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@.

    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 27th Sep 08, 5:14 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    October 2008 Grocery Challenge. Please read first two posts.
    • #1
    • 27th Sep 08, 5:14 PM
    October 2008 Grocery Challenge. Please read first two posts. 27th Sep 08 at 5:14 PM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the tenth Grocery Challenge of 2008.

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

    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
    For guidelines on posting in this thread please read the second post in this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #5 and #6 on this thread.

    For everyone's targets and totals for the month please read posts #3 and #4 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Last edited by Pink.; 28-09-2008 at 10:13 AM.
Page 6
    • wendywitch
    • By wendywitch 29th Sep 08, 3:51 PM
    • 1,289 Posts
    • 15,029 Thanks
    I've been away so long now doing other things but I'm back now

    Put me down for £250 hopefully it won't be that much though

    I'll never get around to reading all the September posts I've missed so I'll start on this one and delete Septembers from my list.

  • Penny-Pincher!!
    Hi Everyone!

    MrsMcw-Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee can I swap to weekly if possible? Its just my 4 weeks are different each month and a weekly spend would be easier for me to manage ATM. Is that ok?

    Sorry to be a pain

    Can you put me down for £50 per week and I'll start today as Ive already spent £30 in Sainsburys today but got many reduced items and some frozen bits?


    To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,
    requires brains!

  • Sunny Donny
    Hi All
    Did bits from Lidl tonight - nescafe Gold Blend coffee£3.75, pasta sauces - 2 for £3.00, 50% extra free Weetabix £3.24, apples and bananas. £11.44. Coffee I mix with cheap brand and OH can live with taste.
    No shopping day yesterday and none now til Friday!!!!!
    Mortgage free as at 1/9/13
    To start work on the credit cards now!!
    • redmel1621
    • By redmel1621 29th Sep 08, 4:35 PM
    • 5,978 Posts
    • 25,841 Thanks
    Hi All

    Thanks to those who started the list this month...

    Last month I ended up spending a fortune in the local Somerfield (again) so I am tryng to work out if it would be best for me to do a massive monthly shop and then work out a way of getting my milk and veg weekly. The problem I have is that I don't have a car at the moment so getting into town is a pain as we are a few miles away, and being pregnant too I don't really fancy that walk each week.

    I usually get a weekly shop but end up spending more just to get up to a value that I can use money off codes on!!! which kind of defeats the object really. By doing this I also feel like I miss out on whoopsies or offers or cheaper versions....

    Hmmmm will have to work something out i think as shopping seems to be costing a fortune lately.

    i will keep reading this thread for tips, although probably won't post toomuch as it moves so quickly.

    Good Luck Everyone

    Mel x
    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
    Nothing is going to get better. It's not.

    Hi Everyone!

    MrsMcw-Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee can I swap to weekly if possible? Its just my 4 weeks are different each month and a weekly spend would be easier for me to manage ATM. Is that ok?

    Sorry to be a pain

    Can you put me down for £50 per week and I'll start today as Ive already spent £30 in Sainsburys today but got many reduced items and some frozen bits?


    Originally posted by Penny-Pincher!!
    oooohhhh go on then
    Hope everyone is off to a good start...
    4 days in and nothing spent
    Have counted up and we have 163 people who have given their budget allready this thread gets busier n busier
    glad you got the pm about the cornedbeef donnajt -was trying not to add extra posts
    right off to get my bubble n squeak eaten and then back to the crochet blanky.. I taught myself to crochet over the weekend
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • boredofbeingathome
    • By boredofbeingathome 29th Sep 08, 4:54 PM
    • 15,386 Posts
    • 37,539 Thanks
    Another month another challenge..Well could the divine Mrs.M out me down for £200 this month as i want to stockpile. Good luck everyone.
    bob x
    Blackadder: Am I jumping the gun, Baldrick, or are the words 'I have a cunning plan' marching with ill-deserved confidence in the direction of this conversation?
    Still lurking around with a hope of some salvation
    • jackie_w
    • By jackie_w 29th Sep 08, 4:59 PM
    • 1,070 Posts
    • 5,613 Thanks
    Hi Folks,

    Well, done quite a big shop today, and have spent £116.98 out of my budget. Got a bit of meat in which hopefully I can include in at least a 3 week meal plan.

    Mrs Mc, would you mind PMing me your recipe for Cornbeef hash too. I have 2 tins of cornbeef in the cupboard, and the kids and Dh love cornbeef (yuk).

    Jackie xx
  • kellitots
    Not sure if anyone remembers me talking about a job interview I had on Friday..well..I got the job

    Sooo chuffed. If nothing else it means the food budget isn't coming out of my student loan! Can't wait to get earning again I may just treat myself to a large bar of choccy tonight by way of celebration (even though I declared it can come out of September's budget..hehe). Hope you're all having a lovely day and enjoying the last of the sunshine!!

    DFW Nerd 1050 (09/08 overdraft £1200)
    Proud to be dealing with my debts
    GC Sept:£136/£200 Oct:£60/£160
    Smoke free since 08/08/08
    • echelon101
    • By echelon101 29th Sep 08, 5:23 PM
    • 273 Posts
    • 780 Thanks
    ....aaannd I am off the mark with a Mr A shop with £15.22 although I did forget to buy sugar grrr.

    incl £1.90 for scales

    Some good buys

    £1 for 500g of coffee, which smelt lovely
    50p for 1kg of onions
    £2.75 for 1kg of mince (20%)

    I also went with my friend and made him make a list before he bought food and his bill was £22 for two weeks, although it included a soap dish and 2x Truffle trays, he was really pleased I came along as normally his shop is around £30, for two weeks.

    Spreading the MSE love !
    Last edited by echelon101; 29-09-2008 at 5:26 PM.
    Buy for value not cost.
    Feb Grocery = £55.87 / 80
    • *BigBird*
    • By *BigBird* 29th Sep 08, 5:29 PM
    • 948 Posts
    • 5,077 Thanks
    Still pootling along with my September budget for the moment. Picked up a couple of bits of Brie and some Hovis bread mix at Mr T today, but I am still under with 1 more day to go - and I'm working from home tomorrow, so will be away from the temptation of Mr T

    Blasted toaster died this morning so had to get a new one at lunchtime. Really annoyed as I only had to replace the kettle a couple of weeks ago! (If I'd known the toaster was also going to go, I'd have bought a matching set which would have worked out cheaper ) Luckily electrical items aren't included in my monthly total, else I'd be way over again.

    Just thought I'd post the recipe I did in the slow cooker for tea yesterday. It turned out lovely and there was loads left over, so we're having the left overs tonight. The recipe serves 4, but I reckon you could stretck it further with some lentils or something. The dried mushrooms aren't the cheapest thing, but they do give it a really meaty flavour - OH said it tasted like oxtail soup, but much more substantial because of the pasta.

    Mince & Macaroni
    15g (1/2 oz) mixed dried mushrooms
    150ml (1/4 pint) boiling water
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    500g (1lb) minced beef or lamb
    1 large onion, chopped
    2 garlic cloves, chopped
    400g (13 oz) can chopped tomatoes
    450ml (3/4 pint) chicken stock
    2 tablespoons tomato puree
    1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
    small bunch rosemary (I used dried)
    250g (8 oz) macaroni
    3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (I didn't bother with these)
    salt & pepper

    Put the mushrooms in a bowl, pour over the boiling water and leave to soak for 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the minced meat and onion and fry, stirring, for 5 minutes until browned. Add the garlic, then stir in the canned tomatoes, stock, tomato puree and nutmeg. Tear the leaves off 3 of the rosemary sprigs and add to the mince with the reconstituted dried mushrooms and their soaking liquid, and salt and pepper.

    Transfer to the slow cooker, cover and cook on "Low" for 8-9 hours. When ready to serve, cook the macaroni in a saucepan of boiling water until tender. Drain and mix into the cooked mince. Spoon onto individual plates and top with toasted pine nuts and rosemary leaves, stripped from the remaining sprigs.


    MrsM - you taught yourself to crochet in a weekend?? Is there anything you can't do?! I bow down to your greatness! (And now I must get on with the cross stitch I am doing for Mum for Christmas - if she's lucky, she might get it in Christmas 2012! )
    You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you change the world, the world will change.
    • jediteacher
    • By jediteacher 29th Sep 08, 5:29 PM
    • 1,138 Posts
    • 9,719 Thanks

    I seem to have 'fallen' off the list. Never mind - I also fell out with my September budget.

    Could I please be put down for £200 this month.

    'Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.'
    Proud Mummy to two gorgeous miracles.
    • taka
    • By taka 29th Sep 08, 5:59 PM
    • 3,294 Posts
    • 17,636 Thanks
    Wow... 6 pages already!! I'm sitting at £13.20 on day 4 of a 32 day month (26th sept to 27 Oct). Managed 2 GC NSD at the weekend (miraculous for me ) But stupidly slept in today so ended up having to buy lunch in the canteen This is why I went over budget in Sept so I need to get more organised on this front

    Wish I was more organised in general... Finally managed to meal plan for the 1st time for the last week of my Sept budget... then completely ignored it Will try again tomorrow... maybe just meal plan till friday though...
    2019 MFW #51 £1100.07/£1997.77
    MFiT-5 no 45
    MF date Dec 27, Oct 25
    You can't fly with one foot on the ground!
    • mumker
    • By mumker 29th Sep 08, 6:39 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 311 Thanks

    Can you put me down for £260 for myself, hubby, baby and cat, thanks! I've already ordered a tesco shop which only came to £46 and included their fantastic discount "market value" range
    • booklover
    • By booklover 29th Sep 08, 6:42 PM
    • 864 Posts
    • 822 Thanks
    Hello everyone

    Please can you put me down for £200 for October.

    I haven't worked out what I spent yet in September...

    I really need to sort my spending out soon....

    Many thanks


  • leebarton
    I had bought a large box of Squares for the kids lunch boxes for about £6.50 for 24. Normally they are 39p each. Having eaten one I thought how hard can these be to make - so I did. It took no more than 25 minutes - I think it was nearer to 20 and was so easy. I think the recipe will make 20-30 squares and by my costings is only £1.05 for the whole batch!

    Here is the recipe:

    Marshmallow Squares

    30g Cornflour
    40g Icing sugar
    1 Gelatin envelope
    90ml -Water
    150g Sugar, granulated
    150g golden syrup
    1 pinch -Salt
    1 tsp Vanilla extract
    300g Rice crispies


    Sift cornflour and icing sugar into a small bowl.
    Lightly grease 2 baking tins and sprinkle one tbs cornflour and sugar
    mixture into it.
    Tilt pan in all directions to coat sides as well as
    Leave any excess in tin.

    Sprinkle gelatin over water in a small saucepan and let soak for 5
    Add granulated sugar and stir over moderately low heat until

    In a large bowl of an electric mixer, combine gelatin mixture, golden
    syrup, salt and vanilla and beat for 15 minutes on high speed until
    peaks form.
    Transfer to a large bowl and mix in rice cripsies.

    Spread fluffy mixture into prepared pan and smooth top.
    Leave for two hours or until set.

    With wet knife, cup marshmallow mixture into slices and loosen
    around edges.
    Roll each in flour and sugar.
    Place marshmallows on cake racks covered in kitchen roll and let stand overnight to dry surface slightly.
    Store in airtight container. Marshmallows will keep for a month.

    You could mix in anything you like instead of rice crispies including corn flakes or chocolate chips. It is a great one to make with the kids as well because it is sooooo simple!
    First Direct Loan @ 7.9% £13,076.03/£20,250
    Mint CC @ 18.9% £3030.29/£3100 Virgin CC @ 34.9% £651.46/£2700 Tesco CC @ 0% 1366/1500

    Proud to be dealing with my debts - Official DFW Nerd No. 250
    • cherie1122
    • By cherie1122 29th Sep 08, 6:58 PM
    • 431 Posts
    • 1,732 Thanks
    £200 again please. This thread is excellent for keeping me concentrated on watching where the money goes.

    Everything I buy gets listed on a spreadsheet and that alone makes me think twice about buying some things. I'm also scratch cooking a lot more than I used to.

    • booklover
    • By booklover 29th Sep 08, 6:59 PM
    • 864 Posts
    • 822 Thanks
    Sorry I didn't highlight my target: £200 please for October

    • beemuzed
    • By beemuzed 29th Sep 08, 7:43 PM
    • 2,188 Posts
    • 20,281 Thanks
    Wow - this is long already!
    Please can I stick at £230 again for October? Only a couple of pounds overspend, so nearly got it right! Thanks Mrs M for doing all the totals!
    Think twice before spending anything!
  • kiwiblue
    Good morning all
    Another NSD yesterday, and hopefully today as well.
    Thanks for the ideas on meal planning, will definitely do a plan today.
    I have printed out a calender for the month and stuck it on the fridge, will record all spending on it, so hopefully it will make me think twice before spending
    Jan: $386.38/$500
  • orlando26
    can i join to please my monthly target is £250 starting on the 1st thanks
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

550Posts Today

5,718Users online

Martin's Twitter