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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 32
    • dumpling
    • By dumpling 7th Feb 09, 6:48 PM
    • 1,757 Posts
    • 24,305 Thanks
    Faggoty Pea Stew
    Hi all, just wanted to share a very cheap and filling recipe -we had it for tea and it was yummy !

    Faggoty Pea Stew

    You will need:
    1 pack of faggots (we used Brains 4 for a £1 on offer in Morrisons this week)
    2 tins of processed peas (13p each in Tescos)
    a third of a bag of potatoes (about 40p worth) and
    some gravy granules.

    This couldn't be easier, in a large pan put the faggots (don't even have to defrost them first!) the peas and the peeled chopped potatoes. Add enough boiling water to cover, bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked. Stir well to break up the faggots and thicken to taste with the gravy granules.

    I promise that this is absolutely delicious and perfect for this time of year. We usually have a loaf of bread fresh from the breadmaker to mop up all the lovely gravy!

    You can add extras if you want, carrots and onions are nice with it but honestly, it's lovely as it is. This makes enough for 2 greedy adults and 3 kids with enough for seconds too and it costs around £2 for the whole lot.

  • princess leia
    Mmm that sounds yummy!

    I spent another £1.50 on veg for tomorrows roast and £1.50 on milk, hoping that tomorrow will be a nsd where groceries are concerned.
    Will get some faggots on monday if they are still on offer
    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!

    • Barneysmom
    • By Barneysmom 7th Feb 09, 7:41 PM
    • 9,470 Posts
    • 24,286 Thanks
    Hello, I'm just updating my sig after spending £30.00 on shopping this week, and that's without coffee lol.
    Got a largish piece of beef from Asda for about £11.00. It's cheaper to buy it that way -£5 a kilo, then when I got it home I sliced it into 5 very small joints, enough for us two anyway.
    Also the salmon pieces were a £1.00 each so I got 8. They are now in the freezer, 2 in each bag.
    We made a beautiful salmon en croute the other day, with some of the Jus-rol puff pastry, salmon and some cheese sauce.
    Also a small shoulder of lamb which will do us for Sunday and Monday.
    Bread, milk and some veg took the rest of the money but I think we've done quite well this week.
    • dazzle21
    • By dazzle21 7th Feb 09, 7:58 PM
    • 1,935 Posts
    • 7,242 Thanks
    Hello! £45 spent in Mr T and Mr S, going to do roast pork tomorrow with hm apple sauce yum yum! I plan to go to our organic butcher this week, they are doing a special offer on a meat box (£15 off rrp) i thought it would be a good time to try them out, we've decided less meat but higher quality, so hopefully won't effect our GC! Hope everyone is ok xx
    August: £149/£150

    Sept: £200
  • Julimk
    A couple of NSDs for me & should be tomorrow too.

    Tomorrow am planning a baking day with DD. We havenít tried Twinks hobnobs yet, so will do some of them. And also some HM Jammie Dodger type biscuits. We live quite near Tiptree & have loads of their jam from a trip to the factory shop last year. Also some savories like quiche & cheese scones.

    On Monday will need to get some more milk, eggs & butter. And also some more Frubes. Bought a pack of 9 at £1 on Thursday & DD has eaten them all already!!

    Not much left in the budget but after that should just need more milk. DD is going to her Dadís for half term & I will just make do that week.
  • Rachel021967
    Thanks Tracey.32 for the link. I've got some potatoes and bacon to use up. Cooked up a lovely brisket today in the oven and did some batch cooking of Twinks hobnobs (already gone) and quiche as daughter is vegetarian. Sent daughter down the road for some more margarine and came back with a small tub for around 60p. So total spend £123.45 leaving £226.55 for the month.
  • laurasbump
    Shopping update
    Expensive day today:

    £53.38 at Asda on the weekly shop (still forgot the milk!!)
    £41.50 on petrol

    Petrol will last me about 6 weeks as I don't do much mileage.
    Mummy to DS May 08 and DD Oct 09
    Started joint IVA in Nov 09 - 13 payments down 47 to go!
    • mummyyof5
    • By mummyyof5 7th Feb 09, 9:36 PM
    • 1,839 Posts
    • 39,830 Thanks
    Another NSD for me today as took DD2 to sign up for her college course(she is thrilled and cant wait till September),so I decluttered the rest of the corned beef hash into a pie,it was nice but will drain the veg out of the gravy more next time IFYSWIM.

    NSD tomorrow as well, having shepherds pie with the mince I bought earlier in the week and I have carrots and sprouts in the fridge already.
    Just need to get a sack of potatoes asap as it works out so much cheaper for us,will add that on when I can get to the farm, more snow forcast for tomorrow night
    Last edited by mummyyof5; 08-02-2009 at 10:23 AM.
    • Flat Eric
    • By Flat Eric 7th Feb 09, 11:19 PM
    • 3,991 Posts
    • 24,048 Thanks
    Flat Eric
    thought today would be a no spend day but forgot about the pub quiz I was meant to be going to and ended up going into town to take a library book back and get some food bits which I didnt get as I popped into the charity shop only to pick up several dozen mags which were vey heavy!

    ended up going to my local costcutter but their prices actuall compare really well with the supermarket. coop flora £1.58. costcutter flora £1.28. jar of nescafe 200g only 2.99 plus a few other bargains.

    fridge well stocked from the bargains available in somerfield (half price pork loin steaks, finest steak on offer etc) so plenty of food to keep me going for the coming week

  • Mellika
    Faggoty Pea Stew

    You will need:
    1 pack of faggots (we used Brains 4 for a £1 on offer in Morrisons this week)
    2 tins of processed peas (13p each in Tescos)
    a third of a bag of potatoes (about 40p worth) and
    some gravy granules.
    Originally posted by dumpling
    Silly question from a silly foreigner: What are faggots? :confused:
    GC March Wk1 £28.72/£30 Wk2 £28.4/£29
    "Life is too short to float Coke cans..."
    Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or do without!
    Sealed Pot Challenge Member No.644 (Mar4-Dec1)
    100 Day Challenge: 13/100 (Mar4-Jun9)
  • Julimk
    Faggots are large pork and offal meatballs:

    Mr Brain's were a childhood favourite for me & are more meatbally & less like haggis, which a traditional faggot is more like. If you want to make your own:

    • sashanut
    • By sashanut 8th Feb 09, 7:31 AM
    • 3,223 Posts
    • 30,612 Thanks
    Hi all
    Just checking in to report for the first week of Feb - 5NSDs so far had to send DH to Mr M's yesterday for a few bits - but he always sticks to the list! Total for yesterday inc newspapers/headache tabs which I don't normally count was £6.34, bringing total so far to £58.26. For the first time I have had the courage to snowball my debts - well the ccs/loans etc - & have made the first overpayment Now I am obssessed with looking at the totals & hoping to use enough GC money left at the end of the month to get the first CC total under £1000 - it is currently at £ weekend though we are away, but not counting that in GC spends.

    Am enjoying first week at home with no job - I reckon I can save more than I earnt by making all our own meals & getting stuff ready for ebay/website selling. Not to mention cleaning. decorating etc

    Good luck all for Feb, keep smiling
    New start JAN15 - NOT BUYING IT 2015 . Long haul DFW #145 : 2011 DEBTBUSTING : £5500 OD GONE, £2000 OD - GONE £93,610.30 cc & loan debt - GONE 27.6.14 FINALLY DEBT & MORTGAGE FREE
    • Hollysan
    • By Hollysan 8th Feb 09, 7:41 AM
    • 135 Posts
    • 1,160 Thanks
    Oh my goodness, I will never catch up with all the posts! I have read the last few pages though. Lots of offal around in Feb!

    My spend so far is enormous, but that is because I went to the wholefood warehouse this week. There is a lot more there than you would think. We get all our washing powder, toilet cleaner, shampoo, shower gel etc there, as well as big sacks of chickpeas, lentils, rice etc. (mentioning this because of earlier discussion on the post about cooking large batches of chickpeas). Worth doing if you use a lot of these things, eg red lentils, peanut butter, tinned tomatoes too.

    Also we have had a Tesco delivery, so we should be able to last out the month now with top-up shops in the nearest town.

    I am struggling at the moment to find time for cooking, baking, so we have been living out of the freezer (mostly 'prepared earlier'); but we are running out! Had the last frozen quiche last night. Don't worry, I de-frosted if first

    My biggest problem at the moment is feeding my children! My son is ridiculously fussy, and whatever is on the menu plan (displayed on side of fridge) he says 'Oh no, not THAT!'
    They are eating a constant rotation of HM pizza, veggie sausages, pasta and veggie burgers, oh, and soup. Does anyone have any suggestions for quick and easy meals for kids? Must be veggie! I am so bored cooking the above!

    I think my budget for this month might be busted... we have family staying in half term, and OH is at home all week (mental note: stock up on coffee!). Hate to think how much we will spend over the week.. Must start menu planning now, and have some homebakes in the freezer to keep them happy.

    Have a good week everyone,

    MFiT-T4 #63
    Mortgage £78,000/£67,690.73
  • orchid-96
    Having a busy weekend what with ds's birthday party here yesterday (10 7 yr olds mainly boys - never again ) and with my parents and nephew staying the weekend...will read all the posts later but thought I had better pop on to update sig and keep focused...parents will be back soon with some bacon/eggs for a big brekkie yum..... popped into MrA yesterday as went out with mum for a bit of retail therapy (after the kids party) and managed to just pick up my fave yogs on a great offer there (acivia 8 packs on 2 for £3) and 400g cathedral city for £ thats just a fiver yesterday....and managed a nsd on Friday (and hopefully today too)....
    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
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 8th Feb 09, 8:56 AM
    • 4,361 Posts
    • 30,013 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...i did chicken in sc and it was ok...more like chicken casserole than roast but everyone ate it and there is enough for a pie today...iv got to go to sainsburys sure their economy peppers are better than asda...u get more colours...also onions are quite cheap....i read tu houseware is reduced as well so will have a look...have a great day tess
    • procrastinator
    • By procrastinator 8th Feb 09, 9:02 AM
    • 566 Posts
    • 7,018 Thanks
    Have spent 47.48 this week ad that included items for a birthday present so I think I have done well. Didn't get out in the week due to lethargy and snow must make a greater effort this week. Need to up the exercise and fruit and veg stocks need replenishing. Haven't been buy much from Mr T - as the price has gone up the quality has gone down.
    WL 11 st 5lb as at 050109. 160209 11st 2lb
    11st 5lb as at 20.04.09 11st 7lbs 040509 11st6 010609 I wish 2016 175 lbs.
    Family of 3 at home - , DS 22, self and OH
  • Girl least likely to
    I know I'm a bit late with this (haven't updated my sig for a while...just off to check my receipts/bank balance) but have you tried Sainsbury's Gold Roast? It's about half the price of Kenco and the likes and tastes very similar imo. And I lurve my coffee. Hope this helps.
    Originally posted by fatcattaff
    Thanks for the tip

    I actually cancelled it off my tesco order as I checked which said Nescafe is on offer at Asda and Sainsburys. The 200g jar is either £3 or 2 for £6 there as opposed to £4.45 (of the top of my head) in Tesco. So I'll pop in there later in the week as DH has enough to last for the rest of the week, he does only have 1 cup a day so I shouldn't grumble . There are brands neither of us won't debrand like heinz tomato soup and tom sauce, hellmans mayo and ribena. We have tried other makes but they're really not as nice and I do buy other value items like tinned sweetcorn, flour, loo rolls, washing powder, choc for cooking, tinned toms, beans and sausage to name a few.

    Anyway my big tesco delivery came yesterday. The total price came to £61.87 so feel I will stay within budget this month, hopefully . I'm quite well stocked up and just need to stay on track towards the end of the week when the milk begins to run out.
    • russetred
    • By russetred 8th Feb 09, 12:43 PM
    • 1,233 Posts
    • 9,385 Thanks
    Spent £22.63 in farmfoods yesterday as I wanted to use a £2.50 off voucher so stocked up on teabags,crisps,biscuits and other store cupboard things for the rest of the month.Going to slow roast a shoulder of mutton today with parsley,capers,lemon and anchovie stuffing.A new one for me but it looked good when HFW did it.
    "Sometimes life sucks....but the alternative is unacceptable."
    • mummyyof5
    • By mummyyof5 8th Feb 09, 1:08 PM
    • 1,839 Posts
    • 39,830 Thanks
    Well,bang goes my Shepherds pie for today,OH has come home early from tour and wants a chinese takeaway,Fine so long as he is paying!
    His money is not in my grocery challenge so a NSD for me.
  • fatcattaff
    Just updating my signature. I spent £20.87 over in January and it's taken me til now to identify the exact I'm actually quite pleased. I've carried forward the overspend into the current spend, just to keep things accurate.

    I've spent loads this first week, but we should be stocked well for the coming month. I went to Aldi, Farm Foods and Sainsbury on Saturday. They still had the Smarties cones for 50p for 4, but I can't cram another thing into my freezer. I also like the 18 yorkshire puddings for a pound. They're just as good as Aunt Bessies imo but again, I'm short of space. Aldi was great for carrots, green apples and baking potatoes, all 69p each. Sainsburys had fairy dishwasher tabs for less than half price; posh naan bread on buy one get one free, so just 55p each and the crisps were two 6pcks for £2.

    I'm going to have to be really careful for the next 3 weeks but I'm still hopeful of coming in on budget. It'll be a case of plundering the freezer, which I don't do often enough, so it's probably for the best...
    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)
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