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December 2008 Grocery Challenge

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
835 replies 50.6K views


  • Have made big pot of soup each weekend and wondering whether last Sundays will last until tomorrow...?(vegetarian). I'm sure in the old days they used to eat it for a week...(the soup is following the recipe from Asda's packet of Moroccan Seasoning - chickpeas, tomatoes, spices, soya beans, coriander - delicious)


    Hi Sparkly
    Your soup sounds yummy - could you post the recipe please?
  • Thankyou scotsaver for kind support an advice.

    Im feeling bit down at the moent as so far we spent £250 which is what i stupidly budgeted this month and are running out of fresh veg fridge looking bare againa nd cupboards need more basics like tinned tomatoes/pastas and rice ect.
    Our only well stocked thing is teh freezer thats lookijng full after iceland shop and got lots of frozen stuff including lots of veg and chips.
    We not got enough meat and still not got turkey which is stressing me out!
    Asda sounds good but none near without expensive bus journey unless i try get vespa started. I suggested goose but hubby not keen then we toyed with lamb and thourght no has to be turkey!
    Maybe we could buy turkey breasts? is that mad idea for just 2 adults and toddler?
    We still got 1 pack of mince in freezer but will need one more pack of mince and some chicken as will prob make big lasagne.

    Then theres the xmas trimmings this year we not got that hubbys missing and making me feel guilty so here goes

    who sells cheapest xmas pud? onbly has 2 be small as only hubby who likes it!

    Who sells cheapest xmas cake or is cheaper to make my own?

    My own mince pies worked out cheaper than shop brought my mum wants me to make some this weekend so tahts another £5
    need ingrediants for gingerbread and shortbread.

    So realisticaly setting new dec budget to more realistic £325

    We always used to go m&s for partfayre any ideas on cheap luxurious partyfood and nibbles that make oh feel less hard done by?

    Anyone else feeling that december is hardest due to all the xtras the family expect?

    I must stop watching xmas food specials like nigella and river cottage as they must spend small fortune on food!
    Last nite was watching willys christmas on c4 he had whole lamb for party oh said prob few hundred quid!
    He also had really nice large turkey made me bit sad and envious!

    Definatly saving food stamps next year so never caught out again.

    Wanted to do small new year party but that be more expense gues could do basic partyfayre.
    pad by xmas2010 £14,636.65/£20,000::beer:
    Pay off as much as I can 2011 £15008.02/£15,000:j

    new grocery challenge £200/£250 feb

    KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON:D,Onwards and upward2013:)
  • hello everyone, well poped to aldi yeaterday got a few bits for £6.19 including a yummy 'big' viennetta for xmas day for me as i dont like xmas pud!! also went to market today spent a small fortune on chesse and cranberry sauce (£9.80) and also brought a massive lump of gammon to cook for over christmas and new year (£6.99) Got a lot for the money spent and im really happy with the budget so far this mth, we have loads in the fridge and freezer and only spent £126.63!! so doing great. i will however be spending lots over the next week ofcourse!!!!! Dh loves to go a bit mad at christmas so will have to try and calm him a little! Also will need to get some beers and wine in (not for me ofcourse, to busy growing baby again this christmas!!lol) so i know it will go up lots, but it makes me feel good for lowering the amount for GC in the new year!
    Might try and make some yummy mince pies today so if anybody has any good recepies for the pastry would love to hear them...
    GC: Nov: £60.22/£450 Oct: £338.48/£450, July: £363.05/£450, June £447.98/£500
    £2 savers No68: £104/£100 :j
    :jmummy to: 8yr, 5yr, 3yr, 2yr, 1yr. No6 Due Mar 2013 My world.:j
  • gailey wrote: »
    We not got enough meat and still not got turkey which is stressing me out!
    Asda sounds good but none near without expensive bus journey unless i try get vespa started. I suggested goose but hubby not keen then we toyed with lamb and thourght no has to be turkey!

    Hi honey

    Sorry you are so stressed. As for Turkey - a few weeks ago we went to Iceland and bought a 'Cook-from-frozen' Turkey crown. It was £6. You just put it in the oven for however long it says and out it comes, and it really is delicious! It would easily feed four people so you would have some left cold the next day. Might be an idea to give you both the turkey fix you need for Christmas day and yet won't break the bank!!

    I was really sceptical but I am a complete convert now and intend to buy another to keep in the freezer for the New Year, as I adore turkey!

    hugs to you honey

    To be frugal, you need to spend money wisely, simply spending less is not enough.
    If you can't handle me at my worst then you don't deserve me at my best...
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I will try again tomorrow.
  • the_catthe_cat Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker

    Do you like leg meat? IF so a (value) turkey leg would be an option at around £1.60

    Xmas pud - if only for one Sains do individual mini ones for £1.49. Probably avail in all the stores though
  • findingmyfeetfindingmyfeet Forumite
    497 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    morning everyone,
    in for an update, spend another £79.56 in Mr M, £6.55 ham joint in local butchers, £13.89 in iceland and £1 in greggs for 2 sausage rolls (couldnt resist i was feeling half starved..and they were nice.). So thats another £101.01 to add to my sig-do that shortly.
    Only need a bit of fresh f n v from aldi at the weekend and possibly cream and butter. Then im set until the new year, hopefully i will just make the budget.
    GAILEY- i have just bought a nice xmas cake in morrisons , its about 6 or so inches across(15cms? ish), decorated with icing and a sprig of holly cost me £2.99 and looks nice, i find it cheaper to do mince pies, jamtarts etc homemade. Lats year we had a hollybush (netto) xmas pud that was really nice but at my parents this year so not buying one. good luck.

    Hope everyone is doing well and xmas preps are well under way.
    see you all shortly
    sealed pot member no :081:o 2011- £306.68 2012-£304.36 2013- £387.44 2014 - £441.43 ;)£482.30 2019 £655.58
  • JulimkJulimk Forumite
    349 Posts
    Hi Gailey

    I don’t know what shops you have locally & I don’t need to get a turkey this year, but Somerfield were advertising half price Bernard Matthews ones & I’m pretty sure Mr T still had some frozen ones for £10.

    There are some party food things in Nigella’s Christmas that could be done fairly cheaply if you get the ‘value’ or equivalent of tortilla chips, cream cheese, smoked salmon trimmings etc. Mr T has cocktail sausages at £1 for 24, Ocean Spray cranberry sauce for £1 & Colemans’s horseradish sauce 2 for £1.

    Chilli Cheese Crostini (makes 100)

    350g cream cheese
    125ml sour cream
    2 tsp paprika
    30g jalapenos, finely chopped
    ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
    200g pack tortilla chips

    Mix together the cream cheese & sour cream. Mix in the jalapenos, paprika & Worcestershire sauce. Spread on the tortilla chips.

    Smoked salmon soda breads (makes 30)

    225g smoked salmon
    100g crème fraiche
    50g horseradish sauce
    400g loaf brown soda bread or other wholemeal bread
    75g pickled red cabbage
    small bunch dill

    Mix together crème fraiche & horseradish. Cut 8-10 slices of bread into 3 or 4 bits. Spread with mix. Add ribbon of smoked salmon. Garnish with cabbage & dill.

    Cranberry & Soy glazed cocktail sausages (makes 50)

    50 cocktail sausages
    125ml sweet chilli sauce
    60ml cranberry sauce
    60ml soy sauce
    1 tblsp dark brown sugar
    juice of 1 clementine/Satsuma
    juice of 1 lime

    Heat oven to 200c/gas mark 6. Put sausages in roasting tin.
    Mix chilli, cranberry & soy sauces. Mix in sugar, clementine/Satsuma & lime juice.
    Pour over sausages, turning so evenly coated. Cook for 30-40 mins, turning half way.


    I had to do some grocery shopping, even though I was already over the budget. The 4 litres of milk I bought at the beginning of the week has gone & we were down to the last loo roll!

    As I was able to reduce my spend fairly easily the first 2 months I did the GC & have spent similar amounts this month & last month (I didn’t need to ‘do’ Christmas), I clearly was spending more than I needed to & am now at a reasonable level. Will have to try some new strategies in the New Year to see if it is possible to bring it down further or will have to accept £120 a month will be it.

    That should now be it until after Christmas. Well here’s hoping!
  • MonikerMoniker Forumite
    626 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker Mortgage-free Glee!
    Hi everyone, here I am for my usual Thursday update ( not next week though as I shall be serving the Christmas lunch by this time next week!). Have got quite a few things on my 'Christmas' food list, including two large free range chickens from Sainsbury's safely tucked up in the freezer, the stuffing, bacon rolls, sherry, crisps and cheese biscuits. DD1 is getting the cheese from the market on her way here on Tues - I am budgeting £15 for this as we eat a lot and are not having any pud (just ice-cream and hm chocolate sauce). I will have to buy the milk, cream and fruit and veg on Tuesday or Weds, but apart from that I am feeling happy that I have enough to feed the 7 of us without too much waste! I have updated my signature and I am still comfortably under budget with just over £100 to spend, plus I have had 12 NSD so far this month.

    Out of interest I looked at my spreadsheet for last December when my budget was £500 - and I spent all but about £2 of that and only had 4 of us here for Christmas - though I did do a big family lunch on New Year's day. I am very pleased that with the help of all you guys I have managed to reduce my expenditure by so much. Even if I do go over budget (which I am determined won't happen!) I will still be well under last years' spend.

    Just a quick query - I am hoping to make my own croissants with the help of my breadmaker - and my recipe is an old one which uses fresh yeast. I have manged to buy some from Sainsbury's but have only ever used dried yeast before. Have any of you seasoned bread makers got any tips for how much to use and when to mix it in when using the bm? My recipe uses 500gms flour and 15gms fresh yeast. Thanks in advance.

    Hope you are all managing to stay sane and solvent!

    Love Moniker
  • gailey_2gailey_2 Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    Thanks everyone will head off2morrisions 4cake
    got xmas pud mini from co-op 99p!
    Moniker you having chicken instead of turkey?
    As im contempeplating tnat as could afford gammon joint or some lamb then as well.
    pad by xmas2010 £14,636.65/£20,000::beer:
    Pay off as much as I can 2011 £15008.02/£15,000:j

    new grocery challenge £200/£250 feb

    KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON:D,Onwards and upward2013:)
  • Sunny_DonnySunny_Donny Forumite
    300 Posts
    Hi All

    back with a vengance after the flu battled us, but survived with help of mum visiting with cakes and milk. Mr A delivery man with a big shop when the fridge was empty and the freezer had taken a hit. Did Tescos shop today and visited Lidl. All sorted except for pickles, chutney and veg which I will get on Sunday, (brain not in gear at all!!).
    Asda £57.45, Mr T 23.11, Lidl 6.39
    have all meat I need - 2 gammon, 2 beef, 1 pork and chicken pieces, mince, so what doesn't get eaten in the next 2 weeks will save me on my Jan shopping bill when I will be eating out of freezer and cutting back big style as the diet starts then!!!

    Happy Christmas to all if I don't manage to get online in the next couple of days
    Mortgage free as at 1/9/13 :j
    To start work on the credit cards now!!
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