How Much Should I Spend On Groceries?

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How Much Should I Spend On Groceries--The Peaceful Mom


Save Money On Groceries!

Each week in this series I am sharing one simple tip that you can implement to start saving on your grocery bill right away.

Many of the tips will be familiar, but if you take the Save Money on Groceries Challenge with us, you will actually take the steps each week instead of just filing them in the “I should do that” file. :) [To join in, just leave a comment saying that you already use the tip of the week, or that you will start this week.]


Save Money On Groceries--Easy Tips from The Peaceful Mom

[Click here to see all the tips in this series.]


Today I am answering a reader question.


I’m newly married and haven’t mastered the grocery bill yet. I primarily shop sales and target cheaper items.

My question is how much should I be spending on groceries? What would be considered “normal” and what would be considered “frugal”? We spend about $300 a month for the two of us.



 A:  As you know, there are many factors involved in determining a food budget.

Every family eats differently. Some purchase only organic produce, include gluten free items or shop at specialty stores. Some people include nonfood items such as toiletries and pet food in their weekly grocery budget. Others may have smaller grocery budgets because they eat out once or more per week, so they are buying groceries for fewer days.

For purposes of this discussion I am including only food items in the grocery budget and I am assuming that the groceries are purchased for three meals, seven days a week.

To get an idea of the average grocery spending in the U.S., I checked the Government’s statistics on the USDA website. The USDA’s most recent food cost statistics list the weekly cost for a household of two on the thrifty plan to be $87.30 per week [2016 UPDATE: $89.40], or $6.24 [2016: $6.38] per person per day. The cost for a family of four with two children under 5 is $127.30 [2016: $130.10], or $4.55 [2016: $4.64] per person per day. (The family cost per person is smaller because the children don’t eat as much as an adult, and the cost is averaged for the four family members.)

[UPDATE: The cost for a family of four with two older children ages 6-11 is $149.70 per week, or $5.35 per person.]

For me personally, by using the methods outlined in my Save More-Clip Less: Feed Your Family For Less Without Extreme Couponing ebook, I could easily feed my husband and I for $60 a week ($4.30 per person per day) which saves $109 over a four week period. I currently feed our family of six including three teenagers and a twelve year old for $125 per week, or $2.98 per person per day. We do have access to fairly cheap in-season produce, but prices on most items are more expensive than other parts of the country such as the mid-west.

As for your budget, you could try $60 a week and if find that you need more money in the budget add $10 increments to the budget until you reach what you think is reasonable for you.


Really the issue of how much to spend on groceries boils down to your personal needs and values. If you have a higher income and believe strongly in purchasing all organic foods, for example, then you will have a higher grocery bill by choice. If you have a lower income and believe strongly that you should eat only organic food, then you will have to make sacrifices elsewhere in your budget to be able to afford the higher cost.

If your goal is to save as much money as possible, there are many ideas included in the Resource section below which you can implement to bring your grocery bill down to a level which is much lower than what the USDA suggests.


What do you think? Leave a comment with your family size and weekly grocery amount.



How to Save Money On Groceries When You Are Single and Working— This post has some great tips that can help you when feeding only one or two people.

Save Money on Groceries Series — My best ideas for saving money on groceries each week.

8 Dinners in 1 Hour: Chicken Plan — A great method to make multiple meals for the week based on sale items.


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For more ideas to save money on groceries, check out my ebook Save More–Clip Less: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half  Without Extreme Couponing.

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  1. Jerilyn says

    It really depends. When it was just the two of us we would spend between 300-400 a month. After we had our baby and a different job situation we didn’t have much so I would spend $60/week, which came out to less than 300 a month. I made more from scratch because I was at home. Now we are a family of 5- 3 boys 1-6 who seem to eat almost as much as we do (I’m afraid for the teenage years!) and I’m spending between $450-500/month (some months a little more and this includes diapers.) I think that’s less than the USDA “thrifty” but still is so much money. I’d personally track your spending for several weeks/months and you can get an average of your habits and decide if that is a good amount.

  2. says

    I spend about $45 a week on groceries for just me. That makes enough for three meals a day. I also use whatever I have in my pantry to supplement what I buy: nuts, seeds, grains. That stuff I buy intermittently when it is on sale in bulk. I don’t keep too much–my diet consists of mostly greens, protein, and other vegetables. Living in Southern CA, produce is cheap and readily available. I’m sure if I was really savvy, I could probably shave off $5-7 a week depending on the season. Summer is the easiest and cheapest for me.

  3. says

    I definitely want to be a part of this opportunity – I am going to implement this tip right away with my next week of shopping. I am a divorced parent and have a 3 person family. I spend roughly $350 a month on groceries, and we do eat a lot of fresh and organic products; also gluten free. My son has an food allergy to gluten.

    I like the idea that I can feed us on $87.50 a week and still do gluten free and organic foods. I do have access to farmers markets and fresh fruits and veggies at a lower price when they are in season, so that will help me; but as you know, gluten free products are MORE expensive.

    I am up to this challenge.

    Elizabeth T, Early Rise

  4. Julie C says

    My current budget for 2 is $300/month, and does include non-food items I would buy at the grocery store like toiletries and cleaning supplies. I shop at a local grocery store and Costco. The Costco number skews things a bit because it includes everything I buy there, even stuff like clothes or home items, which are actually separate in my budget. I looked at my account and my average for the first half of the year has been $375. But, my average for the past year (I started using mint in July of last year), is over $400, so I’m getting better. My other half took a new job starting in March where he travels on weekdays though, so eventually I think my average will go down, because a lot of my high expense grocery items are for him… he likes his fancy Kcup coffee, good creamer, and drinks a lot of soda. In May I only spent $225.

    I buy organic produce when it’s on sale, but pretty much can never afford organic meats, even when on sale. Once my consumer debt is paid off, I plan on going all organic though. Organic meat really does taste better.

    • Sara says

      I have been reading everything on this website for a few months now and just got enough nerve up to comment. I have a home of 5. Myself, husband, and 3 kids(7yr old girl, 10 yr old boy, and a 12yr old boy) they all eat like Teenagers already, especially with school being out right now. We have just moved from TX to WA about 7 months ago so figuring out what’s cheap and what’s not is crazy. My goal is to lower our spending in groceries sooner then later. I am the worst with budgets. I think I spend about $600-$800 a month on household items and groceries.
      Any help and or ideas will be great.

      • Sara says

        I forgot to add that includes 1 dog and 1 cat and my daughter has a food allergy to anything Corn related and Peanut related.

      • says

        Welcome Sara! I’m glad you took the plunge and let us know you’re here. :)

        We made a move about two years ago and it was really difficult to figure out shopping. EVERYTHING was different. There are no double coupons here and all the food seemed way more expensive. I would say it took me about 3-4 months to get the hang of it.

        If I were you I would just shop at a different store each week and record the prices as you go or with your receipt later. After a few weeks of doing this, you should have a feel for the prices at each store. Also, the NUMBER ONE thing that saves me money is making a complete menu plan each week.

        Check back in and let me know how you’re doing. :)

      • Leslie says

        We live in Western WA. I spend between $125-$150 a week, $541- $650 per month. We are a family of four with 2 boys, 9 and 13. This amount includes all household goods and toiletries. We do eat as much organic and unpackaed foods as possible. I shop once a week, my main places are Costco and Trader Joes. I have been shopping this way for quite some time, so sometimes my trip to the store might be a restock the freezer with meat, or another time it might be heavy on household stuff or pantry goods. The only “regular” grocery store I would frequent is Fred Meyer, possibly QFC for meats on sale, although Costco has stepped up their selections recently. Safeway and Haggen seem to be the most expensive stores in my area, not including Whole Foods, Central Market, Metroplitan Market and store of that nature. I probably could reduce the amount spent, if I didn’t ever sneak in things like the rice cooker, and the 2 pack of water infusing pitchers I bought at Costco last week. I just considered them the cost of food preperation? example- My kids drink less Organic Milk $$ if the have infused water to drink. I keep a Pinterest Board, “The Price of Food” for reference and new finds. I add stuff periodically. I hope you have a Costco near you, it is a tremendous life saver, just dont buy boxed cereal there, expensive. :) Wecome to Washington!

  5. Em says

    Thank you for the awesome math explanation. I did the increase over time. I started with $130 per week and worked from there.
    I now have $165 per week in my wallet: it covers groceries, paper products, household items, health and beauty, and other misc things I pick up. Our eating out budget is separate.
    We are a family of 5 with kids ages 7, 11, and 13.

  6. says

    We have a family of four with a 5 year old and one year old. Our budget is $110 every two weeks, for $220 per month. I don’t know what that adds up to per person, but we try to stick to that as much as possible, because we don’t make that much. I shop at ALDI and that helps cut costs extremely!

  7. Theresa says

    We spend roughly 150 – 200/week. My husband & I, our 2 adult/teen sons, a 2yr old. We have 1 dog, 3 cats too. This includes everything for running the house. I don’t coupon as I should, we do stock up on deals. Most coupons are for pre-packaged things, I am gluten free, dairy free and sometimes egg-free… I am on a freshly prepared foods only diet – no processed foods. I have our 2 yr old eating gluten free also, she can only tolerant non-dairy milks – coconut or rice. I am going to do your challenge – I’d love to spend less. I think has a lot to do with area – here in Maine – it’s pricey to eat healthy – weird with all the farms. Milk is close to 4.00/gallon – our sons go thru 2-3 gallons a week – that’s a good week. When all 4 of our older kids were at home, we were at 5-6 gallons a week – we were in NH then and milk was $2/gallon… thanks for all you do to help us eat better and save money!!!

    • K says

      Theresa, it’s so great to hear you are able to do that. I am gluten-free and I attempt to avoid dairy and processed foods as much as possible. I am debating going completely organic but I am also a college student and trying to set up my budget.

  8. D says

    we have a budget of 580 dollars a month, but this includes dog food and cat food for 6 pets and food for 5 people, also included shampoo, toothpaste, trash bags, toilet paper etc…. and includes 2 gluten intolerant and 1 lactose intolerant person.

  9. Molly says

    Hi! I am a sales only shopper. I spend 100.00 a week on eating out and groceries for my family of 6 (2 adults and 4 kids ages 7,8,12, and 13). This varies if we have a birthday party or a special occasion to buy for but this is my budget. We eat out at a fast food place at least once a week and the rest of the meals are at home. Sometimes I go a little over (no more than 20.00) if I find a sale on meat or something good. We have no special diet restrictions.

  10. Danielle says

    We have a blended family of 8, our youngest two are with us everyday, and our older ones 4 days a week-so on average I say 6 for grocery shopping sake 😉 and four of our kids are teenagers, 3 of them boys! I keep to a budget of between 100 to 125 a week, the alternating weeks I buy family packs of meats that last me two weeks. I shop the sales for produce( produce in California is one of the cheaper things here) weekly, and hit up Target with coupons (they take one manufacturer and one target for EACH item) and use Cartwheel (phone app) that gives additional savings on items at checkout…….I also hit up the 99 cent store for things like hand soap, etc……..I also find that meal planning helps tremendously! I try and use everything we have before I rebuy which can lead to some unexpected creativity 😉

  11. Laura says

    We spend about $85 a week on a family of five. Three kids 5 and under, my husband, and myself. I make almost everything from scratch, including bread if I need to. We buy as much organic as possible. We do not buy anything processed. Mostly fresh fruits, veggies, and lean meats, eggs and milk. I do buy oats and occasionally organic cheerios. We buy produce that is in season and on sale. :)

  12. courtney says

    We live in California, where everything costs more, but with careful planning I am able to spend about 300 a month for our family of four. This includes mostly organic produce, grass fed beef, free range chicken, and little to no processed foods. I try to make almost everything from scratch and do quite a bit of freezer cooking. I have found that by cutting out processed foods, it has been so much easier to stick to our budget. I also try to stock up when I can, so we might spend 500 in one month, but then the next two months might be only 150. The key is planning, spend one weekend planning and the rest of the month you have more time, even with making everything from scratch I still don’t spend more than 30 mins on dinner.

  13. says

    Our family is two adults and two boys ages four and seven. Right now, I can feed us on about $70 per week, usually including toiletries and paper goods. I’m scrimping and saving because that’s what phase we’re in. Buying whole milk that can be watered down, non-organic foods, cheapest breads, and cheapest fruits and vegetables. We use family favorite recipes and I simply write down the ingredients we need for the week for those recipes, estimate how much each ingredient will cost, and then start subtracting non-essential ingredients until we get down to about $60. 😉 When I give myself more leeway, I like spending almost $130 per week on us. That includes free-range eggs and meat, or organic milk, or tons of produce, or shopping at the farmer’s market, or boxed snacks, or whatever…

  14. says

    We’re a Canadian family of 6, and I budget $180.00 per week. I have numerous food allergies (Gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, etc…) so eat a very specialized diet. I also only eat fair-trade coffee, local free range meats, etc… I find it’s getting harder to come in “under budget” with food costs rising all the time, but avoiding pkg’ed, processed foods makes is doable for my family. :)

  15. Rose Carter says

    I have a family of 6. I budget 100.00 every two weeks. I also purchase a more than enough basket from one harvest once a month for about 50.00. I coupon as much as I can. If I save 20.00 at the store then I take that to the local farmers market and buy fresh fruits and veggies. We really don’t eat out and I use my crock pot at least 2 times a week. It is so nice to have dinner ready when I get home for work.

  16. Mandy says

    I am realizing that this topic is totally different depending on where you live and the stores you have available. I didn’t realize that Florida was so much more expensive than other places until I started reading “grocery shopping blogs.” My husband is currently working in Chicago and got milk at Wal-mart for $2.39/gal. It was not on sale! WHAT???? Milk is $3.69/gal at Wal-mart here. I get excited when Walgreens Pharmacy puts it on sale for $2.99/gal. Meat, seafood, even citrus is expensive here. It really doesn’t make much sense to me. I live in a big, north Florida city and grocery competition doesn’t really exist here. We also have shockingly few choices of stores based on a city our size. It’s a challenge and we have got to come up with a plan to do the best we can with what we’ve got to work with. Also, I read an article the other day that was titled “80% of Pre-Packaged Foods in American Grocery Stores Banned in Other Countries.” Now there’s the best argument for cooking from scratch that I’ve ever heard!!!

    • says

      Yes, I read that article too. I had previously been diligent about the nitrate issue, but I have let things slip in that department lately. I got motivated to be more careful!

      As far as food prices go, we also live in an expensive area, but I have found cheaper alternatives by being adventurous and visiting stores where I would not normally shop. :) We just have to do the best we can with what we have, right? :)

      • Mandy says

        Right! I guess I should note that we do not pay sales tax on food nor have a state income tax. I’m sure that eventually levels the playing field a little.

  17. says

    I’ve spent $280.80 this month for our family of four, but we also receive WIC vouchers. I know they bring our total down, but I don’t count their value because I can only buy certain brands and I can’t always choose what I would typically purchase myself or find on sale.

  18. Amber says

    We have a grocery budget of about $450 per month for a family of seven (soon to be eight). Kids are all under the age of 11. The grocery budget feels really tight and wish we could spend a lot more.

  19. Catherine B. says

    I spend $100 every two weeks for our family of 4. We have two boys under 2, and that includes diapers, wipes, household items (lightbulbs, toilet paper, etc) as well as food.

  20. Mandy says

    We are a family of four. We have 2 girls ages 9 and 16 months. I stay home so I do a lot of from scratch cooking and watch for sales. My husband gets paid the 15th and the end of the month. I buy groceries twice a month. I do have to go more often for extra milk – still my toddler’s primary drink source. I spend $125-140 per pay period and that includes all of our toiletries.

  21. Shannon Phifer says

    We budget $200 a week for our family of six. I am actually able to keep it below budget (and thats with us eating all organic) by utilizing local farms, having a massive garden in the summer and joining our local CSA (which is awesome because it supports local farms). The CSA was $630 up front but we get enough produce for a family a 5 to use an entire week. It works out to less than $25 a week for produce, which is way cheaper than the supermarket!

  22. Amanda A. says

    We are a family of six and I try to spend around $125 or less a week. Of course some weeks can be more if I am stocking up on things that are on sale that go in my freezer. I have enjoyed all of you tips that you have give so far.

  23. says

    Our family of three (one is a toddler) spends about $60.00 a week on food. That does not include diapers and household things. However, we live in Kentucky. Cost of living is relatively low.

  24. Melissa Clark says

    I spend at least $700 a month. Family of 5. Whenever we run out of something, I feel the need to go replace it. I need to stop that and get my budget down low. Help!

  25. Jodie Monaghan says

    You folks are so lucky ,food is so cheap for you in the States.We are a family of four with one Dog,thats one adult and three kiddies and Im unable to feed my children for less than $220. a week arround $880 a month and our currencies are very close.The biggest difference is we in New Zealand are a country of 4.5 million people and you are of course have a much larger population. Good luck to you all.

  26. Shannon says

    Just wanted to say found your site today (this morning) and have been reading, reading, reading! Love it! It is now the afternoon and everything on the “to do” has been moved until tomorrow but that is quite OK, I’m pretty savvy on being frugal but there is always “room to learn” and I’ve learned a lot today. Thank you for your great blog!

    PS: Sara who just moved from TX to WA, I am in Western WA so if you want a “general” price on sale/not sale good prices on groceries etc for this area give a reply/shout out. I know prices differ greatly from county to county in Washington (so weird) and I routinely travel and shop through 3/5 counties during the month.

  27. Shannon says

    oh, and I forgot, I’m feeding a family of four (3 adults, 1 adult size teenager) on $94 to $128 a week but doesn’t include house-hold non-food items like dish soap, shampoo, dog food etc. (I only buy that stuff once a month, lol.) My monthly food budget is from $376 to $522. I stock up on sales & close outs/reductions when I can. We rarely dine out and this does include a diabetic diet.

  28. DeAnna G says

    I live in the midlands of SC. I shop for me and my husband, and 2 kids (10 yr old boy, 7 yr old girl) every other weekend. I usually do a large shopping trip once per month and spend around $150. This includes all food and household items except meat. I shop the red-tag meat sale (close to expiration date, but NOT expired yet!) and usually spend around $100 and that is enough meat to last for about 3 months. I have a food saver so I come home and repackage the meat into serving sizes appropriate for our family. I purchase milk, bread, and eggs weekly…(unless I hit a 99 cent sale on eggs….then I stock up!) We out for breakfast (fast-food) on pay-day Friday and then 1 or 2 meals that same weekend. That is NOT included in our food budget. I cook dinner most nights and my husband takes leftovers for lunch the next day. I’m picky about leftovers so he generally takes them and I make a sandwich since I come home for lunch.

  29. AliciaMichelle says

    HI! love your web site !! thank you for creating it !! I have a family 5 (2 adults, a3yr old, a5yr old, and a “fur baby” :) ) we live off of a VERY VERY VERY fixed income and spend 404 a month in Human food and about 9 a month in doggy food How can I slim this down? I shop sales and everything but i would like to slim this down down even more ( the human food amount at least ) thank you in advance :)

  30. Sarah says

    WOW! im an epic FAIL and grocery budgeting! I spend as much on groceries as a family of 5 or 6! WE are a family of 4, me, my husband and my 2 boys that are 2 and under. :( i live in the seattle area and eat a dairy free, gluten free, process food free diet and prefer to eat organic meats and some produce. Any helping suggestions!? TIA!

    • says

      I definitely would not say that you are an epic fail at budgeting Sarah! Everyone has different priorities. If you would like to start trimming your budget, just follow this series and if you want more detailed information, you can click here to check out my Save More-Clip Less ebook.

      • Leslie says

        Do you shop at Costco? They have Organic Chicken breast, thighs, legs, Organic Ground Beef. Also frozen, they have Organic Chicken Breasts, and Wild Fish. Not to mention a good GF penne Pasta. I have pinned a few things on my pinterest board “The Price of Food”. We live in Washington, if you live somewhere else, prices may be different?

  31. says

    I currently spend $40 a week or $160 a month on food for 2 (give or take). It made me happy to realize that I had halved the $87.30 of the thrifty plan. My husband and I rarely buy meat and when we do, we chopped & shred it so it goes further. (i.e. we don’t eat chicken breasts, we eat chicken n rice or chicken soup). We have been shopping our pantry a lot recently, so my biggest weekly purchases are fruits & veggies (they are my weakness), but this way, my husband & I each get to eat our favorite fruits & veggies to be healthy.

  32. Natalie says

    I have a family of seven, my husband and I, my father-in-law and 4 girls ranging in age from 5-15. We budget about $180/week for food. We live on a small farm where we have our own beef cattle and laying hens, so beef and eggs aren’t part of our budget. We don’t eat processed foods most of the time and always keep produce on hand but I know we can slim down our budget! Thanks!!

  33. Jamie Bates says

    We are a family of four: myself, husband and two teenage boys. We spend about $150 a week for us.

  34. says

    We are a family of four: myself, my husband, a 13 year old son, and a 10 year old daughter. Both children and myself are gluten intolerant. We also have multiple pets – a labrador, a cat, and a multitude of fish.

    Counting pet supplies, toiletries, and cleaning materials, we budget $600 a month or $200 a week. Taking out all non-food items, I believe we would be about $180 a week on food. We do not buy pre made food. We generally buy canned or frozen vegetables, and very little snack food. We also don’t drink soda.

    We order in or eat out on average three times a month. We use coupons and hit multiple stores (but only up to three or else we’re spending too much gas to save money!) to save money.

    I’m excited to join you guys! We can use help in reducing our expenses!

  35. Crystal says

    We are a family of 4: 2 adults, a 13-yr-old teenage boy, and a 6 month old baby. We are in Southern California and spend about $60 per week on groceries only. We also budget an additional $20 per week for eating out on Family Night. So, on average, we spend approximately $375-$400 monthly on food combined. We shop Costco and supplement at our local grocery store as well.

  36. Heather says

    I live in Alberta, Canada and spend $200-$250 /week on groceries (including household items ie. toiletries) for our family of 5. I admit I’m not the best shopper but we deifinitely are not eating extravagant meals. So this sounds like a lot comparitively, but I think prices just vary that much. Milk here is about $4.50/4L, $8.30/4L for organic. 1lb. of butter is $3.75. Bread you don’t usually find for under $3/ loaf. I buy our eggs from a friend for $2.50/dozen, which is a great price. Organic eggs are about $6.

  37. Jeanette says

    My husband and I feel like we are finally mastering the grocery bill! We went from about $250/every 2 weeks to about $115 every 2 weeks. Planning our dinners helps a lot, and we do plan for one “out to eat” night a month. We only have two adults in the family, we both work full time so we bring lunch to work everyday, which usually consists of sandwiches or hot pockets.

  38. Pam from Indianapolis says

    I can’t wait to start using your tips! We are a family of 5 (soon to be 6) with children ages 8,6, and 3. We spend anywhere from $650-$1200 a month on groceries. We eat out rarely and try to pack healthy lunches fro the school age kiddos, but I really need to be better about meal planning, using what we have, being sale savvy, and budgeting better. I would love to spend less on groceries and use that money to cover other expenses. Thank you for your help and inspiration!!

  39. Suad says

    I have a family of 6 we live in MN and we spend about $200-250 a week, we buy mostly organic, and I always prepare our meals from scrach. I wonder how are these families of 5 spending $100 a week on groceries. I wonder what do they really eat. I would love to save some money on groceries if I can, but how do you eat healthy and save money?

    • says

      Hi Suad! Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      There are many factors which contribute to the grocery spending of individual families. Everyone makes different choices based on their priorities and values, and prices are very different throughout different regions of the country. Another factor is that sometimes families have no choice but to spend less on groceries because that is all the money they have available.

      Buying organic adds a lot of extra money to your grocery bill. In our family we have to balance nutrition and the budget, so we buy as much produce as possible, but rarely do we buy organic.
      If it is your conviction that organic is best and you can afford it, spend the money and don’t compare your spending to other families. Hope that helps!

  40. paula says

    we are a family of 5. 14,15,20 are ages of our kids……so they eat a lot. we are also very active with lots of sports activities which mean lots of snacking also. we eat I would say like the normal family of a mix of fresh, homemade and packaged food. mostly homemade but when it comes to some things like pop tarts got to buy them. I bake a lot ( as much as I can) and make every dinner from scratch. I do not have time to sit and cut coupons that often so they are not a big part of our lives. We use to have a garden but it got to be to much work with our little time we have. We do have berry plants that help with some of he snacking and baking. My job I can get bruised produce that I will use in cooking but for the most part I buy fresh. we spend aprox 100 to 110 a week with mal planning. most of the time I can spread that out to a week and half or more depending on what is going on in the week. do not think hat is to bad…..t

  41. says

    Wow, I am so excited to start making an effort to lower our monthly food bills. It is nice to see that it is really possible to spend less on food. I use which is a really cool and free budgeting software. It takes all my spending and puts it in categories. I just logged in and noticed that we spent over $2,000 on food last month. We average about $1,800/mo. (this includes toiletries and diapers) I just thought, this is crazy! I jumped online and started researching what we should be spending and found this site. We have a family of 5 with no pets and no diet restrictions. 2 adults, 10yr., 7 yr, and 2 yr old. The 2 year old is still in diapers and we eat out almost every day so that has to stop! I have reduced my Starbucks visits from $200/mo to about $20/mo. in the last 2 months and now it is time to tackle the food. I think I will start by trying to reduce our food bill to $800/mo and take out the $200/wk in cash at the beginning of the week so I don’t overspend. Thanks for the motivation!

  42. Miranda says

    On average my fiance and i spend about $250 on groceries a month, excluding essentials. we also spend about $180 on dining out a month, at least that is our limit. (we normally go out to dinner every friday night for date night i pretty much just rounded how much we spend when we go out to eat and $180 was my total) What i do, because you can’t exactly limit yourself, if you need food you need food.. if we are running low and its getting closer to the end of the month we always keep $80 aside for extra groceries and for the times that we had to use that extra 80 we only spent about 40 of it and 250 plus 40 will last us at least 30 days. again, it is just 2 of us.

  43. Leslea g says

    My husband and I get his kids every other week, 15 and 17. We spend $150 a week ans that includes paper products. I cook 5 meals per week and we shop at Grocery Outlet first and stock up on staples. I look for deals and some nights are quesadillas or tuna sandwich or tacos. I like to think I am pretty thrifty. It is a weekly struggle to stay under $150. We also bring a calculator to the store, which really helps put things into perspective.

  44. Notgettin It says

    I have been spending $1000 a month on food between my wife and I…and i’m wondering why my budget isn’t working. Good cheeses, i’m retarded…

  45. NotGettingItEither says

    Between my husband and I everything we buy at the grocery store (so household stuff and food) plus the odd coffee every other day, and the occassional pizza or eating out for dinner is nearly 1000 too. Just added it up and YIKES!!!!!! I’m doing something wrong too.

  46. M M says

    When we retired, we were spending $800 a month for two people. Our income was reduced and we now spend $200 a month. Just like the old days when we were starting out, canned fruits/vegetables; casseroles. Peanut butter and jelly on homemade bread. Gone are the fresh fruits and vegetables, bakery cakes, meat and potatoes, shrimp or any seafood. It is odd to end where we began. I could have fed 6 people or more and paid the rent/utilities on $200 a month when we first started out

  47. EG says

    Wow. Even with scrimping and buying chicken only 2x/week and buying reduced (soft) produce, I ring in between 150-250 a week in the most economical grocery here.

    • Ashley says

      Yes, I share your pain. I live in LA and it costs my husband and me $600/month to eat. He has celiac, I’m hypothyroid with a wheat allergy and IBS, and we are both lactose intolerant. We never eat out because of the risk of cross-contamination of allergens and gluten proteins so everything we eat is made from scratch from very limited ingredients. We eat exclusively fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, and chicken. Also, we don’t even buy organic anymore (unless it is on sale and costs basically the same as conventional). I think the restriction of grains from our pantry (no grains are truly safe for very sensitive celiac sufferers due to common agricultural processes) hurts our budget significantly. I find that anything less than $10 per day is insufficient for each of us. We were terribly unhealthy while eating the things that most people rely on as budget-friendly staples (wheat, rice, beans, pasta) due to our unfortunate allergies, intolerances and my husband’s celiac condition. So, I guess that unless you are rich or live somewhere cheap, you better be super healthy and have a digestive system like a garbage disposal to live well on so little.

      • says

        I agree with you Ashley that eliminating grains can add a lot to your budget. My daughter is gluten free and we eat primarily gluten free dinners for our family, but the cost of groceries here in the south is significantly lower than California from what I have heard. The one thing that has helped me the most is making a detailed menu plan each week and making sure that we use all of the food that I purchase. The important thing is that you are doing what is best for your health, not the actual amount you are spending unless you cannot afford to spend that much. Good for you for taking care of yourself!

    • says

      Hi Michelle! I do not include those because I try to make one monthly trip to Walmart for those items. I usually spend between $45 and $60 a month for non-food items.

  48. Susie says

    When you are trying to purchase foods at today’s prices, 2014, it is very hard. Whether it be for 2, or family of 5, groceries have gone sky high. We decided to start buying our groceries every 2 weeks (I don’t work) so we started out with one amt., which worked, but then my husband, who mainly handles the money, somehow came up with a budget of $150, every two weeks and told me this is what we have, I can’t go over. That is fine if I wish to eat the exact same things each week, over and over. We are both diabetic and we have to watch what we eat. But, on top of all this I am also expected to cover all household items in there too. Items such as: Laundry soap, dish soap, dishwasher soap, shampoo, bar soap, softeners, air freshener, toilet paper, paper towels, any cleaning supplies, etc… so,, by the time you have purchased those items during the month, for us, I may as well take $25 away from the grocery money right off the bat. That leaves less than $65, each week, for two people. I am not a miracle worker. We do not eat out often at all, I cook pretty much everything everyday. We always end up forgetting something or running back to the store during the week for something. I wanted to see what everyone else was spending on groceries because I feel what I am having to deal with is ridiculous. It’s not that my husband is a butt, it’s just I don’t work so I try my best to save us money, my job, but to have a set budget thrown on me when I am the one who does all the shopping, the cooking, etc… you would think I should have ‘some’ input into the amount of our grocery budget. Wouldn’t you think?

    • says

      Hi Susie! Thanks for joining in the discussion. It sounds like you have a tough situation, but YES, you should have input into the budget. If you sit down and talk with your husband about it and he still will not listen to your concerns, I would try marriage counseling or going to a Financial Peace class. You can find classes in your area at Hope that helps!

    • Cassi says

      Hi Suzi,
      I once had same problem with my husband. He’d always ask what did i buy with the money i spent. I finally refused to go to the store and made him go. He went one time…he came home with $100 in cereal and milk, our kids were small (i made him take them too, since i had to). They’d throw stuff out of the cart every couple steps! So, he only made it down one aisle. I must say this worked out more beautifully than i could of expected. He never complained or questioned me shopping again!
      Make sure if you do this, your husband has your cleaning supplies on list too. Good luck!

    • Ashley says

      Hi Susie,
      While you should have input into the grocery budget, I think it’s clear that your husband knows what he makes and what will be left over at the end of the day, so he is playing it safe by giving you a max amount to work with. I am the only provider in our family, and I have to do this as well. It sounds controlling, but when you have one income, you have to remember that there won’t be any extra money coming in to help you if there is an emergency or if you overdraw your account and can’t pay the bills anymore. It your needs are being met and you are just bored with your menu selections (which is perfectly natural and expected), then try picking up some part-time work, babysit for friends and neighbors, or make a little extra money doing things online (small business, blog, data entry, whatever) to supplement the current budget. Even with kids, you can always make an extra $100 or $200 by picking up odd jobs and such in the community or online. You could even start a blog to chronicle your struggles and successes with budgeting for your family. Times are tough, and your reader base would be large, so generating a small income passively through ad-revenue might be exactly what you need.

  49. Susie says

    Just wanted to add… one of the reason’s we end up forgetting, or cancelling something, or going back… I make a grocery list each grocery trip but I am usually so worried about not going over our budget I forget things. I can never just fix a meal because I really like it and want it… everything goes by my budget. I finally got him to understand that dog food, etc… shouldn’t be in our grocery bill, but in my opinion neither should any of the household items I listed above. At least not all of them anyway. That isn’t leaving very much for food, to feed 2 people for two weeks. We usually only eat 2 actual meals a day, breakfast and supper. If lunch it’s usually leftovers or a sandwich. We definitely eat our leftovers. With today’s prices… you just need more than that… even for two people.

  50. Susie says

    Thank you for the reply. I was very frustrated when I wrote the above and I believe I made it sound worse than I should have. My husband would do anything for me, buys me things constantly and I can go whenever I wish and all that. I am not a tied up, broken prisoner. lol. I just got very frustrated when it came to groceries because I seemed to not have any input into the situation. After I wrote this I sat down with him and let him know I felt so upset that I found your page and commented. It upsets him when I am upset. I explained that it isn’t that I am wanting to spend a huge amount on groceries, because I do not, it’s just that when you take out all household items, then take out the taxes, there isn’t much left. I can do some crazy things with meals but enough is enough. lol. He wished I’d have told him ALL OF THIS earlier, instead of just losing my cool before. We have fixed this, it is all better, and I credit you having this page and my commenting. It got the ball rolling and now it is great!! Thanks.

  51. Nathan says

    My wife tells me that $800 dollars a month isn’t enough for groceries and household items. I tell her it should be fine and we argue about the budget. But I showed her this website and it helped out on how she looks at things. Lets hope it helps.. Im tried of arguing with her about budgeting. We have a family of two adults, and also 5 yr old and 2 yr old.

    • says

      Hi Nathan – I am so glad that you found the blog! I am sorry that you are having arguments over money. I have a new series that I have just started about how to stop money fights that may help a little. You can find the first post here:

      As far as a grocery budget, everyone’s circumstances differ, but maybe if you sit down with your wife and look at exactly what the situation is, it will help. Let me know if you have any specific questions. Another super helpful idea is to take the Financial Peace class offered by Dave Ramsey. It saved our marriage!

  52. Jennifer says

    I am always trying to figure out a good amount to spend on groceries. We eat a lot of frui and vegetables not a lot of meat but lots of yogurt and peanut butter. We try to only buy organic as I think it is important to feed us all as healthy as possible. Makes going to the doctor none exsistant. We are a family of 7 and I just went shopping today. $220. For the week. We shop the dollar area in king snoopers for toilet paper or the dollar store. The dollar store is out place to get napkins, toothpaste, toilet paper for most of the bathrooms. If your kids are like mine they are unrolling the toilet paper as they are going. I find myself less upset knowing it wasn’t the 12.99 a package. We clean with Mrs. Meyers hand soap deluted so kid friendly and cheap to make. Vinegar and baking soda as well. I do wish for more ” Stress Free” meals that most of my kids will eat. I do think I could do better on my grocery bill though. We do only buy what is on sale and make meals from their.

    • says

      I think you are doing a great job Jennifer. The important thing is to spend your money according to your values and it sounds like you are doing just that. As long as buying organic isn’t wrecking other areas of your budget it’s definitely healthier for your family.

  53. beth says

    I feed my family of six on less than 600 a month. I dont have an option. My family is me and fiance, a 16,15,14,&3yr old.

  54. Amanda says

    Loving this site! I’m pretty good (at least I think I am) with managing our household budget. My husband does all of the bills and routine payments… and it is left up to me as to how we spend our day-to-day household budget. The main thing that I’ve noticed for me … the more time I spend preparing, the less I spend. The less time I spend preparing and planning, the more I spend. It isn’t always fun to sit down and hammer out a plan… but it makes a world of difference with our budget. I would estimate that, on average, we spend about $150 a week for a family of 5 (2 adults, 11… 6… and 4 year old children), not including paper products and personal hygiene supplies. It goes down considerably June-September, as we grow our own garden.

  55. Dee says

    I’d like to save money on groceries, but I work full time. Outside of work there’s scouts (taking my son and participating/preparing as I am a leader), church responsibilities, and Jazzercise (which really ought to be listed as therapy!). I’ve just discovered your blog so I don’t know what your suggestions are yet, but everything I’ve seen so far takes TIME. It really takes a full-time (or at-least part-time) homemaker to make the home and save money. That’s not really an option for me!

    • says

      Hi Dee – Welcome! You are right that saving money takes time, but I will tell you that the biggest savings I have found come from making a detailed menu plan for the week. If you have an extra few minutes you can base your menu around the sale items for the week, but simply planning your meals and making a grocery list based on those meals and what you have on hand will save you lots of money.

      Saving money is also about priorities. If you feel it is important to be involved in all of those activities and you can afford to spend more money on groceries, then do it. If you need to save the money, you might consider cutting back on a few outside commitments so that you can spend a little more time focusing on saving your family money.

  56. Vicki says

    It is hard for a single person with celiac disease and other food allergies to have a low food budget! It is extremely frustrating! I’m taking the challenge, hoping to find ways to reduce my ever rising food budget!

    • Robert says

      I eat primarily a Paleo lifestyle and while it is difficult in the beginning, you will start to see the cost savings as time goes on if you make bulk purchases when prices are low. I purchased a share of a whole cow and hog in the past 12 months and my freezer is full and have completely cut meat out of my budget because it simply is not needed except for poultry. I have a Costco nearby and I am able to get a 10 pound bag for $20.00 that last me over a month.

      Now that I have a Costco I am able to get organic produce pretty reasonable priced (in large quantities) and what I cannot get there I can almost always get at a local Asian market for really low prices.

      I am not celiac but I believe the Paleo diet for the most part follows a similar protocol. It can be done. I spend less than $250/month for food and household items.

  57. Robert says

    One of the things I have found that greatly reduces my food budget is shopping at a local Asian supermarket about 5 miles from my apartment. The produce there is very cheap. Today I got 4 avocados, 2 red bell peppers, 1 bunch of leeks, 2 cans of Aroy-D coconut milk, and a pound of Shiitake mushrooms for a little over $13.00. I already had a ton of produce from last week so i did not need much. That store regularly has carrots for 59¢/lb, cauliflower for under $2.00/head, broccoli for 99¢/lb, and many other great deals.

    This particular marketalso has ground beef and ground pork for $1.69/lb. I do not purchase the meat there because I tend to purchase shares of whole animals to keep my meat purchases down, I would not think there is anything terribly wrong with the meat there if you are on a budget.

    I would think many places have similar ethnic markets, just have to find them. I lived here about 2 years before I discovered this place.

    • says

      That is a terrific idea Robert! I go to a local Hispanic market sometimes and I have also found that the prices are lower for some items, plus we are supporting local businesses which is always a good thing!

  58. Aunt Beth says

    Here’s my situation: I’m the live-in caregiver for my elderly dad. He pays for our groceries. My young niece and her husband (I’ll call them Jane and John, ages 21 and 22) live with us and are on a very tight budget. They have a 10 mo. old and another baby on the way. Although they have their own living quarters, we all share the large kitchen. We also share one refrigerator in the kitchen and one small upright freezer in the basement (no room for another fridge in the kitchen). We prepare some meals together and others separately. John is a very finicky eater and could live on pizzas and huge bowls of cereal. Jane on the other hand likes just about everything her grampa and I do. They pay a very minimal rent to my dad and nothing for groceries, although Jane purchases all of their milk and buys a minimal amount of our combined groceries. Even so, my dad ends up purchasing most of the meats and cheeses–the higher dollar items. As the mother of an infant, Jane qualifies for WIC checks, if you’re familiar with that program, so is able to purchase some grocery items at no cost to them. Here’s where we need the help: How do we budget for groceries and also split the budget in a reasonable proportion for all involved?

    • says

      That is a tough situation but I would definitely think that everyone who is eating needs to contribute to the budget even if it is not “even” especially because you are family. I would talk with your dad and see what he thinks is fair. If he doesn’t want them to pay, I would still ask them because that is just part of being a responsible adult. Does that make sense?

  59. Shannon Leo says

    I have a family of 6. My husband and I butt heads all the time about our shopping budget. 300.00 is what he sets. Then he gets mad when I go over it. Keep in mind that is what he thinks I should spend on EVERYTHING. Not just food but the household items as well. I spend 100.00 right off the top in formula, diapers and wipes. That leaves 200.00 for food. We have a 9 year old, 6 year old, 3 year old, and 8 month old. That leaves 4 dollars and change for each meal. Not per person, but total. That is also BEFORE I buy any of the non food items. I challenged him to take a five dollar bill to the store (mind you that’s more than I actually have in his silly budget for a meal) and buy the supplies needed to make a meal to feed 5 (since the baby eats baby food) with just that. He came back with Roman noodles and a can of spaghetti-os. We no longer argue about the food budget.

  60. Michelle says

    I found this forum and am very happy to have found it. My fiancé and I love in Orange County california and just did the numbers for July 2014. Our bills *groceries and household items such as toiletries/laundry supplies/cleaning supplies etc. and expenses for our one cat ALL CAME OUT TO OVER $900.00. My fiancé and I are trying to work together to figure out why our monthly grocery/miscellaneous expenses are increasing. I always go to the same grocery store and am very consistent with our meals. I even went this month to target and used my red card to save 5% every trip. I have used coupons this past month at the grocery store and went to wal mart every trip I could. Our bills have still gone up. Any input to help cut costs? We truly live off of chicken, rice, and coldcuts. We don’t get more basic. I don’t purchase organic or fancy foods.

  61. Alison says

    We have 6 people in our family. This includes 4 children ages 16,13, 11 and 4. I think our 4 year old eats more than anyone else! I would like to try this

  62. Mel says

    I’m really curious about this topic of groceries and budgets. This is always the biggest part of our monthly expenses, besides rent. It’s also the biggest argument we have. I’m envious but also shocked at how some people seem to make it by with under 100 a week on groceries. There’s 2 of us and we spend about 800-1000/month. But our grocery budget category includes non-consumables and dining out also. And we eat a lot of protein and buy the wild seafood or hormone free meats. So maybe our high price makes sense after all. We used to separate it into different categories but when 1 receipt included consumable and non-consumables, it got too complicated to organize. Plus with the dining out part, we used to say that if we are going out to eat, then we will buy less groceries but we learned the hard way that dining out doesn’t affect how much food we buy at the grocery store, so we lump it all together.

    One thing that seems to help is by menu planning once a week and sticking to it. We started to make everything from scratch which takes time but seems cheaper in the end.

    Still, I want to cut the expenses back even more. You are all very inspiring!

    • says

      Hi Mel! Thanks for taking the time to comment. As you can read in the comments grocery spending is very personal. If you do want to cut back you have already taken the first and probably most important step which is to make a weekly meal plan. You can also cut your costs by setting a specific budget amount and shopping with that amount of cash rather than taking a debit or credit card to the store. For more ideas on saving on groceries check out my series here:

  63. Lena says

    When I was couponing a lot, I could keep costs under $100 per week, including toilettries, for a family of 3 where one was a baby. Now that we have 3 kids and they’re getting older AND I’m more health conscious than I was back then, I spend about $200 per week buying mostly fresh foods. It’s not the most frugal option, but I feel good about that considering I can’t find many coupons for fresh food. :/ We’ve been doing a lot more wholesale store shopping because of this.

  64. Lena says

    When I was couponing a lot, I could keep costs under $100 per week, including toilettries, for a family of 3 where one was a baby. Now that we have 3 kids and they’re getting older AND I’m more health conscious than I was back then, I spend about $200 per week buying mostly fresh foods. It’s not the most frugal option, but I feel good about that considering I can’t find many coupons for fresh food. :/ We’ve been doing a lot more wholesale store shopping because of this.

  65. Mommy B says

    My husband was shopping with me this week. We did buy a few extra things because he was along. However, while shopping he made the comment, “you have a eye for those things!!” He was meaning the Managers special or close out price tags. I look for them!! When I find one, I then have to decide if it is the deal for our family. Just buying because it is on sale is not money saver, but is it something we use regularly or something that I can incorporate into our weekly meals. I wish we could eat more organic, but our budget can’t hold it. I shop that section looking for the sales, managers specials & close out tags. There are a few thing I buy no matter what. Then throughout the store I am looking for those lower prices. There are some aisles that I skip altogether. They run up my bill & are unhealthy. I also love shopping at a place that gives me coupons. Kroger has a online coupon database. I have the app & load the ones that I need, not ones that are deals just to get a deal. Love scanning that card after the cashier finishes. Love watching that $315 amount drop to $230. In that I have enough meat for the month. May have to go back for produce or milk, but for the most part that will last. We also so a lot to frozen garden veggies.

  66. faerylandmom says

    We spend about $700/month to feed six people. Kids are ages, 7-11. We have a dog and a cat. The amount includes pet needs, toiletries, etc… I’m not sure how much we spend on food ONLY.

  67. faerylandmom says

    We spend about $700/month to feed six people. Kids are ages, 7-11. We have a dog and a cat. The amount includes pet needs, toiletries, etc… I’m not sure how much we spend on food ONLY.

  68. Tammy Boisvert says

    We have a family of 6, with four children ranging in age from 18 mos. to 17 yrs. old (along with 3 dogs). We live on a single income. We spend roughly $140-$160 each week on groceries which includes dog food, toiletries, household items, etc. Sometimes I spend more, sometimes less, depending on how well I stick to my menu planning (or if I plan at all) or if the kids are home on school vacation or not, special events, etc. My challenge for the new year is to see how little I can spend on groceries while still cooking meals my family will actually EAT! (with 2 teen boys and a hungry cheese and meat eating husband) :)

  69. Tammy Boisvert says

    We have a family of 6, with four children ranging in age from 18 mos. to 17 yrs. old (along with 3 dogs). We live on a single income. We spend roughly $140-$160 each week on groceries which includes dog food, toiletries, household items, etc. Sometimes I spend more, sometimes less, depending on how well I stick to my menu planning (or if I plan at all) or if the kids are home on school vacation or not, special events, etc. My challenge for the new year is to see how little I can spend on groceries while still cooking meals my family will actually EAT! (with 2 teen boys and a hungry cheese and meat eating husband) :)

  70. Ashli says

    I have a family of 6, with my 4 kids being age 5 and under. We spend $400 a month I have a separate budget for diapers, soap, cleaning products, etc of $50. I also have 2 kids in diapers so coupons and sales are important. I have found that if I keep cash envelopes it is easier for me to stick to my budget. Also looking at sales and creating a meal plan arpund them is very important. By doing this I am able to get our grocery bill down to around $85-90 per week and we save the extra $10-15 to go out to eat 1-2 times per month. If we do not have the extra cash in the envelope we do not go out to eat!

  71. says

    I love this plan Ashli. Cash envelopes are very helpful to control your spending and I really love that your eating out budget comes from what you save on groceries. Great job!

  72. Elle says

    I have a family of 4 on a strict Celiac, GF diet. I over spend each week. Do you have any tips for how I can reduce my spending in O.C, CA. P.S. I have NEVER seen coupons for Gluten Free/ Dairy Free or Healthy items.

  73. Brittany says

    I have a 2 person household and we spend about $160-200 on food a month. I use the weekly food plans laid out by the blog plant based on a budget to show me what to buy and make for the week. I tweak the meals based on what is in season/on sale or omit ones we don’t care for/repeat recipes we like. It has been an absolute eye-opening experience because we had been spending $800 and upwards on food, mainly dining out. The recipes have all been SO good, and I am a really picky eater :) Hope this can help someone else!

  74. Rhiannon says

    Hello Kimberly,
    I have been reading your blog for a while now and love implementing the ideas you have in the 30day Organisation Challenge, thankyou for that, as my home is now begining to look like an organised home not a destruction place of a tornado. Being a Home Schooling mum it is FANTASTIC to see some organisation in my house again after having our 4th child. THANKYOU VERY MUCH FOR THE DAILY ENCOURAGEMENT xx.
    I have a question for you as I have been trying to lessen our grocery expense as this is the biggest expense we have. I live in Australia, so your $125USDp/w is our $163AUDp/w, which is extremely hard to do as our average weekly spend is $360AUDp/w. Even with a menu plan and going shopping using a list and getting only what is on the list, I have only managed to drop our expense to $300AUDp/w. I do understand that our food costs being in different countries is vastly different. would you have any nitty gritty ideas to implement or know of any mums in Australia who manage to get at least a $250AUDp/w grocery shop? I have been trying this for the last 2months and would like to drop it to possibly $300AUDp/w this month. The only way I can figure to drop to say even $250 p/w it is to only cook soups and stews, but yes as you would know it becomes very boring eating the same thing all the time. We are a 6person family, myself, husband and our 4boys, 18years, 7years, 4years, 5months plus 2dogs and I have 5 food intolerances which means I buy very minimal amount of processed or prepackaged foods and alot of vegetarian meals with at least 3 meat meals a week. I just read in your post about some dont include animal food or toiletries in their food budget, so would you have a different budget for those items?

    • Kimberlee Stokes says

      Hi Rhiannon!

      So glad you’ve enjoyed the 30 Day Challenge!

      As far as the grocery budget, I am not including any non-food items or pet food, and we do get some gluten free items free because of affiliate links I use in my blog posts. I also only have 3 girls at home (my 20 year old son moved out) and my husband is not a big eater because he is not doing a very physical job.

      With your situation it sounds like you are doing a phenomenal job! You could try adding a “cheap” meal once a week (like soup or beans and rice) but it really sounds like you are doing what you can. I am going to send you a copy of my Save More Clip Less ebook with more specific strategies. It is based on what I can do here in the U.S. but maybe it will spark some ideas for you.
      Please let me know if you have any other questions that I can help you with.

  75. Amanda Yokeley says

    I include everything in my grocery budget (bathroom items, medications, dog food, etc). I spend around $180 a week on a family of 6. That includes my husband and I, and 4 kids (ages 9, 7, 3, 2). The 9 and 7 year old eat as much as we do on some days. To me $180 is a lot, but after looking at the numbers above, maybe I’m not doing too bad since I combine it all together. This is a neat post, thanks.

    • Kimberlee Stokes says

      I think you’re doing a fantastic job with your budget Amanda! Thanks for taking the time to comment :)

  76. Elizabeth Garrott says


    Okay, I don’t know how you all do it. I live in CA, and at best for a family of 5 and 2 cats, we spend $1,200 for EVERYTHING, household and food. I don’t typically buy processed stuff, except some snacks at the 99 Cent store. Am I missing something? I shop at the 99 Cent store and food for less. This amount also includes hot lunch for 2 kids and an occasional lunch out for my husband. It would only come down by $30 a month if the two kids didn’t eat hot lunch.

    • Kimberlee Stokes says

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Elizabeth! If there is anything I’ve learned about grocery budgets, it’s the fact that food prices vary greatly from one region to the next and I have heard from many readers that California is one of the most expensive areas in the country for some reason. The post is intended to give you some ideas of the range. Each person will make different choices based on their priorities. A family who eats all organic foods will spend much more than a family that does not.

      The key is to find what works for you within your budget and with your values. If you’d like some ideas for ways to lower your grocery budget you can check out my book Save More — Clip Less: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half (without extreme couponing) HERE.

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