THIS chart helped curb my overspending habit-- I think it will help you too! Check it out, it makes saving much more fun! -S

How Much You Should Be Spending On Groceries


I mean, if we all could not eat, we would save so much money. Since that is simply not possible without being unhealthy and problematic... obviously. So how do you decide how much the grocery budget should be for your family? 

This is a tricky question for many. Some people may be on the super frugal Aldi train already, while others are just starting out, facing the horrifying truth of how much of their budget they have been quite literally eating away at. 

Good news! There is, in fact, an amazing chart that will answer this question and it doesn’t matter if you like to shop at Whole Paycheck Foods or Aldi! Whattttt?!? 

This is one of the best keep secrets in the #debtfreecommunity for those who know about it. This chart gets circulated from time to time on insta with rave reviews. Some people are shocked that they are underspending, some are hella overspending, and others feel validated on their frugal food ways. 

You will have to let me know what camp you are in, and if this chart led you to adjust that budget!

Without further ado, here is the chart for the month of April, 2020. However, these new and current charts are posted MONTHLY from the USDA.

How do I use this?   

There are two ways you can use this gem. I will share what MY family’s would be. 

We have one child, a year old, and two adults. Since I budget monthly, I set my sights on the right side of this graph. I like to think I’m thrifty -- so I am for the first column.  

Baby would be 98.40, one adult man age 31 would be 192.90, and one adult woman age 31 would be $171.20. This adds up to a grocery budget of $462.50. BOOM. 

OR… option 2 is to look at the bottom half of the chart for the ideal numbers for a family of 2 or 4. 

Ah, there seem to be two different numbers that work for my family?  

Yes, you savvy reader you. Sometimes, the numbers are different if you use the top of the chart vs. the bottom of the chart. Again, this is simply a chart to help guide your budget, not a set-in-stone value you need to stick to. In fact, so many accounts I follow live on less than even the “frugal” column. 

Use whichever seems like the best fit for your family and your situation.  

How does this compare to real life?

The last 4 months... well.. let's be honest, really all of 2020 we have been spendy. I mean over $1,000 per month spendy.   Gasp, over the $902.20 for those living on a “liberal budget.” 

Well, it looks like it is time for me to get it together and stop overspending on groceries. When we were careful budgeting and grocery shopping, even without couponing, we lived on LESS than frugal. 

For example, in Q4 of 2019 we spent $378, $780, and $526. 

That is still a tad spendy, but still WAYY better than 2020. 

 Time to fall back in love with Aldi for Q3 of 2020. And I don’t feel like WHAT I eat has changed much-- but WHERE I shop has. Oh, convenience and planning. #gotthis  

Happy grocery budgeting, aspiring retirees 

-- Sarah 

Sarah Brandenberger is the founder of Nerds Guide To Financial Independence, a brand dedicated to showing that financial independence is possible through real estate investment. She began her debt free journey in 2017 and quickly became a voice for budgeting and personal finance information as she and her husband paid off over $100,000. They discovered real estate investing and now own four properties while helping others towards the path of FI.