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DanM

What's Your Monthly Grocery Bill?

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Family of Five, youngest is 9. $200 to $250 a week, not including eating out twice a week, which included pet food detergent and other cleaning supplies, ziploc bags etc., or tuition. ch

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Including wine purchases, we're averaging right about $1,250 a month (we keep track of this pretty closely, by the way). A couple of things to note: we entertain fairly often and don't go out to dinner frequently, so that probably increases our spending. Second, we're a family of 6, with a couple of teenagers, so that doesn't help. Finally, we spend a lot on fresh fruits and vegetables, which ain't cheap.

For what it's worth, 50% of our grocery spending is at the regular grocery store, 31% is spent at Whole Foods, 6% is spent at the wine shop, 6% at Costco, and the rest is at various other stores.


Dean McCord

VarmintBites

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I definitely feel that I'm paying a premium at the Union Square Greenmarket in Manhattan, and I also get a sense from shopping at other Greenmarkets around the city over the years that vendors adjust the price for the neighborhood.

When I lived in Brooklyn, it seemed that the prices at the Grand Army Plaza market were substantially less than at Union Square. An example I recall: $2 more for a pint of berries in Manhattan. The same is true here, too: the prices are definitely lower in Somerville than in Boston at Copley Plaza. At the Somerville market, it's not much more than at the regular supermarkets. It would not surprise me at all if something like that were happening in Berkeley, too.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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Theoretically 200 a month for just me, being a poor student. However, New Orleans happens to have rather ridiculous food prices - I come from California for God's sake, and I get sticker shock at the market, to say nothing of at the restaurants. I often end up having to spend a little more to make it through the week, and I can't afford to go out more then once a week at best. I'm hoping to volunteer at the farmer's market next year which may make access a little more easy (or at least imperative) - no car and therefore pretty much at the mercy of what can be reached via the streetcar from the university area.

It's been a lot easier for me to understand the problem with fresh fruit and vegetable accessibility, since becoming a student. Buying fresh fruit or nice vegetables really *is* more expensive then potato chips or ramen. Most of the other students I hang with survive on fast food and instant noodles, and I would definitely save a lot of money if I did that too, but I just can't bring myself to survive on sodium and trans-fats. (A kid I know DID get scurvy. Twice).

I often find myself dreaming of moving to Asia so I will be able to afford real food.

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Family of five (three teens) during the school year runs about $400-450/month. I do have a "sugar daddy" (my FIL) who gives me two deer per year) and shop extensively at the Asian market near my house.

Now that we are down to one teen, it's been running about $200/month.

It's summer here in MN, and a friend and I go to the farmer's market every week, and if we go close to closing time, the deals are fab.

We've also been foraging Up North in MN (think fish, but I'm not including the price of the license nor that of bait).

And, I know I went even lower this past spring when I went A week without shopping.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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We budget about $1000CAN per month for groceries, including some beer and wine (less than $100/month) diapers and about 45$ worth of medications. This seems very high for a family of two adults and one toddler compared to others here, especially considering that I only buy things on sale, that I cook almost everything from scratch and that I can rely on a fairly large garden in the summer. Maybe my doctor is right about portion control!

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We budget about $1000CAN per month for groceries, including some beer and wine (less than $100/month) diapers and about 45$ worth of medications. This seems very high for a family of two adults and one toddler compared to others here, especially considering that I only buy things on sale, that I cook almost everything from scratch and that I can rely on a fairly large garden in the summer. Maybe my doctor is right about portion control!

I think you would need to bear in mind that on the whole groceries are quite a bit more expensive in Canada! :biggrin:


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Since becoming a Carnivore, my grocery bill for my teenage son and myself is about $410.00 per month. That includes paper products and pet products. We eat two large meals per day.


Meat! It's what's for dinner!

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In the summer time, my grocery bill is huge, if you include my CSAs and my regular trips to the u-picks. I love picking berries at their peak and freezing them to make muffins or pancakes full of sunshine in the depths of winter. I do my own baking in the winter time. I don't bother in the summer time, why heat up the oven when there are so many other good breads at the Farmer's Market? I also feed my family organics, and or local but not certified. We don't drink much, but when we do it's usually very good wine. I don't include it the budget. Our daily extravagance is coffee. Locally roasted fair trade Kenya AA.

So basically, in the summer, it's about $600 a month, because I am buying two months worth of stuff, one lot to eat, one lot to freeze/preserve. I buy meat when it's on sale, and usually it's a chicken or a pork tenderloin, something out of which I can get more than one or two meals. Organic beef I get from a neighbor when we want it, but we don't eat a lot of red meat.

I have a cold store for apples, onions, potatoes, etc.

In the winter, my food bill drops dramatically, because I'm only doing fresh dairy and cleaning stuff, leafy greens and bananas. Also, our local Wegman's has a good weirdo fruit section, stuff I've never heard of, and things we enjoy trying, but not enough to break the budget.

Now, if you want to include feed, hay, effort and property taxes on what it's costing me to produce organic lamb.....hahahahaha. You know how you make a million dollars as a farmer? You start with two million.


Edited by pax (log)

“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”

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$150 per month for groceries. That includes regular trips to Union Square Greenmarket. I'm cooking for one so budgeting is easy. This month will be higher than normal because I want to can some tomatoes and with late blight hitting most farms in the Northeast, they're going to be expensive.

I'm not including what I spend for lunch during the week. That's another $100.

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I think you would need to bear in mind that on the whole groceries are quite a bit more expensive in Canada! :biggrin:

True... I never realized just how much different the prices are down there until I recently visited the US. Seriously, we're paying like 50%-75% more, at least here (Calgary).

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We budget about $1000CAN per month for groceries, including some beer and wine (less than $100/month) diapers and about 45$ worth of medications. This seems very high for a family of two adults and one toddler compared to others here, especially considering that I only buy things on sale, that I cook almost everything from scratch and that I can rely on a fairly large garden in the summer. Maybe my doctor is right about portion control!

The budget figure you indicate is not out of line for a family of 3. Families with children tend to have larger amounts of laundry, and so cleaning products can take a huge chunk out of the grocery budget. As well, families with young children likely prepare most meals at home, including lunch for work, which affects the bottom line. When I was working full time, I spent less on groceries, and more on lunches out. Now that I work part time from home, I spend more on groceries; partly for at-home lunches, and partly because I shop in the specialty shops within walking distance of my home. But I am saving $100 a month on gas :)

Hard to pinpoint the actual amount, as we each do some food shopping, but I think we are $400/month for a 2-adult household, living in the city core. Plus another $100 for wine & spirits, plus about $400/month on meals out. About 25% of my food, meal and liquor expenses can be considered business expenses, as I do research for my clients.


Karen Dar Woon

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I live in Kansas and i am trying to get buy groceries for our household for about 100-120$/weeks. "US" means my husband and i , our 2 daughters, 2 dogs and a cat. Those $100 need to hold for food as well as cleaning items. If i needs some good cheese, e.g. I have to order it and it does not calculate on the grocery budget.

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Location, location, location. One of the things I remember being a student at Cornell in the late 1980s was that the Ithaca farmer's market had not only better and more varied produce than the supermarkets and even the Greenstar Co-op, but it was also less expensive. The farmers there at the time were generally really local--within a 90 minute drive at the most, I'd suspect.

David,

Love to have had you come for a visit recently. You would have seen some eye-popping prices, $4/lb green beans, teeny bunches of cilantro at $2, incredibly expensive stuff all round at the Ithaca Farmers Market!! However, it helps local artisanal growers survive, and the market prices are what the clientele are willing to pay out. The Farmers Market has become an enormously successful tourist attraction and a carnival-like affair with many cooking booths etc. Were you to come mid-to late August,there is a great bargain on PA peaches by the 1/2-1 bushel, not at the farmers market, but a little distance away [though you might as well go to PA!! Now, towards late September, we are getting to apple & grape harvest. Were you to come some weekday, I could take you to visit the apple & grape collection at Geneva, say on a Friday. Saturday is the crazy busy day at the Ithaca farmers market!!

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I feed a teenage son and myself and keep records of my expenses.

I am a Carnivore, and I buy some fruits (in season) for my son.

Our monthly grocery bills is $400/mo and that includes no alcohol, no pet products, no cigarettes.

That is beef, paper products, some fruit, some dairy.

We don't eat out for obvious reasons...

and we never order take out.

That is bare bones pure unadulterated food.

No box products, no frozen products, no canned products.


Meat! It's what's for dinner!

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David,

Love to have had you come for a visit recently. You would have seen some eye-popping prices, $4/lb green beans, teeny bunches of cilantro at $2, incredibly expensive stuff all round at the Ithaca Farmers Market!! However, it helps local artisanal growers survive, and the market prices are what the clientele are willing to pay out. The Farmers Market has become an enormously successful tourist attraction and a carnival-like affair with many cooking booths etc. Were you to come mid-to late August,there is a great bargain on PA peaches by the 1/2-1 bushel, not at the farmers market, but a little distance away [though you might as well go to PA!! Now, towards late September, we are getting to apple & grape harvest. Were you to come some weekday, I could take you to visit the apple & grape collection at Geneva, say on a Friday. Saturday is the crazy busy day at the Ithaca farmers market!!

Wow. I guess there's no more "saving money by going to the farmers' market" anymore, but it's great for the farmers that there's such interest in local produce these days. When I was there (1986-89), the farmers' market was a relatively new thing. Greenstar was on the ground floor of a converted house in town until they had a fire, and members really worked in the co-op for the most part. There was Moosewood, of course, and in Collegetown there was a vegetarian restaurant called Cabbagetown, which I noticed was gone last time we visited about a year ago, and there was an upscale restaurant just a bit out of town called "L'Auberge du Cochon Rouge," that also took an interest in local produce. As I recall, L'Auberge also had a fire and was rebuilt as a green building and has changed hands a few times. The Statler Hotel was under renovation at the time, so they weren't in a position to be much of a factor.


Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)

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We are a family of four, though soon to be five in January! We very rarely eat out, maybe 1-2 a month. I shop at walmart :( for all our toiletries/household necessities , as well as food basics. However, I also visit gourmet shops, farmer's markets, etc. for specialty ingredients. On a normal week, I spend about $250 total.

If I need to, I can cut it down to about $150. So probably almost $1000 a month for everything.


Edited by Becca Porter (log)

-Becca

www.porterhouse.typepad.com

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David,

Love to have had you come for a visit recently. You would have seen some eye-popping prices, $4/lb green beans, teeny bunches of cilantro at $2, incredibly expensive stuff all round at the Ithaca Farmers Market!! However, it helps local artisanal growers survive, and the market prices are what the clientele are willing to pay out. The Farmers Market has become an enormously successful tourist attraction and a carnival-like affair with many cooking booths etc. Were you to come mid-to late August,there is a great bargain on PA peaches by the 1/2-1 bushel, not at the farmers market, but a little distance away [though you might as well go to PA!! Now, towards late September, we are getting to apple & grape harvest. Were you to come some weekday, I could take you to visit the apple & grape collection at Geneva, say on a Friday. Saturday is the crazy busy day at the Ithaca farmers market!!

I shop the Farmer's Market but I tend to do it in Dewitt Park during the week rather than brave the tourists on the weekends. Some people are growers, some people are eaters. I'm an eater. I can't grow stuff. I am the Black Thumb of Death. I have to spend my grocery dollars somewhere, so I don't really care if the prices are lower or not at the farmer's market, I do care to support local, and usually ecologically sounder practices. Although the Farmer's Market is a good place to take visitors when they're here.

I recently ran across a booth at the normal Farmer's Market for a farm that grows "veganically". No animal products used to grow the stuff. I found the veggies kind of weak but the garlic knocked my socks off.

I am, however, irked by GreenStar. The prices are ridiculously high in there. I'm better off with a normal food co-op with no storefront.


Edited by pax (log)

“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”

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Err...it sounds like many of you are quite a bit more frugal than I am :unsure:

We spend about $600-700 a month, including purchases at Target (toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc). We try to do the majority of our shopping at Trader Joes, supplemented by the occasional pick-up of items at Publix or Whole Foods. This of course is just for my bf and I...we live in Atlanta, Ga. We have visited some of the local farmer's markets off and on over the past few summers, but really didn't notice a price advantage over similar products at, say, Whole Foods, and so found the additional stop to be more of an inconvenience.

I work from home most of the time, so this amount does include my lunches...and we almost always eat at home.

I am totally in awe of families who spend half of what I do!

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Family of four, in the $600-700 range. That's going to drop this year with my wife entering grad school.

Update: we've essentially eliminated eating out, which I didn't include in that $600-700 figure. However, with a lot more attention being paid to make-ahead dishes going into the freezer and taking advantage of sales (especially on meat), we've gotten below $600 for the month, closer to $500, for our family of four.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I spend about 100 euro/week for the 2 of us (excluding eating out) which is on the high side for The Netherlands (read somewhere parents+2 kids = 100 euro/week). We don't entertain often and we don't even eat at home every day -on average, 4 days a week at home, 3 days a week takeaway/restaurant.


Nyonya in The Netherlands

My Blog- Deliciously Lekker

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I spend around $125 per month, including wine and beer, on food for two well-fed adults.

Admittedly, that number is kind-of a cheat as we grow most of our own food (extensive garden and all our own beef, poultry (eggs), and pork - and a neighbor trades with us to supply lamb) and we do our own baking. We're a small goat cheese dairy so milk/cream/cheese is always at hand. I'm very much a from-scratch cook so we mostly buy just staples (flour, sugar, salt etc). I sometimes feel like I should be stocking a Conastoga wagon for a long trek West rather than just doing the grocery shopping. We also rarely eat out these days – not for lack of interest or means but more the lack of opportunity (we’re well out in the boonies) and motivation (why eat out when our own food is so good?(he asks modestly!)).

I guess I could include the cost for the feed for the animals who feed us in my figure but they are mostly free-range-fed and get very little off-property feed so it wouldn’t change the number much. Then again, with the animals we sell to other for slaughter, our net food spending account would be solidly in the "income" not "expense" column.


The Big Cheese

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My wife and I spend $60 per week on groceries. Alchohol is about $25 per month; eating out is about $30 per week.

We tend to get most produce at Whole Foods and ethnic stores; staples from Safeway.

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