January 2012 Grocery Challenge

edited 27 December 2011 at 2:52PM in Old Style MoneySaving
3.3K replies 331.9K views


  • Week 1 (started a little late) on my £100 budget

    £18.65 at Tescos, proper bargain shop but still got all I needed
    - All largely offer items
    - No two of one's though (always just seem to be double price items to me?!)
    - A few bottom own brand cheapies
    - A couple of niceties also (plus small byunch of flowers too)
    - All nice and healthy stuff so will save on my belly too :-)

    So far so good!
  • raphaniusraphanius Forumite
    1.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Photogenic Combo Breaker
    £1 for milk and 49p for natural yoghurt to make parsnip and parmesan muffins to mop up tonights leftover autumn squash stew. thanks for the recipe XSpender gotta use up those veg box parsnips somehow :rotfl:
    Wins: 2008: £606.10 2009: £806.24 2010: £713.47 2011: 328.32
  • majjakmajjak Forumite
    380 Posts
    You can complain against the price increase if you can show your account is in credit / will balance by the end of your consumption year.

    I left SP as they were continually doing this - I moved to them in a November so didn't have the summer months to build a "buffer" - however, as I'd used actualy consumption figures & it would balance out they always put it back to the original figure .... I just got sick of having to do it every 3 months.

    However, despite explaining this to my new supplier and being assured they wouldn't do this - they have just tried to put my dd up by 82%:eek: - although with the comforting words "it's only for 3 months":mad: Several emails & phone calls and they have now reinstated it to the original figure as a similar situation to the SP one.

    It drives me demented and makes me very angry - apart from the discount one of the reasons many people choose to pay by dd is to have roughly the same going out their account every month throughout the year - these automated reviews seem to take absolutely no account of the annual consumtion (even though this is what is used when you sign up). It also really penalises people who move during late summer/winter - if I'd have changed supplier in say March instead, there wouldn't be an issue.

    I did get told along the lines of "but we pay interest on credit balances" mmmmmm well, what good is that piddling amount going to do if you've tried to take an extra £50+ from my account, it's not there or other things have failed because you've taken it, bank charges are added etc :mad:

    Sorry ...... will climb down off my box - just one of those things that drives me insane - the stress of having to go through it every 3 months is really something I could do without!

    That's one of the reasons I've decided to go back to quarterly billing. I know roughly how much I need to put away during the winter months for my bills, plus the fact that I won't be paying as much during the summer (DD would stay high during summer months otherwise).

    I've decided to start up the '2nd purse system' with my 'savings' from the DD this month. Have been reading up and I think I've got the gist :D. Starting off with £15, going to see what I can get when I go shopping shortly.

    How is everyone else doing with theirs?
    Save £12K challenge 2015 # 173
  • GorgeestwoGorgeestwo Forumite
    537 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Good morning :)

    Yesterday was a NSD :j today I've got to go shopping, have a fairly long list, but hopeful I can keep it under control :D have got to go and choose new glasses for DS and DD this afternoon, so might use up my £5 off £25 spend at M&$.
    Seeing what everyone says about the Donald Russell stuff, I might give this a go too next month.
    Will update later with how much we've spent :)
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
    0 Posts
    10,000 Posts I've been Money Tipped!
    MoneySaving Newbie
    Had a lovely lie-in this morning, and no shopping to get at all whiich is even better.

    I have only been in the supermarket twice since Christmas Eve so my resolve is hardening the longer I stay away from the shops.
    True I live alone so there is only me to feed but I did a stocktake of my stores in the cupboard and freezer and thought 'Hey its time I stopped buying and started using it up' So that is my cunning plan for this month.Buy as little as possible and use up what I have first. Sounds a doddle, but its suprising how often one goes to the shop for maybe milk and spends a tenner!!! not this cookie:D On my 'to buy shopping list' at the moment I have a cucumber, and thats all.I have just under a quarter of one in the fridge, and only need a little for a salad lunch tomorrow, so its something that isn't urgent and can wait for a few more days. Almost halfway through the month already and things seem to be going to plan.
    I just had my C/card cash back bill in and I had undeestimated how much cash back I had, so I have another £5.18 to add to my food purse:j:jI shall use it up next week when I have at least a fivers worth of shopping to get so I won't use hard cash from my 'food purse.'
    Hope everyone else is doing as well.This month the forum is flying. I think a lot more folk have joined (which is brilliant) and shows what a canny lot of ladies we are becoming (and gents of course ):D
    Cheers Chums onwards and upwards
    JackieO xxx
  • Just back from Mr T's and now I know why I have been shopping at Aldi, B&M and the greengrocers! Managed to spend £27 on groceries and another £11 on hair dye and a few bits that don't come out of the grocery budget.

    There were a few good offers on F&V for a change but everything else seems to have leapt up in price again:mad:
    My total is now up to £63ish from a budget of £150 for January with £86 for 1 more shop to go - will comfortably make it:j I have revised the budget to as near as I can to £100 instead. Mr T gave me a voucher for £6 off a £40 spend for next week so I'll probably use that to stock up for February (in January's budget).
  • NickJWNickJW Forumite
    678 Posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
    Yesterday was a NSD because I already had the things needed for lunch and dinner.

    Today £1.25 spent on milk from the corner shop - more expensive than the SM but at least I am not tempted to get anything extra there...

    Having friends come over for lunch today and I am using the rest of the Xmas party food from the freezer, made a pasta salad, potato salad, canapes, and quiche from ingredients already in stock. There is a LOT of food in the fridge at the moment!!! I only have 4 chairs for the table and there will be 7 people in total so I thought party food would be easier. Also using the wines and champagne gifted to me for Xmas (6 bottles in total), and expect people may bring a bottle over to add to the collection. If not I'll have to nip to the off license, or we'll head to the pub later.
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 £46.05/£130

    Grocery Challenge 13 -spent £1453.06
    Grocery Challenge 12 -spent £1565.51

    DFD 1st March 2011 :T
  • I found A$da Hein* beans cheaper individually and small packs of Colour catchers too, also at A$da this week.

    If you have a L*dl near you they sometimes sell Dr Magic Snatch a Dye sheets and they are 20 sheets for 99p. Just as good as Colour catchers and a fraction of the price. When they do have them in stock I normally buy a few packs.


    Officially debt free :j
  • sistercassistercas Forumite
    4.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    been to HB this morning as we needed shampoo and conditioner , also picked up some [email protected] crackerbreads as both DD's are doing slimming world , they are 59p at HB instead of 98p in the SM
    some pour and store bags
    spent just over £13 ( bought some other stuff but cant remember lol)

    got loads of stuff in now so hopefully the rest of the week will be NSD's
  • SpiggleSpiggle Forumite
    1.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    tracey12 wrote: »
    If you have a L*dl near you they sometimes sell Dr Magic Snatch a Dye sheets and they are 20 sheets for 99p. Just as good as Colour catchers and a fraction of the price. When they do have them in stock I normally buy a few packs.



    Hi Tracey,

    I was looking at these in L*dl yesterday and they did seem reasonable. Also in there they had Mozzarella, full fat or lighter choice, for 49p (we got two for the freezer) if anyone's going to be making hm pizza this weekend. ;)

    Sorry for engendering loo roll envy, I didn't mean to honest. :o Actually I think it was SueP who yesterday posted about the B*gBr*nds4L*ss offer on Nouvelle which does beat the price on the Cushelle from L*dl by about 8p per roll. :T

    Loving the conversation on buying multiples of individual/smaller packs. It does take time when shopping to check this out but it really is a useful thing to do. :think: Long gone are the days when you could pick up a multi/large pack in the belief it's better value. :wall: Oh no, those sms have certainly caught on to that and try every way they can to fox us! :naughty:

    The thread is now a massive 100ish pages long and so I thought I'd repost the following tips so that newbies don't need to dig deep to find them.
    Spiggle wrote: »
    Afternoon All,

    Welcome and good luck to our newbies! And good luck to everyone of course!

    I'm not sure if the following will help any of you but here goes anyway ...

    I hope my fellow regulars won't mind me posting this again but it may be of some help to all the enthusiastic and excited people joining us. I believe it has helped others in the past. So here goes:

    We all have different budgets that suit our households. The most important thing to remember is that you set yours according to your needs and finances. It can take time to get to where you want to be too so don't knock yourself out if you go over in the first few months. We are here to support each other and it is not a competition.

    I thought it might help to outline where we've come from and the top tips I've learned.

    When we started in March 2010 we had spent in excess of £600 in the previous month. :eek: This had to stop, (there's only me and him and our two beautiful black cats) something which thankfully my OH completely agreed with so I have been lucky that he has been on board from the start. He gave me his debit card voluntarily and I still keep hold of it until he needs to get something for the home. At the same time we set up a system of pocket money (pm) at £15 each per week which doesn't count towards the GC and which we can each spend as we wish with no comebacks or complaints. OH predominantly uses his pm on his beer and I ferret mine away mostly. :rotfl:

    The next step was to set up my own spreadsheet which is absolutely simple onto which I put all spends so that I have a continuous running total for the month and for the year. We initially set our budget at £280 per month and brought it down to £240 where it resides for most of the year it is occasionally increased to allow for extras e.g. Christmas to £260.

    The important 'tools' we found greatly helped and continue to do so now are:

    Stocktake cupboards, fridge, freezer - make lists and ensure that the older products get used up first. You'll be amazed at what you find squirrelled away and it will help with your shopping list as you'll realise that you don't actually need so much.

    Before you go shopping check staples - running out of milk, bread, butter, etc often leads to going into a shop for one thing and coming out £20 lighter. Always check these and if they'll run out tomorrow buy them the same time as getting other things.

    Always make a shopping list and stick to it - the supermarkets (sm) try every which way to get us to spend so having a list and strong resolve is the only way to beat them.

    Keep every receipt - and then note it down on your spreadsheet/spend diary so that you always know where you are.

    When tempted, ask yourself do you NEED it or just WANT it - now this advice goes with two things. Firstly, the things you see in store when shopping that APPEAR to be bargains - if you hadn't planned spending the money then its not a bargain. Secondly, the sm send us loads of vouchers for £X off a spend of £XX - if you had no NEED to spend £XX then have you SAVED anything???

    Use my supermarket to compare prices (limited to four of the biggies) - The site may be used to actually do an online shop at whichever of the big four offers the best value or, if you have the time and sm availability, to make up lists for visiting each of the stores so that you can purchase all you need at different stores thus getting the best possible value. (I'd add, do a 'shop' virtually on this site and take the list you create on it with you, whichever one you shop at, it will help keep target prices in your head and allow you to spot bargains. MrM is not included but you can do a virtual list on their website so you know what you're going to be spending.)

    Always have a list - this is just as important when shopping online as shopping on foot.

    Use Approved Foods online (with a list!) - if you don't mind out of date things (ood) or you can search for only in date items. The only drawback is storing the goods as far as I can tell. Oh, and watch the delivery as it's done on a scaled charge for weight so keep an eye on it. You can of course do an AF order with friends, family, colleagues or like minded neighbours. Other GCers use Big Br*nds 4 Less too.

    Invest in a breadmaker - we have saved so much by making our own bread. The prices in the shops are extortionate for bread these days. There's loads of advice on this thread and others in the forum on this.

    Use the recipe lists - always posted at the front of a new thread. There are fantastic, tasty, healthy and economical recipes to use on them and there are a number of other threads on the forum such as Weezl's that will help you to eat well on a budget.

    Shop locally - the local greengrocer (or preferably market but I don't have one :cry:) is usually cheaper as an option for fruit and veg (f&v) than the sm. Often the prices may look the same but when you look at the quantity for the same price the greengrocer will be cheaper. The same goes for the local butcher. Often you will have far more variety of meat available, advice on how to cook a particular meat can be offered and there is (for me at least) no comparison in terms of quality. We buy our huge FR eggs there and I'm yet to find an equivalent FR egg in a sm at the same or lower price. Obvioulsy if you have your own chicks/know someone who has chicks you can get them even cheaper again.

    Grow your own - it's quite simple to grow some f&v at home even if it's only in pots on the patio. There are also supportive threads on the forum for this.

    Cook your own - making meals at home from ingredients is far more economical, often tastes better than shop bought and is probably far better healthwise.

    Meal Plan - this is something that others can advise on as we don't do it. I have a tremendous capacity for eating the same food over many days but presented in slightly different form. For example, we could buy £7 worth of brisket from the butchers and eat it as pot roast for a couple of days, sliced for sarnies, sliced with a salad, chucked into a casserole or shredded up and fried as crispy beef.

    Don't waste food - either only make what you need or use any leftovers for other meals/creations or freeze it for another day.

    Withdraw the cash you want to spend - and keep it in a separate purse. This can be particularly effective as you have the money in front of you reducing rather than spending with plastic which is so easy to lose track of. Very useful when you first start out.

    Don't go to the shops to browse - this can only lead to pain and hardship!!!

    Keep posting and reading the thread - there really is no better supportive, wise and inspirational place to be! I think I saw that somebody mentioned forgetting to read/post. I get around this by using the Advanced button to post, below the window where your text is displayed you will see Additional Options. In the Thread Subscription box use the dropdown to select either instant email notification (this is what I use) or daily email notification before you submit your latest post. Then you will get an email into your inbox from which you can click to the thread to see what others are saying.

    Always remember the sm is not your friend - it wants to profit from you and take as much of your money as it can coerce out of you!

    So, there you go as a starting point. Others on here will offer tremendous advice on meal planning. And don't forget, the only silly question is the one you didn't ask! :D

    See you all later,

    We're definitely on for a NSD today which will bring our total for the month so far to 9 and hope for a lot more to come.

    See you all later,
    Mortgage Free October 2013 :T
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Reclaim payday loans

Get £100s or £1,000s back for being mis-sold

MSE Guides

25% off Dyson eBay outlet

Selected items, via code

MSE Deals