How Do I Figure Out My Monthly Food Budget?

“comparing your budget to others’ can give you a rough idea if your spending is way out of line, but it’s more important to use tools like these to track and fine-tune your food budget, based on what you can afford and how much you have in your budget for everything else. The nice thing about the food budget is that it’s flexible—you can use lots of cost-cutting strategies, like buying groceries less often, shopping online, and using coupons wisely. And you can enjoy great food even on a tight budget.”

How Do I Figure Out My Monthly Food Budget?
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Dear Lifehacker,
I’m finally setting up a budget, and while budgeting regular expenses like bills is easy, I’m having trouble with food. I know in general what I spend every month on groceries, but it also varies. Unlike my cable bill, which I can easily compare to other services to determine if I’m overspending, it’s hard to tell if I’m spending too much on food. Is there a magic formula for creating a more accurate grocery budget? How much should I really be spending on food?

Rookie Budgeter

Dear Rookie,
Figuring out what to put on the line next to “food” in your budget can be really tricky, because although food is a necessity, how much you spend is up to you—there’s really no right or wrong number. That said, you do have to create a budget if you want to make the most of your money. Thankfully, there’s a lot of data we can use to figure out where you stand on your food spending and, more importantly, track your spending so you can find what’s the right budget amount for you. Here we go:

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