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scr: How much do you spend on groceries/toiletries per month?

I'm trying to get a better handle on our grocery and toiletries budget. I used to just buy whatever I needed but I want to get a better grip on it.

How much do you budget for how many people (please include groceries + toiletries such as paper towel/toilet paper/etc)? Do you live in LCOL or HCOL? Do you coupon?

Here is what I've got:


Groceries (+ some toiletries) $250 

Sam's Club $100 (I get most toiletries from here)

.. thus, $87.50 per week (or $350/month)

No, I don't coupon since most of the toiletries I get are at Sam's, and most of the food I eat are not pre-packaged foods (mostly produce, but do buy pasta, marinara sauce, etc)

 ETA: This doesn't include beauty items (skincare/makeup) since I buy those at the department store. 

Eta- I do prepare 6 dinners and 6 lunches per week.

Re: scr: How much do you spend on groceries/toiletries per month?

  • For 2 of us I spend around $100 a week on groceries and that is with some minor couponing.  That's usually for 6 lunches and 6 dinners a week for each of us.  We eat dinner out once a week and I eat at work once a week.

    For toiletries I generally spend maybe $25 a month because I coupon and use my Rite-Aid Ups Rewards and CVS card with Extra Bucks.

    So we spend about $425 total a month on groceries and toiletries.

  • Does it make sense that my COL is so low that the grocery stores have higher prices since there is no competition?

    When I lived in a city, we spent $60/week on food only (no toiletries, health and beauty).  This was achieved by buying produce at one store, meat at another, and canned goods at another.  I spent 2 hrs each Saturday grocery shopping to get the best prices.

  • We live in a LCOL area and for two people we spend around $60-70/week on food and toiletries.  We usually eat out 1-3 times a month so this includes breakfasts, lunches, and most dinners.  
  • LCOL (heck, we might even shop at the same exact stores!) for 2 people and avid couponer (but not like those crazies on Extreme Couponing).  The following covers 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 4-5 dinners per week for both people.

    Groceries - $30 - 40/week

    CSA Share - $7.50/week (this year have a Summer and Fall Share - 26 weeks)

    Toiletries - Earned for free doing employee panels at work...this is a huge savings and some things like toilet paper accumulate faster than we can use it!

    Monthly Cost: $150 - $190 

    ETA: Ooops, I forgot to divide my CSA cost in half because I split it with a co-worker!  I knew something looked a little high :).  Fixed now.

  • we eat alot of seafood so our is probably a little higher

    spend about $75-100 per week on groceries (usually pick up paper towels and toilet paper while I am there)

    Photobucket Anniversary
  • Our groceries range anywhere from $60-$120 per week for 2.5 of us depending on what we get. (We have a roommate that travels 50-75% of the time). We're in MD, which I consider a pretty HCOL.

    I get all of our produce from a farmers market so sometimes I'm spending more than I would at the grocery store but I think its worth it. The closest grocery store for us is a Super Walmart so we get just about everything else there. The higher end of the grocery bill is when we need toilet paper, paper towels, laundry detergent, meats, etc. 

    I have a membership for Costco through work and I'll use that for meats, dishwasher tablets, spices and cleaning supplies. 

    We could probably spend a lot less if I started only using the stuff we have in the pantry, but I never seem to do it. 

  • I would say we spend between $250-300 a month. Mostly organic, no coupons.
  • HCOL

    Includes everything purchased at the grocery store or Costco.  There are some toiletries that are purchased at Target and aren't included.

    So far this year:

    Groceries = $439

    We bring our lunch most days and eat out 2-3 nights a week.

  • HCOL

    $400-500 a month for 2 adults and a toddler. This is about 95% food, no toiletries.

    This includes all breakfasts, about half our lunches, and almost all our dinners. 

    The budget is about the same as it was 5 years ago, which I consider a win since grocery prices have gone up (Over the past few years I was able to get it to about $350 but that was before DS and also when prices weren't so jacked). 

  • Wow !!! I wish my grocerie bills were as low as the majority here :(

    I live in Canada ( right there my bill goes up ) lol. We average about $180 a week for 2 adults.

    And another $80 a week for toiletries, hair/skin products and other misc. stuff.

    We do eat healthy, which here it costs a lot more for our produce and we do buy lean meats and fish, which again costs a lot more.    


  • extremely HCOL area.

    i'd say probably about 600/month for all for DH and I. happily kid free :)

    Friday, December 28 2012. The day I had emergency appendix surgery in Mexico and quit smoking. Proof that everything has a good side!! DH and I are happily child-free!! No due date or toddler tickers here!! my read shelf:
    Alison's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf) 
  • We usually spend about $120/week on food and paper products.

    That doesn't include dog food (which is about $65 every 4 weeks) or alcohol which is...a lot :) 

    So about $480/month. 

    We live in a LCOL area (deep south) in comparison to the rest of the country but a H(igher)COL area compared to most of the southeast.


    ETA: They only coupons I use are the ones that Kroger sends me for products we buy often (based on our Kroger card) or the coupons that they send out that are like $5 off a purchase of $50 or whatever. And, sometimes when I'm bored, I load e-coupons to my Kroger app on my iPhone and use those. But only for things we already buy..

    I don't clip coupons or search them out at all. 





    TTC #1 since June 2008 *SAIFW*

    TI, IUIs, IVF = c/ps and BFNs

  • image philandclaire:

    Does it make sense that my COL is so low that the grocery stores have higher prices since there is no competition?

    When I lived in a city, we spent $60/week on food only (no toiletries, health and beauty).  This was achieved by buying produce at one store, meat at another, and canned goods at another.  I spent 2 hrs each Saturday grocery shopping to get the best prices.

    Branny, when I lived close to where you live, our grocery budget was much higher. Our neighbor was a grocery store manager. He said the theft at his store was between 10-12%, so that is why prices were so high at his store. Theft was rampant in our little area.

    In our current town, our grocery bill with toilitries is around $275 per month for a family of 4 plus some random extra people that we take in from time to time. We coupon for toilitries. We eat almost 100% organic. We save by getting a CSA where we can buy fruit in bulk at a discount, go to you pick places when ever possible, grow a lot of our vegetables, belong to a food buying co op for flour, nuts, and dried fruits, and we make a lot of things by scratch. We shop at ethnic grocery stores for rice and spices. You can read about how we save on groceries in my blog post.

  • We live in the city (Houston) an I would say the COL is average.  I do coupon, but just for things like toothbrushes/toothpaste so I can get them for free.  F is no longer in diapers, so that helps.  We spend about $300 a month on groceries for me, DH and Finley.  DH's office brings in lunch every day, so we don't have to provide that.


    Finley Anne ~ 11.9.2008
    So Tasty, So Yummy
  • It depends...

    If we buy exclusively in Switzerland, around 700 chf/month, roughly 800 USD.

    If we do one big shopping trip in France and stock up on things like pasta, cereal and toiliteries...around 500 chf/month or roughly 550 USD. 

    Switzerland has one of the highest costs of living in the world, if not the highest. 

  • During the summer, we probably spend $400-$450 on food and toilettries (basically whatever we buy locally, at the grocery store and at BJs Wholesale).  In the winter, it's closer to $250--no CSA, no farmers' market, no u-pick, lots of food that I canned or froze in the summer). 

    DH usually buys his lunch, I take leftovers and we rarely eat out.  We also don't snack very much and we save a decent amount of money by making/freezing stuff in season.

    2 adults, HCOL, minimal couponing--whatever is available in the BJs' mailer that week.

    If you include our alcohol bill (you can't buy any alcohol in grocery stores or gas stations in MD) it would increase our spending by anywhere from $30-$100, depending on the month.

  • HCOL

    Our grocery bill is about $120/week for the 3 of us.  (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a full week.)

    As for toiletries, I don't keep track of this very well.  We buy somethings at Sam's but mostly at Target.  Probably $150/month? That could be way off.

  • My budget is crazy up and down. I think your monthly budget sounds pretty good.
  • My budget is $90/week, all inclusive (paper products, cleaning supplies, drugstore-type cosmetics, etc.).  This includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for myself, DH, and my two-year-old DD.  If we know we are going to eat out, I try to include that in the grocery budget, although that can be impossible at times. 

    To accomplish this, I coupon for whatever I can, such as toiletries.  I'm, by no means, an extreme couponer... but I do coupon weekly and I try to stock up a little on the really good sales.

    I think my most helpful tool is making my weekly menu ahead of time, with sales in mind.  I try to find recipes that use similar ingredients, but taste quite different, so I can buy as few groceries as possible.  Buying whole foods really helps.  I'm also really weary about not buying crap I don't actually want/need (yes, ice cream is a "need").  

    It sounds like you're on the right track.  I've found that I get better deals waiting for sales and with coupons than I ever did at Sam's, but that was just my experience.  Good luck!

  • HCOL

    Farmers Market: $20-30

    Supermarket for groceries/toiletries: $75ish

    So total about $400 a month

    Master of Disguise
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