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The Meal Plan Challenge

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I've decided to start this thread to help me save some pennies on my grocery shopping.

I half halfheartedly did this month's grocery challenge. I didn't set a budget and just decided to see how much I spent.

I've done the maths and with a week left, spends amount to £593.05 :(

This clearly explains why I have no money. We have a household budget that me and the OH contribute to and I am always out of pocket. Clearly I am subsidizing our crazy food spends.

I've decided I'm going to draw a line and start completely afresh. I've sorted through the freezer to see what I have, have given the fridge a good clean and sort out and now need to direct my attention to sorting my cupboards and meal planning.

I will keep track of my efforts on here. All are welcome to join.
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  • Flat_Eric
    Flat_Eric Posts: 4,060 Forumite
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    August spend: £593.05
    September spend: ?
  • Flat_Eric
    Flat_Eric Posts: 4,060 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    edited 24 August 2014 at 6:33PM
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    useful links
  • theresamum2
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    Hi Flat eric i have joined in with the september grocery challenge. I spend too much n food and im hoping to eat out the freezer and cupboard to keep my costs down instead of buying more food and other things getting stuffed to back of the drawers when really i don't need to go shopping cause have enough in. Im hoping to do a meal plan and stick to it. Wanted to say good luck and i will join you if you don't mind :)
    Mum to two girls chloe & Lily-Rose
  • Flat_Eric
    Flat_Eric Posts: 4,060 Forumite
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    edited 24 August 2014 at 6:35PM
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    welcome theresamum2 I couldn't decide on an August budget so just decided to see how much I spent and then try and spend less the following month. Its a shock when you see it in black and white. I wasn't expecting such a high total.
  • Saver-upper
    Saver-upper Posts: 2,340 Forumite
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    edited 25 August 2014 at 12:31AM
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    Hi Flat Eric,
    It can be a real eye-opener when you realise just how much we do spend.I started a thread a couple of weeks ago because I was so cross with how much I was wasting:going into the supermarket for a couple of staple items,and ending up frittering £20 :mad:.

    For the last year I have kept a record of exactly how much I spend.I totted up my spends,and usually I spent about £300,some months I was spending nearly £400 (2 adults,4 kids).It included alot of "nipping to the corner shop" to by,say milk,and while I was there,buying chocolate,biscuits,etc.
    So,I drew a line in the sand.This month I also joined the grocery challenge (and have been on the NSD thread since October),and that has made me look at how I shop.I have stopped "nipping to the shop" with any more money than I need for milk or bread.I have,for the most part,stopped shopping inTesco-now in ALDI.This month I have spent £164 :j (though we were away for a week,so the not many grocery spends that week came out of a different budget),Hoping to maintain that when work ad school and after-school activities and other aspects of real life start again in September.

    I also got a couple of copies of the Sun when they were doing £5 off £10 shop on meat-freezer full.Today I cleaned out my store-cupboard-I found 3 opened,and one unopened packet of dried spaghetti,about 5 tins of potatos,4 tins of corn,8 tins of baked beans (I actually knew I had those :o),about 4 bags of rice ,only one unopened :cool:

    I will follow your thread with interest.
    You are welcome to have a look at mine if you like:
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5025275&highlight=

    Good luck thumb_finger-crossed-boy_mirz.gif
    SPC #36 :staradminx 8.SPC7=£751.10 SPC8=£651.04 SPC9=£843.00 SPC10=£872.76
    Pinecone £301,Valued Opinions £10.50





  • EverTheOptimist
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    Hi Flat Eric

    I used to join in the grocery spend challenge however I ended up joining too many challenges and couldn't keep up with the posting, and if I'm part of a challenge I like to be an active member.

    well from that challenge I continue to have a grocery budget, which is blown every month. :(. I know during August we have spent way over budget as we have both had annual leave and we did lots of popping to the shop, not planning our meals, fancying something we didn't have so needed to buy etc.

    So for the sake of my waistline and bank account i am going to be carefully watching my budget and spends from now on.

    So I would like to join you if that's ok.

    There's me and hubby and 15 month old baba boy. Hubby works away mon-fri. So in theory we shouldn't spend loads.....

    My budget is currently £150, think this may need to increase slightly to £200. But will see how Sept goes.

    I definitely need to meal plan, i used to before I went back to work after mat leave. Will aim to meal plan on a Sunday for the week, although to start I may not plan too precisely for the weekends. And also shop with a list. And stick to it. Oh and I may start to shop at Aldi/Lidl for fruit as baba gets through it like nobody's business. :D

    Sorry for the waffle. :D
    SPC 14 Target £200 /
    Debt: £11850
  • MissOrganised1972
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    I have been in and out of the grocery challenge for the last few years. I always try to stick to it, but the posting/reading is the intermittent part. I like to meal plan but is very time consuming when you are trying to keep to a low budget. I used to meal plan monthly but realised it was more economical to do it weekly because of the purchase of yellow sticker items. We are meat eaters and do enjoy meat but I do include vegetarian meals in our diet to keep the cost down. I do all the shopping and cooking and most of the family are not fussy eaters, although I wouldn't cook different meals even if they were :rotfl: Quite often, if we have eaten several vegetarian meals in a row, I will, for example make a vegetarian pasta dish and just add 1 chopped up chicken breast. That way, no one seems to notice that they've eaten veg only dishes! ;)
    I will post my meal plan for this week later (it's on my computer, and I'm on my phone at present). :)
    2017 GC O-£93.46/£160; S-£136.26/£160; A-£130.55/£160; J-£47.12/£160;
    J-£106.63/£190; M-£70.29/£160; A-£197.88/£180; M-£219.35/£180; F-£294.14/£160; J-£168.67/£160
    2016 GC £2322.39/£2285; GC-2012-2015 - £9789.91/£7773!
    for 2 adults & 2 kids (13 & 11) for all food,toiletries,cleaners etc

  • MissOrganised1972
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    Meal plan for week is.....
    Tues - eggs on toast/Ham sandwiches, crisps & fruit/salmon pasta
    Wed - fruit & yogurt/cheese on toast or sandwiches/HM Pizza
    Thurs - cereal & fruit/Ham sandwiches & fruit/Onion & red wine pasta
    Fri - Eggs on toast/chicken pasta salad/lactose free lasagne
    2017 GC O-£93.46/£160; S-£136.26/£160; A-£130.55/£160; J-£47.12/£160;
    J-£106.63/£190; M-£70.29/£160; A-£197.88/£180; M-£219.35/£180; F-£294.14/£160; J-£168.67/£160
    2016 GC £2322.39/£2285; GC-2012-2015 - £9789.91/£7773!
    for 2 adults & 2 kids (13 & 11) for all food,toiletries,cleaners etc

  • Celticmiss
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    Hello, Have just subscribed to this challenge although will seriously address in September 2014 when kids return to school.

    I have completed a month view meal planner and done my online shopping to be delivered in the £1 delivery option slot this Saturday. We are a family of 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 cats and batty dog x1. I didn't need to include dog food as previously stockpiled when on offer so okay for the month. Total for main groceries including toiletries and household items and cat food just short of £200. So need a weekly budget for fresh fruits/veg, milk and bread. Thinking I would like this to be £20 per week.

    If I can remain in budget on these figures approx £300 per 4 week month then I can shave approx £200-£300 off my monthly food bill.

    Giving up alcohol through the week will also help in many ways.

    This is the challenge I feel will help me focus the most and assist with my debt management.

    Thank you.xx
    LBM August 2014: £16430.26
    CC - £2300
    Loan - £2407
    Zopa - £6679
    Total:£11368
  • theresamum2
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    Im sure we will help each other :) i have only had to buy a sack of potatoes 7.5kg and i bought 2 spanish onions so far in 2 days im tending to keep away from the supermarkets cause i will go in and end up buying stuff i don't need. Haven't had take away's either i know its only been two days.
    Mum to two girls chloe & Lily-Rose
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