What Is Your Family's Weekly Grocery Bill?

Updated on September 25, 2011
R.M. asks from Cedar Park, TX
19 answers

Our weekly grocery bill keeps creeping u? We are a family of 5. I am just curious what everyone spends per week on groceries.

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answers from Denver on

We are a family of 4 (no formula or diapers) and we spend $300 every two weeks (food, produce, and other, ie soaps, papers, etc)-- I shop at Walmart and Target and we also are VERY lucky to shop at the commissary (military grocery store) and that helps save us a ton. I don't do coupons very often, usually a few here and there for stuff we would buy anyway. I meal plan and shop for those meals plus I buy what we need when its out, like shampoos and that sorta thing. I've been considering getting a Costco membership but can't justify it. If we are under budget, the excess goes towards dinners out, ice cream trips, that sorta thing. Kids pack their lunch for school and I try not to have very many pre-packaged processed foods.

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answers from Tampa on

I goto SuperWalmart and usually spend anywhere from $200-250 per week. This is for a family of 4 with 2 dogs and a cat. I buy everything within this...including cleaning supplies, pull ups, wipes, pet food and litter etc... So, yes, way too much!

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answers from New York on

Right now, entirely too much. With summer the bill got way too high and I have to do some serious cutting back. We literally got as high as 400 every week and a half (family of 6 + 1 macaw) with other runs in between. It's beyond out of hand.

I've started buying our bird pellets and other foods in bulk as it's Significantly cheaper and I honestly stopped with ground beef since that was getting up to $13 for 2.25 -2.5 lb. and I've replaced it with ground chicken or turkey, whatever is cheaper. I need to go back to a menu system as well and get the kids to start respecting the school snacks being just that, or resorting to finding some manner of hiding place for those. It's frustrating as if they're without a snack or refuse to eat their lunch and toss it the school "must" provide them a lunch.... which means it's $3.25 a day for school lunch and upwards of a dollar more for snack. Literally $5 a day, for 4 kids.

It killed our savings so hopefully we can get it back under control quickly.

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answers from Jacksonville on

Some of the responses you have gotten make me wonder how in the world they do it. Are they not counting anything but actual FOOD items?

Including dog food for our german shepherd, toiletries, paper products and cleaning supplies (which all come out of my "grocery budget") we spend around $250-$275 per week for our family of 4 plus the dog. And we eat out at least one dinner meal a week, too.

Paper products include toilet tissue, paper towels, feminine hygiene, tissues (son has bad allergies).
Other "toiletries" include shaving cream, aftershave balm, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo/conditioner, disposable razors (cheaper than replacing blades on a non-disposable one), dental floss, toothbrushes, contact lens solutions/cleaners, hand soap, bath soap, etc....
Then there are the cleaning products... I don't spend a lot on laundry/windows because I use a lot of vinegar. I buy my Cheer or Arm & Hammer only on sales w/coupons, but there is also still Shout, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, and distilled water for my floor steamer that all add up. And I do use bleach sometimes too.
So... all of those items (I stock up on sales of course, so I'm not buying each and every thing every week, but buying just one or two items in bulk each week adds $15 or so) and I haven't even spent anything on food yet. :/
How anyone can live off $30 week from the grocery store baffles me, even if you are getting all your fresh fruit/produce from a co-op...

Then there are the medicines that also come out of my grocery budget (allegra or zyrtec for daily use, $30 after insurance for prescription corticosteroids once per month, the occasional Proventil inhaler refill, my oral contraceptive).

Ugh... I hate "grocery" shopping. Trying to scrimp and save on groceries is a lot of time spent going to several stores to save very little in price. I do try to make the effort as much as I can, but the best way to do that involves going to one store one day and another store a different day.... and I've found that the more trips into a store are made, the more is spent. The fewer trips the less "extra"s are purchased. So trying to drive all over town to go to 4 different stores for the best price on product x,y or z, is sometimes counterproductive.

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answers from Cincinnati on

70-80 for 3 people. Sometimes 90-100 but non-food items are included.

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answers from La Crosse on

we spend about $1000 a month on food. We have a family size of 7. I make 90% of our meals from scratch and always use left overs.

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answers from St. Louis on

Family of four, on average 100.

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answers from Portland on

I shop for the whole month for my family of 6 +1 dog - this month I spent $350 on groceries at my monthly shopping trip and then have spent another $150 on diapers, dog food, milk, bread, eggs, and other household items as needed. I cook mostly from scratch and purchase meat to freeze when it is on a great sale.

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answers from Dallas on

We are a family of 4 and I spend an average of $140 a week. Of course that includes, food, cleaners, toiletries, etc. Anything I can get at the grocery store, I do. I detest going to several different stores when I can get everything at one place. I wish I knew a way to lower my bill without using coupons. I won't sacrifice buying healthy foods just to lower my bill either. Eating healthy foods will cost you less in the longrun, so I continue to buy all types of fruit and veggies, healthy(and very costly cereals), lean meats, etc.

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answers from Washington DC on

We're a family of 3. I spend about $130 every other week and about $30 in between on the stuff we go through quickly like milk, sandwich meat and bread. So if it were weekly about $80 for three people.

We eat just about all of our meals either at home or packed from home... so shopping in terms of specific meal prep rather than snack foods works for us.

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answers from Cleveland on

We spend about $100 - $200 a week on groceries for 6 (which one is only a year so he doesn't eat that much). We also don't eat out but once every two months if that... so all meals are cooked at home.

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answers from Seattle on

We have a set in stone budget of $600 per month (including all household goods like cleaners, light bulbs, toiletries, dog food). If we could spend whatever we wanted that total would EASILY be double to triple what we currently pay. We only get down to $600 by being a frugal as possible/ shopping at a LOT of different stores for their standard or sale prices.

"Basics" List per month:

- Dog food : $30
- Milk : $60
- Butter : $10
- Cheese : $40
- Misc Dairy (yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.) $40
- Eggs : $30
- Fruit & Veggies : $72
- Breads : $30
- Cereal : $30
- Cleaning supplies & Toiletries : $60
$402... leaving apx $200 for 30 nights of dinners... which would be $6 dinners...EXCEPT that I haven't accounted for things like peanut butter ($8) or mayo ($6) or coffee or soda or bacon, or, or.

Do keep in mind that in our area prices are VASTLY different than other areas... although there's a place in New England where pricing is similar, and we're pretty on par with Hawaiian prices...although they're higher in many places. In Seattle area: Chicken is $9 per pound, Hamburger is $5 per pound & Steak is $15-20. Seafood is $10-$20. MOST milks are $4 per half gallon (we pay $2 per half gallon by buying it at whole foods... Whoever calls them WholePaycheck doesn't live where Kroger milk costs $7.89 per gallon and WalMart milk is $6). Tomatoes are $3 per pound, apples are about $1.50 each (aka an apple a day costs $45 a month), oranges are TWICE that.

Family of 3 plus 1 Dog

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answers from Phoenix on

We average about $300 a week for a family of 7 and that includes food and non-food items including vitamins, diapers, cleaning supplies etc. I feel that's is excellent too. You're right, prices are creeping up! It used to be more but I started doing most of my shopping at Costco once a month and that brought my grocery bill down quite a bit. I also save by shopping at Fresh and Easy, Melaleuca and using my Target card for 5% discounts. HTH!

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answers from Dover on

We spend between $600 and $800 a month on groceries for a family of 7. It would be so much more if we didn't have the commisary on base, where we can get meat and dairy at a reasonable price, along with household products and toiletries which can be a budget killer. When the commisary is closed and I have to go to the civilian store I am always shocked and can't imagine what it would be.

I have just started doing some modified couponing and that has helped. We don't make a giant stockpile or get things we don't use, but I will look at store fliers and get what's on sale if I have a coupon and can get it cheaper than at the commisary, I will use as many coupons as I can, and I will get extra stuff on sale now to save me in the long run. I'm still working it all out, but I expect once I do, I will significantly cut down on our grocery bill. Last time I saved us $100.

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answers from Cincinnati on

I asked a simliar question before and found out it really depends on where a person lives. But if you think about it someone in NY may spend more then someone in IN where i live but our miniumun wage is a lot lower too. (Ours is $7.25/hr is was raised about 2 years ago. I think it was $6.50 before that) We spend about $30-$40 a week, but lately we have been strapped and instead of shopping every 2 weeks and spending $60-$80 we have only been able to go every 3 weeks. so i guess at this point we are spending about $20 a week (and we do eat pretty healthy! we buy alot of frozen veggies when they go on sale 10/$10 and eat a lot of brown rice and eat vegatarian most nights, getting our protien from dried beans and nut butter which are pretty cheap) the only exception is if we have to go longer then 2 weeks then we do have to stop by the store for a gallon of milk for our 2yr old. ETA we are a family of three soon to be four.

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answers from Washington DC on

Prices are going up...so your grocery bill will be going up...the hurricane and flooding as well as drought in certain regions have caused prices to go up..

I budget up to $500 per month on groceries for a family of 4 with one dog. This does NOT include beer and wine - that's my husband's "expense" since no one else in the family drinks beer or wine... LOL!!!

I make a menu for the week so that helps keep our grocery bill down. We also buy our meat in bulk and that lasts us about six months (chicken, beef, pork and fish) and that is $1000..sometimes $1200.

I use coupons as well. There are times when the store brand is still cheaper than the name brand with the coupon...depends upon what the product is for me to buy store vs. name...

Hope this helps!

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answers from Orlando on

I have been seriously couponing for about 9 months now so weekly we only spend about $30 at the grocery store. Some weeks we skip altogether and just stop for 2 gallons of milk a week ($3.69 a gallon).

However we always buy frozen chicken at Sams and the $20 bag lasts us about 2 1/2 months

We are also in a organic produce co op so we pay $24.50 every other week for a huge selection of organic fruits and veggies. We think it is much cheaper than at the store and it forces us to eat our produce and try new things.

Our family is 2 adults, my 22 year old sister, a 2 1/2 year old, and a baby. My sister is usually only with us for dinner 2 or 3 times a week because of her work schedule, but she is usually with us for breakfast and lunch. The baby is just about to start solids, but with me nursing I swear I eat as much as 2-3 grown men these days. :)

With an upcoming move and me not really working we have had to be as thrify as possible, without eating junk constantly. We do still allow ourselves to go out about once a week (mainly so that I can get out of the house, I babysit duirng the week and can't leave with all the kids most days :))But we will usually do restruants that do some kind of special or sale one night of the week, to try to keep that cost down.

ADDED: I felt that some other responses that were done after mine are kind of aimed at me. Some people need to think before they speak/type because you can come off kind of rude. :) Anyway I don't ever pay for things like shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, mothwash, shaving cream, etc. Or if I do I don't pay more than a few cents to a dollar for them. There are ALWAYS coupons and sales for these kind of items. When I have a great coupon/sale combo I stock up (not like on that insane show that I have heard about, we don't have cable so I don't watch it but everyone knows about it) I buy enough to last my family until it will go on sale again. We don't buy paper plates or plastic cutlery or usually even baggies. We use mostly tuperware so we don't buy plastic baggies much, maybe once a year or so.
Cleaning products go on sale and there are always coupons for them. We also use a lot of vingar and bleach for cleaning which is cheaper and better for our family. I've bought Windex for less than 50 cents a bottle before. I bought 4, that lasts me awhile and doesn't take up much room to store. By the time I am close to running out it will be on sale again.
We buy napkins after holidays when the printed ones are super cheap. My friends make fun of the fact that I am still using Halloween napkins from last year. :) What do I care if my napkins have pumpkins on them? Paper towels we also buy at Sams Club.
We use cloth diapers and wipes and my six month old is exclusively breast fed. She will be starting on some solids this week, but not enough to make a difference $ wise. She will just get a pureed version of what we are eating.
Just because I use coupons doesn't mean my family doesn't eat healthy. There are always coupons for meat that I use and freeze the meat, I buy rice and pasta with coupons and when it's BOGO.
I also do leg work before getting to the store, I have my coupons organized and I know what's on sale. I use at least one night a week after the kids are in bed to get things ready. It's a bit of work, but I don't want to work outside of the home, at least until my kids are grown a bit, so I do it with a smile on my face.

If you don't believe it's possible, you are more than welcome to come shopping with me. :)
My family is very healthy, my girls are growing great, very healthy. As we near our 30s my husband and I are not in as great of shape as we used to be, but we sure eat better than we did in college. :)

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answers from Houston on

I usually spend 250-300 per week. Me, husband, 3 1/2 to and 16 month old. And our dog. That is for everything: some organic foods, cleaning/laundry supplies, dog food, etc. We live near Houston, Tx.

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answers from Atlanta on

It really depends, but I would say an average is about $150-$180 per week. We're a family of 4. Sometimes we go to Costco -about every 2 months or so, so that makes a difference. Using our local CSAs and farmer's markets make a difference too.

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