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Posted: 3/10/2010 10:56:36 AM EDT
What is a reasonable monthly grocery budget for a single guy? Excluding eating out.

Kind of curious to see the spread on this one.

I spend about $300 on groceries per month. Single guy in my 20's.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 10:58:40 AM EDT
totally depends on what you eat... I could survive on $30 a week if I wanted to
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 10:58:52 AM EDT
The GF and I will buy a gift card with 250 dollars on it at the beginning of each month, when the money runs out the money runs out.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 10:59:18 AM EDT
Normally I spend around $70 every two weeks. Eat out 3-4 times a month if that.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 10:59:44 AM EDT
About 200 per week for a family of four.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 11:02:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/10/2010 11:09:47 AM EDT by EndgameSTG]
Originally Posted By Outsydlooknin75:
The GF and I will buy a gift card with 250 dollars on it at the beginning of each month, when the money runs out the money runs out.


I was doing $25 a week in college. A bit of bread with jam and/or a can of sardines with hot sauce in the morning, in the evening ramen with eggs and greens, or bean soup with bacon and bread and an orange or two. Could have been even cheaper if I threw out all semblance of flavor or convenience (nothing but rice, oatmeal with water, beans, eggs, multivitamins, cabbage and other cheap veggies or fruits). Depending on your situation, $40-$50 a weak is more reasonable. Avoid processed/prepared foods, and stuff that gives you very little nutrition for the price (potato chips, processed cereal, frozen foods, etc.) but keep some around only for when you're really pressed for time.

Crock pots are your friend. Beans and eggs are the cheapest protein around. Pork shoulder or chicken is the cheapest meat. Take vitamins and eat some veggies and fruits for more vitamins and fiber. Rice and bulk oatmeal are the cheapest carbs
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 11:04:14 AM EDT
Originally Posted By xpired:
About 200 per week for a family of four.


teach me,,


im not BSing you..

im single..

i can go to the store and spend 120 bucks and get two boxes of cereal !

Link Posted: 3/10/2010 11:04:57 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/10/2010 11:05:42 AM EDT by jlficken]
Originally Posted By xpired:
About 200 per week for a family of four.



Wow!!! I don't think we spend that in a month on my wife and I but we very rarely eat out and if we do it comes out of the entertainment fund. We both like eggs though so have that for a couple meals a week plus cereal w/ milk is breakfast most of the time.

I figure about $3.50 per day for me and $2.75-$3.00 for my wife.

I hope I'm more correct or else when we have kids we are in trouble.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 11:11:13 AM EDT
You guys must eat crappy food.

Between three of us, we spend about $600 a month and don't eat out that much.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 11:11:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cluster:
Originally Posted By xpired:
About 200 per week for a family of four.


teach me,,


im not BSing you..

im single..

i can go to the store and spend 120 bucks and get two boxes of cereal !


Where do you shop? I've found walmart to be the cheapest. I don't buy my meat there though, usually publix. Plan out your meals too.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 11:14:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/10/2010 11:30:00 AM EDT by unseenSNIPER]
I'm guesstimating that I spend ~$50-$75 a week on groceries. Very little junk food, at that.

Single guy, 22 years old.

I work out a lot so I need a lot of (healthy) food. Once I moved out and started buying groceries for myself I was surprised how expensive it actually is to feed myself. I've followed my mom's lead and have begun to cut coupons.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 11:20:28 AM EDT
About 300 or 400 a month to feed my wife, 4 year old and me. When the 3 of us were getting
started when my daughted was just born, it was down around 150 - 200. Now that I make a little
bit more, I don't think i like ramen noodles any more....
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 11:22:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/10/2010 11:24:21 AM EDT by TerribleTom]
$300 for groceries is not unreasonable, but I'd bet you don't even look at the weekly ads to see what's on sale and that you buy national brands over store brands more often than not.

The wife and I started really paying attention to our food budget some time ago and it has really paid off.

Some advice:

1. Shop the sales, but don't buy something you won't eat just because it's a deal.

2. Buy store brands when you can - for some items there is no substitute (Pop Tarts, for a bad example) but for most items (pasta, canned goods, frozen veggies) there's very little or no difference.

3. Stock up. If you can buy a whole boneless pork loin for $1.50/lb instead of buying two chops for $3.29/lb - buy the whole loin. The meat counter will slice it for you and you can wrap & freeze what you don't cook right away. In addition to saving money in the long term, you also have a stock of food if you need it. When your favorite cereal is on sale, buy three or four boxes and store them.

4. Don't be afraid of coupons. If you don't want to pay $2.50/week for a Sunday paper, check out the wonderful world of free online coupons. If your store uses a "club card", check out the store's website. Some stores have e-coupons that you load right on your card.

Free e-coupons:
www.cellfire.com
www.pgesaver.com

Free printable coupons:
www.redplum.com
www.coupons.com
www.smartsource.com
www.couponmom.com

There are lots of manufacturers that offer printable coupons on their websites. If you have a favorite product or three, check the companies website - you might be able to save some money.

If you don't get the local paper and the accompanying flyer for your local store, check the store itself. Most stores have a pile of flyers near the front door and there are often coupons in these flyers. Don't be afraid to whip out your EDC knife and cut coupons right in the store.

A caution about coupons: don't buy foods you wouldn't normally buy. Find coupons for the stuff you already eat and save some money. Don't be fooled into buying something you don't want or need just because it's forty cents off.

OTOH, don't downplay the value of $0.50 coupons. These things add up. Fifty cents here, thirty cents there - the next thing you know you're saving $5 on your grocery bill. $5/week is $250/year - nearly a whole month of "free" groceries.

ETA - if you can use a coupon on an item that's already on sale, that's the best. Sometimes you can get things for free after coupon.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 11:52:30 AM EDT
You can save a lot of money by shopping at Aldi or other discount grocery chains (Shopper's Food Warehouse here).
Buy store brands. Look for, and stock up on, discounted items with a long shelf life (e.g. canned food, starches (rice, pasta, etc.)). Purchase the cheaper cuts of meat or good cuts that are about to go past their expiration date (discounted heavily), then freeze them.

Food cost these days comes down to time vs. money (mostly). By that, I mean that food stuffs that require longer prep times are generally cheaper than items that require little/no time to get to the table. Why do you think there are so many items that take 10 min. or less to get it to the table? Most folks don't want to mess with (or don't know how to) prepare a decent meal.

BTW - The cheaper cuts of meat can be tenderized by pounding or slow cooked (crock pot or pressure cooker). There's plenty of info on the web about that. Also, I used to cook items in large batches, then freeze/refrigerate them for later use. It takes some planning and effort, but you can spend 1 or 2 nights during the week to prepare your meals that will last for the next several days. As for freezing them, I would highly suggest buying a vacuum sealing unit (food saver). You can get them in almost any wal-mart now. If you make the bags a little larger than necessary and wash them after each use, you can use them several times over until they get too small.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 11:54:07 AM EDT
We spend about 250/month. Everything we buy is unprepared raw foods.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 11:54:30 AM EDT
I have no clue. I'll have to ask the sandwich maker.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 12:02:16 PM EDT
Wife and I and 3 year old son and 3 month old daughter (breastfeeding) feed ourselves well on $60 a week. We spent $40 this week on food, but I buy a pig (butchered and wrapped in freezer packages) once a year ($250) and other stuff on sale. It averages out to about $58/week.

If you are concerned about food costs

make a menu for the week
buy food to the menu
pay special attention to the cost of commonly used items (canned vegetables, meat, cheese, etc) and stack them deep when they are on sale
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 12:09:23 PM EDT
@ $70/week for 2 adults. Almost everything is bought on sale.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 12:11:50 PM EDT
Run a search on the word frugal. Find some decent websites and play in their cooking sections.

Cooking from scratch is where I am headed these days.

Coupons and sales are all good but learning to cook from basic ingredients is a lot cheaper than using a coupon for some bisquick pancake mix that costs several dollars for the box when your ingrdients to make an equal number of pancakes might be half that or less. I have not priced it out lately.

I bought a rice cooker and add white rice to most of my meals to help stretch the expensive stuff like meat or fish or veggies or whatever.

I spend a lot a month on groceries buy I am also stocking up on stuff when it is on sale and not buying it at the higher prices between sales.


Link Posted: 3/10/2010 12:45:41 PM EDT
Husband and I spend about $300/mo feeding ourselves at home. This is including our lunches during the work week too, we brown bag it.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 12:47:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By hss0p:
What is a reasonable monthly grocery budget for a single guy? Excluding eating out.

Kind of curious to see the spread on this one.

I spend about $300 on groceries per month. Single guy in my 20's.


Lordy! That is a shit ton of groceries.

Link Posted: 3/10/2010 12:59:31 PM EDT
Wife & I spend about $45 per week, so our monthly is about $200. She is VERY frugal!
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 2:08:21 PM EDT
Good responses people. I have been cutting down on this recently and its clear I can be saving a decent amount of $.
Link Posted: 3/10/2010 2:15:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/10/2010 2:18:00 PM EDT by FLAL1A]
Originally Posted By cluster:
Originally Posted By xpired:
About 200 per week for a family of four.


teach me,,


im not BSing you..

im single..

i can go to the store and spend 120 bucks and get two boxes of cereal !



You need a list. Start with a menu for the week/month, then make a list of ingredients from there.

ETA: STICK TO THE LIST. And don't be afraid to include extras (chocolate, et c.). It's cheaper to budget for than to have a candy attack and buy a half-pound of Hershey's on impulse.
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