Grocery Budget

Before I get on with it, and finally post the last few recipes in this week's menu plan, I wanted to write about something I've been thinking a lot about lately.

I got a question from Mrs. Q about our monthly food budget and if I would mind posting it. Keep in mind I don't intend to become the $5 Dinner Mom (that job is already taken, and she does it well), but my family is conscious of having a food budget and sticking within it's parameters.

For our family of 3 we budget $500 per month (and we're in Canada. It would be $423 US) That includes baby supplies, cleaning and household supplies, eating out (last month was only twice) and groceries.

It's weird to be throwing that number out there. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because so many people are being very food conscious in this economic crunch and there's people like the Grocery Cart Challenge feeding a family of 6 on $60 a week. I have had a few conversations lately that have made me feel slightly overindulgent in the food department since all along I thought we were doing pretty well for having a "reasonable food budget".

Here is our reasoning, as well as my defense (to make myself feel better about our "extravagant tastes" ;) My husband and I are both passionate about food, and we would trim from other areas of our budget before we trimmed our food budget. We like to eat well. We have never wanted to sacrifice exciting, delicious meals. It's kind of an area of bonding for us....we love good food so much, that me trying out a new recipe, or recreating one of his favorite meals from a particular restaurant or making a beloved favorite creates a really lovely dynamic at the supper table. We not only enjoy each others company over dinner but savor the flavors we are eating. He also doesn't stop complimenting me on my cooking (which does wonders for me ego :) We visit different countries in our cuisine, expand our palates and love growing together in this area. It's kind of like having a 30 minute date every night.

Neither of us wants to sacrifice this part of our lives. We love it too much. So while I have been conscious to meal plan around the weekly flyer for foods that are on sale, foods that are in season and foods I have coupons for and I totally get a bit of a high buying things on sale for ridiculously low prices, I do all those things so we can eat well.

So there are my reasons for our $500 a month grocery budget. Gayle at the Grocery Cart Challenge budgets $60 a week because her husband started his own business and their budget required it. Mrs. Q at Five in the Potter's Hand trimmed her family's budget from $700 a month to $200 (amazing!) because she became a stay-at-home mom and they were living on one income as well as she wants to be able to give more food away. So my question that I'm so curious to hear is:

What is your family's grocery budget per month? What are your reasons for having that budget? (if there are any).

And yes feel free to make me feel better by giving a really outlandish number....just kidding.

Kind of.