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    • Penelope Penguin
    • By Penelope Penguin 27th Jul 08, 1:12 PM
    • 17,087Posts
    • 132,754Thanks
    Penelope Penguin
    August 2008 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 27th Jul 08, 1:12 PM
    August 2008 Grocery Challenge 27th Jul 08 at 1:12 PM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the eighth Grocery Challenge of 2008.

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

    Originally Posted by Galtizz
    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.

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Penny x
    Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding
Page 39
    • philsmum
    • By philsmum 4th Aug 08, 1:23 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 2,206 Thanks
    Hi everyone
    Just checking in to update my signature, have got to try very hard this month because I went over by quite a lot last month. Made my bread this morning, when I came to put it in the oven it was cold, it had been on for 1/4 hr . I think the element must have gone because the hobs are working OK. OH will have a look at it later. At least I was able to cook my bread, I recently bought a small steam oven but have only used it for meat and veg but it cooked the bread really good.
    I havent read all the post yet but have looked on Morrisons web site and they have 8 items for 50p again, inc. tomatoes, lettuce, chopped chicken, burgers, buns & sausage sorry forgot what else but I dont really think they are giving much away.
    Sorry for going on.
    Have a nice day.
    Debt free from April 2012
    Afternoon all

    Well my NAFFI whoopsie hunt went rather well Got:-
    1. 2 X 1.5 kilo potatoes
    2. 4 blocks double gloucester
    3. 9 bags bread flour -got 2 -went through check out and it came through at half price -74c -so i grabbed a basket and ran round and emptied the shelf
    4. 80 tetley teabags with 100% free -so 160
    5. 2 bags sweet potatoes
    6. 4 tubs longley cottage cheese
    7. some sliced roast beef
    8. 6 litres whole milk
    9. 2 kilo nectarines
    None of which i needed for this week but a few potatoes and the extra fruit never goes amiss in this house
    The rest will make the following months even cheaper in total i spent 22.98 it should have been 61.21 -don't know how they can charge that much in the first place :confused: so some super duper bargains me thinks....

    Im going to take the whole 22.98 off this months budget to save confussion later.... and im still under budget -if i add on last weeks 2c i get a nice round 23 out of 40-and have NO intention of spending another penny before my next weeks starts on Friday

    right im off to x stitch again
    Have a great afternoon all
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
  • 4Moneysaver
    My flatmate left this week leaving half a freezer full of food and some useful store cupboard essentials. So month is starting off really well. Also made lots of veg soup with various left overs and whizzed it up with my hand blender. I've frozen portions in all the take-away boxes she left too! I seem to eat far more healthily when I'm planning meals and it's actually good fun using up those things that have been sitting in my cupboards for ages making me feel guilty.
    It's up to me now and nobody else.
    • findingmyfeet
    • By findingmyfeet 4th Aug 08, 1:49 PM
    • 494 Posts
    • 5,666 Thanks
    hi all,
    nsd yesterday and so far today but cant make up my mind whether to go to the supermarket tonight or tomorrow. started going in the evenings as there seems to be more whoopsies around then although having no luck at all with meat. can get plenty of bread, cakes etc reduced but not much else. never mind doesnt cost to look when im there anyway. got loads of tomatoes ripening and some peppers almost there, chillies on their way too. Going to be having lots of pasta, lasagne, chilli, shepherds pies etc to use them, plus fresh in sandwiches n salads etc. Also got loads of apples coming, some are eating apples and some just for cooking, think i may try to swop some with my dads pals on their allotments, worked well last year. some plums too but not half as many as usual ?? must be a bad year, who knows.

    Of to try some baking shortly, bread rolls, some sort of cake (depends what i have left) and a couple of quiches for the freezer too.

    have a nice day all, welcome to all newbies, and good luck to all you wedding planners out there.
    sealed pot member no :435 2011- 306.68 2012-304.36 2013- 387.44 2014 - 441.43 482.30
    • By KAAT_LADY 4th Aug 08, 2:36 PM
    • 4,645 Posts
    • 35,859 Thanks
    Originally Posted by KAAT_LADY
    hi there


    I have made the pasta bake and ti is very nice I added campbells chicken and campbells mushroom soups and it tastes very nice,, thankyou


    Glad you liked it- its a favourite in my house
    I made the curry this morning,,

    then took DH to the doctors where he got a prescription,, so off we toodles to MrT's to get it ..

    as it was just after one o'clock we had to wait an hour for the pharmacy to open,, so we had a coffee,, picked up the prescription and headed home,,

    on the way home remembered I had not the tax disc for the car so we detoured to get it and then found out we did not have any documents in the car,, so we went home,,

    , to find the curry still on the hob with the gas still on,,,the smell of burning was atrocious,,It had tasted nice when we went out but now will have to throw it away,,

    After that I took the documents down to the post office only to find out that the dvla had sent the wrong logbook back,,,, so did not get my tax disc,,,

    therefore phoned them up and was on the phone for 14minutes,,, luckily I had gone through SAYNOTO0870 so it did not cost me anything to phone,,

    they thought they had sent out the right documents so after a while he did my tax over the phone which will take 4-5 working days,,

    and he will send me the correct documents out in the post as well

    so have had a hectic day...........................and no curry

    mortgage free as of 06/02/2008#
    berthas buddies No 5
    murphys no more pies club member ,No 242..
    .,night owl 25

    • Chell
    • By Chell 4th Aug 08, 2:47 PM
    • 1,674 Posts
    • 3,261 Thanks
    Chelltune I am in awe

    I wanted to murder everyone about me just before I went in to have my third not go supermarket shopping and baking

    Am also in awe that you manage to stay so within budget too - really not quite sure what I'm doing wrong :confused: but I'll try

    Actually, I will go and have a look around now as I am HUGE into baking and that takes up loads of money on eggs, flour, icing sugar etc. so if there are any additional hints and helps on this I would be very, very grateful but will go and look around too.

    Hoping to have a NSD today

    We were supposed to have a full roast dinner yesterday but the chicken didn't defrost in time so ended up having pasta and pesto so that means we sort of have an extra meal in the bag for this week as it has pushed all my menu plans back a day

    Have a friend's children here today though so that means loads of food being eaten and as it is sadly raining they're hanging around lots and mooching for snacks kids eh :confused:

    Good luck all!!
    Originally posted by Tigerpants
    It was yesterday I wanted to murder everyone or burst into tears, back to normal today, aren't hormones great! :rolleyes:

    I find that when I make an effort to stick to a budget I am more organised and we actually eat better.

    We are veggie so that perhaps makes our food bills a little cheaper although I spend a fortune on vegetables to have a good variety. We've not started to grow our own yet.

    People have already mentioned using value flour, etc. I always use granulated sugar too, it is cheaper than caster sugar and I don't think it makes a difference to cakes. I bought wholemeal flour earlier for a vegetable crumble, I was shocked at how dear it is compared to white flour.

    It does make me laugh though, I noticed today that Hobnobs are BOGOF in Morrisons, two packs for about 70p yet we are all making Twinks Hobnobs that I am sure cost more. I feel better knowing that the children are eating them without all the nasties of shop bought food.

    I must admit that I've been quite tough with the children and food. On the first day of the holidays DS was constantly asking for food and I was worried about the food bills. The thing is, when he is at school he hardly he eats his packed lunch! He constantly asks for things like School bars but I've been offering fruit, carrot sticks and raisins a lot of the time and he is far less hungry than if he thinks there are goodies to eat. Don't get me wrong, they both have their fair share of treats too, they both had a small bar of chocolate when we shopped earlier.
    Nevermind the dog, beware of the kids!
    • BigMummaF
    • By BigMummaF 4th Aug 08, 3:03 PM
    • 4,269 Posts
    • 32,002 Thanks
    I was about to throw the wrapper away from the peppers & caught sight of a recipe.

    Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta [serves 4]
    2 peppers, seeds removed & cut into chunks
    2 re onions, peeled & quartered
    3 crushed garlic cloves
    2 tbs olive oil
    1kg small ripe toms, quartered
    350g dried pasta
    handful fresh basil leaves
    2tbs grated parmesan to serve
    fresh ground black pepper.

    Pre-heat oven 200C/ fan 180C/400F/Gas 6
    Peppers, garlic & onions in roast pan, drizzle with oil & season with the pepper.
    Bake approx 15min
    Add toms & cook further 15mins or till veg softens.
    Meanwhile, cook pasta then drain well.
    Mix all stuff in serving dish & scatter basil leaves & parmesan on top to serve.

    Not exactly word-for-word, but thank you Somerfield, for the recipe.

    I succombed to a rather nifty whack of steak, chinese chicken quarters, chicken breasts & the biggest lamb chops I've ever seen--all for 35. I reckon around 55 portions from that lot, for us whoomuns & the Pup

    Another 3:85 at the fruitiers & 6:12 in MrT brings my spends for yesterday to 44:97.
    Full time Carer for Mum; harassed mother of three;
    loving & loved by two 4-legged babies.

    • By KAAT_LADY 4th Aug 08, 3:05 PM
    • 4,645 Posts
    • 35,859 Thanks
    just updated my siggie as while we were in MrT's DH spent 10.67
    and I needed some more ,,,,,,,, and a packet of ladies things

    mortgage free as of 06/02/2008#
    berthas buddies No 5
    murphys no more pies club member ,No 242..
    .,night owl 25

    • EagerLearner
    • By EagerLearner 4th Aug 08, 3:35 PM
    • 4,972 Posts
    • 7,922 Thanks
    Just wanted to recommend the Curry Queen's Base Curry recipe - this takes time, but once you have made it you will have lots for various curry nights in the month. It's a base, so won't take up much space in the ferezer, then you add whatever you fancy each time you cook. So far we have had it with chicken and also seafood. Plus then you add whavever veggies / coconut milk or yoghurt etc.

    Last time following her recipe, we made enough for 6 portions, ie 3 dinners for 2 people.

    Next time I make it I will double all the quantities and make twice as much to freeze.

    Recipe is post #1 on this thread but I also added some tips & comments on the last page which may help:

    We have this with cous cous, I find it's quick and easy and we don't have to buy rice (we bought lots of cous cous ages ago).

    I also highly recommend the Sag Aloo recipe from Weezl's £0.50 per day challenge - cheap but lovely, freezes well and nutritious too. Once defrosted we then add chickpeas or any spare bits and bobs.
    Link here:

    Enjoy x
    Last edited by EagerLearner; 04-08-2008 at 3:49 PM.
    MFW #185
    Mortgage slowly being offset! 86,987 /58,742 virtual balance
    Original mortgage free date 2037/ Now Nov 2034 and counting
    YNAB lover
  • MissPin
    Afternoon everyone. I am back from holiday and now sinking into post holiday depression...made worse by the fact that I set my budget at 100 this month and I have just added up receipts so far and it comes to 79.25!! Don't know how I am going to make 20 quid last 4 weeks....

    hope everyone is having a better day!
    GC July 110/97.21 already spent:rolleyes:

    GC August 100/87.98 already spent
  • annelouise
    Good Afternoon
    Back on the MSE wagon and all that it entails.

    Have done 2 week menu plan,shopping list,shopped for all on list and had a couple of things I needed for later in the week and didn't go to other s'market as I'll buy my f & v and omitted items Weds.

    Had weetabix for b'fast and kids had pancakes ( both brought over from Uk by friend's)
    Jackets with sausage and beans ( leftovers) kids
    Made baked bean chili - bulked it out and made 8 portions with 250g of mince.
    Made bounty slice - needs chocolate top tomorrow.

    Have loads of storecupboard items inc - salad cream,mango chutney,batter mix,cereal,pumpkin seeds,jaffa cakes etc.

    Have a massive bunch of bright yellow flowers on my courgette plants.So will let you know how I get on,tom plant still ok,lettuces still small and rangy.....too close maybe.....

    Be who you are and say what you think because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind....Dr Seuss
    • mouche
    • By mouche 4th Aug 08, 4:25 PM
    • 890 Posts
    • 4,382 Thanks
    Don't know how I am going to make 20 quid last 4 weeks....
    Originally posted by MissPin

    I was in exaclty this situation last month MissPin - 78 down on the 4th of July. But with lots of help from this board - and sheer bloodymindedness! - I came in 3.01 below budget. My fridge/freezer/cupboards were bare at the end of it but it can be done! So keep your spirits up - you can do it.
    Mortgage (original/ current):193,000 (23/09/11)/ 131,290.03 (05/11/2018) MFW target for 2018: 2,406.04/ 3,000
    2017 Challenges: Make 300 a month: 29/300 (November) NSDs: 2/15 (November)
    Lose 3st 9lb: 0/3st 9lb
    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 4th Aug 08, 4:25 PM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    Can you freeze mascarpone ? If not has anyone got any recipes with mascarpone in (ideally that you can freeze ?)
    Don't want to throw it but it will be out of date by the time we return from hols.
    Feeling lousy today, should be excited about hols but am just stressed!
    Thanks x
    PS Today was a GC NSD (did spend £2.50 but that was on a bag from Red X shop!)
    Edited to say, ditto- what can I do with 150ml Elmlea double ? Hmmmmm maybe a cheese and onion quiche, any other ideas ?
    Last edited by OrkneyStar; 04-08-2008 at 5:00 PM.
    • turbo5019
    • By turbo5019 4th Aug 08, 4:32 PM
    • 330 Posts
    • 3,341 Thanks
    Just popped on to update my sig I have just had my first spend in aug I did manage 4 NDS . I need a new TV DVD player and as I was out shopping with my parents we went to MrT toget my it. I was very good by they wanted to see if there was anything cheep. There wasn't anything I need but then my mum pointed out lemon sponge pudding 2.49 on BOGOF but they were reduced to 1.65 so only cost me 83p I thought I was getting the free one but no such luck. Shouldn't need anything for a few days.

    Quick question has anyone frozen runner beans? if so do you blance them?
    if so how long and do they taste as nice from frozen sorry for all the questions.
    GC 7.79/225 per month ~ wk1 7.79/ 50
    • By KAAT_LADY 4th Aug 08, 4:54 PM
    • 4,645 Posts
    • 35,859 Thanks

    does anyone know how I can clean my pan that I burnt,, I have it in soak but it doesnt look good

    Its my new pan ,, I have only had it three weeks

    mortgage free as of 06/02/2008#
    berthas buddies No 5
    murphys no more pies club member ,No 242..
    .,night owl 25

    • mumoffour77
    • By mumoffour77 4th Aug 08, 5:00 PM
    • 1,886 Posts
    • 20,457 Thanks
    Boiling water with some washing powder!!!
    leave it to soak, then scrub it with a brillo pad or scourer!!
    I hope this helps KAAT!!( I take it that it is the curry pot?)
    Im going to be frugal
    Im going to be frugal
    Im going to be frugal
    Beetlejuice Beetlejuice...................
    • Ches
    • By Ches 4th Aug 08, 5:13 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 10,371 Thanks
    Have spent 55.56p so far this month which leaves me with 144.44p. I have listed all foods in freezer/fridge/cupboard and have done a 2 week meal plan of food which we eat regularly. As most of the ingredients for this are already in I will start this plan on the last 2 weeks of the month. I have made a shopping list to make up any shortfall of ingredients. I intend to keep to this 2 week meal plan (with a few deviations when we get bored) because I thought if I keep the meals simple I won't have to buy so much as I will only be buying stuff I know I will use and won't have things in the cupboard which never gets used IYSWIM. It is in my opinion just as wasteful to stock stuff that doesn't get used as it is to throw stuff away. I decided to start this plan mid month as I have lots of stuff in stock that are not part of this meal plan to use up first. So to use these bits up, while OH is away this week I will be eating all the odds and sods and next week we will be eating all the stuff in the freezer/cupboard which is not on my basic menu plan. I can only try.
    Mortgage and Debt free but need to increase savings pot.
    • angelnikki
    • By angelnikki 4th Aug 08, 5:15 PM
    • 892 Posts
    • 16,972 Thanks
    Just checked my bank account and noticed that MrT hasnt taken the money out of my account for last tuesday's delivery (£78.75). Woohoo Hope they've forgot

    I've booked my delivery for tomorrow, should be under £65

    Take care everyone

    Happy Anniversary Mr & MrsM

    Nikki x
    • *BigBird*
    • By *BigBird* 4th Aug 08, 5:30 PM
    • 948 Posts
    • 5,077 Thanks
    If anyone likes lemon curd and doesn't fancy making their own, I just got a jar of Gale's in Mr T for 20p (Mr T value is 35p!) Lady on the till commented on how cheap it was and said she thought someone might have made a boo-boo on the 'puter, so get it while you can.

    (I'm so sad - I couldn't wait to get home and tell you all that I'd found a bargain!! )

    Also, can I freeze fresh coriander? Mr T only had large bags and I won't use it all before it goes yellow and floppy.
    You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you change the world, the world will change.
    • EagerLearner
    • By EagerLearner 4th Aug 08, 5:38 PM
    • 4,972 Posts
    • 7,922 Thanks
    Hi *BigBird* - yes coriander can be frozen no worries - just pop it in a plastic bag and grab off frozen bits as you need them... x
    MFW #185
    Mortgage slowly being offset! 86,987 /58,742 virtual balance
    Original mortgage free date 2037/ Now Nov 2034 and counting
    YNAB lover
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