Sunday, June 13, 2010

I'm NOT an "Average American!"

Dear Savvy Coupon Spenders,

Do you ever stop to think about what life used to be like before you began spending coupons? Remember how much you dreaded life in the checkout lane? Remember feeling guilty about how much money you dropped on food every single week?

I used to grocery shop twice a week (hey, I've always loved to grocery shop!) so I didn't feel like I was paying an arm AND a leg at the checkout. Silly, I know!

The nerd-a-licious side of me loves to keep a running tally on my spending- to keep my head in the game and money in our savings account! About a year ago, I read that the "average American" spends $50 a week, per person, just on food eaten/prepared (if brown bagging) at home! The $50 ONLY counted towards edibles, not tooth paste, shampoo, laundry detergent, and all of the other consumables that we savvily have learned to purchase for pennies on the dollar!

My running tally for my family of THREE, which includes not only our edibles, but also all of our consumables, just hit the $1,000 threshold for the year! BUT, if I were a typical American shopper, $1,000 would have only lasted my family for 6 weeks, not nearly 6 FULL MONTHS! Crazy, huh?

So, in light of the $50 per person/week American standard, how are YOU doing these days?



I was just thinking the same thing!! I have always had a $400 budget for our family of four, and I always seem to spend all of it. But I was never getting the deals I am getting now. I have often wondered if their were these great deals even three years ago? But now I have dropped out budget to $300 and we're eating all organic meats, dairy and most of our snacks. So, I must be doing something right. :) I can't even imagine spending $400 per week. That's insane!!


That does seem crazy high...however, I bet at some point I certainly was. My expense categories have been made over, so I don't know exactly what I used to spend on groceries but I can look back about 2 years and my spending has went from about 2500 to about 1800, so I was certainly spending more money somewhere and I bet a big part of it was groceries!

Paula Wethington

Did those great grocery deals exist three or four years ago such as Jen asked?

Yes, there were some. That's when I learned to split up my shopping with the loss leaders from two or three stores during the week rather than try to get everything on one stop. That was done out of necessity, and it did help quite a bit!

Another difference for me came after I was able to add a box or two each month from Angel Food Ministries into the mix. Those groceries are a good complement what one can get on coupon tricks. So we were eating better stuff, with less money involved overall.

AF wasn't available in Monroe until mid-2007. IDK when it became available in Downriver / metro Detroit.


This is the first year I've tracked my savings, even though I've been couponing for two years. It's been fun to see! I'm close to your numbers - but more spent, since we're a family of six. I have a few more receipts to add in, but as of my last tally, we're at $1427.80 spent and $3846.82 saved. I'm happy with that! (And $50/person is our MONTHLY budget - not weekly! That's just crazy!)

Staying Lean

I was definitely average before with a two person family averaging $400 a week trying to buy as many healthy products as I could. I am so glad to have cut that in half and look forward to working next year at lowering it even more!

Laura Webber

WOW! I'm so glad to hear how much everyone has been saving week, after week, after week, after week! AWESOME! Keep up the great work!