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Cutting Food Costs: Keeping Your Food Budget from Eating Up Your Income

Cutting Food Costs

Keeping you and your family fed can really eat up your income. Learning how to minimize food costs can help you stay on budget and avoid credit card debt. This guide will teach you how to keep costs low, whether you’re cooking at home or dining out.

How much should you spend on food?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture releases a monthly report on how much the average person, couple, and family of four should expect to spend on food. These guides can help you understand the weekly and monthly costs you can budget for at four different spending levels.

NOTE: All numbers have been rounded up to the nearest dollar and are based on the USDA’s March 2020 report.

Household Weekly Cost Monthly Cost
Single adult male, age 19-50 $44 $189
Single adult male, age 51-70 $40 $173
Single adult female, age 19-50 $40 $170
Single adult female, age 51-70 $40 $167
Family of 2 (male and female), age 19-50 $91 $392
Family of 2 (male and female), age 51-70 $90 $372
Family of 4, male and female age 19-50, with 2 kids age 2-3 and 4-5 $132 $572
Family of 4, male and female age 19-50, with 2 kids age 6-8 and 9-11 $152 $656

NOTE: All numbers have been rounded up to the nearest dollar and are based on the USDA’s March 2020 report.

Household Weekly Cost Monthly Cost
Single adult male, age 19-50 $57 $245
Single adult male, age 51-70 $54 $231
Single adult female, age 19-50 $49 $212
Single adult female, age 51-70 $54 $231
Family of 2 (male and female), age 19-50 $116 $502
Family of 2 (male and female), age 51-70 $111 $481
Family of 4, male and female age 19-50, with 2 kids age 2-3 and 4-5 $169 $730
Family of 4, male and female age 19-50, with 2 kids age 6-8 and 9-11 $199 $861

NOTE: All numbers have been rounded up to the nearest dollar and are based on the USDA’s March 2020 report.

Household Weekly Cost Monthly Cost
Single adult male, age 19-50 $71 $311
Single adult male, age 51-70 $67 $288
Single adult female, age 19-50 $60 $260
Single adult female, age 51-70 $60 $257
Family of 2 (male and female), age 19-50 $144 $621
Family of 2 (male and female), age 51-70 $139 $599
Family of 4, male and female age 19-50, with 2 kids age 2-3 and 4-5 $208 $900
Family of 4, male and female age 19-50, with 2 kids age 6-8 and 9-11 $248 $1,075

NOTE: All numbers have been rounded up to the nearest dollar and are based on the USDA’s March 2020 report.

Household Weekly Cost Monthly Cost
Single adult male, age 19-50 $87 $374
Single adult male, age 51-70 $81 $348
Single adult female, age 19-50 $77 $332
Single adult female, age 51-70 $72 $310
Family of 2 (male and female), age 19-50 $179 $776
Family of 2 (male and female), age 51-70 $167 $723
Family of 4, male and female age 19-50, with 2 kids age 2-3 and 4-5 $257 $1,112
Family of 4, male and female age 19-50, with 2 kids age 6-8 and 9-11 $331 $1,302