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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 66
  • mummy2mygirls
    well just been to the market to get a few bits only spent £10, got fruit and veg, cheese, eggs and some ham for lunch tomorrow. Was happy as i didnt just buy things like i normally would at the market, there is a meat stall which i normally cant say no to, But was very good and just got the ham!!
    Spent quiet a bit this mth, hope i can spend less next mth i hope to spend less so i have a bit extra for when baby comes and will be needing all the extra nappies!!!!!
    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.
  • princess leia
    Elizabunny - the icon choice is below the box where you type your message so you may have clicked it without realising!


    I am going well so far, with only one big Mr T shop so far I have another £6 to add for milk and F&V and will need more for sunday too but should be a nsd tomorrow

    Good tip about using marg tubs for freezing...I am always running out of plastic tubs so thanks Allegra
    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!

  • mummy2mygirls
    Also just wanted to say a thank you for the marg tubs idea!! Hadnt even thought about it but had finished a big one this morning and was think what i could use it for.....
    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.
  • rosieben
    Elizabunny - the icon choice is below the box where you type your message so you may have clicked it without realising!
    Originally posted by princess leia
    and you can delete it, just press the edit button at the bottom of your post
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • meanmarie
    • By meanmarie 15th Jan 09, 10:52 AM
    • 5,093 Posts
    • 49,552 Thanks
    meanmarie
    Spent €4.50 on bacon this morning, will cook with bokchoi and onions for dinner this evening.

    Marie
    Weight 08 February 86kg
  • elizabunny
    princess leia and rosieben -thank you very much for that. I have now changed it. I was beginning to think someone was giving me the thumbs down for having dipped into my grocery budget so much this month. Now there's an idea to keep us all on track
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
    • cw18
    • By cw18 15th Jan 09, 11:33 AM
    • 8,052 Posts
    • 86,004 Thanks
    cw18
    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.
    Originally posted by Allegra
    Probably not so far off you then. As I was freezing in individual portions I put bags in each of 8 such marge tubs, and ended up using 7 of them (so 9 portions in total). But I didn't have space in the freezer for 7 tubs (been freezing mammoth quantities of carrots, mushrooms and bacon this last couple of weeks), so have ended up with two bags in each of 3 tubs (which would easily take the tub lids despite having two bags, so probably about the same volume of food as you'd put in), and one tub with just one. I used to use this quantity to feed 2 adults, one young teen, and two boys under 10 for just one meal


    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...
    Originally posted by Allegra
    Thanks for the concern Haven't been on this thread as much as I'd hoped for a few reasons -- been busy with GDs now they're back at school, plus still have some legal paperwork I'm fighting with (hopefully all done and dusted next week). Elder DS finally went back to barracks last Sunday, so that's made life a little quieter this week :rolleyes2 On top of that I'm having to have a major sort out ready for a new bed coming tomorrow. As a result my 'keeping accounts' has suffered a little, but I still have all my notes and receipts so hope to get my s/sheet up to date (and signature totals updated) at the weekend.

    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.
    Originally posted by elizabunny
    If I'd cooked the carrots (or peas and sweetcorn) in it like I considered, then I know for a fact DS wouldn't have eaten them -- as they'd have tasted too much of the kidney. I get away with adding veg into mince (for mince and mash) or sausage casserole or lamb stew, but that's just about it !! Would never add brocolli or cauli or sprouts into anything though (nor swede/turnip as neither of us can stand the taste or texture of them)

    According to my Dad, we only "need" 2oz of red meat a day (or 4 oz poultry or fish) in order to get our requirements from them -- so in theory what I cooked should have made around 23 portions No way I'm ever going to get it to stretch that far, but think (by using a 'level ladle' rather than a 'rounded ladle') I could possibly have managed 10 instead of the 9 I did.
    Last edited by cw18; 15-01-2009 at 11:39 AM.
    Cheryl
  • elizabunny

    If I'd cooked the carrots (or peas and sweetcorn) in it like I considered, then I know for a fact DS wouldn't have eaten them -- as they'd have tasted too much of the kidney. I get away with adding veg into mince (for mince and mash) or sausage casserole or lamb stew, but that's just about it !! Would never add brocolli or cauli or sprouts into anything though (nor swede/turnip as neither of us can stand the taste or texture of them)
    .
    Originally posted by cw18
    cw18 -I can see your point. You can only stretch things as far as the added extra's will allow you to and when I suggested 12 portions this is because I do stretch things endlessly because DH doesn't mind what I put in -within reason of course. I think over the years we have become used to less meat and I even considered for a brief time becoming a vegetarian, but I think that was just a bit too drastic for us because although we do have issues with animal welfare, we do also like meat/poultry. Sorry, getting on to a whole new subject here.

    Anyway just to update, I've just made two quiches from the leftover bacon and the frozen leftover pastry. Just cooking these now, so that will be one for tonight and one for the freezer. Trying to rebuild my freezer stocks now after the battering at Xmas.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
  • Jaycee1972
    Hiya

    Not doing so well this month with the much reduced grocery budget!

    I think 150 a month is more realistic but I look like blowing that too if I am not careful! Still I have stocked up on soap powder which was on offer and some hair care stuff (dye and serum) which I hadn't accounted for. Also baby fruit pots which my boy likes were on offer and I got extra cat food which I won't need until next month.

    Tesco have sent me codes for extra points and I have had a delivery today shared with my mum which makes my spend less. I was very good and when I had filled my trolley I went back through it saying no I don't need this or that and deleting them

    Every little helps!

    On a brighter note, I am on target for spending less fuel than planned as I had just filled up at the end of December.

    Jaycee x

  • orchid-96
    Just back from MrT's £19.30 lighter, pretty pleased that I stuck to my list today (bar a bag of value bananas but I had forgotten to put them on anyway).. It seemed very quiet in there today, which I thought was unusual as Thursdays are normally quite a busy day..

    Going to cook a chilli today for dinner and then freeze some for dinner next week, thanks for the tip about the marge tubs, I can't believe I was just throwing these in the recycling!!

    Just need to go to Aldi now tomorrow or saturday for some of their great f&v on offer and a couple of bits like vino so need to meal plan later to make sure I can keep out of the shops for as long as possible...I am aiming for several nsd's next week...

    off to update sig and cook that chilli....
    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
  • fatcattaff
    Just updated my signature for the day. Spent a whopping £54.96 at Mr S BUT in my defense, this week it's my daughter's 8th birthday, so I had to buy pizza, special bread, chocolate digestives (o.k. I didn't have to buy those) and cake baking ingredients.

    I also bought 12 boxes of cereal. I know that's excessive, but we use it so quickly and it's half price right now, so that's £12.24 spent, £12.24 saved. Hopefully, that'll help with next months grocery bills. I also bought the fab Cif cleaners (2 of) at 98p each, less than half price. Plus a huge vat of Sainsbury's gold coffee for £5.99. which is £1.20 per 100gs, so much cheaper than anything else out there and just as good imo.

    They also had 1% milk for £1 for 4 pints or 2.27 litres. That's the best value I've seen anywhere. Mind you, their Cucumbers have gone up to £1 I didn't buy one. I figured my girl could do without and I'll try again elsewhere.

    Somerfields have Charmin on at half price, so that's where the toilet roll's coming from this week. So I'll be shopping again tomorrow. I also need sunflower oil to bake the cake with. No-one knows where I can get this cheaper do they? It's an arm and a leg job at Sainsbury's, but I suspect I'll end up buying it from Somerfields tomorrow and paying even more, unless someone's got any smart ideas.

    Right...off to collect the girl.
    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)
  • Winky, The House Elf
    Not doing bad this month but I feel like I am cheating as my freezer was stuffed full of whoopsies before I started!

    Thanks to all the tips on here, I managed to make 250g of mince (whoopsied to 49p) stretch to 6 meals! (thats 2 of us for 3 meals!) that was spag bol the first evening and lasagne x 2. OH really loved the slighty creamy texture and the flavour really seemed enhanced rather than diluted by a large hand full of oats! I suppose the extra veg (double the usual onions with carrots & frozen peppers) I threw in to also bulk it out a bit gave it more depth.

    Before this thread and old style it would definately only been one meal for 2 of us, and at the full £2 for the pack. So I feel like I got the rest free and its freed up my time!

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Winky x x x
    Right now I'm having amnesia and deja- vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before
    • lauradora
    • By lauradora 15th Jan 09, 2:40 PM
    • 1,365 Posts
    • 4,661 Thanks
    lauradora
    Gone and lost my last spending receipt but i'm pretty sure it was £1.94.....£1.54 for milk and a couple of reduced loaves for 20p each.
    Still well inside my budget and thinking i dont need to bother going shopping this weekend as freezer is still stuffed!

    Still in debt but happy
    DFW nerd no 844


  • princess leia
    I also noticed in Mr M today that cucumbers were about £1 (just under)!!!! I was so shocked at that price so I am definately going to look at growing some stuff in our garden this summer, but as its so small I can't grow much but I am hoping to get some done in pots etc so any help/advice would be great
    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!

  • SavvyStudent
    Hi everyone! Thanks for the words of encouragement, makes me feel a lot better to think of it in terms of stockpiling isn't a bad thing if it's stuff you'll use

    Nipped into aldi for milk on the way home, and I was heartbroken - no car today and they have huge 5kg bags of really nice looking white potatoes for 49p!!! I stood and deliberated for ages over whether I could carry them (and how many bags could I carry!!) uphill all the way home and I was getting all anxious because everyone was buying them up in front of me and they were down to the last few bags!! (You know you're dedicated to the GC when the thought of missing a bargain gives you palpitations lol!) I'll make the OH take me in the car on the weekend but I'm pretty sure they'll be sold out. Other 49p offers: kiwis, oranges, tomatoes (and one more thing that I can't remember).

    Tea tonight is leftover curry made with aldi spartprice 22p sauce creamified up with a bit of smartprice natural yog - the OH swore when I put it in the trolley to try it was going to be disgusting - I've never heard him rave more about a curry lol! Plus he didn't notice that I made the whole pot with 2 tiny chicken breasts where we would normally make it with 4 and eat it all in one night hehehe. I've discovered portioning! We now have all saucy meals like this in bowls and they go much further (a portion on the side of a huge place looks so meagre on its own!).

    Hope everyone is having a good day! I'm off to revise <snore> xx
    Proud to live a frugal shabby chic life!
    • nickynoo08
    • By nickynoo08 15th Jan 09, 3:04 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 17,030 Thanks
    nickynoo08
    After much deliberation i've decided i'm gonna have to increase this months budget to £150 if thats ok. My little un has been guzzling milk like theres no tomoro and he needs more yogs and fruit too. I've decided i'm gonna get some stuff in to make some soups while i'm off over the weekend.
    Anyone have a nice recipie for cheese and broccoli soup? Ooh and leek and potato soup too. The last one i made was really thick and the cheese went all gloopy. I tried to thin it down but it looke and tasted awful so it went in the bin . I'm a bit of a novice cook (so be gentle) but i enjoy trying to make things and its certainly helped with my budget over the last year. I just need to get myself back on track. I know its been because my hrs have been all over the shop and we've all been poorly too so hopefully i can get back into my cooking again now htings have settled down.
    Debt 1 £1111.23 0% until March 19 pay by xmas 0/1111.23
    Debt 2 £2100 0% until August 19
    Debt 3 £2161.86 0% until August 19
    Debt 4 £1846.98 0% until December 19
    Saving for xmas 5/120
    1 debt at a time! We can do this!!
  • MRSMCAWBER
    Princess leia..

    cumbers will grow fine in pots... I grew ridge (outdoor) ones last year -they usualy scramble along the ground -but you can train them to climb -takes up less room that way ! Mine climbed on netting last year and attatched themselve to some tomato plants too ... this year Im sending them up arches (keeps the fruits out of the muck and away from slugs)..
    I have been sorting all my seeds out today ready to make a start, just need to update the blog and put them on there so I know what Im doing
    ooohhh sorry -back on topic

    Another NSD today -thats 11 out of 15 and i think 6 in a row
    Jacket potato, cottage cheese and salad for dinner again tonight -hubbies request and Im not going to object as it takes no prep and its one of my faves too ....can't wait for it to be all my own salad stuff -supermarket stuff is soooo watery :rolleyes:

    hope everyone is doing well

    oooh sorry Mrs B couldn't get my PM to work :confused:
    I concoct soup as I go along... to use broccoli stalks I would
    1. sweat off onion and the chopped stalks in a little butter/oil
    2. add a sprinkle of flour (to thicken and stabilise -or add a peeld chopped potato)
    3. cover with veg stock and cook until soft with the lid on-you can add more stock once blended if needed
    4. blitz with a hand blender ...
    5. to make it creamy and cheesy-ish I add a dollop of the own brand philli -with herbs is nice, plenty of seasoning and a grate of nutmeg
    if you want your soup greener -then if you have any broccoli florets -add them after stage 3...drop them in once everything is soft and cook with the lid off until cooked then go to stage 4 ...cooking greens with a lid on makes them lose colour... not that I care with soup
    hope you can make sense of that ramble -oooooohhhh and again -you may find the soup a little fibreous (sp) if you want to prevent that you need to peel the stalks before cooking
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
  • scotsaver
    CurlyTop - my thoughts are with you.

    Allegra - thanks for the Marg Tub idea, fantastic. don't know why I didn't think of this:confused: , I've been saving all the other little trays/punnets that Tomatoes, fruit etc come in and piling them in the Greenhouse for when I start planting up seeds etc as I know I won't have enough seed trays this year as I plan to grow a lot more than last year.

    I've updated my total, had a leaflet through the door for Farmfoods with some money off vouchers, spend £25 get £2.50 off and spend £50 and get £5 off, so ventured down there as I'm a sucker for a bargain and spent just over £25, budget wouldn't allow more than this until next month and also wouldn't have been able to fit anything else in the Freezers. Pleased with what I got so shall give them a visit next month once I have some space in the Freezers.

    Dinner tonight is some Sliced Turkey (still using up what was left from Xmas), loads of mash, carrots, green beans and lashings of thick gravy, yummmmmm. Have a good evening everyone.
    "WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!"
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

  • scotsaver
    Nipped into aldi for milk on the way home, and I was heartbroken - no car today and they have huge 5kg bags of really nice looking white potatoes for 49p!!! I stood and deliberated for ages over whether I could carry them (and how many bags could I carry!!) uphill all the way home and I was getting all anxious because everyone was buying them up in front of me and they were down to the last few bags!! (You know you're dedicated to the GC when the thought of missing a bargain gives you palpitations lol!) I'll make the OH take me in the car on the weekend but I'm pretty sure they'll be sold out. Other 49p offers: kiwis, oranges, tomatoes (and one more thing that I can't remember).
    Originally posted by SavvyStudent
    Hi SavvyStudent - The Aldi Super 6 runs for a month I think, so you should still be able to take advantage of this offer at the weekend, they also have Mangoes at 49p each and 500g of Brocolli for 49p, someone on here may be able to tell us when they change the offer but I have a feeling they change it every 4 weeks.
    "WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!"
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • Maisie M
    • By Maisie M 15th Jan 09, 5:04 PM
    • 1,520 Posts
    • 14,553 Thanks
    Maisie M
    £2.37 for me in Somerfields today to buy some red cabbage. Want to make a hjuge dish of it tomorrow to portion up and stick in the freezer. I love it but none of the rest of the family do. may make a lasagne at the same time to use the oven and some cakes --- busy day lol

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