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April 2009 Grocery Challenge

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
710 replies 48.2K views


  • edited 20 April 2009 at 12:00AM
    PippilongstockingPippilongstocking Forumite
    16.3K Posts
    edited 20 April 2009 at 12:00AM
    lalamb wrote: »
    I'm new to this part of MSE but would really like to give it a go. I haven't got a clue how much we spend each month on groceries, it could be anything from £600-£800 per month. We are, me and OH, DD19, DD14, DS5, DS6.
    My expense is because of 2 fussy eaters,OH and DS6, neither like the same foods DH likes old fashioned traditional food -pies, stews etc, won't eat pasta, spicy food, rice and hates bread!!! DS6 likes chicken, salads, duck, lamb and pork, but it's all quite bland and expensive, he won't eat anything that's sauce based!!! The rest of us are ok, me DD19 and DS5 eat anything, DD14 eats more or less anything but hates stews, pies and doesn't like potatoes. I almost always cook 3 seperate meals each night but often find myself cooking 4 meals and it costs a bloomin' fortune. The only meals which we all eat is a roast dinner on Sunday(DS6 minus veg and substitutes that with salad) and toad in the hole.
    It's easier and sometimes cheaper to opt for takeaway.
    I don't know where to begin, HELP!!!!
    I understand that having a large family you will have to cater for individual tastes but it's ridiculous sometimes. I could serve up the same meal to everyone and say if you don't like it you can lump it but you can't force people to like foods they simply don't like.

    I hope I've posted this in the right place.
    Thanks for any tips and advice you've got.

    If it were me -and its almost been me but with a slightly smaller family first thing I would do is keep a diary and actually all your receipts and corner shop stuff and put it all in a jar/box/dish or somewhere safe and then - sit down after 1 week or 1 month and add it up - a strong cup of tea will help - add it up thoroughly and see exactly how much you are spending.

    If you are having to make so many meals (my DS is lactose intolerant so I knwo where you are comign from) then if it were me I would be batch cooking the staples everyone likes and seeing how I can reduce costs for the core dishes.

    (However I am realitively new to all of this and so I hope someone clever comes around soon)

    I now also meal plan - you'd have to go and do a mega meal plan - but I am sure there will be a bit of matching and mixing for all the dishes. You have some core dinners there - toad in the hole is also sausages and mash?, roast dinners are fab and stretch loads - can you begin growing some cut and come again salad stuff as those bags are killer expensive.

    Having done all that I would then use one of the whizzy things martin talks about - I am converted now - having meal planned I look in cupboards and make a proper shopping list (martins whizzy two dimensional shopping aide - secret weapon)

    Aside reduced absolute killer bargains
    And the odd BOGOFF
    I stick to this religously - its now saved me hundreds of pounds.

    I shop later to get the reductions - and stock up on store cupboard stuff.

    I now never ever just cook 1 meal - its always many meals at same time which I then serve, or box up and freeze or portion up and modify as needed.

    Rambles of a mad woman :)

    I kept my receipts thinking - oh we only spend about 200 a month on shopping

    My total was nearer 400, with 100 extra on lunches out etc and anohter 100 or so on takeaways each month - and about 100 or so on school and work lunches.

    TBH it was a very very very large shock. Suddenly with planning etc and listening to ideas on here - we seem to have extra money to chuck at debts - the cupboards are groaning the freezer is full and aside the odd fishfinger or pizza (reduced of course) its mostly home cooked grub or stashed reduced meat etc.

    Goodluck I really feel for you with so many different menu's to plan in the house. xxxx

    Ps sorry for the ramble - I am so proud of the changes we have made with the help on here.
    Total debt 26/4/18 <£1925 we were getting there. :beer:
    Total debt as of 28/4/19 £7867.38:eek:
    minus 112.06 = £7755.32:money:
    :money:Sleeves up folks.:money:
  • kezloukezlou Forumite
    3.3K Posts
    Hi everyone hope everyones fine!

    Lalamb, i'll have a good think of any useful recipes, meal plans etc for you. I'll try and post some up in the few days, if thats okay.

    Been a NSD today, just played with boys and sowed some runner beans and planted a couple of spuds.
    Spent the day making food for the boys pack lunches, so made about 20 blueberry and strawberry muffins, and froze nearly all of them.Got the bread ready for tomorrow soo hopefully wont running around like a nutter in the morning.

    Heres some recipes, not sure if any one would want them but thought i'd post them up.

    Oaty pancakes
    75g / 3oz plain flour
    50g/2oz wholemeal flour
    1 tsp/5ml baking powder
    Pinch of salt
    25g / 1 oz/ 2tbsp caster sugar
    1 egg
    15ml / 1tbsp oil
    250ml / 8floz milk
    1.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Mix together the flours, oats, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl.
    2.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, and then add the egg, oil and a quarter of the milk.
    3.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Mix well then add the rest of the milk till it turns into a thick batter.
    4.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Then place the batter into the fridge for 20 minutes, till chilled
    5.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]In a heated pan place spoonfuls of the batter cook till both sides are golden brown. (about 3 minutes in total)
    6.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Then serve

    Split pea and Courgette soup
    175g / 6oz of split yellow peas
    1 medium onion finely chopped
    2 courgettes finely chopped and diced
    900ml / 1 ½ pints of stock
    ½ tsp ground turmeric
    Salt and pepper
    1.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Soak peas over night in a bowl, drain and rinse.
    2.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Cook onion in a pan till soft, add courgettes and cook for a further 2 minutes
    3.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Add stock and turmeric and bring to the boil
    4.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes and season.
    5.[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]Then serve

    Home Made Potato Wedges

    Wash and clean about 4 large potatoes, you can use baking ones but its entirely up to you.
    Part boil potatoes till a bit soft in the middle.

    2tbsp of oil (any variety)
    2 garlic cloves (less / more up to you)
    salt + pepper
    1 tsp of coriander
    1 tbsp of paprika
    Mix together and toss potatoes wedges in while still hot

    2tbsp of oil (any variety)
    2tbsp salt
    2tbsp pepper
    Mix together and toss potatoes wedges in while still hot

    Now at this point after mixing you can wait till fully cooled down put in tub or food bags then freeze.
    Or while still warm put into the oven on a baking tray, gas mark 6 for about 25 mins or till soft in the middle.

    Enjoy, my kids love the spicy ones with tomato sauce.

    Onion Bhaji

    100g / 4oz Chick-Pea Flour or Gram Flour
    1/4 teasp Chilli Powder
    1/2 teasp Turmeric
    1/2 teasp Baking Powder
    1/2 teasp Ground Cumin
    1 Large Onion, halved and thinly sliced
    1 Green Chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
    25g / 1oz finely chopped Fresh Coriander
    Cold water to mix
    Vegetable oil for deep frying

    How to make Onion Bhaji

    * Sift the flour, chilli, turmeric, cumin, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the chopped coriander, onions and chillis and mix well.

    * Preheat oil till very hot

    * Gradually add enough water to the flour mixture to form a thick batter mixing very well so the onions are well coated.

    * Very carefully drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the hot oil and fry until keep warm whilst you cook the remaining bhajis.

    * Drain well on kitchen paper and serve hot cold.

    Makes 10 -12

    This works a treat with both onion, potato and washed potato skins. Basically any veg.

    For chicken / meat pakora’s just use the bhaji recipe but deep fry for a little longer.
    [FONT=&quot]The pakoras and bhajis both freeze well and when defrosted don’t taste soggy.

  • FrugaldomFrugaldom Forumite
    6.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Hi guys :) Oh, the nightmare of the fussy eaters, I used to hate that, I'm sorry for anyone in that situation as it used to drive me nuts. Now, I'm fortunate in that there are only 3 here to feed now and DS has grown out of his fussy stage since taking to the gym and becoming a fitness fanatic - he seems to have realised that healthy eating is a must rather than a form of punishment! :rotfl:

    Prices still scuppering all my plans to stay within an annual budget of £1200 because I've already spent 5 months' money and we're only halfway through month 4 and I need to buy more! :eek: The £10 weekly top-up shops after bulk buying / batch cooking / ordering 5 times as much pie filling as I meant to from Appr0ved F00d / stockpiling is approaching £20 per week for pretty much the exact same stuff. It's a bit worrying, really, as I can't find anywhere on the site that explains how to downshift when already buying from the bottom of the pile. :rotfl: I guess I just need to hope the veggie garden becomes successful and the hens keep laying.

    Weekly must-haves:
    Bread - £2
    Milk - £4
    Cheese - £4
    Apples - £1
    Bananas - £2
    Tomatoes - £1
    A Chicken - £3.50
    Breakfast Cereal - £1

    That's £962 per year just for that little lot and it is absolutely nowhere near what I need for 3 adults by the time I count in any other meat & dairy products, tins, pasta, rice, toiletries, laundry & cleaning products and all the other basic cooking ingredients needed throughout the year. :eek::eek::eek:
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
  • tjp70tjp70 Forumite
    452 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Just popping in to update my signature. I've not been paying too much attention this month so far (tut tut) but can hopefully stay under budget if I pull my socks up from now on.

    If Plan A fails, remember there are 25 more letters
  • TayeTaye Forumite
    473 Posts
    Hi there guys i know im too late for this challenge but im hoping to join in next month ... yay.

    Now i'm pretty good with making food stretch and i don't really buy any branded goods but new's of impending redundancy his reached me and i need to PLAN!!!

    Now i want to try and stick to my usual budget of £270 for the month, but in addition to feeding me and my family i want to see if i can make it stretch enough to get a little stock pile going too.

    I've currently got a freezer full of food, but nothing to eat... typical right?? i'm going to do an inventory tonight see what the hell is keeping it so full... gotta be something edible right?

    But how would you guys start to go about this?? any hints and tips?
    This months aim :- Stick to food Budget / find £100 for my car insurance
    May GC :- £250/£234.55 :T:A:T
    June GC :- £150/£127.37:eek:
  • meanmariemeanmarie Forumite
    5.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    Have just done my sums on what we spent on food while spend for this month is now €264.27....leaves me with the princely sum of € 35.73 to feed us until 30th! There is lots in the freezer and cupboards are fairly full...milk, f&v will be the biggest spend...have to buy bananas, apples and something else to-day. We haven't very much bread, but lots of flour, so it will be homemade or buy your fruit intake will be mostly rhubarb from garden and dried fruit from store...we also have spinach,lettuce and onions....lots of salads I think

    Good luck to all...lalamb I think that your family would be eating what was put in front of them in my house....allergies I understand, fads I do not!

    Weight 08 February 86kg
  • Coxy11Coxy11 Forumite
    2.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Hi everyone,

    I'm declaring for April and I'm over which is a little disappointing, but we have had family and friends for dinner over the holidays. You can have money or memories, but not both.....

    So for April I'm declaring £412.41 which is £12.41 over my target. I do have some meals left in the freezer, so a headstart for May.

    MrsM please can you put me down for £420 for May. The 3 children have switched from school lunch to packed lunch from today which means I didn't have to pay out £150 for their meals this morning - just as well because DS1 and DS2 both needed new school shoes which I paid in cash - first time ever - £68!! I don't even spend that on my shoes.

    Have a great day everyone.

    May GC - £420/£0
    April GC - £400/£412.41 :eek:
    Cross-stitch WIP: Rudolf Sampler by HSC
  • BoodleBoodle Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    Hi everyone. Just had to nip on to let you know about our "leftovers" tea yesterday as it was so yummy. There was some mince and onions left over from lunchtime, but not enough todo another serving each. I did toy with making a mince and onion pie but couldn't face making pastry :o

    I stirred dried mixed herbs and a splodge of passata into the leftover mince, then mixed it with cooked pasta and plonked it in an oven dish. I splodged some more passata on top (so about 250ml used in all), topped with grated cheese and drizzled over what was left of the cream (about 6 tbsp.) Then I baked it for 30 minutes at 200C. It was most delish if I say so myself :j
    Love and compassion to all x
  • Cornishpixie_2Cornishpixie_2 Forumite
    756 Posts
    Hi Lalamb, I am feeding 4 children (11,9,7,4), spot the mistake:D Anyhoo I used to go around in circles trying to please them and fussy Hubby.(who doesn't do pasta, veg or pots. ). Now weather is getting better found jacket pots, filling and salad, (hubby will have his minus pot but 5 slice bread and butter:confused:), pizza pie and veg(receipe on here), fish and new pots or with salad and nice bread, turkey stirfry with noodles, scrambled egg , sausage and beans, bacon wraps and wedges. Hm burgers with baps and salad, veg and lentil soup with nice bread. They also like potato cakes, fish cakes and fishfingers. Good luck HTH's
    Grocery challenge june £300/ £211-50.
    Grocery challenge july £300/£134-85.
  • Just updating. Went to Mr T's on Friday for some essentials and spent £9.81. Only 10 days til the new budget starts. I think I will be within budget this month.
    Mortgage: £59709.77 (26/08/17) Now £58683.93 MFD Nov 2033
    Current OP Savings £3952.68.
    Milestone no 1 reached 07 Dec 17. Working towards milestone no 2 net debt £50000.
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