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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 58
  • gillst
    Had a nsd today and yesterday so my remaining £11.60 stays in tact. Had roast chicken, roast potatoes, carrots and cabbage yesterday, followed by hm apple crumble, using apples in the freezer from our own tree, and custard. Used ready made custard, because my last three attempts at making custard went terribly wrong, and everyone has made me promise not to make custard again - don't blame them really, it was horrible! Also made some banana muffins using three very ripe bananas,that in days gone by would have ended up in the bin, and also made some bread in the bm.
    Today we had gammon steaks, mash, cauliflower, peas and cheese sauce, followed by the remains of the apple crumble. Have boiled up the chicken carcus and will use the stock in a chicken casserole planned for tomorrow, which I will cook in the sc whilst I am out at work. Will have a bit longer than usual in the morning to get this going as I have a physio appointment to assist with the pain I am still experiencing following a car accident back in October, and will go into work after that.
    Not sure I am going to make it to the end of the month with only the £11 odd left to spend as we are going to need some fruit and veg and only have 1 egg left, but I don't think we will go over the budget too badly. Heres hoping anyway.
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 12th Jan 09, 8:31 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    Flat Eric -Well a couple of months ago I did declare I was going to do a fortnightly Asda shop. However-since then I have found so many bargains elsewhere that Ive decided yet again to ditch that idea and accept that I actually enjoy trailing around the shops looking for bargains!
    So my recommendation,especialy for the moment with stuff going to waste and overspending is to pop out daily/when you need something but to take a list and a limited amount of cash only.
    When things have sttled down and you know what you need you can always review this. Sometimes its hard to preplan the shopping and ordering online you also sometimes pay more and dont get any whoopsies.(whoopsies-reduced items with stickers-usually yellow)
    gillst-you are doing well-keep at it!
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
  • Tracey.32
    Had a nsd today and yesterday so my remaining £11.60 stays in tact. Had roast chicken, roast potatoes, carrots and cabbage yesterday, followed by hm apple crumble, using apples in the freezer from our own tree, and custard. Used ready made custard, because my last three attempts at making custard went terribly wrong, and everyone has made me promise not to make custard again - don't blame them really, it was horrible!
    Originally posted by gillst
    On Friday I got a tin of Mr Ts value custard for 25p. You can tell it's not luxury custard but honestly it wasn't bad at all. Oh, and congratulations on your star!!!
    Grocery challenge: Jun£134.15/£120; Jul £60.90/£120
  • Penny-Pincher!!
    Still not spent any money on food but have given OH £40 to fill the tank up with diesel and get half a dozen FR Eggs tomorrow.

    To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,
    requires brains!

  • elizabunny
    Ive got hock in my freezer I believe-what did you do with it/how did you do it in the slowcooker? Could you tell me please
    Originally posted by angelatgraceland
    Hi angelatgraceland. -First I soaked the hock overnight in cold water overnight. Then this morning I put the hock in the slo-cooker (threw all soaking water away)
    To this I added:-
    About 1 pint Ginger Ale (Leftover from Xmas)
    Half pint Water
    Juice of half a Lemon
    Rind of Half a Lemon
    A fine grating of Ginger
    12 small Potatoes
    2 Sticks Celery
    2 Carrots
    Quarter of Swede
    1 Yellow Pepper
    2 med. Onions
    1 Clove of Garlic
    1 Tsp Marjoram
    Grinding of Black Pepper

    I switched this on at 10am this morning on the high setting and we ate it at around 7pm tonight (My cooker is extra slo because it's from the 1980s)

    Also, I did thicken the juices slightly. tasted lovely, quite sweet, but somehow it seemed right. I didn't use any salt at all, just pepper to season to taste. DH liked it and he's quite fussy, so we're definately having it again. There's enough ham left for another day too

    Hope this helps.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
  • TheBees
    Ended up doing an online shop with MrT on Friday night as the weekend was going to be busy. Ended up spending £123 . But I've mealed planned for two weeks and that included lots of packed lunch things, loo rolls, cat food and toiletries. (thank you to whoever suggested kitekat - George loves it!) Also bought a "happy chicken" from the local farm shop and a load of seed and nuts from Julia Graves totalling an extra £20.
    So we now have £104 left to the end of the month.

    I bought the largest chicken I could afford and saved a load of meat for a pie later this week. Unfortunately I forgot to boil up the carcass for stock which I would normally use in a rissotto.

    I too find it difficult to stay away from the shops but this month I've set myself a little challenge. Our nearerst city is over 20 miles away and I often go for a wander round the city centre shops on a weekend when I don't really need anything and end up spending money on things I could do without. I like to look in clothes shops, shoe shops, department stores etc. So my challenge for myself is to stay away from the city until half term. If I do need something I can probably get it locally or online if it's urgent. I will fill my Saturday with a long run (training for a half marathon) and some "me" time!
    Last edited by TheBees; 12-01-2009 at 9:06 PM. Reason: Added
    Mortgage Free in 3 part 2 challenge - pay off £9000
    Sealed Pot Challenge 416 - target £500
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 12th Jan 09, 9:20 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    elizabunny-thanks for that! Did you take the fat and skin off first?
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
  • elizabunny
    Someone slap me!!!!! I've spent another £12.79 in mrA's today. I did get myself some bargains, but i'm now left with £6 to last me the month
    Somehow i cant see me staying on target this month:rolleyes:. Saying that i really should only need milk and maybe fruit (have plenty of veg in freezer) so i hopefully wont go too much over budget (famous last words)
    Originally posted by nickynoo08
    Slap me too....don't know what's wrong with me:confused: I spent another £9.98p today and I only wanted milk and T Rolls:confused:
    Ended up with
    4 Litres Milk
    8 T Rolls
    Porridge Oats
    Split Peas
    4 Cartons of Brandy Sauce (GREATLYReduced) ...yes I know that's not an excuse (kept telling myself it will taste nice on some pudding or other and it did have a 2010 sell by date)
    Big Lump of Cheese
    4 Croissants(GREATLY reduced) excuses
    Pkt of Noodles (Half price)
    Pkt of ground coffee (reduced)

    Oooooooooooh I really do have to get myself under control.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
  • orchid-96
    Elizabunny - you did do well for your 9.98 though didn't you.....better than my 12.85 spent on bits and bobs from the indian takeaway last night to add to our leftovers It was nice though.....

    BTW to the Frank Spencer comment re 'whoopsie' I remember that well......(showing my age now!)

    Also - what is 'Hock' sory if I have missed it somewhere, But I thought it was a nasty sweet german wine!
    Jun GC £250.00/£12.40 NSD 3 / 30

    January 200/198.91 February 200/239.28 March 200/230
    April 250/no idea May 250/265.95

    Sealed pot challenge number 648
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 12th Jan 09, 9:48 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    Hock as in pork in this instance. But it is a German wine too!
    Frank Spencer-yes as soon as I saw "whoopsie" on here-I could hear Frank saying it to Betty!
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
  • elizabunny
    elizabunny-thanks for that! Did you take the fat and skin off first?
    Originally posted by angelatgraceland
    No I left it on and it just fell off when it was cooked. The same with the bones, the ham just fell off them. It was all so easy.

    Orchid-96, Thank you I feel better already!! I always think of a hock as the end bit of the leg (a pig). Sorry not a very technical answer and not quite sure if I'm correct I'm sure someone knows better.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
  • hannamint
    never been into the woopsie section at asda till i came on here, ended up spending far too much today.. almost as much as i would on a weekly shop. Did buy some useful things.. but mostly not.... hehe ah well..
  • clutterydrawer
    I would be interested to know how you go about your food shopping (do you home delivery/go to the supermarket etc) because despite having a fridge/freezer/cupboard full of food, Im still spending unnecessarily.
    Originally posted by Flat Eric
    I have trouble getting to the shops cos i live in the middle of nowhere with no car and few buses.

    I usually get the (only) bus into town every second saturday for cupboard gooods, milk and bread some of which is to freeze, and veg....then top up veg midweek at the co op near my work

    I'm thinking about switching to getting a delivery on my day off though for ease of carrying.
    August grocery challenge: £50
    Spent so far: £37.40
    • belfastgirl23
    • By belfastgirl23 12th Jan 09, 10:18 PM
    • 7,768 Posts
    • 15,635 Thanks
    Hi everyone

    Well I have managed over a week with no spend (last spend was an asda delivery on 3rd Jan). However I can't really congratulate myself on this - DH has been away for a week already and he's due back on Friday - and unfortunately I have fallen into the beans on toast or takeout trap. I'm normally good about stuff like this and have always felt it's worth the effort to cook for one but somehow this time it doesn't feel like it.

    Anyway it has done my GC budget no end of good but has eaten into my leisure spends money quite badly so still on around £51 spent out of £120. I do need to do a lidl shop though, running out of tinned tomatos and oatcakes finally...

    Hope everyone else is doing ok...
    Last edited by belfastgirl23; 12-01-2009 at 10:21 PM.

  • Rachel021967
    I had 3 NSD in a row. Had the urge for a Diet Coke so I went to the supermarket and spent:

    Grapes £4.33
    Nectarines £1.69
    Diet coke £0.99

    I gave half the grapes to nursery and the other half for the family. I have to buy soft fruit as my daughter has a brace. I'll have to find cheaper soft fruit and not be so extravagant.

    So this leaves me with £96.77 for the month.
  • Angelwings
    Hi all,
    It's been a few days since I last posted. Really pleased with myself - got £140 worth of whoopsies for £23 at Mr S's. Loads of fruit and veg and meat n fish too. Splashed out on reduced boxes of biscuits and sweets - £4ish for £1 - kids were happy and OH too. Method in this was it's cheaper than sweets from the corner shop.
    Had for tea tonight
    Large Steak pie 45p
    Baby potatoes 20p
    Corn on the Cob 20p
    Cheesecake 60p
    Which comfortabley fed 2 females and 2 male horses'

    Spent £88 so far and have now got less than £112 left for the rest of the month. Freezer is full - had to use mum's freezer too and fridge well packed as well as cupboards.
    • dreamingofmoney
    • By dreamingofmoney 13th Jan 09, 7:40 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,760 Thanks
    Well another NSD day, Very proud of myself, think i am cracking this grocery challenge, only need to buy a large chicken breast today from local butchers, so apart from about £1.50, think today will be a not quite NSD, so well done me.
    Paying back 1% at a time 85% of total debt paid off.
    No. 82 PAYDBX19 £7704.90/£13000 of debt paid from this years goal 59.3%
    Hfax loan, Bcard £938/£5852.06 16% Lloyd’s £451.52/£592.99 76.1%
    Debt free date Mar 2020.
    • kalojac
    • By kalojac 13th Jan 09, 8:11 AM
    • 422 Posts
    • 5,363 Thanks
    I am doing quite well bought some meat at the weekend and updated my signature accordingly. Will need to get 1lb of mince today from butchers so will add another £2.50ish when I get back.
    • gailey
    • By gailey 13th Jan 09, 9:06 AM
    • 2,303 Posts
    • 17,249 Thanks
    Right update from me

    you may rememebr we wre running very low and i was doing some ingeneious meal planning to see us through until oh payday on thursday.
    However oh gone and screwed us up because we had nothing he fancied!
    He had £5to go to shops and get basic breadmilk and coffee told him go sainsburys or morrisions.
    What does he do come shome with nothing! it gets worse
    hes got hd from iceland min spend £25! so wheres he got £25 from turns out his mum gave him somone money so hes cheated I was so mad!
    also he dident have sense to bring coffee home so coudkent ahve hot cuppa for few hours! Then you think can it get any worse!?
    i check his coat pocket for recipt turns out hsi mam gave him £50 not £20 and its not like we starving! Also hes spent

    £41 on 25 items!

    most of which are junk
    admittidly he got soem squash in there which was good value at £2 for 2liters however £2.89 for cofee when sainburys gold £1 something!
    he brought 2 bottles fizzy pop!
    2frozen pizzas one of which cost £3 even fesh sainsbury pizza on offer at £1.59 and he knew that yet spent 3quid on frozen chicago town!
    5 ready emals pointless as they like snack for him he still hungry afterwards
    another bag of chips despite us buying a bag day before in lidls which hes not keen on look of.
    big bag or walkers crips

    I think on sensible purchase was bread
    milk 6p
    yogurts and butter bogoff!

    Was so disapointed and angry! wa slooking foward to thur.
    I keep telling him iceland is priceya dn only buy certain things in there feel hes wasted part of our budget now ehen thur comes we got les sto spend due to his negligance and may even go over budget our challange will be much harder as i cant amke meals from junk and convienaince food!

    pad by xmas2010 £14,636.65/£20,000:
    Pay off as much as I can 2011 £15008.02/£15,000

    new grocery challenge £200/£250 feb

    KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON,Onwards and upward2013
  • mags50
    Hi all

    MrsM...would you mind putting me down for the yearly spend as well...instead of the monthly..pretty please
    Like some of the others, I buy when things are on offer and then might not buy for ages! so it doesn't really give a true account every month iykwim

    If you could put me down for £3000 for the year, that would be great. It's still £250 per month, but feel sure this would be a better way of doing the challenge for me. Then, hopefully, I shall be well prepared for Chistmas

    Thanks everso

    p.s. everyone's doing really really well
    A family that eats together, stays together

    NSD 50/365
    GC JAN £259.63/£400 FEB £346.41/£350.00 MAR £212.57/£300 APR £1/£250
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