Friday, April 1, 2011


Okay, this might seem kind of silly, but I'm still excited about it.

I found the USDA's Cost of Food at Home chart through one of the blogs I read. Basically, you can look at what the average cost for a week or month of food to feed a family of 2 or 4 is currently (well, as of February of this year). You can also look at the average individual costs for each family member by age. It divides the figures into "Thrifty Plan", "Low Cost Plan", "Moderate Cost Plan" and "Liberal Plan" so that you can see where your average grocery spending falls. I would take it to mean the cost of groceries (minus household supplies) plus eating out. You can check it the February 2011 chart here if you are interested.

So for my family, if we stick to our monthly budget (which we have been for almost two months now, some weeks with money to spare), we only spend $27 more a month than the "Thrifty Plan". It might be silly, but I'm pretty pleased about that. It's nice to see that all of my hard work is for something, you know. :)

Also interesting to me was looking at home much the cost of food has risen over the last ten years. Ten years ago, the "Thrifty Plan" for a family of four (in the older child category) was $445.40 a month. Today, in that same category, it's $603.10. Even just going back five years, the cost for a family of four then was $519.00. Yeesh.

***Edited to add: Well, in looking at one of the older charts, apparently this chart covers food that is "purchased at stores and prepared at home". So basically, we go waaaaaaaaaay under the monthly amount for the specific ages of our family members, because my figure included our fast food/restaurant money. Even better!


Samantha said...

Very cool! We need to start cooking/eating at home more and this might help.

Olivia Arlene said...

Cool! We stay way below the thrifty plan too :)