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  • FIRST POST
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 27th Sep 08, 5:14 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    Pink.
    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 competition....it'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!

    Pink
    Last edited by Pink.; 28-09-2008 at 10:13 AM.
Page 40
  • rosieben
    sorry to do this, can i b taken off the challenge, got home tuesday and around 7pm found a warm fridge and a defroasted freezer, the damm thing was making all the right noises but its 6 months old broken and awaiting someone to come and look at the ruddy thing to see whats broken if its reparable or if i get a replacement

    i have no idea what were going to do till its fixed, im so cheesed off as i cannot even keep milk cold
    Originally posted by fizzel81

    fizzel, so sorry to hear about your problem. If its 6 months old is it not still under guarantee? Hope you get it sorted very quickly.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 16th Oct 08, 10:12 PM
    • 6,147 Posts
    • 54,320 Thanks
    Frugaldom
    Popped in to confess that I have overspent ALREADY! The grocery budgetting and meal planning has gone to pot over the past week

    GROCERIES
    2008-10-01 - 28.89
    2008-10-06 - 10.50
    2008-10-09 - 8.97
    2008-10-13 - 1.50
    2008-10-16 - 1.50
    TOTAL 51.36

    I haven't even got a decent excuse - look at this! :rolleyes:

    Jam doughnuts
    Pizza
    Chocolate
    Crisps
    More chocolate
    More crisps

    It's been a very stressful month so far and there's another 3 weeks to go before the housemove!
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • AlwaysHappy
    • By AlwaysHappy 17th Oct 08, 3:18 AM
    • 1,487 Posts
    • 11,732 Thanks
    AlwaysHappy

    Glad you like it, hope you have loads of fun with your new toy -extremely important piece of kitchen equipment

    Hi Milliemonster and welcome on board... I will go and put you on the list
    Originally posted by MRSMCAWBER
    Hi there, think I missed the recipe for bread - is it for the remoska? Any chance of it? Many thanks.
    I'm not a failure if I don't make it, I'm a success because I :tried!
  • Jacks xxx
    sorry to do this, can i b taken off the challenge, got home tuesday and around 7pm found a warm fridge and a defroasted freezer, the damm thing was making all the right noises but its 6 months old broken and awaiting someone to come and look at the ruddy thing to see whats broken if its reparable or if i get a replacement

    i have no idea what were going to do till its fixed, im so cheesed off as i cannot even keep milk cold
    Originally posted by fizzel81

    Oh I am ever so sorry honey.What a pain! We had to do without a fridge for a while at the beginning of the year and I used to keep my milk in a thermos outside on the kitchen window sill.

    It was a bit inconvenient having to open the window every time we had a cup of tea but at least it was January so it was chilled. :rolleyes:

    I hope they sort it all out really quickly for you.

    And Nyk - you're allowed some stress induced treats now and again my lovely! Anyway knowing you you'll be back on track with the budget in no time at all.

    Hope the move goes smoothly!


    Love Jacks xxx

    PS I forgot to type my main reason for posting which was to say that on the lentils and porridge oats bulking out front I started small - as Rosieben suggested - with literally two handfuls of each chucked into a bolognese and I think I experimented with cooking the lentils first or not - but as long as they go in reasonably early and there's enough liquid they're fine either way. I also sneak in extra veg by chopping it small or grating it to give the sauce body.

    I know get 4 hearty dinner portions and 6 packed lunch portions of Bolognese out of one pack of mince.

    With curry I do even better (because Lentils are more normal in a curry perhaps so I can chuck more in!) I throw in a couple of types of lentils, some small beans such as cannellini and the porridge oats plus sneaky veg and I can get up to 14 portions out of 400g of chicken and nobody says they feels short changed in the meat department.

    The other day, as an experiment I did "my" curry (which starts with chopped chicken, onions, garlic and garam masala or thai paste and then I chuck in whatever we've got!) and I did the same quantity of chicken in a separate pan with a jar of Pataks sauce as per the directions on the jar.

    We all had a taster of the Pataks one on our plates but it would only have fed two of us at most whereas mine fed 6 for dinner that night plus I put one large "feeds four" size tub inthe freezer plus another 4 individual lunch size tubs.

    And they all said mine was nicer! And lentils and porridge and an extra tin of tomatoes or a stock cube don't add up to much. (I'm going to cost it out next time just to see, but mine will always vary cos what goes in it it depends on what I've got.)

    Rightio. Time for a shower before I hang the wash out. It feels blimmin' nippy today! Brrrr.
    Last edited by Jacks xxx; 17-10-2008 at 5:07 AM. Reason: Doh! Haven't had my coffee yet! :-)
    Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. Einstein
    • eveie189
    • By eveie189 17th Oct 08, 4:57 AM
    • 300 Posts
    • 2,896 Thanks
    eveie189
    Morning

    I am over budget for the month already and we still have 11 days to go. I was considering dropping out but after thinking about the posts that have been written when otherh people wanted to drop out I decided to keep with it for 2 reasons.

    1. If I can stick to my new unofficial target of 350 then at least it will be 65 less than i spent last month and a couple of hundred less than what I was spending before the challenge.
    2. I would only be cheating myself by not getting a full picture of what I spend. Escpecially because I have to spend a lot on the chickens I have just got and if I hadn't got them I would be under target still.

    Sorry for the long post
    Katie
    April GC 9th-7th may 0/320
  • Jacks xxx
    Morning

    I am over budget for the month already and we still have 11 days to go. I was considering dropping out but after thinking about the posts that have been written when otherh people wanted to drop out I decided to keep with it for 2 reasons.

    1. If I can stick to my new unofficial target of 350 then at least it will be 65 less than i spent last month and a couple of hundred less than what I was spending before the challenge.
    2. I would only be cheating myself by not getting a full picture of what I spend. Escpecially because I have to spend a lot on the chickens I have just got and if I hadn't got them I would be under target still.

    Sorry for the long post
    Katie
    Originally posted by eveie189

    Mornin' Katie,

    Yeah..Don't drop out honey!

    If you look at my sig you'll see that I have had many many (many) ups and downs on the GC - and I learned something from all of them!

    For 3 months it seemed our ideal budget was about 287 but then the prices rises kicked in, my stashes ran out and now your guess is as good as mine!

    BelfastGirl always used to remind me that Yeah I'd gone over budget but I'd spent less than I would have if I hadn't been on the GC so yep I agree with both your points.

    Keep at it girl!

    Love Jacks xxx
    Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. Einstein
  • puss14
    Well I am officially $30 over my monthly budget and we are only 17 days in. I am seriously hopeless and feel a little depressed at my dismal budgeting attempts
    Thailand 3010/15000 2015
  • Chaos Theory
    Not doing too badly so far. However, I do have a girls' night in where we take it in turns to go to each other's homes and cook for the whole lot of 10 of us! I somehow need to feed 10 people a good meal (there's a few fab cooks in the group) whilst not spending a fortune....
    I saw two shooting stars last night
    I wished on them, but they were only satellites
    It's wrong to wish on space hardware
    I wish, I wish, I wish you'd care
  • MRSMCAWBER
    Morning all

    Feeling slightly less like a badgers bum this morning (still look as rough as one though )-although I have been coughing n barking all night so I have probably kept the whole street up
    Thankyou for the PMs folks

    Hubby has gone for his golf comp so won't be back until this evening -which suits me, as it means i am going to veg on the sofa(although that is what I have been doing all week )..the most im planning is to try and see if i can muster a bit of energy to get some crochet done ...I haven't touched it all week :rolleyes: - I made bread yesterday and actually have some left so I have no cooking to do today ....

    I now have 1 week left of this months challenge -so I'm refusing to go out for the rest of the week .. Im still sulking that I would have spent under 10 so far, had it not been for this "pesky cold"
    I have even managed to make a bit of space in my freezers .... Im planning on making more next month too

    Hi alwaysHappy...
    the bread is my usual recipe for baking in the oven -but just a little less water and it comes out of the remoska stunning

    Its just:-
    1. 500g white bread flour
    2. 3tsp salt
    3. 300ml warm water
    4. 14g fresh yeast
    • Mix as normal (the dough will be a bit firmer than normal-but it stops it going doughy n heavy in the remoska )
    • leave it to prove in the bowl -covered with a carrier bag
    • tip out and cut in half -400g each
    • shape into flat sausage shapes and place side by side in the pan (mines a standard)
    • stick the lid on and leave to rise (don't let them get too close to the lid as they rise a bit more once you switch it on)
    • once risen, switch on and bake for about 30 mins
    • I then tip mine out and put upside down to bake for 5 mins
    • then tip onto a cooling rack
    So sorry about your bad luck fizzel - hope you get it sorted soon -and hope you can claim on your insurance

    Hubby loved his chilli cobbler last night made in the remoska , ooh and I made some concoctions.. a bit like a plain scone -with a thumb print in the middle -with winter jam in ..well I NEEDED something sweet

    Right I had better get off and make a cuppa..
    have a great day everyone
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • cw18
    • By cw18 17th Oct 08, 7:04 AM
    • 8,051 Posts
    • 85,994 Thanks
    cw18
    Well I am officially $30 over my monthly budget and we are only 17 days in. I am seriously hopeless and feel a little depressed at my dismal budgeting attempts
    Originally posted by puss14
    Just treat it as a temporary "blip"...

    Do have food in the house? Can you get creative with that? If you can get away with just buying milk, bread and f&v for the rest of the month that should minimize the damage to your budget -- especially if you're like me and have several bags of veg in the freezer and a number of tins of fruit in the cupboard (I could manage for at least a week without even needing to buy f&v apart from the bananas that DH insists on having on a daily basis).

    I know if I were to give in part way through a month (as I did with keeping records of non food items in July & August) then I also pick things up without thinking about the cost as much -- and end up spending even more.

    I'm expecting to go over in December because of Christmas -- I've already decided I'm not going to up my budget for the month in terms of how it calculates 'per person', as I want need to keep as close to my current budget as I can.

    But I'll almost certainly have to adjust my budget part way through the month to allow for having to feed an extra mouth, as we suspect elder DS will be home on leave (and it could be for as long as 6 weeks!) but don't know for definite nor when it's even likely to be from!! Since he finished his Army basic training we tend to not got more than about 48 hours notice of his coming home -- which can be great fun in terms of having food in the freezer I can cook for 4 instead of for 3. I've actually taken to packing individual meat portions - such as chops - such that some are in bags of 2 and some are in bags of 1 (so I can pull out a 2+1 when he's away or a 2+2 when he's home) whereas in the past I'd have packed them all into bags of 3 and would have had to go out and buy fresh despite having a freezer full of Whoopsied meat
    Cheryl
    • tirlittan
    • By tirlittan 17th Oct 08, 8:34 AM
    • 3,383 Posts
    • 8,890 Thanks
    tirlittan
    Up to 46.55 out of 100 on GC. Not too bad methinks, but I haven't had much exciting food. 12.5 days to go as off on 29th abroad. I haven't really made enough effort to have inventive foods,but I've survived. Tried to meal plan and up till 15th it works as I only had so much money to spend. After pay day and a little trip to France I got bit disorganised and on Wednesday and Thursday bought both breakfast and lunch from Greggs.

    Next month have to try to meal plan better, just find it difficult as hardly have any freezer space as share with 4 others. Also, can you freeze sliced ham? Bought a packet cheaply that usually contains about 9 slices, but this time it had 15! And as there's only week and a half left before hols and I only really use it in my sarnies, I don't want to waste it. Thanks for any ideas.
    DEBT FREE OCTOBER 2012!
    Proud to have dealt with my debts!
    • cw18
    • By cw18 17th Oct 08, 8:53 AM
    • 8,051 Posts
    • 85,994 Thanks
    cw18
    Also, can you freeze sliced ham?
    Originally posted by tirlittan
    I've frozen it before -- both as a few slices in a bag, and in ready made up sandwiches (grab and go on workdays - defrosted by lunch, but too solid/chilly to eat as a second breakfast on arrival...... hence meaning I don't then go and buy another lunch to replace them!)
    Cheryl
  • bullet
    I have had to give away a tin of corned beef today, for Ds1's Harvest Festival. However, I am getting free apples later, one of DH's work colleagues is giving them away. So some of them will go in a potato and apple curry and I'll make apple sauce and freeze it for the rest.
  • WelshWoofer
    Morning!

    GC not going too badly for me - plenty of meat in the freezer for OH and lots of tins, pasta, rice, cheese, eggs etc in.
    Will need to do a "small" shop this weekend for F&V, bread and a few toiletries, I'm hoping to keep it to about £15 but we'll see!
    I also got a £5 M&S voucher in the post this week for getting an insurance quote (didn't buy the insurance) so I'm going to use it to treat us to a few nice bits and pieces from there - probably their yummy fishcakes and maybe a veggie lasagne? I'm not counting that in the budget though as its treat money IYSWIM?!
    2 more weeks left on this month's challenge and I'm not sure whether I'll make it - I'm still on an experimental budget since OH moved in of £150 for all food, dog food, household stuff and toiletries - its tight but we may just make it.

    Anyway, will update the total when this weeks shopping has been done.
    Have a good weekend!
    January grocery spending - 82.73/ 120
    • savingpennies
    • By savingpennies 17th Oct 08, 9:23 AM
    • 666 Posts
    • 4,345 Thanks
    savingpennies
    Hi all, I don't post often but love to read what everyone is up to. Not doing too badly with my budget so far, as I'm trying to empty the freezer so that I can defrost it.
    I've had a look at the remoska that everyone talks about but with a slow cooker and a bread maker is it really worth the expense?
    Regarding cooking with mince and getting bored of spag bol, shepherds pie, etc, what about moussaka?
    Books - the original virtual reality.
    2019 in 2019: 68.73
    2019 2 savers:
    6
  • rosieben
    I have had to give away a tin of corned beef today, for Ds1's Harvest Festival. However, I am getting free apples later, one of DH's work colleagues is giving them away. So some of them will go in a potato and apple curry and I'll make apple sauce and freeze it for the rest.
    Originally posted by bullet
    Potato and apple curry sounds lovely, any chance of the recipe please?

    If anyone thinks they're over or going to be over budget please don't drop out. We all have our bad weeks/months. I'm probably going to be over this month too (again!) as I'm off to Lidl with my sis for the 3rd time this month but I know that what I'm spending isnt anywhere near as much as I used to spend and I havent any room in the freezer so that will keep stuff out of the trolley!


    Glad to see you're feeling better MrsMC
    Last edited by rosieben; 17-10-2008 at 12:32 PM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • fertyskids
    EGON, thanks so much that is such a good idea. it also means i have to go on a friday morning as that is the only time the baby could be pushed to do without his morning sleep. all 3yr old other sessions are in the afternoon and the baby needs his 2 hrs. snacks yes it would be easy for the baby - breadsticks or messy banana.

    i struggle to do a 2 week meal plan. i run out of ideas and panic as i have several nights a week when older son 13, and hubby come in and out needing a quick meal before they are out again to clubs etc.

    monday - little ones ballet. late tea for the little ones no prep time, i need to walk in and serve.

    tuesday - son in and out in 1/2 hr and hubby home late.

    wed - son in and out again

    thur - son in and out agin

    fri -hubby home late.

    ive started cooking in the mornings now to save the chaos in the late afternoon this helps. im veggie and the rest eat meat, i do use quorn for all of us a lot.

    Baby wont eat everything we do although i am pushing him. i normally make a big qauntity of food for him and freeze little portions he doesn't seem to mind eating the same thing for 3 days until it runs out and i cook something else, unless i run out of time and then he has jars...

    so somedays i cook 2 seperate meals and 2 different times.!!!!

    thanks again EGON. for your advice i will definately think more about the meal planning but would apprecioate any ideas from anyone.

    thanks karen

    wekkend were ok unless we go out

    i make lots of casseroles spag bol and lasagnes as they can be reheated in the micrwave in individual portions.
    • PurpleSkies
    • By PurpleSkies 17th Oct 08, 9:55 AM
    • 271 Posts
    • 1,740 Thanks
    PurpleSkies
    Thanks for all the advise on bulking up portions etc. Think I'm going to try a few lentil/veggie mixes until I get the right balance.

    And thanks for the suggestions on what to do with the prawns. Think I'm going to go with leebarton's suggestion about the fried rice. I would have never thought of making that but looking forward to giving it a go!
    Also it's nice to see someone else from my neck of the woods! I know my location says Edinburgh but that's not where I'm from originally!
    • Essex-girl
    • By Essex-girl 17th Oct 08, 11:37 AM
    • 3,478 Posts
    • 46,632 Thanks
    Essex-girl
    Afternoon All

    Have just update my signature and as you will see I am already overbudget and there is still 2 weeks to go!

    However am not that stressed over it as am well stocked up and cupboards are bursting. Freezer is quite full as well and have got a couple of bits for Xmas.

    Savingpennies - I love my Remoska, I am obviously saving on fuel but also it has made my life so much easier. Also last night I cooked Salmon fillets in there for the first time - they were lovely and there was no horrible fishy smell in the house. I still havent baked in mine but everyone raves about that as well.
    Last edited by Essex-girl; 17-10-2008 at 2:23 PM.
    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 17th Oct 08, 12:25 PM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    OrkneyStar
    Withdrew the rest of this months grocery money last night- so none left in the bank, but enough in my purse to do to end of the month. Today I got the corn beef for the hash, and soda crystals. Got the soda crystals in the first shop no bother, but neither of the local shops had tinned corned beef (spam aplenty though ) so ended up getting it at the Coop. Got 3 tins so I have plenty in though . Also got some Tabasco Sauce (for the hash) and some sea salt too as it was running out. Looks like it will only be milk we need next, although expecting that to last until at least Tuesday as we have plenty in (although DS does go through it!).
    x
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