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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Oct 10, 5:36 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    November 2010 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 25th Oct 10, 5:36 PM
    November 2010 Grocery Challenge 25th Oct 10 at 5:36 PM
    Hello everyone!

    Welcome to the eleventh Grocery Challenge of 2010.

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

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #5, #6 and #7 on this thread.

    Wishing you all a great Moneysaving Month!

    Last edited by Pink.; 28-10-2010 at 11:59 AM.
Page 4
    • greent
    • By greent 28th Oct 10, 10:46 PM
    • 8,189 Posts
    • 83,195 Thanks
    Yes, disposable nappies are VATable
    Originally posted by cw18
    Thanks Cheryl - I guessed they probably would be (they're not exactly truly essential, after all...) - will look for some good offers and stock up then DS3 is only 17 months, so have no plans for potty training yet
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786 12/18 £54829 2019 OPs (#18) £3757/£5K
    Net sales 2019 £513.64/£500
    • Chloris
    • By Chloris 28th Oct 10, 10:52 PM
    • 659 Posts
    • 9,479 Thanks
    I toilet trained my daughter at 18 months and she was a star! It wasn't that unusual in our grandparents day.
  • underthestairs
    Hi everyone.

    Asked OH to get me some yoghurts, he got yoghurts alright and quite a few other unnessary bits. So instead of a spend of £3 max, he spent £20+.
    Will get the receipt off him and update total at a more reasonable time of day. Also need to go to shops again as got no milk in.

    • elf06
    • By elf06 29th Oct 10, 5:50 AM
    • 1,498 Posts
    • 15,140 Thanks
    Oooh I missed this one starting!! Havent totalled up last month yet but I do know that I have gone over grrrrrrrrrrr

    Can I please be put down for £120 again in a desperate attempt to come in on target (in my deffence it was DS birthday this month and I did spend extra on that)

    As always thanks to all who keep the thread up and running

    Aug GC - £88.17/£130
    NSD - target 18 days, so far 5!!
    Spanish rice with chicken and chorizo recipe
    Morning all...
    Before I start waffling I just wanted to post 4 new recipes I have tried -and that went down a storm -hope they are of use to someone...
    I have "tweaked" them to fit SW .....
    Spanish rice with chicken and chorizo
    serves 2 -although we found it to serve 4
    preheat oven to 180c/fan160/gas 4

    If serving 2 it comes to 2.5syns per serving on EE
    • 2 large chicken breasts -cut into chunks
    • 1 large red pepper -sliced
    • 56g chorizo (5syns)-cut into small chunks
    • 1 large onion -chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic-grated/crushed
    • 1.5tsp smoked paprika
    • 1/2tsp dried chilli flakes
    • approx 600ml chicken stock
    • 190g paella rice
    • frozen peas
    • lemon juice to serve
    1. drop the chorizo into a warm nonstick frying pan and heat to release the oils
    2. throw in the chicken chunks and cook until coloured
    3. add the onions and peppers and cook until softened
    4. add the paprika and chilli and cook for 1 minute
    5. add the stock, bring to a simmer
    6. throw in the rice and then transfer to an ovenproof dish/pan and bake for about 20mins -until the liquid is absorbed (add the peas after about 10mins)
    7. cover with foil and leave to sit for 5mins
    8. squeeze over the lemon juice and serve
    And for those of us with a remosk-it works in there too ..... just tip it into the pan, cover with foil (so it doesn't touch the liquid) and switch on instead of baking in the oven
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    Balsamic braised beef recipe
    balsamic braised beef
    serves 4 again it served more here

    1syn per serving on RED/EE days -if using cornflour
    • 1kg stewing/braising beef -cut into large chunks
    • 125ml balsamic vinegar
    • 150ml beef stock -I didn't need this but I did use 1 beef stock cube
    • 2 cloves garlic - crushed/grated
    • 1 onion -roughly chopped
    • 2 carrots -chopped
    • 3 sprigs thyme -I used 1tsp dried
    • mushrooms -cut in halves
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1tbs of cornflour -mixed with a little cold water (optional) (3.5 syns)
    Now I turned this into a slowcooker recipe ... so its simple -BUT you will have to figure your own cooking times as Im a whack it in and leave it all day gal
    1. place the beef and balsamic vinegar in a bowl and leave in the fridge for 1hr
    2. Remove the beef chunks and drop into the slow cooker and switch on (I use high -if you have the option) -DON'T ADD ANY LIQUID
    3. after about 1hr I gave it a stir and threw in the carrots and onions -and the vinegar saved from earlier
    4. after 1 hr add the bay leaf/rosemary/garlic/oxo
    5. then I left for about another 2hrs
    6. throw in the mushrooms and then just leave until everything is tender...
    7. about 30mins from serving you can stir in the cornflour mix -OR use gravy granules to the same syn count
    Now I hope that makes sense... give me a yell if not and if anyone wants it I can always add the oven method...
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    One-pot beef and red wine pasta recipe
    one-pot beef and red wine pasta
    serves 4 -well it did us
    EE = 1.5 syns per serving (5 total)
    1. 350g extra lean minced steak
    2. 1 large onion -chopped
    3. 2 cloves garlic -crushed/grated
    4. 1tsp dried rosemary
    5. 125ml red wine - 4.5
    6. 500g passata
    7. 250ml beef stock
    8. 1tbs tomato puree 0.5
    9. slosh of balsamic -optional
    10. pinch sugar/sweetener
    11. salt/pepper
    12. 1 bay leaf
    13. frozen peas -optional
    14. 250g pasta shells, twists etc..
    • drop the mince into a dry non-stick pan and colour
    • add the onion, garlic and cook until onions start to soften
    • add tomato puree and stir through
    • add red wine and bubble
    • add passata, stock, herbs and bring to a simmer
    • season and cook over a low heat for approx 20mins -stirring occasionaly -
    • remove the bay leaf
    • I add a slosh of balsamic at this point and season.. also add sweetener if needed
    • add the pasta and 125ml just boiled water..
    • cover and cook for 8-10mins stirring often to stop pasta sticking and throwing in frozen peas half way through...
    Now we loved it and I decided that it would be a great family meal with a tin of baked beans stirred in -oohh and next time Im going to add mushrooms along with the onions.
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    Slow cooker chinese pork recipe
    slow cooker Chinese pork
    serves 4 -although I think its too much

    RED/EE - 2 syns per serving
    1. 2 cloves garlic -grated/crushed
    2. thumb size chunk of fresh ginger -grated
    3. 2tbs soy sauce
    4. 3tbs dry sherry (or rice wine) (3)
    5. 1 star anise
    6. 1tsp 5 spice powder
    7. 1 cinnamon stick
    8. 2tbs brown sugar (5)
    9. 1kg pork shoulder -fat removed and cut into chunks
    1. mix 1-8 together in a large bowl
    2. throw in the pork and mix-cover and stick in the fridge overnight if possible
    3. the day after tip into the slowcooker and switch on (don't add any extra liquid)
    4. cook until tender -
    5. remove star anise and cinnamon stick
    6. then drain the liquid into a pan and reduce by half, add the meat back in and heat through
    Now then -when I did ours what I did was do it to number 5 -then at the same time I had a vegetable stir-fry under way so I then fished out the hot pieces of pork and mixed them through the veggies and reduced the liquid in the pan down until it was all thick n syrupy and drizzled it over...
    Hope that makes sense
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • LannyLee
    • By LannyLee 29th Oct 10, 7:35 AM
    • 184 Posts
    • 2,958 Thanks
    Thanks for these MrsM.

    I am very pleased with myself as Monday was payday & we have not been shopping yet, although going to Sainsbugs tonight, but have made a list & will be sticking to it, we mainly need store cupboard & freezer staples, tomatoes, pasatta, frozen veg & milk for the coming week - so am hoping it will come to under £10.

    We have 2 loaves in the freezer, plenty of eggs & have our free milk & m0re order coming tmw with bacon & cheese & our R1verford veg box delivered on Tuesday.

    I have meal planned the weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon & Tue) using only things we have in the house, so hoping won't need anything else until next weekend & the rest of the week we'll be cooking using the veg box & freezer items, so potentially could be 2 weeks & only 1 shop, which before this challenge would have been unheard off.

    Wish us luck, really need to get through ths month just sending £50 as we put some more things on the C/card last month & so need the extra £100 to pay these off
    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 29th Oct 10, 7:46 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    (thats a thing i find odd about this challenge how people dissect their pet food from their groceries when pets are eating breathing members of the family!!)
    Originally posted by de1amo
    I can`t really work out which way this was intended to be interpreted, on first reading i found it to be a tad offensive ie as if people like me who have recently started doing this don`t include pets as members of the family?

    On re-reading your post i still can`t quite make up my mind.

    I stopped feeding my pets processed pre packed pet food from the supermarket and when funds allow they now have a lot of home made food from other sources. For example i make up batches of pet food in my slowcooker and mix with organic food ordered via the internet from various suppliers and feel that their diet is more healthy. Obviously this is more expensive to do so it can`t be maintained 100% of the time but their diet has vastly improved.

    As i now use so many different sources for their food its far easier to keep track of all my outgoings by seperating the spending and monitoring it this way as i`m sure that other people who have changed to this way of budgeting are finding too.

    My main budget used to be roughly £200 all in so has increased by approximately £20 by improving my pets diet. It now hovers around £160 for us and £60 for the pets. I do hope that by posting this it has made it easier for you to comprehend.

    Planning on starting the GC again soon
  • Menolly
    Hi, please can I join in? There's just the two of us and 4 hungry Maine Coon cats and we seriously need to trim the budget down! I didn't join in last month but we spent on average £110 a week - and that was only because I went shopping on my own for two weeks running and brought the bill down to circa £85.00 each time. Bill always seems higher when my husband "helps"
    I am aiming to bring the spend for the month in at £350
    I'd like to get lower, ideally, as there is just too much month in my money.
    Obedient women are never remembered in History!

    November Grocery Challenge: 03/11/10 Spent £77.84
    10/11/10 Spent £84.95 17/11/10 Spent £79.63 24/11/10 Spent £75.39
    December Grocery Challenge 30/11/10 Spent £32 Clubcard Vouchers and £79.15 Cash. 08/12/10 Spent £77.73 Cash and £127.50 Clubcard Vouchers - Christmas is now sorted!!!
    • Gintotmelinda
    • By Gintotmelinda 29th Oct 10, 8:27 AM
    • 1,258 Posts
    • 15,203 Thanks
    Sunnyday tell me how you feed your pets-do you have cats? Dolly has *ams dry food and *elix pouches but I do worry about the nutritional content. She is 16 months old and very much a family member! I have a slow cooker.


    "It's hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world"
    • schrodie
    • By schrodie 29th Oct 10, 8:28 AM
    • 7,667 Posts
    • 11,281 Thanks
    I've already given my hopeful total for this month but can I just ask is there anywhere which explains what all the abbreviations one sees mean. Being new to this money saving thing I've come across so many abbreviations which don't mean much to me as a newbie. Some are fairly obvious but there are some that are fairly cryptic, to me anyway, for example does "syn" mean in the above excellent recipes

    Last edited by schrodie; 29-10-2010 at 8:50 AM.
    • cw18
    • By cw18 29th Oct 10, 8:59 AM
    • 8,081 Posts
    • 86,080 Thanks
    I've already given my hopeful total for this month but can I just ask is there anywhere which explains what all the abbreviations one sees mean. Being new to this money saving thing I've come across so many abbreviations which don't mean much to me as a newbie. Some are fairly obvious but there are some that are fairly cryptic, to me anyway, for example does "syn" mean in the above excellent recipes

    Originally posted by schrodie
    Syn is a Weight-W@tchers thing - they don't calorie count, but have allowed/"free" foods on certain days, which are/can be topped up by a certain number of "syns" (these aren't "free" foods for that day)

    Supermarkets we tend to doctor, so that posts don't come up in seach engines - hence Mr T, Mr A, Mr S, Mr W, A!di (or similar), Nett0 (or similar) etc

    DS, DD, DGS, DGD, DH, OH etc are family members (son, daughter, grand-son, grand-daughter, hubby, other half). There are more which can normally be worked out - the only one I regularly struggle with being SIL (sister-in-law or son-in-law)

    And, in case you've not yet twigged, a Whoopsie is a 'reduced to clear' item (something I catch the scent off several hundred paces away it seems )
  • Shysarah
    Hello All,

    Thanks to the GC bods for keeping this going it has made a big difference not only to my bank balance, but also my food waste has shrunk to next to nothing and I think I am eating healthier overall for it.

    I haven't finished my last month yet as I run by the calendar as it makes sense to me. I have done two months now at £80 so I would like to try and aim for £75 this month for me and my cat.

    His special diet food is not included in this but his litter is and the normal food which he has interspersed with his vet recommended one. I also include cleaning agents, toiletries (both of which I should not need as I have loads). Meals out are not included as they are so rare.

    I also have a voucher from Aldi for £10 due to dodgy meat last month but I won't count this as its a refund.

    Good luck all
    Sarah x
    GC 2011
    Jan £43.45/£40.00 Feb £55.14/£55.00 Mar £64.88/£120
    Time you enjoyed wasting, was not wasted (John Lennon)

    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 29th Oct 10, 9:12 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    Sunnyday tell me how you feed your pets-do you have cats? Dolly has *ams dry food and *elix pouches but I do worry about the nutritional content. She is 16 months old and very much a family member! I have a slow cooker.


    Originally posted by Gintotmelinda
    Hi Gintotmelinda

    I have two big hungry hounds and one cat atm, we may end up aquiring another cat soon.

    The dog food recipe is measured in mugfulls and goes into my 6.5 litre slow cooker.

    Minced chicken (from the local market or butcher)
    Red lentils
    Brown rice
    Sliced carrots
    Pearl barley.
    I pour a kettle of boiling water over it and leave it overnight. I do try to stir it and occasionally add more water as it swells a lot. The sc method makes the juices from the chicken be slowly absorbed into the grains which the dogs adore. I portion it up and freeze it and reheat until boiling and allow to cool before feeding it just warm. I mix it with various dry food and i shop around to see whats on offer, we are currently half way through a bag of Pero organic dry food which they love. If funds are tight i mix it with Supadog chicken. I did try them on the BARF diet but they wern`t keen, i didn`t try them for too long on this though as one doggie has a heart condition and i was concerned that he wasn`t getting all his nutrients.

    The rather large cat used to have much the same diet as your kittie but after reading about *ams i stopped feeding it and replaced it with Applaws, its more expensive but lasts longer as it has a very high meat content so her appetite seems to be satisfied quicker. I used the dried Applaws and her favourite is the fish flavour. I started on the smaller bags and now buy the larger ones. She also loves the tinned applaws but its really expensive so i tend to only buy when offers are on. She also has the odd tin of tuna, skin from a cooked chicken and the odd bits that i take off the bone for her. She also likes the chicken mince that i buy for the dogs but not with the barley etc.

    When she has pouches i buy the Feline Fayre ones which are on offer quite a lot on MrM and MrA, these have a high meat content. I would like to have changed her diet to a more natural one but she wasn`t interested. My main concern was finding an even balance as cats need taurine but the FF and Applaws contain this so it works out well.

    At first it was expensive to switch and as they loved their new food they were eating lots of it, over a couple of months i managed to get a stock in by shopping around and buying in bulk when offers were on and now i have a full store, i only need to top up each month and now it works out well as its not much more expensive than what they were eating before.
    Getting organised was the key. I did wonder whether or not i could keep it up at first as it seemed very expensive but now i`m pleased that i made the changes.

    Some interesting information here brands and animal testing which are some things that i try to avoid

    Here is a link to a site which has information about better petfoods which avoid animal testing which i found incredibly useful The naturesdiet brand are available in pets @ home and so are some others too.

    Crikey i`m rambling now Hope that some of this is useful to you.


    Planning on starting the GC again soon
  • hitatotatus
    Hi all. Am committing to this challenge for the first time as I suspect I could make savings if I actually spent some time to plan more and to think about what I buy each week. I already cook most things from scratch and also bulk cook and freeze, but I am sure there is more room to save - so, here goes. Will set a limit of £400 this month and try to keep track of my receipts.
    Am inspired by you all and will check in regularly to keep myself on track.
    £2012 in 2012 = £34.44
    Hi Schrodie
    Sorry -just ignore the "syn" bit of the recipe -Im doing Slimming world so I added those as I know Im not the only one on here doing it .. they are still really yummy and not at all "diet" -they are actually my adaptations of standard recipes.

    Well folks I spent a couple of days last week sorting out my freezer/cupboards and all I can say is "anyone like to come for dinner?" -I have posted it in smaller print to try and save space ... and don't get me started on my cupboards -16 kinds of pasta anyone?

    kitchen freezer:-only a small one above the fridge
    1. 600g braising steak
    2. 600g beef joint
    3. 500g minced steak
    4. 325g steaks
    5. 700g pork joint
    6. 325g pork escalopes
    7. 400g " "
    8. 500g pork joint
    9. 3 pork escalopes
    10. 2 pork steaks
    11. 2 marinated pork steaks
    12. 600g chicken fillets
    13. 2 bacon wraped chicken breasts
    14. 400g chicken fillets
    15. 400g chicken fillets
    16. 400g chicken fillets
    17. 500g turkey steaks X 2
    18. 2 turkey steaks
    19. 2 packs breaded ham
    20. 1 pack peppered ham
    21. 1 pack smoked ham
    22. 200g quorn mince
    23. 2 quorn burgers
    24. 800g raw king prawns
    25. 400g mixed seafood
    26. 200g prawns
    27. 2 white fish fillets
    28. 1 breaded haddock
    29. 1battered haddock
    30. peppers
    31. mushrooms
    32. peas
    33. sweetcorn
    34. parsnips
    35. cherries
    36. raspberries
    37. blueberries
    38. strawberries
    39. 1 pizza dough
    40. 3 tortilla dough
    41. 16 crumpets -must get hubby to eat these
    basement freezer -ickle chest thing
    1. ox liver X2
    2. 260g chargrill steaks X2
    3. 300g marinated beef steak
    4. 4 steaks
    5. 500g chinese ribs X3
    6. 500g BBQ ribs X2
    7. 700g pork fillet
    8. 2 pork chops
    9. 18 tesco finest pork n leek sausage
    10. 36 tesco finest pork n herb sausage
    11. 420g wiltshire dry cure bacon X4
    12. 110g breaded ham X4
    13. 300g smoked ham
    14. 2 gammon steaks
    15. 3 pork fillet pieces
    16. 400g gyros meat
    17. 400g lamb steak
    18. 4 lamb leg steaks
    19. 2 lamb shanks
    20. 2 chicken breast mini roasts
    21. 600g chicken breasts
    22. 200g thai chicken
    23. 250g piri piri chicken X2
    24. 8 chicken breasts
    25. 200g popcorn chicken
    26. 320g marinated turkey
    27. 750g smoked haddock X2
    28. 340g prawns X2
    29. prawn ring
    30. 250g white fish
    31. raspberries
    32. mixed berries X2
    33. blackberries X10
    34. sweetcorn
    35. 1 block cheshire
    36. 1 block lancashire
    now in my defence *where have we heard that before* I have sat this week and gone through all my cookery magazines and I now have a list of 200 recipes with the syns/healthy extras worked out so I can meal plan my bum off -so I WILL be using up as much as I can -honest ... I do love meal planning.. and list making...
    Right -thats far too much waffle from me... have a good day everyone ...
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
  • rosieben
    would declarations not make more sense if people said how many lived in the household??--sorry i am a newbie here.--i am aiming for 175 pounds for 3 hungry humans!
    Originally posted by de1amo
    Some people do give that information but its optional; I don't give mine because comparing my one-person budget with that of someone living in a town with a car and lots of shops to choose from just doesn't make sense; our different circumstances, likes and dislikes, health and other things make a huge difference; in the end this is your own personal challenge, we aren't in competition with each other

    forgot to say re the separating pet food, many of us do a break down of our spends - toiletries, laundry, cleaning, pet food, alcohol etc as its very useful to see where we might make savings; its possible that some people don't include pet food at all in their GC budget because they buy in bulk or for some other reason that we're not aware of. It isn't necessary to tow any particular line here, as I said its a personal challenge so we each do what suits us.
    Last edited by rosieben; 29-10-2010 at 10:10 AM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • waddy80
    • By waddy80 29th Oct 10, 10:09 AM
    • 1,137 Posts
    • 3,554 Thanks
    Well Mrs M you have just inspired me to do a stocktake. I don't think I will have quite as much as you though!

    I have also just remembered that I have a coupon from Mr S valid for next week for £12 off £60. My plan was not to shop next week as I have loads in, but I think I will do an online order and get 'essentials' identified after the stocktake. I may even try and meal plan for the week after, not that I've finished this weeks yet!!
    Money, money, money, must be a rich mans world.

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