Author Topic: How much should a single mans grocery bill be?  (Read 3621 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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How much should a single mans grocery bill be?
« on: January 10, 2018, 02:24:31 PM »
What's the average amount of money to spend on groceries each month for a single man?

I'm going to run into trouble as I eat plant based (fruits & vegetables) and it's seeming pretty expensive.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: How much should a single mans grocery bill be?
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 02:31:55 PM »
Lots of variables that make that hard to answer.
The mans size and activity basically determine calorie needs.
Most plants are seasonal.
Some plants are regional  - available in other regions, but cost more due to shipping.
Prices of groceries vary greatly by locations.


  • Bristles
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Re: How much should a single mans grocery bill be?
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 03:36:55 PM »
My suggestion, don't be afraid to stock up on frozen fruits and veggies.  Peppers + onions, spinach, sweet corn, leeks, berries, etc. are barely distinguishable from fresh options.  Plus you are able to portion out a single serving as needed. 


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: How much should a single mans grocery bill be?
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 04:17:18 PM »
I think you should evaluate where you are financially and what's most important to you.  I (single woman) probably average about $200 a month and I've decided I'll try to shop at ALDI when I can, but I don't want to change my diet to save money.  My caloric needs are probably lower than yours.  I try to eat mostly fruits, vegetables, and meats/nuts/eggs/dairy/beans.  I try to limit grains, potatoes, corn, and processed foods.   The way I eat is not the cheapest, but it's worth it to me.  Food is important to me.  I can happily live without TV. Living without cheese and avocados would make me sad.


  • Bristles
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Re: How much should a single mans grocery bill be?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 08:14:33 PM »
Husband and I spend $180/month per person. But there is a wide range of spending levels here, depending on the cost of food in your area and your preferences.

If you're not happy with the amount you're spending, I would suggest doing an audit of your food spending.

What are the most expensive items you buy and can you replace them with cheaper substitutes (e.g. frozen rather than fresh berries)?

Can you make more items yourself (e.g. homemade hummus)?

Can you spend a week or two eating only stuff you already have?

How much food are you wasting, and can that be decreased?

Can you decrease the frequency of grocery trips?

Do you have access to free food at work that you can lean on more?

Can you create a garden or barter with a friend who has one?


  • Bristles
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Re: How much should a single mans grocery bill be?
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 02:43:55 AM »
What is your country/location? This is a big factor.

If you are Australian and vegetarian, then I think if you are very careful you should be able to get away with $50/week. This is dried beans, cheapest bulk rice you can find, cheapest pasta, frozen veg, canned tomatos, cheap in season fruit, eggs, powdered milk, etc. I currently am aiming for $60/year this year and I have a kindergarten age daughter with me half time. I'm sure I'll beat it. I keep finding ways to save money here and there. This is a really low number for an Australian...most single people spend way over $100/week...


  • Bristles
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Re: How much should a single mans grocery bill be?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 06:25:41 AM »
If you make starches the bulk of your diet, you can save a lot of money.  Starches will fill you up and they burn clean (do not clog arteries).  Add produce on the side, in season and don't be afraid of frozen vegetables/fruits to save money.  This is along the lines of Dr. McDougall, one of the plant based doctors.  Starches include such foods as oats (oatmeal), potatoes, tubers, sweet potatoes, beans, rice, grains (whole), barley, farro, etc.  Pasta and flour products like bread can also be added for variety although it's your choice if you want to limit processed foods, or get whole wheat varieties.  You can also buy bulk at Costco to save even more.  There are threads in Dr. McDougall's forum about eating for under $3 a day this way, and it is very healthy as you eat a variety of vegetables/fruits/starches and get lots of nutrients this way.

Dr. Novick's SNAP (Simple Nutritious Affordable Plan) meals take the brussels sprouts for being cheap and healthy, he discusses it here:

Dr. Novick is a certified nutritionist who posts on the Dr. McDougall forum.

He also has pics on facebook:
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 06:37:51 AM by carozy »

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Re: How much should a single mans grocery bill be?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 10:13:57 AM »
I eat 2500 calories a day, and I spend $150-200 per month.  I eat lots of eggs, turkey or tuna sandwiches, cheese, chicken, rice, frozen vegetables, greek yogurt, bananas, peanut butter, carrots, hummus, cottage cheese, and nuts.  I eat a protein other than chicken (usually either salmon, steak, or pork chops) 2 nights per week on average.  And I average 8-12 beers per week.  I could probably get my grocery bill down to $100 if I eliminated beer and greek yogurt (or replaced those calories with something cheaper), but I'm not really motivated to do so at the moment.


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Re: How much should a single mans grocery bill be?
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 10:48:18 AM »
We spend about $600 a month for a family of 4, and we eat a lot of produce.

I'd estimate that you can divide that by 3 to get the typical amount for one person.  Yes, men eat more calories, but then you aren't getting the bulk of your calories from fruits and veg.

I eat approximately 1.5 to 2 lb of produce a day, and I'm female.


  • Stubble
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Re: How much should a single mans grocery bill be?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 10:52:03 AM »
I'm going to run into trouble as I eat plant based (fruits & vegetables) and it's seeming pretty expensive.

I don't think there's a "should" here -- grocery costs vary significantly according to location, really. But I thought I'd challenge the idea that plant-based eating is somehow more expensive than other kinds of eating. We eat mostly plants, and a ton of them, and don't (usually) spend's a question of learning how to dial down the costs of foods you already eat, not of denying yourself healthy options. Although it is true that this may require a bit more brainpower than some other kinds of eating...a box of mac 'n' cheese basically costs the same all year round (and definitely tastes the same all year round), whereas a kiwi fruit is going to vary considerably according to all kinds of factors! Anyway, a few thoughts.

First, we eat a lot of our veggies cooked into soups, stews, curries, casseroles, and similar forms. For these, it makes little difference to me whether I use fresh or frozen veggies...there's just not much difference in terms of texture or taste (or nutritional value, in most cases). So for a lot of the veggies we use, I can optimize costs by figuring out whether it's cheapest to use fresh, to buy frozen, or to buy fresh and then freeze (this typically only works out to be cheapest for a small number of veggies -- things with a short season, and a high cost outside of the season). I'll add that these often turn out to be our cheapest meals, by far: I did the math for my basic lentil soup, and it works out to be about $0.40/serving (in US$).

Second, there are plenty of veggies/fruits that I prefer fresh/unfrozen. Some of these are highly seasonal, others store pretty well and tend to be cheap all year around (potatoes and cabbage are obvious examples). So if I want to save $$, I need to pay attention to the seasons and to sales. Eating seasonally seems especially challenging at this time of year, so I can't claim to manage it perfectly (ahem, there's a tub of blueberries on my counter to prove my imperfection!), but making sure that most of our meals rely on seasonal and/or stored veggies does add up to significant savings. And tastier food, of course. It also means we enjoy a tremendous amount of variety throughout the year, simply because we're adjusting dishes to incorporate slightly different veggies.

Third, planning reduces waste. One huge reason that produce seems expensive is simply because so many people don't manage to eat it all. Once I started planning meals more aggressively, I pretty much cut our food waste to nothing (minus the occasional surprise when something goes bad early, I guess). Knowing how I plan to use veggies when I buy them makes a big difference -- no more buying a half dozen avocados just because they're on sale, only to realize later in the week that we forgot to eat any. I shop once a week, and everything gets eaten, which makes a significant difference to our overall budget. Planning also means that I can alternate super-cheap meals like my lentil soup, with crunchy-but-slightly-pricier meals like salads and stir-fries, which helps us find our happy place between budget and variety.

My suggestion is to stop worrying about what's average, and start diligently tracking your own spending so you can see what your current habits are. Then start looking for the "low hanging fruit" -- places where you can make big changes in spending without really feeling it (stop buying that bag of spinach that never gets eaten, for instance, or only buy bananas at the store where they're cheaper, or whatever). After that, you can start figuring out how to tackle increasingly challenging aspects of food planning and budgeting.

Good luck!


  • Magnum Stache
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How much should a single mans grocery bill be?
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 05:47:15 AM »
Your best bet is to get sale flyers from your grocery stores. You can find them on line usually too. Plan your weeks meals based on the flyer. As another poster said, frozen veggies are very good and priced right. I used to work in the food industry and discovered that foods are picked and canned or frozen right at the locations they are grown most of the time. So the veggies are very fresh, probably fresher than the produce found in the stores. I have also found that there are some family sized bags of frozen veggies that are priced even lower than the smaller bags of veggies. My favorite is broccoli floret's but there are broccoli and cauliflower and other medley's  too. Sometimes I buy these humongo bags and break them down into more manageable portions for the Hub and I. So now that you have the flyers and have some foods in mind to buy and have listed them find recipes you will use these items in. Like other posters said, buy in bulk. Another thing you might consider is buying a vacuum sealer. If you buy beans or rice in bulk, you might want to vacuum pack them to keep them fresh. Buying bigger containers will be a cost savings but will require a bit of work to break down the container into smaller portions. If you eat chicken, look at the family size packages compared to the smaller packages. You have to buy more to save and will have to come home and mess around repackaging but you will save money.


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