How much should they be spending on groceries?
Figuring My Grocery Budget
A Painful Grocery Bill
Figuring My Grocery Budget
I would like to compute my monthly budget for food and groceries. Can you please give me an estimated figure for my grocery budget of two persons? We don't have an idea of the prices out there? My wife and I are from the Philippines and will be moving to Maryland by the middle of next year. Thanks.
Start to Research Your New Hometown
It's hard for someone else to predict your grocery budget. Only you know the types of food you tend to buy, how much bulk buying you're willing to do, your freezer and pantry storage space, if you buy name brands or store brands, etc. Another big factor is the area you'll be living in, as food prices vary throughout the country.
Probably the best idea is to research your new hometown and surrounding areas. Find out what major grocery chains and discount stores are there, then go online to find the area's sale flyers to check prices on your commonly-used staples. Of course, if you have friends or relatives who live there, you can get a lot of information from them too.
One more important tip is to think local. Products grown/raised/made in your area are fresher and cheaper. Learn to incorporate as much "local flavor" into your meals as possible. Here in our Northern California area, we have wonderful apples, pears and local wines. In Maryland, where you're moving to, seafood is abundant.
There will also likely be more frugal sources you may find only after you move there, like that small ethnic market with cheap veggies and spices, the local farmer's market, or that supermarket with a fantastic clearance section. Ask the new friends you make there where they like to shop.
Great Information Online
I would suggest using the Internet to find out the names of the grocery chains in the area, then check their weekly ads online to see what groceries, etc. are selling for. They would need to know the zip code of the area, which can also be obtained online by using the U.S. Post Office website.
Start with a Food Plan
USDA Food Plans will give you a good overview of average grocery costs. Then one could go from there to individualize it and make it pertinent to a specific area with the help of online ads and so on.
Reader Suggests Average
Average is $75 per person, per week. As more people get added on, it drops a little from exactly that amount, so two people can probably get by on $125 per week. Try to stay away from a lot of snacks like bags of chips and candy because they cost a lot. Get used to looking for value shopping, such as in Wal-Mart. Bulk shopping (Sam's Club, Costco, BJ's, etc.) helps lower bills too. However, I would recommend to sticking to storable items that don't need to be used quickly when buying for a small family.
Take the Next Step:
- Get cash back on the groceries you buy. Checkout 51 can show you how!
- Continue to look for new ways to trim food costs. Visit our food & groceries section each week to get tips for keeping more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket.
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