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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 7
    New total
    Morning all

    Been very quiet this month, just plodding along. Have to add up the Jan totals yet but won't be too horrendous - I hope.

    Going to leave February at the same level £250 please Mrs M.

    Catch you later, K xx

    Merry Christmas
  • jtb2412
    Scotsaver, tips re: butchers (I've just converted to getting my meat from butchers - been doing so since about Nov). Not an expert but would suggest the following

    Ask the locals, they know what the best ones in the area are !

    You may find (I certainly have) that butchers are only very slightly more expensive than the supermarkets and the taste is far superior.

    Don't forget you can get cheaper cuts in a butcher that you can't get in a supermarket.

    Bulk buy and ask for a discount. I tend to phone through a big order, usually about 3 or 4 weeks worth of meat. I do have a chest freezer so can do this but it depends on how much room you have to store it. It also saves me time as I can then just pop along and pick it up. I usually (not always) get 10% off my order (about a tenner a month ).

    Ask for 'specials', they've always got some deals on just like the supermarkets.

    If you haven't got the space to store, pop along on a Saturday a little while before closing, he may be selling some meat off cheap.

    I think that's it for now. The other thing to mention is the friendly service. He will want your custom (many butchers are seeing a huge rise in the number of new people coming through their doors, people are converting ). If you build up a good relationship, he will want to keep you coming through your doors and will most probably do you some good deals.

    HTH ..... let us know how you get on !
    Weight loss to date 1st 11.5lb
  • Tigger888
    Having totally blown January's budget I'm aiming to do much better this month! Mrs M, could you please put me down for £250 for February -

    Many thanks!
    The great declutter 2010
    Money neutral and thrifty gifty for Christmas 2010
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 30th Jan 09, 8:55 AM
    • 3,284 Posts
    • 36,153 Thanks
    Could you put me down for £120 for Feb please Mrs M.
  • WelshWoofer
    Morning all!
    My first post on the new thread.....

    My February officially starts today and it will be the first shop of the month tomorrow at Mr Ts. I was planning a big stock up shop but having inventory'd the freezer I've found that I don't actually need that much - its mainly fresh fruit and veg, dairy and a few household bits and pieces.

    I've got a budget of £160 this month and really need to stick to it as I've definitely decided to resign in the summer and retrain as a science teacher so its all systems go on economising, paying off debts and trying to save a bit. Had a good chat with the OH last night who's fully supportive and he's even agreed to try value chocolate digestives as a compromise ( a big concession from him!!! )

    I'm going to try to shave the budget further (maybe by sacrificing a few bits and pieces that I use (I'm a veggie so expensive meat substitutes sometimes and buy quite a few toiletries and unnecessary bits) but we eat a lot of fresh stuff (and we're trying eat more healthily) that seem very very expensive!

    So, I'm off to fiddle with my shopping list and to try to have divine inspiration from somewhere!

    Wish me luck!
    January grocery spending - £82.73/ £120
    • PurpleSkies
    • By PurpleSkies 30th Jan 09, 9:44 AM
    • 271 Posts
    • 1,740 Thanks
    Could you put me down for £40 for Feb please?

    My laptop broke last week so I've lost my budget for Jan so will have to dig out receipts from the start of the month before I can declare that total.
    Feb budget will just have to be done with pen & paper! (or just do it at work along with posting on here! )

    Plus now I have the added expense of buying a new laptop!
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 30th Jan 09, 10:13 AM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,926 Thanks
    Im a newbie to this but can I join in . My month runs from 20 Jan to 19 Feb is that ok for this thread?
    Im aiming for £150, this is for 2 adults and a dog and a cat.


    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
    • belfastgirl23
    • By belfastgirl23 30th Jan 09, 10:31 AM
    • 7,750 Posts
    • 15,597 Thanks
    OK I'm game to try for £120 for February despite my dismal failure last month I somehow can't seem to focus on the GC at the minute, don't know what's going on really - comfort eating or comfort spending maybe. Either way I have to get a grip on both my diet and my wallet.

    I'm hoping that this month will be okay, we're both in London for a stretch of time coming up and the £ for that comes out of a different budget. And my cupboards are pretty full. That said I need to do a lidl shop sometime soon, i've been buying expensive tinned tomatoes and oatcakes rather than making the effort to go there. Might manage it this PM.

    Hope you're all doing okay and good luck for feb.

  • fatcattaff
    Hi there

    Can you put me in for£320 for this month? I didn't use red the last time, so I don't think I was official, iykwim I know Feb is shorter, but we've averaged everything out and I can't be bothered to seasonally adjust. There are only 3 of us, but we usually average £500, so this is an improvement. I won't carry over my shortfall, either. I was about £20 over for Jan, but I bought some Christmas stocking fillers for 09 and birthday gifts for 8 year olds friend in there, so I figure that's forgiveable. Hope that's o.k. Just off to update my signature for Feb!

    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)
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 30th Jan 09, 10:33 AM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,926 Thanks
    I feel like my February is doomed already - popped to shop for three things and came out with fifteen. None of them any goodies or nonsense, just bread, salad, fruit and veggies and a small pack of mince came to $41.56. It's not strictly February yet and 1/3 of my budget is gone - blimey!!

    When I got home and unpacked my one bag of shopping I thought to myself, really there's stuff all here to come to that much? Checked my receipt and lo and behold, 4 large potatoes (1.1kg) I got for jackets that were $1.99 per kg have been rung up as peaches. Peaches are $6.99 per kg

    So will the shop believe me if I go back and tell them I never bought bloomin peaches? If I did I sure as heck wouldn't have bought a whole kilo of them. As if it isn't hard enough trying to stick to a budget. Grrrr!
    Originally posted by Kiwisaver
    I would def go back to the shop, take a couple of the spuds with you as proof and stand your ground! That happend to me once : I bought two loose chillis and they charged me about £7, they had put them through as cherries which were some mad price!
    Hope you get on ok !

    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 30th Jan 09, 10:48 AM
    • 6,147 Posts
    • 54,317 Thanks
    Hi guys, I've no chance (again, sorry) of catching up with all the posts but I am still here. I've a little less than £1000 left to last me the rest of the year but have made several bulk purchases that should last throughout 2009. I now have a proper pantry (almost completed but already in use), the larder is pretty much full, the freezer is full and the lettuce seeds are coming along nicely.

    Hope everyone had a good January, good luck for February and welcome to the newcomers - have fun frugalising your grocery-spending habits.
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
  • elizabunny
    elizabunny - I'm watching the Jamie Oliver programme today but had already decided that once the Freezers are starting to empty, any meat that we need now I will buy from the Butchers. I did post a message on Page 4 yesterday, looking for anyone who can pass on any tips about shopping at a Butchers?:confused:
    Originally posted by scotsaver
    I think alot more people will be trying to do this. I am really looking forward to seeing what's available locally.

    On a similar subject, I was thinking about trying to get hold of a mincer my DM used to use one but it has long since gone, unfortunately. You just clamped it onto the table, popped your meat in and turned the handle. Great fun! However, does anyone have any idea what cut of beef I would need to buy for this? as I don't have a clue:confused:. I'm a bit worried about what goes into mince and have long thought about doing this. I have even thought of a sausage maker for the same reason, but that looks a whole lot more technical .

    Any ideas on this anyone? -I would be most grateful
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.

    I have an electric mincer/sausage maker and it reall isn't complicated So much so that my mum made some skinless ones on Monday and then ordered the electric one from lakeland (they also do a hand mincer-but mum would never manage that with her arthritis ) and she used it yesterday -she is 69 and as she admits not very good with "technical" stuff
    The sausages I make have no rusk, bread or fillers -so just meat and they are great .... I only get my machine out every couple of months or so and make a couple of big batches of different ones(saves washing up ) ...but it has earnt its keep over and over
    Although if you don't want a mincer just pick the cuts of meat you want from your butcher and ask him to mince it for you -less work -and you still know whats in it

    Im off to the NAAFI tomorrow on a whoopsy hunt ..I have broken into this months money as I spotted andrex loo rolls @ €2.99 for 16 -so grabbed 4 lots ..should last a while . Oh and 10 kilo of potatoes for 1.99
    oh and more veggie seeds on @ 10 packs for€1.50 -but that comes out of a seperate budget

    Dinner tonight is special fried rice -at hubbies request -so I get to use up lots of odds n sods
    I made a cream of spinach and goats cheese soup in the remoska the other day , it was lovely so I have 2 big tubs in the freezer for hubbies flask ...

    right I will get on and do some knitting..have a great day everyone
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • MoneyMission
    • By MoneyMission 30th Jan 09, 11:11 AM
    • 632 Posts
    • 3,147 Thanks
    Hi. Can I come in again please? Would like to put us down for £350.00 again. Not got much in the freezer but as my month runs from 1st to 28th February its a short month so should be fine. Except OH is 40 so I'll be cooking him something special on his birthday. It would be cool to come in under budget.
    MFW Challenge 2019 - £1,470 / £2,420 - 60.74%
    • nickynoo08
    • By nickynoo08 30th Jan 09, 11:13 AM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 17,030 Thanks
    Hiya everyone i'm busy planning my first shop for feb and as ever i'm trying to think of ways i can cut costs. One thing i was looking at was longlife milk. I've never tried it before and would like to know your thoughts on it. My thinking behind changing to this is that we currently spend around £11 a week on milk or 10% of my monthly gc money, i've looked at costs and it is certainly cheaper than buying fresh. Also i'm what you would call an impulse buyer. Its a habit i'm trying hard to break and most of the time i'm really good, but it always tends to be when i'm just popping out for milk when i spend a blummin fortune. So what i'm hoping is that by have the milk in i wont need to pop to the shops for milk therfore saving me picking up any impulse buys. It may seem a bit extreme but if its gonna save me money.....
    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!!
  • elizabunny

    I have an electric mincer/sausage maker and it reall isn't complicated So much so that my mum made some skinless ones on Monday and then ordered the electric one from lakeland (they also do a hand mincer-but mum would never manage that with her arthritis ) and she used it yesterday -she is 69 and as she admits not very good with "technical" stuff
    The sausages I make have no rusk, bread or fillers -so just meat and they are great .... I only get my machine out every couple of months or so and make a couple of big batches of different ones(saves washing up ) ...but it has earnt its keep over and over
    Although if you don't want a mincer just pick the cuts of meat you want from your butcher and ask him to mince it for you -less work -and you still know whats in it
    Originally posted by MRSMCAWBER
    Thank you so much MRSM I'll have a look at lakeland now and see what they've got. I really love the idea of knowing what's in your mince and sausages and thanks for the tip about getting the butcher to mince a cut for me -I could do this until I get my own.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
  • sazzledazzle
    only £1.30 spent on loaf of bread yesterday so still under and only a day to go.
    MAY NSD's

    • russetred
    • By russetred 30th Jan 09, 12:14 PM
    • 1,232 Posts
    • 9,385 Thanks
    After watching Jamie saves our bacon i decided to investigate the pork in my fridge and freezer.Apart from a pile of Walls sausages(whoopsied) everything was red tractor.I had to buy bacon for the weekend and British bacon was 2 for £4 in Mr T so should be easy to keep to supporting our pig farmers.By the way weren't those piglets adorable?
    "Sometimes life sucks....but the alternative is unacceptable."
  • scotsaver
    As promised here is the Tuna Lasagne recipe:-


    1 tin of Tuna
    1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes
    Prawns (I used a small tub of fresh from Lidl but you could use a couple of handfuls of Frozen and leave them to thaw)
    2 Handfuls Spinach
    2 Handfuls of Sweetcorn
    Few splashes of Lemon Juice
    Lasagne Sheets
    Salt & Pepper

    Cheese sauce made with 1oz Butter, 1oz Flour, half pint of milk and 4oz Cheddar

    Wash the Spinach and tear into pieces, place in a bowl. Drain the tin of tuna and add to the bowl together with the prawns,tomatoes,sweetcorn, lemon juice and then season with salt and pepper. Make the cheese sauce. Put some of the Tuna mix in the bottom of a Lasagne dish and layer alternately until you have used all the mix ending with Lasagne sheets then our over the Cheese sauce. Cook at 180 degrees for 30 - 40 mins.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • Hollysan
    • By Hollysan 30th Jan 09, 12:42 PM
    • 135 Posts
    • 1,160 Thanks
    Mrs M., please put me down for £400 this month. I will be going to the wholefood warehouse next week, so even though this is a short month, this is realistic!

    Good luck to everyone, especially the newbies.

    MFiT-T4 #63
    Mortgage £78,000/£67,690.73
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