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Old 10-06-2011, 10:51 AM   #1
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The Budgetting Question for Dual-Income Families

How do you budget for your family for:
Groceries?
Eating out?
Household necessities?
Clothing?
(and how many people in your family?)

Our eating out tends to add up (and i'm ashamed to admit that many times our monthly eating out total for the month is more than the groceries), because I just dont have time to cook all the time. DH doesnt seem as bothered by it since we're doing fine, but $400/month for eating out food is too much for a family of three... what's a good goal for a take-out/restaurant budget each month (and groceries)?

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Old 10-06-2011, 11:27 AM   #2
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Re: The Budgetting Question for Dual-Income Families

Groceries - we spend about $300 - $400 a month, I always add a bit to the budget for the times I just want to grab some sort of boxed food/convenience food.

Eating out - not included in our budget, but once in a while we'll run through the drive through on the weekend. For us it comes out of our "extras" category (fast food, restaurants, toys, camping, light bulbs, yarn, essential oils, anything that wouldn't fit in one of the regular categories) which is $200/month, any extra rolls into the savings.

Household necessities - cleaners come out of the grocery or extra budget (I use mostly vinegar, baking soda, orange peels, and essential oils), things like light bulbs, screws, or other random things most likely come out of the extra budget as well.

Clothing - also comes out of the extra budget, we don't buy clothing too often.

There are 3 of us (myself, Hubby, and 4 year old DD) in the family.

The only suggestion I can give for not eating out is just planning better. Do a weekly meal plan before you shop, and also plan some make-ahead meals that you can make on the weekend and then pop in the oven when you get home.
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:54 AM   #3
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Re: The Budgetting Question for Dual-Income Families

2 adults, 1 3 year old
Groceries?
200
Eating out?
100 from joint and we pay our own way unless together for lunch. So about 300 probably because we do eat out a lot
Household necessities?
included in grocery budget
Clothing?
we buy our own clothes and I budget $100 for ds's clothes each year

We eat at the kids eat free nights, use restaurant.com, groupon, and another local daily deal website to eat really cheap. I sign up for any newsletters and go through the free newspaper for coupons too. $300 includes tips and is probably really generous.

eta-The number's are going to be regional too. A gallon of milk cost me about 2.25 and 4 hours away, my mom literally pays double for the exact same gallon.

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Old 10-06-2011, 12:05 PM   #4
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Re: The Budgetting Question for Dual-Income Families

This might be best posted in the thrifty section if you are trying to save money.

DH and I don't bring in much but we try to save as best as we can, while paying my student loans and one final cc.

Groceries: up to $300 a month

Eating out: we try really hard not to spend too much, but DH does get iced coffees daily so I think we're at about $50 - $100 a month

Household necessities: I switched to cleaning with baking soda, vinegar and tea tree oil, which I don't have to buy too often. So I buy toilet paper, detergent, and other household things very infrequently.

Clothing: try the thrift stores first. I should try budgeting for the year though because DH loves to buy new, expensive clothes.

Our biggest expense is gas, which we spend about $300 - $400 a month on.
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:23 PM   #5
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Re: The Budgetting Question for Dual-Income Families

We budget $400 every 2 weeks for groceries--family of 6--so approximately $800/month. I try my best to stay within budget at $200 per week, and if we eat out it comes out of our grocery budget. If we eat out too much, that means super cheap meals until the next pay period.

Occasionally we plan to eat out, usually for some type of celebration and since those aren't usually a surprise (birthdays, end of school year, etc) I budget separately for those.

I budget about $100/month on household items. Sometimes I use it all, sometimes it rolls over to the next month. This includes toiletries as well as household cleaning supplies.

I don't do a monthly budget for clothes. I tend to shop twice a year, at the change of cold to warm (and vice versa) seasons. It's very hard to say what I spend because my sister and mom will send money to my kids for back to school clothes shopping, etc.
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:55 PM   #6
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Re: The Budgetting Question for Dual-Income Families

Quote:
Originally Posted by keonli View Post
This might be best posted in the thrifty section if you are trying to save money.
Thanks! I was looking at the thrifty section, but i felt like it was more catered to single-worker parent families who are able to plan and cook meals most nights. I cant see us spending $100 on groceries in a month. I'm just trying to see what a normal budget target should be for us - we dont have time to cook more than 3 meals a week (maybe 4 if no one's working overtime), both DH and I have careers that can sometimes be demanding, so 10 hour days happen, and with grad school for me, it cuts down on my cooking/cleaning/planning time.
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:57 PM   #7
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Re: The Budgetting Question for Dual-Income Families

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Originally Posted by ClothNoob View Post
Thanks! I was looking at the thrifty section, but i felt like it was more catered to single-worker parent families who are able to plan and cook meals most nights. I cant see us spending $100 on groceries in a month. I'm just trying to see what a normal budget target should be for us - we dont have time to cook more than 3 meals a week (maybe 4 if no one's working overtime), both DH and I have careers that can sometimes be demanding, so 10 hour days happen, and with grad school for me, it cuts down on my cooking/cleaning/planning time.
by three meals, i mean dinner :-) we usually have leftovers for lunch, if there's any... and your usual fruit/cereal/bagels for breakfast (pancakes if it's a weekend!)
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:52 PM   #8
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Re: The Budgetting Question for Dual-Income Families

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClothNoob View Post
Thanks! I was looking at the thrifty section, but i felt like it was more catered to single-worker parent families who are able to plan and cook meals most nights. I cant see us spending $100 on groceries in a month. I'm just trying to see what a normal budget target should be for us - we dont have time to cook more than 3 meals a week (maybe 4 if no one's working overtime), both DH and I have careers that can sometimes be demanding, so 10 hour days happen, and with grad school for me, it cuts down on my cooking/cleaning/planning time.
What about making meals on the weekend and freezing them, or keeping them in the fridge as long as you'll cook within a couple days? That way the nights that you don't have time to cook, you already have something ready. Even having some canned soups in the cupboard when you are really that pressed for time. Soup into a bowl, in the microwave for a couple minutes and you're good, it's even quicker then picking something up.
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:42 PM   #9
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I refuse to eat out that much even thought I work 2 jobs and DH works 1. I can't stand throwing away the hard earned money.

We do crock pot, frozen meals, double recipes even quick meals such as pasta or sandwiches
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:24 PM   #10
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Re: The Budgetting Question for Dual-Income Families

We don't eat out anymore. I can't remember the last time we ate out (not at DH's family restaurant).
I budget for $300-400 in groceries. Eating out and clothing comes out of extra category, which is $100 a month. I learned to shop the grocery deals and only buy clothes from the used stores like Once Upon a Child. If you have a discount store like BJ's or Costco, you can buy things in bulk. I buy meat in bulk (they usually come packaged seperately) and things like sugar, rice, pasta. You can buy cheese in bulk and freeze.
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