How much do you spend on food in a year?

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simmias
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by simmias »

I'm single and in decent shape (daily exercise routine), and I spent just north of $2,000 on groceries last year with about $600 eating out in a MCOL city. The groceries number includes stuff like toiletries as well.

I'm in awe of some of these numbers.

I'm a big fan of making huge meals and freezing the leftovers for easy meals to keep me from the temptation of getting delivery or carryout.
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MikeWillRetire
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by MikeWillRetire »

Family of four, with two in college, Baltimore-DC Metro area:

$11,000 for groceries, toiletries, cleaning supplies, paper goods
$6,0000 eating out.
$10,000 meal plans at college.
Wellfleet
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by Wellfleet »

Jags4186 wrote: I'm always surprised when people say they go out to dinner and spend $30 for 2. Do most people consider eating out going to Applebees? I have no interest eating at those types of restaurants.
I like nice restaurants as much as the next person but price does not equal quality. I actually find it fairly lazy to expect to have to pay a lot for a good meal.

Costco quality steaks (I love btw) served in dark room and a couple drinks $150.

Award winning lobster rolls at a waterfront picnic table BYOB $30.

:sharebeer
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midareff
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by midareff »

Just two of us and retired. I'd say wife spends about $80 a month at the Chinese grocery store for her Asian needs (she's Thai) and we spend another $450 or so at the grocery store inclusive of steaks, scallops, fish and an occasional bottle of wine. About $6K annually or pennies more maybe. Eating out.. we do frequently and it may, repeat may, run $9K annually. .. $175 or so a week.
killjoy2012
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by killjoy2012 »

I have a hard time believing some of the posts in this thread. < $10/day/adult? I just don't see that as a realistic target. Maybe if I was retired, could cook every meal, valued my shopping/cooking/dish washing time spent at $0, ate nothing but eggs, $1 loaf bread, rice, cheap veggies, and drank nothing but tap water - maybe. As a single working person who leaves the house at 6am and doesn't return until 7pm 5 days a week, trying to eat somewhat healthy and organic, there's just no way $10 is going to cut it short of having a maid/assistant to support.
simmias wrote:I spent just north of $2,000 on groceries last year with about $600 eating out
That's $7/day! :shock:
Last edited by killjoy2012 on Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
anoop
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by anoop »

livesoft wrote: I think good healthy food is inexpensive because less people have touched it to get it to your table. I eat fish maybe 3 or 4 times a week.
It is actually more expensive because it is perishable.
michaeljc70
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by michaeljc70 »

Wellfleet wrote:
Jags4186 wrote: I'm always surprised when people say they go out to dinner and spend $30 for 2. Do most people consider eating out going to Applebees? I have no interest eating at those types of restaurants.
I like nice restaurants as much as the next person but price does not equal quality. I actually find it fairly lazy to expect to have to pay a lot for a good meal.

Costco quality steaks (I love btw) served in dark room and a couple drinks $150.

Award winning lobster rolls at a waterfront picnic table BYOB $30.

:sharebeer
Where I live (large city I would consider MCOL), at most restaurants you cannot get a glass of wine for less than $10. So not even getting into the food, 2 glasses of the cheapest wine each comes to 40+20% tip+ 10% tax= $52. Now, if you were to go to some small neighborhood place, maybe you can get a glass of wine for a little less. Alcohol has a huge impact on your "grocery"/dining out bills.

Now I can and have lived frugally most of my life. I can make a good dinner at home using 49 cents a pound chicken quarters or something for a few bucks. And we do do that a lot. After you've worked and saved though, sometimes it is nice to "splurge" if you call getting the cheapest wine at a medium restaurant splurging.
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by michaeljc70 »

anoop wrote:
livesoft wrote: I think good healthy food is inexpensive because less people have touched it to get it to your table. I eat fish maybe 3 or 4 times a week.
It is actually more expensive because it is perishable.
Healthy is in the eye of the beholder. In my opinion, preparation makes a much bigger difference that the food itself. A boneless skinless chicken breast is "healthy", but bread it and saute it in a ton of oil and it isn't. Same with veggies. Saute them in butter or oil or cover them with cheese and they are no longer healthy. There are actually not many un-prepped raw foods I would consider unhealthy other than cooking fats and very fatty cuts of meat.
casualflower
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by casualflower »

I love the range of responses! Absolutely no judgement, it's just fascinating...This thread so far has a low end of
-Family of 7. 6600 on groceries, 1500 on eating out.
And a high end of
-2 people Eating out budget is $40,000 per year and purchased food/liquor about $20,000.

Us? Family of 5 (2 adults, 1 adult eating kid, 2 younger kids) = $12K year on groceries + $2K year on eating out (the adults at restaurants, the kids donuts,etc at coffeeshops).

We've cut back on grocery spending a lot in the past year, I'm not sure how to cut it lower for our family.

My wife cooks a lot. I cook a fair amount. We both enjoy it and value being in the kitchen for its own sake.
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

killjoy2012 wrote:I have a hard time believing some of the posts in this thread. < $10/day/adult? I just don't see that as a realistic target. Maybe if I was retired, could cook every meal, valued my shopping/cooking/dish washing time spent at $0, ate nothing but eggs, $1 loaf bread, rice, cheap veggies, and drank nothing but tap water - maybe. As a single working person who leaves the house at 6am and doesn't return until 7pm 5 days a week, trying to eat somewhat healthy and organic, there's just no way $10 is going to cut it short of having a maid/assistant to support.
Most of our carbs come from rice, pasta, starchy vegetables. Bread consumption at the table is rare. ($2 savings - a loaf isn't going to be enough for folks at my table). Eggs are inexpensive, fish is not overly expensive, beans, onions, mushrooms, greens, fresh fruit - yup, if you go to a farmers market or green grocery can be inexpensive. A large bag of fresh spinach is $2.39, you can do alot of damage with that - (ask me how I know?) Water - yup! does a body good and your kidneys will thank you for it later on. Oatmeal, frozen fruit, yogurt - the spices cost more per pound, who knew? :) Meat is the most expensive of the fresh stuff, everything in moderation. Cook on the weekend, put it in tuppeware containers, toss in fridge.
Soups are even easier to make - large batch's, quite tasty, freeze what you don't eat, the microwave is your friend when you are too tired to cook and hungry for some good soup!
Last edited by Grt2bOutdoors on Mon Mar 06, 2017 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

michaeljc70 wrote:
anoop wrote:
livesoft wrote: I think good healthy food is inexpensive because less people have touched it to get it to your table. I eat fish maybe 3 or 4 times a week.
It is actually more expensive because it is perishable.
Healthy is in the eye of the beholder. In my opinion, preparation makes a much bigger difference that the food itself. A boneless skinless chicken breast is "healthy", but bread it and saute it in a ton of oil and it isn't. Same with veggies. Saute them in butter or oil or cover them with cheese and they are no longer healthy. There are actually not many un-prepped raw foods I would consider unhealthy other than cooking fats and very fatty cuts of meat.
Actually, I bread my chicken, then bake it in the oven with very little oil involved. I saute my vegetables with water - all those empty calories can stay right where they belong, in the bottle! What other un-prepped raw foods do you consider to be unhealthy? (i like to snack on raw cashews).
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researcher
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by researcher »

SQRT wrote:Actually, I apologize. The eating out budget was. $40k I got confused with the "cash" expense budget that includes our food/liquor which is $60k. Food/liquor might be a little more than the $20k I mentioned and good portion of that would be alcohol, we don't track food/liquor separately.

Typical dinner would be well, typical. We obviously don't skimp on the food we cook. We tend to eat out a lot in Arizona and Toronto but eat in at the Lake house where we entertain a lot. Lots of BBQ there. Would probably have 250-300 meals out a year often with others who we often pay for, ie usually family members. Dinners out tend to be fine dinning, while lunches not so much. Have to exercise a lot to keep my weight down.
300 meals out each year! I can't imagine how much of your time is spent sitting around in restaurants!
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Pajamas
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by Pajamas »

About $3,400 in 2016 for groceries and only $400 for restaurants for one person or about $10.40 a day. Roughly-estimated budget was $300 a month for groceries, so that turned out to be fairly accurate.

Used to eat out a lot more often, especially lunch when working in an office, and at expensive restaurants every couple of weeks, so I probably spent at least twice that $400 every month. My favorite restaurant the last couple of years has been a $10 Indian buffet and I didn't go to a single expensive restaurant in 2016.

Groceries are mostly from Trader Joe's plus certain items from other stores like the cheese or tea shop or nuts on sale at Amazon. Also had a large Jet.com order in 2016 of pantry staples. Wish there were an Aldi nearby. I don't eat mammals or a lot of seafood, but other protein sources aren't cheap and I do buy more frozen prepared foods than I should. Not much alcohol is included in groceries, probably a half-dozen bottles of wine.
MathWizard
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by MathWizard »

Between $6K and $7K/yr spent as grocery store, that include paper & cleaning products.

Family of 3, son is a vegan, which surprisingly adds to the budget.

We also make pack lunches, and make meals for homeless shelter once a month, so that adds
a few hundred a year.

We don't eat out much.
beattherush
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by beattherush »

Family of four, Chicagoland.

$12500 on groceries

Roughly the same on all outside-the-home restaurants, pizza, coffee etc.. which includes several weeks of vacations, where meal costs tend to pile up.
Last edited by beattherush on Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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VictoriaF
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by VictoriaF »

$4,000/year, one person, DC area.
- Includes purchased groceries and restaurants.
- Does not include free meals provided at events. I track events as a different expense category. Some free events provide free meals.
- Does not include food when traveling. In 2015 and 2016 I traveled over 30% of the year.

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c078342
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by c078342 »

2 of us -- retired, usually eat at home. Total ATM spend at groceries (no alcohol) for the past 12 months was $6,100. Maybe another $600 for the occasional cash purchases.
SheReadsHere719
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by SheReadsHere719 »

Midpack wrote:Just two of us, we're foodies, so higher than average and we could cut back (we could spend a lot more too).

In 2016 we totaled $14.1K.
* Food & liquor - $7.8K
* Dining out - $6.3K (we dine out every Sat & Sun)
Our total is almost exactly the same; includes groceries, all meals out including vacations, and hosting other couples 2-3x/month. 2 foodies in a VHCOL area. We cook a lot and could easily spend 2x without blinking (and many of our coworkers do).
abner kravitz
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by abner kravitz »

For two, we spend about $12K. This includes household/personal items like paper towels & shampoo. We sometimes buy food at Walmart and household items at Kroger and I'd have to go through each receipt and break everything out to come up with a food only number. My wife already thinks I'm insane, and doing this wouldn't help.
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tuningfork
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by tuningfork »

Single, retired.

In 2016 I spent $4600 on groceries (including alcohol and household goods bought at grocery stores) and $3900 dining out (much of that includes dining out with my girlfriend and paying for her share). Combined, this is about 15% of my annual expenses.

When I retired a few years ago, my grocery spending went up by about 15% and dining out dropped by 35% because I stopped eating out for lunch every day.
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by Jags4186 »

michaeljc70 wrote: Where I live (large city I would consider MCOL), at most restaurants you cannot get a glass of wine for less than $10. So not even getting into the food, 2 glasses of the cheapest wine each comes to 40+20% tip+ 10% tax= $52. Now, if you were to go to some small neighborhood place, maybe you can get a glass of wine for a little less. Alcohol has a huge impact on your "grocery"/dining out bills.

Now I can and have lived frugally most of my life. I can make a good dinner at home using 49 cents a pound chicken quarters or something for a few bucks. And we do do that a lot. After you've worked and saved though, sometimes it is nice to "splurge" if you call getting the cheapest wine at a medium restaurant splurging.
Similar feelings...

Unless I'm incredibly spoiled I feel like going to a middle of the line restaurant you can't help but drop at least $50 for 2 after tax and tip. At the end of the day I have no interest in going to a restaurant to get something I can make at home. I go out to eat stuff that I wouldn't ever make at home because either its too difficult or too time consuming.
JimmyD
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by JimmyD »

Wellfleet wrote:$12,000 last year inclusive of groceries ($9500) restaurants ($2500) for family of 3 including 1 small child. This mostly excludes household products and diapers.
+1 although ours includes most household products.
HIinvestor
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by HIinvestor »

Our food budget has varied wildly, depending on our finances. When we were struggling and relatively poor, we spent most of our money on our mortgage and kids. We ate at home 90% of the time or more and had a meager food budget, since I cooked most meals and H packed lunch every day (peanut butter sandwiches). Now that H has retired and we have paid off the mortgage, we eat out much more often and don't pack lunches. We didn't track food spending then or now. Most places we eat are $10-20 person for breakfast or lunch and a bit more for dinner with no alcohol.
giesen5
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by giesen5 »

Groceries: Roughly $16k for a family of 4, two teens. We cook a lot and spend extra money on local and organic food.

Restaurants: Probably about $2K for the year. Kids are doing lots of sports, find ourselves out at meal times not close to home.
TheJourneyContinues
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by TheJourneyContinues »

I find threads like this fascinating, mostly because I'm always trying to figure out why I can never get out of the grocery store for under $150 (weekly trip, 2 adults + 1 toddler, including toiletries).

Annual groceries/toiletries: $8400
Annual eat out/ take out: $1800

I think a LOT of your grocery/dining out expenses are tied to (1) what food you like and (2) just how happy that food makes you.
Personally, I would be miserable if I had to have some variation of rice and beans multiple times throughout the week or if I had only soup for dinner (I say that with no offense intended, in fact I wish I could be satisfied with some of these money-saving, healthy meals). Waking up is always easier once I remember I get to enjoy a cup of my not-so-cheap home brewed coffee. A $4 package of fresh berries for my snack tastes sooo much better than eating a $0.50 apple. I try to indulge myself in moderation... I eat apples 5 days a week and berries 2. But my point is some people would gain incrementally less benefit than I do from those weekly packs of berries, thus would probably have a lower grocery bill than me.
SQRT
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by SQRT »

researcher wrote:
SQRT wrote:Actually, I apologize. The eating out budget was. $40k I got confused with the "cash" expense budget that includes our food/liquor which is $60k. Food/liquor might be a little more than the $20k I mentioned and good portion of that would be alcohol, we don't track food/liquor separately.

Typical dinner would be well, typical. We obviously don't skimp on the food we cook. We tend to eat out a lot in Arizona and Toronto but eat in at the Lake house where we entertain a lot. Lots of BBQ there. Would probably have 250-300 meals out a year often with others who we often pay for, ie usually family members. Dinners out tend to be fine dinning, while lunches not so much. Have to exercise a lot to keep my weight down.
300 meals out each year! I can't imagine how much of your time is spent sitting around in restaurants!
It's time we enjoy. Good conversation good friends good ambience. Really more like entertainment to us.
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Toons
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by Toons »

BogleMelon wrote:Family of 2:
Groceries: $5000
Dinning out: $400
Dinner Parties with friends: $500


+1
Similar :happy
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ray.james
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by ray.james »

Family of 2.5:
5K on groceries which includes toiletries etc- All costco items get clubbed in.
1.5K on fast food
1.5K on eating out.

Eating out is nice but the cost for doing so is getting pretty steep. It is actually pretty cheap to eat very good variety healthy food even in large city.
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deskjockey
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by deskjockey »

Reading this thread is amusing. Lots of implicit assumptions underlie a lot of the judgments tossed around. One key thing to remember is that grocery bills vary a lot depending on the COL in your area, your food preferences, and your family size/age of kids. Here are our (family of 4) numbers for our current city (extrapolated based on the 7 months we've been here, in a VHCOL area):

Annual groceries/alcohol/toiletries: $12K
Annual dining out: $7K

for the last full year we spent in our previous abode (a different VHCOL area), we spent:

Annual groceries/alcohol/toiletries: $13K
Annual dining out: $5K

It's interesting to see how much of an increase we're seeing in our eating out bill even though our patterns have not changed--we go to mid-priced restaurants (for the area) for lunch or dinner once or twice a week, cook at home during the week, and I eat leftovers for lunch. DW eats frozen meals for lunch or gets a sandwich. We're not foodies, but we do buy a lot of fresh produce (tons of fruit, veggies). We don't entertain, although in our new location my parents and in laws have come to visit for several weeks at a time, raising our grocery bill somewhat. Fruit is crazy expensive here (anybody paid north of $1 for a single small peach? That's the cheapest we can do here!), as are meat and fish.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to buy a large load of groceries three hours' drive from here--what would have cost us north of $500 only came to $200 and change. Same foods, same brands. That's how much difference the COL in your area can make.

Edit: we don't drink coffee or otherwise frequent places like Starbucks, eat breakfast at home, and the alcohol we buy is the inexpensive stuff (two buck chuck or its equivalent, which around here is $6 or so).
Twood
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by Twood »

From watching parenting forums on similar topics, I agree with others that locale has a huge effect on the numbers. Other big impacts come from how much dining out/alcohol, how much cooking from scratch, how much meal planning/watching sale cycles, and any special dietary needs, plus dietary preferences.

To borrow from a similar thread in November, viewtopic.php?f=2&t=203089 :

4 people, three have packed lunches every day, one fed lunch at daycare. $800/month=$9600/year for all groceries and eating out. Eating out typically consists of one cheap fast food meal a week on the way to a kid class. We track the sale cycles and meal plan based for the week around what's cheap, or "shop" from the freezer. We eat a lot of the cheaper meats, pork roasts and chicken, and eggs and peanut butter for other protein sources. We make a list, and start by shopping at Aldi, rounding out the rest from 1-2 other grocery chains. We cook from scratch, eat leftovers for lunches (little waste), and have essentially no junk food. It is a very tight budget for this locale, despite my efforts.
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by michaeljc70 »

I am wondering if people keep track of their spending or are just guessing. I've seen 2k for 4 people eating out and things like that. That is $40 a week eating out or $10 per person. Which gets you an expensive combo at McDonald's. If you are going to a regular sit down restaurant, backing out tax and tip, that is like $7-$8 a person. Now if you only eat out only once a month, then it makes sense to me.

Where I live, a non-fast food burger is typically $12-$20 with most being around $15. That typically includes fries but not tax, tip, appetizers, drinks, etc.
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by iamlucky13 »

The USDA food cost estimates are relevant to this thread:
https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/USDAFoodPlansCostofFood

Based on that, my family would expect to be between $6805 and $8300 (2 adults, 1 toddler, low or moderate categories, not including dining out).

I think we're actually a little below the lower number or perhaps right at it including alcohol and paper goods, but I haven't been tracking closely since my wife took over the regular shopping for the family. Tracking accurately would involve a fair amount of manual work, because Costco receipts especially include a lot of non-food related items. I'd estimate we do about one nice restaurant meal a month at $60, takeout 2-3 times at $15-20, and fast food while traveling 3-4 time a month at $10-15.

So probably a little over $8,000 annually.
LiterallyIronic wrote:We spend $150 - $170 per month for the two of us. Annually, that turns into $1,800 - $2,040. We try to keep to $1/meal/person. Dinner always comes in a little over, but breakfast and lunch come in under. We do not drink alcohol, or hardly even anything besides water and milk. We keep restaurant-going to once or twice per year.
Very impressive.

In college, I applied my scholarships to an overpriced meal plan on campus. During summers I had myself somewhere right around $3.50 per day, cooking almost all my meals on a single burner hotplate, and tracking as closely as the value of the peanut butter that goes into a sandwich. I only had a typical dorm fridge and little other storage room, so I couldn't buy in bulk beyond what I could use in about a week. Spaghetti with ground turkey and chicken stir fry were staple foods of mine.

That's $1275/year for one person, so you have me beat even compared to then. Those limitations did not allow me to eat fancily at all, and that budget had to include a lot of food: I was very active at the time and eating well over 3000 calories per day just to maintain my weight.
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by JimD7 »

I rarely eat out, I consider that money ill spent.

I doubt if I eat more than $5 a day in food, on average. Maybe a touch higher. I eat a reasonably healthy diet, but light on fruits and fresh veggies.

Take full advantage of double coupon/sale stacking techniques. Stock up when opportunity presents.

Make my own bread, avg cost 50c for a 2LB loaf. if that.

If in aint on sale I don't buy it (milk and a few items excluded)

And I can afford to spend (waste) a lot more.

Warren Buffet gets his breakfast at the McD drive in. $3
Last edited by JimD7 on Mon Mar 06, 2017 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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corner559
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by corner559 »

Party of 1 here. I spend about $10,000 annually on food nearly all on eating out. I don't enjoy cooking.
JimD7
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by JimD7 »

People that claim cooking for themselves is too much trouble.

What did they do back in the olden days?

Guess the wife cooked for husbands, or they starved.
TomCat96
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by TomCat96 »

Mr.BB wrote:This is the third year I have been tracking our expenses. What I have found is that we spend an average of $15,000 a year on food. About $11,000 a year on groceries and about $4,000 a year at restaurants. I think this is a lot, but I don't know how it compares to everyone else?
There is just two of us My wife is a great cook and like she says "we don't exactly eat sloppy joe every night." I know good healthy food (fish,etc) cost a little more and we really do try to buy what is on sale.

This $15,000 (avg) accounts for 25% of our yearly expenses. I am curious, what do most couples on this board spend on their groceries and eating out a year?
I spend far far too much. Going out to restaurants, lounges, bars: $19200/yr
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wander
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by wander »

$11,000 is enough food for 5 persons per year IMO. At least, that's our case.
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FreeAtLast
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by FreeAtLast »

I add up my annual grocery expenses every August 20th (just a date that I picked randomly a while ago). From 2015 - 2016, I spent $1907.23. This amount includes only foods that I purchase to prepare and eat at home. No alcohol, no paper products, no cleaning products, no personal hygiene products, no restaurant bills - those go under different categories in my Excel budget file. Does include salt, pepper, all other spices, olive oil, and packaged desserts (yum yum, Entenmann's eclairs or raspberry danishes). Tasty food is very important to me and I only buy high quality comestibles.

Edit: Retired, divorced, no kids.
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Pajamas
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by Pajamas »

michaeljc70 wrote:I am wondering if people keep track of their spending or are just guessing. I've seen 2k for 4 people eating out and things like that. That is $40 a week eating out or $10 per person. Which gets you an expensive combo at McDonald's. If you are going to a regular sit down restaurant, backing out tax and tip, that is like $7-$8 a person. Now if you only eat out only once a month, then it makes sense to me.

Where I live, a non-fast food burger is typically $12-$20 with most being around $15. That typically includes fries but not tax, tip, appetizers, drinks, etc.
Mine was based on actual spending from the credit card yearly summary. The only thing I estimated was the number of times I ate out and paid cash, which was a small number anyway.

The restaurant that I ate at most often the last couple of years is $10 (including tax) plus tip.
Jackson12
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by Jackson12 »

Jags4186 wrote:Groceries, alcohol, and restaurants 2016: $11,546. 2 adults.

I would say we average about $100/month of alcohol, $300 a month on restaurants, and the balance at the grocery store.

I know we are not efficient but it is what it is. We are trying to cut back on drinking.
How do you all handle holiday expenses, especially if you host? The holidays seriously impact our food budget for November and December.

Although 15% of our monthly budget goes to food, we have no debt, live way below our means, have a healthy emergency budget, meet or exceed our retirement savings goals, etc

I don't think the amount spent on foot is nearly as important as how it fits in a total financial plan and we are extremely frugal in most areas of our life. We have no expensive hobbies, no cable channel packages, basic Internet, and electricity and utility bills which have us ranked in the "most efficient" categories for our area..

But oh those holidays! Most of our family either lives out of town or have homes too small to accommodate large groups of people.

Our groceries top out at $11,000 a month including 1 meal out a week. The holidays skew our usual monthly numbers.

We buy organic. I do the cooking for every weeknight and there is little to no no waste. When we eat out, we usually bring 1/2 of our entree home for next day's lunch.,My spouse carries his lunch to work.

We host at least 10 people at Christmas and Thanksgiving and at least 5-6 of our kids arrive from out of town and stay with us for up to 7 days at Christmas, a bit less over Thanksgiving

We're delighted to see them.They contribute some food but the majority of the food prep and shopping is on us.

Our kids are millennials and they are on far tighter budgets than us. Plus they have to fly in, etc .

And wow...can they eat! We don't contribute to their support any other time of the year but we do shoulder the majority of holiday meal expenses.

The rest of the year we have 2- 3 people at meals ( one son is transitioning to independent living ( hopefully) and is special needs . He also is a hearty ester.

We drink alcohol , occasionally, no more than 3 weekend Nights, 1 - 2 glasses each. We don't drink alcohol every week. we Dine out with friends one night a week.

Anyway , Food and dining out is a whopping 15% or more of of our $6000 monthly budget. It's our highest expense, with long-term insurance and basic and required bills being the next highest charges. Some months medical bills are also high but we always manage to live without debt, contribute our goal amounts to investments and savings, etc ., .
Jags4186
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by Jags4186 »

Jackson12 wrote:
Jags4186 wrote:Groceries, alcohol, and restaurants 2016: $11,546. 2 adults.

I would say we average about $100/month of alcohol, $300 a month on restaurants, and the balance at the grocery store.

I know we are not efficient but it is what it is. We are trying to cut back on drinking.
How do you all handle holiday expenses, especially if you host? The holidays seriously impact our food budget for November and December.

Although 15% of our monthly budget goes to food, we have no debt, live way below our means, have a healthy emergency budget, meet or exceed our retirement savings goals, etc

I don't think the amount spent on foot is nearly as important as how it fits in a total financial plan and we are extremely frugal in most areas of our life. We have no expensive hobbies, no cable channel packages, basic Internet, and electricity and utility bills which have us ranked in the "most efficient" categories for our area..

But oh those holidays! Most of our family either lives out of town or have homes too small to accommodate large groups of people.

Our groceries top out at $11,000 a month including 1 meal out a week. The holidays skew our usual monthly numbers.

We buy organic. I do the cooking for every weeknight and there is little to no no waste. When we eat out, we usually bring 1/2 of our entree home for next day's lunch.,My spouse carries his lunch to work.

We host at least 10 people at Christmas and Thanksgiving and at least 5-6 of our kids arrive from out of town and stay with us for up to 7 days at Christmas, a bit less over Thanksgiving

We're delighted to see them.They contribute some food but the majority of the food prep and shopping is on us.

Our kids are millennials and they are on far tighter budgets than us. Plus they have to fly in, etc .

And wow...can they eat! We don't contribute to their support any other time of the year but we do shoulder the majority of holiday meal expenses.

The rest of the year we have 2- 3 people at meals ( one son is transitioning to independent living ( hopefully) and is special needs . He also is a hearty ester.

We drink alcohol , occasionally, no more than 3 weekend Nights, 1 - 2 glasses each. We don't drink alcohol every week. we Dine out with friends one night a week.

Anyway , Food and dining out is a whopping 15% or more of of our $6000 monthly budget. It's our highest expense, with long-term insurance and basic and required bills being the next highest charges. Some months medical bills are also high but we always manage to live without debt, contribute our goal amounts to investments and savings, etc ., .
I hope you mean $11,000 a year not $11,000 a month! I would hope you have a world class chef cooking for you if you're spending $11,000/mo :happy

Holiday's are tough and quite frankly a lot of spending goes towards restaurants. I guess I am cheating a little when I say I spent $11,000. When we take my mother out for Mother's Day or her birthday it goes in my "gift" category of spending. Subsequently my spending in May is usually very high (birthday + mother's day). When we go on vacation all spending goes into our "vacation" category of spending...even if we eat out every meal.

My family always goes out to eat for Christmas Eve...that's usually a $100 meal. Reality is, it's cheaper to go out and a lot less work than it is to host. You just sort of have to deal with it.
Jackson12
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by Jackson12 »

Jags4186 wrote:
Jackson12 wrote:
Jags4186 wrote:Groceries, alcohol, and restaurants 2016: $11,546. 2 adults.

I would say we average about $100/month of alcohol, $300 a month on restaurants, and the balance at the grocery store.

I know we are not efficient but it is what it is. We are trying to cut back on drinking.
How do you all handle holiday expenses, especially if you host? The holidays seriously impact our food budget for November and December.

Although 15% of our monthly budget goes to food, we have no debt, live way below our means, have a healthy emergency budget, meet or exceed our retirement savings goals, etc

I don't think the amount spent on foot is nearly as important as how it fits in a total financial plan and we are extremely frugal in most areas of our life. We have no expensive hobbies, no cable channel packages, basic Internet, and electricity and utility bills which have us ranked in the "most efficient" categories for our area..

But oh those holidays! Most of our family either lives out of town or have homes too small to accommodate large groups of people.

Our groceries top out at $1100 a month including 1 meal out a week. The holidays skew our usual monthly numbers.

We buy organic. I do the cooking for every weeknight and there is little to no no waste. When we eat out, we usually bring 1/2 of our entree home for next day's lunch.,My spouse carries his lunch to work.

We host at least 10 people at Christmas and Thanksgiving and at least 5-6 of our kids arrive from out of town and stay with us for up to 7 days at Christmas, a bit less over Thanksgiving

We're delighted to see them.They contribute some food but the majority of the food prep and shopping is on us.

Our kids are millennials and they are on far tighter budgets than us. Plus they have to fly in, etc .

And wow...can they eat! We don't contribute to their support any other time of the year but we do shoulder the majority of holiday meal expenses.

The rest of the year we have 2- 3 people at meals ( one son is transitioning to independent living ( hopefully) and is special needs . He also is a hearty ester.

We drink alcohol , occasionally, no more than 3 weekend Nights, 1 - 2 glasses each. We don't drink alcohol every week. we Dine out with friends one night a week.

Anyway , Food and dining out is a whopping 15% or more of of our $6000 monthly budget. It's our highest expense, with long-term insurance and basic and required bills being the next highest charges. Some months medical bills are also high but we always manage to live without debt, contribute our goal amounts to investments and savings, etc ., .
I hope you mean $11,000 a year not $11,000 a month! I would hope you have a world class chef cooking for you if you're spending $11,000/mo :happy

Holiday's are tough and quite frankly a lot of spending goes towards restaurants. I guess I am cheating a little when I say I spent $11,000. When we take my mother out for Mother's Day or her birthday it goes in my "gift" category of spending. Subsequently my spending in May is usually very high (birthday + mother's day). When we go on vacation all spending goes into our "vacation" category of spending...even if we eat out every meal.

My family always goes out to eat for Christmas Eve...that's usually a $100 meal. Reality is, it's cheaper to go out and a lot less work than it is to host. You just sort of have to deal with it.
Nope, not $11,000 a month! I've corrected it. Our budget is between $6000 and $6500 and part of that helps support a special needs son ( adult) He works as much as he can but makes nowhere near a living wage. And he can eat quite a bit and still be normal weight and healthy.

Where do you eat out on Christmas Eve? Around here, some Chinese restaurants are open but that's about it.
healthy.
Last edited by Jackson12 on Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jags4186
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by Jags4186 »

Jackson12 wrote: Where do you eat out on Christmas Eve? Around here, some Chinese restaurants are open but that's about it.
healthy.
In northern New Jersey I would say almost every restaurant is open and it's a huge day for businesses. They're all packed to the brim and usually have seatings. We always eat Italian.
MikeG62
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Location: New Jersey

Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by MikeG62 »

Family of four (one daughter away at school part of the year).

Groceries ~ $10,000/Yr.

Restaurants ~ $6,500/Yr.

This excludes dining out while on vacation (I only track spending on vacations/trips in a lump sum).

Also, the above totals represent amounts charged to credit cards. If we pay in cash, that would be incremental to the above figures.
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beattherush
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by beattherush »

TomCat96 wrote:
Mr.BB wrote:This is the third year I have been tracking our expenses. What I have found is that we spend an average of $15,000 a year on food. About $11,000 a year on groceries and about $4,000 a year at restaurants. I think this is a lot, but I don't know how it compares to everyone else?
There is just two of us My wife is a great cook and like she says "we don't exactly eat sloppy joe every night." I know good healthy food (fish,etc) cost a little more and we really do try to buy what is on sale.

This $15,000 (avg) accounts for 25% of our yearly expenses. I am curious, what do most couples on this board spend on their groceries and eating out a year?
I spend far far too much. Going out to restaurants, lounges, bars: $19200/yr
If you're a single guy in a large city, that's not unreasonable. That's how you get around to not being a single guy. :sharebeer
TomCat96
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by TomCat96 »

beattherush wrote:
TomCat96 wrote:
Mr.BB wrote:This is the third year I have been tracking our expenses. What I have found is that we spend an average of $15,000 a year on food. About $11,000 a year on groceries and about $4,000 a year at restaurants. I think this is a lot, but I don't know how it compares to everyone else?
There is just two of us My wife is a great cook and like she says "we don't exactly eat sloppy joe every night." I know good healthy food (fish,etc) cost a little more and we really do try to buy what is on sale.

This $15,000 (avg) accounts for 25% of our yearly expenses. I am curious, what do most couples on this board spend on their groceries and eating out a year?
I spend far far too much. Going out to restaurants, lounges, bars: $19200/yr
If you're a single guy in a large city, that's not unreasonable. That's how you get around to not being a single guy. :sharebeer
I really wish that wasn't so true. Yes I'm a single guy, and spent 600 this past weekend on fine dining, uber rides, and the best old fashioned I've ever tasted.
why3not
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by why3not »

JimD7 wrote: I doubt if I eat more than $5 a day in food, on average. Maybe a touch higher. I eat a reasonably healthy diet, but light on fruits and fresh veggies.
...
Warren Buffet gets his breakfast at the McD drive in. $3
First, $1825/year on food & drink is impressive. I'd personally rather aspire to the family that spends $60,000 a year, but it is impressive.

Second, according to fastfoodmenuprices.com, the average egg mcmuffin meal in NE is $4.07 (plus tax). I can say that where I live, the same meal (small coffee) set me back just a few pennies under $5.90. I spent more than $3 on the cheapest bottle of water I could find at the airport last week.
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by GoldenFinch »

killjoy2012 wrote:I have a hard time believing some of the posts in this thread. < $10/day/adult? I just don't see that as a realistic target. Maybe if I was retired, could cook every meal, valued my shopping/cooking/dish washing time spent at $0, ate nothing but eggs, $1 loaf bread, rice, cheap veggies, and drank nothing but tap water - maybe. As a single working person who leaves the house at 6am and doesn't return until 7pm 5 days a week, trying to eat somewhat healthy and organic, there's just no way $10 is going to cut it short of having a maid/assistant to support.
simmias wrote:I spent just north of $2,000 on groceries last year with about $600 eating out
That's $7/day! :shock:
My 21 year old daughter eats on the cheap so I see how it can be done. She eats healthy food, pretty much what is described above, but spends very little, close to 25 dollars a week. My teenage boys on the other hand are responsible for eating us out of house and home and have much more expensive tastes than our daughter which I predict will continue into adulthood.

With one kid out of the nest and three at home we spend 12k a year on groceries. My husband swims two miles every morning so he's pretty hungry and I guess that contributes to the number.

If I lived alone I would spend around thirty a week.
michaeljc70
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by michaeljc70 »

This question is kind of like asking how much you spend on a car. Some people will spend $100k+ every two years and others will keep a cheap car 15 years. Both may think the other is ridiculous. People spend their $$$ on different things they value and have different means. After seeing grandparents that saved their whole lives and continued to save into their old age, I've loosened the purse strings a little in my upper 40s. I mean, saving and living frugally is a means to an end to me. The end being a good retirement and ability to live well.
Spedward
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Re: How much do you spend on food in a year?

Post by Spedward »

We spend about the same for a family of 4 living in a big. City. That includes all household items such as cleaning products, personal items, occasional drinks with friends, parties at the house, etc. I would love to reduce but realized much is tracking error on my part in that if we pull out all of the "other stuff" or food cost would be reasonable, that is we generally spend may 1-2k a year on kids parties, family gatherings, etc. I will say it would otherwise be problematic if our entertainment or other buckets were high, but they are otherwise reasonable.

I say it depends what you are including in your food costs.
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