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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 19
  • skintbint
    thats my shop done for the week, have spent a grand total of 38 but that included the bottles of Stella for christmas that were on at tesco for 6 when you spent over 30. Have got really everything i need for this week so hopefully manage another 2 NSD's at least for this week.
    jackiew - if you run out of bread try making irish soda bread, recipe i have is
    500gr plain flour (or half wholemeal) 300ml sour milk (add dash lemon juice to milk) 1/2tspsalt and 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sieve all dry ingredients,make a well pour in soured milk knead lightly shape into smooth flat ball make cross on top and bung in oven 200' for 30 mins - delicious mmmmmm!
    got myself a slicer from Argos for 20 in sale and bread looks shop bought and goes twice as far as they dont have doorstops of it, also my christmas gammon will go twice as far so think it will pay for itself in no time at all
    skintbint x
    here's tae us, wha's like us - fell few and and they're a deid"
    10k in 2010/6988.30-69.88%@29/12/10, 11k in 2011/897 07.04.11- fell by the wayside!!!
    12k in 2012 - 204.00 @ 4/1/12

    do not confuse me with the other skintbint who joined dec2011 - i am the original bint
  • elizabunny
    Evening all,

    Had a smallish shop tonight of around 8.00, needed to stock up on milk and orange juice and a couple of other bits. Freezer in house now FULL, Freezer in Garage FULL, Fridge fairly FULL, Various cupboards FULL.

    Can't help wondering why I keep needing to shop. I WILL try to control myself now until just before Xmas

    Ooooooooooooooooooooh NO..............I forgot the Ham:rolleyes:
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
  • poppy-glos
    Im very pleased to report a NSD today . Didn't manage to itemise freezer contents yesterday but hope to do next weekend. Not going to be buying much foodwise for christmas other than the basics (spuds/milk/eggs etc) as invites now received to relatives for both Christmas day and Boxing day now and I am sure an invite for the 27th will soon follow..... Also need to pencil other invites I have received into the food planner (including my work christmas meal and an early family meal) as all days when food is being cooked for me mean little or no spending

    So as mentioned. hope to itemise contents of freezer next week and then plan menu for the rest of the month, possibly until the end of next month ??

    would mention that I bought the Good Food Meal Planner Book (Thrifty recipes and 7-day meal plans to help you save money and time). I got it off amaz0n so didnt pay full price

    Athough I love the Economy Gastronomy Book, this book is great because it has lots of simply easy recipes. Some have very few ingredients. For most (if not all??) it comments on how to double up (to save time in the future) when time might be short but you want a decent home cooked meal.

    I was also after fellow posters help ? Having itemised my food cupboards, i do have rather a lot of loose rice. I typically buy the boil in bag rice but it seems silly and not very mse to buy more of this when I have plenty of the stuff albeit loose. Is there any foolproof way to cook it ? I know you should allow about 65g ? per person but how much water should I add ?? the instructions on the box are not very clear :confused:
    Originally posted by Flat Eric
    rice cooking, i boil 2 1/2 times the volume of water to rice. so for me and my daughter i cook one ramakin (about half a coffee mug) of rice and 2 1/2 ramakins of water for ten minutes. i salt the water at the beginning.
    good luck
    nov grocery challenge, .227.69/300, 9/25 nsd: , 7 Cmo, 10 egm.
    Me, 10 yo dd, and the dog. all food and drinks, in and out, plus household shopping.
  • helen jelly
    Evening everyone

    I had a NSD - go me!!!

    Budgets done up to Cheapskate

    Who was asking about rice [sorry can't remember] we freeze it when we make too much, defrost it, reheat in the microwave, job done, that way it doesn't matter if we make too much cos we've always got it for next time.

    Helen x
    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
    • Flat Eric
    • By Flat Eric 7th Dec 09, 9:26 PM
    • 3,985 Posts
    • 24,039 Thanks
    Flat Eric
    Asked the OH tonight what things he wanted bought for xmas.... big mistake.... its only random things like onion rings, battered fish, oven chips / white sliced bread ??!! etc (which I don't normally buy). I can't make up my mind whether to have these bits delivered or whether to buy them in dribs and drabs..... (as there are other things i need - cat to feed / loo roll etc...)

    I also had family round yesterday so my box of wine for xmas got opened and its very tasty so I poured myself another glass tonight ! better be careful as it was meant for christmas.:rolleyes:

    all slots for christmas week are filled up where I am and Im at work anyway but I could have a delivery on the saturday before xmas but for things like cream /bacon / sausages, would be concerned about dates....

    also given my past history, i dont want to find myself buying the whole shop

    will ponder away and perhaps set up my computer to give me an electric shock if I try to spend too much ...

    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 7th Dec 09, 9:29 PM
    • 4,008 Posts
    • 9,550 Thanks
    mark88man
    40.30 at Mr S this evening, and 5 in Mr T for kids lunchbox stuff

    not too bad 25% return in bogofs/woopsies so reasonably economical.

    bought everyone a freddo chocolate frog as a treat - its a sign of how mean I am now that everyone was delighted - should I be pleased or upset??
    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

  • poppy-glos
    spends today all eating out, but counting eats out and snacks too in this challenge so i don't hide food purchases by labelling them 'treats' or 'socialising...'. Hopefully this way i'll train myself that whatever i 'save' at home gives me the option of 'treats out' if i don't overspend that month.......:rolleyes:

    so bacon butties and drinks deal in greggs x 2 = 5, and lunch deals at wetherspoon spent 8.50. already added to my spends list below.
    nov grocery challenge, .227.69/300, 9/25 nsd: , 7 Cmo, 10 egm.
    Me, 10 yo dd, and the dog. all food and drinks, in and out, plus household shopping.
  • rosieben
    .. Everythnig's gone to pot since new baby arrived 7 weeks ago & only just starting to feel like I'm making a dent in washing, cleaning, etc.
    ...
    Originally posted by Cheapskate
    on the new babe! sorry if I missed you telling us before

    I've had a few NDS's but having a sainsbugs delivery tomorrow; that should be it till Friday.

    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • rosieben
    Great recipe skintbint, Irish Soda Bread now in the recipe list
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • Synonymous
    • By Synonymous 7th Dec 09, 11:13 PM
    • 330 Posts
    • 2,275 Thanks
    Synonymous
    Hello eveyone, this is my first December post, my budget runs from 7th to 4th and as I came in under last month I'd like to reduce my budget this month to 70.

    That's just for l'il old me Now need to make a weeks worth of meal plans, I've got a portion of chilli and 6 portions of lasagne in the freezer from a double cook last week so just filling in the gaps.

    Might be too late now but I noticed lots of people talking about Lidl 5 vouchers, where are these coming from as I have one locally?

    Thanks!
    NST September: SFD 17/20, food 62.87/60, travel 61.55/40, Outings 39.80/100, Allotment 7.17/30 Other: 42.32, Meditation ?/30.
    NOT BUYING IT! 2015 - A Consumer Holiday.
    • SunnyGirl
    • By SunnyGirl 8th Dec 09, 6:23 AM
    • 2,630 Posts
    • 32,816 Thanks
    SunnyGirl
    jackiew - if you run out of bread try making irish soda bread, recipe i have is
    500gr plain flour (or half wholemeal) 300ml sour milk (add dash lemon juice to milk) 1/2tspsalt and 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sieve all dry ingredients,make a well pour in soured milk knead lightly shape into smooth flat ball make cross on top and bung in oven 200' for 30 mins - delicious mmmmmm!
    Originally posted by skintbint
    Thanks for that I'm definitely going to give it a go. DS3 loves soda bread but I keep looking for a simple recipe and haven't found one untl now

    bought everyone a freddo chocolate frog as a treat - its a sign of how mean I am now that everyone was delighted - should I be pleased or upset??
    Originally posted by mark88man
    Be thrilled that they are pleased at small things
    A G&T a day keeps the doctor away
  • Winged one
    So far, I have spent a grand total of 22.57. 15 at the farmer's market - 2 pork chops, small Christmas pudding and mulling spices. And 7.59 in Aldi for veg, bread, milk and ham.

    But I am stuck this week - we didn't do any proper shop at the weekend and are almost out of freezer items. So we are having prawns and sauce and rice tonight, but I need to buy meat tonight for tomorrow and the rest of the week. I have half a chorizo, so I will make a potato bake tomorrow - but I need a pack of bacon pieces to add to it. I think some chicken for Thursday, and perhaps a macaroni cheese on Friday.

    And we are going out for dinner on Saturday, so that is from another budget. I am waiting on buying alcohol until after the budget tomorrow - I can dash out tomorrow evening if there is a change the wrong way, but I think it would be worth my while waiting.

    But I do have quite a large shop to get over the weekend - lots of cleaning things are running out, DH is drinking hot choc like it's going out of fashion, and I am running through honey (for hot lemon juice drinks) as well, and the fact that we're practically empty in the freezer. And we have no goose fat left for roast potatoes....ah BOOOO!! Will probably be around 150 this week.
    GC 2010 6,000/ 5,897

    GC 2011:Overall Target: 6,000/
    5,442 by October

    Back on the wagon again in 2014
    Apr 587.82/550 May 453.31 /550
  • Long tall sally
    Winged One - funnily enough I have half a chorizo in my fridge and some bacon cubes! Could you explain your potato bake dish a bit please?

    i'm off to Mr Ts soon, so will report the damage later.
    Grocery aim 450pm.Spent 519 August, 584 July, 544 June, 541 May, 549 April, 517 March, 517 Feb,555 Jan, 573 Dec, 465Nov, 561Oct, 493Sept, 426Aug,496 Jul, 528Jun, 506May,498April, 558 March, 500Feb, 500 Jan, 490 Dec, 555 Nov,566 Oct, 505Sept, 450Aug, 410 July, 437 June, 491 May, 471 April, 440 March, 552Feb, 462Jan
    • nickynoo08
    • By nickynoo08 8th Dec 09, 9:04 AM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 17,030 Thanks
    nickynoo08
    Morning all did a big xmas shop at tescos last night. Got all (i hope:rolleyes xmas choccies, biscuits and sweets plus another xmas pressie. Grand total 63, used another 50 in tesco stamps so only cost me 13 cash.
    I've just got xmas veg and party food to get now.
    Debt 1 1111.23 0% until March 19 pay by xmas 0/1111.23
    Debt 2 2100 0% until August 19
    Debt 3 2161.86 0% until August 19
    Debt 4 1846.98 0% until December 19
    Saving for xmas 5/120
    1 debt at a time! We can do this!!
    • thisismoneysaving
    • By thisismoneysaving 8th Dec 09, 9:19 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 694 Thanks
    thisismoneysaving
    I manages to only spend 2.80 on my lunch out yesterday! woohoo!!
    Tomorrow will be a NSD - I'm bringing lunch in and dinner at over with family...
    Flat Eric - I really like the look of that book. I think I'm going to buy it (or ask for it for Xmas!)!
    Trying hard to money save....
  • Winged one
    Long Tall Sally,
    It's a very simple dish actually, and great to pop into oven (on timer if you have it) for an easy very yummy dinner.

    Chop half a chorizo (I buy the Lidl U-shapes) into slices. Throw into an oven proof dish with a small pack of bacon lardons (I use one portion of the Lidl double pack) - this was an extra from original recipe but does really add something.

    Pour in a bag of salad potatoes (we grow a lot of them, and the last are now gone so bought them on special in Aldi for 49c at the weekend) and mix together with a jar of Tomato and chilli sauce (Llyod Grossman ok, but we LOVE the Sacla one with cherry toms). When all coated, put into oven at 180 degree C for about an hour til spuds are done. Throw a couple of handfuls of spinach leaves over the top to wilt if wanted (nice but doesn't spoil not to have). Could also chop a red pepper into it before cooking if wanted more veg than just tom sauce.

    Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche/sour cream. One dish meal on a plate - which does very well setting oven timer in the morning. And doesn't spoil quickly either so can cook away for 90 or more mins quite happily. Cover with foil if want softer spuds - leave off if want crispier (or take off when finished cooking and leave off for reheating for later arrivals!). reheats well, freezes well. All round winner!
    GC 2010 6,000/ 5,897

    GC 2011:Overall Target: 6,000/
    5,442 by October

    Back on the wagon again in 2014
    Apr 587.82/550 May 453.31 /550
  • triticale
    Did my main 'top-up' shop for the week on Sunday, milk, beer, some small storecupboardy things for Christmas and some candy canes - 10.49.

    Also popped to Tesco last night looking for reduced fresh bread to slice and freeze - found a half-price bloomer as well as a small whole chicken for 96p(!), some diced pork for 90p and an individual cheese pizza for 10p. (Jazzed it up with some fried onion, spicy beef from my freezer and extra cheese, was yum!) Total 2.81, used 1 clubcard voucher so cash spent 1.81.

    Sig updated.
    • BigMummaF
    • By BigMummaF 8th Dec 09, 10:15 AM
    • 4,269 Posts
    • 32,002 Thanks
    BigMummaF
    .......3.20 on a box of Newberry Fru1ts for Christmas as I never ever see them for sale and we always used to get a box each from Nana when I was a girl. ....
    Also will try and get a turkey crown from Ald1 that has been recommended at 7.99.......
    There is enough in the freezer to feed us unitl Christmas and I will get the fresh stuff the week before. XS x
    Originally posted by XSpender
    I used to love those jellies too, but when we tracked some down about five years ago, they didn't taste as good same with Tunis cake..may be our taste buds change over Time, but I do hate it when I see 'New Improved' on anything I already like Mind, with things like hot X buns & satsumas available all year round now, it kinda takes the edge off the anticipation of the Seasons delights & perhaps we are becoming complacent
    Couldn't tell you much about them other than they looked very good, but MrM had fresh turkey crowns when I was in yesterday. We don't like turkey so I didn't go into detail altho they were generously covered in what looked like back bacon.
    .....
    ....it comments on how to double up (to save time in the future) when time might be short but you want a decent home cooked meal.
    ....loose rice. I typically buy the boil in bag rice but it seems silly and not very mse to buy more of this when I have plenty of the stuff albeit loose. Is there any foolproof way to cook it ? I know you should allow about 65g ? per person but how much water should I add ?? the instructions on the box are not very clear :confused:
    Originally posted by Flat Eric
    There are truck-loads of threads on here that also give loads of advice. I'm not sure of the exact titles now, but there's one very similar to the "bedrock" idea of EconGas & at least two more on cooking for your freezer.
    I have different sized mugs [as in tea cups] & I choose the size dependent on how hungry we are, how many eating & always measure the dry rice first. For an example, five adult meal portions =2 purple mugs of rice & four of cold water. You can rinse the rice under cold water before putting it into the pan but I often forget then bring it up to the boil, cover the pan & take off the heat. Leave it for at least 10mins but longer is better, & the water will be absorbed into the rice. I'm trying to improve our diet so don't add any salt to my cooking & the offspring haven't noticed yet
    My good mate lived in the spanish hills for five years & her in-laws taught her this method, & I'll not pay out for boil-in-the-bag unless it was a real emergency. This method also works for dried pasta.
    ......
    bought everyone a freddo chocolate frog as a treat - its a sign of how mean I am now that everyone was delighted - should I be pleased or upset??
    Originally posted by mark88man
    I'd say PLEASED! Since I've stopped buying things like snack bars, choccie biscuits & crisps as a matter of course every week, the Offspring jump on each offering now & really enjoy them as opposed to eating for the sake it.
    I've done as much food-wise towards the 25th as is possible & just have to get the fresh stuff. Budgets gone a bit but I'm sorting thru to see what's what so will post when done.
    Full time Carer for Mum; harassed mother of three;
    loving & loved by two 4-legged babies.

    • poohbear59
    • By poohbear59 8th Dec 09, 10:29 AM
    • 4,820 Posts
    • 55,754 Thanks
    poohbear59
    I spent 88 in Aldi last week and then another 12 in the wholefood shop. DD has paid me back the 13 spent on her shopping so my total is 87. Just remembered I spent 7.99 was on a C'mas cake and that comes out of me C'mas budget account so actually spent 79. That feels much better.

    I am trying to be extremely frugal in our eating this month as we really have nothing to live on and then the C'mas feast will be all the more appreciated.

    Does anyone know if it is possible to buy Mr M vouchers. I thought food vouchers might be useful for DS1 at uni. Could be his C'mas pressie.
    Last edited by poohbear59; 08-12-2009 at 10:31 AM.
    Grocery challenge 75/250 business mortgage 13798))''(+ Barclay's business kitchen loan 7116=Total of 20914, 69% paid off was 68105 Weight to lose 42lbs 0 to go!! PPI claimed and received 11117 Save 12k in 2017no 116. 0/5000
    'I had a black dog, his name was depression".
    • earthmother
    • By earthmother 8th Dec 09, 1:01 PM
    • 2,535 Posts
    • 5,460 Thanks
    earthmother
    Just had a nice big Mr T delivery that should see us through the rest of the year (oh - that sounds good doesn't it ) - will just need to keep the fruit, veg and milk topped up, but I'm due some milk tokens before christmas, so so don't expect to spend too much more at all this side of Christmas.

    I'm 9 days into my 5 week month, and have already clocked up 5 NSDs too

    And - the biggie for me - I've finally found another meal to add to our rather small repertoire - it might only be a cheesy pasta concoction, but for once the majority of the men of this house will eat it (100% approval is unheard of :rolleyes, and DH, who is the pickiest of them all, says he likes the look of that shepherds pie on the Knorr advert - the test will come when it's put in front of him, but I may yet add more variation to the menu plan - next year could be a good one.


    I'm going to start putting a New Years order together now - the Tesco delivery chap said all slots will be just 2.50 after boxing day - and seeing as there will be no packed lunch stuff in the house, it seems silly to spend one of the last days of the kids holiday dragging them around a supermarket when I can get it delivered for less than the price of the fuel and spend the day playing .
    Last edited by earthmother; 08-12-2009 at 1:03 PM.
    DFW Nerd no. 884 - Proud to be dealing with have dealt with my debts
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