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January 2009 Grocery Challenge

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
2.1K replies 157K views


  • sharronejsharronej Forumite
    578 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    Well done! This is also the stage I have reached. I started off with FR eggs but the price of the chicken wasn't really very affordable. Asda do FR chicken very reasonable though so I did get a couple from there and that is what I intend to do in the future unless its a true big whoopsie(which would still leave me a little guilty). I want to use up all of the other meat in my freezer too and eventually replace it with the "happy" variety. It does mean cutting back on it but I plan to cut back on red meat anyhow. When we were much poorer and living on more soya and pulses years ago we were also healthier. I can't turn back the clock 20 years but I can turn back our diet somewhat. Such changes do take time and I would rather have a FR chicken once a week than a caged twice a week which is where we were a couple of years ago. I feel I am making considered choices now-as I think a lot of us here also now feel-rather than just buying "food" without too much consideration as to cost both in monetary terms and moral ones. I will leave the "value" ones for those who are still beginners and feel a need to buy them. I did also put the free range pork into my basket but put it back for a very good reason-yes-I put it back because I didn't need it! I already have loads in the freezer to use up.

    That's a real coincidence because I have also been thinking about upgrading our eggs, chicken and mince :o) Now I've discovered the family actually enjoy the recipes I make more with the addition of Lentil, Quinoa, Split peas and Oats I figure I should be able to buy better quality meat....having said that I haven't managed to come in under budget since I started three months ago so maybe I'm wishful thinking :rotfl:
  • OrkneyStarOrkneyStar Forumite
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    angelnikki wrote: »

    I have decided to fully chicken out. :A I always buy free range eggs but not FR chicken :o because I didn't feel I could afford free range on my budget. But now that I've managed to reduce our spends, thanks to the GC, we can afford to only buy free range chicken (and pork) too :T
    I have taken the approach to avoiding supermarket meat and only buying local stuff......this can be hard on our meagre budget (I am hoping to spend around £40-50 per week for 2 adults and a toddler, in a location where we only have Tesco, Lidl, Coop and local, so none of this shopping around lark!) but if something means a lot to you it is worth it, and you can cut back in other ways as peeps have already said. Local butchers are great :). Well done on the chicken decision, and also anyone else who supports such things :).
    Not much else to report here, avoiding the shops as want to come in under £200 for the month (8 days to go), and sailing quite close to the wind! DH has no kiwis left but then there are plums, apples and oranges so he is fine for fruit (even if he does not agree), he also has fruit activia with kiwi in!
    Got the BM on for one loaf and 4 rolls, and making HM soup in a bit, followed by a big cottage pie (steak mince, carrots, peas, onion) for tea.
    :heartpuls :heartpuls :heartpuls
  • Hi, help required! Ended up getting some reduced pies from Mr M's last night (the fresh ones) at 35p i thought they would do o/h lunch and dinner for us to. However, he has been organised and got the mince out of the freezer.. and gone to work without his lunch..leaving me with more pies than i know what to do with! any suggestions?? can i freeze the pies??? obviously i need to use the mince and can't refreeze that?
    Spent £4.82 last night in mr m's, not bad as it included treat for friend who babysat for us last week (promised her a takeaway!!)
    August: £149/£150

    Sept: £200
  • quick question about the hobnobs - I have no golden syrup of bicarb, would maple syrup/honey and baking powder work?
    wk1 £0/£100 NSD's 0/7
    Total £0/400
  • My budget is in tatters, i'm so far past it, it is merely a dot on the horizon:eek:

    I think next month i'm going to join in with a weekly budget, see if i can manage that any better.
    My freezer was pretty empty though at the start of the challenge and it is fairly full now, lots of whoopsied meat - including some lovely looking venison:D

    Must try harder methinks:o
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
    Bertrand Russell
  • Hi, hope I'm posting this in the right place.

    I have done the grocery challenge before, quite a while back and have been very careful or so I thought but just lately with the cost of food going up I've found our weekly food bill has crept up and up, this week my online shop has come to £114. It was more to start with but I went back over the list and took off meat and fish. Last week I spent £60 but it's meant that our stock cupboard has run right down and there's nothing left, so if I don't spent the £100 it seems that there's nothing to eat. :confused: Over a month our grocery spend is around £400 and that's not including alcohol but does include toiletries. That's for a family of 2 adults and 2 teens.

    I don't know where I'm going wrong, I cook everything from scratch, never throw out any food, and use a slow cooker & bread maker, I buy very few branded items and buy 'value' if possible. We eat out only on special occasions up to 4 times a year and rarely have take-aways.

    I've been reading as many threads on here as I can this morning but would be grateful for any more tips.

    Thanks in advance :A
  • sharronejsharronej Forumite
    578 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    Just updating signature and what a shock that was! Thought I had gone about twenty pounds over but actually I'm nearer sixty pounds over! No wonder it hasn't been stressful, I haven't been doing it!:rotfl: :rotfl: I've also included some other targets on my sig as well although they may be subject to change!
  • elizabunny wrote: »
    Hello orchid-96 - Sorry I'm not much use here because I have never used shop bought breadcrumbs -but I don't see why it wouldn't work. Also, I really don't know how long after the date they would be edible -:o I think there may be other OS who may have used them before so hopefully they can help you out more than me.

    I'm hoping to grow broad beans this year so maybe -if you don't mind you could post your soup recipe -it sounds lovely!

    Just remembered another NSD for me today -so 3 in a row!

    The recipe for the soup is:
    1 tbsp Olive Oil
    1 medium Onion, chopped
    2 celery sticks, chopped (didn't have this but had a celariac to use instead and it was lovely)
    2 tsp ground cumin
    600ml hot vegetable stock
    400g can chopped plum tomatoes with garlic (just used basic toms and added garlic)
    400g can chickpeas , rinsed and drained
    100g frozen broad beans
    zest and juice 1/2 lemon (used lemon juice from the cupboard)

    large handful coriander or parsley and flatbread, to serve

    1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then fry the onion and celery gently for 10 mins until softened, stirring frequently. Tip in the cumin and fry for another minute..

    2. Turn up the heat, then add the stock, tomatoes and chickpeas, plus a good grind of black pepper. SImmer for 8 mins. Throw in broad beans and lemon juice, cook for a further 2 mins. Season to taste then top with a sprinking of lemon zest and chopped herbs.

    Had some fresh coriander in to add at the end, but next time would use the dried stuff which would be fine...

    Also it says for a variation to add some chorizo along with the onions and celery, we had some peperoni in so used that and it was nice, but think it would be fine without the meat or maybe with some smoky bacon...I also reckon it would be tasty if you added rice or cous cous with it....

    Planning a nsd today, good luck all
    Jun GC £250.00/£12.40 NSD 3 / 30

    January 200/198.91 February 200/239.28 March 200/230
    April 250/no idea May 250/265.95

    Sealed pot challenge number 648
  • furndirefurndire Forumite
    7.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    quick question about the hobnobs - I have no golden syrup of bicarb, would maple syrup/honey and baking powder work?

    The first time I made them, I used the syrup out of a jar of stem ginger, as I didn't have any either. Made the mixture a little bit sticky to handle, but they worked. Of the two, I would think honey would work best - didn't think of maple syrup to use, but I didn't want to throw away the lovely ginger flavoured syrup!!!
  • Yes you can freeze the Mr M's pies as they are freshly baked in store so no problem at all. Have to say i used to work there and many nights came home with more than enough so had a freezer full!
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