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    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 13th Oct 14, 12:54 PM
    • 9,211Posts
    • 17,378Thanks
    April 2017 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 14, 12:54 PM
    April 2017 Grocery Challenge 13th Oct 14 at 12:54 PM
    Hi everyone,

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

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

    Last edited by zippychick; 16-03-2017 at 11:17 PM.
    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 14
    • Makethedayscount
    • By Makethedayscount 18th Apr 17, 4:23 PM
    • 28 Posts
    • 262 Thanks
    Upto £145.12 / £250 for the month so far. Meals planned for the week ahead and internet shop planned to take me to end of month. Fingers crossed I make it!
    • Islandmaid
    • By Islandmaid 18th Apr 17, 4:30 PM
    • 2,087 Posts
    • 31,615 Thanks
    NSD here
    Note to self - STOP SPENDING MONEY !!

    June GC £250/£75.00
    • K9sandFelines
    • By K9sandFelines 19th Apr 17, 12:15 AM
    • 1,782 Posts
    • 15,271 Thanks
    I can try and find a code for you if you like, as i have shopping being delivered this week anyway, and shop with Ocado regularly.

    So far spent about £96 and have a small shop coming this week. Doing really well keeping freezers low and running down cupboards, although it's taking forever ( which shows how much cupboard stuff i must have).
    Originally posted by K9sandFelines
    Small spend in work tonight of £12.46 on reduced easter eggs in work and milk, plus tooty frooties (we don't often have thesein work and they are vegan so got some for Sat night whilst they are in the shop.
    About to update signature, as just tallied up all contactless card, spends and actual receipts for card and cash. So now standing at £110.30, with a Tesco shop coming tomorrow and possibly an Ocado one next week. Not jinxing myself yet by thinking i'm doing well financially, as i'm bound to come up a cropper

    Also, at the end of the year/half way through/ when it needs renewing need to add Ocado smart pass as totally forgot.
    Last edited by K9sandFelines; 19-04-2017 at 12:18 AM.
    GC 2017 (£4,000) Jan £346.72 Feb £241.99 + £1.99 Mar £280.29 + £1.99 Apr £196.58.00 (app.) = £1.99 May £220.93 (up to and incl 24/5) plus £1.99 Ocado delivery saver Jun £0.00

    ~ Still learning the art of frugality ~
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 19th Apr 17, 9:16 AM
    • 1,297 Posts
    • 9,352 Thanks
    Possibly My Worst Month Yet! LACK OF PLANNING!
    This month I have been really lax on planning. It REALLY shows! I am pleased that I'm still tracking everything even though it's alost cause budget wise, however I have to get my planning head back on and get back in my routines.

    I had a bit of a health scare last week and ended up in A&E. Turns out, nothing wrong with my heart, and bloods done at follow up at doctors after hve shown my liver, iron and thyroid are all in normal ranges. So that's good. But it terrified me that night and I've had a bit of a wake up call regards health. I eat healthily, but extras are causing me problems with losing weight, not to mention my wine consumption was creeping back up very slowly and I even took up smoking again for 2 weeks!! I've stopped that now, can't believe I did it, I'm so annoyed. BUT I'm over it.

    New plan - healthy meals and snacks. So far ( in the couple of normal work days I've had since!) I'm doing
    Breakfast - savoury oats (40g oats, 1/4 of a stock pot, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast) - I add water and nuke at work.
    Late morning snack - Green smoothie (1 banana, 65g spinach, 250ml almond milk, 1 tbsp peanut butter, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of cinnamon)
    Lunch - Salad with a protein and homemade dressing (This will switch back to soup in winter)
    Tea/Supper/Dinner - Whatever really as long as it's based around unprocessed foods and aim to stay under my calories
    Cup of tea after supper then if I really want a glass of wine I'm allowing ONE and I have to have calories left for it!!

    I need to do this. Sorry for the long post. Trying to get myself organised. May starts on 26 April for me.

    Date......Shop......Cost.......Amount Remaining from £200
    24 Mar.....Co-0p.....£04.74.....£195.26 (Lunch Stuff, Crisps, Chocolate)
    24 Mar.....A1di......£17.64.....£177.62 (Proper Grocery Shop)
    24 Mar.....Co-0p.....£07.59.....£170.03 (Extra Veg Shop + Linda M Sausages 2 for £3)
    25 Mar.....Wa1trose..£86.23.....£83.80 (Tofu, Treats, Uncontrolled Mayhem)(£40 ok)
    26 Mar.....Co-0p.....£01.74.....£82.06 (Rolls and Small Loaf)
    27 Mar.....Aldi......£02.76.....£79.30 (Giant Cous Cous, Mushrooms and Peppers)
    27 Mar.....Sains.....£06.00.....£73.30 (Bread, rolls, rocky roads and vegan cheese)
    28 Mar.....Amaz0n....£12.46.....£60.84 (Dishwasher Tablets)
    30 Mar.....A1d1......£05.23.....£55.61 (Proper Grocery Shop)
    30 Mar.....T35c0.....£46.93.....£08.68 (Proper Grocery Shop)
    05 Apr.....T35c0.....£01.19.....£07.49 (Bread)
    06 Apr.....A1d1......£13.24....-£5.75 (Proper Grocery Shop)
    06 Apr.....T35c0.....£49.18....-£53.93 (Proper Grocery Shop)
    11 Apr.....T35c0.....£01.19....-£55.12 (Bread)
    12 Apr.....T35c0.....£05.77....-£60.89 (2 nut bars, noodles, pudding and antacids)
    13 Apr.....M&S.......£14.77....-£75.66 (Top Up Grocery Shop)
    15 Apr.....T35c0.....£29.41...-£105.07 (Proper Grocery Shop)
    17 Apr.....T35c0.....£02.96...-£108.03 (Leaves x2 +spinach)

    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 (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    GC: Jul £106.65/£150 | Jun £179.03/£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
    • Wysiwyg49
    • By Wysiwyg49 19th Apr 17, 12:29 PM
    • 150 Posts
    • 1,247 Thanks
    This month I have been really lax on planning. It REALLY shows! I am pleased that I'm still tracking everything even though it's alost cause budget wise, however I have to get my planning head back on and get back in my routines.
    Originally posted by elsiepac
    We all have months like that At least you haven't thought "oh well I've blown it now" and carried on!
    GC June £479.55/£400
    • pamsdish
    • By pamsdish 19th Apr 17, 2:44 PM
    • 697 Posts
    • 3,546 Thanks
    Top ups at Lidl and Morries total £25-44, sig updated
    JUNE £125.=£4
    July, £200
    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 19th Apr 17, 3:14 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,472 Thanks
    have done my big shop and to be honest it wasn't half as bad as I was expecting it to be, it came to £44.81 so a good £20 less than I was expecting.
    the fridge is now groaning and got a few bits from lidle's greek range, i'm rather fond of the frozen savoury pastries, and now my nephew is here for a few days to eat me into poverty they'll keep us all going.
    glad to say I got veg (both for cooking and salad) in that amount so hoping to not have to shop again til the end of the month, apart from milk and bread.
    when he's gone it'll be back to using up the UFOs but i'm happy to cook him what he wants
    gc jan 148.59/150 feb 134.58/150 mar 148.35/160 apr 139.24/160 may 165.78/160 june 129.05/160
    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 19th Apr 17, 3:16 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,472 Thanks
    can I just ask what nutritional yeast is please? it doesn't sound very nice, tho i'm assuming (probably wrongly) its a bit like marmite
    gc jan 148.59/150 feb 134.58/150 mar 148.35/160 apr 139.24/160 may 165.78/160 june 129.05/160
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 19th Apr 17, 4:27 PM
    • 1,043 Posts
    • 12,763 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    can I just ask what nutritional yeast is please? it doesn't sound very nice, tho i'm assuming (probably wrongly) its a bit like marmite
    Originally posted by purpleybat
    It's used a lot by Vegans. It tastes very cheesy, and you add to sauces etc to give a cheese taste. Comes in powder form, a bit like oats. Some people sprinkle it on everything, I use mainly in sauces, soups.

    Thanks for the Ocado voucher suggestions. It didn't quite work out. My daughter was putting in an order, as Frys products were on 1/2 price, but the voucher did not go through, as apparently her previous shop, which was rescheduled due to lack of funds, was counted as her first order, even though it was not delivered. Bit unfortunate really, but she did get the stuff she wanted though.

    Spinach. Not done this myself, as I buy the frozen stuff for stews, but you can blitz it with a little bit of water and freeze in ice cube trays, to use in stews, curries etc.

    Spent £10 - got an absolute ton of stuff. Need a few more bits, tomatoes, rolls, but hoping to not spend more than £10, so hopefully should have some left in the budget this month. Have updated sig.
    G/C - June £48.66/£80, Alcohol £15.23/£20, GC Overflow £18
    Save 12k in 2017 #132 = £1,800/£5,000 (36%)
    KonMari: Clothes, Wardrobe, Drawers, shoes, bags, Papers
    Bedding, Books, Toiletries,Bric a Brac, Kitchen, Pantry
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 19th Apr 17, 5:17 PM
    • 1,113 Posts
    • 20,604 Thanks
    Hello everyone!

    I have had a wonderful week on holiday in Mallorca - eaten too much, paddled loads, sunbathed loads... It was awesome!!

    Back to reality now, children needed breakfast before being dropped at their dad's. Didn't have bread or milk, thanks to only getting home at 4am!! Gave them chopped apple, chunks of cheese and some cheddars, followed by some crisps. They loved it! Then, after dropping them off, I went to aldililly to get the weekly shop in. Considering I didn't have much fridge stuff in, I spent less than I thought - £23.33. That was lots of veg and a massive stock up of Apple juice cartons for lunch boxes - they don't like any other drink in the boxes.

    Brought home quite a bit of food from holiday, which will feed into the snacks over the next few weeks.

    Had a big lunch just now, a tuna salad. Should only need a snack for supper now.

    PG x
    Family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(10), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries.
    June 2017, £113.38/£100.00
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 19th Apr 17, 5:19 PM
    • 1,113 Posts
    • 20,604 Thanks
    Forgot to say my total - now at £47.18/£80.

    PG x
    Family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(10), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries.
    June 2017, £113.38/£100.00
    • K9sandFelines
    • By K9sandFelines 19th Apr 17, 5:51 PM
    • 1,782 Posts
    • 15,271 Thanks
    Everything came in the Tesco shop and today i have spent £1.72 i think on Tahini, which i already had in right at the front of the cupboard, albeit on the top shelf. Also some bits my vegan friend picked up for me from Wing Yip, jackfruit, 2x vegan condensed milk and two Mai Siam thai curry pastes. She couldn't remember what i owed her so i offered her the tenner and said to square it another time if incorrect. She also got a few frozen bits for me, but can't get them off her yet.
    GC 2017 (£4,000) Jan £346.72 Feb £241.99 + £1.99 Mar £280.29 + £1.99 Apr £196.58.00 (app.) = £1.99 May £220.93 (up to and incl 24/5) plus £1.99 Ocado delivery saver Jun £0.00

    ~ Still learning the art of frugality ~
    • Wysiwyg49
    • By Wysiwyg49 19th Apr 17, 7:32 PM
    • 150 Posts
    • 1,247 Thanks
    Running total is £256.78 so I have £63.22 for the last week of the challenge Been looking at some meal plans I have saved, the Skint Dad one looks like stuff we would eat (sausage casserole etc.). Time to get a whole chicken again, and make some soup - still got stock in freezer from the last one.

    Also have mince and casserole steak in the freezer as I got twin packs on SO last week. And tons of veg in the fridge. And (thanks for the advice) 4 ziplock bags of spinach in the freezer!

    Finally did the enchiladas last night and doing gammon steak tonight. Might use the steak tomorrow in a suet crust pie. Also going to invest in a proper pizza baking tray with holes in to try to nail that crispy crust!!

    Pleased to see that I have only spent £9 this month on work lunches when it was a whopping £49 in March! The joys of YNAB. It does make you keep an eye on the little things and I already feel I know where the money is going after 2 months. I think the downside is, in the early days it makes you feel a bit bleak cos by 4 days after payday you have everything assigned, and although your bank account is healthy you know you haven't got any splurge money!! Boo - is that what growing up feels like?! (I am over 50 btw )
    GC June £479.55/£400
    • Islandmaid
    • By Islandmaid 19th Apr 17, 9:13 PM
    • 2,087 Posts
    • 31,615 Thanks
    NSD again today...

    Wednesday is my normal shopping day, but going to try and push it to friday this week, fridge audit tomorrow
    Note to self - STOP SPENDING MONEY !!

    June GC £250/£75.00
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 19th Apr 17, 10:47 PM
    • 1,297 Posts
    • 9,352 Thanks
    Re nutritional yeast, we (vegans lol) usually refer to it as nooch... sounds nicer!!
    I use mine in my oats, and also in sauces a lot... it's amazing blended with lemon juice, tahini, garlic and olive oil and salt and pepper, then mixed into hot grains and veg or thinned down as a salad dressing.
    It's a little cheesy but not much, it took me a while to love it but now I'm addicted. I also grind it up in the pestle and mortar with hemp seeds and a little salt to make a Parmesan substitute.
    I even have my non vegan mum hooked on it!
    It's nice sprinkled on beans and toast too!
    Also it's the same type of yeast as marmite I believe and it's healthy and has b12 in it. I love it!
    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 (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    GC: Jul £106.65/£150 | Jun £179.03/£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
    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 19th Apr 17, 11:49 PM
    • 193 Posts
    • 1,472 Thanks
    thankyou people for taking the time to explain to me about the nutritional yeast, I meant to ask months ago but kept forgetting.
    gc jan 148.59/150 feb 134.58/150 mar 148.35/160 apr 139.24/160 may 165.78/160 june 129.05/160
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 20th Apr 17, 1:22 AM
    • 447 Posts
    • 2,954 Thanks
    While we're answering questions, can anyone tell me how many red lentils I can put in a mince sauce (bolognaise etc) before it stops tasting like mince? I've been meaning to try this for ages but I don't know ratios.

    We're getting through the holidays pretty well over here, I'm quite impressed with myself for anticipating the shift in how we eat groceries when everyone's at home and avoiding top-up shops (except a very important run for half price Easter eggs obviously, but no jury would convict). If I can keep the next two weekly shops under $200 I might just manage this, even with 5 Saturdays in the month!
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    1 June 2017 $221,986.42
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 20th Apr 17, 8:23 AM
    • 1,288 Posts
    • 15,768 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    While we're answering questions, can anyone tell me how many red lentils I can put in a mince sauce (bolognaise etc) before it stops tasting like mince? I've been meaning to try this for ages but I don't know ratios.
    Originally posted by armchairexpert
    I would be interested in what others do - personally I now use between 150g and 250g of minced beef, with a tin of chopped tomatoes (to give an idea of the quantity) and I work on the basis that I sprinkle the top with red lentils to the same density I would sprinkle grated cheese, if it were a lasagne - a good handful and stir them through, so they are not sitting on top. Just make sure there is a tiny bit more liquid in your mix as the lentils will soak some up.

    I do mine in a shallow cast-iron casserole (size of a frying pan) and then put the lid on and bang it in the oven while I cook the pasta (the range oven is always on). The lid makes the steam cook the lentils better - I always give them at least 15 minutes as I don't like lentils al dente.

    Sorry if this is more detail than you were looking for but there are some tips if you are not familiar with using them (learn from my mistakes!).

    We are working our way through the veg mountain (I cannot explain why I bought enough for 8 over Easter when only DS was coming to dinner) so I am hopeful that next week will be frugal for us.

    I am going to try shopping differently after seeing someone else's post in another thread - I already have a periodic "freezer week" but this suggestion was to work up to a no shopping week - eke out this week to eight days and shop a day later, and so on, until you have a free week. I think that will be easier in terms of fresh things like milk and fruit. Pay day is 26th for DH so I will try then.
    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...
    • Kayalana99
    • By Kayalana99 20th Apr 17, 9:54 AM
    • 3,245 Posts
    • 5,885 Thanks
    Spent £45 this week plus £49 from last week, I also bought toilet roll and meat during the week (for a guest coming up) so total is = £104 so far.

    Had a bit extra to spend as above to get my voucher so got some burgers incase we have a BBQ, extra chicken and a bit of extra meat for next week.

    Going to be eating like kings this week with the meat I had frozen from last week despite me doing this on a budget.

    The burgers I bought last week turned into a BBQ with friends too, chuffed a bit as they wanted to go out to eat and it would have cost us £30+, so us providing a bit of food actually saved money - also doing this next week as MIL invited us out to eat so we invited them round for tea instead which again would have cost us £30+

    I don't have another code now till after 26th so fingers crossed next week will be under £50, it should be as I have a meal plan + meals left over + more meat on the shopping we don't need yet. Hoping to get next week even lower really.
    Originally posted by Kayalana99
    £43 this week so £147 so far total, I could have bulked it out to!£50 but I worked out yesterday we have 16 meals frozen (not really including the random freezer stuff too like chicken pops etc, but proper meals to be made) but I did have to put a few extra items on to get it over the £40 inc extra butter and 2 extra pizzas which I know will last forever. It's going well but I worry what happens when all my freezer stuff runs out how much I'd spend on an average week.

    P.s I got another code with the shopping itself rather then the e-mail ones I was using so worked out lovely!
    People don't know what they want until you show them.
    • Matron Midge
    • By Matron Midge 20th Apr 17, 10:00 AM
    • 408 Posts
    • 3,520 Thanks
    Matron Midge
    Declaring on £518.68 for April. Quite expensive as it included Easter eggs and food for visitors over the Easter weekend.
    See you on the May thread.
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