How Much Do You Spend on Groceries/household?

Updated on January 27, 2012
A.W. asks from Baltimore, MD
35 answers

I'm trying to budget and considering if I need to cut down on more? In general how much do you spend on groceries/household items per month? I feel like even when I go in for a couple things, it still costs a lot and it all adds up quickly.

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone! I didn't know if how much we spend is way off base but with $150/week...sometimes more and sometimes less. Whenever I leave the store I always wonder where it all goes and why it doesn't last longer. I do bulk shop in Sams especially for toilet paper and I buy meat, cereal, etc. on sale and/or coupons and stock up when really good.

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answers from Washington DC on

Family of 4 - between $150/200 a week. I honestly don't know where it all goes. I guess on the healthy stuff. Today I bought $10 worth of strawberries that my girls will eat in 3 days. And $8 worth of grapes that may last until the weekend. I don't care though. It's better for them to eat that then a $2 bag of chips. We only eat out once a week - usually Friday night at an inexpensive pizza place.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

This should make everyone feel good. We have a family of 8 w/ 2yr. old twins (still in diapers) and I have a 2,000. budget for the month. We go through an average of 6-8 gallons of organic, grass fed, raw milk ($8 a gal.) I don't even buy the organic food that I want, but that budget includes all toiletries. I am grateful to have the milk, since we have so many allergies to the conventional. Since we homeschool, we prepare 3 meals a day and they love fresh fruits and veggies to snack on. I can't wait until summer for cheaper, local produce. I am ashamed to say that I haven't gone to BJ's for a membership yet, since we recently moved on base, but plan to do that ASAP. I am inspired to keep trying to do better since I can see it is possible and I will retain many of the good tips that I know help!! Thanks to all.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

$150-250 a week - family of 7 w/ 2 still in daipers. I do spend more when hubby is with me then if I just go by myself.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from New York on

We're a family of 4 and spend about $1000 a month on food and household stuff. That doesn't include going out to dinner or our lunches out as my husband and I both work. I can't believe people manage to spend so much less! Less for sure but by so much...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Spartanburg on

I spend about $200 a week. I go to walmart for household items(I do want to start going to the dollar store for those things though!) and our grocery store for our meals. I do buy all organic so that's why our amount may be higher. Oh and we are a family of 4. A 2.5 year old & a 1.5 year we are buying diapers too :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My wife and I spend about $20 per week for the two of us including, tolietries, sundries and dog food.

I seldom use coupons, but check the stores' markdown baskets and sections on a regular basis and will change our menu's whenever I find a good bargain. Example: one of our neighborhood stores marked their hams (left over from the holidays) to half price. I bought three and put two in our freezer. We will eat off one of them for most of a month.

Good luck and good shopping.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We are a family of 3. My husband, myself, and my 2 1/2 year old son. We spend about $250 a month total on groceries, toiletries, paper products, cleaners, etc. We make everything from scratch, and don't buy any kind of convenience food. (Except a snack or two every once and a while.) We do eat out once a month, which is not included in that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Family of four, $450-$600. And we eat out WAAAAAYYY too much.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Is a difficult to determinate how much in my house since we like to buy on bulk.
Like this pass week, we spend about $250 only on buy one get one free and 10 for $10 products. Since this week were no sales for vegetables or milk (almost never are but some times frozen or canned are), I will be adding those during the week so we will be spending more money on those, but if next week is not good sales we will be eating what we got this week and barely spend any money.
My husband travels for work, so on Saturdays we like to go out to eat dinner and ice cream unless we have spend a lot during the week or I have food that is about to expire.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

We are a family of four and I spend about $300 per week which includes diapers, wipes, and other toiletries; Sometimes, on a good week, I'll spend $250--that's if I use my coupons wisely.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bloomington on

Family of 4 (2 under 4). We spend about $600 a month and that includes everything including 4 dinners out and for more pop than I care to admit (that's another question).

We shop at Sams for dipes, wipes, milk, and all things that we normally purchase that is in bulk. We do not buy/use many paper towels and only buy Scott tissue.

We shop at Walmart for everything else except meat. Our local IGA has had meat sales and I seriously stock up. I spent $60 for meat about 2 1/2 months ago. (pork chops, chicken breasts, chicken legs, sausage, hamburger, and roasts)

When I do buy something new from Sam's (like toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, laundry detergent, etc).....I write the date on it with a sharpie of the date I opened it for the first time. This helps me keep a check on how quickly we really are going through it.

I have compared the prices of Sam's items to Walmarts and they are always cheaper....and Walmart is almost always cheaper item by item than anywhere else.

We also make most of our meals from scratch and freeze them to make them very convenient (I work 3 evenings a week). THis has saved us a ton of money and time - and no left overs. We make lasagnas and such in servings of 3 - one for each adult and one to share between the girls.

Good luck....I hope you find what you are looking for! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Usually in the $180 per week range. We are two adults, a high schooler and a middle schooler.



answers from Topeka on

I have $140.00 a week to spend on food items & toiletries I can go through it all or have some for the following week.It just depends on what we have for dinner if that includes leftovers,out to eat.Just this past Monday Dillons had a great sale on baby toiletries so I stocked up & bought 1 laundry soap bottle all of it would of cost roughly 20 bucks but instead it was half that.I do use coupons from Target & print what I need use them or save them for when I do need them.I check sale/clearance & shop from store to store since i'm a sahm & everything around me is close to home I don't feel like i'm going out of my way to save money however hubby see's it differently at times but if he only knew there is a method to my maddness.
Great question because this year I plan to buy less save more & buy what only I need for the week we have baby on the way & need the space for baby items not extras but i'll regret that when i'm in the shower & damn my shampoo bottle is empty so I have to get more creative with my storage space.
Also on a side note we never ever went through everything I buy in a week food snacks beverages TP soaps nothing so my stock pile is still growing but I don;t rebuy boxes of cereal weekly or other non needed items to put in the pantry I will buy the shampoo & soaps TP laundry soap


answers from Appleton on

Family of 4 (plus a few neighbor kids once in awhile - lol) $150/week. Sometimes I can spend $100 if I don't need laundry detergent and other big ticket items...



answers from Dallas on

For a family of 4 (kids under 6) I budget about $150 per week on food and usually spend about $126. I meal plan and try to buy only the things I need for the one week of meals.



answers from Washington DC on

We budget about $700/mo. for our family of 4. Sometimes we're over, sometimes we're under. It depends on the season and what's available for what prices. It also depends on how much cooking from scratch I'm doing and how many quick and easy dinners I do (which are always more expensive). Also depends on how much cooking I do for the church or neighbors.


answers from Washington DC on

Wow! I don't know how people keep this so low. We shop at discount stores, except for a few luxeries from Whole Foods and Giant and we don't eat red meat. Are people counting vitamins and supplements? We spend at least $150 a week with a family of three.



answers from Pittsburgh on

I spend about $150 week total for a family of 3, so about $600 per month.



answers from Chicago on

About $150/week (family of 4). It helps to make a list, BUT I also started to plan meals based on what's on sale once I get to the store. Example: We eat tacos about once per week, so whatever type of ground meat is on sale/cheapest that week, that's what kind we have. If there's a great deal, I stock up and freeze some. I hate to run to a lot of stores, but I will go to 2-3 stores each week, based on sales. I also use coupons and "stack" them with sales when I can. Every little bit helps!


answers from La Crosse on

we are a family of 7 and I make most of the meals from scratch ( much cheaper) and we spend about $150 a week. We have been able to make it on $100 depending on what we make/ have at home already.



answers from Cumberland on

It varies-I try not to beat myself up on the spending-it's the waste that drives me crazy!



answers from Washington DC on

Family of 5 (1 in diapers 1 in pull ups) Approx $140 a week for 3 meals a day-I shop at Nicks of Clinton in Waldorf for Meat (look for a local butcher in B-more) use coupons whenever possible, make a menu and re-invent leftovers.


answers from Atlanta on

Budgets are awesome and so worth it! Kind of a pain, but so nice to look at your bank account and see that saved up money!
I agree, groceries get so dang expensive! We budget about $375 a month for a family of 3 (almost 4). We have a separate budget for toiletries because they are so expensive and take a huge chunk out of groceries if we do it that way. I think that's about $50 a month. Diapers and baby food are another $50 a month. And then we have a budget for out to eat which is about $150 a month. That was the budget that killed us in the beginning and now we leave enough.



answers from Cincinnati on

family of 3 about $70 per week so $280 per month. Lately I've been trying to just stick to the list and I usually try to go for store brand. I save about $20 that way.



answers from Los Angeles on

Wow I'm really impressed with how little some people spend!! Wish I could do that! I spend about $200/week on groceries, household, toiletries and vitamins. And I shop at a commissary which is much cheaper than Costco or a regular store! God knows what I will spend when we are out of the military! I do coupon but we don't eat processed food so they are mainly for toiletries, soaps and maybe vitamins. I do buy organic dairy and what organic veggies/fruit I can but availability is limited where I am. There is no organic meat so I use conventional. We NEVER eat out so I guess that's how I afford the groceries!



answers from Kansas City on

We are a family of three (myself, DH and 4 year old). Our budget is $220 twice a month to cover all food and household expenses - like paper products, health and beauty, batteries, lightbulbs, etc. If the budget allows for it, we get to put some money in the "blow" or "entertainment" fund to use to go out for pizza once a pay period or splurge on a treat.

Paying in cash keeps the spending down a lot. If you go to the store for three items and feel comfortable with spending up to $15 and only have $15 on you, you can't impulse shop and spend more than that. It also makes planning ahead and getting the best deal important. Really helps stick to the budget!



answers from Los Angeles on

We're a family of 3 and we spend about $450/month on groceries alone. Not really sure how much we spend on toiletries but I'm thinking $50-100/month?


answers from Dallas on

$150-$200 per week for a family of 4 (one is a teenage boy). :)



answers from Phoenix on



answers from Kansas City on

we are a family of 5, 2 adults and 3 children. our 13 month old twins just recently started showing interest in eating more solid foods so we are starting make a bit more when cooking meals. we spend roughly $400- 450 a month on food alone. as far as the other stuff like toilet paper, paper towels, toiletries, diapers and wipes etc i'm not sure. but i'll tell ya it sure isn't cheap! we had our almost 3 year old potty trained during the day for a month when i'm guessing he figured out his little brothers still got to wear diapers and get changed so he has stopped going in the potty very much so we go through a lot of pull-ups now. even the off brand ones are pricey based on the ammount you get. depending on where you live in the country will make a big difference. i'm in the kansas city, missouri area and we have one of the cheapest cost-of-livings in the country



answers from Seattle on

I have a family of 4 and we spend about $140 per week. That is a bit high for most but that includes toiletries weekly, as well as pediasure/ensure for my son, and a few convenience foods.


answers from El Paso on

Now I spend about $350 a month. (Wen it was 5 with myX it was $430)
Now its 2children an 2adults.
Im a vegetarian, so I dont but meat I buy seafood instead, an buy ground turkey instead of beef. It helps cuz my daugthers dont like meat. I also dont buy sodas. An only 3bads of chips a month or less. I dont buy much junk food. :-)


answers from Dover on

I check out all of the local grocery store ads every 2 weeks (when we get paid) & go from there. I generally only will shop in a traditional grocery store when they're having fantastic sales on something we really need. Otherwise, I do all of my shopping at the Commissary on base. We've got a small chest freezer in the garage which helps immensely. For a family of 4 I spend, on average, $150-175 every 2 weeks to include toiletries.



answers from Minneapolis on

Answers will vary across the country. Typically groceries are more expensive on the coasts. We have a family of 4 with 1 still in diapers but eating regular food. We typically spend $200-$250 a week and I buy a lot of fruit, veggies and fresh meat. That also includes toiletries and paper products.


answers from Portland on

For a family of 3 (myself, DH,DD who is 16) we spend about $100 per week on average.

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