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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 15
  • curlybap
    Thanks LannyLee and Wssla00.
    I got the mashmallow crunchy bar and honey crunch bar recipes of the channel four river cottage website - I'll give them a go. I also got a few recipes from the good food website. Let hope they are tasty as this would cut out about 5 per week on my shopping budget
    Grocery Challenge Nov 288.12/250
    Weekly Spend Challenge: 7Nov 23.30/30 14Nov EEK!/70 21Nov 0/30

    • missmoneysave
    • By missmoneysave 2nd Nov 10, 3:27 PM
    • 175 Posts
    • 2,180 Thanks
    Hi everyone I'm new to the grocery challenge, I kept my receipts from last month and my spend was 120 for two adults. I'm hoping to reduce this so could you put me down for 100 this month please. We have a new puppy joining us on Friday so it might be a bit tight on the budget but I've done some shopping around and hopefully will be ok.
    • mummygems
    • By mummygems 2nd Nov 10, 3:48 PM
    • 345 Posts
    • 4,032 Thanks

    We're having a few people over on bonfire night and I need to do food but is really tight- I was thinking cheap buns, burgers, HM chips and a veggie pasta salad with maybe mayo and sweetcorn. Do people think that sounds ok??
    Originally posted by ~moneysavingnovice~
    You could always do hotdogs (whether you use hotdog sausages or normal sausages depending on cost) and HM chips, wedges or jacket pots. Thats what I would like for bonfire night lol.
    2 adults and 3 children DD (13), DD (11) & DS (8) and 2 mental beagles
    • LannyLee
    • By LannyLee 2nd Nov 10, 4:01 PM
    • 184 Posts
    • 2,958 Thanks
    You could always do hotdogs (whether you use hotdog sausages or normal sausages depending on cost) and HM chips, wedges or jacket pots. Thats what I would like for bonfire night lol.
    Originally posted by mummygems
    One of the best things is a big chilli, as you can do half mince & have soya & no one will notice, plus it's really easy to bulk out with veg.

    My recipe - serves 20 easily!

    2 lrg onions
    4 med carrots
    Mushrooms - however many you have or like
    Kidney beans - 2 tins
    Tomatoes - 2 tins (either chopped or plum, they will break up during cooking)
    Bag of frozen peppers
    500g Mince (I have used, beef, turkey & pork)
    Same amount of soya - either dried or frozen
    Mugful red lentils
    Chilli power to taste
    4 cloves garlic - chopped or minced

    Grate onion & carrot & fry with garlic, put a lid on & sweat for 5 mins. Add mince & fry, add mushrooms & chilli powder.
    Fry until mince is no longer pink.
    Add all other ingredients & rinsh out the 2 tomato tins with water.
    Cover & simmer for around an hour or as long as you have in a SC on low.

    If you wanted I suppose you could make it with all soya as the flavours are so strong no one can tell it isn't beef.

    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 2nd Nov 10, 4:14 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    when the children were little we used to do a big saucepan of soup, some hot dogs & onions, jkt potatoes and a large pan of chilli with rice. The adults got some hot toddys while the little ones had hot chocolate with marshmallows in them.

    We all went to OH's grandparents who had a large garden. Everyone did something from the above and we all took some fireworks so it was never too expensive and yet with there being lots of people (aunts uncles neighbours etc) there was always loads of fireworks.
    Last edited by Billie-jo; 02-11-2010 at 4:25 PM.
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH 62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 2nd Nov 10, 4:23 PM
    • 748 Posts
    • 3,713 Thanks
    A few NSD here but already milk running low. Have taken pint out of freezer and OH is away tomorrolw so may last until Saturday but doubt it as OH loves very milky tea and has lots of milk with cereal. At least menu planner working well and eating well out of the freezer this week. Must think carefully about next week and weekend shopping. Will look at the different special offers at supermarkets and nase some shopping around that. At least have restaurant vouchers to use if things get tough.
    MFW 91 op 2014 410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 812/4500
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 2nd Nov 10, 4:24 PM
    • 4,842 Posts
    • 58,667 Thanks
    Sunny i'm so sorry to hear about DH's job , is there anything on the horizon for him? ,I hope he finds something soon. I dread that happening to my DH there is no way we could manage on my wage

    lanny the big chilli sounds delish
    managed a NSD today
    should be a NSD tomorrow too as i am at work all day
    • recovering spendaholic
    • By recovering spendaholic 2nd Nov 10, 4:33 PM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 15,426 Thanks
    recovering spendaholic
    Sunny - Sorry to hear about OH's job.

    I was wondering how long you keep leftovers for? I cooked a small turkey last night and we had a roast dinner. I kept veg (carrot and swede, cauliflower, peas), and gravy and was going to have them again today but DD1 has gone out for tea with her friends and DD2 has had something at another friends and I feel a bit sick and so am not having anything. Will they be alright to use tomorrow? I have also got all of the leftover turkey and there is ALOT! I was going to batch cook some curry and a turkey pie today but because I don't feel too great I don't feel like cooking. Will it be okay to do the curry and pie etc tomorrow and then freeze it?

    Spent 5 today on launderette to get a load of drying done. I don't have the heating on yet and it has rained non-stop for the last 2 days. Other than that NSD.

    ENDIS. Employed, no disposable income or savings!
  • scotsaver
    Hi - I am amazed at how small budgets seem here. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 children. I have 2 labs also. Excluding their food, our grocery bill weekly, which includes any household sundries also, ie toilet roll, washing up liquid, etc, is on average, 100. I do buy only fresh food -meat, herbs, veg, fruit and muesli. No processed foods, no take aways or ready made meals. Usually shop at Tesco. Don't have a local cheap supermarket sadly where we are.
    Are there any lists/info here on where to start? ie any menu suggestions.
    Originally posted by fellwalker09
    We are 2 Adults and 2 kids but no pets, I try to always buy things when they are on offer, look for whoopsies and I cook everything from scratch, try to never waste any food, last night's dinner was a chicken pie made from leftover chicken from sunday's roast, the chicken was Free range whoopsied from Lid!. Tonight's dinner is HM meatballs using Lean Steak Mince when it was half price in Lid! a couple of weeks ago, serving it with HM tomato pasta sauce from the Freezer when we had a tomato glut in the Summer. I've also now got an Allotment this year and this has really helped. HTH

    We're having a few people over on bonfire night and I need to do food but is really tight- I was thinking cheap buns, burgers, HM chips and a veggie pasta salad with maybe mayo and sweetcorn. Do people think that sounds ok??
    Originally posted by ~moneysavingnovice~
    We usually do a load of Jacket spuds and serve up a choice of fillings:- chilli, grated cheese, tuna mayo, baked beans and it's always worked for us.

    Sunnyday - so sorry to hear about your OH.

    Will update my spends later - have been to Lid! a couple of times since the weekend, was popping in for Fruit and got tempted by offers on cheese and some whoopsied chickens etc. So much for trying to use up what's in the Freezers, I seem to be re-filling as quickly as I'm using up but as it's now November this has to stop as I need to make some space and get them defrosted before Xmas.

    Sorry for long post - have a good evening everyone.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

  • rosieben
    I've just sorted the recipe index:

    Part 1 is Main Meals and Side Dishes

    Part 2 is Cakes, Biscuits, Sweets, Snacks & Desserts

    Part 3 is Soups - Pastry - Bread - Dips, Jams, Chutneys and Drinks - Top Tips - .........
    ............External Links and odds like dog biscuits and play dough

    any problems with it please let me know
    Last edited by rosieben; 02-11-2010 at 4:59 PM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • Hmm
    Hi. I've never joined in this before, but me and DH need to get our food budget down so can you put me down for 170 please..........we usually budget for 200 and go over by about 50!
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 2nd Nov 10, 5:16 PM
    • 504 Posts
    • 6,309 Thanks
    Hi - I am amazed at how small budgets seem here. We are a family of 2 adults and 2 children. I have 2 labs also. Excluding their food, our grocery bill weekly, which includes any household sundries also, ie toilet roll, washing up liquid, etc, is on average, 100. I do buy only fresh food -meat, herbs, veg, fruit and muesli. No processed foods, no take aways or ready made meals. Usually shop at Tesco. Don't have a local cheap supermarket sadly where we are.
    Are there any lists/info here on where to start? ie any menu suggestions.
    Originally posted by fellwalker09
    Hi fellwalker (me too!), I am in the same boat only worse (see sig). Will try and link to some of the posts people helped me with. Don't do as i do tho, do as they say! They do really help. Good luck!

    Here's an old post from loulou:
    there are a few things we do whch may help you. ( I shop for 2 adults, 2 kids(who eat adult sized meals), a king shepherd (basically a huge german shepherd) rabbit, parrot, budgie, tropical and goldfish and add all toileteries in the budget).

    - We try to shop monthly mainly, making a list of everything we have in before ordering.

    - flexable meal planning i.e. I make a list of say 10 meals that we like and buy the ingredience to make enough for 3 meals of each for all of us within the monthly shop.

    - Never throw anything edible away ( a recent thing we started and it's saved us loads)

    - Dont cook 1 meal cook 3 and freeze the rest not only does this save time on future rushed days in saves on gas/electric as you only have the oven on once. (cook 10 recipies, have 20 days off!)

    - Buy bigger pans and oven trays (comes in handy for the above)

    - don't buy to much fruit or veg that is out of season

    - Make at least two whoopsy hunts a month ( I find Monay and Tuesday evenings the best, it varies but usually better around 6-7pm near us) set yourself a budget and only take that amount of cash with you and no cards.

    - Use FF for bread (2 for 1) and milk (2 2ltr for 1.50)

    - Forage, me and the kids love blackberry and damson picking which funnily enough grow in the middle of a new housing estate near us.

    - Shop by per kg not by pack price (funnily enough tesco's grated cheese works out loads less per kg that tesco's block cheese)

    - Bulk out everything, use loads of veg, pulses, lentils and beans if you like them.

    - Buy potatoes by the sac (make lots of potato bakes and shepherds/ fish pies, freeze mash etc)

    - Use value herbs i think they are 19p? instead of italian seasoning Mr T's is mainly oregano and basil anyway.

    - do you have a slow cooker? these are a godsend!

    - Make very good friends with anyone you know who owns an allotment.

    The first couple of days after the big shop you feel a bit like a headless chicken but once you have your freezer stocked up with meals it's great to say "oh we'll have a freezer night go and pick a meal out of the freezer kids and nuke it!" you know the 'ready meals' have all the veg and meat they need they just cost a hell of a lot less!
    Last edited by carolinerunner; 02-11-2010 at 5:31 PM.
    Erratically money saving
    • Chloris
    • By Chloris 2nd Nov 10, 5:16 PM
    • 659 Posts
    • 9,479 Thanks
    Spends in C**p of 5.75, bread, marg and grapes. I've not managed a NSD yet.

    Bonfire Night menu
    , my mother always did tomato soup and crusty rolls, followed by jacket pots with cheese and beans and for pudding we had apple bonfire cake. Possibly my favourite meal from my childhood!

    DH bought us a slow cooker yesterday!!! Thank you to everyone who gave advice. We went for the large cooker reduced in Arg*s. Now I have to work out what I'm going to cook in it!!! Fancy beef and ale or red wine but trying to keep it cheap as my budget is looking shakey.
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 2nd Nov 10, 5:52 PM
    • 504 Posts
    • 6,309 Thanks
    Hi again fellwalker, here is the other really useful post I mentioned, this is from Spiggle, thanks again Spiggle! (there may be lots of others but these really helped me, hth u 2)

    OK, firstly one of the newbies (sorry I haven't got your name - carolinerunner possibly?) asked what we all do but I couldn't answer before as my head was in a shed! When we started in March we had spent in excess of 600 in the previous month. This had to stop, (there's only me and him and our two beautiful black cats)something which thankfully my OH completely agreed with so I have been lucky that he has been on board from the start. He gave me his debit card voluntarily and I still keep hold of it until he needs to get something for the home. At the same time we set up a system of pocket money (pm) at 15 each per week which doesn't count towards the GC and which we can each spend as we wish with no comebacks or complaints (there's a song lyric in there somewhere!). OH (until recently) predominantly uses his pm on his beer and I ferret mine away mostly.

    The next step was to set up my own spreadsheet which is absolutely simple onto which I put all spends so that I have a continuous running total for the month and for the year. We initially set our budget at 280 per month and brought it down to 240 where it now resides.

    The important 'tools' we found greatly helped and continue to do so now are:

    Stocktake cupboards, fridge, freezer - make lists and ensure that the older products get used up first. you'll be amazed at what you find squirrelled away and it will help with your shopping list as you'll realise that you don't actuually need so much.

    ETA: Before you go shopping check staples - running out of milk, bread, butter, etc often leads to going into a shop for one thing and coming out 20 lighter. Always check these and if they'll ruin out tomorrow buy them the same time as getting other things.

    Always make a shopping list and stick to it - the sm try every which way to get us to spend so having a list and strong resolve is the only way to beat them.

    Keep every receipt - and then note it down on your spreadsheet/spend diary so that you always know where you are.

    When tempted ask yourself do you NEED it or just WANT it - now this advice goes with two things. Firstly, the things you see in store when shopping that APPEAR to be bargains - if you hadn't planned spending the money then its not a bargain. Secondly, the sm send us loads of vouchers for X off a spend of XX - if you had no NEED to spend XX then have you SAVED anything???

    Use my supermarket to compare prices (limited to four of the biggies) - We didn't start using this until recently and I think it was because I predominantly shopped at MrT but became increasingly peeved by the prices they now charge. The site may be used to actually do an online shop at whichever of the four offers the best value or, if you have the time and sm availability, to make up lists for visiting each of the stores so that you can purchase all you need at different stores thus getting the best possible value. (I'd add, do a 'shop' virtually on this site and take the list you create on it with you, whichever one you shop at, it will help keep target prices in your head and allow you to spot bargains - eg today a huge jar of Hellmans was cheaper at M*rrisons than a less huge one at JS)

    Always have a list - this is just as important when shopping online as shopping on foot.

    Use Approved Foods online (with a list!) - if you don't mind out of date things (ood) or you can search for only in date items. The only drawback is storing the goods as far as I can tell. Oh, and watch the delivery as it's done on a scaled charge for weight so keep an eye on it. You can of course do an AF order with friends, family, colleagues or like minded neighbours.

    Invest in a breadmaker - we have saved so much by making our own bread. The prices in the shops are extortionate for bread these days. There's loads of advice on this thread and others in the forum on this.

    Use the recipe lists - always posted at the front of a new thread. There are fantastic, tasty, healthy and economical recipes to use there and there are a number of other threads on the forum such as Weezl's that will help you to eat well on a budget.

    Shop locally - the local greengrocer (or preferably market but I don't have one ) is usually cheaper as an option for f&v than the sm. Often the prices may look the same but when you look at the quantity for the same price the greengrocer will be cheaper. The same goes for the local butcher. Often you will have far more variety of meat available, advice on how to cook a particular meat can be offered and there is (for me at least) no comparison in terms of quality. We buy our huge FR eggs at 1.25 per half dozen there and I'm yet to find an equivalent FR egg in a sm at that price. Obvioulsy if you have your own chicks/know someone who has chicks you can get them even cheaper again.

    Grow your own - it's quite simple to grow some f&v at home even if it's only in pots on the patio. There are also supportive threads on the forum for this.

    Cook your own - making meals at home from ingredients is far more economical, often tastes better than shop bought and is probably far better healthwise.

    Meal Plan - this is something that others can advise on as we don't do it. I have a tremendous capacity for eating the same food over many days but presented in slightly different form. For example, we could buy 7 worth of brisket from the butchers and eat it as pot roast for a couple of days, sliced for sarnies, sliced with a salad, chucked into a casserole or shredded up and fried as crispy beef.

    Don't waste food - either only make what you need or use any leftovers for other meals/creations.

    Withdraw the cash you want to spend - and keep it in a separate purse. This can be particularly effective as you have the money in front of you reducing rather than spending with plastic which is so easy to lose track of. Very useful when you first start out.

    ETA: Don't go to the shops to browse - this can only lead to pain and hardship!!!

    Keep posting and reading the thread - there really is no better supportive, wise and inspirational place to be! I think I saw that somebody mentioned forgetting to read/post. I get around this by using the Advanced button to post, below the window where your text is displayed you will see Additional Options. In the Thread Subscription box use the dropdown to select either instant email notification (this is what I use) or daily email notification before you submit your latest post. Then you will get an email into your inbox from which you can click to the thread to see what others are saying.

    Always remember the sm is not your friend - it wants to profit from you and take as much of your money as it can coerce out of you!
    Last edited by carolinerunner; 02-11-2010 at 5:54 PM.
    Erratically money saving
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 2nd Nov 10, 5:59 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    6.02 spent today.

    4.28 in Lidl on a big box of 40 packets of crisps, a tin of hotdogs and a bag of red onions. The onions are all chopped and i'm going to caramelise then freeze them for future meals. They're yummy on the base of a pizza. I'm picking at food at the moment, but really fancied a hotdog so got a tin, but couldn't find any finger rolls, so have given up on that idea for tonight.

    1.74 in Tesco on a lettuce, a bag of reduced halloween sweets and a packet of 12 bread rolls which were also reduced.
    Grocery challenge - Nov: 52/100
    • Sunflower1227
    • By Sunflower1227 2nd Nov 10, 6:20 PM
    • 1,680 Posts
    • 22,390 Thanks
    Freakyorge - how do you do the caramelised onions please?

    I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.

    Weight loss 3 stone
    • niksyg
    • By niksyg 2nd Nov 10, 6:22 PM
    • 675 Posts
    • 3,566 Thanks
    I find that alot of our budget goes on packed lunch foods - my DH has a manual job and eats a mountain of food everyday. What really gets me is how expensive cereal bars are. Unfortunately he loves them so I'm stuck having to buy them. Does anybody have any homemade alternatives to cereal bars?
    Originally posted by curlybap
    Curlybap I have the same issue in our house. I have found that Ald! fruit&fibre bars are really good and not too expensive around 99p for 6, Mr Ms and Mr Ts both do cheapy basic versions that are also nice - I think those are around 89p for 6.

    NSD for me today, and tea was cheapy spaghetti on toast. OH and I now have a Grocery tin for our joint cash to go in, and we are only letting ourselves use that for the shopping, it makes SUCH a difference having the actual cash rather than a card doesn't it?!
    Clearing debt to save for a simple wedding.
    Starting 2016 With debt of 7700
    • Sunflower1227
    • By Sunflower1227 2nd Nov 10, 6:24 PM
    • 1,680 Posts
    • 22,390 Thanks
    2nd NSD in a row OH will not believe
    Could have been because of the torrential rain all day.

    Fish pie for tea tomorrow.
    I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.

    Weight loss 3 stone
  • adelight
    OH wanted to bake a cake so I gave him one of my eggs and went to budgens with him to get sugar and of course ended up at the reduced shelf...
    got mushrooms, bag of salad, 4 soy yogs and 4 cod fish cakes for 1.46 total
    Tomorrow I'm making 2 portions of veg spag bol and 4 portions of beef mince spag bol for the freezer, fish cakes have already gone straight in the freezer.
    They're really nice when they do the reductions at my local budgens; a member of staff was half way through reducing everything again when a guy picked up a pack of pork chops and he offered to put the next reduction on them for him You'd think they'd get less stock as so much ends up being reduced, but everything on the reduced shelf sells.
    Living cheap in central London
    • guccigoo
    • By guccigoo 2nd Nov 10, 7:41 PM
    • 467 Posts
    • 5,112 Thanks
    just popping in to update, 12.41 spent in mr t today although i did get a couple of whoopsies Am now going to do my online shop for the week, shouldnt need much (i hope)

    Friday were doing fireworks for the kids and my mum and dad are coming over so im going to do a big pot of chilli (SC) with rice or jackets

    Sunnyday hope your situation improves soon ((hugs))
    I will lose 2 stone by this summer!!!!!!
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