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    • 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 11
  • kiwiblue
    Morning all,
    Another NSD for me, starting to be a habit.
    I also use the carrot idea as incentive for OH. We have just bought a quad bike, funded entirely by grocery savings since the beginning of the year. Will be cheaper for him to go fishing on than the gas guzzler we currently use! (and the fish he will no doubt catch will also help the budget)
    Jan: $386.38/$500
  • Julimk
    Further to earlier enquiries about what the budget includes; I include all food, non-alcoholic drinks, toiletries, cleaning stuff, pet supplies (just have a little hamster!) I donít include alcohol, newspapers/magazines etc.

    I think it does very much depend on whatís available locally (I have 4 major supermarkets within a mile), whether you drive or not (I do) etc. and also personal circumstances, such as whether you really, really canít afford more (I remember the days of counting out pennies as nothing in) or if you just want to make more of what you have.

    As a single mother who is getting no contributions whatsoever from DDís Dad (he is on benefits) my income is limited. But, I actually earn more than the national average (& consequently get the lowest level of tax credit & no help with childcare costs through tax credits, do use childcare vouchers). However, as I have a full time-job my time is limited between that & looking after DD. That said, I work at home 2 days a week.

    For one reason or another money is tighter than usual at the moment, but I donít need to stash anything for Christmas as will get a bonus in Novemberís pay that will cover it (especially as DD will be with her Dad & I am sponging off other relies! LOL)

    I had a good day today as NSD! Two birthdays at work so free doughnuts & Italian Lemon biscuits to supplement pack-up. Three more birthdays this week, so should be plenty of goodies! There is pretty much a constant supply of food, as one lady regularly bakes cakes for the team & another quite often makes HM quiches for us! Yum yum!

    I have been writing a shopping list for the top up shop on Thursday strictly based on what is actually running low & plan to stick to it. Main shop will be at the weekend, but I am really hoping it will be quite low, as I have done loads of batch cooking this week & the freezer is absolutely groaning with food! I think I will make a chicken/ham/leek pie on Thursday. I have everything in for this anyway, so it wonít involve any extra expenditure. Unfortunately DD doesnít like pastry, so I will need something else for her! Maybe the filling as a pasta sauce?!
  • gtx
    What stuff will he buy from morrisons? is it just that he gets bored with sandwiches ? or is it up to you to pack him up or he will buy?
    Originally posted by MRSMCAWBER
    i have to pack him up - i'm pretty good with variety - sandwiches, soup ,jackets. it's just he sometimes forgets to take it with him or he'll go for a paper - i'm sure you know the rest.

    but i like the carrot idea - i might try football tickets

    DFW#1062 LBM Aug 08 - DFD JUN '22
    • queen of string
    • By queen of string 30th Sep 08, 8:57 PM
    • 506 Posts
    • 3,879 Thanks
    queen of string
    Hi £200 for me please, didnt join in last month due to hols. Will use any surplus to add to the stockpiles or fund a costco shop.
    Eat food, not edible food-like items. Mostly plants.
    • lilmisskitkat
    • By lilmisskitkat 30th Sep 08, 9:29 PM
    • 821 Posts
    • 7,144 Thanks

    Did my first shop of the challenge today, spent £57.29 and got a lot of storecupboard stuff that we'd run out of last month like pasta, rice, oil, tuna, flour, sugar, dried fruit, tinned toms etc. Also bought some herbs and spices as i'm trying to build up my collection and theres a few recipes i'm waiting to try that needed them.

    Shouldn't need much else this week, me and OH are at a wedding on Sat and my mam has the kids so no food needed for then, will just have something simple like egg and chips on sun night. Have made an inventory of my cupboards and freezer and apart from the veg needed, i have about 10 meals that i have the ingredients for so thats a good start

    Hoping to have a cooking day tomorrow, i'm planning on broccoli and stilton soup for dinners this week, chill for freezer and rabbit stew for Thursday's tea.

    Kate xxx
    • millionaire in training
    • By millionaire in training 30th Sep 08, 10:17 PM
    • 5,717 Posts
    • 20,078 Thanks
    millionaire in training
    Hi I haven't joined in this for months but I am going to have a go this month with a budget of £280.That's for me and two kids. Need quite a bit as cupboards and freezer are pretty empty at the moment. Good luck everyone.
    2 year plan. Jan 2019 to Dec 2020- CC and overdraft debt free
    Currently £22,476.43 /£22,900.17. Do-able

    February grocery challenge £154.35/£250
    100 day challenge £785.29/£2,000
  • saffouri
    Please put us down for £200 again for October Mrs M - thank you!

    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
  • mumzyof2
    Good Evening Everyone, Hope everyone is fine and dandy!

    Im wondering if anyone has a cheap Lasagne recipe? I know how to make it but i have forgotten some things :rolleyes: Also my friend makes Lasagne with salami instead of mince and lots of veg like peppers and courgettes and its really tasty. But dont have any salami in and don't know how to make it
    Also does anyone have a recipe for Carrot soup? Can i do this is the slow cooker? If so, How?

    I need to pop into morrisons tomorrow or might just go local shop for eggs and cordial but if its raining as bus to Morrisons is 95p so it would work out at about the same price even though cordial and eggs are cheaper at Mr M than local shop but not if i am counting 2 x 95p bus fare.. hmmm.. dont think that made sense but i know what im talking about

    I spent £1.70 today (I think) and updated sig before so thats ok if i have forgotten cause my correct spends are in my sig

    Going to make peanut butter cookies tomorrow hence why im buying the eggs (I never buy eggs as DD does not like them)

    Oh i also have a £5 Mr M miles voucher that my "friend" gave to me. So next week (Monday) I will only be taking £20 cash out and using my £5 voucher to make up my Grocery spends for the week.

    Hope Everyone is okay and sorry not posted for a few months recently but feeling much better. For now anyways
    Last edited by mumzyof2; 30-09-2008 at 11:01 PM.
    Sealed Pot dec 08 - dec 09 so far £27.67, Live off £4k Spent £330.20 GC £1,200 for 2009 Spent £50.78 PaD so far £650.07
    Debts: L/woods £154.00 C/One PAID O/D £649.90 Next £299.95 O/D PAID Gas £72.60 Electric £155.73 Mum £640.00 Orange £490.32
  • leebarton
    (and the fish he will no doubt catch will also help the budget)
    Originally posted by kiwiblue
    I hope he is more successfull than OH. I bought him and DS beachcasting kit for birthday in June - so far, caught one mackerel each - that's expensive fish!!!

    Had to smile last night. OH and DD has made tomato soup from scratch for tea. Later on he said that he had saved some for lunch or to freeze. I think he is getting converted quietly!

    I think having every penny counted on a spreadsheet really helps as it focuses the mind. I have to justify everything I spend because it will be looking at me in excel!
    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
  • scotsaver
    Morning everyone - looks like Winter out there this morning, very windy and wet. Won't be going anywhere near shops today, making a start in Decorating DD2's bedroom. I hate the preparation as it takes so long.

    Dinner tonight will be Sausages, mash and lots of veggies and pudding is that Giant Jaffa thingy as DD2 is having a friend over so like to make an effort.

    Must go now as Porridge is starting to bubble for Brekkie - have a good day everyone.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • nimbo
    • By nimbo 1st Oct 08, 7:13 AM
    • 3,368 Posts
    • 9,077 Thanks
    wow i just added up my shopping so far, and it is a whopping £90.63 of my budget.... (alltough £8.56 was for things such as new baking trays, and stuff to make the cats stop pooing in my garden. (the next idea is to take a week off work and get an air rifle...) etc which i am not sure should come out of my food tioletries budget...)

    this is my downfall i pop to several shops picking things up where they are cheapest and end up adding "just a few £'s" here and there, and end up blowing a fortune....

    i just need to reastrain myself when it comes to shops... (easier said than done, also need ot stop getting taxis to work, as they are costing a bomb...)

    Stashbuster - 2014 98/100 - 2015 175/200 - 2016 501 / 500 2017 - 200 / 500 2018 3 / 500
    • egon
    • By egon 1st Oct 08, 8:16 AM
    • 439 Posts
    • 5,654 Thanks

    Im wondering if anyone has a cheap Lasagne recipe?


    2 gloves of garlic
    400g Mince meat (I only use 200g and bulk out with lentils and oats and extra veg)
    1 onion
    1 carrot
    1 small piece celeriac (I usually use turnip or 1/4 swede)
    2 tbsp tomato puree
    blob of red wine (I only put it in, if I have a bottle open, which is seldom)
    2 tin tomatoes
    oregano(about 1tsp), basil (about 1 tsp), salt, pepper, Cayennepepper

    White sauce ingredients

    50g butter
    50g flour
    500ml mixture of milk and cream
    salt, pepper, lemon juice, worcestersauce and 50g parmesan (cheddar does the job too)

    1. Heat olive oil in a pan and crush the garlic and add to oil.
    Add mince meat and cook until browned. Add the chopped onion, carrot and celeriac and fry for a short while longer.
    Add the tomatoe puree and the red wine (if using)
    Cook for 8-10min
    2. Add the tin tomatoes and season with herbs, salt and pepper. Cook for another 10-15 min.
    3. For the white sauce, melt the butter in the pan and add the flour. Next add the milk/ cream mixture and and cook for 6-8 min until thickend. Add salt, pepper and some lemon juice and worcester sauce (to taste) and cheese.
    4. Oil a lasagne form, put lasagne sheets, mixture and white sauce in layers and top with cheese (and tomatoes...)
    Cook in the oven for about 10-15 min at 180-200 degree,

    Also does anyone have a recipe for Carrot soup? Can i do this is the slow cooker? If so, How?

    Carrot and cheddar soup

    25g butter
    1 small onion
    500g carrots chopped
    1 medium potatoe chopped
    1.2l veg or chicken stock
    100g cheddar grated
    150ml milk

    1. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat and tip in onions, carrots and potatoes. Fry gently for about 10 min, stir occasionally.
    2. Pour in stock and bring to boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Simmer for 20 min.
    3. Puree the mixture with a blender/ food processor. Then add the cheese and whizz again. Return the soup to the pan and pour in the milk. Reheat gently and season to taste.
    Serve with buttered toasted soldiers.

    HTH egon
    I wish Germany had a website like moneysavingexpert!
    • the_cat
    • By the_cat 1st Oct 08, 8:19 AM
    • 2,075 Posts
    • 11,317 Thanks
    Hi everyone

    First update of the month for me and I'm pleased to say that I'm doing well so far.

    As you can see, I have been a member for a long time now and over time I have changed the way I shop totally. In the beginning I used to make a plan and list and go once a week to a supermarket and get it. This was a huge improvement on my previous spends and I stuck with it for probably a couple of years.

    Recently though I have moved to a new system which seems to work even better, although is perhaps a little more time consuming. I now carry a big (and I mean BIG!) store cupboard of basics which I stocked up a little at a time whenever I had 'spare' challenge money. I trawl through all the special offers each week and stock up on things that I use when they are cheap. Depending on how good the discount is and how much I can store, I will buy enough for a few months. Because I have the store cupboard of basics I find that my monthly spend does not need to fluctuate too much - I just let the store cupboard run down a little when I have spent a lot on offers.

    I also make a point of doing a 'whoopsie hunt' trip at least once a week in the evening which has produced an amazing saving, especially for fruit/veg. Over the course of the month I therefore now pop into all of the supermarkets at least once and can cherry pick the offers from each (and pick up the value range items that we like best from each shop)

    As a result I currently have enough food for the month in total and will just pick up milk along with my whoopsie haul for the rest of this month, along with any offers I see to use next month. Spend so far £49.98

    OMG! What a waffle - I'll shut up now
    • cw18
    • By cw18 1st Oct 08, 8:29 AM
    • 8,053 Posts
    • 86,006 Thanks
    I've decided against menu planning -- although I am going to make sure I always have enough in to do meals for a few days (using store cupboard and freezer basics), and my bill has come down BIG time since I've based meals around whatever Whoopsie! goods I can get -- but I have the luxury of the time to go out Whoopsie! hunting a couple of times a day and no young children to run around after, which in themselves makes a huge difference.
    • taffy1969
    • By taffy1969 1st Oct 08, 8:31 AM
    • 372 Posts
    • 3,825 Thanks
    Hi All
    I'm in this month - £350 for October for me. Hoping to get a few bits for christmas cupboard out of this, mind you we don't really buy very much extra as no one seems to eat it!!! Last year I bought 2 tins of sweets and got 2 as presents, I gave 3Ĺ away!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Good luck everyone. Taffy
    Need to sort my life out!
  • jinky67
    Awwww you missed me
    can i have £250 for this month please?
    Once a Flylady, always a Flylady
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 1st Oct 08, 8:44 AM
    • 17,431 Posts
    • 40,365 Thanks
    Im wondering if anyone has a cheap Lasagne recipe? I know how to make it but i have forgotten some things :rolleyes: Also my friend makes Lasagne with salami instead of mince and lots of veg like peppers and courgettes and its really tasty. But dont have any salami in and don't know how to make it
    Also does anyone have a recipe for Carrot soup? Can i do this is the slow cooker? If so, How?
    Originally posted by mumzyof2
    Hi mumzy,

    These threads might help too:

    Lasagne recipe?

    Carrot & Coriander Soup

  • annelouise
    Mornin all,

    OH and I have the morning off so been busy making big batch of bolognese sauce for Spag Bol tonight and Lasagna next week.

    Added tin toms,grated carrots,lentils,oats,mince,onions,stock,red wine,garlic,herbs,s & p.

    Easily made bolognese for 5 for tonight and lasagna filling for 3 kids.

    NSD for me today ,need a few things on list but not in meal plans anytime soon so will try to hold off as kids are going to Grandma's for the weekend so it will only be me and OH.

    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
    • Little Miss Frugal
    • By Little Miss Frugal 1st Oct 08, 9:29 AM
    • 87 Posts
    • 1,151 Thanks
    Little Miss Frugal
    Can I join in please. My target this month is £300 to feed 2 adults, 3 children, 1 cat and 2 dogs. Every month I fail miserably but I'm determined this month.:rolleyes:
    Total Debt: £21539.04 (Dec 2011) £6089.10 = 71.73% DFD: December 2016
    Official DFW Nerd # 703 Proud to be dealing with my debts
  • eilo1007
    I think I tried this once before- many moons ago. Now though, it's time to get serious. Please put me down for £80. Thanks
    Live on £4000 a year - £37.26/£3000
    January Food Budget - £26.80/£80
    £5 a day in January - £21.75/105
    1st Debt I am planning to pay off - Cap 1 Mastercard £2400 - paid off so far ... I'll let you know when I get the bill in.
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