May 10, 2010,
S.W. asks from Phoenix, AZ on July 15, 2009
Monthly Cost of Groceries Comparison
I'm trying to find a way to cut back on expenses. One of our biggest monthly expenses is our grocery bill. We shop at Target weekly and a Sam's Club every other week. I try to budget our weekly spending at about $200. Which means we're spending $800 a month on groceries (food, toiletries, and pet food). So my question is: Is $800 a month a reasonable amount? What is the average spending on groceries?
2 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
I've been shopping at Fry's for 2 weeks and cut my weekly bill by over a half!!
S.R. answers from Phoenix on July 16, 2009
I ususally spend about $150-$200 a week on groceries, and little items like toothpaste, etc. That is us eating out once a week. Some weeks are more than others if I stock up when meat is on sale. I shop the sales and got a vacuum sealer for my meats. When it is on sale at Sprouts, under $2.00 a pound for most things I buy about 30 lbs. I hardly every use coupons becuase I hardly ever buy anything that is in a box, mostly fresh foods for us. This is for 2 adults and a 2 yr old that eats a lot!
C.S. answers from Huntington on May 03, 2010
I just recently went through the same issue!
I'd noticed that our grocery bill was out of control - about $800/month for our family of 4 (2 kids under age 3, and 2 adults). So I joined www.thegrocerygame.com, as well as started checking some other money saving sites like www.hip2save.com and www.moneysavingmom.com. Actually, Hip2Save is my new homepage - it's fantastic! I also buy the Sunday paper and ask friends/relatives to give me their coupon inserts too (if they don't want/use them, of course).
I now spend $65-100 a week instead of $200. And I still have 2 kids in diapers, as well as a cat on Science Diet food (expensive). We also have much more in the house than we used to....actually, I may end up donating some of our extra stuff because it might be too much for our little family! For example, we have enough shampoo to last about a year, about 12 tubes of toothpaste (really good brands, like Crest pro health, etc..., but they were all FREE after coupons and store sales!), and 25 boxes of whole wheat pasta. So not only am I spending less than half of what I used to, I'm getting MORE for the money.
The biggest tip is to also shop the drugstores, like Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS. Between store sales, coupons, and their rewards (Register Rewards, Single Check Rebates, or Extra Care Bucks depending on the store), many items end up FREE or even MONEY-MAKERS! I still occasionally shop at Sam's Club (their meat is usually great), but I don't find that it saves any money.
Here are some of the big couponing tips that have helped me:
1. Change your way of thinking. It's all in the planning. Stock up, then plan your menu from what you have on hand and what is on sale.
2. It will take about 6 weeks to get a good stock pile of coupons going, but about 12 weeks to get a good stock pile of items. You will start saving money right away, but the savings will continue to grow as you get better and learn the cycles and which items are money-makers.
3. Buy a local Sunday paper as well as one from a larger city if possible, if you live in a small/medium sized town. Larger circulation means more coupons usually.
4. Set aside a certain time every week to cut, search, load, print, and organize. It will be worth it.
5. Plan - make a list, have a plan and stick to it.
6. Even if you don't think you need an item, go ahead and get it if it's free. You can always donate it or give it away.
7. If you join the grocery game, don't clip all the coupons in the Smart Source, P&G, & Redplum inserts from the newspaper. Just write the date on the outside of them and put them in a file. The grocery game list will tell you which coupons to use by insert & date, so you just have to pull them out and cut a few coupons before you shop instead of clipping & sorting a hundred of them every week. Saves a ton of time!
20 moms found this helpful
Moms recommend the following deals from Mamapedia:
K.H. answers from Chicago on May 03, 2010
Not sure if someone already posted these ~but in the interest of time, I will post them anyways :)
I have seen women speak of these sites and talk about literally saving hundreds of dollars on food by using coupons and rolling over cash rewards, etc. Here are the sites that explain the concepts behind super-couponing:
Here is the facebook page that talks about the different deals at different stores every week, and they post pictures and explanations of money they saved and how much they actually spent.
Hope this helps :)
10 moms found this helpful
K.W. answers from New York on May 03, 2010
I love all these ideas and have bookmarked the links for savings. I shop the circulars and have assigned each night of the weeks to either pasta/pizza(T&F), chix(W), pork/roasts(Sun), leftovers(M&Th), surprise(Sat) One or 2 nights I make extras for the left over night. This way I can stock up on specials and I usually have what I need for the next 2 weeks and simply need to pick up perishables....saves time and money and reduces the amount of throw away. I now make my own chix stock, harvest herbs, and make my own artisan bread. The bread seems like a chore but actually it is very easy and real treat (http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/) , I always have dough in the fridge and can make gourmet sandwich bread, rolls. appetizer and treats to bring to party/sick friend for the fraction of the cost of the typical hostess bottle of wine. Our spend is usually under $400/m for 5 w/ one on the way.
8 moms found this helpful
E.F. answers from Pittsburgh on May 03, 2010
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned www.thegrocerygame.com. You cut your bills in almost half with it. We have 2 adults and a 2 year old, and a dog, eat 75% organic, use only "chemical free" cleaning supplies, and only spend about $350-$400/month. Coupons can really save you, and knowing what is on sale when so you can stock up makes your life so much easier...
8 moms found this helpful
A.C. answers from New York on May 03, 2010
This question is fascinating, since I too struggle with cutting down our grocery bill but find it the hardest places in our budget to reduce.
In the Washington DC area, we spent about $500 a month for a family of 4. In New York City, we spent about $800 for a family of 5.
I have some tips on my blog, www.frugal-mama.com: http://www.frugal-mama.com/2009/10/coupons-are-a-waste-of...
6 moms found this helpful
H.S. answers from Los Angeles on May 03, 2010
I know some others mentioned a couple of sites that you have to pay a monthly service. But to save more, check out www.couponmom.com! She teaches you how to use coupons. There are even "e-coupons" for additional savings. Best of all, couponmom is FREE!!!! Trust me! Your bill will be cut more!
5 moms found this helpful
T.N. answers from Albany on May 03, 2010
We are five foodies, I cook excessively, it is not really about bugdeting (although like every one here, I should) it's about REALLY high quality ingredients, trying new things, enjoying good things, cooking with the kids, etc., it's my single largest expense, way more than the mortgage, not sure exactly but a guess would be a least $1200 a month, probably more...I could buy non-food items at a bigbox and pay much less but we are trying to support our local business...I prefer to go to our mom and pop butchers and local farmer's markets...etc...
4 moms found this helpful
A.M. answers from Tampa on May 03, 2010
Where you shop is the key - well... for me.
At the worst of times for me, I had to buget $50 a month for just FOOD for me and my two kids, and I did it. I bought a LOT of chicken and hamburger and shopped mostly at Walmart, sometimes Aldi and strickly generic brands - walmart's generic (great value) isn't bad. There are some generic brands that are just aweful. I cut out luxury items - soda, drink pouches, junk food. My kids never went without - even on $50 a month. I bought my veggies at the flea market b/c they have great prices!
That time of my life is behind me now; thankfully. But it taught me how to budget and how to spend. My kids never went without, they just didn't get the little extras - the un-necessaries, (that I do buy now - occasionally).
4 moms found this helpful