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    November 2009 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 28th Oct 09, 10:30 AM
    November 2009 Grocery Challenge 28th Oct 09 at 10:30 AM
    Pink is having problems with her internet connection at the moment, so Helen and I have been asked to start the November Grocery Challenge.

    Welcome to the November 2009 Grocery Challenge.

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your October budget, then keep on posting in the October 2009 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 post #5 on this thread.

    For the Grocery Challenge recipe index please read posts #3 and #4 on this thread.

    Wishing you all a great October and good luck to everyone who's taking part!

    Pink, Helen and Rosieben
    Last edited by rosieben; 28-10-2009 at 1:47 PM.
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Page 41
  • scotsaver
    It's me again, this time with the recipe from last night's Dinner. It's from a Cookbook called "Mighty Mince Cookbook" by Jane Todd:-

    Chinese Pork Balls & Sweet & Sour Sauce

    1lb Minced Pork
    1 clove garlic, crushed
    Salt & Pepper
    2 tsps Dry Sherry
    2 tsps Soy Sauce
    2 tbsps Oil

    For the Sauce

    1 226g Can pineapple chunks
    1 carrot cut into sticks
    1 green pepper seeded and chopped
    2 tsps brown sugar
    2 tsps soy sauce
    1 tbsp cornflour
    2 tbsps vinegar

    In a bowl mix together the pork, garlic, salt & pepper, sherry and soy sauce. With floured hands, shape the mixture into walnut sized balls. Heat the oil in a frying pan and saute the meatballs for about 5 mins until browned and cooked through. Keep hot.

    To make the sweet and sour sauce, drain the juice from the pineapple chunks into a saucepan, add carrot and pepper and simmer until softened. Stir in the sugar and soy sauce. Blend the cornflour with the vinegar to make a smooth paste and add to the sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 -3 mins, stir in the pineapple chunks and let them heat through in the sauce. I found the sauce quite thick and quantity not enough so I watered it down to make more which worked well. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and serve with rice or noodles.

    Dinner tonight is a Beef Casserole which has been in the Slow Cooker most of the day, boiled spuds, carrots and broccoli, shall top the casserole with cobbler dumplings for the last half hour. Yum.

    Have a good evening everyone.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 25th Nov 09, 6:18 PM
    • 3,896 Posts
    • 9,222 Thanks
    nearly a NSD today but the poor cats needed food and I had already used up the last of the reserve tinned supply - also was on the last of the bread, so picked up a loaf.

    will get some stuff tomorrow at Mr L (I get a 30 minute supermarket sprint whilst DS is at Guitar and its 10 minutes each way to home).

    still looking under budget for payday (Friday). if I can I may stretch my budget to the end of the month as its just simpler doing 1st to 1st rather than payday to payday. currently about £30 to go
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    • Mrs Money Penny
    • By Mrs Money Penny 25th Nov 09, 7:00 PM
    • 728 Posts
    • 6,332 Thanks
    Mrs Money Penny
    Hi All 2 Nsd this week. Just popped into update signature by £50.61. Few bits to get for the weekend shouldn't be too bad. Good luck everyone.
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  • rosieben
    thank you scotsaver, Chinese Pork Balls & Sweet & Sour Sauce are now in the recipe index
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    • Jevvers
    • By Jevvers 25th Nov 09, 7:47 PM
    • 641 Posts
    • 3,211 Thanks
    I am very excited - I remembered I had Co-op divi coupons (yes, they still do them!) which added up to £5.38 and I managed to a) get the last few bits and bobs before the PILs arrive AND b) only spend 3p more than the coupons AND, most importantly c) actually use them before they ran out as I am forever throwing away expired vouchers.

    I really hope that will be the last spend of the month and then at least we will have come in under £300.

    I also think I have managed not to fall into my usual trap of buying loads of special things for visitors which then don't get used. I decided to cut my meals to fit my fridge cloth (so to speak) and stick to the nice menu plan I had already drawn up.
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  • yummyhoney
    hi everyone,,
    first time posting here and a ickkle bit nervy:rolleyes:
    can i join in for dec,,have been watching this for past few weeks and couldnt wait till dec starts,,so here goes

    DEC €400please
    Dont cry because it's over,
    Smile because it happened.

    sealed pot challenge 3 #865
    Jan NSD 10/10 Jan groc. challenge €169.18/€400
    Dec NSD ??/10 challenge €230/€400:rolleyes:
  • rosieben
    Welcome yummyhoney! Helen will be along soon to add you to the front list.

    Its lovely to have so many new gc'ers joinng us.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

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  • prettypaula
    I also would like to set my grocery budget for December at a VERY frugal


    I dont really do overboard christmas as im a low carber, and hubby is trying to bulk up and is doing weights etc... so hes eating properly to

    really only 3 of us for xmas day so we will be having a turkey crown from LIDL, and we are working the rest of the xmas period as we are both in retail.

    got alot of stuff in the cupboards and freezer to use up so hopefully will be a very MSE month for us!
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  • Winged one
    Actually, I cheered myself up somewhat when I updated my sig - I actually have €50 to play with at the weekend and that should be plenty to cover what we need.

    I also have a good lot of regular stores in, although we will have Christmas Dinner and a 4th Birthday Party to organise during December. So I think I will ask for €650 please for December. That should be enough to stay within and get a few nice things without killing the finances for the year end.
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    • skilly
    • By skilly 26th Nov 09, 7:52 AM
    • 882 Posts
    • 10,225 Thanks
    morning everyone,spent £19.23 yesterday on bread ..milk..eggs..and sandwich stuff .found 2 xmas puddings in cupboard clear out, i bought them last xmas do you think they will be ok? they are still indate .
    Last edited by skilly; 26-11-2009 at 8:00 AM.
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    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 26th Nov 09, 8:41 AM
    • 2,629 Posts
    • 32,816 Thanks
    Skilly The puddings will be fine. There's enough natural preservative in all the dried fruit & sugar Enjoy them!
    A G&T a day keeps the doctor away
    • BigMummaF
    • By BigMummaF 26th Nov 09, 8:43 AM
    • 4,269 Posts
    • 32,002 Thanks
    I've begun the December No Spend Day Challenge over on the Debt Free board if anyone's good for a laugh No pressure to conform but it does exercise the mind & get you really thinking about where & when you spend. I like company so don't be shy about calling in; you don't need an invite & the door is always on the latch. I was going to say open but with the current weather it's too darn wet for that
    Full time Carer for Mum; harassed mother of three;
    loving & loved by two 4-legged babies.

    • candygirl
    • By candygirl 26th Nov 09, 9:23 AM
    • 27,383 Posts
    • 116,503 Thanks
    Spent £17 at morrisons yesterday, so that's me declaring at £87 this month, which is just under budget and a lot of it has been spent on cold n flu tabs DEC target is £90, but i'm away for 2 weeks so will prob be less
    Last edited by candygirl; 26-11-2009 at 9:25 AM.
    "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf"

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  • rosieben
    Thanks BMF, I'm on my way!
    Last edited by rosieben; 26-11-2009 at 9:50 AM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

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    • ifonlyitwaseasier
    • By ifonlyitwaseasier 26th Nov 09, 9:30 AM
    • 2,787 Posts
    • 20,347 Thanks
    hello all,

    well i've lost track entirely this month, been laid up for two months with that flu thing so will set my Dec budget as £70 as am planning to take hubby out for dinner

    take care all and i might pop over to the no spend thread BMF but i may also have to wait til january as i need to finish my xmas shopping!

    Nonny mouse and Proud!!
    Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience
    Amor et metus. Lac? Sugar? Quisque massa vel duo? (stolen from a lovely forumite!)

    • candygirl
    • By candygirl 26th Nov 09, 9:34 AM
    • 27,383 Posts
    • 116,503 Thanks
    hello all,

    well i've lost track entirely this month, been laid up for two months with that flu thing so will set my Dec budget as £70 as am planning to take hubby out for dinner

    take care all and i might pop over to the no spend thread BMF but i may also have to wait til january as i need to finish my xmas shopping!

    Originally posted by ifonlyitwaseasier
    I've had/got the flu thing as well as my dd, dgd and Mum Don't think it's actually swine flu, but we've all felt crap for days now
    Hope you feel better soon x
    "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf"

    (Kabat-Zinn 2004)
    • ifonlyitwaseasier
    • By ifonlyitwaseasier 26th Nov 09, 9:41 AM
    • 2,787 Posts
    • 20,347 Thanks
    cheers candygirl, it's hit the whole family so we've all been coughing and spluttering, the tissue consumption has been ridculous!
    Nonny mouse and Proud!!
    Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience
    Amor et metus. Lac? Sugar? Quisque massa vel duo? (stolen from a lovely forumite!)

    • huston_kw
    • By huston_kw 26th Nov 09, 9:48 AM
    • 551 Posts
    • 8,939 Thanks
    Still under budget (just) spent 228 so far which leave us 2 quid until the end of the month.

    I've been strict this month with OH as well, been telling him that there's only x amount left of this month and tough as I'm not spending a penny more, he makes HM pizzas on a Sunday and he likes jalapeño and pepperoni topping (1.64) from asda. I told him that we just have to not have it this month and also we run out of yeast, he was fine with this so that's great.

    I did go to asda last night as he went the other night with his mum and that's when I told him only to buy pull ups for ds and no extras - it was good as he only came back with one item but they where nappies, but to be fair to him the shop assistant did tell him that they were the right ones. Bless him he said that he'd pay for them out of his personnel money but I said I could exchange them, so his mam was going again last night so I went along to exchange them and got some free fresh yeast, so we will be having pizza on Sunday just without his favourite topping.

    Ok enough waffle from me ... off to updat signature...

  • elizabunny
    Hello Everyone!

    Trying to sort out what I've spent this month and I think I'm going to have to confess to be around £50 over budget this month and my annual budget is blown as well So damage limitation mode is in full swing.

    Helen Jelly can I please close the lid on November and declare at £170 and would you kindly put me down for £150 for December, thank you.

    I must admit I have already started on my Christmas shopping because I simply cannot pass a bargain when it's there to be had. So I am well stocked with loo and kitchen rolls, dishwasher tablets, cans of soft drink, Christmas biccies and sweeties and crisps. Not all of these very essential I know, but you have to have a few treats at Christmas.

    DH has a barrrel of lager brewing away, which he says is ready now and I insist he leaves alone until Christmas I don't know if I will win this argument. We seem to only buy spirits etc at Christmas and often find things forgotton from many moons ago. I have though, added a nice bottle of Baileys which was on offer.

    The dodgy freezer is now half full of prepared apples and summer blackberries and also Chesnuts which we collected and peeled, so that they are all ready to add to whatever for Christmas. I also have 5 tubs of Utterly Butterly which is on offer now at MrL and it says on the pack you can freeze it. Also I have several packs of Bacon Medallions which are also on offer this week at MrL and can be frozen according to pack. Don't forget the £5 voucher in the Daily Express for MrL!

    I have enough ingredients in to mix up a couple of Christmas Puds, but I'll need to get more if I decide to make a cake. Every year I say I won't bother, but when our sons visit they say 'Where's the Christmas Cake Mum' and 'we'll take some of that back home, if there's any spare' In fact they'll take anything back home if it's going spare

    We are out to dinner tonight with family, so no cooking today apart from HM bread.

    Have a good day everyone!
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    • MadamMim2013
    • By MadamMim2013 26th Nov 09, 11:40 AM
    • 798 Posts
    • 10,115 Thanks
    Not doing too bad, only a few days left so will declare on Monday!
    Have been reading posts just not really had time to post myself, kids xmas nativity etc, oh and the xmas fayre tomorrow....
    "There's a little witch in all of us"
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