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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!

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Page 29
    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 6th Feb 09, 12:50 PM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    I think you use about half of the weight you want. if there are too many you could cook them all and keep them in the fridge for 5 days or freeze them. I have done both and they are fine.
    Originally posted by reb
    Someone else on quick q's thread suggested 200g, which agrees with what you suggest, so I will go with that and weigh them when cooked for future reference!
    • nmlc
    • By nmlc 6th Feb 09, 12:51 PM
    • 3,425 Posts
    • 47,941 Thanks
    Hi all
    Just an update of the spend situation, Mr T online order arrived, spent £83.41 and then realised that I hadn't got any eggs and the bin liners I'd ordered from Mr T were the wrong ones, so returned those. Went to Mr L's and spent another £13.99 (but this did include a huge 24 roll pack of Charmin loo rolls for £6.49 now have enough to last possibly 2+ months). I'm assuming the loo rolls were a good buy normal price is £9. When I'm looking back at what I've bought I can now see why I need to take part in the G Challenge - I've now spent over £200 in 2 weeks - eek! that's REALLY scary!

    Take it easy everyone, the weather here is getting worse really quickly and the roads are becoming like skating rinks!
    Last edited by nmlc; 06-02-2009 at 12:56 PM.
    • elly2
    • By elly2 6th Feb 09, 12:53 PM
    • 553 Posts
    • 5,227 Thanks
    Another NSD here today, still need salt but am avoiding the shops we have enough milk,bread etc etc till tomorrow so will do some shopping then have sliced up the gammon joint and there is a huge amount of it was going to do a dinner with it but have decided to have some with chips tonight for tea and then i am stuck with what to do with the rest pies and quiches maybe? have saved the stock that came from it to use as a base for a soup next week sometime so that is in the freezer. managed to sort the freezer out and now have a list of what is in there so need to start menu planning going by the huge list i really shouldnt have to shop at all but i dont know where to start with it all really.

    • cw18
    • By cw18 6th Feb 09, 1:05 PM
    • 8,051 Posts
    • 85,994 Thanks
    When I do a gammon joint I don't tend to do huge ones -- purely 'cos of the issue of what to do with the left-overs (younger DS isn't a fan).

    Did do a large one just before Christmas, and then used quite a bit in butties (for me and elder DS who was home on leave), and did a chicken and ham rissotto using some (and some of the chicken 'scraps' from Christmas Day - did a large chicken rather than a turkey). I bagged the rest up in small quantities for the freezer, and will pull them out once in a while to make more rissotto (did one at the start of this week as we had chicken again on Sunday).
    • hamish222
    • By hamish222 6th Feb 09, 1:08 PM
    • 707 Posts
    • 3,004 Thanks
    Can anyone help my 1st fruit and veg box has just arrived and was thinking of making a lamb joint in my slow cooker with some of veg and then freezing for next week. I have a frozen lamb joint in freezer (that I bought frozen) which says in pack to roast from frozen, can I just bung this in slow cooker frozen as well with the veg.
    Yearly Grocery Budget - £100.77/ £3500. January Treats Budget - £11.80 / £100.
    • DdraigGoch
    • By DdraigGoch 6th Feb 09, 1:15 PM
    • 715 Posts
    • 3,996 Thanks
    nmlc, don't worry too much, I'm on £100 for the month, I haven't spent a penny and still my budget is down to £70 already ..... in my case it is the rest of the family raiding the envelope! Just take very careful note of what you are spending the money on, then next month you can work a little closer to the budget. It gets easier as time goes by, honestly. In time it even gets to be automatic, though we all fall off every now and again - unless you are NYK or Weezl or Mrs Mac!!
    If you see me on here - shout at me to get off and go and get something useful done!!
    • meanmarie
    • By meanmarie 6th Feb 09, 1:34 PM
    • 5,091 Posts
    • 49,542 Thanks
    Shopping to-day, went to Aldi and Lidl...they had asparagus on offer at 79c, also 6 Granny Smith apples and tomatoes..didn't buy the asparagus as god knows where it came from, nothing on bunches
    Spent €36.35 in Aldi and €46.79 in Lidl, bringing my total for February to €115.91...seems to be lots in freezer and fridge, so may only need to shop for milk and fresh f & v next week...hopefully.

    Weight 08 February 86kg
    • newlywed
    • By newlywed 6th Feb 09, 1:35 PM
    • 7,474 Posts
    • 24,349 Thanks
    have sliced up the gammon joint and there is a huge amount of it was going to do a dinner with it but have decided to have some with chips tonight for tea and then i am stuck with what to do with the rest pies and quiches maybe?
    Originally posted by elly2
    I usually do a gammon risotto, using leftover gammon joint chopped into chunks. Nice if you have a bit of chicken to mix in with it too. Or I chuck it in a pasta bake dish.

    DMP support thread (member #32)

    • gailey
    • By gailey 6th Feb 09, 1:51 PM
    • 2,303 Posts
    • 17,249 Thanks

    gailey signing in not been on in a while.
    Im still on jan still until payday on 15th but please put me down for usual £200 for feb please.

    We still living off freezer and storecupboard except for milk and bread.
    My crazy batch cooking and freezing has paid off!
    I know my mistakes and learnt from last month so feel confident can do better this month!

    Good luck everyone
    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
    • Moniker
    • By Moniker 6th Feb 09, 2:08 PM
    • 626 Posts
    • 9,607 Thanks
    Totally snowed in, so weekend away called off. Have been a bit of a domestic goddess even if I say so myself! Made leek and potato soup for lunch –didn’t have recipe so made it up as I went along – my best ever! DH and I had half for lunch and there’s enough for tomorrow’s lunch too. I also made a dozen granary rolls – 8 of which have gone in the freezer. Used up 2 going off bananas to make banana cake –didn’t have any nuts so sprinkled oats and brown sugar on top – looks ok but will tell you later what it tastes like. Then I made a quiche using the rest of the leeks and some thin sliced ham which was going out of date. Quiche has just come out of the oven and smells delish! I also made two small apple crumbles to use up some stewed apple which had been lurking in the fridge since the weekend – one we’ll eat tonight and the other has gone in the freezer.

    I need to lie down now, but DH has said he might need some help later – the loo broke and he struggled in to town to get the part he needed to mend it bless him – he’s at it now – no swearing so far, so fingers crossed! Not the way we planned to spend our weekend break but very MS!

    In case anyone wants to know how I made the soup this is it:

    Moniker’s Leek and Potato Soup (makes 4 medium or 2 large servings)
    1 large potato, peeled and thinly sliced
    2 medium leeks scrubbed and thinly sliced
    1 pt vegetable stock (from my freezer – but you could use half a stock cube)
    2 bay leaves
    1-2oz butter
    Salt and pepper
    About 2-3 tablespoons cream (I used single Elmlea)

    Gently cook the potato and leeks in the butter until just beginning to colour. Add the stock, bay leaves and seasoning. I used my pressure cooker and cooked it for 5 minutes then blitzed with a blender till smooth. (I guess if you don’t have a pressure cooker you could simmer in a saucepan for 30 minutes or so). Finally I added a little cream and adjusted the seasoning. Simple!

    DH got some more milk and potatoes and the Elmlea for me when he went into town so there’s £2-44 to add to my total. Have updated my signature.

    Got some jumbo prawns out of the freezer for supper – might just make posh sandwiches and open a bottle of wine as I am not sure I can face anymore cooking today!

    Hope you are all keeping safe and warm.


    • russetred
    • By russetred 6th Feb 09, 2:17 PM
    • 1,232 Posts
    • 9,385 Thanks
    On to update my siggy.I made some rolls for brekkers tomorrow then popped in some raisin and white chocolate flapjacks too.I was just using up the left overbits in the cupboard but they smelt delish and I've eaten 2 already,quality control of course.No snow for us and blue skies again.
    "Sometimes life sucks....but the alternative is unacceptable."
    • mummyyof5
    • By mummyyof5 6th Feb 09, 2:28 PM
    • 1,839 Posts
    • 39,830 Thanks
    Just on to update,managed to get to town and spent £6.04p on minced beef(shepherds pie for Sunday dinner) and root veg (for corned beef hash for tonights tea.
    £1.00 on crisps(poundland)
    £7.00 in MrTs but £4.00 of that was on 4 packs of Frubes ,on offer at the moment so 1 pack in fridge for next weeks packed lunches and 3 packs in freezer,(I have enough to last a month so that was a really good saving for us)

    I now have enough food to last till at least Monday
    Off to make some Twinks Hobnobs now I cant keep up with these,My children love them.

    So far I have spent £134.39p of our £500.00 BUDGET.
    Last edited by mummyyof5; 06-02-2009 at 4:36 PM.
  • scotsaver
    Been To The Butchers
    I've finally done it - I've been to the Butcher's!!!! Just walked in and said Good morning and explained that I normally buy my meat from the Supermarket and the gentleman was very understanding. I bought 1lb of Lamb Mince as I'm planning to make Gordon Ramsay's Lamb Kebabs tomorrow night, I also bought 8 Rashers of ENGLISH Smoked Bacon (planning to only buy British after watching Jamie Saves our Bacon) and a piece of Beef Topside for the Freezer as I've already got a joint of Pork for this Sunday as I'm trying to use up all the Supermarket meat I still have in. Wasn't sure what size of Beef to ask for so just explained that I wanted enough for 4 Adults and 4 Children, will only be for 2 Adults and 2 Children but I want some for Leftovers. Anyway, that all came to £15.43, was a bit more than I expected but I think because of where they are we are paying London prices.

    I don't mind paying the extra if the flavour is better and I also feel happier about where the Meat comes from and that it's not been injected like the Supermarkets do.

    They also have a selection of Fruit & Veg there, bought some Parsnips which are bigger than anything I've seen in any Supermarket so all in all I'm quite pleased with what I got.

    MRSMC - the Leftover Corned Beef Hash that I turned into a Pie for DD1 was a huge hit and there was even a bit left which I had cold for Lunch today - OMG it was yummy, just like a Cornish Pasty so thanks very much for a recipe which was very MSE as it stretched so far.

    Dinner tonight HM chips, fish and mushy peas - have a good evening everyone.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • ladymay
    • By ladymay 6th Feb 09, 3:03 PM
    • 1,072 Posts
    • 4,417 Thanks
    Spent £8.67 on bits and pieces today, such as wine, nail files etc. The whole budgeting thing is taking a bit of getting used to, but I think Ishould be able to stay within my budget for the month - fingers crossed!
    2019 Aim: Save £10,000
    Don't sacrifice what you want most for what you want now
  • mumzyof2
    Just spent a bit in corner shop got milk,cordial,tea bags,pancake mix, will update later.
    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
    Afternoon all

    Still haven't spent anything this week -but that will all change tomorrow .. off on the NAAFI whoopsy hunt again , then back via Aldi for my yoghurts, fruit n veg....

    Scotsaver -glad the corned beef hash is a hit its one our faves... and it gets better when its stood in the fridge and re-heated ... glad im not the only one who likes it cold too

    Dinner tonight is potatoes n onions layered in the remoska with a couple of lamb oxos... then when I whip the foil off to crisp up the top ones Im putting bacon on top mmmmmmm with fresh HM bread .... another fave... No matter how many fancy things I make ..we always come back to the good old basics from my childhood

    Only a few more days and I can finally make a start on setting my veggie seeds -we DON'T have any snow

    hope everyone is having a great day...
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • Baileys Babe
    • By Baileys Babe 6th Feb 09, 3:35 PM
    • 2,498 Posts
    • 12,904 Thanks
    Baileys Babe
    Just popped into update. Have not manged to keep up with this thread at all as our internet connection has been non exsistant because of the weather. On Wednesday our Sainsburys delivery arrived, £91.39 of our budget gone, but many things will last us months, ketchup anyone (made the value upto £100 to get free delivery). The weather has saved me money as most of the playgroups/schools have been closed me and friends didn't meet up for our regular Thursday coffee & chat (we keep this as child free time). I haven't been in any shops all week.
  • jtb2412
    Scotsaver, really glad it went well at the butchers . Spends are pretty on par with what my local butcher charges (maybe a little less here but not much). Nice that they do fruit and veg too, saves you going to 2 shops . We're still getting through all the meat that I bought at the end of last month, in fact we've hardly scraped the surface ! lol We had some 'local' lamb last week and it was divine, really noticed the difference in flavour. It didn't last long though . Thank you for the PM too

    Having oxtail tomorrow (not sure what i'm going to do yet, but will be done in SC to ensure it's nice and tender). Will have a nose about later for a recipe.

    Mrs M ..... I'm going to try out your corned beef has recipe next week. Really looking forward to it but hubby not too keen (i'm sure he'll be converted though ) Looking forward to starting off our seeds too although it's a tad cold here atm as you might have seen on the news . We've been 'discussing' where to grow DS atlantic giant pumpkin (he wants pumpkins but I've said one and one only ! )

    Mummyyof5 ..... I bought the frubes too ...... tis a really good offer atm ! My fridge is rather full of them lol

    Moniker ... leek and potato soup one of my favs ..... can't wait to make some more (once my potatoes and leeks have grown that is ).

    Right off to finish tea - chicken and mushroom pie tonight

    Have a great evening xxx
    Weight loss to date 1st 11.5lb
    • Baileys Babe
    • By Baileys Babe 6th Feb 09, 3:42 PM
    • 2,498 Posts
    • 12,904 Thanks
    Baileys Babe
    I would like to make the famous corned beef hash but DP only eats locally reared & slaughtered happy meat. Any ideas what I use instead of corned beef?
  • Girl least likely to
    Have you tried keeping a Nescafe jar, hiding an 'own label', and decanting when he declares he's run out Worked a treat on tomato ketchup with my kids when they were little :rolleyes2
    Originally posted by cw18
    Yes . Even the cheapy mexican import from the £1 shop won't do
    Last edited by Girl least likely to; 06-02-2009 at 8:01 PM.
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