March Grocery Audit + Large Family Grocery Budget

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It’s time for another grocery audit and look at my large family grocery budget. In an attempt to understand what it takes to feed my family of six, I have started sharing all the groceries I buy with you each month. Keep reading to see what it costs to feed my family a mostly organic {or at least local} real food diet. The March Grocery Audit is here! Take a look at my large family grocery budget and see how my family of six's mostly organic diet compares to the USDA Cost of Food at Home's projections. How does your family's grocery budget compare?

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March Grocery Audit + Large Family Grocery Budget

I’ve heard from quite a lot of you that you like these posts, so keep the feedback coming and I’ll try to make them even more useful! The bummer about this month, and the reason why I didn’t write these posts for a long time, is that my reciepts keep disappearing. I had them all nicely organized and ready for this post before we went on spring break, and today when I sat down to write it, they’ve vanished.

Why is that??? Drives me nuts. In past months, I have written out the receipts so you can see the exact items I purchased. This month, I can’t do that due to vanishing receipts. But I did go to credit card statements and track down what we spent.

I didn’t buy anything very different from previous months, so if you want to see what type of groceries we buy, head to January Grocery Audit and February Grocery Audit.

If you’re new to the Grocery Audit posts, I started writing these to better understand our budget, and also to see how we compare to the USDA Cost of Food at Home at Four Levels. You can download the document here if you’d like to compare your spending to the USDA projections. Here’s what it says about my family:

 Thrifty Low Moderate Liberal
 7 yr old girl 137.30 191.00 230.40 273.50
10 yr old girl 155.10 206.3 267.70 311.80
12 yr old boy 166.60 236.40  297.40 348.80
13 yr old girl 166.30 203.60 246.30 301.30
2 parents 383.40 490.80 609.90 763.60
Totals $1008.70 $1124.70 $1651.70 $1999.00

Based on my credit card receipts, here’s what I spent to feed my family of 6 in March.

  • 3/2 – Costco – $117.26
  • 3/13 – ALDI – $96.28
  • 3/15 – Walmart – $10.42
  • 3/17 – Costco – $99.19
  • 3/20 – Pork – $302.50 (local farmer, pasture raised pork, 1/2 a hog)
  • 3/20 – Riesen’s Meat Locker – $120.58 (best guess because I paid cash to the meat locker for pork processing fee)
  • 3/23 – HyVee – $35.6
  • 3/25 Azure Standard – $53.25
  • 3/25 – City Market (spring break groceries) – $48.18
  • 3/26 – City Market (spring break groceries) – $17.75
  • 3/31 – Whole Foods (spring break groceries) – $28.52

Total spent in March: $929.01, more than I’ve spent any other month so far, but still under the USDA Cost of Food at Home assumptions for a family of my size.

Notes about my grocery shopping in March:

I am now stocked on pork for the year. I bought a 1/2 a hog in March – I think it equals about 75 pounds of meat and it cost right around $425 for hams, bacon, sausage, ribs, roasts, and pork chops. $425 sounds like a lot of money – I figure it’s an average of about $5.67 per pound for humanely raised, pastured pork about 30 miles from me. The Red Wattle Heritage Pig Breed results in some of the best pork I’ve had. I’m willing to pay a higher cost for higher quality meat.

I also bought 25 lbs of organic pinto beans for my pantry. By the way, I shared a post recently on EXACTLY what’s in my pantry – it’s a huge list! There’s also a really handy printable to help you stock your pantry too! Head over here to read that post and grab the printable!

I love hearing from you about these large family grocery budget posts. Please keep the feedback coming. Do you have any questions I can answer in April’s post?? Leave them below or send me message on social media. 🙂

The March Grocery Audit is here! Take a look at my large family grocery budget and see how my family of six's mostly organic diet compares to the USDA Cost of Food at Home's projections. How does your family's grocery budget compare?

If you liked this large family grocery budget post, you might like these posts as well:

Must know tips for buying organic meat on a budget

15 Things you must know to save money on organic food

Tips for ordering from Azure Standard

 ALDI is not your mother’s grocery store anymore

Top 10 Tips for saving money at the grocery store

How to Place a Beef or Pork Order at Your Local Locker


About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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