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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 59
  • prudence41
    Can i join please?
    Hi All

    I have just discovered the Grocery Challenge thread and although it is late in the month, I would like to join.

    It's just me and I'll set my monthly GC target for £100.

    I've only read a few pages of your posts and once I've done my job hunting tasks for the day, i'll take a look for hints and tips from the veterans.
    I wanna be Mortgage Free by February 2013
  • fatcattaff
    I've just updated my signature. I have felt a bit out of control the last few weeks...not posting when I get back from the shops, which is a little dangerous. I've calculated the spend via my online bank account, so there may be a few 'cash' spends missing. That's the danger, of course, with not dealing with this in real time.

    I went to Mr A last week for the first time in ages and I have to say, I didn't think much of it. I think I've become too attached to Mr S combined with FF and the other Mr A (Aldi).

    Strange, isn't it, how we all get into habits.. monthly budget was £320/227.82 (so far, but going shopping again today...will update on my return!).
    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)
    • Boomdocker
    • By Boomdocker 20th Feb 09, 12:31 PM
    • 1,187 Posts
    • 2,348 Thanks
    fatcattaff, have you though of using a small notebook or diary so you can jot your spends down as you go? I keep all my receipts in the back of my purse, when I get home I write them in my diary and then I have it all recorded to updated my spending diary on line. I couldn't be with out my notebook now.
    Boots Card - £17.53, Nectar Points - £15.06 - *Saving for Chrimbo*
    2015 Savings Fund - £2575.00
    • smiler34
    • By smiler34 20th Feb 09, 1:38 PM
    • 430 Posts
    • 910 Thanks
    Hi all, my weekly shopping budget at the mo is £70 this includes nappies (for 1 and a 1/2 kids - daughter only wears on a night) and wipes. I shop at Sainsburys as I only have Tesco and Sainsburys in my town and I think Sains has better offers on fresh produce i.e. fruit, veg and meat. Do you think my budget is reasonable? I have to feed me and OH and a 19 month old and three year old(they eat same meals as us). I am trying to get budget down to £60 or even £50 per week do you think this is doable. I buy a large pack of own brand nappies every two weeks and two packs of wipes in about two weeks. Any help would be apprecaited as the extra 10-20 quid pm would certainly come in useful. xx

    BY THE WAY WOULD LIKE TO SET MY SHOPPING BUDGET FOR £280 THIS MONTH AND HAVE SPENT ABOUT 200 THIS MONTH - Actually have £50 Sains vouchers from ipoints so that will pay for next weeks shop.
    Last edited by smiler34; 20-02-2009 at 1:43 PM.
    Mummy to two beautiful girls and one gorgeous boy.
    • Baileys Babe
    • By Baileys Babe 20th Feb 09, 2:57 PM
    • 2,590 Posts
    • 13,547 Thanks
    Baileys Babe

    Spent today catching up with MSE, updating spending diary etc. Been out of touch what with moving house, OH upgrading computer & me adjusting to 1st week of being a SAHM whilst OH works away from home 3 days aweek.

    I was pleased to realise that we have spent £185 of our grocery budget, would have tought it would have been more/blown. 8 days to go, we can do it. Plan to increase our fruit box and maybe the veg box next week as a one off, but we will still be in budget.
    • russetred
    • By russetred 20th Feb 09, 4:10 PM
    • 1,235 Posts
    • 9,385 Thanks
    Updating my totals and was pleasantly surprised by how little I spent this week ,about £39.I have been trying to be more creative with what I have in and substituting ingredients rather than nipping out for the missing item and it certainly seems to be paying off.

    BIGMUMMA my potatoe bake had to include the items I found lurking in the fridge so...

    3 baking potatoes, desprouted,peeled and cut into quarters.Boiled for 10 minutes till just done.
    Made up a thin white sauce then grated most of a lump of forgotten smoky cheddar.Added in the 4 spring onions in the corner of the salad drawer sliced thinly.
    The cooled pots were thinly sliced and put in a deep dish,seasoned generously then the sauce was poured over the top.The remaining cheese was sprinkled on and I baked for 30 mins at 180.HTH
    "Sometimes life sucks....but the alternative is unacceptable."
  • Coolmum66
    Ok - so again - lost the plot a bit this month

    Have got £65.60 left until the end of the month.

    Plan to shop Sunday this week and Monday next week. Used to do this before (don't know why I stopped!!) and then read it again on here I think.

    so - wish me luck!! - will update after Sunday shop

    Take care

    Coolmum. xx
    Debt at 2nd LBM (!) Jun 08 £8,435 - hm, let's not go there!!
    DFW Nerd - 721 / DFW Long Hauler 4 / DFD - ASAP!!
    Sealed pot challenge - member 336 - £200 target
    • laineyc
    • By laineyc 20th Feb 09, 5:32 PM
    • 907 Posts
    • 5,215 Thanks
    Well, I am ready to declare. My total for February is £499.09. I am quite pleased with that for my first time doing the challenge, £29.99 over. I really had very little idea how much I spent. That was for 2 adults and four children, ages 14,11,10 & 6. My freezer is full now and I still have some fish to be delivered on Wednesday.

    ForMarch £450, please. Thanks.
    Last edited by laineyc; 21-02-2009 at 8:11 PM.
    GC 2011 Feb £626.89/£450 NSD3/7 March £531.26/£450 April £495.99/£500 NSD 0/7 May £502.79/£500
    June £511.99/£480 July £311.56/£480
    • egon
    • By egon 20th Feb 09, 6:00 PM
    • 439 Posts
    • 5,654 Thanks
    Soon to be mummy again due date 10/09/2009

    Congrats smiler!
    I wish Germany had a website like moneysavingexpert!
    • *BigBird*
    • By *BigBird* 20th Feb 09, 6:14 PM
    • 948 Posts
    • 5,077 Thanks
    Woo! Finally all caught up with the thread Hugs to anyone who's struggling at the moment, big pat on the back for those who are winning the battle between budgets and rising prices.

    8 days to go and £15.75 of my budget left Hopefully do-able though, as there is very little I need to buy next week (will have to pick up some taters tomorrow tho as forgot them when I popped in Mr T today :rolleyes

    I've spent about £70 of this month's budget on meat - a meat box from the organic butchers and some other bits from the farm shop at a free range pig farm I found that's not too far from work. There's quite a bit of this in the freezer that will be carried over to next month, so I'm happy that we can keep on buying our meat from these places without it busting the budget.

    Quick question for the people who buy huge sacks of potatoes - how do you keep them? Or do you use them up really quickly? I only ever buy a couple of kilos at a time, but I find my potatoes always seem to sprout after a few days, even though I put them in a special bag that's supposed to make them keep longer.

    Seem to remember my Mum used to buy potatoes by the sack when I was a kid and keep them in the cellar (along with my brother, when he was naughty LOL). Maybe I should try keeping them in the garage.

    Hmmm, the potato bake recipe a few posts back has reminded me I've not had twice-baked potatoes for ages. Must work them into the meal plan for next month. (If anyone fancies trying them - bake a potato then cut in half lengthways and scoop out the insides. Mash this up in a bowl and add some grated cheese, finely chopped spring onions and finely chopped ham or cooked bacon. Pile the mix back into the potato skin and pop them back in the oven until piping hot and golden - they are delicious!)

    Just mentioned to OH, who's next to me on his pc, that we'll have twice baked potatoes soon. He now looks like this
    You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you change the world, the world will change.
  • elizabunny
    Evening all. I managed to stay out of the shops today so a NSD for me today -just as well after yesterday. I did a nice beef curry for dinner tonight followed by a lemon curd sponge. So that's today done and dusted. Might have to have another little shop tomorrow though.

    egon -congratulations!
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
    • nickynoo08
    • By nickynoo08 20th Feb 09, 6:39 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 17,030 Thanks
    Evening everyone, was a bit naughty and got a few bit reduced from work:rolleyes:, cant find my recipt but reckon i spent about a tenner putting me just over budget. I'm not too bothered tho coz i've got enough in to see me through the first week or so of march. i'll still need to pick up milk and fruit for next week tho.
    Off to update siggy.
    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!!
  • pinknfluffy
    Only a week to go and 100.00 still left in the budget (first time ever) and going away for a week on Wednesday.
    Be kinder than necessary because we do not know the battles that someone else may face

    A103, A210, U211, EA300, Y163, AA316, DSE141, A300 = BA (Hons)
    A815 MA (current)
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 20th Feb 09, 7:17 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    Hi all!
    A NSD for me today, thank goodness! I also saved a bit of money, as we were at a friend's house for lunch. I took the remainder of the flapjacks we made the other day, and another friend took some raw veg and biscuits. The friend who was hosting did pizza, wedges and garlic bread! Result!! It also meant that we weren't very hungry this evening, so smaller meal needed!
    I'm OK about having gone over budget, as I had set such a ridiculously small one, but I have a much clearer picture now of how I need to shop to make it the cheapest I can.
    My March starts on Monday, and I don't have my children on Tuesday night. I will have done a rough meal plan for the month by then, based on what I have in, and then I will go around the supermarkets searching for bargains to either use instead of a meal idea, or to start stocking up my outside freezer. Then, whenever I run out of something, I'll write it on my list on the inside of my pantry, and go to get those things while I don't have the children. That way, I still get to go shopping regularly, and won't feel I'm missing out!
    Let's hope it works!!
    My budget for March (23rd Feb - 22nd March) will be £125, for me, DD(3, but 4 on 01/03), DS(2) and 2 cats
    PG x
    Grocery challenge for family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(11), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries. Jan £87.97/£100 Feb £0/£100
    Frugal 2018 needed! Saving and NOT spending
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 20th Feb 09, 7:17 PM
    • 2,630 Posts
    • 32,816 Thanks
    Have spent more than I wanted to in the last few days as my Dad is in hospital & Mum & I keep popping into Asda to get him pj's, bits of fruit, a paper etc & I spot things that I like & end up buying them I've spent £19 in the last three days on ............... I don't really know actually! Apart from bread, milk & some shampoo there really was nothing I needed. Certainly not the bags of large chocolate chip cookies which I ended up eating 3 of (cookies not bags!) for my breakfast today on the way to the hospital The cupboards are heaving though & so is the fridge/freezer & the kids are back at school on Monday so hopefully I won't need too much next week. I must get my menu's planned out so I can do a shopping list at the same time. My week runs from Wednesday to Tuesday so I've got a couple of days yet though!
    Off to update my sig now & see the damage

    Edited to say: Just done the maths & I've got £23.34 left for next weeks shopping. Do-able but I'll have to get creative!
    Last edited by SunnyGirl; 20-02-2009 at 7:20 PM.
    A G&T a day keeps the doctor away
    • wmf
    • By wmf 20th Feb 09, 7:22 PM
    • 1,820 Posts
    • 21,848 Thanks
    off to update sig - spent a few £ today but not much. Got 75% off some good quality sausages and 50% off celery. A few other bits. I'll manage to come under budget this month but next one will be a toughie as Dh is home for the whole month (yippee).
    • Flat Eric
    • By Flat Eric 20th Feb 09, 7:30 PM
    • 3,992 Posts
    • 24,049 Thanks
    Flat Eric
    Well the simplest way to keep on track it to keep a purse with just your weeks grocery money in it. And-when its gone-its gone! When you see it dwindling down in real money you will no doubt put the brakes on. That is what Im doing this year and believe me-it works.
    I think the fact that you are having to "find" receipts is telling a story in iteself. That may sound critical but its aim is to be helpful. I keep all my receipts but whether or not I mislay them-my purse will tell the truth!
    Originally posted by angelatgraceland
    Hello. Yes you are right. When I first did the GC, I kept a separate bank account for the food shopping and a separate purse. I didnt get cash back which confuses things when you just look at your bank statements rather than the receipt. I also ensured I kept my receipts in a certain pocket of my coat and not just chucked in my handbag so that when I got home, I sat down and inputted every item into a spreadsheet. I think this was the October spend and I literally spent quids.

    I think I will go back to keeping a separate purse and also a separate bank account and once its gone well thats it. No dipping into savings or the overdraft just to endulge my food tastes.

    Still cant decide on a budget for March BUT my fridge is full and in a mess, my freezers are full so simply - nothing to be bought except milk, spuds and eggs, loo roll and cat food when needed. Desperately need to get my spending in check as Im on reduced hours at work and with the increased in the price of food, its quite literally putting me in financial meltdown - each month is getting worse! so budget for March £100

  • bluetimone97
    Can I join please, hoping to save enough to get a food processor and new breadmaker (my freecycled one will not cook).
    Do I just put on here what I think I want to keep to?
    There are 5 of us, 2 adults, DS's 16, 15 and 11.
    Real men never follow instructions; after all they are just the manufacturer's opinion on how to put something together.
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 20th Feb 09, 8:00 PM
    • 4,842 Posts
    • 58,667 Thanks
    declaring for feb £285
    just managed to stay in budget this month

    £400 for march please (but hoping to be under this)
  • Julimk
    Bought a few bits today. Double checked what I needed for the planned batch cook tomorrow & decided best to get a little bit more fresh veg. And a couple of bits DD likes for when she comes home (sheís been at her Dadís since last Sunday Ė really quiet here! ) So have spent half the monthís money in 2 days!

    But thatís fine. Still more than £20 less than this time last month & should only actually need milk & fresh fruit for the rest of the month, so the remainder is for picking up whoopsies & special offers.

    Have taken the meat out the freezer ready for cooking tomorrow. Yesterday I got a couple of Mr Tís seasonal veg bags (some carrots, a parsnip, a swede & an onion in each - £1.10 each or £1.50 for 2) so Iíll get some beef stew in the SC first thing. Then the usual suspects of bolognese, chilli, cottage pie etc. Ching-He Huangís Chinese Chilli Chicken:

    and her Mango Chicken too; canít find a link, but it is like a sort of sweet & sour with mango instead of pineapple & is yum!
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