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    Cost of food for one adult / a month?

    I keep hearing all kinds of food budgets - some people reporting incredibly low budget per person, others quite high.

    At present we are a family of three adults and one 14 months old (sister lives with us for now and stays with baby during the day while I am at work).

    How much should we budget for food per person and feel good about it?
    We cook in the home. We would of course like to buy organic but this seems so hard at times. ...

    #2
    Re: Cost of food for one adult / a month?

    Food remains one of my main financial weaknesses.

    The current budget is around $300 for just myself.

    I am trying to learn to cook more though, even if it amounts to nothing more than boiling pasta and opening a can of carrots.

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      #3
      Re: Cost of food for one adult / a month?

      Originally posted by Broken Arrow
      The current budget is around $300 for just myself.
      Holy crap!

      That's a little more than what we budget for our household of three adults.


      Edit: That is, I am referring to groceries. Not dining out. That is a separate budget item which, at present, is minimal itself.

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        #4
        Re: Cost of food for one adult / a month?

        perhaps BA lives in a very metro area where food is more expensive? or has special dietary needs?

        hey, i'm tryin' to help here!

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          #5
          Re: Cost of food for one adult / a month?

          Yes...that's why I get so confused. I am trying to find out what is realistic and what we should shoot for - 3 adults + 1 baby.

          I just about had a heart attack when I checked the grocery bill for this past month and it amounted to almost 800$ for the household ( ) - with my mom cooking in a totally inefficient way and me having cafeteria eats at work quite often.
          However, I did not want to criticize her way of cooking too much because after all we did get free childcare while she was here (for 10 months) so it still made sense.

          She is from Eastern Europe (leaving in 2 days) and boy...at least in the country (or city?) I am from ...a lot of people have NO CLUE how to cook in a more efficient, healthy manner (my mom included). Cooking big chunks of meat on its own and placing it next to some vegetable, with bread - that's it. They do use side salads with the meal - which is the only good thing.

          It's basically tons of meat, meat and then some more meat. It is a scar left over from the communist times when meats were hard to get and there is still this perception over there that if you can afford lots of meat, you live well and that that's the only way to feel full, content and have a great meal

          And then they complain that food in that country is horrifically expensive. When I tried to explain to them that most Americans do not cook so much meat at once and do not buy so much food overall - she just dismisses this sasying that food in the US is very cheap and that Americans have tons of money anyway.
          OMG!! And there's no way to show her that Americans budget much, much less money per person for food than they do over there, on much, much smaller incomes. I wish I could show her the dozens of families posting on this forum who say that they soend 70-80$ a week for a family of four. Jesus!!!

          How is it possible to eat so much meat, I will never comprehend.

          That being sad, what should I shoot for now that I will no longer have my mom in charge of the kicthen? We will be 3 adults (my sister included) and 1 baby.
          Thank you so much again!

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            #6
            Re: Cost of food for one adult / a month?

            I would not stress so much about the amount, just work on lowering it little by little. Shoot for 600 this month then 500 and so on, until you are as low as you want to go. Make menus and shop from them only. Eat out less and take lunches to work. Do it little by little so that you don't jump off the boat. It can be done for 50 a person a month, but you best be a good cook. Here are some web sites that have some helpful ideas and recipies.

            http://www.savingdinner.com/

            http://snider.mardox.com/

            www.hillbillyhousewife.com

            These sites are great and will help you get started...remember little by little will get it done

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              #7
              Re: Cost of food for one adult / a month?

              DH and I shoot for $35 a week for the two of us ($140 per month). We are Latino so we tend to shop more ethnic groceries/fresh grocers and just get staples for the bigger chain stores. I try to use coupons (not as good as I could be about this), cook at home. Farmers markets are also great (particularly towards the end when they are trying to unload everything). We also have a huge 99 cent store that has food (some nice fresh stuff) and we eat very little meat. Our dining out budget is about $40 per month so total of $180 per month, although if I ever get in a Trader Joes (which I love) it is not pretty---so I try to stay away!

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                #8
                Re: Cost of food for one adult / a month?

                syracusa- I would say the budget will be depended on the adventurous mind of the cook/shopper. Is your sister going to be the cook/shopper now that she will stay home with the baby? Who is the cook in the family? First, you need a stockpile in the pantry and freezer. Once you have a minimum of a 3 month supply of "stuff" on hand then you can buy the "specials". If I find a killer price on lets say coffee or chicken legs or canned vegetables- I can buy $100 worth because I really do not need anything else except fresh vegetables (Aldi's) and milk. Buy only the sale items each week and use what you have on the shelf. Rice is 3 lbs for $1 at Deals or Dollar Tree- do you know how many meals that is? OK- top of my head - you should spend no more than $300/ month for 3 adults and one baby. lynclarke

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                  #9
                  Re: Cost of food for one adult / a month?

                  Groceries only - no eating out - we budget $250 a month but hardly ever make it that high- in Sept. we were at $190 and last month $200. Do you buy a lot of prepackaged drinks? We found that drives the cost of groceries realy high.

                  Also, are you picking up personal/cleaning items while at the store? I found that these items are cheaper at Target or CVS than the grocery store (and I budget for them separately).

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                    #10
                    Re: Cost of food for one adult / a month?

                    Originally posted by tinapbeana
                    perhaps BA lives in a very metro area where food is more expensive? or has special dietary needs?

                    hey, i'm tryin' to help here!
                    Er... yeah yeah! Special dietary needs! I'm "special".

                    Well, my budget includes my 3 kids when they're with me... and because it's a budget, I tend to budget high so it's what I set aside, not what I always end up spending.

                    But... I have to be honest. I still enjoy dining out from time to time. Hence the high budget.

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                      #11
                      Re: Cost of food for one adult / a month?

                      BA- You might want to make a budget for groceries and a budget for dining out. You will make better choices if you really know where the money is going.

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                        #12
                        Re: Cost of food for one adult / a month?

                        Hmm, that's not a bad idea.

                        I must admit that food is my one great financial weakness.

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                          #13
                          Re: Cost of food for one adult / a month?

                          BA- I saw that you were in the food forum talking about a crockpot. You have to think about it. Is food, convenience, or cooking the real problem?? Food is a GREAT weakness for me - I LOVE good food. But, in general, I can make better food in my own kitchen than I can buy. Unless you are buying prime ribs and Maine lobsters every other day you can probably stick to a budget if you cook. If you control your costs when you are alone or impressing a date, then when your kids come to visit you can splurge on dining out with them. lynclarke

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                            #14
                            Re: Cost of food for one adult / a month?

                            Cooking also lets you be creativeand experiment with items and dishes you might otherwise not try! You'd be surprosed how you can stretch the budet for food!

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                              #15
                              I work full-time. However, I always find time to cook. First of all, it helps me control the quality of food and overall nutrition of my family.
                              Secondly, this way I do manage to save greatly on food. I never buy semi-products.

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