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How much do you spend on groceries?

A frugal reader feeds two people on $30 a week. How does your weekly spending compare?

By Karen Datko Jan 14, 2011 11:26AM

This guest post comes from J. Money at Budgets are Sexy.


The other day I was mailing out one of the $50 Christmas stimulus gift cards that I was kind of slacking on, and I got a pretty interesting e-mail back from the winner. Get this: She said she could feed her husband and herself for almost TWO WEEKS on that much money! She only spends $30 a week on groceries. It almost blew my socks off.


And then it got me wondering how much everyone else spends on groceries each week? So I tweeted it out to Twitterland, and Facebooked it around. What I got back was an array of different numbers and lifestyles.


Of course there's a ton of different variables that come into play here -- number of family members, diet, location, if you include alcohol or toiletries or anything else you can pick up at grocery stores, eating out, etc. But I wasn't about to sort it all out in 140 characters or less.

So, take from this what you will, but all I know is that many of you have far out-frugaled the Mrs. and me. I am taking notes, and I admire your stealthiness. Here's what you all came back with when I asked what you spend vs. the $30 a week our friend does (the responses have been edited for clarity):

  • Studenomics: LOL. That's how much I spend in a day sometimes!
  • Growrichsimply: $125 for a family of six. My wife says we can shrink it, but only if we become veg. Not happening, dude.
  • Jopinion: That is insane. I spend at least $50/week and it's just me. 
  • Meredith Lines: $40 to $50 for two adults. I can get it down to $25 or $30, but that means no booze!
  • Sarah Parsons O'Neill: Family of six, and our normal weekly budget is about $100 to $125. I will spend $175/week about once every two months. I could get it a lot lower if I cut back on buying "easy" foods like juice boxes, packaged crackers, apple sauce cups, etc. But I have four kids and I would go insane if I had to portion that stuff out all the time. I used to be that crazy coupon lady, but I really eased up on that too, because it was consuming a lot of my time. I should devote some time to cutting a few and saving at least a couple of bucks though. Well, that is just the grocery store. That doesn't include fast food (shameful) or restaurants.
  • ItStartsWithUs: $60/week -- just me -- for groceries and eating out.
  • Lisa Davis: About $80 a week for a family of five. I used to spend about $50 but with working full time plus in the end of building a house and moving, I have bought more foods that are convenient (bagged lettuce, precooked chicken, etc.).
  • Rachel Adams Howard: We spend $350 every two weeks (two adults, one toddler, one infant) BUT I am curious if these low numbers people post are just food, or is this including all the other stuff you pick up at the store like diapers, TP, or bathroom stuff?
  • Kimmie Mirocko: Just one in the household. I budget $190 a month (just upped it from $150). But that includes all household items and toiletries as well as cat food and litter. I know i can do better!
  • Devilishdelish: I eat out all the time, so probably at least $100 for just myself.
  • Blondeonabudget: If I just buy groceries/don't eat out, I probably spend $35 to $40/week. I'm sure I could spend less if I started couponing! LOL.
  • BestMoneyBlog: Um. Try $150+ easily a week for two people. Way too much.
  • Amityville8: Too much.
  • Kitchenpenguin: $50+ depending upon if I want to stock up on sale items or if the pantry is running low.
  • Groceryalerts: We spend around $60 for two of us.
  • BrownstoneREIgr: I need that person to teach me a few things.
  • Rhyswynne: I'm on about £30 ($50) a week.
  • HeatherPierucki: Ummmm, I'm embarrassed, but probably $350 a month for two of us and four dogs.
  • Abbymaries: Way too much. Probably $50/week on groceries for myself and fiancé. Then at least two dinners out, three to five lunches and one coffee. 
  • GrlRedBalloon: I spend $120 per month for myself. So about $30 per week. But it's just me!
  • Krystalatwork: I used to only spend $25/week when I was getting out of debt, but that was just for me. Now I spend $40 to $50/week.
  • Smartstep: Way more than $30!
  • MalnurturedSnay: Way more than $30. How does she do it? I would love to save on my grocery bill.
  • SS4BC: $300/month. But I'm a family of one.
  • Pixie658: I spend $50 to $100/week. I don't save a whole lot even if I don't eat out because I buy a lot of health food, local goods and seafood. But I almost always stay within my budget, which is what matters. I'm including alcohol as food, by the way. Hee hee. 
  • Eemusings: Uh, more like $130 for two. Food prices just keep going up and up.
  • Getalonghome: We spend about $70/week for a family of five (six, but one is still nursing).
  • Ms_candibee: $50 to 75/week for two people and that's with a lot of fresh veggies and the more expensive/good whole foods.
  • Foxytuner: Hubs and I spend about $80 every two weeks on food for us. We like eating out.
  • Serendipity85: I spend about that for Rambo and me, although I'd love to spend $60 a week.
  • PennyFrugalista: $75 a week for myself and my husband. Yay, coupons and sales!

After running some numbers myself, I quickly realized that we are totally way over what it seems an average couple spends on food. Mrs. BudgetsAreSexy and I spend a whopping $100 every week on groceries. That includes all cat stuff (we have two), home stuff, hairsprays, toothpastes, shower stuff, and anything else you can pick up at Safeway. And that doesn't include alcohol or eating out either. Crazy, huh?

What do your grocery numbers look like? List them out with the following variables:

  • Number of family members (including pets): _______.
  • City of where you live: _______.
  • Does this include toiletries and other nonfood things? _____.
  • Does this include alcohol? ______.
  • Does this include eating out? _____.
  • These numbers make me _____ (happy? proud? frightened?).

Hope some of you make us feel better. There are no right or wrong answers here. This is purely for curiosity.  We all have different diets and lifestyles, so putting too much stock in these comparisons won't do you much good. But of course we can all use some motivation.


More from Budgets are Sexy:

Jan 14, 2011 3:25PM

$640 a month for 2010.   Great time to do the survey as I just finalized my 2010 budget and this was the number ($7700 for the year). 

  • Number of family members (including pets): 4 humans, 2 non-humans but the pets cost us next to nothing.
  • City of where you live: suburbs of Chicago, IL.
  • Does this include toiletries and other nonfood things? YES.
  • Does this include alcohol? YES.
  • Does this include eating out? No, separate budget for that.
  • These numbers make me unhappy. I've been trying to get this lower, but I think because we've given up smoking a few years back and taken on wine so this number is higher than I want. I've been cutting back on my wine consumption starting this year and we'll see how it goes.  So far so good for 2 weeks!
Jan 18, 2011 2:26PM
We budget $600/mo for groceries.  Most months we spend a little less, but always spend more in Nov and Dec
  • Number of family members (including pets):  2 adults, 2 pets
  • City of where you live: Pacific Northwest
  • Does this include toiletries and other nonfood things? No
  • Does this include alcohol? No
  • Does this include eating out? No
  • These numbers make me _____ (happy? proud? frightened?). None of the above.  We choose to eat certain things that cost more because eating well is a priority and we can afford it.  I enjoy cooking and most of the time would rather eat at home than eat out. I could easily cut our budget in half, but we'd rather eat well.  We probably spend much less than most eating out (our dining out budget is $%100/mo) and we rarely eat fast food.
Nov 2, 2012 7:41AM
Number of family members (including pets): _3_____.
City of where you live: Lexington, KY
Does this include toiletries and other nonfood things? Some
Does this include alcohol? Yes___.
Does this include eating out? Yes__.
These numbers make me EXHAUSTED!

My fam is spending a little less than $1000/mo but for the past ten months, my wife has been pregnant!  Hoping that number goes down asap.  I have a degree in economics and am a budget freak, any ideas to get this number down?

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