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  • FIRST POST
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Mar 10, 3:38 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    Pink.
    • #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 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.


    Wishing you all a great Moneysaving Month!
    Last edited by Pink.; 28-03-2010 at 2:29 PM.
Page 27
  • Trinny
    Hi Greentoad and welcome to OS

    Your budget seems pretty good - but if you want to reduce it then take a look at the MBAZ and Weezl threads - they are great for reducing the grocery spend.

    Otherwise - its the season for starting to grow your own fruit and veg - why not try planting a few seeds and supplement your budget that way,

    Or drop a brand - from famous makes to stores own brand - or to value ranges - not always any difference in taste but quite a difference in price.

    There are a lot of threads on batch cooking, menu planning etc which will also probably help you

    Best Wishes

    Trin
    "Not everything that COUNTS can be counted; and not everything that can be counted COUNTS"
    GC - May £39.47/£55. June £47.20/£50. July £38.44/£50
    NSD - May 16/17. June 16/17. July 14/17
    No new toiletries til stash used up challenge - start date 01/2010 - still going!
    £2 Savers Club member No 93 - getting ready for Christmas 2011
    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 15th Apr 10, 2:26 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    Billie-jo
    Been to T*esco and parted with £22.04 which wasn’t a big spend as had done a meal plan and incorporated a fair bit out of the freezer. I think that doing these menu plans will be the main thing in keeping the spending down for myself at least.

    I shall need to go to the butchers on Saturday but will just need some bacon ( supermarkets far to thin for us) and some minced beef (often looks like its well past its date in supermarket)
    Also want some Malt as going to attempt malt loaf later in the week and I think our local chemist sells it. Will let you know what its like when do it. Hopefully just need top ups of bread, fruit & veg after this

    Simmering on the cooker is chicken and sweet corn soup using the chicken carcass from last week and a few bits of veg. Smells lovely.
    Tomorrow is h/m chicken curry so have just been cutting and portioning the chicken up brought today and have put some in the freezer again for later.

    Have noticed that there is a thread on cooking something new every week and will have another look over the weekend as it appeals to me. Do any of you on here do that challenge?

    Hope everyones challenge this month is going well for them.

    Forgot - In T*sco they are selling 5 oranges for 50p if anyone interested.

    Hello to the two new members wishing to join - have only just joined myself and doing ok so far - Good luck to you both.


    Off to update signature which is looking good
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH £62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
    • mothershipton
    • By mothershipton 15th Apr 10, 3:49 PM
    • 301 Posts
    • 2,692 Thanks
    mothershipton
    trying to have a cheap month this month as no cash in bank account. spent only £46 in Tesco on Tuesday but dont actually have much food. Im away this weekend with my dad so rest of family will have to fend for themselves. There are chips etc in the freezer and husband can be quite inventive with his meals some times. Total so far this month £200!
    Grocery Challenge Feb 16 £346 /400
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 15th Apr 10, 4:15 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Spiggle
    ... Also want some Malt as going to attempt malt loaf later in the week and I think our local chemist sells it. Will let you know what its like when do it. ...
    Originally posted by Billie-jo
    Hi Billie-jo,

    So glad it's going well for you. I just thought I'd let you know that I had terrible trouble getting hold of malt as the chemists around here didn't sell it. I got mine in the end from the local health food shop, so if you have difficulty it's another option for you.

    Spigs
    Mortgage Free October 2013
    • BigMummaF
    • By BigMummaF 15th Apr 10, 4:36 PM
    • 4,269 Posts
    • 32,002 Thanks
    BigMummaF
    ....a baked risotto for dinner (if you haven't tried baking a risotto do- its so much easier and you wont want to go back to standing over a pot stirring constantly) with chicken and mushrooms ....
    Originally posted by wssla00
    You don't think you can just put something like that & run, do you? Recipe please

    CALLING ALL NEWBIES!

    1. There are no start-or end days on here. You can run from when-ever you wish; pay-day to pay-day is very popular, as is calendar monthly, four-weekly, annual even. It has to work for you, so it really is your decision to make.
    2. It is also entirely your decision what you want to include in your grocery budget. I started about 18mths ago, recording everything I spent in whichever shop I'd used. Now, I've narrowed it down to just the things I need to keep the family going, like washing powder & toothpaste but not presents or tubs for the garden. Some folk include booze & others discount toiletries--again, it has to be a system that you can work with.
    3. Don't try to compare your household against another--you'll end up in such a muddle People have access to different shops at different times of the day & that can make a huge impact on the budget. I can only get to MrA about 3 times a year, there's no 4ldi, F@rmf00ds, cash & carry or many other wondrous Aladdin's Caves that many speak of, & I've learned to accept that I can only do the best that I can.
    4. It sounds like a PITA, but the best thing is to get yourself a notebook & pen that works & get into the habit of writing down every single penny that leaves your protective custody! It will amaze, astound & enlighten you to a world previously unknown...believe me when I say--it ain't pretty
    5. We've all been there, done that, bought the t-shirt AND returned it for a full refund, so don't ever think you've failed--you haven't!You're just practising & the rehearsal didn't go to plan

    Good Luck!

    Full time Carer for Mum; harassed mother of three;
    loving & loved by two 4-legged babies.

    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 15th Apr 10, 4:49 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    Billie-jo
    Thanks for the tip about the Health Food shop for the malt Spiggle. Will look in there if no luck at the chemist.
    Take it you have made the Malt loaf - is it like the real thing? Probably do it on Sunday when the oven is on roasting the lamb.
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH £62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
  • Keiss 21
    Thank you sooo much for your wonderful words of wisdom BigMummaF, you are a great source of inspiration and guidance, and I look forward to following your example while in Glasgow!

    (my son aged 17 ... has a humongous appetite)
    Originally posted by burntfingers
    I have one of those burntfingers...and a keen rugby player at that...4800 calories a day (as recommended by the team dietician!!) !!!

    So our monthly bills are higher than I'd like! I am trying to bring them down...and seem to managing so far this month, mainly due to meal planning 2 weeks in advance. We have even had DS1 home from Uni at times over the past month (when not at his GF's!), so I am pretty pleased so far...mind you, there is plenty of time for things to go haywire!!

    Will post my spends tomorrow once I know them...see you then.


    13 projects in 2013: 7/13
    Cross-stitch Club Member no 13
    Weight loss since 24/06/2012: 30lb
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 15th Apr 10, 5:06 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Spiggle
    Thanks for the tip about the Health Food shop for the malt Spiggle. Will look in there if no luck at the chemist.
    Take it you have made the Malt loaf - is it like the real thing? Probably do it on Sunday when the oven is on roasting the lamb.
    Originally posted by Billie-jo
    Yes I have made it, mine is the one in the list on first page under malt bread. I have another post somewhere on here with my views after making the recipe. I would not be a sissy and get scared of how dark the malt and black treacle make the liquid mix look and so replace all golden syrup with black treacle. I also used more fruit than the recipe called for and would do the same again possibly increasing further. I wouldn't chop all the fruit up, just a small proportion, and I would soak the fruit first probably in black tea to add some more moisture to it. Then I think it will be like soreen.

    The one I did was not as moist as soreen (hence the proposed adaptations above) and more bread like in texture but it tasted spectacular especially with lovely Welsh butter on it.

    Oh, by the way be very careful with the timing as it can catch easlily on the outside as fan assisted ovens weren't around in the fifties!

    Let me know how it goes.

    Had to pick up the cheese and my pain au raisin from Mr T today so another £5.99 spent. Sig is updated.

    All the best,
    Spigs
    Last edited by Spiggle; 15-04-2010 at 5:12 PM. Reason: Because i forgot to update, duh!
    Mortgage Free October 2013
  • wssla00
    You don't think you can just put something like that & run, do you? Recipe please


    [/LEFT]
    [/CENTER]
    Originally posted by BigMummaF
    Ok

    This is what I make for comfort food.

    In a casserole dish, melt some butter and fry a chopped onion add some chopped garlic and really lightly fry until the onion is clear (a la normal risotto)
    add 75g of risotto per person as normal and coat in the oil and the butter onion mix
    Add about a pint of chicken stock- perhaps a pint and a bit or a pint and a bit of wine
    Add any mushrooms you have and cover the dish with the lid
    pop in the oven at about 180 degrees and bake for approx fifteen-twenty mins
    take out the oven and add cooked leftover chicken cover once again
    put back in the oven for about ten minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed.
    Finish with some parmesan!

    or you can add whatever other ingredients you want- I also like fresh spinach and garlic- the spinach added about a couple of minutes before its ready

    Enjoy
    Feb GC: £200 Spent: £190.79
  • THE4WHINGERS
    my teenager is constantly in the cupboards looking for food /moaning we have no food ect he is very sporty but also doing gcse and college exams i would love to hear any ideas anyone has on healthy filling snacks that are quick and cheap as he tries to only eat sweet or really salty stuff.main prob is wont hardly touch fruit only likes apples and keeps snapping his brace on em!!!so fussy its beyond a joke would love to hear any tips
    nothing thats meant for you passes you by ..
  • wssla00
    What about flapjacks? They are pretty easy to make, and the oats should fill him up a little...?
    Feb GC: £200 Spent: £190.79
    • Bluefire
    • By Bluefire 15th Apr 10, 6:37 PM
    • 470 Posts
    • 2,977 Thanks
    Bluefire
    Small spends today - £1 on milk, £1.53 on bananas & potatoes, 69p on baps for the OH's lunches. I've discovered B&M do a great range of meats for sandwiches for 99p so will be heading back there next week when he starts demanding something other than ham!
    Mortgage: 08/13 £28,896.49 01/18 £0

  • Long tall sally
    Went to Morrisons today. Got the offers that I wanted but also got sucked into buying a few extra things as had DS with me as we were on our way back from a hospital appointment. We now have about 18 yogurts in the fridge and 6 tubes of toothpaste in the bathroom!
    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
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 15th Apr 10, 7:35 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    freakyogre
    45p spent today on a packet of crisps at work. Oops.
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
  • Keiss 21
    my teenager is constantly in the cupboards looking for food /moaning we have no food ect he is very sporty but also doing gcse and college exams i would love to hear any ideas anyone has on healthy filling snacks that are quick and cheap as he tries to only eat sweet or really salty stuff.main prob is wont hardly touch fruit only likes apples and keeps snapping his brace on em!!!so fussy its beyond a joke would love to hear any tips
    Originally posted by THE4WHINGERS
    I agree with wssla00 about flapjacks, also try Twinks hobnobs and fruit (or chocolate!) buns (Victoria sponge recipe, with
    cinnamon and 1/2 the sugar). I also make fat-free fruit loaf (tea-bread). I alway cook in big batches (4 loaves, 4 doz fruit buns and 100 or so hobnobs at a time ) I slice the fruit loaves when cool , then bag and freeze all but one. The buns, flapjacks and hobnobs get put into tubs (I use 1kg stork marg tubs), label and freeze...with luck you should only have to bake once a week! Keep enough out to last a few days, but then you have plenty to keep him/you going to last the week (or more if you are lucky!). This is how I manage to keep DS2 reasonably satisfied (a very large, diabetic, keen rugby player), without having to bake every day! I also bake four wholemeal loaves a week too! Thank goodness for my 3 foot-wide oven!!

    This could be why my food bill is rather on the large side! Mind you, it was worse when DS1 was at home all the time too!!

    Good luck with filling your your son's bottomless pit!


    13 projects in 2013: 7/13
    Cross-stitch Club Member no 13
    Weight loss since 24/06/2012: 30lb
    • BigMummaF
    • By BigMummaF 15th Apr 10, 7:49 PM
    • 4,269 Posts
    • 32,002 Thanks
    BigMummaF
    my teenager is constantly in the cupboards looking for food /moaning we have no food ect he is very sporty but also doing gcse and college exams i would love to hear any ideas anyone has on healthy filling snacks that are quick and cheap as he tries to only eat sweet or really salty stuff.main prob is wont hardly touch fruit only likes apples and keeps snapping his brace on em!!!so fussy its beyond a joke would love to hear any tips
    Originally posted by THE4WHINGERS
    Have a look at the threads I've found scooting around--I've got the links to them HERE. Hope they are of some help
    Full time Carer for Mum; harassed mother of three;
    loving & loved by two 4-legged babies.

    • slowandsteady
    • By slowandsteady 15th Apr 10, 7:57 PM
    • 386 Posts
    • 3,289 Thanks
    slowandsteady
    Evening all,

    have updated signature, am a bit close for comfort and expect to go over tbh but not by much and certaily not to the extent that i havent a clue, like last month!

    I thought i was helping things by sending dh to shop for little things like milk as he just gets what we need and leave, but he hasnt kept receipts (how many times do i have to tell him!) and he buys what i ask with GC cash and then picks up some crisps he likes or some lager and uses his own cash and then has no receipt so it all gets messed up. Think i'll just go myself

    Went to Mr T today, for milk (good old milk eh!) and dd yoghurts, also came out with wine irish barm brack ?sp bread for dd which she tried off her little friend and loved and Mr T sell it, Mr T own fruit shoots, two bags of salad, soreen and bagels and probably something else! I forgot to get my receipt though but i know what i spent so sig all up to date. Oh two savings stamps for Xmas too.

    Still ten days untill payday and will still need the bloomin milk, and top ups of fruit and probably veg.

    Well off to chop some veg for soup, cant be bothered standing over a pan so im going to chuck it in the slow cooker overnight.

    Night all x
  • lel3636
    Nice tasty leftover recipe here. It's a Hugh FW called Roast Potato Rosti.

    Save your leftover roasties (I also saved leftover roast parsnip) chop them finely and put them into a bowl, season, add some thyme or any herb of your choice and a beaten egg. Mix and then add some plain flour to make a stiffish mixture (I also added a little bit of baking powder). Grate in some mature cheddar or even a mixture of odds and ends of different cheeses.

    If you have plenty of leftover tatoes you may need more egg. If it's a bit wet then add a bit more flour.

    Take teaspoons of the mixture and roll in plain flour to make small shapes, mine tend to be like little sausages.

    Bring a pan of water to a slow simmer. Drop them a few at a time into the water, stir occasionally so they don't stick to the bottom. They are done when they float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on kitchen paper.

    Serve with a tomato sauce. Luverly
    Last edited by lel3636; 15-04-2010 at 8:54 PM.
    Clear debts by July 2011 challenge
    Virgin
    Apr10 £1853.64 now £1643.64

    MBNA Jul10 £583.00 now £389.35
    Barclaycard
    Sep10
    £1481.76now £1,446.76
    TOTAL:
    £4,339.56
    now £3,479.75
  • THE4WHINGERS
    Thanks all for tips i will def bake my own stuff in large batches never really thought of making my own cakes that would fill him up more im sure it will work out cheaper i think i can be crafty here too and sneak fruit into them and it wont get noticed as much or snap his bracethink my biggest challenge for keeping cost of grocery shop down will be finding things to keep the kids full im feeling confident now reading through this forum that i could finally have food last the whole week till nxt shop fingers crossed
    nothing thats meant for you passes you by ..
    • vodkawitch1
    • By vodkawitch1 15th Apr 10, 10:13 PM
    • 1,000 Posts
    • 4,668 Thanks
    vodkawitch1
    Nsd for me today, to busy working!
    Make £2 a day challenge - doing well so far.
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