A common expense that you have the most control over is spending on food, and more specifically your groceries. If you are wanting to cut down on your expenses or reach a new savings goal, a great way to start is by analyzing just how much you spend on groceries and going from there.
This question is really popular for people who are starting to create their budget, and it makes sense why. Groceries differ greatly depending on the person, their diet and lifestyle, and where they live and shop.
Buying groceries can also vary by family size. Large families buy for a greater amount of people and can spend less per person, buy more products in bulk, and have less food go to waste.
Since there are a lot of factors to consider when purchasing groceries, there isn’t a specific expense amount that works for every. However, it may be helpful to go with an average amount and see how it works with your budget. Trial and error is the best way to come up with the greatest solution for you.
I recommend starting with a monthly grocery budget of $250 per adult and $150 per child (ages 1 -12).
If these numbers sound impossible to you, don’t panic! I will go over ways that you can lower your grocery bill, no matter your circumstances, that can help you get closer and closer to this goal.
The USDA comes out with monthly food plans that share what the average food expenses are in the United States. These plans can be found here:
The food plans are based on all home-prepared meals and differ in specific foods and quantities of foods. The numbers that I use in this article are from their moderate cost plan.
The average grocery expense is:
The average couple spends an average of $629 per month on groceries.
The average family of four spends $1019 per month on groceries.
Yes, it can be enough. It also can be way too restrictive. It all depends on your circumstances.
For instance, when Zach and I were newly married and still in college our grocery budget was $200 - $250 a month for the both of us. We weren’t eating a lot of meat, we ate a bunch of leftovers, stuck with cheap meals, and ate a few meals a week at our family’s. However, once we started to bring in more money we felt comfortable with raising that budget. And since then we have raised it even more as our income, lifestyle, and family has changed.
There are possibly an infinite amount of ways that help lower grocery bills, but here are my favorite and most used tips.
I hope these grocery expense averages and savings tips help you to be more confident about what you feel is or isn’t worth spending your money on. Take these tips one at a time and you will see compounding results! Best of luck.