This past month has been a whirlwind of emotion. Our two eldest sons have now officially left the nest. Our eldest has a summer internship and our second son has started college football/summer school. Yes, two children in college is a hard one for this momma heart to swallow , but we spend years pouring into our children specifically for those moments, so I am learning how to do life this summer in a much quieter house.

I’m also finding out what an impact this is having on our family food budget. It’s the first time in decades that I am buying less food. I don’t think I even know how to cook for smaller groups. I am so used to feeding the masses. Anyhow, I ran across this older post on food budgets and the comments hold as much fascination now as they did three years ago. I find the summer is a great time to re-evaluate this area when schedules are a bit more flexible. Enjoy!Last year, during the month of October, I committed to write every day for 31 days. I tackled 31 Days to More with Less, and I loved the topic, but sweet friends, if you know anything about me, that was torture. I am a fly by the seat of my pants, “write my posts the minute before I hit publish” kind of the girl, so writing in depth on any topic for 31 days stretches me.

Stretching is good though, so I decided to do this again and take to task the topic of personal finance, money,  budgeting, and all those things that are so hard to address, while still keeping some sense of beauty in our lives. I’m excited to tackle Balancing Beauty and the Budget.

One of the issues I will address in October is the rising food costs and how that plays a part in our budget.

Honestly, I often speak to groups of people on ways to slash their food budget, yet the one question everyone asks is, “How much do you spend on your monthly food costs?”

That is a loaded question because everyone’s food purchasing needs and desires are so different. Attempting to compare yourself to someone else’s family only brings strife. Some use coupons, some don’t.

Some families prefer to cook with only organic, whole foods, or gourmet style (and priced) ingredients, while others purchase short cut meals with pre-made items. Some families include eating out as part of their entertainment budget, while others always cook at home. There is no “right way” to determine ones monthly food costs, unless you realize overspending is an issue.

There are so many variables, aren’t there? That’s why it’s been very difficult for me to get any real sense of the average monthly food budget for a family of four.  I spent hours researching statistics, but most totals are outdated, so I can only assume that those numbers have gone up. The study I found stated that one average adult spent around $250 a month on food, putting a family of four just under $1000/month.

In case you are wondering, I wrote about our person monthly food budget and how I manage that, but again, I need to revisit that number to make sure it’s still accurate. (And remember, don’t compare. If your food bill is higher, don’t forget I am the queen of making something from nothing. If it’s lower, don’t forget I am feeding three teen boys and two girls who eat like they are teen boys. ;))

If you are looking for direction, begin with my Budgeting for Food post. It gives many tips and encouragement, as well as a free printable to help us with those baby steps of really tackling this area in our finances.

So, please chime in.What are your monthly food costs?

I think it would be fascinating to hear honest answers about what people are spending (we won’t know who you are if you just use your first name). No judgement here. It’s just a place to share in the comments, so I can get a better idea of what is realistic with these rising food prices.

I’ll be back in October to let you know what I found out from all of your input.

So what are you cooking this Tasty Tuesday? I can’t wait to be inspired.

TastyTuesday200pix No Food Waste Week

Simple Rules for Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods –  As always, please link directly to your recipe post and not your blog URL, so that everyone can find the recipe months from now.

Also, link back here in your post so that everyone can join in the fun, it’s just common courtesy of blog carnivals. Please do not link up a recipe meme that you have started. Thanks for your understanding.