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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 44
    • BigMummaF
    • By BigMummaF 27th Mar 10, 11:09 AM
    • 4,269 Posts
    • 32,002 Thanks
    Oh dear! I have shot myself in the foot I fear, and will need to have a long, hard look at what I will or will not include as a grocery spend.
    I really thought I had got it sorted out, but my total meant I was aiming for 50p per meal per inhabitant and that left nothing for other essentials such as toilet tissue and things. It just sounded more when I said seven pounds per day!
    Full time Carer for Mum; harassed mother of three;
    loving & loved by two 4-legged babies.

    • alipops1986
    • By alipops1986 27th Mar 10, 11:28 AM
    • 664 Posts
    • 1,249 Thanks
    I spent £9.50 this week which i fear has sent me over my £90 budget for march However, as this is the first time i've done it officially, i'm alright with it.

    Please put me down for £90 again for April and i'll do my best to get under it!!
    Married: August 2013
    Moved into our Family Home: August 2013
    Our Baby Boy arrived August 2014
  • Keiss 21
    Waay over this month, and still 4 more days left of March!!

    Will declare on April 1st, but Mrs M please put me down for £400 for April. DS1 will be home all month (well, when he isn't at GF's!), though DS2 will be away for a week at a rugby tournament. I will still have to send him off with enough food to keep his sugar levels sensible though (he's diabetic).

    Not sure if we will make it as most of this year has been pretty dismal...reaching target-wise..but I will keep trying!

    Hoping to not spend any money this good!!!

    13 projects in 2013: 7/13
    Cross-stitch Club Member no 13
    Weight loss since 24/06/2012: 30lb
  • charlyze2
    Hi all.
    im new to this site and really want to start keeping an eye on my spending.

    Could i please join this challange. i will have to guesstimate this months budget as i have no idea how much i spend on groceries. I think for 2 adults and 2 kids im going to aim for £250 for April.

    Hopefully i can get below that though.

    thank you charlie
  • BlimusOreilly
    An extra shop last night at Mr M's as we suddenly ran out of tea bags, milk and kitchen roll. I ended up spending £12.47 but came out with three carrier bags which were mostly full of whoopsies. My best buy - a mini roast beef at 35p and diced topside of Beef at 25p
    I have one last weekly shop for this month and a total of exactly £35 left in the budget - I should be fine (famous last words!).
    DFW Nerd 941 Proud to be dealing with my debt
    August GC £0/£300

    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 27th Mar 10, 2:43 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    I've gone over this month, but not sure by how much. I went away with my brother and sister on Thursday and Friday and we ended up paying for each other at various points including shopping, so i'll never figure the amount out! I don't think it was a huge amount, but over is still over.

    I am going to go for £70.00 for April please as although I am going to try and use more things in my freezer/cupboards, I am going to need to buy some more things as running low.
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
  • MrsBsBlog
    Have come under budget this month, but will carry on with the
    £400 for April please MrsM as easter hols are coming up and the kids will be eating for england, again!.
    Grocery Challenge 2010 £400 each month
    January £377.67 February £375.18 March £355.43
    April £506.23 May £381.04 June £88.58
    • tiamai_d
    • By tiamai_d 27th Mar 10, 3:38 PM
    • 11,878 Posts
    • 71,135 Thanks
    Can I join please?

    My budget for April will be £240 for food only, not including cleaning materials (shouldn't need), baby milk, food or nappies. Family of 4, 2 adults, 2 boys (one underweight so needs high cal, healthy food)

    (is that ok?)
  • JayJay14
    H everyone,

    Declaring now at £107.52 which is way under but having financialy strapped for the last month am well pleased.

    DD2 has now moved back in to our house so will have to increase the budget for next month.

    MrsM - please put me down for £160 for April

    See you all on the new thread
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 27th Mar 10, 4:18 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Good afternoon all, hope you're having a good weekend. I've updated my sig to take account of the lovely piece of brisket and veggies that we just bought so we're well under budget at £233.66 and hope we don't have to buy anything else before Thursday when my new month begins. We have got a little flexibility though so I won't declare until then.

    By the way, what do you do with any 'excess' in the budget that doesn't get spent? It would be interesting to get some ideas from you if you don't mind sharing.

    Well, we've had a chat and want to be sensible about next month's budget in view of OH birthday next weekend but we still want to reduce a little. So, please would you put me down for a £260 budget for April MrsMc?

    Hopefully with the fantastic support of all on here we can make our second month of GC as successful as our first.

    Thank you all and good luck with the challenge,
    Mortgage Free October 2013
    • Moniker
    • By Moniker 27th Mar 10, 4:47 PM
    • 626 Posts
    • 9,607 Thanks
    Here is the fish recipe I promised to post yesterday:

    Grilled haddock on lemon leek and pea rice

    Ingredients: serves 2

    15ml (1tbsp) butter
    15ml (1 tbsp) vegetable oil
    2 leeks, trimmed and sliced thinly
    1 lemon, grated zest and juice
    Salt and pepper
    300 gm (10 oz) haddock fillet
    350ml (1/2 pint) vegetable stock
    100gms (4 oz) white rice
    60gms (2 oz) peas
    Parsley to garnish (optional)


    Melt the butter and add the oil in a big pot or frying pan. When oil starts to sizzle add the leeks and fry gently for about 3 minutes, until they have softened. Add the rice, lemon zest and half the lemon juice to the leeks and stir thoroughly. Pour over the vegetable stock, place a lid on the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and cook gently for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Meanwhile arrange the fish fillets on a grill rack skin side down. Sprinkle over the remaining lemon juice and cook under a hot grill for about 6 minutes (depending on the thickness this can take up to 15 mins) – it’s done when the fish is opaque and flakes easily. Stir the peas through the rice and heat for a few minutes (up to 5 mins if using frozen peas). Spoon the rice mixture onto warmed plates and serve immediately with the fillets laid on top.

    It is basically a rissotto - but I didn't call it that as my DH doesn't like rissotto - but he enjoyed this. You don't have to use special rissotto rice - I used ordinary long grain rice.

    I have used the rest of the leeks to make soup today and I did a batch of rolls which turned out well too. The rolls needed an egg wash to glaze them, and there was quite a lot of egg left so I decide to use this making individual pineapple upside down puds. I used a 2-2-2-mix all-in-one with the egg and a tin of Sainsbury's basics pineapple pieces in juice. I greased 4 little ramekin dishes and shared the pineapple between them and then spooned the sponge mix on top. Two have gone in the freezer and two will be for pudding tomorrow. I let you know how they taste!

    Off to cook supper - hm beef burgers and chips and salad. We usually swim on Saturdays evenings but DH is suffering with a really heavy cold and I don't want to go on my own. We are supposed to be doing a sponsored walk tomorrow - so I hope he is ok for that and that it stays dry!

    Have a good evening folks.

    love Moniker

    forgot to say that i think you missed me off the list for March Mrs M. I was down for £270 - will post final total on Wednesday evening - but feeling good about it! Fingers crossed!
    Last edited by Moniker; 27-03-2010 at 4:50 PM.
    • mama67
    • By mama67 27th Mar 10, 5:22 PM
    • 1,318 Posts
    • 16,230 Thanks
    Did my last shop for march yesterday and have all we need til the end of the month.

    So am declaring at £690 for the year to date.

    Thanks Mrs Mc
    2 adults, 2 boys ( sportsmad-big eaters) (21 & 18)
    My mother always served up leftovers we never knew what the original meal was. - Tracey Ulman
    Evening all

    Moniker -I didn't miss you off the list *I did have to go and check as I do seem to miss folks*

    Well -I have had my 1st spend of the month -day 1 as well ...

    Only picked up 2 things -
    • pork n leek sausages -whoopsed to 80c X 4
    • parsnips -whoopsed to 50c X 4
    So my 1st spend of the Month is €5.20 -I usually make my own sausages but as we don't use many in spring/summer its silly to make a huge batch and take up freezer space (especially as there isn't much left at the mo)
    I may have a "big" spend later in the week as we have a friend driving back to the uk -so if they have the cheese I want she will be bringing back 20 x 400g blocks and possibly a couple of other things - but it will save us a bomb
    Today I have mad a batch of baguette dough nomnomnom -so I have turned some into baguettes *obvious really* and made 2 pizzas -one has just gone in the oven mmmmmmmmm I don't like pizza of any kind usually -but these are gorgeous
    Hubby is going to have a sausage baguette for brekkie tomorrow and take one wrapped in foil with him to the golf course -which will save him over €5 and at least he knows what he is getting
    Dinner tomorrow is braised lamb shank with rosemary, carrots and onions -steamed potatoes, savoy cabbage and peas mmmmmmm

    right -better get off -hope everyone is having a good weekend
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • slowlyfading
    • By slowlyfading 27th Mar 10, 5:40 PM
    • 13,034 Posts
    • 75,211 Thanks
    Sneaking in at £85.27 for March which is good Got quite a bit of food in now, so shouldn't need to spend anything else for a while! That's the plan anyway

    Please could I be put down for £100 again for April? Thanks
    Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind - Dr Seuss
    Personal Finance Blogger / June NSD - 2 / In pursuit of FIRE
    • becky170
    • By becky170 27th Mar 10, 5:43 PM
    • 518 Posts
    • 4,308 Thanks
    I'm declaring £161.40 for March which is well over my budget of £120 I've been having a rethink about my budget and from now on I'm going to allow myself £5 per day to cover all food, cleaning products, tolietrees and alcohol. Therefore can you put me down for £155 for April? This seems like a lot for one person, but there's no need for me to tighten my belt too much. The grocery challenge has been great for getting me to think about what I'm buying and cutting down on waste, so hopefully it is gettind me to eat more healthy and being good for the envirnoment.
    MFW 2019 #7 £926/1615
    Grocery challenge June £440/450
    • S_Wales_Saver
    • By S_Wales_Saver 27th Mar 10, 5:50 PM
    • 240 Posts
    • 2,596 Thanks
    Hello all

    Thanks for all the good thoughts and hugs. It seems to have been a difficult month for a few of us

    GC still on track, not declaring just yet as I go through to Wednesday, but will spend this weekend to beat the budget rise on alcohol especially cider . This will be from April budget, and used in April, or later.

    Menu plan for April has been completed, using lots from my freezer stash. This is my main way of spending less, if I know what I've got to get out of the freezer for tonight's dinner I don't make expensive emergency trips to buy whatever I can .

    Spiggle when I have excess from GC (all of £1.38 in Feb ) I save it in a stockpile fund. This allows me to take advantage of special offers without affecting my monthly budget adversely. As I have just restarted GC I don't have that cushion at the moment, and it's very frustrating.

    Mrs M can you put me down for my usual amount £250 for April.
    • Maisie M
    • By Maisie M 27th Mar 10, 6:09 PM
    • 1,520 Posts
    • 14,553 Thanks
    Maisie M
    £14.09 spent today in tesco and I am hoping this will be my last spend of the month. I will declare on Wednesday which is my last day but in the meantime

    Mrs M can you put me down for £200 again for April please.

    • ragz
    • By ragz 27th Mar 10, 6:36 PM
    • 3,153 Posts
    • 27,335 Thanks
    Went to tesco without a shopping list and have no meal plan, am trying a new tactic just to compare! Spent £50, which sounds good but that didn't include any nappies, toiletries, cleaning products or cider (Dh stocked up on 8 bottles the other day, pre budget rise! Though i've just realised I should technically include that in the total, so another £15) Also the tesco shop will only last to the end of the month probably and I forgot to get milk! Not looking good for this month, but I did underestimate as it's a 5 week month for us.
    Will try harder next month!
    Ragz is busy studying
    Progress is easier to acheive than perfection.
  • Botany
    After a £43.91 shopping at MrW, I have 16.80 left in the pot; but my challenge ends with the calendar month so there are still 4 days to go. Should be ok though ...

    PS Will post up my proposed budget for April asap.
    • vodkawitch1
    • By vodkawitch1 27th Mar 10, 7:57 PM
    • 1,000 Posts
    • 4,668 Thanks
    Over budget by £35 but my month doesn`t finish until Wednesday. Won`t need anything before then but won`t declare total spend till wednesday.

    Please put me down for £160 for April
    Make £2 a day challenge - doing well so far.
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