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  • FIRST POST
    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 13th Oct 14, 12:54 PM
    • 9,208Posts
    • 17,360Thanks
    zippychick
    March 2017 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 14, 12:54 PM
    March 2017 Grocery Challenge 13th Oct 14 at 12:54 PM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the third Grocery Challenge of 2017 !!!!

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your February budget, then keep on posting in the February 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 request, here is Spiggles wonderful helpful post



    We all have different budgets that suit our households. The most important thing to remember is that you set yours according to your needs and finances. It can take time to get to where you want to be too so don't knock yourself out if you go over in the first few months. We are here to support each other and it is not a competition.

    I thought it might help to outline where we've come from and the top tips I've learned.

    When we started in March 2010 we had spent in excess of £600 in the previous month. This had to stop, (there's only me and him and our two beautiful black cats) something which thankfully my OH completely agreed with so I have been lucky that he has been on board from the start. He gave me his debit card voluntarily and I still keep hold of it until he needs to get something for the home. At the same time we set up a system of pocket money (pm) at £15 each per week which doesn't count towards the GC and which we can each spend as we wish with no comebacks or complaints. OH predominantly uses his pm on his beer and I ferret mine away mostly.

    The next step was to set up my own spreadsheet which is absolutely simple onto which I put all spends so that I have a continuous running total for the month and for the year. We initially set our budget at £280 per month and brought it down to £240 where it resides for most of the year it is occasionally increased to allow for extras e.g. Christmas to £260.

    The important 'tools' we found greatly helped and continue to do so now are:

    Stocktake cupboards, fridge, freezer - make lists and ensure that the older products get used up first. You'll be amazed at what you find squirrelled away and it will help with your shopping list as you'll realise that you don't actually need so much.

    Before you go shopping check staples - running out of milk, bread, butter, etc often leads to going into a shop for one thing and coming out £20 lighter. Always check these and if they'll run out tomorrow buy them the same time as getting other things.

    Always make a shopping list and stick to it - the supermarkets (sm) try every which way to get us to spend so having a list and strong resolve is the only way to beat them.

    Keep every receipt - and then note it down on your spreadsheet/spend diary so that you always know where you are.

    When tempted, ask yourself do you NEED it or just WANT it - now this advice goes with two things. Firstly, the things you see in store when shopping that APPEAR to be bargains - if you hadn't planned spending the money then its not a bargain. Secondly, the sm send us loads of vouchers for £X off a spend of £XX - if you had no NEED to spend £XX then have you SAVED anything???

    Use my supermarket to compare prices (limited to four of the biggies) - The site may be used to actually do an online shop at whichever of the big four offers the best value or, if you have the time and sm availability, to make up lists for visiting each of the stores so that you can purchase all you need at different stores thus getting the best possible value. (I'd add, do a 'shop' virtually on this site and take the list you create on it with you, whichever one you shop at, it will help keep target prices in your head and allow you to spot bargains. MrM is not included but you can do a virtual list on their website so you know what you're going to be spending.)

    Always have a list - this is just as important when shopping online as shopping on foot.

    Use Approved Foods online (with a list!) - if you don't mind out of date things (ood) or you can search for only in date items. The only drawback is storing the goods as far as I can tell. Oh, and watch the delivery as it's done on a scaled charge for weight so keep an eye on it. You can of course do an AF order with friends, family, colleagues or like minded neighbours. Other GCers use Big Br*nds 4 Less too.

    Invest in a breadmaker - we have saved so much by making our own bread. The prices in the shops are extortionate for bread these days. There's loads of advice on this thread and others in the forum on this.

    Use the recipe lists - always posted at the front of a new thread. There are fantastic, tasty, healthy and economical recipes to use on them and there are a number of other threads on the forum such as Weezl's that will help you to eat well on a budget.

    Shop locally - the local greengrocer (or preferably market but I don't have one ) is usually cheaper as an option for fruit and veg (f&v) than the sm. Often the prices may look the same but when you look at the quantity for the same price the greengrocer will be cheaper. The same goes for the local butcher. Often you will have far more variety of meat available, advice on how to cook a particular meat can be offered and there is (for me at least) no comparison in terms of quality. We buy our huge FR eggs there and I'm yet to find an equivalent FR egg in a sm at the same or lower price. Obvioulsy if you have your own chicks/know someone who has chicks you can get them even cheaper again.

    Grow your own - it's quite simple to grow some f&v at home even if it's only in pots on the patio. There are also supportive threads on the forum for this.

    Cook your own - making meals at home from ingredients is far more economical, often tastes better than shop bought and is probably far better healthwise.

    Meal Plan - this is something that others can advise on as we don't do it. I have a tremendous capacity for eating the same food over many days but presented in slightly different form. For example, we could buy £7 worth of brisket from the butchers and eat it as pot roast for a couple of days, sliced for sarnies, sliced with a salad, chucked into a casserole or shredded up and fried as crispy beef.

    Don't waste food - either only make what you need or use any leftovers for other meals/creations or freeze it for another day.

    Withdraw the cash you want to spend - and keep it in a separate purse. This can be particularly effective as you have the money in front of you reducing rather than spending with plastic which is so easy to lose track of. Very useful when you first start out.

    Don't go to the shops to browse - this can only lead to pain and hardship!!!

    Keep posting and reading the thread - there really is no better supportive, wise and inspirational place to be! I think I saw that somebody mentioned forgetting to read/post. I get around this by using the Advanced button to post, below the window where your text is displayed you will see Additional Options. In the Thread Subscription box use the dropdown to select either instant email notification (this is what I use) or daily email notification before you submit your latest post. Then you will get an email into your inbox from which you can click to the thread to see what others are saying.

    Always remember the sm is not your friend - it wants to profit from you and take as much of your money as it can coerce out of you!

    So, there you go as a starting point. Others on here will offer tremendous advice on meal planning. And don't forget, the only silly question is the one you didn't ask!

    See you all later,
    Spigs
    For quidelines on posting in this thread please read the second post in this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #3, #4, #5 #6 #7 #8 & #9 on this thread (the list is growing!!!!!)

    For everyones totals, see post #10 on this thread

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Zip
    Last edited by zippychick; 16-01-2017 at 11:32 AM.
    I'm a Board Guide of Old Style MoneySaving, The Northern Ireland board,How Much Have you Saved? and Martin's Blogs.
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Page 3
    • Ellie79
    • By Ellie79 23rd Feb 17, 12:42 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Ellie79
    Hi, please can I join? Really need to get on top of my budgets. So this month I am aiming for £350 for two adults and two children.
    Month starts on Friday, however I am a hoarder of food and also have a chest freezer.
    Best of luck everyone!
    • Cappella
    • By Cappella 23rd Feb 17, 11:01 AM
    • 394 Posts
    • 4,968 Thanks
    Cappella
    I didn't really join in in February as I was dealing with family and health issues. Please put me down for £350 for March please. I'm challenging myself to get below it!
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 23rd Feb 17, 11:37 AM
    • 1,294 Posts
    • 9,324 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Hi all

    Thanks as always to zippy, Coxy and lynnejk for running the thread and keeping us all in line!

    I'd like to opt in with £120 for March please.

    This is from 24 February to 23 March - it's a 4 week month for me.

    Those that know me from the GC know this is a tight budget for me, but I'm determined to achieve it with some slight modifications to how I allocate the money!

    This month's plan is to buy all my store cupboard stuff at the start, then have my weekly amount to spend on the fresh ingredients needed for that weeks recipes. I usually have pretty good cupboards but seem to always end up towards the end of the month not replenishing certain items so they build up in cost as I need lots at once! The idea being that then if I run low on something it comes out of weekly spends.

    I have a list for stocking my cupboard items back up, which comes to £39.90. It includes nutritional yeast, tinned toms, tomato puree, coffee (£5 just on that as I'm getting two because they are £2.50 instead of £4.59 at the moment!), soap, black bags, vegan mayo and salad cream, stock cubes, sesame oil, rice, almond milk, veggie suet, fennel seeds (only spice I'm out of!), sundried tomato paste, dried butter beans and dried cannellini beans and a few other things. I am going to try and get certain items in Ald1 to reduce the cost.

    In my head the breakdown is as follows:

    £40 - Dry goods/stocking cupboards back up
    £20 - Week 1
    £20 - Week 2
    £20 - Week 3
    £20 - Week 4

    Feeling pretty determined - £20 a week feels like a decent amount for fresh stuff and top ups. This will require a lot of discipline on my part though, so I need to be strong!

    Good luck for the month everyone!
    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy and Going Out Deals boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    GC: Jun £0/£150 | May £158.54/£150 | Apr £316.94/£200 | Mar £170.47/£120 | Feb £199.45/£160 | Jan £199.08/£140 | Dec £187.76/£160 | Nov £260.35/£110
    Vegan 27 Aug 13
    • *Margaret*
    • By *Margaret* 23rd Feb 17, 11:52 AM
    • 142 Posts
    • 1,015 Thanks
    *Margaret*
    Please could you put me down for £45 for March. I am starting on the 6th (I have to do Monday to Monday or I get horribly muddled)
    Last edited by *Margaret*; 23-02-2017 at 11:54 AM.
    • chickien
    • By chickien 23rd Feb 17, 1:51 PM
    • 229 Posts
    • 324 Thanks
    chickien
    Hi,
    I'm going to join in this month
    Have been meaning to for a while - our food spending is a bit out of control.
    I always aim for around £200 a month (for two adults, a toddler, 3 cats and a dog) but go way over it (and I don't even know by how much) by popping in to the shops in-between our weekly shop
    Am going to meal plan for the whole month and keep all my receipts as suggested.
    Looking forward to seeing if i can do any better this way.
    The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 23rd Feb 17, 4:54 PM
    • 2,371 Posts
    • 29,417 Thanks
    thriftwizard
    May I duck out for this month, please? I haven't yet updated my signature for Feb although I'm not too far off target, but I'd just like a bit of downtime... I'll be back in April!
    Angie

    GC 06/17: £250/£500
    BulkBuy Purse 2017:£328.40/£420


    Money's just a substitute for time & talent...
    • meg72
    • By meg72 23rd Feb 17, 5:00 PM
    • 4,880 Posts
    • 44,782 Thanks
    meg72
    Hi all

    Thanks as always to zippy, Coxy and lynnejk for running the thread and keeping us all in line!

    I'd like to opt in with £120 for March please.

    This is from 24 February to 23 March - it's a 4 week month for me.

    Those that know me from the GC know this is a tight budget for me, but I'm determined to achieve it with some slight modifications to how I allocate the money!

    This month's plan is to buy all my store cupboard stuff at the start, then have my weekly amount to spend on the fresh ingredients needed for that weeks recipes. I usually have pretty good cupboards but seem to always end up towards the end of the month not replenishing certain items so they build up in cost as I need lots at once! The idea being that then if I run low on something it comes out of weekly spends.

    I have a list for stocking my cupboard items back up, which comes to £39.90. It includes nutritional yeast, tinned toms, tomato puree, coffee (£5 just on that as I'm getting two because they are £2.50 instead of £4.59 at the moment!), soap, black bags, vegan mayo and salad cream, stock cubes, sesame oil, rice, almond milk, veggie suet, fennel seeds (only spice I'm out of!), sundried tomato paste, dried butter beans and dried cannellini beans and a few other things. I am going to try and get certain items in Ald1 to reduce the cost.

    In my head the breakdown is as follows:

    £40 - Dry goods/stocking cupboards back up
    £20 - Week 1
    £20 - Week 2
    £20 - Week 3
    £20 - Week 4

    Feeling pretty determined - £20 a week feels like a decent amount for fresh stuff and top ups. This will require a lot of discipline on my part though, so I need to be strong!

    Good luck for the month everyone!
    Originally posted by elsiepac
    That's a good offer on the coffee what brand is it please and where is the offer on
    Slimming World at target
    GC Nov 16.50.
    GC Dec 24.89
    GC Jan 2.50
    • Daisymae2575
    • By Daisymae2575 23rd Feb 17, 6:12 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Daisymae2575
    May I join you as I am newbie to this budgeting. I have finally starting to take control and grocery spending is my first goal.
    My first budget is £235.07 from 23rd February to 27th March - using £50 per week as a guide. This is going to be a challenge as I do not have a cooker, living with a microwave, single ring camper stove and a kettle, added to this no car means shopping has to be done at local stores such as Sains***, M&S and CO** as not on bus route or safe route for cycling.


    Let the game commence.


    DaisyMae x
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 23rd Feb 17, 11:37 PM
    • 1,294 Posts
    • 9,324 Thanks
    elsiepac
    March 1st put me down for my usual £60.00. (Can't seem to change the colour of the font on this MacAir laptop for some reason) I am hoping to have some left over cash from February's budget which will get swept into my holiday account for treats on holiday
    Originally posted by JackieO
    Replace { with [ in the below:

    {COLOR="Red"}type budget here{/COLOR}


    Please put me down for £360 March.

    Budget went to pot for February due to being given devastating health news and many hospital visits. Lived off a lot of takeaways and crap for the last 3 weeks. Need to keep the grocery budget tight seeing as I will never be working again.
    Originally posted by pajama
    So sorry to hear this, my thoughts are with you.

    That's a good offer on the coffee what brand is it please and where is the offer on
    Originally posted by meg72
    It's Millicano and it's in Tesco - here's the link to the product page: http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=268172402. It's my favourite instant coffee so I'm pleased about this! I only really drink coffee at home on weekends so it lasts me a while! Website says the offer is on until 7 March.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy and Going Out Deals boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    GC: Jun £0/£150 | May £158.54/£150 | Apr £316.94/£200 | Mar £170.47/£120 | Feb £199.45/£160 | Jan £199.08/£140 | Dec £187.76/£160 | Nov £260.35/£110
    Vegan 27 Aug 13
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 24th Feb 17, 5:35 AM
    • 1,282 Posts
    • 15,728 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Hi all

    Thanks as always to zippy, Coxy and lynnejk for running the thread and keeping us all in line!

    I'd like to opt in with £120 for March please.

    This is from 24 February to 23 March - it's a 4 week month for me.

    Those that know me from the GC know this is a tight budget for me, but I'm determined to achieve it with some slight modifications to how I allocate the money!

    This month's plan is to buy all my store cupboard stuff at the start, then have my weekly amount to spend on the fresh ingredients needed for that weeks recipes. I usually have pretty good cupboards but seem to always end up towards the end of the month not replenishing certain items so they build up in cost as I need lots at once! The idea being that then if I run low on something it comes out of weekly spends.

    I have a list for stocking my cupboard items back up, which comes to £39.90. It includes nutritional yeast, tinned toms, tomato puree, coffee (£5 just on that as I'm getting two because they are £2.50 instead of £4.59 at the moment!), soap, black bags, vegan mayo and salad cream, stock cubes, sesame oil, rice, almond milk, veggie suet, fennel seeds (only spice I'm out of!), sundried tomato paste, dried butter beans and dried cannellini beans and a few other things. I am going to try and get certain items in Ald1 to reduce the cost.

    In my head the breakdown is as follows:

    £40 - Dry goods/stocking cupboards back up
    £20 - Week 1
    £20 - Week 2
    £20 - Week 3
    £20 - Week 4

    Feeling pretty determined - £20 a week feels like a decent amount for fresh stuff and top ups. This will require a lot of discipline on my part though, so I need to be strong!

    Good luck for the month everyone!
    Originally posted by elsiepac
    Hi elsiepac,

    I know you have often struggled to stay within your budget and I wondered if you have considered one change? - only buying the store cupboard items when they are either

    a) on offer, and on your list to replenish, or
    b) you need something you have run out of for a meal on your plan.

    My breakthrough with budgeting was based on this and using up my stores and I have come in well under since making these changes. I know you love systems and order too so you must meal-plan and list the things that are running down - you just don't need to buy them automatically. Then your list comprises the must-have's and the opportunity list. I tend to check the offers before setting off too (on mysupermarket.com) so I know what I am looking out for and it means no sacrifice of my posh brands!

    My list is part of my virtual cupboard so I don't abandon my things that I love using, I just store them there instead.

    SL
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £4340.03/£4583.33 (39.45%/41.66%) after May - my annual target is £11,000 (Save £12k in 2016 thread £10,488.04/£10,000)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 40.12/41.67% including stores after May
    Reading and learning about investing...
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 24th Feb 17, 2:52 PM
    • 1,294 Posts
    • 9,324 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Hi elsiepac,

    I know you have often struggled to stay within your budget and I wondered if you have considered one change? - only buying the store cupboard items when they are either

    a) on offer, and on your list to replenish, or
    b) you need something you have run out of for a meal on your plan.

    My breakthrough with budgeting was based on this and using up my stores and I have come in well under since making these changes. I know you love systems and order too so you must meal-plan and list the things that are running down - you just don't need to buy them automatically. Then your list comprises the must-have's and the opportunity list. I tend to check the offers before setting off too (on mysupermarket.com) so I know what I am looking out for and it means no sacrifice of my posh brands!

    My list is part of my virtual cupboard so I don't abandon my things that I love using, I just store them there instead.

    SL
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass

    Thanks for this - totally get where you're coming from! When I say about stock cupboard, I mean the dry goods that I use all the time and therefore always want some in my cupboard, then when I see a recipe, I always know I have the herbs or spices required, or a stock cube etc. When I get low, I note it on my fridge pad for the next shop. My problem is that where I do my "extra" shops, obviously this has a knock on effect for how much money I have available later in the month, so end up not replenishing these items, which leads to being run out and having to buy everything at once again when I get paid - perfect example this month!

    The root of my problem is really just self control, and not buying two of everything. The shops will always be there!

    This weeks plan includes:

    Hutterite soup (using up my swede, bit of cabbage, and some rooty potatoes; have everything in)
    Squash and shallot casserole with veg dumplings
    Greens and Beans Saute (uses up my greens from last week; have everything in)
    Pineapple rum beans and coconut lime sweet potato mash
    Smokey butternut squash sauce and greens with pasta

    Off to do my first shop of the month tonight - Should be about £55 - £39.90 planned for store cupboard stuff for month, and about £16.50 for meal plan for the week plus yoghurts etc
    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy and Going Out Deals boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    GC: Jun £0/£150 | May £158.54/£150 | Apr £316.94/£200 | Mar £170.47/£120 | Feb £199.45/£160 | Jan £199.08/£140 | Dec £187.76/£160 | Nov £260.35/£110
    Vegan 27 Aug 13
    • zafiro1984
    • By zafiro1984 24th Feb 17, 3:48 PM
    • 1,114 Posts
    • 8,307 Thanks
    zafiro1984
    May I join you as I am newbie to this budgeting. I have finally starting to take control and grocery spending is my first goal.
    My first budget is £235.07 from 23rd February to 27th March - using £50 per week as a guide. This is going to be a challenge as I do not have a cooker, living with a microwave, single ring camper stove and a kettle, added to this no car means shopping has to be done at local stores such as Sains***, M&S and CO** as not on bus route or safe route for cycling.
    Let the game commence.
    DaisyMae x
    Originally posted by Daisymae2575
    You have just reminded me of when we bought a house in the sticks a long time ago I had no kitchen for 10 months and a family of four, plus I worked full time. I had an old door as a work surface propped up on breeze blocks. We survived with kettle, slow cooker, steamer, microwave and fridge. I didn't even have running water into the kitchen, I had to go outside about 100yds away to an outside tap. The bath was also outside (it was summer), we survived and have never laughed so much.

    So may I make a suggestion:- a slow cooker would be a good investment. Even now I do roast meat in mine as well as casseroles. To do a piece of meat put it in a roasting bag and pop it into your slow cooker, takes a while but the meat falls apart, vegs on the camper stove.
    Just Grocery Jan 131.11/155, Feb 325.77/140 Mar 151.92/155 Apr 0/150

    veg growing 29.99/365, veg savings using supermarket prices £43.05

    All food,wine,toiletries/cleaning/veg plot-yearly budget £3650 (£10 a day)
    5/3/17 Daily average so far this year £13.89
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 24th Feb 17, 4:27 PM
    • 1,282 Posts
    • 15,728 Thanks
    Suffolk lass

    Thanks for this - totally get where you're coming from! When I say about stock cupboard, I mean the dry goods that I use all the time and therefore always want some in my cupboard, then when I see a recipe, I always know I have the herbs or spices required, or a stock cube etc. When I get low, I note it on my fridge pad for the next shop. My problem is that where I do my "extra" shops, obviously this has a knock on effect for how much money I have available later in the month, so end up not replenishing these items, which leads to being run out and having to buy everything at once again when I get paid - perfect example this month!

    The root of my problem is really just self control, and not buying two of everything. The shops will always be there!
    Originally posted by elsiepac
    Maybe you could add up how much money you have invested in food in your cupboard? I did this and was so shocked and ashamed of myself. You need a catalyst to make you change something I think.

    For me I could still feed 50 this weekend without shopping again - so my stores are still plentiful. I just paid less than half price for them.

    SL
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £4340.03/£4583.33 (39.45%/41.66%) after May - my annual target is £11,000 (Save £12k in 2016 thread £10,488.04/£10,000)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 40.12/41.67% including stores after May
    Reading and learning about investing...
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 25th Feb 17, 7:41 AM
    • 1,294 Posts
    • 9,324 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Maybe you could add up how much money you have invested in food in your cupboard? I did this and was so shocked and ashamed of myself. You need a catalyst to make you change something I think.

    For me I could still feed 50 this weekend without shopping again - so my stores are still plentiful. I just paid less than half price for them.

    SL
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    I recently had a supboard and fridge clear out and was shocked at how much "stuff" I had (and at how much I got rid of) so my cupboards are looking pretty good - by which I mean they are now about 80% food I regularly eat (i.e. proper groceries like tinned tomatoes). I have 2 more cupboards to go through that I know I never touch and I know are full, therefore I shouldn't buy this stuff! What I have noticed, and this is similar to where I go wrong with budgeting, is that the surplus stuff is all things I've bought on a whim - for some reason I think I have about 4 different chutneys. All unopened. All out of date. I rarely eat (vegan) cheese or use chutney, so why I went mad buying it I don't know! Also 2 jars of caramel sauce that I bought PURELY because I saw them advertised as vegan from M&S, paid £6 each for them (I know) in delight at having found something so exciting, then tried once and never used again. Because I don't eat that kind of thing! So it never got used! (Luckily one is unopened so I'm going to "donate" it at work - people will eat anything there if you leave it in the kitchen!

    Will update spends later from my shopping last night, I did get a couple of extras but I think I did quite well. E.g. one extra was 3 packs of Linda M sausages - always good to have in freezer and I have several recipes that use them, plus I just like them! They are still on offer at 3 for £5 but only till 27 Feb, hence I picked them up to take advantage of the offer. I always use a couple of packs a month. But that was an unplanned £5, however I would have spent it at some point so it's not what I would call an "impulse" purchase!
    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy and Going Out Deals boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    GC: Jun £0/£150 | May £158.54/£150 | Apr £316.94/£200 | Mar £170.47/£120 | Feb £199.45/£160 | Jan £199.08/£140 | Dec £187.76/£160 | Nov £260.35/£110
    Vegan 27 Aug 13
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 25th Feb 17, 8:21 AM
    • 1,409 Posts
    • 7,732 Thanks
    Florence J
    I have finished my February month so am joining you all over here from today.

    Ended February £43.39 over budget.

    March target is £195 but I am going to keep an eye on budget as now that our eating habits have changed and are both having home made work lunches, it may be that we need to increase the budget.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 10 #553 (£90) Wombling free 2017 = £851.64 Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£1854.41/£3000) Debt to OH paid back £601.75/£1001.75
    June 2017 Credit Card Debt: £4743.46
    • debbym
    • By debbym 25th Feb 17, 11:08 AM
    • 460 Posts
    • 2,747 Thanks
    debbym
    Add me in again please £ 480 for 5 of us ( inc 2 teenagers) plus 2 cats and toiletries. 4 out of 5 have special diets too..
    Dropped normal budget by 20% so should be interesting!
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 25th Feb 17, 12:28 PM
    • 1,294 Posts
    • 9,324 Thanks
    elsiepac
    March First Shop
    Got some bargains yesterday! had to pop to the mall to get make up basics - I use Body Shop stuff. Make up is pretty much always on 3 for 2 anyway, so I got a £12 item free, then I had £5 on my card so I used that too, so paying £25 for £42 worth of product, then because I had spent £25 I got a free gift (which I looked up and would be £24.50 to buy!) which is a chamomile cleanser oil and chamomile cleansing "butter" and a muslin cloth. I wouldn't buy these items myself, but they are full size and I will use them so pretty pleased with that! As I didn't know if they were vegan (I only check the stuff I use!) I got them to check the vegan list in store and they are.

    Anyway, then I had to walk back through M&S to get to my car... dangerous at the best of times let alone pay day!! Well... I spent £3.10 form the grocery budget! Feeling very pleased as this was on FIVE packs of different (accidentally vegan) hot nibbly bits I love, that were reduced to 65p and one to 50p! Had some for my treat tea last night, which I was getting tempted to buy something as a treat, so saved myself some money there!

    Anyway, then went to Aldi where I just got everything on my list that I could that was cheaper than Tesco - new tactic - write down Mr T prices on my list then go to Aldi first, so I can compare! Some stuff, eg sweet potatoes, was very similar in price, only pennies out, but they didn't have good ones in Aldi so I paid a teeny bit more in Tesco.

    I was DELIGHTED to find almond milk for 59p (!!!!!) for a litre! I had it on my list and Alpro would have cost me £1.80! I'm ALWAYS going to get the cheaper one now!

    Tesco I pickled up extra items. Namely the veggie sausages that weren't on the list - because they were still on offer, so they are in the freezer as they'll get used. 2 packs of choc chip hob nobs on at 2 for £2 (accidentally vegan).
    Instead of my usual Alpro yoghurts which are £1.80 for a pack of 4, they had the Alpro Go On! ones, which are 85p each usually but they were 2 for £1! So I paid a teeny bit more and got those instead as they are SO much nicer!

    Also got a big bag of crisps, houmous, pasta (remembered I was getting low and it was a last minute addition to meal plan!), fresh bread, and 3 packs of crispbreads (I buy when on offer for lunches) off list. I've done a lot worse in the past, and most of this stuff was because it's things I regularly use that are on offer. £3 spent on un-needed treats. Not too bad.

    H&B was closed so couldn't get my nooch, also forgot where veg suet was in store then realised at the other end and couldn't be bothered to go back, but need it for Wednesday. Couldn't find breadcrumbs, but they are not urgent, I was just running low. Oh and bizarrely no Original Source soap AT ALL! I've been eking mine out waiting for it to be back on offer at £1, but it's disappeared!

    So will have another spend this week of £6.72 on veg suet, 2 tubs of nutritional yeast, and marjoram.
    Will need soap (and breadcrumbs) within the next week or so.

    Date.......Shop......Amount.....Remaining (from £120 budget)
    24 Feb.....M&S.......£03.10.....£116.90
    24 Feb.....A1d1......£08.27.....£108.63
    24 Feb.....T35c0.....£53.56.....£55.07


    Last edited by elsiepac; 25-02-2017 at 3:13 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy and Going Out Deals boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    GC: Jun £0/£150 | May £158.54/£150 | Apr £316.94/£200 | Mar £170.47/£120 | Feb £199.45/£160 | Jan £199.08/£140 | Dec £187.76/£160 | Nov £260.35/£110
    Vegan 27 Aug 13
    • Fruittea
    • By Fruittea 25th Feb 17, 3:29 PM
    • 704 Posts
    • 2,616 Thanks
    Fruittea
    Hello everyone - I've finished the February challenge with £10.11 in the kitty and have now done my first March shop on Ocado which will be delivered on Tuesday. I've shopped mostly the Essential brand - so I should save more money. The food element of the shop comes to £54.05. This month I will try to use up some of the cupboard store and keep using up the freezer stock and try to one when of them down. I'm sticking to a £150 budget again. Good luck everyone.
    "Save 12k in 2017" - £9970.12 Number 71
    May Grocery Challenge £0.00/£150.00
    The great, good and not so good bits about growing your own dinner 2017

    No Clutter To Be Seen 476/2017
    • x0emz0x
    • By x0emz0x 25th Feb 17, 10:16 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 533 Thanks
    x0emz0x
    Hi, please can I join? My March budget will be £200. My month will run from 03/03 to 04/04.
    • just trying
    • By just trying 25th Feb 17, 11:19 PM
    • 738 Posts
    • 2,693 Thanks
    just trying
    Elsiepac, home bargains have the shower gel all the time for 99p. I buy it to, though know stores are limited. They also sell almond milk etc. If you have one near worth a look.

    I'm going to bow out just now, due to ongoing things.

    Was in Aldi today and they had a new barissta coffee for £2.29 I think, if you like that stuff. I drink tea with occasional cup of coffee (carte noir).

    They had our nut bars, (Pealo) I think they said and raw fruit bars. My oldest liked these though I had a small taste and thought they were really sweet though they are raw.

    Good luck all.
    SEALED POT CHALLENGE MEMBER 098
    WILL SAVE ATLEAST £500!.
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