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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 69
  • kunekune
    I'm declaring at 427, which is my lowest EVER, and I have fairly well stocked cupboards still (not as full as at New Year though).

    My target for March is 450, as it's a slightly longer month. However, I'm hoping to come in quite a bit under that as I'm running down my stocks. We are in the process of buying a house, and when we move we will be down to one fridge freezer for a while as there isn't room for the separate freezer. I'll be getting a new, side-by-side model (maybe even a fancy one with ice-maker, since there's the plumbing for it!) but will have to wait for a bargain to come up in a sale. We currently have a kitchen f/f (with the rented house), a garage f/f and a garage freezer, so it will be a lot less food storage. Hence the need to start emptying it.
    Mortgage started on 22.5.09 : 129,600
    Overpayments to date: 3000
    June grocery challenge: 400/600
  • Boodle
    Just a thought, could you not extend your week beyond 7 days so you still qualify for delivery but have fewer deliveries a month. Not sure if this would work for you, but it may, it would also mean less delivery costs per month.
    Originally posted by Baileys Babe
    Thanks Baileys Babe. The only problems there would be that some stuff I would need each week might go a bit ick (salad mainly) so would then have to top-up weekly anyway, and storage is an issue. But a great suggestion if I'd had more fridge/freezer space

    I found your post very interesting.

    I think part of the reason I have such a stockpile of food (and no money!) is that when I did a home delivery shop, I would spend enough to qualify for free delivery/or a certain amount off my shopping and thus spend accordingly whereas if I just ordered what I needed, my shopping would be much cheaper. I used to get "click happy" and things ended up in my basket (and being delivered) that I would never dream of buying if I was stood in the supermarket!! You know so easy because I didnt have to carry it home!

    I also found that because I ordered so much, it would be a nightmare to sort when delivered and thus difficult to spot mistakes with my order until after the driver had left.

    I dont have the grocery challenge cracked just yet but Im making good headway. I am much more aware of what Im spending, always hunt down the "whoopsies" when I go to the supermarket and double check and triple check my (shared) home delivery order for items that I dont really need and can be deleted. I am slowly getting round to the mindset of this is what I have in the cupboard, what shall I make with it rather than, hmmm what do I fancy for tea?! and then promptly going to the supermarket and buying it plus a basketful of stuff thats caught my eye.. I have lost count of the number of times I have gone to the supermarket for one thing and I have spend 30 plus!

    I did think shopping daily would be a cheaper option but found it a tie visiting the supermarket every day. Im very indecisive so would write out a week's menu one day and rewrite the whole thing the next.

    Unless I write a list when I visit the supermarket, I tend to wander round and thats when those extra bits sneak into the basket.

    Things are improving and Im hoping that March (my 6th GC) will be my best yet
    Originally posted by Flat Eric
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Flat Eric I can see where you are coming from. I think I will stick to my weekly trip (which DH and I don't really mind anyway tbh) and hopefully get closer to my budget this month Good luck with your March GC!
    Love and compassion to all x
    • jackie_w
    • By jackie_w 25th Feb 09, 11:29 AM
    • 1,070 Posts
    • 5,613 Thanks
    Hi everyone,

    I have totally felloff the GC for February. We decided to have a birthday party for my DH as it was his 40th. We only had it in the house, but, because it was unexpected, the food and drink came off the GC money and more.

    So Im out for the rest of the month (whats left of it), and will be back in March.

    Mrs M for March could you please put me down for 250. Thank you
    • Radish72
    • By Radish72 25th Feb 09, 11:36 AM
    • 1,872 Posts
    • 11,667 Thanks
    As I'm away at the boyfriends this weekend, this means no more February shopping

    So I'm declaring 97 for February (batch cooking is the future)
    Mortgage Aug 12 165K, Aug 19 0
    OP's in 2019 21000
    ISA challenge start 2019 3000/1500 (50%)
    • Miss Liquorice
    • By Miss Liquorice 25th Feb 09, 11:49 AM
    • 238 Posts
    • 834 Thanks
    Miss Liquorice
    So I lost the toilet roll battle, meaning I ended up spending 5-ish in Lidl (Boughts 9 toilet rolls then some shortbread and crisps as I didn't have cash on me and hate using my card for less than 5). I've still got 11 left this month, with 3 and a half days to go, and only need to buy in greens for the guinea pigs (they are eating a LOT recently. I think they know I'm trying to budget my food or something...). First month, and I may well be under budget!

    I start an intensive driving course next week. I'm not sure whether to include that week into the grocery challenge, as after a day of 6 hours of driving I may not feel up to cooking! Still deciding what I'm going to do....
    • nickynoo08
    • By nickynoo08 25th Feb 09, 12:04 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 17,030 Thanks
    Hiya everyone, picked up a few bargains yesterday taking me even more over budget:rolleyes:, an annual budget is looking more appealing every day. Been mulling over the figures but my annual budget (that we can afford) over the remaining months works out at the same as my current monthly budget i just need to try harder.
    Not sure of my overall spend this month now because i think i've lost a recipt or 2:rolleyes:
    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!!
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 25th Feb 09, 12:07 PM
    • 2,630 Posts
    • 32,816 Thanks
    Declaring for February
    Back from my last shop of February now so I'm declaring at £336.68

    I knew I'd be over but still pleased to have fed all 6 of us decent home cooked food on that budget I've been having a think & am going to increase the budget so I can include all toiletries, cleaning products & household stuff in it too as I tend to go to town the day after I've done the food shopping. I'm nothing if not a creature of habit

    Please put me down for £400 for March please Mrs M? Thanks.
    A G&T a day keeps the doctor away
    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 25th Feb 09, 12:34 PM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    Was out to town to post a DVD to mum and met friend for coffee . On the way home got 2L milk for 1.29, 2 fairy for 1.50, and 3 for 2 Heinz Beans at 1.38, spending a total of 4.17. Won't need anything else until the weekend when a new weekly amount is withdrawn (not sure how much but it will be 40 or less). Am happy with current budget figures (slightly under overall, some weeks more under and some weeks a little over which balances fine!)as stocked up on nappies (offer on in Tesco) and washing up liquid, among other things. In the process of making a shopping list for Sat and deciding where to get the stuff- although realising we don't need that much!

    Well done those who came under, better luck next time those who did not.
    Last edited by OrkneyStar; 25-02-2009 at 2:07 PM.
    • BigMummaF
    • By BigMummaF 25th Feb 09, 1:50 PM
    • 4,269 Posts
    • 32,002 Thanks
    Does anyone else find some of the prices on are a bit off? I've looked for specifics--eg dried fruit if I know I'm going anywhere near a Julian Graves--& recently made myself a dedicated 'price book' for all of my staple grocery items. I updated it thios week when I thought I was going to our closest MrA [which is a 45-min drive each way]Anyhoo, it didn't happen so I went to our local MrT & picked up some dried mint; on-line price was 6/100g where SEL showed 5:50:confused: Is the difference due to the site charging extra for the convenience or m'be to cover the 'points' you can earn do you think?
    Full time Carer for Mum; harassed mother of three;
    loving & loved by two 4-legged babies.

    • hamish222
    • By hamish222 25th Feb 09, 2:22 PM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,027 Thanks
    Well I think that a monthly budget would definatly be better for me as was within budget but went to Supermarkets to stock up for next few weeks as working and think yearly budget would be easier rather than deducting totals etc. I work shifts and I am sometimes off for long periods and othertimes am nightshift for 7 days in a row so not so easy to go shopping etc.

    I am now going to include all food, cat food, toiletries and household cleaning but seperate budget for dh alcohol and take away (to encourage me not to have a lot).

    My yearly totals will be as follows 3000 for main challenge (this is 250 a month but before did not include cleaning stuff, toiletries and cat food). Don't have figures for Jan so will just count them as 250 exactly for that month.

    I am going to allow 240 a year for takeways and 420 on alcohol ( so 20 quid and 35 quid a month roughly)

    I have loads in freezer enough for 3 weeks at least and have meal planned. I also have enough cat food for 3 weeks as special offers.

    Really pleased with way budget is going apart from fact that misread sign in Tesco as stressed out as shopping with mum and bought 2 lasagne kits as thought they were on special offer (white sauce that could have made myself, red lasagne sauce that could have made myself and lasagne sheets which would have been 32p for tesco value) as labels were bit misleading. Cost me 8.18 for 2 :confused: . I won't be able to enjoy my lasagne for thinking about it.
    On plus point as hubby tucked into his roast lamb dinner he said I love this we have never eaten so well its great . I fed him on takeaway and M&S ready meals in past.
    Yearly Grocery Budget - 100.77/ 3500. January Treats Budget - 11.80 / 100.
  • brownbake
    Fairy Washing up liquid bargain!!
    Our local Asda is doing 1 litre - 1000 ml or 100 cl for our European friends - bottles of Fairy washing up liquid for 46p!!!

    The "flavour" is Apple - so presumably not popular but for a 1 litre bottle of Fairy - which is the best Washing up liquid this is quite a bargain. Just stocked up on 5 which should last the year!!

    They also have another scent - Fairy pink petals - but only 500 ml for the same price 46p!!!

    A couple more Asda bargains at the moment - 2 X 350gram Wyke Farm Rich and Creamy mature cheddar for 3. Normal price is 3.45 for 1!!!!

    They are also doing Ragu sauces - all flavours at 2 for 1.00 - Single price 1.26!! I can't even get the raw tomatoes from Lidl at that price anymore - Ragu - 50p a jar.

  • 01001011
    Hope you don't mind me asking but what does dragon fruit taste like & how is it prepared? My Mum & I were looking at some in Asda this morning funnily enough One of my favourite fruits is sharon fruit which it was next to is it at all similar? TIA.
    Originally posted by SunnyGirl
    It tastes a little sour, and somewhat like aloha. I eat them as they are. They can be served with cold desserts like coconut smoothie.
  • jinky67
    i would like to declare at 223.89

    which means i am over budget

    BUT having only done my big shop the other day this means my most of the stuff should take me nicely into March. And I am away for 2 weeks then as well so .....

    can you put me down for 150 for March please?
    Once a Flylady, always a Flylady
    • Moniker
    • By Moniker 25th Feb 09, 5:38 PM
    • 626 Posts
    • 9,607 Thanks
    I am declaring at 253.23 for February - a whole 21-77 under budget so I am chuffed!

    Please put me down for 275 again for March - it is a longer month and I need to top up on household items which can be expensive - such as water filter cartridges (essential here as the water it so hard and the kettle furs up if you don't use them!)

    My month runs from tomorrow (26th Feb to 28th March)
    Good luck everyone.

    • mummyyof5
    • By mummyyof5 25th Feb 09, 5:57 PM
    • 1,839 Posts
    • 39,830 Thanks
    7.00 to add in Poundland today,keeping stocked up with the sugar from there,cheapest I know of.

    4.00 for chicken breast for tonights tea.

    401.37 to add.

    Need to get fruit and veg and mince for a lasagne tomorrow
    • S_Wales_Saver
    • By S_Wales_Saver 25th Feb 09, 7:36 PM
    • 240 Posts
    • 2,596 Thanks
    Almost the end of the month .

    Not long to go guys, hopefully I should be under. Visited MrA om Mon for salad and flour (all the family decided to come for OH birthday Tues, oh and reminded me it was pancake day LOL) Will need some milk before Sat - going to Iceland for skimmed at 1.21 rather than the 1% from MrS or MrA at 1.00. It's just too creamy for me :rolleyes:

    2 more NSDs to add to my total . I have been spending my lunchtimes from work haunting the town centre shops ( WITHOUT MY PURSE ) I now have a lot of useful info about comparative costs of some of the things I buy regularly.

    I'm not going to risk declaring before Sat but please put me down for 250 again for March Mrs M.
    • JayneC
    • By JayneC 25th Feb 09, 7:37 PM
    • 911 Posts
    • 10,929 Thanks
    Hi all,

    Well made a start on my March budget today. Got my big Tesco online shop 54.36, but that's my store cupboard stuff including tins and cereal for the month.
    Also went to Savers where I found sugar for 74p a kg - cheapest I've found locally so was stupidly pleased (easily impressed) and got 2 bags plus T-bags and bicarb of soda (gonna make some fabric conditioner, recipe from thread on here somewhere)5.33 and then 1.54 in Wilkos where I also got some more seeds (parsnips and coriander) but that's from a different budget.
    I've got a few seeds sprouting now so getting quite excited only I've forgotten what some of them are-have to get some labels!

    See ya soon,

    Jayne x
    Official DFW nerd - 282 'Proud To Be Dealing With My Debts'
    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z member # 56
  • elizabunny
    One NSD for me today thank goodness. I thought I was turning into a shopoholic

    I made a nice Pasta Cheese & Onion Bake for dinner tonight. Bit of a strange recipe but yummy.

    I used:-
    1 Quantity of Cooked Pasta (for 2)
    1 Quantity of HM Cheese Sauce (for 2)
    2 Hardboiled Eggs
    1 Onion sliced
    Grated Cheese
    Hm Breadcrumbs
    2 Cloves Garlic
    Olive Oil

    I cooked the Pasta, made the Cheese Sauce, browned the Onions and hardboiled the Eggs. Then I stirred the Cheese Sauce into the cooked Pasta, stirred in the browned Onions, crushed Garlic, Basil & Seasoning. All this went into an ovenproof dish. I cut the Hardboiled Eggs in half and arranged them in the dish with the Pasta then spooned the Breadcrumbs all over the top. Finally I grated some more Cheese on top and added a drizzle of Olive Oil. Bake in a hot oven until bubbling and golden.

    I am presently making a list of all my freezer contents and stock cupboard items..........wish me luck
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
  • mummy2mygirls
    hello everyone - i havent been on for a while but thats because i havent been spending!! DH went to the shops just to get a few bits and it came to 8 so he did well. I have managed to get back under target for the two mths out of my yearly budget so im happy! and i shouldnt need anything more till te weekend when we are going to do a shop together - whichcould be bd as dh tends to think if its just been pay day we are rolling in cash!! so will have to keep a eye on him!!
    GC: Nov: 60.22/450 Oct: 338.48/450, July: 363.05/450, June 447.98/500
    2 savers No68: 104/100

    mummy to: 8yr, 5yr, 3yr, 2yr, 1yr. No6 Due Mar 2013 My world.
    • rockie4
    • By rockie4 25th Feb 09, 7:47 PM
    • 1,262 Posts
    • 9,892 Thanks
    As March is a slightly longer month could you put me down for 180 please Mrs M?

    I'm hoping to last out until after the weekend and get a big shop delivered on Tuesday. I've got enough stuff in for meals but will need cat food and milk, might get OH to go to the supermarket for me then I won't be tempted by anything else
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