How Much Do You Spend On Groceries

Groceries.  I love grocery shopping because I love to eat, and I get to choose exactly what goes into the cart.

I see that people vary WILDLY on the amount they spend on food.

So here is the question of the day:

How much do you spend on GROCERIES (not dining out) per month – per person in your family?

Share your answer in the contents!


  1. Todd and Bethany Helmkamp on March 26, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    We spend about $100 per person for the month (there are four of us). My wife is awesome at finding sales and stuff, we buy meat in bulk from some friends of ours and I plant a large organic garden every year. We could go cheaper if we wanted to but don’t want to sacrifice eating healthy.

  2. Faye on March 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    If you’re including the paper products that are necessities in the home too, I believe we’re spending about $100 per person in our home. There’s just the two of us now. It’s actually been hard to learn how to NOT cook for five, even though the youngest left home about five years ago! Makes for good lunches at work for my husband, though.

  3. Tony Wheeler on March 26, 2009 at 2:27 pm


    Our family of 3 has a budget of 160/month. Yes, that is 40 dollars a week. Amazingly, we eat some good stuff. My wife is the bomb. It’ll be interesting to see what people are spending. I’d love to be able to figure out how to eat some other things on our budget! 🙂

  4. Jason on March 26, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    We are a family of five and spend approximately 300-400 a month on groceries. Not counting running out of something unexpectedly and making a store run for it.

  5. Jessica on March 26, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    We are a family of 4 and we spend 250-300 per month not including paper product (which we getthe SAM’S brand and it lasts us 1 1/2 months $14)

  6. Dion Evans on March 26, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    We spend about $400/per month for a family of 4. This dies not include paper products. This amount can vary though if we make too many store trips.

  7. Dawn on March 26, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    We are a family of 5 (2 adults and 3 teenagers – 2 of them boys!). Our budget is $450 per month.

  8. John on March 26, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    We budget $100.00 a week for a family of four. The hundred dollars goes to purchase any groceries and any household items the family needs.

  9. Tina Harkey on March 26, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Wow, we are a family of 2.5 and I spend about $400 a month on paper goods & food. I’m wondering how much you guys budget to eat out spending so little on groceries. Of course, I live in Asheville and our cost of living is a little higher than SC.

    Tonight we had rice with gravy, mushrooms, meatballs and corn for our veggie. That’s probably the cheapest meal I make.

  10. Michael Harrison on March 26, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Family of 5; we spent $70 per person this month.

  11. Carll Converse on March 26, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    We spend 700.00 per month for a family of 4. I would love to know how some of you are spending so little on groceries!!

  12. Brooke on March 26, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    For a family of 2 adults and 2 toddlers, we spend anywhere from $350-$450 a month total. This includes paper goods, toiletries, baby supplies, and necessary household items. I’d love to spend about half that.

  13. Travis on March 26, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    We spend $140/week for family of 2 adults, 2 children and one dog. Yep he eats too. Included is Dad’s brown bag lunch and all paper products.
    (in a pinch we have dropped down to $100/wk but only to hit short term goal)

    We then budget typically $60 for eating out. That gives us two diners away from home.

    All this happens on purpose!! We sit and make up a weekly menu. Then the items that we need for said menu and any other items for the week are placed on a grocery list. We then make one trip to the store per week. We also pay with cash money.

    as a side note… I once noticed that I had to wonder around the store to find an item. While looking, I ended up impulsing on two or three things that I did not need. How did I know that I did not need them? Because, they were not on the list. So, I took out my camera phone and snapped a shot of those overhead isle signs. I then printed up a custom fill in the blank grocery form. We now can shop isle by isle without having to double back. This one thing has saved us both TIME AND MONEY.

    Reasons we find this plan works….
    1. the menu does two things, keeps us from multiple costly trips to the store per week and we ALWAYS know that THERE IS FOOD AT HOME.

    2. The accountability of cash keeps us from impulsing at the store.

    3. We know when all the Kids Eat Fee days are in our area.

    4. We try to think of at least on meal that we can use the main dish to leapfrog at the main dish for another meal. (like buying the bigger oven roaster chicken for baked chicken one night and then turn it into chicken and rice another night..)

    5. This one takes some preplanning and budgeting…..but we typically save 50-75 percent off our garbage bags, cling wraps, clorox wipes, hand soap, dish soap type items. Sure it is March and my trash is in a bag with snowman on it…

    Yeah, I realize that you maybe can’t believe that we really do this. Believe me!! Some of our own family and friends think the same way. All I can tell you is that we lived the IWB part and now we live the NIN. We’ll stick with the second half!

    What other ideas or tips do you guys have?

    I love finding ways to save!
    Hope this helps someone,

  14. Beth Snyder on March 27, 2009 at 4:52 am

    Our family is 2 adults and a 5 year old and 2 year old. I spend about 350-400/month but this includes diapers, paper products and Walmart necesities (toiletries). I spend less if I have a list or go to Bloom and use the scanner and see the $ amouunt going in my cart. I am able to include my husbands lunches each day and any work lunches I need in this budget. Still would like to do better.

  15. Jay on March 27, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Wow how do you all do it? I have a family of 5 (3 teenage boys!!) and budget $900 monthly. This includes all paper and toiletries. I even do Grocery Game and am saving a bundle. I still get “Dad there’s nothing to eat!!”. Like Carll how are some of you doing so well on this category??

  16. Adrianne on March 27, 2009 at 5:00 am

    We spend roughly $600/mo for a family of 4 but that does include diapers. We go out to eat maybe once a week ($5 pizzas at Guenardi’s over the weekend in their pizza shop) and when I do buy groceries it’s mostly organic products. I would love to cut this number in half but am not sure how. I looked at your website with links to the coupon mom but the foods listed are for highly processed foods that we do not eat. I feel like groceries are so expensive in this area!! In the summer we do better due to our large garden so it cuts down on the cost a little bit

  17. Kelly on March 27, 2009 at 5:03 am

    We spend $400 per month for a family of three. Anytime I stay under that, I buy canned food items for needy families in our community. Most months I do well with that. We have a teenage boy and I cannot believe how much more eats than his sisters. Im glad his sisters are out of the home or I wouldnt be able to afford to feed him!

  18. Joan Adams on March 27, 2009 at 5:28 am

    wow! I am totally impressed. Retired now, we spend almost $100 a week on groceries, even shopping with coupons and senior discount on Wednesdays at Bi-Lo. I am so ready for the summer veggies! That alone saves a large amount of cash each week!

  19. Jeremy on March 27, 2009 at 6:03 am

    There are 8 of us: 6 kids from 13 down. We spend $56.25 per person per month and everyone gets plenty. I still think we could cut afternoon snacks out but the kids don’t agree at all. We go out to eat no more than one time a month. We cook enough to take a plate to work the next day.
    Thanks to Joe for the inspiration.

  20. Tabrea on March 27, 2009 at 6:35 am

    WE have a family of 4 and budget $700.00 a month. I feel very overwhelmed by the grocery game. I’ve read and re-read how to do it, but find myself unsure how to get started. Any quick tips??

  21. Angela on March 27, 2009 at 6:49 am

    We are a family of 4 with a boy that eats like a grown man (no kidding there). We spend $200 a month on groceries and probably another $100 on house supplies. I follow all the things Travis mentioned and then a few others.

    1. I cook from scratch. I collect recipes that can make things like soups, pizza crust, cakes, bread, cookies etc from scatch. The recipes take about 5 ingredients or less and taste the same at the bagged food but it was from ingredients that I keep onhand. There’s a new cookbook out that has recipes listing 5 ingredients or less That’s a GREAT cost cutter.

    2. I shop at low end chains for meat. Such as Aldi’s, IGA, local food markets. Meat is just plain cheaper. I buy meat that is under $1.00 per lb except ground meat which I get at $1.58lb.

    3. I buy and cook in bulk and break it down to meal size bags. In our area you can get chicken in 10lb bags for .50lb. Of course I can’t eat it all at once so freeze a lot.

    4. I also use all off brand foods. They taste the same but are half the price. Example. Doritos at Aldi’s is $1 bag at Walmart $3+ a bag.

    5. I cook bigger meats and save the cooked meat in 2C bags ready for future recipes. examples – turkeys, hams, boston butts, barbecue to name a few

    6. To stock the freezer I freeze everything I don’t use. Examples – green/red/yellow peppers – recipes only use 1/4 C or so so I chop up the rest and throw it into the freezer for the next recipe. Tomatoes, green onions, leftover veggies. Everything can be thrown into a recipe at a later date.

    7. I have a spring, summer, fall garden that I freeze and/or swap veggies w/ someone else. Last year I swapped my cucummber and tomatoes for fresh lettuce. Our family and the swapping family ate salads for a week – free food. I freeze all the food from my garden to help out throughout the year.

    8. Lastly I assign a cost factor on every recipe I collect. That tells me how much it will cost to make that recipe. I now cook about 4 times a week (this can include guests) and still keep the $50 wk budget. Plus we have leftovers or freezer meals to choose from.

    Sorry if this was too much. I just recently sent my tips out to friends and thought I’d post it here as well.

  22. Sandie on March 27, 2009 at 6:49 am

    We seems to be high – 800 a month for a family of 4. That includes DIAPERS and cleaning supplies and all the rest – and it does not include organic stuff – wish we were that healthy but that would drive up the cost greatly!

  23. James on March 27, 2009 at 10:11 am

    We are a family of 5 and spend $75 per person. That is also with formula for our 4-month old.

  24. Kathy on March 27, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    I appreciate all the tips on how to cut back in this category. Our family of 4 definitely likes to eat well..but I need to shop smarter and cut back this budget line from $800. So far I have gone to cash-only for groceries.. try to stock up at sales otherwise buy paper and processed foods at Super Walmart or Super Target (Let me tell you our SuperTarget grocery is crammed on Sundays!!) Coupons, of course. I refuse to buy cookies, ice cream, treats if not on sale. But I do still buy organic or farm-raised poultry, meat, veggies, fruit and fish at Whole Foods and get hormone-free milk. I just buy cheaper cuts or smaller portions or what’s on sale. But I don’t want hormones, antibiotics, or animal by-products in the feed. I am willing to cut back in other places for that. And everytime I have used cash God has seen to it I enough to cover the bill. Sometimes just coins for change, but He’s never made me put back yet!! And I sure feel better paying for our food in cash instead of with that card.

  25. Travis on March 28, 2009 at 5:32 am

    Thanks for such great tips Angela, You are doing an amazing job!!

    Thanks for the lead on the book at amazon and I like the idea of keeping a cost factor for the meals.

    Has anyone ever subscribed to Emeals… If so what did you think?


  26. Kristie on March 31, 2009 at 1:38 am

    For our family of 3 we spend about $600 a month. That includes all meals prepared at home, and all the paper/cleaning/household supplies.

  27. Bertha on April 3, 2009 at 10:29 am

    You can even mix some flowers into your vegetable garden to make it all the more beautiful.

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