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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 68
  • yummymummy05
    I love this grocery challenge! - I have run out of bread, ham and corned beef so no sadwiches for OH next week I'm going to be creative I still have 4 portions of leek and potato soup in the freezer and a little bit of cooked gamon, and a boiled bacon joint, and I have cheese and salad in the fridge so will use that instead. In my pre-OS days I would have just gone out and bought some more - and then wondered why I have no money left at the end of the month!

    Was proud of myself last night; I had bought a kilo of mince before starting the challenge, and previously if I made spag bog it would have just about squeezed 5 portions out of it - I put more peppers/onions/ mushrooms in than normal and also about 2 handfulls of oats and got 8 generous portions!!! I was shocked!! - just had to find room for them in my freezer - ouch!

    Well another NSD today as DD now has an eye infection aswel as a stinking cold! - will stay home in the warm and pick up DS early from nursary (they both keep waking at 5am!!) Hopefully they'll be so tired tonight I can get them to bed at about 6pm and have a nice evening in with OH.
    FebGC
    wk1 0/100 NSD's 0/7
    wk2
    wk3
    wk4
    Total 0/400
  • LittleEmms
    I love this grocery challenge! - I have run out of bread, ham and corned beef so no sadwiches for OH next week I'm going to be creative I still have 4 portions of leek and potato soup in the freezer
    Originally posted by yummymummy05
    I'm intrigued how you freeze leek & potato soup? Do you have special container thingies (i love that word ... thingies... )
    LBM - 17th November 2008 - better late than never :rolleyes:
    Challenges - 2009 - Reduce CC to 1k by December
    June - Food 86/130 * Petrol 50/80 * Weekly allowance * 80/160
  • MRSMCAWBER
    I'm intrigued how you freeze leek & potato soup? Do you have special container thingies (i love that word ... thingies... )
    Originally posted by LittleEmms
    Hi there

    You can use empty marge/ice cream tubs or anything (just remember not to fill to the top as liquid expands when it freezes and will push the lid off)

    Sometimes I also put a food bag into a tub, fill it and place in the freezer... once its frozen you can lift the block out and tie it up
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • keld
    • By keld 16th Jan 09, 9:11 AM
    • 140 Posts
    • 719 Thanks
    keld
    I spent 50p at a coffee morning and 4.06 on milk from the milkman. That leaves 29.90 to last the month. I think we will go over but I'll do my best to make it as little as possible.
    Yummymummy05 thank you for your reply. I'll try weaning my little girl onto tesco value fromage frais.
    I feel really mean today as I refused to buy my middle daughter Heinz vegetable soup as it had gone up to 88p a tin. I thought I could make a large pot of soup for that. So she went out and bought her own soup out of her pocket money.
    I made veggie mince with porridge today and they loved it so much they went back for seconds.
    Originally posted by Rachel021967
    I know exactly what you mean (no pun intended). I am trying not to break in to notes for little things . On a Tuesday and Thursday we always stop at the postie on the way home and my three children get some sweets as a treat. This can vary greatly from 50p to 2 depending on what they want. Well last night I was down to 54p change (having had to pay for parking an unanticipated expense). So I said that's the most we can spend. Well my DS who's 8, went back later and bought more for everyone with his pocket money. We were really touched.
    Mortgage 70,000 1
    MF date 31/08/2021 6th February 2012

  • yummymummy05
    Hi there

    You can use empty marge/ice cream tubs or anything (just remember not to fill to the top as liquid expands when it freezes and will push the lid off)

    Sometimes I also put a food bag into a tub, fill it and place in the freezer... once its frozen you can lift the block out and tie it up
    Originally posted by MRSMCAWBER

    Good Idea to put the freezer bag in the pot

    I usually put it in tupperware (recently inherited enough to start my own parties from my nan) then the next day chip it out (slide a butter knife round each side put the lid back on and then whack it a few times ) then to save on bags I wrap each portion in cling film so they don't stick together and put them all in one bag and label that. Sounds very complicated but that's what I used to do for the kids food when I was weaning them - they were both so hungry that the icecube idea only worked for about a week!!
    FebGC
    wk1 0/100 NSD's 0/7
    wk2
    wk3
    wk4
    Total 0/400
  • orchid-96
    Have the day sort of to myself today (which is a miracle) girls are at nursery till 3 yay.....am going to do some housework in a minute, then nip out to aldi for a few bits....I want to cook a soup later and don't know what to do though? any tips? dh is getting into this not spending unecesarily (sp) lark and actually said he fancied a nice soup that was cheap to make!! he also won a bottle of wine in a raffle yesterday which is fab as I was going to pick one up today so saves a few bob..

    I was thinking on the soup front maybe something with leeks as I have a bag of frozen ones (39p from farm foods) although I am wondering if frozen leeks are going to be any good as have never bought them before...

    anyway will do a few searches on here to see what I can find, but any ideas would be appreciated (as apparantly my soup always tastes the same! cheek!)

    Thanks for all the ideas in here, I love the one about using the freezer bags in pots first (had forgotten that one) and have just been slinging them in as they are, but they then end up all funny shaped so will try that today if I get the soup done...

    yummymummy05 you shouldn't feel mean about the soup for your daughter as it will be teaching her a valuable lesson about money..most children have no idea whatsoever about the cost of things...
    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
  • elizabunny
    Morning all, I'm feeling a bit muddled today (what's new!) as had a bad head all night -you know the sort that wakes you up in the night. I think it's just the remnants of the cold I've had -but it still doesn't stop me from feeling a bit sorry for myself. So with HUGE effort today I'm hoping to concoct some sort of fish pie. Again, hoping to make enough for today and one to freeze for another day. I was going to have a really lazy day and just coat the fish in breadcrumbs and have some HM chips with it -but it feels a bit like letting the side down, which makes me feel cross with myself.

    So in my fish pie I am using some of the Pollock which I bought at Lidl -1kg bag for 1.99 (On offer, usually 2.99 I think) and it is really nice and stret.....ches a very long way.
    I cut up the fish into rough chunks and then cook lightly first.
    Also I shall sweat some white onions and carrots and add this to the fish with a tin of garden peas.
    Then I will make a cheese sauce to pour over and mix in with this.
    Season well.
    The topping will be cooked sliced potato, a grating of cheese and just a drizzle of olive oil to make the topping go all crisy in the oven when I bake it until its bubbling hot. It's lovely. You can of course make it cheaper by leaving out the cheese, but we just like it this way.

    Haven't got as far as a dessert yet. My dear MIL gave us a tin of rice pudding and a tin of pear halves for our stock cupboard yesterday -bless her, she is nearly 88! but she does sometimes buy things which she then doesn't fancy. Also she gave us a large bag of choccies (which will be ) as she had FIVE big tins of different choccies for Xmas!!!

    Hoping for another NSD today, that will be 4 in a row. Into the last 15 days of January so that gives me 2 a day left for the rest of the month -going to have to be very careful, but everyone is doing so well. Keep going everyone and have a good day.
    Last edited by elizabunny; 16-01-2009 at 10:26 AM.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
  • kunekune
    No food bought yesterday, won't get any today either. Brought my lunch in - turkey & cranberry sandwiches! Have put in a supermarket order for Saturday as we're low on bread and need veges. The food bit of the order came to 40, so I'm not quite over budget yet but am heading there. On the other hand, I have all meals planned to the end of the GC month (a bit before the end of the real month), and at that point will still have in the freezer: 1 pork joint, 2 packs casserole beef, 1 pack casserole venison, 6 chicken thighs, 3 packs sausages, 2 packs mince, 2 packs fish, 2 bags prawns, 3 packs lamb fillet, 2 bags roast lamb for sandwiches, 1 box roast turkey for sandwiches ... and I still have vast amounts of pulses, grains and nuts in the pantry too. So if I go over, I shall take that off the Feb budget.
    Mortgage started on 22.5.09 : 129,600
    Overpayments to date: 3000
    June grocery challenge: 400/600
    • mommyof4
    • By mommyof4 16th Jan 09, 10:48 AM
    • 176 Posts
    • 2,271 Thanks
    mommyof4
    yummymummy05 hope you don't mind me asking but i noticed on your sig that you have a tesco cc. I read on one of the boards also that someone had got one to collect airmiles. Is it really worth it? how does it work? Be so grateful if you could fill me in.

    Not doing too well with my GC this time. I'm sure I will go over budget. I got lots of stuff for the freezer from the vegetarian section at Mr T. Thought I'd take advantage whilst the offers were on, but it's pushed up my spending for the month. Got lots of Linda McCartney sausages (only ones DS6 will eat!).
    (vegetarian & vegan family: me, DH, DS11 & DS 7, 3 dogs and 3 cats (not veggie )
    Sealed pot challenge No 020
    challenge 5: [part 2] 426.09!!
    challenge 6: 272.14
    challenge 7: (target 500)
    Dont forget the birds - feed them your scraps
  • yummymummy05
    mommyof4 I got the Tesco card so I would earn more points on my shopping and petrol (I used to always go to Mr T's anyway) however kept forgetting how much I put on it so be careful!

    By paying on the card you get extra clubcard points and you can turn these into airmiles - I can't remember hom pany points you need but if you lookon the clubcard deals part of the tesco website the details are on there!
    FebGC
    wk1 0/100 NSD's 0/7
    wk2
    wk3
    wk4
    Total 0/400
    • mommyof4
    • By mommyof4 16th Jan 09, 11:20 AM
    • 176 Posts
    • 2,271 Thanks
    mommyof4
    yummymummy05 - thanks for that. I hear what you are saying about being careful too! its so easy to get carried away. Off to have a look at tesco clubcard website now lol... thanx again
    (vegetarian & vegan family: me, DH, DS11 & DS 7, 3 dogs and 3 cats (not veggie )
    Sealed pot challenge No 020
    challenge 5: [part 2] 426.09!!
    challenge 6: 272.14
    challenge 7: (target 500)
    Dont forget the birds - feed them your scraps
    • Toonie
    • By Toonie 16th Jan 09, 12:10 PM
    • 727 Posts
    • 3,514 Thanks
    Toonie
    Spent just over 31 this week so far, but we stocked up on a few things like tins and herbs we had run out of. Have to pop out and get some toilet roll today-local shop has it on offer and its cheaper than Morrisons. Will update sig later. Tonight we're having jacket spuds with beans and cheese (BF) and bacon (me). This weekend will be pulling things from the freezer for dinner. Toad-in-the-hole tomorrow and steaks on Sunday. Also, have some sausage rolls in the freezer for lunches. Time now to catch up on the thread!
    Took part in the Cancer Research Shine Half Marathon on 27th September...5 hours and 24 minutes
    Old Style Resolution - Make soup once a week to use up bits from the fridge.
    • dazzle21
    • By dazzle21 16th Jan 09, 12:12 PM
    • 1,935 Posts
    • 7,242 Thanks
    dazzle21
    ok was very naughty and decided to buy an M&S meal for 10..then my sister gave me some vouchers she didn't want so i could get another one! Bless! Got two quite large chickens, and cooked one last night only to discover that there were remains of giblets in it and the whole thing had become inedible..so dinner became veg, profiteroles and wine..! Took the chicken back and they gave me 10! so it worked out not to naughty in the end! Have updated sig for a 6 spend. Will check next chicken VERY carefully before cooking!! Tonight is hm chilli made during my 1st batch cooking session last week so i hope it thaws before 7!!
    August: 149/150

    Sept: 200
  • SAVVYMUMMY
    Went shopping today at MrM, wilkinsons and debenhams. spent 5.58 on reduced seeds that should have come to 14.49 from wilkinsons, `whoopsie` chicken wings 59p half pink milks at 15p amongst other things, so will update siggy in a mo. Also 25 on a 6.5 Lt slow cooker, the money I am saving from the grocery budget this month is going towards that, so won`t be added to the GC budget. This was from Debenhams so really pleased with this.
    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
    • gailey
    • By gailey 16th Jan 09, 12:24 PM
    • 2,303 Posts
    • 17,249 Thanks
    gailey
    Well went shoopoing yesterday and went bit crazy as had little in house for weeks.

    spent 50 lidls
    100 in sainsburys

    questions should i cook meals in batch cooking and freeze?
    what freezes well and how best to contain it bags or tubs?
    dont wnat to see any fresh veg go waste so was contemplating maing mash and ffreezing that along with soem other veggies.
    can chopped lees and onions be frozen? do i need to do anything with them?
    its just its was cheap lidls so on verge of going off.

    I think we done very good shop with lots of meat,passata and dried pasta plus lots of basics and deals.
    Sainburys gone massive on basic range defintaly offer great value now.
    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
    • meanmarie
    • By meanmarie 16th Jan 09, 12:31 PM
    • 5,092 Posts
    • 49,549 Thanks
    meanmarie
    Afternoon all,

    NSD for me to-day, did mean to go do a big shop but managed to defer until to-morrow....we will need lots as haven't been in a supermarket for 2 weeks.

    Have a good day all

    Marie
    Weight 08 February 86kg
  • yummymummy05
    Just worked out if i can get my shoppping budget down to 150 a month plus 60 for Baby stuff I can afford to be a stay at home mum for a year whilst I do my course!!! What an incentive!! I'm off to pick up DS from nursary so will leave you with that thought!
    FebGC
    wk1 0/100 NSD's 0/7
    wk2
    wk3
    wk4
    Total 0/400
  • rosieben
    ... questions should i cook meals in batch cooking and freeze?
    what freezes well and how best to contain it bags or tubs?
    dont wnat to see any fresh veg go waste so was contemplating maing mash and ffreezing that along with soem other veggies.
    can chopped lees and onions be frozen? do i need to do anything with them? ...
    Originally posted by gailey
    gailey, take a look at the Meal Building Blocks for the Freezer thread - some really good ideas for freezing to save time and money
    Last edited by rosieben; 16-01-2009 at 12:49 PM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • orchid-96
    Back from MrM and pleased with my shop, managed to stick to my list (apart from a treat of a magazine to read in the bath later!)

    DH is going to cook the soup later, I picked up a butternut squash and he has found a recipe for it with other stuff we have in, the only thing we don't have is 'white beans' (not actually sure what they are ) it says soaked overnight...now, he will just leave these out, but I was wondering if a tin of butter beans would work? as I have some of these in....

    Rosieben thanks for that 'building blocks' link, some great ideas for getting the freezer organised....I like it that mine is now filling up with home made meals and veggies and looking less like one of the freezers in farm foods or the like full of chips and fishfingers (although they are still there as well!)
    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
    • cw18
    • By cw18 16th Jan 09, 1:37 PM
    • 8,052 Posts
    • 86,004 Thanks
    cw18
    questions should i cook meals in batch cooking and freeze?
    what freezes well and how best to contain it bags or tubs?
    dont wnat to see any fresh veg go waste so was contemplating maing mash and ffreezing that along with soem other veggies.
    can chopped lees and onions be frozen? do i need to do anything with them?
    its just its was cheap lidls so on verge of going off.
    Originally posted by gailey
    I don't (by choice) freeze anything with rice or pasta (other than lasagne once in a blue moon).

    I freeze the remains of a roast (for another meal or sandwiches the next week), chille con carne or bolognese sauces, and numerous stews and casseroles. Have just started freezing curry as well, as I can get 4 portions from one jar and some meat, but only make it for DS as I can't stand it!!

    Veg - onion and mushrooms I simply chop and freeze -- though I do try and tray freeze before bagging into portions. Cauli, brocolli and carrots I blanche first, then tray freeze, then bag.

    Storage - I used to use tubs, but quickly ran out of space in my freezers :rolleyes2 All my veg goes into bags, and I've just started bagging everything else (bag line a tub, put the food into the bag/tub combi, freeze as combi, then take the bags out of the tubs once set). This takes a LOT less room -- but I do fancy finding a couple of larger tubs that will hold several bags of curry/steak & kidney/chicken casserole, as otherwise they end up in different drawers and I have to empty the whole thing to see how many portions I have of any one meal
    Cheryl
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