Want to feel better fast about your food budget?

Check out this link from your friendly neighborhood USDA on what it costs to feed a family. I learned that if I’m thrifty, I could spend just $1,004/month to feed our family of 9 – and that doesn’t include diapers, toilet paper or pet food.
I think I can work within that budget. 🙂

For some great tips on reducing your current food budget, take a look at the links that Crystal found. Read the comments on her post for some grocery budget comparisons and confessions from readers.


  1. mal,
    Good point. But I checked the online cost-of-living calculators and found that while certain expenses can vary wildly from region to region (housing and insurance for example), food prices stay fairly close to the average.

  2. It may just be possible, I know this is a mind bending concept; that the prices may reflect a national average and therefore be inflated to account for the higher cost of food items in high population centers versus whatever rual or suburban area you all hail from.

    And the baby gaga thing is gross. When did fetus’s become cute?

  3. I have three teenagers (one boy) and one kindergartener who is very picky, plus a vegetarain. We spend on average $180 Canadian (about $150 US) a week for groceries, cleaners and toiletries. I kept track for a couple months in my own blog.

    I know if I really had to, and if I had a deep freezer (boy I miss it) I can go cheaper. I steadfastly refuse to push more than one cart around the store though. 😉

  4. I’ll bet those of us with large families shop very differently from the average American household.
    I would suspect that the figures are reasonably accurate for mainstream-1.3-child-cuz-kids-cost-too-much American households.
    Just my humble opinion…

  5. Kim said: “Barbara, do you think you can get by on $810 instead of $900?

    I don’t know Kim, might be tight…lol! Seriously, I really think those figures are a bit high. I mean who really pays that much on just food alone?

  6. My budget for our family of 8 is $1,000/month, but that includes all household items as well: diapers, wipes, TP, shampoo, OTC medicines, pet food, etc…It’s tight, I tell ya! And it takes a lot of planning, but it’s worth it! I just cannot IMAGINE when my four boys are all teenagers, though! Mercy!

  7. Texas Confederate says:

    I wonder how much the USDA factors into already prepared foods. It’s amazing how much money you can save by preparing and cooking your own meals. For example, I can buy biscuits, or make them from scratch for a fraction of the cost. The same principle applies to pizza and other dishes.

  8. Oops. I just read the small print at the bottom and those of us with larger household *can* get by on less: 10% less if there are 7 or more in your house. Guess I’ll have to put back those filet mignons and settle for the porterhouse.
    Barbara, do you think you can get by on $810 instead of $900?

  9. I did the guide put out by the USDA based on our family and I believe it came to almost $900 for our family of 8. Quite a shock! Where do they get those numbers from?

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