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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Jan 10, 1:10 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    • #1
    • 25th Jan 10, 1:10 PM
    25th Jan 10 at 1:10 PM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the second Grocery Challenge of 2010.

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

    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 everyone's targets and totals for the month please read posts #3 on this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #4 and #5 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month!
    Last edited by Pink.; 29-01-2010 at 8:34 AM.
Page 11
    • boredofbeingathome
    • By boredofbeingathome 1st Feb 10, 2:49 PM
    • 15,386 Posts
    • 37,539 Thanks
    Hi Mrs M could you please put me down for £200 this month- thank you.
    Blackadder: Am I jumping the gun, Baldrick, or are the words 'I have a cunning plan' marching with ill-deserved confidence in the direction of this conversation?
    Still lurking around with a hope of some salvation
  • lou1981
    Went to Mr M's and Mr A's today and spent £38.68. I went straight to the reduced Aisles and managed to pick up Sausages, Sausage rolls, stir fry veg, a chicken and a joint of pork. Then I just got the few bits I needed on my list and I came straight home so I have done well, looking at the receipt for a few weeks ago I wasted so much money.
    I have adjusted my meal plan and I have enough stuff for at least the next 10 days and more if I am clever with left overs which I will be.
    Louise x
    Jan Grocery Challenge £48.21/£200
    NSD Jan5/10
    Clothing Challenge £6/£200
  • HowlinWolf
    10.58 spent in l*dl on Saturday for apples and beer. Their apples are much nicer than the ones available in Mr S at the moment and S*ella it 8 pounds for 18 bottles. Not an essential I know but sometimes you just want a beer/glass of wine and we never have nights out so it's not like we spend money on booze/entertainment otherwise.
    Sealed pot member 735
    Frugal Living Challenge 2011
    GC 2011 404.92/2400
    • Purpleclutterbuck
    • By Purpleclutterbuck 1st Feb 10, 3:08 PM
    • 440 Posts
    • 5,210 Thanks
    Well it's time for another gc and the month has flown by! I managed a whole wopping one pound under budget last month (I can see you lot are soooo impressed!!!!)
    My dd has promised to keep all the receipts if she picks up any shopping and I've allocated a special teensy drawer to keep them in.
    Iím just about to make some microwave flapjack to store away for a week as it improves with keeping and the spending so far is £8 on bread, milk and not much else!
    The fridge will be raided for tonightís tea as a general use up is in progress before I go out and shop again Ė Iím having a food expedition round the house as itís a very tiny place and everything needs putting together so I can stop buying 5 tins of the same thing!
    I have now got a sort of larder cupboard which hubby has built from 2 kitchen cupboards from B&Q put on top of each other and covered in old pine Ėit looks lovely and Iím just about to start using it - Iíve got more dried fruit and flour than you can imagine and Iím finding pasta in every nook and cranny!
    May you fill up the great clutterbucket of life and may all of your leaks be in cheese sauce
    Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
    • greent
    • By greent 1st Feb 10, 3:15 PM
    • 8,196 Posts
    • 83,273 Thanks
    Just popping in to ask for £450 budget please :-)

    Off to start at the beginning of the thread now!!

    greent x
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786 12/18 £54829 2019 OPs (#18) £3757/£5K
    Net sales 2019 £532.58/£500
  • Long tall sally
    I’m just about to make some microwave flapjack to store away for a week as it improves with keeping and the spending so far is £8 on bread, milk and not much else!
    Originally posted by Purpleclutterbuck
    Purpleclutterbuck - Do you just use a normal flapjack recipe but then microwave them instead of baking them? What sort of dish do you put them in?
    Thanks Longtall sally
    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
    • Angelfeathers
    • By Angelfeathers 1st Feb 10, 3:45 PM
    • 371 Posts
    • 1,371 Thanks
    Did quite well at the Co-op - spent £34 and got £3 off and picked up a couple of whoopies at 1/4 price (Aberdeen Angus pie for £1.01 and low fat cottage pie for 58p - should help with the diet!)

    Plus they had loads of offers on. 50p each for mushrooms and savoy cabbage, half-price grapes, £1 each for Hellman's mayo, Shreddies and Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, 8 rolls of quilted toilet roll for £3.50 (saving £1.30), Muller corner 6 packs 2 for £5 (saving 98p), and their own low fat yoghurts 3 for £1.20 (saving 45p).

    Feeling pretty good about that, and shouldn't need to do more than top-up shops until big Tesco delivery next week. :-)
    I'm broke, not poor. Poor sounds permanent, broke can be fixed. (Thoroughly Modern Millie)
    LBM June 2009, Debt Free (except mortgage) Sept 2016 - DONE IT!
    • Purpleclutterbuck
    • By Purpleclutterbuck 1st Feb 10, 3:50 PM
    • 440 Posts
    • 5,210 Thanks
    Hiya Longtallsally! recipe as follows-
    3oz margarine/butter
    2 tbs golden syrup/black treacle
    3oz sugar (any type)
    5oz porridge oats
    Grease a 7 or 8 inch container (I use a silicon one) Put marg and syrup into 1 ltre jug (large jug) Cook uncovered on full power for 3 mins or until fat melted
    Stir in sugar and oats Mix well
    Spread mixture evenly in container
    Cook uncoverd for 3and half or 4 mins on full power Turn halfway and level mixture again be careful as mix is very hot!!!!
    leave to cool in container for 5 mins and mark into squares
    When cold break into pieces - this is very chewy to start with but improves with age in an airtight tin for up to 4 weeks!!!
    Hope you try it! just alter times for your microwave as required
    Pcb x
    Last edited by Purpleclutterbuck; 01-02-2010 at 3:54 PM. Reason: forgot instruction!
    May you fill up the great clutterbucket of life and may all of your leaks be in cheese sauce
    Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without
    • newlywed
    • By newlywed 1st Feb 10, 3:53 PM
    • 7,474 Posts
    • 24,351 Thanks
    Just make sure your container will turn in the microwave - or was it just me that thought an oblong casserole dish was a good idea to try making microwave flapjack in

    I use a round glass pyrex casserole lid as it's nice and shallow.

    Edit:I must try and make a black treacle and raisin one... have the stuff in the cupboard already

    DMP support thread (member #32)

  • poppy-glos
    I know that you can apparently freeze bananas but having never done this before, I don't know if you freeze them with the skin on or off! Also can you just eat them as normal after they have defrosted or are they then only good for banana cake etc?
    Also got 2 huge bags of tomatoes for a pound at the market. I'm guessing that they can't be frozen or can they? If not, better make some tomato soup with them soon.

    Sorry to quote myself but still looking for the answers to my queries about freezing bananas and tomatoes - anyone know? (Sorry for being a pain!)

    Long tall sally
    Originally posted by Long tall sally
    hi, i'm not sure about freezing raw bananas, but have baked banana bread then frozen that ok.
    tomatoes i don't know either , but i would happily freeze them as they are then make to make soup or to go into casseroles or stews. then when used i would put them in the cooking liquid, cook for a bit, then fish out the skins.
    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.
  • poppy-glos
    £8.45 today in mr t, milk, yogurts, carrots, whoopsied satsumas (15p), 9p noodles and half price cheese (equiv 4.85 cathedral city i think).
    Last month i started off really well, then got caught up with at the end! so going to try to spend very slowly this month.. so there is a bit of capacity left later.

    oh, i made soft flour tortillas yesterday, i knew about it with aching wrists afterwards from the rolling, but they were delish.. at about 40p for 8 when making them myself i'm happy to put up with the short-term discomfort.

    Good luck then all, my intention this month is to keep my eye on it all and not go over, but at the same time if i see bargains that i will use offered cheaply to stock up on a few.

    I was laughing at the stockcupboard and finding pasta everywhere quote, i stopped buying pasta in october and still have bags stashed in two places and opened bags in the cupboard .
    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.
  • coffeeholic
    I usually freeze them with the skin ON, but I know you can do both. If you get them out and eat them while still at least partially frozen, then they taste like banana icecream - really weird, you'd think there was definitely some cream in there! So that's a good thing to give the kids - a banana "lolly".
    Originally posted by ChocClare
    Oh what a fab idea, we never manage to eat bananas before they go all brown and mushy, will definitely be trying this!

    Planning to do a proper food shop on Wednesday which is my half day off from work, cupboard seems pretty well stocked although will have to do proper list of what's in there, I'm always finding packets of things stuck behind tins.

    Mmm loving that microwave flapjack recipe too, my oven's given up and might be a while before we can afford to get it fixed or replaced so its either microwaved or slow cooked meals for this month at least. It'll stop my OH buying pizzas and garlic breads anyway, I knew there was a silver lining somewhere!

    Tonight I can't be bothered so its cheesy beans on toast for dinner. Will post again on Wednesday and update total. Stay warm everyone x x x
    All the coffee in Columbia won't make me a morning person...
    Virtual Sealed Pot Challenge Member #5 - £128.19
    NSDs - April 9/18
    Grocery Challenge - April £22.94/£160
    6 months to slim into clothes challenge - started March 2010
  • moonbabe58
    First shop of the month £32.59
    Expecting Baby No 1 - 20/06/14 - Team Yellow!
    • banwa
    • By banwa 1st Feb 10, 6:59 PM
    • 948 Posts
    • 2,400 Thanks
    MrsM thank you lots for adding me. Also love the roast tomatoes idea, have a load that need using up, am going to do just that.

    Purpleclutterbuck you are so right about the pasta, I'm forever buying it to find I have 4 opened packets already. And all different shapes (which means different cooking times grrr)

    Bought 4kg of cat food today, usually £23, cost me £14, (a voucher plus he undercharged me even though I told him he'd under rung it, he insisted) and it's about 2 months of dry food for 2 cats so just wet food to buy. Ordered a load of that which will come through tomorrow at discount plus a load of coffee (about 3 months worth). £22 of coffee and £12 cat food for £18

    Onward and upward
    Debt £26k 18/10/14
  • ChocClare
    Anyway quick question if anybody can help.
    I made some breadrolls but added too much salt, by mistake. The rolls are now really too salty, so was wondering what to do with the rolls now. I really do not want to waste these, but wondered if I could make them into something else. Many thanks if anybody can help.
    Originally posted by MrsBsBlog
    If you zhuzh them up in the food processor and turn them into breadcrumbs, then you could use them for lots of things: for example, you could make a sort of "shake and bake" mix by combining one cup of crumbs with one teaspoonful of whichever dried herb takes your fancy, and then using this to coat meat or fish. Or you can combine them with grated cheese to make it go further on top of eg macaroni cheese or a pasta bake - as long as they're not TOO salty, as the cheese also contains salt.

    Or you could make stuffing for your roast (or to freeze): melt 2oz butter and a tblsp oil in a pan and add one large, chopped onion. Cook until softened, then stir in 1 tblsp chopped fresh sage (or 1 tsp dried) and 4oz breadcrumbs. Mix together and either roll into balls or put in a dish to cook with the roast for about 20-30 mins. You can make loads of stuffing balls and then flash freeze them - then you just need to take as many as you need out of the freezer for the meal you have in mind.

    You can make (and freeze) HM bread sauce: 1oz butter, 1 chopped onion, 1 blade mace, 6 peppercorns, half a bayleaf - bung into half a pint of milk in a saucepan, bring to the boil, turn the heat right down and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Strain, then stir in enough breadcrumbs to make the right consistency (sorry, how helpful is that? I usually zhuzh up 2 slices of bread - don't forget the breadcrumbs will swell in the milk, so put some in, wait 5 minutes and then add some more, otherwise you'll end up with concrete!)

    If you can't be bothered with that, then you can just freeze packets of breadcrumbs and use them wherever you normally would - in a meatloaf, to make meatballs, as a topping on something - just remember not to add any more salt.

  • ChocClare
    Oh what a fab idea, we never manage to eat bananas before they go all brown and mushy, will definitely be trying this!
    Originally posted by coffeeholic
    In one of my yummy things to make with kids-type things, you peel the banana, cut it in two and stick a lolly stick in each cut end. Put in the freezer. Meanwhile, melt some chocolate. Take the frozen banana out of the freezer and dip in the melted chocolate - the chocolate will set straight away. Instant banana choc ices! You can also roll them in nuts (depending on allergies) or hundreds and thousands.

    Kind of stopped being such a healthy snack, did you notice?
  • kittynortheast
    Could I join in this month please - it's been ages since I've done this and I really need to. Mrs M could you put me down for £350 Thank You
    LBM 17th April 2007
    Credit Cards paid - July 2008 Sainsys,M&S, HSBC
    Grocery Challenge £350
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 1st Feb 10, 7:50 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    Hi all!
    It's been a NSD for me today, and I've stopped even taking my purse to work now, as there is a co-op opposite and it's just too tempting to nip in for some choc at lunchtime etc. I'm going to work out how many NSDs I've had so far this month, and put an aim into my sig - i'm rubbish at keeping out of the shops, but got so much food in the house it's embarrassing!
    How are you doing michierox?
    Had leftover dinner from yesterday for lunch today, and children are at their dad's tomorrow night, so I'll have a 'use what's going out of date' type of dinner...

    Signature updated - think i'll aim for 16 NSDs this month (23rd Jan to 22nd Feb, 31 days).
    Take care all.
    PG x
    Grocery challenge for family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(11), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries. Jan £87.97/£100 Feb £0/£100
    Frugal 2018 needed! Saving and NOT spending
    • ilovetea
    • By ilovetea 1st Feb 10, 7:50 PM
    • 905 Posts
    • 7,125 Thanks
    Hello, can you please put me down for £80 for this month please.
    Already spent £5.23.on milk and fruit
    ilovetea x
    #17 Make £2019 in 2019. £1,538.03.
    • mrsmortenharket
    • By mrsmortenharket 1st Feb 10, 7:52 PM
    • 2,097 Posts
    • 20,893 Thanks
    Went and did a big shop at Tesco today. Got soya mince & dreid apricots in H&B though as they have a buy 1 get 1 1/2 pric on atm.

    Total grocery spend today is £120.35.

    I do that big monthly shop & then top up with the fresh stuff every few days.

    My freezer & pantry are full to bursting!

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