The cost of feeding a family is a hot topic in the Bay.
When a call went out this week for Bay families to share their grocery spending on our Facebook page the comments flooded in fast.
More than 50 people commented in one day and the amounts they spend vary widely.
Some families of four admit spending as much as $500 per week, while others get by on less than $100.
The average for a family of four appears to be about $200 - although for some it is an aspirational target.
Several say they spend $200 at the supermarket but still need to top up with essentials during the week of up to $100.
The Tauranga Budget Advisory Service recommends a budget of $160 to $200 per week for a family of four, dependent on the age of children.
The Otago University Food Cost Survey classifies this amount as "basic" (as opposed to "moderate" or "liberal" spending), and says people who spend less than this risk not getting the necessary nutrients.
"The chances of consuming an inadequate diet increase as the amount spent to purchase food falls below the basic level," the survey says.
Among the biggest weekly spenders to respond to our call are Craig and Melissa Clarke, who say it costs their family of four $450 to $500 a week for groceries, including dog and cat food.
"That's not fruit included as we have our own orchard and fruit trees," they say.
Kerrith Baty says she spends about $300 weekly for herself, her husband and two children aged 5 and 2, while Pania Barry says: "We spend 200 a week, then top up an extra 100 throughout the week."
Others are also spending well above $200, but do not necessarily believe they are eating well.
"Our food bill got up to $500 per week with trying to feed a growing teenage boy and tradesman father meals that are healthy but I have since lost one part-time job (had two) and now rationing down to $250ish," writes mother-of-two Amanda Lyons.
"Got to say the diet is way less healthy now and have constant kids whinging there is no food! Both kids are active sporty types ... I see them more tired and fatigued." Others report managing on less but still eating healthy food.
Renee McCallum says she has five kids in the house, aged 1 to 13, plus her partner and herself and "an extra most nights". "We spend on average $300 a week with very little processed food."
At the other end of the spectrum is Alan Murphy, who writes: "I spend $20 a week for myself."
Another budget shopper is Rebecca Mora, who spends $60 to $90 for two adults and two kids aged 8 and 10. She says buying in bulk keeps her grocery bill low.
Single parents, such as Jade Hurford, say their budgets are tight.
"I am a solo mum to three boys aged 11, 9 and 6 and we can only afford $140 per week max," says Jade.
Angela Hubbert, a single mother with two children, has the same budget but says she does not get much meat, fruit or vegetables because they are "so expensive".
Bigger spenders tend to be surprised at how others got by on less.
Michelle Sefton says feeding two adults, three teens, a 7-year-old, two dogs and four cats costs her $300 to $350 per week.
"Cannot figure out how you could possibly do it on 100-160 a week unless you are eating noodles a lot?"
But single mum-of-two Tori Foster says she gets by on $120 or less "and no I don't buy noodles as they are gross!"
Allergies also increase grocery spending, says Rochelle Embling, whose family of four has three people (herself included) with coeliac disease. "Groceries are a weekly battle," she writes.