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The average cost of food in a household budget

The average cost of food in a household budget depends upon many factors: how many members in the household, the age of the household members, and geographical location. There are a few approaches to take to when calculating food into your household budget, but all the above factors will determine your personal budget.

USDA Food Plans

According to the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) the average American spends 5.7 per cent of their income on food; this does not include dining out. The USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) has a breakdown of food budget costs; this is how food stamp allotment, military food allowance, child support payments are calculated. The food cost plans can help you build a framework for a budget that is right for you and your family. There are four plans that can be used: Thrifty, Low Cost, Moderate, and Liberal. All the plans are based on the food pyramid to meet all nutritional standards. There are also recipes and tips on shopping on the thrifty budget. The average cost of food in these plans for a family of four range from £455 to £585 a month.

Your Household Budget

There is really no average cost of food in a household budget because there are just too many variables to factor in. What it comes down to is finding out how much you can afford to pay for groceries and stick to it even if you have to change some eating habits.

To come up with your own household budget, begin with your net income (bring home pay) for the month. Then determine the bills that have to be paid such as rent, mortgage, insurance, car payments, gas and any type of payment you make on a regular basis. The next step would be determining what you can afford to pay for food on a monthly basis with what is left of your income. The average cost of food can be determined by how much has been spent in the last two or three trips to the grocery store, a pattern of spending will emerge, use that information to form your personalised budget.

Advice and Tips

Never go to the grocery store hungry, it tends to make people overspend. Take a calculator with you to keep track of costs. Reduce your grocery bill by adding one or two meatless meals per week. Use eggs or beans as protein instead. Buy more store brands; many of them are very much the same as higher priced products. Plan meals around sale items at the store almost every grocery store have weekly specials. Yes, those irritating flyers that end up in your mailbox can be very useful as a guide to help plan meals ahead of time to reduce unnecessary items. Always use coupons when you can; why pay more when a tiny piece of paper can cut your costs.