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Grocery Challenge - February 2012 - Page 77

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Grocery Challenge - February 2012

edited 30 January 2012 at 8:27AM in Old Style MoneySaving
2K replies 154.8K views
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  • debbiedeejaydebbiedeejay Forumite
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    Bobbing in just to add a couple of extra spends - £10.16 at Mozzies and £3.15 at local shop just this morning (was meant to buy cakes for work,for b'day,but they were naff,so got a couple of other things- intentions of getting up earlier was going to bake but batteries in scales stopped working and they don't sell them at local shop! agghhh!)
    Crazy Clothes Challenge 2012 £57.20/£100,CCC 2013 £68.67/£100 ,CCC 2014 £94.32/£100
    *Frugal Living Challenge 2012, 2013, 2014*
    GC 2014 Jan £154.14/£180;Feb £103.49/£180;Mar 117.63/£160
  • tigerfeet2006tigerfeet2006 Forumite
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    mh2361 wrote: »
    Hi, can I join the challenge for Feb? I'm completely new to this, rubbish on the computer and judging by other peoples spending targets, I'm pretty rubbish at shopping too! I usally spend £120 a week for 4 of us which includes all cleaning, toiletries etc and, guess what, i desperately need to reduce this and need help!
    So I'll set my challenge at £450 .

    Any advice gratefully received :o

    Hi and welcome to the GC.

    Make a list of what is in your freezer/fridge and cupboards. Menu plan for the week. Just make a list of things you need to make 7 main meals for the week, breakfast and lunch using as much as you have in at the moment. Make a list of the food you need to complete the plan. Go onto MySupermarket.com and do your food order on there, it will tell you the cheapest supermarket and take you there to do an online delivery. Go for the cheapest delivery slot you can.

    Others take their list and then go to Lidl and Aldi and anything they can't get from there then they go to the big SM.

    I shop for my toiletries and cleaning products (mostly use Stardrops) at Wilko's and Poundland. Others go to Home Bargains and B&M but we don't have one near us.

    I also go online to Approved Food http://www.approvedfood.co.uk/
    and I am going to try Rosspa soon http://www.rosspa.co.uk/

    Check out the Bargain Buys, Sassy Shopping & Fantastic Freebies section of the board for vouchers, freebies etc.

    Do you have a slow cooker? They are great for if you are working. Do you have a bread maker? You can make loaves for 30p to 40p.
    Make your own biscuits and cakes as well.

    When I plan I look at doing 3 to 4 SC meals, at least one simple meal like omlette, baked pots with filling, soup and HM bread. 2 vegie meals a week. A roast type meal as well so I can get several meals from one ie: 'rubber chicken' (search on this board for RC threads :)) Chicken in the SC with lemon quaters in the cavity, garlic under the skin, herbs over the skin and a bit of salt and peppper. That will do Sunday dinner for 5 of us and then a risotto, pie or curry during the week. Plus I can make soup or stock from the carcass.

    Before I started the Grocery Challenge over a year ago I was spending up to £600+ for the five of us. I am now down to £400 and below, though last month I went over as we joined Costco and will probably be over this month too as I get stocked up.

    Just going to bump an excellent post from Spiggle.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
  • tigerfeet2006tigerfeet2006 Forumite
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    Definatly worth a bump.
    Spiggle wrote: »
    OOOh, lovely new thread! :T

    Thanks Zippy, rosieben and helen jelly for their sterling work keeping us all on the right track. :A:T:A:T:A

    I'm posting the following now so it is near the front of the thread for newbies joining this month. Helen, please would you change the post number in your list post to match this one please?

    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
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
  • tigerfeet2006tigerfeet2006 Forumite
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    Bobbing in just to add a couple of extra spends - £10.16 at Mozzies and £3.15 at local shop just this morning (was meant to buy cakes for work,for b'day,but they were naff,so got a couple of other things- intentions of getting up earlier was going to bake but batteries in scales stopped working and they don't sell them at local shop! agghhh!)

    This is what kept happening to me and used to drive me up the wall so I bought a set of mechanical scales for £4.50 from Wilko's. It has Kg's on one side and Lb's on the other. I haven't looked back :)
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
  • edited 9 February 2012 at 9:58AM
    carolinerunnercarolinerunner Forumite
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    edited 9 February 2012 at 9:58AM
    mh, don't be downhearted about your spend, mine is similar but gradually coming down, this forum is a Godsend and gradually it's possible to reduce the monthly amount. Everybody does it differently in terms of what they include etc so it's important not to get too hung up on whether you're doing it 'right', just do what works for you and don't beat yourself up if you don't hit every target first time.

    Oddly, it's also great fun and you'll meet lovely people on here, making the forum part of your day is really crucial, I think, its not all grim, this moneysaving, in fact it's very satisfying!
    Good luck and welcome x

    Tigerfeet, thanks for the idea about 'roasting' the chicken in the SC, how do you do that? And what do you do re gravy? ie is there any?!
    Erratically money saving
  • cw18cw18 Forumite
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    but batteries in scales stopped working and they don't sell them at local shop! agghhh!)
    The last time I bought kitchen scales (must be at least 9 years ago now!) I made sure it was one that took standard batteries - and then I made sure I had rechargeables of that type in the house. Mine's started to tell me it's low this morning, so I'm about to take it out and stick it in the charger - while replacing it with one I charged up ready a couple of weeks ago :)

    It's more than worth me doing this, 'cos it's used a lot every day - I'm monitoring my nutritional balance (carbs, protein and fat), so have to know the weight of everything I eat to put into a website food diary....
    Cheryl
  • Need to declare a spend of just over £20, have updated my signature. So have gone slightly overbudget, but I'm happy with this as I have put aside an extra £50 just incase but hoping not to spend it. So I have enough milk in the freezer to last me the month now, my only concern is I will probably need more fruit. I think this challenge is brilliant, I can see now where I am going wrong, and what I can do to improve my spending. This is why I allowed the extra £50 as I do have a habit of setting myself very difficult goals! DH despairs!
    Grocery Challenge February 2012 £252.19/£200
    Don't Throw Away Food Challenge Feb - £2.75p
  • tessie_beartessie_bear Forumite
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    hi....going to make a chicken pie for tea and cook some fruit to have with custard for pudding...tomorrow is going to be spag bol and garlic bread might do something with wedges at the weekend...oh and i thought id make a fish pie over the weekend....busy busy

    we are off to costco next week:j i like going there...but spend too much....i will have to pull it in a bit this time as we have just purchased a new fridge and we are planning to buy a new car in the spring....the money saved following the gc will help us i hope

    have a nice day tess
    onwards and upwards
  • tigerfeet2006tigerfeet2006 Forumite
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    Tigerfeet, thanks for the idea about 'roasting' the chicken in the SC, how do you do that? And what do you do re gravy? ie is there any?!

    I just put mine straight in the SC with no liquid added. It makes it's own liquid. Some will add a splash of something to get extra but I prefer not to. It doesn't come out like roast chicken, it won't crisp up. But I don't mind that. The meat just falls off the carcass and you get so much more from it.

    You can do things like put onions in the cavity or garlic. Put paprika over it. Cover it in curry paste. Cover it in herbs.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
  • quintwinsquintwins Forumite
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    morning all i havnet really posted all week, we've got a horrible bug so not much eating being going on, had chinese on tue night and got a few tubs of half price hagendaz then couldn't eat them, lo chinese is in the freezer for another day. i'm going to have to have a proper clean today since i'm running out of dishes and can't see my livingroom floor :( also need to clean my fridge out off the top of my head i'm gonna have to throw out some mushrooms, brocolli, a portion of sheperds pie and a few yogurts because we havent been eating and they never made it to the frezzer, there way past soup stage aswell :(.

    gonna see how the kids manage with food today and maybe make a proper tea for the first time this week, prob just cocktail sausages beans and mash, we're running low on bread since i've only bought one loaf this week, i might go get one later i might not will see how it goes
    OCT GC £196.12/£200
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