The Average Budget for Food for One Person

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A single person may use the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chart and food plans to figure out if their food budget is in line with national averages. Follow the government's recommendations, recipes, and tips for a healthy meal plan. The government agency lists nutritious average food budgets as of May 2015, by a person's age and the number of people in the household across four cost categories:

  • Thrifty food budget
  • Low-cost budget
  • Moderate cost plan
  • Liberal budget

The amount of money you have to spend each week on food relies on how much money you make each week or month. When you get paid twice a month, you need to set aside enough money for the food you need each week. If you plan your meals ahead of time, you can create a grocery list for each week's food needs. Search online for coupons or sign up at one of the many coupon sites to help you save money on other items such as cleaning supplies.

The government's chart represents a diet that is nutritious, based on the 2005 My Pyramid diet recommendations, the 1997-2005 Dietary Reference Intakes and the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans at four budget levels separated by gender.

Single Male Average Weekly Food Expenses

To calculate monthly figures, multiply each amount by 4 1/2 -- the average number of weeks in a month.

Males 19 to 50 years old:

  • Thrifty budget: $43.20
  • Low-cost budget: $55.80
  • Moderate plan: $70.10
  • Liberal Plan $86.30

Males 51 to 70 years old

  • Thrifty: $39.40
  • Low-cost: $52.60
  • Moderate: $65.60
  • Liberal: $79

Males 71 plus years old

  • Thrifty: $39.70
  • Low-cost: $52.20
  • Moderate: $64.40
  • Liberal: $80

Single Female Average Weekly Food Expenses

Single women spend a bit less each week based on national averages.

Females 19 to 50 years old

  • Thrifty budget: $38.50
  • Low-cost budget: $40.40
  • Moderate plan: $59.80
  • Liberal Plan $76.20

Females 50 to 70 years old

  • Thrifty: $37.80
  • Low-cost: $47.10
  • Moderate: $58.70
  • Liberal: $70.70

Females 71 plus years old

  • Thrifty: $36.80
  • Low-cost: $46.70
  • Moderate: $57.90
  • Liberal: $69.70

The weekly figures represent numbers rounded to the nearest 10 cents and include amounts listed by food categories updated with numbers from consumer price index as per the USDA chart.

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