April 13, 2009,
M.O. asks from Barrington, IL on April 07, 2009
Budget - What Do You Pay for Groceries Each Month?
I am curious. I think of myself as a pretty savvy shopper...SAHM who checks out the ads, uses coupons, shops sales, etc. I may not be as good as the "coupon Mom" who runs her own internet site on how to shop for groceries, but I think I do well.
My question, what do you spend each month on groceries? (Food, eating out, toiletries, household items like detergent, etc. and "super club" purchases like CostCo and Sam's)? So ALL food and day-to-day items? And how many in your family?
I thought I was doing pretty well for our family of four spending about $800/mo. That included EVERYTHING I bought for the month, except some clothes on a store card.
What do you think? What's your "budget"?
J.W. answers from Chicago on April 07, 2009
We have a family of 3 with our 2 year old still in diapers. We are vegetarians and eat organic as much as possible. We only eat out 1-2 times a month and do not shop at wholesale clubs. With our special diet and our son still in diapers, we spend between $500-550 a month on food, toiletries, and household items. We shop at Woodman's in North Aurora which is soooo cheap. Hope this helps!
1 mom found this helpful
M.R. answers from Chicago on April 07, 2009
I spend $1,200 a month. This is for a family of 4 plus a family daycare. Also, this money covers everything clothes, shoes, cleaning products, rugs, curtains, birthday presents, doctor co-pays, medicines, you name it. I very seldom charge anything! If I don't spend all the money I put it a side for when something comes up.
M.C. answers from Chicago on April 07, 2009
We are a family of 5, 2 teenagers and a 4 year old.
I believe we spend about 600 Dollars on groceries and houshold stuff.
Maybe sometimes more, but never 800.
I'm the queen of frugal,and my husband being a second year apprentice,doesn't make to much right now and I stay home,too.
If you need any tips, please feel free to e.mail me.
We have always lived like that,so the economy right now,thank god doesn't affect us to much.
I think we spend most of our money right now to get my teeth fixed !!!
I hate spending money on eating out!!!
I can't stand it.So once in a while we order out chinese,and it feels great as treat.
We eat very healthy so eating out for me feels to much,to fatty !!!!
I love to spend money on gardening,my passion.
We have fruits and veggis growing in the summer ,so I'm saving on that,too.
M.R. answers from Chicago on April 07, 2009
We pay about $460 per month for groceries ($100-115), but then I also add in $240 a month for my 24 Dinner by Design meals. (I'm not trying to sell you or anyone on DbyD; I just felt it is important to include the costs since I consider it 'groceries' and I do not buy meat/dinner stuff at the store).
That would make my total for groceries $700/month. I never use coupons. I rarely buy boxed or processed foods and rely solely on fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, and low fat dairy products.
I am not a SAHM but I think I do some things similarly. For instance, I pack lunches and snacks for my husband and I to take and eat while we are at work. That way we don't spend any extra money for food. We both also do a 'make and take' breakfast that we eat in the car, again avoiding a stop at the drive through. I write down a monthly dinner menu and plan all dinners (along with salad, vegetables, and fruit for dessert) to reduce or eliminate any wasting of products.
A.R. answers from Chicago on April 13, 2009
For our family of four (kids are 4 and 2), I spend $150 every two weeks. I go to Valli and Meijer. I plan a 2-week menu and purchase only what I'll need for that menu. I work at home TH/FR every week, so I include breakfast and lunch on those days, as well. Target is where I usually go for cereal, it's cheaper there. Wednesday nights is Mac & Cheese, and 2x/month I serve breakfast for dinner. Sundays I make tilapia with rice or pasta and a veggie, and the fish is only $3.99/lb, fresh. I buy frozen veggies when they're 10 for $10 or whatever cheap price (store brand), and I get lots of fresh fruit in the summer at Valli when prices are low. It can be done!
N.D. answers from Chicago on April 07, 2009
We are a family of 4, both kids are under 6 and like the other Mom, we spend about $600 a month and I *never* use coupons. I need to and am trying really hard to get organized so that I can save some more money. I feel like the $600 we do spend is *way* too much and that we are throwing out more food than we should. So, I have recently started keeping track of the food in the refrigerator, freezer, pantry and deep freeze so that we can make a conscious effort in remembering and using what we have before shopping. In addition, I have started meal planning. Stores like Jewel are helping by offering "meals for under $15 for four people". Once we go through what we have, I am totally going to utilize this. I absolutely need to start using coupons and buying things on sale too.
We have, however, started using Aldi's for certain things and have been pleasantly suprised. I still use the big box stores for meats and other misc items but for the box stuff like cereals, granola bars and even fresh veggies and milk, I save a ton.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
Ps. We eat out about twice a month but it's usually under $60 for all four of us for both times.
M.R. answers from Chicago on April 08, 2009
Probably $1200. We are cutting down on eating out but still doing quite a bit of it!
Our groceries are a little bit more expensive b/c we do try to get locally farmed, organic foods and grass-fed free range meats.
Groceries run us about $900, sometimes more, sometimes less. Toiletries and OTC meds (we use homeopathic) cost about $100, and about $50 in prescriptions.
We don't use paper products other than toilet paper. We use cloth napkins, towels and rags instead of papertowels, and cloth diapers. The only cleaning supplies we use are dishwashing liquid, dishwasher detergent, and laundry detergent. For everything else I use baking soda or vinegar or a combo.
I don't use coupons or shop by sales. We rarely buy any processed foods- just plain crackers, chips, dried pasta, and occasionally freezer meals- most of it is whole organic foods.
ETA- We are a family of 4- SAHM, WOHD, 17 mo old, 8.5 yr old who takes her lunch/snack to school
S.M. answers from Chicago on April 07, 2009
I too am a SAHM. I get $800/a month to cover groceries, medical co-pays, park district activities, and occasional lunch/night out, birthday presents for extended family/friends, and day-to-day items. My husband brings home dinner once a week which doesn't come out of the $800.00, but it is typically under $80/month. It is a pretty tight budget, and we have to save a few months to do a park district activity, so the kids aren't always enrolled in something. This is for a family of 5- 2 adults a 5yr, 4yr, and 1 yr.
H.E. answers from Chicago on April 07, 2009
We are a family of four and between household cleaning supplies, paper goods like t.p. and paper towels, etc., we spend about the same give or take. I shop sams for the paper goods and some cleaning supplies, detergents, and then some dry goods and meats and veggies. I think what you are spending is reasonable, especially if you are trying to feed your kids and yourselves decently healthy home cooked meals. I don't know what people eat when they only spend $600 a month and that includes all the cleaning of house and clothes as well. Unless everything is generic. I try to buy everything around sale items for meals, and I've noticed making a list saves me money before I leave for the store. I used to meal plan based on what I could think of when I got there. We run through juice and milk like you wouldn't believe, and my husband also makes all of his lunches, mostly pb&j if it isn't dinner leftovers. I think about $200 a week is pretty frugal if you ask me. And that's on the high end. There are weeks I only spend $75-100 depending on what I get at sams.
N.L. answers from Chicago on April 07, 2009
I have a family of 4, including one in diapers. On average, I spend $400 at the grocery store, possibly $50 on incidentials at Target/Walmart, and maybe a monthly trip to Sam's Club for diapers, wipes, bulk items around $100-$200. There are months that I don't shop at Target or Sam's. We hardly eat out, maybe one fast food a weekend - Jimmy John's, Wendy's. That could cost an additional $100.