Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 13th Oct 14, 12:54 PM
    • 9,342Posts
    • 17,803Thanks
    zippychick
    December 2017 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 13th Oct 14, 12:54 PM
    December 2017 Grocery Challenge 13th Oct 14 at 12:54 PM
    Hi everyone,

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

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

    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 29-11-2017 at 12:35 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide of Old Style MoneySaving, The Northern Ireland board,How Much Have you Saved? and Martin's Blogs.
    This means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and can move and merge posts there. However, do remember that Board Guides don't read every post. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. It is not part of my role to deal with reportable posts. Any views are mine and are not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    New to the Forum? Why not watch the Guide?
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 3
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 26th Nov 17, 7:57 PM
    • 673 Posts
    • 6,847 Thanks
    Mrs Cheshire
    Plans changed slightly today as I forgot to get the lamb out last night, Ended up going to a farm shop and garden centre today, so spent £12 on cheese for Christmas, and £20.97 on some toffee apple liqueur, damson jam and passion fruit and mango curd.
    Hubby wants to open the liqueur, I'm hoping we can keep it shut till Christmas then he can have it as one of his gifts. I'll add it to the budget though just in case.
    As the lamb wasn't ready I bought some pies from Tesc0 so spent £2.80 there.
    SPC #148 2014-£25 2015-£5.50 My stars from Sue-UU

    Grocery Challenge 2017
    Jan £262.74/£300 Feb £397.43/£300 Nov £96.93/£160
    Nov/Dec £441.12/£650
    • starting_again_in_the_sun
    • By starting_again_in_the_sun 27th Nov 17, 11:30 AM
    • 52 Posts
    • 197 Thanks
    starting_again_in_the_sun
    NSD yesterday.
    Just bought cat litter and bread total spent 1.98€.
    Being treated to a take away tonight.
    Will make lentil soup tomorrow which will do lunches for the rest of the week.
    Only rice and eggs to buy, and maybe an advent calendar .
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 27th Nov 17, 12:21 PM
    • 2,706 Posts
    • 27,966 Thanks
    XSpender
    I am still on November's budget but having done my meal plan for December and worked out a budget I am going to post it before I change my mind!

    My budget for December is £350.

    This is quite a bit lower than my usual monthly target but there are only 3 of us for Christmas dinner and tea this year, I have already bought a small turkey breast joint and we are going to my Sisters on boxing day. I also have 6 meals out at events or away with work that I won't need to provide food for.

    The overnights with work attract a meal allowance and I will have £60 to spend to spend on dinner and groceries. As long as it is food related work don't care what I buy with it.

    We will buy a bottle of baileys (currently on offer at Mr T) and a bottle of port (nectar points to cover this) and as long as I keep DH out of the supermarket and do the weekly shop on my own I have a good chance of coming in on budget.
    EF £1000 - £0
    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 27th Nov 17, 3:37 PM
    • 277 Posts
    • 2,127 Thanks
    purpleybat
    hello all,


    can I be put down for £200 for December please.
    even tho i'm on my own this year over crimble i'm thinking i'd like turkey, the thought of all those handy parcels of leftovers in the freezer is almost as good as eating the original meal.
    I also like extra budget to pick up reduced items on crimble eve and am hoping my pal will get double discount again for a week so I can stock up on tinned and dried goodies for the year.
    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 oct 151.56/160 nov 141.30/150
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 27th Nov 17, 5:51 PM
    • 1,352 Posts
    • 9,934 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Their direct.com site is 30% off at the moment elsiepac (Ecozone, I mean)
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Amazing, thank you so much! Checking the site now!

    Edit - I've done a bulk order, thank you so much for that! £29.40 later though lol
    Last edited by elsiepac; 27-11-2017 at 6:05 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy & 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: Nov £0/£165 | Oct £220/£220 | Sep £244.34/£250 | Aug £190.38/£200 | Jul £194.08/£150 | Jun £179.03/£150 | May £158.54/£150 | Apr £316.94/£200 | Mar £170.47/£120 | Feb £199.45/£160
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 27th Nov 17, 9:42 PM
    • 673 Posts
    • 6,847 Thanks
    Mrs Cheshire
    Did my main shop today, spent £49.95. Should last till the weekend
    SPC #148 2014-£25 2015-£5.50 My stars from Sue-UU

    Grocery Challenge 2017
    Jan £262.74/£300 Feb £397.43/£300 Nov £96.93/£160
    Nov/Dec £441.12/£650
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 28th Nov 17, 8:53 AM
    • 2,489 Posts
    • 30,844 Thanks
    thriftwizard
    Right - time to pick the budgetary reins back up - please could you put me down for £450 for December? My mother is currently “parked” with a delightful live-in carer whilst she recuperates; we had a try at a care home but she hated every minute of it! Having someone living in is actually cheaper and is providing her with company and fun too.

    But in the meantime we’ve had an unexpected “returner”; DS2’s 8-year relationship has sadly broken down. So the food bill won’t be reducing... luckily there is space for him, but at the cost of some of my stock, and I may have to put my foot down about his furniture.

    I’m going to be paying for the Christmas goodies out of a separate fund that I’ve been paying into all year; mind you, there are lots of things stashed away already. So the £450 is for food, animal supplies, toiletries & cleaning stuff for 5 adults, 2 cats (eldest having passed away last month, aged 20) 2 cockatiels & 11 assorted chickens & bantams. I’ll be feeding between 7 & 10 over Christmas, depending on Mum’s state of health.
    Angie

    GC Dec17 £338.63/£450

    Money's just a substitute for time & talent...
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 28th Nov 17, 11:44 AM
    • 673 Posts
    • 6,847 Thanks
    Mrs Cheshire
    Morning all,
    I'm currently trying to reduce the amount of meat we're eating, I've started adding lentils or oats to mince when making cottage pie or bolagnese. I'm also only using 1 large chicken breast to go round 2 adults and 3 kids (age 8,6,2).
    Does anyone had any other tips for reducing meat, don't mind trying a few veggie meals but hubby likes his meat so anything that tastes meaty even if there is a small amount in it.
    SPC #148 2014-£25 2015-£5.50 My stars from Sue-UU

    Grocery Challenge 2017
    Jan £262.74/£300 Feb £397.43/£300 Nov £96.93/£160
    Nov/Dec £441.12/£650
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 28th Nov 17, 2:05 PM
    • 1,352 Posts
    • 9,934 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Hi all

    A decent start to December for me - had to get a few "big ticket" items and spent nearly £30 doing a stock up order of cleaning products at 33% off..

    I have tons of fresh food in and last night realised just how many portions of food I have in the freezer - so the majority of the next 2 and a half weeks will be using some freezer meals and just pairing with veg and rice/potato etc where applicable. Should keep my next 2 weekly shops pretty much in budget. When I enter the last week of my December budget I reckon I'll be down to 8 or 9 individual portions of frozen "mains" so I'll probably cook something new that week.

    I'm going to have oats for breakfasts as usual and I will be making a big soup for lunches for each week as per usual.

    This week's lunch is one I make pretty much every month -I've made it so it's free on Slimming World - here's the recipe if you're interested:

    TORTILLA SOUP
    (Based on Oh She Glows recipe)

    1 big onion, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 fresh chilli, deseeded and chopped small (totally optional)
    1 big or 2 small courgettes, sliced and quartered
    2 peppers (both red or one red and one orange or yellow works well), chopped
    2 tins tomatoes
    1 knorr vegetable stock pot
    750 ml water
    1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed
    A good handful or two of sweetcorn
    2 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp chilli powder
    1/4 tsp cayenne

    Lime juice and fresh coriander to serve if you want

    Basically saut! the onion and garlic (and chilli if using) in water or frylight until soft
    Add the courgettes and peppers
    Mix well and keep cooking for a few mins
    Add every thing else (except lime juice and coriander) and stir well and cook for probably about 20 minutes maybe 30

    I got my five soup cups portions out of this, and each day to work I'll take half a lime to squeeze over and some coriander chopped up in a little pot to sprinkle on.
    This soup is really tasty and will warm you up nicely
    Enjoy!


    ...............................£180 Budget
    Date.......Shop......Amount....Remaining
    24 Nov.....Sains.....£02.00....£178.00(WEEK 1)
    24 Nov.....A1di......£11.98....£166.02(WEEK 1)
    24 Nov.....Refund...-£13.50....£179.52(WEEK 1)
    24 Nov.....Tesc0.....£43.91....£135.61(WEEK 1)
    24 Nov.....Tesc0.....£43.91....£135.61(WEEK 1)
    25 Nov.....H&B.......£09.87....£125.74(STOCK)
    25 Nov.....Tesc0.....£02.00....£123.74(WEEK 1)
    27 Nov.....Tesc0.....£06.80....£116.94(WEEK 1)
    27 Nov.....Ecozone...£29.40.....£87.54(STOCK)



    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy & 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: Nov £0/£165 | Oct £220/£220 | Sep £244.34/£250 | Aug £190.38/£200 | Jul £194.08/£150 | Jun £179.03/£150 | May £158.54/£150 | Apr £316.94/£200 | Mar £170.47/£120 | Feb £199.45/£160
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 28th Nov 17, 3:05 PM
    • 3,422 Posts
    • 10,540 Thanks
    Doom_and_Gloom
    Thank you to those that run this thread, you have been amazing. Can't quite believe that we are so close to the end of the year

    the two pet rats (Yes I said rats! ) have enough dried food for a month or so and get mini meals from some of our veggies etc.
    Originally posted by K.Mack
    OH and I have had mice (at one point had 23!) and then had rats in the past (6 girls and we fostered 2 boys for a while). For seven years now we have had our chinchillas; a boy and a girl that we rescued. I love the chinchillas but I do miss having rats. We just got to heart broken whenever we lost one that we couldn't bring ourselves to rescue any more. May foster again in the future one day though.

    Our December starts on the 1st and goes to the 31st. Our budget is £155 for the month. This is just for food and non-alcoholic drinks for OH and me. Chinchillas have a different budget. Although it doesn't include our solstice lunch and dinner, also we'll be round my parent's for Christmas so no need to budget for that either. So it's really for 29 days.

    Bulk - £36.45/£45. £8.55
    OH - £0/£60.
    Me - £0/£50.

    £36.45/£155.
    £118.55 left.
    28 year old vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
    • starting_again_in_the_sun
    • By starting_again_in_the_sun 28th Nov 17, 8:31 PM
    • 52 Posts
    • 197 Thanks
    starting_again_in_the_sun
    So DH found 20€ in wallet and went to the shop because DD was 'desperate for treats'. A bit annoyed because he knew I was trying to budget but it's not too bad.

    They spend 10.11€ and did buy eggs, rice, cheese,ham and an advent calendar as well as 'treats'.

    Hopefully no spending until Friday now!
    • K.Mack
    • By K.Mack 28th Nov 17, 10:02 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 175 Thanks
    K.Mack
    We just got to heart broken whenever we lost one that we couldn't bring ourselves to rescue any more. May foster again in the future one day though.
    Originally posted by Doom_and_Gloom
    I know how you feel. I've told OH that once these two boys go I can't have anymore for that reason, but I have a feeling the OH will persuade me!

    Today Aldi spend of £75.31. This included things like loo roll and washing powder. So will only have fresh food to buy the rest of the month.
    This leaves us with a weekly budget of £24.89.
    SPC = 11
    GC - Dec 132.74 /150.00
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 29th Nov 17, 7:32 AM
    • 1,352 Posts
    • 9,934 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Re ratties, I'm the same - I have a small animal rescue so I have various small furries, but rats are special - like little dogs, I love them so much. The last pair I had - around this time last year - would sit on the sofa with me every night for hours and we would have cuddles and they are just a delight. Unfortunately I am horribly allergic, so after they passed away - which was really traumatic as the first one to go was really unwell and I spent a lot of money trying to treat her, then her sister died, as they do, of a broken heart - I said I won't have any more. I can't deal with the heartbreak!

    No spends for me to add just yet - shopping day is tomorrow and I'm planning to just get veggies, maybe some fruit, perhaps some quinoa and rice to top up stocks and a couple of spices I've run out of/are periously close to running out. As mentioned before, I'm planning to live from freezer bulk cooking, except for I need to make a soup for lunches next week. I have Thursday and Friday off work next week and I'm out Wednesday night at a charity crafting event at a pub with my sister, who will be providing dinner afterwards. Also out Thursday night at another craft night coincidentally (decoupage and prosecco!) - never been to one before and bizarrely now two in the same week! I'm really looking forward to them!
    Last edited by elsiepac; 29-11-2017 at 7:38 AM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy & 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: Nov £0/£165 | Oct £220/£220 | Sep £244.34/£250 | Aug £190.38/£200 | Jul £194.08/£150 | Jun £179.03/£150 | May £158.54/£150 | Apr £316.94/£200 | Mar £170.47/£120 | Feb £199.45/£160
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • zafiro1984
    • By zafiro1984 30th Nov 17, 1:02 AM
    • 1,244 Posts
    • 9,821 Thanks
    zafiro1984
    Can you put me down for £310 for December. I've kept it the same as usual - ie £10 per day. I've tried to get ahead for Christmas over the last couple of months. The freezer comes in really handy - I've made and frozen

    3 Christmas puddings,
    2 Christmas cakes,
    72 uncooked sausage rolls - 36 made with sausagemeat and apple, 36 made with sausagemeat chestnuts and apricots (they are everyone's favourites)
    I've frozen about 5kg of sweet chestnuts, that took ages as you don't get much of a nut out of chestnuts grown in this country.
    36 uncooked mince pies, plus about 6kg of mincemeat - I freeze mine as there is too much apple in it to keep well in jars.
    2 x pheasant casseroles
    6 x venison wellingtons (same as beef but just made with venison)
    Loads of ice-cream as the hens were laying more than I was selling - it occupies 2 shelves in a freezer!!
    Turkeys - I grow my own.
    I've also made and frozen loads of 'nibbles' as we usually have a fair number of people who 'drop in' in the lead up to Christmas and over the holiday. It's so easy to stick a tray of frozen nibbles in the cooker when they arrive.

    Apart from the everyday stuff I really only have alcohol and crackers left to buy.
    Aug Grocery 258.35/250 Sept Grocery 352.33/300 Oct 266.36/310 Nov 153.48/300 Non food/alcohol Oct 24.30/Nov 28.49
    • Highland Fling
    • By Highland Fling 30th Nov 17, 9:34 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 98 Thanks
    Highland Fling
    hi everyone
    can I please join GC this month. I used to be a member of this forum years ago but due to a variety of circumstances I have fallen by the wayside with regards controlling spending.
    I have also fallen into the habit of popping into the local corner shop for bread and milk and exit £15 poorer. Haven't a clue how often that happens during a month. Ridiculous as my freezer is full and my cupboards are groaning.

    I know December may not be the best month to join but at least it will give me a rough idea of how much money I am wasting and probably how much food I have been wasting too,
    I will set my target at £250 this month which I think is well above what I should be spending but probably is well below what I have been spending.
    Wish me luck.
    • short_bird
    • By short_bird 30th Nov 17, 11:39 AM
    • 1,840 Posts
    • 26,188 Thanks
    short_bird
    OK, I'm back for December with a budget of £150.

    This includes food, laundry and household stuff and toiletries.
    It doesn't include going out drinkies or food during the trip to Reykjavik because I really have no idea what food is going to cost there. (I have found the supermarkets, there are 2 close to my hotel.)

    Hopefully I'll have found the plot in December and won't get gastric flu like I did this month
    Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas.
    • Coxy11
    • By Coxy11 30th Nov 17, 1:42 PM
    • 2,119 Posts
    • 25,983 Thanks
    Coxy11
    Hello all,
    Budgets updated to here
    Good luck for December everyone!
    Coxy
    Cross-stitch WIP #1: Collecting Shells by Nancy Cole
    • Pandora
    • By Pandora 30th Nov 17, 2:17 PM
    • 258 Posts
    • 1,228 Thanks
    Pandora
    Hello all, not been on here for absolutely ages and once again the budgeting has been forgotten and I'm getting a bit spend happy so need to get myself back on track and you guys always seem to keep me motivated
    December is going to be a bit expensive as I'm hosting Christmas for a few family members (about time I had a go at it!!) so I'm going to put a budget of £150!! This is from today until payday on 29th December and it's to cover normal stuff for me and the cat plus whatever extra food and drinks I need for Christmas.
    Already have a half full freezer (although it is only a small one), some food in the fridge and the cupboards are about half full so hoping I can make use of some of what I've got and not come too close to going over budget. Any money left over will be used to make an extra payment towards one of my debts, even if it is only a couple of quid. Every penny counts!!
    Good luck everyone!! xx
    DFW Nerd 145
    LBM - June 2006 - DEBTS - £19,261.08
    Nov 2017 - £10,644.92!!
    Debt free date - 13/08/2022 - the day before I turn 40!!!!!
    Grocery Challenge - Dec 2017 £30.63/£150
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 30th Nov 17, 7:58 PM
    • 2,706 Posts
    • 27,966 Thanks
    XSpender
    My month started on 28th and I have already had a few spends:

    £10.00 - DH McDonalds and kebab when I was away with work
    £0.95 - sweets on a long journey
    £10.90 - sweets for DS advent calendar, bottle of port on offer for Christmas
    £13.90 - bread, ham, cereal, oven chips, peanuts as ran out of basics before Mr T due tomorrow
    £35.70 TOTAL

    Week 1 - I have a large Mr T order coming tomorrow to use a £9 voucher which covers the meal plan for the first 2 weeks, 6 bottles of wine @ 25% off and my favourite GF beer on offer. Enough booze for me to last until mid Jan at least! Budget £35 spent + £105

    Week 2 - I have another large Mr T order coming to use another £9 voucher and to cover the rest of the food required for the meal plan for the month. Budget £81. I also have £40 of dinner allowance to spend this week.

    Week 3 - I will do a small shop for fresh food only and beer for DH. Budget £30 + £20 M&S gluten free Christmas bits

    Week 4 - I have a small Mr T delivery booked for the 22nd to take us up to the New Year and to cover the fresh bits for Christmas Day (potatoes, carrots and cabbage). Budget £50.

    M&S have sent me a £5 off £25 voucher for this week so I may spend this week 1 instead of week 2 as what I want from M&S is freezable.
    EF £1000 - £0
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 30th Nov 17, 8:50 PM
    • 673 Posts
    • 6,847 Thanks
    Mrs Cheshire
    Hi all

    A decent start to December for me - had to get a few "big ticket" items and spent nearly £30 doing a stock up order of cleaning products at 33% off..

    I have tons of fresh food in and last night realised just how many portions of food I have in the freezer - so the majority of the next 2 and a half weeks will be using some freezer meals and just pairing with veg and rice/potato etc where applicable. Should keep my next 2 weekly shops pretty much in budget. When I enter the last week of my December budget I reckon I'll be down to 8 or 9 individual portions of frozen "mains" so I'll probably cook something new that week.

    I'm going to have oats for breakfasts as usual and I will be making a big soup for lunches for each week as per usual.

    This week's lunch is one I make pretty much every month -I've made it so it's free on Slimming World - here's the recipe if you're interested:

    TORTILLA SOUP
    (Based on Oh She Glows recipe)

    1 big onion, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 fresh chilli, deseeded and chopped small (totally optional)
    1 big or 2 small courgettes, sliced and quartered
    2 peppers (both red or one red and one orange or yellow works well), chopped
    2 tins tomatoes
    1 knorr vegetable stock pot
    750 ml water
    1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed
    A good handful or two of sweetcorn
    2 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp chilli powder
    1/4 tsp cayenne

    Lime juice and fresh coriander to serve if you want

    Basically saut! the onion and garlic (and chilli if using) in water or frylight until soft
    Add the courgettes and peppers
    Mix well and keep cooking for a few mins
    Add every thing else (except lime juice and coriander) and stir well and cook for probably about 20 minutes maybe 30

    I got my five soup cups portions out of this, and each day to work I'll take half a lime to squeeze over and some coriander chopped up in a little pot to sprinkle on.
    This soup is really tasty and will warm you up nicely
    Enjoy!


    Originally posted by elsiepac
    Thank you for the recipe, I'm following SW and always looking for new ideas for lunch

    Can you put me down for £310 for December. I've kept it the same as usual - ie £10 per day. I've tried to get ahead for Christmas over the last couple of months. The freezer comes in really handy - I've made and frozen

    3 Christmas puddings,
    2 Christmas cakes,
    72 uncooked sausage rolls - 36 made with sausagemeat and apple, 36 made with sausagemeat chestnuts and apricots (they are everyone's favourites)
    I've frozen about 5kg of sweet chestnuts, that took ages as you don't get much of a nut out of chestnuts grown in this country.
    36 uncooked mince pies, plus about 6kg of mincemeat - I freeze mine as there is too much apple in it to keep well in jars.
    2 x pheasant casseroles
    6 x venison wellingtons (same as beef but just made with venison)
    Loads of ice-cream as the hens were laying more than I was selling - it occupies 2 shelves in a freezer!!
    Turkeys - I grow my own.
    I've also made and frozen loads of 'nibbles' as we usually have a fair number of people who 'drop in' in the lead up to Christmas and over the holiday. It's so easy to stick a tray of frozen nibbles in the cooker when they arrive.

    Apart from the everyday stuff I really only have alcohol and crackers left to buy.
    Originally posted by zafiro1984
    sounds amazing, would love to drop in!
    How do you make the sausage rolls?
    SPC #148 2014-£25 2015-£5.50 My stars from Sue-UU

    Grocery Challenge 2017
    Jan £262.74/£300 Feb £397.43/£300 Nov £96.93/£160
    Nov/Dec £441.12/£650
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

206Posts Today

1,280Users online

Martin's Twitter