What’s Your Family’s Grocery Budget?

As I wrestled my overflowing fridge, freezer, and pantry yesterday, I started thinking, do I really need any more STUFF???  (And apparently my ten year old was thinking the same thing whenever the frozen Texas Toast box thumped him on the head one too many times . . .)


So this week, I'm really going to try to limit my purchases through Friday to $15 (I haven't been to the grocery since last Tuesday.)  I probably could spend a little less than that, but there are a few deals I'd like to grab in this week's sale at Publix & Kroger; we're out of milk, bread, and fresh fruit; and I have to take some Sweet Chicken Salad to a teacher luncheon this Friday that I'll need a few ingredients for!  I thought it would be nice though to pinch a few extra pennies in our grocery budget though as we've started some serious holiday shopping. (More on that one later . . .even though our Christmas gifts are all budgeted for, it still hurts me to spend it!!!)

Anyone out there with me?  And if you don't mind sharing, I'd love to hear what your normal weekly grocery budget is along with how many people live in your home.  We budget $50-$60 each week for our family of five, and that includes all groceries, as well as $3-$5 worth of donations each week.  (Don't be afraid to be honest in your comments – you can even comment anonymously if you'd like!)  I just thought it might be fun to see how other folks are doing, and maybe encourage us all to work a little harder along the way!  Your turn now . . .


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  1. I’m going to be lame because I just started couponing and stockpiling in the last month, but up until now, our budget has been $600 a month including all toiletries, dog food, and groceries. I would love to get that down to $400, maybe even $300 eventually. This month I’m only going to take out $500 and see if we can make it on that. My freezer/pantry are really full after this past months sales so really all I need right now is fresh produce/dairy/bread. We are a family of four plus one dog. Her food is non negotiable – she can only eat a certain kind, and it costs me about $35 every 6 weeks.

  2. We don’t have a budget at all! We just buy whatever we need/want and coupon as much as we can.

    I’d say we average about $50 a week for a family of four people (2 adults,1 child,1 baby plus 2 dogs and 2 frogs!).

    If I find a money maker, I usually go online and buy lots of coupons for that item. We donate tons of extras to our church every other week.

  3. I am trying to stick to a $400 a month budget which includes all toiletries. We are a family of five with three being teenagers. I have to be honest and say some months it is a little over this, but probably averaging $410 a month. I would like to cut this but that is difficult do and keep husband and kids with certain foods they like which don’t go on sale very often. We don’t live very close to Publix (about 30-40 minutes away) and the local stores are pretty limited. I am also trying to donate more to organizations and to individuals.

  4. I budget $150 every 2 weeks for our family of two adults, one child, one unborn (due in January!!!), two pets, but we usually come in below that. When things calm down a bit I’m going to do a serious inventory and see if I can drop that a bit as well. We also donate food to the pantries.

  5. It’s funny you should post this b/c I have been thinking the same thing too. I took an inventory of what was in my freezer in the garage. Oh,my goodness, I couldn’t get it all back in when I finished! Since that time I have added 3 turkeys to it. I’m going to limit myself this week too to $15….I have got to get my stockpile down to a manageable stock.
    Since I have been couponing I have cut my grocery bill from $600 per month for a family of four (boys 17 & 19 yrs.) to about $35.00 per week, if I didn’t stockpile it would be less than that.
    We do donate a lot…last week we took 10 brown grocery bags full to donate to the church.
    My son came home last night from school with a notice about a canned food drive for the Rescue Mission. The student with the most donations will win a party for his/her class…I told my son…You have so won this contest! LOL

  6. Budget for me, my 6 children, and 4 daycare kids (2 meals and two snacks a day) is $100 per week – that $100 includes groceries, toiletries, paper products, clothing, drugstore stuff, etc. … everything but gas (the only thing I put on a debit card). I have to say … I don’t always make it, especially with Christmas and all, but I try really hard.

  7. I am so glad you asked this question. I am trying to determine a reasonable grocery budget for our family and honestly don’t know where to begin. We are a larger than average size family, 2 adults, 10 children, four of whom are still in diapers, three cats and a large dog. I group groceries, baby products, animal food as well as household cleaners, paper products and personal care items in one category. The five older children eat breakfast and lunch at school but the younger children as well as myself and my husband (he takes his lunch) eat all our meals from the grocery budget.

    How does one begin to create a grocery budget? Is the plan to allow x amount of dollars per person per week and figure it accordingly? Or is it better to allocate a certain amount per meal? We utilize the stockpile method of grocery shopping so we might buy 100 boxes of Kraft mac and cheese this week because it is on a great sale and not buy it again for 3 months.

    Any advise in this area is appreciated. We recently added 6 members to our family by adoption and I have not yet determined the best way to budget for our food.
    Thank you for a great and informative blog.


    • Thanks for all your comments guys! Okay Josie – I’ve got to think on your question a little bit . . . you have 12 people and four animals (WOW!) plus diapers (you are a SAINT!!!) I’m thinking that looking at just simple math, you probably need to budget at least $125-$150 per week (leaning more towards $150) week – if mine is $50 for 5 with no animals (and only one in pull ups at night), that’s the easiest guess I can make. I’d love to hear other folks ideas! (I’m going to ask over on FB also . . .)

  8. For my family of 6-8 (depending on the weekend) plus one dog, my budget is about $100-$150 a week. And looking around, I’ve been saying the same thing–this has to STOP! LOL So for the past month or so, I’ve pared way down and trying to live off my stockpile mostly. It’s VERY hard for me to pass up a killer deal though! And I’ll admit, it’s been very rewarding this year to be able to help so many in need with my surplus.

  9. I have been couponing for about 2 months and finally getting the hang of it. We have 5 in our family, 1 in diapers.

    we went from $120/wk to $65/wk. YEAH!!

  10. Kandy Duncan says

    I have five in my family and feed lots of neighborhood kids too. I have been couponing for 3 months and have a budget of $100 a week. I am starting to find that my freezer and all my cabinets are stuffed full and I am still sending bags of stuff home with my dad and brother every week. My budget is high because I still buy organic fruits veggies and meat. I am tempted lots of times to say heck with the healthy and yes to the yummy. Its very hard for me to stay healthy with coupons with all the junk food being so cheap. I bought 4 big bags of M&Ms yesterday for 25c each. My biggest challenge with coupons is my waste-line.

    To the family with ten kids my advice is teach them to coupon too! My four year old loves to find tear pads and blinkies. Our rule is take two coupons per person unless it just says one please. If there is a coupon limit I bring my four year old with me to the store and she loves purchasing items and it teaches her to count money too.

    Hobbie Lobbie has a great 40% off coupon each week until Christmas. I take my family and all 4 of us line up and use a coupon. Its a nice way to get fun Christmas Crafts and gifts for cheap.
    I am not sure if this would work but you could try printing extra copies of coupons from the library. I have not been in a long time but you use to be able to print 10 pages for free each visit.

  11. we are a family of 2 adults, 3 kids with one in diapers, my grocery budget has been 100 a week, but our house is totally packed!, so starting in Jan our budget will go down to 50 a wk, we have pretty much been doing that amount for the last few wks anyway, i just take the extra and put toward Christmas, so it shouldnt be a problem.

  12. We do not have a set budget for groceries or anything else. My husband wants what he wants when he wants it and will not do without. However, I do most of the shopping for our family of 3 and try to keep it under $40.00 a week (down from $150.00 a year ago). We have two sons who live near by and “shop” from our stockpile as well as bum meals when they don’t feel like cooking.

  13. I keep us on a pretty tight budget but it works really well for us. Without Publix and coupons I wouldn’t be able to do it! For 2 adults, a 12 month old who can only eat bananas and fresh veggies (due to allergies) and 3 small dogs I have a budget of $30 a week. This includes all food, toiletries and doggie supplies. The past few weeks have been awsome for us. Last week I skipped out of Publix with an overflowing cart for $18 including $4 something in tax!!

  14. Sad to say, but I have never had a buget for groceries. I have just always went to bought what we needed, and if money was tight, then I just bought less. I have never couponed, until a few weeks ago, and I am beginning to be more aware that we should have been on a budget and I should have been doing coupons a long time ago. This all has seemed like a “new beginning” for us because we have saved so much money in the last several weeks, and it has felt really good to have so much in your buggy at the grocery store, and now spend that much money. I have been working on our stock pile, so I know that I have been spending probally way more that what alot of you guys spend (for now anyway), but I want to get the stock pile “built”, so that I can cut back. I have noticed that I have a “problem” with wanting to buy as many items as I have coupons for…(like if I have 5 – 1.00/2 Lysol Cleaners…and they are on BOGO, then I can’t by just 2 and use one coupon…I have to buy 10 bottles and use all 5 coupons.) Does anyone else have this “problem” -LOL I guess that is part of getting your stock pile built.
    Anyway..My goal…once the stock pile is “built”…is to spend around 50.00 – 75.00 per week, and see how that goes…then hopefully go on down to 40.00 – 60.00 per week.

  15. We are a family of two adults and two children ages 9 and 5 who are going through a growth spurt and are currently eating us out of house and home, lol! I am the sole-income producer in our family. My husband is a full time student and will be completeing his teaching degree soon. He did have some income up until June of this year when his TRA funds from Delphi ran out. Realistically, we have less than $40 a week to spend on groceries, medications, and household items/toiletries, but I can never meet that goal. Luckily, we have good parents that help out here and there 🙂 My main problem is that we consume over 6 gallons of milk a week and we have two dogs that through $20 worth of dog food per week. That alone is $38!!! Our son only drinks milk, and my husband can drink a gallon by himself in a day’s time. The second income loss was unexpected, and luckily, I had quite a stockpile, which has since dwindled. I have always been a couponer but did not discover “super couponing” until May of this year. If it weren’t for coupons, my husband would not have been able to keep going to school. I will be elated when he finally gets a teaching job!

  16. I budget about a $100 a week for 2 adults, 3 kids under the age of 9…one of which is still in diapers….and 2 large dogs. About every 2 weeks I have to buy a giant bag of Petigree Dog food and large pack of huggies diapers so I end up around 130 every 2 weeks. I’m trying to get motivated to potty train so I can knock the diapers off my list 🙂

  17. We went from $250/wk (for just groceries) to about $75/wk for groceries, toiletries, paper goods, etc…. I wished that I had started couponing years ago! Been couponing for over a year now and have noticed a big difference! Now family and friends come over to shop for free at “Alice’s store”. Faith, my kids are the same way. We consume about 5-6 gallons of milk a week too!

  18. Elizabeth S says

    I’m a 26 yr old mother of one, and for my husband & me, I spend around $100 a week. I have one in diapers (but I use cloth) & I breastfeed. We do have two dogs… but still, I’m embarrassed I spend so much on groceries. This is the time in our lives where we could REALLY be saving & paying off debt, and I’m just disgusted at myself (especially after reading what everyone spends!!!!)
    I’m just starting this couponing thing, and I just found this site, thanks to Money Saving Mom’s blog. Hopefully I can change my crazy grocery shopping ways soon!!

  19. I have been keeping track of costs for years so this is accurate. For food only I spend $150 a month to feed my husband and myself. That includes all meals. We eat out maybe once a month and that is usually a breakfast or lunch.

  20. For a family of 3 (two adults, one child still in diapers, and a dog) we budget $250 and usually spend $225 on groceries. Our grocery budget covers diapers & wipes, food, detergent, and personal items (ie. shaving cream, razors, lotion, shampoo, etc), household cleaner, air filters, and food for one dog. Before we started couponing though we easily spent twice what we spend now. I always tell people it is time consuming, but it is well worth it! We also like it because we’re eating on a budget, but we’re not just eating beans all the time. With all the deals we get great meals. If we had to we could cut this area of our budget even tighter. We have a $50 dollar bumper in our grocery budget so that there is actually $300 dollars there that way if for some reason I ever went over one month or there was a deal where I needed to stock up big time on meat or something I could and the next month I would just have to “repay” that bumper. (I think that makes sense).

  21. We are a family of three and one 60 pound dog; one of us is a teenaged boy. 🙂 We budget $600 per month for everything. That is paper products, dog products, hygiene items, beer, wine, cleaning products. It is divided out in our Ramsey cash envelope every week at $150. We don’t always spend all of it. This post has me thinking I could spend less. I’ve been couponing and stockpiling since June, so I have a pantry that is nicely appointed. I didn’t buy graceries last week and will only need a few things this week. Maybe it’s time to reel in that monthly amount and, because we only owe on the house, put that money towards the food pantry, in true Advent Conspiracy style!

  22. Same thoughts here as I’m bringing groceries home and they sit on the floor in bags because I have no more room to put them. (Talk about a surplus!) Thank goodness my daughter’s class is collecting food. I have sent her with a bag everyday this week. I’m not buying anymore of the “extras” until we start using up some of the items we have. Only milk, bread, eggs, produce, and meat for us!

  23. Virginia McKee says

    I haven’t joined this group because I’ve been couponing for at least 54 years. There is just the two of us and I’ve also noticed our pantry is too full. We’ve decided not to buy any canned or frozen foods until there is some spare room. We don’t drink carbonated /sodas, try to only eat healthy snacks, eat mostly oatmeal for breakfast so not so much cereal. Noticing that newspaper coupons are very difficult to read and not so many items we use. Think I will stop buying the Sunday paper.
    What is the rule on printing the computer coupons you post? Is it one per computer? I am mostly using the online Kroger coupons posted to my card. We like the cents off gasoline that accumulate and the savings from using our Discover card.

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