10

votes

What percentage of your monthly budget is spent on food, vs., say, housing/car/etc.

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 09, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Right now, we're spending about 20% of our household monthly income on food. This is, from what I can see, about on a par with much of the world, where food comprises between 20% and 30% of the annual household income. A lot of my friends are appalled that we're spending so much on food, so I am wondering if our food budget is really so outrageous compared to other folk who are on the same general nutritional track that we are. (Primal; carbs in the form of winter squashes in season; roots like sweet potato, taro, cassava; eggs; grass-fed or forage-fed meats; berries and limited tree fruits and above-the-ground vegetables; animal fat as the primary fat, supplemented with only coconut, avocado, macadamia, or pecan oil)

006f2e9b763058ff2332681c206563e4

(252)

on May 22, 2013
at 03:09 PM

I also live in Germany bvut I'm spending like <200€ on food. can't understand how a student could spent those amounts just on food?

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on March 28, 2012
at 02:56 AM

I know exactly what you mean re: people who can't 'afford to spend what I do on food'. Manicures, haircuts, taxi rides, clothes, synthetic cosmetics, trips, etc. Are more important to them... And that's fine, but I'm really digging the healthy glow and clear skin vie got going... It makes my self-maintained hair cut look a little edgier. My nails grow straight and strong now too..

1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

(1295)

on March 27, 2012
at 07:22 PM

Check this out. Notice how food/drink spending has gone way down, while healthcare costs have gone way up. Scary. http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/04/how-we-spend/8906/

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1071)

on March 27, 2012
at 07:16 PM

I don't know the specifics because it's my parents' money, but I know for a fact that less money is spent on my food than anyone else's in the family. I could go even cheaper if I bought conventional meat and eggs. Processed foods and take-out (which don't fill you up) gets expensive.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 27, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Always near 10% now... darn macadamia nut habit!

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on October 12, 2011
at 08:21 PM

I'd really like to thank everyone who's participated so far. I hope more folk will chime in. So far, it looks like my 20% isn't so off track for real food, and it's discouraging to me to hear so many of the people that I associate with say "It's too expensive to buy healthy foods -- I just buy whatever's on sale at [insert major supermarket or 'warehouse' store here].

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 12, 2011
at 10:35 AM

You mean 100s hours of labor don't count for anything? :P

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 12, 2011
at 03:41 AM

Cheater!!!!!! ;)

A994080d499afca98cdc9de896701ebd

(1281)

on October 09, 2011
at 09:07 PM

you should make your own ghee. I usually buy a shitload of kerrygold and use half of it to make ghee. saves a lot of money when I look at the price tag on ghee in alnatura etc.!

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on October 09, 2011
at 07:31 PM

I am studying and only have to pay monthly rent. I don't have money to buy other stuff.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on October 09, 2011
at 06:17 PM

So how do you manage your other expenses? Or are the other things that much cheaper?

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on October 09, 2011
at 05:05 PM

Paleo in Germany is damn expensive if you live on wild fish, wild meat, grass-fed meat, good eggs, organic vegetables and high-quality oils like ghee, coconut oil, lard and butter.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on October 09, 2011
at 04:42 PM

My kids aren't paleo but I'm working on it. Also, I often skip breakfast and or lunch during the week. Daughter takes lunch to school, boys eat lunch at school/daycare.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on October 09, 2011
at 04:35 PM

A bit more than 10%. My fiance doesn't contribute, so that's single income. My daughter eats as much as an adult too since she is adult sized.

E06dcdb3f856057025e9776e038d8072

(305)

on October 09, 2011
at 04:34 PM

also, our budget has stayed about the same, but our food quality is better. We were already off sugar, so only a few packaged foods. But Paleo "cured" my husband's diet soda addiction, so that's out of there (YAY). Also, I've go no-poo and do more earth-friendly household cleaners. All that stuff was part of our grocery budget. Now, except for paper products and a few misc items, it's all food.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on October 09, 2011
at 04:04 PM

Do you know what percentage this is of your household income?

  • Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

    asked by

    (12540)
  • Views
    3.4K
  • Last Activity
    1405D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

27 Answers

3
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 27, 2012
at 07:14 PM

I recently moved, and my expenses jumped from about 30% to close to 50%. Where I was living before I went in on meat shares with my parents and received all my seafood, eggs, and lamb for free from family/boyfriends family. Where I live now, food is more expensive in general and I don't have the luxury of family hook-ups! It seems to vary pretty heavily from city-to-rural. We spend about $600/month for two of us, and we essentially do not eat out, so that is just groceries. $500 for rent, $200 for extras! Living the glam life.

But seriously, as a student a pretty good chunk of your money is going to go to your food (after paying the school, generally it's a scrape-together to have enough for food and rent). It is probably always going to be close to half of your income, whether that be caf food (which is ridiculously expensive and low quality) or good food, and you have to spend a bit of extra time chasing down odd cuts and good deals. I spend less in a year than all of my girlfriends, who go out most weekends, spend money on hair cuts (better to get familiar with the kitchen shears), shampoos, face wash, alcohol, pizza, mr noodles, takeout, and weed. They act like they are starving students who are very lucky if they ever manage to buy a piece of cheese, but it is all about priorities. I mean students are starving- because they eat nutritiounally void wheat and soy based processed foods thinking they are doing themselves a favour by picking the low-fat meat-free option. Not because they can't get eggs or bones or a head of lettuce. I get half my veg from stuff the grocery store throws out, just takes a little scrubbing and creativity, but it can be done. And honestly, it should be made easy and accessible for all people to be able to eat well! Damn ye food guide...

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on March 28, 2012
at 02:56 AM

I know exactly what you mean re: people who can't 'afford to spend what I do on food'. Manicures, haircuts, taxi rides, clothes, synthetic cosmetics, trips, etc. Are more important to them... And that's fine, but I'm really digging the healthy glow and clear skin vie got going... It makes my self-maintained hair cut look a little edgier. My nails grow straight and strong now too..

2
29518a2572c5fe3a851170a9b1c315f3

on March 27, 2012
at 07:36 PM

Im a student and dont have a very high income.

-Spend around 40% of my monthly income on food. Around 400 euroes, even if I try to save money on the food I buy. Wonder how high percent it would be if I bought good quality food all the time. Looking forward to the day I can afford that!

2
8e10b687e328468783a72c55b64710e8

on March 27, 2012
at 06:52 PM

I spend between $100 and $150 per month. For myself. I am a growing teenager. To be honest... it's really not that different than when I was on SAD with grains and packaged foods, because I am less hungry on paleo. On SAD, I was hungry all the time. I cook all my meals at home.

2
A994080d499afca98cdc9de896701ebd

on October 09, 2011
at 09:16 PM

I guess about 450-500 euros (eating out included).

I could definitely lower that a bit with more effort, but honestly, I love good quality food, I enjoy eating out with friends, it's part of my culture and part of me. Therefore I don't complain about food expenses.

2
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on October 09, 2011
at 06:20 PM

I have a household of two adults and two active children. We spend roughly 25% of our income on food. We eat virtually 100% organic, and as local as possible. I am the only one who is 100% paleo, but hubby and the kids don't eat much grain or sugars, so are closer than most people. They all eat dairy too, which adds quite a bit to our food bill for local raw goat milk and raw cheeses(they eat a lot of cheese). We grow a decent amount of fruit and veggies in our garden, and have ten egg laying hens. I should add that our income is low for a family of four, and if we had more income, we wouldn't spend much more on food, so, obviously, that percentage will hopefully be lower someday!

2
E06dcdb3f856057025e9776e038d8072

on October 09, 2011
at 04:29 PM

Ours is about 20% of our budget. A bit less if you don't count the 1/2 cow that we bought (I divided the cost by 3.5, b/c I think that's about how many months it'll last, and added it into the monthly grocery budget in order to answer your question).

I intend to increase that in the future (so that we can afford to buy more organic) but first I must make the debt magically disappear!

Feeding 2 adults, 2 kids and eating 85% of our meals at home.

E06dcdb3f856057025e9776e038d8072

(305)

on October 09, 2011
at 04:34 PM

also, our budget has stayed about the same, but our food quality is better. We were already off sugar, so only a few packaged foods. But Paleo "cured" my husband's diet soda addiction, so that's out of there (YAY). Also, I've go no-poo and do more earth-friendly household cleaners. All that stuff was part of our grocery budget. Now, except for paper products and a few misc items, it's all food.

2
B36613e945134be5813e6526f9a3a86c

(499)

on October 09, 2011
at 04:26 PM

I spend about $500-$600/month on feeding myself (one adult), including eating out. It's about 30% of my post-tax monthly income. General American food spending is artificially reduced by government subsidies, and most of the subsidized products aren't primal-compatible, so I don't find my numbers cause for concern???as you say, they're on par with much of the world. I'm quite new to primal eating and shopping, and my grocery bill has gone up a bit, but I just remind myself that my health is worth the investment (though I don't eat 100% organic and grass-fed???yet, anyway???because of price concerns).

2
Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

on October 09, 2011
at 04:19 PM

I spend roughly $500-600 a month for myself alone. Thats around 80 % of my income.

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on October 09, 2011
at 05:05 PM

Paleo in Germany is damn expensive if you live on wild fish, wild meat, grass-fed meat, good eggs, organic vegetables and high-quality oils like ghee, coconut oil, lard and butter.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on October 09, 2011
at 06:17 PM

So how do you manage your other expenses? Or are the other things that much cheaper?

Ec7cb2a7a68655954a01f03e95be1383

(1453)

on October 09, 2011
at 07:31 PM

I am studying and only have to pay monthly rent. I don't have money to buy other stuff.

A994080d499afca98cdc9de896701ebd

(1281)

on October 09, 2011
at 09:07 PM

you should make your own ghee. I usually buy a shitload of kerrygold and use half of it to make ghee. saves a lot of money when I look at the price tag on ghee in alnatura etc.!

006f2e9b763058ff2332681c206563e4

(252)

on May 22, 2013
at 03:09 PM

I also live in Germany bvut I'm spending like <200€ on food. can't understand how a student could spent those amounts just on food?

2
6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on October 09, 2011
at 03:54 PM

I'm spending around $600 a month for 1.5 adults and 3 children. This includes eating out as well. 1.5 adults because my fiance only eats half the time with us.

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on October 09, 2011
at 04:42 PM

My kids aren't paleo but I'm working on it. Also, I often skip breakfast and or lunch during the week. Daughter takes lunch to school, boys eat lunch at school/daycare.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on October 09, 2011
at 04:04 PM

Do you know what percentage this is of your household income?

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on October 09, 2011
at 04:35 PM

A bit more than 10%. My fiance doesn't contribute, so that's single income. My daughter eats as much as an adult too since she is adult sized.

1
2a00b9a42e4cb6e489a0e69d20714576

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

About 1200-1500 a month for a family of four with two grain free doggies also.That's about 1/6 of our total monthly income.

1
Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

on March 27, 2012
at 08:31 PM

We spend ~$600/month on food per month for a family of 2 adults. This is about 20% of our monthy income. So yes, seems that is about average.

It's funny. We used to spend $75 per week on groceries when we ate SAD and watching that number slowly climb up to double has been initially a painful process, but as stated earlier - pay now or pay later!

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on March 27, 2012
at 07:44 PM

We spend about 25% of our income on food (including eating out.)

Funnily enough, I suspect that this percentage will stay constant as our income grows, since the more $$ we have to spend, the more we tend to eat out! We are such foodies...

1
Db4ad76f6f307a6f577e175710049172

on March 27, 2012
at 07:24 PM

I'm in that magical time of being a student, so I really only have to spend money on rent, cheap health insurance, and then food, along with some money for fun stuff. Since I'm in Europe, I spend a lot of my money on travel. Also, I'm male, single, and don't go out much. My money breaks down like this:

  • 300eur Rent (41.4%)
  • 260eur food (35.9%)
  • 40eur health insurance (5.5%)
  • 125eur fun stuff (17.2%)

1
13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on October 12, 2011
at 02:36 AM

Another family of three: I'm the only one who eats primal, but we all eat a whole foods diet and all of our dinners are primal. Our child drinks organic/pastured milk, and we all eat some cheese. All of our meat is local/grassfed, and most of our fruits and veggies are local/organic. We easily spend 20% of our net income on food, but I think it is totally worth it. We go out to eat about 1-2 a month at the most (usually for sushi), other than that, my child and I eat all of our meals at home. My husband eats breakfast and dinner at home and takes his lunch from home about 3/4 of the time. Most of the rest of his lunches are business lunches that he doesn't have to pay out of pocket for, so obviously I don't factor those in.

1
F459b52f72744f7d3ab3a72a5152a36f

on October 12, 2011
at 01:07 AM

I spend at least 15% of my income on food. Some months as much as 20%. It's a matter of prioritizing health.

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on October 12, 2011
at 12:11 AM

We are a 100% Paleo family of three and we easily do 20% of our after-tax income on food. Probably a bit more. But you have to prioritize health so I don't mind. Pay now for food or pay later for healthcare and lost days being sick.

I wrote a rant a while ago about this and the apparent cheapness of "stuff you can eat" vs "food". https://sites.google.com/site/themikelinks/home/historical-prices-of-stuff-you-can-eat

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 09, 2011
at 04:29 PM

I spend about 6-10% of my income on nutrition. I don't do organic. 80% of my meat is raised on the family farm, so it's "free".

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on October 12, 2011
at 10:35 AM

You mean 100s hours of labor don't count for anything? :P

Cc7381bd787721575ea9198048132adb

(5541)

on October 12, 2011
at 03:41 AM

Cheater!!!!!! ;)

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on March 27, 2012
at 06:57 PM

Always near 10% now... darn macadamia nut habit!

0
B4db9c1783d56fbc5cc6a5cd44432e12

on May 12, 2013
at 04:07 AM

I read an article once I can not remember the exact location but the stats were if a person were to stop buying the prepackaged and crap food and doubled the amount of healthy food ie meat (non-organic and grass fed) and vegetables you are really only spending 15 dollars more a month for a family of 4.

0
32652cb696b75182cb121009ee4edea3

(5802)

on May 12, 2013
at 01:23 AM

We spend about $1000 for a family of 2 adults and 4 kids. Sometimes a little more if I do a bulk order of staples (coconut oil, coconut flour, etc), sometimes a little less. The kids are the most expensive part - they go through so much fruit. We've tapered that down a little by eating frozen fruit when possible (buying in bulk in season and freezing). I'm glad to see the numbers on here. I spend so much time every month trying to stretch and tweak our food to make it go a long way, and my husband still thinks we spend too much! But it seems to be in line with the cost of real food.

0
06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

on May 12, 2013
at 12:54 AM

I just counted up last month's charges and it came to about $950 WITHOUT dinners out. That is for 2 adults. That is about 1/7 of our monthly income.

0
Medium avatar

(4878)

on May 12, 2013
at 12:39 AM

Funny, I just looked at this today before seeing this question... 25%. Not bad!!!

0
79850813c5cfc0a089e1060ef9b6ed27

on May 11, 2013
at 11:59 PM

I spend about 20% of my net income on food. It's me (90% primal), my 15 year old son (70%) and my 10 year old daughter (60%). The kids eat most dairy, I eat just a bit (cream and cheese). We eat some organic veggies and some grass fed meat.

0
1deaea445ff3b1cb5d1354a043dc8fb7

(275)

on May 11, 2013
at 07:13 PM

on actually food probs about £200 british pounds, on coffee about £100

0
Medium avatar

on May 11, 2013
at 04:23 PM

43% of our income is spent on food (1000 bucks a month out of total income of $2290 a month for three adults) 24% on housing, 17% on gas for the car 8% on the phone bill. Beyond minimal utilities, this is the extent of our bills.

SAD was so much cheaper... and I was so much fatter... and my gf so much more hormonally miserable...

0
Fd7b128cf714044a86d8bd822c7a8992

(4292)

on May 11, 2013
at 01:06 PM

Around 20% (approximately $350/month for one adult). If you count supplements in "food," it's closer to $400/month. I could go a lot lower (I used to do $10-15/week regularly as a student...I ate a lot of lentils!) but I'm very fortunate to have enough money that I can afford to eat well and still pay off my student loans. I look at is as "paying in advance" all the hospital bills I would otherwise be stuck with.

0
95e517dffd7f66fa75153568f6379dec

on May 11, 2013
at 12:44 PM

I spend between $600 and $700 per month. I am a worker and I have my family but we spend much on food and on house. I also have a used car which I bought from automotix.net/carshotline.html , we never needed to spend money on that car.

-1
C72e9a7100caaf783bfb6e8f376e3ce1

on May 22, 2013
at 02:05 PM

spam spam spam spam spam spam ... and car related spam at that

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!