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Monthly food budget

Posted by on Mar. 27, 2011 at 12:16 AM
  • 46 Replies
1 mom liked this
I recently read this blog post on one of the blogs I follow. It was very interesting to read, and it made me think of my own food budget...

How much does the USDA think you should be spending on groceries? Find out!
Our family’s current monthly budget for food is $250 – this is for two adults, a 3.5 yr old and an eight-month-old. Some months we spend less and some months we spend more, but it usually averages to about $250 a month. I recently discovered that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) actually calculates the average cost of food at home, on a monthly basis, and they calculate it at four different rates -
Thrifty plan
Low-cost plan
Moderate-cost plan
Liberal plan
I calculated what our budget SHOULD be according to the USDA and it was $509 (for January 2011) and this was for the Thrifty Plan! We are spending HALF of the most frugal plan! I guess they need to add another plan – the couponer and smart/strategic shopper plan! Did you look up your family? How does it compare to what you actually spend?
I was thinking about doing a series of posts visually showing (with photos) what $250 could buy you when you combine coupons, sales and rebates. I would take photos of our groceries for an entire month, so you could see what I bought. I think we would all be surprised at how much food (and healthy food!) you can get for $250 when you calculate in coupons and sales. What do you think, would this be interesting for you? Would you be interested in photographing your groceries and sharing what you get for your monthly budget?
How much does your family budget for groceries each month? Before you started couponing (or shopping strategically) what was your monthly budget? THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWER here – budgets are personal decisions and there are lots of factors that go into budgets – dietary needs, location, etc.

So, what is YOUR monthly food budget? How many people are you buying for?

Here is the link to the blog: (always need to give credit where credit is due! :)
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by on Mar. 27, 2011 at 12:16 AM
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by on Mar. 27, 2011 at 12:19 AM
There are 6 people in our family, and our budget for food is $300 a month.

I am very coupon savvy and we have wonderful markets where produce is wonderful and cheap! :) This includes meats and dairy as well. Like the blogger above states, sometimes it's a little bit more and sometimes it's less. If it's less, then I just add it to next months budget for food. :)
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by on Mar. 27, 2011 at 1:57 AM
1 mom liked this

ill have to check this one put but ill say appprox 375 a mos

by on Mar. 27, 2011 at 5:17 AM

My hubby has to do the calculations for me to see if we're in the budget range.  We're a family of 7 and typically spend about $1500 a month.  They typically don't have coupons for the food we purchase.  I'd be interested to see where we fall.

by on Mar. 27, 2011 at 9:11 AM

We are a family of 4 right now and I would say we spend maybe $600 ish a month.

by on Mar. 27, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Wow.... that's crazy! I just figured it for us. In the "thrifty plan" our family should be spending $520.80 a month on groceries and we spend $300. I am not a couponer though. I am normally in a hurry and hate to stand there and have them scan all my coupons while others are waiting behind me. I only coupon if I go to Kroger b/c then the coupons are on the card and they just scan the Kroger card.... ta-da!! Easy peasy!!! LOL!

by on Mar. 27, 2011 at 1:32 PM

i would be very interested to see pictures of 250/month goceries!

i admit i am not very coupon savvy. i will seek out organic valley coupons for butter and i look at whole foods whole deal books for things, but that's about it. i am a big sale flyer user. we also shop a lot at TJ's and they dont do sales. we are a family of 4 and spend 500-600/month. i have done it in under $400/month eating mostly organic but that was with 2 adults and a 1 yo and that was 3 years ago. food prices have definitely gone up!

we buy lots of organic, the dirty dozen always organic, plus the kids things pretty much always organic. i buy meat mostly only at whole foods or the farmers market in the summer and try to get organic or pastured whenever i can. 

by on Mar. 27, 2011 at 2:59 PM
I think in a lot of ways, my food budget is what it is because I make so many things. I make our pancake and waffle mix, I make cinnamon rolls and bread. I make pastas and raviolis...some of these thing when purchased prepackaged can get quite pricey, and making them defenately saves a TON of money. :)
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by on Mar. 27, 2011 at 3:06 PM


by on Mar. 27, 2011 at 3:23 PM

There are only 2 of us and I budget $400.00 a month.  But I have to eat Gluten Free, soy free, corn free and wheat free.  Substitutes are quite expensive, like I use cheese for my "bread".  

I only shop the "four walls" Produce, dairy, and meat, and those items usually don't have coupons...  sigh 

by on Mar. 27, 2011 at 6:07 PM

I can't seem to get the link to work


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