$600 a month on food for TWO?!?!

posted 2 months ago in Beehive
Post # 31
479 posts
Helper bee

Seems completely normal to me 🤷🏻‍♀️

Post # 32
1609 posts
Bumble bee

We’re spending like $200 every week on groceries for our family of 3. We used to eat out a ton so we’re actually saving a huge amount overall, but it is crazy to see the grocery bill. We do drink a ton of wine so that’s part of it 😬. 

Post # 33
29 posts

I came on here about to say we spend $300/mo, then went back to double check our expenses and was also surprised to see we spend about the same as you! (I think before we married I only paid attention to what I spent, which was about $150-200/mo.) We are also just 2 people and I am vegetarian, and we have no pets.

Although like a pp said above, if for you it equals out to $3 a meal that’s not too bad! (We don’t eat breakfast though lol).

We had actually recently discussed our eating out habbit of 1-2x per week (before quarantine) and wondered if we should cut back some, but we both acknowledged that we like this little luxury — growing up neither of our families really went out to eat. If/when you can afford, I think it is ok if that is what you decide to splurge a bit on. We also wondered what other couples were spending on food per month so it’s cool I stumbled on this thread haha.

Some things perhaps to take note of are snacks and drinks- those add up more quickly than we think! Also weekday lunches for us before quarantine, I ate a lot of microwave meals and hubby always got takeout for lunch. We’d save a lot of money if we premade and packed lunches (something we tried and are not good at). And something I always remind my husband lol: eat more slowly (which I hear helps you get full faster) and only eat up to 80% full! (A Japanese practice which I think is healthier). He always eats til 110%…


Post # 34
437 posts
Helper bee

Hmm…Interesting responses.

My husband and I spend closer to $400/month for our groceries and eating out. I am a vegetarian (he is not), and we tend to shop at budget-friendly grocery stores.  

Post # 35
954 posts
Busy bee

For context, we live in NYC so higher prices overall. We probably spend around $800 a month on groceries for the two of us (less before; we both bought breakfast and lunch daily at work before covid) and we probably spent $300-400 a week eating out. 

We do get takeout 1-2x a week now, but that costs around the same as going out because we order cocktails when we do.

I try not to think about the sheer amount we spend on food. Easily over $2K most months, more in the summer when we’re going out more. 

Post # 36
3008 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

We spend about $400 on groceries for two adults. This is including dog food and some household goods. However that was pre quarantine. Now we are doing Instacart bc I just had a baby and we don’t want either of us in a grocery store now. I mainly shop at Aldi so I save anywhere from $20-60 every week. No joke. It’s so much cheaper. 

I don’t know if this helps but I would definitely try making some “struggle meals” to save some money. Meals that are super cheap but probably not good for you. My husband unexpectedly lost his job last spring and we were totally fine but I’m a very fiscally conservative person so I made struggle meals a lot of the time he was unemployed. Things like spaghetti and store bought sauce, frozen pizzas (the cheap kind), basic soups/stews, Mexican food, fried bologna sandwiches,chili, rice and beans, meatloaf, breakfast for dinner, etc. Even making a struggle meal once or twice a week can cut costs. I really enjoy cooking and getting fresh produce and ingredients but sometimes you have to cut corners and save some money! 

Post # 37
446 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

$432 on groceries is really good, but the rest is totally optional. I used to go out to eat every single day at work and on weekends. Once I realized how much I was spending I totally stopped. You’re not even going out that often, but I think it’s still a lot of money on something like that. I’d only do packed lunches for work and cut down on going out to eat as a couple to once a month or less. I think once a month could be hard for some people, especially at first. It really adds up! 

Post # 38
791 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

We’re spending about the same you do on groceries in the store. For two… I can’t compare dining out because we hardly ever do it as I find most “restaurants” in our neck of the woods are just versions of the same crappy fried food (and then there’s sushi but that’s entirely something else) Food in the US is expensive. I can’t even describe how I felt when I started doing groceries here. I keep an old school budget book which I had for like 6 years (I do have some fancy excel stuff to keep it nice and clean and visualize everything). But that book shows me just how expensive it is to buy groceries here. Looking back my avarage in Europe it was somewhere between 150-160€… But then you can get a pair of branded sneakers for 25$ which would cost you 120€ so it evens out. But I still cringe when I look at our grocery spendings. 

Post # 39
2951 posts
Sugar bee

That seems high to me. For 2 adults, we spend $300/month on groceries (food only). And $150/month on eating out.

I shop the sales and meal plan based on what’s on sale that week. I know what types of foods constantly go on sale, so I wait for the sale to buy them. I also try to use up what I already have at home. If I’ve got lots of pasta stocked up, I plan a pasta dish for that week. I use coupons too, but that’s pretty rare.

Post # 40
2545 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

We spend about $800 month on groceries plus our Blue Apron meals (around $60/week). We are maybe spending $100/month on curbside pickup from restaurants. It’s 2 of us. We buy a lot of pre-made meals (salads, sandwiches, etc.). We could spend less if we went to a cheaper grocery store and if we cooked more from scratch. 

Post # 41
5909 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

Do posters even bother to read sometimes? It’s totally unhelpful for so many of you to be like “I don’t think it’s a lot of money at all I can’t go to the store without spending a million dollars … I wish I only spent $600” when you’ve also mentioned making comfortable money. 
A food bill that is towards 30% of your income is high and a big expense for OP, have a bit of perspective guys. She has specifically said it is too high for their current income. 

Post # 42
9084 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

OP maybe try looking at what you are actually buying if you want to lower costs. If you are buying convienence meals then they will be costing you more (and full of things that are bad for you like salt). 

Also look at your products and brands. Are you buying top shelf because that’s the brand you have always bought and that your parents bought? Is there a same quality brand that costs less? With staples like flour and sugar there is no to little difference between cheap brands and expensive brands.


Also what she said 🤦🏾‍♀️ 

View original reply
zzar45 :  

Post # 43
819 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Some ideas –

1) make things like chilli / bolognase in big batches and freeze portions

2) buy in bulk if something you use all the time suddenly has a sale (my husband loves this particular type of cereal bar. It’s expensive but they have half price offers about every few months so I only buy them then).

3) bulk out meals with a cheap ingredient (I’m told lentils are a good one in stews etc).

4) try buying one brand level down what you usually buy, eg if you buy the normal store brand try the economy brand.

5) identify if anything you buy is very expensive but not really necessary and cut back (for me this would be smoothies and out-of-season imported fruit).

6) meal plan and only buy shopping according to the plan.

7) don’t take the husband shopping if he sneaks random stuff into the trolley 😉

8) if you can get to a cheaper supermarket go there.

9) use coupons

10) buy from the supermarket discount shelf, if it has one.

11) think carefully about whether you buy an item (let’s say peas) from the fresh, tinned or freezer section. Prices can vary a lot.

12) every so often don’t shop for a week to force you to use up what’s in the cupboard.

Moneysavingexpert is a good website with many ideas on cutting down spending, including groceries. 

Post # 44
5907 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2017

View original reply
zzar45 :  what do you want people to say? They’re giving their perspective on how much money is normal to spend out of their own experience. Should only people who spend less than $600 a month answer? 

$432 a month on groceries IS very normal,plus the small amount for eating out a month. Sure you could cut corners, stop eating out and make meals with unhealthy processed ingredients but it will take a toll on your health long-term. I would look for ways to supplement my income. 

Like a PP mentioned, $600/ismonth is roughly $10/day per person for 3 meals a day, without snacks/drinks. 


Post # 45
899 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

I won’t do the math because I know it’ll kill me. Average grocery shop is easily $150, and there’s 3-4 of those a month. With the virus, we have been super cautious not to throw anything away, so that means eating all the leftovers before making something else, something that I’ve been so guilty of. I’m not the biggest fan of leftovers after a couple days, but I love to cook. Now I just make less.

PPs have given really good suggestions. You may want to look into a veggie share or something in your area. For us, it is far cheaper to do a produce box from Misfits Market for the week than it was to buy in our stores, but I’m also in a HCOL area.

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