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  • FIRST POST
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 27th Nov 09, 5:10 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    Pink.
    December 2009 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 27th Nov 09, 5:10 PM
    December 2009 Grocery Challenge 27th Nov 09 at 5:10 PM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the last Grocery Challenge of 2009.

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



    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.
    by Galtizz
    For guidelines on posting in this thread please read the second post in this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #3 and #4 on this thread.

    For everyone's targets and totals for the month please read post #5 in this thread.


    I hope everyone has a great month and can I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas.


    Pink
    Last edited by Pink.; 28-11-2009 at 2:59 PM.
Page 11
    • ellemm
    • By ellemm 2nd Dec 09, 6:43 PM
    • 11,096 Posts
    • 51,810 Thanks
    ellemm
    Good evening everyone,

    just about to sit down and have a look at some new recipes. Seem to repeat myself quite a bit on meal plan.
    Originally posted by highland fling
    My own plan exactly highland fling -getting pretty bored with the meals recently

    Off to get some cookery books from the kitchen and browse for inspiration.

    Also planning to ice the Christmas cake tonight so better get that done first.

  • elizabunny
    I've found this website to be the cheapest around for Frontline (half what my vet charges) is the prescription food on there?
    Originally posted by x_raphael_xx
    Thank you so much x_raphael_xx, SunnyGirl & prettypaula for your links and help. I still can't seem to get the price down below around 152 per month yet -but will keep looking.

    helen jelly So sorry to be a pain but can you increase my annual total to 1610 and my December month to 200. DH has been saving 1 coins in a pot which I was unaware of and has given me the proceeds towards my Xmas shopping, an extra 50 Yippee. I am thrilled and cooked him his favourite dinner.
    Last edited by elizabunny; 02-12-2009 at 8:09 PM.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
  • helen jelly
    Thank you so much x_raphael_xx, SunnyGirl & prettypaula for your links and help. I still can't seem to get the price down below around 152 per month yet -but will keep looking.

    helen jelly So sorry to be a pain but can you increase my annual total to 1610 and my December month to 200. DH has been saving 1 coins in a pot which I was unaware of and has given me the proceeds towards my Xmas shopping, an extra 50 Yippee. I am thrilled and cooked him his favourite dinner.
    Originally posted by elizabunny
    What a pain about the cost of the pet food but what a lovely suprise from DH

    Helen
    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
  • poppy-glos
    december challenge
    hi. my first post ever on here.

    last month i wrote down every purchase as i did not have a clue what i spent, so now I know last month my spending on grocery and household shopping, plus meals and snacks out, was 245.00.
    We are a household with one adult, one child and one dog.
    My target for December is to spend less than 230 on on these things.

    Last month I tried to use up everything in my cupboards and freezer (which are pretty well stocked but the food is so so boring), so this month i am continuing with that. Also, trying to only buy food to eat that day or buy items which are on offer that we use anyway to save paying full price later when the prices go up again.

    Good luck everyone with this months challenge.
    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 2nd Dec 09, 8:25 PM
    • 3,896 Posts
    • 9,187 Thanks
    mark88man
    nearly got away with a NSD, but have to confess - just done a late shop needed some bread and eggs and some fruit so 5.21 at Mr T. total spend 10/500
    Things happen for a reason. Often the reason is we are stupid & make bad decisions.
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - better than I was worse than I should be
    End 18: CC:8K@0% - Car Loan:11K@2.8% - Mort:133K@2.1% = 152K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K

  • WendysWorld
    Hi there, I've been on an "MSE Holiday" for a while due to I don't know what. Laziness probably! However, my budget has gone out of control so need to rein it in again! I'm probably starting on the worst month of the year for groceries but at least it might make me concentrate a bit!

    Anyway, can I be put down for 350 this month!!
    Thanks Helen Jelly

    Must do it...

    Have already spent 7 of it....

    BM
  • prettypaula
    have pre booked my christmas food delivery for 20th from Mr S (bit of a treat as we dont usually shop at the bury!)

    it totalled approx 44.91 but i wont add it in until im certain of amount when delivered

    but thats everything from christmas day and no doubt leftovers lol with a few bits like milk etc thrown in.

    so it looks like i may come under budget this month
    DFW - Debt Free Date July 2013, LBM Oct 2011

    Total Debt Sept 2011 23,708.39
    Paid so far 2,383.91
    Current Debt 21,560.56

    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 2nd Dec 09, 8:52 PM
    • 2,629 Posts
    • 32,816 Thanks
    SunnyGirl
    helen jelly So sorry to be a pain but can you increase my annual total to 1610 and my December month to 200. DH has been saving 1 coins in a pot which I was unaware of and has given me the proceeds towards my Xmas shopping, an extra 50 Yippee. I am thrilled and cooked him his favourite dinner.
    Originally posted by elizabunny
    I have just read this post out to my DH & told him that if he wanted to consider saving me 1 coins then he wasn't to hold back

    Well done to your DH & hope he enjoyed his dinner. With luck you may find the dog food at a better price somewhere. It might be worth looking at wholesalers as they are the ones who supply vets maybe :confused:
    A G&T a day keeps the doctor away
  • poppy-glos
    i'm new, hence not getting this right first time,please put me down for 230.

    i have been looking online at the deals this week, if i drive by

    lidl i'll buy 7 snack bananas for 59p and 3 tins of rice pudding for 1.25,
    or
    morrisons i'll get clemintines 90p for 700g and a litre of kellys cornish icecream for 1.49.

    • plzhelpmesave!
    • By plzhelpmesave! 2nd Dec 09, 9:24 PM
    • 1,302 Posts
    • 2,869 Thanks
    plzhelpmesave!
    evening all

    had a family visit today so nipped out to get some stuff, and ended up spending 31 BUT that included enough chicken breast to last hopefully for the next 2 weeks, some food for a party tomorrow and some bogof samosas that will keep in the freezer, so actually not a bad shop, BUT means that I have already spent 66 this month - and then DH spent 7ish today on some bits that were not essential...! Also saw a couple of other things in the shop that are on offer til 13th so will be spending another 20 there this month...

    Will soooo be storecupboarding for the rest of the week - should only need milk and bread so max 5 till sunday (hopefully)

    Gonna be a hard month i think!
    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 3rd Dec 09, 6:42 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    Sunnyday
    Afternoon All!

    OMG One of our doggies is quite poorly and has to go on a special prescription diet. She is a GSD and this will work out at around 5.35p per day It gets worse, she may have to stay on it for 6 months

    Now by my reckoning that equates to about 150+ per month which is more than our usual GC Budget and the insurance will only pay possibly up to 25%

    It looks like DH and me will be grazing on the lawn for the next 6 months.

    On a brighter note, a NSD for me so far today, if I get to midnight that will be 2 in a row..........................could do with around 180 in a row:rolleyes:

    Comforting myself with HM Beef Stew and Dumplings for Dinner tonight and the leftover Banana Pud from yesterday.
    Originally posted by elizabunny
    Eliza bunny i`m not sure if this will help or not, it does depend on the exact situation.
    There is more info here http://www.b-naturals.com/newsletter/bladder-stones-crystals/

    Our GSD cross suffered from struvites when she was younger. She seemed to have a spate of bladder infections quite close together and our vet was a bit baffled by it. We had all the usual tests done etc and the vet told us we could either try the food or alter her diet or a bit of both.
    In the end we changed her diet and now she is fine. The only time she has a problem is when she has really exerted herself and she passes a tiny amount or urine without noticing in her sleep but this happens once or twice a year.
    This may not be suitable for your doggie but have a word with your vet.
    Our hound is a huge eater so either way was going to be very expensive but we managed to cut the cost a bit.
    The vet did do checks after she had been on a different diet for a while and she was fine.

    She now has a more or less normal diet and is very healthy. We gradually altered her diet so that it wasn`t too much of a change for her and then over several weeks we altered it back.
    She still has chicken and brown rice etc added to her food sometimes too as well as other bits and bobs.
    Hope this is of some help for you.

    Well i`ve done two shops, one at MrA and one at MrM so as soon as i`ve taken the extra bits and bobs off the bills that i`ve bought for other people i shall post my total spends for the week.
    SD
    Last edited by Sunnyday; 03-12-2009 at 7:00 AM.
    Planning on starting the GC again soon
  • highland fling
    Good morning everyone,

    well found a couple of recipes which I am going to try. Much the same ingredients as we normally use to be honest, but just kind of rearranged.

    Will be very late home from work tonight so plan to just have a "something on toast" night. Going out for first of Christmas nights out tomorrow so wont be cooking then either. Plan to start baking Christmas treats on Saturday afternoon. Wonder if they will reach the freezer!!!

    Have a frugal day everyone.
    It takes a long time to eat an elephant and I'm doing it a bite at a time!!!
  • cookiedough38
    My first shop of the month 37.14
    Debt free wannabe
    Littlewoods - 214.82 (DD set up so 0%)
    Very - 100 (0% on BNPL - 1/4/13)
    CC - 2600/3533.53 (0% until 1/6/14)
    • thisismoneysaving
    • By thisismoneysaving 3rd Dec 09, 9:52 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 694 Thanks
    thisismoneysaving
    Right, I've spent 3 on groceries so far on 2 jars of dolmio... I know that I should have made the sauce, but I was in a rush last night & didn't really have the time as I was going out.
    Well... today should be a NSD - actually I'm going to MAKE myself have a NSD!

    Sorry to hear about the dog food situation Eliza bunny. I hope your pooch gets better

    *off to update signature*

    xx
    Trying hard to money save....
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 3rd Dec 09, 10:15 AM
    • 2,629 Posts
    • 32,816 Thanks
    SunnyGirl
    thisismoneysaving I used to regulartly do this until I hit in the idea of making a huge batch of tomato pasta sauce at once, when I had the time, & freezing it in meal sized portions. I use 8 cans of toms which I chop up with scissors in the can, 5 chopped onions, 2 Tablespoons of garlic or chopped fresh garlic to taste, 2 Tablespoons of mixed herbs, a stock cube, salt, pepper & a couple of teaspoons of sugar to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes. Fry the onions then add the rest of the ingredients & let it simmer gently for 45 mins giving the odd stir. Then blitz if you like a smooth sauce or just pour into freezer bag lined tubs and close the tops. Once it's frozen lift the bag out of the tub so that you have a convenient 'brick' shape to freeze.

    When I use it for a recipe I add chopped bacon, ham, peppers, courgettes, carrots, celery or any other veg thats around depending on which dish I'm doing Hope this helps. Play around with the sugar as if you're used to jars of Dolmio as they can be sweet. I weaned us off extra sweetness slowly HTH
    A G&T a day keeps the doctor away
    • x_raphael_xx
    • By x_raphael_xx 3rd Dec 09, 10:49 AM
    • 3,709 Posts
    • 19,516 Thanks
    x_raphael_xx
    Dog food to buy today, so another 10.99 onto my total. That should last her the month thou
    Debt Free as of 17/01/2009 Turtle Power!!
    NSD's - 0/30 / EF Challenger #3 514.56/5000
  • Long tall sally
    I have spent 141.19 inthe last couple of days which is a bit scary seeing as a) a few days ago I was saying that I only needed a few things and b) it is a fair size chunk out of my 720pm target and we are not even at the end of week one yet! the only thing that I can console myself with is that apart from the turkey and veg and maybe some more alcohol, it does include all my xmas extras. Still, I think I am gonna have to take it very carefully for the rest of the month if I am to achieve my target again! Plus i have just realised that I have no milk so another visit to somewhere required.
    • Flat Eric
    • By Flat Eric 3rd Dec 09, 12:44 PM
    • 3,985 Posts
    • 24,039 Thanks
    Flat Eric
    I have spent 141.19 inthe last couple of days which is a bit scary seeing as a) a few days ago I was saying that I only needed a few things and b) it is a fair size chunk out of my 720pm target and we are not even at the end of week one yet! the only thing that I can console myself with is that apart from the turkey and veg and maybe some more alcohol, it does include all my xmas extras. Still, I think I am gonna have to take it very carefully for the rest of the month if I am to achieve my target again! Plus i have just realised that I have no milk so another visit to somewhere required.
    Originally posted by Long tall sally

    I have a home delivery shop coming on Sat. and I have been very restrained in what I have been adding to my basket yet as of a few mins ago it was totalling 85 odd ? This might include delivery (never sure) and doesnt include the offers that will be applied. It also includes aprox 25 worth of chocs/bubble bath for xmas gifts (separate budget).

    its scary how just buying a few items can cost a small fortune and I think for all the lovely offers our beloved supermarkets are doing this time of year to try to make us spend our money with them, they are sneaking the prices up elsewhere and will no doubt be doing this with a vengenace in January.

    I really fancy doing the souvlaki recipe featured in my slimming world mag served with a huge pile of roasted misc. veg but I have plenty of veg in my freezer so it seems silly to buy (fresh) stuff especially as I need room for the christmas baking my mum does for me. The recipe also calls for lamb leg steaks but I have lamb neck fillets in my freezer, i guess I could use these in substitution.

    If Im to come under budget this month, I need to rein in and rather than eat what I fancy, need to eat what I have!!

  • helen jelly
    Afternoon everyone
    Right, headaches have now gone [new glasses got] what a difference, I didn't realise how bad my old ones had got.

    Budgets all done up to here so if I've missed you out please shout at me and sorry.

    More new people joining us - welcome and hi, its great to have you here. Please feel free to ask any questions as there are some lovely helpful people on here. Don't forget to check out the recipes posted on page 1 by the wonderful Rosieben. Good luck with your budgets and please remember that we don't fail on here we just look, learn and move onwards.

    Helen x
    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
    • ellemm
    • By ellemm 3rd Dec 09, 12:55 PM
    • 11,096 Posts
    • 51,810 Thanks
    ellemm

    If Im to come under budget this month, I need to rein in and rather than eat what I fancy, need to eat what I have!!
    Originally posted by Flat Eric
    Think that just about sums up how to get somewhere with this challenge Flat Eric although as we all know, easier said than done

    As I have posted on the Storecupboard thread, I decided to use up 5 lemons and some frozen berries by making Lemon Cream with a Berry Compote from economy Gastronomy.......but that meant I had to buy cream. I did, however, only buy the cream and resisted everything else.

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