Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'll Show You Mine if You Show Me Your's‏

How much do you spend at the store? While my mom and her husband were visiting us over the holidays, I told them how much we budget for food, toiletries, cleaning supplies, etc. and my mom said, "I don't know how you can live like that." It was surprising to me 1. because it seemed kind of bitchy and rude and 2. because based on what I've read of other people's budgets on their blogs, I thought we spent a lot more than other people.

So I'm going to ask you a personal question: What's your food budget and how do you break down your expenses?

Because I know you're not going to tell me anything unless I tell you first, I'll start. We budget $300/month for a category we call "food". This includes basically everything we buy at a grocery or drugstore (including non-edibles) and eating out. We eat out maybe twice a month, and that figure includes fast food. Things from the stores include all the ingredients for the food we make at home, cat food, paper goods, cleaning supplies (mostly laundry detergent, vinegar, and baking soda), shampoo and other toiletries, but not my cosemetics because I like the fancy stuff. Sometimes we spend more than the $300, but sometimes we spend less. These figures are for two adults and a cat and our frequent guests. (We have people over probably 2-3 times per month.)

Now it's your turn. I really, REALLY want to know how much you spend so I can tell how well (or not well) I'm doing. Do you keep track of your food and non-edible groceries seperately like Amy Dacyczyn? Is your going out to eat budget separate from your grocery food budget? What about your entertaining budget? Do you budget at all? And while I'm being nosy, how often do you eat out?

Please share in comments (you can do it anonymously!) so we can all learn. This will give the low-spenders encouragement to keep on keepin' on and the high spenders a target for what they can achieve...and hopefully tips for how to get there.


  1. oo- I can't wait to hear what people say- I can't remember what we budget- I will try to remember when I get home and comment.

  2. I think you are doing well.

    We spend ALOT on food. I have been trying to scale this back... but my hubs and I spend $500plus a month on food at home. Not counting dining out.

    This also includes the other items that go in the cart like dog food, shampoo, cleaners and I also take my lunch to work about 3-4 times a week. I also cook and deliver food for the food ministry at church once or twice a month.

    I know I spend a lot more than most, but I think I just like to eat!! Ha!

  3. I think it is excellent that you have a budget goal. I have tried to be more aware of our spending and have great hopes that computer spreadsheets and I will be friends in my budget life. Here is one week's shopping breakdown for our family of six.

  4. I shop very carefully, but I do not try to stick to a number. We have tracked our spending here and there, so usually our groceries, toiletries, and paper supplies come out around $300/month (just like you!). There are 2 adults, 2 children, no pets in my household.
    We do not eat prepared or processed food and I usually buy local food (surprisingly it's not always more expensive). We might eat meat 2-3 times a week, but not usually as an entree, but flavoring something. We have people over maybe 1-2 times a month and because of the small children, it's not dinner-party style! So that probably doesn't really cost more for us to entertain.
    We might eat out once a month - usually something low key like pizza or Asian because of the children. Occasionally my husband and I go out for dinner alone, but we class that in the entertainment category then because it's so pleasurable.
    I admire you for sticking to your budget and I know my mom has the same reaction to my thrifty ways :)
    My family likes to eat and eat well. We are very healthy and I know it's because we eat good food. So that is kind of a money saver (eat junk, get health problems - medicine and doctors are verrrry expensive these days!). We consciously trim our budget in other areas - no wireless internet, one car, no spendy vacations, secondhand clothes, no tv. . .

    Btw, I think you are smart to buy good cosmetics. I've found it's false economy to buy the cheap stuff. I don't use a lot of make up but I favor the good stuff too!

  5. Ok- so I looked it up. We have not actually budgeted in the past- but I am working on it. In order to get a good idea of what we should budget- I found averages of our past year. (we were tracking expenses -just not budgeting them)

    We (2 people) spent an average if $330 a month on food, eating out, and household stuff (i.e. anything I bought at Target) last year.

    So right in there with you guys. I feel like we live a pretty lush life actually.

  6. Greetings. I just found your blog about 15 minutes ago and decided to comment to this question. My husband and I budget $300/mo for groceries. We keep our meals very simple (good, but simple). I have been trying to do meal planning with a little more variety, but it ends up costing us a lot more for groceries when we do this. I'm lucky in that my husband is not at all a fussy eater. Our 25 yr old daughter moved home in July while she is in her first year as a teacher. We haven't changed our budget with her here. She contributes a wee bit, but we'd rather have her put the money toward paying off school loans. We keep separate budgets for entertainment and restuarants (a la Dave Ramsey). We try to keep strictly to our overall budget and in the last three years, have made incredible gains, paid off all debt but our house and are enjoying ourselves in the process. :)

  7. We(my family of 3 1/2) try for $100 a week for just food. Sometime we make it some time we don't. I'm a reluctant housewife so it gets really hard sometimes to get myself to do the things I know I should do to help save money.


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