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Grocery Budget for Family of 6

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 29, 2012 at 4:56 AM

Feeling like our grocery budget is out of control, and am curious how much others with larger families are spending. We basically are feeding 6 adults- 2 adults, 2 teens, and two pre teens. After reading some of the older posts about eating paleo on a budget, I'm somewhat ashamed to say we are running right around $1,000 a month. (We ran $600-800 pre-paleo.)

That includes grassfed, pastured meats from a local meat coop (prices almost as inexpensive as buying straight from the farmer), local milk for the kids, veggies from a CSA, produce from Door to Door (now that the CSA has ended for the year- not the cheapest, but they bring the milk too), bulk items from the natural foods store (almond meal, sunflower seeds, spices), and stuff from Costco (frozen veggies/fruits, Kerrygold butter, coconut oil, frozen fish, canned fish, nuts,etc.). The meat is easily the most expensive chunk, and should be. I think I need to read Well Fed again... I like her formula for planning meat purchases.

If we are going to continue to eat this way, should I just expect it to cost this much? Do you mind sharing your grocery budget, especially if you have a larger family? How are you keeping costs down without adding in 12 different trips for food?(I'm trying to decrease the running around too- I have a hard enough time keeping up with their schedules without making food procurement into a part-time job!)

(I'm mostly trying to gauge if we are in the same ballpark as others, not necessarily looking for extreme shopping, cooking tips. I know how to buy a whole chicken and make multiple meals of out it... the problem is that it now takes two chickens to feed us when one used to suffice. And we only buy ground beef and stew meat with the occasional roast... we are not eating steak. Or baking paleo goodies all the time with costly ingredients. My biggest indulgence, besides the Mac nuts from Costco, is getting the produce delivered and not shopping for mega sales for that.)

F44a902b69e4ac0f920d395c6ee81029

(65)

on October 29, 2012
at 01:30 PM

Economically ok, yes. But I wish I didn't need to spend so much. Lots of other things that could be saved for...

F44a902b69e4ac0f920d395c6ee81029

(65)

on October 29, 2012
at 01:28 PM

Interesting. The organic, I get. The grassfed thing, no. The beef tastes and cooks radically different than grocery store meat. And it's about $6/lb. The CSA cost was way less than even conventional veggies. I readily admit D2D is an extravagance, I could maybe cut $10-15/ week off what we are getting. What would you unbuzz? ;) do you not think there is a difference between grassfed and from the farm food?

F44a902b69e4ac0f920d395c6ee81029

(65)

on October 29, 2012
at 01:23 PM

Thanks for sharing Matt. Many of my homemaker friends are feeding their family a SAD diet for around $400, so I feel like an anomaly. ;)

F44a902b69e4ac0f920d395c6ee81029

(65)

on October 29, 2012
at 05:25 AM

It's kind of a pay me now or pay me later, kind of thing isn't it? Put money in food, be healthy, live life well. Or not. Some of this is mental, ya know? Moving from a 3 digit to 4 digit grocery budget. Aack. Thanks for your grace in responding! I did quickly calculate the protein formula from Well Fed, and if I use $4 as the average meat price per pound, we should spend $600 just on protein. Oy vey. Deer hunters in the family, unite! ;)

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5 Answers

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2
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on October 29, 2012
at 07:20 AM

Our little 3 person family spent about 800-1000 per month when we were living in the states (we moved two months ago) so I'd say you are doing well. I think we had to rearrange our budget for health. It wasn't easy but when it came down to things like living in a larger apartment or driving a newer car, our failing health at the time took priority. It looks like you're already doing the thing you can to offset costs by buying in bulk. I guess the only other thing you could try is volunteering at a farm for some free veggies and eggs or bartering. I've had friends who did that. Having a victory vegetable garden can help too.

1
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on October 29, 2012
at 01:01 PM

It seems shocking that we've gone so long spending such a tiny portion of income on food as a population. As long as that's economically okay for you guys, I say great. If I project what we are spending right now, it would be about 1000 or more for 6.

F44a902b69e4ac0f920d395c6ee81029

(65)

on October 29, 2012
at 01:30 PM

Economically ok, yes. But I wish I didn't need to spend so much. Lots of other things that could be saved for...

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 29, 2012
at 10:50 AM

I wager you're spending too much on buzzwords... grass-fed, CSA, D2D, organic, etc...

F44a902b69e4ac0f920d395c6ee81029

(65)

on October 29, 2012
at 01:28 PM

Interesting. The organic, I get. The grassfed thing, no. The beef tastes and cooks radically different than grocery store meat. And it's about $6/lb. The CSA cost was way less than even conventional veggies. I readily admit D2D is an extravagance, I could maybe cut $10-15/ week off what we are getting. What would you unbuzz? ;) do you not think there is a difference between grassfed and from the farm food?

1
06ca9c524c28bc3fba95d4d90f8f43c6

on October 29, 2012
at 05:53 AM

I think it's awesome that you are taking the time to source the food for your family! It is going to save you tens of thousands in healthcare costs at a later time. Plus, the knowledge you are passing on to your children will be invaluable to them living healthy lives as well. I wish that my family had the time and knowledge to do this when I was growing up.

My wife and I are between $600-$1000 month. Now granted, we could certainly cut that back somewhat from a cost standpoint, but steak trumps chicken any day of the week and it fits within our means so cows beware!

Matt
PhysiqueRescue.com

F44a902b69e4ac0f920d395c6ee81029

(65)

on October 29, 2012
at 01:23 PM

Thanks for sharing Matt. Many of my homemaker friends are feeding their family a SAD diet for around $400, so I feel like an anomaly. ;)

1
D41bd7b3d3b962eb0146f471eb632f56

on October 29, 2012
at 05:19 AM

If I was feeding myself alone, I'd run about $200/mo, on a not-too-strict budget with a mind to not waste stuff. With the hubs, it's about $350. In my opinion, considering who you're feeding and the quality you're buying, you're probably fine. Besides, if you aren't going broke in other areas, it really doesn't matter if you're spending $500 or $5000/mo. It's your money. :)

F44a902b69e4ac0f920d395c6ee81029

(65)

on October 29, 2012
at 05:25 AM

It's kind of a pay me now or pay me later, kind of thing isn't it? Put money in food, be healthy, live life well. Or not. Some of this is mental, ya know? Moving from a 3 digit to 4 digit grocery budget. Aack. Thanks for your grace in responding! I did quickly calculate the protein formula from Well Fed, and if I use $4 as the average meat price per pound, we should spend $600 just on protein. Oy vey. Deer hunters in the family, unite! ;)

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