Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    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 11
    • iwanttogoonholiday
    • By iwanttogoonholiday 31st Jan 09, 3:28 PM
    • 343 Posts
    • 2,569 Thanks
    hey..hoping for an really good month so 100 please

    so will start 2mor,really need to keep recipes this time!
    Learning to keep within budgets !

    I was looking for a way to use up some apples which had seen better days and I found this microwave cake recipe so thought I'd give it a try. It took longer in my microwave to cook on medium high and came out more like a sponge pudding than a cake. Tastes good though and we’re having it with custard after tea!

    Microwave Autumn Apple Cake

    175g self raising flour
    175g sugar
    175g butter, softened
    3 eggs
    3 tbspns milk or plain yoghurt
    4 large apples, peeled and sliced into thick chunks
    1 tbspn caster sugar
    1 tspn cinnamon

    Place all the flour, sugar, butter, eggs and milk or yoghurt into a large mixing bowl. Beat until mixture is well combined and light and fluffy.
    Line a large 30cm shallow cake pan with baking paper (make sure the pan can go in the microwave)
    Spread the cake mixture over the paper, then top with apples slices, in neat circles.
    Combine the caster sugar and cinnamon together. Sprinkle over the apples.

    Cook in a combination oven 200 degrees c of heat with microwave MEDIUM LOW power (350 watts) for 10 - 12 minutes, or on the CRISP function of the Whirlpool Jet chef JT355 oven on the crisp function for 10 minutes, in the crisp plate
    The cake can also be cooked in a microwave oven for 7 - 8 minutes on MEDIUM HIGH power.

    From Whirlpool recipe site
    Last edited by KITTY; 01-02-2009 at 1:26 PM. Reason: added reference

    Merry Christmas
    • milliejo
    • By milliejo 31st Jan 09, 3:31 PM
    • 317 Posts
    • 5,152 Thanks
    as posted on Januarys list total for January is 321.26

    Please put me down for 320 IN FEBRUARY
  • Changingme
    First spend of the month 72.81 that from MR Ts,Aldi,Homebargins and Poundland,I 've planned meals for next 2 weeks going to try harder this month.:rolleyes:
    Save 4500 in 2014
    • seabright
    • By seabright 31st Jan 09, 3:39 PM
    • 621 Posts
    • 1,662 Thanks
    My first time on the grocery challenge!

    Please put me down for 150 which is to cover 2 adults (3 if step-son moves in temorarily) one baby and at least one 3 course dinner party for 4.
    • *Mari*
    • By *Mari* 31st Jan 09, 4:15 PM
    • 465 Posts
    • 4,345 Thanks
    My total for Jan was 220.54 so am going to go for 200.00 for Feb Please Mrs M


    Mari xx
    • mummyyof5
    • By mummyyof5 31st Jan 09, 4:36 PM
    • 1,839 Posts
    • 39,830 Thanks
    Well been to the market today and bought 1.5lbs stewing meat some kidney (these are to make a S&k pie with a suet crust)
    1.5lb chicken breast (to make chicken korma and rice
    1lb of lambs liver (just need some bacon to go with this)

    It all came to 10.40p which is 3 meals for 7 of us,
    21 meals in all.

    Need to do a MrM shop tomorrow so will add that on then.

    Thank you rosieben for the link to Twinks hobnobs,they are the ones I used to make I just double the quantity as there are so many of us, these WILL be made tomorrow.
  • Pip-squeak
    Not posting much at the moment but still great to have my target written down so that I have to keep to it!!!!
    Cant beleve it is still Jan and we are on page 11!
    Mrs M
    Total for Jan 99.64
    could you put me down for 100 again in Feb please
    Thanks to everyone who sorts this site you do such a good job .

    Good luck everyone
    Challenge 2 adults food and household.
    2009 1214.37
    Target for 2010 1250
    • ifonlyitwaseasier
    • By ifonlyitwaseasier 31st Jan 09, 5:00 PM
    • 2,787 Posts
    • 20,347 Thanks
    evening all,

    first spend of the month, 27.34 in MrT, did spend a little in m&s but used a gift card so i'm not going to include that in my total, as i wouldn't have bought anything in there if i hadn't had the gift card!!

    have been reading the "it's tough now" thread and there is a link to thriftladys choc fudge pudding.... : drool: just about covers it!

    i think we have enough meat and pulses to last a month or two and should only need bread, i've dropped off from making as much as i never seem to have the time at the moment. i really must try and get a routine going on the weekends..

    take care all

    Last edited by ifonlyitwaseasier; 31-01-2009 at 8:05 PM.
    Nonny mouse and Proud!!
    Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience
    Amor et metus. Lac? Sugar? Quisque massa vel duo? (stolen from a lovely forumite!)

    • redmel1621
    • By redmel1621 31st Jan 09, 5:18 PM
    • 5,969 Posts
    • 25,828 Thanks
    Hello everyone.

    Wow I can't believe we are up to page 11 and it isn't Feb till tomorrow

    I have done my BIG Asda shop (being delivered Monday) - 200.13, so hopefully I can just top up each week with milk fruit and veg.

    Although I need to double check it before 5pm tomorrow and make sure I have included everything I need/want.

    Good Luck everybody.

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

  • DelaneyJae
    Thanks for adding me to the list. I'm going to be doing the same as Flylady and taking my 100 out in cash tomorrow. I think it will make me much more aware of what I'm spending if I can see the money physically being spent rather than just numbers in my bank account. Good luck everyone!
    Sealed Pot Challenge - #590
    • hilstep2000
    • By hilstep2000 31st Jan 09, 5:23 PM
    • 3,035 Posts
    • 17,709 Thanks
    I've taken out 100 in cash, hope it can go that far!
    Spent 3.23 in the greengrocer, and have a fridge and freezer full, so we'll see!
    I Believe in saving money!!!
    A Bargain is only a bargain if you need it!

  • hugedebt
    Hi All
    You have inspired me!! My first month on the GC, so am going to try for 340 for us to include food, toiletries, nappies for two & cleaning products.

    Good luck & thanks for all your amazing posts!!

    hd x
    • goldfinch68
    • By goldfinch68 31st Jan 09, 6:54 PM
    • 205 Posts
    • 527 Thanks
    Went to our local farm shop today to see if their veg is any cheaper than Tescos. Some is but I couldn't believe cucumbers were 1.29! Are they having a laugh? Tonight is pasta, chicken, sweetcorn with pesto and tomorrow will be something in the slow cooker. First weekend in ages without the usual bottle of wine - but will save twenty quid per month. Missing it already!
    Slimming World: SD: 2.05.16 SW: 13st10lb
    Goal: 11st 10lb by my birthday in August

  • TheBees
    Hi all
    We've spent over 100 of our budget already but we're well stocked up and have a meal plan for the next couple weeks sorted out.

    Scotsaver - Here is my advice regarding shopping at the butchers. Hope it helps!
    1. Ask friends and locals to recommend the best butcher or take a look in the local butchers windows at the quality of the meat. I chose not to shop at one because there were flies in the window!!
    2. Don't be embarassed. I had always bought all my meat at the supermarket but went to the butcher for the first time last year after watching Hughs programme about chicken. I mentioned this to the butcher on my first visit and admitted I might need help. Any good butcher will welcome you with open arms.
    3. I normally ask for 6 or 8 sausages or a certain amount of rashers of bacon rather than buying by weight.
    4. If I buy mince I buy it by the pound and if I need 3lb I will ask for it to be put in 3 separate bags so it's easier to freeze.
    5. Once you become a regular the butcher will get to know you and ours often throws in the odd free sausage!
    6. Our butcher puts the total price of the roasting joints on them so you don't have to guess the price. If yours doesn't then you could say how uch you want to spend and he should find you a joint that you can afford.

    After watching Jamie and his pigs I went to the butcher and asked for a pork shoulder to roast. He said several people had been in for them since the programme too. He went out the back and offered me one for 4.99. ( a pork shoulder that is!!!) Great value so I can't wait to cook it tomorrow.

    Mortgage Free in 3 part 2 challenge - pay off 9000
    Sealed Pot Challenge 416 - target 500
    • queen of string
    • By queen of string 31st Jan 09, 7:40 PM
    • 506 Posts
    • 3,879 Thanks
    queen of string
    150 for Feb please Mrs M I made a complete mess of Jan due to eating out and OH visiting from Canada. Have had a bit of a rethink on what's included and what's not so will reduce to 150 and see how we go :-)
    Eat food, not edible food-like items. Mostly plants.
  • WelshWoofer
    Evening all!

    Couldn't stay away from Tesco and managed to spend 47
    Only went for a smallish shop and ended up buying a few more treats than usual and stocked up on dog food that's on special offer.
    Also went bonkers and bought some tuna steaks that were almost 5! Hope they're good?

    That means that I've now spent about 50 of my 160 budget and we will be OK until next weekend at the earliest.
    Fruit seems to be one of the most expensive things that I buy and I buy a lot of it (OH and I eat about 3 or 4 pieces a day each), salad is also extortionate at this time of year but again we eat that too! Makes us sound like saints but I also bought crisps, custard slices (as a treat), frozen yoghurt and choccy biscuits.

    Tomorrow it's tuna steaks with spicy salsa, new potatoes and salad for tea - better be nice for the moeny I paid for it!

    May have to pick up some milk during the week for cereal but other than that I refuse to go in a shop!
    January grocery spending - 82.73/ 120
    • JayneC
    • By JayneC 31st Jan 09, 8:03 PM
    • 911 Posts
    • 10,929 Thanks
    Hi everyone,

    well I'm only a week in and I've already spent over 150 and got less than 100 for rest of month

    But I've done a monthly online shop at Tesco and got all tins, cereal and baking/storecupbaord stuff. Plus stopped at a roadside farm shop yesterday and probably bought enough veg for the month for 12.50 - bargain..... Though I'll have to chop and freeze it all so it doesn't go bad before I can use it all!!

    Baked loads of cakes + puds today so they should last the week for after teas and lunchboxes and I've done meal plans for next 2 weeks from food I've got in, so I reckon I can do it if I pay attention
    Official DFW nerd - 282 'Proud To Be Dealing With My Debts'
    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z member # 56
    • kezlou
    • By kezlou 31st Jan 09, 8:17 PM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 43,067 Thanks
    Hello all,

    Is is okay if i join the grocery challenge? Never done it before
    If its fine please could you put me down for
    400. I usually spend less than that but may as well start high in case i mess up, which i probably will.

    This is for food, toiletries and cleaning products inc me and OH's weekly lunch out on a Thursday and pack lunches all week for my two young boys.

    Thanks again

    Good luck everyone

  • elizabunny
    Evening everyone! Phew I'm exhausted tonight due having started shopping at 8.30am. Finished shopping at 1pm Then did a load of cooking. Started off in the local Farmers market and brought Cabbage, Jerusalem Artichokes, Onions, Carrots, Swede, Turnips and Parsnips £5.90p but fab. quality. Then went to a local Farm and picked up a sack 56lbs Red Potatoes for £5 and a huge net of Onions (Don't know what the weight is maybe 20lb-30lb) for £3. Then onto another farm shop for a Kilo of braising steak (herd reared locally) and then onto another local butcher for 1.5kg Pork Shoulder (watched the Jamie program. Then onto MrL and finally MrS.

    Cupboards now well stocked, Lots of Pulses/lentils/flour amongst other things and 8 litres of milk -some for freezing.

    Couldn't wait to start cooking, so after dividing up all the meat into manageable amounts, I put most in the freezer and kept out 225gm braising steak and 475gm Pork Shoulder. Both of these have been minced in my new mincer From the Braising steak I made 7 HM Beef & Veg. Pasties and a lovely Lasagne. From the Pork Shoulder, Pork & Cranberrry Sausage Rolls for DH packed lunches next week and a Sausage and Onion Lattice (In the freezer with that one). Finished off by making a HM loaf and a double batch of Twinks Hobnobs.

    I hope we will be ok for Feb. because I have already spent.........£83.39
    But I'm feeling positive and am really trying to get my head round meal planning. Must say, I really enjoyed shopping at all the different places, even DH said it had been fun. The local butcher -who we have never been to before was extremely friendly and helpful and had a really well stocked shop with reasonable prices. So I will be back there again,

    Going to put my feet up now, so have a good evening everyone.
    Going to update signature now.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,083Posts Today

6,524Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the weekend, it's the weekend, yay. It's that moment, when as usual, to sign off for family time. So I bid y?

  • Actually the BBC was set up to "educate, entertain and inform" so I think it is one of its responsibilities and cle?

  • Today's FRI twitter poll: Puritanical new laws by Tories/Labour/EU/Trump/Putin (pick ur own scapegoat) dictate mode?

  • Follow Martin