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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Nov 10, 11:16 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    • #1
    • 25th Nov 10, 11:16 AM
    25th Nov 10 at 11:16 AM
    Hi everybody!

    Welcome to the final Grocery Challenge of 2010.

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

    I hope everyone has a great month and can I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas.

    Last edited by Pink.; 29-11-2010 at 9:00 AM.
Page 20
    • pepsi-kins
    • By pepsi-kins 12th Dec 10, 10:58 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 1,984 Thanks
    Hi All,
    As you can see by my signature, its not going great, seeing as my month ends on the 31st. However, not going to worry too much, I've got vouchers for Mr. M and Mr. T to use up, and my boss normally gives us all 50 Mr. S voucher in with our Dec wages (not that I'm banking on that, and given economic current situation, I'll be grateful just to have a job).

    I've been to the farm shop today, and bought quite a bit, but a lot of it won't be used until next year, so I've split the bill between Dec/Jan. I've also been using up the Mr. A vouchers, and I now have enough washing powder and liquid to last all of 2011. Did a bit of a stock take in the week, and I have enough mouthwash, shampoo and cleaning stuff to last all of next year, and about 4 months supply of loo rolls. So, quite pleased with that really.

    Although I may go over my target, I think I have learnt a great deal since doing the G.C. Supermarkets are definitely NOT our friends and Whoopsie's are great if its something you are going to use, but having a freezer full of whoopsied bagels and little else, isn't great. I've hardly bought any ready meals, or sauces etc, and now make almost everything from scratch. But most important I think, is I really enjoy doing this challenge.

    Have a good week everyone x
    2018 G/C 2951.61/2250
    Vouchers used 553.23
    Extra money 250
    2019 G/C 1795.89
    Vouchers: 143.90
    • Moniker
    • By Moniker 12th Dec 10, 1:26 PM
    • 626 Posts
    • 9,607 Thanks
    Good afternoon folks,

    Have done a small shop today for some F&V - total of 2.85 spent and sig duly updated. I have just under 45 to spend on my last big shop of the month this Thursday. Hopefully I will do it - though I see that I am about to run out of washing powder and will need to get some more on Thursday and I am not sure that the dw tabs will last till after Christmas either.

    BTW, re the discussion about cheap(er) booze - The Times recommended L1dl's champagne as one of its 'best buys' this week - it's called Comte de Brismand and is 9.99 a bottle - still a lot I know, but might be of interest to some of you. It's not really worth buying it for just the two of us - but if you are having a party...!

    Off to make soup and doing the ironing...

    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 12th Dec 10, 2:19 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    2.45 in Morrisons on some fruit
    6.99 sack of potatoes these will last well into the new year.
    4.17 in B&M - toilet rolls, kitchen roll and washing up liquid
    Total sent on Saturday was 13.52
    Today is a NSD.

    Have got oxtail stew with mushroom dumplings for our tea tonight and it smells lovely. Looking forwards to it.
    Tomorrow am hopefully going to do some present shopping and for tea we will have some meat loaf that was left over and frozen from last time. Not sure though if it will be chips or some potatoes, veg and onion sauce.
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH 62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
  • seasalt
    Just updated my signature. Over budget by about 26 so far but have stashed some booze and Christmas treats/presents that I hadn't budgeted/saved for separately - I will next year! Got a bag of cheap parsnips (my homegrown ones are tiny - didn't put them in early enough plus it was so dry!) so have parboiled and frozen them today. Think I will try doing the roasties ahead the same way - if I can squeeze them into the freezer. Need to think about next week's menus and what we are eating tonight - probably quiche - had to rejig things a lot this week as very little on the shelves due to deliveries not getting through because of the weather - managed perfectly well with what we had in - so how did I manage to spend 80 this week? Am also starting to feel stressed now by Christmas/New year (plus OH's birthday in between the two!) despite being fairly well prepared, well, more than I was last year. Just that there's so many other things to do as well! Not to mention all the kids' parties, concerts, carol services etc which I always forget will eat into my worktime. Hope everyone else is OK.
    Jan 2011 GC 300/150.79 (2 adults, 2 teens, working dog, includes food/cleaning/toiletries)
    • Flat Eric
    • By Flat Eric 12th Dec 10, 4:00 PM
    • 3,985 Posts
    • 24,039 Thanks
    Flat Eric
    well I had Mr T in the end today and its cost a fortune. Apart from buying some sherry though (its cheaper at co$tcutter) I have all my xmas booze and also have the booze I shall be giving as xmas presents. I'm well stocked with cat food and toilet roll and I have well stocked cupboards - plenty of tinned tomatoes etc so intend that January shall be a frugal month where I shall be setting a small budget and using up what I have.

    I was going to make banana cake today after buying 2 packs of organic baby bananas at 25p each but after a day of housework and tidying up, I am too tired and grumpy ! so I have frozen them. I was going to put them in the freezer in my garage but the freezer is well and truly iced up all round where it opens and I didn't fancy standing in the cold and trying to get it open by breaking the ice away so I will leave that for a post xmas project! The freezer is pretty much full - will the food be ok inside with it being so iced up outside ? There is a really thick layer of it - all the way round. this happens when its colder outside the freezer than in doesn't it ??

    I fell victim to the m&$ dine in for 2 yesterday - bought two deals so what with this spend and my home delivery spend today, I have well and truly blown the budget for this month although it will be interesting to see whether I can spend less than last month. I think one of my xmas projects will be to do a monthly planner for January and then perhaps rotate meals so that I am much more organized.
    Last edited by Flat Eric; 12-12-2010 at 7:23 PM.

  • katholicos

    Have got oxtail stew with mushroom dumplings for our tea tonight and it smells lovely. Looking forwards to it.
    Originally posted by Billie-jo
    Billie-jo, do you have a recipe for the mushroom dumplings?



    Today i made a cheese pasta bake:

    pasta sauce

    1. Cook pasta and drain it, put it in an ovenproof bowl.
    2. Heat the pasta sauce and pour over the pasta, coating all the pasta with sauce.
    3. Sprinkle grated cheese on top and whack in the oven for 30 mins at about 180.


    Defrosted some home baked pizza and choc chip cookies and cake. Pleased to say that today is NSD number 10.
    Grocery Challenge for October: 135/200

    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
    • guccigoo
    • By guccigoo 12th Dec 10, 7:50 PM
    • 467 Posts
    • 5,112 Thanks
    sorry not posted for a few days but have been reading the posts

    Ive noticed as well that the prices have gone up and its not just a few pence!

    Mr T shop came to 75.29 on Saturday which is too much and today i popped to M&S and spent a further 23.39
    My main xmas shop shouldnt be too expensive as i have 31.50 in tesco clubcard vouchers and about 25 in nectar points so that will help a lot Wont be buying a lot food wise next week as got to empty the freezers a bit more, anyway hope everyone is ok and hugs to those that need them. Off to update sig
    I will lose 2 stone by this summer!!!!!!
  • Long tall sally
    Went to the Co Op this morning for some veg fo the guineapig & bread & timed it just right for the whoopsies. 3 lots of 500g lean steak mince at 90p each, some salmon for 88p, 2 packets of fish medlay for fish pie 2.10 and a loaf of Hovis wholemeal for 66p. I noticed that they had lots of the Hovis wholemeal so went back at 3.30pm & got 2 more loaves which had been reduced to 31p each by then plis got some chestnut mushrooms at 37p, some cheese & tomato pasta for lunch for 40p, some pate for 88p, 4 scones for 27p & a parsley plant for 27p. Finished off the bargain hunting by a nip to the little Tesco & got 2 Ben & jerry icecreams, 1.50 each & a carrot cake reduced to 65p. Been making apple crumbles, a banana loaf & some rice crispie cakes today so all in all a good day plus we put up the xmas decorations.

    Does anyone know if you can freeze rice crispie cakes - we seem to have quite a few!
    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
    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 12th Dec 10, 8:48 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    [QUOTE=katholicos;39298244]Billie-jo, do you have a recipe for the mushroom dumplings?


    All I do is mix about 2 oz suet with 4ozs self raising flour, a couple of mushrooms (more if small) finely chopped, some chopped parsley and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add about 4 tbsps water to mix, roll into small balls and then drop them in the stew for at least 30 mins.

    Had some of the oxtail stew for tea and there is enough left over for dinner tomorrow so thats sorted.
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH 62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
    • lotti379
    • By lotti379 12th Dec 10, 9:07 PM
    • 787 Posts
    • 6,181 Thanks
    We didn't spend anything on the GC budget today!

    Ok... we went out for supper, but split that between our respective "other money" instead of just bunging it on the joint account card like usual.

    But did have leftovers lunches... I had a puff pastry tart with caramelised onion, leftover chicken bits and a bit of blue cheese lurking at the back of the fridge; Mr Lotti had a quesadilla made with leftover chorizo bits and paprika-ry potatoes from last night, and some lurking cheddar!

    So 90.49/100, which is ok as it only has to last until saturday morning, and we need to *remove* all the perishables before toddling off to see our respective families for a while... ()
  • katholicos
    Billie-jo, do you have a recipe for the mushroom dumplings?


    All I do is mix about 2 oz suet with 4ozs self raising flour, a couple of mushrooms (more if small) finely chopped, some chopped parsley and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add about 4 tbsps water to mix, roll into small balls and then drop them in the stew for at least 30 mins.

    Had some of the oxtail stew for tea and there is enough left over for dinner tomorrow so thats sorted.
    Originally posted by katholicos
    They sound yummy, thanks for the recipe
    Grocery Challenge for October: 135/200

    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
    • de1amo
    • By de1amo 13th Dec 10, 4:57 AM
    • 3,279 Posts
    • 10,921 Thanks
    weve had 2 out of 3 nsd this weekend--so we are weening ourselves off locally bought food and buying in bulk at the supermarket. seems cheaper! even where i am.
    while i was at the supermarket i bought a computer and recd a 50gbp voucher to spend between the 21st to 31st of decemeber. i am also considering buying a big screen tv to receive a further 100 in vouchers--i dont know whether to buy now while the vouchers are there on offer or wait til january and hope the tvs are reduced--i can spend the vouchers on food for my business and get cash in return and spend my money in another shop that is offering 10pc off shopping after the 16th dec.-i had my xmas last month--EİD--in Turkish/muslims
    mfw'11 No68- 55k mortgage İO--little to nothing saved! i must do better.
  • Winged one
    I spent €188 in Dunnes this weekend, but I had vouchers for €37 and I am allowing €20 for the bits I got for my hampers (which is probably too low if anythign).

    I got the coffee for 2 hamper presents. And I also got a lot of storecupboard items for the 2 hampers I am giving to the local goodwill organisation. So I am reckoning on €131 overall spend on groceries. But I may reduce that when I check the receipt later.

    But I have lots of special offers too, like the 2l bottles of fizz were over €2 each, a 2 pack was €3, but a 3 pack (orange, coke and sprite) were €3.50! So I got 2 packs to keep us going a while. I got deals on wine - one type we like is reduced by over €5 so I got 2 as a treat, and another brand we like was 6 for 5 and reduced price also. Won't need wine for a while again.

    As we are drinking lots of lemon drinks, I got 15 lemons! Plenty of fruit and veg. I got steak for last night (which we changed to tonight as we were invited to neighbours on Sat and I had to use the chicken pieces last night instead from freezer - already partially thawed when we got invite). I got a tub of icecream as I have freezer space and we haven't any for a little treat some evenings! I needed things like loo rolls, and the soap we use was on a 3for2 deal when I already had it on the list!! The trolley was full, but I was happy with what I got.

    I want to get into the store on Wed before the weather turns again. DH is away for most of the week (not a problem for me - but he's panicking about us being left in bad weather) and we have used lots from freezer so I want to get some extra fresh meat then (large bag chicken breasts, mince, some chops) and milk - most meat will fill freezer but want to get a little bit more space and use up more of older stuff first.
    GC 2010 6,000/ 5,897

    GC 2011:Overall Target: 6,000/
    5,442 by October

    Back on the wagon again in 2014
    Apr 587.82/550 May 453.31 /550
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 13th Dec 10, 11:41 AM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,926 Thanks
    Just back from Mr A, put my blinkers on and igonored all Christmas offers etc and stuck to my list With OH being away, there's no point stocking up on tons of food, so small spend of 8.70. We will do our "Christmas" shop on Friday I think, although I'm trying v hard not to buy things that will get wasted.
    Picked up my prescriptions - prepaid so no spend, and I was going to put money in my PO account but the queue was at least 3 miles long, so I've put it into my "other" purse instead.
    Going to tackle my ironing now, then feet up and book this afternoon!

    Off to update sig

    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 13th Dec 10, 11:56 AM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    Hi All!

    I'm back off holiday and what a lovely break it was! I actually UNDER-spent on food! The breakfast was amazing - full Scottish every morning, and cold ham, cheese, cereals, juices etc. After breakfast I didn't need anything extra to eat until 7-8pm, so I only had to spend money on dinners! And that's despite walking around all day - I'm very glad I bought some boots, because it was cold (but the snow made Edinburgh look very pretty!). I'm not including holiday spends, but I reckon I spent around 80 in restaurants/snack stalls at the Xmas markets over 5 days. I didn't get to try food at the restaurant you recommended jintyb

    Anyway - got back Saturday night, and did a bit more Xmas shopping yesterday - so 50 to be added to the total. LOTS of cheese, the meat and wine was bought. All I need to do now is get the vegetables for Xmas day and cold salad stuff (coleslaw, potato salad etc) for Boxing day. Plus Zovirax because I have a coldsore on the way...

    Back to work tomorrow, and I haven't bought lunch things yet, so I'll have some extra spends over the week. Friday is my works Christmas party so I'll have food accounted for here as well.
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

    Grocery Challenge 13 -spent 1453.06
    Grocery Challenge 12 -spent 1565.51

    DFD 1st March 2011
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 13th Dec 10, 12:02 PM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,926 Thanks
    Hey Nick,
    Glad you enjoyed your break here in Edinburgh, thankfully you missed the worst of the weather, and although it was cold at least it was dry for getting about. That was good that your hotel wasnt too frugal with the breakfasts, we hear of some awful tales of tourists getting ripped off here sometimes.

    Funnily enought, my OH is in your neck of the woods ATM, although he's working ( shame) He's in the Gherkin, so I see him when I watch The Apprentice LOL!

    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 13th Dec 10, 12:21 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    It was lovely! I stayed in the MacDonald Hollyrood hotel and the breakfast and service was worth every penny (especially since the deal I got was only 10 more than the Travelodge)

    I can't believe how much of the city I covered - The Lanes and Dean Village are lovely! The Castle, Leith and Brittania Yacht were amazing as well. I didn't have one bad experience (apart from paying 4.50 for a pint on the last day in the old town!), and coming out of Waverley station to the view of the castle is a lot nicer than the view when you come out of London Kings Cross for sure

    Back to reality now though - people say that they would get bored if they won the lottery, and didn't work. I certainly wouldn't!
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

    Grocery Challenge 13 -spent 1453.06
    Grocery Challenge 12 -spent 1565.51

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • Diflower
    Hi all, I haven't disappeared but haven't had much time on here. Sorry haven't had chance to read except the last page.
    Also have been spending time on the Grabbit board to spot presents, it's been worth it
    Bought quite a few in b00ts (3 for 2) and m$s (3 for 2 or half price) too, so have done quite well.

    Foodwise doing ok, haven't got turkey yet as not enough room in freezer, will be freeing some space this week. Enjoying now having l!dl nearby, it's definitely saving us quite a bit.
    Have updated sig, it doesn't include presents or things like the tin of Roses, I'm keeping a record so I know how much Christmas will have cost us altogether.

    Otherwise, my poor dad is still in hospital, he's so much better but unable to walk yet so can't go anywhere. I was going up to see him yesterday but s/mother was ill so couldn't go there and really couldn't manage the long drive there and back without a break (or lunch!). Now hoping to go next weekend.
    Have thawed turkey mince to make Nigel's turkey shepherds pie tonight, intrigued to see how it turns out (it has butternut squash topping).

  • wssla00
    Hi all just wanted to say I may not be here in reality but I am in spirit. Hoping once things settle in January I'll be back with you all. Mum and I are going to have just a small dinner as it really doesn't feel like christmas without dad, but we will just watch the TV and eat snacks and that will do us.

    Enjoy christmas everyone!
    Feb GC: 200 Spent: 190.79
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 13th Dec 10, 5:06 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Love and hugs to you wssla00.

    Being there for each other is the best medicine.

    See you in January,
    Mortgage Free October 2013
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