The other day I was reading one of my favorite personal finance magazines. Each issue they profile a person or family giving details of their entire financial life. I love reading about how other people live, even if they’re not at all comparable to my situation.
Anyway, this particular family wasn’t too far off from our financial picture in terms of income. Though our income is brought in between two working individuals, this family had one income (albeit large) while mom stayed home with two young children and managed everything else in the home. What always surprises me when reading these profiles like this, is how much money families and individuals delegate for groceries.
In these profiles, groceries are separated from eating out so it’s not one generic ‘’food’’ line.
This family of four, two adults, two young kids (under five I believe), budget $9,800 per year for groceries. In case you don’t feel like doing the math, that’s over $800 per month for a family living in one of Canada’s largest and most financially stable cities. I just can’t see how?
We live in a fairly expensive city in terms of food, not outrageous but the high price of gas alone on this side of the country drives food prices up. For our family of three, on an expensive month we might spend $500. I buy a lot of fresh produce and lean meat. Even if we add another mouth to feed, the max our grocery bill would get to is maybe $550 and I really think we could sustain our family’s food budget at the $450-500 mark no problem even with the fourth mouth to feed.
What are these people eating for $800 per month? I buy decent meat and produce. Are they buying pre-packaged meals for that amout of money? I just don’t understand. Even if we add in stuff like toilet paper and cleaning stuff throw in an additional $10 per month…
Keeping food costs down can be a callange. It requires planning, there’s no way about it. Every week my husband and I spend probably 30 minutes planning out our week of meals and I go to the flyers to seek out the best deals. If we plan a meal I don’t think is feisable that week, we wait for the ingrediants to go on sale and decide on something else. The more we plan and get organized, the easier it is. I constantly look for new recipes that I can make for cheap, are healthy and provide a large meal. I just made a huge batch of soup for dinner and we now have lunches for the next two days, total cost was less than $9.00 for six adult-size servings and this was expensive in my mind for a soup.
I could think of a lot I could do with $300 per month. In this situation the mom was concerned they wern’t saving enough for the kids post secondary, if they’re that concerend (though at the end of the day they had more than enough to invest), they could start by looking at their variable espenses like their food because I can tell you without a doubt there is no reason to spend that kind of money on groceries!
How much do you spend on groceries? Are you comfortable with this amount or would you rather spend more/less?