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@.

    • 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 74
    • greent
    • By greent 13th Aug 08, 1:26 PM
    • 8,105 Posts
    • 82,327 Thanks
    Huge congratulations to angchris & denisefowler - also to Chell re Mara and to susan for yesterday's anniversary !!!!!

    Went to town today with DD and DS2 (DS1 at an activity group thing during the day this week) - was absolutely tipping down when we went out, so we actually drove into town - I was originally planning on using the park and ride to save on carparking - but didn't fancy hanging around at bus stops in the rain :-( (£3.70 it was in the end for parking!!)

    Note to all - Mr S has Cravendale at 99p - saving 57p a bottle!!

    I went into Mr S just to check out any offers - there isn't one this side of town. The one in town is small but I got some Cravendale and ecover on 3 for 2 and some cake mix boxes of Bob the Builder cakes and Harry Potter cakes - cos they were reduced to clear (all in date until at least early next year) to 35p/ 37p a box! I prefer totally HM cakes - but the kids can play with the Bob and HP decorations and that was quite a good bargain. Picked up a few boxes of Bob, as I can use them for DS2's birthday :-)) Also got some nanas, cos they're fairtrade in there.

    Bought some seeds reduced in Wilkos (thx to whoever posted that!) and some more sandwich bags/ bin liners from the super cheapy range in there too - and a bottle of Aqua Pura water for 19p - cheaper than going for a cuppa :-)

    Other than that I bought 2 pairs school shorts for £6 in BHS for next year, school jumpers and skirts in M&S - ooh and 2 steak pies from there for hubby cos he loves them and they're handy to have in if he's late back and having something different - he can have them with a JP and veg :-) Still need to do shoes for kids - school shoes x2, shoes for toddler x1, school trainers x2 and normal trainers x1 & wellies x2 - dreading the Clarks bill for that lot!!! (not the wellies though - they'll be Matalan or similar!)

    Ooh - nearly forgot (OT) - went to Boots to buy bday pressie for friend for this month. Clinique had a buy 2 things get mini samples free, so I did (for friend)- and used an extra points voucher too. No 7 had an offer on so I bought some and got a bag of minis too - and used an extra points voucher and partly paid for it with some vouchers received in the post yesterday for a survey. I also got a £5 off No 7 voucher - so bought a nailvarnish for m-i-l for part of Xmas pressie for £6.25 less the £5 and also bought some No 17 makeup for 16 yo cousin and got some free eye shimmer for her too. Well chuffed - some Xmas pressies sorted!! And got about £15 in Boots points just from today too - more towards Xmas! And all the mini freebies are for me - along with a sample bottle of perfume I picked up in Debenhams today too

    I MUST rein the shopping in now - repeat after me - I do NOT need to buy more food, I do NOT need to buy more food....... Oh, I do - I need pepperoni for a pizza tomorrow, as DS2 has friend coming for tea and I said I'd do pepperoni pizza.
    OK - I do NOT need to buy anything EXCEPT pepperoni.........

    Love and hugs to all - looks like the sun may be coming out now (sshh!!!!)

    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786 12/18 £54829 2019 OPs (#18) £1972.10/£5K
    Net sales 2019 £173.62/£500
    • mumoffour77
    • By mumoffour77 13th Aug 08, 1:26 PM
    • 1,886 Posts
    • 20,457 Thanks
    oh btw....does anyone add a splash of milk to their mince to soften it up when cooking.......if you have not tried this before i suggest you try!!! honestly it works
    Im going to be frugal
    Im going to be frugal
    Im going to be frugal
    Beetlejuice Beetlejuice...................
    • Brighton belle
    • By Brighton belle 13th Aug 08, 2:18 PM
    • 5,138 Posts
    • 25,421 Thanks
    Brighton belle
    I managed to have another NSD even though I took mr down to get a battery fitted in his watch, it came out of a dif budget and it was £6, sounds alot to me

    Sticking to the no waste self challenge but don't like to put anything in to waste bucket. ? to do with banana skins ? teabags ? Plum stones
    Originally posted by Herewegoagain
    I've just had to get a new battery for my watch and that was £6.50 for me too , so must be the 'normal' sort of price. As for tea bags - we use ours as fertilizer for certain garden plants - like azaleas and camileas, that like acid soil just split the bag open and put round bottom of plant.
    Chell - we have a slow cooker and it is fab. Its on now, so dinner is all sorted. Get one big enough to be able to freeze protions after as HM 'ready meals' would be my advice. There's 2 of us and I always cook for 4 when using the SC.
    I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once
  • scotsaver
    Spoke too soon when I posted this morning, the sun didn't last long, by the time I had dropped DD2 at her friends and got back here with DD1 the rain was lashing down and we have had intermittent gusts of wind blowing a gale in between. It's like winter out there.

    Anyway, have had a very productive day in the kitchen with DD1, we have made Weezl's Pate, MRSMCs Tortillas, cheese straw dough to freeze for a later date, 12 HM Rolls, a pizza base for our friends coming over for lunch tomorrow, boiled and sliced some beetroot from the Garden and made a batch of yoghurt.

    In between that DD1 kept telling me that another apple had blown off the tree - as we'd already had Apple Crumble earlier this week I have picked these fallen ones, peeled, cored and put in the freezer - in the end 4 large ones had fallen off and if this wind continues I'll be giving them to the neighbours as fast running out of freezer space.

    Off to pick DD2 up soon and then making Macaroni Cheese for Dinner tonight with Salad potatoes and a bowl of Salad and then Blancmange for Pudding. Yummm.

    Enjoy the rest of the day everyone.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

  • scotsaver

    Bought some seeds reduced in Wilkos (thx to whoever posted that!)

    Originally posted by greent
    Greent - glad you managed to get some reduced seeds, they are such a bargain at that price - I have written myself a list of what I want to plant out next year - was inspired when I watched BBC2 7pm last night Carol Klein's "Grown Your Own Veg".
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • Lucifa73
    • By Lucifa73 13th Aug 08, 3:30 PM
    • 7,655 Posts
    • 10,529 Thanks
    bah! lost all track of what is happening food spend wise this month . Just put a big F for failed next to my August target and I'll be back to try and do better in September.

    Not impressed with myself at all and will be giving myself a severe talking to
    26.2.19/14.1.19: T MC 3629.26/3629.26 : VM 0% 1050/13876.59 : W 0% 100/1485 = 4409.26/18990.85 =25.17%
    28.1.19/28.1.19 Hubs 0% £400/£2,977 =13.44%
    SPC 2019 #073

    • EagerLearner
    • By EagerLearner 13th Aug 08, 3:32 PM
    • 4,972 Posts
    • 7,922 Thanks
    Naughty Lucifa - but you can start again in September! 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
    • Lucifa73
    • By Lucifa73 13th Aug 08, 3:36 PM
    • 7,655 Posts
    • 10,529 Thanks
    Naughty Lucifa - but you can start again in September! x
    Originally posted by EagerLearner
    Serves me right for feeling so smug about doing well in June and July

    I have a food plan for the rest of the month to do damage limitation but £50 on a slap up lunch to celebrate 'meeting' the Bean in our dating scan hasn't helped
    26.2.19/14.1.19: T MC 3629.26/3629.26 : VM 0% 1050/13876.59 : W 0% 100/1485 = 4409.26/18990.85 =25.17%
    28.1.19/28.1.19 Hubs 0% £400/£2,977 =13.44%
    SPC 2019 #073

  • irishwexford
    Just popped in to say hello. Not joined in challenges for a few months as busy with outdoor bowls and allotment but still keeping to my budgets and no food waste so doing well. We took on an allotment in March and have a bumper crop which is helping save the pennies. At the moment I have an assortment of veggies cooking for soup as we do get things given to us even though we have trouble eating all that we dig up on our own. At present freezing runner beans and eating leeks, cabbages, potatoes, onions, carrotts, french beans and beetroot. Have a bumper crop of sweetcorn which we will start on soon. Not bought any veggies for a few months so lots of savings. Have filled two tins in sealed tin challenge and am on third so thanking these boards for saving me from my wastful life. Good luck to everyone.
  • princess leia
    Well I must say that my yog turned out so thick and creamy I can't believe it!!!! But I am going to be a cheapskate and still use value skimmed UHT as I can always strain it and the kids don't care either way!
    Am doing a shop on Mr for tomoro delivery as we need milk and a few bits and hope to spend less than if I went there in person
    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!

  • Money saving Diva
    Hi everyone!

    Am keeping all reciepts and getting ready to start my challenge in September but wanted to say that I have had 2 NSDs in a row and I have sat and worked out all my meals for the next 5 days from my freezer and cupboards!

    We will probably have to buy milk tomorrow for the OH and the Mad Cat but other than that we are all set!

    I am continually helped and supported by this and other threads here, so wanted to thank you all for your tips and for sharing your experiences.

    Diva. x
    To be frugal, you need to spend money wisely, simply spending less is not enough.
    If you can't handle me at my worst then you don't deserve me at my best...
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I will try again tomorrow.
    • Chell
    • By Chell 13th Aug 08, 3:52 PM
    • 1,674 Posts
    • 3,261 Thanks
    Updated my sig as we went to Asda. DH wasn't too bad, he got a bottle of wine at under £3 and a some cheap filter coffee. He is learning though, he asked if it was ok to get the filter coffee or should we wait to go to Home Bargains!

    Learningtosave, I use red lentils, pearl barley and green lentils quite often as we are veggie. I just add them without soaking. Lentils are good in a tomato based pasta sauce and I like pearl barley in soup or veggie casseroles.

    I looked at slow cookers in Asda. The 6.5l one seems far too big, it was really wide and would be too shallow if I only made a small quantity of something like rice pudding. I'll have to pop somewhere else to see how big the 3.5l ones actually look.
    Nevermind the dog, beware of the kids!
    • Mrs Money Penny
    • By Mrs Money Penny 13th Aug 08, 3:53 PM
    • 728 Posts
    • 6,332 Thanks
    Mrs Money Penny
    Hi everyone

    Congratulations to AngChris & Denisefowler

    What weather today?? Just popped in Asda for milk & cereal son has a friend sleeping over. Will update signature. Have a good evening all.
    MFIT Challenge save £40k
    £48828.05/£46842.89/-£1985.16Mortgage neutral 03/19
    • ifonlyitwaseasier
    • By ifonlyitwaseasier 13th Aug 08, 4:27 PM
    • 2,787 Posts
    • 20,347 Thanks
    Congrats ANGCHRIS

    Happy Ani Den

    well had my interview, have had a follow up call and am waiting to hear if i need to see HR and fingers crossed i should know one way or another by the end of friday.

    well spent a little today but thats out of the honeymoon budget so i'm not counting it.

    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!)

  • jinky67
    hello people I am still alive.....went shopping today spent £54.70 but got
    2 extra large chickens reduced ( they are already in the oven),
    2 packs of pork ribs for £ 1.74,
    2 packs of sausages which should have been £7 for £ 1.52
    and a few other bits and bobs
    Once a Flylady, always a Flylady
    • fluffysox
    • By fluffysox 13th Aug 08, 4:47 PM
    • 1,035 Posts
    • 8,800 Thanks
    Hi everyone!
    Just a quick one to update sig. Spent £8.16 today at ASDA.
    2016 MFW OPd £2000, 2015 MFW OPd 3000 then bought new bigger house with bigger mortgage.
    MFW OPd 2014 £2000 2013 £9700 2012 £2848.39 2011 £2509.58 2010 £11000 2009 £112002008 £4939
    Beautiful boys born May 2011 and October 2013
  • Money saving Diva
    Sausage Meat Patties
    I made these for the first time about 10 days ago and we are having them for dinner again tonight. Thought I would share the recipe here.

    Sausage Meat Patties with Mashed potato and garlic Cabbage

    1lb sausage meat
    1 large onion chopped finely
    half a fresh chilli (you can leave this out if you prefer)
    cracked black pepper
    half tsp mixed herbs or some snipped chives
    quantity of flour for coating
    some milk for dipping
    Sage and onion stuffing mix for coating (I used one whole small pkt)
    • Put the sausagemeat into a large bowl and add finely chopped onion, chilli and herbs and mix with your hands until all thoroughly blended in.
    • You will need 4 plates for this - one with flour on, one with milk on, one with the stuffing mix on and one to put the finished patties on!
    • Wet your hands (I had a jug of water on the table for this) and shape some of the sausagemeat into a roundish pattie.
    • Dip pattie into the flour and cover both sides, patting off excess.
    • then dip the pattie into the milk, both sides quickly (I know it seems like some of the flour comes off, but enough stays to work!)
    • then place the patties into the Stuffing and cover with it, pressing it firmly down. If I saw a bald patch I just dipped it back into the milk and then into the stuffing again.
    • Place on plate and continue til all meat is done. This made about 12 for me.
    • Let sit for about 10 mins
    Heat up two pans (there are too many for the one frying pan!) with some oil. Make sure the oil is hot, and then drop the patties in.

    Turn the heat down as low as you can and place lid on frying pans, turning frequently so they don't burn.

    I cooked them for about 20 mins but it will depend on how thick you made your patties and how big. I just kept turning them.

    I served this with mashed potato and cabbage cooked with garlic. (shred the cabbage, heat some olive oil or butter and drop the chopped garlic in (do not burn the garlic!) Then add the cabbage and just stir around for about 10 mins.

    It was delicious last time and they were really filling. It fed three (hungry!!) adults for dinner plus we had some left for a lunch with pickle for two of us the next day.

    I have no doubt I will discover a better way of doing this with practice, but this is how I did it last time.

    Diva. x
    To be frugal, you need to spend money wisely, simply spending less is not enough.
    If you can't handle me at my worst then you don't deserve me at my best...
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I will try again tomorrow.
  • busy mum
    Evening All!!
    Caught up a bit with the thread, not much though I'm afraid. Been trying to find Hannah Montana stuff for DD1's birthday. Bit of a nightmare!!! Never mind
    Originally posted by taffy1969
    I saw some Hannah Montana nightclothes in Marks and Spencer Yesterday if this helps.
    JULY G/C £50 WEEK

    WEEK 1 = £69.50

    WEEK 2 = £60.83
    Week 3 £72.05
    • searching_me
    • By searching_me 13th Aug 08, 5:46 PM
    • 18,406 Posts
    • 63,340 Thanks
    evening everybody ok im over but in my defence nettos had a huge 15kg of pal dry dog food for £9.99 and we needed cereal as well as i didnt realise DD had finished it off as nettos also had cereal on offer the really big pice crispes and frosties so that should keep her happy for a while im planning on the next 2 day being nsd as im not leaving the house hope your all good xxx
    Still searching .....
  • nessquic80
    Well tea tonight was steak chips and mushrooms with pepper sauce. I tol OH not to put the steak in the trolley cus he'll just moan, and low and behold he moaned.I usually cook steak to long cus i dont like no blood in it but this time i cooked it 3 mins each side and it was still like a sole of a shoe,so if anyone needs new soles ive got a piece of steak spare.... .So then i said to OH 'i said dont get it, you wont like it etc....'well you cooked it too long, next time ill give himchips mushrooms and raw steak, see how he likes that wot a waste of £3.17. Cant even bake a cake cus theres no room in the freezer!!
    OH has gone snooker with his mates, i told him not to bring a chinese home(thats wot he does when hes been out with the lads) cus the cupboards are bulging with all the carp he put in the trolley!!I can bet you that 35% of the food in the fridge will go in the bin cus he is frifeless????? with food and money!!
    Missing the pest like crazy, dont know what to do with myself, i must say i am enjoying the lay in!!

    Anyhows, spk soon
    always on the lookout for a bargin always better when its free!!

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

434Posts Today

5,096Users online

Martin's Twitter