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Ok, so this is a topic that I don't generally bring up with my friends, as people tend to be a little touchy with anything related to finances BUT since we're relatively anonymous on this board, I thought some of y'all might be willing to talk grocery budgets. Back when it was just my partner and I, we usually spent about $400 a month but now that we're a family of four, we're spending about $600 a month (though that does include detergent, cleaners and diapers). Is that somewhat normal? And are groceries just way less expensive in the US (I'm in Canada) because I keep finding these pages online (american) where people are talking about spending $400 a month for a family of six, etc. And their big tips seem to be to clip coupons and buy meat on sale. Umm...we don't even eat meat! We do eat a buttload of fruit and some fake meat substitutes (veggie dogs and such) but also lots of beans, which are dirt cheap because we buy them dried and cook them in our pressure cooker. I make bread in a bread machine every second day and we eat lots of oatmeal and homemade granola - also cheap. I just don't see how I could cut costs much more and still feed my family healthy food. 

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Ditto- I get myself all excited for finding great coupons, but when I get to the store, even with the coupon, it's still not a good deal, or it's just not something I want to feed the fam. My mom swears by Aldi, and we have one 30 minutes away.  They carry basic produce and it's dirt cheap (not organic), but some of their shelf stable stuff is scary. 

I'd say our family of 3 + 2 cats is roughly 100-150/week, including when we eat out 1- 2 times/week. 

Zealflyer said:

See this is my issue with coupon clipping - it's always for processed foods. I guess I'll just have to accept the fact that if we're eating tons of fresh fruits and veggies, the budget will be what it is.

We make a lot of our own breads, doughs, and noodles. I also make yogurt in a crockpot one half gallon's worth. We eat a lot of it.

I'm not sure what our food budget is. We have four kids so it is after rent our biggest expense.

Dear me.  Way too much.  To adults, two toddlers, and a baby, easily $1,00o per month if you count formula and ordering food.  I blame the chest freezer we bought a few months ago...It just lets me buy more stuff.

The grocery store is usually a kid free trip for me, so perhaps that contributes to the cost.....more shopping = more time.  :)
 
bethany said:

Dear me.  Way too much.  To adults, two toddlers, and a baby, easily $1,00o per month if you count formula and ordering food.  I blame the chest freezer we bought a few months ago...It just lets me buy more stuff.

This is well within the range of normal, if not on the low side, from what I have been reading on this same topic.

I found an online calculator for this:

http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsavings/plan/foodspendingplan/

I can bet it doesn't take into account things like vegetarian/veganism or organic foods or things like that, and I can't tell if it's adding "meals eaten out of the house" to the budget or considering them 0$, but my rough numbers in terms of my family were within about %15 of our actual expenditure.

I lurve me some data.

Yes, I'm looking forward to gardening this year and hoping that it will help with the budget. (Some on this board seem to find that gardening is expensive but I've never found it to be so.) It will be tricky because we're going to out of town for part of the summer but I'm hoping that my crops will be able to (kind of) take care of themselves by the time we go because it will be more than a month after planting.

jomamma74 said:

Hello there and Nice to meet you,

I live in CA. I normally spen (fam of 4) 300 on food alone in one month. 500 when you add on house supplies (sopa, shampoo, detergent, etc.. and pet food) your budget crisis theory is why I don't feed my family, vegan/organic meals, which I do prefer, it's just way too expensive. If I tried to eat healthier where I live,  I could easily increase that 300 food budget to around 7-900 for 4-6 people. You couldn't decrease your budget, obviously. Do you have room to plant your own seasonal garden?

This is why I recently put my house up for sale and am looking to purchase acreage that I can home stead and raise all of our own food.

 

 

Did it take you long to get the yogurt down? This is supposed to be my hubby's assignment. I have been making all the darn bread (in a bread maker) and oatmeal (so we don't have to buy the kids massively expensive cereals), but he has yet to keep up his side of the bargain.

MamatothaMax said:

We make a lot of our own breads, doughs, and noodles. I also make yogurt in a crockpot one half gallon's worth. We eat a lot of it.

I'm not sure what our food budget is. We have four kids so it is after rent our biggest expense.

If you are worried about how yogurt may come out in the crockpot, makers are pretty cheap - around $30. They pay for themselves relatively quickly. I made my own for years until the kids quit eating as much, and now I buy it every once in a while. Although I'm debating making it again...

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