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Are You Over-budgeting for Groceries? 15 Americans Share Their Spending Habits

According to 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average spending on food at home is $5,259 annually, or about $438 per month for U.S. households. This may vary depending on factors such as household size, income, and location.

and, we decided to search for the ground reality. We found a thread of Reddit, where a user asked

How much do you spend on groceries in a month?

I’ve been trying to cut down on expenses and groceries is one of them. So far I spend around $200-$300 a month on the bare necessities. Some items I’ve tried to cheap out on but I ended up having to get a better brand cause of how bad the generic is.

I usually get my groceries weekly at a spending around $50-$80. Not everything at once by I spread it out on based on current necessities. I’ve tried to apply for SNAPS but I was rejected even though I live paycheck to paycheck.” 

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Here are the top picks:

In New York:

Single woman in NYC (pescatarian). I spend about $50/week on groceries. My staples are:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tuna
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Eggs (although that’s been WAY more expensive lately)
  • Corn tortillas
  • Cheese of some sort (whatever is on sale)
  • Fruit of some sort

Very often, I’ll make a big batch of rice, veggies, and a protein. That will make 3 lunches that I’ll take to work. Egg and cheese on corn tortilla is very cheap but filling for dinner. ” shared a user. 

Fellow New Yorker here!!! I concur on this list!!! Though I must say, I havent done corn tortillas!” added another. 

If you are living in a top tier city like NY, you can manage at $50 a week and $200 a month. 

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In Los Angeles:

About $100-$150 for two people in Los Angeles every two weeks. We cook meals that are cheap(ish) and make leftovers (ie stews). If we see a discount in something that we eat often we buy in bulk and freeze it. We use store coupons when foods are discounted.” shared a user. 

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I asked a friend of mine who lives in Houston, Anika Jindal from WhatAnikaSays. She says “we spend at least $500 for a family of 3. This includes a few parties, but excluding any day we eat out or buy alcohol. There are many ways to save on groceries and we’re starting to implement it. Still, everything is so expensive

I go grocery shopping every 2 weeks for myself. The minimum for 2 weeks will be $100 and the maximum will be $150. The maximum I’ll spend is $300 per month” shared another. 

Food is my “luxury”. I spend $500/month for two people and a dog. I eat a lot of fresh produce and fresh things, so it’s definitely on the pricey side. I shop sales when I can, limit processed and brand name stuff, but fresh produce and meat is expensive.” shared another

Family of 3, $285 per month. This include little to no meal, shopping items on sale, drinking only water and no pets” shared another. 
“Single male, spend about $100 a month. Being vegan and not a picky eater helps.” added another. 
Also vegan, feeding my bf and myself is roughly $200 a month as well. Frozen veggies and dry goods are the biggest help to keeping costs low.” said one. 

I have a decently stocked pantry/freezer at the moment, but I can see how $100/week will become more challenging as some of my basics get consumed.” said another. 

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We spend $200 a month for 2 people. Usually spend $50 a week, unless we have to buy a few bulk items. I buy pretty much generic for everything, something I do like to “splurge” on is breads. But I don’t pay full price, I will usually get it on clearance/sale and throw it in the freezer if I’m not using right away. I also get shredded cheese and meats when they are on a good sale and throw them in the freezer. I also get name brand cereal a lot by waiting for deals or clearance (usually something like red & green cereal after the holidays). It takes me a lot of work to save on groceries these days!” said another. 

About $300/month. Some months more if meat (or fish, shellfish, poultry) is on sale and I can stock up. Some less if I have plenty of meat stocked up.” shared another. 

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We spend about $300 a month for 2 people in So Cal.” said one.

We spend $140 per person on groceries, This has gone up from $120 with inflation.” added another.

My family of 4 spends about $700-$900 a month however I am currently trying to cut back to $400 a month to pay off some debt. The hardest part is having kids who want snacks. I try to only buy 1 snack a week. Veggie straws this week, popcorn the next. I also use Flashfood to get meat 50% off.” said one. 

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In conclusion, spending $100 to $150 per month (for one person) on groceries is a reasonable amount for the average American household. It’s clear that with proper planning and budgeting, it is possible to feed a family without breaking the bank.

Additionally, there are many ways to save money on groceries, such as using coupons, buying in bulk, and shopping at discount stores.

By being mindful of your spending and utilizing these strategies, it is possible to stick to a reasonable grocery budget and still enjoy a healthy and varied diet.