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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.
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    • dazzle21
    • By dazzle21 19th Jan 09, 1:26 PM
    • 1,935 Posts
    • 7,242 Thanks
    Ok, going to stretch the roast from yesterday a little further! stripped all the meat and boiled the carcass up with a stock cube to make a chicken amd noodle soup for me and o/h as we're both suffering from a cold (and he would not eat at work otherwise!) was just going to make risotto tonight, but i think i will do a sweet and sour instead, then make risotto tomorrow? chicken should be ok as it was fresh to start with? nsd for me today.
    August: £149/£150

    Sept: £200
    • goldfinch68
    • By goldfinch68 19th Jan 09, 2:12 PM
    • 205 Posts
    • 527 Thanks
    Got in from work and set about making homemade soup, some for tonight and some to freeze. Didn't expect it to taste so lovely as usually just open a tin or a cuppa soup!! Going to make some dough in the bread machine and when the kids get home from school they can shape their own crusty rolls to go with it.

    Here is the recipe, see what you think:

    Carrot, parsnip & lentil soup
    75g (3 oz) green lentils
    175g (6 oz) chorizo or salami (would be equally tasty without for veggies)
    350g (12 oz) onions chopped
    225g (8 oz) carrots chopped
    225g (8 oz) parsnips chopped
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    3 pints veg stock

    Soak and cook lentils in the usual way. Fry off onion and chorizo/salami (put chorizo/salami aside afterwards) then pop onions in the stock with all the other ingredients and simmer for 30 mins til all tender. Blitz in food processor. Sprinkle chorizo pieces on top. Great with warm crusty bread!!
    Slimming World: SD: 2.05.16 SW: 13st10lb
    Goal: 11st 10lb by my birthday in August

  • orchid-96
    Thanks for that recipe goldfinch and well done you, so far you are doing great compared to what you have allowed yourself!! i am into soup at the moment and will give your one a go when I have the stuff in...

    We are stretching the roast we had yesterday at my inlaws (they always give us the leftovers to bring home) the kids are having sausages with the veg though as only enough meat for me and dh (and they are not overkeen on roast pork anyway)

    ds is outside building a snowman at the moment bless im, how excited to kids get with a bit of snow!!

    Still have half my budget left, but still 2 weeks left more or less although we are at a family wedding on sat 30th till 31st so that weekend is pretty much taken care of, so only 1 more weekend (usually my downfall!!)
    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
  • mumzyof2
    Afternoon all.
    Just been to Lidl for a few bits, see their bread flour is 75p now!
    Did not buy much from GC budget, approx £13 but this included 2 x 4 pinters (2.27 litres) of full cream milk. Our Jan runs until Wed 28th so still a week and a bit to go, but not planning to buy much. Am quite happy as set myself less than 1/12th of yearly budget for January (well I allocated a potentially avaialble 1/12th but withdrew 1/12th MINUS approx £25 iyswim). Not much left of the cash I withdrew but more than plenty to buy milk (which won't be needed until 27th as have 12 pints, or just over 6L in), and any little thing thats needed. I will declare for final figures on 28th. Well done everyone, and even if you are over, don't pull out, keep counting as it will give you a better idea of where to start next month!
    Cannot remember who asked but I would serve savoury mince with pasta or wedges (although the latter is a no go if no potatoes in!).
    HM quiche and hassleback tatties for tea tonight a la meal plan- here is this weeks meal planning thread for anyone who wants a look
    Cheerio for now.
    Originally posted by OrkneyStar
    Im going to do it with chips i think or rice
    Sealed Pot dec 08 - dec 09 so far £27.67, Live off £4k Spent £330.20 GC £1,200 for 2009 Spent £50.78 PaD so far £650.07
    Debts: L/woods £154.00 C/One PAID O/D £649.90 Next £299.95 O/D PAID Gas £72.60 Electric £155.73 Mum £640.00 Orange £490.32
  • kookgekje
    Just updating my signature. So far I'm not doing too badly but the rest of my money is going to have to last me until the 31st this time. I get paid on the 23rd but am putting down a deposit for the summer hols at the end of this week. I should be ok. Most of this week's food is in the house already and the fresh stuff I need to get shouldn't cost more than about £15. That would leave about £80 for next week. No problem for food and groceries but I'll need to resist the temptation to buy foody magazines and chocolate and for me that is easier said than done . Avoiding the shops is probably my best bet and I'm off to a good start with a NSD today.
    Cheese… milk's leap toward immortality
    Clifton Fadiman

    Feb'11 - GC: £105.89/£125 - NSD: 15
    Mar'11 GC: £3.84/£100 - NSD: 0
  • Rachel021967
    Today I went to Tesco Express to get a dozen eggs - £3.16, Apples - £1.38, 2 mullerlight yoghurts 54p and a lemon for 32p. Total £5.40. This leaves £10.62.
    • meanmarie
    • By meanmarie 19th Jan 09, 4:19 PM
    • 5,137 Posts
    • 49,973 Thanks
    Another NSD for me to-day, will need milk and bread to-morrow but that should be it for the rest of the week...must update my sig as I get confused if I don't.

    Good luck all

    Weight 08 February 86kg
  • oligeo
    I'm not doing bad. But I'm going to have to do a shop before month end, and I think it will take me over. But I'm pretty pleased with my budgeting and money saving. Before I'd be spending about £600 a month, and if I can do it for just over £300 thats a miricle - especially as husband last night said that he hadn't noticed any difference in the food I'm serving up.

    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 19th Jan 09, 4:37 PM
    • 6,160 Posts
    • 54,427 Thanks
    Cookie dough
    ...made some twinks hobnobs yesterday and have a question if anyone can help, I was thinking of adding, raisins or choc chips or maybe some coconut to them, would I just throw this in with the dry ingredients?
    Originally posted by orchid-96
    I throw in anything, broken chocolate is a favourite here, but I also add raisins, sultanas or mixed fruit and sometimes cinnamon, mixed spice or ginger, depending on what I have plenty of in the cupboard. I use ordinary cheapes I can find chocolate or Mr T saver brand cooking chocolate. The reduced dark choc Galaxy bars I got from App F00ds work well. I make extra and keep plain cookie dough in the fridge so I can pop biscuits in anytime the oven is on.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • Toonie
    • By Toonie 19th Jan 09, 5:29 PM
    • 735 Posts
    • 3,577 Thanks
    My sig is up to date, though will be getting a few bits tomorrow. Tonight having steak and ale casserole (found some steak at the bottom of the freezer-no idea how long it had been in there). I've just found out my pay date is being changed to the last day of the month, so my month will now run to the 31st January, instead of the 4th February.
  • Steel
    Just a quick update.

    Now definitely sure we're NOT going to make it under our target £100 budget this month. Spent £3.67 (potatoes £1.27, bran flakes 71p, brocolli 80p, brussell sprouts 89p), in Mr T's yesterday so only £4.28 left.

    That has to cover toilet rolls, milk, veg for next week and cat food. The cat food alone is about £4.70.

    Probably looking at going about £5.00 over.

    Which I guess isn't too bad as this is the first time I've done the challenge, but there's definitely some changes I would make to the way I've done things.
    "carpe that diem"
    • Baileys Babe
    • By Baileys Babe 19th Jan 09, 5:58 PM
    • 2,593 Posts
    • 13,568 Thanks
    Baileys Babe
    We've had a spend day today as I had ordered 2 Hampers from Tescos (75% off) which have arrived and been unpacked a few bits going we are planning to give as birthday presents. The rest is treats for us. The best before dates are spread from Feb 2009 - Dec 2011!!
    My mum asked if we had any of Twinks Hobnobs in, which is a complement to both Twink & me. Think I'll try & find time to make her a batch for Friday when my parents are looking after DS so me & DP can go out for a meal.
    Thanks Goldfinch for the soup recipe, will give it a try next weekend, can't wait.
  • katholicos

    Probably looking at going about £5.00 over.

    Which I guess isn't too bad as this is the first time I've done the challenge, but there's definitely some changes I would make to the way I've done things.
    Originally posted by Steel
    I know what you mean about doing things differently next time. This is my first time too and i think i thought wow i have £320 to spend on groceries....let's go shopping!!! And the second day of the challenge i spent about £50 and the third day about £ it wasn't boding well for the rest of the month

    As it happens i have £71 left so i think i might just crack it, but i really want to do another online shop and don't think i can last another week without doing one...i'll see if i can hold out though.

    Well done to you if you only go a fiver over!
    Grocery Challenge for October: £135/£200

    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
    • redmel1621
    • By redmel1621 19th Jan 09, 6:16 PM
    • 5,978 Posts
    • 25,841 Thanks
    I can't believe I am on here updating sig, again.....
    I bought some much needed fruit today, we didn't have any last week and I forgot the spuds so will get them tomorrow.
    spent today £6.55

    I will be doing things slightly differently next month too

    Mel x
    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
    Nothing is going to get better. It's not.

  • Sunny Donny
    Hi All
    Did Netto on the way home from work with OH.
    Well trained at bargain spotting now!!! 4 pints of normal milk £0.75 and 4 individual pints of milk for £0.23 in reduced bit - have slung them in the freezer, but diluting the full fat milk into another bottle when I have washed it, then freezing the remainder of the big bottle.
    3 lots of pate for 30p - that's 3 weeks worth of lunches as I have cut all into individual portions and have ryvita's at work.
    Only spent £18.61 for 26 items so very happy - will just need fruit at the weekend and fresh veg so will be under budget - not got any spare to go over!!!! Pay day on 28th, so Asda order going in then!!
    Mortgage free as at 1/9/13
    To start work on the credit cards now!!
    • furndire
    • By furndire 19th Jan 09, 6:31 PM
    • 7,171 Posts
    • 31,470 Thanks

    day and have a question if anyone can help, I was thinking of adding, raisins or choc chips or maybe some coconut to them, would I just throw this in with the dry ingredients?
    Originally posted by orchid-96
    I put the bits in with dry ingredients.

    I've made a couple of lots this past week. The first lot I had some Stem Ginger which I chopped up, and used the syrup out of the jar instead of the golden treacle. I whizzed porridge oats up in the liquidiser to make them into fine oatmeal.
    These tasted gorgeous, as good as the expensive stem ginger cookies you can buy. They were a bit sweet, so, the next lot,

    did the same with oats, cut the sugar back to 6 oz, and added chopped apricots & figs & a dessertspoon of dried ginger.

    This recipe has opened up loads of possibilities so easy to make. Dark chocolate chunks is going to be one.
    Doubled up the quantity made 46 hobnob/cookies.
    Last edited by furndire; 19-01-2009 at 6:51 PM.
    • CurlyTop
    • By CurlyTop 19th Jan 09, 6:52 PM
    • 376 Posts
    • 2,115 Thanks

    Just updated signature. Another NSD for me. I didn't put myself down for any but have done 7 up to now, which I suppose isn't so bad. Had to keep going out at weekend for milk and eggs as was making cakes for DN1 birthday party. All eaten. All went down well. Can't complain. Am still on target for being under budget for my first month of doing GC. Have £100.84 to last me till 30th. Freezer 3/4 full and cupboards still full so no reason, I shouldn't come in on target. Am loving this challenge. Well done to everyone else also. Together we can make it happen !
    I got there - I'm debt free and intend to stay that way. If I haven't got the cash, it doesn't get bought. It's as simple as that.
  • Tracey.32
    Probably looking at going about £5.00 over.

    Which I guess isn't too bad as this is the first time I've done the challenge, but there's definitely some changes I would make to the way I've done things.
    Originally posted by Steel
    Don't be too hard on yourself, Steel - I think that's excellent if you only go £5 over. Besides, if you hadn't been doing the GC just think how much you might have spent! My budget is £200 and I might just make it - but if I go a bit over I'll still be pleased - pre-GC I spent around the £320-£350 a month. Give yourself a pat on the back!!
    Grocery challenge: Jun£134.15/£120; Jul £60.90/£120
  • orchid-96
    Thanks nykmedia and furndire for your 'twinks hobnobs' info...some great ideas that I am going to try, I hadn't thought about making up the dough and keeping some in the fridge thats a good one! Maybe there should be a thread dedicated to adapatations of the original twinks recipe, bet there are hundreds!!!

    I am aiming for more nsd's next month, think I have only managed a couple this month, although I have definitely been very selective with my purchases...
    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
  • Julimk
    Thanks angelatgraceland . It is astounding when you look at the annual saving isn’t it? Me & DD are planning a trip to Oz in the summer hols (she has rellies over there – long story). Should get a bonus from work in April’s pay to cover the ticket cost, so anything that can be saved elsewhere will give us spending money.

    Well, I have started on February’s budget & spent £80.85 already! But I am really pleased with this ; I have enough meat & fish for a month’s meals (& already have a month’s meals cooked up & frozen in individual portions) including whoopsied mince @ £2.44 for 1kg & whoopsied white & smoked fish. And a couple of packs of Lincolnshire sausages (my fave – 2 for £3 @ Mr S).

    There is enough non-perishable stuff for the month including loo roll, toiletries, fruit juice (Mr T’s long-life OJ is currently 50p a litre – bought 6) & coffee (nescafe currently £3 for 200g in Mr T or Mr S); 8 x canned toms, 4 x baked beans, 4 x other canned beans …Even some expensive stuff that I had run out of, such as olive oil & saffron. And enough fresh stuff for at least a week.

    It is a bit scary to be 2/3 through the budget so early in the month, but looking at last month I had spent ¾ in the 1st 10 days & then just topped up on fresh bits, and I did it. And I am much happier with what I have bought this time, more ‘real’ food! And last month I only spent about £20 on the milk & fresh f&v, so should have a bit of leeway if there are any good whoopsies around.

    So there is really no need for me to venture into a food shop for at least a week. Trouble is I enjoy food shopping! :rolleyes: Good luck to all those still working on January’s budgets.
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