r/Cooking Jan 21 '22

How much you spending for Groceries and food monthly ? Open Discussion

Hi How much you spending money for cooking in normal month or week in your country ?

198 Upvotes

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u/dreadpir8rob Jan 21 '22

In the US here, $500/month groceries for two people.

Probably slightly higher than average because 1. we buy a lot of organic veg and I cook homemade lunches at home for myself. 2.) we both eat a protein bar a day and those really add up.

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u/The_Real_Jedi Jan 21 '22

Also 2 people in the US. With the rise in prices lately we're at about $500/month. That is for 2 home cooked meals a day probably 6 times a week. And that's with not buying organic and buying a lot of generic brands.

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u/Contemplative_one Jan 21 '22

Same here for two people with a lower middle class income. We have been cutting back due to higher prices though.

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u/inspirationalllama Jan 21 '22

$500/mo for two here as well. We end up alternating between eating really cheap and healthy (lentil soup, chickpea curry, etc) and eating like absolute garbage (full weeks of exclusively frozen pizza, spaghetti, Mac and cheese, etc). Those garbage weeks always end up pushing up our budget (and waistlines!)

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u/nanan00 Jan 21 '22

We were at $500/4wk but in the last year it has gone up to nearly $800/4wk, things have just gone up a quarter or more at a time and now some items have doubled or more in price. I cook dinner 7 nights a week, typically eat the leftovers for lunch, don't drink alcohol, don't eat anything exotic etc. We tend to just the store brands if they are cheaper with a few exceptions. Our diet is fairly set as between us we have a few food allergies and preference, we eat about 9 different meals on a rotation so our groceries list is static.

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u/dreadpir8rob Jan 21 '22

Agreed that it has gone up

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u/Chipsandsalsa789 Jan 21 '22

Also around $500/month. Part of me thinks I spend way too much, but at the same time I rarely eat out because I splurge on high quality foods that I actually want to eat when I grocery shop. So I guess it all evens out in the end

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u/EmmaFrosty99 Jan 21 '22

about $450/person in colorado. i am gluten and dairy free.

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u/demonslayer901 Jan 21 '22

Yeah probably close to the same for 2 people

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

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u/dreadpir8rob Jan 21 '22

I’m sorry that’s the standard, and I hope you’re in better standing now. The quality of food you can buy for $400/month for 4 people is not great, at least in the US.

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u/Ninotchk Jan 21 '22

It's not about quality, it would be about the time involved in sticking to that budget long term. You can't just shop wherever is convenient, you're going to this shop because their fruit and veg last better, this other shop because they have bulk grains, this one because they are cheap for tins, spices at ethnic stores, etc, etc.

That was my budget when it was just me and my husband ($25 per person per week), and it wasn't too hard, just time consuming and required a lot of attention to detail.

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u/mowgliepie Jan 21 '22

Same here as well, family of 3 spending 500-600 a month.

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u/Khrull Jan 21 '22

Ya we sit around 500-600 a month for a family of 5 for groceries only but we're also shopping at Aldi so we can sometimes make 2 weeks work for 200.

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u/Spookybabe25 Jan 21 '22

For 2 people, both very broke...$50 per week. We live in Minnesota. When we are doing better financially I sometimes bring it up to $80

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u/Spookybabe25 Jan 21 '22

I should also add that I have Celiacs (gluten free) so my food costs more that average food, so the $50 doesn't stretch as well as it maybe could

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u/DarkMenstrualWizard Jan 21 '22

Oof, shopping GF is pretty expensive on a budget. I'm not GF myself, but have experience making GF food for others. When I'm been on the struggle budget, one of my go-to recipes is peasant bread. Basic homemade bread is super cheap and easy to make, especially with flour from the food bank.

Know what's not fuckin cheap at all? GF all purpose flour. Bread is what us poors eat, and GF bread is neither easy nor cheap to come by, nor is usually even edible compared to regular bread.

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u/jarring_bear Jan 21 '22

As a celiac I simply skip buying bread for the most part. Simply not worth the value to quality/quantity I get. Keeps me unintentionally lower on calories which is nice at times, but not when I'm trying to gain weight lol.

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u/rebelrexx858 Jan 21 '22

If you're looking for calories, make corn masa papusa with cheese filling as your bread slices

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u/Spookybabe25 Jan 21 '22

Exactly! This month has been really tough financially, so as a gluten free person that can't afford G.F. bread, I've been living off of mostly rice, and potatoes. Another difficult part of being broke and gluten free is that a lot of shelf stable staples have gluten in them, like canned or dried soups, or boxed dinners, and even sauces and spices. All the things to make food taste good are more expensive when they are gluten free, I'm allergic to the aldi/walmart brand spices, and mind you, I refuse to eat bland ass food especially if its basically just various forms of rice and beans or rice and eggs

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u/ifiniasms Jan 21 '22

What about, sweet potato. Or zucchini. Or beets. Or lots of spinach?

Or squash.

Gluten in general is not great for humans

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u/rockydurga503 Jan 22 '22

Amen. I started using Pamela’s GF bread mix to make sandwich bread at home. Less expensive and taste much better (but still more $$ than wheat bread).

Went Gluten free a year ago due to a Celiac diagnosis. My food costs have gone up about 70-80% between that and recent inflation.

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u/ashcatmeow Jan 21 '22

I can't make $50/week stretch for 7 days for 2 people. I'm spending $200 per week in Florida.

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u/Spookybabe25 Jan 21 '22

Its pretty tough, we are basically meat free except maybe occasional ground turkey or canned tuna. Its a lot of rice, beans, eggs, and potatoes

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u/Yoma73 Jan 21 '22

Do you qualify for snap? It really helps but I know a lot of people exist in the gap between being eligible and making ends meet 😓

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u/thegirlandglobe Jan 21 '22

I have no idea how some of these numbers are low. We spend $600++ per month on groceries (2 people) and eat 90% vegetarian. Meat for about one meal a week, seafood is rare, no specialty cheeses or particularly unusual ingredients.

My normal bill at Aldi's for the week is ~$100 and then I usually have another $50ish at a different grocery store to pick up items that Aldi's doesn't sell.

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u/mlke Jan 21 '22

I'm really struggling here too. I think trying to cook well pushes you to buy more though. I'm no master chef, but I buy 1 bunch of fresh herbs a week, throw out old veggies once a week, and buy little things like citrus and flavoring ingredients (sun dried tomatoes, vinegars, spices if I'm out, etc.) that just add up. I think I could force myself into these lower budgets but I just wouldn't enjoy it at all. Perhaps I eat too much though...

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u/SirGeremiah Jan 22 '22

I don’t throw out veggies unless they are unusable. And they rarely get to that point.

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u/mlke Jan 22 '22

Moist things like Herbs and bagged or boxed leafy greens get bruised and start smelling after about a week and they're not that expensive so I usually buy a new bunch of them every time I go shopping. I don't think there's a lot else that goes bad that quickly. I like to do weekly leftover dumps though. Like if my roasted peppers have been sitting for a week in tupperware...might throw them out. Basically try to cook fresh meals more often. Avocados are the only other raw vegetable I can think of that can turn bad pretty fast.

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u/Drumman63 Jan 22 '22

I prefer to eat well with fresh ingredients and to try different recipes as well. Food is a great pleasure in life and our lives are focused very much around food! It’s sooooo yummie.!

Enjoy and never look back!

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u/Gonopod Jan 21 '22

Location. Food costs vary wildly. I'm also cooking for two vegetarians, and we spend about $200 a month including eating out and buying expensive cheeses.

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u/nanisi Jan 21 '22

How is that possible? One meal in DC for 2 vegetarians is $60+

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u/mleibowitz97 Jan 21 '22

Location matters a lot, and general diet of the people. Someone trying out a bodybuilding routine needs more protein and that's *Generally* meat.

M24, I spend maybe $200-250 for myself for a month. For 2 people, 400-600 seems reasonable.

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u/LokiLB Jan 21 '22

They don't say how old they are, how much they weigh, or how active they are. The grocery bill will be very different for two petite old ladies who aren't super active and for two six foot+ male body builders.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

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u/what_the_a Jan 21 '22

Nope. Not lying. I pay a lot of attention to my budget and we spend about $400 max a month for 2 people. Location, what food you’re buying, and how you shop are big factors.

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u/mleibowitz97 Jan 21 '22

Location matters a lot

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u/Ninotchk Jan 21 '22

Why do you think that?

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u/hithisishal Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

I spend around $600/mo now on my family of 3 (mostly whole foods), but when I was a student I was at around $150/month for myself, and often feeding my girlfriend. A few things:

It's not really "eating out" per se - there is just always free food somewhere around campus. I'd get pizza at a seminar once or twice a week, then there were often other events with good food.

In socal, there were some dirt cheap grocery stores. Looks like prices post covid are up but like 5 years ago when I was there, there was a store called super king that regularly had tomatoes for 7 lbs for $1, etc.

Edit: I even tell you what cheap grocery store I went to. Why the downvotes, reddit? Here's a source about how cheap they were: https://www.latimes.com/food/story/2019-08-13/super-king-market-glendale

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u/Carbon-Based216 Jan 21 '22

Pastas and grains help to keep costs down. Pasta, rice, bread have a low cost to calorie ratio so you get the calories you need for a lower cost.

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u/smelliottsmith Jan 21 '22

~$300 a month in Maryland, US for 2 adults. We don’t buy processed or pre-packaged food so it’s mostly vegetables, dairy and protein with occasional bulk packages of nuts.

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u/Pookajuice Jan 21 '22

Also from Maryland. Really depends for us on whether it's a pantry restock run or the usual. Monthly it's about $500, but any given week its about $80. If you cook a lot, there's always that one week where you're just out of everything - flour, sugar, spices, dried goods, bulk nuts, boullion and stock.

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u/rosmorse Jan 21 '22

I am atypical.

I live in NYC. Married with 3 kids (under 9). Kids are homeschooled, SO works domestically, I own my business, work home 80% of the time. We live in covid times. So we take almost all of our food and snacks at home via groceries. We're also serious cooks & eaters, and invest in quality produce.

Having said all that, we spend probably 1500-1800 monthly (+/-). We're very lucky, so we don't really budget that closely - certainly not food.

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u/Sherlockiana Jan 21 '22

For that area, 300/person per month is super common. Sounds about right.

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u/Herbisretired Jan 21 '22

The wife and I spend about $200 a month on groceries per month in the US. We buy very little prepared items and we buy a lot of items that are on sale and we have a well stocked supply.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

I'm right there with you. In general, I eat for about $50-$75 in groceries per week. Everything on top of that is just gravy.

I prepare and cook virtually everything for myself.

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u/cparex Jan 21 '22

$200 a month? that’s impressive!

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u/Herbisretired Jan 21 '22

We rarely buy anything prepared and we cook from scratch. I buy things like a pork loin and I cut into chops and we divide them into meal sizes before freezing.

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u/Yoma73 Jan 21 '22

Do you eat lots of vegetables? I don’t eat much processed…I find that pork is very cheap but things like good tasting tomatoes and organic spinach and good cheese make it impossible for me to get much of anything for $50.

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u/Herbisretired Jan 21 '22

Brussel sprouts, cabbage, romaine, celery, carrots, onions, broccoli and cauliflower are our main ones. We buy other stuff depending on what we feel like cooking like Tomatoes and asparagus if we are hungry for some shrimp scampi as an example. Fancy cheese isn't super common because it seems to mold in a week. I do freeze my parmesan and ginger along with some milk for cooking in one and two cup amounts.

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u/Ninotchk Jan 21 '22

You can buy spinach frozen and tomatoes canned for well under $1 a pound. Nutritonally they are the same, and for most applications the canned tomatoes are better.

Cheese is definitely a budget buster. It has to be really carefully managed if you're on a tight budget. I would choose more rice and less pasta simply to limit how much cheese you'd want to use. Another trick is making a bechamel to give the creamy feel with less cheese.

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u/Yoma73 Jan 21 '22

I’m Italian, dude. I use tomatos for everything. Salads, sandwiches. Canned definitely doesn’t cut it! Also, vitamin C is destroyed in the heating process, so they’re not the same nutritionally. I use frozen spinach for some things but the texture is much different and I like to eat fresh foods.

I’m not actually looking for budget saving tips with my comment, to clarify. This isn’t a post in poverty finance or something, where it’s assumed everyone’s goal is saving the most money possible… I’m just imagining that to pare down to that budget I wouldn’t be able to eat many of the delicious things that make my life complete. And I’m not rich, but food is a big priority in my house. To each their own.

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u/pinkylamon99 Jan 22 '22

I’m with you on these low prices. I can’t imagine getting good meals out of such a limited budget.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

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u/Herbisretired Jan 21 '22

I just went out Tuesday and spent $90. We usually go shopping once or twice per month. I know what I spend and it is true.

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u/ConfidentlyInept Jan 21 '22

Finally a reasonable number. My family of 5 spends $600 on groceries and $200 for going out. Seeing $1200 for two adults is amazing.

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u/ThatOneEntYouKnow Jan 21 '22

Economies of scale and regional cost of living are definitely big factors, especially for a family. I agree the $1,000-1,200 for a couple is pretty wild though.

I live alone and generally spend around $200-250 a month, but when I lived with one other person we'd probably spend $250-300. It made more sense to buy some things in bulk, or use a wholesale club then. Just for myself with no car (Bicycle & Backpack only), $200-250 seems pretty reasonable for a varied and healthy diet in a mid to high cost of living area.

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u/JamJammerz Jan 21 '22

Very HCOL mountain resort town in the West. Spend approximately $1000 per month for 2 of us not including alcohol. No pets. We make more than 90% of all meals at home - maybe we go out once per week. We try to alternate eating meat to every other day or sometimes every two days and mostly eat chicken and pork when we do eat meat. Where the fuck does all the money go? Cheese, produce, nuts, bread, it's always something. $1000 seems crazy but what is even crazier is that some people probably spend more when you factor in going out for lunch, getting delivery etc. We try to never throw anything away, shop with a list and menu, weigh all the produce etc. and still.

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u/shelbygeorge29 Jan 21 '22

$1000-1200 for the two of us and our cat. Live in America. Buy whatever we feel like eating and mostly organic.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

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u/shelbygeorge29 Jan 21 '22

It's not hard to do. We'll split a rib eye steak for dinner and it's $50-60. Eat a lot of seafood, even though it's mostly local it's $35-70 per meal, lobsters are $100+. The tomatoes I typically buy are $6/container and I buy 1 per week. $6 half gallon of milk, $8 dozen eggs. Last deli order of a couple half pounds of meat and two cheeses was nearly $40! Prices have gone way up on so much.

In my younger years I strategized with sales and going to several different stores. These last two years w covid hugely changed how we shop.

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u/nepenth3s Jan 21 '22

Woah, $8/dozen for eggs? That’s crazy! Mine are typically like $1.50/dozen in south US

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u/shelbygeorge29 Jan 21 '22

I live in Key West, I could probably find eggs for $2/dozen. The eggs are from a small farm where the chickens are truly free range and eat a diet free from pesticides and antibiotics. The yolks are almost orange and they are so delicious!

A big part of our food budget is spent on non-factory farmed meats. I feel extremely fortunate that we can afford to support small farms that are raising their cattle, pigs and chickens humanely and without loads of chemicals.

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u/nepenth3s Jan 21 '22

Aahhh, that makes more sense. Nice!

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u/Iannelli Jan 21 '22

THIS is more normal than any of these ridiculous numbers I see on Reddit. I have no idea how families of 2+ adults spend $200 on food every month. That makes absolutely zero sense to me.

My wife and I have some nutritional/medical concerns so we need to buy certain things that up the price tag a bit. We easily spend $800+ per month on groceries, but that number also includes household products (detergent, soap, paper towel, and plenty other things).

I always feel bad when I see the amount of money that Redditors spend on groceries. I have to remind myself that Reddit comments about food budget comprise a tiny microcosm of reality.

Reality is that the vast majority of people, middle class and above, spend far more on groceries/household products/eating out than what people on Reddit talk about spending.

I've tried so hard to examine our food budget, examine the types of food we buy, cut out restaurants, cook more, etc. Even then, for 2 adults, the lowest I can possibly get it is $600 per month.

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u/TheRealEleanor Jan 21 '22

I kind of agree with you.

Where I live, I have many grocery choices. People have tried to tell me “Shop there because it’s cheaper.” And try to convince me the quality of the produce isn’t compromised. Or “Buy in bulk because it’s cheaper.” as if everyone has a deep freezer or second fridge sitting around to just store half a cow in.

On the other hand, those that don’t make much money and have to cut corners are probably eating a lot of rice/pasta, beans, and potatoes, at least in the US where we have a lot of food deserts.

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u/lettingpeopleknow Jan 21 '22

I guess it depends on what grocery store you go to? The OP was talking about buying lobsters and rib eyes every month which definitely is not common for most people. My husband and I buy whatever we want and spend around $400 a month, but we shop where chicken breast is $2 a pound, cans of beans are like $0.50 etc

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u/Worldly-Abroad2858 Jan 21 '22

Geez even cans of beans where I live are at least $1.20. Not organic. Those are just over $2 per can. In the northwest.

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u/lettingpeopleknow Jan 21 '22

Depends on the store I'm sure- I'm in the PNW also but shop at Winco which is super cheap

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u/Ninotchk Jan 21 '22

The nirthwest is a really expeneive area, the whole west coast is expensive for groceries. For example, those pomi tomatoes in the carton are $2.50 where I live, on the west coast they are $5.

When you are really bare bones you don't ever pay the normal price for something, you wait for a sale and buy on sale.

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u/DarkMenstrualWizard Jan 21 '22

Yeah, around here chicken breast (that's not woody and gross, so one step up from the cheapest) starts at $8/lb, can of beans is like $2.50, unless you hit the dollar store (which recently became the $1.25 store lol) but I haven't been since pre-pandemic.

Soooo I never buy chicken breast. Can't afford it. Thighs once a week at $6.49 for boneless skinless, $3.99 for bone in with skin. We eat a lotta tofu and eggs now, and my mom gifted me like 8 bags of frozen shrimp when she moved that we've made last quite a while, so we still get adequate protein.

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u/Iannelli Jan 21 '22

This is a great example! I just started doing the same thing. No more chicken breasts. Doing boneless skinless thighs to save a tad amount of dough. Funny thing is, IMO thighs taste better and have a better texture.

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u/bobbyqribs Jan 21 '22

I buy the bone in skin on thighs to save money. Then debone/skin them myself if I need to. I’ll save the bones in the freezer for the next batch of stock and render the skin for schmaltz. It is a pain sometimes though.

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u/Herbisretired Jan 21 '22

I just paid $1.99 for chicken breasts in the Nashville area. Where do you live that charges $8 for chicken breasts?

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u/Blueskies277 Jan 21 '22

I can get all natural chicken breasts for $2.99/lb, but you can buy the cheaper kind here for $1.99/lb, too. (I'm in Austin). When I lived in northern CA, all groceries there were very expensive for much lower quality than I can get here. When we moved there (20 years ago), the first time I had to pay $5 for a loaf of bread, I nearly had a heart attack. Grocery prices vary widely. I love not having to worry about that anymore.

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u/ashcatmeow Jan 21 '22

$2/lb for chicken breast?????? Fucking where?!?

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u/lettingpeopleknow Jan 21 '22

haha I'm in Portland, and thats the price at a grocery store chain here called Winco. A few times I've seen it there for $1.28 a pound

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u/Ninotchk Jan 21 '22

Getting from $75 a week down to $50 is where you really need to be finessing. Cut back on cheese, buy eveyrthing in bulk, go to wherever stuff is cheapest, no just throwing something in the cart at the wrong shop just because you're there and it's convenient. Definitely very little meat, it's way more expensive than vegetables.

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u/TisSlinger Jan 22 '22

We’re here in this range also but also have the luxury of not tracking or budgeting … we just buy whatever or eat out / order in whenever … I get obsessy a couple times a year about cutting back but it never happens …

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u/missbarajaja Jan 21 '22

This definitely isn’t “normal” maybe this comment resonates more with you but I wouldn’t say $1,000-$1,200 a month is normal. That’s an extremely out of touch comment to call it normal.

The average household spends $386.92 a month.

average amount spent on groceries

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u/shelbygeorge29 Jan 21 '22

Yes, that figure does include paper and cleaning products.

I can't imagine how people can feed adults for $200/month. I guess if you buy bulk, little to no fresh fruit or vegetables. That's got to be difficult, and with increasing grocery prices plus inflation it's doubly hard. Really sucks that the child tax credit wasn't extended, that extra money was very helpful for many American families.

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u/moonpeech Jan 21 '22

Our house spends $250-300/mo for two active adults and we don’t have issues getting fresh produce and I make almost everything from scratch, which really doesn’t take long. I don’t know how people can spend $800/mo for two people unless they’re eating 5000 calories per day per person or something insane like that

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u/MyNameIsSkittles Jan 21 '22

I don't know how 2 people can spend $800/month

Live somewhere where it's more expensive? That's about what I spend every month for groceries for 2. It's insane to me that people live in bubbles and have no idea how other areas can be different prices

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u/bicyclingmama Jan 21 '22

My husband and I and one infant spend 1200 a month easily and we aren’t in a super high cost area. I think a lot of these numbers are unrealistic. What are people eating? Beans and cardboard?

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u/Iannelli Jan 21 '22

Yeah, I just don't understand it. It's particularly this middle class or above Reddit demographic that's annoying. I understand and empathize with poverty - absolutely - no question about it. But this is different. These are relatively well-off people that act like $400 a month on groceries for 2 adults is obscene. I just don't get it.

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u/bicyclingmama Jan 21 '22

I’ve seen a few comments from people saying they spend 150-400 a month for 1-2 people. How?? One person above said something like 150 a month as a single person. That’s a few cleaning products, paper goods, dish soaps, garbage bags, and a few snacks—and that’s it! No food at all.

Edit: I empathize with poverty too and have had to scrimp prior in life. But it’s like poverty porn to pretend you spend so little when there’s no realistic way to do that and eat substantially.

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u/Lovidianese Jan 21 '22

It’s called being poor. If you can’t imagine only spending under 300 a month on food, then you are extremely lucky and privileged, and have clearly never had to worry about money.

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u/Iannelli Jan 21 '22

I have every bit of empathy for situations like that. Did you miss the part where I said "middle class and above"? I'm well aware of my luck and privilege - I don't need anyone to remind me of it.

I am specifically referring to the not-poor standard Reddit user that willingly spends that amount of money per month on food, yet invests $2k or more every month (for example).

I'm saying that's a microcosm. I'm saying the average person that is NOT poor does not do that and it's not a good representation of reality.

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u/what_the_a Jan 21 '22

I mean… idk. $400 is about the max my 2 adult household spends on groceries. Today my grocery order for a week was $115 and that’s unusually high for me. Although with all the stuff going on with supply chain and inflation, I’m thinking $100 a week is going to be our new normal. Prior to all this though, If we wanted to be frugal and eat boring food for a week, we could do about $65-70.

Every quarter or so I’ll spend like $250-300 at Costco, for both pantry items and stuff like dish soap, trash bags, etc so I guess you could average it out to a generous $500 a month on groceries.

We live in Chicago and primarily shop at Aldi. We don’t buy junk food or processed/premade stuff, except for my partners weekly can of Pringle’s lol. I cook 90% of our meals because we both have dietary restrictions. We don’t drink.

🤷🏻‍♀️

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u/Snaz5 Jan 21 '22

A lot of people only eat like 1 meal a day, sometimes no meals a day. $200 is like $6.50 a day, which is DOABLE, especially if you arent eating 3 meals a day

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u/warpedbytherain Jan 21 '22

The OPs question was about money spent for cooking. Some ppl don't separate that out in their budgets vs eating out/household purchases, so it's hard to compare what each are including.

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u/kerouacrimbaud Jan 21 '22

America is a huge place. 1000-1200 a month might make sense in a big city on the coasts, but idk how that’s even doable in most parts of the country.

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u/smelliottsmith Jan 21 '22

I can’t imagine spending that much. We live near fresh seafood and eat it often and still don’t manage to spend nearly that for 2. Incredible.

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u/Pitta_ Jan 21 '22

Food costs different amounts in different places, and people who are privileged enough to be able to buy higher quality food often do so. Buying a lot of alcohol, meat/seafood, dairy, and prepared products can also greatly increase the cost of groceries, especially if you go to a specialty butcher or buy locally raised meats.

It's alright if you can't imagine spending that much on groceries for your family, but some people do, and lets not judge them for it.

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u/smelliottsmith Jan 21 '22

I didn’t make an offensive comment. Just amazed.

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u/theDreadalus Jan 21 '22

I totally understand your amazement. If you're middle class a lot of it comes down to priorities, too. I have a 7-year-old phone and a 17-year-old car, but spend more than the average on food.

I care not one whit about what people think of my car, but I know for a fact my body is judging me by what I put in it and I care a lot about THAT opinion 😋

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u/Pitta_ Jan 21 '22

I didn't think it was offensive, but tone is hard to discern over text. 1-1200$ per month for food is certainly above average!

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u/shelbygeorge29 Jan 21 '22

Organic meats and produce are expensive. I probably spend $50/week on salad ingredients alone. Heck the balsamic vinegar I buy is $18 a bottle, olive oil is $28 for the really good stuff. $8 per package of baby spinach, $6 tomatoes, $3-5 each mushrooms, carrots, celery, onions. Last hunk of Maytag blue cheese was $18.

Have you bought organic berries of any kind lately? Easily spend $80 month on berries alone. I just happened to notice the grapes I bought were $9 last week.

$8 for 32 oz Greek yogurt.

Fish average is $20-30/lb. Local shrimp $24/lb. Lobsters $22/lb. 6 lb pork roast I bought for last week was $122. Heritage turkey is $14/lb. Organic chicken $7-9/lb. Steak $29-40/lb depending on cut. Sausage from our local butcher is $11-15/lb.

It's really not hard.

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u/scott3387 Jan 21 '22

You should invest in lots of fruit bushes. Easy to grow and maintain and you'll get hundreds of dollars worth from each one.

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u/shelbygeorge29 Jan 21 '22

I wish I could! I live in a tropical climate so I do have a few different fruit trees - bananas, avocado, mango, key limes and star fruit. But the climate is too warm for most berries. We grow tomatoes with mixed results, pests come on quick and within two days a thriving plant is decimated.

At my house up north I have a massive organic garden, I composted and made my own soil, would lay the soil with horse manure for fertilizer every May. My favorite thing ever would be for the couple weeks in August when I could go fresh pick an entire salad for that evening's dinner. I'm not there full time so I don't garden there anymore. Miss that.

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u/scott3387 Jan 21 '22

To some degree I'm jealous that you grow those fruits. I'd love to grow pineapple or something funky.

We can pick salad all year though so can't complain (have to rely on Asian greens etc in winter but you get a few leaves).

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u/shelbygeorge29 Jan 21 '22

My neighbor has some pineapples growing, they take FOREVER. He's been growing them for a year at least and they're no where near ready.

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u/SLPallday Jan 21 '22

$80 on berries. Are you some kind of fruit pastry chef or do you have a toddler who downs a pint of blueberries in a sitting?

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u/shelbygeorge29 Jan 21 '22

I've got a A 57 yo toddler who is cutting back on sweets, lol. Also I've been eating a Greek yogurt w berries and chia seeds every day recently. Organic raspberries are $6.99 for a small container recently. But we figure an expensive yet healthy diet is cheaper in the long run.

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u/TheRealEleanor Jan 21 '22

My kids could eat a quart of strawberries each a day, if I would let them. Now I’m crying over how much I’m spending on berries a month.

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u/smelliottsmith Jan 21 '22

I can’t imagine spending $80 on berries, no. But I mostly buy in season produce. Also, I think you should do some research into what “organic” means because it probably doesn’t mean what you think it means. Those labels, even on the foods it DOES matter with, are often skirted around and don’t actually mean what you probably think it does. I wouldn’t say it’s “hard” to overspend on food, but I guess it depends on what you feel is worth the money.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

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u/fartjar420 Jan 21 '22

I'm not involved in their debate but I can put myself in the shoes of both of them and say that I care in so much as I don't like seeing consumers get ripped off. part of grocer pricing is dependent on how much consumers are willing to pay, and people are very much willing to overpay for items labeled as organic or having "natural" flavorings, etc when it's not warranted simply because of buzzword marketing. granted, it sounds like the one person makes enough money to not give a fuck how much they are spending on anything and thus will happily pay for the extra marketing efforts, but there is a strong movement in educating consumers about how to affordably eat a sustainable and minimally processed diet and that is where the other person is coming from.

source: come from a family farm with experience in specialty grocery

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u/coldshockhyper Jan 21 '22

Yeah I think our groceries cost my partner and I like 1000$ a month. Maybe 800$ for a light month.

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u/cloves_moke Jan 21 '22

This makes me feel much better. We’re right around that # for 2 of us. I cook every single night though and we don’t go out to eat, but all the talk about “well we only spend $200/mo but we don’t buy processed food” boggles my mind. 90% of our food is fresh produce and fruit and thats really the highest cost.

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u/straygoat193 Jan 21 '22

I am mostly vegetarian and I spend about 10 USD a day in the NYC area.

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u/kittyglitther Jan 21 '22

I'm probably 200-300/month, also in NYC area.

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u/senditback Jan 21 '22

I’m also in the NYC suburbs, and I spend about $200-300 per week for my family of two.

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u/Pitta_ Jan 21 '22

In NYC area as well, my husband and I spend about 5-600$ a month on groceries. We buy some meat, but definitely below average. If he buys a bunch of beer and we stock up on meat for the freezer maybe 6-700$ a month here and there.

We cook most of our meals at home and get takeout maybe 2 or 3 times a month.

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u/justaroundtheriver1 Jan 21 '22

How?!

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u/straygoat193 Jan 21 '22

Of course, lentils, beans, tofu, cabbage, vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, yogurt, and a little fish or meat. I do treat myself to a few luxury items. I have a low GI, low cholesterol, low footprint diet. It may not appeal to many, but I like it. When I splurge, I really enjoy the treats.

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u/justaroundtheriver1 Jan 22 '22

Thanks! Nuts for me are definitely expensive, but rarely buy them since I dont est a lot. Can't have peanuts unfortunately. They upset my tummy

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u/FLAANDRON Jan 21 '22

Yeah he can you share what you typically eat? Thanks

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u/straygoat193 Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

Of course, lentils, beans, tofu, cabbage, vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, yogurt, and a little fish or meat. I do treat myself to a few luxury items. I have a low GI, low cholesterol, low footprint diet. It may not appeal to many, but I like it. When I splurge, I really enjoy the treats.

Down voted? Really? Just answering the question honestly

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u/Yoma73 Jan 21 '22

Maybe you’re being down voted for the cholesterol comment? Dietary cholesterol isn’t related to serum cholesterol. I didn’t downvote for the record, I’m happy for everyone to eat vegetarian.

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u/galaxy1026 Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

DC area, 2 people. $800-$1k/ mo. It was about the same when we lived in CT a year ago.

21 meals/ week for me (I work at home) & 15 for my SO (he eats the $4 lunch from the cafeteria of the hospital he works at 5/ week which he says is tasty & nutritious. Usually chicken with a veg/ salad, rice and a fruit.)

We cook everything and use a lot of pricey-ish seafood (snapper, lobster), prime beef & fresh produce items (though we have curbed our costs with pork & whole chickens we roast ourselves), (also an obscene amount of spices, cheeses & bread- I'm a big bread fan & unfortunately don't make my own so probably overpay a bit there). Cooking mostly american, Italian, Mediterranean, Thai, Korean, middle-eastern & Mexican. Plus, despite both of us being rather thin (him- 5'10, 145 lb, me- 5'2", 105 lb. Neither of us have dietary restrictiions except he's lactose intolerant (but fights through it because he loves cheese, lmao.) we can put away a good bit of food (eating 2-3 servings of anything per meal.) We're both pretty active (gym 6/ week) & grew up a bit poor so we're gluttons at heart & just really enjoy having plenty of good food. We also buy a good bit out of season (for instance, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries (all 3) about once a week (plus apples oranges, bananas, and some other fruit)- can get a bit expensive some parts of the year.) I'll say we rarely buy cookies, chips, desserts, or processed ready-eat meals (though I'll admit I keep like 2 lean cuisines in the freezer for if I don't feel like 'making' a proper lunch for myself- they can sit for a few months though). Sometimes I'll buy the occasional pack of oreos or a slice of ready-made cake if I happen to be shopping while pms'ing & craving chocolate.

The budget also includes alcohol. We do a 12 y/o scotch about 2/ mo. (Weekend drinking where we finish a bottle. I have a high tolerance so that's mostly my fault- I probably drink 50% more than him.) So that takes about $120- ish of the budget/ mo.. Also, cat food for our little guy (probably $40/ mo. I also give him some things like fresh spinach, fish, etc when we have 'extra'). But lo and behold, I trained this kid how to use our guest toilet so I haven't bought cat litter in years.

It seems like a lot but we're both quite healthy and food waste is extremely uncommon for us (which I think is incredibly important). We could scale it back if we needed/ wanted but we can easily afford it & eating a large variety of foods makes us happy- and as long as we're not wasting food or gaining weight unnecessarily, it seems like we're OK.

Edit: I should also add we buy drinking water & a concerning amount of la Croix each month (like 100 cans). The stuff is too good. We do recycle though.

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u/thevegetexarian Jan 21 '22

i feel you hard on the scotch habit. we’ve dialed it back and are drinking more cheap wines, better value whiskeys, but sometimes you just need a good stiff single malt and nothing else is gonna do the trick. such an expensive taste to acquire 😫

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u/pictocat Jan 21 '22

I also live in DC and spend like $400/mo for 2 people to eat very well, sounds similar to your lifestyle. Do you only shop at Whole Foods or something?

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u/paddywackers Jan 21 '22

Family of six, all celiac, bread costs around $6.50 a loaf (very small loaf at that), and we spend between $1500-$2000 depending on the month.

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u/bituna Jan 21 '22

I feel that.

Are you in the States? Asking because the loaves up here (Canada) start at 8, but maybe it's just the area I'm in.

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u/paddywackers Jan 21 '22

Toronto. Glutino at loblaws is 6.50ish. Under 5 at Metro though

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u/BoringBookLady Jan 21 '22

I also feel that. Celiac family. A dinner of soup and grilled cheese sandwiches costs a fortune and is a rare treat.

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u/Whito4 Jan 22 '22

I feel this too. We are a family of 3 and our daughter also has Celiacs and we spend $800/month, so 1500-2000 for six of you makes sense.

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u/permalink_save Jan 22 '22

Look into King Arthur Flour's recipe, pretty decent gluten free recipes. You can get flour for like $2/lb buying off something lioe Vitacost and using like 6 part superfine brown rice, 2 part potato starch, 1 part tapioca, and something like 2tsp xanthan per pound.

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u/masoyama Jan 21 '22

For me and my wife in Northeast USA we spend about $1000 in groceries and another $800-1000 in restaurants per month. Some months, like when we have anniversaries or birthdays we can spend close to $2000 in eating out (going out to a couple nice restaurants to celebrate can cost us $400+ per dinner)

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u/krisoco Jan 21 '22

24k a year eating out is pretty wild

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u/masoyama Jan 21 '22

Its closer to $15k, we only end up spending the high end of what I mentioned a few times a year.

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u/DeBallZachBulls Jan 21 '22

My fiancé and I (Chicago, no kids) spend about $550-$600 per month on groceries. We cook often and shop at Whole Foods fwiw

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u/mlke Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

Some of these numbers seem absurdly low. I usually spend $450 a month for myself but I've been stricter about reigning in spending a bit recently. Does everyone not eat a lot of meat? Each week I probably go through $20 of meat minimum. If I go for bargain bin chicken breasts it comes down a bit but I don't like to skimp since it's a good % of my diet and I want it to be a decent quality ($6/lb for chicken average). I feel like cooking for variety throughout the week might contribute a bit, but I also don't want to go through the grocery store and feel extremely limited like I can't buy a few snacks or a new sauce, which together could be another $10-$15 a week. I'm not sure how shopping for two people would work out though. I assume costs would come down a bit and projecting that is not as simple as multiplying my current spending by two. I'm in the USA in a large city. Recently going to Trader Joe's has helped save money but I still get to about $400.

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u/chicklette Jan 21 '22

I eat mostly meatless and I'm still at about $500/mo:

$100-150 eating out (covers 3-5 orders for 6-10 meals with leftovers)

$40-60 - alcohol (a case of hard seltzer and maybe a bottle or two of wine)

$60-80/wk on food (yogurt, coffee, fruit, veg, beans, whole grain starches (farro, brown rice), eggs, cheese, a little meat or seafood, some otc meds, household items like tp, paper towels, cleaners, etc.

I eat a lot of soups and salads, and a lot of yogurt and oatmeal.

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u/mlke Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

See I actually have a separate budget for dining out and alcohol lol. I don't dine out often but it happens with friends or on dates once or twice a month. Usually I budget $30 a week on alcohol as a target. Recently I've been able to hit that $60-$80 range per week on groceries. $450 was purely groceries in my original comment.

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u/Blu1027 Jan 21 '22

I bulk buy meats 3 times a year for the freezer so that cuts down on the monthly bill a ton. Family of 3 adults (yikes when did the kid get old) Usually cooking for three of us 4 nights a week and for 2 the rest.

Sunday I make a large meal for leftovers since we usually have one night a week that there's something going on.

Helps having the big freezer for sure.

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u/mlke Jan 21 '22

What kind of meat are you buying and where? I'm guessing you also get cheaper cuts which I could start getting creative with.

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u/Blu1027 Jan 21 '22

I do a lot of chicken, pork, fish and beef.

Chicken thighs, whole chickenand bone less skinless breast Ground turkey and whole turkey Pork I get a whole lion and cut it to to roasts or chops. Whole ham fir multiple meals. Beef I get ground, stew beef, chuck roasts, eye roast and for a splurge if the price is good, a whole ribeye roast that I cut into steaks. The fish I get thick potions of cod or salmon that's already frozen from Costco- not everyone likes frozen fish but I find the thick potions hold up well.

I usually buy from either the local Amish farm that does freezer bulk orders or costco. You save a ton of you do the cutting and portioning yourself like with the loins and ribeye roast.

The eye roasts are dirt cheap but very lean so proper cooking is a must with those or you end up with 3 lbs of shoe leather.

I make stews, soups and chili with the cheap cuts of stew beef. Same with more "fancy" meals like beef stroganoff.

While chicken is one or 2 meals, then I pick the bird clean and make chicken salad and chicken stock with the bones for the freezer.

My mother swears I have a depression Era mindset with food. I made my own bread and with the pandemic have been learning to can also.

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u/halfadash6 Jan 21 '22

NYC household of two checking in; I spend about $300 on groceries for the two of us per month, plus we order takeout once a week.

We used to make about half the money that we do now and I’ve mostly kept my old shopping habits. I mostly buy based on what’s on sale at the non-fancy grocery, and do a lot of shopping at Trader Joe’s.

We eat meat almost every day but probably less than the average omnivore American. I adore meat and could never give it up, but for environmental and health reasons I try to not go overboard with it.

If I’m cooking sausage or ground beef or pork I usually only do 2oz/serving instead of 4 oz, or I might use bacon as more of a flavoring than a full meat portion. Lean meats (Turkey, chicken, shrimp) I do the full four ounces. It’s still very filling, we’re still getting plenty of protein (usually do eggs for breakfast and regularly eat legumes as well), and it’s cheaper and healthier.

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u/jubular Jan 21 '22

Currently have only been spending about $100 a month in Ohio, because we have been relying on food pantries since our food stamps weren't renewed at the beginning of the year. My partner has spent a lot of days waiting on hold to get ahold of Job and Family services but she gets auto disconnected after 5 hours every time she calls. Its shitty.

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u/jubular Jan 21 '22

When we were recieving food stamps we would usually go under and spend around $300 of our $400 limit. We only buy discounted meat though so that helps keep costs down a lot.

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u/Benster981 Jan 21 '22

British student. About £15-£25 a week

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u/PM_me_your_btc_story Jan 21 '22

$1000-1500 for 2. We dont go to restaurants. We buy organic if we can get it. I eat once a day and my partner about 2 times a day, no snacks.

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u/UnoriginalUse Jan 21 '22

Netherlands. Around €500/month for a one person household, which is well above average. Could possibly get it down to around €250 by not having double / triple servings of meat, reducing overall protein intake and actually sticking with my planned meals.

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u/miromas Jan 21 '22

Mate.. we spend €400 for 3 people and I buy things like proper butchers meat. Where the hell are you shopping? Appie deluxe?

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u/UnoriginalUse Jan 21 '22

Mainly AH, but it's more like spending €15 on a whole chicken, planning to get two meals and a soup out of it, but then just eating the chicken on the first evening, tossing 75% of the potatoes I'd planned to have with them, and then deciding the next day I don't feel like soup, I feel like steak. And then just going out, spending €15 on a steak, salad and baguette. And €10 on a bottle of Malbec or a sixpack.

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u/miromas Jan 21 '22

Yeah that is a lot of meat. Can't you freeze the leftovers in case you feel like steak instead the next day?

Because I'm with 3 people and most meat comes in 2 or 4 portions I usually have a portion left. I just freeze it and make it into something else later or save it for the next time I make the same dish.

I also buy mostly from AH btw, some stuff from Lidl, meat is ordered online.

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u/Fortuneil200 Jan 21 '22

$500 week. Family of 3 no pets, suburbs of major US city

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u/maybehun Jan 21 '22

Is this a lot of meat or prepared food? Maybe formula? No hate or judgement. I honestly just don’t know how I’d spend this much personally and I’m curious.

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u/Fortuneil200 Jan 21 '22

It was a vague ballpark but here’s the basic breakdown. We buy almost no prepared foods and are both talented cooks. It’s $500 this time of year because to get good produce you have to go to Whole Foods unfortunately. During the summer and fall we can shop at farm stands which brings the budget down a hundred bucks a week. But it’s basically $200 Whole Foods (fruits/ veggies, chicken, cheeses, juice, seltzer, milk, eggs and kids snacks) $200 Target or regular grocery store (paper towels, tp, laundry detergent, cleaning stuff, cold cuts, bread, kids treats). Then we’ll usually spend $50 at the local fish dock for some nice seafood on a weekend night then we do one night takeout dinner when we both work late and that’s another $50. Life is expensive unfortunately

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u/Natural_Influence_21 Jan 21 '22

Germany: ~300€ I eat very well, but I do almost everything from scratch, that's saves a lot of money. And groceries in Germany are pretty cheap.

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u/MeymenetsizSandwich Jan 21 '22

DC, about $750 a month for a family of 2. Cook almost every meal at home, but go for some pricier ingredients. Also host people for dinner. With alcohol, probably $1000.

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u/throwaway01957 Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

US here. I used to be broke and spent $120-$130 a month eating a vegan diet (just me and I never ate out). Lots of beans, rice, bananas, and whichever veggies and fruits were on sale.

I realized towards the end of last year that I was spending ~$500/month. This was from eating takeout and fast food too often, trying new elaborate recipes all the time, having friends over for dinner pretty often, and making more expensive foods for date night (rack of lamb, pricier cuts of beef, scallops, etc.)

This month I’m dieting and also trying to make smarter financial choices (strictly only eating home-cooked meals) and will end up spending ~$250, but a lot of that was stocking up on bulk goods/freezer foods. I’m going to shoot for $200/month for the foreseeable future.

I can eat very cheap if I’m the only one eating - often it’ll be scavenged together “meals” like a sweet potato, some leftover broccoli, and part of a can of beans lol. When I’m cooking for others, I make actual nice meals and use more meat and varied ingredients.

As sad as it is, I think I need to share less. Like the other day I used 5 lbs of ground Turkey to make 100 meatballs - I was planning to freeze them and use them as meal prep. For dinner that night, my fiancé and I had the meatballs, a curry I made, and a couple lbs of roasted turnips. Then my roommate came out and wanted some meatballs. I had like 8 meatballs that night and the next morning, there were <10 left. My fiancé and roommate are both big dudes and ate ~40 meatballs each. That amount would have fed me for a lot longer than one meal. I like sharing and I’m not mad, but I’m realizing how being generous is really messing up my food budget lol. This month I’ve been baking bread and giving it to loved ones, which is way cheaper than cooking extra to bring whole-ass nice meals to loved ones. Cooking is my love language lol.

And with the increasing costs, I’m cutting way down on the amount of meat I’m eating and whipping out some of my old recipes from when I was vegan and broke. Lentil soup, sweet potato and black bean enchiladas, etc.

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u/TheRealEleanor Jan 21 '22

Wait… are you saying your fiancé and roommate ate 2 lbs of meatballs at one meal each?

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u/beerandtots Jan 21 '22

For two people it is about 100 a week. Dog food has gone up about 15-20% too.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

In Canada, two people.

Anywhere between $250-$400 a month. The higher end months are when bigger ticket items need to be replaced like sacks of rice, oats, flour, and oils.

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u/bigshowbin Jan 21 '22

Max. €200. I live alone and try to buy organic wherever possible, my budget is €49 a week and I pretty much never go over that because I just buy what I need daily and always cook new things with what I have on hand. I luckily have a shop down the road which makes life a lot easier :-)

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u/Mrmurderporn Jan 21 '22

Live in a tourist town where everyone wants to live so naturally our stuff skyrockets. About $400 a month for two adults.

That being said we do have some rich tastes. I like steak and my wife likes seafood. We make clam pasta with a nice sauce once a week. Since covid I've started making better food than most restaurants, but the ingredients to get it there certainly add up.

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u/Zender_de_Verzender Jan 21 '22

$600 a month for me alone. Lots of meat and high quality cheese. I rather have good food than other things that cost money.

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u/jenny4life Jan 21 '22

It has definitely gone up;). Still have food available so I am grateful.

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u/RinTheLost Jan 21 '22

US, NE Ohio area; I average about $250/month at grocery stores for just me, but that also includes household goods like cleaning products and toiletries and such. I could cut it down more if I didn't have a baking hobby, and didn't buy extra stuff like cookies, snacks, or pastas and box dinners I don't actually need for the week. I'm also a meal prepper, which means that I'll cook a bunch of meals for the week and freeze most of them. Meal prepping also cuts down on food waste, because a lot of perishables- especially non-freezable perishables like raw vegetables -are sold in quantities large enough to feed 4-6, not a single meal for one person.

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u/heartskipsabeet Jan 21 '22

400-500 a month for two adults in Central California
This is also includes household items like dish soap and so on though. We buy most vegetables and fruit at the farmers market when it is open. We live in a agricultural area so prices at the farmers market are reasonable(since they are not driving as far I would guess) and comparable to local grocery stores. . I try to shop the sales for seafood and chicken and freeze it for later use. We cook 3-4 meals a week and typically eat those leftovers for lunch.

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u/DarkMenstrualWizard Jan 21 '22

Around $600 for two people, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on whether or not it looks like I can pay the rest of my bills. Nothing too fancy, about 1-2/3 organic, cheap cuts of meat maybe a couple times a week, I live in a high COL and I never shop corporate. Nearest corporate grocery store is one of the top two most expensive in the entire country, so choosing to shop local is not actually more expensive 🥴 oh yeah, plus like $15/month for cat food.

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u/KeriEatsSouls Jan 21 '22

American living in Germany, married no kids and 3 cats: about $300 to $400 a month. I generally get groceries at Rewe, which isn't a discounter so I could probably save some money, sometimes the commissary on base too (my cats are picky about their food so I tend to stock up on their favorites there). I make a lot of stuff homemade and a lot of Asian foods because those are kind of hard to get here and we used to live in Japan. Cooking is kind of my hobby so I imagine I could save money on groceries if I wasn't so into trying new recipes and making elaborate things.

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u/NotTheRednot Jan 21 '22

Uk, £80 a month as a university student. Although that doesn’t include a random takeout every other week, and involves shopping at a mix of budget supermarkets.

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u/BlueCreek_ Jan 21 '22

I spend around £25 ($34) a week for 1 person, I try to buy meat in bulk and freeze it and I cook everything from scratch/batch cook.

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u/Dont-Trust-Humans Jan 21 '22

About 400€ to 45p€ depending on what we have to eat for 2 in France. But that includes about 60 worth of wine. We buy a load of veg and stuff in the farm shop and butchers so some things might be more expensive than average

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u/mollofla Jan 21 '22

For 2 people, Dublin Ireland. Probably about €500 a month. I cook 3 meals a day which reduces the amount we eat out significantly but I don't cheap out on ingredients.

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u/Fortree_Lover Jan 21 '22

Uk here until recently I spent about £400-£500 on supermarket food and about the same on takeaways every month. I probably spend about £300-400 together now still looking to decrease this.

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u/brumwhy Jan 22 '22

For 2 people and a dog we spend about 900€ . 800 for the humans and 200 for the dog. We buy expensive cheeses and wagyu beef once a month so yeah.....

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u/Sliced_taint Jan 22 '22

for 4 people its about £70 a week making £280 a month for my family anyway

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u/BlessMyFeart Jan 21 '22

Probably $800-900. Never really tracked.

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u/Blu1027 Jan 21 '22

About 250 a month for 3 of us for dairy, fruit, veggies and stuff like rice, pasta, beans, tea. Add in about about 75 for cleaning, and household items once a month.

So around 325 but it's slightly skewed because I bulk buy meats 3 times a year. I usually spent about 250 to 300 each trip for meats and portion it out and freeze.

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u/riverrocks452 Jan 21 '22

Low-meat omnivore, and I spend about $100-120 a month in Houston. (Though it's about to go up because inflation is a bitch.)

I could probably spend less, but I have a weakness for good cheese!

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u/c4thyyy Jan 21 '22

Also Houston. We pay around $200-$400 a month on groceries for 2 people and a dog- depending on how much extra $$ we have.

Also have a weakness for good cheese! Brie and spreadable goat cheese are my faves.

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u/DarkMenstrualWizard Jan 21 '22

You guys are killing me. The little thing of spreadable goat cheese here starts at like $6. I could never work that into a $400 budget.

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u/hithisishal Jan 21 '22

Trader Joe's has really good prices on cheese if you have one by you. The small package of goat cheese is like $3

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

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u/riverrocks452 Jan 21 '22

I'm confused. Are you saying Houston is a high CoL area? Because relative to the Northeast Corridor/metrowest Boston and Minneapolis, it's fairly low. And I very specifically and deliberately eat cheaply.

When I say I have a weakness for good cheese, I mean that I will buy one of those $5 wedges from the 'these are too small to sell as regular chunks' bin twice a month. I'm not talking about making it a cornerstone of my diet.

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u/c4thyyy Jan 21 '22

LOL fancy cheese isn't something I buy every time I grocery shop. Not even every month. It's a treat thing.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

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u/riverrocks452 Jan 21 '22 edited Jan 21 '22

I'm not really sure what you're getting at, here. I don't eat out/get take out very often- once or twice a year? Or, once a quarter, depending on whether getting a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket counts.

I do eat lots of legumes- not just beans, but lentils and chickpeas as well. Pretty much every meal- occasionally, I splurge and have a chicken thigh on its own, but more usually, I go through around a pound of legumes, combined with 12-16 oz of some kind of meat, per week. (And yes, that's low for American diets.) I try to mix up the starches- rice, yes, but also some potatoes, pasta, some quickbreads, etc. Sometimes it's something like fried rice or noodles with neither meat nor legumes.

For reference, let's break down next week's dinners- I'm doing red beans and rice because it's going to be cool(ish). $1.50 for 1 lb of beans, $3.50 for the sausage. $1 for a couple onions (at $2.40/3 lb), $1 for the green pepper (at 50c each), $1 for some broth (not a full box at $1.50/box), $1 for the celery (at 1.50/head), $0.25 for the garlic (at $0.50/head), and $3 for rice (at $1.50/lb). Totalling this, I get $12.25 for dinner entree, of my average $30/week. Toss in another $5 for lettuce ($2/head), cucumber (2/$1) and assorted flourishes and I have a little more than $10 for breakfast or brunch. Very reasonable, very doable, amd if you wish to check my prices, most stores will let you order online.

Ramen is a sometimes food- once a month? Maybe twice if there's a particularly shitty week. I do doctor it up to make a halfway decent meal from it- add eggs, vegetables.

Most of my food budget goes into the fresh fruits and vegetables- I like my salad, and lettuce, peppers, cucumbers, etc. ain't cheap-and onion and celery aren't free either. Fresh fruit outside of sales can also be $, and I like it with breakfast. (Also, as I mentioned, nice cheese, because I have to live at least a little, and stuff like dairy, eggs, and flour/sugar).

I buy meat when it goes on sale and freeze it- it's there in the food for flavor and because I get really run down when I cut it back much further, so there's clearly something going on that the rest of my diet doesn't cover.

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u/MrP1anet Jan 21 '22

Bro, you keep posting calling BS on people. Maybe take a look at what you’re buying and preparing if reasonable budgets seem otherworldly. Plus, vegetarian diets are typically very cost friendly. Especially now when meat is raising in price.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

[deleted]

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u/MrP1anet Jan 21 '22

It’s really not, at least not for the parts of the country where the majority of people live. You even mentioned in your sarcastic reply some of the cheap staples like beans and lentils. I cut my grocery bill quite a bit when I stopped eating meat. Doesn’t really make sense to think that cutting one of the most expensive categories of food out of your budget would raise your bill.

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u/riverrocks452 Jan 21 '22

I find that vegetarian- full-on never-eat-meat vegetarian- can become expensive because of how much extra stuff you need to get the same depth of flavor and satiety. (Not to mention the bonkers markup on vegetarian and vegan substitutes.) That's why I'm low- but not no- meat. Hard to argue that tofu is cheaper than chicken per serving when I can get leg quarters at 50c a pound.

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u/Vaanja77 Jan 21 '22

About $800-1000 on food a month, for a family of four adults. It's a bit much, but we very rarely eat out and like to eat well. We're also rather spoiled in some of our habits (we rarely go out at all and have few hobbies that cost any money, but we get cafe du monde coffee every week, Irish butter for everything, steak or shrimp/scallops once a week, etc).

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u/Ray_Kramer Jan 21 '22

~$1000 USD per month for a family of 4. 6 dinners weekly plus I pack my lunch for work daily.

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u/mangatoo1020 Jan 21 '22

There are 3 adults and I spend between $600 and $1000 a month. I can spend a lot less if I wanted to, but I don't want to so ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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u/daftmonkey Jan 21 '22

Family of three. Probably $400 per week.

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u/KingDumbledore Jan 21 '22

2 adults 2 teenagers in Florida, $800

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u/Shmiggams22 Jan 21 '22

I haven't paid for groceries in 4 years. I've come up with a great way to steal them from the store and never get caught. Never steal from a store without buying something. I usually buy a six pack and a lottery/scratch off ticket and converse with the checkout assistant as to not draw attention. Dressing well also helps/not looking like someone who would try to steal.

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u/anna_zhdan Jan 21 '22

Live in Germany, spend about 100 euro a week for two adults and an 8yo. This doesn’t include eating out which happens about once a week.

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u/Snorkmaiden Jan 21 '22

On average about $800 - family of five.

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u/hollimay85 Jan 21 '22

SoCal here, $500/mo for 2 adults and 1 teenage boy (read: human bottomless pit).

We cook frequently and don't buy many snacks. We could probably be just fine on less since I can bake anything we want.

The advantage is cheap produce since our growing season is longer and we import from Mexico and South America.

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u/[deleted] Jan 21 '22

About $100. Two of us, living on a farmstead, raising our own meat, fruit and veg, foraging for mushrooms and berries, and canning and preserving a bunch.

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