Saturday, March 15, 2008

Poll: Grocery Budgets

After a hiatus due to the holidays and some family issues, we're bringing back our polls. Check out the latest poll, "What do you think is a reasonable grocery budget for a family of four?"

Reducing our grocery costs has been at the top of my list of financial goals for some time, especially now that food prices are skyrocketing. I do what I can with coupons and shopping sales, but there are certain sacrifices I'm not willing to make when it comes to saving money at the supermarket. Most weeks, a full half of my list consists of fresh produce, and when I look at my receipt, the big ticket items are usually lean cuts of meat or non-processed dairy items. Once I actually calculated what I was spending on diet soda, I confronted my problem with caffeine and cut down our bills.

So when a friend told me she spends over 200 dollars a week feeding her family of four, I was amazed because I spend considerably less than that for MY family of four, and was still worried that I needed to crunch my budget a little more. I also picked up a copy of the new magazine Clean Eating to see if their headline of '5 Dinner For 60 Dollars' was reasonable. Not only was it do-able, but I made some small changes and did it for even less. And found all 5 recipes to be tasty, healthy and easy.

You can read about my experiment here and also take the 60 dollar challenge yourself.

We'd love to know: what do you consider to be a reasonable grocery budget for your family? What are the most expensive items on your list? Do you have plans to cut down the amount you spend? Any tips or tricks?


Jen said...

I shoot for $400/month for my family of four. We could do it for less than that, but I like having our milk, eggs, bread & some produce delivered fresh & organic from the farm.

The price of wheat has tripled in the last 10 months, and with oil prices topping out, I'm sure we are going to see our grocery budgets squeezed in the near future.

Lisa said...

What I strive for and what I spend just never compare. :( I am very interested in your $60 challenge. I buy a ton of fresh produce, milk, eggs, cheese, etc. Thanks for posting.

Erin said...

I shoot for $75 per week for our family of 4 but it would be considerably higher if I had to feed my kids breakfast and lunch 7 days a week in stead of 2. They go through fresh fruit so fast it makes my head spin. They are also big on yogurt and cheese. Our big ticket items are the meats but I try to buy them in bulk and on sale which helps alot (except of course for the week when I spend a ton stocking up!) I think I'll try the $60 challenge and see how well we do.