How Much Do You Spend on Groceries Every Week?

Since our question asking what percentage of take-home pay people spend on rent received so many great responses last week, our pal Josh Fruhlinger suggested we try asking other questions. So let’s do this: On average, how much do you spend a week on groceries? You can figure out what it is for yourself, or if you’re partnered or have more than one mouth to feed, note that (so I can figure out how to chart it later). If you do one big monthly shop, you can calculate what that would be on a weekly basis. I’ll start: I spend about $55 a week on groceries.

Update: See a chart of how much you spend on groceries.

See also: What you spend on cable, electricity, telephones, and more.

Related: “Is Whole Foods Really That Much More Expensive?”

Photo: Bill & Vickey Tracey


201 Comments / Post A Comment

We spend $200 per week for two adults, two children.

We spend about $70 per week for two adults. But we do eat out a few times a week.

Smallison (#155)

@langedangereux Same here, give or take some cleaning supplies or toiletries.

CubeRootOfPi (#1,098)

Between $40-$45 for just me (no pets).

emilies (#956)

I spend about $50 a week for one adult. It’s high, but I rarely eat out.

bgprincipessa (#699)

I spend about $90 every 2 weeks I would say. My boyfriend and I do a mixing of cooking for each other (dinners mostly) and doing our own thing (breakfasts & lunch). He spends about the same, $90 every 2 weeks. So hm, that’s $45 for each of us in a week, but $90 together for 2 mouths in 1 week.

I spend around $30 a week. It’s just me–I eat a lot of sandwiches and I drink a lot of smoothies. :) If I buy anything more, half always goes bad.

Kristin (#3,766)

We spent about $100 a week for 2 adults and one toddler. We spent about the same before we had the toddler though. It’s a lot, I know, but food is one thing I’m really too lazy to cut back on.

OllyOlly (#669)

Looks like I have spent on average $175 a week on groceries in 2013 so far. This is for two people and usually includes wine and beer. We also cook almost every meal, I always eat leftovers for lunch, and we choose to buy almost 100% organic. We have been trying lately to see if we can spend less money, hopefully it goes well! (Last week I was closer to $130)

OllyOlly (#669)

@OllyOlly And apparently this thread will be where I feel crazy about how much I spend on groceries since everyone else seems to spend significantly less than me…

limenotapple (#1,748)

@OllyOlly I don’t really think it’s crazy, my numbers aren’t that far from yours. I would guess that if you had to cut back, you could find places to do so. Right now I don’t have to…it’s a luxury for us to be able to buy the things we want at the place we want to shop.

Beaks (#3,488)

@OllyOlly That’s pretty much exactly what we spend for two adults, including alcohol. We might be a little over what you spend, even- we plan for about $200 a week, but we’ve been under so far. We usually only eat out once a week, so that includes breakfast/ lunch/ dinner for two people, and lots of organics. And good booze.

In theory we could cut back, but we’re meeting all of our savings goals, and food is our only major expense, so it’s worth it to us. It’s probably worth noting that “groceries” also includes basic toiletries and random cleaning supplies, too- we don’t keep it split out to any level of detail.

OhMarie (#299)

@OllyOlly I just grabbed my full food budget from Mint for the past 12 months, which includes alcohol and restaurants, and got about $160 per week for 2 people. The grocery budget alone looks a lot better because obviously eating out and booze are both separate.

@OllyOlly Yeah, I feel like mine is really high, but we also get most of our wine/beer at the grocery store, plus paper goods and cleaning supplies.

littleoaks (#1,801)

I spend about $40 a week for one.

PicNic (#3,760)

I would say about $50 planned, then maybe $15 unplanned (need more apples, forgot my lunch at home, etc). So, average $65?

Unless I’m going Out With Friends. But I think that’s a separate question

limenotapple (#1,748)

We spend between 110-140 a week on two adults in the midwest. We do have a plan in place to knock that down if one of us would lose income. The biggest splurges are things like beef 1-2 times a month, Really Good Cheese, and organic produce, and fresh fish. This is usually for 7 nights of cooking in, and maybe 3-4 lunches for me (my husband usually eats in his work cafeteria). I think we could save money if we shopped somewhere different, so it’s a luxury that we choose the grocery store we frequent (they pay their workers a really good, living wage and give them good benefits, so I like to reward that and it’s worth it to me to spend more). Oh yeah, and this includes Schlafly beer (a little more expensive than some others but our favorite). We try to get cleaning supplies and non-food stuff at Target or Sam’s.

annecara (#1,914)

Ooh. It really varies – we don’t have a car, so there’s a lot of, “What do we need for dinner?” or “What can I carry with me on the bus on the way home from work?” If I had to guess, I’d say it averages out to about $50 a week for two adults.

eagerber (#1,958)

I shop at the same grocery store, about once or twice a week. My grocery expenses tend to fluctuate, based on whether I need bigger ticket items or not (meats, shampoo, etc) or if I’m riding my bike there or driving. So I tallied up my expenses from April and divided them by four, giving me an average of $48 per week. That seems about right.

BillfoldMonkey (#1,754)

About $60/week for one person in the midwest. Now that i see that I feel like I could probably try to cut it back to $50? But I really like cereal, and cereal is kind of expensive if you are picky about generic knockoff cereal, which I, regrettably, am.

Markovaa (#1,509)

@BillfoldMonkey Before I switched to oatmeal–keeps my stomach AND my wallet full– I used to buy boxes of the cereal that I liked WHENEVER it was on sale. I used to really like Barbara’s cereal so whenever I found a 2 for six dollars deal, I would buy 4 or 6 boxes. Cereal is expensive!

@BillfoldMonkey Also picky about generic cereal. I don’t know why, generic-anything else doesn’t bother me for the most part.

Dancercise (#94)

Yes! Why, oh, why is cereal so expensive?

theotherginger (#1,304)

@Dancercise this is my question. and also why I turned to oatmeal (initially) (now I like it). I spend about 70-80 per week, including beer, toiletries and cleaning supplies. and really bougie cheese. In a big shopping trip to one store, or several stores in a go, I’ll spend less, but invariably will need to buy some apples, or eggs, mid-week. And those come from the closer, more expensive stores.

BillfoldMonkey (#1,754)

@Franny Oh! Yes, I eat oatmeal for breakfast every day. Cereal is for dessert. Sometimes also for dinner. Um, because I am a grownup who is awesome at doing grownup things like feeding myself a well-balanced diet? We can say that, right?

Carlos.Xavier (#3,600)

This is tricky! I’m one of the people who picks up “a few things” multiple times a week since the grocery store is between work and home, and I feel its more efficient than going out of my way to buy groceries. According to mint I spend roughly 15-20 a week, but then every month or so i’ll go and spend 60 on staples (rice, flour, sauces, condiments, pasta, etc).

I am not counting any Beer/wine/alcohol shops, because that would probably double what I spend in a week, which in a way is a little bit sad.

My best guess would be 35 a week. Just me, no pets.

sockhopbop (#764)

I spend anywhere from $30-$50 per week (just me)–I do one main grocery store run each week for staples, but then I’ll buy produce at the local farm or pick up a bottle of wine and some cheese.

We come in around $65 per week on average for two adult vegetarians. We eat pretty cheaply except for spending $14-20 per week on yogurt.

jfruh (#161)

Our expenses can fluctuate quite a bit from week to week, but over the past year my wife and I have spent on average $175 a week for the two of us. We do one big grocery run to Safeway once a week and supplement at Whole Foods and the small grocery store up the street. This figure also includes money we spend at the Farmer’s Market, which I take out in cash but put in a special farmer’s market wallet so I can keep track of it.

probs (#296)

I’d venture $60 to $70 just for me. That includes a produce box that’s delivered once a week that I split with my girlfriend. I eat a fair amount of produce, not much meat (at least at home), and don’t buy many super-processed foods, though I do have an unabashed fondness for what I call noodle food product. I very rarely buy sodas or other dispensable items, so I feel like I spend an appropriate amount on groceries. On average I eat out (including takeout and delivery) less than once a week.

Good excuse to go through and categorize my last few months of Mint transactions.

So in April we spent $248 on groceries, compared to $220 in March and $260 so far in May. That averages almost exactly $60/week for two adults.

And we still have food go bad in our fridge all the time! Probably because we also spend an average of $322/mo on restaurants (and $250 or so at bars).

ETA: Apparently LAST year I spent more than $5,000 on Alcohol & Bars. Oh my!

highjump (#39)

@stuffisthings I don’t want to pull up that particular category but I am SURE it is at least that much. I also “hide” my bar transactions by putting them in restaurants because if I had chips and salsa it totally counts as dinner and not just a bunch of margaritas, right?

mondle (#2,860)

I think overall I average $40, just for me. It’s more if I have to stock up on staples, and less if all I’m buying is fruits/vegetables and milk (and I shop at a big Asian supermarket for all my produce, so it’s way cheap).

3jane (#645)

Officially “grocery shopping” plus intermittent pickups of random snacks/ingredients shakes out to about $100/week for my two-person, two-cat household.

sherlock (#3,599)

I spend about $50/ week, though more if I’m also picking up household or personal items like laundry detergent, etc. This amount is assuming my boyfriend is eating dinner at my house for two weeknights, but that we are either eating out or using his groceries for dinner on Friday and Saturday.

echolikebells (#3,272)

I would say I spend just under $40 dollars on groceries per week. I make a $45 trip on week A, then usually make two “emergency” trips of around $15. This is completely ridiculous because it is just me, I eat lunch out every day at work, and I never want to eat the food I buy. Tips for packing a lunch that doesn’t make you want to cry at how lackluster it is are welcome.

echolikebells (#3,272)

@echolikebells I should clarify that I make those two secondary trips over the course of the last half of week A and all of week B. Then on the third week I start the process over.

jfruh (#161)

@echolikebells if you like pasta/sauce and/or have access to a microwave at work, that’s usually much less sad-seeming than a soggy sandwich or whatever. Get a classy bowl to eat out of and keep it at the office!

MissMushkila (#1,044)

@echolikebells I make a lot of soup, because I find soups mostly get better as the week goes on and there are nearly endless possibilities. They also freeze and thaw pretty well (I don’t like most of my food once it has been frozen, but soup seems just as good). Also, things like barbecue meat and good sandwich buns with a side salad are easy, and since assembled when it’s time to eat, they don’t lose luster due to degrading texture etc.

Liz the Lemur (#3,125)

@echolikebells I always include a “treat” with my lunch, whether it’s a chocolate bar or cookie or some other such thing. Makes it a little happier. I’ve also found that I strongly dislike eating last night’s leftovers for lunch the very next day, but I’ll eat them the day after that. If it’s the fun of going out with friends that you enjoy, maybe you could get a coffee/juice/snack while they all get lunch and chat with them, then eat the lunch at your desk later.

Beaks (#3,488)

@echolikebells It takes some planning (and a salad spinner), but I’ve been packing swanky salads for the past few weeks. Pick a theme: greek, thai, mexican, whatever. Purchase: a lettuce, 2-3 salad veggies that go with the theme (bell peppers, cucumber, whatever), a protein, and optionally a cheese and an herb. That weekend, wash the lettuce and store in the salad spinner, chop the veggies and store separately, and prep your protein. Find a recipe for a salad dressing that works with your theme, mix it up (blenders are awesome here) and part out in tiny containers. Morning of, tear your lettuce, add your veggies/ herbs/ proteins. Dress the salad at work for optimal crunchiness.

Note that this isn’t necessarily a money saving proposition, although as we move into summer salad ingredients should get cheaper.

sunflowernut (#1,638)

@echolikebells I like a lot of variation in each particular lunch. For example, if I’m bringing a salad, it has to be full of a little bit of as many veggies as I can find. A sandwich, it’s gotta have cheese and good mustard and sprouts, etc. I also make sure to bring a few pieces of fruit; usually an apple and an orange. That all seems to keep me interested enough. When it’s just pasta or a boring salad or a pb&j I do not want to eat it. Although I will say if my lunch is too good I tend to eat it wayyyyy to early in the day and then have to pick up a snack around 2 or 3. Working on that…

EDIT: Just want to say, this may not be the cheapest option, but it’s usually cheaper than eating out

sherlock (#3,599)

@echolikebells Even though my lunches themselves are not that exciting, I’ve found that letting myself buy lunch on Fridays is a good motivation for bringing it the rest of the week. If I slip up and forget to bring lunch during the week, I go somewhere cheaper/less exciting than I normally would and then have to skip Friday lunch out. Which is less fun, so it works well to get me to be good about it during the week.

@echolikebells Try recreating some of your favorite eating-out lunches with ingredients you buy yourself. Like a salad with currants, goat cheese, balsamic vinaigrette and grilled chicken, or a veggie burger topped with honey mustard and avocado, or whatever.

Salads made with grains like couscous, quinoa, barley, etc. are also easy to make ahead and the flavors really improve when they’re sitting in the fridge for a while.

probs (#296)

@echolikebells I guess it depends on what food you want, whether you want hot or cold stuff, etc., but I pack my lunch every day and I’m always really excited to eat the food I bring. The keys for me are making awesome dinners that make for good leftovers, or if I’m just making a lunch, not half-assing it. Crappy bread with a little meat and cheese is miserable; a sandwich on good bread with generous meat and cheese, some Duke’s, a little sriracha or horseradish, a bunch of lettuce or spinach, that’s a different story. This week I’ve just been eating a ton of fresh fruits and vegetables all day, but I fucking love fruits and vegetables, so ymmv.

limenotapple (#1,748)

@probs Leftovers for lunch has really made me a lot more excited to eat my from-home lunches. I realized I really like a warm meal for lunch! And you are right about the good bread: it really changes my whole attitude about lunch. I started making turkey sandwiches with good bread, a variety of veggie toppings, and spinach-artichocke cream cheese and all of a sudden I’m excited about lunch again.

@jfruh Eating out of a repurposed Chinese takeout container with one of a collection of pilfered plastic forks isn’t “classy” enough for you?

echolikebells (#3,272)

@echolikebells All of these suggestions/ideas/reminders of things I knew on some level and was ignoring are great. Maybe I will stop spending money eating out like I am rich when I am very much not!

omgkitties (#206)

@Beaks Yesssss to fancy salads. This ( has been a favorite lately. (I added cucumber shreds and snap peas.)

echolikebells (#3,272)

@jfruh I love the idea of bringing in a nice bowl to help it feel more like a “real” lunch!

ava (#3,587)

I also like to pack a large variety of things. I try to have a ‘main dish,’ a starchy snack, and a lot of fruit/vegetable side dish things. I find that if it’s mostly fruits and veggies I feel healthy and also don’t get bored. Because I eat like a small child, I also pack things that are fun to eat; so I get cheddar crackers shaped like bunnies instead of just squares, and baby carrots instead of just bringing an entire carrot in. It costs a little more, but not that much, and it makes me way more willing to eat my food, as does having a dessert as a reward.

Today, for instance, I had a goat cheese sandwich, strawberries, some cucumber slices, two campari tomatoes, some Annie’s Party Mix (pretzels and cheese crackers shaped like bunnies and carrots!), and some chocolate.

I also find having cool lunch containers help. I have a stackable lunch tin and a set of collapsible utensils, and they also make it way more fun to pack and eat my lunch, because I like playing with them so much (again I am clearly about 5).

Christy (#3,892)

My gf and I average around $100 a week total for the both of us. She cooks nearly every night, and we almost always have meat/fish/fancy cheese. We’ve really cut back on ice cream recently, and we almost never buy beer/wine. It also really helps that we’re trying to plan meals, and we don’t eat frozen meals.

The amount will go up when we start going to the farmers market, but it’ll be worth it for good produce/meats.

sea ermine (#122)

I spend $50 a week + $20 for myself and my boyfriend (I buy all of the groceries). So $220 for two people. The $50 a week is for regular groceries (meats, grains, frozen veggies, pasta, condiments, etc.) and the $20 I take out in cash at the beginning of the month to spend on fresh produce and herbs.

Before my boyfriend moved in with me I spent $50 every other week + $20. So, $120 a month. I bought the same kinds of foods and ate healthily but I didn’t go out to eat and I packed all of my lunches and didn’t go to the vending machine ever.

Now that I live with my boyfriend I still pack all of my lunches and make all my own food but we will typically go out to dinner 2-4 time a month. However, I don’t count this in my food budget because that comes out of my ‘fun’ spending, so if I go out to dinner I don’t go to the movies or to a concert. I like to always shop as if I cooked everything myself so if I need to cut back on fun I can still eat healthy foods.

I live in NYC, in Queens but I do all of my grocery shopping (except fresh produce) in Manhattan because it’s cheaper. I typically buy 2-3 meat items(ex. two pounds of ground beef and a beef tenderloin, or a pack of chicken breasts and a can of crab meat, or some fish fillets and a pound of ground turkey), a few bags of frozen produce (always a bag or two of spinach and then usually 2-3 bags of some other vegetables (leeks, brussel sprouts, peas, etc.). After that what I buy depends on what’s already in my kitchen, since certain things (like grains or pasta sauce) last for more than a week. Usually my diet involves some kind of grain or wheat things (pasta, quinoa, rice, etc.) and the rest is smaller items that I think will bring the meat, veggies, and grain together (sauces, spices, condiments, etc.). I am allergic to diary so I don’t buy butters or cheeses. I tend to eat more veggies and grains and less meat.

Also, one thing that helps keep my grocery costs down is I don’t buy drinks. I drink water at home and I get it from the tap and put it in a britta filter. Once a year I’ll buy booze (usually a bottle of gin for me, a bottle of rum for my boyfriend, and a bottle or two of something else for guests) but that’s about it. I will buy wine if I’m having friends over or going to a friends house and bringing a hostess gift but it’s not a frequent purchase and I stay in the $12-15 price range.

ETA: The reason that $20 on produce is the same with or without my boyfriend is because he eats the stuff that would normally rot when I was living alone.

sea ermine (#122)

@seaermine Oh and the sauces, spices, condiments, etc. part also includes canned and dried foods like canned tomatoes and canned or dried beans and things like that. Sometimes I’ll also buy eggs but mostly for my boyfriend (I don’t really like them).

emmabee (#2,008)

@seaermine Where do you shop in Manhattan that’s cheaper than in Queens? I live in western Queens but work in Manhattan and would love to know where the cheap groceries are…

sea ermine (#122)

@emmabee So before I answer that I should mention that it’s not so much that the grocery stores in Manhattan cost less than Queens but that the cheap one’s are there. Overall though Manhattan groceries probably cost way more than Queens. Anyway so I do almost all of my non produce shopping at Trader Joes. Which I think is where the big savings come from because it’s basically all store brand, and they have good deals (like $2.80 a pound ground beef and $2 for a 5 lb bag of flour). You have to know what to look for though. Trader Joes is good for plain meats (by plain I mean not already marinated in some sauce, with the exception of the olive oil and rosemary chicken thighs), organic meats, frozen veggies, pasta, canned foods, and flour. So, the basics. It’s also good for smaller quick items like healthy/tasty frozen foods to have on hand for work lunches or for if you’re too lazy to cook. There is a Trader Joes in Queens so technically you can save as much on food there too but it’s far away from a subway and I don’t have a car (generally if something is cheaper for me in Manhattan it’s because public transportation makes it accessible to me).

I get my produce from a random stand in my neighborhood because Trader Joes produce is nasty (exception: those little bags of mandarin orange things they have in the winter) and also one of the things that isn’t cheap.

Going back to Manhattan, while I mostly shop at Trader Joes (too lazy to go to too many places) I know people who get good deals at Big Apple Meat Market, and find good cheap produce in Chinatown. Apparently there is also a market somewhere on the east side (maybe Kips Bay?) with great deals on specialty foods and things like Tahini. I’m also told that the 365 brand at Whole Foods is way cheaper than regular grocery stores for things like flour and dried beans, same with their bulk goods.

Also how cheap it is depends on what you have near you. The two grocery stores on my block (in Jackson Heights) are Met Foods and Trade Fair. There is also a Mi Tierra supermarket a little farther away. Shopping there would double my grocery bill. But if you have better selection in your neighborhood you might not need to go to Trader Joes. HOWEVER there is one place I go to get food in Queens and that is Target (the one in the Queens Mall by the Grand Avenue M and R). I go there for things where I want a brand name (ex. French’s mustard) as well as for baking products (like food coloring or mint extract) but in general I’m fine with generics or making my own. The other cheap place in Queens is Aldi (it’s near LeFrak City, between the Woodhaven Blvd and the Rego Park M and R stops). I haven’t had time to go but it’s by the same company that owns Trader Joes and supposed to be even cheaper.

MissMushkila (#1,044)

We spend 70-120 in groceries a week for two people in the midwest. We usually eat out about twice in a week per person, for lunch or dinner, but I cook a ton of food on Sunday for easy meals. It seems to fluctuate: one week we spend $75, and the next it’s $120, and so on, so the average probably is somewhere around $95/week/two people. We mainly buy ingredients and cook a lot from scratch, which I think helps with the cost, but we also buy beef and fancy cheese a few times a month.

ETA: this does not count alcohol, because we live in a state where you have to go to a designated liquor store in order to buy wine/decent beer, so we have a separate budget for alcohol. We probably average 40-50 a week on beer/wine/booze

Liz the Lemur (#3,125)

I spend about $25/week. One person living in the midwest, with frequent access to free food – although that’s disappearing. (Graduating from college.) I’m also moving in with my gluten-free bf next week. Right now I just keep some pancake mix and pasta on hand for him, but still cook mostly wheat-based grains for myself. That will likely change once we’re living together, and that stuff is pricier. Also, I rarely buy meat, but when I do, my grocery bill definitely goes up because I get the free range/organic stuff.

Liz the Lemur (#3,125)

@lemur_niemer And this definitely does not include alcohol. Booze can’t be sold in grocery stores where I live, so it’s really easy to track that as a separate expense.

blair (#1,962)

Well…I live with my parents (or they live with ME, hahahaha) but the deal is basically that I am in charge of both planning and paying for whole-family grocery runs in order to earn my keep. We (I) shop mostly at our local food co-op (and sometimes what my dad calls “Ho Fo” [Whole Foods]) and the farmers’ market in our neighborhood. Also, I take my lunch to work every day because the whole point of this crazymaking living-at-home-thing is TO SAVE MONEY. Also, I like making my own lunch.

This is all just to say: anywhere from $100-$180, depending on where we are with staples like olive oil.

Sloane (#675)

I’ve only recently separated my grocery food expenses from restaurant, coffee shops, and alcohol expenses, so my guess is about $50/week. I generally keep my overall food budget at less than $300/month. That does not include household supplies (I budget ~$25/month for cleaning supplies and so forth) or toiletries. I trade off buying some stuff with roommates, but it’s generally just me that I’m buying for.

KittyConner (#3,108)

About $70 a week for two adults.

Bettytron (#111)

My husband and I budget $330/month on Mint for groceries, and we usually come in under that. Looking at the last few months we average about $300/month, or $75/week for two people in Brooklyn. We cook our meals almost every night and tend towards mostly vegetarian meals, only having meat a couple times a week and as a main course only once a week, which keeps costs down. However, we also buy our lunches for work almost every day, which is often another $50/week. Generally being able to go out of the office for lunch plus the convenience makes it worth it, though we’re trying to pack lunches/take leftovers more frequently.

breakfast (#633)

We spend about $50 a week for two, and go out for dinner maybe once or twice a week. I do a farmer’s market trip on Saturdays and boyfriend gets grocery staples on Sundays. I typically buy breakfast bagels twice during the weekend, but otherwise mostly eat lunches and breakfast at home. Boyfriend frequently buys lunch out. And this does not count beers. Haha. I was feeling smug about my low grocery bills until I remembered all the eating out and beer buying.

breakfast (#633)

@breakfast Also, I forgot the twice a week trips to Safeway to buy ice cream or snacks-add another $10. Two nine year olds living together. My new, official total: $60 a week for two people, which works out to about $240 a month, not counting eating out and buying beer for the home.

aperson (#3,112)

I average around $50/week, for me and my cat. That will occasionally include beer or wine, or wet cat food. I usually hit the HEB every weekend and once or twice a month supplement at the HEB Central Market, because it has a much better produce selection.

s. dekker (#3,301)

$40-50 for just me. Sometimes a bit more, it depends how much organic or how much meat I buy.

pixiesuperhero (#3,951)

I don’t average more than $25 per week.

laluchita (#2,195)

We spend around $75 to $100 a week for two adults. Maybe more during the summer, when we buy our produce at farmers markets. And we tend to do one big trader joe’s trip a month where we stock up on olive oil, frozen lunches, wine etc so that week can get up to $130 or so depending on how long it’s been since we’ve been. We eat vegetarian so I would say our biggest grocery splurges are fancy cheese, really nice toilet paper, and the farmers market.

Jsuttonmorse (#3,952)

We budget 650/month and usually go a bit over (2 adults and a toddler – and I realize it only feels like this all goes to yogurt and milk, but that’s not really accurate). So say 175/week. We definitely pop into the grocery store almost every day to get a few things for the next couple days.

orangezest (#317)

Ooh, this is going to be interesting! I spend probably around $60 per week for one person, living in DC — more if I hit the farmers market. That’s for 3 meals a day at home, 5 days a week. I almost never buy meat (except deli meat for lunch), but I do spend on nice bread and cheese, and do about half my shopping at Whole Foods. I also bake a lot and so often am making quick weekend runs for buttermilk, sugar, butter, heavy cream. I usually spend around $30-$40 at Whole Foods, and the rest in dribs and drabs the rest of the week.

andnowlights (#2,902)

@Emma Peel I bake a lot too, and MAN some weeks that hurts. Seems like I’m always out of all the things I need at the same time!

@Emma Peel The week the entire baking aisle was on sale at Safeway (sometime around Halloween last year, maybe?) I almost died with glee. That one stock-up significantly lowered the baking budget for a few months.

But yeah, bread and fruit are killers.

yrouttasight (#2,967)

$100/ week for two people and a cat. We go out to eat 1-2 times in a week (take out once, sit-down restaurant once).

I’m in charge of catering at work, so my grocery bill dropped to about $40/month. I eat our leftovers!

probs (#296)

@Jake Reinhardt nice! That’s a cool benefit.

andnowlights (#2,902)

We spend, on average, $125 a week for two people in Nashville, TN. That includes a 6 pack of good beer a week for my husband and toiletries, plus Nashville has a 9.25% sales tax on EVERYTHING. We eat in pretty much every meal: 3 nights a week and vegetarian 4 nights a week (husband can’t eat “meat with feet” due to a liver problem). I bake a lot, so that adds some extra $ when I’m out of stuff I need.

@andnowlights Miss u, Nashvillie! Just got back from a trip there, and me and my friends have no idea how people resist eating fried chicken and BBQ for every meal. I admire your willpower, although I guess health restrictions help!

andnowlights (#2,902)

@franceschances It helps when your husband is a PhD student so you’re basically living on 1 income in a VERY over-inflated rental market (50% of our monthly expense is rent, but we live right next to Vandy’s campus), ha ha! Also a lot of the hot chicken places only serve chicken, so he can’t eat there (I still eat meat). We do have some awesome restaurants, though! Where did you eat?

@andnowlights Monell’s was an amazing experience, and I really enjoyed Puckett’s and the Standard, too. Thought it was strange, though, how empty the Standard was!

sunflowernut (#1,638)

I spend about $30-$40 dollars a week. I used to spend $25 but now I’m trying to eat healthier, so I had to up my food budget. I am a vegetarian and try to mostly eat veggies and some fruit, though I usually get some canned goods as well as eggs, dried beans and grains. I almost never buy processed foods as they tend to either cost a lot more or be super unhealthy.

64.47 according to Mint. I am a single female living alone.I mostly eat fruits, veggies, chicken and fish. I eat out way too much. So I mostly have snack like foods in the house cheese, yogurt and sliced fruit mostly.

bgprincipessa (#699)

~63 comments in <90 minutes.
Ask and ye shall receive.

kate@twitter (#2,935)

I spend $40-50 average…I’ve started only doing a “real” grocery trip every 2 weeks, which means one week I’ll spend $20-30, the next week I’ll spend $50, plus sometimes I’ll buy a bottle of wine or something and that will drive up the average. I have a monthly budget of $250, but I rarely spend that much. I try to reallocate money from the grocery budget to the restaurants budget or vice versa depending upon my eating habits that month.

Re: restaurants, I rarely eat lunch or other meals out, but I average about $30/week on a dinner out or brunch or something. Sometimes more, but I’ve been trying to cut back.

$40-$50/week for all meals and lots snacks (so, basically, no eating-out money). single female w/ a roommate. Oh, also, vegetarian.

themmases (#1,959)

According to Mint, for the past three months I’ve spent on average $82.50/week.
– My boyfriend and I switch off weeks buying groceries rather than sharing our money. So I guess we probably spend $165/week for both of us and this is just my half. Or, put another way, every other week I spend $165 at the grocery store, and every other week I don’t have to spend anything.

– This includes anything I might buy at Jewel or Whole Foods or wherever, including alcohol, toiletries, cleaning supplies, occasional nail polish if I’m having a bad day. It also probably includes lazy nights where we buy Whole Foods sandwiches.

Looking at the past couple of months, we average $87/week on groceries for two people, so $43.50/person. That’s deceptively low, though, because we eat out every weekend and frequently buy lunch. We recently realized we average $135/person a week on food/booze overall (groceries + restaurants + bars). We were pretty horrified when we crunched those numbers.

RachelW (#2,605)

About $100 a week for two adults in Burlington, VT. This includes breakfasts, packed lunches, and most dinners at home. We go out to breakfast 1 day a week, and usually go out to dinner 1 night a week. We buy things in bulk at Costco when it makes sense, we are willing to spend more for good meat, and we rarely buy beer or wine.

dudeascending (#1,921)

We spend about $100-$125/week on groceries for two adults in Brooklyn, although often, there are personal care/household items bundled into that figure. But if we had to include wine and liquor, oh, boy, I dunno, that’s probably another $25-$40/week, depending on how flush we’re feeling.

burdock (#771)

I spend about $25 per week – this includes the per week rate of the farmshare that I buy at the beginning of the year. vegetarian, very little eating out but lots of cooking for friends. does not include budget for my coffee from the cafe each day or a bottle or two of wine each week.

Equestrienne (#862)

I’m a diligent couponer and spend $50-$60/week for 2 adults and 1 cat. I know it’s weird that I included the cat, but he eats grain-free raw food and it’s pretty expensive. I did not include the horse because he eats more/better than all of us. Combined.

RachelG8489 (#1,297)

According to Mint, I’ve averaged about $250 a month for the past six months, which is around what I thought. I mostly buy just for me, but my roommate and I share the stables- milk, eggs, bread, flour, etc. I spend about $50/week with an additional $50 over the course of the month on fun stuff (like fancy cheese) and restocking staples (like flour or oils or vinegars).

Greenbeans (#3,048)

I live in a major metropolitan area, and spend about $50/week on one person and one cat. I have a gluten intolerance (not Celiac but definitely not pleasant either) and that definitely makes it more expensive because I end up eating more meat/perishable things like vegetables and less bread. That figure does not include eating out or buying coffee, which I end up doing more than I’d like. It’s not a perfect pattern; I keep a large stock of nonperishables and sometimes I skip a week if I have lots of leftover food/am lazy.

Greenbeans (#3,048)

@Greenbeans And, I don’t know how many other people deal with this, but I essentially have two jobs and can’t go home in between them. Best case scenario I bring one meal from home and purchase the second one. I find it truly daunting to make, much less carry, two meals to Job One with me from home.

@Greenbeans I had to deal with that same thing a couple days a week for the past couple years – I was working full-time, plus twice a week I had evening classes until 10:00. It is hard – I’m good at bringing lunch, but coming up with a dinner that can sit in the car with me for a while and then maybe be eaten cold if the microwave is broken again, that is also satisfying, was a pain in the ass, and took up a lot of room in my bag.

$66/week for two adults with the caveat that I’m the one who buys groceries, boyfriend pays for dinners out, and this doesn’t include alcohol which I’ve tagged as a separate category on Mint.

My husband and I spend between $100 and $125 a week for groceries (for the two of us). But I have found groceries in Canada more expensive than in the US.

annie.42 (#3,889)

$40/week for just me. It’s a lot more than my graduate student fellows, but I eat actual vegetables. I never go out to eat, but I do like to cook. This doesn’t count booze though….

loren smith (#2,300)

About $100 a week for two adults living in British Columbia. We eat very well, and pack our lunches for work. We rarely eat meat, maybe steak and fish once a month? And because we go across the border every few months to stock up on non-perishables and freeze-ables at Trader Joe’s or PCC $100 is probably a bit low. We’re trying to meal plan our up-coming week out every Sunday, and do the shopping then, as we have to hit four or five shops to get everything we want, and to get the best prices.

katerrific (#374)

$105 per week for my husband and me. $125ish if you count booze as groceries. One advantage of living in a state that doesn’t sell beer or wine in grocery stores is that it’s easier to track that cost in your budgeting system, since it’s always a separate purchase at a liquor store.

amglory89 (#3,588)

@katerrific this, as far as I can tell, is the only advantage.

maebyfunke (#292)

I usually spend between 15-20 dollars a week for one person living in NYC, but that doesn’t include drinks, take out, eating out, etc… It does usually include 4 lunches for work, 3-4 breakfasts and maybe 2-3 dinners a week.

atxdori (#3,953)

I spend $25-30 week at the grocery store and about $15 week at the farmers market for just me–that includes breakfast lunch and dinner every day. It takes a lot of careful menu planning and grocery list editing. Oh, and I spend another $10-20/week on wine!

warblerneck (#3,950)

I would say that my girlfriend and I spend an average of $45/week on groceries (not counting household supplies). Looking at everyone else’s responses, that seems absurdly low, but I think my numbers are accurate (and we’re not malnourished). There are only two of us, no pets, and we live in Queens. We foot the grocery bill on alternate weeks. She doesn’t use Mint (working on that), but I’m pretty sure that our grocery spending is similar.

I love food and cooking, but we are thrifty people. We generally cook two large meals that will last us through the week, and then we’ll go out to eat or get takeout once a week. We usually make sandwiches for lunch or bring leftovers to work. I don’t drink, and my girlfriend doesn’t like keeping alcohol in the house, so that certainly saves us money. We also tend not to have juice/soda in the fridge, and our meat consumption is pretty low. When I look at my grocery haul each week, there are not many luxury items.

This year we bought a half-share with our local CSA ($287), which will hopefully provide the majority of our produce from the end of May through November. That comes to around $24 worth of vegetables every two weeks, which is more than we typically spend, but that’s a luxury that I was willing to pay for. I’m also hoping that it will force me to be more creative in the kitchen! Mmmm, veggies.

Yogi (#2,872)

I’m one of those crazy people who tracks monthly expenditures. For 2012 (household of 2), we averaged $447.72 per month, which breaks down to $223.86 per person per month and to $55.96 per week per person. For 2013 so far, it’s been $430.68 monthly average for two people, $215.34 per person per person, and $53.84 per person per week.

So just over $100 for two people per week. This includes 4 lunches apiece, and at least 5 home cooked dinners a week, plus snacks and beer.

We also live in DC, so the weeks I go to the farmers market can drive up the overall total (I prefer to buy my meat from there).

quiltybee (#3,514)

Approx $180 per week for two adults and one child (elementary school age). A couple of times the total has come out to more than $200 – I find that totally shocking and resolve to become an extreme cuponer for a minute.

Li'l Sebastian (#3,297)

Wow, I just did it out from my YNAB budget and I’m only spending $30/week on groceries for one person. I eat pretty fancy local groceries so that’s nice.

Pariah Carey (#2,378)

We spend $130-140 every other week, plus additional in-between trips for odd items. So let’s say $160 every two weeks, which is $80 per week. This is for 2 adults.

colbeagle (#486)

My grocery budget is 150 per month, so roughly 35 bucks a week, for one person in the midwest. This includes a soda habit but no booze or toiletries or pet stuff. I eat out a couple times a month.

I’m in Brooklyn and spend about $130-160 on my half of a couple’s groceries, which include paper goods and beer. (Oh beer.) This does not include the times we eat out however which are probably 2-4x per week.

highjump (#39)

I spent about $55 a week on myself on groceries though that includes wine and some paper goods. Most of that actually goes to breakfasts and lunches as I eat dinner out (too much) quite a bit.

acid burn (#113)

So my average is $190 per month according to Mint, and my partner spends about the same or maybe a little less (the old rule was that he bought when we ate out, I bought groceries, but that has slipped quite a bit since he quit his job and we don’t eat out as much, plus the Costco card is his so that always ends up being a big chunk every month). I’m going to say it’s an average of $85/week total.

Kate (#1,408)

Um. I spend $100 a week BUT I live in Toronto, which is expensive, and I’m a vegetarian with severe soy, dairy and nut allergies so a lot of what I buy is sort of specialized/expensive. And I never, ever eat out.

(ETA $100 a week is for one person plus one cat.)

ifwecantaloupe (#2,654)

According to Mint, $50 a week on average for my half of the bill. I live with my boyfriend but we split groceries 50-50, though I’ll pick it up every couple of months because he always buys our biweekly takeout. I bring lunch and breakfast every day but he’s more prone to pricier splurges (random cookies at Whole Foods, expensive frozen things, etc) so I feel like it evens out. This doesn’t include booze, toiletries, TP, or paper towels. Oh, and no pets (sadly!!!).

cmcm (#267)

I’d say we spend about £50-60 per week for the two of us ($75-90). I actually just did the math from our joint credit card which we mostly only use for groceries, but that somehow only worked out to about £40 a week which can’t be right… I think we must use cash occasionally, plus we do eat out once or twice a week.

sparrow303 (#1,641)

I spend about $75 a week for myself (including personal care items). Boyfriend typically spends more like $125 for his (we shop together but buy our own groceries or split shared items between the two bills).

We do shop at Whole Foods, though, and we live in the city, so there’s 9% tax on everything. We don’t eat a lot of meat, but I am lactose intolerant, so I spend more on dairy substitutes when the mood strikes me (e.g. frozen Daiya pizza).

We both eat breakfast and make our coffee at home, and we pack lunches for work every day. We eat in probably 5 nights a week, and we both like to cook. Still, this is a lot of money!

terrific (#1,532)

I budget $60 each week, which I usually end up a little under—so let’s go with $55

Mae (#1,769)

Boyfriend and I are currently budgeting $500/month for groceries,pet food/supplies, cleaning supplies, toiletries, quarters for our laundry machines, etc. I’d estimate that we spend about $400 of that on food, or $50/person per week. This includes beer.

We don’t eat out very often (I never buy lunch, ever, and we eat out for dinner maybe twice a month?) so that keeps the grocery total a bit higher, even if our overall costs are lower.

@Mae Oh, laundry quarters. I’m so glad our grocery store has just accepted that they basically supply all the coin-op machines in our neighborhood and stocks extra rolls of quarters.

Mae (#1,769)

@SarcasticFringehead That’s lucky. The customer service desk people at Trader Joe’s have started giving me the side-eye whenever I try to get rolls of quarters from them.

peanutbutterpie (#1,450)

It can be anywhere from $100 to $175 per week for us, depending on how many staples or expensive items we need to buy that week. We are two adults in a major metro area. This includes food for two cats, paper goods, and bird seed for the outdoor birds. This does not include alcohol, which we can’t buy at the grocery store, or dog food, because we have to buy that special from the vet.

calamity (#2,577)

I spent $40-$50, I think. During the week I almost always buy lunch, I get takeout or go out to eat 2-3 times a week, and all I have for breakfast is a hard-boiled egg and sometimes some juice, so really this money only goes to 7-8 meals a week and some snacks.

This doesn’t include alcohol and I rarely shop at whole foods, but I do pay for organic produce most of the time.

Gretchen Alice (#1,453)

I spend around $30 a week. I’ve gotten better about being realistic about how much food I’m actually going to eat so I don’t have to throw a lot away. That number might go up to $40 if I’m having friends over for dinner, which I do about once a month. I don’t drink and I make most of my food from scratch, which helps me keep my spending in check.

ThatJenn (#916)

I spend about $45 at the grocery store each week (for two adults in a southern college town, one of whom does not get his lunch food from this supply), then the weekly cost of my CSA is $18, and I usually spend about $10 at the farmer’s market on top of that. So my total is $73. But we also eat out embarrassingly often.

jessjess (#3,543)

For two adults and one toddler in urban Pacific Northwest, we spend roughly $130 on omnivore groceries per week. We get maybe half of our lunches from that amount, other half bought at work, and all dinners/breakfasts/snacks. Our groceries are significantly higher due to a recent shift away from vegetarianism.

Two people, mid sized west coast city, $100 a week. We are lucky and can afford a nicer grocery store in our area; if we went elsewhere we’d probably spend closer to $75 a week. This includes alcohol and the occasional bakery splurge but does not include paper products/household goods, which we get at Target.

esetipo (#3,956)

40-45/wk, one adult, no pets, no fancy bag of coffee at the grocery store. I always cook at home and bring a lunch.

We live in Seattle, and we shop at a slightly more expensive store, but we also don’t eat too expensively (not a whole lot of meat, lots of bean-based things), and we also don’t eat out very much, so groceries are by far the majority of our food spending. We also get a lot of non-food things at the grocery store (paper towels, dish soap, advil), so that brings it up a bit. My husband and I alternate weeks, and for the two of us, I would guess it averages $160/week (so an average of $80/week for me alone). (Except I just checked my magic spreadsheet, and it tells me that I spent $5500 at the grocery store last year, or about $105/week. Huh.)

@SarcasticFringehead PS I love these posts. Graphs and comparing myself to other people are two of my favorite things.

echolikebells (#3,272)

@SarcasticFringehead This is exactly what I was thinking.

kbn22 (#1,414)

$600 a month ($150/wk) for a two-person, two-cat household. We don’t eat out a ton (usually once a week together, and my husband grabs lunch at work 2-3 times a week), but that’s another $200ish for all those meals, for a grand total of $800 a month. Which is just…staggering.

I meal plan, shop with coupons, almost never set foot in Whole Foods, and buy in bulk (ie, when coffee is on sale, I buy eight bags at a time). And we live in Atlanta, where food costs are definitely lower than NY or even DC. So I’m totally flummoxed as to what we’re doing wrong, or how to reduce our monthly total. If you ever wanted to do an audit of someone’s grocery bill, I volunteer!

amglory89 (#3,588)

@kbn22 I would love to audit other people’s grocery bills! That sounds like SO much fun.

Wow, I’m a nerd.

sea ermine (#122)

@kbn22 I haven’t tried this but I heard Whole Foods can actually be cheaper than a lot of grocery stores (like Safeway and Giant) if you buy from their 365 brand and their bulk grains. It may also depends on where you live? I live in NYC, in Queens, but I go into Manhattan to grocery shop because fancy neighborhoods get Trader Joes which has good food (excluding the produce) and a lot of it is half as much as my neighborhood grocery store. Maybe also see if you can get into a Costco or BJs? Also google tells me that there is an Aldi in Atlanta and if it’s within driving distance definitely go because it is super cheap. You have to bring your own bags though but it’s worth it.

@seaermine I agree, when I lived in DC it was always way cheaper to shop at the Whole Foods compared to the really awful Safeway right down the street. For a while, I didn’t get this because I’d heard the “whole paycheck” thing, then I price compared every item on my grocery bill and it WAS cheaper! Produce and 365 brand stuff are cheaper and they have a good bulk section. But…none of that compares to Wegmans.

pterodactylish (#2,321)

Mint says 85/week, roughly. That’s high… It feeds roughly 1.5 people. Boyfriend tends to spend more on going out costs and I tend to pay for groceries (since we spend all weekends and some weekday time at my house). We don’t keep tabs, but try to make sure no one is spending too much more than the other… I also have thrown a few dinner parties in that time.

My CSA starts in a couple weeks and I think that will greatly reduce my costs, though, which is exciting!

My CSA share was split by three — me, bf, and a friend — and we each pay 10 a week. I don’t even want to think about how much of these 85 was on not-very-fresh produce in this blasted expensive city!

minijen (#656)

$25-50 per week for just me. All vegetarian, organic when I can and a moderate amount of splurge items. Does not include alcohol, but does include basic house supplies (TP, trash bags, etc).

@jfruh Eating out of a repurposed Chinese takeout container with one of a collection of pilfered plastic forks isn’t “classy” enough for you?

Mine usually comes out to $45-50 a week (for food only) in a large midwestern city. This is mostly staples as I don’t do much elaborate cooking and generally cook for just myself and my roommate. I cook or eat in 4-5 nights a week and almost always have leftovers. I almost never buy alcohol and try to stay away from expensive pre-made stuff.

I pack my lunch every day and definitely shop around for the lowest prices/whichever grocery store is giving a discount on gas. My roommate and I trade off buying stuff that’s usually shared like pasta, milk, frozen pizzas, etc.

Tatiana (#194)

I spend about $50 a week on groceries. I like to make my breakfasts and lunches for the week at home.

I would say about $70-80 a week for two, depending how much booze we buy. We also order in or eat out about twice a week. Also about once a month I have to buy a few expensive things that don’t need replaced very often (cooking oil, cleaning supplies, etc) that can bump it up quite a bit. We cook mostly from scratch and don’t buy a lot of pre-made things.

kayraus (#3,305)

Mint says that over the past year I spent $67 a week for just me. It can be hard to keep costs down as a single person. I’ve been trying to get that average down to $60, and so far have been successful. I live in a relatively expensive city, buy as much organic as possible, and only the highest quality meat (ex-vegetarian!) It works out well, though, because I rarely eat out or spend money in bars, and I eat kind of like a queen.

readyornot (#816)

Our grocery costs are about $55 per person per week (about $450 per month for my husband and me). Our food habits are basically to make most meals from groceries, but each of us buys a couple of lunches out and we eat dinner out (at varying levels of fancy-ness) once or twice a week, probably. We have friends over for a big dinner party probably once a month, and we like to go to nice restaurants for celebratory occasions or when visitors are in town. So that does add to total food costs

I think it’s interesting that Mike collected rent as a percentage of income but is collecting groceries as just the absolute expense number. It’s revealing, kind of, that we expect to upgrade housing with income but not necessarily food.

It also points out the main disadvantage in poverty calculations in the States. Do you all know how we come up with the poverty line? Back in the ’60s, Mollie Orshansky, an employee at the USDA, came up with the thrifty food plan. It was the cheapest of food plans designed by the department, an inexpensive basket of groceries to meet nutritional needs. She calculated the cost of that basket. Then, because food used to account for a third of household expenditures, she multiplied it by three. We adjust the cost of that basket for inflation, and that is still the poverty line today. Even though housing costs have far outpaced food in the time since! So most analysts adjust by using twice the poverty line. The first time I heard that, it boggled my mind. All the fancy statisticians in this country, and we use this archaic, inaccurate food number. Amazing.

RocketSurgeon (#747)

I spend around $100 a week on groceries for my husband and myself. We make coffee and eat breakfast at home every day, except for days with the rare early meeting. I pack our lunches most days and cook dinner or eat leftovers 4-5 days a week. We eat out or order in one or two nights, usually on the weekend.

Stina (#686)

$60 per week average for couple including alcohol and coffee but not food eaten out which we do maybe once a week.

Some background: I am all about scratch cooking and store brands. I only eat poultry sometimes and do the cooking so I focus heavily on poultry meat due to environmental concerns when I cook for us/my husband. When I just cook for myself it’s usually vegan. Also we live in Wisconsin so food, especially dairy, is cheaper here than it is for the NYC people. I also do not buy organic stuff very often, I know I should though.

cjm (#3,397)

I’ve been using Mealime since Lifehacker had a free trial. I usually eat out 2 nights and 2-3 lunches a week and use that plan for lunch and dinner 4 days.

I’ve been spending $50 a week for one person on average on groceries including household sundry (paper towels, toilet paper, dish soap).

Dancercise (#94)

I shop just for myself, and I spend about $35-40 per week. I’m a vegetarian and I only buy alcohol 2-3 times a year, so that keeps costs down.

I eat out maybe once or twice a week, usually just on-the-go lunches on days when I’m running late and can’t pack a lunch.

snorkmaiden (#2,204)

I spend around 50-60CHF a week (about $51-61). That is my share, I live with someone else and we try to split food shopping, usually doing 1 big shop at the weekend and then shopping during the week for ingredients we need for dinner. I buy my lunch on average twice a week and take leftovers the other days. We hardly ever eat out for dinner because restaurants in Geneva are prohibitively expensive.

msmuses (#1,935)

$200ish (give or take $20) per week for 2 adults. This number does include lunches, but does not include Friday/Saturday dinners out. We live in a city in Canada, and to accommodate both our dietary restrictions, all our meals are vegetarian and gluten-free.

Me and the BF spend about $100/week right now for the two of us (in Brooklyn). This will go down significantly when our Fruit and Veggie CSA starts, which is like $400/the season.

We probably bring lunch about twice a week and eat out other days.

My total lunch out budget per week is $30, which could be like two hardcore lunches out, or a bunch of $5 trips to the deli.

About $125/week for 2 adults and 1 cat, including household stuff. That certainly feels like a lot, but we hardly ever eat out and bring our own lunches to work. So it’s actually 3 meals a day times two people times 7 days, or approximately $3.00/meal.

EDIT: Oh, and this is in central Washington DC, which is very expensive, new Costco notwithstanding.

AliahMoldovan (#3,960)

Here in the mid-west, it’s about $125/week for two adults with two teenagers every other weekend. We only eat out when travelling so all meals are made at home. I am fortunate to live 3 blocks from my work, so I’m able to walk home for lunch. We don’t eat beef or pork; a bag of shrimp or chicken breasts will last us about 4 meals. The farmer’s market just started but I don’t anticipate the food budget going up but rather getting more produce(and better quality) for the same price.

joyballz (#2,000)

$20 avg spent at the grocery store each week for one vegetarian in Chicago. I eat dinner out 1-2 nights and lunch out about once a week. That’s not included, but some alcohol surprisingly is. I’m both shocked at how low the number worked out to be, but then I’m not when I realized that I like really cheap things like beans and rice and pasta. My CSA will also start soon, but that’s prepaid and works out to $8/week for the length of the CSA, but $4/week if stretched out for the entire year.

amirite (#2,677)

I spend about $100 a week for me and my cat. I’m including things like cat litter, non-prescription medication, shampoo, cleaning supplies and other household items.

This is a lot compared to other people? I live in Halifax, and groceries are more expensive here than the other two cities I’ve lived in (Calgary and Vancouver). I don’t buy meat, but I do buy a lot of dairy (cheese and yogurt, they really add up). I sometimes buy organic produce, although I can’t always justify the cost. I also buy a few frozen meals a week, and treats like ice cream bars, which pushes up my costs.

ETA: It’s so interesting to see what people include in their estimates. I don’t include alcohol (not that I buy a lot of it), because you can’t get it at the grocery store here, but I see that a lot of people have included it.

@amirite I’d say that’s about normal for Canada. Food is unbelievably cheap in the States. I drove myself crazy reading the estimates on American cooking on a budget sites until I realized that.

omgkitties (#206)

$50/week on average. Mostly fresh produce and staples (lentils, quinoa) to make a few big batch recipes for the week, and if I’m feeling ambitious, fixings for a special recipe (this week: chickpea cookies from the hairpin). No meat or dairy (vegan) and only the occasional soy/imitation product (they’re expensive, though Gardein is worth every penny). That’s like $20-30.

And then there’s booze.

professionalmess (#1,478)

I spend about $30 a week for one person. This is all food except I usually go out for about 1 lunch and 1 dinner each week.

Kb (#3,962)

$150/week for two people in Burlington VT, only food-item groceries and a week’s worth of a CSA share.
And now I just spent 20 minutes playing around with my historical data on Mint. =)

cawcawphony (#2,990)

I’m gonna write this before I read anyone else’s and feel good/bad:

$71/week for one person. This does include mostly organic produce and one month (so far) of a CSA that has been mostly meat, which I wasn’t eating before. Food is a little pricey here- I just checked the cost of living index and we’re at 108 for groceries. Already making excuses!

elizabeast (#629)

As a single person, I spend $30-$35 per week on groceries for me and then $10-$12 more for the nights I cook with/for my boyfriend and need a few extra items. So, average $45?

ETA: Reading through the comments, maybe this number is really low? I eat out 3-5 meals per week as well. Maybe more? However, those meals are usually a slice of pizza as dinner, or a bagel at a coffee shop as breakfast so I didn’t even initially count those as meals.

chic noir (#713)

I average about 50 dollars but there are times I dip as low as 35 dollars and as high as 75 dollars

RadScientist (#3,081)

According to Mint, I average about $55 a week, just like Mike- I’m surprised, I actually would have guessed that I spend more. But I try to eat all of my meals at home, and hardly ever buy alcohol- both things that are not normal for me but I am trying to use to save money, since food is one of the few expenses that I can control. Unfortunately, I sometimes go way over my monthly restaurant budget of $100, with no reduction in groceries, since I’m never “planning” to eat out a whole bunch.

My boyfriend and I spend about $150-$200 a week for food, I’d guess, if you include the local CSA food box that runs from Sept to May and the half a pig and half dozen chickens I usually buy once a year that provide the majority of our meat. But I don’t live in the states, and food’s fairly pricey where I live.

CaddyFdot (#2,686)

I spend about $30/week on groceries specifically, but I also eat at my office cafeteria for lunch most days, and often go out for dinner.
Groceries + cafeteria = ~$60,
$60 + restaurants/burritos = ~$115 per week to feed myself while avoiding the kitchen.

I don’t buy/drink much alcohol at home, though I almost always do when I go out to eat.

AnnieW (#2,913)

I think I spend around $25? I probably eat out once or twice every week. Boyfriend and I do twice-a-month grocery trips and each aim for somewhere between $40-$50 a trip. I do occasionally go between trips, for milk or eggs or what-not. So the $25 is a rough guess! I eat a lot of sandwiches and frozen veggies. I have a cat, also, haha.

pizza (#599)

I average about $85/week for just me. I don’t eat out often. I make everything pretty much from scratch and mostly eat vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, and whole grains. Mostly organic. I do a winter and a summer CSA as well.

WayDownSouth (#3,431)

We spend about $300/week on food for two adults and one child. We eat out about once a fortnight. We spend most of the money at local farmers markets

janicek (#612)

$150 every two weeks for two adults. We cook for nearly every meal, and try to have one recipe a week be a ‘bulk’ meal like stew or soup or something that we can use to pad things out. This doesn’t include eating out, since I count that as part of my entertainment budget. Otherwise it’d be more like $200/2 weeks.

We buy most of our groceries from Whole Foods since it’s closest to our house and cheapest — I know everyone says it’s expensive, but I’m a crazy person and did a price check between it and the Safeway down the street and Whole Foods won by about $20/grocery run which is not chump change!

I’d say averaging about $100 a week for two people including wine/beer and almost never eating out. We pretty much only shop at Trader Joe’s or it would be more. Some weeks are $80, some are $120, so $100 per weeks sounds about right. Last week I think we spent $140, but that was unusually high because we had some people over for a BBQ.

emmabee (#2,008)

Just on groceries, we spend $100 a week for two adults. This includes cat food and occasionally beer, but it doesn’t include days I eat lunch out, since we don’t split that expense. Overall, I personally spend about $600/month on food and beverages, including my share of the groceries.

lemonadefish (#3,296)

Two adults, spending $50-60 at the grocery store, $10-40 at the farmer’s market, and the CSA divides out to $10 per week. Plus $40-50 for my husband’s restaurant lunches, and $20-200 for one or two dinners and / or brunches out. This doesn’t include liquor (maybe $5-10/ week?) or household supplies (varies wildly – probably works out to another $10 or so a week). We get meat through the CSA but don’t buy any otherwise. We buy lots of treats like nice chocolate, fancy cheese, fizzy water, etc. I think I see a place to cut back since we’re in the middle of buying a (much more expensive than renting) house!

Also the cats cost around $10/week for regular food and fancy litter.

lawyeryof (#3,964)

For a single adult, I budget and usually spend 50-60 per week on groceries, including some beer and wine — it might be a little high for one person, but I often cook for friends! I’ll occasionally spend an extra 20-30 depending on the week’s events / whatever produce looks particularly inviting… but this doesn’t include eating out, which I’ve been trying to cut back on, hence the growing grocery bill! I also only ever buy items on the “perimeter” (plus coffee, must have coffee!), so it gets a little pricier when I’m not stocking my pantry with grains, pastas, and other pre-packed items!

hellonheels (#1,407)

I spend about $160 a week for two adults. That includes wine, beer, and cat food. Typically I do a big shop on one of the weekend days with stops at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods for meat, fish, pantry staples, and harder-to-find produce, and then hit Safeway for wine and beer (their booze is so much cheaper than anywhere else!). During the week I stop into my ultra-cheap cash-only neighborhood produce shop almost daily for more pedestrian produce or anything overly perishable (avocados, fresh bread, etc.). I know it’s high, but cooking is my primary hobby, and we eat mostly organic. I could definitely bring it down to $100 or so if I had to, but I am really in awe of those of you who feed a household on $40-60 a week – I would have a very tough time with that.

I should also mention that I eat leftovers for lunch almost always – it actually pains me to have to spend money on food during the day because it seems so unnecessary.

kittymayhem (#3,929)

Assuming I’m doing the math right, Mint tells me I’m spending $20 per week over the last twelve months. This doesn’t count cat food costs or anything else bought at the grocery store (tp, soap, etc), but it does include any restaurants, fast food, etc. If I cut that out and only count groceries, it goes down to $15 per week. Just myself, living in Kentucky. Soda, meat, and alcohol purchases are rare.

Some caveats: I work at a restaurant and can get my lunches for free there. However, since I don’t really get lunch breaks or even snack breaks, I go most days without eating lunch. Also, because I feel like I have no control over most of my life, and food is one of the few things I can control, I suspect I have a fledgling eating disorder. Thus, that $15 isn’t a number I’m proud of. Working on getting better and making myself buy and eat more, but it’s hard.

honey cowl (#1,510)

There are an insane number of comments on this post but I just want to say how the HECK do all y’all do this? Do I eat ridiculously expensive food? Am I shopping at the wrong store? What the heck is my problem & why do I spend so much more than everybody (okay not EVERYBODY) else on groceries?!

honey cowl (#1,510)

@honey cowl With the caveat that I am a marathoner & thus eat 2500-3000 calories a day.

AnnieW (#2,913)

@honey cowl You didn’t say how much you spend! Haha.

I live in the Midwest, so I feel like my costs are automatically lower than the many East Coasters here. I’m cheap, I use coupons. I buy off brand stuff, don’t really care about “organic” and what not. I mean, I’d like to care about it..but like I said, I’m cheap. Anyway, I am not claiming to know any secret tricks or to be super awesome, ha. I’m sure you’re fine and as far as things to splurge on, good food seems a pretty good choice to me!

honey cowl (#1,510)

@AnnieW Haha, yep, that was on purpose! In the same way that I don’t participate in the checkins/estimates, I don’t want intimate details of my bank account on the internet. For what it’s worth, I live on the Best Coast (aka not the east one), but I am from the middle of the country, and I only notice slight differences in actual grocery prices when I’m at home or at my inlaws.

j a y (#3,935)

$65/week on average, and I eat expensive… on sale. Costco steaks, live lobsters as often as they go on sale… personal record: 10 in one week. The truth is, basic staples (rice, bread, potatoes, vegetables) are not very expensive if you’re willing to eat whatever is on sale that week. It’s the processed, pre-cooked stuff that’s expensive.

ava (#3,587)

I spend around $45/week for myself (although I occasionally feed my boyfriend dinner) at the grocery store. I make all my own meals; usually one big thing that I eat for dinner for a week, plus lunches and breakfast.

I am a college student, so I have a plan that gives me ‘money’ to spend at campus cafes, etc., plus 10 meals/semester at the cafeterias. I use that ‘money’ for coffee and things at the cafes, Shabbat dinners, and groceries at the (super over-priced) campus convenience store, depending on how much I have left and how close it is to the end of the semester. So probably another $20/week ish, on average.

I do not drink, and I mostly don’t buy meat (1 12 pack of chicken breasts/semester, pretty much). I do live in a co-op, so we have house spices/some other staples (but I supply my own flour and sugar), and toilet paper/cleaning supplies (but I get my own detergent, bath things, etc). We usually eat dinner together once a week, which is covered by house funds (through the university).

Hava (#2,239)

On average, I go grocery shopping every two weeks. I usually spend about $60, then I make a second trip for the things I run out of/forgot to get the first time(milk and cereal seem to go the fastest!), the second trip usually costs me $15-20. So if you break that down, I spend about $40 every week on food. I also live alone, which makes that number small.

TARDIStime (#1,633)

ummmmmmmmm. This thread is making me panicky. I do no even know how much Mr TARDIStime and I spend as a couple, but my Mr does the majority of grocery shopping and booze purchasing, and I asked him about it and he said “well, this week it’s probably been $180 or so” and that was NOT including everything because I had purchased a fair amount of food myself, too. Like I had maybe spent $50 or thereabouts. And we had a regular kind of food week.
Mind you, I am including other things in this such as laundry liquid and other stuff you buy at Woolworths.
It is entirely possible that groceries are more expensive in Australia (something I have heard from Americans visiting here + relatives who work on an airline and do their grocery shopping at the LA costco and bring it home to Sydney?!?!)
I feel like this is a lot of money for us, even controlling for the possibility of Sydney just being whack expensive.
For the record; we’re two adults, no pets.

littleoaks (#1,801)

@TARDIStime As someone who’s stressed out by the idea of going to the Costco four subway stops away, I am FASCINATED by the idea of trans-Pacific grocery shopping.

honey cowl (#1,510)

@TARDIStime If it makes you feel better the thread made me panicky too! I also spend $$$$ more than the avg person here. Guess I gotta work on that.

Apparently about $43 (and I don’t eat out often) but I think of it as a monthly, rather than weekly, expense. Considering my goal of $6/day, this is pretty good. I’m pleasantly surprised.

Emma M (#3,765)

Right now, about $40/week for just me (living alone, eating cheap things that are not good for me because I’m lazy and cooking for 1 in a foreign country).

When I move home in the fall and move in with the boyfriend, we are budgeting about $50/week for two.

megadith (#273)

It’s about $200/week for just food for two people. We like to cook and between the local Whole-Foods-like place and farmer’s markets ($6 for a dozen organic free-range eggs from blissed-out chickens) it adds up. This amount is stated in my budget and I don’t mind spending a lot for good food, but I have to actively try to not go over that amount. Maybe I should declare a rice-and-beans day every week.

notpollyanna (#2,841)

I spend $45-50 a week on food for one person, including both groceries and eating out, since that is how I categorize my spending. I don’t usually eat out much, mostly just with friends.

Fun fact: there was a one cent difference between my food spending in April and March.

I spend $50 a week for two adults. We usually do eat a couple meals with my family each week, but sometimes I provide food for that as well so it all balances out.

@Michelle Coffey@facebook How do you make that happen? I spend 3x that a week for two adults. Please tell me your magical secret.

unfortumissy (#1,446)

We spent about $120/week for two people, we eat out once or twice a week, but the groceries account for almost all breakfasts and lunches as well as 5-6 dinners.

Lizbethanne (#3,925)

I am now super-concerned about how much money we’re spending on food. For two adults, we’re probably in the $200 range. That includes groceries, alcohol for home, and non-food items (cleaning products, etc.). We generally eat dinner and lunch from home food (neither of us eats breakfast during the week), and have drinks with dinner a few nights a week. Once a week we go to a bar for happy hour with $1 beers and 2-for-1 burgers, which is $25 or less total.

We live in Hoboken NJ, and our local grocery store isn’t cheap (and the corner bodega is really expensive). We try to do our big shopping trips in neighboring towns where it’s cheaper, but that’s a pain in the ass (we don’t have a car) so we sometimes spend more for the convenience.

When I was single I spent a lot less–I almost never cooked meat for myself, ate a lot of pasta/rice based dishes (aka, pasta with margarine, rice with some peas and soy sauce). Fiancé would rather eat meat and vegetables for a dinner, which is more expensive. Plus now that there’s two of us eating, we eat at a table, with more of an actual meal (entree and side dishes) as opposed to me eating alone on the couch with a bowl of cereal. Is that weird?

I’m not including my morning coffee, because caffeine is medicinal.

kbn22 (#1,414)

@Lizbethanne Yes THIS, on the two costing more than double. When I was single (or when my husband is out of town), I’ll happily make a dinner out of cheese and crackers, with a carrot on the side and a popsicle for dessert. But my husband definitely prefers bigger (more $$$) meals, ideally with a side dish and bread and everything. And I don’t totally disagree with him – now that we have a house with a dining room and don’t eat in front of the TV every single night, it would feel a bit silly to have dinner together at the table if it was just cereal. But it’s definitely pricier this way.

I don’t know about weekly, but last month I spent $357.32 on groceries which is about average. That’s for two people. I think it’s absolutely outrageous — when I lived alone I probably spent $50-100 at the absolute most on food for myself each month. I honestly have no idea why my boyfriend eats so much. It’s probably one of the top things we fight about.

Jackieness (#4,574)

This is a thread I hope my boyfriend never sees! He always makes mention of how outrageous our grocery bill is. When i read the comments I realize he is kind of right! In my defense, food is also a bit of a hobby to me. I read somewhere that vegetarians spend less on groceries, um not for us. I shoot for $175 per week but sometimes I hit $200 per week (Im so proud when I get a total for $150) for one vegetarian adult male and one vegan adult female in SoCal. I shop at WF where I buy mostly organic, non gmo yada, yada. I make mostly healthy choices with few processed foods. It costs more to have less b.s, in your foodstuffs! I also purchase toiletries there, again minus the crap and cruelty free. We eat almost all meals at home, we might have one meal out per week plus maybe a trip for morning coffee and pastry on the weekend. I know it’s high even more so now after reading this. The sad thing is it would be easy to spend more. I love preparing food, I’ll go to the mattresses for my food bill, lol sometimes I have to with the Bf. I could spend all day justifying it but ill spare you.

Upon review of all of the comments, my husband and I seem to spend above average on our monthly grocery tab. I struggle to stay below $550 per month on groceries. We live in California, and everything does cost a bit more here. I alternate between shopping at Sprouts Farmer’s Market and Safeway. I meal plan every Sunday and incorporate pantry staples (beans, pasta, quinoa, etc), yet our weekly food tab averages to almost exactly $125-$140. I do purchase organic meat and seafood, and my husband eats enough for three men. The other day he made three giant quesadillas for his lunch. I was simultaneously appalled and impressed by his football player appetite. Also, the budget includes what we spend on wine/beer and random household supplies such as cleaners and toiletries. 99% of the dinners I make yield leftovers for us to have for lunch the following day, so I always bring lunch to work. We eat out maybe once a month now, so all of our meals come straight from our kitchen.

I live in a city in the South, and the grocery stores that live within walking distance of me are usually a little bit pricer. I end up spending an average of $62 per week. Some weeks are around $50, some weeks are about $70 for when I splurge on alcohol or fancy cheese <3, so about $250 per month for one little person… Groceries are mainly fresh vegetables, pasta, and tons of fruit (I avoid processed foods). This doesn’t include toiletries which I buy in bulk at the beginning of the year, and am usually good for the rest of the school year.

~I use to spend around $400 a month when I ate out (food lover) and bought school food, so I stopped doing that almost altogether. I still feel like my cut-down budget is still higher than most people on this forum~

I live in NYC and spend about 100 dollars per week without counting the eating out budget but I do buy all organic foods. That is just on me without any other person or pets and that’s basically on vegetables and fruits since I don’t really buy meat.

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