There have been a lot of recent posts on living expenses in France done by several different people in very different situations. LouLou lives in the south of France and owns her home outright. Jennie lives in the Alps and rents. We live in Normandy and are paying off a mortgage on the house we built.
I don't believe in converting Euros into Dollars simply because it doesn't make sense, we're paid in Euros and spend in Euros so it twists things the wrong way to be converting all the time. Here are some figures to give you an idea - they are all monthly to make more sense.
Food 400 (I don't skimp on food!)
House insurance 27
Electricity 75 to 100
Car insurance for 2 cars 32+47
Cell phone for two phones 44+42
Mutuelle (additional health insurance) for each of us 20+20
Because we built a h.ouse we are exempt from taxe fonciere and taxe d'habitation for the next few years. We just did our income taxes for the year 2010 and will not be paying any (actually getting money back) because I could deduct all of the km I drove with my insane commute last year as well as the interest paid to the bank for the house (again temporary reduction for a couple of years). What kind of heating you have also makes a huge difference in your bills, the heating here is a pompe a chaleur with underfloor heating which really doesn't cost very much to heat the house, no gas or oil to pay for.
Gas depends on how much we drive, both cars are diesel. Mine gets about 5.3 l/100km meaning I can go about 1,000km on a tank of gas which these days costs about 60 or 70 euros. MG's car gets better mileage about 4.2 l/100km.