Monday, February 11, 2008

Government Idea of Grocery Costs

Ok, I saw this on Angie's blog and just had to share. This is a table that the government put together (I think for our amusement). There are 4 columns showing the USDA's idea of what the American cost of foods at home are. There is a liberal, moderate, low-cost and thrifty plan.
According to this site, my family of 6 would be spending $346/weekly or $1498.80/monthly on the liberal plan!! I don't think I would call that liberal, I would call that foolish!
Even on the "thrifty" plan, my family would be spending $177/weekly or $769.60/monthly! I can't believe that our government is issuing a statement like this! If people are spending this much on groceries and believe they are being thrifty, it's no wonder our country is in so much debt!
Our grocery budget is $50/weekly or $200/monthly. That includes all toiletries items and make-up, etc... The USDA plan is only counting food. This plan must include several eating out splurges. If not, I have no idea where all that food must go.
Check out how much your family could be spending and compare to what you actually are spending.


Katie Gregg said...

Unfortunately, I think many people in this country don't have the slightest idea how to shop frugally. I know I used to spend $75-$100 a week for just my husband and me. (thankfully, those days are long over!) The problem was, no one ever taught me to budget, clip coupons, avoid credit cards, etc. I often wish I could do something to help those floundering in debt who have no clue how to use money wisely--but, other than blogging, I don't even know where to begin!

Hadias said...

I saw a previous years USDA that was equally rediculous food spending plan.

I think that whoever falls prey to those false calculations has checked thier brains at the door.

It's a shame to know that so many are being misled with false inaccurate information. Those number reported by the USDA must be for the self indulgent.

Thanks for commenting on my post "Getting it all Done".

Sara at Miller Moments said...

I love your frugal concepts, Cassie, and I've even been inspired to start clipping more coupons! The thing is, though - that my local grocery store doesn't take internet coupons (big bummer) and they don't have CVS or Eckerd here. Argh. I refuse to pay $1.50 for the paper and coupons that I don't use, so I'm left looking for ways to shop cheaply. We spend about $400/mo for our family of 5 and that's just food. Any tips?

Anonymous said...

We have 5 and spend around $75 per week with coupons. Ben and Josh can put some food away. Your time is coming my friend!!!! Get ready!

The joys of having a teenage boy!

Have a blessed day!


P.S. The funny thing is the government puts these numbers out, but when they dole out food stamps it is a mere fraction of those numbers. Looks like this may be a good ministry opportunity....teaching others to be frugal.

mom24 said...

I don't think those numbers are inaccurate. I just think that the truly frugal are few and don't realize what the general pop is spending. Who taught thse people to be frugal? The same 'no one' that taught them all to spend on credit! I was raised this way and still struggle to find ways to be frugal but could never feed all 6 of us for less than $600/month. I just haven't been taught how! Fortunately, as a believer, God leads us and teaches us and I am learning every day. My goal is to decrease or maintain this budget as my kids' appetites grow. So far, I LOVE using clothe daipers but struggle to find good meat at a good price. I'll be back for more helpful hints from you!

Anonymous said...

I added up our groceries for December and January and we are right around $700 - We think way too much. I started buying the BOGO's at the reat price not realizing how much we are still paying for convenience. From now on, only with coupons will I but them.

We are a family of six. I did have to laugh at the chart though - does it really cost almost 20/week to feed a one year old? What are those babies eating - One sweet potato, a small bag of carrots, and a bag of frozen peas lasted my one year olds 2 weeks! Then, I just start feeding little bites from the table.

We have been at 75/week for Feb and we are doing fine. Last week, we even had enought left over that we went out to lunch on Saturday for $20.

Another great site to check out is - she has some grreat recipes and cheap!

Judy said...

We spend close to the amount in the government's low-cost plan, but that's including groceries, toiletries, the occasional magazine, book or other "extra," and twice a month or so getting some chicken fingers and sushi to take home and eat. We also rarely eat out.

Our biggest expenditure is fresh fruit, probably, and I don't know how we'd save much money there. We eat pretty cheaply - especially compared to how I was taught - and we eat healthy foods, so I don't want to skimp on fresh fruit for snacks. We do eat frozen fruits, too, which can be a lot cheaper than fresh.

It is pretty amazing to me to see what people spend on groceries, and how much of it is junk. I also recently heard that average spending on groceries and dining out is roughly equal, so think what people actually spend on food! I don't know how people can afford to eat out as often as some people do!

(Found you through a Google search for the government food plan, but will read more - future homeschooling family here!)