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USDA National Grocery Averages

Sometimes it takes the simplest thing to change your life, for me it was one of these reports. I have come across a few of these since joining forums a few years ago. The first year I saw one we were in the moderate to liberal plan. I was just coming to the realization that if we kept living the way we were, that we would be homeless. We both had full time jobs, 2 vehicles with 2 car payments, just about the only thing we had going for us was that our apartment was pretty cheap for this area.

A lady posted this report and I just about died. I have never realized that we spent that much money eating out. I went into super frugal mode. We went from eating out at least once a day, if not 2 times a day to almost homemade everything and no eating out. Looking back this was honestly one of those “turning points” in my life. So I want to share it with you too!

Check out the USDA National Grocery Average Report

I’m curious to see where everyone lands! Where does your family fall?


  1. We are a family of three, 2 adults and a 6yo child. According to this chart, thrifty for our family is $437. I've never spent that much for food in a month! We spend an average of $200 a month on groceries to prepare foods at home, and no more than $75 a month going out to eat. So, we are well below the thrifty plan for our family size.

  2. Ha! We spend about $200 less per month for a family of 4 with children 2 and 4! That makes me feel so much better. LOL! We budget about $300/month for us and another $100-150 for animals.

  3. We used to eat out once a week (at least) then we realized we were spending careless amounts of money on fast food and Domino's Pizza. Now we rarely eat out, I pack the kids snacks and lunches if we're going to be gone too long, we make our own pizza dough once a month and freeze it then thaw on Friday for pizza night. Huge savings!

  4. Definitely opens my eyes! Though I have to say we spend less than that a week but only because we have too. :)

    Thank you for sharing this Brandi!


  5. I have a family of 5- 2 adults, 10 yob, 8yog, 3yog and I spend LESS than the thrifty plan for a family of 2!!! That alone should be $345.60/month according to them! For all of us and toiletries and other misc household items, I spend $300/month!!! But, I guess that's the government for you!

  6. We are definitely in the moderate to liberal category. We hardly eat out and make almost everything at home, but I need to become a better shopper for my food.

  7. Annie- It says our thrifty plan is $345 a month. that is how much I used to spend when we ate out all the time!

    Carrie- That is great! $300 a month for your family is a very very good number!

    Candi- Freezing pizza dough is a great idea! I am going to do this on friday when I make our weekly pizza. thanks!

  8. Debbie- I understand. Honestly our grocery budget is at the VERY MOST $80 a month. other months we just don't have any money so it is $0..

    Lori- that is wonderful! I'm sure your coupons REALLY help with that! :)

    Holly- this really is a personal preference. I am just wondering where everyone fell. there is always room for improvement if that is what you desire :)

  9. This is fascinating information. I couldn't, however, find a category for two seniors, one of whom has a food blog :-).

  10. Mary- this report is lacking in those departments!!

  11. Hi Brandi,

    Over the years I've kept a "loose" eye on this sort of information. I am always relieved to find that our monthly grocery expenditures have always stayed below the thrifty plan. But, we don't go hungry and we eat very well. Careful shopping and cooking from scratch have been the secret to our kitchen frugality.
    P.S. I'm enjoying your blog:)


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