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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Mar 10, 3:38 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    • #1
    • 25th Mar 10, 3:38 PM
    25th Mar 10 at 3:38 PM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the fourth Grocery Challenge of 2010.

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

    Wishing you all a great Moneysaving Month!
    Last edited by Pink.; 28-03-2010 at 2:29 PM.
Page 11
    • butdoineedit?
    • By butdoineedit? 3rd Apr 10, 12:19 PM
    • 1,181 Posts
    • 13,263 Thanks
    Doing ok so far, managed to resist a trip to the shops today, as it would have all been non essential groceries, going to have potato & cauli curry out of the freezer & get the sandwich stuff for work on Monday, as by then i won't be able to buy cakes "to eat because it's bank holiday"!!
  • WelshWoofer
    Just back from Mr S and spent £44 in cash - it was more but I used £9 worth of vouchers, Nectar points etc.
    Managed to get everything we need for the week and a bit more, will just need milk later in the week.

    I'm still within budget with 2 of the 5 shops of the month done and hoping to keep it that way!
    January grocery spending - £82.73/ £120
    • ellemm
    • By ellemm 3rd Apr 10, 3:20 PM
    • 11,096 Posts
    • 51,810 Thanks
    Cheapest weekly shop for me since starting this challenge only £12.44 as finally getting into using up what's in the freezer and cupboards rather than buying more stuff.

    Did a tidy up of the dry stuff/spices/baking ingredients cupboard and can't believe how much is in there, so meal planning will be around using some of it up.

    Have a good Easter weekend everyone.

    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 3rd Apr 10, 3:24 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    Total spend yesterday was £12.09.

    £4.10 in Morrisons - got some of the cod which was on offer (£2.61) and have just got 5/6 portions out of that and in the freezer. I think i'll change my meal plan slightly next week to make space for that as I very rarely eat fish. Also got some Walkers Sensations which were BOG2F - not needed, but that's a bargain and I can't resist crisps!

    The rest was spent in Tesco on potatoes (reduced), red onions, courgettes, tomato puree, creme fraiche, garlic, cous cous and cherry tomatoes (also fact, the tomato shelves were almost bare, so I had very little choice). Also got a bag of frozen stir fry veg and some sliced peppers to try.

    Should only need salad, milk, fruit and garlic bread (might make some) for the rest of the month as i'm slowly working my way through my freezer!
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
    • hex2
    • By hex2 3rd Apr 10, 3:40 PM
    • 4,722 Posts
    • 80,174 Thanks
    It is now over a week since I have actually been in a shop . I usually go at least once every two days . Not sure yet how well this is going to work but I have spent £240 of my £450 budget.

    So far I have had an order from the internet butcher at £108 which gives us meat for this month and some roasts for next month. T home delivery for the planned household, pets, tins for the month, plus bread and milk for the next fortnight. Veg Box at £18. I have a further £53 committed to veg boxes that hits in April but three will be free in May.

    I am not that impressed with the veg box tbh. It is nice and fresh with a good selection but the quantities are tiny. It is allegedly enough for 4 people for a week. I estimate about three days worth for us based on normal consumption so this is going to be an issue - four medium sized potatoes to share for the week, three carrots (my littles usually eat at least one each whilst I am peeling!) for example. At £17 a week this is simply not good enough value. Even with the offer making it £10 a week it still isn't great. Thought this might be useful info for anyone else considering A&C. We had the deluxe organic veg box. On the postive side it is making me try new things - we have two globe artichokes (between four of us!) and pak choi, neither of which I have had before.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • wssla00
    I gave up my box as i had the other problem it was far too big- not a&c though a local shop. Plus if i saw another swede I would have probably hurled it at the first person i saw LOL!

    I have started using an online butcher and I find it so much better than going to Mr T's as I order for the month then put it away in the freezer until I need it. I get much fuller too on the stuff from them- probably because there isn't as much rubbish in it i suppose.

    Pak Choi is a really lovely green i use it to make chilli chicken ramen and it is delicious! Really good way to use up leftovers too!
    Feb GC: £200 Spent: £190.79
    • hex2
    • By hex2 3rd Apr 10, 3:57 PM
    • 4,722 Posts
    • 80,174 Thanks
    Pak Choi is a really lovely green i use it to make chilli chicken ramen and it is delicious! Really good way to use up leftovers too!
    Originally posted by wssla00
    Recipe please! Sounds lovely and I do have a freezer full of half price co-op chickens from last month.

    There are a couple of veg box schemes locally - but they are big name organics. I don't actually care very much if they are organic, I just want decent fresh veg without hassle, ideally without major food miles involved. Hopefully by the time the 7 weeks are up the garden will be productive enough for me to stop.

    The stuff I have had from Aldi/Lidl has been very poor of late and it isnt a bargain if it is rotten/tasteless.
    Last edited by hex2; 03-04-2010 at 4:00 PM.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
    • winterfrost
    • By winterfrost 3rd Apr 10, 4:00 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 1,206 Thanks
    Have done my weekly shopping now! Minor milk excitement, as I usually only use milk in tea and so barely get through a pint a week, but this week I am cooking with some so I got to buy a big carton of delicious Jersey milk!
    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
  • wssla00

    Easy peasy!

    Boil up about a pint of chicken or veggie stock with a teaspoon of dried chillies
    pop in your cooked chicken (or cubed up uncooked chicken- but you will need to boil until its cooked through)
    add a couple of crushed vermicelli nests or some crushed dried spaghetti and simmer until the pasta is almost cooked
    add the chopped leaves of pak choi and simmer until a lovely green and wilted
    Serve in big bowls finished with snips of spring onions


    LOL can you tell i'm a lazy cook?

    I know what you mean about veg. I am yet to find the veg I want but hopefully the garden will give me something this summer! Good luck with the growing
    Last edited by wssla00; 03-04-2010 at 4:13 PM.
    Feb GC: £200 Spent: £190.79
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 3rd Apr 10, 6:21 PM
    • 748 Posts
    • 3,713 Thanks
    Small spend just £3.70 at Tesco. Swapped meals around tonight and made fishcakes using the breadcrumbs from the last of my homemade sundried tomato bread. Feeling very OS as had some old tea cakes which I was thinking of throwing out but sliced them and spread them with butter and cinnamon then poured over custard base. Hey presto bread and butter pudding for desert.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
    • pammyj74
    • By pammyj74 3rd Apr 10, 6:45 PM
    • 3,164 Posts
    • 17,364 Thanks
    First shop of the month and have bought a load of meat to do in the SC so should make a few meals. with the kids at home and picking away at fruit and bits all through the day I can see the next two weeks having to restock more than usual!!!

    so today spent £40.29 which is a lot for me in one go but for once I was out in the car rather than walking so thought it better to stock up a few tins etc.

    MPs left feb '08 276- Dec 13 36 MB Jan 10 ~ £82,377 Dec 13 ~ £29987
    EMFD was Feb 32 NOW Dec 2013 its Dec 2016
    MF new target Dec 16 REACHED!!
    • lizziebabe
    • By lizziebabe 3rd Apr 10, 6:48 PM
    • 1,090 Posts
    • 4,388 Thanks
    Hi everyone, had a bit of a shop in L*dl - have updated my signature.
    The first shop this month and got loads of good and cheap stuff.
    I buy skimmed milk and a 2 pint pack was on offer for 69p. I also bought 4 longlife skimmed at 49p each. Hopefully this will last a while and stop me popping to the shops for milk and being tempted by other goodies!!

    Am going to rearrange my stock food cupboard and check all the sell by dates - and make a list of what I have got. I can't get into that particular cupboard very easily (bad design) so will rearrange the cupbards so I can get to the stuff more easily and hopefully use it in rotation so no waste.

    Phew - a busy Easter Sunday is beckoning. Still the weather has been so awful - it will be a useful inside job.

    It is the start of our local car booty tomorrow - would love to pop along first thing, I do love bargain hunting. Depends on the weather, anything like today and I doubt if anyone will be up there.

    Happy Easter to everyone and enjoy!
    • Cleosmum
    • By Cleosmum 3rd Apr 10, 7:01 PM
    • 2,659 Posts
    • 9,288 Thanks
    First shop of April, done in Mr T and Mr M, and sig updated

    OH and I sorted through the cupboards and we think we have enough to get through the month, if we are creative. I think we can get by with just buying milk, bread and some fresh bits, but its a bit of a scary thought!!! Fresh stuff should be about £10 a week.

    Should I grab the challenge by the throat?!?!?
    Jan 2016 Grocery Challenge: £184.58/£400 (16/01)
    • winterfrost
    • By winterfrost 3rd Apr 10, 7:03 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 1,206 Thanks
    Last week I bought some Sainsbury's gravy granules on a deal (chicken and vegetarian), and they are both DISGUSTING! They have such a bitter aftertaste, especially the vegetarian one. Is there anything I can do to lessen it?
    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
    • Cleosmum
    • By Cleosmum 3rd Apr 10, 7:05 PM
    • 2,659 Posts
    • 9,288 Thanks
    Last week I bought some Sainsbury's gravy granules on a deal (chicken and vegetarian), and they are both DISGUSTING! They have such a bitter aftertaste, especially the vegetarian one. Is there anything I can do to lessen it?
    Originally posted by winterfrost
    I would just take them back for a refund and then buy ones you know are ok
    Jan 2016 Grocery Challenge: £184.58/£400 (16/01)
    • winterfrost
    • By winterfrost 3rd Apr 10, 7:15 PM
    • 95 Posts
    • 1,206 Thanks
    I would just take them back for a refund and then buy ones you know are ok
    Originally posted by Cleosmum
    Are you allowed to do that just on the basis of taste? They might be offended if I go in saying their gravy is foul!
    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
    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 3rd Apr 10, 7:25 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    As hoped a NSD for me. Tea was soup then pitta breads filled with left over turkey and salad.
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH £62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
    • guccigoo
    • By guccigoo 3rd Apr 10, 7:39 PM
    • 467 Posts
    • 5,112 Thanks
    woohoo 2 nsd's for me so far and i think tomorrow will be also as i think the supermarkets are shut?
    I will lose 2 stone by this summer!!!!!!
    • ragz
    • By ragz 3rd Apr 10, 7:47 PM
    • 3,153 Posts
    • 27,335 Thanks
    £18 spend in tesco on the pull ups and other bits.
    tried to make DH's mum's Honey Curry Chicken and it did not go well at all, but I did manage to make it into something edible so it didn't get wasted!

    Hex2I had the same problem with the A&C box, I don't really eat much veg! Only got enough potatoes for one meal and didn't have a clue how to include the globe artichokes in my sunday roast!

    Am trying to eat a lot of our storecupboard as we are due to move soon so today I managed to include half of a jar of sundried tomatoes in some pasta sauce, any ideas for the rest of them would be great, they are in oil though.
    Also have... green peppercorns in brine and anchovies! No idea why!
    Last edited by ragz; 03-04-2010 at 7:52 PM.
    Ragz is busy studying
    Progress is easier to acheive than perfection.
    • Cheapskate
    • By Cheapskate 3rd Apr 10, 8:03 PM
    • 1,663 Posts
    • 20,521 Thanks
    Hi everyone

    Keep trying to do this & failing, going MIA, etc! MRSMCAWBER, please could you put me down for £400 for April? DH starting his own business & we're now living on child benefit, tax credits & maternity allowance, so GOT to do this properly or there will be far too much month left at the end of the money!

    In our house there are 3 adults (me, DH & 18yr old DS), nearly-3-yr old & 6 month baby, plus nearly-4-yr old DGS for all of April (between childminders), no faddy eaters except teenager who likes lots of meat. Judging by other people's posts & budgets, I should be able to do this even with an extra child to feed - I've got loads of eggs to use up, along with many mysterious packages in the freezer - plenty of fun to be had during the Easter hols I think!

    Will be checking recipe books, threads on here, so I can keep on track this time. Fingers crossed & hope you're all doing well this month.

    A x
    Feb GC £0.00/£300
    Decluttering 332/2019 items this year
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