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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 48
  • princess leia
    Thanks for the recipes Greent, I am off tohunt out if I have any custard powder

    EDIT - No I don't

    NW-Angel - Mr M's is morisson, Mr T - tesco etc the 50p items are listed somewhere if you do a search.

    I have today made 2 bread puddings as I discovered I had a whole drawer in my freezer dedicated to HM bread crusts that I had saved for crumbs and bread pud!!
    Also the BM has been on and I am making a double batch off potatoes - one to roast fro tea tonite and the other to freeze so I can have a lazy roast another evening!

    Oh my poor freezer, I had to get out a HM crumble for pud tonite so I could get all my 50p stuff in there but don't know where my roasties will go :confused:

    Oh well I might just have to make another bread pud and start a stall down on the seafront to see if I can sell it
    Last edited by princess leia; 06-08-2008 at 2:56 PM. Reason: No custard powder :(
    Sealed pot Member target £200 - No. 151
    GC Yearly £3k so far £1097 May£220/£300
    £1k in 100 days so far - £235
    Snowball debt free calculator says DEC 09 - lets hope we can do it!

    • Chell
    • By Chell 6th Aug 08, 3:07 PM
    • 1,674 Posts
    • 3,261 Thanks
    It makes me chuckle reading about the food that some of you have stashed in your freezers whenyou check what is in them. I'm amazed at the amount of meat that a few members have mentioned that you have, it sounds like enough to last for months!

    I was a bit naughty yesterday and spent £2.00 on a large bag of chips and 61p on rolls from Tesco Express to make chip butties for me, my two children and my Dad. He asked me to stop to get some bread for our lunch and I couldn't resist the chips but at least I can blame pregnancy.

    I thought I'd check the veg rack as I won't be here for a few days. I found a pepper and loads of carrots. I've made a pasta sauce to freeze then chopped the extra carrots which the children are now munching. I will have to through away a small amount of lettuce, I forgot to make DH a salad last night to take to work which would have used up some of these bits.

    I spent £7.87 in Asda on reduced bread mix, milk, bleach, sliced bread for the freezer and two of those Fusion Razors at £2. The razors have two blades so are cheaper than buying blades for DH Mach3.

    Tonight we are having a scrummy looking potato bake that I've prepared with the cheap Morrisons spuds and baked beans.
    Nevermind the dog, beware of the kids!
  • kazzys51
    hi thought i put in a wee tip to help save money natural crystal deodorant from the health shop lasts u about 2 years a costs a fiver saving over a year of £30 no smell so gd 4 guys to! cud i ask when im on ive not long joined and are struggling to keep up with posts answer/replys im obviously doing it wrong is there a way i can check posts n stuff quick is there something im missing??
  • saffouri
    Hello again everyone. Wow, there are a lot of GCers this month, great! And welcome to all the newbies.

    Back from holiday and after being well over in July, we're ready to start the August challenge.... angelnikki please put us down for £220 - thanks.

    March GC: £147.75/£180 groceries + £36.75/£50 meals out

    February: £163.19/£180 + £66.14/£50 monthly budget for eating out Total £229.33/£230
    • ifonlyitwaseasier
    • By ifonlyitwaseasier 6th Aug 08, 3:26 PM
    • 2,787 Posts
    • 20,347 Thanks
    thanks greent, the custard cookies are chilling already

    kazzy, i thank everyone and then i can see where i've got to by going to the last thanked post, hth

    ioiwe x
    Nonny mouse and Proud!!
    Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience
    Amor et metus. Lac? Sugar? Quisque massa vel duo? (stolen from a lovely forumite!)

    • Chell
    • By Chell 6th Aug 08, 3:35 PM
    • 1,674 Posts
    • 3,261 Thanks
    hi thought i put in a wee tip to help save money natural crystal deodorant from the health shop lasts u about 2 years a costs a fiver saving over a year of £30 no smell so gd 4 guys to! cud i ask when im on ive not long joined and are struggling to keep up with posts answer/replys im obviously doing it wrong is there a way i can check posts n stuff quick is there something im missing??
    Originally posted by kazzys51
    If you click on thread tools above you can subscribe to threads that interest you. You can either get an email to read or view them by clicking on usercp then subscriptions. This might make it quicker to find the threads that you want to follow.
    Nevermind the dog, beware of the kids!
  • saffouri
    Kazzy - this thread moves so fast that checking posts 'quickly' is a challenge in itself! But the thanking seems to work well for some. I'm afraid I just don't manage to keep up with them all especially when away for one reason or other.

    March GC: £147.75/£180 groceries + £36.75/£50 meals out

    February: £163.19/£180 + £66.14/£50 monthly budget for eating out Total £229.33/£230
  • 4Moneysaver
    Just popped by to update my signature. Did a bit of shopping again in my local market got vegs and salad, then into Icland for chicken legs and their free range eggs, then on to Mr S for value lasagne sheets and value stock cubes. I have two bags brimming with goodies and spent less than a tenner. My halo is glowing!
    It's up to me now and nobody else.
  • princess leia
    Chelltune - yep I have loads of meat and yep it should last for months
    What does your potato bake consist of? Just layer of potatoes and beans? it sounds lovely
    Sealed pot Member target £200 - No. 151
    GC Yearly £3k so far £1097 May£220/£300
    £1k in 100 days so far - £235
    Snowball debt free calculator says DEC 09 - lets hope we can do it!

    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 6th Aug 08, 3:54 PM
    • 6,147 Posts
    • 54,320 Thanks
    Hi guys, spent £10 on 2kg of cheese, so have added that to my overall grocery total, set aside three quarters of it for the stockpile and kept quarter of it for using this month. Added £2.50 to my August budget and will increase this if I use any more of the cheese.

    Hope everyone is doing well, sorry I'm not able tpo keep up with the thread but I do my best to pop in now and again.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Chell
    • By Chell 6th Aug 08, 4:00 PM
    • 1,674 Posts
    • 3,261 Thanks
    Chelltune - yep I have loads of meat and yep it should last for months
    What does your potato bake consist of? Just layer of potatoes and beans? it sounds lovely
    Originally posted by princess leia
    I boil either sliced potatoes if they are big ones or chunks if it is the little new potatoes in their skins.

    I then fry an onion, a clove of garlic and some wholegrain mustard in a little butter. Layer up the potatoes with the onion mix and cheese then bake in the oven and serve with beans.

    Another nice potato bake is new potatoes with a creme fraiche sauce. Again fry an onion and garlic and/or mustard. When it is soft stir in a pot of cream fresh and some cheese so it melt. Pour this over chucks of new potatoes then top with breadcrumbs and bake.

    We are veggie but both bakes could have some bacon fried with the onion.
    Nevermind the dog, beware of the kids!
  • kazzys51
    wow that was fast!! ur wee stars thanks for the help ive been doing searches to find them cheers k
  • Girl least likely to
    Gosh. I haven't been on here for weeks and it shows by coming in over by the best part of £80 last month . I hadn't budgeted for a party we gave for DD's birthday and also I was ill for the best part of 2 weeks and couldn't be bothered to cook when I ran out of HM meals in the freezer so I had a pricey order containing ding ding meals .

    Anyway, a lesson learnt and new month with a shiny new budget . I'll try for £200 this month, a bit more than I've been aiming for in recent months but I have a BBQ at the weekend to cater for so will try to use a bit of stuff from the freezer and limit what I have to buy.

    Will also try to read this thread a bit more than I have been recently . Good luck to all
  • Girl least likely to
    Forgot to say that I did my first shop of the month last night, £76.33 at Mr T's. I am hoping to avoid doing big shops whilst DD is off nursery over the summer and hope to shop only when I really need stuff. She says
    • turbo5019
    • By turbo5019 6th Aug 08, 4:16 PM
    • 330 Posts
    • 3,341 Thanks
    sorry if im being a bit dim but what is MrM's? and where do are these 50p item?
    many thanks
    Originally posted by NW-ANGEL
    Your are not being dim it took me a while. MrM is Morrisons

    The 50p offers are
    New potaotes 1Kg
    Diced Chicken Breast Fillet 220g
    Light Coleslaw 300g
    Little Gem Lettuce twin pk
    Quarter Pounder Beef Burgers 4 Pack
    Salad Tomatoes 4 Pack
    Thick Pork Sausages 8 Pack
    White Rolls 12 Pack
    I think they are on till sunday and limited to 2 per customer. I tend to take someone else with me so I can 2 lots at a time. HTH
    GC £7.79/£225 per month ~ wk1 £ 7.79/ £50
  • mandy_moo_1
    just popping in to try and catch up.

    managed an NSD today has anyone bought Mr M's diced chicken yet? the 50p one? i just wondered if it was worth the you get enough for 2 people for a stir fry? it was out of stock when i went yesterday, so i don't want to make a wasted journey!!

    ooh meant to tell you....Farm Foods still selling 4 pints of milk for a pound. that's the cheapest i've seen it lately i buy a 4 pint carton of full cream, water it down to 8 pints and freeze it before anyone sees what i'm doing just remember to use cooled boiled water tho to water it down , as the milk doesn't stay fresh as long

    • Moniker
    • By Moniker 6th Aug 08, 4:57 PM
    • 626 Posts
    • 9,607 Thanks
    Busy Mum, I think I was the one who mentioned Duchesse potatoes a while back. Here is the recipe I use: (It’s from the St Michael Freezer Cookery Book circa 1978!)

    2lbs old potatoes
    2oz butter
    2 eggs, beaten, plus one extra for glazing
    Pinch of nutmeg
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Peel and cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes. Drain well then sieve them while still hot. Return to the pan and dry them over a gentle heat, stirring continually for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the butter and the beaten eggs, nutmeg and seasoning. Add a little milk if the mixture is too thick (I have never had to do this). Place the potato in a piping bag with a large rosette nozzle and pipe 16 rosettes onto a grease baking tray. Brush carefully with the egg and place in the oven (200C or Gas mark 6) for 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool quickly on a rack then open freeze. When frozen pack into a rigid container or polythene bag and seal. To serve place the frozen potatoes onto a greased baking sheet and put in a hot oven (220C/ Gas mark 7) for 20-25 minutes or until heated through. These are great with fish and are a cheap impressive dinner party trick!

    My Banana and Walnut cake was lovely – we had it warm for pudding with some crème fraiche leftover from the weekend. The recipe I use is based on the one from Carole Handslip’s Wholefood Cooking:

    4oz marg or butter
    4oz soft dark brown sugar
    2 eggs
    4oz wholemeal flour
    2 tsps baking powder
    2 bananas mashed
    4oz walnuts chopped

    Cream the fat and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time adding a little flour with the second egg. Fold in the rest of the flour and baking powder with the bananas. Spread the mixture evenly in a lined and greased 8” sq tin. Sprinkle with the walnuts. Bake in a preheated moderate oven (190C/ gas mark 5) for 20 -25 minutes. Leave in the tins for 2 minutes and then cut into 16 slices. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

    I have frozen these ok before. I rarely have all the ingredients as above and have successfully substituted granulated sugar for the dark brown, and white flour for the wholemeal, and mixed chopped nuts for the walnuts and it’s still yummy!

    I have cut the grass today (might not get another dry one for a while and we are off on holiday on Friday). I also cleaned out the utility room and washed the window sills etc – OMG the dirt! Used Stardrops and soda crystals of course. Now I’ve caught up on here and a big pile of ironing awaits my attention.

    BTW I have a carton of whipping cream still in date but I won’t be able to use it before we go away. Can I freeze it or do I need to whip it first?

    Thanks peeps – have a good evening.


    PS Meant to say another NSD for me - the 4th. Will be taking MIL to Sainsbury's tomorrow and hope only to buy milk and a few bits for the holiday. There's a Morrisons in Brecon I think so I am looking forward to shopping in a different supermarket!
    Last edited by Moniker; 06-08-2008 at 5:00 PM.
    • Alexelisey
    • By Alexelisey 6th Aug 08, 5:01 PM
    • 392 Posts
    • 4,136 Thanks
    Yesterday was supposed to be a NSD but I felt fidgety so I went out and bought some Stardrops (67p in Wilko's) and a spray bottle (which doesn't work but for 49p I'm not making a special trip to take it back). Today has been a NSD, hurrah! I'm just about to go and get a lottery ticket but that doesn't come out of the GC. I've updated for yesterday.

    I've had a cupboard clear out today, as older son was hard pressed for food as he has no money right now. So he's being stocked up with things I won't use as I got them in while he was still living here and younger son won't cook for himself. I'm making him and his flatmate some bread too, hopefully that'll go down well.

    Hope everyone's hanging in there! Budget is looking a bit sick but I'll have to see how the rest of the month pans out.
    "...And if it don't feel good, what are you doing it for?" - Robbie Williams - 'Candy'
    Evening all

    Kazzy if you look under the "post reply" near the top of the 1st page of the thread -you will see "view first unread" click on it and it will take you to where you left off last time

    Well folks -hubby came home from golf empty handed so i can report my 2nd NSD in a row apparently they are expecting the flour in thurs/fri so will pop in on friday -when i have taken next months money out of the bank

    I have packed up for tomorrows hopefully it won't be to warm -fingers crossed

    right i will get off again..have a great evening everyone
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • angelnikki
    • By angelnikki 6th Aug 08, 6:05 PM
    • 892 Posts
    • 16,972 Thanks
    Coconut Cake
    225g / 8 oz SR flour
    100g / 3½ oz butter
    100g / 3½ oz demerara sugar
    100g / 3½ oz desiccated coconut, plus extra for sprinkling
    2 eggs, beaten
    4 tbsp milk
    1. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
    2. Stir in the sugar, coconut, eggs and milk and mix to a soft dropping consistency.
    3. Spoon the mixture into a greased/lined 2lb loaf tin and level the surface. Bake at Gas3 / 160C for 30mins.
    4. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the reserved coconut and return to the oven for a further 30mins, until well risen and golden (and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean).
    Store for a few days in a cool dry place to enhance the flavour.

    if you look under the "post reply" near the top of the 1st page of the thread -you will see "view first unread" click on it and it will take you to where you left off last time
    Originally posted by MRSMCAWBER
    I used to think that too but if doesnt work like that. If you thank the last post that you read and then come back the next day or even just a few hours later and press that button it doesnt always take you back to the last post that you read. It only takes you to the most recent posts. Try it on a thread that you havent read, it will only take you to the most recent posts not to the begining of the thread. (the view first unread button is also at the left of the thread title on the forum listing)

    eg I just clicked on "view first unread" for the christmas cake thread which I read the first post of yesterday. It took me to post 21 which meant I would of missed all of post 2 to post 20.

    I find it a lot easier (and nicer) to thank people to mark where I have got to.

    Nikki x
    Last edited by angelnikki; 06-08-2008 at 7:35 PM.
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