How Much Money Can You Really Save on Food?

Is it really possible to save $4,000 a year on food?  How about $7,000?  You might be surprised how much money you can save on food!  How do I know this?  Well, years of working at it has helped me to keep my grocery bill low.  And, I have know of many others who have cut their food costs down significantly.

How Much Money Can You Save on Food

Dina Marie was spending $800 a month on food to feed her family of 10.  She was able to cut her grocery costs in half by simply planning meals and cutting down on her shopping trips.  She was able to do this and still feed her family nutritious meals.

As she added more inexpensive meals to her repetoire, she was able to cut down her costs even more.  She was paying around $300 a month to feed her family of 10!  Now this was in 2010 so the numbers would be different now, but cutting your grocery bill in half is still a possibility even with today's numbers.

What Do Families Spend Now?

I was curious what average families spent on groceries now, so I asked some of my blogger friends what they spent on food.  I was pleasantly surprised to get over 60 answers!

This was not a scientific survey so some of the numbers may be a little more or less than this. There were a few variables that made a difference in food costs:

  • Obviously, young children eat a lot less than older ones.  
  • Location can make a difference in food costs.  
  • Vegetarians generally spend less than others.
  • Eating out costs a lot.  
  • Those who grew their own vegetables or meat spent less than others.   

But, even with those variables, many people can still save a whole lot of money on food.  There were some definite patterns in the answers I received even with the different locations etc.  When I figured averages they looked like this:

Those who didn't say that they ate any special type of diet averaged $175 per person per month.  That comes out to $700 a month for a family of four.

Those who were eating a paleo diet, whole foods diet, gluten free & dairy free diet, or some other healing type of diet averaged $250 per person per month.  That comes out to $1,000 per month for a family of four.

Which brings us to another important question-is it possible to eat really healthy diet like a paleo or clean eating diet and still keep food costs low?  I definitely think so!  I have written quite a bit about that already-here is a post on the healthiest cheapest foods for you to check out.

So, where do you stand?  If you are like the families in my survey around $175-250 per person per month.  Some were much lower or higher than this.

So, as for the savings, here are a couple of scenarios of how much money you could save on food if you start working on it.  (If you want free help and encouragement to help you save money on healthy food, sign up here.)  These examples are for those currently spending like the average families in my survey ($175 per person per month).

  • If you have 5 people in your family, and you cut your food costs in half (like Dina Marie did) than you would save $5,250 per year.  

  • If you have 4 people in your family and you are not eating that healthy are wanting to change your diet to a healthy diet*, likely your food costs may not go down as much as if you were eating only cheap processed food.  Your food costs would probably go down to around $120 per person per month.  You would end up with a healthier body and family :) and still have an extra 2,640 in cash each year!

Of course, the best way to know how much you can save on food is to track your expenses.  Once you know how much you are already spending, you can set a goal for how much you really want to spend!  If you haven't downloaded my Food Expense Tracker, make sure to sign up below!
Save on Food Expense Tracker

*For this example, I am referring to a nourishing, healthy diet-a paleo diet, SCD diet, or Whole 30 would likely cost more.

Disclaimer: This post is not medical advice.  I am not a doctor or medical professional.  I share only from my own experiences and research.  Consult your own practitioner before making changes in your diet or supplements.


  1. You've inspired me to really sit down and look at the numbers!

    1. Yay! I hope it helps you to save a lot!

  2. I definitely think you can eat healthy on a budget you just have to be smart about it! It takes a bit of planning is all :)

    1. I definitely agree! I was worried when I started to eat healthier that it would cost a lot. But we are still able to eat cheaper than a lot of families. But, there was a definite learning curve to eating healthy and cheap!

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  4. This really makes me think, it's been a while since I have looked really well at our food budget.

    1. Awesome! I hope you are able to find some areas that you could save some money on!

  5. I love figuring out stuff like this! We eat a whole foods diet, mostly Paleo, and all pastured meat (and a ton of it!) and I'm tracking my grocery budget to see if I'm even in the ballpark. First 2 months I'm at about $900 for 4 (kids eat as much as grownups) but that includes some restaurant visits.

    1. That is awesome Carissa! I love hearing other people's numbers, and I think it is great that you are including your restaurant visits as well. That gives a true picture of how much you are spending. And, I know what you mean about your kids eating as much as grownups! :)