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Do you ever feel like you’re spending way too much on groceries? Today, I’m helping you answer the question, How much should I spend on groceries? with a detailed grocery budget guideline for 2018.

I never appreciated how controversial the subject of grocery budgets could be until I shared my $170 grocery budget challenge.

In it, I reflected on the experience of telling my son I didn’t have any bananas or peanut butter to give him. As I noted in the post, of course I provided him with a variety of other healthy foods, but I also didn’t run out to the store to restock on his favorites in an effort to keep our grocery budget down.

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All of a sudden I was no longer just a mom trying to save money on groceries to get out of debt faster. In a moment, there were two camps of Facebookers entrenched on either side of my parenting decision.

On one side were those aghast that I would dare to deny my toddler a simple banana when he asked for one. One commenter put it something like this, she should go get a second job instead of making her child suffer for her irresponsible spending and debt.

On the other side were those who thought even my $170 grocery budget wasn’t low enough. Well, they said I feed my family of ten on less than that!” (Ok, I may be exaggerating just a little.) And on and on it went.

Luckily, my husband happened to be home sick the day the post went live, so it was much easier to stay lighthearted about it all.

What I learned from the whole experience was what an emotionally charged subject our finances, and especially our grocery budgets can be.

I believe the reason for the controversy is that deep down each of us moms desperately wants to feed our family’s the healthiest food possible, but for the most part, we feel completely unequipped to do it on our real-life budgets.

Today I simply want to start by answering the question, How Much Should You Spend on Groceries?

How much should I spend on groceries?

Each month the USDA puts out a report about the cost of groceries, so I use this as my starting point.

In the table below, you can see grocery costs calculated for a range of family sizes and make-ups for the Thrifty Plan. This number is essentially the average minimum for grocery spending in the continental United States. There is also a

I’ve also included a low-cost, moderate-cost, and liberal plan, each costing progressively more than the thrifty plan.

Keep in mind this chart is an average grocery bill, and of course, prices will vary depending on your location and which stores are available to you.

This table has been updated based on the data for 2018. Prices have been creeping up this year, but only $2 to $10 per month for most families

However, I find that my Grocery Savings Made Simple students can often feed their families a very healthy, even pastured and organically grown diet, on the Thrifty Plan listed below.

The table is calculated assuming adults are 19-50 years old living in a two-parent household.

The variation of grocery costs is due to a range of ages and genders of children.

In theory, at least, older children eat more than younger children, and boys eat more than girls. Use the lower end of the range if you have young children, and the higher end if you’re feeding hungry teenage boys.

Monthly Grocery Budget Guideline for the Average American Family

Family Size (Total)USDA Thrifty Food Plan - Young ChildrenUSDA Thrifty Food Plan - Older Children
Grocery Budget for 1$197$207
Grocery Budget for Family of 2$284$384
Grocery Budget for Family of 3$465$548
Grocery Budget for Family of 4$546$695
Grocery Budget for Family of 5$622$821
Grocery Budget for Family of 6$753$969
Grocery Budget for Family of 7$854$1058
Grocery Budget for Family of 8$995$1183
Grocery Budget for Family of 9$1145$1281
Grocery Budget for Family of 10$1292$1516
Grocery Budget for Family of 11$1440$1458

(source)

Alaska Monthly Grocery Budget Guideline

Family Size (Total)Alaska Grocery Budget - Young ChildrenAlaska Grocery Budget - Older Children
Grocery Budget for 1$234$240
Grocery Budget for Family of 2$389$450
Grocery Budget for Family of 3$539$654
Grocery Budget for Family of 4$727$837
Grocery Budget for Family of 5$842$998
Grocery Budget for Family of 6$993$1178
Grocery Budget for Family of 7$1111$1286
Grocery Budget for Family of 8$1281$1429
Grocery Budget for Family of 9$1456$1572
Grocery Budget for Family of 10$1681$1890
Grocery Budget for Family of 11$1807$1859

(source)

Hawaii Monthly Grocery Budget Guideline

Family Size (Total)Hawaii Grocery Budget - Young ChildrenHawaii Grocery Budget - Older Children
Grocery Budget for 1$362$398
Grocery Budget for Family of 2$601$697
Grocery Budget for Family of 3$830$1014
Grocery Budget for Family of 4$1122$1298
Grocery Budget for Family of 5$1298$1549
Grocery Budget for Family of 6$1530$1829
Grocery Budget for Family of 7$1715$1998
Grocery Budget for Family of 8$1980$2218
Grocery Budget for Family of 9$2252$2437
Grocery Budget for Family of 10$2603$2928
Grocery Budget for Family of 11$2795$2876

If you’re looking for some simple changes so you can feed your family healthy food on a budget, click to download my free grocery savings guide that has a couple quick tips to get you started. 

How much do you spend on groceries each month and how many are you feeding? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Ever wish you knew how much you should budget for food per month for two, or for a family of four, 5, or 6 or more? Check out this chart of average food costs per month to help you budget food based on family size, ages, and genders. If you’re trying to save money on groceries, you’ve asked yourself How much should I spend on groceries ? Here you’ll find the answer to your grocery budget quandary!

Ever feel like you're spending too much on groceries for your family? Check out this chart of the average monthly food bill in the U.S. to find out. Whether you're budgeting for four, for five, for six or more see how your grocery budget stacks up.
How Much Should You Spend on Groceries? Chart of Average Food Costs Per Month
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