It is always interesting to me when people share their grocery budget and the foods they buy. There is a wide variety of opinions on how much is needed to buy groceries for a month. Look at the comments on my post about my food stamp experience and my follow-up post on food stamps to see some of the differing opinions.
I generally spend about $100-$120 a month on food, that includes groceries and restaurants. I don’t try especially hard to keep my food expenditure low but my preferred foods are fast-food and junk food which tend to be cheap. As an experiment at the beginning of this month I decided to not eat any meals out and eat whatever I wanted at home. After two weeks the results showed that I could eat just as bad at home as at a restaurant. Not eating out might have saved me some money but it didn’t result in me eating any healthier or losing any weight. That experiment has been abandoned and I am on to the next experiment.
For the month of February I will share with you all the foods I buy and what I pay for them. To try to keep my diet somewhat healthy I am only going to eat out once a week and not purchase any chips, cookies, candy, crackers, ice cream or soda. For me that will force a major change in diet although I suppose there are still plenty of bad foods left I could eat. I’m not going to buy any more food the rest of this month in order to reduce the amount of foods in my pantry before the experiment starts. I believe that with these changes I will spend less than $100 for food for the month and eat healthier than average or at least healthier than the average bachelor.
I would be interested in seeing what you spend on food. If you want to share leave a comment with your monthly food budget.
16 thoughts on “What Do You Spend on Food?: A Grocery Budget Experiment”
My 2010 budget for food is $150 per month, which like you includes groceries and dining out. I spent a little more than $300 per month in 2009. I am cutting back by doing more restaurant mystery shops and by shopping at Aldi instead of Publix. I’ve nearly cut out soft drinks altogether.
If I could control my restaurant spending I think it would be easy to spend under $100 per month on food. It’s those $7 Chinese take out meals and $10 sit down lunches that kill my budget.
I don’t know how you shop and spend less than $150…I spend that every week…Luckily my budget allows for it. We don’t eat out much and cook all our meals from scratch. We never order takeout. We buy alot of fresh fruits and vegs in the winter so that adds up the cost as they are far more expensive in winter. We stock up on meats when they’re on sale.
$100 per month on food is impressive. My wife and I average about $1500 per month. Eating fresh and quality food is very important to us. Japan is more expensive than most countries but the quality is really incomparable.
Food is more than half of our monthly expenditures. This is definitely one area where we are not afraid to spend. Healthy food gives us much more energy and vitality.
I didn’t have a budget before 2010. But I created one as a resolution, and so far we have been sticking to it. Our weekly grocery budget is $100. Is that too high for 2 adults and a baby? I didn’t have a point of reference, so I picked a nice round number. Since we’ve been underbudget for the past couple of weeks, I might try to cut it down by $20.
Frugal Miser – I think we are pretty close on the food budget other than the eating out.
MP – I will be sharing what I buy and what I spend next month so you will be able to see how I do it.
John Bardos – Japan is a lot more expensive than Kansas City. Since I don’t make $1500 a month I couldn’t spend that much on food.
thriftygal – Your budget is lower than average I would think. The last U.S. government info I could find was from 2004 and they had a total food cost of about $192 per person per month. That was including eating out. Since that data is almost six years old I would guess the average is over $200 now.
Andy, I spend about $200 per month for a family of 2 adults and one teenage girl. I also spend about $75-$100 a month eatting out. (I wish I could stop that!) We eat a variety of foods and fresh meats everyday. I try to keep meals under $4 for 4 servings.
My husband and I eat on 35 bucks a week, with 25 dollars a month (out of our budget) to eat out on. If we get extra gift cards (like from MyPoints and or whatever) we don’t count that in the 25$.
It’s not easy, but with stockpiling, the drugstore game and coupons we usually make it. Actually, eating healthy on so little is a challenge, but I get a rush from saving an average of 50% from my grocery bill every trip.
We also live in a relatively low-cost area, so that helps.
Marilyn and Katherine – Your ability to keep your food bill so low is impressive. I knew there were people spending less than me. It is interesting to see how much people’s food budgets vary.
Wow, $100 for groceries? I spend $400, and that’s just for me and my husband, NOT including eating out! I live in Canada, though (groceries are more expensive here). I’m trying to lower it and chronicling my efforts at http://theskepticalhousewife.blogspot.com.
Lainey – Thanks for the input and thanks for the post on “Possum Living” on your website. I had forgotten about that book and want to read it again.
I’ll have some results beginning next month. Beginning February 17th I will be on a 40-day fast which is definitely going to force me to eat more healthy. My biggest problem is that I like to reward myself with my favorite ice cream too often.
Lillie – Are you talking about a fast from buying food?
i get by off 230.00 a month with a family of five,it is not easy but thats all i have,the trick is alot of dumplings and beans,we do not get to eat out.
You’ve all got me beat (well, except for the folks from Japan, I guess), and I just have myself & Hubby to feed right now! We’re going to have to seriously look at our grocery bill and see where we’re spending too much. Good think I started tracking expenditures this month!
We average about $450 a month on food and it could be more, but I make sure that’s it since we pay cash, and don’t depend on tax payers to feed our family. Women these days look for a man that has big qualities and don’t care, if he is lazy since we provide the food for her, and her children that may not even know who their father is and also the boyfriend that lives with her for free food and a nice bed to sleep in.
How much are you people eating…….wow………it only costs me about 70$ a month for food.. I cook everything from scratch and never eat fast food….It is a lot healthier. In the summer I eat dandelion and purslane and plantain salad….all picked for free . Some people call them weeds…haha….they are very healthy. I only cook on my days off. I don’t have time to cook when I am working. I pickle vegetables in the summer when the prices are lower. I will cook everything in a crock pot for variety. I cook beef and ribs in the same pot. It is very large. I have a few stainless steel bowls and I put rice in one. I throw in a few potatoes and some lasagna noodles in the same pot. There fore I can put some beef, cottage cheese and noodles and tomato sauce and cheese on top and nuke it for variety. I only cook from scratch. I buy fifty pound bags of flour and one pound bags of yeast…..very cheap and throw it in the breadmaker. I bought that at a garage sale for six bucks. I also bought a George Foreman grill at a garage sale for six bucks also…….it was almost new. The lady didn’t like it……I do. It takes work but you can cook very cheaply if you make an effort. Most americans don’t want to. They just want to eat highly processed food at the drive thru. ……not healthy. I also buy tofu for a dollar a pound and make tofu beef very cheaply in the crock pot. Much more healthy. It can be done.