Spending

How Much Do You Spend On Groceries Each Month?

grocery shopping, food budget, groceries
I have a slight infatuation with how other people spend their money lately. Earlier this week I wrote about my thoughts regarding my coworkers going out to eat every day, and then a few days later I found out how much a friend’s family spends on groceries in a month.

My wife was texting with a friend while we were watching TV when she asked me the question, How much do we spend on groceries in a month?

Our budget is $150 a week, and admittedly we do go over that once in awhile. I don’t mind spending a little extra on groceries, as my theory is that having great food in the house keeps us from going out to eat, which is much more expensive. However, when we do go over budget we subtract the overage from our entertainment funds.

Looking back at my spending tracker, we spend on average about $700 a month on groceries and household items.

In the course of my wife’s conversation, they got on the subject of grocery spending. Our friend stated that they purchase as much as they can from Costco, purchases adding up to approximately $2000 a month. Additionally, they estimate that they spend about $30 a day at the grocery store as they pick up food for what they are going to make for dinner.

Doing some quick math, $30 a day multiplied by 30 days in a month is $900. Add that to the $2000 they spend specifically at Costco, their total estimated bill for food and household items is $2900.

When asked if they had a budget, the answer was, Yes, in theory.

Three thoughts found their way through my stream of consciousness:

  • They obviously don’t do meal planning if they have to stop at the grocery store every day
  • This reminded me of why I try to only go to the grocery store once per week to avoid overspending.
  • If they buy the ingredients they need for dinner each day, what are they buying for $2000 at Costco every month?

Our friends spend over 4 times as much as we do on food and household items. I have a hard time wrapping my head around what they could possibly be purchasing for that much money each month without running out of storage space.

CleverDude_GroceriesPic

Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What do you think, Clever Friends, how much do you spend in a month on food and household items?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

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About the author

Brock Kernin

10 Comments

  • At our worst, in 2011 and 2012, my wife and I spent around $550 a month on groceries. I’ve now got it down to between $300 and $330 now. Basically we make two or three big meals on Sunday that will last throughout the week. Mostly grains, beans and vegetables This will take care of all our lunches and suppers.

    I get how you could spend $700 a month at the store. But I can’t imagine how someone spends $2,000 a month at Costco, let alone $2,900 on groceries. Is it that even possible? I know some people are wasteful and overbuy, but are these people just buying food and throwing it directly into a dumpster?

  • When we did the math for 2013, we were at $10,000, almost exactly, for our total food bill. This included Trader Joes, Costco, and the usual supermarkets. Don’t forget, Costco has non-food items, if they buy a lot of electronics that shouldn’t go to the food bill. The $2000 TV doesn’t go to food, but to entertainment.

    Of the $10,000 for the 3 of us, $1900 was restaurant meals. $9/day per person seems an ok number to me. It also puts certain purchases in perspective. For example, if my wife and daughter are out and drop $30 on lunch at the mall. That was the day’s ‘food budget’ on just lunch for two. In the end, the number show how it averages to something more reasonable.

  • For our family of 4, we spend about $260 a month eating out and about $625 a month for groceries and I think that’s a lot but we do buy a lot of organic, grass fed meat, dairy, eggs and produce. I can’t imagine spending that much monthly at Costco. Where do they put all their stuff?

  • For a family of four, we spend about $450.00 on groceries. This includes organic milk, meat, diapers and formula. We do our best to use apps like Ibotta and Checkout51, as well as coupons. We meal plan sometimes, but we have staple items since we make most everything from scratch. It’s a lot cheaper to do that.

  • @Norm – yeah, I have no idea….I know they buy a lot of bulk stuff at Costco, as their pantry is always jam packed with snacks and things. I think they go through costco and buy anything that looks good, but it doesn’t necessarily contribute towards making an actual meal. I love the idea of “cooking ahead” on Sundays…I do that when i get the opportunity too to make lunches to take to work during the week. Thanks for sharing!

  • @JoeTaxPayer – yeah, I wondered if some of their Costco bill is non-food items……I’d love to follow them around for a month and see their spending breakdown. $10000 for the year comes out to just over $800 a month – which isn’t bad at all considering you’re counting restaurant meals in there too! Thanks for sharing!

  • @Lani – $625 for groceries is really good in my opinion, especially if you’re using a lot of organic (more expensive) ingredients. Nice work,and thanks for your comment!

  • These friends that are spending that much at Costco, what size is their household and are they using coupons when they’re spending $2000? I find that the best way to do groceries in my household is coupons and a lot of BOGO deals at the grocery store. But my boyfriend and I buy a lot of the same things when we shop so that also helps with keeping the monthly budget the same.

  • @JaneGordon – It’s just an average sized home….and they’re not using coupons. I think they have a lot of opportunity to save money that they’re not taking advantage of.

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