Food Budget

I had purchased The Complete Tightwad Gazette years ago at a jumble sale. It really is quite interesting as it has tips and tricks for different stages of life and frugality.

I was thumbing through it the other day and came across this table.


It’s a cost of food at home cart prepared by the USDA in 1993. It appears to be based on weekly spending.

I must confess, though I’m often inspired when I dip into this book some of the costs don’t work for me as the pricing here is a bit different than in the US. So imagine my surprise when I realized that ML and I fit into the low-cost plan!

It was a pretty proud moment as it wasn’t so long ago we were spending liberally on a near weekly basis. The big change was that we stopped purchasing as much packaged food even when it’s on sale. I used to load up on chicken nuggets, frozen pizzas and jars of spaghetti sauce. Now my focus is on menu planning and shopping the outside aisles.

The app Reebee has helped a great deal as I can select all items that are on sale, compare prices, and take a guess at my grocery bill all while on my phone.

Once I select the sale items, I make a note of any additional items we need and provide myself with a total. I note this in the app as an additional item. If my total exceeds the budget I take a look at which sale items are nice to have rather than necessities.

ML loves me enough to be happy that I’m excited about this :). He’s also gotten on board and now seeks out great deals or will even mention if a sale items isn’t worth it.

How does your grocery budget compare with the chart?

Update: Fabulous Frugality found the most recent version! 


13 thoughts on “Food Budget

  1. missmoneypennies1

    Some weeks I fit into the thrifty column and some weeks I fall into the low cost column (woohoo!). But when I think back to a year ago, before I was frugal and meal planned, my costs per week were off the charts (literally)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s interesting to see how drastically our spending can change within a year! Congratulatiins on the changes! I’ve found it depends on what’s happening in my life, this week we attended a few potlucks which bumped us into Los cost territory.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The books a classic and I own it myself. Never noticed the chart though. I used to believe that our grocery bill was high, but we spend no more than $85 per week max for two adults (one male, one female). Sometimes I can get the weekly bill down to less than $50 if I still have items leftover from prior weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When a spouse is on board, it makes it easier. You work so hard at this, I am not surprised you did so well when comparing your budget to the 1993 chart.
    I spend a lot on groceries. I do not really eat out (sometimes 1X/week.) I decided to make my health a priority and spend whatever I feel is needed for good nutrition. Something that adds quality to my life is worth paying for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m lucky that ML joined as we had different views when we started out together.
      I think your advice is great! You know your body and what it needs best. I’m constantly surprised at how well we do eat on our budget.
      Since putting ourselves on this budget I’ve found we’re less likely to be tempted by junk food as the funds aren’t well spent there.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: How To Know If You Spend Too Much On Groceries – Fabulous Frugality

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