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  • FIRST POST
    rosieben
    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 competition....it'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!

    Quote:
    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 40
  • elizabunny
    I am thinking of planting some seeds, but only have a small garden (well decking area lol) is there anything edible that I can plant in pots? (other than herbs as dh did do some of those last year)
    Originally posted by orchid-96
    You could grow a variety of Tomato called 'Tumbling Tom' I grow loads of these every year and put them in hanging baskets. Just pop them in a sunny spot. You could also try strawberry plants -we grow these in big tubs and I also grow runner beans in big pots as well. HTH

    2 NSD so far. Eating out of the freezer tonight, as out all day. HM Veggie Soup, HM Pasties, Mash & Greens.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
  • rosieben
    I am thinking of planting some seeds, but only have a small garden (well decking area lol) is there anything edible that I can plant in pots? (other than herbs as dh did do some of those last year)
    Originally posted by orchid-96
    I've grown tomatoes, cucumber, courgettes (needs a very big pot), peppers, french beans and kidney beans, spring onions, cut-and-come-again lettuce (in a small trough) and potatoes in buckets and grobags; I'm going to try potatoes in my old kitchen waste bin this year, so the answer is you can grow anything in pots and containers.

    I like elizabunny's idea of tumbling toms in hanging baskets too
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • mummyyof5
    • By mummyyof5 11th Feb 09, 10:20 PM
    • 1,839 Posts
    • 39,830 Thanks
    mummyyof5
    Another NSD,Im getting good at these,took DD1 out for a meal tonight,its her birthday on the 15th but OH goes away tomorrow so we had to go early,anyhow OH paid
    Called at MRTs on the way home so OH can take some bits away with him ,he wanted to spend 50.00 to get the money off petrol voucher so asked me to make it up,I ended up getting a present for DS1s birthday in March as I couldnt think of anything we needed food wiseOH was so shocked at one time I would have bought loads of stuff for no reason,.


    Thank you for this thread it keeps me on the right track money-wise.
    • elly2
    • By elly2 11th Feb 09, 10:33 PM
    • 553 Posts
    • 5,227 Thanks
    elly2
    evening all well my NSD didnt happen as my dad couldnt get me any milk as he was busy, went into iceland and spent 4.50 on bread and milk so not bad at all really i am more than half way through the week and have spent 6.70 of my 60 budget so am feeling very pleased with myself . Tea tonight was mac cheese and garlic bread and i had everything in that i neeeded to make it and there is enough left for a meal for DD2 one day next week so will be freezing it. I am sort of just working my way through the freezer contents on a daily bases but really need to sort out some sort of meal plan x


  • louby28
    Just popped on here to ask a bit of advice, I made some banana muffins yesterday and although they taste ok, they didn't rise very well and sort of just 'spread out' into each other.....Does anyone have any ideas on why this might happen? I weighed out the dry ingredients, then added the wet ingredients (including melted butter) and then the mashed banana..could I have overstirred it? or does this make no sense? Just thought I would ask as I would like to try some chocolate ones next..
    Originally posted by orchid-96
    I made some today, and they rose quite high, never done them before and the recepie was in cups..so was a bit worried as always weighed before....this is the receipe I used:


    2 cups self-raising flour (600 ml)
    cup brown sugar (80ml)
    1 cup milk (240 ml)
    1 egg
    2 tablespoons margarine
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 ripe bananas

    Combine milk, egg, margarine, vanilla and bananas, and blend in a mixing jug.
    Place flour and sugar in a large bowl. Mix in milk mixture.
    Pour mixture into a greased muffin tray.
    Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180C.
    Last edited by louby28; 11-02-2009 at 10:51 PM.
    Food budget 12/10 >12/11=0/230
    Lose 24ibs for xmas 2009 4 1/2 lost
  • jakesmummy86
    Thanks guys for all the tip.

    I would estimate I now have about 65 for the remainder of the month after taking off nappies and toiletries, thanks for the tip regarding baby wipes as I have lots of cotton wool I can use!

    I have a couple of tins of soup and a chicken left and that's it, but I know the chicken will spread over a few days and the soup can be for the evening, quite nice with these snowy nights.

    Thanks again guys, you really have helped me x x x x
  • LittleEmms
    Ok ... am ashamed to say went over Grocery budget today ....

    Due to promising to cook Dad & Stepmum special Jamie O recipe of sizzling beef, and have to do this before he sets off home (abroad) in March ... I had promised to do it in the next few weeks when I could get some Rump steak from the butchers...

    Well he text last night (talk about hint for this dinner )... Sainsburys has Rump steak (about 550grams) for a 5 at the moment. So I went there this morning and with a few other bits added another 11.17 to my grocery total.

    This means I'm currently over by 9.48 - but I have no need to buy anything else now. I'm fully stocked for my own meals over the next few weeks until pay day (25th)...

    I do feel a bit guilty but I know this is a one off before dad deserts me for sunnier shores (who can blame him!) and teaches me a lesson about bragging about this lovely recipe I found!! :rolleyes:
    LBM - 17th November 2008 - better late than never :rolleyes:
    Challenges - 2009 - Reduce CC to 1k by December
    June - Food 86/130 * Petrol 50/80 * Weekly allowance * 80/160
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 12th Feb 09, 10:19 AM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,926 Thanks
    jintyb
    Hello! This is my first month attempting the GC. I didnt do the month saving receipts but I guesstimated 150 for Feb. This is for 2 adults ( all meals including packed lunches) and a dog and cat. So far Im 2.06 over but Ive done my meal planning and shop for next week and my month ends next Thurs(19th) I will only need bread and milk next week, about 3, so overspend @5.00. Does that sound ok? Im a bit miffed at myself for going over, but Im pleased that Ive focussed more on prices and not buying unnecessarily. Any advice/encouragement appreciated!


    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
    • meanmarie
    • By meanmarie 12th Feb 09, 10:23 AM
    • 5,092 Posts
    • 49,545 Thanks
    meanmarie
    Spent 6.49 on pork chops this morning for dinner to-night, forgot to take anything out of freezer so decided to bite the bullit...I was a meal or two short of meat/fish etc for dinners to end of month, so will work out ok I think...there will be a chop over so will freeze that and use it with something else to make a stir fry for OH and me some day next week when we are the only ones here.

    Good luck everybody

    Marie
    Weight 08 February 86kg
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 12th Feb 09, 10:25 AM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,926 Thanks
    jintyb
    Ok ... am ashamed to say went over Grocery budget today ....

    Due to promising to cook Dad & Stepmum special Jamie O recipe of sizzling beef, and have to do this before he sets off home (abroad) in March ... I had promised to do it in the next few weeks when I could get some Rump steak from the butchers...

    Well he text last night (talk about hint for this dinner )... Sainsburys has Rump steak (about 550grams) for a 5 at the moment. So I went there this morning and with a few other bits added another 11.17 to my grocery total.

    This means I'm currently over by 9.48 - but I have no need to buy anything else now. I'm fully stocked for my own meals over the next few weeks until pay day (25th)...

    I do feel a bit guilty but I know this is a one off before dad deserts me for sunnier shores (who can blame him!) and teaches me a lesson about bragging about this lovely recipe I found!! :rolleyes:
    Originally posted by LittleEmms
    Its a lovely thing you're doing for your Dad, its something that cant be measured in money, enjoy your meal with him, sounds like he will really appreciate your efforts! ( plus its much cheaper than eatingout)


    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
    • tiff
    • By tiff 12th Feb 09, 11:01 AM
    • 6,551 Posts
    • 8,597 Thanks
    tiff
    What tins and packets do you have in the cupboard?
    A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. - Dave Ramsey
  • elizabunny
    I've grown tomatoes, cucumber, courgettes (needs a very big pot), peppers, french beans and kidney beans, spring onions, cut-and-come-again lettuce (in a small trough) and potatoes in buckets and grobags; I'm going to try potatoes in my old kitchen waste bin this year, so the answer is you can grow anything in pots and containers.

    I like elizabunny's idea of tumbling toms in hanging baskets too
    Originally posted by rosieben
    Hi rosie -I'm sure your potatoes will grow well in the waste bin. We have been growing potatoes in old buckets for a couple of years. When the plant reaches the top of the bucket, I pop an old bottomless bucket on top and keep adding the soil to this. I've tried main crop this way and also some pink fir potatoes and usually I've had a couple of pounds per bucket -so you should get loads from your bin.

    I love growing the tumbling tomatoes in baskets, I've found them so easy to grow and look after and they have always cropped well. I think growing our own is such a great way of supplementing our food budgets and think nearly everyone could find a tiny space to grow something. So far I have in my GH the Tumbling Tom Seedlings which are doing well, two or three kinds of lettuce, I pick the leaves young and they carry on for ages, Spring Onions and Radish -which are so easy to grow. I will also start the Leeks off this month.

    This will be NSD 3. I am planning to make some homemade sausages later -this will be the first time so its going to be a bit of a hit and miss affair I'm afraid.

    We are away to our little caravan in the forest this weekend -so I'll be taking all the meals we'll need from our freezer and hoping not to dip into any of our remaining budget too much. We may decide to do something a bit special for Valentine's but I'm not sure we will go out to eat and we may just have a nice candlelit dinner in the van with a bottle of wine. If we have a takeaway or wine, this will not come out of our grocery challenge budget -as it's not a 'neccessity' and instead it will come from our 'going out/treats budget (which only exists if we have a bit extra in the kitty -which I think we have this week). Sorry for the waffle -hope I've made sense

    Have a good day everyone.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
  • Free in Three
    Hello All

    I have updated my signature and I feel that I might have finally started to get somewhere with the challenge. It's only taken me since October !!

    When I look back to what we were spending (about 350 to 400) and the amount of waste I feel that we have come a long way. We are eating better too

    I am still over my monthly budget a bit due to some stocking up in Jan but this will even itself out over the year as I will be under for Feb and will be under other months too i am sure.

    I will need to do a big shop in March as my stores and freezer are getting low.

    Free x
    Annual GC 2500/486.79 for 2 adults and 2 dogs
    Savings Target 2009 Lloyds Act 6000/1200 Jars & pig for Christmas and holidays
  • orchid-96
    Thanks for the ideas on growing stuff, theyr'e great...just need to get some pots/containers and seeds then, hope I am not too late to do it...

    louby28 Thanks for that muffin recipe, I will try it that way next time...do you think I could use that one for chocolate ones? or maybe choc chip and put the choc/chips in with the wet stuff?

    Just popped on to update sig, todays planned nsd has gone to pot as I needed to go to MrTs for dh to do a posh buffet for work tomorrow, and as I am not working today after all, thought it best to get stuff in today, so have swapped my nsd from today to tomorrow

    I got a finest meal for 9 in MrT's which we are going to have on Saturday..well sort of - we will use the potatoes/wine/pud and do some fillet steak with it and keep the ready meal thing to have during the week...anyway I did well as only spent 23.91 in all and seemed to get quite a bit for that - T's are doing 'happy eggs' for 1 for 6 so got 2 packs (also have their reg med fr on offer for 97p but I liked the happy egg box ) the froobs are on offer for 1 for 9 which my kids love (specially the hsm packaging at the mo) so got 2 of those - then got some fruit, cereals (frosties half price at 80p and have the adopt a monkey thing on them) nesquick on offer 1.14, some walls sausages for the kids (skinless ones they lik for 1 for 16) 2 x 10 t's omega 3 fishfingers (2 packs for 2) some mint aero mousses half price 0.59 + huggies pull ups 1/3 off at the mo and I had a 3 off till receipt from T's + a pack of cakes for a treat...and other stuff....indluding some beetroot and some sushi that I have just had for lunch(sorry for the waffle but pleased with my buys today ) Just need to go to my local butcher now for some steak (if its not too dear) so will nip there on Saturday....and will probably need some bits on sunday to see us through next week.....

    LittleEms, Hope your meal goes well with your Dad....I must try that recipe if its that good...
    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
    • Ess-six
    • By Ess-six 12th Feb 09, 12:41 PM
    • 141 Posts
    • 1,437 Thanks
    Ess-six
    Well I'm doing a lot better this month - so far have spent 44.16 of my 180 budget.....but the freezer is running very low so I need to do a 'proper' shop. Have managed to find the time to meal plan this month which is the key to managing the budget - but I'm suffering very badly from there not being enough hours in the day (at home and at work) at the moment, and I'm still not getting round to reading up on this thread.

    If anyone has a recipe for creating more time, would they put it on here pronto please!
  • scotsaver
    elizabunny & orchid-96 - thanks for the info on growing your own, I think there are a lot of us on here now that are planning to grow a lot more this year, I've already got Potatoes chitting and have loads of packets of seeds just waiting to get started in the Greenhouse - hoping to make a start after Half Term as some of the packets say they can be started in February - I'm sure we will be able to support one another in the coming Months.

    jintyb - don't beat yourself up about going over target - it's not set in stone, I went over last month and then just took that amount off this Month's target - some people on here do an Annual Budget for the GC as it helps when buying in bulk when you spot a bargain.

    LittleEmms - you enjoy your Family meal, you can't put a price on that time together.

    Updated my spends as I've been down to the Market to get F&V for the first time and will definitely be doing that each week now as I'm really pleased with what I got:- 1 cucumber, 2 Cauliflowers, 14 Bananas, 6 Granny Smiths, 4lb Carrots, 3lb New Potatoes, 4 Giant Baking Potatoes (they weigh 1lb each) and 2lb Parsnips all for 8 - was so tempted to get more but I couldn't carry anything else, have a plan to pop down there next week when the kids are of School so they can help me carry more.

    Last night's Impossible Pie for Pudding was a real hit, so yummy and easy to do, you must give it a try.

    Dinner tonight is a Chicken Casserole in the SC with Steamed Potatoes and Carrots.
    "WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!"
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

  • yummymummy05
    Back to my old ways!!!
    well i bought milk yesterday - and as we were going for an impromptu trip to the park i also bought 3 jars of babyfood (offer was 3 for 2) value sausage rolls for me,friend and her daughter. ds decided he now doesn't like them so had to buy him a sandwich!! (conveniently I can't find the receipts !!!)

    Also i broke the baby monitor the other day so ordered a new one online with Mr T's (10 off on the web!) to get free in-store delivery I also ordered my friend the blender that she wanted! However I now have to go to Mr T's this afternoon to pick it up - dh has already given me a list of stuff he wants me to get

    To make matters worse, on tuesday I had a major cooking afternoon - I roasted a chicken, baked 2 carrot cakes (turned out more cinnamon than carrot though) and did 4 types of baby food for dd!!!! However was so knackered and hadn't cleared up or portioned out the food by the time dh came home at 8o'clock we ended up having our "valentines curry" for dinner and now have to buy another one for saturday!!! I think I'm gonna use my Mr T vouchers for this as I have no money left!!!
    FebGC
    wk1 0/100 NSD's 0/7
    wk2
    wk3
    wk4
    Total 0/400
    • elly2
    • By elly2 12th Feb 09, 1:13 PM
    • 553 Posts
    • 5,227 Thanks
    elly2
    Another 5 here today DD wanted spag bol for tea so needed mince and spagetti, got some buns and a sausage roll and cookie for ds dinner also put 50p into the pot at school for his snack tomorrow (the change i had left out of the fiver will go into my sealed pot).


    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 12th Feb 09, 2:02 PM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    OrkneyStar
    Hi.
    Not much to say other than popped to Tesco for a few bits, got the Flora Buttery, cheese, Frubes and Rachels Organic yoghurts that are all on offer, plus enough bread and milk to last til next sizable shop (Tue 17th). I had actually started in Lidl but was not impressed by the dates on the milk (their milk normally has a decent date) or the bread.
    Still have some money left though, for 'emergencies' until then.
    Does anyone know when the next lot of Tesco vouchers come out ?
    Thanks
    Last edited by OrkneyStar; 12-02-2009 at 2:05 PM.
  • LittleEmms
    Jintyb, Orchid-96, Scotsaver and anyone else who wants it its very simple and impressive!!

    www.jamiesministryoffood.com/content/jo/recipes/sizzling-beef-with-spring-onions-and-black-bean-sauce
    LBM - 17th November 2008 - better late than never :rolleyes:
    Challenges - 2009 - Reduce CC to 1k by December
    June - Food 86/130 * Petrol 50/80 * Weekly allowance * 80/160
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