Wednesday, February 17, 2010

How Much Do You Spend on Groceries?

As you (might or might not) know, I love food! With my love of food comes my love of grocery shopping! :) I keep track of my monthly grocery expenses, since it's one of my higher-spending categories, but recently I've started wondering how much other people spend on groceries.

So, I've decided to ask my readers! I'm looking to compile a small sample of information on how much you spend on groceries by providing the following information:

Location: City or State or general location
$ Grocery Amount:
Per Week/Bi-Weekly/Monthly:
For: 1 person, 2 people, etc
Other: Are you vegetarian/vegan/gluten-free/other dietary restrictions? Do you use coupons? Do you buy in bulk? Do you avoid certain cheap/expensive items? Do you splurge on anything?

I'm looking forward to your responses! And I'll let you know about my grocery habits when I do a follow-up post soon. :)


Anonymous February 17, 2010 at 9:38 AM  

Hi - Just wanted to say that I greatly enjoy reading your site.

Location - Central NJ
Monthly Spent - #250-300
For 2 people
No dietary restrictions, but I always buy fresh fruit/produce and cook from stratch. My husband and I are also both bakers, so I spend more money than necessary to cook/bake good food on a weekly basis. I can't bring myself to limit our grocery budget by eating frozen meals, or processed foods.

stackingpennies February 17, 2010 at 9:58 AM  

Location - L.A. area
Monthly Spent - $150-$175
For 1 person (or double that for two -- we buy groceries together and split in half)

I don't buy a lot of meat, I always check for the cheapest option, but I've gotten a lot more lax on frugal shopping this year. I buy fruits and veggies, but limit myself to the non-exotic (ie cheaper) ones. Like bananas -- 5 for a dollar at TJs!

Jessica Dietz February 17, 2010 at 10:30 AM  

Awesome idea!

Houston, TX

$365 for groceries (but that also includes toiletries, cleaning supplies - it's too much of a pain to separate it out. Also - we only have a $100 dining out budget.)

For 2 People

I use coupons and try to buy the best quality at the cheapest price. I usually stock up on meat as much as I can when it's cheap. I splurge on salmon once a month and a nicer meal for at least one of the weekends. We buy a lot of fruit/veggies, but try to stick with what's in season so it's cheaper.

We buy razor blades and paper goods in bulk at Sam's Club.

My husband and I nearly always bring our lunch/eat at home. We have an allowance if we decide to go out for lunch though.

oilandgarlic February 17, 2010 at 11:43 AM  

Location: LA area
Monthly: Around $400 (trying to cut down to $300)
For 2 adults

I'm in the midst of a grocery bill cutting challenge after realizing last year that we spend a very high amount on food. My husband could have been a chef so it's probably worth the cost!

Recently I found a website that lets you compare your spending to others in your area. I wish I remembered the website url. For 2 adults in my area at our income level, the average spending was about $313.

myprettypennies February 17, 2010 at 11:51 AM  

Can't wait to see the responses! Here are my details:

Location: Washington DC
Average Monthly in 2009: $170, try to stay under $200
For 1 adult

Other: I have no dietary restrictions and I try to have a list when I go to the store. I try to bulk up on non-perishable things and shop weekly for fresh produce, but doesn't always happen. I use coupons rarely only because I'm lazy and they expire before I remember about them.

I also usually spend about $100 on dining each month.

Sunflowers February 17, 2010 at 2:49 PM  

Location: LA area
Average Monthly: $400
For: 2 adults
Other: We tend to go for natural, organic (hence more expensive) foods and drinks (i.e. Horizon milk, Naked Juice). I have a thing against store-brand items (admittedly, I probably shouldn't).

moneymatekate February 17, 2010 at 2:53 PM  

Location: NYC (Manhattan)
Grocery expense: $100 a month
Household size: Just me - 1
Dietary restrictions: None

Food is pretty hideously expensive in Manhattan, so I do bulk shopping when I visit my mother in central NJ, or I will travel to northern NJ by public transit for a good, comprehensive sale.

If it's not on sale, I probably won't buy it. Major use of coupons.

I go to a very cheap farmer's market for produce just 3 blocks away, where I spend about $5/week.

I stockpile items I use a lot of, e.g. Lipton tea bags, coffee, Classico or Ragu tomato sauce, cheese (8oz blocks of cheddar/jack go on sale for .99 about 5x a year, and I get a dozen).

I get my milk, eggs, cereal and snack items at the big drug stores - not only do they have the best prices, but I have all that free rolling credit from their loyalty programs. So it's free.

I buy multiple packs of meat when it hits a certain price, e.g. ground beef $1.69, and freeze it in Ziploc baggies, which I get for about .89 for a box of 100.

savings February 17, 2010 at 11:03 PM  

LA area
~$80/week (for two people, plus a roommate who likes to eat my food without permission :-/ ) [this also includes things like aluminum foil, ziplock bags, parchment paper, etc, but not things like toilet paper or paper towels and toothpaste]
We are on a sugar free diet, so we spend more money than before with no restrictions. I've started making a lot of my own things, like pasta sauces and soups and stuff to help defray costs. I buy the bulk of my food from Vons (on sale if possible) and supplement with items from Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and Fresh n Easy.

Les@SpillingBuckets February 18, 2010 at 2:05 PM  

Location: Rochester, NY

$ Grocery Amount: $250/month - always between $250 and $300

Per Week/Bi-Weekly/Monthly: Monthly

For: 2 people, and 2 cats

Other: We are not vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, or anything out of the ordinary - but we do aim for as little processing as possible, so end up buying a lot of organic, 'all natural', and other generally more expensive items. In the summer this drops down to $200ish per month because we grow a lot of our own and have a fantastic farmers market.

Distar February 21, 2010 at 9:47 PM  

such a fascinating idea- reading everyone's comments was fun!

Grocery bill per month: probably around $300 for two people. I don't keep track and because we live in Manhattan rather than buying loads of groceries at once, I usually pick up 1-2 bags of things after work. I like it this way because we then always have fresh veggies/fruits and I hate frozen meat so I only buy what we're planning to eat that day.

We spend a lot on organic dairy products (milk/yogurt), imported cheese, organic meats, and speciality items at Whole Foods etc.

We also eat out atleast 3 nights a week, and both husband and I eat buy lunch work days, so that adds up.. Yes we could be more frugal but we enjoy taking part in the fabulous food scene in this city.

Have you watched Food Inc? It really makes you want to pay higher price for quality items!!

Serendipity February 21, 2010 at 10:51 PM  

I tried to comment on this post before but I think I deleted it. :(

Location: Viva Las Vegas!
Amount: Can be up to 80-100 a week but I am currently trying to stick under a 280 a month budget.
For: 2 people

Other: We don't have any dietary restrictions but I do tend to buy organic food when I can. Rambo also eats alot of heavily processed foods so I think thats a good chunk of where our money does go.

Ann February 22, 2010 at 11:45 AM  

This is such a great idea, I've often wondered the same thing...

Location: Encinitas, CA
Amount: $250-$300/month
For: 1.5 people (I do the bulk of the grocery shopping but my fiance buys his own lunch and breakfast foods . . . so I put 1.5 since I'm only puchasing dinners).

We're vegeterian and buy primarily organic veggies and dairy products. I shop at Henry's for the most part but will also swing by Albertson's and Trader Joe's depending on what I'm fixin'.


Bonnie February 24, 2010 at 3:03 PM  

Location: Midwest

No dietary restrictions on my end or BF's, but I tend to buy organic/free-range when possible. I'm sure I spend at least $150 a month for myself and then another $100 (well, sometimes less) on eating out.

Anonymous January 25, 2011 at 5:32 PM  

Los Angeles
2 working adults
no processed food
$120-150 a month, includes food, cleaning and personal care items
Shop at Fresh& Easy, Henrys, 99 Cent Only, Ralphs and Sunland Produce

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