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Sep 2, 2011 07:17 AM

Your food budget

I've always tried to balance healthy eating with fiscally responsible eating whcih can be a challenge when my favorite cookie is on sale 2 for 1. *sigh*

I've been on a budget for the last year or so and have found that this is what works for me. I'm curious if I'm above or below other folks.

Stats: I'm a single guy (40's) in Atlanta, GA. About 40lbs over my ideal weight.

$200 for Groceries for the month ($6-$7 per day)
$150 for Restaurants (that includes having someone go with me so it may only be one or two meals)
$30 Fast food (one or two meals)

What's the verdict? How does your budget work out (try to be honest!)

Note: I just joined CH the other day so play nice with the newbie please!

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  1. That’s pretty good.

    I am feeding me, my husband my daughter who is 12, my step son who is 25 and his girlfriend who is 20 & also lives with us

    I spend about $150 a week on groceries. It varies up and down, depending on weeks that I’m freezer diving for meals, and those weeks where we seemed to have run out of EVERYTHING so I’m giving that as an average over a month’s time

    We eat out once a week for three of us and some weeks we’ll have a second night out for just my hubby and I (date night) that probably averages to another $100 a week if you break it down over a month)

    To be fair, we eat very little prepared foods and I rarely buy snacks and we eat little meat in comparison to vegetables/fruits/grains.

    I plan on leftovers from meals to pack lunches for my husband, my daughter and I

    I buy grains in bulk, I shop the farmers market for produce in season and we utilize the chest freezer. I spend as little as I can on other foods because I don’t buy meat milk or eggs at the super market (well, except for fish), so my “food cost” goes up there. (which is also why we don’t eat much meat)

    1. There are just the 2 of us, and we are retired. I cook; Mr. Sueatmo cleans up. We shop together for the most part. Our weekly budget is $150, but I often spend more because I make a supplemental trip to WF almost every week. I eat low carb, and he eats low fat. (I eat low fat too--mostly.) I try to give us good food, but the cost of protein has become a challenge. I try to give us one or two meatless meals weekly, and I cook some sort of fish for us both, and eat canned fish myself, several times a month. I cook breakfast for one or two every day, and I cook most suppers. We generally get our own lunches.

      I regret paying so much for food, but since we require different things it is hard to keep costs down as much as I would like.

      We have learned to enjoy cheese sandwiches for supper, from time to time!

      1. Welcome, Aabacus! :)

        Two adults full time and two pre-teens half time, we spend $80 to $100 a week on groceries, some kind of animal protein most lunches and dinners, a LOT of fresh produce, and not too many processed or snacky type foods.

        This also includes our toiletries, paper and cleaning products, though, which, if subtracted, might decrease the weekly expenditure about $10.

        *Probably about $100 for alcohol @ home. And another $200 for drinking/dining out.

        1. Hi Aabacus. Of course we'll play nice.
          Here's what I think. $200 sounds pretty restrictive to me. It certainly can be done: I've done it on less and fed more people, but it requires a devotion to cooking your own unprocessed food.
          You mention a weight problem. Soooo...and I totally am NOT trying to be mean here..the Fast Food needs to go, immediately. If you knocked out those calories now, in a year you'll have lost 8-9 lbs. of unhealthiness. Apply the $30 to your grocery budget.
          My budget at home works well. We spend roughly $100 weekly on groceries. I estimate I spend 40-60 bucks on supplemental or impulse purchases. We budget 200-300 bucks for dining out, and are not huge fans of Thee Biggest Best Restaurant Experience, so we eat a lot of ethnic food, and are able to dine out more frequently because of the cost differential. There's a little room to play but I try to avoid that and stick to our planned budget, and I usually do.

          1. $200 per month is, indeed restrictive, but I have been spending around that myself for quite some time. I currently live with my boyfriend, and our total budget is around double that -- it still ends up being around $50 per week, per person, but it's easier to eat well for less when you're pooling your resources. We might go out for a cheap meal once or twice a month if we have a bit of extra cash, but we eat most of our meals in. If we have a little extra, we usually spend it on wine to go with our homemade dinner.

            There are certainly times (this week, for example) when I spend too much, too early and have to eat whatever's in the back of the cupboards to make it through to payday. I figure this sharpens my cooking skills, though, and forces me to search out new and interesting recipes that can be made with what's on hand.

            2 Replies
            1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

              I like your attitude, BBL. And always remember: when you have that odd collection of random ingredients, post it on WFD and ask for help making something out of it. I guarantee you'll get it.

              1. re: mamachef

                Yes! I've been loving the WFD thread since I started posting here (only a couple weeks ago).

                Another good strategy when you're low in food is to google the ingredients you have and see what comes up.