When it comes to feeding your family, how much should you really be spending? Shannon Clark, the mom who runs the budgeting program Affording Motherhood, created a chart with guidelines to help. Based on data from the United States Department of Agriculture's Cost of Food report, it presents an estimate of monthly grocery costs for "thrifty families" relative to their size.
Clark writes on her site that parents often "feel completely unequipped" to feed their families on "real-life budgets," and with her help, she wants them to take a closer look at how much they're spending to determine if they need to make a change.
The chart (which is a bit off from the updated 2017 guidelines — but not by much) was posted on Facebook by The Real Deal of Parenting, and it's causing mixed reactions. Take a look:
Some parents found the numbers accurate. "Family of 5 [is] pretty accurate but it also includes for us non-food items purchased in those trips. Thought I was spending a lot. Nice seeing we fall into the norm," one Facebook user commented. Another said that for her family of three, the estimate was "dead on."
One mom with a family of four, said that according to the list, they "spend less than a family of 1" and that she "couldn't imagine" spending the estimated $557 to $707.
Others pointed out that the price of food could be more expensive depending on health restrictions, which would affect the monthly budget. One parent wrote that "food for a growing preteen kid with allergies to gluten can get pretty pricey."
For a family of six with a variety of food allergies, a diabetic father with "liver issues" and two children with autism who "won't eat things that could be grown in a garden, the limitations ... are crazy."
As more people pointed out, prices could vary depending on where you live, as one mom wrote, "We live on an island with very limited choices on where to shop, and prices are a bit higher on some things." Another said that for families living in cities like San Francisco and NYC, the monthly grocery budget for a family of five could be up to $2,000, not the suggested $633 to $882.
All in all, there are many variables to factor in — not just family size — which includes age, income and dietary restrictions. But giving this a look, how does your budget compare?
(h/t Working Mother)