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  • FIRST POST
    Pink.
    January 2009 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 26th Dec 08, 12:15 PM
    January 2009 Grocery Challenge 26th Dec 08 at 12:15 PM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the first Grocery Challenge of 2009.

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your December budget, then keep on posting in the December Grocery Challenge

    As always this challenge is to reduce your own grocery budget to levels that you will be pleased with, not forgetting that we always recommend that you stay inside your own comfort levels and take things gently one step at a time. Remember that this is not a competition....it's designed to take you and your grocery spending to a level you are happy with.

    If you are new to the challenge I have quoted the advice from Galtizz below which will help you get started.

    Please post into this thread for help and advice and support at any time. Good luck to everyone taking part!

    I have said this before, but for all the newbies to the challenge;

    For the first month I took a guess at the budget but I really had no idea how much I was spending.

    I found the best thing is to have a guess the first month but SAVE ALL OF YOUR RECEIPTS (and yes, that does include the ones from the local shop when you run out of milk ), then at the end of the month add them all up and have a look if you were on budget, if not, it doesn't matter because your budget was a guess. For the next month you can use the total of your receipts and take a bit off to get a realistic budget, just shave off as much as you think you can, it could be £1 a week or £20 a week.

    If you are currently spending £200 a month don't suddenly drop it to £100 - you'll never do it but if you cut £20 a month off for a few months you'll get there eventually without feeling you're missing out on anything.

    You might think you've done everything you can in the first month but someone always comes up with a new idea and, if you try it you often find you save a bit more (unless you are SarahSaver who is an expert at this and could only save more if she turned her back garden into a paddy field and lived on rice ) In the first month I thought, I'm planning meals, I couldn't possibly save any more, but then I started double cooking and freezing, and making soup instead of buying it in tins.

    I've been doing this since Feb but only saved ALL of my receipts last month, it has given me a much better idea of where it is all going. Budget for next month is £80 for 2 of us, I'll start on 30/4. I could probably save more, by eating different foods but I can afford to live on £80, I have saved a lot of money since Feb. and I don't waste food or money any more. So I'm happy with my budget.
    by Galtizz
    For guidelines on posting in this thread please read the second post in this thread.

    For everyone's targets and totals for the month please read posts #3 and #4 on this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #5 and #6 on this thread.


    I hope everyone has a great month and can I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year.

    Pink
    Last edited by Pink.; 28-12-2008 at 1:18 PM.
Page 79
  • NewlyFrugalMumof3
    It's just me and hubby, and I tend to test out ideas with food and then tell him a few weeks later, because he's one of these people who would insist they taste the difference if he knew in advance. He was quite happy with the diluted milk etc as he couldn't taste the difference. Also, he's adamant he hates swede and won't eat it. I've yet to tell him he's been eating it in mash, pasties and stews for years. I sense that could be a trust-breaker

    My sister's husband claimed once he could only have branded coffee because he had very sensitive taste buds and he couldn't tolerate the taste of anything else. So she switched his special Nescafe for Lidl's own - just decanted it into the jar and hid the lidl packaging. That was almost a year ago and he still hasn't twigged.

    Sneak it in gradually is what I say.....
    Originally posted by Steel
    Thanks Steel. I will have to be more "undercover" like with my swops and cheats. It's true about my OH too. He wouldn't touch swede if I dished it up separately with his meal, but boy does he wolf down my/my mum's homemade pasties (swede included)!! Hmmm. Am wondering what other items I can 'decant'. Thanks for your tips.
    May GC 360.32/400, NSD: 9/15
    SP: ?/150 Debt LBM 07/2012 Total:8,910
    DFD 26/5/2015 - 8510/8910 = 95.5% paid

    Fuel:45/45; Run/walk/cycling/taekwon 27.5/40miles
  • orchid-96
    Hi
    Just nipped in to say, my DH has had to shop/cook/feed kids since Monday, hence I don't know how much grocery money he has spent. I have been struck down with norovirus and feel really ill. Probably over budget!!! Got pages on here to catch up with but it'll have to wait.

    bye for now
    Originally posted by mommyof4
    Sorry to hear you are unwell mommyof4, don't worry about the gc too much, just get yourself better - I am sure your dh has picked up lots of tips
    Jun GC 250.00/12.40 NSD 3 / 30

    January 200/198.91 February 200/239.28 March 200/230
    April 250/no idea May 250/265.95

    Sealed pot challenge number 648
  • angelatgraceland
    Thanks Steel. I will have to be more "undercover" like with my swops and cheats. It's true about my OH too. He wouldn't touch swede if I dished it up separately with his meal, but boy does he wolf down my/my mum's homemade pasties (swede included)!! Hmmm. Am wondering what other items I can 'decant'. Thanks for your tips.
    Originally posted by NewlyFrugalMumof3
    Well I also decant coffee-and teabags(into the Tetley tin) but the favourite is tomato sauce! Ive got a plastic Daddies bottle which is offten washed out and refilled with Asdas own value or Lidls. Thats what they got for wanting branded stuff. Cornflakes are another one-Tescos own(not the value they are yuck)they are as good as Kellogs and go into my plastic cereal box as do any brand of wheat cereals which look like Weetabix. No complaints whatsoever! Ive admitted to the cereals but not the sauce and coffee/tea.
    Sometimes its the only way as they judge by name not by taste otherwise. Suck it and see is what I say!
    Annual Grocery budget 2014 is 3000 pa 250 calendar month 57 pw for 3 adults One dog and two cats.
    January 2014 spend so far 87
  • nickynoo08
    Thanks queen of string. I had a quick look on tesco online to see what i could get for 40 and was quite supprised. I reckon i'll be able to get all my household cleaning stuff, ladies stuff, shower gels (already got some in) etc to last us the year plus a few large bags of pasta, rice and tinned stuff too.
    Total debt 9000
    2015 will be our year
  • Butterflybecks
    Hello,
    Just wanted to come and update my signature. Went and did weekly shop last night at Mr T's and only spent 32.86 (6 of that on cat food and litter). So that bring me to 138.01 total so far for the month and with only one more shop to go I will be under budget by about 30 . Very pleased with my self as this is my first month.

    Plus I have managed to teach the cats about money saving and they are back on tinned food!!! saving me lots.

    Hope every one else is having a good month

    Becki x
  • mummy2mygirls
    Well I also decant coffee-and teabags(into the Tetley tin) but the favourite is tomato sauce! Ive got a plastic Daddies bottle which is offten washed out and refilled with Asdas own value or Lidls. Thats what they got for wanting branded stuff. Cornflakes are another one-Tescos own(not the value they are yuck)they are as good as Kellogs and go into my plastic cereal box as do any brand of wheat cereals which look like Weetabix. No complaints whatsoever! Ive admitted to the cereals but not the sauce and coffee/tea.
    Sometimes its the only way as they judge by name not by taste otherwise. Suck it and see is what I say!
    Originally posted by angelatgraceland
    Oh interesting about the sauce and washing out the bottle.....my dh is so fussy and will only have hp sauce, ketchup and salad cream (cant think of the name but the expensive brand) Bet he wouldnt notice if i done this....might have to give it a go...
    GC: Nov: 60.22/450 Oct: 338.48/450, July: 363.05/450, June 447.98/500
    2 savers No68: 104/100

    mummy to: 8yr, 5yr, 3yr, 2yr, 1yr. No6 Due Mar 2013 My world.
  • PennyGrabber
    You'll have to let us know if the tuna fishcakes you made were any good - it's something that my children would probably love to make - could we hide some veggies in them too?! How did you make them?
    Although I'm not starting the GC until Feb (well, 23rd Jan due to payday!), I've been following the thread avidly, and it's amazing how quickly you can change your habits. That's all I think it is. For example, my children go to their dad's on a weds night, and as I'm by myself, I go wandering around the supermarkets for something to do, and end up spending a small fortune, and money I don't have! That will certainly change, and I won't be going tomorrow!
    I had a NSD today, and yesterday, and i only bought stamps on Sunday, so that was a grocery NSD as far as I'm concerned! Three in a row - woo!
    I don't know about anyone else, but I feel really good about myself, knowing I'm trying to do something about my money situation, and that gives me the momentum to keep going.
    My new mantra for shopping - do I really need this?
    And my tip for today - when you're shopping, just because it's gone into your trolley, doesn't mean you have to buy it! I've started looking at everything as I put it on the checkout, and if i'm in two minds about it, it goes back - they normally have an area by the belt where you can put stuff. This saved me over 10 last week!
    Well done everyone for inspiring me, and I look forward to joining you for the Feb GC!
    Family of three - me, dd(10) and ds(8). Budget is only food, as that is where I struggle!! Feed dp 6-10 times per month too.
    May 45.22/100 April 91.60/100
  • glitterball
    Just updating my signature and it looks like I'm going to be within target. Its my first month and I wonder if I've given myself too much. What do you think is reasonable for one person I have put down 100 whats the experience of other singletons???????.
    I usually buy my meat once a year at Costco hence the slush fund that I would put any balance left into.
  • elizabunny
    You'll have to let us know if the tuna fishcakes you made were any good - it's something that my children would probably love to make - could we hide some veggies in them too?! How did you make them?
    Originally posted by PennyGrabber
    Hi PennyGrabber -My DH loved the Tuna Fishcakes and he is my guide -if he doesn't like it, I don't make it again. I thought they were really yum too. This was my recipe:-

    1 tin of tuna (drained really well)
    Mashed Potato (I used leftovers from a previous dinner -it needs to be quite firm)
    1 finely chopped Onion
    2 tsp of Dill and Mustard Sauce (I just put this in because there was some in the cupboard, but I'm sure you could use a substitute like tomato sauce)
    HM Breadcrumbs
    Salt & Pepper to taste

    Mix all the ingredients together apart from the breadcrumbs. If your mixture is a bit wet you could add some breadcrumbs to it, to firm it up. Divide into equal portions (I made 4 big fishcakes but you could make 8 smaller ones). Pat into rounds and then coat in breadcrumbs. I fried mine for a few minutes in a little olive oil then baked them off in the oven to get them really hot & crispy (I don't have a deep fat fryer).

    I'm sure you could hide some mashed up peas or sweetcorn in them too. I will definately be making them again.

    tessiebear -how did the marmalade turn out?
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
  • orchid-96
    Thanks for the tuna fishcakes recipe, I am going to give them a try for my littluns...I was just wondering though, could I use shop bought breadcrumbs? I have a tub of them in th cupboard (a little out of date) but havn't been opened, do you think I could use them?

    DH made a lovely soup tonight that we had with leftover baguettes, it was 'moroccan chick pea and broad bean' and it was delicious, he made enough for another meal for the 2 of us, but have told him in future to double up so we can get more out of it, tried to get the littluns to taste it but they turned their noses up (typical)....nearly managed a nsd but as I was a bit early for my opticians appt I nipped into the quality save shop nearby (a lot like home bargains) and picked up a few bits that were really cheap as I was low on snacky stuff, they had whitworths stuffing mix fo 10p a box and those amoy straight to wok noodles for 19p a pack (with enough for 2meals in) I also picked up some unusual dipping type sauces that dh loves and at only around 29p each I don't mind...so another 3.54 to add so still looking ok for this month....only hope I can keep it up!
    Last edited by orchid-96; 20-01-2009 at 9:42 PM.
    Jun GC 250.00/12.40 NSD 3 / 30

    January 200/198.91 February 200/239.28 March 200/230
    April 250/no idea May 250/265.95

    Sealed pot challenge number 648
  • PennyGrabber
    Thanks eliza! Sounds good, and I'll try that with DD (3) and DS (2) at the weekend!
    orchid - if you've got the breadcrumbs, use them and see, otherwise they may end up going in the bin - rather use them now while they're only a bit out of date!
    Family of three - me, dd(10) and ds(8). Budget is only food, as that is where I struggle!! Feed dp 6-10 times per month too.
    May 45.22/100 April 91.60/100
  • elizabunny
    Thanks for the tuna fishcakes recipe, I am going to give them a try for my littluns...I was just wondering though, could I use shop bought breadcrumbs? I have a tub of them in th cupboard (a little out of date) but havn't been opened, do you think I could use them?
    Originally posted by orchid-96
    Hello orchid-96 - Sorry I'm not much use here because I have never used shop bought breadcrumbs -but I don't see why it wouldn't work. Also, I really don't know how long after the date they would be edible - I think there may be other OS who may have used them before so hopefully they can help you out more than me.

    I'm hoping to grow broad beans this year so maybe -if you don't mind you could post your soup recipe -it sounds lovely!

    Just remembered another NSD for me today -so 3 in a row!
    Last edited by elizabunny; 20-01-2009 at 9:47 PM.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
  • bunnygirl007
    Hello everyone, I have been seeing the Jan Grocery Challenge on people's sigs all over the forum and wondered where the thread lived! Now I've found you all and what a great thread it is - please can I join for Feb?

    I've started keeping a spreadsheet to record my groceries that I'm buying each week so 1) I can get an idea how much I need to budget for next month and 2) I'm finding it very useful to highlight where I have bought uneccessarliy i.e. a one off treat I won't be repeating.

    I've got loads of store cupboard and quite a bit of frozen stuff so am thinking of listing it all on another spreadsheet so I can see what I've got without standing on my head looking in cupboards and hopefully make use of lots of things that have been lurking in the cupboards for too long and also start menu planning.

    I've only got 2 full weeks of shopping listed so far but both weeks have come in around 68 something - I don't think I've missed any spends. This is only groceries though not anything like money for school lunches or me if I'm working aay from home (I'm a home worker).

    I'm feeling quite excited to be starting this challenge but like a lot of things I start the novelty soon wears off and I start falling behind so guy's please keep me going and give me a virtual kick up the bum if necessary.

    Also where can I get Twinks Hob Nob recipe please? It sounds great. I've been doing choc brownies a few times but could do to leave the choc for a while.

  • elaina79
    Hi I am new to all this so please be gentle with me.

    My budget for Jan is 400 for 4 of us (soon to be 5). Kids have just started getting free school dinners so that should cut my bill a bit. Total so far for this month is 281.45.
  • angelatgraceland
    Twinks Homemade hobnobs
    8oz sr flour
    8oz sugar
    8oz porridge oats

    8oz margarine
    1tbsp golden syrup
    1tbsp hot water
    1/2 tsp bic soda

    mix flour, oats and sugar
    melt marg, syrup and water in a pan
    stir in bic soda and add to dry mix, mix well,
    make smallish balls and put on greased tray and flatten slightly with a fork,
    180oc Gas 4 for 15 mins,
    cool on the tray, you just want them golden in oven not brown


    These are nice-they must be cos we ALL like them on here! If you go to the very beginning of this thread you will find the recipe index and links too-there are many there you will find useful so do read the first few pages of the thread. They are put on each month so will also be on febs thread.
    Annual Grocery budget 2014 is 3000 pa 250 calendar month 57 pw for 3 adults One dog and two cats.
    January 2014 spend so far 87
  • angelnikki
    Hiya bunnygirl007, elaina79 and all newbies welcome to the challenge. If you look on the first page of this thread you'll find lots of info and the recipe index (thanks to rosieben for doing such a great job keeping it up to date) which has links to loads of great recipes including Twink's Hobnobs. HTH

    I've just had my third spend of the month. My MrT delivery came to 80.91. This included 6.42 on nappies/wipes, 13.09 on toiletries and 80p on household stuff. So only 60.60 was on food.

    I have decided to fully chicken out. I always buy free range eggs but not FR chicken because I didn't feel I could afford free range on my budget. But now that I've managed to reduce our spends, thanks to the GC, we can afford to only buy free range chicken (and pork) too

    My total spend at the end of week three: 247.84 / 350

    Off to update my siggy...

    Nikki x
  • Toonie
    Just updating my total. Woke up with an awful migraine this morning and couldn't go to work, so I sent BF off with instructions to buy a bottle of milk and that's what he did Will be going to work tomorrow though.

    Shouldn't need anything else for the week until Sunday. Today we had pasta, sauce from the freezer and bacon. Yummy! Made a crumble yesterday and had leftovers today. Have also made a few fairy cakes, some to take to work (I provide lunch on a Wednesday for me and my little charge-but get reimbursed) and a couple for BF for elevenses. Used one egg and got ten fairy cakes-not too bad!
    Took part in the Cancer Research Shine Half Marathon on 27th September...5 hours and 24 minutes
    Old Style Resolution - Make soup once a week to use up bits from the fridge.
    Savings goal - 2014 between 1st January and 31st December (approx 168 per month) 2082/2014 saved as of beginning December.
  • angelatgraceland
    I have decided to fully chicken out. I always buy free range eggs but not FR chicken because I didn't feel I could afford free range on my budget. But now that I've managed to reduce our spends, thanks to the GC, we can afford to only buy free range chicken (and pork) too

    My total spend at the end of week three: 247.84 / 350

    Off to update my siggy...

    Nikki x
    Originally posted by angelnikki
    Well done! This is also the stage I have reached. I started off with FR eggs but the price of the chicken wasn't really very affordable. Asda do FR chicken very reasonable though so I did get a couple from there and that is what I intend to do in the future unless its a true big whoopsie(which would still leave me a little guilty). I want to use up all of the other meat in my freezer too and eventually replace it with the "happy" variety. It does mean cutting back on it but I plan to cut back on red meat anyhow. When we were much poorer and living on more soya and pulses years ago we were also healthier. I can't turn back the clock 20 years but I can turn back our diet somewhat. Such changes do take time and I would rather have a FR chicken once a week than a caged twice a week which is where we were a couple of years ago. I feel I am making considered choices now-as I think a lot of us here also now feel-rather than just buying "food" without too much consideration as to cost both in monetary terms and moral ones. I will leave the "value" ones for those who are still beginners and feel a need to buy them. I did also put the free range pork into my basket but put it back for a very good reason-yes-I put it back because I didn't need it! I already have loads in the freezer to use up.
    Last edited by angelatgraceland; 20-01-2009 at 10:48 PM.
    Annual Grocery budget 2014 is 3000 pa 250 calendar month 57 pw for 3 adults One dog and two cats.
    January 2014 spend so far 87
  • JayJay14
    Just got back from Asda, thought there might be a few woopsies but all I got was a french loaf for 2p.

    There was a good deal on milk though 97p for 2L of 2% milk, but my fav item was Country Life unsalted butter for 47p


    Must go and get the beef stew out of the freezer for tomorrow night, I think it will take me until next Xmas to eat our way trough the freezer
  • miss_keep_counting
    Another food NSD for me, here's hoping I can do a 3rd in a row tomorrow and keep using up my food stash! I totted up my spend for food so far this month at 125 (plus there were a few takeaways not recorded) so doing my best to keep in line for the rest of the month and putting Febs target at a low figure to try and test me
    Saving for my future...
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