Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 21st Mar 09, 12:59 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    • #1
    • 21st Mar 09, 12:59 PM
    21st Mar 09 at 12:59 PM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the April 2009 Grocery Challenge.

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your March budget, then keep on posting in the March 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!

    Last edited by Pink.; 28-03-2009 at 6:27 PM.
Page 22
  • theskintfamily
    Have spent nothing over the past few days other than £2.40 on milk. Am going to try to get to the weekend before spending anything else. Staying out of the supermarkets is definately helping!
    Jan GC £0/£200
    Here you go :-

    makes 8

    pre-heat oven to 200c/400f/gas 6
    1. 1 cup water
    2. 2tbs olive oil
    3. 1tsp salt
    4. 2tsp honey
    5. 3 cups bread flour
    6. 1 tsp yeast
    7. 1 small onion -chopped finely
    8. 1tbs olive oil
    9. 1tsp mild chilli powder
    10. 1tsp ground cumin
    11. 200g minced beef
    12. 200g chopped tomatoes
    13. 2tbs fresh coriander -chopped (optional)
    14. seasoning to suit
    • place first 6 item in you BM in the order to suit
    • set to "dough" (i make my dough by hand so use about 14g fresh yeat)
    • Heat the oil in a frying pan, add onion and cook until soft
    • add chilli powder and cumin and cook for 1 minute
    • add mince and cook until browned-stirring all the time to break up the mince
    • add tomatoes and cook over a low heat to allow to reduce and thicken
    • add coriander and season then leave to cool
    • turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly
    • divide into 8 equal sizes
    • roll out to approx 12" round -making it as thin as you can
    • transfer the discs to lightly floured baking sheets
    • divide the meat mixture between the bases and spread thinly..leaving a 1/2" border
    • cook for 6-8 mins or until just golden around the edges
    You can eat these hot or cold, and you basically roll them up to eat them like a tortilla
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 16th Apr 09, 7:35 AM
    • 10,673 Posts
    • 55,462 Thanks
    Had my Asda Delivery last night. £86.64 spent. So have just updated my signature, however there are some small spends on bread and milk that the girls have been out to get, that I havent totalled up yet!. Oops. I will scrap around and see if I can find the receipts. Need to do a menu plan now, to incorporate all thats in the list, and everything left as I dont want to buy much more now until I am in the cottage. Then my challenge will be very different as there will only be 2 of us, instead of 8, then 6, as it has been over the last few months.! Cooking for 2 is going to be very strange, after cooking for a big family for so long! (And a pub full of people before that!).
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 16th Apr 09, 8:12 AM
    • 2,630 Posts
    • 32,816 Thanks
    Just popping on before I go to York to update my signature. Yesterdays shopping was good - £79.67 so very pleased. I just have to nip into Poundland today for 2 more big bags of sugar & some shampoo/conditioners for my DD & I then I'm done. We're eating very well & the children are amazingly not eating as much 'rubbish' snacks as I predicted over the holidays Probably because I haven't bought many & I've been baking myself so at least I know whats in it all
    A G&T a day keeps the doctor away
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 16th Apr 09, 9:35 AM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,664 Thanks
    the children are amazingly not eating as much 'rubbish' snacks as I predicted over the holidays Probably because I haven't bought many & I've been baking myself so at least I know whats in it all
    Originally posted by SunnyGirl

    wish mine were doing as well as yours every time I look at them they are munching on easter eggs!
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 16th Apr 09, 10:21 AM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,926 Thanks
    Well, Ive just done my last shop for my April which for me, ends on the 20th. After being rather smug all month I am now £15 over budget due to running out of all of the "big" stuff at once - dog food, cat food, cat litter, kitchen roll ,toilet roll ie all the stuff you cant eat!
    Im not too worried as Im really well stocked now!
    As its been said many times, its the wee bread and milk spends that get you every time! Milk varies SO much in price, I really hate being caught short but sometimes it cant be helped.
    By the way, I was in L14L today for the first tie for ages - their prices have shot up - what do others think? Im sticking to A*sD*!

    Mrs M can you put me down for £120 for May - its a three weeker for me as Im off on ma hols on the 15th - different budget!
    Have a great day everyone!

    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
    • moonflower
    • By moonflower 16th Apr 09, 11:42 AM
    • 294 Posts
    • 2,870 Thanks
    Reporting in - Made a mistake in the last post I added the amount spent instead of taking away,daft.

    Therefore £68 -17 =£51!!

    Recent spends - Milk and Wine
    Wine and Milk!!
    Vegetables milk and wine.


    There seems to be a trend here, well sunny days in the garden,does that justify the near overspend?

    Total left £20 until the end of the month
    SPC £500 well will try very hard.

    GC £6.16/£150
  • Intergalactic Floozie
    I did my first grocery shop today, went to Jack Fultons while I was in town and got some frozen veg, and some 500ml bottles of water for DS's school lunches when they go back. Total: £5.87

    Shouldn't need to go shopping now until Saturday.
    Start Date: 27/11/2010
    Padding: Day 42
    Target £8000
    Amount: £562.23
  • scotsaver
    Hi everyone - not posted for ages as the kids are on Easter Hols from School so no time to myself - we are having a quieter day today so can catch up, have updated my total, should make it this month as only one more shop to do next week and that will be me done.

    Dinner tonight will be Sausages, mash, HM yorkies, carrots, cabbage and gravy. Fancied something nice and warming as it's been raining all day.

    Hope you are all having a good month - off now to try and catch up on the pages I've missed.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    Afternoon all

    We have now had 8 red hot days in a row and not a drop of rain-great for warming the garden up ready for my seedlings-not so great for me has been 78 nearly all day ...the result though is lots of salads we could and do quite happily live on jacket potato, salad and cottage roll on my own veggies growing ..... the brassicas seedlings are loving it

    Anyway we will need to nip out at the weekend for vast quantities of fizzy water, cottage cheese, salad stuff and fruit ....I think thats about it...

    Hubby left for golf at 5:30 this morning and won't be back until about 9pm -so he took a cool bag packed with different cheeses on fresh home baked bread with lettuce, cumber, or onion, energy drink and bottles of water -so that should keep him going he actually asked me to pack him up this time rather than me suggesting it he has decided that forking out about Ä20 for food and drink he doesn't really enjoy is daft -especially as he gets that out of his own spends ......
    so tonight its just me to feed -so its jackets, salad n cottage cheese for 1
    Have some granary/white/wholemeal mix bread cooling -if I can leave it long enough...
    hope everyone is having a great week
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • fletch3163
    • By fletch3163 16th Apr 09, 3:52 PM
    • 884 Posts
    • 2,543 Thanks
    Well, am back after my meltdown of yesterday (was in the red for a day). It's just one of those months where I'm constantly in a shop for something. Am I too harsh on myself? Too harsh on DH and DS? They think so . Husband doesn't understand my desire to save. He thinks it's easier to just spend as you see fit. It is easier, of course it is, BUT it's not very clever now is it?

    Had another spendy day today am afraid. Sainsbury are selling their Butcher's Choice sausages at half price of 99p. That's 75% meat in there Annie, even better than M&S at 60% meat . They're also doing diet Pepsi and 7Up at £1.30 for six.

    I checked the bank statement and have discovered that I've spent £102 at the movies in a month. That's a disgrace!! An Easter fortnight off school, a Mother's birthday and a MIL broken down car to be assisted with certainly has added up to a disaster for my £££ in April.
    Grocery Challenge M: £450/£425.08 A: £400/£.May -£400/£361 June £380/£230 (pages 18 & 27 explain)
    • kezlou
    • By kezlou 16th Apr 09, 4:37 PM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 43,067 Thanks
    Thanks for the recipe Mrs M sounds yummy, my kids will love them.

    Well my meal plan has worked out so far:-

    Monday:- Mushroom Rissoto with chicken stock ( two lots of this in the freezer)
    Tuesday :- out all day so ate out, very naughty, on a sep budget
    Wednesday:- chilli
    Thursday:- chicken and bacon pie + veg
    Friday:- stew (defrosting as we speak, just praying it hasn't gone off, freezer on the blink again)
    Saturday:- falafel burgers + salad
    Sunday:- lasagne + salad

    Ended up going shopping today, again, word of advice never take OH with you shopping. By the time i got to the till, we had about £25 of stuff that i didn't even want. Only went in flour,onions butter and marg, came out with everything but them. Oh and then the shock of me saying were having pasta veg and pie, well boys and OH hit the roof and have demanded mash. So had to buy potatoes as well. grr men

    Yesterday i made about 30 cheese, mash and bacon pasties only 10 have survived the boys (inc oh)so they now in freezer saw the same things today Mr S for £3 for 10 and they were half the size of mine!! so well chuffed with that.

    Making some falafel burgers today, for tomorrow:-
    450g chickpeas
    2 tsp ground coriander powder
    2 tsp ground cumin powder
    2 small onions, finely chopped
    4 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
    1/2 tsp chilli powder (i prefer fresh chillies but this if for the kids)
    1 handful of fresh Coriander chopped (optoinal)

    2 tbs of chickpea flour or plain flour (to hold mixture together)
    salt (to taste)
    black pepper (to taste)

    blend altogether and deep fry in very hot oil for 3 - 4mins till golden brown.
    you can keep them over night in the fridge just cover with a tea towel of kitchen roll

    Off to my sisters tomorrow, weathers been terrible so no doubt will in doors all day tomorrow.
    • mooomin
    • By mooomin 16th Apr 09, 4:52 PM
    • 13,655 Posts
    • 134,514 Thanks
    Evening all!

    With great trepidation I sent t'other half to Asda tonight for the shopping we needed. I couldn't go as I was working, and we have to give the car back to the owners this week (Our friends are on holiday and have lent it to us and return tonight) so we needed to get heavy stuff today!

    Armed with a (very detailed) list, he got me:

    Catsan (20L), 8 tins of value tomatoes, 5 tins of sweetcorn, Lazy Garlic (I love this stuff!), margarine, Chilli powder, dried parsley, frozen veg, onions, carrots, peppers, leeks, stock cubes, sandwich ham and loose garlic.

    I had given him my last £20 in Asda vouchers from iPoints, so he only spent £7.25 in cash which I have been told not to bother repaying I am still going to add it to the grocery spend, as that will keep me on track, but will pay it to a debt tomorrow.

    Hope you all have a lovely evening.

    Comping again

    Wins this year: - two night trip to Belgium, £100 Gett taxi credit, tickets to Newcastle game, FIFA 2016 for PS4, stitch markers, Cumberstitching book
    • pink princess
    • By pink princess 16th Apr 09, 5:42 PM
    • 11,866 Posts
    • 34,899 Thanks
    pink princess
    Thanks for the recipie MRS M ,only ever made it once and couldn t find it any where.Going to make it for tea tomorrow.
    Life is short, smile while you still have teeth
  • Cornishpixie
    Reporting in - Made a mistake in the last post I added the amount spent instead of taking away,daft.

    Therefore £68 -17 =£51!!

    Recent spends - Milk and Wine
    Wine and Milk!!
    Vegetables milk and wine.


    There seems to be a trend here, well sunny days in the garden,does that justify the near overspend?

    Total left £20 until the end of the month
    Originally posted by moonflower

    Hi, I have been quilty off spending money on wine. Until OH, said I would be better off buying a box. Surprisingly it does work out cheaper, as now I know its on tap I only have 1 or 2 glasses. I order mine with my monthly shop online. My reward for all my efforts.
    • moonflower
    • By moonflower 16th Apr 09, 6:37 PM
    • 294 Posts
    • 2,870 Thanks
    Thats a great idea cornish pixie,does it taste ok.Will have a look in Sainsbugs.Thanks
    SPC £500 well will try very hard.

    GC £6.16/£150
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 16th Apr 09, 7:17 PM
    • 10,673 Posts
    • 55,462 Thanks
    Had forgotten Dishwasher tablets, and the Asda delivery didnt have the full fat milk, so I called into our local somerfield this morning.
    Got 2 x 2pinters of milk reduced to 44p each.
    Bunch bananas from £1.45 to £0.96p
    dishwasher tablets, Shops own, £2.45. Signature updated.!
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
  • Julimk
    Small top up shop today; should be the last of the month, as there is less than a week to go. And although there isnít much left in the budget now, it should be enough for odds & sods like milk. So fingers crossed.

    Wish had been able to keep the rest of the spending down. Biggest spend was a new TV, mind you the old one was older than DD! And some paint etc. Have been in the flat for nearly five years & it has not been redecorated, until now. DD is helping & we are having great fun, though more expense eating out a couple of times, as it is chaos indoors.
    • searching_me
    • By searching_me 16th Apr 09, 8:09 PM
    • 18,406 Posts
    • 63,340 Thanks
    hello everyone havent posted but i have been keeping track i got £38 left to last til next friday ... hmmmm cutting it close x
    Still searching .....
    • gunsandbanjos
    • By gunsandbanjos 16th Apr 09, 10:15 PM
    • 12,105 Posts
    • 105,054 Thanks
    Someone posted on the grabbit board that Asda have their organic Yeo Valley semiskimmed for 30p for 1 litre! Not in every one unfortunately as i checked online - Link i can see it til i log in then it disappears. Is worth checking out though and stocking up if your store has it.
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
    Bertrand Russell
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

192Posts Today

1,331Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Delighted people are pushing @BorisJohnson on getting proper financial ed in schools. He says not enough resourc?

  • RT @MartinSLewis: I sued Facebook for defamation over scam ads & settled in return for 2 things that LAUNCH TODAY -1on1 scam help at new C?

  • Bizzare German twitter mash article has called me "MARTIN LEWIS, der Geldsparexperte," Any german speakers out the?

  • Follow Martin