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 Oct 08, 8:48 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    November 2008 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 27th Oct 08, 8:48 AM
    November 2008 Grocery Challenge 27th Oct 08 at 8:48 AM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the eleventh Grocery Challenge of 2008.

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your October budget, then keep on posting in the October 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 #3 and #4 on this thread.

    For everyone's targets and totals for the month please read posts #5 and 6 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Last edited by Pink.; 28-10-2008 at 8:03 AM.
Page 8
    • cw18
    • By cw18 31st Oct 08, 8:16 AM
    • 8,082 Posts
    • 86,086 Thanks
    it could be condensation that's causing the problem if it's frozen on the outside -- we used to get the same (to a smaller scale) when our chest freezer was out in what used to be the coal shed at our last house.

    but if it's only slightly open due to being overful, then this will cause ice to build up around the seal -- again more likely when outside, as if you keep it in a warmer environment you'd get the warm air stopping that happening (and this is when your food will defrost slowly)

    Pay day for me today -- my last but one pay cheque

    But my month for the GC doesn't start until tomorrow....... so see you all back here in November
    • russetred
    • By russetred 31st Oct 08, 8:43 AM
    • 1,235 Posts
    • 9,385 Thanks
    I'm declaring 388.34 for October, must remember when its a 5 week month and up my total.Still only 48.34 over for the other week. so not too bad.
    "Sometimes life sucks....but the alternative is unacceptable."
    • Mrs Money Penny
    • By Mrs Money Penny 31st Oct 08, 8:57 AM
    • 732 Posts
    • 6,347 Thanks
    Mrs Money Penny
    Hi Everyone just popping in to update figures.
    Mrs Mc could you put me down for 180 for November. Going to lower by another 10. October spends have finalised at 175.35 so under budget. Good luck to everyone else.
    MFIT Challenge save 40k
    48828.05/46842.89/-1985.16Mortgage neutral 03/19
    • katie2407
    • By katie2407 31st Oct 08, 9:28 AM
    • 352 Posts
    • 3,154 Thanks
    well yesterday was pay day for me so started for nov
    went into morrisons was looking for wicker baskets for both DIL xmas hamper
    go some nice baby carrots reduced down to 25p, cabbage down to 9p with milk, coffee and a few other thing total came to 5.38 .
    tomorrow I will check cupboards and freezers to see what is in there then mealplan for the next 2 week then write a list of things I need or go online and order
    5 account to clear- 14580.47/1074.90- 7.3% paid off
    debt free nov 2012 before that I hope
    sealed jar no 420
    • Hollysan
    • By Hollysan 31st Oct 08, 9:39 AM
    • 135 Posts
    • 1,160 Thanks
    Hello everyone, and good luck to you all in November.

    Mrs M, please put me down for 350 for November, please.

    Mumolulu, we are veggie and eat a lot of red lentils. They are the ones which disappear and therefore very useful. We use them for soups and sauces. eg veggie spag bol - make exactly the same as with meat, but fry off onion and garlic, then add VERY finely chopped mushroom (average packet) and a handful of red lentils, then toms, some water and herbs. Cook it all down and add more water if necessary. If you have a splash of red wine that's good too. I also keep carrots, onions and celery as the basis for minestrone, meals with pasta, cous cous and rice. They all keep well and you will never run out of options!

    We have a GIGANTIC credit card bill to pay this month due to having to buy clothes (yes, you do run out eventually!) shoes and two mistakes by the credit card co. Don't ask. So it will be hand to mouth in November, and we must do better than last month...

    MFiT-T4 #63
    Mortgage 78,000/67,690.73
  • Swishy_bell
    Decided to do a cash budget this month as it's my fisat go at the grocery challange. Going to take 200 cash out tonight so we can see exactly how mcuh we have spent. We did this earlier in the year but for everything we spent just getting an amount out each week and only spending that but found we were really bad when it came to things like clothes so went over all the time. Hoping as this is more specific it will work better. Find it really hard to keep track of how much we spend on money as dh and me share all our money and do equal amounts of shopping, means no one person is keeping track on what we have spent so you end up thinking you have spent half as much!
    Anyone else find this? any other suggestions as to how to address it. dont really want to have to sit down every night and dicuss what we spent money on each day, not terribly romantic in our precious ds free time!
  • rosieben
    ... any other suggestions as to how to address it. dont really want to have to sit down every night and dicuss what we spent money on each day, not terribly romantic in our precious ds free time!
    Originally posted by Swishy_bell
    I don't think its possible to get control of spending without checking receipts or spends book to see exactly where your money goes. I keep all my receipts and once a month I tot up and check what I've been spending on (all spends, not just GC).. It doesn't take that long really, and you can add as much or as little detail as you want to.

    It's a real eye opener, I promise you!

    Most people have separate budgets for clothes, entertaining, pets, booze, whatever suits them. For the GC, you'll be separating your grocery spending from everything else presumably? I include all food, toiletries, cleaning in my GC budget HTH
    Last edited by rosieben; 31-10-2008 at 10:17 AM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • PurpleSkies
    • By PurpleSkies 31st Oct 08, 10:50 AM
    • 271 Posts
    • 1,740 Thanks
    Just declared in the October thread. After having a terrible month with lots of extra spends (for party, etc) I'm going to try my hardest to come in under budget in November!

    It was only really my last shop that pushed me over the edge when I went in to pick up some cereal and spent a fortune but did get a 24 pk of roll for 10p! So they're in the freezer at the mo and will hopefully last me a good long while!

    Also on the hunt for some cheap, filling meals to keep me warm during this horrible weather we're getting just now. So if anyone has any recommendations I'd be glad to hear them!
  • Scenic Route

    can you put me down for 150 for November please?


    No outfit is complete without cat hair or baby vomit
  • cazzab
    Hi - could you put me down for 200 please for my first attempt?
    Mammy to 3 gorgeous children.
  • Free in Three

    This will be my first go at the challenge. Please put me down for 280 for food, tolietires, take aways etc for me, the OH and 2 dogs.

    Ususally spend 300 plus but starting IVA this month so want to spend as little as possible.

    Good luck everyone
    Annual GC 2500/486.79 for 2 adults and 2 dogs
    Savings Target 2009 Lloyds Act 6000/1200 Jars & pig for Christmas and holidays
  • scotsaver
    Do you have the recipe for the Caramel Shortcake at all please? This would be great for my DH's lunchbox.

    Thank you.
    Originally posted by mummygems
    Rosieben has kindly posted link to this recipe, I'm sure your DH will love it.

    Last nights Belly Pork recipe went down well with everyone and it was so easy to make as you put everything into one big roasting tray, here is the recipe for anyone who wants to give it a try:-

    1lb Belly Pork cut into Cubes
    1lb Potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
    1lb Pears, cored and quatered
    Cinnamon stick
    2 tsps caraway seeds
    1tbsp sugar
    1pt Chicken Stock
    Salt & Pepper

    Preheat the Oven to 190 degrees. Lightly grease a roasting tray and place all the ingredients in the tray, sprinkle over the seeds, sugar and season with salt & pepper. Pour in the stock and cover the tray with foil and cook in the Oven for 2 hours.

    I served this with carrots and cabbage and some lovely gravy and the whole family loved it and the Belly Pork only cost 1.95 so shall definitely use again.

    Dinner tonight is going to be Fish, HM Chips and mushy peas, just watched This Morning and they made a Pumpkin Pie which looked yummy so shall make that tomorrow for Pudding. Already got everything I need in for this except some Double cream so shall pop to the shops for that and only Double Cream and not buy anything else, I promise.

    Have a good day everyone.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • redmel1621
    • By redmel1621 31st Oct 08, 12:41 PM
    • 5,978 Posts
    • 25,841 Thanks
    I am going to try a slightly different tact this month, as I usually spend a certain amount a tesco (online) then end up buying additional bits at my local Somerfield, which costs me a fortune. So this time I am going to up my Tesco shop amount and avoid the Local Somerfield like the plague!!!!!

    Could you please put me down for 340.00 this month as I also allow extra to stock up on christmas goodies...

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

  • jackk
    Must do better this month .....Can i be put down for 200 again this month please.

    Jackie x
  • MissKay
    I'm sticking to the same target this month but I'm trying to include everything.

    Please can you put me down for 300 again?
    That money talks - I can't deny,
    I heard it once - it said 'goodbye'!
  • Jacks xxx
    Find it really hard to keep track of how much we spend on money as dh and me share all our money and do equal amounts of shopping, means no one person is keeping track on what we have spent so you end up thinking you have spent half as much!
    Anyone else find this? any other suggestions as to how to address it. dont really want to have to sit down every night and dicuss what we spent money on each day, not terribly romantic in our precious ds free time!
    Originally posted by Swishy_bell
    Hiya my lovely,

    We only shop in places with itemised receipts and pay using our debit cards from The Shopping Bank Account (Only the shopping money goes in and only shopping spends go out. If one of us buys something that isn't " Essential shopping" then we transfer the money back in.)

    Receipts get dumped into The Receipt Jar on a daily basis and one of us (Umm - only me so far!) adds it all up at the end of the month.

    My target is 350 this month Mrs M, and I'm going to kick the blummen heck out of it and try really hard so that I can have a guilt-free pre-christmas treat splurge in December.

    Love Jacks xxx
    Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. Einstein
    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 31st Oct 08, 4:33 PM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    Well my November started today, did a 19.45 shop in Tesco, and 8 ish in Lidl. Also got a 6 off 40 shop till spit in Tesco (nearly did not get it as the printer jammed due to DS pulling it and only when I asked for the second part with the points total on it did the cashier give me the coupon as well!). May or may not use it as we have not been spending so much in Tesco, will see if there are any offers or might stock up on juice. As I withdrew 40 food money I still have 10 (just over) left to get any other things I need during the week (mainly milk probably!). Not counting totals to the last penny again this month, but will keep a rough note on my budget planner (I use a homemade xls sheet).
    Good to see so many taking part this month, take care everyone.
    x OS
    • candygirl
    • By candygirl 31st Oct 08, 4:34 PM
    • 27,567 Posts
    • 117,449 Thanks
    Been to Morrisons today and spent 36 for me and DD's weeks shopping.shes moving out next week so things will be cheaper from then on, and quieter
    "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf"

    (Kabat-Zinn 2004)
    • Flylady_Flower
    • By Flylady_Flower 31st Oct 08, 5:28 PM
    • 2,853 Posts
    • 62,435 Thanks
    Hi all, can't believe November is 8 pages in already - still, always busy at the beginning and the end of a month eh!

    Well, went shopping and spent 9.39 on food, but 20.88 on Pizza take-away as I was home really late and haven't had a take-away for ages... (funny how we have to have a reason to waste money now... good innit!) Also spent 15.48 on my mum's birthday pressie, so have spent 9.39 on GC and 36.36 out of my extras budget (100), best start behaving I think...
    LBM April 2013 - 29,000.00
    Vanquis CC's PAID - Debenhams SC PAID - A+L OD PAID - Asda CC 783.75
    Barclaycard CC 1400.78 - BoS CC PAID - Freemans Cat PAID
    F/D Loan & CC 1458.96 - Santander Loan PAID - Mum Loan PAID
    RBS OD PAID - F/D OD 1026.52
    Weekly Grocery Challenge - 95.00 budget / spend -
  • Coolmum66
    Hi All

    November thread already well up and running!!

    Please can you put me down for 180 for November. Came in at 188.05 spend frm 250 budget for October. am doping budget frm 50 per week down to 45 per week.

    Will see how we get on with that!!

    Coolmum. xx
    Debt at 2nd LBM (!) Jun 08 8,435 - hm, let's not go there!!
    DFW Nerd - 721 / DFW Long Hauler 4 / DFD - ASAP!!
    Sealed pot challenge - member 336 - 200 target
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

350Posts Today

4,616Users online

Martin's Twitter