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April 2019 Grocery Challenge

edited 15 March 2019 at 12:57PM in Old Style MoneySaving
202 replies 18K views


  • CRANKY40CRANKY40 Forumite
    3.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I'd like to join in for April too please. I lost count in February and March didn't get off the ground because my little next door neighbour (aged 95) was very poorly and died so I was upset. I might have to put some of my rhubarb on the front with a "help yourself" notice now I'm not sharing it with her! Seriously the rhubarb has a life of it's own - I definitely picked the right place to plant it. I'm hoping for raspberries and blackberries this year too.

    My budget for April is £300 please. Out of this I want to spend no more that £45 a week on food. The other £15 per week will be used to add £5 per week to my freezer stock up fund (currently standing at £50), my celebration meal fund (currently £20) and I have a "me" purse that I stash £5 a week away in for anything out of the ordinary that I may want or need food wise. In reality the celebration fund and the "me" fund tend to get spent in the school holidays but I'm hoping to only spend the celebration fund at Easter.

    I have planted cucumbers, leeks, tomatoes, chives, peppers and courgettes. They're currently taking over part of the kitchen as I don't have a greenhouse but I really wanted to grow from seed this year rather than buying plants - probably just to see if I could. I really enjoyed being able to go out and pick my own tomatoes and courgettes from the garden as I needed them last year. I'll plant salad leaves as well soon. My House Troll (14 year old son) wouldn't eat lettuce if you paid him so it's handy just to be able to pick a few leaves as required rather than buy and then waste salad stuff from the supermarket.

    Jings how exciting. Is it going to be a big wedding or a small one? Mine was small and very MSE because I hate fuss. I'd have been happy just me and the late MrC but he insisted we had to invite a few people :rotfl:

    Thriftwizard I really hope your op date sticks. I know it's not quite the same but I had an open wound on my leg for 4 months and the "can't do this, that or the other" because of it made it feel like forever. I imagine you to be living much the same....just waiting and waiting. I'll have everything crossed for you on the day that they don't cancel.
  • edited 30 March 2019 at 3:39PM
    elsiepacelsiepac Forumite, Board Guide
    2.1K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 30 March 2019 at 3:39PM
    Budgets updated to here

    CRANKY Sorry to hear about your neighbour, how sad. She had a good long life though by the sound of it, and an excellent neighbour in you. Also, I'm excited to hear how all your veggies do from seed! Sounds amazing! I'm not greenfingered AT ALL or I'd try something similar, but everything I touch doesn't stand a chance :rotfl:

    I've had 3 small spends since I last posted: a couple of special tins of lentils and some "emergency" croutons in C0-op, a huge box of strawbs in Mr T (£4 for 1 kg and they are really tasty!) and some bananas, and annoyingly yesterday some lunch stuff plus a bag of leaves and pot of houmous in Mr T as well.
    Basically I just haven't been at home really this week, work has been manic and I've been exhausted and I'm on call STILL so I've had to do work in the evenings too, so the time has just flown and I've not had chance to really get organised yet!
    I'm determined not to let it spiral out of control though, so am ensuring I keep up to date with my finances and as I'm sure you've all noticed, trying really hard to post on here a lot as well. I really missed being involved properly in the last year, so must prioritise it!

    I'm currentl;y £7.44 OVER where I wanted to be at this point in my spending, however I'm going to try and keep my Week 2 spend a little smaller by making sure I meal plan properly and stick to it, and hopefully will be able to recoup the overspend without jeopardising my whole month by allowing it to roll on and then feeling I have no money!

    Have done a quick inventory this morning - been trying very hard as well to use up things from the freezer and the fridge and cupboards, as I don't want such large stocks - there's no need for it. Fridge and freezer are both emptier, freezer in particular which is good as I want to give it its annual scrub!! Fridge I do minimum of monthly if not more often.

    I have lunch for today and I'm at my friends tonight for tea (or a cheap meal out but not GC budget) so no spend for GC today, first one of the month so far!

    ...............................£202.50 Budget
    24 Mar....A5da......£12.12....£190.38(WEEK 1)
    26 Mar....eBay......£08.00....£182.38(STOCK)
    27 Mar....Sup3rdrug.£20.01....£162.37(STOCK)
    27 Mar....H&B.......£04.98....£157.39(WEEK 1)
    28 Mar....C0-0p.....£02.90....£154.49(WEEK 1)
    28 Mar....T3sc0.....£05.39....£149.10(WEEK 1)
    29 Mar....T3sc0.....£06.54....£142.56(WEEK 1)

    Budgets as originally planned with current spends

    WEEK 1....£32.50....£31.93....£00.57
    WEEK 2....£40.00....£00.00....£40.00
    WEEK 3....£40.00....£00.00....£40.00
    WEEK 4....£40.00....£00.00....£40.00
    WEEK 5....£30.00....£00.00....£30.00

    Budgets adjusted to compensate for overspend

    WEEK 1....£31.93....£31.93....£00.00
    WEEK 2....£32.56....£00.00....£32.56
    WEEK 3....£40.00....£00.00....£40.00
    WEEK 4....£40.00....£00.00....£40.00
    WEEK 5....£30.00....£00.00....£30.00

    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.
    SPC No 074
    GC: Jan 20 £tbc/£250
    Vegan 27-8-13
  • LauraWxxLauraWxx Forumite
    565 posts
    :mad:2 more shops today
    Iceland shop (55.18) which stocked us up on fish and pop for the month and then a Morrisons dash (£27.85) to get plants and cards for the two mothers for tomorrow.

    So we now have £341.56 remaining for the month of April. Need to ensure that the next few weeks we just stick to the once weekly Asda delivery.
    2019 Totals: Savings: £929.53 / Mortgage OP - £746.32

    Grocery challange April: £130.17of £500 target remaining
  • CRANKY40CRANKY40 Forumite
    3.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Thanks Elsiepac. My neighbour was amazing, my son said she was like a living history lesson - a tiny lady but tough and determined.

    I'm thinking that after today (when we're going out about 4pm to party and eat beige food at a friend's house), I'd like to start posting some of our meals as well as our grocery spends. The HT is an utter pain to cook for. He's very "sensory" so there are a lot of foods that he doesn't like the texture of but if they're mashed and hidden he will eat them (think bolognese sauce put through the blender, sigh). I'm trying to lose weight so I usually end up making two different meals which I don't mind. His favourite pasta and sauce with the addition of quorn mince or meatballs is easy enough to do. I try not to let him have it every evening though. He has a roast chicken dinner on a Sunday every week and is quite proud of himself because he eats the mashed carrots without me having to hide them. If I post what we're eating it might encourage me to be a bit more adventurous.
  • thriftwizardthriftwizard Forumite
    3.7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Thank you, Cranky40 and everyone else; it's been a frustrating few months but the end is in sight. Even if I get postponed, it should still happen within a month of the given date, and I'm feeling so much better now.

    And I'm off into April without realising it; £58 spent yesterday at the market and the butchers, on a large joint of beef for tomorrow, sausages, cheese, fish, fruit & vegetables for 4-6. (2 sons in evidence this weekend, as well as OH, myself and the two girls. Plus one large dog...) In essence, this is actually the 5-week month, and I've actually cut down the target a bit, having been under by £72 (as far as I can guess!) last month as I thought that was the 5-weeker! And I'll be out of action for at least a week...

    I do love a challenge...!

    GC Nov 20 £530.61/400 - oh dear...
    2020 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 35 used out of 68

    (Money's just a substitute for time & talent...)
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  • ditty1234ditty1234 Forumite
    1.1K posts
    1,000 Posts Name Dropper First Anniversary
    Alright so my weeks start on a Friday and end on Thursday, so in real terms my April runs March 29th to April 26th. But in order to not have receipts drown between the two months I am declaring
    27.3 Mr L £14, 30.3 Market £15, Mr Ai £24 and Mr Icel £4 so £60 so far.
    And this will only go up. Uni boy is home and was very upset about content of fridge.
    Meal plan so far Chili from fridge, vege burgers, stir fry and meatballs with oven chips and salad and a crumble with fruit from market. And a cooked pancake breakfast.
    Am sorted for lunches, but will have to go and get more vege for lunches, will do so in Lidl on Tue or Wed as have a £5 voucher for a £30 shop.
    Uniboy will cook on Tuesday - what will it be?
    Tomorrow is pasta bake day w a Latvian salami I bought on the market, sweet potato, butter beans, a bit of cabbage and leftover pesto and tomato paste: problem identified; cheese was getting a bit skinny after toasties today!
    LBM Jan 2019 - £25.928/-£23.683 8.6% paid off - On hold, EF 2020 - Nov £200/1000
    Housing fund 2020-2022 £285/6000 : Citizenship Paid £1849/£2019 : Weight -7/12 kg
    Run 10k in 1h 10m 1h 07m 16.7.2020
  • Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass Forumite
    5.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I am loving the Uniboy disappointment - we had the same thing here. He treated my fridge like some sort of supplementary chilled cabinet for his own kitchen and would turn up and vacuum up the contents to take home, inhaling all orange juice in sight. It took a while but all is lovely now. Somewhat reassuring that we are not alone when this happens, I think.

    It also reminds me of the three empty Nutella jars we found in his bedroom after he moved out - each with its' own teaspoon. No wonder I thought I had early memory loss (I could have sworn I bought a spare...).

    Fond memories (a complete aside to managing our GC though!)

    Save £12k in 2020 - #20 £5,010.84/£5k 100.22% after September
    OS Grocery Challenge 2020 target £2,230.32/£3k 74.34% so far at end of Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2020 #37 - exceeded our £15,000 target and paid the whole thing off
    MFIT T5 No 2 all gone after Q7
    My Debt Free Diary was Get a grip Woman
  • pamsdishpamsdish Forumite
    1.9K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Trip to the tip which involved a side jaunt to B&M, needed gravy powder, coffee getting to last jar, got couple of items for neighbour and a bottle of washing up liquid, £10 there, no gravy powder which then involved a 4 shop walk to poundstretchers, SCORE, Golden fry reduced to 25p cleared shelf £3.50, I find it is about identical to Bisto in taste to my palate.
    2018 £2285/£2149, 2019 £2000, 2020 £2000, Spend Jan -Nov £1320.44
    JAN £142 98 FEB £100.14 MARCH £138.87 APRIL £53.87 MAY £96.22 JUNE £195.47 JULY £104.92 AUGUST £112.38 SEPT £119.18 OCT £90.18 NOV £166.23
    DEC £166.66
  • The OH is no good at letting me know what he spends so I have decided I'm going to put cash in an envelope for April and see if that works better.

    Budget will be £85 x 4 weeks

  • I'm in again and will keep the monthly amount at £70.00 but am hoping to come in under that cause there is plenty in the freezer and store cupboard.
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