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January 2012 Grocery Challenge - Page 205

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January 2012 Grocery Challenge

edited 27 December 2011 at 2:52PM in Old Style MoneySaving
3.3K replies 330.3K views
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  • sproggisproggi Forumite
    1.6K posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
    aml1977 wrote: »
    Evening everyone,

    I have just stumbled across this thread and can not believe i have not seen it before !!

    Is it too late to join in this month and can someone explain the basics to me please ??

    I have 5 yr old twins and a 9 yr old son - one of the twins and my elder son are the Fusiest eaters ever - so any tips or recipes would be grately appreciated
    My husband is always on a health kick of some sort, though he usually eats what he wants on a weekend

    Thanks in advance

    Lori x


    Hi Lori

    It is never too late to join, just decide on your budget for the rest of the month (that can be calander or from whenever payday is) and then post it in big red letters for Helen Jelly to see easily, she will then add you to the front page :)

    Sproggi
    'We can get over being poor, but it takes longer to get over being ignorant'
    Jane Sequichie Hifler
    Beware of little expenses.A small leak will sink a great ship
    Benjamin Franklin
  • sproggisproggi Forumite
    1.6K posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
    Just bumping this very helpful post from Spiggle to help newbies


    Spiggle wrote: »
    Afternoon All,

    Welcome and good luck to our newbies! And good luck to everyone of course!

    I'm not sure if the following will help any of you but here goes anyway ...

    I hope my fellow regulars won't mind me posting this again but it may be of some help to all the enthusiastic and excited people joining us. I believe it has helped others in the past. So here goes:

    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. :eek: 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. :rotfl:

    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 :cry:) 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! :D


    See you all later,
    Spigs
    'We can get over being poor, but it takes longer to get over being ignorant'
    Jane Sequichie Hifler
    Beware of little expenses.A small leak will sink a great ship
    Benjamin Franklin
  • Ess-sixEss-six Forumite
    141 posts
    Re loo rolls, I'd buy the brand$ f*r le$$ except for the delivery charge, there's nothing else I really want from them. So I'm stocking up on Co-*p Nouvelle, £5 at the mo for either 16 or 18, can't remember which but much better than the usual £2 for 4.
    Today spent £10.50 in A$da on cheap Lurpak spreadable, cheap eye makeup remover (Nivea for £2) and 2 x 4 pints of milk for £2. Ended up eating at friends and left them one of the cartons of milk as they'd run out! Plus Ocado delivery (all 25% off), total £61.40 vs list price of £86.08. Checked most of it on my supermarket to make sure it wasnt too dear to start with.

    MASSIVE MrT Extra opening near me in Crewe on Monday, can I expect any bargains? Darn place looks like an aircraft hangar. Heaven help us. Won't be shopping there regularly but if there is likely to be anything good at launch...

    Hi

    I use B00t$ own brand eye make-up remover, they do fragrance free in a blue bottle and cucumber in a green one....it's the best I've ever used, shifts waterproof mascara easily and only costs £1.50 - definitely worth trying.
  • Linz4383Linz4383 Forumite
    318 posts
    Third Anniversary
    ✭✭
    Re loo rolls, I'd buy the brand$ f*r le$$ except for the delivery charge, there's nothing else I really want from them. So I'm stocking up on Co-*p Nouvelle, £5 at the mo for either 16 or 18, can't remember which but much better than the usual £2 for 4.
    Today spent £10.50 in A$da on cheap Lurpak spreadable, cheap eye makeup remover (Nivea for £2) and 2 x 4 pints of milk for £2. Ended up eating at friends and left them one of the cartons of milk as they'd run out! Plus Ocado delivery (all 25% off), total £61.40 vs list price of £86.08. Checked most of it on my supermarket to make sure it wasnt too dear to start with.

    MASSIVE MrT Extra opening near me in Crewe on Monday, can I expect any bargains? Darn place looks like an aircraft hangar. Heaven help us. Won't be shopping there regularly but if there is likely to be anything good at launch...



    as a new store they wont no wot sells and wot dpesnt so after a few days thye will prob have QUITE a few reductions.. at my store (mine is an express tho) they do there 1st reductions between around 2pm -4pm and later reductions (normally between 75 and 90%) between 6pm -8pm, its definately worth checkin out for the first few weeks at least! wen my store opened we had loads of stuff reduced! not entirely sure wot it will b like in an extra but hope this helps :D
  • Sue14Sue14 Forumite
    980 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Posts
    ✭✭✭
    £14.42 spent on groceries in A1d1 today.
    Weight loss challenge 6/12lbs


  • Fiasco55Fiasco55 Forumite
    1.3K posts
    Ninth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭
    Didn't make it out to the shops today so I have inadvertently had a NSD. I will really need to go tomorrow. Dinner tonight was sausages from the freezer.

    I will also be at Costco tomorrow, reordering my contacts so I will price up some bulk buying items tonight.
    No buying toiletries Graduated May 2017
    Decluttered 2016 2469 items, 2017 1580 items :j
    2018 3060 items
    Sealed Pot Challenge No 038
  • recovering_spendaholicrecovering_spendaholic Forumite
    3.1K posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    Have just skimmed through the last few days posts and will go back and read them more thoroughly tomorrow, but I just wanted to post that I will not be able to achieve £!20 for January as I had hoped - I am already up to £150 and we're only half way through! On the plus side I will only need milk, eggs and salad/veg for the rest of the month but I would like to ask if you could reset my budget to £225 for January, as I think this will be achievable. This is due to my inability to resist money off coupons and other bargains and also my kids being overly fussy.

    I have had the most horrendous quarterly electricity and gas bill - £425:eek: which is entirely due to my kids leaving the back door wide open, leaving every light in the house on all night and all day, leaving their phone chargers plugged in and switched on even when they are out, putting the oven on several times a day to heat up stuff when they don't want what I have made, boiling the kettle loads, having two showers a day each etc etc. The result is that I am thinking of banning the use of the oven and getting a slow cooker. I was thinking of getting the Morphy Richards flavour savour one - it is more expensive than others becuase you can brown the meat in it first and things but I think it might save me money in the long run. Do any of you have this one?

    Off to have a good read of the thread now! Hope you are not too cold - it is freezing here!
    Jane

    ENDIS. Employed, no disposable income or savings!
  • Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass Forumite
    4.6K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭
    Dug the raised beds over today rather than shopping at normal times as TDS working tonight and needed a lift. It was 15 mins before closing when I got to Waitflower and not a whoopsie in sight. Did get Pizza Express Pizzas 2 for 1 thanks to second purse - bought 4.

    Went on to Mr T as I had run out of the coffee we like (I admit to brand snobbery for certain things) and had price checked it was £1 off a refill pack. 2nd purse bought me 3 packs.

    Spent £18.47 from 2nd purse but will "make" £11 on that when I use it. Spend to date this month is £177.70 plus 2nd purse so GC total is looking achievable; not bad for month 1. G shopping comes from DH account and he gets paid the last Friday in the month except Christmas where it was the week before. Hammered the account but the challenge is helping enormously.

    Hot water bottle tonight I think (-3 here). Apparently not cold enough to warrant shutting the bedroom window though; according to the DH. He sleeps on top of the bedclothes all year round, just tucking his toes in around 4-5am when it chills down a bit!! In contrast I reside under an ancient goose down quilt we bought in 1990 that's about 24tog when fluffed up. Not working too well at the moment as the kits play pounce and duvet monsters whenever I'm in bed. They are so funny I don't mind. :rotfl:

    Well done everybody :T

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  • rosiebenrosieben Forumite
    5K posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    aberdeensaver, your Lemon and Lime Cheesecake recipe is in the index :beer:

    if you get chance would you add the title of the recipe into the post please? (just to clarify for anyone following the link in years to come) ;)
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string! :D

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • rej-crej-c Forumite
    115 posts
    I'm only 41 pages behind on reading this thread now :rotfl:

    I'm adding NSDs for Thursday and Saturday, and a massive 78p spent in Mr S on Friday on drinks, painkillers and big turkey-size roasting bags [not that I'm going to be roasting turkeys, but they'll be good for big batches of roasted stuff, and it was the last pack, for 10p!].

    There may be a bit of pre-working week spending tomorrow, but I'll check back in with the total if there is. Actually, looking at the meal plan for the week, there's next to nothing we'll need - may look out for some roasting veg whoopsies, and a small wholemeal loaf; may also need a pint of milk for Him Indoors at some point during the week. Might stick with a lazy NSD at home tomorrow after all... ;)
    Haven't done the GC since February, but a glance at the Tower of Receipts tells me I really need to get back into it... and plenty of other Challenges besides. :o
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