How much do you spend on food weekly?

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by QueenT, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. QueenT

    QueenT Mouseketeer

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    I am trying to teach myself how to make & stick to a budget. I have so far been keeping track of how much we are spending. Now I need to know a good target amount. It would really help me out to get some baseline data from others who are actually able to budget effectively.

    My food budget pays for all groceries, but not fast food or restaurants or school/work lunches (should it)?

    I am supporting a family of 5.5, 3 adults, ds17, dd11, dgd 13 months (1/2 time).

    I am operating on the premise that if I control my spending better, I will have more $$ for things I like to do, for example vacationing at WDW.
     
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  3. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    Well, it all depends.

    I have discovered a couple of good ways to cut my food bill WAY down. We have a discount grocery here in Charlotte that I try to go to once a month.

    I also use Angel Food Ministries for food. It is not needs based. It is for anyone who wants to save on groceries. Go to AngelFoodMinistries.com and click on "Host Sites" to find a location near you. There are several TX places listed.

    My friend does The Grocery Game and loves it. I haven't tried it yet.

    It might take a little more effort but you really can save a bundle in the food dept.

    Dawn
     
  4. disneysteve

    disneysteve You have to enjoy life, not go

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    I think comparing your food budget to others is difficult due to lifestyle, likes and dislikes, regional variations in price, different stores, etc.

    Now that you have tracked your spending and know what you've been spending, I think your target should be to spend less. Rather than using other people's spending as your guide, use your own spending as your guide. Set an initial goal based on your current spending, perhaps 15% less and then explore ways to meet that goal. Comparison shop at various stores, check out discount stores like Aldi's, do more cooking from scratch and buy fewer prepared and packaged foods, do more bulk buying to take advantage of lower unit prices and sales, use coupons when appropriate (I'm not much of a coupon fan as they are generally for the most expensive brands of the most processed foods).
     
  5. wrldpossibility

    wrldpossibility DIS Veteran

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    I was just discussing this with a friend, as we're trying to see if we spend too much or are on target too. I know it varies from area to area, and what your particular needs are (for example, we have to buy diapers and someone else may not), but...

    We spend $500 a month. I don't break it down weekly, since I only shop every 10 days. In a month, we do one big Costco run, and then shop at the discount grocery store (it's huge) for everything else. I DO NOT include eating out, but my grocery budget includes everything else, from household goods to diapers to cleaning supplies.

    Oh, and we are a family of 5 (with three boys who seem to eat constantly!) I buy few processed foods, but we do spend more than the average family on vegetarian foods like soy protein and veggie dogs/burgers since we're vegetarian.

    Our budget used to be $400 before the newest member of the family started eating solid foods, but he seems to have made it go up $100 between all the foods he likes to eat and the fact that I prepare simpler (somewhat premade) dinnners lately since he won't cooperate when I try to fix dinner these days! :rolleyes:
     
  6. wrldpossibility

    wrldpossibility DIS Veteran

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    I was just discussing this with a friend, as we're trying to see if we spend too much or are on target too. I know it varies from area to area, and what your particular needs are (for example, we have to buy diapers and someone else may not), but...

    We spend $500 a month. I don't break it down weekly, since I only shop every 10 days. In a month, we do one big Costco run, and then shop at the discount grocery store (it's huge) for everything else. I DO NOT include eating out, but my grocery budget includes everything else, from household goods to diapers to cleaning supplies.

    Oh, and we are a family of 5 (with three boys who seem to eat constantly!) I buy few processed foods, but we do spend more than the average family on vegetarian foods like soy protein and veggie dogs/burgers since we're vegetarian.

    Our budget used to be $400 before the newest member of the family started eating solid foods, but he seems to have made it go up $100 between all the foods he likes to eat and the fact that I prepare simpler (somewhat premade) dinnners lately since he won't cooperate when I try to fix dinner these days! :rolleyes:

    One other factor: we're in a somewhat expensive area in Oregon.
     
  7. runwad

    runwad Dis Veteran

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    We are a family of 5, dd10, dd8 & ds5, I spend anywhere from 260-360/mo. I shoot for 300, but sometimes things go on sale and I stock up and that will drive up my average monthly spending. We rarely eat out so this is not included in this average, but paper products and cleaning supplies are. Hope this helps.
     
  8. kldmom2000

    kldmom2000 DIS Veteran

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    I too will also say it all depends where you live.... we took a similar poll on my other board and the range was anywhere between $50 a week to $200 per week..... we are a family of 4-2 adults and 2 kids. Our average weekly grocery bill (not including toiletries which are purchased separately at Target) is generally around $150 per week-so about $600 per month. We eat out about once a week (That $$ is not accounted for in the $150 per week) and the rest is home cooked for the most part. Over the past 2 yrs, I've been buying more organic fruits/veggies/hamburg/milk which sends the cost up (we've had a few too many health scares as of late so the fewer pesticide/antibiotic/hormone I serve, the better.) I try to clip coupons whenever possible. My DH is skinny as anything but eats enough for 3 people :rotfl: :rotfl: so that adds quite a bit to the cost too :rolleyes2
     
  9. mommyceratops

    mommyceratops <font color=red>Covets Clown School<br><font color

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    Dont want to hijack a thread here.

    But HOW do you do it? I have DS3 and DS6, DH, my mom and I that I buy groceries for. I have a budget of $275 twice a month and I hardly ever make it!

    I have learned to buy generic only and cut back on other stuff.

    But any tips would be nice. This is our 4th month on this budget and it is tough!!

    By the way what other budget boards do you go too??

    TIA
     
  10. mamalle

    mamalle DIS Veteran

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    its very hard for me to stay within the $100 a week for our budget. I just spent $200 at costco on friday and will most likely spend around $80-$100 this week on odds and ends- milk, lettuce, yogurt, etc. I wait for the sale adds to come out but my albertsons is closing so it will all be publix and costco for me from now on.. I'm going to have to raise my budget to $150 and see if that one is more realistic. I have to to a big run once a month usually to costco for the dog, food, laundry detergent so I think thats why my bill goes up.. :confused3 there are 4 of us btw. dh always needs stuff for the fire dept, dd takes her lunch to school and I always take my lunch to work so even though we are spending money on that- I still need the food to take..
     
  11. mommiepoppins

    mommiepoppins <font color=red>I miss sitting in a bucket

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    we are a family of 6 and we do 175 for the first week of the month and then 75 a weekfor the rest = 400 for food and 50 for house hold products = 450 for the month :p
     
  12. mommiepoppins

    mommiepoppins <font color=red>I miss sitting in a bucket

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    well this is what i do
    generic everything except for mayo
    i stock pile on my ketchup; jelly; fluff; penutbutter; mac cheese, soups, canned veggie , cake mixes, panacke mix ect
    I buy the meat early in the morning when it is marked down and i freeze it - that i only buyfrom a certin store
    i also shop aldi for bread, soup ketchup ,
    walmart for snacks which I spend about 100 for the month
    Once a week we do an egg night ( my brother has hens so I get about 24eggs a week free) I might make omlets , scram eggs, keesh.
    :hippie:
     
  13. Good Ol Gal

    Good Ol Gal <font color=navy>A Longhorn living in Buckeye Coun

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    we're a family of 6 and I try VERY hard to do it on $100 a week! It gets tough at times as I have 4 kiddos, 11, 9, 7, 5.

    I can buy 6 gallons of milk in one week! I plan our meals, the best I can with picky eaters, and what is needed for the meals.

    I shop weekly, so that we can make sure we eat it all up. I used to do big shopping trips, but found that we would just be stockpiling our pantry and never eat it all.

    We do have one dining out meal planned once a week, usually pizza or drive-thru.
    If we can afford it, we may go to an actual restaurant, but that can cost us over $40 for one meal! I just can't get past that that is 10% of our grocery budget.

    I shop at the discount grocery store so that saves money. We eat alot of chicken and hamburger. Tacos, spaghetti, hamburgers, baked chicken, etc.

    We have lost of pets, so sometimes I do end up going over. This cost also includes all household stuff. detergents, tp, soap, etc.

    Last month we spent $477 total, in April it was $347.

    This month we've seemed to splurge a bit :blush: as we've already spent $300. But the kids have had lots of friends over now that it's summertime and I see a trend going here..... Now I'm feeding 6-8 kids instead of just 4 :rotfl:

    I shop mostly at Marcs or Aldi's. I will go to Kroger's if they're having a great sale or something, but I really don't need to spend the $$ on their overpriced staples.

    I've been doing it this way almost 6 months now. I started with the Dave Ramsey envelope.

    I put our $100 in CASH in an envelope and when it was gone for the week (spent only on groceries) it was GONE. It was hard at first, but boy you sure learn quick how to make it last :teeth:

    Good Luck!
     
  14. hollyb

    hollyb DIS Veteran

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    Here in NJ everything is so crazy high. We are a family of 4. DS is almost 9 and he eats all the time!!! LOL Our bill is about $700 a month. That includes everything but eating out once a week. We get a pizza and garlic knots total is about $11.00.

    I buy alot of fresh fruits and veggies, that hads up fast. I just can't tell the kids no "sorry you can't have the berries because they are 5buck a pop"

    Now that school is almost out (2days left :sunny: ) The bill go higher with all the neighbor kids here playing.
     
  15. chattyann

    chattyann <font color=darkorchid>I have this totally crazy i

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    We are a family of 5. DH, myself, ds14, ds8, and ds5. Who all have healthy appetites.
    We have a Meijer store locally who has double coupons every week and about once a
    month has triple coupons. That really helps,that is when I stock up. I also shop at a
    discount butternut bread store and we have a little Mom and Pop grocery that has the
    best meat at very reasonable prices. Always, Always I ad shop checking best prices at
    the local stores then when I leave work I will hit one or two of those places for the cheap deals and it saves gas instead of having to run in later to get what we need. Our Budget is usually about 300 monthly.
     
  16. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    It depends on your priorities. For us, food is the one thing we can cut down on right now.


    We spend around 250 mo. for a family of 4. We stock up at a discount grocery here in Charlotte. We didn't have that in CA. They have snack foods from the health food store for a fraction of the price.

    We have started using AngelFoodMinistries.com. You get a box of food with everything except milk and produce for $25 ($75 worth of food). It is NOT needs based. It is for anyone wanting to save on groceries. The only thing is, if you are picky, it won't work. They have a "menu" and you get what is in the box!

    I buy produce during the summer at the produce stands and can/freeze for winter.

    My friend spends less than $200 month for a family of 3 and uses "The Grocery Game" and Sunday's coupons. She sometimes spends $100 month! I have been amazed. It is just a lot of work!

    I am also now mostly vegetarian. I buy quality rice and lentils and even though they are more than reg. rice or lentils, they are still way less than meat or junk food.

    I used to spend over $600 month, so this is a HUGE change for us.

    Dawn
     
  17. lnh'smom

    lnh'smom DIS Veteran

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    I don't know how you guys do it. I usually spend $130-$150/wk on groceries and that doesn't count little trips where you run in and get milk or something. I did have a daycare in my home so I had 5 extra kids to buy breakfast, lunch, and 2 snacks, but they are all gone now so the bill will go down a little. Family of 4 by the way DS6 & DD3. I could shop at Walmart but they don't double any coupons and I won't buy their fruit or meat. URGHHH! I use coupons(although Meijer doesn't double anything over $.50 anymore), I use other store adds, I look for stuff on sale and stock up, and I buy generic whenever I can. I have heard about the grocery game and that everyone loves it. What kinds of coupons do they have? just wondering if it is worth it for us. Will Meijer take them and what is it exactly? Thanks for any info.
     
  18. Tigger1

    Tigger1 DIS Veteran

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    I figure about 100 per person per month. I am very careful on what I buy. It is going to be on sale or at th least price I would find it if it were on sale. We buy alot at Sams club. Our beef is bought by the case.

    I suggest you include eating out on your budget. Some would be surprised just what they spend eating out. We rarely eat out except at Disney. When we eat out at home it is usually take out chinese which is cheaper to buy than to premare frm scratch. Also we will go to Sonic on tuesdays for 1/2 hamburgers. We do not get anything else with it. The Popeyes in are area also has 89cent 2 piece chicken on Tuedays. The only other prepared food we buy is Sams club pizza $7.99.
     
  19. PigletFairy

    PigletFairy Mouseketeer

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    I guess i am just a spender. There is DH, me, a pup and an adult dog. We average 350 on groceries including toiletries n cleaning supplies, lunch and dog food. We eat out dinner about once every two weeks if in the budget. I freeze all my meats and some veggies. I have frozen bread before but usually we eat everything. If I have something in the pantry that hasnt been used, i find a recipe to use it. big spenders for us is lactose free milk, dog food, gallon tea and drinks in general. I am sure there are ways I can cut my cost down but like i said i am a spender.
     
  20. Plantlady

    Plantlady <font color=darkorchid>I eat a lot of pringles whi

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    We are a family of five, two adults and 3 sons, 9, 7, and 4. We spend $45 a week on groceries, and $5 a week on household supplies. There is a seperate fund for pets (two dogs, three cats), they eat $25 worth of food a month.

    We don't buy any prepackaged foods. We're vegetarians, so, we don't buy meat. I prepare almost everything from scratch.

    I also shop at four different grocery stores on each trip. I scan the flyers, and make a specific list of what I want to get from each store, based on the sales. Mostly this is covering our produce purchases.

    I do clip coupons, but don't use them very much, unless they match up with a sale item, and make it cheaper than generic items.

    I also have all of my grocery money in cash. Once its gone, I'm out. So, I better make it work.
     
  21. leight

    leight <font color=navy>Making out in the halls in high s

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    We are a family of four 2 adults two kids 6 & 8. The kids are very picky and because of my work schedule Dh cooks 4 nights a week for them.

    We have looked to cut household costs and right now we are looking at $100 a week in grocery/house items to $75 so I am in the stock up stage. I do have to buy things that are more easy to prepare due to me not being there to cook. But I also buy meat in bulk - go to Sam's on a friday am when they mark down meats and buy that way then separate and freeze. I do this primarily with things like boneless chicken breasts and chopmeat. I will make the effort to spend the extra time in trimming the breasts into filets and breading/frying them then freezing them in small servings so DH can just pull them out as needed for a quick meal. We're italian so I also make meatballs in bulk and freeze-as well as making sauce in large amounts once a month so we can defrost every sunday and when needed. I just bought 10 boxes of hamburger helper (yes it is prepared but it is for when dh cooks on his own) at 10 for $10. I used 3 coupons for this ($0.75 off purch of 3) so it came out to 10 for $7.75. I am also making sure that I buy milk and sale items at either walgreens or CVS- their sales are often better than Walmart and milk for a gallon is almost always cheaper than a half gallon at the supermarket.

    My main complaint is that since we moved to Tampa- I can't find one grocer who doubles coupons! I have been diligently cutting coupons and use when I can but no one here doubles. I spent less in NY because of the double coupon and discount grocer for great prices on produce. Anyone else face this? I go to different grocery stores- and use Walmart for alot of generic items depending on the sales. I try to make sure that I stop on the way to or from work so as not to use any extra gas. But I am still spending way more here than I did in NY. We no longer buy lunch at work- so I am having 3 meals at my desk 4 days a week and dh is bringing his sandwich from home too. We have cut back dining out to maybe twice a month- and then that is usually a pizza night that we order in with another family so it is only $10 for that night.

    Any other suggestions on how else to cut down?
     

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