Budget of 1000 Dollars a Month?

Updated on March 23, 2008
A.G. asks from Sausalito, CA
4 answers


I just really went through our transactions and realized that we spend almost 1000 US dollar a month on groceries (including diapers for the youngest one)! We eat meat and I almost always try to buy organic milk and produce if I can, we almost always shop at Safeway in the Bay Area. it feels like a lot of money, just a curious question: How much do you spend? What is average? I am not crazy about Costco and think it is insane to drive 40 minutes to get cheaper diapers...but, maybe I should. What do you do? Would love some input on how to cut down. Heard that average on food should be 160 dollars a week.

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answers from San Francisco on

We're a family of 4 hungry fish/vegetarians. We spend ~$200/ week. We get diapers at Target, which for us is cheaper than the grocery store; wet wipes at Costco. Our veggies come from a CSA ~$120/mos - basically an arrangement with an organic farm like Terra Firma Farms - before this, we used to shop at Trader Joes and the farmers market. Most of our fish comes from Costco. Costco has organic milk and coffee as well as great meat (so I've heard from my very carnivorous Father in Law), but then, ours is 5 minutes away...

BTW - Average food bill of $160/week probably is not in the bay area or organic.



answers from San Francisco on

Wow. I wish we had an extra grand to spend just on food!

We have a family with three adults and my 21 month old. I do buy diapers, wipes, pasta, juice, chicken, etc at Costco (but it's only 5 minutes from our house) then probably spend an extra $80 to $100 per week on food. So total, maybe $500 per month.

If you're doing the Safeway shopping, try to stock up on meat when it's on sale. You can often get good cuts (tri-tip) for 50% off on a good week, and just stick it in the freezer until you're ready to use it. Same with fruits and veggies, buy whats on sale unless you need something specific for a recipe.

So many dishes you can mix and match, and it's still delish.



answers from San Francisco on

I think we spend about $700/month. I would definitely suggest going to Trader Joes!!! That saves us tons of money. And for the things I cant buy at Trader Joes, I prefer to go to Luckys. They're cheaper than Safeway. I only to Safeway if I absolutely have to. They're a rip-off, in my opinion.



answers from Chico on

If you go Organic, you spend more. We probably spend about $200 a week at the grocery store/Costco for our family of 4, including the diapers (for 2 kids). What gets us "higher than average" is buying treats and processed stuff (like pre-made spaghetti sauce, granola bars, canned fruit) and of course, the "goodies" at Costco- like books and movies. To cut back on expenses, you could make more stuff than you buy (like sauces and salad dressings, buy the fixings for the salad rather than pre-bagged, make snacks instead of getting the pre-portioned crackers and what-not), only buy stuff when it's on sale (Safeway has lots of Buy one, Get one sales on cereal, bread, and the 10 for $10 stuff on a regular basis), and cut back on the treats (I swear that gets us every time :)! ). Even though you aren't crazy about Costco, they have less expensive whole chicken and pork loins than Safeway usually does. You could go once a month or once every six weeks to stock-up on meat and cheaper diapers...

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