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What is a normal amount to spend on groceries? [moved from Quebec]

What is a normal amount to spend on 2 people for groceries each month?

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  1. We are two and we spend $300-350 a month. However, I tend to buy in bulk and freeze my meats and fish from Costco. I buy lots of fresh veggies, and lots of good quality cuts of meat.

    This includes the lunches we bring to work. Is this a normal amount?..I presume not. I'm guessing a family of 4 can eat with this budget

    1. The answer is: whatever you can afford. If you think you're spending too much, that's probably because you're spending too much.

      1. Does it include wine, or not?

        I don't buy in bulk - I buy as fresh as possible, in small quantities, mostly at Jean-Talon Market. Hate throwing away food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lagatta

          Not including wine. I don't buy bulk either as I like my meats etc... fresh

        2. There was something on this covered in the Not About Food board that you may find of interest, it's here:
          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/391031

          1 Reply
          1. I spend about $250 - $300 a month on food for myself which is a bit high, but I tend to buy in small quantities at JTM and other local shops. I'm not averse to spending more for better quality, luxury, or unusual items either, so it tends to raise my totals. And then there's the influence of people on this board, pointing out lovely tidbits that I must try, regardless of how it adds to my food budget. I know I could probably cut that in half if I had to, but thankfully I can indulge myself if I want to.

            Are you looking for a benchmark for your own spending, or just curious?

            5 Replies
            1. re: phedre

              We spend approx. $600-$700/month for 2 including tp & pt and some kithcen & cleaning supplies. I love trying new recipes. We make coffee at home with good beans, bottled water and coffee cream. But this seems quite high...

                1. re: beckybee

                  If you're feeling a financial pinch, I'd look into reducing it; but if you're not, the hell with it. I'd rather eat well and enjoy it than pinch pennies just for the sake of doing so, especially if it means I have to give up my favourite indulgences. Good coffee is a must! Have you tried the beans from Caffe in Gamba or Veritas yet? They're now the only places I'll shop for my beans.

                  1. re: beckybee

                    holy crap! That sounds insanely expensive to me... Are you buying a lot of labour-intensive cuts of meat (the more prep they do, the more expensive it is. a package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts can easily cost as much as the whole chicken), packaged goods, ready-meals, imported specialties, and out of season produce??

                    I've attached a photo of what I purchased at Jean Talon market this Saturday. It cost less than $40.

                     
                    1. re: eoj

                      I went and calculated how much we spend on groceries (for two adults in Montreal) and the total for this year so far is $287/month. On average, we eat out once every week or two and that's not included in this total. We tend to make things from scratch, rather than buy them pre-prepared, and we'll buy the store brand for things where we don't notice a quality difference. We shop at JTM regularly, buy organic milk, and buy good bread. We don't eat meat with every meal which is probably one of the biggest contributing factors to our low total.