How Much per Person for Groceries?

Updated on October 09, 2011
L.W. asks from Shawnee, KS
10 answers

I'm wondering....what do you average a month per person for groceries in your house? Does that include household cleaning items like laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, etc or not? I'm looking at all of the great savings ideas you ladies are giving one another and thinking this may be the only category I have any control I'm curious what is average.


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answers from Phoenix on

I guess we average about $170 per week per person. This includes EVERYTHING. Food, paper products, vitamins and supplements, cleaning products, laundry and dish detergents, shampoo, soaps etc. Although I think we do a good job, it still seems awfully expensive to me. We have five kids and two of them are teens....UGH! =)

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answers from Houston on

About $30-40 a week per person, that includes all household products. Some weeks are a tad higher if we need more toiletries than usual (you know how they all happen to run out at the same time?!)

We only eat a good meaty meal maybe once or twice a week, I avoid processed food. We are hurting financially so my husband wants me to reduce it even further. I have tried and really don't know how it is possible.

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answers from Seattle on

Variations of the Q come up periodically... the answers are REALLY regional. Come to find I live in one of the 3 most expensive areas (Seattle, Hawaii, & parts of New England).

For example: How much is sandwich meat in your area? Here, it's $12 per pound. Hamburger is $6, and steak is $15-20. Milk is $4 per half or $8 per gallon. Cereal (generic) is $5 a box.

Versus if I head on out to visit family in NY or IL... food costs about 1/3 in either place. And in Panhandle FL, it's even less. So my monthly budget is $600 and TIGHT. But if I were in IL or NY it would be $200 for the exact same list.

I cannot break it into a per person thing (there's 3 of us), because splitting it would NOT feed an individual. As in, making 3x as much food costs less that 3x as much. AKA $100 for 1, $130 for 2, $150 for 3.Yes. This includes laundry detergent ($20 a bottle for the cheap stuff), toilet paper ($16-$21 for a 20, or $5 for 4), shampoo ($6), etc.

I would spend $1500 a month if I COULD.

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answers from Dallas on

I spend about $150-200 on groceries, and $50 on toiletries, paper products, ans cleaning products. So, I guess we spend about $65 max for 3 us weekly on groceries and all other items.

I don't coupon for food. We don't buy anything in packages. (Aside from spaghetti sauce, pasta, and occasional pretzels or tortilla chips. All of which I find coupons for.) I My goal is to spend less then $5.00 a dinner, and eat leftovers 4 times a week. So, I am only spending $80 a month on dinners. We don't make meat every night, we have that around 3-4 times a week. The other nights we have meatless dinners, or leftovers. We use eggs and beans frequently. My parents have chickens and we get eggs free. One meal we have, is oven fried chicken breast. We get the breasts for $1.99 a pound. About 4 breasts come in a pound. We each eat a breast. I make the bread crumbs out of bread. We have veggies and a piece of fruit. Less then $5. I then use the remaining breast and shred it, add it to some beans and rice, and have tacos the next night. The key, is to have the veggie portion always be larger then the meat portion. You stretch meat that way. You can get multiple meals out of one package of meat.
Frequent dinners in our house are tortilla soup, tacos (with and without meat), veggie pizzas, pot pies, huevos rancheros, quiche, veggie pastas, mac and cheese with veggies, hamburgers, chili, potato soup, breaded chicken, pork chops, casseroles, etc. For breakfasts we eat oatmeal (super cheap!), hard boiled eggs, apples, and toast. For snacks we typically have fruits and veggies or cheese. My son has to snack more, so I always raisins and applesauce on hand. In addition to that, I make cheese crackers, granola bars, fruit leathers, and snack mix. It's super cheap handmade, and I control what goes in it. Those things can have a lot of sugar and unhealthy ingredients, bought from the store. I ALWAYS use coupons on razors, shampoo, shaving cream, paper products, toothbrushes, cleaners, etc. I spend very little money on those things, The laundry detergent we use is an eco friendly kind, that costs $15 a box and last 5-6 months.

The real way I keep costs down, is keeping the cost of dinners down, and stretching the ingredients. With dinner costs being so low, it leaves me so much flexibility in the rest of the food budget. We get most of our fresh fruits and veggies from a co-op ( ) and also get frozen veggies. We eats well, with fruits or vegetables at every meal. We never go hungry!! It just takes learning how to make several hearty meals out of one.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I try to stick to $50 per person (five in our family) per week including everything. Don't buy brands, but look at active ingredients for things like toothpaste and shampoo. If the generic brand is comparable, then I buy that. I make my own washing powder which is proving to be excellent, and every now and then I do the $21 challenge. That is, do your grocery shopping on$21 for a week, and survive on what you have, or can make and bake for that week. Put the rest of your weekly grocery budget straight into savings (or buy something else with it, or pay down loans). It's not that hard, unless you have a husband like mine who's not budget/spending savvy.

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answers from Washington DC on

'bout $900 a month for a family of 6. That is just food. we buy natural and organic stuff mostly, so it would be less if we didn't.

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answers from Rochester on

I think we're more or less $700 to $800 per month (wish it were less!!), so about $160 per month per person if you divide it. That includes toiletries, paper products, diapers for two, etc. The baby just started cereal and fruits/veggies but he's still nursing so we're not spending that much on him. That total is usually anything we buy at the grocery store, so that would include cards, beer, treats, and things that don't necessarily fall into a grocery budget, but I total it all in there anyway. I make my own cleaning supplies, including laundry soap, except for dish soap, so that saves us a lot. I am trying to resolve to cut back on coffee since I often go through more than one bag per week and those are up to $7.99 for the better store-brand ones and it would probably be an easy way for me to save more. I also tend to buy better meats the nights my husband is home for dinner (he works evenings) and we have a friend over usually one night a week, so we're sometimes feeding more people.

This past week, though, I was very excited to save 7% on my groceries just in coupons and coupon doubling. :) It may not be television-worthy, but it was all stuff we need and use and otherwise pay full or sale price for.

We eat basic mostly store-brand food (not organic) so the prices are pretty standard. Some things, though, are really going to depend on your area. For example, the store we shop at has milk at $1.99/gal for skim (it was $1.69 this summer, but things are going up) and $2.09 for 1% (which is what my husband drinks, so we buy a gallon of both).

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answers from Boston on

I try to buy organic milk and meats.. lots of veges and fruits too.. that being said it costs more to buy organic than non-organic.. however if i shop at farmers markets for the veges and fruits it is much cheaper than the grocery store. My kids each drink an organic yogurt smoothie every morning, so in yogurt alone I spend $60 a month.. so all the grocery combined for a family of 4 probably about $500, so $125 a week, so $31.25 per person per week. However this does not include soaps, personal care items etc.. i stock up on that stuff when it is cheap and my bathroom looks like an episode of hoarders till those items are depleted. :)

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answers from Honolulu on

When we lived in Florida we lived undernthe poverty line so I lived on the shoe string. We had 75 dollars per month per person This included 2 in diapers, all personal care items and cleaning supplies as well as discressionary spending (hair cuts, or any other extras).

Now we live in Hawaii and we spend 120 per person for all the same things. (FYI Hawaii is expensive!)


answers from Boca Raton on

We spend about about 400 per month for a family of 4 at the grocery store.. That includes everything :0)

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