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  • FIRST POST
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Sep 10, 10:37 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    Pink.
    October 2010 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 25th Sep 10, 10:37 AM
    October 2010 Grocery Challenge 25th Sep 10 at 10:37 AM
    Hello everyone!

    Welcome to the tenth Grocery Challenge of 2010.

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your September budget, then keep on posting in the September 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 and #4 on this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #5 and #6 on this thread.


    Wishing you all a great Moneysaving Month!

    Pink
    Last edited by Pink.; 27-09-2010 at 9:32 PM.
Page 56
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 26th Oct 10, 6:19 AM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,664 Thanks
    sistercas
    will update later DH went to co$tco yesterday and he cant find the receipt but he thinks he spent about 50 if he cant find it i will just add the 50 on
    going away for a few days , so will use the remainder of the budget to buy meals while we are away ( going thurs to sun staying in 9 travel lodge room so have all meals to pay for except tea on friday as going to my dsisters for that
    • LannyLee
    • By LannyLee 26th Oct 10, 7:51 AM
    • 184 Posts
    • 2,958 Thanks
    LannyLee
    Hippiechiq - just read the recipe fro jambalaya & i'm as confused as you are. TBH think it's just a mis-wording, surely they mean 'cook' & not 'simmer', as you're right you can't simmer without liquid :confused:

    I posted a recipe we use for jambalaya a while back, it's not particularly authentic, but I can dig it out if you'd like?
    • Flat Eric
    • By Flat Eric 26th Oct 10, 7:52 AM
    • 3,985 Posts
    • 24,039 Thanks
    Flat Eric
    Im looking forward to the November Grocery Challenge and hope that I can make it the first month where I stick to my budget. As mentioned previously, I want to try and use up what I have in my freezers to make room for xmas and to save some money in the process. I kind of meal planned for this week but will try to write a firm plan at the weekend.

    • miss empty piggy
    • By miss empty piggy 26th Oct 10, 9:32 AM
    • 645 Posts
    • 6,668 Thanks
    miss empty piggy
    Good morning to all
    Am currently on 143.83 of my 150.00 budget. I can't believe that I have actually managed it so far. Bought DDs chocolate, hot chocolate and chocolate animal biscuits (I believe in a blanced diet!!!) for them to take away on their hols with grandparents this week, so that added to the total. Am determined to stick to the budget. Am sooooooooo skint this month and am just awaiting the phone call from the garage re: MOT!!! Have got everything crossed. With regard to the GC am determined not to buy anything unnecessary. Freezers have needed clearing out since this time last year so am going to eat from there before I even venture near to a SM. I will buy milk and whoopsied bread only (otherwise I will bake bread in the breadmaker). I will make this budget, I will, I will. It's funny I was looking back at an old spreadsheet and can't believe I used to spend 3-4 hundred a month on food alone! ludicrious!!!. Have a good day everyone. x
    DFW Nerd No: 600
  • EvieSaver
    Done my final SM shop for October so I'm announcing my October total now of 269.49. It is slightly under my budget so I am pleased over all but I'm a bit miffed about this last shop of 90! I think I'll excuse it as a bit of a shopping therapy to help me get over all the government cuts I keep hearing about on the telly (although this is completely the opposite to what I should have done). Oh well, got to keep my chin up somehow hey?

    I'm thinking of reducing my budget slightly for November to 68 a week. Could I be put down for 340 please for November (5 weeks at 68). I know it's only a tiny bit but less I don't want to put it too low and then spend way over - it'll only mean more bad news!

    Hope you are all doing well.


    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 26th Oct 10, 10:28 AM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Spiggle
    Good morning all,

    I just thought I'd check in before I start on today's cleaning tasks. Yes, I know it's late but I am on holiday!

    Schrodie I wholeheartedly support everything rosieben has said. Don't get down, I bet you would have spent a lot more if you weren't doing the challenge. Hugs for you anyway.

    Missemptypiggy and EvieSaver, fantastic results well done both of you!

    ETA - Sorry goodgirl80 I missed your achievement too. Well done.

    Was very pleased yesterday as managed to clean all the outside windows (it's a bungalow) and went with DD to get her new (old) car.

    It's raining on my windows today but still chuffed as the plan was to get them done before the weather changed. So shortly off to do all the insides though it may not be a one hit affair today as I tend to go room by room rather than task by task when I'm inside. And I really do need to attack some of the dust that has built up particularly in the lounge and bedroom. Yuk!!!

    I had an NSD on Sunday and was hoping yesterday too but OH bought a few more bits (the downside of me not being in work sadly) and so I've updated sig. OH has been given stern warnings of severe damage to tender parts if he spoils my NSD today!

    Looking at my NSD I wish I could identify the reasons why my monthly totals are on a downward trend. My spreadsheets don't really help that much in this either. Certainly September and October have been very busy in work and so I haven't managed to be quite as organised with shopping. So it could I suppose be that I have asked OH to shop more e.g. for milk. Unfortunately whilst he is a million times better than pre March (600+ per month on nothing) he seems to still find it difficult to buy just one thing.

    Ah well, if we can manage to get to Friday without buying anything I'll have got 17 NSD which is one more than last month. But I have to be far more disciplined in this and try to get back to at least 20 NSD per month again. So, slap my wrists please when you see me slipping!

    Ok, going to read a bit more while I finish my cuppa and then attack the house again.

    Take care all,
    Spigs
    Last edited by Spiggle; 26-10-2010 at 10:32 AM.
    Mortgage Free October 2013
  • curlybap
    November Challenge
    Hi

    I'm a total newbie to posting and the site so please bear with me. I really like the look of the grocery challenge. Can I please join the November challenge with a target of 250 (myself, husband and child)?

    Thanks
    Last edited by curlybap; 26-10-2010 at 2:29 PM.
    • Flat Eric
    • By Flat Eric 26th Oct 10, 12:43 PM
    • 3,985 Posts
    • 24,039 Thanks
    Flat Eric
    Good morning to all
    Am currently on 143.83 of my 150.00 budget. I can't believe that I have actually managed it so far. Bought DDs chocolate, hot chocolate and chocolate animal biscuits (I believe in a blanced diet!!!) for them to take away on their hols with grandparents this week, so that added to the total. Am determined to stick to the budget. Am sooooooooo skint this month and am just awaiting the phone call from the garage re: MOT!!! Have got everything crossed. With regard to the GC am determined not to buy anything unnecessary. Freezers have needed clearing out since this time last year so am going to eat from there before I even venture near to a SM. I will buy milk and whoopsied bread only (otherwise I will bake bread in the breadmaker). I will make this budget, I will, I will. It's funny I was looking back at an old spreadsheet and can't believe I used to spend 3-4 hundred a month on food alone! ludicrious!!!. Have a good day everyone. x
    Originally posted by miss empty piggy
    I remember one month (probably going back 3 years ago now?) when I kept all my receipts to determine just exactly how much I was spending on food bills in a month. I can't describe how shocked I was when the total reached over 600 especially as it was just me and the OH and possibly the cat?!

    Fast forward to now and Im not really any better. I still go into supermarkets and find stuff to buy. Buy offers I don't need. Buy fruit and veg on offer (say two pineapples for 3) instead of 1.99 for one and end up throwing one away? Even this weekend I bought some baby spinach to go with my curry on sat night except come sat evening, I didn't fancy the spinach anymore and thus it remains in my fridge uneaten. I still have a butternut squash in my fridge from the 9th Oct ? if I don't use that soon, then that will need binning when will I stop wasting money. They do say that for every four bags of shopping you carry out the supermarket, the contents of one ends up in the bin. thats a sobering thought really especially if one of your bags of shopping was confisacted at the end of the checkout and put straight in the bin?

    Im scared at food prices and how quickly / how often they go up Im hopeless at home delivery as I always seem to stockpile / buy too much but I have noticed that just a few items adds up to quite a lot.

    I think the only solution is to plan plan plan. and be very strict - nothing to be bought unless its on the list.... will be interesting to see how I get on in November.

    • slbhill
    • By slbhill 26th Oct 10, 12:54 PM
    • 5,208 Posts
    • 363,295 Thanks
    slbhill
    My first attempt at a challenge turned out to be a disaster, 64 with not exactly a lot to show for it .

    I've managed to make a 6 M&S chicken that was previously in the freezer make 3 evening meals.

    Hopefully I'll get the hang of it soon.
    Originally posted by schrodie

    Maybe you need to think of the first month as a settling in exercise rather than a challenge. The expanding chicken sounds like a big step in the right direction


    I have been trying to decide my November budget for my first attempt. I thought it would be easy - I've looked back at my receipts & seem to be fairly consistent at 200. But I've been running down my freezer stock so that I can defrost it next weekend, so I'll need to boost that. Also my other half is away for a fortnight, and I'm just starting to think about the Christmas build-up too. Up, down, up, how do you do it??

    I am going to take a stab in the dark at 180 for November please - to include all food, toiletries, cleaning stuff, cat litter and probably the odd Christmas-related box of choccies or strand of tinsel I am feeding 2 adults plus the shoutiest cat in town. I'll be starting from payday, which I think is this Thursday.

    Now I need to work out how to add that to my signature...
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 26th Oct 10, 2:04 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Spiggle
    Hi

    I'm a total newbie to posting and the site so please bear with me. I really like the look of the grocery challenge. Can I please join the November challenge with a target of 250 (myself, husband and child)?

    Thanks
    Originally posted by curlybap
    Hi Curlybap and welcome to the GC.

    If you edit your post so that the budget for the month is in large red numbers/letters (like philsmum's post above) it makes it easier for MrsMcCawber to pick you out and list your name for next month. You've come to the right place for support and inspiration and I wish you very good luck with your first attempt.



    Maybe you need to think of the first month as a settling in exercise rather than a challenge. The expanding chicken sounds like a big step in the right direction
    I am going to take a stab in the dark at 180 for November please - to include all food, toiletries, cleaning stuff, cat litter and probably the odd Christmas-related box of choccies or strand of tinsel I am feeding 2 adults plus the shoutiest cat in town. I'll be starting from payday, which I think is this Thursday.

    Now I need to work out how to add that to my signature...
    Originally posted by slbhill
    Excellent advice to you schrodie from slbhill there.

    For your signature slbhill go to the second of the green bars (going upwards) and click on Quick Links. The drop down gives you the option of Edit Signature. click that and it'll take you to an area where you can input what you want. Hope that helps.

    ... Fast forward to now and Im not really any better. I still go into supermarkets and find stuff to buy. Buy offers I don't need. Buy fruit and veg on offer (say two pineapples for 3) instead of 1.99 for one and end up throwing one away? Even this weekend I bought some baby spinach to go with my curry on sat night except come sat evening, I didn't fancy the spinach anymore and thus it remains in my fridge uneaten. I still have a butternut squash in my fridge from the 9th Oct ? if I don't use that soon, then that will need binning when will I stop wasting money. They do say that for every four bags of shopping you carry out the supermarket, the contents of one ends up in the bin. thats a sobering thought really especially if one of your bags of shopping was confisacted at the end of the checkout and put straight in the bin?

    I think the only solution is to plan plan plan. and be very strict - nothing to be bought unless its on the list.... will be interesting to see how I get on in November.
    Originally posted by Flat Eric
    Wouldn't that be a lesson FlatEric?!?! To have your shopping just binned for you at the checkout? Do you use a list when shopping? If you do then you just have to put your foot down and not browse shop. Painful I know but it just keeps adding up all the time. And I speak as someone who was spending the same as your 3 years ago budget last February and that was also for me, OH and two cats. It can be done but you have to be firm and say no.

    I'm having a break as I just washed and polished the patio doors and I'm cream crackered as my brother would say. I think doing all the outside ones yesterday have strained bits I didn't realise.

    OK, I'm off now but may be back sooner than I think!

    Take care,
    Spigs
    Mortgage Free October 2013
  • scotsaver
    That's me finished for October, 247.53 for October, please put me down for 250 for November. Thanks MRSMC.

    Should be able to keep well under for November as we are going to use up what's in the Freezers and cupboards, any surplus left I will add to December for Xmas food/wine.

    Dinner tonight is Sausage, mash, carrots, cabbage and loads of nice gravy, also made some Leek & potato soup again after digging up leeks and spuds from Allotment - really need warming up now as it started raining up there and rather windy too - feel like I'm cold through to the bones.

    Good luck to everyone still to declare - see you on the November GC.
    "WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!"
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 26th Oct 10, 2:19 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    Billie-jo
    Have spent 14.34 since last post which brings me up to 213.95 and leaves me with 36.05 till end of the month. So I have no illusions of coming in under budget

    Theres been some good results this month so well done to everyone and to those who havent made it - try not to worry to much as at least you have made an effort. There is always another month to try again.

    Tea tonight is going to be either meat balls, pasta and tomato sauce or burgers and wedges - just depends on if I roll them or squash them.
    Have some soup simmering at the moment using the last of the chicken stock up and the few bits of veg that need using. If its not too cold/wet tomorrow will try to get to the market but we have grandson with us all day so will have to see. If we do go I need to buy some fish but if we dont will have to re-think tea. Hope to get some more cheap fruit and veg again as well. The melon from last week was lovely - had the last for breakfast this morning with some of the pineapple.
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH 62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 26th Oct 10, 3:05 PM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,664 Thanks
    sistercas
    declaring at 492.90 thankyou
    that includes DH's co$tco spend plus 100 for food whilst we are away only need to buy breakfast and lunches for 3 days.


    Mrs M please put me down for 400 for November
    thanks
    Last edited by sistercas; 26-10-2010 at 3:09 PM.
  • Hippeechiq
    Hippiechiq - just read the recipe fro jambalaya & i'm as confused as you are. TBH think it's just a mis-wording, surely they mean 'cook' & not 'simmer', as you're right you can't simmer without liquid :confused:

    I posted a recipe we use for jambalaya a while back, it's not particularly authentic, but I can dig it out if you'd like?
    Originally posted by LannyLee
    Thanks for the offer LannyLee I liked the sound of this one in particular because it seemed quite simple, used chicken thighs with the bone in, had no fish in it and didn't have a list of ingredients or method as long as your arm.....no doubt because half of the method and ingredients appear to be missing!

    I don't even see how you could cook (as opposed to simmer) chicken thighs and onion for 25 mins with no liquid without it burning, however low the heat. Shame. I liked the fact that it didn't have tinned toms in it either. Got nothing against tinned toms. but I do use them an awful lot on cooking.

    Anyway - I'd be grateful if you'd repeat your recipe, thanks

    Another NSD here, bringing me to 11 out of my 11 target. Nowhere near as impressive as some of you - but good for me, so I'm pleased.

    Hello & Welcome Newbies by the way
    Aug11 193.29/240

    Oct10 266.72 /275 Nov10 276.71/275 Dec10 311.33 / 275 Jan11 242.25/ 250 Feb11 243.14/ 250 Mar11 221.99/ 230
    Apr11 237.39 /240 May11 237.71/240 Jun11 244.03/ 240 July11 244.89/ 240
    Xmas 2011 Fund 220
    • LannyLee
    • By LannyLee 26th Oct 10, 3:17 PM
    • 184 Posts
    • 2,958 Thanks
    LannyLee
    Thanks for the offer LannyLee I liked the sound of this one in particular because it seemed quite simple, used chicken thighs with the bone in, had no fish in it and didn't have a list of ingredients or method as long as your arm.....no doubt because half of the method and ingredients appear to be missing!
    Originally posted by Hippeechiq
    Cheap & cheerful Jambalaya A nice cheap, filling & tasty last minutes dinner, or to use up left over chicken from your Sunday roast is Jambalaya.

    I'm sure it's not even close to being authentic, but it's tasty & there is never any left i our house when it's made, plus it's good for using up any veg you might have languishing in your fridge at the end of the week.

    You need:
    1. 1 packet per 2 people of savoury rice, or white rice & add a chicken stock cube to the water
    2. Left over chicken or any meat, but if it's raw will need to be fried off.
    3. Onion
    4. Peppers
    5. Frozen peas
    Soften the onion in a little oil with some garlic & a touch of paprika & cayenne pepper (how much is to your own preference)

    If using raw chicken add this & cook it now in chunks - fry until onion is soft & fragrant.

    Add all other veg, rice & amount of water as per packet instructions, bring to the boil & then put lid on & simmer until rice is done.

    Taste & add anything else you think it needs, Tabasco, more spices etc

    Done, only take 20 minutes & it's yummy every time!


    If you like you can also add chorizo or anyother spicy sausage when you add the chicken, or even prawns, these should be added just before you're ready to simmer.

    HTH Hippeechiq
  • ~moneysavingnovice~
    Declaring 211 for Oct, 19 under budget
    Mortgage148,725 Student loan13,050 HSBC loan12,221
    AprGC:/320
    • boultdj
    • By boultdj 26th Oct 10, 3:48 PM
    • 4,505 Posts
    • 33,129 Thanks
    boultdj
    Spent another $3.37 at Mr.M's.Well done to thouse who have finished this month under budget
  • Shysarah
    Spent another 5.10 at the tin shop today so my tin cupboard is now bursting at the seams!!
    Baked beans 15p a tin, tinned toms 25p a tin, mushy peas 18p a tin and a massive 60 chicken oxo cubes in a little bucket for 2. Brill!!

    I am well stocked up for the next month and have a huge bag of cat litter in which will last ages so I am contented. Oh and my freezer is chock a block with stews and soups. All in all I have done quite well with 5 days of my month left to go.

    Also awaiting a voucher from Aldi as had some meat there this month which was decidedly ropey stuff so that will be a nice bonus when it comes as I plan on using it for veggies and making more soups.

    Well done to those who came in on budget.. and if you didnt well no worries I bet you spent wiser and that is what matters

    Love and Hugs
    Sarah x
    GC 2011
    Jan 43.45/40.00 Feb 55.14/55.00 Mar 64.88/120
    I MUST KEEP POSITIVE!!
    Time you enjoyed wasting, was not wasted (John Lennon)


  • Hippeechiq
    That sounds quite similar to a simple Chicken Chorizo & Prawn Paella I do LannyLee, and I agree, it is extremely tasty for such a simple dish.

    It was the cajun seasoning and the use of chicken thighs of the other Jambalaya I linked to that I liked the sound of....I love recipes using chicken thigh on the bone, I find thigh meat so tasty. But thanks for taking the time to do that LannyLee - much appreciated

    Well done at coming in under budget moneysavingnovice
    Aug11 193.29/240

    Oct10 266.72 /275 Nov10 276.71/275 Dec10 311.33 / 275 Jan11 242.25/ 250 Feb11 243.14/ 250 Mar11 221.99/ 230
    Apr11 237.39 /240 May11 237.71/240 Jun11 244.03/ 240 July11 244.89/ 240
    Xmas 2011 Fund 220
    • LannyLee
    • By LannyLee 26th Oct 10, 4:18 PM
    • 184 Posts
    • 2,958 Thanks
    LannyLee
    That sounds quite similar to a simple Chicken Chorizo & Prawn Paella I do LannyLee, and I agree, it is extremely tasty for such a simple dish.

    It was the cajun seasoning and the use of chicken thighs of the other Jambalaya I linked to that I liked the sound of....I love recipes using chicken thigh on the bone, I find thigh meat so tasty. But thanks for taking the time to do that LannyLee - much appreciated

    Well done at coming in under budget moneysavingnovice
    Originally posted by Hippeechiq
    Well you could adapt it & use thighs, just jig it a bit, if you like I can re-write the recipe for you, or are you a bit like m just chuck it all in hope for the best
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