How much do you spend on groceries a month? Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by Tryingtosave, a resident of Los Altos, on Jan 5, 2013 at 8:47 pm
My fiancï¿½ and I are in a heated debate on how much we should spend on groceries/household items a month. He thinks we spend way too much as a family of four. We're just curious as to how much other families who live in this area spend. Thanks for your input!
Posted by Parent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jan 5, 2013 at 10:23 pm
Just impossible to make a comparison. There are two many unknowns and variables.
Do you make lunches to take to school or work, or buy lunch every day? Do you have young children who eat smaller quantities of family meals, or teenage boys who eat almost non stop and often bring their friends for raiding the refrigerator? Do you do laundry at home or in shared facilities than need quarters? Do you have a lot of sports clothes and once again a load of jeans for small children could be a week's worth of clothes, whereas a load of jeans for teenagers could be for just 2 or 3 days clothes. Do you have a lot of dry cleaning, diapers, alcohol, bottled water, soda, Starbucks, etc. etc. as part of your monthly expenditure?
Try breaking down your expenses into smaller categories and see if you can make some compromises rather than trying to compare yourselves to a family of the same size but with different ages and lifestyles.
Posted by Mom, a member of the Palo Alto High School community, on Jan 6, 2013 at 12:13 am
Wow, I'm still reeling over Sharon's posting about spending $250 for four for a "decent meal" in Palo Alto. Excessive, to say the least. Just how many calories are being consumed? Sheesh.
I have three older children and we eat out a lot too, but cooking at home saves so much more money. I usually spend about $20-$35 per homecooked meal, sometimes less. That equals about $700-$1000/month on meals. Too bad we offset it with eating out on weekends! But when we go out, we skip appetizers and desserts. Or if we order them (rarely), we share them. There is no need for each person to have their own appetizer and dessert.
Places like Fresh & Easy (off Rengstorff in Mtn. View) have pre-marinated/prepackaged, fresh meals for timesavers.
Trader Joe's also has frozens for meals, at least for lunches.
I agree with "Parent" that people should stop buying coffee at coffee shops. Americans are endlessly addicted to these $5 coffees. Make coffee at home in the morning, for Pete's sake.
Posted by musical, a resident of the Palo Verde neighborhood, on Jan 6, 2013 at 5:14 pm
A better original question would be how much families with a similar income spend. Do you shop at Costco or at Draegers? An underlying problem is often whether one identifies with Costco shoppers or with Draegers shoppers. And with children there is huge peer pressure and risk of setting up lifetime expectations.
ps: It's easy to rack up a tab of $250 for 4 at Il Fornaio or Joya or Sundance, especially for an evening celebrating some family event or a social get-together with out of towners. Not your typical eat-and-run.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Greater Miranda neighborhood, on Jan 8, 2013 at 7:32 am
I budget $300/week at the grocery store, to include household items like cleaners etc for a family of 4. We eat pizza once per week, add $20. We eat out twice per month, average $40/week. Total: $360/week.
Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford, on Jan 8, 2013 at 11:36 am
"...much like Standord does for our faculty." ???? Whose faculty? Sharon's? Does she now have her own private faculty that she shares with Stanford? Who said anything about executives, stock options or Carmel? No one; she's just a braggart.
The relevant questions for the OP: Do you buy organic? Do you have favorite stores or are you willing to switch? Do you clip coupons? Do you utilize local CSAs or the farmer's market? In short, what are your priorities when you shop?
Posted by Not an issue, a resident of the Community Center neighborhood, on Jan 8, 2013 at 4:46 pm
Wow, what a world for Sharon. For those of you who have followed her postings over the years, her family has suddenly grown and she flush with cash. Quite a change from last year. She has done quite well under Obama despite her continued animosity
Posted by flippity flop, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 8, 2013 at 5:37 pm
Sharon: you told us 6 months ago you won't be caught dead in PA cuz it's for "vagrants,drunks and beggars." Web Link
Now, you drop a grand on just a "decent" meal.
"Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm: When we have senior executive clients from Europe or Asia to visit we take them for dinner to Menlo Park--because... When they see University Ave in PA they are horrified by the vagrants,drunks and beggars. They note that there is not one book store-just a vanity Apple store-that's it... These executives would never stay in Palo Alto-they stay in Menlo Park-because they feel safe and they do not feel safe in downtown Palo Alto."
Sharon also said: "The current demographic in Palo Alto is increasingly Asian" Needles to say, additional posts from Sharon on that thread were censored.
Of course, Sharon, whom has benefited so incredibly well under Obama, once said: "-- this is an insignificant one term presidency at best-- it was the triumph of hope and change over experience and reality-- "
Wrong, wrong and wrong.
My favorite? Too many to choose from, but I recall this from Sharon: "Big Bird will be for Obama what the "killer rabbit" was for Carter. The symbol of one term presidency."
Posted by rick, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jan 9, 2013 at 9:27 pm rick is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Many may find Sharon's posts to be disagreeable or worse, but like it or not, we should recognize that she represents a window on the opinions/attitudes of a larger portion of the population than just herself. Those exclusive restaurants do not lack for customers. We are a diverse community.
The Baumé website did not look very appetizing to me. I'm more a steak and potatoes guy. Likewise I wouldn't fly to Napa for dinner. Harris Ranch would be my preference, and you can tie the plane down just outside their back door.
But this thread was asking about day-to-day basic grocery and household expenses; not recreational, adventurous or celebratory dining experiences. Hope the original poster got something useful from the few on-topic remarks. Several people have asked similar questions on the Yahoo Answers webpage, but that's a broader geography.