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  • FIRST POST
    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 13th Oct 14, 12:54 PM
    • 9,330Posts
    • 17,750Thanks
    zippychick
    October 2017 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 14, 12:54 PM
    October 2017 Grocery Challenge 13th Oct 14 at 12:54 PM
    Hi everyone,

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

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your September budget, then keep on posting in the September 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 #4 to #10 this thread (the list is growing!!!!!)

    For everyones totals, see post #3 on this thread

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Zip
    Last edited by zippychick; 21-09-2017 at 10:24 AM.
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Page 5
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 2nd Oct 17, 9:02 PM
    • 2,453 Posts
    • 30,417 Thanks
    thriftwizard
    Eeeek! Another £29.97 down already, as OH has had his dietary advice updated. And that's only what was easily available here in this little town today; two items out of about eleven. I'm thinking I should add that £30 unspent in September back onto this month's target, taking it up to £430 to cover some of this. Some bits I'll be able to pick up at the market far cheaper than the supermarket, but it's not on until Friday...

    Great bargains, Doom_and_Gloom!
    Angie

    GC Oct17 £348.79/£430

    Money's just a substitute for time & talent...
    • sweetpea26
    • By sweetpea26 3rd Oct 17, 6:33 AM
    • 693 Posts
    • 4,571 Thanks
    sweetpea26
    Hi Zippychick
    I have not taken part in this challenge for quite a while..please put me down for £400 please
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 3rd Oct 17, 9:32 AM
    • 2,563 Posts
    • 26,431 Thanks
    CRANKY40
    I budget £50 a week for food for the house troll (aged 12 - takes packed lunch to school) and myself. I also budget £20 a week for pet food. October is a 5 week month for me so I'm in for £350.

    I did try to stick to budget throughout the school holidays but any leftover funds seemed to just get sucked into our days out and treats funds so I have no real idea of what went where. I have a separate grocery shopping purse again from this month, and the pet food money stays in the bank for now as I get the pet supplies delivered every 2 weeks (Asda minimum order £40 for delivery and it saves me loading/unloading it and carrying it all indoors).

    I've also joined JackieO's love food hate waste thread. I am determined that what I buy will be eaten not thrown away. I have a bad habit of buying some things with a vague idea of what to make with them then not fancying whatever it was so the stuff doesn't get used. If it can be frozen then that isn't a problem but still...... I'm not working at the moment but I am having a wound on my leg dressed every day so I am out of the house daily. I know that a lot of people here aspire to No Spend Days, but for me I'm hoping for the opposite. If I really want to make something and I am missing an item or two then I will buy it on the day that I need it when I am really sure that I am going to make/eat whatever I have in mind. I can't stand for very long because of my sore leg and I can't batch cook because the freezer is already full (luckily there's already some batch cooked stuff in there which should make the leg problem easier).
    • butterfly2507
    • By butterfly2507 3rd Oct 17, 10:01 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 1,633 Thanks
    butterfly2507
    I'm joining in again this month Please put me down for 200 € !
    Sept GC 192 € / 250€
    Oct GC 97,92 € / 200 € NSD: 16 / 31

    english is not my first language, sorry for any misspellings
    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 3rd Oct 17, 10:39 AM
    • 255 Posts
    • 1,942 Thanks
    purpleybat
    I did another morries online shop this week, I got a huge list of stuff for £34.74. I've taken off the cost of a cauli cos they sent me one seriously on the turn, really wasn't impressed with that but it happens and they're refunding it for me.
    back to work for me, I think Thursday, and am aware it's top up shops I do on my way home that adds to my monthly bill. will have to wear blinkers as I walk home as travel to hospital for me and Aged P and prescriptions for me have been rather expensive over the last few weeks.
    started on crimble preserves and as soon as I have more jars I need to make jam with the fruit in the freezer.
    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 july 148.23/170 aug 163/170 sep 123.67/160
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 3rd Oct 17, 11:11 AM
    • 582 Posts
    • 3,630 Thanks
    PipneyJane
    Count me in, please. We finished last month with £23.30 left in the purse so my budget for October is £143.30.


    - Pip
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
    • Need2bthrifty
    • By Need2bthrifty 3rd Oct 17, 12:33 PM
    • 868 Posts
    • 7,844 Thanks
    Need2bthrifty
    First shop of the month this morning, eggs, ground almonds, jam (been craving bakewell sponge since someone on the CFO thread mentioned it) milk, cheese, frozen green beans, curry sauce (just cause I cba and P@taks are reduced in Mr T at the moment) and cheap fizzy water = Total so far of £8.63

    My menu plans start on a Fri so the rest of the week goes as follows:-
    Tues - D = Fish Fingers, cauliflower cheese, sweetcorn
    Wed - D = Turkey meatballs in curry sauce, rice, green salad
    Thurs - D = Spag Bol, green beans & slice of garlic bread
    Breakfasts will be yoghurt or porridge with fruit of some sort.
    Lunches mostly soups in the freezer, salads or sandwiches.
    Oct GC = £49.92/£60.00
    • sweetpea26
    • By sweetpea26 3rd Oct 17, 12:51 PM
    • 693 Posts
    • 4,571 Thanks
    sweetpea26
    Decided to start getting a weekly delivery as I have spent a small fortune popping into shops, way too often.

    Delivery .... £81.99

    cheese on offer in local shop £1.49 and some fresh local bread £1

    going to go to Lidl tomorrow for cereal and some specials.

    £84.48 today

    Dinner tonight Lamb for hubby with potatoes/chips fresh veg and yoghurt..1 at home and I, grilled chicken roast veg with fruit to follow.

    I am trying to lose weight and exercise more too.

    MEAL PLAN for rest of week

    Wednesday........ Roast Pork and mashed potatoes, Cabbage with bacon, chicken for me, fresh veg.
    Thursday............ Home made spag bol, mince carrots onions gravy potatoes (hubby hates spag bol )
    Friday................ Steak mushroom onions fresh veg and chips for family I will have turkey or chicken with same sides.
    Saturday........... Pizza ( Homemade dough etc) and salad
    Sunday.............. Indian Curry homemade with Naan, Poppodums, Salad.
    Monday............. Left overs from Sunday plus use up what meat and veg left in fridge for those who dont fancy curry 2 days in a row

    Breakfasts .... porridge, cereal, bagels, fruit.

    Feeding 4/6 depending from Thursday to Sunday.
    2/3 during week.
    Last edited by sweetpea26; 03-10-2017 at 1:04 PM.
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 3rd Oct 17, 1:55 PM
    • 582 Posts
    • 3,630 Thanks
    PipneyJane
    Hi, I'd like to join in, if I may?

    Out of interest - I have around 640 g of beef mince. I'm planning on making some spag bol, lasagna and chili con carne out of that - padded out with chick peas, kidney beans and other veg I think this will make quite a lot but the OH is adamant that it would only cover 6 portions max... I think it will end up being more (and he's not doing the cooking )... how many portions/meals would you get out of that amount of mince?
    !
    Originally posted by CattyCatX

    I would get between 2 and 3 meals out of that quantity of mince, each meal consisting of 4 generous portions. My standard "recipe's worth" of mince is 250g.


    I pad it with veggies, lentils (today's lunch of Spaghetti Bolognese included a quarter cup of split red lentils), or beans depending on what I'm making. If you look at my blog, you'll find a post called "Minced (Ground) Beef and Other Possibilities" - that contains my basic recipe but, after a glut, I now add 250-ish grams of grated courgette instead of microwaved aubergine. The post is from May 2007. (Are we still not allowed to link directly to our blogs?)
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
    • Coxy11
    • By Coxy11 3rd Oct 17, 2:04 PM
    • 2,096 Posts
    • 25,668 Thanks
    Coxy11
    Hello lovely people! I'm back after my laptop died......
    Budgets list updated to here - hopefully I've captured everyone's budget but let me know if I've missed anything.
    Please post budgets in red if you can as it helps me to spot them!!
    Good luck everyone!
    Coxy x
    Cross-stitch WIP #1: Collecting Shells by Nancy Cole
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    • zoelikesjam
    • By zoelikesjam 3rd Oct 17, 8:21 PM
    • 405 Posts
    • 5,523 Thanks
    zoelikesjam
    Evening you beautiful lot

    Payday today so a food shop done.

    £6.70 in Mr T
    £58.56 in L*dl...but £tenner of that was for alcohol, so can be taken off.. So in total £244.74/£300
    May the force of the flyladies be with you
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    • Cherry Burton
    • By Cherry Burton 3rd Oct 17, 9:11 PM
    • 87 Posts
    • 458 Thanks
    Cherry Burton
    Hi all,

    My first spend this was is £16.77, a combination of ALDI and ASDA for the things I can't get at ALDI.I forgot to get mushrooms but this is the only thing currently on my list. The meal plan for this week, (starting last Sunday) is

    Sunday - Tomato and veg stew
    Monday - Beef stew & lots of veg
    Tuesday - Stuffed peppers
    Wednesday - Beef stew and loads of veg
    Thursday - Eating out
    Friday - Salmon stir fry

    Lunch is leftovers or HM soup

    Quite a meat and fish heavy week this week which is unusual. Next big shop will be Saturday 7th. I did not commit to NSD at the beginning of the month but I think I will start now and try to commit to tomorrow being a NSD
    Debt 08/14 - £8200
    Mortgage 1/1/14 approx £50,000, 1/8/16 £31,269 1/9/16 27500 3/10/16 £25842
    1/11/16 £23987 1/12/16 £22050 1/4/17 £16312 3/7/17 £9989 1/8/17 £7,666 1/9/17 £5959 2/10/2012 £4772
    • kitkat71
    • By kitkat71 4th Oct 17, 3:43 AM
    • 5 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    kitkat71
    Another spend and only the 3rd!
    I'm determined to stick to my budget and plenty in freezer, cupboards etc.
    10.54 on soap powder, fruit, bread , salt and pepper, dog treats and tissues. Need to buy OH some head and shoulders but will buy from Sains on Thursday as on offer there for 3.50 for large bottle. Shouldn't need anything else other than milk perhaps.
    May try one of those £5 Morries veg boxes at wknd too.
    153.88 to last until 31st
    • pamsdish
    • By pamsdish 4th Oct 17, 8:07 AM
    • 755 Posts
    • 4,058 Thanks
    pamsdish
    First spend of Oct yesterday, £12.55 in Morries, 3 jars of coffee @£4 and t.v. mag 55p, paid for coffee with 2 £5 vouchers, BUT, had deducted that £10 from damage limitation end Sept, so can`t count it twice.
    OCTOBER, £200, -£12.55=£187.45,-£39.70=£147.75,-£9.49=£138.26,-£21=£117, -£11=£106
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 4th Oct 17, 2:37 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 598 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    £15 spent on macadamia and cashews yesterday....should get a minimum of 3 loads of 'goats' cheese from that though (1st one made this morning)....

    I have raided the fridge and made enough food to keep us going tor the next couple of days at least, plus I have checked the store cupboards and freezer and think I can probably do the rest of the month pretty cheaply!!
    MFW £3510.00/£22968.96: October GC £30/£300
    • Need2bthrifty
    • By Need2bthrifty 4th Oct 17, 4:17 PM
    • 868 Posts
    • 7,844 Thanks
    Need2bthrifty
    Oh what a nuisance, I thought I had some more bread in the freezer but no, so today another £1.10 to add to my spends for a farmhouse loaf, no distractions though straight to the bread aisle then checkouts, halo intact
    Oct GC = £49.92/£60.00
    • MissRikkiC
    • By MissRikkiC 4th Oct 17, 4:23 PM
    • 42 Posts
    • 515 Thanks
    MissRikkiC
    Hi Everyone


    Its been over 4 years since I have posted to this thread; I am blown away that its still going strong! I feel like a fraud having received my service badges!


    Could you add me in please Coxy? My month runs 25th - 24th and had a few spends already but working to £180 for the 2 of us this month, with the dogs food on top!


    We are currently in the process of applying for a mortgage and so saving every penny possible for the fees/deposit so thought I would try and be accountable!


    Currently tracking at £40.78/£180


    I bought enough food this week to last for meals all week; meals are planned and as follows:


    Wednesday - Taken out for dinner
    Thursday - Beef Stew
    Friday - Fishcakes
    Saturday - Bfast: Full English, Dinner:Risotto
    Sunday - Anniversary Dinner <3
    Classy women drinks pints, watch the football and have a potty mouth
    • NewShadow
    • By NewShadow 4th Oct 17, 5:19 PM
    • 2,227 Posts
    • 10,194 Thanks
    NewShadow
    Total spends so far this month = £71.70 on food + £3.60 train ticket.
    Originally posted by NewShadow
    The theatre was nice last night. My friend bought the dinner - we take turns - so all I spent was £5 buying a round of drinks and the admin fee for the tickets themselves (show film first).

    Back to work today and I remembered to grab my pack-up. About to heat up the leftover portion of tangine for dinner and I even successfully resisted buying a coffee at work, so today has been my first NSD of the month

    Total spends so far this month = £76.70 on food/drink + £7.60 for 'Social' stuff.

    Plan
    Breakfast Porridge and frozen/dried fruit + Banana

    Lunches
    One 'free' Sunday lunch
    Baked potato with beans and cottage cheese
    Soup-n-Sarnie
    Thurs - Baked potato with beans and cottage cheese
    Fri - Soup-n-Sarnie

    Dinner
    LO Beef stew
    One 'free' pre-show dinner
    Tangine style meal with aubergine and sweet potato
    Tangine style meal with aubergine and sweet potato
    Thurs - Roast turkey dinner
    Fri - An eat-up/leftover day

    Snacks
    Flapjacks x 2
    That sounds like a classic case of premature extrapolation.
    • ancientmum
    • By ancientmum 4th Oct 17, 8:45 PM
    • 120 Posts
    • 914 Thanks
    ancientmum
    Hello everyone,

    I have moved to a flat and DS3 has gone to uni, so the household consists of me, two cats and a crested gecko.

    Sorry I am late with my budget Coxy and Zippy, but please could you put me down for £125 for 1st-31st October.

    I have not been keeping track of my food spends over the last two months but have managed to stock up the freezer and cupboards. I also took advantage of a Sainsb online order offer (£20 off a £60 spend and free delivery) to get a supply of cat litter and cat food. Anything left over at the end of this month will go towards the next order which should be due towards the end of November.

    First spend has been £35.91 at Ald+ and 50p for an end of the day loaf from the baker.
    If life is a journey, I want comfy shoes
    Jan-July 17 GC £1156.46/1170
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 5th Oct 17, 11:17 AM
    • 2,633 Posts
    • 27,113 Thanks
    XSpender
    My total stands at £68.13 for week 1 with today been the last day of the week and I am not expecting to spend anything. This is a very low spend for us and actually includes £11.40 on a fast food McD breakfast and £15 DH spent on a takeaway and lunch when I was away this week.

    I was hoping for a much lower spend this coming week but we are out of coffee, dog food, laundry capsules, hair dye and dishwasher tablets which have added £25 to the bill.

    At least I am home next week so will make DH lunch so he doesn't spend anything extra and I can live put of the cupboard and fridge.

    I have done my meal plan, checked the freezer and cupboards, written my list and it comes to £53 odd with Asda. I am shopping at Asda instead of Aldi this week as I need branded coffee, hair dye and GF wraps.

    I will need to have a cheap week next week to keep on target.

    Next Weeks Meal Plan

    Friday - SW Chicken and Chorizo Spanish Rice
    Saturday - Cheesy Chicken and Bean Enchiladas and spicy wedges
    Sunday - Sausage and mash, kale, carrots, cauliflower, gravy
    Monday - SW slow cooker spicy pork and rice
    Tuesday - SW Veggie pasties, mushy peas and SW chips
    Wednesday - SW Sausage and bacon pasta bake (HM) using SW chorizo style sausages
    Thursday - Veggie lentil chilli and wedges

    Breakfasts - cereal, bananas, toasted bagels (jam or cream cheese)
    Lunches - sandwiches, soup, beans on toast, eggs, fruit, yogurts, crisps, HM chocolate brownies, curly wurly or malt loaf
    Last edited by XSpender; 05-10-2017 at 11:28 AM.
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