenient as the other local stores--but we are hoping that saving money there will balance with our other purchases.

I will know as soon as we plug in the receipts what the final tally is for the month in comparison with the month of July. If you add up all the eating out and plethora of grocery trips--we were over $1200 last month.

As of a few days ago, for this month, we were over $300 less than previous months expenditures--but I have been shopping for more groceries. I think we will definitely be less--but not that optimistacally as of yet. Trying so hard to only go ONCE per week and eating what we have! And STICK to only what is on my grocery list.

jann1033
08-28-2004, 10:57 PM
it's funny to see the differences in prices, i never thought our food was really expensive where i live but haven' t seen a$ 2 chicken for years, sale or not!

i have read ( and it seems to be true...)if boneless chicken is more than 2 x the cost, the bone-in is a better buy...so if bone-in is $1.50 ( normal for a per lb bone-in whole chicken in my area) over &3 lb for boneless/skinless is more expensive. also the larger a "bird", the less waste per lb since the bone weight isn't that much more so you are basically paying for meat.

KELLY
08-29-2004, 02:05 PM
Honestly I think it also depends where you live I noticed a prev poster went threw 7 to 8 gallons a milk around 2.00 each. Were I'm from it is almost 4.00 a gallon. So if all the diary prodcuts are that much diffrent than there is bound to be big diffrences. I shop what is on sale at my local shaws if I shop every week what is on sale for a family of three for abount 150.00 ds buys lunch at school but dh and I bring from home. My kitchen is always stalked really good we hardly ever run out of something.

KELLY

TINK61
08-30-2004, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by NotSoMini
I am almost too embarrassed by the amount that we spend to respond to this poll!

What I would like is a grocery shopping list from one of you great shoppers (less than $150 a week)!

I agree that a lot of what we eat is expensive stuff (ie, chicken breast versus sausages), but our grocery expenditures (I refuse to use the word "budget" when referring to what I spend) is totally out of control.

For two adults, two teenagers plus the occassional visiting teen - about $225 a week.

HELP MEEE!!:earseek:

I think your costs in Canada are higher than the U.S. So that probably equates to the $150 per week here.:)

NotSoMini
08-30-2004, 12:06 PM
Yes, differences in costs (US vs Canadian) may have a lot to do with it...but I think my grocery bill is out of control...

Interestingly enough, when in Florida this past December and after a few days of staying at CBR, we stayed at two condos (one in Orlando area, one in Naples area), and bought quite a few groceries. Perhaps it was where we shopped, but I found the US prices much the same as Canadian - ie, a loaf of whole grain bread cost about $2.00 in US, and the same here...which would mean that we were paying more for it in US - the conversion rate at the time was about 35%, so the $2.00 loaf of bread in Naples equated to $2.70 Canadian (so if we lived in Orlando or Naples, my grocery bill would still cost about $225 US).

I am sure a lot of this has to do with the areas where we were shopping (?)

Belle5
08-30-2004, 12:12 PM
It really does make a difference what area of the country you're in! I was on another message board a while back where folks posted what they paid for each grocery item. Huge difference depending on where you live! My mother was just here in Dallas for a visit and she never ceases to be horrified by our grocery prices. She is from Ohio. I think cities are categorized by whether they are Class A, B, C ,D and so on. If I remember correctly cities like NY and LA are Class A and pay more for everything. If you are offered a job in a class A city you are offered more income than your counterpart in a Class B or C city.

I would have to agree that it's been way too long since I've seen milk for $2 a gallon!!!
Oh, BTW...y'all don't really want to know my grocery bill with 3 teen sons, a twelve year old son, a 7 old son and a 1 year old son in diapers....:teeth:

Leota
08-30-2004, 05:47 PM
I am trying to keep my family of 3 (2 adults, 1 15 year old son & various teenage houseguests) in groceries for under $100.00 a week. I am keeping pretty close to that, but have an occasional slip that puts me over by a few bucks.
I am also a change & dollar bill saver, so if I have singles in my wallet, they go in the savings jar. So that $100 might actually be $90 after I take the singles out.
We might eat out once a week. I try to cook as much from scratch as possible & use mostly fresh vegetables & always fresh fruit. We don't drink soda, but are HUGE coffee drinkers & my son drinks only decaf, no sugar ice tea (that's not always cheap or easy to find!) The coffee costs are huge because we only drink Dark Roast, whole bean coffee & I make it strong.
The budget also includes 2 terriers & their biscuits & burger/rice food along with their Iams.