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Grocery Challenge - February 2012

edited 30 January 2012 at 7:27AM in Old Style MoneySaving
2K replies 154.8K views
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  • tjaktjak Forumite
    149 posts
    Hi all,

    I agree with those who say that doing a big 'monthly' shop in the first week of a month blows the budget. It's that feeling of release from the shackles of the end-of-month situation, I think.
    I have wondered before if the monthly shop plan doesn't help, but we live so far from supermarkets that it wouldn't be cost effective with petrol to go each week. I also struggle to manage a big shop on my own, and as I am unable to work just now, don't feel its fair on DH to have to do it at the weekend.

    For me the idea is to meal plan before the monthly shop, and then to only need occasional fresh top ups during the month, but maybe that needs to change!
    Debt free and saving :j
  • tessie_beartessie_bear Forumite
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    hi....off to t£sco to have a whine in a mo....think i have been over charged...also going out for lunch with dh so thats nice
    we have a piece of pork from lidl for tea and i want to cook a chicken at the same time to use cold...i baked some apples last night and have 3 left ...they were nice and held their shape quite well...near where we are having lunch there is a fruit market so will pop over and have a look

    have a nice day tess
    onwards and upwards
  • carolinerunnercarolinerunner Forumite
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    elsiepac wrote: »
    what do you mean by skin burns on legs? I first assumed it was something to do with how they were reared, but then realised they are FR, so I'm completely confused! :o

    Even free range birds spend time, especially overnight when they are shut in for safety, in large houses where litter can basically consist of manure, so they can get skin burns from the ammonia in the litter (their own wee basically). It's a sign of bad husbandry as I understand it so I always check SM birds (which I rarely buy, mainly from farm shop) to make sure I'm not buying birds kept like that. Having once worked in a chicken processing factory (yes, it was yuk!) I know many birds come through with physical damage, they are then portioned and the decent bits sold as portions, the yukky bits go for pet food. Even more reason to be shocked that the pet food cost more than the whole chicken!!
    Erratically money saving
  • carolinerunnercarolinerunner Forumite
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    tjak wrote: »
    I have wondered before if the monthly shop plan doesn't help, but we live so far from supermarkets that it wouldn't be cost effective with petrol to go each week. I also struggle to manage a big shop on my own, and as I am unable to work just now, don't feel its fair on DH to have to do it at the weekend.

    For me the idea is to meal plan before the monthly shop, and then to only need occasional fresh top ups during the month, but maybe that needs to change!

    IKWYM but have recently reflected that even at the price it is, my petrol cost is about 12p a mile, so a 16 mile trip to my nearest [email protected] actually costs about £2. That's significant, but psychologically not doing a big shop is probably a bigger factor in whether I overspend or not. I guess I've come to feel that the petrol is part of the equation to consider but not as big a part as I had been thinking. so weekly shops might still be better for me, despite petrol, but that's just me and my odd point of view!
    Erratically money saving
  • elsiepacelsiepac Forumite, Board Guide
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    Even free range birds spend time, especially overnight when they are shut in for safety, in large houses where litter can basically consist of manure, so they can get skin burns from the ammonia in the litter (their own wee basically). It's a sign of bad husbandry as I understand it so I always check SM birds (which I rarely buy, mainly from farm shop) to make sure I'm not buying birds kept like that. Having once worked in a chicken processing factory (yes, it was yuk!) I know many birds come through with physical damage, they are then portioned and the decent bits sold as portions, the yukky bits go for pet food. Even more reason to be shocked that the pet food cost more than the whole chicken!!

    Ah, it all makes sense! Thanks for clarifying, sometimes I'm so ignorant I'm ashamed of myself :o Can you tell me what they look like when they have the skin burns please so I can look out for this too?

    Today I have my Sweet Pepper and Tomato Soup for lunch with a HM bread roll.

    For tea I have taken a portion of lentil ragu from the freezer to defrost tonight, which I will have with some of my now enormous stock of spaghetti thanks to my friend!

    I would have some veggies with it, but have run out of fresh stuff now - it's a good thing as it was all starting to go over. I'm not buying any more this month, but I think I'll get plenty in, for example, my lunch today is about 2.5 portions of veg (pepper, bit of onion, tinned tomatoes), and the lentil ragu I think worked out at 3 or 4 portions. And I've just had a banana for breakfast.

    I've decided that next month I need to look at how to keep a small budget but still have lots of veg, as I think this is something I've slacked off on this month, what with trying to keep costs down. Historically, I've always been someone who eats something like 7 portions fruit/veg a day, easier as I don't have meat very often at all, but this month I think on average it would have been 2 or 3 max :eek: .

    So my mini challenge next month is to ensure I get my 5 a day. To do this, I am going to focus on nutrional cheaper veg, such as swede and carrots and other root veg. I will try and go for the ones that are higher in vitamins (I think swede has the highest vit C out of common root veg?). I will also try and take advantage of veg on offer a bit more, so instead of specifying certain veg on my meal plan, I'll make it a bit more fluid (which is where my items like "vegetable allowance" come in).

    Have a fantastic day everyone

    LC
    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 [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
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  • cookiemumcookiemum Forumite
    139 posts
    Ninth Anniversary
    Pay Day today:j Declaring at £301.46 so an annoying £1.46 over budget but it was due to poorly DD needing cough medicine from local chemist so not too bad really.

    5 week month in March so upping budget to £350. I've got the Aldi voucher so planning a trip tomorrow after composing weekly meal planner. I used to carry out one big shop but found I was constantly popping out for small shops so overspending. Cupboards never feel full doing a weekly shop but at least I manage to keep nearer to budget!

    HelenJelly - I am happy to update my own Sig and not be on front page.

    Well done everybody - enjoy the weekend

    February Grocery Challenge £301.46/300
    To feed - Me, DH, DD, DS and 1 dog

  • Declaring £226.40 for February!!! Really pleased with how this is going.

    It makes such a change to look at the bank account and there actually be money in it rather than it looking more empty than ma hubbards cupboards!

    Would like to set my March budget for £250
  • edited 24 February 2012 at 11:41AM
    [Deleted User][Deleted User]
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    edited 24 February 2012 at 11:41AM
    I am so pleased with how February has gone. Lots of freezer bits used up, but more than enough still in there to keep me going for awhile .I have cut right back on buying stuff epecially unnecessery bits. Its suprising sometimes if you add up the 'little' bits how much you are really spending .

    I decided not to bother buying a t.v. magazine after all I can get the listing from the 'net or even the t.v..Was going to buy some cloths for cleaning and decided that I had a couple of old 'holey' tea towels that I hemmed around instead.
    Its not only recycling stuff, its not cluttering your house up with stuff you can substitute for something else.I have not been near nor by a shop this week, and to be honest havn't missed them.
    If there was something I thought I had to put on my shopping list by the kettle I tried to substitute whatever it was for something else instead.result is I haven't spent a penny on food or odds and ends at all this week and if I can get through until next Thursday then I will have a nice little chunk of cash to go into the Holiday savings.


    When redoing my list on the freezer I discovered three packets of wraps at the bottom that I had forgotten about plus some HM soup in pouches so lunches this week have been either a wrap filled with grated cheese and salad or HM soup with some toasted pitta bread (also discovered in the freezer and forgotten) Every morning I look at what's available for that days menu that's already in my cupboards .
    I must admit I have had some strange and unusual meals One of my sandwiches was were mashed up sardines with mayo and a sliced tomato, the rest of the tin I used in the evening as a filling in a jacket spud. Fish twice in one day was o.k. and its already in the cupboard so no cash outlay for lunch or dinner .
    Today I have a wrap spread with sweet chilli philly and tomato and some chopped up celery and shedded lettuce.Tonights dinner will not be quite so healthy as I am going to my DDs as its my DGS 12th birthday and he wants pizza and chips as his birthday treat that will be followed by HM chocolate cake that my DD has made for him.But one unhealthy meal won't kill me and it is his birthday They normally aren't allowed 'junk food' but when its their birthday the child gets to choose what he fancies. She has four sons but their birthdays are spread around the year.
    Well done to all of you who have managed to save a bit on your bills for the month Next month I shall have again £100.00 in my food purse and see if I can save as much again .Every little helps when it comes to putting a bit away towards the holidays
    We should have a 'pat ourselves on the back button to press I think we all are doing magnificently in these hard days of streeetching the pennies to do the work of the pounds :j:j
    elsiepac any chance of your recipe for sweet pepper and tomato soup I have both in the fridge and it sounds really nice
  • greentgreent Forumite
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    Hmmm..... I have just under £30 to get me to month end - and a weekend to shop.... Theoretically possible... but I have a reasonable length shoppin list (although only about £40-45). We shall see... I'm really struggling to keep to £400 for 6 of us - it does include nappies, cleaning stuff, toiletries, newspapers (Sat & Sunday) and guinea pig food and bedding, so I'm not massively surprised - I think I set £400 almost 2 years ago now. Even my mum was complaining of food price hikes (she's 61, still in FT work and has became a higher rate taxpayer, so not short of a few £ & p (but does still have a mtge)) - for her to notice (convenience food and lots of brands) means something!!

    Helenjelly, don't worry about including me on the list at the front - am happy to be accountable to the figures in my signature.

    I do, though, think I'll go for £450 for March (well, it does include my birthday:D). Maybe I'll do 2 months at £450, then 1 at £400 and see how it goes

    I think the main thing is that this challenge focuses us all on how much we're spending:T (hopefully not wasting!:)) and how much prices are rising on a daily basis :(
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/11 £89873 01/13 £52546 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786 12/19 £48986 2020 OPs (#18) £5140/6K
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  • well it's been a very busy week so haven't been on here much, didn't really meal plan and it shows as I blew the Feb budget goin over by £87.66
    Have put my March budget into my signature - it doesn't need to go on the front.
    Things are a bit tight financially this month so am debating wether to do a Costc* shop this weekend or wether just to try and do week to week. I MUST SIT DOWN AND DO MEAL PLANS!!
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2011 / no. 1205 £110 made]Sealed Pot Challenge 2012/no 1205 target £300
    Jan g/c 355.83/£450
    g/c Feb487.66/£400
    March 411.03/£450
    To feed 5 adults and 2 dogs includes toiletries & cleanining
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