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Posted by Molly C (MONEY FORUMS: 5, Answers: 0)
Asked on December 7, 2015 12:21 am
This is helpful ---> http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CostofFoodNov2015.pdf
A few of my students have used a site: numbeo.com to help them with figuring out things like this. It appears to tackle cost of living questions by location.
I guess it depends on how much money you make and how important it is to you to eat healthy. It's a lot more expensive to eat healthy but if you never go out to eat you might be able to afford better quality food.
This is how I've done it in the past.
Average out grocery expenditures for the past 3-4 months. This is your baseline grocery expenditures (my family's if $400).
You can use the average as your budget, or if you're concerned about how much you spend start by scaling back by 10%.
If you've been eating out a ton, and you plan to scale back on that too, you'll need to add to your grocery expenses. I would take about 1/3 of what you plan to cut from eating out and add it to grocery.
The USDA also provides some guidelines which seem to be in line with my expenditures when I lived in higher cost of living areas. http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CostofFoodOct2015.pdf