I am one of the two people who started this thread. I can give you our family's food finances as a comparison. We spend similar to you.
I have a family of 6: two adults, two 12.5 year olds, one 8 year old, and one almost 4 year old. I have done an experiment since July of 2008: we keep every single receipt from purchasing any food, including creating a receipt after shopping at the farmer's markets. I break it down to a per day and per person amount. I also list how much I spend in 5 categories: Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Farmer's Markets, Other Stores, and Eating Out. "Other Stores" include the Ben and Jerry's ice cream my husband buys at Safeway, the bulk things we might get at Harvest House, and the rare trip to Costco.
As a reference, the government puts out a guide to food costs using three price levels. A normal family of moderate to higher middle income generally spends $8 per person per day. This does NOT take into account spending on organic foods. The government does not make a distinction between quality of food when researching costs. This $8 amount also assumes all meals prepared at home from scratch.
People who eat mostly organic generally spend about $10 per person, per day.
Buying nearly all organic and eating a "Eating For Health"-type diet (with no supplements, as we cannot afford them), we generally spend $1800-$2200 per month on food, which works out to about $10-11+ per day each. We live in an apartment and have a 100 sq ft community garden plot. We are not able to grow much food to offset this cost.
I switched to a mostly raw food diet last July, although I am not a vegan. My food costs increased, especially due to certain organic raw products such as almonds and good local olive oil. The rest of the family are omnivores. We do not consume any coffee, alcohol, or drinks other than water. I have one child with disordered eating (limited diet) and one with food allergies, so we use goat dairy instead of cow dairy, which increases our costs of things like goat butter ($6 per half pound).
Our food expenses for the last 5 months of 2009:
(TJ=Trader Joe's, WF=Whole Foods, FM=Farmer's Markets, OS=Other Store, EO=Eating Out)
August: $2095 ($748 TJ, $837 WF, $356 FM, $73 OS, $81 EO)
September; $2068 ($697 TJ, $1050 WF, $135 FM, $83 OS, $104 EO)
October: $2190 ($1026 TJ, $827 WF, $275 FM, $57 OS, $5 EO)
November: $1781 ($777 TJ, $789 WF, $87 FM, $111 OS, $17 EO)
December: $2273 ($939 TJ, $1140 WF, $0 FM, $68 OS, $126 EO)
We are going to try to grow more food and I am considering joining a local CSA, although the choices where I live are limited. We enjoy going to the Pleasant Hill seasonal farmer's market from May to early November. My higher spending on fruits, vegetables, and nuts will be offset by my lower spending on other foods.
I also used Christmas money to buy an Excalibur dehydrator and a Vita Mix blender. I have had the blender for less than a week, but see how it will help save money.
By the way, our yearly income is about $50,000 and we do not have health insurance. Eating well IS our only health insurance!
stay home mom for 12+ years now hoping to help with the family finances