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    • 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 24
  • Janae

    Like kitten09 I'm also new to this - my first post!
    I've been a serious lurker for a while though and would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone. I've found so much helpful information on this and other threads.
    Will definitely join the May challenge, just need to think about a figure for 2 adults and 2 teenagers.
  • frugalswan
    I don't know where to start in these months anymore - my challenge begins today, as that's when my money goes in. I'll be trying to stay under 160 all being well but can I still use this thread?

    x Frugalswan x
    Continually trying the Grocery Challenge. Gotta keep trying!
    • carolt2
    • By carolt2 18th Apr 09, 8:17 AM
    • 846 Posts
    • 14,784 Thanks
    Morning Everyone, just popped in to update signature and catch up on thread.

    Went to Mr T this morning after dropping OH off at work.

    Manage to top up on fresh F&V plus milk, cat food etc. Total spend 38

    MR T have an offer on cravendale 2x 2l for 3,
    The T pure milk is still 1.49 each so still cheaper to buy that, however i had 2 coupons for 50p off cravendale so got 2x2l for 2.
    'Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle'
  • jinky67
    Totally lost count this month

    I know I am well under budget though

    But I am gonna ditch out for this month, and get my act together for next month
    Once a Flylady, always a Flylady
    • fletch3163
    • By fletch3163 18th Apr 09, 8:44 AM
    • 884 Posts
    • 2,543 Thanks
    Good morning everyone

    Well, it's the last Saturday before kids go back to school. Maybe then my pounds can stay in my purse!!

    It's been quite a shock to me, all this spending, but I think it's mainly because I've been paying so much attention to it these past 2 months. If this was a "normal" time off I would have spent, been skint, moaned and moved on. This time I KNOW where then money is coming from and going to. No more!

    Today I take a leaf from fellower GCers above and do an inventory of the freezer. I've also not done a mealplan for 2 weeks so that's back with a vengeance also. I need to get the usual lunch box stuff for DS but I'd like to think I can "under spend" today
    Grocery Challenge M: 450/425.08 A: 400/.May -400/361 June 380/230 (pages 18 & 27 explain)
    • moonflower
    • By moonflower 18th Apr 09, 8:51 AM
    • 294 Posts
    • 2,870 Thanks
    Thurday -NSD day
    Friday - Bottle of wine 7
    Saturday - Hope for NSD day

    Balance remaining 13 until 30th April !! However there is food in the freezer, so only essentials to buy ,milk bread and potatoes.
    SPC 500 well will try very hard.

    GC 6.16/150
    • Casperthefriendlyghost
    • By Casperthefriendlyghost 18th Apr 09, 10:31 AM
    • 944 Posts
    • 4,000 Thanks
    NSD for me today! Don't think I'll be spending anymore grocery money, but won't declare until the last day of my month, which is the 23rd.

    x x
    LBM Feb 09 64 427.32 13 700.59! Sub 15 000!
    DFD July 2018
    GC 01Dec ~ 30Dec 40.00 SSF 00.00
    NSD 00/20 WSC (08~14) 13.59 SSF 00.00 DFW Nerd 319 Proud To Be Dealing With My Debts!
    "Captain Jack Harkness! When will you learn that you can't solve every problem by shagging it?!"
  • Ninno820
    Morning all

    I have been lurking on this thread - since payday is the 23rd and therefore my "grocery month" starts then - can I declare a target of 120 please.

    I have had a look at some of your recipes and am desperate to try them - they all sound fab!

    Ninno x
    44 day challenge

    1. Pay 650 off overdraft ( 288/ 650)
    2. Lose 12 lbs (4.5/ 12)
    3. Use YNAB everyday (6/44)
    • Frogger2008
    • By Frogger2008 18th Apr 09, 10:44 AM
    • 56 Posts
    • 344 Thanks
    OK just gone through what I have spent so far on groceries, 179.

    61 until the end of the month.
    Debt: 5 November 2017 = 10,399
    13 March 2018 = 9,537

    CCM&S: 1,828 Mar 18 1,651, CCB/C: 3,038 2,708,
    CCT: 1,085 985, CCLL: 4,448 4,193,
    Family: 200, Catalogue: 53
    • kezlou
    • By kezlou 18th Apr 09, 11:18 AM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 43,067 Thanks
    Hi Kezlou--& everyone else Sorry to chop, but could you do the recipes for the pie & pasties please? I always make my innerds too soggy or too dry, but as I'm trying to get us all on a healthy food kick perhaps we shouldn't have the pastry anyways
    I wish my lot would at least try to be moreadventurous food-wise cuz the burgers sound lovely. I made a snake & tiddly concoction the other night with carrot, parsnip, sprouts & potatoall in the same pot & one refused to even taste a bit off the spoon My one saving grace from that meal--which Pup & I thoroughly enjoyed btw--was the herby dumplings.
    6oz of plain flour sifted with a sprinkling of salt, dried mixed herbs & a swoosh of cold water....started to put little dollops in the 'stew' only to see the suet still sitting in the bowl of the scales I didn't have the time,inclination or flour to make more so left as is & they tasted fine so have I found a dieter's dream?
    As for GC, I'm attempting to keep spends to a minimum & read here all the time, so I am with you all in spirit if not physically declaring.
    Good Luck everyone.
    Originally posted by BigMummaF
    Well the cheese and bacon pasties i made:-
    Flaky pastry (i cheated and used the sainsburys one that OH got of the freezer so had to be used, he thought it was a block of cheese :rolleyes

    Filling:- any strong cheese and drained potatoes mashed.With no butter, milk, salt etc just ordinary potatoes, with fried bacon and onions. I then mixed it up all together till bonded, left it in a colander for thirty minutes. This allows any moisture to escape and the filling to cool down. I then put the filling into pastry and cook in the oven on gas mark 5 till golden and brown.


    Chicken. leek and bacon pie / pasties.

    4 rashers bacon, chopped, quite small.(provides all the salt you need)
    oil for frying
    2kg leeks, washed, cut and finely sliced (my kids will only eat it like this) or a mixture of onions and leeks works fine.
    ground black pepper (i use quite a bit)
    800g cooked chicken meat, (or turkey)chopped into chunks
    2 heaped tablespoons plain flour (or cornflour)
    2 pints of vegetable stock
    1/2 x 500g packet puff pastry or fresh if making you own

    1) Fry bacon in oil till partially cooked add leeks / onions till brown add chicken and fry for a couple of minutes.
    2)add two tablespoons of plain flour to the chicken and stir till coated.
    3) add the two pints of veg stock to the chicken mixture, mix all together and bring to the boil for about 2 minutes.
    4)Pour the chicken mixture into a sieve over another large empty pan and let the juices drained.
    5) once all the juices are drained turn the chicken mix into a pyrex dish (or any glass dish) cover with the pastry and cook in the oven on gas mark 5 till pastry is golden brown.
    6) I then use the drained juices as gravy.

    My kids are really fussy but i now have a system in place eat your food or starve, (or no desert, fruit etc) i know it sounds awful but its worked for the past few weeks. I tend to make a lot of curries, so my kids are used to getting concoctions of some kind, poor kids :lol: Even got them to eat liver and spinach which shocked me as they actually liked it in the end! Bad for me as i can't stand liver .

    Will have to try the dumplings , thanks for the recipe!

    Basic white bread recipe (makes a 2lb loaf)
    250g Strong White Bread Flour
    250g Plain Flour
    220ml of cold water
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp sugar
    7g dried fast action yeast ( or if using bread machine about 1 1/2 tsp of fast action yeast)
    2 tsp of dried milk powder (optional)

    after mixed together you could add things like herbs, garlic and leave to rise for a couple of hours till doubled in size. Then knock back down and put into loaf tin rill risen again. Bake in hot oven on gas mark 6 for about 45 minutes or till cooked.

    In the bread machine, put it on a basic setting, 2ld loaf, when the starts add herbs(optional).

    I do this with sun dried tomatoes and mixed herbs, its lovely.

    Well make the falafel yesterday with rice and chickpea curry for lunch, then went off to my sisters, she fed the boys and i came back with HM jarwala for me and OH, was lush with HM bread.

    No idea what were for lunch etc as i'm waiting on friends kids to come, who are extremely fussy, so don't know if were eating out or not.
    Will post up meal plan later, once i've seen what we have in.

    Frugal swan:- A new thread will start soon for May, so just post on they, but keep on here if you like till that one starts.
  • theskintfamily
    Spent 46.50 last might in Mr T's, did a meal plan until the end of the month so I now have everything in that I need and should only need to get milk for the baby. DS back in school monday but have plenty here for his packed lunch.

    also picked up a leaflet for 10 off a 50 home delivery spend. it says its for 'your first order' can i use it if I've had a delivery before? :confused:
    Jan GC 0/200
    • Hollysan
    • By Hollysan 18th Apr 09, 12:28 PM
    • 135 Posts
    • 1,160 Thanks
    Hello folks,

    I haven't posted since the beginning of the month because of the Easter holidays etc, but we are doing OK. We had family visiting over Easter, but we also went away for four days, so that evened things out. Had a great time over the holidays, but looking forward to getting back to 'normal'. (What's that, then?!)

    The freezer is pretty empty and as others have found, having the children (and OH!) on holiday has meant a flood of spending. Oh well!

    I need to do some serious meal planning to get us to the end of the month, and I also need to do some baking before the lunch boxes need filling on Monday.

    Have a good weekend everyone; welcome to the newbies.

    MFiT-T4 #63
    Mortgage 78,000/67,690.73
  • Coolmum66
    Hi all

    Have kept up with all posts but not posted this month

    Been shopping today - few bits only - so have spent from beginning of April to today 171.83, leaving me with 38.17 till the end of the month and another weeknd to go!! - hmm - we shall see how we do with this!!

    Good luck to all - it's definately a challenge when prices keep rising!!

    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
    • ellemm
    • By ellemm 18th Apr 09, 7:55 PM
    • 11,096 Posts
    • 51,810 Thanks
    Hi all

    Haven't updated signature for a while so have done now. Not much to last till the end of the month but the spending today included food to feed 12 adults and 4 children for lunch tomorrow!! might be some leftovers.....! and there is still loads in the freezer so might just about come in on budget.

    Only two small portions of chicken curry left for freezing, everything else was eaten which of course is great as everyone enjoyed the food and had a good time too!! Also "gained" several bottles of wine and some beers for the drinks cupboard.
    Last edited by ellemm; 20-04-2009 at 9:30 AM. Reason: Update

  • Julimk
    A couple of NSDs here, in all respects, which is a bit of a relief!

    Only a few more days to go, but not a lot left in the budget, Keep seeing things that are nearly running out & trying to judge if it will eek out for just a little bit longer. Will anyway need some more milk & some bits for DDs pack-ups next week.
    • trish123
    • By trish123 18th Apr 09, 9:05 PM
    • 132 Posts
    • 291 Thanks
    Havent done this for a while but been lurking.Will join in again in May
    :rolleyes: Jan grocery challenge 300/210 spent so far.I can do this
    • AlwaysHappy
    • By AlwaysHappy 18th Apr 09, 10:14 PM
    • 1,487 Posts
    • 11,732 Thanks
    Hello there, I would like to declare at 199.68/200 for April which I couldn't have done without the motivation of this thread, I haven't posted very often but read the thread daily. Can I be put down again for 200 for May please? though this will be harder as Mum is coming to stay for a week, but I will do my best.
    I'm not a failure if I don't make it, I'm a success because I :tried!
  • wigwam
    Hello all, Long term lurker here. I will definately be joining the May challenge, have been keeping receipts for the past 2 weeks and the results so far are shocking!!!!
    You have all done so well, keep up the good work xx
    LBM March 2011: CC14697 2968; CC2 3873.293754 CC3 2972 2807 ;CC4 3100Loan900300
    Pay off in 2011 challenge:
    2034.28 / 6000[SIZE=1] 4841/10000 (started March - total payments, updated end May!)

    • JayneC
    • By JayneC 19th Apr 09, 10:12 AM
    • 911 Posts
    • 10,929 Thanks
    Hey everyone,

    Sounds like most people are doing quite well this month!
    I've just totted up on Spending diary and am up to 238.60 which is ok as my month ends on Friday and budget is 250. Just have to get bread and milk before then so should make it ok.
    DS1 is home from uni in middle of next month so I may have to adjust my budget then , we will see...
    Well off to update sig now and bake some cakes an biccies for lunch boxes.
    I got a big pack of stewing steak reduced in Tesco a couple of week ago so going to cook all that today an should do at least 2 meals maybe 3!!! Will have to check out recipes....
    See you all soon x
    Official DFW nerd - 282 'Proud To Be Dealing With My Debts'
    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z member # 56
  • HowlinWolf
    Can I join in for May please, which will start on the 30th of April. I have been meal planning and food budgeting for a while but keep falling off the wagon a bit. So far I've trimmed about 250 off our monthly food bill - I am fairly sure most of it used to end up in the bin! I am pretty much on target for this month despite £46.50 for shoes for ds and £48.50 for the milkman having to be found from the food budget. I wish the milkman would show up more regularly, I think I am going to start a piggy bank for him.

    Anyway MRS M could you put me down for 350 for May from the 30th April please

    As well as trying to sort out my own debt I am also trying to sort the family overdraft, I am hoping that at some point dp will take the hint and sort himself out - seems to be having an effect so far!
    Last edited by HowlinWolf; 19-04-2009 at 10:46 AM.
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