Grocery budget

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by miTunes75, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. miTunes75 macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2006
    :confused: OK:

    I think it's crazy how much it costs to have a family operate these days. I get a little aggrivated each paycheck when I realize how much I need to spend to keep this family functioning.

    So, let's discuss how much we spend on necessities and groceries to keep our families functioning.

    I have a family of five (3 kids ((2 of them in diapers)) )
    we usually spend about $100 bi-weekly in necessities (shampoo, paper towels, toilet paper, diapers, soap, razors, etc)
    for food, we spend about $150 bi-weekly.

    Do we spend too much? Or am I just a tightwad?

    Let's discuss.
  2. Tanglewood macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    You're spending about $3.33 per person everyday or $17 dollars per day. For a family of 5 I don't think thats too much when you think eating out would cost you 3 times that.
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Family of 5 and you spend $500 and $200 of that is on non-food items? Yeah, you're kind of being a tight wad.

    Now, this differs from place to place, and since there are only two of us, I tend not to bargain hunt nearly as much as I should...but I spend about that on two people. However, there are things to consider:
    I buy fancy coffee drinks and energy drinks more times than not.
    Produce is actually costly when you consider that you need to buy it nearly every week. I buy a lot of produce and I tend to buy it from Trader Joe's where it is organic and more natural.
    I hardly ever buy the store-brand of things and I should.
    I like fish and shrimp...there in lies a huge cost over minced meat and chicken (though I LOVE chicken).
    I do not buy my necessities such as shampoo and razors from the market, I go to Wal-Mart or Target for those. Yes, it takes more time, but I save money and it makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

    I mean $500 a month for me might not be totally accurate, but I am sure I can spend that. If I get adventurous and start cooking new things then there are spices to be bought and those are costly. Cleaning supplies bought about once a month are costly, but also bought at Target or Wal-Mart. And I go through phases where I buy allot of veggies and such and others where I buy some junk food. Junk food is also kind of costly. Because it's just two of us and we tend to like different things, I buy those smaller bags of chips which cost more and give less. But then the larger bags I can't really finish in time before they go stale.

    I think $500 for 5 kids is actually great, but I am speaking as though you're in Orange County CA, for all I know you could be in Alabama and make $1000 a month. I think if you spend more than 25% of your earnings on food then you're spending way too much. 25% even seems high, but that is how I see it. 50% on living, credit, etc. 25% to save or play, and 25% to eat. Then again, I don't have kids, I have computers.
  4. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    A membership with a price club/wholesale type place such as Costco can very much help with living-type material expenses.

    Buy bulk/wholesale. When there's a 2 for 1 deal on 10 gallon jugs of laundry detergent, get it and it'll last you forever. When you can get 15 pounds of rice for nothing, get it and save it. You'll save money you can put away, or spend on fresh produce etc.

    For the kids in diapers, you can look into cloth diapers. They're healthier, more environmentally sound and a heck of a lot cheaper. You can check: to see if you're near a diaper service. Disposable diapers are a waste of materials and money.

    Scroll down on this page for cost-analysis of cloth diapers:
    Great charts.
  5. SamIchi macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    Hey the diaper thing is interesting. I don't know why it interests me, I don't have any kids, and I don't know anyone that has a baby, but I found it interestsing. Thanks for sharing. A downside that I thought of is when the actual cotton diaper gets wet it could leak onto whatever the baby is on. Like the carpet, or couch. That would be a problem.

    And to the OP, I don't know if thats a lot or not. My family just buys whatever they need seperately. It's always been like that. My mom refuses to go grocery shopping for us (me and my bro). My parents do pay for everything though, which is sweet. I'd say probably $100 a week, for 2 kids. We're not really kids anymore but we still live at home.
  6. Mtn Tamale macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2004
    Denver, CO
    Wow, thats practically nothin'

    My wife, myself, and our 11month old baby spend about $700 per month on groceries, including baby food, diapers, and household toiletry and sundry items like dishsoap, trashbags, etc. That does not include alcohol or any any items not bought in the grocery store or a Walgreens, like Starbucks or fast food of any kind.

    I regularly think it is too much, but we eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies and they really add up. The baby's stuff is about $150 per month.

  7. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    Amen. Costco and Trader Joe's provide excellent value for things you will generally pay more for elsewhere... You spend less on shampoo and such if you only buy one gallon jug every 6 months to a year ;). Same goes for diapers and lots of other goods. Of course when you buy in bulk, you need to have the space to store the stuff or someone to share it with...

    I'm always shocked by the price of some basic food in regular supermarkets after shopping at TJ. Milk and OJ are about 30% cheaper than the local supermarkets, not to mention bread and other basics...

  8. adroit macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2005
    Victoria, BC
    We usually spend about $100 CAD/week on grocery for 2 adults. We usually go out for dinner about twice a week, have daily coffee and occasional lunch out with co-workers. I think $700 CAD/month sounds about right for our total food bill.

    Wow, $500/month for a family is really not that much. But I guess that depends on where you live.
  9. miTunes75 thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2006

    A tight-wad I am.

    We don't have a Costco nearby but a Sam's club. We were a Club member for one year and only walked into the store about 3 times. One can count on spending an average of $10 per item, but it's true that it lasts much longer.

    I believe I am conviced by looking through these posts that I need to become a member again and stop by there and pick up a little bit at a time ... each paycheck ... then, our stock will add up.

    We'll give it a try next paycheck :)

    Please, don't let this convo stop... this is very interesting.

    Any other opinions?
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
  11. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    Sam's Club is really not that big of a bargan when you start looking at things. Sure, you can buy in ultra-huge sizes, but a lot of items are really not that much cheaper then the smaller containers. By the time you tack on the membership fee, you really don't come out that far ahead. Don't get me wrong. You can find some bargans, but most things there are really not that much cheaper.
  12. celebrian23 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2006
    Under the sun
    We, too only have Sam's club around here, which we don't go to very often. I usually go grocery shopping with my mom. My parents are divorced, so there's some sharing in that department, like my older (college age) sister's expenses and the fact food now last longer since I don't spend all day everyday with one parent. Still, we go grocery shopping for 4 during tthe school year or 5 during the summer and groceries cost about $300
  13. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I'm a single guy and spend about $40-$50 a week at grocery store.
  14. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Make your own big pots worth of soup/chilli/pasta sauce and freeze it in appropriate portions. Much tastier and cheaper than pre-packed stuff.
  15. crazycat macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2005
    I know a few people who cant live with $2000 a month even thou the are single and live with there parents. Its all about how much you spend on things that you dont need or you could get it cheaper else were. As to the origenal poster no, i dont think you spend to much.
  16. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040


    Sep 13, 2003
    Its not so much where you are as when you are.
    You can probably cut back on the food bill some but the amount is reasonable. Diapers are your big cost here.

    Sam's club is great for saving.
  17. technicolor macrumors 68000


    Dec 21, 2005
    That's nothing really, especially the food part. Wait until they get out of diapers, then you will have something to really complain about..especially if you have some boys.

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