How much does the average family of 4 spend on food monthly?
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Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 11:29 am
honeymoon wrote:
Gerbera I'm curious how you make that work. We are two adults and three kids and my weekly grocery orders are a minimum of 250$ plus daily visits to the grocery for forgotten items which easily add up to another 150$. This is just groceries and doesn't include fish and meat.

Daily visits probably make things add up quickly. I shop only Sunday and Thursday. Do you have a shopping list or meal plan to work off of? I find it's easier to stay on track if you only but what you need. I'm not sure what kind of meals ppl make or how often they eat meat, etc but I guess lifestyle also is part of this. My kids are happy having a dinner of omlettes cut up veggies and crackers. Eggs are super cheap. Maybe some ppl buy a lot of freezer meals like pizza bagels or bourekas or ravioli etc...I don't as they're quite expensive here. I'll buy cheese on sale but if it's not I won't buy that week...same with other stuff. I know Sunday mornings all meat/chicken/fish is marked down to thirty percent off so I'll buy and freeze. I think a lot is in the planning and avoiding spontaneous purchases.

Last edited by Gerbera on Mon, Feb 04 2019, 11:30 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 11:30 am
This thread is making me feel great! I’ve been working very hard to cut back and it seems like for my family size we are doing okay. Family of 7- weekly gorcieries average 250-300 but that doesn’t include household items like paper goods and detergent. We have delicious dinners- but I am careful. I do ONE shopping a week that covers shabbos and the following weeks dinners. I do not do a midweek shop unless it’s an emergency.

By planning meals in advance you save so much more. I also buy a huge fam pack of chicken cutlets that I divide for 2 dinners. One night dinner is dairy which can include salmon or another fish. Sides are a starch and veggie. We also have meat very often for shabbos and we eat a decent amount of fruits and veggies. I also try to buy stuff that’s on sale.

This is in Lakewood.
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Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 11:41 am
I easily spend less than $300 a month for just my husband and I. We make big portions and eat a lot of leftovers. He's Persian so we inevitably end up eating a lot of rice, and we buy rice for around 50 cents a pound. We buy meat on Long Island since it's more expensive in Manhattan. We buy snacks / junk food at Trader Joes where it's a lot cheaper than other places. Lots of pasta, lentils, vegetables, potatoes, fish, stews, and I make challah and desserts myself which is more delicious and less expensive. I'm sure if I had children I'd be a lot less disciplined about it, but as long as I have time time/energy to do a lot of thoughtful planning, it's definitely possible to really not spend so much.
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Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 11:45 am
baby12x wrote:
You're asking the wrong question: how much can you afford to spend on food?
Then make that budget work the best you can.

Yes! I totally agree.
I made a household budget and budgeted $300 for food and I work around that. (Family of 3)
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Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 1:47 pm
Gerbera wrote:
I have no idea what WIC is...I assume that's something in the US? We are required by our children's schools to buy a certain amount of grocery cards per school year as the companies donate a percentage back to the school as a donation so it's all paid for by us out of pocket. The store I shop at in Canada is not in the US but for example I'd buy $250 of Walmart gift cards through the school office and then go grocery shopping using those cards.

No, I do not have a nursing baby. My eldest is 10 and youngest is 20 months.

I make a meal plan for the week...and only buy what we need and that's on the grocery list.

There are no "kosher" stores anywhere near where we live so I shop in a regular grocery store that has six aisles dedicated to just kosher items.

My kids don't get hot lunches in school so that includes stuff for lunches.

I enjoy the challenge of staying under budget. I'm not sure if perhaps groceries are cheaper here than in the US? I'll look at flyers and plan meals around what's cheap on a particular week.

Day schools in the US do the grocery card thing like you explained about Walmart.

IME it really adds up to get ready made at the kosher shops so you may be saving money without a kosher store close.
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Post  Mon, Feb 04 2019, 3:42 pm
We spend about 2K per month , give or take, for a family of 4, 2 adults, 2 teenagers. We host every Shabbat 15-25 people . This also includes household items. We never buy red meat, not even for Shabbat. Chicken and fish only for Shabbat. We make very lavish Shabbat meals, and eat cheap and simply during the week. We eat "clean" so no processed/pre-cooked stuff, I make almost everything myself, including dips, challah, desserts etc. During the week, chicken and fish only if smth is left from Shabbat, otherwise I make plant based dinners . We are cholov israel , but DH and I eat very little dairy, so I buy dairy for 2 people. We eat tons of produce, I make special run to produce store because it's much cheaper than buying it at regular supermarket when you buy in large amounts like I do. I also buy in produce store grains in bulk, ends up cheaper. I tried to cut down on food several times, and everyone is just measearable and hungry, so I guess this is our true budget. By the end of the week, my fridge, food cabinets, and pantry are practically empty, and I never have to throw anything out. On Sunday morning, I make menu for next Shabbat as well as weekday meals, and go to the stores. I do not go to the stores after that, unless I forgot an essential item or two. I've come to realize that this is just what we need to spend on food et al., and stopped stressing over trying to fit into lesser budget. It's just what it is. We are not being careless or irresponsible, it's just what our needs are.
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