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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 23rd Feb 10, 4:24 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    March 2010 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 23rd Feb 10, 4:24 PM
    March 2010 Grocery Challenge 23rd Feb 10 at 4:24 PM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the third Grocery Challenge of 2010.

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your February budget, then keep on posting in the February 2010 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.

    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.; 28-02-2010 at 8:01 PM.
Page 33
  • Long tall sally
    I think I am truly addicted to shopping, particularly to popping into the local co op to see what whoopsies there are! My excuse is that my DD was moaning that the only snacks in the house were gluten free ones (for DS) so I spent £2.90 on 4 blueberry muffins for 67p, £1.27 on some whoopsied strawberries, 22p on a cucumber, 30 p on 4 hot cross buns & the rest on a local paper.
    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
  • poppy-glos
    ;-( my name is poppy and i am a shopoholic;-(

    today i went out without thinking and 'entertained myself' in two grocery shops again.... bought things i did not need to, nothing extravagent but not needed for today or even this week so can't defend myself.

    Unable to update sig as left purse and reciepts at work (the silver lining until i get back there at 9 tomorrow), but i estimate another £15 spent without need and am over budget definately for this point in the month.
    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.
    • guccigoo
    • By guccigoo 18th Mar 10, 7:14 PM
    • 467 Posts
    • 5,112 Thanks
    spent £52 on my tesco delivery today, i think im going to go over budget this month as i still need a few more things.
    I will lose 2 stone by this summer!!!!!!
    • ragz
    • By ragz 18th Mar 10, 7:24 PM
    • 3,153 Posts
    • 27,335 Thanks
    Cair failed mot today and I was going to get us a curry to cheer myself up but left my purse at my Mum's... Dh had a fiver on him so I managed to get milk and dinner (reduced meatballs, jar of sauce, french sticks and doughnuts) for £3.61. Very MSE

    THought budget was looking awful but looking at it daily I've got £10 a day and have most of the nappies I need and a freezer full of chickens... off to write meal plan as this weeks went badly (hence the need for buying dinner today)
    Last edited by ragz; 18-03-2010 at 7:49 PM.
    Ragz is busy studying
    Progress is easier to acheive than perfection.
    • Bluefire
    • By Bluefire 18th Mar 10, 8:17 PM
    • 470 Posts
    • 2,977 Thanks
    Bluefire Any chance of a recipe for the ice cream too please It sounds lovely and should be low in fat if it's suitable for SW
    Originally posted by SunnyGirl
    Ingredients: 2x 500g of fat free fromage frais, 4x Muller Light toffee yoghurts & crushed maltesers (I used a 58g bag)

    Mix it all together & stick it in the freezer - the SW website recommends stirring it to get rid of any ice crystals every 30 minutes but I did it more frequently as I'd read reviews that other people had an issue with it. Only problem was this meant it took longer to freeze - I started at 1.30pm & it still wasn't quite done by 7.30pm!

    There should be enough to pretty much fill a 2 litre ice cream tub. We had ours with strawberries & chocolate sauce - it went down rather well! (For anyone that's doing Slimming World this works out at 15 syns for the whole tub)
    Last edited by Bluefire; 18-03-2010 at 8:23 PM.
    Mortgage: 08/13 £28,896.49 01/18 £0

    • lizziebabe
    • By lizziebabe 18th Mar 10, 9:28 PM
    • 1,090 Posts
    • 4,388 Thanks
    Hi everyone - haven't been on for a week so lots to catch up on. Have updated my signature - don't think this month is going as well as last. DS will be back from Uni soon but tells me he will return to his digs as he needs to do some studying for his exams. So pressure off a bit - as I reduced my monthly challenge, but forgot that he would be on hols.
    My freezer is quite full so will try to use the food there - just need F&V and milk. Although have been buying the long lasting skimmed from L*dl which is cheap. So I can have more NSD without having to nip out for milk.
    Lovely recipes - will have to try some out - not the world's best baker but will suit DS who loves snacks, which I don't buy for myself as trying to lose weight.
    It seems like a long month - anyone else feel like that?
    Anyway keep up the good work - byee
    • banwa
    • By banwa 18th Mar 10, 9:40 PM
    • 948 Posts
    • 2,400 Thanks
    Banwa That sounds lovely - any chance of sharing the recipe please
    Originally posted by SunnyGirl
    Ooh I'll share but it might not be as MSE for anyone who doesn't get free choc from work. And not quite the 'pence' I bragged about. £2.06 in fact.

    I cut up 4 x value swiss rolls (4 x 13p)
    1 bag Tesco fozen raspberries (£1.29)
    1 tin custard (I had some Ambrosia but tesco value would do 25p)
    Melt into custard same volume of chocolate (free*)
    Feeds about 6-8
    Cut each swiss roll longways and then into half inch slices.
    Either cover bottom of bowl with swiss rolls and layer raspberries and then the chocolatey custard over the top
    Or mix all but a little of the custard together so the sponge soaks up custard as well as rasperries so doesn't go too soggy. Then put custard on top.

    If you cool the lot down the custard sets a little firmer than normal because of all the choccy. Heaven. I topped with whipped cream and grated some chocolate on top. If there were no children to ruin it , you could add ammaretto.

    *It's obviously so cheap to me because the chocolate is free but you could use cooking chocolate. BUT but if anyone uses that alot I would happily send some of the free stuff (much nicer than cooking chocolate) if they were send me a SAE (they are sample tubs of around 230g so for example if someone sent £2.24 of postage I could send 3 tubs, which would work out at about 35p /100g). Just a thought. PM me if you are interested

    Last edited by banwa; 18-03-2010 at 9:42 PM. Reason: addendum
    Debt £26k 18/10/14
    • cw18
    • By cw18 18th Mar 10, 9:45 PM
    • 8,082 Posts
    • 86,086 Thanks
    Hmmmmm........ this month has just become one that's going to be "interesting"

    I was doing really well until I placed an order with App F00ds last Friday. I then made the mistake of looking on the site again tonight, and there was more stuff I'd use (plus still stock on a couple of items I'd decided I should have ordered more of last week).

    So another order has gone in, though it's not quite as much as it could have been as DD added to the order and agreed to split the postage in half (based on the fact our weights were just about equal, and that's how they calculate postage, even though her 'spend' was considerably less than mine)

    I now have just £13.29 left of this month's budget, which I'm not sure I'll be able to keep within (even if I totally give up my late night Whoopsie hunts - which I normally do on a Thur and/or Fri, so due one tomorrow!).

    However, I vastly underspent in Jan & Feb - so actually have an additional "slush fund" of £30.92 from 1st Jan thru 28th Feb. So my 'year to date' budget gives me £44.21 for the rest of this month, and I reckon I'll easily stay within that...... as long as I stay away from App F00ds in the meantime
    • banwa
    • By banwa 18th Mar 10, 9:45 PM
    • 948 Posts
    • 2,400 Thanks

    today i went out without thinking and 'entertained myself' in two grocery shops again....
    Originally posted by poppy-glos

    You'd get thrown out of most shops around here for doing that
    Debt £26k 18/10/14
    • S_Wales_Saver
    • By S_Wales_Saver 18th Mar 10, 9:47 PM
    • 240 Posts
    • 2,596 Thanks
    Evenin all

    Just some baby spends for me today. Milk in I**land, bread and fruit in A*** and veg in L***. £5.44 altogether. Just under two weeks to go, but I've got all the main meals sorted so only fresh stuff. Still hopeful
  • uolypool
    a little help please
    Hi I've currently been spending in the region of £450 a month on groceries that is for 6 ppl. I have decided that the time has now come to reduce that dramatically as money is tight (x oh gave his job up just so he doesn't have to pay child support ) I cook mainly from scratch ,have 1child who is a nightmare to feed says he doesn't like anything but everyone else eats a wide range of foods.Do you think that reducing it to £300 is possible this does include washing powder and things like that and basic toiletries
    Paul Walker , in my dreams
    • hermum
    • By hermum 19th Mar 10, 12:51 AM
    • 7,012 Posts
    • 6,887 Thanks
    Hi, of the 6 people how many are kids & how old are they? Will the £300 include lunches for school or do they have free school meals? The nightmare to feed, what do they eat?
    • calleyw
    • By calleyw 19th Mar 10, 12:51 AM
    • 9,196 Posts
    • 17,133 Thanks
    I think that dropping from £450 to £300 is too big a drop in one go.

    Try a £50 drop.

    Also before you go shopping again look at everything you have in the fridge/freezer and cupboards and see what you can make before buying more by planning for a week of meals to start with.

    There will be others will move advice soon.

    All the best.


    • becky170
    • By becky170 19th Mar 10, 5:09 AM
    • 562 Posts
    • 4,433 Thanks
    I'm defintely going to go over budget this month, as I only have £7 left of it and I've got a tesco shop being delivered on monday which is around the £25 mark. For some reason I didn't really twigg that it was a 5 week month this time so really I should have bugdeted a bit etc, or at least not spent £7 in superdrug on stuff which could have waited. In fact I've not done very well on saving money full stop this month
    MFW 2019 #7 £1377/1615
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 19th Mar 10, 6:00 AM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,926 Thanks
    Hi everyone, just popped on to update sig and review my spends! So far Im over on my year to date by @ £50 so I'll need to curb it a bit over the next wee while. Maybe I'm being unrealistic about the price of things so rather thanconstantly beating myself up about going over I'm going to set my budgets a tiny bit higher, then if I'm under then its a bonus!
    My April starts today(Payday) so Im going for £210 this time.Its a five-weeker this time too. Should be ok as I've got loads in!
    This month's mantra: I WILL stick to my list I WILL I WILL I WILL!!!

    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 19th Mar 10, 6:27 AM
    • 9,089 Posts
    • 28,909 Thanks
    I spend quite a bit more than £450 a month for 5 people. It is possible to whittle it down though but cutting it by a third will be hard if you do it all in one go.

    Three ways to keep costs down are to eat less meat, to eat up what you already have in your cupboards before you buy any more and to plan your meals so that you only buy what you need. When I do these things i can save a lot. I don't always do it though.
    Last edited by thriftlady; 19-03-2010 at 7:11 AM.
    • Penelope Penguin
    • By Penelope Penguin 19th Mar 10, 6:53 AM
    • 17,087 Posts
    • 132,754 Thanks
    Penelope Penguin
    Hi I've currently been spending in the region of £450 a month on groceries that is for 6 ppl. I have decided that the time has now come to reduce that dramatically as money is tight (x oh gave his job up just so he doesn't have to pay child support ) I cook mainly from scratch ,have 1child who is a nightmare to feed says he doesn't like anything but everyone else eats a wide range of foods.Do you think that reducing it to £300 is possible this does include washing powder and things like that and basic toiletries
    Originally posted by uolypool
    I'd advise taking a look at the Grocery Challenge There are lots of people there who'll give you good advice and support to reduce your spend to an affordable level.

    I'll merge this thread later.

    Penny. x
    Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding
    • dreamingofmoney
    • By dreamingofmoney 19th Mar 10, 7:02 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,760 Thanks
    Haven't had time yet to catch up on the last couple of pages, but really need to ponder my spending activities. I am dangerously close to going over budget already and still have 12 days to go, i stupidly reduced by budget this month from 300 to 250 (why i have no blooming idea) it has been mothers day, a big birthday for me etc etc. And i have just blown it. And i'm not sure what to do, i have not been in this situation before in a year of money saving (have sailed very close on a few occassions) and i don't know what to do to get myself out of it. Also how to stop myself falling into same trap next month.
    Please please help, i am very desperate, i do have loads in freezer and could feed us but it is mostly junk, so wouldn't be benefitting us really, maybe do a pizza and salad etc etc.
    I am half thinking about packing in altogether as i feel so much pressure (from myself, noone else, DH thinks the changes i have made already are fab) but i just want to be debt free but then real life gets in the way.
    Sorry to moan but didn't know anywhere else where people would (hopefully) understand where i'm coming from
    Paying back 1% at a time 85% of total debt paid off.
    No. 82 PAYDBX19 £7704.90/£13000 of debt paid from this years goal 59.3%
    Hfax loan, Bcard £938/£5852.06 16% Lloyd’s £451.52/£592.99 76.1%
    Debt free date Mar 2020.
    • BigMummaF
    • By BigMummaF 19th Mar 10, 8:15 AM
    • 4,269 Posts
    • 32,002 Thanks
    Ooh..just tried to post & got a weird thing about a missing strange!

    Anyhoo! I wanted to say--Don't Fret Dreaming; we all get difficult times & that's why this is called the Challenge If you can, have a think about where this month has gone wrong & where you could do things differently to help prevent it happening again--seem to spend most of my time doing that As for what you have in your freezer, give us an idea of what you have & I just know someone will come up with a creative recipe to turn fish fingers into Thai lemongrass pollack on roasted spaghetti hoops
    Full time Carer for Mum; harassed mother of three;
    loving & loved by two 4-legged babies.

    • ellas9602
    • By ellas9602 19th Mar 10, 8:15 AM
    • 704 Posts
    • 860 Thanks
    Hello Dreamingofmoney

    I understand how you feel. I sometimes feel immense pressure but only from myself, my head just swims with trying to make it all fit.
    If you've never been in the position before you've done incredibly well and must be organised and hard working so dont beat yourself up.
    Try to stay positive, I felt this way last week, had very little food in and no money but with some thought sausages became a healthy(ish) casserole, old cabbage became low fat coleslaw..etc etc.
    Why dont you list what you have and we can help to come up with a plan to get you through. Serving something a bit junky with something healthy makes it not so bad I always find that making a list helps transfer the pressure from my brain to the paper and can make the negativity go away. Dont be so hard on yourself . x x x x
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