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    • 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 36
    • Flat Eric
    • By Flat Eric 19th Nov 08, 5:51 PM
    • 3,992 Posts
    • 24,049 Thanks
    Flat Eric
    I still have to update my spend which is well over budget but I have had a productive day today in that I have listed everything I have in my cupboards and fridge ( i did the freezers at the weekend).

    Im absolutely amazed at just how much I have!! Its amounted to 12 pages of print (Size 10 text) and approximately 409 items!!!!!!

    Ive also noted the use by dates of the food so that I can see what I need to eat up soon.

    It should be much easier to plan my menus now and begin to use up everything I have stock piled!!! I will still need to buy fresh fruit and veg, milk etc and I dont actually have that much meat but have plenty of everything else!!!

    • donnajt
    • By donnajt 19th Nov 08, 6:13 PM
    • 1,069 Posts
    • 9,929 Thanks
    Week 3

    Only spent 36.20 in week 3 - thanks to the 5 Newsof the World Coupon - does anybody know how long this promotion will go on for???

    Am planning on emptying freezer leading up to xmas and then fingers crossed an empty freezer to restock in January!

    ...fingers crossed!
    Slinkies 3st by summer (loss to date 10.5lbs)
    FlyMarketeers 1k by summer (sealed tin)
  • TheBees
    For the last few days we've been using up a lot of individual portions of leftover food in the freezer. Hoping we won't need to buy much before the end of the month as I'd like to get a free range chicken for Sunday if possible and we only have 30 which we'll need for fruit, milk and other fresh stuff.

    Jenny Bee don't forget you'll be entitled to Child Benefit which everyone gets regardless of their income. Not sure how much it is for one child but we get 125 for two children every 4 weeks. Also Tax Credits. The basic amount is about 42 month but depending on your circumstances you may be entitled to more. Every little helps as they say.
    Mortgage Free in 3 part 2 challenge - pay off 9000
    Sealed Pot Challenge 416 - target 500
    • tirlittan
    • By tirlittan 19th Nov 08, 8:26 PM
    • 3,392 Posts
    • 8,964 Thanks
    I'm falling off the grocery challenge wagon.... Can't be bothered to cook. The only time I eat well is when I go to BF's. Might go over budget this month...
    Proud to have dealt with my debts!
  • fertyskids
    Hi everyone,

    I haven't posted for ages and ages...

    its lovely to be back. I sorry i havent kept up with the posts, too busy with the kids...and eldests paper round!!! I went a away earlier in the month to devon. I managed to do all my food shopping for 40 and thats a first for me as i normally spend huge amounts when im away.

    This month has been silly for either eating out or takeaways though. Ive had family to visit - fish and chips. Meal out on holiday only the one. Meal out with hubby and kids as a treat. Mcdonalds for the kids. Believe it or not we never normally eat out, but its a huge amount this month. Its made me think a bit.

    Doing ok for the grocery budget, including everything.... still under so far but will need f&v, milk, yogs etc etc before the end of the month which for me is the 24th.

    Mrs Mc I will try for 300 again next month. i am going to have an extra 50 for xmas eve, xmas day and boxing day when i have visitors and will have to buy all the treats etc.

    So TOTAL OF 350 For Dec please!!!

    But for the rest of Dec it will be the same as normal i think, although my store cuboard is begining to run a little low and will need a top up in early Dec as well.

    Ayway im still struggling with menu planning, just grabbing some meat from the freezer each night, then hubby compalins that everything we eat is out of the slow cooker. i need to menu plan this is now my mantra....hope it helps me....

    i will try to get on here more often,
    speak soon and take care karen
  • scotsaver
    I never bother peeling butternut squash, either for soup or roasting to eat. The skin goes lovely and caramelised.

    If we are having it for something that does require, then I save the peelings to chuck in my next batch of soup!

    Hope this hasnt come across as pushy, was just wanting to let people know you can eat the skin.
    Originally posted by kiwichick
    Hi kiwichick - didn't know you could make this soup without peeling, made some today and it was gorgeous so thanks for that - This is why I love this site so much as you learn something new every day.

    Will log on tomorrow to update spends as planning a "small" shopping trip tomorrow.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

  • soulbalm
    Erk! It's those in betweenie shopping trips that are going to be my downfall I think. The ones in between the supermarket ones, I mean.

    I'm finding it fascinating keeping my grocery spending diary this month. My month ends on 27th, so I'm not sure I will make it within budget, but I will try. I've just updated my sig, and had to add the on-the-way-home-in-the-corner-shop spends - obviously done at end of day when I'm tired and hungry. So, why would I not buy the packets of crisps? Kettle chips too! Aaaargh! I must learn some self control.

    I also nipped in to Lakeland today, which could have been very dangerous as I'm a complete sucker for any kind of kitchen gadget or gizmo or container or whatever that I really don't need. I showed great restraint and only bought a mesh thing for cooking pizzas on (our new favourite thing is to make HM pizza - it's likely to be a regular weekend fixture I think).

    And then into the health food shop to buy my extravagant but can't-live-without vitamins. And while I was there I bought some alfalfa seeds, so I'll sprout them, which will be lovely in salads, and cheap. I don't add my vitamins to the groceries, but will add the alfalfa seeds.

    Thanks whoever it was for info about butternut squash skins - I usually peel them, but won't in future. I'm sure lots of vitamins are stored there in the surface, like various other veg.
    Grocery Challenge
    Budget / Spent
    Nov 08 250 / 266.97 Dec 08 275 / 88.77 as of 2/12
  • biscotte
    Anohter 26 today bringing my total to 770CHF. I don't think there's a cat in hell's chance of me not going over. Well it's the first month so need to learn quickly. I also need to meal plan as I don't at the moment.
    • sharronej
    • By sharronej 20th Nov 08, 7:09 AM
    • 563 Posts
    • 4,784 Thanks
    Flat Eric - I'm so impressed by your effiency. On the meat front I decided to give up trying to get the 90% reduced stuff at Tesco's because there are increasingly large queues to get to it. My son works for them and he was telling me that the other week the management had to come down and stop them reducing because the store felt their staffs safety was being threatened. Now my lad is about 6ft 4in and has a 40in chest so he's not small by any means but he said he was being pushed and jostled about and that the mood had become quite ugly with customers arguing! I have noticed that around the reduction time there will be at least eight to ten couples waiting at the fridges before the staff even finish reducing anyway the point to all my waffle is that I have been going into store in the morning and getting my meat at between 25 and 50% discount which still makes a huge difference. I know that not everyone can do this but perhaps you could nip out in your dinner hour?

    I will follow your lead and sort through my cupboard and freezer at the weekend.
    • By KAAT_LADY 20th Nov 08, 7:19 AM
    • 4,645 Posts
    • 35,863 Thanks
    KAAT - can I ask how you make your naan bread?
    I attempted to make some last week and although they looked quite good they seemed to have "layered" during cooking. The top was all puffy as you would expect of a naan but the bottom was quite solid, more like a pizza base.
    So I was wondering if I could find a recipe that I would have more success with!
    Originally posted by PurpleSkies

    Sorry Purple skies I have only just got back to the thread and will add the recipe when DH gets up as he makes them

    will put it on this post when he wakes,, probably be this afternoon

    found this one to be going on with

    Naan Bread
    450g SR flour
    1/2tsp salt
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    2tbsp veg oil
    4 tbsp plain yoghurt (beaten)
    2 eggs (beaten)
    150ml water approx

    (can add garlic, herbs, spices to flavour)

    Sift flour, salt, baking powder into bowl and add oil, yoghurt and eggs (plus any herbs/spices you want to add) and mix. Add water slowly, using hands to bring together until you have a soft dough. Knead with wet hands for a couple mins then leave to rest for 15 mins.

    Pre-heat oven to highest temp and place baking tray in to heat up.

    Divide dough into 6 equal portions, and with floured hands roll each piece into a ball in palms of hand. Pull each ball out into a tear shape and place 2 at a time onto hot baking baking tray and return to oven immediately for about 3-4 minutes. Remove tray from oven and place under hot grill for about 30 seconds to brown and crisp top lightly. Keep warm in clean tea-towel.

    Last edited by KAAT_LADY; 20-11-2008 at 9:19 AM.
    mortgage free as of 06/02/2008#
    berthas buddies No 5
    murphys no more pies club member ,No 242..
    .,night owl 25

    • kiwichick
    • By kiwichick 20th Nov 08, 8:30 AM
    • 1,836 Posts
    • 2,828 Thanks
    [quote=donnajt;16006897]Week 3
    Only spent 36.20 in week 3 - thanks to the 5 Newsof the World Coupon - does anybody know how long this promotion will go on for???

    Do you mind me asking what promotion that is?

    Al x
    WW Start Weight 18/04/12 = 19st 11lbs
    Weight today = 17st 6.5lbs
    Loss to date 32.5lbs!!!
    • PurpleSkies
    • By PurpleSkies 20th Nov 08, 9:42 AM
    • 271 Posts
    • 1,740 Thanks
    Thanks for the naan bread recipes mrs mcawber and kaat.

    Although kaat the recipe you posted (not the one your DH uses) is the one that I used! Have you tried that one? Do you think that the lack of yeast is what's causing the problem or not rising properly?
  • debtfreefuture
    Can I just you include toiletries :confused: (deodorant, hair colour etc) and things like that in the grocery challenge or do you break it down to just food. I tend to get everything in one go at Mr T's:rolleyes: . I am looking forward to starting the January GC (and hope to do so every month next year.)

  • bigsmoke
    getting close to my limit now with over a week still to go, next week will have to be frugal! bought a few bits and bobs for christmas today (foil dishes, cellophane and some ingredients towards making sweets for christmas), but as they weren't in my budget anywhere else i figured i'd best add them to my grocery total.
    hopefully i'll be able to trim a bit off my budget for a birthday this weekend to put aside!
    debtfreefuture - i include toiletries but not medicines in mine, but i think you can do whatever works best for you!
    • By KAAT_LADY 20th Nov 08, 10:14 AM
    • 4,645 Posts
    • 35,863 Thanks
    Thanks for the naan bread recipes mrs mcawber and kaat.

    Although kaat the recipe you posted (not the one your DH uses) is the one that I used! Have you tried that one? Do you think that the lack of yeast is what's causing the problem or not rising properly?
    Originally posted by PurpleSkies
    Hey there Purpleskies,,i dont know DH has used the manjula one and it was nice

    and she is on you tube as well to show you how to do it

    dh says it is better with yeast

    she is so good ..he thinks


    ps Just noticed MrsMcs recipe and had a copy of it to try ,,,thanks mrsmc
    Last edited by KAAT_LADY; 20-11-2008 at 10:21 AM.
    mortgage free as of 06/02/2008#
    berthas buddies No 5
    murphys no more pies club member ,No 242..
    .,night owl 25

    • keld
    • By keld 20th Nov 08, 11:06 AM
    • 140 Posts
    • 719 Thanks
    Still haven't managed a NSD yet. Best so far was yesterday 80p for 2 packets of polos (to keep me awake while driving at the crack of dawn!). Thought about stopping for a tea on the way home, but that would have meant braking into a note, as I only had 30p change, so decided to have one when I got home.

    Still recording all my spend in the diary (and anything of DH's that I can spot). I think I'll do a spreadsheet of my grocerey shops to see what we're spending it on - mainly fruit, veg, fish and meat I think. This should make doing a shopping list quicker too.

    I'd like to join the December grocery, even though it's Christmas and I'm bound to break it. How do I join?
    Mortgage 70,000 1
    MF date 31/08/2021 6th February 2012

  • rosieben
    Naan Bread Recipes are in the recipe index at the front of this thread, I've added Kaat's to the list; its worth a look at Curry Queen's thread for her great curry recipes too
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    Hi Keld -welcome on board

    Just let me know how much you want to set for your budget and I will add you to the list for December
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • keld
    • By keld 20th Nov 08, 1:35 PM
    • 140 Posts
    • 719 Thanks
    Thanks MRSMCAWBER I'm going to see what I've spent since I started my spending diary on 10th November and take a guess. Would you keep Christmas groceries separate?

    I've just gone through my spend to date and I've spent more for school (panto, photos, lunches etc) than for anything else. I hope that it's a one off.
    Mortgage 70,000 1
    MF date 31/08/2021 6th February 2012

    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 20th Nov 08, 3:33 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    Someone allowed an extra £50 for Christmas week on one of the posts-I thought that was a good idea rather than truly alteroing the budget.
    some will find it an expensive week and other wont notice any difference. Im one of the latter as we only buy a few treats-as we do from time to time anway as as Im quite under budget it wont make any difference. Some families all "bring something" for a family get-together-this stops the burdenbeing on the host. One brings the veggies-one the pudd-one the cake-one the trimmings-one some drinks-one some soft drinks etc. Seems a good idea to me.
    NSD today-had to give dd a lift to jobcentre but instead of wandering around the shops while she was there I stayed in the car and played music. DH says we need more tins-Id be out every single day for stuff if he had his way-theres nothing we need!
    No idea whats for tea tonight as one is out and dh on nights-difficult to plan anything. May do a spag bog which will keep until tomorrow if not eaten. I will be busy tomorrow as its the 3rd anniversary of my Mums death so going to take some nice silk flowers up to the crem and also going to help out her friend so no spending there-just doing a few important things in her memory.

    Can I just you include toiletries :confused: (deodorant, hair colour etc) and things like that in the grocery challenge or do you break it down to just food. I tend to get everything in one go at Mr T's:rolleyes: . I am looking forward to starting the January GC (and hope to do so every month next year.)
    Originally posted by debtfreefuture
    You may include whatever you like! We all do it our own way. Mine is food only. Just be consistent. Dont include it one week and not the next.

    Julimk-haven't you come a long way!!!
    Flat Eric-you are doing well
    keld-keep up the good work
    Last edited by angelatgraceland; 20-11-2008 at 3:41 PM.
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is 1500 pa 125 calendar month 28.84 pw for 3 adults
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