What's a "Reasonable" Grocery Budget for Family of 4?

Updated on December 29, 2010
R.R. asks from Greenwood, NY
10 answers

On average what do you ladies spend per month on groceries? I'm not trying to spend as little as possible, since a healthy diet paves the way for good health- but I don't want to be too extravagant either. My husband and I have discussed our budget and the rising prices of quality food, and I'm curious, for food & household items, what does a typical family of 4 spend?

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answers from Syracuse on

For a family of 2 adults and a teen female. we spend about 700. a month. We eat a well balance meal, meat, potatoes or pasta,vegetable,bread,dessert. The meat can range from liver to lamb. And the dessert can range from cookies and ice cream to tiramisu. I use coupons and watch sales. Walmart does not double coupons....Your local grocery is the best in price and quality. We also buy our lunches. Hope this helps. I think the biggest thing is make a menu and a list. and follow them. this will help you to eat better also. Have you ever had one of those times when you were at the grocery on the way home from work because you didn't know what to have for dinner. yup.



answers from New York on

We spend about $500/month. And technically we are only a family of 3 right now until May. That also still includes diapers which are, as you know quite pricey. By the time my daughter is out of them, my new son will be here so I'm not really catching a break as far as diapers go. :-P But I usually spend about $100-$125/per week.



answers from New York on

On average I say we spend between $700 - $800 a week at the grocery store. That's for a family of 4 with two in diapers and one on formula. We also have a $200 lb dog who eats ALOT and 2 cats. It helps to try and get to Costco for things like diapers, formula, dog & cat food but I don't always have time and the food budget always comes out the same anyway.

I am really looking forward to potty training my 2 year old so we can cut out diapers for one kid. Also, in 2 months my daughter will be a year old so we can cut back on the formula. That should help to lower the bill a little bit.



answers from Syracuse on

I have a family of three, myself, my husband and my two year old daughter. I spend about $125 a week, more or less some weeks. This is also with Wic giving me 5 gallons of milk, 36 eggs, 5 cans of juice, two pounds of cheese, 2 boxes of cereal, a jar of peanut butter, and a $5 check towards fruits and veggies every month. I do buy some processed foods, i try not to buy too many but some nights I need dinner in a snap ya know. I do save some money shopping aldi's for paper products, and a few other things(I don't trust all of the foreign brands on some items). I do buy a lot of wegmans brand products (Cheese, pastas, bread, canned and frozen fruits and veggies) but I also have to buy certain brands with some things. I always found coupons to be a waste of time, they dont necessarily go along with the sales and I find myself picking something up just because I have a coupon that i really dont need. Fresh Fruits such as bananas and grapes are a staple in my house, the rest i genaerally do canned unless they are in season and really good fresh. Meats range from skinless boneless ckn breast, to 95% lean ground beef, ground turkey, soy burgers, pork chops, haddock and the occasonal splurge on seafood night.

I try not to eat out too much, maybe twice a month, which saves money, this will generally be Pier 57, Red lobster, kirby's, or the once a month trip to McDonald's(I know it's bad I can't help it LOL,)

I also stay at home primarily and I like to make mostly everything from scratch, no jarred sauces(Tomato, alfredo, cheese), no supper in a box type entrees.

The biggest money saver to me is to sit down Sunday mornings and look at the sales then plan you whole weeks worth of meals around what's on sale. Also taste of Homes has many money saving dinner recipes, and i have a few of my own, i'd be happy to share just send me a message.

Also....this was an interesting question, Thanks for posting it, I will certainly keep up with people's responses!



answers from New York on

We are a family of 5

I spend between 500 and 1000 dollars per month on a combination of groceries and everything else a family might need, however we have 2 in diapers, and a nearly 12year old
we eat home for most every meal, breakfasts consist of egg omlets with onion cilantro and tomatoes, breakfast sausage and fresh home made bread, coffe ( for me,tea for the hubby)
juice for the kids,

post breakfast snack for kiddie, cereal and fruits

pre lunch snack of cookies, popcorn, or goldfish crackers

LUNCH- pizza, mac n cheese, soup

We drink milk with everything so 6 gallons PER WEEK

pre dinner snacks fruits, and a sweet ( usually reeses peanut butter candies or cereal)

Dinner, chicken, rice, potatoes, peas N pasta, juice,
salad, and CONDIMENTS ( always have a sauce)

and then post dinner snack of COOKIES and tea for my hubby, and milk and cookies for the kids,


But with all that laundry, and the toilet paper and paper towels swiffer stuff ect..

its all costly now days

lunches, for my hubby, and my 12 year old

it all adds up

Hope that helps




answers from New York on

I spend approximately 600 - 650 a month at the supermarket alone. This fluxuates depending on your supermarket and their prices and when you have to take holidays into account. This also does not include the once a month trip to BJ's or Costco's or Sam's. That for me and my 3 comes out to about 250. So in total 850-900 a month.



answers from Buffalo on

We eat very well and spend about 700-800 for two adults, a teenage athlete and a huge dog. It varies depending on how much we eat out too (hooked on chinese buffet). For home I'm big on fresh fruits, veggies and good meats. It's not lobster and delmonicos....but sirloin, boneless skinless ckn, Tilapia and lots of lean lunch meats and cheezes. I buy good brands, but sometimes the brand isn't worth the difference...somethings i am brand specific.

For the extra hours it takes to cut out coupons, sort coupons, actually find them again when you are in the aisle, compare prices in the aisles,go back to aisles when you find a coupon in your stack that you forgot about....my veggies are wilting, my feet hurt and I could think of better things to do with the extra couple hours to make that money back. I give my sunday paper and coupons to a friend, she appreciates it more.

The thing is...when I see something on sale, I buy ten of them, who knows when it will be on sale again. People would think I'm shopping for a business...one week I have ten huge steaks, 6 cans of coffee, four cases of bottled water and 80 lbs of dog food (oh how I love carry out service) then the next week 7 packs of tilapia, 20 pounds of chicken breast and 8 gallons of tide. LOL...I like the fruits and veggies fresh every week. But, I use a credit card to get points so I do see the monthly bill is pretty average...higher around the holidays obviously.

A grocery budget can be much lower if you are not prone to gain weight or worried about high blood pressure. We don't but many processed convenience foods because of the high sodium and empty carbs, we both struggle with keeping weight off. So, rarely potatos, no breads or rice, and we won't even eat pasta unless its low carb high fiber brands. We'll have multiple vegetables instead.



answers from Atlanta on

We spend about 1,000.00 per month. We are always looking for ways to save. I heard about a new site at Church. www.mygroceryspy.com It compares prices at the 4 top stores here in Atlanta. From what I’ve read, it updates every week and shows where the lowest prices are on a few hundred items. You can print out your shopping list or have it sent to your phone. (I’m not savvy enough for that though). I email them since their not up yet, and they told me they will be up in January in Atlanta and Birmingham AL. then other cities. I can’t wait to try it.



answers from Syracuse on

It seems every time my husband and I go to the grocery store, the bill is higher and higher!! We eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables (no organic unless on sale) and tend to "stockpile" our freezer with meats as they are on sale. It takes some planning, but we are now pretty much able to tell when something is about to go on sale (ie) chicken breast 1.99 per pound happens about every 5- 6 weeks. So, we will buy 5-6 weeks worth of chicken and use our Vacuum Sealer and seal and freeze it. We also end up shopping at 2 different stores (although we hate doing this) to save some money (they happen to be right near each other) I also shop at B.J's for diapers, wipes and some cereals, egg beaters etc. Never produce, though...as they tend to be quite expensive. I bet we spend over $1000 on groceries and misc. baby needs per month...including eating out when too lazy to cook something. We do not buy processed foods, boxed foods or junk foods as my husband is a body builder and he considers it poison! In the summer months, we will go to the Farmer's market and try to support our local economy, too. We do try to use coupons, but it has been our experience that the coupons make you spend more! I hope this was helpful!



answers from New York on

I know we spend about $600 on groceries per month, but since I've been at home I'm getting really price-conscious and am finding I spend a lot less than we used to.. I'm also planning meals better and finding there's not nearly as much wasted food. I buy the diapers separately, and spend an average of $400 a month on random household items at Target/Costco. We are a family of four w/ 2 small girls. DH eats the lion's share, but the girls do eat a variety of foods, just not a large quantity.