Author Topic: How much should the grocery bill be?  (Read 12198 times)

Cowardly Toaster

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How much should the grocery bill be?
« on: December 31, 2016, 09:13:08 PM »
Just to give you background on our caloric requirements and situation. I'm in my late 20s and I exercise a lot. My wife is mid 20s, exercises and is breast feeding our son. We live in Alaska, so groceries are approximately 10% more expensive. We cook all our own meals and rarely eat processed stuff.

We spend $425/month on groceries ($350/month about if you lived in the lower 48 states)

Are we on the wall of shame or doing ok?

MrMonkeyMoustache

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2016, 09:21:07 PM »
When not putting too much thought on price, and buying foods that fit my macros (I switch between keto and the normal 30/40/30 ratios), I can easily limit myself to just $65. But, when money is tight, even that is very expensive. I could easily cut that in half (but $40 is more reasonable).

StachelessNicholas

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2016, 11:05:19 PM »
My wife and I live in Alaska as well, it is just the two of us, and we average about 300$ a month. We also prepare the majority of our meals and keep away from the processed junk. Definitely not cheap up here so I'd say you aren't too far off, depending on your eating style (macro nutrient break down).

We toyed with a vegan diet and saved a bunch thanks of quinoa, rice, and beans being available at costco...

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2017, 05:42:34 AM »
When not putting too much thought on price, and buying foods that fit my macros (I switch between keto and the normal 30/40/30 ratios), I can easily limit myself to just $65. But, when money is tight, even that is very expensive. I could easily cut that in half (but $40 is more reasonable).

I think this is reasonable. It also scales a bit, so $100 for two should be plenty.

AlmstRtrd

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2017, 07:22:36 AM »
Very non-mustachian here but I thought I might weigh in on the other side to keep your head from exploding. Wife and I are both very active (58 & 49 years old). Kid is mostly at college now but when she is home, we easily spend $1000 a month on groceries. We are often in NYC and hit a restaurant once or twice a month... plus a bit of local eating out. Total food expenditures are around $1500 a month. In the "normal" world, that $425 grocery bill would be considered awesomely low.

economista

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2017, 08:20:35 AM »
We spend around $300 per month for groceries and we eat mostly unprocessed, healthy foods.  We also eat a very high protein diet and tons of calories since we are both high level athletes (SO is an olympic athlete currently training full time in his sport).  We each eat between 2000 and 3000 calories per day depending on whether its a 2-practice day or not. But, we live in Colorado so food prices aren't as bad as Alaska.

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2017, 09:01:15 AM »
Two adults, also in Colorado. We spend $350 a month -- could be cheaper if we gave up organic meat but we're comfortable where we are.

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2017, 10:07:43 AM »
We spend around $300 per month for groceries and we eat mostly unprocessed, healthy foods.  We also eat a very high protein diet and tons of calories since we are both high level athletes (SO is an olympic athlete currently training full time in his sport).  We each eat between 2000 and 3000 calories per day depending on whether its a 2-practice day or not. But, we live in Colorado so food prices aren't as bad as Alaska.

You're telling me that your SO, a male training full time in his sport at an olympic level, is only eating 2000-3000 calories a day? I find that to be very low. I'm eating 2800-3200/day as my resting metabolic rate (I'm 6'6" and 220lbs), and as much as 4000 calories daily when following a rather intense workout schedule...

My wife and I spend between $280-$325/mo depending on our desire for ice cream and other foods we don't need. We live just north of Seattle, WA. We're on the low end compared to most people.

wenchsenior

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2017, 11:15:38 AM »
Very non-mustachian here but I thought I might weigh in on the other side to keep your head from exploding. Wife and I are both very active (58 & 49 years old). Kid is mostly at college now but when she is home, we easily spend $1000 a month on groceries. We are often in NYC and hit a restaurant once or twice a month... plus a bit of local eating out. Total food expenditures are around $1500 a month. In the "normal" world, that $425 grocery bill would be considered awesomely low.

Yeah...I've given up even attempting to approach the spending levels that seem common here. There's two adults at this house, moderate exercisers. We drink wine/beer with dinner. We eat very little processed food, but I only eat two meals per day. Husband eats lunches out regularly, but otherwise our eating out is maybe one or two times per month. We can't eat large amounts of carbs, so 'stretching' meals with rice, potatoes, and pasta isn't a big option.

Our groceries seem to cost average amounts.  Yet, after 1 full year spent focusing on reducing our food/household item bills, I've barely dented the average, from 1100/month to 950/month, and most of that is reduced spending on booze and buying meat on special. There is some low-hanging fruit remaining...If we eat vegetarian a couple days per week and I make more lunches for my husband, it will likely come down another 150$ or so. Beyond that, I've decided it's too much effort at this point for us...more effort than it is worth.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 08:37:37 AM by wenchsenior »

skiddieleet

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2017, 11:37:30 AM »
When you all look at your grocery spending, what falls into that category?  I can buy cleaning supplies, toiletries and many other things that aren't strictly for eating at the grocery store, including alcohol.  So our grocery bill is typically $600 or $700 for two in a fairly low cost of living area.

Do you actually break out what is strictly for food from your grocery bill?  I feel like we don't go crazy, but could definitely spend less, but half or even less seems out of reach considering everything we buy at the grocery store.

Cowardly Toaster

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2017, 11:38:42 AM »
Cool to know I'm in the vicinity of a mouse ache grocery bill.

Most of our meat except some Costco chicken and bacon is wild salmon and moose, so I factored the gas for fishing/hunting into the bill.

If we really stuck to the staples: flour, rice, beans, potatoes, dairy, onions, carrots, greens, apples, bananas, oatmeal and bacon plus whatever I could hunt or catch I think we could get the bill down to $225/month. Most of the expensive stuff is small fancy items, like ice cream or exotic fruit.

Is it antimustachian to not save money just because you can?

Cowardly Toaster

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2017, 11:43:57 AM »
When you all look at your grocery spending, what falls into that category?

Just food. We get all our expendable from Costco and conserve as much as possible. Alcohol is another bill as well. Cutting out alcohol would probably be the second most mustachian thing you could do besides going car free.

wenchsenior

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2017, 11:49:20 AM »
When you all look at your grocery spending, what falls into that category?  I can buy cleaning supplies, toiletries and many other things that aren't strictly for eating at the grocery store, including alcohol.  So our grocery bill is typically $600 or $700 for two in a fairly low cost of living area.

Do you actually break out what is strictly for food from your grocery bill?  I feel like we don't go crazy, but could definitely spend less, but half or even less seems out of reach considering everything we buy at the grocery store.

You make a good point. I know in our case, 100-150/month is cat food and litter and I don't ever break out all cleaning/laundrey/personal care/etc. items.  Still, there are many Mustachians who say they are including all pet and household expenses in their bills...

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2017, 11:51:44 AM »
Mine is $500 per month, this is pretty much all natural foods. I dont see the point of saving money while robbing your body of nutrients.

Metric Mouse

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2017, 12:36:00 PM »
Is it antimustachian to not save money just because you can?

No. It's antimustachian to blow money on things that do no increase your happiness, or to forgo greater long-term happiness for short term lesser joy.

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2017, 12:44:16 PM »
I'd say it's all relative and what works for you and your family.

I'm at £75 a month for me (and a cat) for food and household stuff.

However I'm veggie which I imagine keeps costs down a lot.  I grow my own and am getting good at freezing and preserving the harvest (I've still got squash, potatoes and lots of chutney left from this year). I have pet chickens so have loads of eggs (probably spend about £8/month on them). It helps that I like baking, and actually really love cheap meals such as soup, bean chilli (made from dried beans), dahl (from dried lentils) and homemade pizza.

I hardly waste any food, after lots of practice, I try to buy lots of dried and frozen items rather than fresh to help this. I bulk cook and freeze portions, I've got a lot of well used tupperware that handles freezer/microwave/dishwasher which makes it easy.

MrMonkeyMoustache

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2017, 01:33:17 PM »
Just curious, why can't you consume lot of carbs? If it's for fitness purposes, I'd highly suggest looking into carb loading. High glycemic index foods are great pre and post-workout. Bananas/medjool dates are great pre-workout, chocolate milk after. Helps move nutrients into the muscles, helps load up your glycogen stores, and helps you maintain ideal electrolyte balance to avoid cramping (look up the sliding filament theory in particular).

Also helps you save money, and carb-filled foods just taste so much more delicious.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts and albacore tuna can only go so far. Not saying it's not sustainable (it is), but losing the "carb belly", as I've heard people say is a fallacy. It's only temporary, and just has to do with your muscles holding less stored glycogen, and your body ridding itself of ketones, giving the illusion of lost body fat.

wenchsenior

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2017, 03:45:04 PM »
Just curious, why can't you consume lot of carbs? If it's for fitness purposes, I'd highly suggest looking into carb loading. High glycemic index foods are great pre and post-workout. Bananas/medjool dates are great pre-workout, chocolate milk after. Helps move nutrients into the muscles, helps load up your glycogen stores, and helps you maintain ideal electrolyte balance to avoid cramping (look up the sliding filament theory in particular).

Also helps you save money, and carb-filled foods just taste so much more delicious.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts and albacore tuna can only go so far. Not saying it's not sustainable (it is), but losing the "carb belly", as I've heard people say is a fallacy. It's only temporary, and just has to do with your muscles holding less stored glycogen, and your body ridding itself of ketones, giving the illusion of lost body fat.

It's me, not my husband, who eats them somewhat more. I have an endocrine disorder that puts me at high risk of diabetes and also reactive hypoglyemia, so I eat very low glycemic except for specifically when I'm working out hard.  I do find it tiresome because I have little appetite and I'm underweight, and simple carbs spur my appetite, so I do sometimes incorporate them for that. But I have to be careful with it or I get sick from blood sugar swings.

Gunny

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2017, 07:41:22 AM »
We are a family of three, including a 12yo eating machine, living in Alabama.  We spend $400 per month on groceries and another $100 on dining out.  We eat mostly healthy home cooked meals my wife prepares from whole incredients.  Very little prepackaged foods; mostly canned tomatoes, beans, and broth.  Personal hygiene items are included in that amount.  Dining out is a special treat we indulge in a couple of times per month.  I'm moderately active, lots of outdoorsy stuff and hit the fitness center three times a week. 

MrMonkeyMoustache

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2017, 08:38:33 AM »
Just curious, why can't you consume lot of carbs? If it's for fitness purposes, I'd highly suggest looking into carb loading. High glycemic index foods are great pre and post-workout. Bananas/medjool dates are great pre-workout, chocolate milk after. Helps move nutrients into the muscles, helps load up your glycogen stores, and helps you maintain ideal electrolyte balance to avoid cramping (look up the sliding filament theory in particular).

Also helps you save money, and carb-filled foods just taste so much more delicious.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts and albacore tuna can only go so far. Not saying it's not sustainable (it is), but losing the "carb belly", as I've heard people say is a fallacy. It's only temporary, and just has to do with your muscles holding less stored glycogen, and your body ridding itself of ketones, giving the illusion of lost body fat.

It's me, not my husband, who eats them somewhat more. I have an endocrine disorder that puts me at high risk of diabetes and also reactive hypoglyemia, so I eat very low glycemic except for specifically when I'm working out hard.  I do find it tiresome because I have little appetite and I'm underweight, and simple carbs spur my appetite, so I do sometimes incorporate them for that. But I have to be careful with it or I get sick from blood sugar swings.
Gotcha. Yeah, if it's an endocrine disorder, I wouldn't risk it.

Not sure how efficient it is, but I can eat consume a keto diet on about $65/week. With 2k kcals/day, that gets me:

6 eggs
2 cans tuna
4 tbsp peanut butter
8 oz. ham
3.5 cups broccoli
12 oz. whole milk
4 oz. cheese

Could make it much more efficient (and far less boring) than that, but I like this approach because it's relatively cheap AND it requires ZERO actual cooking (unless you consider putting a Steamfresh bag in the microwave for 5 minutes or boiling some water "cooking").

Though, I'm starting to veer away from the dairy. Not to get too raunchy, but your significant other will thank you ;)

Laserjet3051

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2017, 10:00:21 AM »
Our family of four really loves fresh, wild caught seafood and this alone, drives our monthly bill up significantly. We refuse to eat the cheaper farmed seafood from SE Asia, so wild caught Alaskan salmon, wild cherrystone clams, wild local calico bass, local fresh yellowtail, wild octopus, wild scallops, the occasional halibut, wild shrimp, etc.... is what we buy.

Even eating these items only once in a while will drive our bill up significantly. Yes, we do also eat cheap (wild caught) sardines, and moderately priced locally farmed mussels (we trust this one aquaculture farm), but how can we keep grocery bills down with a penchant for seafood? Without resorting to "tuna in a can?"

« Last Edit: January 02, 2017, 10:02:02 AM by Laserjet3051 »

wenchsenior

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2017, 10:06:52 AM »
Just curious, why can't you consume lot of carbs? If it's for fitness purposes, I'd highly suggest looking into carb loading. High glycemic index foods are great pre and post-workout. Bananas/medjool dates are great pre-workout, chocolate milk after. Helps move nutrients into the muscles, helps load up your glycogen stores, and helps you maintain ideal electrolyte balance to avoid cramping (look up the sliding filament theory in particular).

Also helps you save money, and carb-filled foods just taste so much more delicious.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts and albacore tuna can only go so far. Not saying it's not sustainable (it is), but losing the "carb belly", as I've heard people say is a fallacy. It's only temporary, and just has to do with your muscles holding less stored glycogen, and your body ridding itself of ketones, giving the illusion of lost body fat.

It's me, not my husband, who eats them somewhat more. I have an endocrine disorder that puts me at high risk of diabetes and also reactive hypoglyemia, so I eat very low glycemic except for specifically when I'm working out hard.  I do find it tiresome because I have little appetite and I'm underweight, and simple carbs spur my appetite, so I do sometimes incorporate them for that. But I have to be careful with it or I get sick from blood sugar swings.
Gotcha. Yeah, if it's an endocrine disorder, I wouldn't risk it.

Not sure how efficient it is, but I can eat consume a keto diet on about $65/week. With 2k kcals/day, that gets me:

6 eggs
2 cans tuna
4 tbsp peanut butter
8 oz. ham
3.5 cups broccoli
12 oz. whole milk
4 oz. cheese

Could make it much more efficient (and far less boring) than that, but I like this approach because it's relatively cheap AND it requires ZERO actual cooking (unless you consider putting a Steamfresh bag in the microwave for 5 minutes or boiling some water "cooking").

Though, I'm starting to veer away from the dairy. Not to get too raunchy, but your significant other will thank you ;)

Yes. I mostly avoid dairy also. The lactose is very hard on me.  I do ok with lactose free milk cooked into oatmeal, but otherwise I keep it minimal. Luckily, I seem to be one of the few people I know who isn't obsessed with cheese (it's fine, but I don't care that much if I don't eat it).

NeonPegasus

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2017, 12:23:45 PM »
Good lord, I can't believe these numbers. My family of 5 spends about $650-700/mo. That's shopping mostly at Aldi and Publix mainly on BOGO sales. We eat high protein, tons of veggies and fruit, pack our lunches, and pack lunches for 2 of 3 kids. I looked at our budget from '04 and we were spending around $400/mo even then. And the last year before kids, we were spending $515/mo. None of those figures include liquor or pharmacy items and cleaning is done with vinegar.

Going to a higher protein diet last summer did bump up our bill about $50-75/mo but we both feel better for it. I'd probably save some money by switching out chicken for protein powder but it's hard to get the levels we're shooting for without supplementation. For instance, when DH was working on a really tough jobsite (welding/metal fab in the sun in August in GA), he would have protein powder + greek yogurt for breakfast, a protein bar on the way to the jobsite, chicken & rice for lunch, a protein bar on the way home and meat with dinner. He had lost 9 lbs by the point I switched his diet to the high protein.

I do not think I could make a significant dent in our bill without devoting a bunch more time to food prep, at the expense of earning money for our business.

wenchsenior

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2017, 12:29:15 PM »
Our family of four really loves fresh, wild caught seafood and this alone, drives our monthly bill up significantly. We refuse to eat the cheaper farmed seafood from SE Asia, so wild caught Alaskan salmon, wild cherrystone clams, wild local calico bass, local fresh yellowtail, wild octopus, wild scallops, the occasional halibut, wild shrimp, etc.... is what we buy.

Even eating these items only once in a while will drive our bill up significantly. Yes, we do also eat cheap (wild caught) sardines, and moderately priced locally farmed mussels (we trust this one aquaculture farm), but how can we keep grocery bills down with a penchant for seafood? Without resorting to "tuna in a can?"

I relate... of our 950$, about 80-100$ per month is wild, sustainably harvested seafood.


mm1970

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2017, 10:04:39 AM »
Just to give you background on our caloric requirements and situation. I'm in my late 20s and I exercise a lot. My wife is mid 20s, exercises and is breast feeding our son. We live in Alaska, so groceries are approximately 10% more expensive. We cook all our own meals and rarely eat processed stuff.

We spend $425/month on groceries ($350/month about if you lived in the lower 48 states)

Are we on the wall of shame or doing ok?

You're good.

We spend $560/month for four (kids are 10 and 4), so that's sort of like 3 people.  I live in California, and prices are higher here even though we grow the stuff.  Plus, we eat a lot of produce.  I probably eat 2 pounds a day myself.
Last year I was super hard core and got it down to $475/month.

I've said it before, but the amount that you can decrease your grocery depends on:
1.  What you eat (vegan/ low-carb/ paleo/ local/ organic/ gluten-free, etc.)  This has a HUGE effect.
2.  Where you live (prices are higher in some locales)
3.  How much you can "do it yourself" (do you garden or hunt)
4.  How much prep you can do. (Cooking dried beans, making your own yogurt, chopping your own veggies)
5.  How many grocery stores there are (competition)

You are between thrifty and low-cost:
https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CostofFoodNov2016.pdf
« Last Edit: January 03, 2017, 10:11:47 AM by mm1970 »

Heroes821

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2017, 11:30:21 AM »
Good lord, I can't believe these numbers. My family of 5 spends about $650-700/mo. That's shopping mostly at Aldi and Publix mainly on BOGO sales. We eat high protein, tons of veggies and fruit, pack our lunches, and pack lunches for 2 of 3 kids. I looked at our budget from '04 and we were spending around $400/mo even then. And the last year before kids, we were spending $515/mo. None of those figures include liquor or pharmacy items and cleaning is done with vinegar.

Going to a higher protein diet last summer did bump up our bill about $50-75/mo but we both feel better for it. I'd probably save some money by switching out chicken for protein powder but it's hard to get the levels we're shooting for without supplementation. For instance, when DH was working on a really tough jobsite (welding/metal fab in the sun in August in GA), he would have protein powder + greek yogurt for breakfast, a protein bar on the way to the jobsite, chicken & rice for lunch, a protein bar on the way home and meat with dinner. He had lost 9 lbs by the point I switched his diet to the high protein.

I do not think I could make a significant dent in our bill without devoting a bunch more time to food prep, at the expense of earning money for our business.

Well that is good to know. We just started a budget for a family of 4.5 (2 kids, 1 pregnant woman) and the wife is confident a budget of $200 a month is plenty. Obviously we can adjust if we need to, but GA is very close to SC so I was hoping to find numbers close to ours.  Guess we'll find out after a few months of shopping here. We just moved from San Antonio so much cheaper COL down here.

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2017, 12:16:58 PM »
Family of 3, son is 12... our budget for groceries and consumables is at $300 per month. Some months its a little more, some it is a little less. We by no means starve our bodies of nutrition, we buy almost 0 processed foods and only eat out maybe 1 time per month. Which is about all I can handle honestly, our food usually taste a lot better and doesn't give me gas.

Some of our staples include: bread(frozen ready to bake dough), tortillas, dry beans(bulk), lentils(bulk), oatmeal
(bulk), rice(bulk), chicken (purchased in bulk on sale then frozen), Pork (also in bulk when on sale then frozen), coffee (in bulk on sale), creamer (in bulk on sale), dehydrated or frozen spices from our garden, winter squash(again purchased in bulk on sale), potatoes, broccoli, carrots, onions, apples(sometimes wild picked by us), bananas, garlic, dehydrated mushrooms(wild picked by us)....

We have a large amount of food in storage, but it allows us to save our money when food is expensive and take advantage of food when it is on sale.

My normal daily food consumption looks something like this(doesn't change much day to day): oatmeal(bulk plain oats then I add apple sauce, walnuts, and cinnamon) and fruit smoothie(half a banana, frozen berries, yogurt, cranberry juice and ginger) for breakfast. Banana bread and an apple at around 10am. Left overs for lunch (today it was homemade chicken noodle soup). Sandwich at around 3pm. Dinner at around 6pm, could be anything, but always home cooked from scratch. I pretty much only drink water and coffee (that I bring from home in a thermos) at work.

TexasRunner

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2017, 12:45:36 PM »
Family of 5, Me (26), wife (26), Daughter (6), Son 1 (3) and Son 2 (Newbie). 

We average 429$ per month including household supplies (mostly TP, paper towels, laundry soap and cleaning supplies).
We could be better (by A LOT). 

#1 way to lower your bill-  quit buying premade items (in any way, shape or form).  If it is something you want to have, learn to make it yourself from scratch.  If you whine about not having enough free time, I will give you a facepunch.

Example:  José Olé Appetizers (taquitos). They cost 4.25$ for a box of 15 with a net weight of 18oz (1.125 lbs).
20 tortillas cost me 1.30$ for 34 oz (2.125 lbs)
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cost 1.99$ for 16 oz (1.00 lbs)
Cheese cost 5.99$ for 32 oz (2.00 lbs)
(Assuming) Spices cost .25 cents for the whole meal

The premade, fried and frozen taquitos cost 3.77$ per pound
From scratch cost 1.85$ per pound.

You can extrapolate this same general principle across all pre-made food.  It will cost you at least twice as much for the same meal if someone else makes if for you.  People easily recognize this with restaurants, they rarely realize it with factory made whatever bites, and they buy them because the kids want them and its easiest after you get off work.  Lets be honest, its laziness, and complaining about a 1000$ food bill is BS if you buy anything that didn't breath at some point in its life.

Metric Mouse

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #28 on: January 04, 2017, 07:19:01 AM »
Family of 5, Me (26), wife (26), Daughter (6), Son 1 (3) and Son 2 (Newbie). 

We average 429$ per month including household supplies (mostly TP, paper towels, laundry soap and cleaning supplies).
We could be better (by A LOT). 

#1 way to lower your bill-  quit buying premade items (in any way, shape or form).  If it is something you want to have, learn to make it yourself from scratch.  If you whine about not having enough free time, I will give you a facepunch.

Example:  José Olé Appetizers (taquitos). They cost 4.25$ for a box of 15 with a net weight of 18oz (1.125 lbs).
20 tortillas cost me 1.30$ for 34 oz (2.125 lbs)
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cost 1.99$ for 16 oz (1.00 lbs)
Cheese cost 5.99$ for 32 oz (2.00 lbs)
(Assuming) Spices cost .25 cents for the whole meal

The premade, fried and frozen taquitos cost 3.77$ per pound
From scratch cost 1.85$ per pound.

You can extrapolate this same general principle across all pre-made food.  It will cost you at least twice as much for the same meal if someone else makes if for you.  People easily recognize this with restaurants, they rarely realize it with factory made whatever bites, and they buy them because the kids want them and its easiest after you get off work.  Lets be honest, its laziness, and complaining about a 1000$ food bill is BS if you buy anything that didn't breath at some point in its life.

I ran the numbers one time a few years ago: I did find that at my local (at the time) store, I could get a giant pan of pre-made, frozen lasagna for less than I could buy all of the ingredients.

I suppose not making noodles and sauce from scratch was what was holding me back, and I don't know weights, but the 9X9 pan was the same size. Really solidified the cost of a meal for me, and was one of the beginning events in cutting my food costs drastically.

boarder42

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2017, 07:32:15 AM »
including booze spend last year we were around 500 a month... and around 200 of that is likely booze.

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2017, 09:43:19 AM »
including booze spend last year we were around 500 a month... and around 200 of that is likely booze.

Yes, my beer bill is pretty high. Cutting way back on the beer will be an important part of any retiring I do.

economista

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #31 on: January 04, 2017, 02:15:57 PM »
We spend around $300 per month for groceries and we eat mostly unprocessed, healthy foods.  We also eat a very high protein diet and tons of calories since we are both high level athletes (SO is an olympic athlete currently training full time in his sport).  We each eat between 2000 and 3000 calories per day depending on whether its a 2-practice day or not. But, we live in Colorado so food prices aren't as bad as Alaska.

You're telling me that your SO, a male training full time in his sport at an olympic level, is only eating 2000-3000 calories a day? I find that to be very low. I'm eating 2800-3200/day as my resting metabolic rate (I'm 6'6" and 220lbs), and as much as 4000 calories daily when following a rather intense workout schedule...

My wife and I spend between $280-$325/mo depending on our desire for ice cream and other foods we don't need. We live just north of Seattle, WA. We're on the low end compared to most people.

Yeah.  I'm around 2000 - 2500 calories and he stays closer to 3000, but there are days when I eat more than he does.  Part of his problem is that his practices are so hard in the evenings that he can't really eat dinner.  He can't keep down much more than a bowl of cereal for dinner.  He also has to stay within a certain weight class, so he has to be really careful to not gain weight.

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #32 on: January 04, 2017, 05:17:55 PM »
Yes, my beer bill is pretty high. Cutting way back on the beer will be an important part of any retiring I do.

Lol Drinking MORE beer will be an important part of any retiring I do :p

Cowardly Toaster

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #33 on: January 04, 2017, 05:52:01 PM »
Yes, my beer bill is pretty high. Cutting way back on the beer will be an important part of any retiring I do.

Lol Drinking MORE beer will be an important part of any retiring I do :p

LOL well ironically I think I would need less beer drinking/unwinding if I wasn't working this job. Not say I drink a lot, just much more than MMM's prescribed 3 drinks a week.

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #34 on: January 04, 2017, 09:35:49 PM »
I just ran my numbers from last year: $290 per month, for a single female. Eek. I used to do $216 per month ($50/wk) when I was a uni student in a city, but groceries are definitely more expensive in my rural area. And not fresh. I haven't been able to buy fresh green beans since... forever. Sad.

My $290/month includes food, cleaning supplies, toiletries, and some underwear.

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #35 on: January 05, 2017, 07:31:55 AM »
Yes, my beer bill is pretty high. Cutting way back on the beer will be an important part of any retiring I do.

Lol Drinking MORE beer will be an important part of any retiring I do :p

LOL well ironically I think I would need less beer drinking/unwinding if I wasn't working this job. Not say I drink a lot, just much more than MMM's prescribed 3 drinks a week.

But sometimes a beer or two is just so nice in the sun, best enjoyed while kicking back on the deck playing guitar. Who cares that it's 9 in the morning?

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #36 on: January 05, 2017, 10:45:53 AM »
Yes, my beer bill is pretty high. Cutting way back on the beer will be an important part of any retiring I do.

Lol Drinking MORE beer will be an important part of any retiring I do :p

LOL well ironically I think I would need less beer drinking/unwinding if I wasn't working this job. Not say I drink a lot, just much more than MMM's prescribed 3 drinks a week.

But sometimes a beer or two is just so nice in the sun, best enjoyed while kicking back on the deck playing guitar. Who cares that it's 9 in the morning?

Exactly my thoughts : )

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oldmannickels

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #38 on: January 05, 2017, 12:17:46 PM »
Some FDA study numbers. I feel like most people here would be below Thrifty.

https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CostofFoodNov2016.pdf

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #39 on: January 05, 2017, 01:23:03 PM »
Here are our monthly numbers from last year (family of 2 - myself + wife):

Groceries: $170

We shop mostly at Aldi with trips to the local Asian store as well as other grocery stores.  We almost *ALWAYS* buy what's currently for sale in the weekly circulars and price-match at Wal-Mart if we can't make it to whatever store has the best price.  I track all prices in Google keep to try to only buy food that's at its "Cheapest" price.

However, to make the situation a little more realistic, here are other monthly amounts that we spend on "food" in conjunction with the grocery budget:
Restaurants: $110
Travel food: $91

So, that equals out to about $371 a month spent to feed us (slightly above thrifty).  The Travel food of course are all splurges and only when we're out of town, so without that category we're at $280 a month (well below thrifty standards).  This of course is for 2 pretty petite adults that do love to eat.

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #40 on: January 05, 2017, 01:52:19 PM »
We spend around $300 per month for groceries and we eat mostly unprocessed, healthy foods.  We also eat a very high protein diet and tons of calories since we are both high level athletes (SO is an olympic athlete currently training full time in his sport).  We each eat between 2000 and 3000 calories per day depending on whether its a 2-practice day or not. But, we live in Colorado so food prices aren't as bad as Alaska.
You're telling me that your SO, a male training full time in his sport at an olympic level, is only eating 2000-3000 calories a day? I find that to be very low. I'm eating 2800-3200/day as my resting metabolic rate (I'm 6'6" and 220lbs), and as much as 4000 calories daily when following a rather intense workout schedule...

Yeah.  I'm around 2000 - 2500 calories and he stays closer to 3000, but there are days when I eat more than he does.  Part of his problem is that his practices are so hard in the evenings that he can't really eat dinner.  He can't keep down much more than a bowl of cereal for dinner.  He also has to stay within a certain weight class, so he has to be really careful to not gain weight.

I'm impressed. I hope his dedication lands him a medal!

brian313313

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #41 on: January 06, 2017, 05:46:48 AM »
My wife & I are also in the $1000/month range for groceries, pet food, & supplies(TP/Paper towels, etc). Anything that comes from the grocery store. This is our single largest bill and has been our Achilles heel so to speak. I also have metabolic issues similar to a previous poster so I don't have a lot of choice in some foods. I pretty much eat all natural and home-made so that is covered. The pet can't account for $100/month but the supplies may. Our goal is to get under $2000/month for all necessary bills. We're not counting optional things like car depreciation or hobbies in there. They can go when we retire. We're just trying to get a retirement budget so we can retire. Not that we necessarily will. It seems groceries should be at least under $600/month for us. It blows our mind every month that even when we're struggling to keep the cost down they come in around $950. We were $1100 two years ago before we came across this website and started living this way. Other things we were able to knock down quite a bit but groceries has been what we just can't get down.

boarder42

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #42 on: January 06, 2017, 06:37:19 AM »
My wife & I are also in the $1000/month range for groceries, pet food, & supplies(TP/Paper towels, etc). Anything that comes from the grocery store. This is our single largest bill and has been our Achilles heel so to speak. I also have metabolic issues similar to a previous poster so I don't have a lot of choice in some foods. I pretty much eat all natural and home-made so that is covered. The pet can't account for $100/month but the supplies may. Our goal is to get under $2000/month for all necessary bills. We're not counting optional things like car depreciation or hobbies in there. They can go when we retire. We're just trying to get a retirement budget so we can retire. Not that we necessarily will. It seems groceries should be at least under $600/month for us. It blows our mind every month that even when we're struggling to keep the cost down they come in around $950. We were $1100 two years ago before we came across this website and started living this way. Other things we were able to knock down quite a bit but groceries has been what we just can't get down.

its how and where you shop and what you buy.  paper goods can be found on amazon using slickdeals alerts shipped to your door same with dog supplies.  as far as food only buy whats on sale if there is a special on something that can be frozen buy a lot of it. how 2 humans can consume 1k worth of food and paper products a month is beyond me.  if there is an aldi or other discount chain near you shop there. or use their ads to price match with walmart. i've never understood food budgets that high .. including booze and 2 large dogs and paper products we come in around 600 ... our dogs weigh 160 and 95 lbs each. 

just our food is closer to 300 ... booze is a big one at 200(which will be 0 for the next 9 months) ... and then the dogs are arond 70 and they eat taste of the wild dog food.  paper products are sub 30.

wenchsenior

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #43 on: January 06, 2017, 08:07:23 AM »
My wife & I are also in the $1000/month range for groceries, pet food, & supplies(TP/Paper towels, etc). Anything that comes from the grocery store. This is our single largest bill and has been our Achilles heel so to speak. I also have metabolic issues similar to a previous poster so I don't have a lot of choice in some foods. I pretty much eat all natural and home-made so that is covered. The pet can't account for $100/month but the supplies may. Our goal is to get under $2000/month for all necessary bills. We're not counting optional things like car depreciation or hobbies in there. They can go when we retire. We're just trying to get a retirement budget so we can retire. Not that we necessarily will. It seems groceries should be at least under $600/month for us. It blows our mind every month that even when we're struggling to keep the cost down they come in around $950. We were $1100 two years ago before we came across this website and started living this way. Other things we were able to knock down quite a bit but groceries has been what we just can't get down.

Well, that's exactly our progress in the past year as well. At least it is an extra 1800 on hand every month, so it is SOME progress, right? 

For us...I think it just isn't worth it to make much more effort except on the front of preparing more lunches for my husband (will likely drop the bill another 150-200$) and going vegetarian for dinner a few times per week (again, doable but not easy given diet restrictions I have). 

I came to this decision after being, like you, baffled at our bills. It helped me to actually start looking at our receipts every time, and to keep a price book for one year. It clarified that there really are not that many places we are willing to cut in terms of actual FOOD.  We don't have a discount grocery store here. We do have a Sam's Club and a Walmart (definitely cheapest), but I find them so unpleasant to visit that I've stopped bothering to force myself. Life is too short to make repeated visits to places that make my skin crawl.  Instead, I try to default to Target (second cheapest) for a lot of things.  We discovered salmon and seafood were accounting for about 100$/month, and pets about 100$...and we aren't going to change those bills much.  We did try buying some cheaper, fattier meat last year on sale (pork shoulder, etc) for stewing, which is fine occasionally. But it's not exactly the healthiest and we don't particularly like fatty meat anyway. We eat very little red meat (maybe once or twice per month) and it's grass-fed, so no cutting costs much there.  We eat sausage occasionally, but we buy the organic nitrate free, so no cutting costs much there either. Now I just try to watch for sales on chicken breasts, etc. And luckily DH got a couple deer this year, and supplements us with the occasional rabbit, so that will drop our meat bill some.

My point is, toiletries and paper products definitely are cheaper at Target, as are pet supplies, salmon, and the few processed foods we buy. We are in the process of reducing dairy, which will cut costs a wee bit (but we didn't eat a ton to begin with). So we made the change of shopping more at Target. But there just isn't much more room to cut our bill without changing what we eat, which we either can't or really don't want to do.  You might go over the bill with these priorities in mind, and figure out how much effort you want to put in so you can stop beating yourself up over it.

skinnyindy

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #44 on: January 06, 2017, 08:27:29 AM »
If you take a look at those usda charts, there is another set just for Alaska and Hawaii.  Their food costs can be double what the rest of the U.S. spends.  It looks like the Alaskan costs would be the highest/extravagant costs of the continental US chart. 

brian313313

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #45 on: January 06, 2017, 08:55:03 AM »

Well, that's exactly our progress in the past year as well. At least it is an extra 1800 on hand every month, so it is SOME progress, right? 

For us...I think it just isn't worth it to make much more effort except on the front of preparing more lunches for my husband (will likely drop the bill another 150-200$) and going vegetarian for dinner a few times per week (again, doable but not easy given diet restrictions I have). 

I came to this decision after being, like you, baffled at our bills. It helped me to actually start looking at our receipts every time, and to keep a price book for one year. It clarified that there really are not that many places we are willing to cut in terms of actual FOOD.  We don't have a discount grocery store here. We do have a Sam's Club and a Walmart (definitely cheapest), but I find them so unpleasant to visit that I've stopped bothering to force myself. Life is too short to make repeated visits to places that make my skin crawl.  Instead, I try to default to Target (second cheapest) for a lot of things.  We discovered salmon and seafood were accounting for about 100$/month, and pets about 100$...and we aren't going to change those bills much.  We did try buying some cheaper, fattier meat last year on sale (pork shoulder, etc) for stewing, which is fine occasionally. But it's not exactly the healthiest and we don't particularly like fatty meat anyway. We eat very little red meat (maybe once or twice per month) and it's grass-fed, so no cutting costs much there.  We eat sausage occasionally, but we buy the organic nitrate free, so no cutting costs much there either. Now I just try to watch for sales on chicken breasts, etc. And luckily DH got a couple deer this year, and supplements us with the occasional rabbit, so that will drop our meat bill some.

My point is, toiletries and paper products definitely are cheaper at Target, as are pet supplies, salmon, and the few processed foods we buy. We are in the process of reducing dairy, which will cut costs a wee bit (but we didn't eat a ton to begin with). So we made the change of shopping more at Target. But there just isn't much more room to cut our bill without changing what we eat, which we either can't or really don't want to do.  You might go over the bill with these priorities in mind, and figure out how much effort you want to put in so you can stop beating yourself up over it.

We have a very similar story. We cut about $800/month initially but we may have had lower bills to start. That took us from $3500/mo to $2700. Now with only one car and a downsized home we expect to lower some more. We moved two months ago but haven't been tracking because those months are blown out from all sorts of remodeling expenses. Our car insurance actually went up by $1.10 every six months because of losing the multi-car discount lol. It won't be $700 though. We'd have to be negative utilities for that.

We have Target, WalMart & CostCo. CostCo isn't worth the membership because we could only buy meat. The veggies are too much quantity and they would spoil. WalMart is a little further than Target & my wife doesn't want to walk the extra distance. Target is not cheap here though. We're in the near-suburbs of Atlanta. The cost of living is higher here and Target is in a premium location. We also have Publix but they're 1.5 miles & that's a long way to walk. She can still use our car though when I'm home.

I'm interested to see how our itemization goes. I'm guessing supplies is a few hundred of that but we'll see. Nuts & peanut butter too. That replaces a lot of meat for snacks but is more expensive than meat. I still don't want to compromise our health though so they will probably stay.


We were also vegetarian for about two years but did not find there to be a price difference. The cost per calorie may be higher for veggies and I'm a runner so eat a lot of calories. I really went back to eating meat though because of the convenience and still eat plant-based so meat is the side-item. Some of it may be more waste too. Meat freezes but not all vegetables will.

boarder42

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #46 on: January 06, 2017, 09:01:52 AM »

Well, that's exactly our progress in the past year as well. At least it is an extra 1800 on hand every month, so it is SOME progress, right? 

For us...I think it just isn't worth it to make much more effort except on the front of preparing more lunches for my husband (will likely drop the bill another 150-200$) and going vegetarian for dinner a few times per week (again, doable but not easy given diet restrictions I have). 

I came to this decision after being, like you, baffled at our bills. It helped me to actually start looking at our receipts every time, and to keep a price book for one year. It clarified that there really are not that many places we are willing to cut in terms of actual FOOD.  We don't have a discount grocery store here. We do have a Sam's Club and a Walmart (definitely cheapest), but I find them so unpleasant to visit that I've stopped bothering to force myself. Life is too short to make repeated visits to places that make my skin crawl.  Instead, I try to default to Target (second cheapest) for a lot of things.  We discovered salmon and seafood were accounting for about 100$/month, and pets about 100$...and we aren't going to change those bills much.  We did try buying some cheaper, fattier meat last year on sale (pork shoulder, etc) for stewing, which is fine occasionally. But it's not exactly the healthiest and we don't particularly like fatty meat anyway. We eat very little red meat (maybe once or twice per month) and it's grass-fed, so no cutting costs much there.  We eat sausage occasionally, but we buy the organic nitrate free, so no cutting costs much there either. Now I just try to watch for sales on chicken breasts, etc. And luckily DH got a couple deer this year, and supplements us with the occasional rabbit, so that will drop our meat bill some.

My point is, toiletries and paper products definitely are cheaper at Target, as are pet supplies, salmon, and the few processed foods we buy. We are in the process of reducing dairy, which will cut costs a wee bit (but we didn't eat a ton to begin with). So we made the change of shopping more at Target. But there just isn't much more room to cut our bill without changing what we eat, which we either can't or really don't want to do.  You might go over the bill with these priorities in mind, and figure out how much effort you want to put in so you can stop beating yourself up over it.

We have a very similar story. We cut about $800/month initially but we may have had lower bills to start. That took us from $3500/mo to $2700. Now with only one car and a downsized home we expect to lower some more. We moved two months ago but haven't been tracking because those months are blown out from all sorts of remodeling expenses. Our car insurance actually went up by $1.10 every six months because of losing the multi-car discount lol. It won't be $700 though. We'd have to be negative utilities for that.

We have Target, WalMart & CostCo. CostCo isn't worth the membership because we could only buy meat. The veggies are too much quantity and they would spoil. WalMart is a little further than Target & my wife doesn't want to walk the extra distance. Target is not cheap here though. We're in the near-suburbs of Atlanta. The cost of living is higher here and Target is in a premium location. We also have Publix but they're 1.5 miles & that's a long way to walk. She can still use our car though when I'm home.

I'm interested to see how our itemization goes. I'm guessing supplies is a few hundred of that but we'll see. Nuts & peanut butter too. That replaces a lot of meat for snacks but is more expensive than meat. I still don't want to compromise our health though so they will probably stay.


We were also vegetarian for about two years but did not find there to be a price difference. The cost per calorie may be higher for veggies and I'm a runner so eat a lot of calories. I really went back to eating meat though because of the convenience and still eat plant-based so meat is the side-item. Some of it may be more waste too. Meat freezes but not all vegetables will.

you have a walmart who price matches are there any other grocery stores in the area.  all you need is their online ads.  and since its working time now and you're responding on here that would give you ample time to look thru them and then use walmart to PM the other stores.

misery loves company and so do excuses about why its hard ... its not hard it just takes a cognitive effort to do it.

Metric Mouse

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #47 on: January 06, 2017, 09:04:25 AM »
My wife & I are also in the $1000/month range for groceries, pet food, & supplies(TP/Paper towels, etc). Anything that comes from the grocery store. This is our single largest bill and has been our Achilles heel so to speak. I also have metabolic issues similar to a previous poster so I don't have a lot of choice in some foods. I pretty much eat all natural and home-made so that is covered. The pet can't account for $100/month but the supplies may. Our goal is to get under $2000/month for all necessary bills. We're not counting optional things like car depreciation or hobbies in there. They can go when we retire. We're just trying to get a retirement budget so we can retire. Not that we necessarily will. It seems groceries should be at least under $600/month for us. It blows our mind every month that even when we're struggling to keep the cost down they come in around $950. We were $1100 two years ago before we came across this website and started living this way. Other things we were able to knock down quite a bit but groceries has been what we just can't get down.

its how and where you shop and what you buy.  paper goods can be found on amazon using slickdeals alerts shipped to your door same with dog supplies.  as far as food only buy whats on sale if there is a special on something that can be frozen buy a lot of it. how 2 humans can consume 1k worth of food and paper products a month is beyond me.  if there is an aldi or other discount chain near you shop there. or use their ads to price match with walmart. i've never understood food budgets that high .. including booze and 2 large dogs and paper products we come in around 600 ... our dogs weigh 160 and 95 lbs each. 

just our food is closer to 300 ... booze is a big one at 200(which will be 0 for the next 9 months) ... and then the dogs are arond 70 and they eat taste of the wild dog food.  paper products are sub 30.

It would not be easy to comsume $1000 worth of food a month, but i could try. My house hold eats pretty raw, and all of our meat falls well within the grass fed free range organic guidelines, and we spend about a 10th of that on groceries, or did last time i tracked it. There are plenty of ways to keep food costs down; most would not go through the effort though for a few hundred dollars a month.  My local food coop has been the best thing for my grocery bill.

notactiveanymore

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #48 on: January 06, 2017, 09:15:07 AM »
$425 for two highly active people with one of them breastfeeding and Alaska prices sounds very reasonable to me.

In our MCOL area with 2 adults, we spend $360/month for groceries, toiletries, cleaning supplies, and paper goods. We have $70/month for dates/restaurants and each of us has a little spending money if we want to go out to lunch, but I'd say we still eat out only 1-2 dinners a month and maybe 2-3 lunches out each a month. We also end up gifting food pretty frequently either making dinner for our church small group once a month or having friends over for dinner or bringing in snacks to the office.

If we really wanted to maximize things, I think we could get groceries/toiletries/etc down to $300, but we're debt free and are on track to save about 40% of our gross income in 2017, so $360 is just enough wiggle room for us to feel comfy but not overly luxurious.

wenchsenior

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #49 on: January 06, 2017, 10:00:02 AM »

Well, that's exactly our progress in the past year as well. At least it is an extra 1800 on hand every month, so it is SOME progress, right? 

For us...I think it just isn't worth it to make much more effort except on the front of preparing more lunches for my husband (will likely drop the bill another 150-200$) and going vegetarian for dinner a few times per week (again, doable but not easy given diet restrictions I have). 

I came to this decision after being, like you, baffled at our bills. It helped me to actually start looking at our receipts every time, and to keep a price book for one year. It clarified that there really are not that many places we are willing to cut in terms of actual FOOD.  We don't have a discount grocery store here. We do have a Sam's Club and a Walmart (definitely cheapest), but I find them so unpleasant to visit that I've stopped bothering to force myself. Life is too short to make repeated visits to places that make my skin crawl.  Instead, I try to default to Target (second cheapest) for a lot of things.  We discovered salmon and seafood were accounting for about 100$/month, and pets about 100$...and we aren't going to change those bills much.  We did try buying some cheaper, fattier meat last year on sale (pork shoulder, etc) for stewing, which is fine occasionally. But it's not exactly the healthiest and we don't particularly like fatty meat anyway. We eat very little red meat (maybe once or twice per month) and it's grass-fed, so no cutting costs much there.  We eat sausage occasionally, but we buy the organic nitrate free, so no cutting costs much there either. Now I just try to watch for sales on chicken breasts, etc. And luckily DH got a couple deer this year, and supplements us with the occasional rabbit, so that will drop our meat bill some.

My point is, toiletries and paper products definitely are cheaper at Target, as are pet supplies, salmon, and the few processed foods we buy. We are in the process of reducing dairy, which will cut costs a wee bit (but we didn't eat a ton to begin with). So we made the change of shopping more at Target. But there just isn't much more room to cut our bill without changing what we eat, which we either can't or really don't want to do.  You might go over the bill with these priorities in mind, and figure out how much effort you want to put in so you can stop beating yourself up over it.

We have a very similar story. We cut about $800/month initially but we may have had lower bills to start. That took us from $3500/mo to $2700. Now with only one car and a downsized home we expect to lower some more. We moved two months ago but haven't been tracking because those months are blown out from all sorts of remodeling expenses. Our car insurance actually went up by $1.10 every six months because of losing the multi-car discount lol. It won't be $700 though. We'd have to be negative utilities for that.

We have Target, WalMart & CostCo. CostCo isn't worth the membership because we could only buy meat. The veggies are too much quantity and they would spoil. WalMart is a little further than Target & my wife doesn't want to walk the extra distance. Target is not cheap here though. We're in the near-suburbs of Atlanta. The cost of living is higher here and Target is in a premium location. We also have Publix but they're 1.5 miles & that's a long way to walk. She can still use our car though when I'm home.

I'm interested to see how our itemization goes. I'm guessing supplies is a few hundred of that but we'll see. Nuts & peanut butter too. That replaces a lot of meat for snacks but is more expensive than meat. I still don't want to compromise our health though so they will probably stay.


We were also vegetarian for about two years but did not find there to be a price difference. The cost per calorie may be higher for veggies and I'm a runner so eat a lot of calories. I really went back to eating meat though because of the convenience and still eat plant-based so meat is the side-item. Some of it may be more waste too. Meat freezes but not all vegetables will.

you have a walmart who price matches are there any other grocery stores in the area.  all you need is their online ads.  and since its working time now and you're responding on here that would give you ample time to look thru them and then use walmart to PM the other stores.

misery loves company and so do excuses about why its hard ... its not hard it just takes a cognitive effort to do it.



No excuses whatsoever here. I know we could cut our bill another couple hundred bucks with more planning and more batch-cooking. But all mustachian efforts are a cost-benefit tradeoff, and it's usually not worth the effort for us...hell we even get pissy thinking about it and talking about it LOL and it tends to result in arguments. 

If I liked to cook (I don't), I might view it as actually enjoyable to do more batch cooking and looking for ways to cut costs. But as it is, we like to automate and think as little about food as possible.  I'm going to attempt to make the effort with reducing my husband's bought lunches, and see how that goes (see dislike of cooking LOL).  Apart from that, trade-off in cash just not worth irritation and tiresome conversations about cooking and food shopping for us.