How Much do You Spend on Groceries?

In the past I’ve created posts explaining the USDA Food Plan Costs so you can get an idea of how much people spend for food individually and as a family. While I do know a few people who spend less than the thrifty food plan, this seems to be spot on most weeks for me.

I do aspire to the thrifty food plan, which was $38.00 February 2019, but sometimes I go above, spending closer to the low-cost plan of $47.20 a week. Mind you, I do buy some organic, non-gmo items, and I’m still learning to do this in the most affordable way possible. I want to point out that I do a stock up trip with my tax refund where I spend an additional $100 to $150 in one trip, but the food lasts a long time.

During years when my parents grow food, my overall average has gone down significantly. When I have a place where I can garden I plan to grow most of my own produce and herbs, but I am not there yet.

Here are some ways I save money on food:

  • I grow some of my own organic herbs and dry or freeze them for later use. Parsley and mint are two of them.
  • I have chives growing out at my mothers. When I visit, I cut some and bring it home to freeze. This is an absolute freebie for me.
  • I make some things from scratch, such as Paleo pizza crusts, muffins, and tortillas, as well as the occasional dessert.
  • I make my own fruit sauces.
  • I coupon minimally. It’s hard to find coupons for most of what I buy.
  • I try to buy when on sale.
  • I accept fresh produce and eggs from anyone who wants to give them to me.
  • I freeze small bits of food to add to smoothies, soups, and other things later on.
  • I snag good buys at farmer’s markets at the end of the day/season.
  • I comparison shop. Sometimes, but not always, I can find better deals online.

What I don’t mind spending extra money on.

  • Organic, Maine-made honey.
  • Organic, Maine or Vermont-made maple syrup and cream.
  • Organic, locally canned pickled beets when my parents don’t make them.
  • Organic olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee.
  • Almond and coconut flours.
  • Enjoy Life chocolate chips.

I don’t buy a lot of these more expensive items, but I do like to have them on hand once in a while. Sometimes I like to make something special.

How does your spending compare to the amounts given for February?

Shannon

USDA Thrifty Food Plan, January 2018

Not everyone has a large budget for food. Even those of us needing to eat healthy have to keep costs down. Doing so is not always easy.

A few years back I came across the USDA Thrifty Food Plan, and wanted to share it with you. There are weeks when I’m lucky if I have $10.00 to spend on food. Those weeks find me depleting my pantry stocks. Then there are weeks when I can spend $40.00 plus and extra $10.00 or $20.00 to replenish the pantry somewhat. These are my lucky weeks.

More often than not, I spend around $35.00.

This is what the USDA says the food plan costs were for January 2018 for 1 female my age:

Weekly                                                                Monthly

$38.00           Thrifty Plan                                 $164.70

$48.10            Low-Cost Plan                            $208.50

$59.10            Moderate-Cost Plan                  $256.00

$75.70            Liberal Plan                                 $328.00

I dream of having enough money for the liberal plan every week/month, lol. I am definitely closer to the Thrifty Plan. You can see where your family would be here. (It goes by age.) Where are you?

I try to get a fruit for each day, plus plenty of vegetables and enough protein for each day, with my money. Some weeks are easier than others to pull this off. Generally, I get the most affordable meats and produce I can find. Unfortunately, I’m not always able to get organic foods, but I think I’m doing good when I come out of the store with no (or close to no) processed foods. It varies from week-to-week what I can pull off for meals.

Shannon