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    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 8th Mar 16, 11:39 AM
    • 1,375Posts
    • 10,212Thanks
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 16, 11:39 AM
    8th Mar 16 at 11:39 AM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the third Grocery Challenge of 2018 !!!!

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

    As always this challenge is to reduce your own grocery budget to levels that you will be pleased with, not forgetting that we always recommend that you stay inside your own comfort levels and take things gently one step at a time. Remember that this is not a'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 #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!

    Last edited by elsiepac; 23-02-2018 at 11:10 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 (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
Page 10
    • kkffoo
    • By kkffoo 8th Mar 18, 8:31 AM
    • 51 Posts
    • 561 Thanks
    Spent £24.75 out of the £50 we allocate for shopping trips during the week.
    This leaves enough for our main Aldi trip end of week.
    I order an Iceland delivery every 4 weeks which covers our protein for weekday evening meals, and is just over their free delivery amount of £35 so there's 35/4 £8.75 to add.
    Also 70p on toiletries, which is a relief as last month everything needed re-stocking.

    I'm missing my son's after work pop in bargains. He needed to up the security on his motorbike after an attempted theft and now his available storage is mostly full of thick security chain. He gets discount in the food shop where he works and he was able to combine that with their offers. The shop is hard for me to get to so I can't just push a trolley round then get him to pay end of shift.
    Wondering what the payback time would be on a topbox.
    Last edited by kkffoo; 08-03-2018 at 8:35 AM. Reason: Adding items
    • xironsongx
    • By xironsongx 8th Mar 18, 9:33 AM
    • 110 Posts
    • 302 Thanks
    Okay so i've been paid and here's the update:

    £210 for online
    £40.00 for little bits

    So far;
    £8.00 spent on today's lunch for me & OH as we have not been able to get our shopping deleveried as it will come tomorrow

    = £202 left to spend
    Wedding BA £900.80 Wedding piggy bank: £39.00 total: £939.80 / £5,600 (15%)
    Emergency fund: £20.00 / £1,000 (2%)
    March NSD : 4/15
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 8th Mar 18, 11:15 AM
    • 1,375 Posts
    • 10,212 Thanks
    Hope everyone is getting on ok!

    I've been pretty good about not popping to shops - I needed a few fresh bits on Tuesday annoyingly so had 3 little spends - Tesc0 at lunch for a couple of things for lunch, and then big Tesc0 and Ald1 after work... less than a tenner spent overall though and I'm fairly pleased with where I am in the month. Not perfect, but doing ok.

    I've done about half of a meal plan to try and make use of what's in my fridge currently... I'll be doing my shop tomorrow as I have the day off so no point rushing about tonight when I would usually do it!

    Plus, I've decided to make more use of the veg man as you get such cheap deals, and he is only there Friday and Saturday each week, so I want to restructure my shopping slightly to accomodate this... perhaps look at doing the supermarket stuff on Thursday nights and pop to veg man straight from work Fridays so I'm not doing everything in one go. The whole point of going Thursdays is the Friday night is really a horrible time to do the supermarkets, so I do want to avoid that still! Thursdays work well for me!

    Tonight I'm having a portion of spag bol from the freezer with linguine probably and the end of a bendy broccoli and some green beans.

    ...............................£250 Budget
    24 Feb.....Ocad0.....£75.04....£174.96(STOCK)
    24 Feb.....Sains.....£19.55....£155.41(WEEK 1)
    24 Feb.....Tesc0.....£61.19.....£94.22(WEEK 1)
    24 Feb.....A1di......£03.18.....£91.04(WEEK 1)
    1 Mar......Tesc0.....£32.38.....£58.66(WEEK 2)
    6 Mar......Tesc0.....£03.24.....£55.42(WEEK 2)
    6 Mar......A1di......£01.45.....£53.97(WEEK 2)
    6 Mar......Tesc0.....£04.55.....£49.42(WEEK 2)

    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 (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
    • caronc
    • By caronc 8th Mar 18, 11:53 AM
    • 3,390 Posts
    • 22,415 Thanks
    £42 spent today mainly on food for Saturday as catering for 9! Total so far for March is £68/£150
    GC - Jan18 £55/£120, Feb18 £68/£120, Mar £70/£150
    GC YTD - £193/£390
    • K9sandFelines
    • By K9sandFelines 8th Mar 18, 1:01 PM
    • 1,876 Posts
    • 15,903 Thanks
    Yesterday spent £1.02 on bananas in the Co-op, as i had to pick up a Click and Collect from the Tesco virtually next door. I went in for air freshener which is vegan, but they don't sell their own brand in this particular store; so had to get DD1 to get it today as she is passing another store whilst visiting her friend.

    Currently planning what to buy from Aldi with my Dad later. Haven't been for about a month due to work and college, snow and his car being in for an M.O.T. I also have Ocado coming for some food items and Astonish stuff. Although Aldi's toiletries, cleaning and cosmetics are now officially Cruelty Free registered they are not vegan.

    Have forgotten to add the delivery pass of £6.99 for Ocado too, so will add that and pre-empted amount of £14.00 for Ocado delivery tonight ( toiletries and beauty etc isn't included in my budget's purely food).
    Last edited by K9sandFelines; 08-03-2018 at 1:10 PM.
    GC 2017 (£4,000/£3434.09) Jan £264.28, Feb £179.18, Mar £144.91/£270 p.m/£3,250 p.a

    ~ Still learning the art of frugality ~
    • K9sandFelines
    • By K9sandFelines 8th Mar 18, 2:09 PM
    • 1,876 Posts
    • 15,903 Thanks
    Have £8.60 to add now for 2 Granovita vegetable spreads and 2 x Merdidian 1kg peanut butter. Got BOGOHP and 20FREE gives 20% off plus free delivery and £2.00 off in H&B points at Holland and Barrett. Hopefully the peanut butter at least should last some time. Costs £10 ish normally for roughly 1kg when Meridian is on offer in supermarkets.
    Last edited by K9sandFelines; 12-03-2018 at 8:32 PM.
    GC 2017 (£4,000/£3434.09) Jan £264.28, Feb £179.18, Mar £144.91/£270 p.m/£3,250 p.a

    ~ Still learning the art of frugality ~
    • JingsMyBucket
    • By JingsMyBucket 8th Mar 18, 5:15 PM
    • 151 Posts
    • 1,646 Thanks
    Afternoon everyone. We did end up spending at the grocery store last night during our reconnaissance trip. OH paid for everything because 95% of what we got was for him. He went nuts when he found his favourite smoothies (finally!), and declared that we were going back there for our stock up trips. I found several items that I haven't been able to find in the smaller neighbourhood stores and OH found HP sauce and was so happy! He audibly gasped when he saw it. Plus, it only cost €2.85 which is really cheap for imported HP sauce. The rest of the stuff he bought was yoghurt for himself, smoothies, the HP sauce and a few other things I've wiped from my memory due to work stress.

    So the spends for me were (that OH paid for):

    €3.94 - for a regular pack of bacon and for a more high end pack of bacon. I wanted to compare the two at some point. The latter looked much meatier and but also fattier in a good way.

    Totals So Far:
    €97.74 / €400.00
    5/10 NSD
    £0/£150 UK stock up

    My freezer is insanely full of proteins, mixed up meatballs, frozen veg and hm ready made dinners
    for OH. I really must stop buying and I will. The only shopping I'll probably do between now and next week will likely be for berries or a couple of toiletries.
    MAR 18 GC: €156.14/€400.00 // 11/10 NSD // £0/£150 UK stock up
    FEB 18 GC: €250.44/€450 and 15/10 NSD
    JAN 18 GC: €377.92/€550.00 // 8 NSD
    Dec 17 GC: €406.50/€350.00 // 11 NSD // £198.57/£200 UK stock up
    • pamsdish
    • By pamsdish 8th Mar 18, 5:52 PM
    • 833 Posts
    • 4,670 Thanks
    £11.47 on a quick flit into Tosco chicken for the dog chocolate for me, and Wilkos, as I can never just walk past.
    OCT£200£106NOV£200CRUISE,DEC£200XMAS.JAN £200=£107FEB£200=£40,MARCH£175-£32=£143,-£15=£128,-£11=£117,-£23=£94,-£29=£65,-£42=£23
    • Poppy1984
    • By Poppy1984 8th Mar 18, 8:10 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 192 Thanks
    Hiya just done a shop at Aldi which brings me to £150/ £200 for the month as I won't go shopping again before pay day (15th) and for me my month runs 15th-15th x
    19-02-18 Total Debt £3,800 Next £815 Very £1600 Tesco Credit Card £1600 PAID £300 off Next acc
    March Challenges: Grocery Challenge £150/£200 NSD 2/10 Bring lunch to work8/22 EF fund £265/£300
    • K9sandFelines
    • By K9sandFelines 8th Mar 18, 8:14 PM
    • 1,876 Posts
    • 15,903 Thanks
    I spent £60 odd pound at Aldi, and that included a Dairy free egg for GD1 and a bottle of Creme Caramel liquor (would recommend this to anybody wanting to try, it's like dessert in a glass).

    I need to bring total to £92.04
    GC 2017 (£4,000/£3434.09) Jan £264.28, Feb £179.18, Mar £144.91/£270 p.m/£3,250 p.a

    ~ Still learning the art of frugality ~
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 8th Mar 18, 8:52 PM
    • 792 Posts
    • 8,075 Thanks
    Mrs Cheshire
    Did my main shop at Ald! today spent £57.98, but realised when I got home that the checkout assistant has missed a half price label, so returned this evening and got a refund and bought some squash too as I forgot earlier, so another £2.32 to add.

    The shopping should last most of the week, will need to get more bread and milk probably on monday.
    SPC #148 2014-£25 2015-£5.50 My stars from Sue-UU

    Grocery Challenge 2018
    Jan £400.33/£400 Feb £383.02/£400 Mar £275.38/£370
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 9th Mar 18, 6:36 AM
    • 1,246 Posts
    • 22,101 Thanks
    Hi all,

    Really impressed with myself. I went ysing yesterday, in THREE shops. There were no good ys things, so I bought NOTHING. In any of them! I can't remember the last time I walked out of a sm without buying anything, and I did it three times yesterday!

    What's even better, is that because I didn't get anything, my first thought was is get a chippy tea, but then I had a stern chat with myself and went home and cooked something.

    I know I will mess up from time to time, but I really feel this year that I'm changing my mindset.

    So, as of yesterday, 8 days of March so far, 7 nsds!

    PG x
    Grocery challenge for family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(11), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries. Jan £87.97/£100 Feb £0/£100
    Frugal 2018 needed! Saving and NOT spending
    • JingsMyBucket
    • By JingsMyBucket 9th Mar 18, 7:23 AM
    • 151 Posts
    • 1,646 Thanks
    Hi all,

    Really impressed with myself. I went ysing yesterday, in THREE shops. There were no good ys things, so I bought NOTHING. In any of them! I can't remember the last time I walked out of a sm without buying anything, and I did it three times yesterday!

    What's even better, is that because I didn't get anything, my first thought was is get a chippy tea, but then I had a stern chat with myself and went home and cooked something.

    I know I will mess up from time to time, but I really feel this year that I'm changing my mindset.

    So, as of yesterday, 8 days of March so far, 7 nsds!

    PG x
    Originally posted by PennyGrabber
    Well done! That is so hard to resist!
    MAR 18 GC: €156.14/€400.00 // 11/10 NSD // £0/£150 UK stock up
    FEB 18 GC: €250.44/€450 and 15/10 NSD
    JAN 18 GC: €377.92/€550.00 // 8 NSD
    Dec 17 GC: €406.50/€350.00 // 11 NSD // £198.57/£200 UK stock up
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 9th Mar 18, 7:29 AM
    • 15,452 Posts
    • 197,479 Thanks
    Late in as usual I am budgeting and meal planning but just not had time to come in.
    Feb was just in budget

    Going for £400 for March

    Working a lot more hours so meal planning and batch cooking for the week is helping plus I'm not getting a chance to get down the shops now I'm always in work.

    Meal plan did go to pot Wednesday evening I'd just.put the shepherds pie in the oven and we had a power cut. Luckily we have a gas hob so quickly subbed meal to pasta mushrooms and quoin chunks stirred through mushroom soup.
    Last edited by mrs-moneypenny; 09-03-2018 at 7:33 AM.
    grocery challenge February budget £400 spent £78
    SPC~11 No100 : : X4 O/t fund so far £600
    read your books challenge-currently on After you
    spirit of the wolf
    17in 2018challenge 1/18
    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 9th Mar 18, 9:10 AM
    • 319 Posts
    • 2,695 Thanks
    I spent £25.78 on thursday in lidl, I've only just found the receipt.
    I have a morries delivery arriving saturday evening, it's total is about £70 but not all of it comes in on this budget so will have to wait to look at the receipt to tot up what i've spent there.
    on saturday I will have to pick up some veg from lidls, have compared prices and its cheaper for me to detour than get them on my delivery. onions and stuff I need are on offer so worth the fight throo the hordes of weekend shoppers.
    cos then I will have a full freezer and fridge i'm hoping that next weeks shop will be sarnie stuff, fruit and yogurt. fingers crossed
    gc 2017 £1841.27.
    2018 jan £124.69/£130 feb £157.97/£150
    • kkffoo
    • By kkffoo 9th Mar 18, 9:19 AM
    • 51 Posts
    • 561 Thanks
    £5.99 over for the weekly target...argh.

    Need to be more careful in Aldi matching prices to products. Premium kitchen roll was one buying error.
    The price cards aren't always lined up with the products and I struggle to read the smaller item specific writing with my normal glasses.
    My reading glasses were in my bag but I feel like Professor Brainstorm swapping them over in the aisle.

    Anyway, now I know these products have more than one type I can be more careful in future and put it down to experience.

    We are currently on a disposables reduction drive so this is an additional incentive.
    Target £69 per week groceries, household and toiletries for four adults.
    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 9th Mar 18, 11:28 AM
    • 319 Posts
    • 2,695 Thanks
    just a quicky....
    i normally shop in lidl and once a month or so get a delivery from morries for stuff I can't get at lidl.
    a friend of mine has offered me a lift to aldi that's a few towns away when she goes next week and I was wondering what any of you would recommend. I've looked on the website and they seem to do some nice sounding chutneys I think I might get and some toffees.
    thankyou in advance
    gc 2017 £1841.27.
    2018 jan £124.69/£130 feb £157.97/£150
    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 9th Mar 18, 4:17 PM
    • 433 Posts
    • 2,926 Thanks
    Hello £14.42 spend in Tesco and £2.50 convience station This brings my total so far up to £24.78.. which brings me £5.22 under budget.
    #545- SPC/Frugal Living Challenge March NSD 7/15
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 9th Mar 18, 5:19 PM
    • 3,462 Posts
    • 10,808 Thanks
    We spent a total of £21.27 today.
    OH spent £4.71; Silverside daubes, deep pan meat feast pizza, 600g sweet potato and wasabi paste.
    I spent £21.27; Vegan sausages (12), sushi vinegar, sweet and spicy gochujang (2 bottles), 1kg courgettes, 600g sweet potatoes, 1.345kg bananas, celeriac, 700g red grapes, oranges (10), Alpro soya yogurt (2), 930g butternut squash and a cucumber.

    Me - £22.35/£77.50. £55.15 left.
    OH - £17.59/£77.50. £59.91left.
    Total - £39.94/£155. £115.06 left.
    28 year old vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
    • YorksLass
    • By YorksLass 9th Mar 18, 7:31 PM
    • 304 Posts
    • 5,707 Thanks
    Thanks to the recent bad weather I’ve been relying on what we have in instead of going shopping. The downside is that I was beginning to run out of lots of things – not just food, but also household and cleaning items. So a Sainsbobs order/delivery came on Wednesday. Total spend not as bad as expected and I had an £8 MOC to use plus a 20p refund, so the groceries element came to £54.15. Will have to up my separate budget for household/cleaning stuff though – these things seem to have gone up an awful lot over the last 12 months.

    When I was unpacking I found I’d got two substitute items (OK with these) but hadn’t received three frozen items that I’d ordered. Instead I’d got someone else’s bag of frozen goods. As I’d been charged for the missing items I rang customer services. They apologised, gave me an £8 refund (the missing items cost £6.15) and told me to keep the wrong bag (900g of oven chips and 1 ltr ice cream). I hope whoever got my bag likes my choices!

    Today I went to the PO to pay some cash into our holiday pot and, as it’s in the local Co-op, I had a look around (as you do). I bought 2 chicken & bacon slices (half price promo), a punnet of cherry tomatoes, a tub of beef spread, a banana (I’m the only one who eats them), x6 YS sausage rolls and 2 YS large pizza bases (BBE Mar 2018 and freezeable). Last week DH lost his loyalty card (linked to mine) and I asked if it had been handed in. The checkout lady thought it had but couldn’t find it. There was only just over £6 on it so I used mine to pay for the shopping and will order new cards for us.

    DH went to market this morning for a few bits so our total spends for today came to £6.56.

    I’m trying to stretch 4 weeks' cash over a 5-week month and I’m optimistic it will work out as I have £71.56 left in the budget for the next 3 weeks as well as a full freezer and plenty of staples in the cupboards. Signature updated.

    Miserly March marches on!
    Be kind to others and to yourself too. Life has its ups and downs, use the ups to overcome the downs!

    Mar £96.84/£140 + 18/35 NSDs (Jan +£25.41 Feb +£15.25)

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