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November 2012 Grocery Challenge

edited 22 October 2012 at 2:33PM in Old Style MoneySaving
907 replies 76.3K views


  • PurpleJayPurpleJay Forumite
    485 posts
    Yesterday I went to Morrisons to do our main shop. I had a voucher for £10 off £50 and if you spent £60 you got 15p off a lt of fuel :D

    It came to £59.53 (after the voucher so got my fuel voucher) and then we have bread x3 and newspaper from our local papershop which was just over £5.44.

    Current total £65/300.
    'Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass,
    it's about learning to dance in the rain'
  • theatregirl4theatregirl4 Forumite
    1.1K posts
    Thank you for the lovely welcome, MrsCD. I promise I have very carefully read the first page (and every page!) of this thread, but I still have a question. Does Saturday's family outing, which has its own budget line but involved buying lunch for four people at $25, count towards the GC?

    Up to you.

    I include all meals out in my budget personally, but some people choose not to. :)

  • Just added up my little spends. £27.74.

    No big shop yet this month. Store cupboard and freezer still ok for around three more meals easily and another three using creativity and ingenuity (what OH calls my Vicar of Dibley creations - like the old lady used to make). Will probably do a big shop before day three for the sake of my marriage!

    armchairexpert - I'm one of those who doesn't count eating out but like you relatively new to this challenge so may change my rules at some point as I get better at budgeting and meal planning. As long as you're happy with your own rules it really doesn't matter as it's not a competition but a challenge.
    January GC 299/300
    February GC 295/270
    March GC 92/243 then lost the plot and stopped recording for two months and went way over :eek:
    May GC 372/250 still looking for the plot
    June GC 118/250
  • Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass Forumite
    4.3K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Thank you for the lovely welcome, MrsCD. I promise I have very carefully read the first page (and every page!) of this thread, but I still have a question. Does Saturday's family outing, which has its own budget line but involved buying lunch for four people at $25, count towards the GC?
    It is your choice - it depends on how totally you are tracking your monthly spending and whether you have it covered elsewhere - I have a separate allowance for going out but if you don't (and you are tracking every cent) you should probably include it.

    I forgot (to be honest) to allow anything for going out when I started (we are particularly sad but we still go out sometimes!) but because it is such a disproportionate amount for one evening I prefer to keep it separate. As I say, it is up to you :).

    Best of luck

    Save £12k in 2020 - #20 £2161.30/£5k 28.72% after Apr
    OS Grocery Challenge 2020 target £863.93/£3k 28.8% so far at end of April
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2020 #37 £7,678.12/£15,000 51.9%
    MFIT T5 No 2 £50,483/£59,998 or 84.14% paid after Q5
    My Debt Free Diary is here
  • edited 4 November 2012 at 4:45PM
    elsiepacelsiepac Forumite, Board Guide
    1.9K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 4 November 2012 at 4:45PM
    Hi everyone!

    I have read all the posts which has taken me over an hour as I was very behind due to a Loooooong working week! As I went through there were loads of posts I thought I'd comment on but have now forgotten them all, so not being rude, just unorganised... soz! :o

    Okay, firstly, Coxy can you please up my budget to £110? I got paid a bit more than I'd budgeted for, and think the GC is the best thing to put it into at the minute.

    I'm definitely right when I've identified that my biggest challenge over recent months has been the following:
    1. Storage - lack of fridge and freezer space in this shared house means cannot do my amazing batch
    2. Time - nearly 3 months into the new job and I am spending more and more time there - meaning I get home late and I'm tired - both triggers for buying convenience food and wasting money.
    3. Weight - Point 2 also means that my weight is spiralling out of control, NOT GOOD!
    4. Kitchen time in shared house - with 8 people in this house, kitchen time is a premium - unless I get in there before 6 on a weekday then I can pretty much write off any decent cooking time. I can't remember the last time I was home before 6 - usually more like half 7, peak time in our kitchen.

    So, to strike a reasonable balance I've decided the following -
    a. Buy pre-prepared raw ingredients to save on time taken on preparation (I have found a GREAT range in Sainsbobs frozen, including garlic, chilli, herbs, finely chopped veg etc) - all on 2 for £2.50.
    b. Each meal I make must have a minimum of 2 portions.
    c. There will be repetitive meals as I will need to store batch cooked items in the fridge as my freezer drawer is bursting at the seams
    d. I MUST meal plan properly - I have been failing to do this

    I think that by preparing simpler meals in a couple of portions that I can nuke when required will be a great help. I have been failing on this by planning too complex meals which I have neither time nor inclination for. Also by the opposite - over simplifying so there is no excitement in food so I don't "fancy" whatever I've made and get something expensive and pre-prepared instead.

    First example was last night - it was about half 8 and I wanted dinner but had nothing prepared. Saturday in my head is a treat day, so nearly gave in and got posh ready meal or takeaway. Then kicked myself and made the following, based on Gingham Ribbons Sausage Casserole:

    In wok, heated a tbsp oil. Added a couple of handfuls of Sainsbobs frozen finely chopped veg (onion, celery and carrot). Nuked a couple of frozen Linda M sausages for a minute, then chopped and added to veg. Sauteed for 5 mins.
    Meanwhile, had 2 Ald! part baked rolls (39p for 4) in the oven. Made a mix of 4 cubes of Sainsbobs frozen crushed garlic, about 1 tbsp of Sainsbobs frozen chopped parsley, and 3 tbsps of sunflower spread.
    Got the rolls out of the oven, cut in half and spread with garlic mixture. Put back in oven.
    Back to pan with sausage and veg in, added 1 tin chopped toms, 1 veg 0x0 cube, 1 tbsp Sainsbobs frozen chopped parsley, 1 cube Sainsbobs frozen crushed garlic and stirred and brought to gentle simmer.
    Ten minutes later, retrieve rolls from oven and put on plate, serve sausage mix and hey presto
    Sausage casserole with HM garlic bread in under 20 minutes.

    No prep, no fuss, delicious and healthy (except the garlic bread but that was the Saturday treat!) and not too expensive.

    So that was my "testbed" if you like and it has more than proved to me that this is my (temporary while in this house) way forward, because it was much tastier than anything in the shops, and so easy.

    I'm going to average my grocery budget at about £100 - £120 a month for the next few months, to incorporate the marginally more expensive pre-prepared elements. The couple of months I haven't been here, I been spending over £200 due to all the takeaways/ready meals so it is actually better, though not up to my old standards. I think it's a suitable sacrifice for me though, as I need to be making more of my own food, for health and for budget.

    Sorry for the long post...

    LC x

    PS - Today I had a treat from my pocket money, which was a gingerbread muffin from c0sta c0ff33. It was DELICIOUS! Had a gooey middle and the cutest little sugar gingerbread man on top! Does anyone have any idea how to make something like this at home (that isn't insanely complicated!)... it was so different and so good, I'd like to try!
    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
  • mummybearxmummybearx Forumite
    1.9K posts
    Spent £10 odds at MrT's last night. Managed to get two bags of potatoes for 10p each, and two bags of a bean onion and carrot mix for 10p each.

    Using one of the bean mix bags with some reduced sausages from the freezer to make a casserole today, along with the reduced potatoes and frozen peas it's costing about 70p for 4 portions :j

    Got a pot of lentil soup on the hob using some lanky carrots and a not so good leek I found in the bottom of the fridge. That's my lunch at work til Wednesday sorted

    Can't think of anything smart to put here...
  • Just a quick question...
    Can you freeze Tuna pasta Bake? This is something we always end up wasting for some reason or another, and was thinking I'd ask to make sure first :)
    May Grocery Challenge : 64.81 so far

    May NSD: 0
  • tatabubblytatabubbly Forumite
    909 posts
    Seventh Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Did my main shop for this week, however as I'm on Slimming worldies, I'll probably need more fruit and veg by the end of the week.. Had a spend today of €27.12 and I need to grab the veggies on offer in Ald**s and Tescabugs in the next few days.. Hopefully this will give me a few NSD during the week.. I'm off to update my siggie and hopefully earn some swagbucks online!!
    094 Sealed pot member! :beer: (7) €185 (8) €138 (9) €€250
    Saving for our first home!
  • theatregirl4theatregirl4 Forumite
    1.1K posts
    HappyTorty wrote: »
    Just a quick question...
    Can you freeze Tuna pasta Bake? This is something we always end up wasting for some reason or another, and was thinking I'd ask to make sure first :)

    I'm sure you can freeze the pasta bake element as pasta and lasagna dishes I get from the supermarket freeze and defrost very well.
    Not sure if you can freeze tuna however...

  • tattycathtattycath Forumite
    7.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    Only just had time to update.
    Day before yesterday I spent £24.95 @ Mr As
    Made up of:
    Belvita x 2
    ceareal bars
    Chocolate digestives
    lion cereal - reduced
    Fairy dishwasher tabs
    magazines :o
    funsize x 3
    Primula spread cheese
    screme eggs x 6 - reduced
    cheese scones
    pastries :o
    Chicken portions
    Total £24.95
    Last night my OH decided to go out and get some plain flour, so he went to a local shop and paid £1.59 for it :mad:
    Total so far this month is £55.61
    GE 36 *MFD may 2043
    MFIT-T5 #60 £136,850.30
    Mortgage overpayments 2019 - £285.96
    2020 Jan-£40-feb-£18.28.march-£25
    Christmas savings card 2020 £20/£100
    Emergency savings £100/£500
    12/3/17 175lb - 06/11/2019 152lb
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