Sunday, April 7, 2013

What Do People Eat?

When I read other people's blogs, I'm often confused about how they can spend so little on food. Do they buy mac n cheese for 4 for a buck? And then mix in venison (in my neck of the woods this is often a free or low cost meat)? Or do they just not really eat? Do they only drink water? Are they all Extreme Couponers? Secretly on food stamps?

We could eat for $200 for a month but it would mean that we would be eating out of our well-stocked freezer and pantry. We would be limiting milk, fresh fruits, fresh veggies, and cutting out soda completely. We could easier cut our grocery bill in the summer when we can get pretty much all fruits and veggies from our garden.

We usually spend around $550-600 per month and I don't think we could cut our grocery bill to under $500 for more than about a month. We would be running out of too many basics. Our grocery budget does include basic cleaning and paper products.

Do you ever wonder about the very low amount that other bloggers spend on food? Don't you wish you could see what they are eating and what's in their fridge? Am I the only one?

Sidenote: Now that I'm preggers, I find myself buying much more random stuff regularly like mangoes and avocados. Oh well, if I'm wanting good stuff for me, I'm sure not going to hesitate now.


  1. Depending on the size of the family, yes, I do wonder. I do know making from scratch and cutting out all processed foods - yes, soda. Buying local - all helps for the most part. My family of 6 - two teenage boys eats on $600 a month.

    We do not buy sodas, but some processed foods. Yes, we coupon to the hilt. But to go to $200 or $300 a month, there is no way!

  2. Yup.. but it's all about priorities. Some don't care if they only eat all processed foods, and it's not really our place to judge. To each their own right? However, i'm with you 100%. I budget $180/week for our family of 6, and I order free range, organic local meat about every other month or so.. pork & beef. I feel good healthy food IS important, and refuse to feed my family everything out of a box or a carton. lol! Not saying my kids eat 100% healthy food, but the majority is for sure!

    1. Same here Carla, we eat a ton of local food - including organic meats. We are not 100% non-processed though - we are big believers in moderation. You and I feed our families very similar things!

  3. For me, my food budget is extremely subsidized since I still live at home. My mom buys the bulk of the groceries. On average, she spends about $350 - $500 a month for 3 of us; I then add another $100 to $200 (that's in our local prices)

    So that explains why mine's is so low, for other bloggers, I have no idea.

  4. I often wonder the same thing. There is just two of us, but we usually spend $250 every two weeks. Plus there are always the occasional shops for fresh fruit, milk, bread, etc. We eat some processed food, but mostly just some frozen dinners for some quick work lunches.

  5. I've been blogging more about the food we eat lately by listing everything we buy each month because I know for many, food costs are hard to cut and I hope I'm able to give ideas for others since my husband and I eat on $250 a month for the most part... but this is because we only have one income coming in right now... and my husband generally eats very simple foods, and mainly 2 meals a day (because he's lazy). I have to nudge and beg produce at him.

    He's big on bean and cheese burritos and cereal frankly... where as I turn to real whole foods like fruit, veggies, & greek yogurt, etc. When we plan out our dinners, he eats much better because he'll eat leftovers the next day... but in truth, the hubby eats poorly and I eat MUCH better.

    If my husband ate like I did, I don't think we could do $250 a month a food. But I think we could give it a real attempt because its about balance. We're good about when to buy in bulk and when to buy cheaper in smaller quantities... and when to cook from scratch.

    Right now I've been I trying not to buy a whole bunch of produce at once and instead focusing on what we have to eat before it goes bad. I know it sounds dumb, but my lettuce normally ends up in a cup of water in the fridge to make it last longer until I can eat it all up. (Same goes for things like broccoli, bell pepper slices, etc.-- They all get a little extra life in the fridge with some water).

    If I get the time, maybe i'll document a week of what we eat on the blog... because no joke... we spend around $250 a month for the two of us.

  6. Well, we spend way, way more than $250/month, so I'm with you. :-) We're a family of four, and the boys are growing like weeds. We spend the majority of our grocery budget on produce, lean meat, & dairy. I make our own bread, and we meal plan, buy in bulk, freeze leftovers, etc. We do what we can, but we are definitely not as good as we could be!

  7. $200 - $300 a month for 2 people is eminently doable if you shop smartly.

  8. I'm with Hawaii Planner - I also have 2 boys who eat like little piggies. We go through 3 gallons of milk a week - & that's during the school year! You do NOT want to know how much milk we go through when they are home in the summer. I just started tracking spending about a month ago, time will tell what we actually spend on groceries.

  9. I spend about $100 every other week on our food, and then $10-20 on the off-week for more milk and other random items. For three of us + the baby sitter's lunches we are close to $250-300. That's including a lot of fresh/frozen fruits & veggies, fresh meats, dairy, etc. I am trying to get away from processed foods as much as possible but we still have some. Trying to weed out the foods with HFCs and things like that. We also go out to eat at least two times a week which I don't count in the grocery budget. If I did, it would easily add another $200. But going out is DH's "thing" - it's our main form of Friday/Saturday night entertainment. We get dinner and then go shopping or out to the park when it is nice. Really just a chance to get out of the house.

    Do you have an Aldi near you? That's been the biggest factor for me in keeping my main grocery budget low. And they are starting to sell more organic items and fewer things with HFCs in them (still have to read the labels though).

  10. I've got relatives in North Dakota and they stock up on non-perishables every time they come west because they say the grocery prices are much higher there. Granted, they're in a pretty remote area, but they drive to bigger areas frequently and it's still no contest. It's hard to compare grocery spending on a national average.