What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

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StevenNJ1
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What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by StevenNJ1 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:26 am

So I started paying close attention to our family spending. We're a 2 adults and a 2yr old child. Living in NYC, monthly spending is $1,000 on food. Is this a lot? Keep in mind, food does not include restaurants or eating out. Just home food that I also take to work for lunch.

We try to eat well. Mostly buy organic food. Nothing pre-made. Wife cooks every day. Shopping at places like Trader Joes but not Whole foods. I am just curious what an average family of 3 spends.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by livesoft » Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:37 am

Yes, that is through the roof. At more than $30 a day one could have take-out delivered every day and eat cheaper.
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by DaftInvestor » Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:42 am

For the first time ever I disagree with livesoft. There is no way you could take out every day for $30 a day in NYC for a family of 3. Given you buy organics and line in NYC I don't think it is outrageous. BTW - you may find the price of organics at Whole Foods to be better than the price of organics at wherever yoy are buying them. I find that WhIle Foods prices for organics are in line or cheaper than other stores. For a family of 4 buying Organics we spend close to $1000 a month on groceries.
Edit: should have mentioned we also have a gluten free daughter - that drives up our costsite quite a bit.
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by Toons » Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:46 am

I don't know if it is a lot in NYC .
I live in Tennessee.
My wife and I spend about 250-300 a month on food,excluding dining out,which is not much.
We buy food at Wal-Mart and Sams :happy
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by max12377 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:48 am

There is another thread on this topic here to give you some additional info:

viewtopic.php?t=153693

I blast through my personal food budget on Mint every single month. It's an area where I need to improve. I rarely brown bag it because most times my lunch just looks awful when I un-bag it at noon.. I'd love to hear what other people bring to work. Sandwiches just don't cut it for me.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by market timer » Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:54 am

To make you feel better, here is our daily food budget for two adults:

Breakfast: $5 (coffee + croissants at home)
Lunch: $15 (restaurant)
Afternoon coffees: $5 (Starbucks)
Dinner: $40 (restaurant, includes 1 alcoholic drink)

Total: $65/day or about $2K/month

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by The Wizard » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:01 am

Back when I was in the working class, I hit the local Chinese lunch truck most days for $5.

I've never bothered to total up how much I spend on food per week or month; there's not much point to it.
Some seafood is pricey, so I buy sea scallops at $18/lb less often nowadays.
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by Rob Bertram » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:14 am

My wife and I spend about $1000 per month on groceries. We also eat organic, free-range chicken, wild-caught salmon, etc. It's definitely not cheap, but it's a life decision.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by renue74 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:15 am

2 Adults, 2 kids (12 and 10 year old boys...still not eating a crazy amount)

$200/every 2 weeks @ grocery store
$400/month

We probably eat out 2x/week

Location: Charlotte, NC

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by BTDT » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:21 am

DaftInvestor wrote:For the first time ever I disagree with livesoft. There is no way you could take out every day for $30 a day in NYC for a family of 3. Given you buy organics and line in NYC I don't think it is outrageous. BTW - you may find the price of organics at Whole Foods to be better than the price of organics at wherever yoy are buying them. I find that WhIle Foods prices for organics are in line or cheaper than other stores. For a family of 4 buying Organics we spend close to $1000 a month on groceries.
Edit: should have mentioned we also have a gluten free daughter - that drives up our costsite quite a bit.
FWIW- I don't think the OP intended to limit the question to New York City residents? In my area, $1000 a month for groceries would be considered "through the roof", but then again I don't have a gluten free diet to contend with :confused .
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by TheTimeLord » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:26 am

market timer wrote:To make you feel better, here is our daily food budget for two adults:

Breakfast: $5 (coffee + croissants at home)
Lunch: $15 (restaurant)
Afternoon coffees: $5 (Starbucks)
Dinner: $40 (restaurant, includes 1 alcoholic drink)

Total: $65/day or about $2K/month
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by bottlecap » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:30 am

That's not likely a lot in NYC for 3 people. Food has gotten expensive over the last few years, especially food that is good for you.

If you figure $10 for breakfast, $10 for lunch and $20 for dinner, that puts you at $1,200 per month. That's probably what it costs for 3 in Tennessee, no less NYC. And that's no other food, drinks or snacks. It's also assuming no waste, which is unrealistic.

We are essentially 3 (newborn doesn't eat anything), eat 95% of our meals at home and probably spend at least $1,200 at the grocery store (not all food, obviously). Even if you eat out, you can't get a sandwich and a drink for much less than $10 a person.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by livesoft » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:35 am

I just cooked and ate my breakfast. Gluten-free. Probably organic. It cost less than 50 cents. Oatmeal, water, a few dried cranberries, a few walnuts (already shelled, but crushed in my hand for the exercise) and a small glass of milk. That's my first meal of the month.

I already have lunch made: Salad with steak. Dog got a nice bone last night and is about to get a great walk.
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by bottlecap » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:36 am

livesoft wrote:I already have lunch made: Salad with steak. Dog got a nice bone last night and is about to get a great walk.
Don't walk him too hard. It makes the meat tough!

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by health teacher » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:45 am

Right around $500 per month for a family of 4 (two kids under 3) 30 mins west of Pittsburgh. Eat out maybe once a week.

We shop at Costco, Kroger and a local meat market. We eat better than most, but not as well as some in this thread. There isn't much we could change without giving up the quality I am comfortable with.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by Steve723 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:49 am

Me, Wife, 12 year old daughter, and 13 year old son. We live just outside of Philly: $860 per month average based on first six months of 2015.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by Steve723 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:51 am

livesoft wrote:I just cooked and ate my breakfast. Gluten-free. Probably organic. It cost less than 50 cents. Oatmeal, water, a few dried cranberries, a few walnuts (already shelled, but crushed in my hand for the exercise) and a small glass of milk. That's my first meal of the month.

I already have lunch made: Salad with steak. Dog got a nice bone last night and is about to get a great walk.

Oatmeal, with the proper accoutrements, is an awesome and economical breakfast. Breakfast is definitely an area in our food budget that could be easily reduced if we switched from boxed cereals to oatmeal. That savings adds up fast.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by 2DrsSeekFreedom » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:00 am

Our grocery bill is anywhere from $900-1200/mo for family of 2 adults, 1 toddler and a nanny who has access to eating as she wants. This includes ALL the things you would buy at a grocery store, i.e. food, paper products, dog food.... I really tried to widdle this down once I discovered Mr. Money Mustache...but I just couldn't without really compromising our diet; AND we do 95% of our shopping in bulk stores like Sams and Costco.

Of all the things in life, being healthy is one of those cost productive items that is worth paying the cost for, I enjoy a counter of fresh produce to choose from, bananas, avocados, apples, tomatoes and eating healthy organically raised (if I can) food. Sure if I REALLY wanted to I could go to farmer's markets and seek out gardening (which I love to do), but just do not have the time to do. Therefore, after trying to make my budget $600/mo an failing for many months in a row, I just increased it to $1200. It's now a fixed part of the budget and I don't stress out nearly as much.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by mevertsen » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:06 am

2 adults, 9 year old girl, infant.

Groceries average $400 a month or very close to it. We budget $800 for groceries, toiletries, household supplies, baby stuff and the like. Most groceries are bought at Smiths. Everything else is bought at WalMart. Very little eating out.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:08 am

$600 per month for four, but we eat out a fair amount. If we didn't eat out out groceries would be more.

We spend less on food in America than most countries, as a percentage of our income. To get good quality food you have to spend a little more. And food is one of life's great pleasures, so we try not to skimp.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by GoldenFinch » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:09 am

I think that living in New York and eating organic food is part of the expense. If you wanted to save money on food (and I don't think said you were looking to save), one way is to eat simple, but healthy, breakfasts and lunches (oatmeal, fruit, sandwiches, etc...). Also, if you are throwing food away (forgetting to eat things before it's too late) you could be over buying.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by rgs92 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:13 am

The produce bill alone for the 2 of us in the NYC suburbs is about $400/month. That's from a mainstream supermarket, totally non-organics, just a few bagged things like lettuce, cabbage, carrots. I get fresh berries all year long. Total from the supermarket is about $1000-$1200. It's been pretty constant for 10 years. There is nothing really fancy and not many prepared foods. No meat, but fresh fish, greek yogurt.
If you eat fresh foods, it adds up. Yeah I could live on oatmeal, dried fruits, nuts, beans, frozen fish and veggies, but who wants to if you don't have to? Yuk.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by TNL » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:19 am

We are a family of 2 adults and 2 elementary-age boys who don't eat too much yet. We go out to dinner maybe 2x a month - my spouse and I both like to cook and grill and are health conscious, so we prefer to eat at home. We both take our lunch to work most days.

We do our grocery shopping at Costco, Walmart, and a local specialty grocer. Including household items like cleaners, paper products, we spend $1200 a month. We buy a lot of specialty and high-end items like imported cheese and meats, prepared deli sides and salads, etc. We also have a grocery delivery service for dairy and produce once a week which is about $50 a week just for that. We are a two-career family, hence the delivery and prepared sides are a worthwhile time saver for us. Wouldn't be interested in trying to decrease that amount too much as it would cut into the quality/lifestyle that I am comfortable with.

We live in a suburb of Salt Lake City.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by Kosmo » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:26 am

I think $1000 is a lot. We are 2 adults and 2 toddlers and spend about $600 on groceries. Plus another $150 or so eating out.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by blueman457 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:28 am

My wife and I live in NYC and spend ~$600/month on groceries. We cook a lot at home (from scratch), pack lunches, and overall eat well/healthy. Some sort of protein (fish, beef, seafood, or lamb) will make it on the menu during the week. We shop at Whole Foods (because its so darn close), with supplements from Trader Joe's, China Town, and the local bodega.
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by anonforthis » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:29 am

You guys must eat a lot. We also buy 75% organic food but we spend way less.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:33 am

During the summer, when the kids are away, we spend ~$175 on ground coffee and jugs of cold brew iced coffee per month. Farmers market is another $200 per month.

Are we counting pet food? That's another $250 per month (4 pets with dietary issues).

I haven't even gotten to the grocery store yet.

We live in a suburb of NYC, so the costs are probably similar to NYC. I don't think $1000 is through the roof, if you can afford it. Why not eat well?
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by James Bond Index » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:35 am

StevenNJ1 wrote:So I started paying close attention to our family spending. We're a 2 adults and a 2yr old child. Living in NYC, monthly spending is $1,000 on food. Is this a lot? Keep in mind, food does not include restaurants or eating out. Just home food that I also take to work for lunch.

We try to eat well. Mostly buy organic food. Nothing pre-made. Wife cooks every day. Shopping at places like Trader Joes but not Whole foods. I am just curious what an average family of 3 spends.
If you are buying real "food", $1000 for 4 people in NYC does not seem unreasonably high. We are a family of 3 in a major midwestern city and we spend close that each month. If you are buying packaged chemicals that are peddled as food, then you would be spending a lot less. An interesting book that talks about this is Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food".

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by obgyn65 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:36 am

I live on my own, spend about $500 a month more or less.
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by TheTimeLord » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:38 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:Are we counting pet food? That's another $250 per month (4 pets with dietary issues).
Excellent point. I have 2 older pets that diets need special attention.
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by livesoft » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:39 am

rgs92 wrote:If you eat fresh foods, it adds up. Yeah I could live on oatmeal, dried fruits, nuts, beans, frozen fish and veggies, but who wants to if you don't have to? Yuk.
I completely agree. But you know that yogurt you are eating is technically "spoiled" food and not fresh. :)

I had sushi for lunch yesterday, but since I'm a frequent customer I get a discount so it's down to $8 a lunch. I don't buy things that need to be kept frozen. For instance, the salad I will have is all fresh veggies. I find that it is the processed food and candy that costs money and not the fresh produce.

I would look at how much wine shows up in the food bill.
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by anonforthis » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:40 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:During the summer, when the kids are away, we spend ~$175 on ground coffee and jugs of cold brew iced coffee per month. Farmers market is another $200 per month.

Are we counting pet food? That's another $250 per month (4 pets with dietary issues).

I haven't even gotten to the grocery store yet.

We live in a suburb of NYC, so the costs are probably similar to NYC. I don't think $1000 is through the roof, if you can afford it. Why not eat well?

Eat well or eat too much? We eat way too much in this country.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:41 am

StevenNJ1 wrote:So I started paying close attention to our family spending. We're a 2 adults and a 2yr old child. Living in NYC, monthly spending is $1,000 on food. Is this a lot? Keep in mind, food does not include restaurants or eating out. Just home food that I also take to work for lunch.

We try to eat well. Mostly buy organic food. Nothing pre-made. Wife cooks every day. Shopping at places like Trader Joes but not Whole foods. I am just curious what an average family of 3 spends.
$300 per person eating well is normal. You probably could reduce it a little by buying more produce and less packaged food, but it depends on what's available in your local grocery stores.

Don't dismiss Whole Foods; they have a wider variety of organic produce than Trader Joe's, at least it's true where I live in the D.C. area. When you buy at Whole Foods, don't buy any packages, focus on their produce area and possibly store brands for organic olive oil and milk products.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by livesoft » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:42 am

bottlecap wrote:
livesoft wrote:I already have lunch made: Salad with steak. Dog got a nice bone last night and is about to get a great walk.
Don't walk him too hard. It makes the meat tough!

JT
He is a special breed, so when we cut off a leg to eat, it grows back quickly like a starfish leg. And pet food is pretty inexpensive for him … about $1 a day.
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by Dolob » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:54 am

This forum has opened my eyes to many things, one being the the cost of living gap in NYC to elsewhere in America. I knew it was different, but never realized how substantial. My wife and I spend ~$700 a month on food and we're 2 adults and 1 child. That includes pet food, coffee's, grocery shopping, eating out etc.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:59 am

anonforthis wrote:
TomatoTomahto wrote:During the summer, when the kids are away, we spend ~$175 on ground coffee and jugs of cold brew iced coffee per month. Farmers market is another $200 per month.

Are we counting pet food? That's another $250 per month (4 pets with dietary issues).

I haven't even gotten to the grocery store yet.

We live in a suburb of NYC, so the costs are probably similar to NYC. I don't think $1000 is through the roof, if you can afford it. Why not eat well?

Eat well or eat too much? We eat way too much in this country.
Though less than we used to.

We should all eat less, but spend more on what we do eat.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by jridger2011 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:16 am

I don't think $1,000 a month for 3 people in NYC is a lot at all. To give a baseline of what I am saying, a half gallon carton of organic milk in NYC, can be anywhere between $4.79 to $5.79. Things like fresh produce are expensive, like $3.99 for a pound of on the vine tomatoes.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by randomguy » Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:38 am

letsgobobby wrote:$600 per month for four, but we eat out a fair amount. If we didn't eat out out groceries would be more.

We spend less on food in America than most countries, as a percentage of our income. To get good quality food you have to spend a little more. And food is one of life's great pleasures, so we try not to skimp.
It all comes down to how you define quality. Fresh fruit/veggies are not expensive. Organic, locally raised ones at a farmers market might be. There is pretty much zero evidence that one is healthier than the other. Things like artisian cheeses and the like on the other hand tend to be an example where you pay for quality compared to a block of american cheese. In generaly eating healthy is cheaper. Those veggies and fruit are a cheaper than most protein sources. Getting your serving size down to a 4 oz steak instead of a 8 oz one is a huge in reducing food costs. Filling up on rice and beans (or any of the other cheap staples) is the way to go when looking to drastically cut food bills.

In the end these type of budgets are hard to compare. One person spends 1000 at the grocery store. Another spends 500 at the grocery store, 300 at target, 200 at petco, and 200 at wine plus. Which one has the lower grocery bill?

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by letsgobobby » Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:44 am

randomguy wrote:
letsgobobby wrote:$600 per month for four, but we eat out a fair amount. If we didn't eat out out groceries would be more.

We spend less on food in America than most countries, as a percentage of our income. To get good quality food you have to spend a little more. And food is one of life's great pleasures, so we try not to skimp.
It all comes down to how you define quality. Fresh fruit/veggies are not expensive. Organic, locally raised ones at a farmers market might be. There is pretty much zero evidence that one is healthier than the other. Things like artisian cheeses and the like on the other hand tend to be an example where you pay for quality compared to a block of american cheese. In generaly eating healthy is cheaper. Those veggies and fruit are a cheaper than most protein sources. Getting your serving size down to a 4 oz steak instead of a 8 oz one is a huge in reducing food costs. Filling up on rice and beans (or any of the other cheap staples) is the way to go when looking to drastically cut food bills.

In the end these type of budgets are hard to compare. One person spends 1000 at the grocery store. Another spends 500 at the grocery store, 300 at target, 200 at petco, and 200 at wine plus. Which one has the lower grocery bill?
It's true we can survive on carrot sticks, beans and rice, chard, and an occasional ham hock. The poor have done it for millenia. I think we're talking about something more aspirational than that.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by dbr » Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:52 am

$1000/month on food is not through the roof. There are people who spend much less. I don't know how doable it is to spend less in any particular market in any particular family.

One question is what is the overall budget and where does this fall in the scheme of things?

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by DFrank » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:00 am

livesoft wrote:Yes, that is through the roof. At more than $30 a day one could have take-out delivered every day and eat cheaper.
Even setting aside the question of whether it's possible to have a healthy diet this way, I don't think 3 people can eat takeout 3 meals a day for $32, especially in NYC.
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by randomguy » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:14 am

letsgobobby wrote:
randomguy wrote:
letsgobobby wrote:$600 per month for four, but we eat out a fair amount. If we didn't eat out out groceries would be more.

We spend less on food in America than most countries, as a percentage of our income. To get good quality food you have to spend a little more. And food is one of life's great pleasures, so we try not to skimp.
It all comes down to how you define quality. Fresh fruit/veggies are not expensive. Organic, locally raised ones at a farmers market might be. There is pretty much zero evidence that one is healthier than the other. Things like artisian cheeses and the like on the other hand tend to be an example where you pay for quality compared to a block of american cheese. In generaly eating healthy is cheaper. Those veggies and fruit are a cheaper than most protein sources. Getting your serving size down to a 4 oz steak instead of a 8 oz one is a huge in reducing food costs. Filling up on rice and beans (or any of the other cheap staples) is the way to go when looking to drastically cut food bills.

In the end these type of budgets are hard to compare. One person spends 1000 at the grocery store. Another spends 500 at the grocery store, 300 at target, 200 at petco, and 200 at wine plus. Which one has the lower grocery bill?
It's true we can survive on carrot sticks, beans and rice, chard, and an occasional ham hock. The poor have done it for millenia. I think we're talking about something more aspirational than that.
There is a range. Your choices in life are not spending 3/day/person and eating beans and rice or spending 60/day and eating organic filet mignon. You need to find the balance you are comfortable with. Spending 5 dollars on organic strawberries at the farmers market nstead of 3 dollars for the conventional at the grocery doesn't make your diet healthier. It might make you feel better which is its own value.

Once you start consuming luxury goods, the sky is the limit for spending. As long as you have the money, you should be spending it on whatever makes you happy.

red5
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by red5 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:18 am

In a low cost of living medium sized southern city so far this year we are averaging $330 per month for two adults and two elementary aged children.

livesoft
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by livesoft » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:19 am

DFrank wrote:
livesoft wrote:Yes, that is through the roof. At more than $30 a day one could have take-out delivered every day and eat cheaper.
Even setting aside the question of whether it's possible to have a healthy diet this way, I don't think 3 people can eat takeout 3 meals a day for $32, especially in NYC.
We've been through this before. I think folks assume that one eats the entire take-out meal all at once. Take-out meals are large enough in my neck of the woods that I can get 4 meals out of the $10 Chinese dish or a Thai dish or a Mexican meal or a ….

Also note that I did not state that one was eating takeout 3 meals a day. Send me an address near your home in NYC and I will find restaurants and take-out meals for you.

Full disclosure: I used to live in NY very near NYC.

Finally, maybe we need a thread where folks scan their grocery receipts and post them as images for inspection by others.
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Miakis
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by Miakis » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:01 am

Two adults (midwest):

Our monthly grocery average is $300 - which includes a CSA and some household goods (toilet paper, toiletries, etc).

Our monthly restaurant average is also $300.

We are Pescatarian - mostly vegetarian, but with some fish. No meat. We buy "real" food, but aren't strictly organic.

Our CSA is $72 per month and none of the farmers are certified organic, but they are all small-scale, local and try to keep it responsible/natural.

Cats and Liquor store is separate (Cats = ~30 per month food+litter; Liquor/booze = ~25 per month - restaurant booze is included in the restaurant average).
Last edited by Miakis on Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

jlawrence01
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by jlawrence01 » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:05 am

If we ate no meals out, we could eat well on $350 per month for two people. However, that includes all meals cooked "from scratch" as opposed to using a lot of prepared foods, frozen foods and the like. I probably could do it for cheaper; however, the DW insists on "not from concentrate" orange juice and Greek yogurt for breakfast.

Of course, that requires an investment of time. I cannot so as most families do and go to one store a week and use a list and buy whatever fits my whim. I do not plan my menu in advance and then purchase the ingredients. Rather, I take the opposite approach. I head to the various market options, see what is on sale, especially in the produce, bakery, and meat sections and plan my menu for the next week once I get home with the food.

In addition, I often trade services for food. Some of my elderly neighbors have citrus trees but can no longer pick them. They are more than happy to give me 50% of the pickings. The nonprofit that I work at has an "exchange table" where you bring your excess and take what you need.

I could do a lot better than $350 if I was in Chicago or had east access to Aldi and Winco Food stores but you have to live with what you have.

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Sheepdog
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by Sheepdog » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:12 am

Our (2 adults) grocery and restaurant spending 1/1/2015 thru 7/31/2015 versus the same period in 2014

*Groceries $435/month 2015 versus $398/month 2014 (+9.2%)
Restaurants $369/month 2015 versus $338/month 2014 (+9.2%)
*Note that "groceries" include household goods, not just food.

They are up in 2015, but not through the roof. It is interesting that both grocery and restaurant increases are the same percentages!
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lightheir
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by lightheir » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:18 am

$1000 per month on groceries is def on the high end but is fine IF it means that you are going to many fewer restaurants. Even inexpensive restaurants typically end up on average being significantly more expensive than cooking in unless you're going to really budget places.

However, if you're seeing $1000 + a significant restaurant bill on top per month, that def is a lot.

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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by Puakinekine » Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:37 pm

I don't think your numbers are out of line at all for NYC. We spend the same for two adults in Hawaii, including the makings for one Friday night cocktail each and paper/cleaning/toiletry items (which we buy very little of). In the past few years prices have risen incredibly, and now with the California drought, the price of produce is getting higher and higher as the quality and supply decreases. I grow all the fruits and veg suitable for this climate, but there is a lot we can't grow without more pesticides then I care to use. It is expensive to live here, it always has been. It's just the way it is and I am not complaining.

But, I wish people would open their minds a little bit to understand that the conditions of life where they live are not necessarily the way they are in other parts of the country and other parts of the world. Someone made the blanket statement that "fresh fruits and vegetable are not expensive". In some part of the country they are. Getting to a big box store in Manhattan will take all day and requires a car, something that many people there do not own. And then there is the issue of where to store the stuff in your tiny apartment that is already bursting at the seams. (No one in Manhattan has living spaces like they show on TV and in the movies--except for Taylor Swift) Even getting to a supermarket is not always easy depending on what neighborhood you live in. If you have both people working full time and a small child, there is simply no time for someone to run around comparison shopping. You often have to use the smaller groceries that have higher rents themselves, are dealing with economies of scale, and are reliant on a distribution system of smaller trucks making their way through traffic to supply them.

On the plus side, people don't seem to be as overweight in big cities. Expensive food and all that walking seems to be good for something.

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ResearchMed
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Re: What's Your Monthly Food/Groceries Spending? My is through the roof?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:00 pm

TheTimeLord wrote:
market timer wrote:To make you feel better, here is our daily food budget for two adults:

Breakfast: $5 (coffee + croissants at home)
Lunch: $15 (restaurant)
Afternoon coffees: $5 (Starbucks)
Dinner: $40 (restaurant, includes 1 alcoholic drink)

Total: $65/day or about $2K/month
Preach it brother. By myself, I am around $250-$300/mo. at Starbucks alone. Luckily the wife doesn't share my habit.
We just had "The Starbucks Discussion" about an hour ago :D , as we discussed travel budget for the next few trips.

DH has his routine, and it makes him happy, which is, as the ads say, "priceless".
And we can afford it.

And we spend a lot on food, in a very HCOLA, but nothing close to NYC.
(I'd absolutely love to live there, but have always said that I wouldn't want to live there full time "unless I could do it right", and that will *never* be in our budget, not for more than a few days or a week at a time, given the cost of good Opera seats alone!)

This also brings me back to Protagonist's recent thread entitled "Priorities".

We want to enjoy the remaining years, and have as little regret as possible.
Our only regret just now is that we should have started this just a bit sooner.
Hopefully, we've still got some good quality remaining years ahead of us.

And we will enjoy all of our meals, home and traveling.
And nice wine.
And occasionally, fine wine.

DH has a smile on his face most of the time, and fewer wrinkles on his forehead.
Yes, "priceless".

RM
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