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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 26th Dec 08, 11:15 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    January 2009 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 26th Dec 08, 11:15 AM
    January 2009 Grocery Challenge 26th Dec 08 at 11:15 AM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the first Grocery Challenge of 2009.

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your December budget, then keep on posting in the December 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 everyone's targets and totals for the month please read posts #3 and #4 on this thread.

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

    I hope everyone has a great month and can I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year.

    Last edited by Pink.; 28-12-2008 at 12:18 PM.
Page 31
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 5th Jan 09, 6:06 PM
    • 6,147 Posts
    • 54,315 Thanks
    Cheers, Angelatgraceland, you just gave me another couple of meals from freezer supplies if I use cocktail sausages to make the casserole. I've got half a dozen small 'French-bread style' pizzas in oven with tomato base, peppers, mushrooms, cheese, seasoned with salt, pepper & mixed herbs so I could use the remaining tomato base sauce in the slow cooker with beef stock, sausages, onions etc for tomorrow's dinner and have it with potatoes.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 5th Jan 09, 6:15 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    Yes I always chuck in any half jars of sauce into the slowcooker regardless of what they are to be honest! Whether its chilli,bolognese,curry-what ever it is will be added to a casserolle and topped up with some appropriate ingredients to turn it into the meal it is supposed to be! Very little in my fridge at the mo-apart from haldf a jar of bol sauce but that will keep a couple of days yet. I must take out something for tomorrows lunch at work so that I don't spend any money! DD23 told me yesterday that I must teach her how to use the slowcooker-thats good to know-the next generation learning young!
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 5th Jan 09, 6:46 PM
    • 4,320 Posts
    • 29,747 Thanks
    tessie bear
    good evening......i was glad to see gailey on iv missed your posts.....we went to ikea today.....very reasonable catering free hot drinks with a family card 99p english cooked breakfast.....45p hot dogs 50p chips 35p icecream 50p soft drinks and free refills...we filled our boots esp kids ........
    for tea we had a stew out of slow cooker..lovely i am a total convert to slow cookers
    oh and we made a small snowman and rolled in the garden making snow angels..... great fun take care tess
  • Tracey.32
    Also did a trip to the local Aldi and found their own brand cat food was 20% cheaper than Tesco's. Bought a tin or each flavour and my cats love it. That will be a good saving in the future.
    Originally posted by Catwoman Kent
    Thanks, Catwoman - can't get my little furballs to eat any own brand food, but never thought of trying them on Aldi's stuff. Will get some when current stock runs out...
    Grocery challenge: Jun£134.15/£120; Jul £60.90/£120
    • CurlyTop
    • By CurlyTop 5th Jan 09, 7:45 PM
    • 371 Posts
    • 2,072 Thanks
    Broken wings yes, it was a typo yesterday. Duh It is 49p for a 2pt of milk from Mr A, therefore it is 98p for 2x2pt iykwim
    I got there - I'm debt free and intend to stay that way. If I haven't got the cash, it doesn't get bought. It's as simple as that.
    • Sylvan
    • By Sylvan 5th Jan 09, 7:46 PM
    • 344 Posts
    • 2,090 Thanks
    Be careful angelatgraceland - my DD persuaded me to let her take the slow cooker when she left home! Mind you it was one of the original brown pottery ones from the 70s so probably wasn't as efficient as the new ones - and certainly wasn't big enough for all of us. I'm having a 6.5l one delivered tomorrow (my smilies aren't working -boohoo) DH went to Mr T's today and spent £19.67 on milk, cheese and margarine, since we ran out of all three over the long Christmas break (and a 43p bottle of own brand cola to cook my gammon, which DS5 tasted and declared "OK" as a drink, so I think he's planning to get 3 for £1 next time - can't decide whether that's good or bad)
    Time flies like an arrow.
    Fruit flies like a banana.
    Money talks, but chocolate SINGS

    "I used to be snow white but I drifted" (A seasonal quote from the incomparable Miss West)
  • JennyBee
    oooh..thanks for the link to the love food hate waste website...gonna go check it out NSD on groceries for me today....£21.50 on food hygiene which I learnt something new....

    You can reheat rice

    As long as you cooled it and put it in the fridge within 90 minutes of cooking it originally. Sorry if that was obvious to some people, I always thought that was the one thing you couldn't reheat!
    Jonathan Douglas born 20th January 2009 - 9lb 4oz
    Alexander William born 30th December 2012 - 10lb 2oz
    GC June 2014 £79.04/£150
  • JennyBee
    Broken wings yes, it was a typo yesterday. Duh It is 49p for a 2pt of milk from Mr A, therefore it is 98p for 2x2pt iykwim
    Originally posted by CurlyTop

    49p for 2pt of milk in MrA? The cheapest I've found it is 86p? Tell me where I'm going wrong!!!!
    Jonathan Douglas born 20th January 2009 - 9lb 4oz
    Alexander William born 30th December 2012 - 10lb 2oz
    GC June 2014 £79.04/£150
    • redmel1621
    • By redmel1621 5th Jan 09, 8:10 PM
    • 5,969 Posts
    • 25,828 Thanks
    Just a quick question.

    Is there a maximum spend with Asda deliveries? I have always done my online shops weekly so will be receiving my first BIG shop on Wednesday. It comes in at about £ you think that will be a problem?

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

  • JayJay14
    Just a quick question.

    Is there a maximum spend with Asda deliveries? I have always done my online shops weekly so will be receiving my first BIG shop on Wednesday. It comes in at about £ you think that will be a problem?

    Mel x
    Originally posted by redmel1621
    Shouldn't be - I've seen a post on here in the last couple of days for a £270 asda shop.
    • CurlyTop
    • By CurlyTop 5th Jan 09, 8:17 PM
    • 371 Posts
    • 2,072 Thanks
    Sorry JennyBee

    You aren't doing anything wrong, this is just something my DH came across, as I normally tend to get him to get the bread and milk from Mr A whilst I am at work, and he is becoming quite good now at spotting the odd little bargain. I'm glad he has twigged on to this one as it allows me lots of supplies for my hot milky coffees, mmmmmmmmmmmm
    I got there - I'm debt free and intend to stay that way. If I haven't got the cash, it doesn't get bought. It's as simple as that.
    • wmf
    • By wmf 5th Jan 09, 8:19 PM
    • 1,799 Posts
    • 21,637 Thanks
    Couple of small bits and also orderd my veggie box which will arrive on Wed, so have updated sig. Back to work today, hence veggie box this week. We certainly eat far more veg when I order it.
  • Julimk
    I have enough in until ... seem to be famous last words here!:rolleyes:

    After doing masses of batch cooking while off work I was low on onions & tinned toms, which are far to basic to risk running out of, and totally out of lasagne sheets. Also, after baking with DD (priceless! ) low on butter and out of cocoa.

    So I went to Mr T with a list, which I stuck to, and spent a further £8.43. But realistically, as I am already 2 weeks in, this is the main shop for week 3.

    Back to work/school tomorrow & faffing around getting DD to her Dadís & back at the weekend (he is agoraphobic & lives 80 miles away, so only sees her if I do it) should keep me busy enough to stay out of the supermarket Ö
  • BigSpender2
    Quick update, my target of £350, does not include cleaning products, just food stuffs, but does include delivery charge.

    Although that was refunded this week, as grapes were going off
    Last edited by BigSpender2; 05-01-2009 at 8:32 PM.
    • Allypops
    • By Allypops 5th Jan 09, 8:32 PM
    • 243 Posts
    • 1,211 Thanks
    Reb - sorry to hear about you losing your job. Hopefully you will be able to find something else, at least you are in the right place to make savings and maybe she will change her mind and find somewhere else to economise.

    Rosieben, thanks for your reply. I think that you are right: I must include my takeaways and buying out coffee and lunches. Otherwise if I get too close to my limit on the groceries I will probably just buy more takeaways and lunches to avoid an overspend. I know it sounds crazy - its just that kind of logic that gets me into trouble!

    Sent DH out shopping for a few bits - £40 lighter and I am sure there was only one full meal in there (but lots of toileteries - this is going to be tough). There seems to be so much that I didn't realise we spent! I really don't know how some of you are keeping your spend below £150 (or even lower) but hopefully I will gradually pick up on tips. I love the term "whoopsies" I take it this is something that has been dented or dropped? Certainly not having Frank Spencer's versions of "whoopsies" for tea I am sure! (sorry to lower the tone).

    I might even try for a NSD one day a week but have to try and get my head round what I do and don't need to spend - think I need to check the cupboards and freezer properly and plan, plan, plan!

    Married with 2 children
    SPC5 # 1837- -
    DMP started April 2011 34.5% paid £78800
    DFD: June 2019 DFW Long hauler #286
    • queen of string
    • By queen of string 5th Jan 09, 8:34 PM
    • 506 Posts
    • 3,879 Thanks
    queen of string
    slow cooker french onion soup
    Gailey, my new slow cooker (half price in tesco extra sale) came with a french onion soup recipe.

    I'll post it in case it helps. The new cooker is one you can put on the hob too, you may need to use another pan.

    put 6 finely sliced onions, 4tbsp of oil , 1tbsp sugar and 3 crushed cloves of garlic in a pan and heat gently.

    Once sizzling stir well and cook for 10 mins to soften, then add 200mls white wine ( or apple juice or stock or water at a push I reckon).

    Put all in the slow cooker on low with 600mls boiling beef or chicken stock ( use a cube ??) worcester sauce and salt and pepper for 4-5 hrs.

    Make croutons from bread toasted on both sides with melty cheese on.( your brie would do this, even the stilton might be nice)

    to serve you can add 2tbsp brandy if you want to, ladle into bowls and float a crouton on the top, fresh parsley is nice but optional.


    Eat food, not edible food-like items. Mostly plants.
  • SavvyStudent
    Hello everybody. Just checking in as I haven't been to the shops despite the OH nagging that theres no bread in (just so we would go to the 24hr supermarket and he'd fill the trolley with rubbish!)... I pulled out the 39p MrT value part baked rolls and that was the end of that lol.

    I do feel a bit guilty tho as he really scalded his hand today at work super-heating my HM soup in the microwave... xx
    Proud to live a frugal shabby chic life!
  • FireAngel
    You can reheat rice

    As long as you cooled it and put it in the fridge within 90 minutes of cooking it originally. Sorry if that was obvious to some people, I always thought that was the one thing you couldn't reheat!
    Originally posted by JennyBee
    Hi JennyBee. It's amazing how many people either think they can't reheat or freeze rice, or don't realise it's actually quite a big cause of food poisoning if it's not cooled quickly enough (because it's so stodgy the middle stays hot for ages so the bacteria can grow in it). One of my friends was the same - she though you couldn't reheat it even though she frequently buys Uncle Ben's 2 minute microwave rice (not sure what she thought she was doing there if it wasn't reheating rice!).

    I always make big pots of chilli and big pots of rice and freeze it all in individual portions for easy dinners. I find the easiest way to cool rice is to serve what you need for dinner then put the rest in a sieve and run it under the cold tap until it's all cold. I guess if you're on a water meter the other option is to put the drained spare rice back in the pot, fill it with cold water and then drain it all again about 5 minutes later (and repeat if necessary if it's still a bit warm). It freezes great, and only takes a couple of minutes in a pot of boiling water to re-heat it while the chilli is in the microwave!
    LBM 22.12.08 £31,526 Debt at 29.12.08 £30,781 DFW Nerd 1105
    Pay off £20k by Xmas 2009: £2089.2 / £20,000
    Live on £4k in 2009 challenge: £293.85 / £4,000
    Grocery Challenge: Jan £48.68 / £50

  • kunekune
    Spent some money, but I think the gaps in the cupboard were real gaps! Also sent off invoices for about £450 of extra work, so that helps.
    Mortgage started on 22.5.09 : £129,600
    Overpayments to date: £3000
    June grocery challenge: 400/600
  • gillst
    Well it partly depends how you shop. If you do big shops and are happy to buy loads and loads at once thats fine-you do chance running out of things though. Do you have an inventory of what you have? Maybe you are running out of space and your DH wants you to declutter your food stocks because of that? I know that is my problem-there is food everywhere!
    Now I do it like you-Im constantly topping up and rotating-I did try to cut down and use up but I just cant do it! Its like Ive got an addiction or that I believe WW3 is about to happen or perhaps all of the shops are gonna run out of food? I dont know but-I stock up. I dont think there is a right way or a wrong way myself-each to their own. Id just cut back a little I suppose if I were in your shoes(my DH has given up on me)My excuse for my habits is that I buy a lot aof things when they are at the right price-?I only buy offers in general. If I let it run down I would have to buy things when I need them and I would end up paying more. The argument that the money would be better in savings doesnt hold any more with the interest rates so its better invested in bargains.(Well Im hooked).
    Originally posted by angelatgraceland
    Thanks angelatgraceland and everyone else who has taken the trouble to respond to my query.
    I don't have an inventory (thinking maybe this is something I should do), and yes, DH does have a problem with the fact that there seems to be food everywhere - I have filled the kitchen cupboards and have now got stuff in the conservatory. Why do I do this? - I HAVE NO IDEA :confused:

    save-a-holic - you have definitely made me think about what I am doing. I did not see before that the food sitting there is actually money that we could have used to reduce our debts - something we are trying to do

    I think I am going to try a compromise. Will keep a healthy stock, but only in the kitchen cupboards. Will use up a lot of what we have got in, and only replace items if they are on offer or if I have completely run out and have nothing in I can use instead. Hopefully this will make DH happier and we can reduce our grocery shopping for a couple of months.
    Had a nsd today, so a good start.
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