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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 43
  • kookgekje
    It's only the 8th and I am nearly halfway through the budget . Still, the freezer has loads of meat/chicken/fish in it, so its just the fruit and veg that I need to add. I bought a pork belly roast at Mr T and saw a nice recipe for it with a spicy sauce, but if anyone has any better suggestions, I'd rather do a tried and tested one.

    I am having a NSD today because DH had to go out with some clients last night and I made myself an quick chickpea curry with veg that was lurking in the fridge. So the goulash that was planned for yesterday, is for tonight. It's an experiment from the new Mr A magazine. The stewing bit is done and all I have to do is add some paprika, peppers, tomatoes and sour cream. Nomnom. Can't wait. I'll let you know how it turns out.
    Cheese… milk's leap toward immortality
    Clifton Fadiman

    Feb'11 - GC: £105.89/£125 - NSD: 15
    Mar'11 GC: £3.84/£100 - NSD: 0
    Hi Orkney..will take you off

    Im doing similar to you... Im having a rough monthly budget... but I have also put a yearly total in my signature too -so I have €1680 for the year which breaks into €140 a month - but what I spend will vary month to month -like in summer when Im growing loads it "should be much cheaper" ...great minds and all that

    Fedupnskint - I will get you those recipes... we went to Katelios... the most beuatiful place -my mum doesn't eat "foreign food" but makes the best stiffado ever ... I will go and get my book and post them later (any excuse to look through my cook books )
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • gemma1984
    • By gemma1984 8th Jan 09, 10:59 AM
    • 215 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    I'm watching this thread with great interest as I plan to join in for February.

    We currently budget £150 for a once monthly shop for 2 adults, a fully formula fed 2 month old in disposable nappies and small dog. We also place £50 each month in cash in a pot in the kitchen for emergencies or interim stuff like milk and bread etc.

    Do you think I can bring these totals down a bit? I can't wait to get started!!!
  • fatcattaff
    Spent £7.66 yesterday at Tesco and the local fruit shop. They had no clementines at Mr T's, so I couldn't take up the offer of 2 bags for £2, so spent £2-odd at local grocers for very little fruit really. Bought some kitchen cleaner for 45p from Mr T's. It's got bleach in, so my kitchen smells very 1970's at the moment, but I haven't been to Home Bargains for a while and I won't buy my kitchen cleaners from anywhere else (unless there's an offer on).

    Cooked once yesterday and will eat twice. A pack of mince we'd usually eat in one sitting I cooked into Cottage Pie and we had roasties, sweet potatoes and carrots yesterday. I made it into two pies instead of one, so way-hey, evening meal sorted for tonight. AND it means I ate less fat yesterday, which really helps with the drop a half stone challenge.

    Aiming for an NSD today. Budgets looking good right now! Fingers crossed it stays that way!
    Drop half a stone for January challenge.
    Grocery Challenge March £320/
    Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. (Thank you Mr Roosevelt)
  • fallen angel shelley
    I fancy making a quiche, the recipe I have seen says it needs cream, can it be done with out the cream? sorry for such a short post
    Back on MSE again! to take control of my finances and not let it control me. May grocery challenge £41.96/140
  • fatcattaff
    Oops. Hubby just told me he spent £3.39 on sandwiches last week, the dingbrain! I must keep a closer eye on his plans and make sure he's packed up before he goes. Still...the budget's holding out o.k. for now!

    I saw this thread on mumsnet (from old) re-quiche without cream

    Hope this helps.

    Drop half a stone for January challenge.
    Grocery Challenge March £320/
    Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. (Thank you Mr Roosevelt)
  • sazzledazzle
    £7.40 yesterday but it was my turn to cook at boyfriends ( i cook there once a week, and he does the food all weekend so I get the better deal.) in that money also got some bits for me at home for the next week or so. Think now I should have enough in the fridge and freezer till the 21st when I get paid and can do another big shop.
    MAY NSD's

  • LittleAnna
    Mr T
    Is Mr T Tescos?
    I believe.......
    Feb Grocery £300 - 14.50 = £285.50
  • zarazara
    Yes its called Mr T on here!
    • septemberblues
    • By septemberblues 8th Jan 09, 12:19 PM
    • 825 Posts
    • 3,456 Thanks
    Hi everybody, hope you are all well. As you can see I have spent most of my grocery money , but I have full cupboards and a packed freezer so hopefully will be ok, usually I eat badly but this month I am trying to eat nutritiously and healthily (I finished off the Xmas goodies yesterday). I'm having plenty of no spend days, I actually don't have any money, but if I go into town for a wander I find "bargains" that I can't afford. So I'm staying at home instead.................and putting the heating on more often , so either way I can't win!!

    But heyho, good luck on the Grocery Challenges, I have not managed to succeed yet
    KEEP CALM AND keep taking the tablets
  • justpeyton4now
    Actual spend is already over my £100 budget. I think I was being very unrealistic considering it is a 6 week month for us. Add to that I had used nearly everything in my cupboards right down to no beans, tomatoes or veg left. And our poor freezer was depressingly bare. Oh well, lesson learned.

    This will still give me a good clue as to what I need to budget for in February. Keeping my receipts for all spends and will be looking for ways to cut back. The good part is that I think other than some fresh fruit and veg for the rest of the month, we're set grocery wise.

    I should also have a lot of the basic pantry foods for next month. So I'll keep watching and learning.

    Peyton xxx
    Take the first step.
    Even if you cannot see the whole staircase,
    Just take the first step.
    ~MLK, Jr~
    Stifado - Beef Stew With Tiny Onions Recipe

    they recipe says it will serve 5-6 ... but as we know -1kg meat will do more -plus its rich so you don't need loads
    you can also make it with rabbit/hare or veal - I can vouch for all 3
    1. 1kg (2.2LB) Chuck or shin beef
    2. 3-4tbs flour
    3. 1/2 cup olive oil
    4. 1/2 cup red wine
    5. 2 cloves garlic -bashed
    6. bay leaves
    7. 3 cups hot water
    8. 1kg (2.2lb) baby onions -peeled
    9. 2-3 pieces cinnamon
    10. 2-3 cloves
    11. 1tbs tomato puree mixed with 1/2 cup hot water
    12. salt + pepper
    • cut the beef into big cubes
    • mix the flour with the salt and pepper -and toss the beef in to coat
    • heat the oil , add the meat in and brown slightly
    • add the wine, garlic and bay leaves and 3 cups of hot water -cover and simmer until the meat is tender
    • add the onions, tomato puree, cinnamon and cloves -(you can tie the cloves and cinnamon in a piece of muslin to save trying to find them later ) simmer for 1hr
    you can make it cheaper by using less oil and by using normal onions -peel them and cut into 1/4s with a bit of the root end on so they don't drop to pieces
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    I fancy making a quiche, the recipe I have seen says it needs cream, can it be done with out the cream? sorry for such a short post
    Originally posted by fallen angel shelley
    Hi there fallen angel, yes you can. I don`t stick to a recipe, I make my own up as I go along(like to mess about and experiment). I made a quiche the other day without any cream and turned out fine. HTH
    By the way I`ve also used plain yoghurt (HM) instead of cream before.

    MrsM the stifado recipe sounds delish, will have to give this a go tomorrow. Only paper today, so have updated sig.
    Last edited by SAVVYMUMMY; 08-01-2009 at 12:56 PM.
    Grocery Challenge 2013: July week 1 £90/£87.41
    week 2 £90.00/£118.38 week 3 £90/£60.54week4 £90/£79.90 week5 £45/£00
    End of mortgage april 2030
    Mortgage overpayment from june 2013 aiming for £400 a month: £451
    Emergency fund 2013 from june £70
  • mummysaver
    Just in case anyone needs to stock up on basmati rice, Mr T's has 5kg bags for £4.99, they have a flash on them saying special offer, and were next to the normal 5kg bags priced at £9.99! Great price as Asda's smart price stuff is 97p a kilo!

    Also Cathedral City cheese is £2.00 for 400g - fab, as we get through a LOT of cheese in this house!

    Whilst I'm not officially doing the GC any more, I am still getting loads of tips and inspiration from this thread when I pop in, so thanks to everyone! I am keeping a record of my spending and it's amazing how much less I'm now spending since I started!
  • princess leia
    £4.50 for me today in Mr M's, I was a very good girl and only bought what I really needed......milk, bananas, apples and value choc mousses for kids

    Edit: I always make quiche with milk and it is fine! Feel like making a few now too!

    Just making hm apple sauce to go with pork loin steaks mash and veg for tea yummy!
    Last edited by princess leia; 08-01-2009 at 1:11 PM.
    Sealed pot Member target £200 - No. 151
    GC Yearly £3k so far £1097 May£220/£300
    £1k in 100 days so far - £235
    Snowball debt free calculator says DEC 09 - lets hope we can do it!

  • yummymummy05
    Went to Mr T's today and gone a bit mad as you can see! but i do now have nappies, wipes and formula for the rest of the month!! Forgot my list though and gave in to the munchies and bought sausage rolls for my lunch! I did get a good bargain though - their 4pack of dips ( not the value one but the next one up!) was reduced to 50p from £2 and their creamy coleslaw was 17p instead of 66p so I was quite chuffed!
    wk1 £0/£100 NSD's 0/7
    Total £0/400
    • mrssnowy
    • By mrssnowy 8th Jan 09, 2:03 PM
    • 402 Posts
    • 5,884 Thanks
    Must admit I felt a bit 'uncomfortable' about something on another thread somewhere. It was about people buying things when they are BOGOF etc etc - one person was saying how they bought (what seemed to me) to be huge amounts of stuff. I can't help thinking oh god that's so greedy. Talked to OH & he says I have unclear vision of modern life! I agree wholeheartedly re keeping a 'larder' of things, but just seems to me that some people are so greedy?? (Please don't shoot me down - I'm not talking about anyone on here - it was an observation).
    Originally posted by mouseymousey99
    Interesting observation mouseymousey,but peoples circumstances differ so much.I work and am carer for my husband,we live 11 miles from nearest supermarket(do have a local Spar,at a price)if I didn't take advantage of offers when I shopped and kept my storecupboard stocked we could be in queer street quite soon,also I wouldn't have time for anything else.So because I am fairly organised I only have to do a supermarket shop every 3 weeks,saving petrol in the process.
    Am I greedy or 'green'?
    You can't stay young for ever,but you can be immature for the rest of your life.
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 8th Jan 09, 2:14 PM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    i regularly feed 6 - 3 of ours still at home and daughters bf is always here at meal times. so bogofs on things i use are a godsend. i wouldnt buy things i dont use but if there is a long enough date on offers i try to stock up if i can afford to.

    almost managed a NSD yesterday just needed a pack of mushrooms to add some to the veggie lasagne i did for last nights tea.

    got to buy milk today as i only have enough left for one cup of tea .

    was doing hm pizza for tonight but only enough cheese left for tomorrows pack up so going to have a shifty in the freezer and see what ive got the makings of.
    SPC~12 ot 124

    In a world that has decided that it's going to lose its mind, be more kind my friend, try to Be More Kind
    • mrssnowy
    • By mrssnowy 8th Jan 09, 2:19 PM
    • 402 Posts
    • 5,884 Thanks
    Local mobile butcher just rolled up and I spent £8.98.

    Three big chicken breasts (2.99)
    Three thick pork steaks in maple syrup marinade (2.99)
    1lb pork and leek sausages (8) (2.99)

    There's enough there for 7 meals (possibly 8 at a squeak) and I still have meat in the freezer. Think I paid too much for the sausages though - impulse buy goes wrong as usual.

    Total for the month so far is £75.09. £24.91 left.
    Originally posted by Steel
    Re the sausages,if there were 8 in 1lb then they must be heftyish ones therefore if you have 2 for a meal then not bad unit price IYSWIM
    How to justify the cost etc!
    You can't stay young for ever,but you can be immature for the rest of your life.
  • Steel
    Re the sausages,if there were 8 in 1lb then they must be heftyish ones therefore if you have 2 for a meal then not bad unit price IYSWIM
    How to justify the cost etc!
    Originally posted by mrssnowy
    I've been trying to do that for the last two days, but it's no good! They were expensive considering I never usually pay more than about £1.60 for 8 in Mr Ts.

    Just found out hubbie bought some cornish pasties for the next four days at work (£1.64), a canteen sandwich for a bit of a change (£1.64) and a bag of sweets (£1). So that's £4.28 on next to nothing. Grrrr.
    "carpe that diem"
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