What is your Grocery Bill?
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  1. #1

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    Default What is your Grocery Bill?

    Hello I'm new here and I think I'm spending way to much money for my family of 4 per month on groceries. Our bill just for groceries alone is about $600.00 give or take a little.
    I think that is way to much, #1 because we still have food left over that goes to waste. #2 way to much (kid) snack food eaten in the first 2 days and yet all of the veggies and fruit go bad. Yes I know (Stop buying all the snackies) however I get them for my husband, a big guy, blue collar worker who uses all the food he takes in, howver the kids get to it and it's gone.....
    If others out there could please shed light on the cost per person or per meal for what they spend on groceries per month + snacks + Fruits and Veggies that would really help. Thanks so much.

    Signed,
    Dazed, Still Hungry and Confused

  2. #2
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    I have a family of 4 (2 adults, a 12 year old boy and 8 year old girl). I spend between $350 - $400 per month depending on what we have going on that month. I do buy my kids snacky stuff, but it's bought on sale ($1 a box), and I limit what I buy. They are allowed one treat per day, usually in their lunch box. If they are eating Dad's Stash (a HUGE no-no in this house....then they have to deal with the wrath of Dad! ), then find a hiding place for his treats.

    How much are you making for dinner? I usually cook enough for 2 nights, and freeze 1/2 of what I make. My family does not like to eat the same thing two nights in a row, so this has helped me a lot. I do not OAMC (Once A Month Cook), but this method seems to work for me. I have a nice inventory of quick meals that I save for busy nights.

    Plan your meals and snacks around your fresh fruit and veggies first. When you run out, move on to the canned stuff. Also plan meals from the sale flyer and combine with coupons, if you can. Good coupons are hard to find these days!

    Another thing that helps around here is that my kids do not have free reign in the kitchen. They always ask for a snack first, and then I tell them what their options are. It will take some training, but they will get used to if they are now used to raiding the pantry.

    I'm sure many others will have lots more advice! Some of the people here amaze and inspire me with their low food budgets!

  3. #3
    Registered User The Muse's Avatar
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    I pay $35 - $40 every 2 weeks for DH and me.

    I cook most things from scratch and buy little prepared food. We're vegetarians so we eat a lot of beans, tempeh, and tofu; very little dairy. I buy most of my groceries at Price-Rite and ethnic markets.

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  5. #4
    Registered User zakity's Avatar
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    We spend about $400 for a family of 5, two adults and three boys ages 12, 10 and 10. Occasionly, it goes up to $500 if we stock up that month. I cook mainly from scratch and I don't really by snack foods.

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    Registered User amanjud's Avatar
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    Welcome!!!
    We usually spend $450/mth for 6 of us (plus a cat and dog), though I'm trying to get it down to $400 (we'll see about that!). That is for food and household stuff (TP, toothpaste ect...) It helps to plan the meals out Watch for good sales and stock up. I buy snacky stuff too, but only 2 or 3 things for the week and once it's gone it's gone. I do make cookies and brownies for them, but I have to hide them or DH will eat them all LOL.
    Check out the recipe boards here, there's lots of good low cost meals there!

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    Registered User Iansmommy's Avatar
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    We are a family of 5 and I try to stay right around $400 a month. Sometimes I go over a little.

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    Just a note about the snacks that are for dad: In our house, I talked to the kids about sharing and respect. I show them what is purchased for daddy, and that it is not only disrespectful but also being stingy if they feel they can eat theirs (I bake WHATEVER they want!) and have daddy's too! My girls are now teenagers, and they remind each other that something is for dad...in turn, sometimes my dh offers to share something that is saved for his lunch so they don't feel like he isn't also sharing/being respectful. It's worked great for us...
    We spend $290.00 -$300.00 on groceries for the 4 of us and my family is very well fed!

  9. #8
    Registered User YankeeMom's Avatar
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    My grocery bill is about $600/month. That is for a family of 6 people, two of whom are teens and one pre-teen boy who eats more than all of us. It includes all cleaning/paper products, all pet food/cat litter for the 4 dogs and 3 cats. I don't buy a lot of snacky foods. Snack foods here are fresh/canned fruit, cheese sticks, yogurt cups, pretzels, or saltines. I also don't do the "meal in a box" that seems to be popular. I can make much more for much less and it tastes better and doesn't have a whole bunch of crap in it that's not good for us.

    I'd say the bulk of our grocery bill is the every day stuff. Cold cereal (because I have two that will ONLY eat cereal for breakfast), bread, milk (two who are on soy milk), and fresh produce.

    It does not include any eating out we do. That is in our "entertainment" category.

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    Registered User justpeachy92's Avatar
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    We are a family of 6 with one dog. I spend around $650.00 a month, this amount includes, food for us and the dog, personal care items, cleaning/paper products and the occassional meal eaten out.

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    I spend anywhere from $350 to $480 a month for our family of three, one of which is our 11 yr old son that doesn't stop eating.

    Like Yankeemom it's not just food I'm buying. It includes all paper/household cleaning/laundry items, pet care needs, medicines, etc. and our eating out costs are included in our entertainment budget not grocery budget.

    I buy a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables that I can't grow in the garden. I don't buy many snack foods except things like crackers, popcorn, and the occasional package of cookies. I don't buy "boxed meals" either. I find that I can make them better and cheaper from scratch and I make desserts cheaper and do this every other night. Once everyone starts getting used to having homemade fresh desserts, even if it's just pudding (the kind you make not buy already made) with whipped cream in little layered cups they don't miss the prepackaged snacks and stuff.

    I also generally try to use at least $25 dollars of my weekly grocery budget to purchase only items for my stockpile (extra canned goods, meat for the deep freezer, laundry supplies, toiletries) If there are good sales going on for items like this that's when my grocery bill hits closer to $480 and I literally stock up for a long time and then I have the cheaper grocery bills. Sometimes it can come out even lower than the $350 a month depending on how much I have on hand stocked up.

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    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    Family of 4 + baby still nursing only, spend roughly $110 a week here in NH. I was spending $140-150 a week, whittled it down by paying attention and using coupons and stocking up with sales. Trying to bring it down to $100, finding it next to impossible.

  13. #12
    Registered User frugal me's Avatar
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    Spending around $75- $100 a week for a family of four (2 adults, 11 year old boy, and a 5 year old girl). Cook lots from scratch.

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    Registered User BlessedMomof2's Avatar
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    We are a family of 4 and our grocery bill is usually around $350 a month but that also includes dog and rabbit food.

  15. #14
    Registered User cheles2kids's Avatar
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    Well on a normal month, we can average about $600.00 for a family of 4 (2 actual adults & 2 teens who eat more than we do), 4 large dogs, 1 small dog & 1 kitty.
    My grocery budget covers everything, not just food for us.
    I normally shop bi-weekly, but am experimenting with a different tactic for the next month.

    But I will also add that when I tend to spend this much we seem to end up throwing some things out as well.
    But with this amount, I always am able to add extra things to our stockpile.


    So right now I'm experimenting on shopping weekly with a very small budget to see how we do.
    I'm shopping sales, along with adding a couple of items each week to the stockpile, but I am also using things from the stockpile I already have going, so this of course will cut waaay back on what I spend.
    Also the fact that we're going through a really tight squeeze time, right now with our budget helps to keep me more on track.

    Yesterday I spent $60.00 (that's a HUGE difference between what I was spending before) and between what I already have on hand, this will get us through another entire week.

    The thing that I'm looking at and experimenting with right now are:
    1. The types of food I buy (I've always been a *generic* shopper, but looking at
    2. Buying generic for the majority of our grocery budget)
    3. Making all snacks homemade (cupcakes, muffins, granola bars, cookies, etc.)
    4. Shopping for what's on sale that week
    5. Buying only enough to cook the meals for an entire week (along with a couple of additional stockpile items)
    5. Shopping at only our two local stores
    6. Buying what's in season
    7. Using a menu (I'm trying hard to incorporate both using my menu, along with changing around the menu with what's on sale, in any given week)

    Most of these things are common sense to alot of people here, who have been doing this for a long time, but for myself for the past 18 years, we've been shopping bi-weekly because that's how we always got paid in the military, so it's just a habit that I got into.

    So, I'm hoping that looking more closely at these things, that I will be able to bring down our total, closer to what these amazing women here are doing.
    If I could even cut just a 1/3 of our grocery budget, I'd be super happy!!
    But if I can cut even more, I would be overjoyed, especially with the way prices keep continuing to rise!


    Hth you some, with a starting point to reducing your own budget!
    Michelle in middle Tennessee!


    Ever so slowly rebuilding my stockpile...

  16. #15
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    I just spent $109 for the two of us. That was after making a menu plan, and a list of what I needed but did not have for those meals, and buying sale items. However, my husband insists on fresh veg, certain brand names, and the occasional luxury (this week it was a gallon of fresh squeezed orange juice and a fresh pineapple). It also included a $16 slab of skirt steak, which will become 3-4 fajita taco dinners and maybe beef barley soup by the time it is done, and a family pack of pork chops, which were on sale. Those will get split up and frozen for later meals.

    I know I could save a lot of money buying generics and store brands, but if DH won't eat it because it is chewy or chunky or tastes odd, then it becomes a waste. Also, being lactose intolerant, my milk costs $4+ a half gallon. I don't buy so much beans, rice, and noodles, because DH won't eat pasta (his ex served a lot of it and it reminds him of her), and can't handle beans (like I can't handle cheese) and frankly should not be eating a lot of carbs in the first place, so we are limited in the kinds of cheap entrees I can fix.

    But what I do buy gets eaten, we do not throw food out, except veg peels which get composted for the garden. I don't worry so much about the dollar amount, as not wasting what we have spent the money on.

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