Author Topic: How much should the grocery bill be?  (Read 12212 times)

brian313313

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #50 on: January 06, 2017, 10:39:06 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.

I agree with both of you. It's not our one cat. She hardly eats, about a bag/month of food and two bags of litter/month. That's about $20. My wife is a cleaner though and I could see $400 in paper towels/toilet paper. She doesn't think that it adds up because they are cheap but I think they do. We're going to track this month though and figure it out.

Ebrat

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #51 on: January 06, 2017, 03:04:17 PM »
I'm confused about what kinds of paper products people are spending so much money on.  We (2 people in a 1000 sq ft house) buy a pack of toilet paper from Costco about once a year and a roll of paper towels maybe every few months.  Rags instead of paper towels, cloth napkins, never use paper plates.  Am I missing something?  Or is it a house/household size thing?

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #52 on: January 06, 2017, 04:30:30 PM »
I'm confused about what kinds of paper products people are spending so much money on.  We (2 people in a 1000 sq ft house) buy a pack of toilet paper from Costco about once a year and a roll of paper towels maybe every few months.  Rags instead of paper towels, cloth napkins, never use paper plates.  Am I missing something?  Or is it a house/household size thing?

I'm with you.... toilet paper and paper towels don't make up much of our budget, and I'm not sure how it would.

notactiveanymore

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #53 on: January 07, 2017, 08:38:43 AM »
I'm confused about what kinds of paper products people are spending so much money on.  We (2 people in a 1000 sq ft house) buy a pack of toilet paper from Costco about once a year and a roll of paper towels maybe every few months.  Rags instead of paper towels, cloth napkins, never use paper plates.  Am I missing something?  Or is it a house/household size thing?

I'm with you.... toilet paper and paper towels don't make up much of our budget, and I'm not sure how it would.

Yeah, I'd say at most we could spend $15 on paper products in a month. That is if we need to get both toilet paper and paper towels in the same month. Usually we spend about $6. And we clean plenty and we don't use rags because I'm both lazy and also feel like rags are less sanitary. I cringe every time I see my husband dry something off with our kitchen hand towel which we also use for drying our hands, etc. I try and remember to change them out and wash them every time I'm doing laundry, but it still feels like just spreading germs around.

For the record, we buy name brand paper towels and store brand toilet paper. 

Metric Mouse

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #54 on: January 10, 2017, 12:21:09 AM »
I'm confused about what kinds of paper products people are spending so much money on.  We (2 people in a 1000 sq ft house) buy a pack of toilet paper from Costco about once a year and a roll of paper towels maybe every few months.  Rags instead of paper towels, cloth napkins, never use paper plates.  Am I missing something?  Or is it a house/household size thing?

I'm with you.... toilet paper and paper towels don't make up much of our budget, and I'm not sure how it would.

I'm willing to splurge on the good toilet paper.

Zikoris

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #55 on: January 10, 2017, 12:59:28 AM »
I'm confused about what kinds of paper products people are spending so much money on.  We (2 people in a 1000 sq ft house) buy a pack of toilet paper from Costco about once a year and a roll of paper towels maybe every few months.  Rags instead of paper towels, cloth napkins, never use paper plates.  Am I missing something?  Or is it a house/household size thing?

I'm with you.... toilet paper and paper towels don't make up much of our budget, and I'm not sure how it would.

Me too - last time I did detailed grocery tracking, we spent $223.41 for the month, of which $18.03 was non-food items (tp, muffin liners, dishsoap, and tissues). I don't think it's ever been more than $25/month.

Ebrat

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #56 on: January 10, 2017, 06:56:35 AM »
I'm confused about what kinds of paper products people are spending so much money on.  We (2 people in a 1000 sq ft house) buy a pack of toilet paper from Costco about once a year and a roll of paper towels maybe every few months.  Rags instead of paper towels, cloth napkins, never use paper plates.  Am I missing something?  Or is it a house/household size thing?

I'm with you.... toilet paper and paper towels don't make up much of our budget, and I'm not sure how it would.

I'm willing to splurge on the good toilet paper.

My husband was always committed to good toilet paper. I still can't believe I got him to switch to the Costco stuff!

oldtoyota

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #57 on: January 10, 2017, 07:03:46 AM »
I stopped tracking. When I did, we spent what we both thought was too much. $400 would be low for us. We often spent $600. One November when we hosted Thanksgiving, I think we spent $700.

This year, I'm aiming for zero waste so that might bring the cost down.

We did well in all other areas of spending and we're on track to FIRE, so I decided to stop worrying about it.

I eat a whole foods diet. Family sorta eats a whole foods diet. I can't eat the cheap foods (eggs, potatoes) due to diagnosed allergies, so I probably eat a bit more meat than others here.

Hopefully, our terrible spending in this area will make others feel good about their much-lower spending. I am here for a purpose. LOL. =-)

« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 07:07:20 AM by oldtoyota »

Cwadda

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #58 on: January 10, 2017, 07:17:33 AM »
Single guy here, I spend $125/month on groceries. This does not include alcohol. With alcohol included it's about $140/month.

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #59 on: January 10, 2017, 11:26:51 AM »
THIS
I'm willing to splurge on the good toilet paper.

....is probably the funniest thing I've read all day! : )

Its funny that we are even having this discussion about trying to save pennies on toilet paper, of all things.... Only on MMM : )

Cowardly Toaster

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #60 on: January 10, 2017, 12:41:02 PM »
So what is everyone expense strategies for paper towels? I just buy the bulk Brawny brand at Costco and try to be very conservative with using them. Not sure how much we spend on those.

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #61 on: January 10, 2017, 02:23:29 PM »
So what is everyone expense strategies for paper towels? I just buy the bulk Brawny brand at Costco and try to be very conservative with using them. Not sure how much we spend on those.

We cut the whole role in half to make it last twice as long, most of the time we only need half a towel anyway.

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #62 on: January 10, 2017, 02:24:35 PM »
So what is everyone expense strategies for paper towels? I just buy the bulk Brawny brand at Costco and try to be very conservative with using them. Not sure how much we spend on those.

We cut the whole role in half to make it last twice as long, most of the time we only need half a towel anyway.

Smart! I love it

FIer_Fox

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #63 on: January 10, 2017, 02:55:59 PM »
I'm confused about what kinds of paper products people are spending so much money on.  We (2 people in a 1000 sq ft house) buy a pack of toilet paper from Costco about once a year and a roll of paper towels maybe every few months.  Rags instead of paper towels, cloth napkins, never use paper plates.  Am I missing something?  Or is it a house/household size thing?

Wow! We must be literally flushing our money down the toilet. We also buy our tp at Costco, but we (3 adults, 1 child) end up buying a pack every other month. I'd love to get this cost down but I don't know how well a family meeting on "let's use less tp" would go over. Thoughts?

westcoastarlo

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #64 on: January 10, 2017, 10:32:38 PM »
We eat pretty well with a budget of $650 can.

seattlecyclone

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #65 on: January 10, 2017, 11:08:30 PM »
So what is everyone expense strategies for paper towels? I just buy the bulk Brawny brand at Costco and try to be very conservative with using them. Not sure how much we spend on those.

We don't buy them. We have a pile of rags (old towels and pieces of old clothes) that we don't care at all about getting stained, and use them to clean up messes. Washing them isn't completely free, but they go in with the laundry we were cleaning anyway and they make up a fraction of the total laundry volume so it's essentially free.

Metric Mouse

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #66 on: January 10, 2017, 11:46:00 PM »
So what is everyone expense strategies for paper towels? I just buy the bulk Brawny brand at Costco and try to be very conservative with using them. Not sure how much we spend on those.

Pretty much this. Paper towels do not make up enough of my budget to spend time considering how to use them more efficiently than I already do.

Ebrat

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #67 on: January 11, 2017, 06:30:11 AM »
I'm confused about what kinds of paper products people are spending so much money on.  We (2 people in a 1000 sq ft house) buy a pack of toilet paper from Costco about once a year and a roll of paper towels maybe every few months.  Rags instead of paper towels, cloth napkins, never use paper plates.  Am I missing something?  Or is it a house/household size thing?

Wow! We must be literally flushing our money down the toilet. We also buy our tp at Costco, but we (3 adults, 1 child) end up buying a pack every other month. I'd love to get this cost down but I don't know how well a family meeting on "let's use less tp" would go over. Thoughts?

Ha! Well, you do have more people (and it seems like kids would be tp wasters).  I honestly don't know--maybe we poop at work a lot?

caracarn

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #68 on: January 11, 2017, 06:54:06 AM »
We spend between $700-$1,000/month on groceries for seven of us.  Most of our shopping is at Sam's Club in bulk.  Also use an Instant Pot like crazy to just make plain meat or potatoes and then let everyone dress them up the way they want.  With seven people it is hard to make say, chicken parmigiana and then have everyone enjoy, as several do not like red sauce, but prefer white or butter or plain and just some cheese.  Baked potatoes are always a hit as people can place meat, cheese, BBQ sauce, butter, sour cream or whatever on them. 

caracarn

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #69 on: January 11, 2017, 06:58:11 AM »
I'm confused about what kinds of paper products people are spending so much money on.  We (2 people in a 1000 sq ft house) buy a pack of toilet paper from Costco about once a year and a roll of paper towels maybe every few months.  Rags instead of paper towels, cloth napkins, never use paper plates.  Am I missing something?  Or is it a house/household size thing?

Wow! We must be literally flushing our money down the toilet. We also buy our tp at Costco, but we (3 adults, 1 child) end up buying a pack every other month. I'd love to get this cost down but I don't know how well a family meeting on "let's use less tp" would go over. Thoughts?

We are a family of seven at home currently (was eight, one off in college) and we easily go through a full Sam's pack each month if not more often.  Four teenage girls plus my wife.  You get into that monthly time and TP is going fast.  Not a whole lot you can do about it unless you want to create all kinds of problems and mess.

ETA:  These are the things about MMM that if I discuss with my wife just turn into HUGE arguments.  In the end, we might spend $300/year on toilet paper and maybe another $100 on paper towels.  In the grand scheme of things the opportunity for savings is minimal without a gigantic argument.  Honestly having been through one divorce, the cost of that would significantly outweigh arguing over howto minimize TP and paper towel expense to FIRE one day faster.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2017, 07:04:18 AM by caracarn »

Jakejake

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #70 on: January 11, 2017, 09:18:58 AM »
Wow! We must be literally flushing our money down the toilet. We also buy our tp at Costco, but we (3 adults, 1 child) end up buying a pack every other month. I'd love to get this cost down but I don't know how well a family meeting on "let's use less tp" would go over. Thoughts?
Pfft. As a woman in my 50s who's ...

**** hold on - bathroom break ****

... had a kid, I can assure you, our hou ...

**** wait, be right back ***

sehold uses considerably more than one costco pack of toilet paper per year.

About a year ago I bought about 2 dozen washclothes on sale (actually free because of how a store credit deal worked) and we keep them in a bin on our kitchen counter. We use those as napkins with dinner and for wiping down counters instead of paper towels. We have the elegant system of hurling them around the corner to the laundry room floor, and then on laundry day they get washed with our towels.  We still use paper towels for cleaning bathrooms, maybe not necessary but I just don't like the idea of wiping my mouth with something I used to clean the toilet last week. Even though it can be laundered and I'm sure I'm being stupid about it, I just don't like it.

sixkids

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #71 on: January 11, 2017, 10:16:14 AM »
I just did an unscientific check of my credit card statement, and it looks like we've spent just over $1,000 in the past month on groceries for our family of 8.  That's me, my wife, 6 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old triplets, and a breastfed baby.  My wife is really good about finding deals at Costco, Aldi, and walmart, so I think that's probably a good number. 

Metric Mouse

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #72 on: January 13, 2017, 05:55:35 PM »
Wow! We must be literally flushing our money down the toilet. We also buy our tp at Costco, but we (3 adults, 1 child) end up buying a pack every other month. I'd love to get this cost down but I don't know how well a family meeting on "let's use less tp" would go over. Thoughts?
Pfft. As a woman in my 50s who's ...

**** hold on - bathroom break ****

... had a kid, I can assure you, our hou ...

**** wait, be right back ***

sehold uses considerably more than one costco pack of toilet paper per year.

About a year ago I bought about 2 dozen washclothes on sale (actually free because of how a store credit deal worked) and we keep them in a bin on our kitchen counter. We use those as napkins with dinner and for wiping down counters instead of paper towels. We have the elegant system of hurling them around the corner to the laundry room floor, and then on laundry day they get washed with our towels.  We still use paper towels for cleaning bathrooms, maybe not necessary but I just don't like the idea of wiping my mouth with something I used to clean the toilet last week. Even though it can be laundered and I'm sure I'm being stupid about it, I just don't like it.

Why not get another free set of washcloths for wiping bathrooms? This is what I do - got a special color of washcloths that are only used for cleaning. No wiping of the mouths or dishes with toilet cloths, and since the color is unique it's easy to know which pile they go in after washing. Just a suggestion.

Allie

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Re: How much should the grocery bill be?
« Reply #73 on: January 13, 2017, 07:13:49 PM »
So what is everyone expense strategies for paper towels? I just buy the bulk Brawny brand at Costco and try to be very conservative with using them. Not sure how much we spend on those.

We buy a package of white terry rags at Costco from the tool/auto section and only use paper towels for greasy stuff I don't want in the washing machine, bacon grease and paint thinner clean up and such.  So, rags every couple years and paper towels every few months.  Switch now and in a couple years when you're wiping sticky toddler fingers and cleaning up spills from dinner, you will truly appreciate the absorbancy and texture of the terry cloth.