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    February 2009 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 28th Jan 09, 12:15 PM
    February 2009 Grocery Challenge 28th Jan 09 at 12:15 PM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the February 2009 Grocery Challenge.

    Pink isn't around at the moment, so I've ok'd with Penelope Penguin to start off the new thread. We start with Pink's usual opening posts.

    * * * * * * * * * * *

    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 January 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!

    Originally Posted by Galtizz
    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.

    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.

    * * * * * * * * * * *

    Good luck everyone

    Rosieben xx
    Last edited by rosieben; 28-01-2009 at 12:31 PM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
Page 3
    • laineyc
    • By laineyc 28th Jan 09, 5:18 PM
    • 907 Posts
    • 5,215 Thanks
    Hello, I would like to join the Grocery challenge. Can you put me down for £470, please?
    Last edited by laineyc; 28-01-2009 at 7:48 PM.
    GC 2011 Feb £626.89/£450 NSD3/7 March £531.26/£450 April £495.99/£500 NSD 0/7 May £502.79/£500
    June £511.99/£480 July £311.56/£480
  • Coolmum66
    Hello all

    Please count me back in this month

    Setting budget at £180


    Coolmum. xx
    Debt at 2nd LBM (!) Jun 08 £8,435 - hm, let's not go there!!
    DFW Nerd - 721 / DFW Long Hauler 4 / DFD - ASAP!!
    Sealed pot challenge - member 336 - £200 target
    • Beki
    • By Beki 28th Jan 09, 5:52 PM
    • 868 Posts
    • 3,803 Thanks
    Ok first recipe/photo post. Not one of my cheapest meals, but it was so delicious i thought i'd post it anyway

    Fed 2 adults and 2 children with a bit spare. If you put rice with this aswell as the parathas then it would go even further

    For the curry

    2 x lamb neck fillets - £2.19
    3 x onions - £0.25 approx
    5 x cloves garlic - £0.08p approx
    1.5 huge flat musrooms - £0.75
    2tsp vindaloo powder - £0.05
    2tblsp tandoori powder - £0.15
    2tsp cumin powder - £0.05
    2tsp coriander powder - £0.05
    2tsp dried coriander - £0.05
    1/2 tube tomato puree - £0.24
    1 sachet patak's creamed coconut - £0.25
    2tblsp oil - £0.05

    chop anything that needs chopping. fry the onions and mushrooms. add the lamb. then the spices and garlic. stir it all up, then add the tomato puree and a splash of water to make a sauce. add the sachet of creamed coconut, then bung in a casserole dish and bake in the oven for an hour on about 180c. serve on top of the paratha.

    For the paratha

    plain flour (i used about 100g for us 4, so roughly 5p)
    pinch of salt
    water to mix into a dough
    butter to spread between 'roll-outs' (i used about 50g so roughly 26p)

    £4.47p for the whole thing

    For directions on the parathas please see this thread (post number 4), as it's not my recipe -

    Last edited by Beki; 28-01-2009 at 6:18 PM. Reason: trying to resize pic
    Hi all

    I think I have everyone so far -But can everyone please remember to post their targets in LARGE - BOLD -or COLOURED FONT ...just saves me having to read every word
    Back again... BEKKI -are you able to shrink the photos down or use links ? only I know some readers struggle with their PCs when the pages stretch..lovely looking food by the way
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • Beki
    • By Beki 28th Jan 09, 6:18 PM
    • 868 Posts
    • 3,803 Thanks
    oh wow! yeaaaah i resized! never been able to do that before lol
  • mumzyof2
    what do pseople put in there sausage casserole?? in slow cooker

    Also what do i use to make my own sauce .. as i find the tesco jar of sausage casserole tends to reduce in slow cooker and im out all day tomorrow
    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
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 28th Jan 09, 6:54 PM
    • 2,630 Posts
    • 32,816 Thanks
    what do pseople put in there sausage casserole?? in slow cooker

    Also what do i use to make my own sauce .. as i find the tesco jar of sausage casserole tends to reduce in slow cooker and im out all day tomorrow
    Originally posted by mumzyof2
    I put a tin of tomatoes, a tin of beans (optional), some potatoes, two or three tomato cans of stock depending on how many pots & a good dash of worcestershire sauce. Its always yummy & smells so good when I get in
    A G&T a day keeps the doctor away
  • mumzyof2
    I put a tin of tomatoes, a tin of beans (optional), some potatoes, two or three tomato cans of stock depending on how many pots & a good dash of worcestershire sauce. Its always yummy & smells so good when I get in
    Originally posted by SunnyGirl
    what is tomato cans of stock???
    i have no worcestershire sauce
    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
    • mumoffour77
    • By mumoffour77 28th Jan 09, 6:59 PM
    • 1,886 Posts
    • 20,457 Thanks
    what is tomato cans of stock???
    i have no worcestershire sauce
    Originally posted by mumzyof2
    I think its filling up the empty tomato can full of stock......either hm stock or cube!!!
    Im going to be frugal
    Im going to be frugal
    Im going to be frugal
    Beetlejuice Beetlejuice...................
    • leed
    • By leed 28th Jan 09, 7:06 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 2,695 Thanks
    Sausage Casserole
    Try putting a lightly fried chopped onion into the slow cooker with sausages, then tin chopped tomatoes, some carrots (say one or two per person), a (beef or veg) stock cube, salt, pepper, sprinkle of mixed herbs and some hot water (not too much but enough to cover ingredients). If slow cooker is heated before putting food in then they will start cooking straight away.
    You could also put in any veg you might have - turnip (sorry Swede if you live south of Yorkshire! - I am a geordie and the purple things are turnips to me), peppers, mushrooms, leeks, peas, sweetcorn...!
    When it is all cooked and you are just about ready to eat, you might like to thicken the liquid with a dessert spoonful of flour mixed in a little water put this in a pan and added some of the liquid from the slow cooker, heat until flour cooks and thickens, corn flour can also be used. Return thickened mixture to sausage mixture, taste and reseason with salt if needed - be careful not to over season as more salt can be added on the plate.

  • princess leia
    I will declare January at £300 which is far over my original budget of £250 so I will retry for £250 for Feb as its a shorter month and I am going to try and meal plan roughly for the whole month and see how I go :rolleyes:

    Thanks Mrs Mc
    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!

    • **purpleprincess**
    • By **purpleprincess** 28th Jan 09, 7:50 PM
    • 3,516 Posts
    • 3,845 Thanks
    Hey!! Please put me down for £100

    Many thanks!!
    Official DFW Nerd no. 082!
    Debt @ 01/01/2014 £16,956 Debt now: £0.00
    Aims: clear debt, get married, buy a house ALL DONE!!
    • *BigBird*
    • By *BigBird* 28th Jan 09, 8:15 PM
    • 948 Posts
    • 5,077 Thanks
    Well, this time last week, I was looking at nearly £100 left in the budget and not a lot to buy til the end of the month. Right now, there's about £25 left in the budget and I have about £12 worth of stuff to get before the end of the week. :confused: How'd that happen?? Actually, I know how - I thought "we've got loads of cash left, lets have some treats". Nice treats, they were; but unnecessary :rolleyes: The remainder of the cash to be spent is on ingredients for a nice cheesecake to take to a friends on Saturday, as she's cooking us a meal for OH's birthday.

    I think I may trim the budget next month so there's no room for going mad with the surplus cash (which we should really be putting towards the wedding). Before I decide on what my budget is going to be, can anyone who buys organic meat tell me if this meat box looks like good value? I'm thinking we might get one for next month. Delivery is a bit pricey, but the farm isn't far from where we live so I'll try to pop over there and pick it up myself.

    ** Edited to add that I just found there's a whole thread about the meat box I was looking at! Duh! That'll teach me for not spending lots of quality time on the OS thread
    Last edited by *BigBird*; 29-01-2009 at 11:42 AM.
    You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you change the world, the world will change.
    • slowcoachme
    • By slowcoachme 28th Jan 09, 8:27 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 139 Thanks
    Hi, Count me in please! I'm new to posting but have enjoyed reading the forums for some time. There are me and my 2 grown-up kids, all of us working. I don't cook everyday, but there is always food in the house for them to do their own thing and they buy their own toiletries. I would really like to keep track of my monthly spend so put me down for
    £300 Many Thanks!
  • kj*daisy
    PLease put me down for £300 thanks.
    Grocery challenge July £250

    45 asd*/
    • meanmarie
    • By meanmarie 28th Jan 09, 8:48 PM
    • 5,114 Posts
    • 49,742 Thanks
    Mrs MC....can you put me down for €300 for February please....feel that I'm stuck on that figure, maybe if I do well I can lower it a bit in March.

    Good luck to everybody

    Weight 08 February 86kg
    • CherryPie
    • By CherryPie 28th Jan 09, 8:52 PM
    • 427 Posts
    • 5,349 Thanks
    There are no words to describe how horrendous I've been over the Christmas period, so I won't even try!

    But am now back in business with this challenge, and I will be under budget this month.

    £100 please MrsM & co

    However, I was not planning on having to get a new car! But needs must as the old one sounded more like a jet attempting take off than a car. No budget for that one but it's all sorted now.

    Freezer defrosted, all un-identifyables destroyed or eaten, first batch of bolognaise sauce made & frozen & I'm good to go!

    Have also found some cracking books on de-cluttering & simplying your life. Funnily enough they're called "How to simplify your life/work" Intend on having major clearout when I have some days off at the end of Feb.

    Nice to be back & be reading all the messages.

    Last edited by CherryPie; 28-01-2009 at 9:02 PM.
    My name is CherryPie and I'm addicted to grocery shopping!!

    Grocery Challenge

    Feb 2016 - £46.73 / £100.00
  • elizabunny
    Evening everyone! I've just hopped over from the January Challenge. My signature is all updated and tomorrow I plan to sit and plan my meals for Feb. Plus make a list of exactly what I've got left in the cupboards and freezer. I think I've found a local farm shop with free range meat and I'll check this out on Saturday when I get set loose. Also there's a farmers market being held locally, so I might nip there as well -ooooh I 'm so excited!

    Good Luck everone for Feb!
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
    • leed
    • By leed 28th Jan 09, 9:12 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 2,695 Thanks
    I really struggle trying to plan meals in advance - any tips please?

  • TheBees
    We ended up about £10-£15 over budget for January unfortunately but looking forward to starting February.

    I've just written a meal plan for the next 10 days up to Saturday 7th and will be off to Lidl tomorrow to buy as much as I can to re stock our very bare cupboards and freezers.

    Tomorrow I'm going to cook a batch of savoury mince in the slow cooker and will make them into individual pies (with some pastry I've made and frozen,) in little ramekin dishes that I found at the back of a cupboard the other day. If I make 6 then DS and DD can have one each then there'll be 4 for another day. Just me and the children tom night as DH will be out on Dartmoor (rather him than me) overnight so I might have a single portion of leftover stew and dumplings which I found at the back of the freezer.

    I'm expecting my bill at Lidl to be £70 - £80 as it was last time I shopped for basics at the beginning of the month but I usually bulk buy fruit juice cartons, tins, flour, bread, biscuits, cereals, loo and kitchen roll etc and hide the excess in the garage so that it's not used up in the first week of the month.

    I've lowered our budget by £10 this month as it's only 28 days!
    Good luck everyone
    Mortgage Free in 3 part 2 challenge - pay off £9000
    Sealed Pot Challenge 416 - target £500
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