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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 27
    • gunsandbanjos
    • By gunsandbanjos 22nd Apr 09, 9:30 AM
    • 12,105 Posts
    • 105,054 Thanks
    Just been to asda, if anyone is interested they had 50% off a lot of fish on their fresh fish counter - mostly smoked ones. I got kippers for hubby and smoked haddock and smoked cod.

    Will update my totals in a bit.

    Why is cheese so expensive, i spent £7 on cheese today I am making enchiladas today though and need a fair bit of cheese for them. Numnum.
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
    Bertrand Russell
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 22nd Apr 09, 10:21 AM
    • 2,630 Posts
    • 32,816 Thanks
    Just a quickie to update my signature. Back from shopping and it came to £71.14 so I'm very pleased. Got about £8 in Tesco later today for lentils, juice, value bag of peppers & crisps.

    Just one more shop for me next week in April now so the extra I've saved will go into the birthday fund!
    A G&T a day keeps the doctor away
  • Money saving Diva
    Morning OS friends!

    Well I have failed miserably and still have 5 days to go and we have no fresh fruit or veg and no meat in the house so it's going to get worse! I knew I should have declared £350 and not £300 for my first month back in the saddle.

    However, I will not be dispirited and I am allowing myself a little leeway as I have included the odd takeaway in our budget which actually I normally pay for out of 'my' money and not the monthly food budget. Plus I did a big Tescos shop yesterday which came to nearly £75, but it was a lot of store cupboard stuff and baking ingredients that all seemed to have run out at the same time, so that will stand me in good stead for next month. We saved nearly £12 on special offers PLUS had our delivery charge refunded as they missed an item off which I needed for dinner last night so rang to complain. The lovely lady said that as I would have to go out and buy it now I shouldn't have to pay delivery!

    I will aim slightly higher next month but do my best not to go over and then work my way back down again. After all - this isn't a sprint, it's a marathon!

    I hope everyone is doing well with their personal shopping challenges this month.


    To be frugal, you need to spend money wisely, simply spending less is not enough.
    If you can't handle me at my worst then you don't deserve me at my best...
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I will try again tomorrow.
    • fletch3163
    • By fletch3163 22nd Apr 09, 11:36 AM
    • 884 Posts
    • 2,543 Thanks
    Am a page or so behind in my reading.

    Just want to record that my spending for April seems to be in FREEFALL. I can't believe the state of affairs. I've lost count of the shopping but it's definitely going to be above my £400 (by how much is anyone's guess) but, more importantly, my non food spending has taken a battering. Am stunned at the depth of colour of my overdraft.

    DH has been complaining that I'm too strict but look what happens when I go with the flow (for as much as I can go with the flow). I've watched it spiral whilst biting my tongue and not "spoil" Easter. Oh, I could GREET!
    Grocery Challenge M: £450/£425.08 A: £400/£.May -£400/£361 June £380/£230 (pages 18 & 27 explain)
    • kezlou
    • By kezlou 22nd Apr 09, 12:05 PM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 43,067 Thanks
    Just a quick post, had a NSD yesterday, but spent money today.
    If all goes to plan as i was walking back form the vets popped into a local cash / carry for fruit and veg and guess what they do deliveries!!

    So for £14.90 i got:-
    a 25kg bag of potatoes £5
    10kg (think so) onions £2.50
    box of cucumbers £4.90
    box of single colour peppers £2.50

    and that's including free delivery, so hopefully its should arrive before 3pm today.
    The above should hopefully last all of May (she says confidently).
    Also bought a tray of eggs and a bag of plain flour from the corner shop. More expensive than the supermarket but thought if i went to sainsbugs i'd spend more money.

    Having salad today with omelette for tea don't know what else were having for the rest of the week so will have a do a meal plan today as well.

    I'll try and put some more recipes up later if i have time got one for lentil and bean loaf which is really nice, even the kids like it.
    • egon
    • By egon 22nd Apr 09, 12:40 PM
    • 439 Posts
    • 5,654 Thanks
    We are really struggeling to keep to the budget. Already, we are 40 pounds over! Not a good year. I have to review everything to see what we can do.
    I wish Germany had a website like moneysavingexpert!
    • angelnikki
    • By angelnikki 22nd Apr 09, 1:12 PM
    • 892 Posts
    • 16,972 Thanks
    Bit late posting but my budget is £220 this month (£55/week) for food only. This is for 2 adults and a toddler.
    Spent so far: £154.35

    Last night's MrT delivery included: 6 Happy FR eggs £1, Linda Mccartney veggie sausages £1, 4x Princes tuna in water half price £2.69, Anchor spreadable 500g £1.12

    1 week to go! Good luck everyone!

    Nikki x
    • Frugaldom
    • By Frugaldom 22nd Apr 09, 1:50 PM
    • 6,160 Posts
    • 54,422 Thanks
    I've spent £69.43 this month so far, which you'd think I'd be really pleased about, but no! It means that my total for the year, so far, has now escalated to £532.27 when I should have only spent an average of about £370! Why is it becoming so impossible to do a £10 shop these days? Isn't it annoying that we used to joke about the price of cheese and say there's no point crying over spilt milk? It's no joke now, that's for sure.

    I am going to try to limit myself to £15 per week from now - surely it's enough for basic essentials when the freezer and cupboards are pretty much full?
    I reserve the right NOT to spend:
    The less I spend, the more I can afford!
    Now running Frugaldom as a lifestyle social enterprise!
    • meanmarie
    • By meanmarie 22nd Apr 09, 2:35 PM
    • 5,135 Posts
    • 49,952 Thanks
    Needed to get milk this am so got it at garage where I bought OH's paper.....only a litre though as it was € will never even buy the paper there again!

    Weight 08 February 86kg
    • thriftmonster
    • By thriftmonster 22nd Apr 09, 4:06 PM
    • 1,656 Posts
    • 8,014 Thanks
    Another one here having a bit of a disaster this month - will probably end up at about £500 this month - but dh is away next month a fair bit and the kids are less picky so will try to do better then.

    Am still going to do my packed lunch totals this month - have spent £4.53 for 6 lunches over the last 3 days - less than 1 day's cost of dinners

    oh well onwards and upwards
    “the princess jumped from the tower & she learned that she could fly all along. she never needed those wings.”
    Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself in this One
  • Mountain Ash
    Very quick update - spent £2 in Iceland on their 50% extra free Ainsley Harriott couscous. That will make 6 packed lunches at 33p each - so not bad going. Budget amount outstanding now £10.29.

    When the going gets tough, the tough eat chocolate!

    Cross Stitch Cafe Monthly Challenge Member No. 15
    • debt cruncher
    • By debt cruncher 22nd Apr 09, 5:53 PM
    • 339 Posts
    • 1,739 Thanks
    debt cruncher
    Spent £4.70 today on bread and meat.
    Mortgage: £59709.77 (26/08/17) Now £58683.93 MFD Nov 2033
    Current OP Savings £3952.68.
    Milestone no 1 reached 07 Dec 17. Working towards milestone no 2 net debt £50000.
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 22nd Apr 09, 6:46 PM
    • 4,361 Posts
    • 30,013 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi....i agree with peeps saying about prices going makes stretching the budget really hard....i have been stretching a chicken to last 3 meals for 4 people...the curry iv got cooking smells nice

    i went to the market today and got a mixed bowl of veg for £1 and salad for £1 i intend to use the market more...all the stuff i have had has been very fresh but it doesnt seem to i need to get organised and use it up

    i need to update sig....not too much of april left
    take care
    onwards and upwards
    • kezlou
    • By kezlou 22nd Apr 09, 6:53 PM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 43,067 Thanks
    Very naughty today went and spent £8 needlessly on food so bumped my total up again.

    Heres some more recipes as promised.

    Spicy bean and lentil loaf

    1 onion finely chopped and sliced up small
    2 garlic cloves crushed
    2 celery sticks very finely chopped (optional) or 1 large leek
    400g can kidney beans
    400g can lentils
    1 egg
    a carrot grated
    50g cheese grated
    50g breadcrumbs
    2 tbsp tomato puree
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1/2 tsp chilli powder
    salt, pepper

    1)grease a loaf tin and set oven to gas mark 5
    2) fry onions, garlic, celery / leeks till soft, remove from heat
    3) blend kidney beans, lentils, then onion mix and egg together until smoothish
    4) tip into another bowl and mix with tomato puree, breadcrumbs and spices
    5) Put the mixture into the loaf tin, level the surface with a knife
    6) Bake in oven for about an hour.
    7) remove from tin and serve

    This loaf can be served hot or cold.
    Any kind of beans can be used and spices are optional.
    I normally serve this with veg, mash and gravy

    Courgette Fritters
    450g grated courgette
    50g grated cheese
    2 eggs beaten
    4 tbsp plain flour
    salt and pepper to season

    1)Squish courgettes in a clean dish towel to remove excess water,
    2) combine squished courgettes with cheese, eggs, flour and seasoning and shape into pattie shapes
    3) Fry in a little oil till each side is golden brown
    4) drain and serve
    • queen of string
    • By queen of string 22nd Apr 09, 8:09 PM
    • 506 Posts
    • 3,879 Thanks
    queen of string
    Those courgette fritters sound nom. I'll be using my £1 bag of courgettes from Asda for those methinks.
    Eat food, not edible food-like items. Mostly plants.
    • mooomin
    • By mooomin 22nd Apr 09, 8:13 PM
    • 13,655 Posts
    • 134,514 Thanks
    Those courgette fritters sound nom. I'll be using my £1 bag of courgettes from Asda for those methinks.
    Originally posted by queen of string
    This is probably the worlds dumbest question, but that has never stopped me before

    How do you prep a courgette for cooking?

    I have a recipe for carrot and courgette soup, which I know will be tasty, but do you skin the things or just chop them as is?

    I have never made a single thing in my life with courgette in it and I do like it, I just haven't got a flipping clue where to start. I have only started really learning to cook in the last couple of months, so anything you could tell me would be ace.

    To keep this OT - NSD from the Grocery budget for me, my May Challenge starts tomorrow as it's paaaaydaaaay
    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
    • kezlou
    • By kezlou 23rd Apr 09, 6:50 AM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 43,067 Thanks
    To prep a courgette:-

    Leave the skin on and slice / chop/grate as any recipes states.
    No a daft question at all i just forgot to write to leave the skin oops sorry about that.

    Carrot and courgette soup, haven't had that for ages.
  • Ninno820
    My month starts today - and I have just got back from Tesco's (couldn't sleep - don't ask)/ Follwoing all the guidance on these boards - meal plans, using freezer / storecupboard ingrediants etc - my monthly shop (including dog food) is a massive £24.48! There will be fresh veg to buy weekly but I am amzed - my Tesco bill is rarely below £100. I do have a weel stocked freezer this month - but i am over the moon.

    Have a good day everyone

    44 day challenge

    1. Pay £650 off overdraft (£ 288/ £650)
    2. Lose 12 lbs (4.5/ 12)
    3. Use YNAB everyday (6/44)
  • sunshine girl
    Hi all

    Thanks to all the inspiration and great MS ideas on here, so far I'm within budget!! I'm sure I can do it as I still have £78 to last till the end of the month - only a week to go so may even be under budget. Really shocked as this is my first attempt and I must have saved over a £100 compared to my usual extravagant and wasteful food shopping habits! Great to see that some people on here have been using the money saved from the challenge to pay of debts. Unfortunately I can't do that as don't actually have the money coming in in the first place if you see what I mean - anyway any reduction in spending helps to keep the overdraft away from its limit for a bit longer!

    Good luck to all and thanks again for the inspiration.
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 23rd Apr 09, 8:48 AM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,926 Thanks
    [QUOTE=kezlou;20913853]Very naughty today went and spent £8 needlessly on food so bumped my total up again.

    Heres some more recipes as promised.

    Spicy bean and lentil loaf

    Kezlou: thanks a lot for the recipes, I'm not a veggie but the loaf sounds delish: I might have it cold with salad for packed lunch!
    Can you freeze it?

    Have a good one all!

    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
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