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  • FIRST POST
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 26th Dec 08, 11:15 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    Pink.
    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 competition....it'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.

    Pink
    Last edited by Pink.; 28-12-2008 at 12:18 PM.
Page 65
    • Maisie M
    • By Maisie M 14th Jan 09, 9:04 PM
    • 1,520 Posts
    • 14,553 Thanks
    Maisie M
    10.89 for me at Mr T's today. Only 27.26 to last me to the end of the month I will give it my best but wont be too upset if I go over by 10-20 as its my first try.

    • indebted
    • By indebted 14th Jan 09, 9:08 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 145 Thanks
    indebted
    Flapjack
    I know this is probably easy to find on here, but does anyone have any really quick and easy recipes for muffins/buns or flapjacks or could anyone point me in the right direction.... I really want to do more home cooking for this type of thing as the shop bought stuff just doesn't seem all that nice/substantial....
    !
    Originally posted by orchid-96
    Hope its ok to post a recipe here.
    I'm certainly no great chef but this Flapjack works everytime for my greedy bunch...and their friends and is really easy to make.

    500g Porridge Oats, 175g sugar (demerara or granulated both work fine so whichever you have), 210g Marg or Butter & 6tbsp golden syrup
    Preheat oven to 200 Degrees C

    Heat Sugar, Butter & Syrup in Large Pan gently until all melted together. Mix in Oats. Spread in baking Tray and bake for 15mins. Leave to cool slightly before cutting and turn onto cooling rack, or a Bread Board works just as well.
    Not been on for a while but need to get finances in order

    DH, DS 28, DD 23 just come back home, Frodo & Morgan
  • orchid-96
    Several muffins recipes on the Grocery Challenge thread recipe list which is updated whenever a recipe is posted here, and you might find something of use in the Complete Cooking Collection.
    Originally posted by rosieben

    Thanks a lot for that rosieben , I can't believeI didn't know about the thread recipe list and indebted you too I am going to try those flapjacks tomorrow.....Thanks you lot are fab
    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
  • mummy2mygirls
    oh i might give them flapjacks a go tomorrow aswell.......thank you
    GC: Nov: 60.22/450 Oct: 338.48/450, July: 363.05/450, June 447.98/500
    2 savers No68: 104/100

    mummy to: 8yr, 5yr, 3yr, 2yr, 1yr. No6 Due Mar 2013 My world.
  • kunekune
    Spent the grand total of ...

    ONE POUND today.

    Well, that's provided you ignore the 75 for a dental checkup! And I will, cos that's not in the food budget.

    Had a strange thing though: OH has had a chat with the bank manager about whether we can get a mortgage, and came out with pre-approval of 295K. There is no way, of course, we want that much or could afford to pay it off. THe manager was quite happy when he said "er, we're thinking of something more like 135K", and said that she has two types of customer. Some thinkt he figure's too low and others are like us, and jump back in horror of what that would mean. But anyhow, maybe a house is closer than I thought it would be (most of the 'approved' loan is at 1.5%, with no fees, penalties, etc etc).
    Mortgage started on 22.5.09 : 129,600
    Overpayments to date: 3000
    June grocery challenge: 400/600
  • SAV3R
    Just Popping in quickly to update my sig as we are half way through Jan.

    Have kept reading the threads to keep the inspiration giong.

    Doing OK so far exactly half way through this months budget usually spent more by now. Would be less but paid a visit to farm foods last weekend - don't go very often, found quite a few things cheaper than supermarkets.

    Been to Mr M's tonight, not too many useful offers for us this week. I see the prices are still rising rapidly 17p on a jar of beetroot, bread flour from 59p to 75p, no value apple juice and cucumber at 94p. I was not a happy shopper.

    While paacking away I found a packet batter mix, best before Nov 2008, just wondering if it will keep till pancake day, considering using it for toad in the hole. Never had this but keep seeing it mentioned on here and fancy it.
  • Rachel021967
    Just had a shop from Mr. T. that came to 42.24 plus gingerbread man from the park (tomorrow it will be homemade chocolate cake). So thats a total spend of 42.86. So that leaves 34.46 to last the month. I think I will be going 40 over. However, I think I shot myself in the foot by not buy husbands favourite yoghurt as it's not on offer. He might go out and buy some plus other goodies as well which will totally blow my budget.
    From Mr. T. I bought:
    Frozen mixed peppers.
    1kg of sunflower spread
    1.5kg of cheddar
    Thomas the Tank fromage frais
    Value yoghurts, 5 Cherry and 5 toffee mullerlight yoghurts
    Value Bacon
    Tofu
    Value white bread, 2 Wholemeal bread
    Value apples. 2 packs of clementines, 1.1kg of bananas
    6 salad tomatoes
    Butternut squash, value onions, 2 packs of value carrots
    2 boxs of a dozen eggs
    6 tins of tuna in brine
    7 value chicken noodles
    4 tubes of tomato puree
    10 1l orange juices

    Anybody know how I can cut back further?

    Rachel.
    • savingholmes
    • By savingholmes 14th Jan 09, 11:00 PM
    • 8,955 Posts
    • 17,071 Thanks
    savingholmes
    Hi tonight I spent 39.12 - much better than last week. I still bought hazelnuts (3), choc ices (1) but that was about the extent of my naughtiness so pretty good for me. Loads of bread in the freezer and bought loads of milk so hopefully that should last me a week...
    Today is a new day 93/310 10 a day Mar Challenge DFD August 2021
  • rosieben
    Hope its ok to post a recipe here. ....
    Originally posted by indebted
    Yes, recipes are very welcome here and they get listed in the Grocery Challenge thread recipe list - just added your recipe
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • LittleAnna
    Help
    Are whoopsies things that have been reduced? Soz if someone answered and I did not see it Also why do you tell Mrs M what your yearly budget is?Does it get recorded some where if I try for the 4000 a year is that divided by 12 whether it is a 4 or 5 week month.Sozto ask so many questions new at all this
    I believe.......
    Feb Grocery 300 - 14.50 = 285.50
  • JayJay14
    To answer your questions, yes woopsies are reduced items and we tell MrsM our monthly targets as this is a monthly thread but some of our contributers (including MrsM) are posting an annual target so they can make better use of bulk buying.

    The targets are posted at the beginning of the thread each month, which is started by Pink Winged on 28th. Some people are also taking part in another challenge on another board which is where the 4000 figure comes from.

    If you want to join the next challenge in Feb just post your target in red so MrsM can see it easily, you'll see us all start to do that soon.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by JayJay14; 15-01-2009 at 6:34 AM.
    • cw18
    • By cw18 15th Jan 09, 6:42 AM
    • 8,051 Posts
    • 86,001 Thanks
    cw18
    Q for folks about portion sizing -- I guess this comes under GC as it clearly impacts what we spend on food

    Last night I made a huuuuuge batch of (stewing) steak, kidney and mushroom. I used about 820g of stewing steak, 470g of kidneys, and 300g of mushrooms. I also added in a mega-large onion (equivalent to at least 2, but probably 3, of the onions in the Mr T value bags/A!di 6 offer types) plus a bit of tomato puree, some mixed herbs and a touch of garlic.

    I know how many portions I'd have got from this several years ago (when I was feeding 5, but the boys weren't teenagers) and I got more than that from it -- but wondered how many portions others would get from it to see if I'm running 'about the norm'.

    I don't turn it into pies, though I sometimes cook pastry disks to go with it, but I serve it with a mountain of mash, and a good quantity of veg (yesterday was carrots and brocolli for DS, and those plus sprouts for me).

    The rest I made into 'freezer blocks' in individual portions -- DS isn't overly impressed with this meal but likes curry which I don't eat, so I will happily use a portion of this with a jacket spud and some veg for me when he has curry.


    (And I've intentionally not mentioned how many portions I used to make/made last night, as I'm interested in unbiased verdicts :rolleyes2 )
    Cheryl
    • procrastinator
    • By procrastinator 15th Jan 09, 6:55 AM
    • 566 Posts
    • 7,018 Thanks
    procrastinator
    Hi
    Spent 36p in Mr A last night, celery, pint of milk and 2 small baggettes, all whoopsies of course. 3.36 in Mr T, 500g cottage cheese, 8 apples,brown rolls for freezer 10p, wholemeal for OH sandwiches, french bread for DD lunch, she portions it up and freezes straight away so no waste. Tues bought some of Aldi's bargain veg spent 2.55. Will update sig.
    WL 11 st 5lb as at 050109. 160209 11st 2lb
    11st 5lb as at 20.04.09 11st 7lbs 040509 11st6 010609 I wish 2016 175 lbs.
    Family of 3 at home - , DS 22, self and OH
  • Allegra
    CW18 - in answer to your question, I am a bit useless at working out what amount of food I would get simply from the weight of food involved (especially since I tend to just chuck random stuff in and then forget all about it when it all slow-cooks down) - but of it helps, I freeze food in empty 500g margarine tubs (leaving about 1/2 inch empty at the top) - this, when thawed and reheated, will do for a meal for me and t'other half - so, it makes two portions. We will have this with half a cup of rice per person (dried weight), 125g pasta per person (dried weight), or two medium potatoes per person.

    Incidentally, it's good to see you about again - I was getting a bit worried about you as I hadn't seen you on here for a while - but again, I hadn't been on that much myself as real life has been too exhausting to even contemplate cyberspace lately...

    My month is, once again, seemigly going down the pan. It's all very well having all our main meals in freezer/storecupboard at the start of the month, but DD (aged very nearly 12) is a one-child budget-busting machine despite all my best intentions. She has a rather fraught relationship with foo, and getting her to eat at all, let alone eat healthily, is a nightmare at best of times - twice as bad when trying to watch pennies. This weekend saw us making an emergency food shopping just for drinks and fruit for her lunchbox, as she had gone off water and would not drink at all if water was all that was on offer, and all the fruit we had at home - Granny Smith apples and clementines, which is all she would eat by way of fruit and veg for the last few months - "tasted funny".

    So, that was grape juice at 98p that got half-drunk then discarded as "too sweet", apple juice at 57p which is still deemed acceptable at home, but not in a drinks bottle to take to school, 2 punnets of grapes for 3 which started to "taste funny" halfway down the first punnet and have therefore been rejected, and 2 snack-size boxes of chopped mixed fruit for a 1 which eventually got eaten just before going off, albeit rather grudgingly.

    I gotta add here that she has special needs that mean that "tough love" when it comes to food will result in complete rejection of all that' on offer and result in serious behavioural problems, so I am not just indulging her insanely and making the rod for my own back through my own stupidity... Honestly, if the sane approach (which has been tried and failed unil we finally realised that with her it's not a case of "won't", but genuinely a case of "can't") worked, I'd happily be a mean mother and make her eat the same muck we are pigging out on !
  • WelshWoofer
    Morning!
    Well, I've done my meal plan for next week (I tend to work Sunday - Friday with Saturday as an anything goes/eat out/takeaway day) and by my reckoning I only need a few fresh things like cheese, milk, crisps, bread, dog food and fruit. I'm hoping that it'll come in at less than 15 at Mr Ts - I have a 10 giftcard that I'll use towards the cost. We have plenty of toiletries except shower gel and enough cleaning stuff/washing powder etc to last until the end of the month except maybe polish.

    I also got paid today and am trying to work out my budget for the coming pay month - there's nothing big planned this month apart from a quick trip home to Wales next weekend to collect my mum's new surprise puppy for my dad and deliver it to them - can't wait! Another little bichon frise in the family! They're gorgeous at that age too!! It means about 50 in petrol (if not more) - at least that's two days food that we can forget about (mum will cater for us!)

    Other than that there's no big plans so hopefully it'll be a frugal month and I can put some cash aside to make extra payments off my debts

    February is a lovely short 4 week month - it'll be a big relief after the never ending Dec/Jan pay month!

    Will update my sig after the spending on Saturday - good luck to everyone!
    Last edited by WelshWoofer; 15-01-2009 at 8:53 AM.
    January grocery spending - 82.73/ 120
  • yummymummy05
    Just had a shop from Mr. T. that came to 42.24 plus gingerbread man from the park (tomorrow it will be homemade chocolate cake). So thats a total spend of 42.86. So that leaves 34.46 to last the month. I think I will be going 40 over. However, I think I shot myself in the foot by not buy husbands favourite yoghurt as it's not on offer. He might go out and buy some plus other goodies as well which will totally blow my budget.
    From Mr. T. I bought:
    Frozen mixed peppers.
    1kg of sunflower spread
    1.5kg of cheddar
    Thomas the Tank fromage frais
    Value yoghurts, 5 Cherry and 5 toffee mullerlight yoghurts
    Value Bacon
    Tofu
    Value white bread, 2 Wholemeal bread
    Value apples. 2 packs of clementines, 1.1kg of bananas
    6 salad tomatoes
    Butternut squash, value onions, 2 packs of value carrots
    2 boxs of a dozen eggs
    6 tins of tuna in brine
    7 value chicken noodles
    4 tubes of tomato puree
    10 1l orange juices

    Anybody know how I can cut back further?

    Rachel.
    Originally posted by Rachel021967
    It all sounds pretty reasonable to me - the only thing I would do away with on a regular basis would be the thomas fromage frais - I told my ds that I couldn't find them anymore but he could have the rainbow ones (sfield own @ 56p) although they're 6p more than the value at Mr T's they're much nicer! Can you get eggs anywhere else as I also find supermarket eggs expensive?!

    But I would like to say a big thank you I've just noticed you can get frozen mixd peppers much cheaper than fresh and that will save me a fortune because I use 2 peppers in a curry/bolognase etc. so i buy the 3 pack but never end up using the 3rd one!!!

    ds well enough to go back to nursery today but dd hardly slept last night so I'm pigging out on chocolates that my nan had stashed from xmas 07!!! Still taste fine and were free!!

    Had to get 4pt milk and some whoopsie bread for stuffing this weekend so spent 2.03 - have updated my signature!
    FebGC
    wk1 0/100 NSD's 0/7
    wk2
    wk3
    wk4
    Total 0/400
  • jtb2412
    Allegra - I have exactly the same trouble with my DD2 as you do. She will not eat any of the 'frugal' meals that I prepare and it makes my life so difficult. She will eat jacket potatoes, sausages, peas, carrots, chicken nuggets :rolleyes: , spag bol (at a push) and a roast dinner but that is about it. Will no try anything new no matter how hard we push, ask, beg, plead and bribe (she's 11). The only fruit she eats are apples and maybe the odd banana. I too get the 'tastes funny' response sometimes too, even if it's the same brand, made in exactly the same way :confused:

    She was never like this as a small child and ate everything going. I can't for the life of me figure out why she won't even try anything new ! My other two are great eaters, will always eat whatever is put in front of them and they even love sprouts !

    I've had to learn to live with it as I've figured there's not point in making a big issue of it and she'll just try new things in her own good time. It does make life difficult and I do have to cook separate things for her but personally I'd rather do that than let her go hungry (and believe me she would rather not eat than have the things we do, stubborn little monkey !)

    I think the way you're dealing with it is the best way. Tough love can be good but if it means they have a poor relationship with food then I think we have to just learn to get on with it :rolleyes:

    If you find anything that works, then please feel free to let me in on the secret !

    Should be a NSD here today

    Have a happy Thursday everyone ! xx

    Curlytop - I apologise for not writing sooner, really sorry to hear of your loss. Hugs for you xx
    Last edited by jtb2412; 15-01-2009 at 9:26 AM.
    Weight loss to date 1st 11.5lb
    • sashanut
    • By sashanut 15th Jan 09, 9:37 AM
    • 3,120 Posts
    • 29,527 Thanks
    sashanut
    A NSD on food for me yesterday - a rare thing since they re-opened the staff shop at work! Freezers are busting at the seams but I think I am better keeping on buying things as I may not have the chance after the end of the month. Once I know whether or not they will be keeping me on after end Jan I can be a bit more selective, hope they tell me soon so I don't blow the budget this month

    Oh & after getting an email from Mr T's giving me a free 40 shop for buying a new w/m from them - they emailed me telling me they had 'made a mistake!?' & had cancelled the code; however they very kindly offered me a half-price delivery slot instead .....worth approx 2.50 Needless to say I haven't bothered.

    Updated sig, do need milk & cat food so might have to go tomorrow but keeping out of the shops if at all possible. Have to work later on but don't think I will get into the staff shop as store closes after I finish, no bad thing actually. Good luck to all & even if you come in over budget, at least you are thinking about what you buy & the reason for it, rather than chucking it in willy-nilly. I used to do that & then wonder what to make for tea with what I had:confused:
    New start JAN15 - NOT BUYING IT 2015 . Long haul DFW #145 : 2011 DEBTBUSTING : 5500 OD GONE, 2000 OD - GONE 93,610.30 cc & loan debt - GONE 27.6.14 FINALLY DEBT & MORTGAGE FREE
  • elizabunny
    Q for folks about portion sizing -- I guess this comes under GC as it clearly impacts what we spend on food

    Last night I made a huuuuuge batch of (stewing) steak, kidney and mushroom. I used about 820g of stewing steak, 470g of kidneys, and 300g of mushrooms. I also added in a mega-large onion (equivalent to at least 2, but probably 3, of the onions in the Mr T value bags/A!di 6 offer types) plus a bit of tomato puree, some mixed herbs and a touch of garlic.

    I know how many portions I'd have got from this several years ago (when I was feeding 5, but the boys weren't teenagers) and I got more than that from it -- but wondered how many portions others would get from it to see if I'm running 'about the norm'.

    I don't turn it into pies, though I sometimes cook pastry disks to go with it, but I serve it with a mountain of mash, and a good quantity of veg (yesterday was carrots and brocolli for DS, and those plus sprouts for me).

    The rest I made into 'freezer blocks' in individual portions -- DS isn't overly impressed with this meal but likes curry which I don't eat, so I will happily use a portion of this with a jacket spud and some veg for me when he has curry.


    (And I've intentionally not mentioned how many portions I used to make/made last night, as I'm interested in unbiased verdicts :rolleyes2 )
    Originally posted by cw18

    Morning All!

    cw18 - I think this would probably do us for 12 adult good sized portions. As I would probably cook this with the veggies i.e carrots, swede etc., all in, I would not be adding anything else to it apart from a few potatoes. If you're adding all your extra veggies and mash after, you would probably be able to stretch the quanities you've given even further.

    Of course it does depend on individual appetite. My dear MIL would probably make this last her for a month!

    Hoping for another NSD today -that would make 3 in row and I really don't need to shop -so I'll be staying away

    Help Please! Does anyone know how I got the thumbs down sign at the top of my post-I don't think I put that there -have I done something wrong -or is someone trying to tell me something............
    Last edited by elizabunny; 15-01-2009 at 10:11 AM. Reason: Help!
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
    • searching_me
    • By searching_me 15th Jan 09, 10:15 AM
    • 18,406 Posts
    • 63,340 Thanks
    searching_me
    morning all gonna be a nsd as its my day off im not feeling great so staying on the sofa in my duvet .. about to go enter some comps see if i can win things (or money hopefully ) for bubs ... god i feel yuky x
    Still searching .....
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