national study on grocery budgeting

How much does the average family spend on groceries?   Nationwide, according to the USDA, here it is:

 

Two adults:

$361 thrifty / $459 low-cost / $569 moderate / $711 liberal

 

Two adults and 2 kids under 11:

$603 thrifty / $779 low-cost / $974 moderate / $1,182 liberal

 

Spending for my own family, which includes 4 kids, two of whom are teenagers and all of whom play at least one competitive sport, puts me in the THRIFTY to LOW-COST range.

 

So much for these excuses for not eating nutritious whole foods:

 

“I can’t because I’m a busy, single, working mom.”

“It’s too expensive.”

 

Truly, I believe that the reason nutrition hasn’t gone out the window since I’ve been a single mother is that I had good habits and a repertoire of recipes and ideas in place.   These are what I try to give you with my 12 Steps program.  

 

And I don’t overspend on groceries (I spend about $800/mo.) because what I spend on produce is offset by what I DON’T spend on processed/packaged food and meat.   While I do like a bargain, I don’t have the time or the interest to clip coupons, drive all over town, or obsess about the budget.   Also, while 12 Steps gives lots of tips, the top two that save me loads of money are (1) summer gardening, and (2) my large freezer that allows me to store produce, seeds, nuts, and more.

 

See http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/USDAFoodCost-Home.htm for more info about these nationwide averages.

8 thoughts on “national study on grocery budgeting

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  1. I’m definitely in the thrifty category too! And also, I think the way most people shop makes a lot of trash that they can’t recycle. We forgot to take the trash out for two weeks in a row, and on the third week, the garbage was only half full. (We also have recycling pick up.) But I think when you buying mainly produce, you produce less trash too- way better for the environment.

  2. Our monthly food budget for our family of 8 is less than half what the thrifty plan would be for our family. Sometimes that means compromise on what healthy foods we buy. Overall though we eat probably 90% healthy. It is doable!

  3. I spend between $800-$900 a month for myself, my husband and our 8 children. Those are very ‘generous’ guidelines!

  4. Keep in mind these aren’t guidelines: they are averages, based on a study of families’ actual expenditures.

    You thrifty moms of large families are impressive!

  5. Shocking. I am below to the low end of the thrifty group! Hooray! We are a 2 adult and 2 kids under 12 family category. We eat a high raw whole food vegan lifestyle and we buy literally almost everything organic and as local as possible. We also buy in bulk when something is on sale. Our fridge is stuffed with organic produce (co-op), the counters are overflowing with ripening fruit everywhere and we have bins full of organic grains and several freezers packed as well. I love eating this way. Thank you for teaching me how to do food storage! AND that cost includes my green foods for drinks, super foods on occasion and eating out when we do.

  6. Shocking. I am below the thrifty group! Hooray! We are a 2 adult and 2 kids under 12 family category. We eat a high raw whole food vegan lifestyle and we buy literally almost everything organic and as local as possible. We also buy in bulk when something is on sale. Our fridge is stuffed with organic produce (co-op), the counters are overflowing with ripening fruit everywhere and we have bins full of organic grains and several freezers packed as well. I love eating this way. Thank you for teaching me how to do food storage! AND that cost includes my green foods for drinks, super foods on occasion and eating out when we do.

  7. I’m really trying to cut our food bill, but it is much higher than you thrifty moms. Can you give me a few cheap dinner ideas?

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