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  • FIRST POST
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 23rd Feb 10, 4:24 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    Pink.
    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 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.


    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 35
    • NJW69
    • By NJW69 19th Mar 10, 6:43 PM
    • 827 Posts
    • 2,559 Thanks
    NJW69
    I'm not HR but have worked in the NHS for over 20 years. Your sick pay allowances are calculated yearly. Probably the same as your leave year dates ? from 1st April to 31st March. So it would be based on what you have had off during the last 12 months.


    I spent £10 in a Tesco at the petrol station on the way home so i'm off to update my total.

    Still way under for this month.

    Amazing.
    GC Jan £318/£350, Feb £221.84/£300, Mar £200.00/£250 Apr £201.05/£200 May £199.61/£200 June £17.25/£200

    NSD Feb 23/12 NSD Mar 20/20 NSD Apr 24/20
    May 24/24
    • slowandsteady
    • By slowandsteady 19th Mar 10, 6:48 PM
    • 386 Posts
    • 3,289 Thanks
    slowandsteady
    Thanks NJW69, thats gives me a much better idea of whats what x
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 19th Mar 10, 7:22 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    freakyogre
    I have actually 'added' 59p back on to my total as i'm going to give a box of my grapes to my sister tomorrow, so not counting that on my total I still have one box and i'm only at work for 2 days next week, so probably won't be able to eat them all before they go manky.

    However, my sister has agreed we can go to the cash and carry tomorrow (she has a card) and I am sitting here making a list which will kill my total on here. I may just have to 'make' a different budget for that stuff! I am kind of celebrating though as was offered a permanent position where I work this week after working there 6 months on a contract that kept being extended so I think I can have a small 'blowout'.
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
    • albacookie
    • By albacookie 19th Mar 10, 7:38 PM
    • 268 Posts
    • 1,201 Thanks
    albacookie
    I've spent another 23.61 so far this month, there's plenty of meat in the freezer, lots of rice and pasta so hopefully I can stick to just bread, milk, fruit and veg.
    ......
    • cw18
    • By cw18 19th Mar 10, 8:18 PM
    • 8,083 Posts
    • 86,086 Thanks
    cw18
    I'm now officially 'over budget' for this month - and by a considerable amount/percentage !!

    Plus I only have £12.08 left to stay within my 'year to date' budget by the end of March (after I include what I underspent in Jan & Feb) In theory this should be do-able, but it just depends if I find any decent meat Whoopsies at work (this is the one thing I'm running short of in my freezers, unless we want turkey in one form or another at least 2 days out of every 3 for the next month )

    I wouldn't have spent as much as I did today, but I happened to be in Mr T as the staff were reducing items to half price - so I grabbed 2 bags of salmon fillets (each with 8) for £5 each instead of £10. I was soooo pleased to find these, as I only have 2 fillets left in the freezer - and can't justify them at full price So I now have enough for a further 8 meals (for 2 of us), which - at once every 3 weeks - means I don't need any more until at least September
    Cheryl
  • uolypool
    Many thanks for all the replies I will I think go in "dolly steps" in reducing the aamount even getting it to the £400 mark would be a great success I think.The 6 of us are myself, 2x16 1x15 1x13 (the nightmare eater) and 1x12 my nightmare eater would live on cheese sausages and beans if i allowed him to , I have made the first steps by sitting down and being totally honest about our financial situation at the moment they are all in agreement that they will help and be understanding , the older ones are really good 'simple cooks ' mainly done from scratch they do a large majority of the cooking as i have health issues they have said that they will start helping by for example making cakes or biscuits as a sweet snack for example instead of rushing for a chocolate bar We have also decided to change our dinner plates for slightly smaller ones , they actually are quite good already ,its me i think i have some kind of obsession with wanting the cupboards to be full incase something was to happen to me then at least i would know that they could eat ,going to sit down with them tomorrow and devise a realistic budget for the whole household finances not just food.(glad I have one that is a wizz with figures and stuff)
    Paul Walker , in my dreams
    • nmlc
    • By nmlc 20th Mar 10, 6:07 AM
    • 3,538 Posts
    • 49,244 Thanks
    nmlc
    Morning all

    I've been MIA but have still been plodding on with the GC, have carried on with the HM treats except for last week when I didn't get chance to bake. I don't eat what I bake but OH and the boys do and they've really missed it (also I struggled to know what to put in pack-ups). So will shortly be going for a shower, breakfast, have to pop out to MrT as the streaky bacon that came with my on line order last night is not sealed - will return this for an exchange.

    Then I will crack on with the baking, I haven't decided what I will cook this week, but may look for a banana cake/loaf recipe.

    As far as the budget goes I'm now in week 3 of my GC and only have £43.83 left, but have shopped and meal planned for this week - think I will be over but will give it a good go as I've spent quite alot on offers so now I should have quite good stocks!! = spending less!! Have bought a large piece of topside from the butcher this week, and asked his advice re:cooking it, whenever I cook beef it always seems tough and dry. So have butchers instructions and will be following them to the letter - watch this space!!

    For anyone that uses Persil Liquid laundry detergent, MrSFld have it at £3.50 for a 43 wash bottle - normally £8!!

    Need to shove off or nothing will get done.!!

    Have a good weekend everyone.

    Love and hugs to those that need them and anyone feeling poorly.
    nmlc
    WEIGHTLOSS SINCE JUNE 2009 - 5 ST 2LB
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 20th Mar 10, 7:02 AM
    • 4,842 Posts
    • 58,667 Thanks
    sistercas
    Ive lost track of my spending I was determined to keep it all under control this month, but I keep doing little spends here and there and forget about them , so I have probably spent £100 in 'little spends ' will add that to my total but it is a complete guess

    really must keep track , any ideas on how to do that?
  • tallullahbelle
    I have a pocket diary in which I keep a tally of what I spend daily...I'm going to be over again this month ... Already spent my £500 budget and it's only the 20th... and got a Birthday party next week too...Maybe April will be better?!
    2014 GC: £957.61/ £5400
    • Bluefire
    • By Bluefire 20th Mar 10, 7:31 AM
    • 470 Posts
    • 2,977 Thanks
    Bluefire
    £2 to add to the total - milk & frozen carrots, nothing exciting! I'm hopeful at this stage that we can make it to the end of the month & still have £80 in the pot, which leaves me with about £18 to cover the next couple of weeks. That should be fine as long as I don't see any 'bargains!'
    Mortgage: 08/13 £28,896.49 01/18 £0

  • KITTY
    Morning all

    Not posted for a week or so but have continued reading.
    Only small spends this week and signature updated. Doing quite well but can't get complacent as I was at the same stage last month and went over!
    Right off to start fencing. It is pouring with rain but my help will be here soon and we have 20 panels and posts to put up. Wish us luck!!

    KITTY

    Merry Christmas
    • mothershipton
    • By mothershipton 20th Mar 10, 7:53 AM
    • 301 Posts
    • 2,692 Thanks
    mothershipton
    have just added up my total so far and it is £277 so already over target and it is only the 19th. This is because we havent done a list. My challenge to myself this month is not to buy any full price bread! As ive found out when my local coop does its price reductions I am popping in and topping up the freezer stores! So April might be cheaper?
    Grocery Challenge Feb 16 £346 /400
    • winterfrost
    • By winterfrost 20th Mar 10, 8:35 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 1,206 Thanks
    winterfrost
    Ive lost track of my spending I was determined to keep it all under control this month, but I keep doing little spends here and there and forget about them , so I have probably spent £100 in 'little spends ' will add that to my total but it is a complete guess

    really must keep track , any ideas on how to do that?
    Originally posted by sistercas
    I have a folder, and each month has 5 pages. The first page is where I write down what's going on with my bank account and any income (e.g. -£12.50 pet insurance, +£10 birthday money) etc., and then each week has a grocery page. I stick in the receipt for the big shop, and write down any smaller spends (or stick the receipts in if I can be bothered). Then at the end of each week I write the total in the corner.
    GC: December: £145?/£120; January: £125.70/£120; February: £163.22/£120; March £113.94/£120; April £DOOM; May £Gave up; June £DOOM; July £160.78/£108; August £7.65/£200
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2010: member 780
    • dreamingofmoney
    • By dreamingofmoney 20th Mar 10, 8:41 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,760 Thanks
    dreamingofmoney
    Thank you all so much for your brill replies, it makes me feel great that i have got this support, i will go into the freezer later and see what i've got although i know without looking i have got enough to feed an army, so think you are right and need to eat that as healthy as poss, eg will make Pizza but instead of eating the chips in the freezer use a few pots and make homemade wedges ala slimming world, then use the chips with something else, i know i have got a 500g pack of mince so could use half of that to make the budget bolognaise from an earlier post and use the other half to make a nice big pot of savoury mince in the slow cooker, i think i am just so annoyed with myself i can't see the wood for the tree's (if that makes sense)
    I have got all the tools to suceed but have just got so waylaid this month,
    i will try and rescue the end of march and totally immerse myself into planning for April

    Many Thanks, and good luck to all

    Dreamer
    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.
    • ragz
    • By ragz 20th Mar 10, 9:23 AM
    • 3,153 Posts
    • 27,335 Thanks
    ragz
    £14 spend last night in co-op, but did get a bottle of wine. (To go with our curry, but I made OH pay for that out of the £20 he was given yesterday for changing an old couple's tyre!)
    Good offers, bought another block of SS cheddar for £1.85 and a bottle of the persil for £3.50. Also some whoopsied bread and pastries.

    Have a chicken carcass int he fridge I must make stock from today but have been having chicken soup every week for months now and I'm getting sick of it, any other use for chicken stock??
    Ragz is busy studying
    Progress is easier to acheive than perfection.
    • ragz
    • By ragz 20th Mar 10, 9:25 AM
    • 3,153 Posts
    • 27,335 Thanks
    ragz
    I have a folder, and each month has 5 pages. The first page is where I write down what's going on with my bank account and any income (e.g. -£12.50 pet insurance, +£10 birthday money) etc., and then each week has a grocery page. I stick in the receipt for the big shop, and write down any smaller spends (or stick the receipts in if I can be bothered). Then at the end of each week I write the total in the corner.
    Originally posted by winterfrost
    That's fab, I thought I was organised but you have inspired me! everyone I know takes the pi** out of me for doing things like that, now I know I'm not the only one!
    Ragz is busy studying
    Progress is easier to acheive than perfection.
  • poppy-glos
    here is the recipe for the gluten free chocolate log; sorry its taken so long - found the book this morning.. (John Tovey, Miller Howe Cookbook)

    ingredients;
    butter
    150g good dark chocolate
    3 tablespoons brandy or rum
    5 medium eggs, separated
    150g caster sugar
    icing sugar
    pint of double cream
    optional chocolate to decorate

    method;
    line an 11 x6 inch swiss roll tin with greaseproof and butter the inside.
    preheat oven to 350/180/gm4.
    melt chocolate and stir in brandy or rum.
    in warmed bowl whisk egg yolks until light in colour and fluffy, then tablespoon at a time whisk in caster sugar. In another absolutely clean bowl (needs to be greasefree or the egg whites don't firm up), whisk the egg whites to soft peak (so they stand up on their own and don't fall out when the bowl is inverted). Fold together yolks and chocolate, then fold into egg whites. Mix thoroughly but also try not to lose the volume/bubbles out of the mixture. Spread across whole tin and bake for 15-20 mins til knife tip comes out clean. The top will be slightly 'crusty and brittle'. Place a clean teatowel over the top when out of oven, on top of this put another teatowel which has been wetted and rung out as much as possible. As the dampness starts to affect the dry teatowel the log will lightly steam and the crisp top will sink back. Leave in a cool place for an hour or overnight. When you wish to turn the log out, flatten the corners of the greaseproof and remove teatowels, sprinkle icing sugar genourously over the top and put some greaseproof on top. invert onto the work surface. take care when removing the greasproof lining (as it can stick), i do it by taking off 1 -2 inch strips and pulling the paper back on itself to reduce the risk of breaking the log or too much mixture sticking.
    I don't use the filling out of the miller howe cookery book ( a rich chocolate one), i 'just' use a large tub of double cream, whisked, then spread over the roll. Then, using the paper underneath to assist, roll into a a very posh swiss roll. To decorate i sometimes use grated maya gold green and blacks choc, the spicy orange one.

    believe it or not i have summarised a bit of the recipe, - it is longer in the book.

    hope your mum likes it.

    poppy x
    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
    £14 spend last night in co-op, but did get a bottle of wine. (To go with our curry, but I made OH pay for that out of the £20 he was given yesterday for changing an old couple's tyre!)
    Good offers, bought another block of SS cheddar for £1.85 and a bottle of the persil for £3.50. Also some whoopsied bread and pastries.

    Have a chicken carcass int he fridge I must make stock from today but have been having chicken soup every week for months now and I'm getting sick of it, any other use for chicken stock??
    Originally posted by ragz
    rissotto..

    fry off an onion and 50g per person of rissotto rice, keep simmering and add in stock little at a time and stirring for about 15 minutes, at end put in any chicken bits, and peas, then just before serving stir in parmesan. If i have too much stock i freeze in pint bottles and use as and when..
    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.
    • cw18
    • By cw18 20th Mar 10, 9:51 AM
    • 8,083 Posts
    • 86,086 Thanks
    cw18
    Have a chicken carcass int he fridge I must make stock from today but have been having chicken soup every week for months now and I'm getting sick of it, any other use for chicken stock??
    Originally posted by ragz
    I use it to make Risotto - normally add the scrappy bits of chicken, scrappy bits off a gammon joint (if I have any) or cheap ham (if I want), peas, sweetcorn and mushrooms. I love this, but DS isn't as keen - so the chicken stock is piling up in my freezer at the moment........ but will all get used if he moves out in Sept (which he plans to do if his Uni plans fall into place), as I'll then only have me to cater for, and can eat what I like when I like
    Cheryl
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 20th Mar 10, 12:17 PM
    • 748 Posts
    • 3,713 Thanks
    cookie9
    Need to get my spending on track. Going for £40 for the remainder of March.
    Have steak defrosting and also mince surprise. A surprise because not sure if spicy mince or bolognese. Looking at store cupboard for ideas as don't want to spend much

    Thinking of
    sweetcorn fritters with tomato sauce
    Dhal and rice with last of the chutney
    Tomato and mascapone pasta

    Have bananas rapidly going brown so perhaps banana bread for a treat.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
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