Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 28th Mar 08, 12:18 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    Pink.
    April 2008 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 28th Mar 08, 12:18 PM
    April 2008 Grocery Challenge 28th Mar 08 at 12:18 PM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the fourth Grocery Challenge of 2008.

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your March budget, then keep on posting in the March Grocery Challenge

    As always this challenge is to reduce your own grocery budget to levels that you will be pleased with, not forgetting that we always recommend that you stay inside your own comfort levels and take things gently one step at a time. Remember that this is not a competition....it's designed to take you and your grocery spending to a level you are happy with.

    If you are new to the challenge I have quoted the advice from Galtizz below which will help you get started.

    Please post into this thread for help and advice and support at any time. Good luck to everyone taking part!

    I have said this before, but for all the newbies to the challenge;

    For the first month I took a guess at the budget but I really had no idea how much I was spending.

    I found the best thing is to have a guess the first month but SAVE ALL OF YOUR RECEIPTS (and yes, that does include the ones from the local shop when you run out of milk ), then at the end of the month add them all up and have a look if you were on budget, if not, it doesn't matter because your budget was a guess. For the next month you can use the total of your receipts and take a bit off to get a realistic budget, just shave off as much as you think you can, it could be £1 a week or £20 a week.

    If you are currently spending £200 a month don't suddenly drop it to £100 - you'll never do it but if you cut £20 a month off for a few months you'll get there eventually without feeling you're missing out on anything.

    You might think you've done everything you can in the first month but someone always comes up with a new idea and, if you try it you often find you save a bit more (unless you are SarahSaver who is an expert at this and could only save more if she turned her back garden into a paddy field and lived on rice ) In the first month I thought, I'm planning meals, I couldn't possibly save any more, but then I started double cooking and freezing, and making soup instead of buying it in tins.

    I've been doing this since Feb but only saved ALL of my receipts last month, it has given me a much better idea of where it is all going. Budget for next month is £80 for 2 of us, I'll start on 30/4. I could probably save more, by eating different foods but I can afford to live on £80, I have saved a lot of money since Feb. and I don't waste food or money any more. So I'm happy with my budget.

    by Galtizz


    I hope it's a good month for everyone!

    Pink
Page 96
  • moo2moo
    Sorry peeps the chicken didn't make it. The Chicken Fairy (tooth fairy derivative) came during the night so the kids woke up to a letter thanking them for taking very good care of their chicken. I know thats a very bizarre thing to do but it makes things easier for the 5 year old.

    Thats the same 5 year old that happily goes outside to select which cockerel shes going to eat for dinner. Theres a fine line between food and pets. The girl chickens are egg laying pets and the boys are food. The kids like to bury each deceased pet but theres only so much space in the pet cemetery so the chickens are collected during the night from an appropriately cosy place by the chicken fairy.
    Saving for a Spinning Wheel and other random splurges : £183.50
  • mandy_moo_1
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY scotsaver thought you'd be sick of cake by now, so i've sent you some easter eggs!!!

    baked a big pastryless quiche this morning to cut into 4 and freeze.....got it out of the oven, nipped up to the toilet and hoover the bedrooms.....came back downstaires to find 2 flippin pieces had been eaten!! DD was starting college at lunchtime and she said she couldn't help herself! Oh well, i s'pose i should be glad she likes my cooking!!! :rolleyes:

  • mandy_moo_1
    Sorry peeps the chicken didn't make it. The Chicken Fairy (tooth fairy derivative) came during the night so the kids woke up to a letter thanking them for taking very good care of their chicken. I know thats a very bizarre thing to do but it makes things easier for the 5 year old.

    Thats the same 5 year old that happily goes outside to select which cockerel shes going to eat for dinner. Theres a fine line between food and pets. The girl chickens are egg laying pets and the boys are food. The kids like to bury each deceased pet but theres only so much space in the pet cemetery so the chickens are collected during the night from an appropriately cosy place by the chicken fairy.
    Originally posted by moo2moo
    oh i'm really sorry to hear that. sending you ((((big hugs ))))) if you need them xx

  • clair2305
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Scotsaver!
    Hope you have a fantastic day! Make the most of it, whatever you do!

    Moo2Moo - any word about the chicken? Scared to ask now, hope she made it.

    Clair - I've been using store own brand pasta & rice for years, I can't tell the difference. Only problem is that the very cheapest ones (20p per bag) they have stopped doing completely in my nearest Mr T, so I'm about to check and find out if Mr A still has their 19p per pack pasta and am going to stock up in MAJOR fashion, even if it means building a store out in the shed! I usually pay 19p or 20p per pack, yesterday they wanted 49p, so it has more than doubled the costs for anyone who was budgetin g on the basic varieties.
    Originally posted by nykmedia
    thanks for this nyk, I do use the store brands, was just thinking of converting to the basics versions....I'll give it a go....is there any difference in taste? or it's cooking needs (does it hold a lot of water, anything else, etc)?

    Thanks
  • Zend
    April Grocery Challenge
    Went to Mr M's on Sunday to get meat for OH's lunches and ended upbuying other things as well. Now £14 over budget . Yesterday found some mince lurking in the back of the freezer so made a lasagna. Found some bits of bread as well so made a marmalade and whisky bread pudding. Tried it last night, think I need to put more whisky in it next time. We have loads of alcohol in the garage from over the years but neither of us drink much so the whisky was os saving.
    • mookybargirl
    • By mookybargirl 22nd Apr 08, 12:23 PM
    • 1,370 Posts
    • 2,640 Thanks
    mookybargirl
    Am going to try the tortillas - was wondering, can you cook them and then have them cold? Might be a random question - sorry!!

    Originally posted by JennyBee
    2nd time lucky - my 1st post went to Internet lost and found.
    These are absolutely fine cold. I've also covered a couple in cling film and warmed in microwave the day after and these were fine too.
    Love MSE, Las Vegas and chocolate!
  • MRSMCAWBER
    Courgette Tea Bread Recipe
    Afternoon all

    Made it out of the kitchen .....right i will post the savoury recipes later..but just HAVE to share the recipe for the courgette teabread i have just tried for the 1st time...

    OH MY GOD...nomnomnom doesn't quite cover it never thought the humble old courgette could taste so good...
    It is supposed to be made in a 2lb loaf tin..but i decided to turn it into mini muffins (hubby doesn't have much of a sweet tooth and i still have enough weight to lose -so thought mini was a good idea ) it made 38 I now have 36 left... chefs perks and all that .... plus i missed my lunch

    Anyone who likes carrot/passioncake should love this one

    COURGETTE TEA BREAD
    pre-heat oven to 180c/350f/gas 4
    grease a 2lb loaf tin and bottom line with greaseproof paper - make it so it comes up the narrow edges so you can use it to lift it out
    1. 1 large egg
    2. 125ml sunflower oil
    3. 175g courgettes -trimmed and grated (on large holes)
    4. 150g wholewheat flour -i used ordinary
    5. 1/2tsp baking powder
    6. 1tsp bicarb
    7. 1tsp ground cinnamon
    8. 175g soft dark brown sugar
    9. 75g sultanas
    10. 3oz walnuts chopped
    • tip courgettes and all dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix well
    • whisk egg into the oil and pour into dry goods
    • mix to a thick batter and pour in tin
    • shove in oven for about 1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean..cool in tin for 10 mins before turning out to cool
    How is THAT for a method? ...chuck it in, stir it round..job done
    when cutting you will need a really sharp knife as its lovely n sticky and This will keep in a tin for 1 week.... or can be frozen.
    i made 38 mini muffins and they took about 15 mins a batch and if you let them stand for a few seconds in the tin they firm up and are easier to remove

    right i will get off and finish wiping down... courgette quiche is cooling, bread is rising, bolognaise is ticking over on the stove and mini courgette muffins are about to be put away

    Happy birthday Scotsaver
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
  • bails
    Hi peeps, quick question - I have just peeled a whole sack of carrots and want to freeze them, do I need to cook them first or can I just put them in as they are? Thanks. Will catch up later.
    The 1,000 Day Challenge:
    Feb 16, 2016

    500/30,000
    1.67%
    • ifonlyitwaseasier
    • By ifonlyitwaseasier 22nd Apr 08, 1:15 PM
    • 2,787 Posts
    • 20,347 Thanks
    ifonlyitwaseasier
    hmmmmmm mrs m i think i'm going to have to make them, they sound fab!!
    Nonny mouse and Proud!!
    Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience
    !!
    Debtfightingdivaextraordinaire!!!!
    Amor et metus. Lac? Sugar? Quisque massa vel duo? (stolen from a lovely forumite!)

    • arkonite_babe
    • By arkonite_babe 22nd Apr 08, 1:21 PM
    • 7,258 Posts
    • 8,310 Thanks
    arkonite_babe
    I'm going to be over budget this month
    *slap on wrist*

    will have to try harder next month. Still haven't gotten round to doing any batch cooking. I can't get the blasted freezer cleared. Any tips??
  • mandy_moo_1
    I'm going to be over budget this month
    *slap on wrist*

    will have to try harder next month. Still haven't gotten round to doing any batch cooking. I can't get the blasted freezer cleared. Any tips??
    Originally posted by arkonite_babe
    erm....eat everything? don't think you meant like that did you?! have you tried putting a hairdryer on the ice to try and melt it a bit? just wrap all the frozen food in newspaper whilst you're doing it, so it doesnt start to defrost

    • candygirl
    • By candygirl 22nd Apr 08, 1:39 PM
    • 27,563 Posts
    • 117,434 Thanks
    candygirl
    Sorry peeps the chicken didn't make it. The Chicken Fairy (tooth fairy derivative) came during the night so the kids woke up to a letter thanking them for taking very good care of their chicken. I know thats a very bizarre thing to do but it makes things easier for the 5 year old.

    Thats the same 5 year old that happily goes outside to select which cockerel shes going to eat for dinner. Theres a fine line between food and pets. The girl chickens are egg laying pets and the boys are food. The kids like to bury each deceased pet but theres only so much space in the pet cemetery so the chickens are collected during the night from an appropriately cosy place by the chicken fairy.
    Originally posted by moo2moo

    Aww that's sooo sad hun xx
    Havin a NSD today and doing a bit of batch cooking.Weather's gorg here today, and even the dogs are sunbathing
    "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf"

    (Kabat-Zinn 2004)
  • SmellyOldSock
    Hello all

    Have Asda delivering this evening, got a free delivery code so am well chuffed.

    Spent £64 roughly and £1.15 today on milk.

    Yes I've found my £! Thanks to all who gave me instruction!

    Looking to be on track for the month!

    best wishes
    Charlotte
    Toughest form of moutain climbing is climbing out of a rut
    I WILL be debt free!
    I WILL be happy!
    red pen member 4
  • nessquic80
    A big big thanks to twink for the hobnob recipe i went to mr ts today and got some porridge oaks and have cooked one lot already,they are lovely so much so ive had to freeze lemon cake cus its not getting a look in!!
    always on the lookout for a bargin always better when its free!!


  • bails
    Thanks for all the recipes Mrs M, especially the courgette muffins, will definitely be trying them! If there hasn't been one posted before (I'm sure there probably has) my mum makes a mean beetroot cake I could get the recipe for.

    So sorry to hear about the chicken moo2moo.

    Happy Birthday Scotsaver, hope you have a lovely day.

    I know some people bulk buy rice etc in hauge bags, can I ask where you get them from and if they need any special storage please?

    HM bread and houmous for lunch today, nomnom, can't wait til the salad we have with it is homegrown too
    The 1,000 Day Challenge:
    Feb 16, 2016

    500/30,000
    1.67%
    • Desperate Housewife
    • By Desperate Housewife 22nd Apr 08, 3:29 PM
    • 1,766 Posts
    • 6,498 Thanks
    Desperate Housewife
    hi fellow grocery challengees!

    I have gone overbudget again this month and wonder if I am slicing my budget too thin. I have kept nearer to the amount I allowed myself than I would have done without this challenge so its an improvement.

    I have done more baking and as I work nights have stuck to the plan of 'cook when off, freeze when not' and this means I'm batch cooking a lot more and hence using my slow cooker.

    I'm still going to try for £250 again for May and hopefully will be able to do it this time!

    Good luck everyone
    Save £12k in 2012 no.49 £10,250/£12,000
    Save £12k in 2013 no.34 £11,800/£12,000
    'How much can you save' thread = £7,050
    Total=£29,100
    Mfi3 no. 88: Balance Jan '06 = £63,000.
    Balance 23.11.09 = £nil.
    • sashanut
    • By sashanut 22nd Apr 08, 3:56 PM
    • 3,223 Posts
    • 30,611 Thanks
    sashanut
    Impossible Coconut Pie
    Hi all

    Been lurking & trying not to spend, but am still over this month....I think I might need to try for £250 for May to see if I can keep below this as I've gone over just about every moth. Still, I have learnt so much from this thread - I'm very grateful to everybody for their support - & the recipes & tips as well of course!! To that end I'm posting the recipe for IMPOSSIBLE COCONUT PIE as requested!

    - 4 eggs
    - 6oz caster sugar (I used ordinary)
    - 2oz butter softened
    - 3oz plain flour sifted
    - 1/4 tsp salt
    - 1/2 tsp baking powder
    - 3/4 pt milk - any kind
    - 4oz desiccated coconut
    - 1/2 tsp vanilla essence

    Pre-heat oven to 180/350 gas 3. Place all ingredients in large mixing bowl, then beat or whisk together till everything is combined.

    Pour into a deep, greased 10in pie dish. Bake in oven for 30 mins or until puffed up & golden brown. Allow to cool for 5-10 mins at least (pie will deflate slightly), cut into wedges & serve hot or cold.


    This is not overly sweet & will suit those who like egg custard as the middle layer is made of it. When you get it out of the oven it may seem a bit wobbly - although brown - but that is OK. On cooking it separates into a thin pastry-like crust, custard middle & crunchy coconut sponge topping - YUM.

    On tasting it DH said - 'you can make this one again - how about tomorrow?' We ate it with a bit of HM jam on the side (tut tut) too.

    BTW WEEZL we will be visiting Cardiff at the first May BH weekend - are there any OS shops I shoudl be visiting please? We will be staying in the centre for a couple of days & I know about the bargains on Lakeland's top floor as I found those last year...

    TIA
    Last edited by sashanut; 22-04-2008 at 3:58 PM. Reason: lots of spelling mistakes..............
    New start JAN15 - NOT BUYING IT 2015 . Long haul DFW #145 : 2011 DEBTBUSTING : £5500 OD GONE, £2000 OD - GONE £93,610.30 cc & loan debt - GONE 27.6.14 FINALLY DEBT & MORTGAGE FREE
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 22nd Apr 08, 4:06 PM
    • 6,160 Posts
    • 54,422 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    thanks for this nyk, I do use the store brands, was just thinking of converting to the basics versions....I'll give it a go....is there any difference in taste? or it's cooking needs (does it hold a lot of water, anything else, etc)?

    Thanks
    Originally posted by clair2305
    I'd be telling lies if I said I could tell the difference. I've been using the basic versions for so long that I don't know what differences there are meant to be. To me, rice is rice and pasta is pasta, it's all down to how it's cooked and what's being eaten along with it. The only thing I can say I HAVE noticed is that some of the spaghetti is quite thin, so it cooks quicker, but that's even better as it's saving on electricity as well as purchase costs. The rice takes a few cold rinses to get the water running clear but that could be because mine is piled up and crammed into the cupboard, so gets a bnit more crushed than it should.
    I'm not the best of cooks, but I worked out the cost of last night's chicken curry with boiled rice and garlic/coriander naan; it came in at £1.50 for 3 adult sized meals and certainly no complaints.

    Beating the system - my idea is to target the loss leaders in whichever store I visit, as and when available. This week it had to be tinned curry sauce at 5p/tin, shower gel at 10p/bottle and bubble bath at 20p/litre. The shower gel and bubble bath can be rebottled along with some homegrown rosemary or lavender. I leave it sealed for several months and then have my own supply of aromatherapy-type products in bulk ready for redistributing into small jars that can be decorated and personalised as gifts. I'm now wondering how easy it would be to melt and then reshape basic soap.

    Moo2Moo - sorry to hear about the chicken
    Last edited by Frugaldom; 22-04-2008 at 4:11 PM.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • arkonite_babe
    • By arkonite_babe 22nd Apr 08, 4:07 PM
    • 7,258 Posts
    • 8,310 Thanks
    arkonite_babe
    erm....eat everything? don't think you meant like that did you?! have you tried putting a hairdryer on the ice to try and melt it a bit? just wrap all the frozen food in newspaper whilst you're doing it, so it doesnt start to defrost
    Originally posted by mandy_moo_1
    It's a frost free one, the food was what I meant. I just seem to have bits and more bits lurking in there. Example, one full tub of breadcumbs. A largish tub at that. I use them as toppings and stuffing but can't get any more use for them. I did try a crumb cookie recipe. It was horrible *spit spit* :confused::confused:
    • mama67
    • By mama67 22nd Apr 08, 4:13 PM
    • 1,318 Posts
    • 16,230 Thanks
    mama67
    I usually use Mr T value basmati rice which used to be 79p/kg bag now gone up to 99p/kg bag but saw this week that their own brand 4kg bag was on special at £3.60 so got one of those and put the remains after filling my tub up into the freezer(stops weevils hatching).

    I also use value lasagne, spagetti, and pasta shapes from any of the supermarkets depending on which shop I'm in.

    Just need to rinse the rice a couple of times in cold water to get the excess starch out.
    I have been using Jamies method though and once cooked tip rice through colander and then put back over pan it was cooked in with some of the cooking water underneath put lid over and let it steam for approx 5 mins, lovely and fluffy.
    Last edited by mama67; 22-04-2008 at 4:23 PM. Reason: additional info
    2 adults, 2 boys ( sportsmad-big eaters) (21 & 18)
    My mother always served up leftovers we never knew what the original meal was. - Tracey Ulman
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

615Posts Today

5,914Users online

Martin's Twitter