HomePollsThursday Poll: Get in my belly

Thursday Poll: Get in my belly

Last weeks poll made it pretty clear food is an important part in our financial journey. It is the biggest line item in most PDITFers budgets after housing costs. You could be a family of eight, spending $1,000/month on groceries or a bachelor spending $1,000/month on take out and beer. Food is something we can all relate to as every single one of us has to eat, of course, some more than others 😉

Today, we will be doubling up on the poll action. I know what you’re thinking “Did Christmas come early?!”.


Yes, it did.  

Both polls will be pretty straightforward so no real need for much of an explanation. Let’s get on with it shall we…

[poll id=”7″]

And since we are all a little nosey, let’s breakdown how much food costs you, or your family, each month…

[poll id=”8″]

To be a true team player drop a comment with your answers to the poll and a little insight in to your family situation for perspective (ex: I live with parents or I have to feed my husband and 7 teenage boys).

p.s. you can see all my previous polls here.



  1. Just my wife and I. Not sure exactly how much we spend because if I kept track I would be sick to my stomach (pun intended). I do know it’s big time (over $1200/month) and we do eat the best of the best, always the tastiest, not always the healthiest. Somewhat of a food snob, yet I do appreciate the comfort foods. The only saving grace is that we do not drink alcohol, otherwise I’m sure I’d be broke because fine wine is super expensive…

    P.S. Just dropped $70 on AYCE sushi for the both of us tonight!

  2. Family of 5, more on groceries but some months it is close. I feel like we have been eating at restaurants much more than usual the last 6 months as we are living with my parents so cooking in someone else’s kitchen is not all that and I am pregnant and I am totally playing that card to eat out and not cook as often as possible 😉 Alas the end is near (for both situations), we move into our house next month and then the baby will be here in July…so hopefully things will settle down (she naively said before having her 4th child under the age of 6!)

  3. It’s jus tme and my husband living in the Midwest and we have a strict food budget (including groceries and dining out) of $350. We take that amount out in cash and when it’s out, it’s out. We could get this down further, but last year we had a budget of $300, and we often blew it and then spent quite a bit more. So far we’ve stayed withing $350 every month this year, which overall puts us ahead of 2012.

    • I think this is an interesting reply – it just goes to show that budgeting realistically – and often just slightly more – results in less being actually spent. I am finding this with my spending money – allocating $20 more per week probably saves me more.

  4. Family of 7 (5 kids, 2 adults). Allocated grocery budget is $800 per month, but sometimes we go over. We have $0 budgeted for dining out of the house. If we dine out, it comes from the grocery budget, which rarely happens because that junk is expensive!

  5. Just my partner and I, and the one thing we like to do in our city is eat. We’re getting better at limiting our dining out, but it continues to be a budget-buster for us.

  6. Uh, we spend a lot on groceries for the two of us. Caveats being that we live in a small town and in Canada, both contributing to higher costs. Most of the rest is an affinity For good cheese, seafood and hosting dinner parties. That’s about $750. We spend about $200 on restaurants and bars, which is really quite good compared to many of our friends.

  7. My wife and I spend over 1200 a month and we spend more eating out. Make me a little sick to my stomach but doesn’t stop us from doing it month after month even after we say we are going to stop or not eat out as much.

  8. Just me – a 26 year old bachelor.

    My budget is $150/month for groceries and I’m usually right around that mark, sometimes a little more.

    I also budget $40/m for take-out work lunch, $40/m for additional take-out, and $120 for dining out/drinks/who are we kidding, this is mostly alcohol.

    Do the math, and I spend a little less on groceries than all my other nourishment combined, though I usually come comfortably under my $120 burger & beer budget, so it’s pretty close.

    • I’m right there with you – 29 year old bachelor.

      I’m right at $150/mo. as well.

      I spend about $50 at the grocery every 2 weeks and have a weird game that I play.
      Week 1, I eat the fun stuff.
      Week 2, I piece together meals and eat the stuff that would NEVER get eaten if I were to do shopping once a week.

      It’s fun in a weird way, saves me time, and saves me money.

  9. Family of 3 – Wife, Daughter, and me. Dining out is my achillies heel. I’ve been able to cut everything else out of my budget and turn it into savings. Entertainment (concerts, movies, etc…) Books, CDs, and DVDs, (the library is now my best friend….), but darned it, I can’t get rid of the dining out.

    During football season, I use “the game” as an excuse to eat out every Sunday. Wings, Beer, and Football…. LOVE IT.

    Now with hockey and basketball playoffs, that is my excuse. Then I will use baseball as an excuse, and then it will be back to Football season. Every single weekend, we eat out at least once, sometimes twice, and occassionaly on all three nights (Fri, Sat, Sun). It kills me, but I can’t control it. I love food, good beer, and the companionship that comes from eating out and bonding with others over sports.

  10. Me and the husband, baby of 3 months doesn’t count yet. We spend way too much on food but that is our major luxury. We don’t buy a lot of clothes or gizmos (neither one of us really enjoys shopping) – we do indulge in “treats” from the upscale grocery markets. Exotic cheese I’ve never heard of? Let me taste! New type of grain available locally? I’m intrigued! And oh the farmer’s market . . . I can spend some serious $$ on locally grown produce/locally raised meat (plus we enjoy canning pepper jellies and salsas and giving them away). We’ve been doing pretty okay on our budget of $500 a month (for both groceries and dining out) but FM opens this weekend and I’m sure to blow it next month out of sheer gratitude. Which means I’ll be raising the food budget and cutting back elsewhere this summer. NOT a problem 🙂

  11. As a single girl, I know I spend way too much on groceries. (I usually over buy and end up giving half of it to my brother because I can’t get through it all! But I also spend just as much on going out with friends. $30 here and there really can add up by the end of the month!

    I have some months where i can sustain myself on the “leftover” groceries from the month before, and some months where I wont go out for food at all. So I figure I do spend about the same amount on each every month.

  12. We have strict grocery and eating out budgets for the time being. It’s just me and my husband, and we spend $250/month on groceries, $150/month on eating out. We’ve had to cut back on our fast food habits a lot because of it, but that’s probably healthier for us anyway. When we eat out now, it’s usually to be sociable and eat with friends.

  13. At one time I had to feed an orangutan, a zebra, a hyena, and an adult Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Now I only have to feed Richard Parker.

  14. 2 adults and 1 toddler (almost 2 yrs) who eats more than me most days! Generally around $600 on groceries and eating out, but with a toddler, eating out is usually take-out pizza, nothing too fancy. The toddler loves fresh fruit, fish, cheese, and other such pricey stuff that I do want him to eat to grow and be healthy, so we buy more of that now than we used to probably, but he does not get any prepared “junk” like chicken nuggets, hot dogs, etc.

  15. Spend about $1,000/month – probably at least $700 on groceries, $300 on take out/dining out. Family of 5. The 2 little kids do not eat much, but my eldest is a big eater. We are all snackers. And we love to go out for breakfast but these days that costs $50 before tip, so that doesn’t happen much anymore! Every week I promise myself I will meal plan, shop the sales, get back into couponing, but it hasn’t happened yet.

  16. Most of our budget after housing expenses goes to food. I’m not sure why but despite the fact we have stopped eating out so much, we still spend a lot of money on food. We like eating healthy and well. Plus, I have a husband who eats a lot. And I love food. The good thing is we don’t drink alcohol. My goal every month is to stay in budget. So far, we haven’t reached my ideal budget, we always go over by $300-$500.

  17. My job pays for lunch every day, and it’s often enough food for dinner as well. I often eat breakfast at work, too. This really impacts my grocery bills. I went from spending $400/month on food to less than $100.

  18. Family of 5- about $550 a month and that includes the odd eating out. We don’t eat out very often though and if we do we tend to go to not very pricey, kids eat free type venues. No matter how fancy the restaurat my kids still want chicken nuggets and hot dogs. Some part of my brain refuses to pay $10 for a kids meal so we eat at home most days. We do take a vacation twice a year and we factor those food costs out of vacation budget instead of grocery.

  19. Just the 2 of us (and 2 cats); our weekly grocery bill averages $175, plus about $30 take-out. We both brown-bag our lunches every day, though Hubby’s is more like a grocery bag that he takes to work on a daily basis. His job’s labour-intensive, and at 6’3″ 250 lbs, that’s a lot of man to feed. We used to spend an atrocious amount of $ on take-out; we’ve really scaled back.

  20. Family of three, one being an 18 month old but we spend about 400 a month on groceries and about 200 on eating out. We don’t eat out near as much as we used to but we still like to get out every once in awhile.

  21. My Fiancee and I and we spend up to $800 a month on groceries and dining out. If we don’t eat out groceries themselves around about $700. Canada, and BC in particular have pretty high food costs. Also it’s one of the last budgets I would ever cut because I try and buy organic fruit & veggies and local grass fed meat. It’s a health thing.

  22. I think I’m probably the rarity here in that I’m a single guy who spends more on groceries than I do on eating out/takeout and bars. My food budget for a month is only $200, and I generally come in at or below that, so I went with 100-199. Some months it’s more, but typically not.

  23. Just me, and I live in NYC. Probably spend $250 on groceries a month, and about $750 for restaurants/alcohol (includes dinner for GF). Trying to keep it more under control, but something tells me this summer my alcohol spending is going to go even higher up!

  24. I chose the 600-799 option. Right around $400 per month is groceries and the rest is eating out, although that has gone down in recent months. There are just two of us, my husband and myself.

    We purchase quite a bit of produce. Each of us has at least two pieces of fruit per day.

  25. Boyfriend and I spend about 300 a month on groceries. Take out is from our free spending money since we try to only eat out once or twice a month.

  26. Somewhere around $700 on food sounds right – 2 adults and one very hungry toddler. Mostly groceries (and most of that spent every 3 months when we stock up at Costco) with some eating out. Can’t remember the last time I went to a bar!

  27. I try not to get too worked up about budgeting for food. I know a lot of extreme savers that like to say they only spend $50/month on groceries, but at what nutritional expense? I suppose I could do that as well if I wanted to live on cereal and frozen pizzas, but that is not what I choose to put in my body. My partner and I spend about $700-800/mth on groceries and eating out/drinking. We never buy cheap, pre-packaged foods. That said, if you only have $50/mth to spend on food, that is a completely different story.

  28. Just my husband and I. I spend $100-$200 a month on groceries. But he eats burgers & pizza often, and buys me takeout 0-2 times a week. So our food cost is probably $200-$299.

  29. We are a family of 4 (2 teens) and spend $700 on groceries an $100 eating out. I do a meal plan on Mondays for the week and we work off that for the week. I started meal planning after reading thecentsiblelife blog.

  30. We’re a couple with no kids, and we generally spend about $1,100 per month on food. We buy fresh, whole food (local and/or organic when possible) and we treat ourselves to one or two extravagant meals ($100+ each) per month. Food is like our entertainment.

  31. Most of the year we are two adults and DD13 spending $500 for food including dining out. When DD18 is home from college, I bump the total up to $600.

  32. Groceries are soooo expensive where I live in Grenada. I can’t wait to get back to the US and use coupons again!

  33. For several years I lived alone, spent 400-500 on all food, but more on eating out than on groceries. For the last few months I’ve been paying a mortgage for the first time, and have had an unemployed relative living with me, and we were pretty good about cooking/not eating out. So for the first time in ages i spent more on groceries. Now my housemate has a job & will be paying rent, so I suspect the eating out will increase!

  34. I am really anal about sticking within a fine food budget to the point I take a calculator in with me so my food budget is right around 250. The other 100 is for dining out and what not.

  35. Family of 5 on $600 a month, but lately its been more with the rise in prices and the growth of kids. We spend less than $50 on takeout for hubs and I once or twice a month, almost never eat out except mom’s day, anniversary, birthdays. And the kids want to go out to cellebrate end of school.

  36. Family of three–my husband, teenage son and I. We spend between $400-$450/month on groceries and eating out. My husband and I work different shifts so we try to meet for a “lunch date” (if 30 minutes can be called a “date”) once or twice a week. We do use coupons for those times. At home, we usually budget for pizza or some such cheap outside meal for supper twice a month.

  37. Food is def. one of our biggest expenses if not the biggest. We realized our food budget was getting out of hand and now we are trying to budget stuff out. Its hard but so is seeing how much money you waste on food every month.

  38. I love these polls – it’s really motivating to read about people who are spending WAY less than me to feed themselves and/or their families.

    My average total expenses as a young, single female living in a Midwestern city: $550
    $100: Approximate spent on groceries
    $300: Dining out (restaurants & quick meals, such as Panera)
    $150: Alcohol & bars

    My social life is definitely a huge factor in all of this. I get a healthy, nutritious lunch at work everyday, so I have no excuse for spending THIS much. Thanks to all of the readers and commenters for helping me reevaluate. I never realized how ridiculous my food spending was because I have never compared it to others.

  39. Family of four (the two kids are here half time). We spend about $400-$450 a month on groceries, but more in the summer when the kids aren’t eating at school. Probably about $200 a month on dining out, fast food, and bar trips. It could be more, because I’m not sure how much my honey spends on golf night (we have most of our money separated)….and I don’t want to!

  40. I spend about $400 a month on my boyfriend and I. I spend about $80 on my two 90 lb dogs too. I think I’m going to join one of those co-ops with a farm…supposedly its really worth the money b/c they bring you a good size box of fresh food a month. I might spend about $70 on going out to eat twice a month. So that is about $550 on food altogether.

  41. I haven’t been tracking lately, too much going on. But we definitely spend more on eating out than groceries. Friday dinner, 2 or three meals on both Saturday and Sunday.

    Of course the family dynamics changed this memorial day when the family of two became a family of three. I am planning on using my paternity leave to catch up on the financials that I let fall behind while helping my wife through the pregnancy. Eating out with a newborn is difficult, and cooking everything ourselves gives us more control over nutrition.

  42. We are in the Aust$ of 600-799 including eating out. However these last few weeks things have been tight, and this can be the easiest part of the budget to control – we just eat very basically for a few weeks – squash and lentil pasties anyone? Rhubarb crumble?
    I disagree with the notion that if you don’t spend much on food it means you have a bad diet. Of course it depends on where you live, and in Australia we are fortunate that you can eat well for a moderate price in most places, excepting really remote areas. But the cheapest diet you can have is fresh fruit and veg, bit of rice, pasta etc. BUT you have to cook yourself, and be organised. I am allowing $140 per week for a family of 3, but I can pull it back to $80pw on an on-going basis with a tiny bit of effort.
    We also have a small vegie garden – but it’s a real dud this year to no savings there, but in other years it can contribute 30-50% of our vegies per week.

  43. I spend about $750 a month on groceries and $300 on eating out with a wife, 2 kids, a dog and 2 cats,

  44. Just under $400 a month for a family of 4 (2 young kids, 2 adults). We rarely eat out, usually spend $40 or less on eating out each month. We live in the West, I cook mostly from scratch and also grow a garden.

  45. I actually had to look back in my records to see. I do spend more on groceries, but just barely. My grocery bill is fairly low, so while it seems extreme to be spending as much on eating out as on groceries, it’s not that bad.

  46. We are a bit different because my husband is a pilot and therefore has to eat out about 60% of the time. So our food budget/dining out budget is huge (in my mind at least). Over $600 on average for 2 people.

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