Question of the Day Marathon: Day 2

What is the weekly average cost per person for food in your household, including groceries, snacks, and dining out?

This is Day 2 of the Question of the Day Marathon organized by JLP of AllThingsFinancial. Please check the QotD box to the upper left each weekday during the month of August for a new personal finance-related question hosted by a different personal finance blogger.


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47 thoughts on “Question of the Day Marathon: Day 2

  1. OMG. I have to say, I don’t know. It’s probably close to $100/wk. I’ll have to go home tonight and calculate from Quicken. But I know the figure will be skewed and wrong since sometimes I have cash and end up not recording what I spent on food.

    Hm… The other problem is that my eating habits have fluctuated widely for the last 6 months, due to travel away and travel home to my parents’ house. Gotta love that home cooking! Free AND tasty!

  2. This is one area that I could DEFINITELY do a lot better in. I estimated a while ago that we spend about $250 a month on groceries, and $150 on eating out. (I know, eek! Bad blogger!) But most of that money is spent at places like Quizno’s or the cheap Asian place by us, so we’re not spending more than $20 per outing to get more mileage out of the money. Probably another $40 on random crap between the two of us, so about $55 per person per week.

  3. For the family…

    Right now because of the summer break, it’s MUCH easier, because we aren’t buying school lunch items for our three girls, lol. So for now, my breakdown:

    We spend $250 a month at Sam’s Club on bulk items, of which about $200 is for food items. (Hamburger, Chicken, Potatoes, Rice, Veggies, Milk, Cheese, Juice, Bread, Lettuce, Trail Mix Bars, Fruit, Protein Shake Mix, Lunchmeat) There are 5 people in the home, so that’s about $40 a month per person… so per week, it comes to about $10 per person.

    We spend about $50 a week at the grocery store. I cook every day, :eat: so it’s always small items I may need from the store to accompany the meals. Again, around $10 per person.

    My husband and I both take our lunches every day. He takes the same thing every day. I take either leftovers from dinner, or I’ll grab an extra loaf of bread, a bag of chips, and some stuff from the house to make sandwich fixings for the week. I allow myself an extra $10 for this. This has to include anything I buy from the vending machines, and anything I buy for my lunches.

    To summarize (finally) For my family, it’s about $20-25 a week to include any miscellaneous items. For me, it’s always around $30. Not too bad now that I broke it down. :claphigh:

  4. Well, there’s 5 in our family. We have a budget of around $150 per week for groceries and $200 per month ($46 per week) for eating out. So, for our family, the average is about $39 per week.

    The problem is, we don’t always stick to the budget, so that figure could easily be $45 – $55 per person.

    Good question!

    Thanks for hosting.

  5. 2 people in our household. $75 / week in food and eating out for the two of us combined.

  6. Hmm… I would say around $100/week per person (my husband and I). We spend about $60/week per person on groceries and about $40/week per person on eating out. The problem for us is, we both are wine-lovers, so that often heightens the grocery bill. As for eating out, we only do so on the weekends, and its usually one dinner out and two lunchs out – we’re foodies, and eating is our entertainment, so to us, it’s justified. We just cut back in other areas.

  7. Hmm, this is my weakest area but I’ll try to be honest. 😆

    There’s 2 of us and I spend about $400/mon on groceries/dining out, although I budget only $250. LOL

    So on average, I would say $46 pp/wk, which could easily be reduced by 1/2 if I cut out the ‘snack’ food part and umm…:shock:…cook more.

  8. Time for me to ‘fess up, too. There are two of us in the household, but I do all the grocery shopping and cook all of my own meals (and I eat 6 higher protein, healthy meals each DAY) and also breakfast and dinner for my boyfriend, so we average around $50/week for groceries in a normal month when I’m not doing my crazy Cheapass Challenge. Shared dining out expenses are around $25/month, my personal dining out expense is under $15/month, and my boyfriend probably spends about $120/month of his own money on his lunches.

    Average cost for food per person is around $43/week if I factor in my boyfriend’s (spendthrift!!) lunches. By myself, I average closer to $26/week. 🙄

  9. Because my wife and I keep separate finances, it’s sometimes difficult to know how much we spend on food. Plus, our expenditures vary throughout the year. In a typical month, we think that we spend about $400/month on groceries combined (for just the two of us), and about $200/month dining out.

    There’s an important caveat here. During the fall and early winter, our costs are much greater. At this time, we host several elaborate dinner parties, each of which costs several hundred dollars to prepare. I often assume we’ll spend $1000 on food during December. It’s just something I’ve come to accept, and part of my Christmas bonus is designated for dinnar party preparations. This is an expense we love because it’s a time for great food and good friends. Thank goodness we don’t do dinner parties year-round, though.

    Food is one of our luxury areas, and we know that. If we ever needed to cut back, this is one of the first places we’d start.

    I asked a similar question several weeks ago — you may find those answers interesting, too.

  10. Oh man, I suddenly see that our spending is out of control. For my husband and I we spend a total of between $175 – $185/week that breaks down as follows:

    $40 for my husband’s lunches (he’s on the road all day–taking lunch isn’t an option)
    $15 for my lunches (I try to bring lunch 4 days/week and use the $15 when going out to lunch with colleagues once a week)
    $65 at the grocery store. We buy a lot of fresh fruit, veggies, yogurt, etc. plus my lunch stuff
    $25 a week is the average from the $100 a month I spend by going to My Girlfriend’s Kitchen where you pre-prepare meals and freeze them for later
    $30-40 a week for a dinner out on date night

  11. We do the occasional big party too, but I’d consider that “entertainment” as opposed to “food”. We probably spend about $300/month on eating in + sundries and about $150/month eating out. We eat out about twice per month at a reasonably good restaurant, brown-bag our lunches, and carefully target our buying: bulk stuff and meat at Costco, fruit, fish, and vegetables at the Chinese grocery store, and loss leaders at Safeway. Fast food is generally limited to occasional Costco rotisseree (sp?) chickens, which my wife can use to make three meals. She even makes dishes out of watermelon skins!

  12. I am with Single Ma- this is my weak area! (it’s hard to be a working mom and try to cook for little kids!) I just ht up the grocery store last night- usually I spend about $100 (myself and two little boys), but last night, in an effort to eat more at home, I spent $135 to stock up!
    If I don’t stock up on easy to cook things that we like, I find myself over at the Del Taco across the street… lol *Note: I used to spend that much a month on Starbucks alone, so I’m making progress!

  13. We end up spending about $55/person/week. Written out weekly, that sounds like a lot of money! But other than our rent, that’s our highest monthly bill. We eat well and cut money elsewhere.

  14. I forgot to break mine out into weekly amounts.

    We spend about $50/week per person for groceries. We spend about $25/week per person for dining out. During the winter we spend about $300/month entertaining.

  15. I think I am sitting at around $40-45 per week.

    It could be honestly be chopped down to $25-30 if I didn’t go out every now and then. But you get sick of ramen, eggs, and potatos after a couple days strait!

  16. I have to do it by family – $450 a month, total. We only eat out MAYBE once a month, and it’s usually an emergency stop at Subway.

  17. All of you nice frugal people. My husband and I love to eat :eat: but we have very different eating habits. I generally eat like Maggie but larger portions. My hub likes pizza and beer and large grillable steaks. He can eat 20 oz of rib eye steak as a meal and be hungry 2 hours later. After our mortgage, groceries are our single largest expense. I hit Costco & a grocery store each week spending $200 to $250 each week. Granted there is usually some toiletry, cat necessity , book or DVD in my cart but I don’t budget those items separately. We also eat out about twice a month at about $75 to $100 each time. So, with everything maybe about $1000 -$1100 per month for the two of us. Don’t you all feel thrify now?

  18. I have a family of 5 and we used to EXTREMELY under budget the money we spent on food. Well within the last year or so we’ve been really honest about the money we spend on groceries for the month, eating out, and the quick market runs to buy extra needed items for dinner. Basically it comes to about $51 per person each week. That figure is based purely on supermaket shopping. We can’t afford to eat out much, so that’s only done about once a month.

  19. We spend about $400 on groceries and about $200 on eating out. There are 4 of us in the family so it averages to about $150 a week. Wow, that seems high – especially when 2 of the 4 are under 4 years old!

  20. 😳 Well there is just one of me…… and I’m ashamed to say this, I have been spending around $125 bucks a week on food.

    Breakfast usually is $3.64 each Morning – $18.20
    Groceries (I eat as organically as possible when I cook) – $75.00
    Lunches out – $25.00
    Misc. – $25.00

    But I’ve started my No Spend Challenge so These numbers are going to radically change over the course of this month.

  21. DH and I were spending an average of $600/month on groceries for just the two of us, plus $80 for DH’s meals at work and about $20 of eating out for me for the month, so $87.50 per week per person, yikes! 😯 To be fair, that did include toiletries, cleaning supplies, and cat supplies. We were being lazy and not competitive shopping plus kept wasting food by buying too much produce which would rot before we could eat it all.

    Now we are shopping at multiple stores to get better prices and I just made approximately an entire month’s worth of dinners and 2 weeks of lunches for only $150 worth of groceries. I estimate that our total food bill this month will be $350 including our eating out expenses, so about $43.75 per person per week. We have 3 weeks of visitors this month though so it’ll end up being higher b/c we’ll probably get stuff like ice cream or lunch at the theme parks b/c they don’t let you bring your own food, but I’m going to count that stuff as part of the entertainment budget. 😉

  22. A lot more than I used to spend. I do client lunches, so it IS a business expense, but overall we still spend much more than ever. Lately we have had take out, gone out, or a variation of the two more often than meals at home.

    With that, I’d only be able to estimate we spend (for a family of three) approximately $80 weekly combining meals out and at home.

  23. About $52.00 per week according to my calculations for July. My restaurant expense was more than my eat in expense. Obiviously, this is an area that needs attending. We are a household of 3, (mother, grandmother, son). My elderly uncle has now moved in with us due to ill health, so things will be changing again.

  24. Right now, since I’m staying at my Mom’s house for the summer my food expenses are only $5-$10 a week for occasional fast food meals. During the law school I usually spent about $25-$30 a week on food. It should have been even lower since I often had free meals at law school.

  25. We spent $495.29 on food last month (July). That includes groceries and dining out (which we hardly every do). There are 3 of us; our daughter is a year and a half. That is $123.82 per week.

    This includes bulk items at the local discount store, Bargain Bank, where we purchase Organic non-perishable food items such as cereal, cookies, pickles, etc. We buy about $40.00 of fresh produce once a week at the farmer’s market. We buy bulk beans, quinoa, rice, couscous, flour at the local cooperative grocery store. Our neighbor works there so she brings home day-old bread that they are giving away for free and we stock our freezer with organic, no-preservatives, yummy bread. My husband goes to the local chain grocery store (Safeway or Albertson’s) a couple of times a week for sale items like canned foods, eggs, cheddar cheese, and organic dairy products for our daughter.

  26. Oh, this is painful. I spend about $150 per week on groceries for the two of us (my husband and me), or about $600 per month. Ugh.

    When I’m not doing any contest prep eating (either on- or off- season), I can get that down to between $100-$125 per week.

    We rarely eat out – maybe six times per year, with an average bill of $40-$60 or so, depending on where we go (and whether I’m having a clean meal of salad and chicken or a cheat meal! lol) In lieu of eating out, I buy steaks for us to grill once per week, which costs about $25. So if I cut that out I could get the bill closer to $80 per week.

  27. I’m a college student. I eat dinner (mostly) at home every night during the summer. I pack a grinder everyday for work and pay for breakfast food myself. I budget $15/week to buy lunch and breakfast. This works out well & cheap (if you need a cheap lunch). I can get two big loads of italian bread for $1.50 each. That’s $3, another $8 for a pound of roast beef. $11, another $4 for a box of cereal and you’re good for the week. I try not to eat out but I do budget $40 per month for eating out.

    Steve Corona

  28. When I first read the question I thought I’d be cringing with guilt, but then I did the math and it’s not so bad.

    We are 3 people (although one of us pretty much lives on cheerios).

    We spend about $400/month on groceries (sometimes more)
    We spend about $100/month on eating out (sometimes more)

    If we figure it’s realistically more like $600 total, then we spend $200 per person, per month, or $50/week.

  29. Wow – I think I spend more on la meal or two a week than many do overall…and luckily I’m now in my upper 30’s and not doing too many clubs where the drinks would devestate these totals.

    Anyhow, per week total is about $207.50 each for my wife and I.

    Meals out
    Breakfast 30 (one weekend breakfast out for two)
    Lunch 85 (weekdays – 10/day for me, 7/day – dips when free meals by work)
    Dinner 100 (2 dinners out for 2 – midlevel restaruant’s)
    Snacks/Drinks 75 (Coffee, water, soda’s, alcoholic drinks)

    Groceries 125 (can vary)

    Total 415 (415/2 = 207.50)

  30. I keep everything in quicken so this is easy to answer.

    We spent way too much.

    Our average for July was $56.95 per person per week.

    We are a family of 4, 2 adults and a 13 year old (who was gone for 3 weeks during the month) and a 14 month old.

  31. There are 3 people in our house, and my grocery store budget is $80 per week (that includes any paper products/non-food items). I’m usually under that, so let’s say about $25 per person.

  32. Catching up on all the QoTDs. Sorry for the late reply…been busy the last couple of days 😕

    We spend about $50-60 per person. The hubby eats in the cafeteria every day for lunch, and we go out to eat once a week, but not always at a sit-down restaurant. Groceries run around $100 per week, including stuff that lasts longer than that week (dressings, staples).

    Love the smileys here! :wig: (just couldn’t resist that one)

  33. Great question!
    I’d say somewhere between 200 and 300 dollars… (2 kids, 2 adults)

    Groceries 125
    plus 75 to 100 for eating out…



  34. Wow, this is the area where I always feel like a spendthrift compared to other responses. I budget $650 a month for all food expenses, and often spend more than that. So by week, probably $150 and up. This is just for me. I live in NYC and eat out maybe once or twice a week. Food is expensive here, and so are restaurants but I’m sure I could do better if I wasn’t lazy about it! I buy a sandwich or salad for lunch most days, and spend a couple of dollars a day on breakfast…

  35. Man, I feel a little weird about my numbers being so low, but I’m at around $25/week for groceries and maybe $10/week eating out. I’m guessing that part of it is being a vegetarian, and part is not buying as many fresh fruits and veggies as I should…

  36. Sorry to post late, but I just found this blog. Are you all calculating these figures based strictly on food costs? Ours is $75/week per person for dining and groceries. This figure includes all our toiletries and household supplies (floor cleaner, detergent, batteries, etc.), though. I can’t tell if we’re comparing apples to oranges with other posts, even though I know we could lower our per person cost significantly by shopping smarter, being less brand loyal, watching for sales and reducing waste.

  37. Not sure, we’ve budgeted $300/month which is $75/week, but halfway through the month the budget is getting low. We may be cleaning out our freezer and cupboards some. I eat out a couple of times/week and my wife’s McDonald’s fix runs $7-8 per visit, which she’ll do 5-6 times a week if she can get away with it.

  38. I rarely eat out, so I would say that I probably spend about $10 a month eating out. I spend $20 or less a week on groceries. This week my bill came to $11.82. I refuse to spend over $20. I eat a lot of sandwiches. Also consider that I am a recent grad.

  39. It is wonderful to see so many responses! My husband and I have four teenagers at home and a few other kids who drop by frequently. Counting just my family, there are six of us at home. I was web searching because my husband thinks I am spending too much on groceries. After reading some of the others budgets, I don’t think we are doing so bad. We also have quicken, (which my husband is continuely drawing my attention to,) and have rounded up my figures to include:
    $40/wk- Kids Lunch money
    $40/wk- My lunch money & misc. items
    $40/wk- My husbamd lunch money & misc. items
    $40/wk-Eating out
    $200/wk-groceries & houshold item (laundry soap, shampoo, toilet paper, etc.)

    That totals for a family of six, including four teenagers (plus friends,) to $360/wk
    Broken down per person it’s $60/wk. That comes to $8.57 per person/ day

  40. Where do you all live? I live in the Palm Beach, Florida area, and I wish our expenses were as low as most of you have posted. We spend about $100.00 per person/per week. Anyone live in my area?

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