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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Dec 10, 1:15 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    • #1
    • 25th Dec 10, 1:15 AM
    25th Dec 10 at 1:15 AM
    Hi Everyone,

    Welcome to the first Grocery Challenge of 2011, a new decade and a new beginning!

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your December budget, then keep on posting in the December 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 quidelines 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 may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year! Hope it's a good one for all of us.

    Last edited by Pink.; 29-12-2010 at 9:09 AM.
Page 14
    • guccigoo
    • By guccigoo 1st Jan 11, 11:47 AM
    • 467 Posts
    • 5,112 Thanks
    just popping in to wish everyone Happy New Year, lets hope we all have a moneysaving 2011

    Nsd for me today and yesterday One of my new year resolutions is to cook one new meal a month with the help of Jamie Oliver and to meal plan more so im going to be sitting down tonight and working it out.
    I will lose 2 stone by this summer!!!!!!
  • supersally01
    Afternoon all,
    can I ask how are you guys putting your figures / text below your replies? I too would like to post the progress of my challenge, can anyone help?

    Thanks for you help, think I've cracked it now!
    Last edited by supersally01; 01-01-2011 at 2:36 PM.
    • guccigoo
    • By guccigoo 1st Jan 11, 12:36 PM
    • 467 Posts
    • 5,112 Thanks
    Afternoon all,
    can I ask how are you guys putting your figures / text below your replies? I too would like to post the progress of my challenge, can anyone help?
    Originally posted by supersally01
    hi supersally go into user cp at the top of the page and then into edit signature
    I will lose 2 stone by this summer!!!!!!
  • wssla00
    Supersally- go into user CP which is a button along the top and then on the left there is a button called edit signature
    Feb GC: 200 Spent: 190.79
  • fizzypops
    hello can i join please

    its me, ds1 (7),ds2 (4) and an 9 month old pup

    i would like to start off at 200 for jan please i want this to cover food, cleaning items, pet food etc. i will ideally get it down each month but want to start off with a realistic number as i have not got a clue how much i spend each month as i usually do top up shops in the week.

    do we put down on here when we have spent money or just update sig?

    thanks everyone
    Total debt- 2982.00 Now- 2890.00
    • Mrs Veg Plot
    • By Mrs Veg Plot 1st Jan 11, 1:01 PM
    • 894 Posts
    • 11,501 Thanks
    Mrs Veg Plot
    Hi all new to grocery challenge. Have a budget of 440 for all food and household spends for Jan. Hoping to come in under this as freezer is reasonably well stocked.
    I am playing all of the right notes just not necessarily in the right order .
    • Keybilly
    • By Keybilly 1st Jan 11, 1:37 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 249 Thanks
    Good luck with the challenge everyone.
    I'm very new to all of this so please put me down for 50 for January 11. I have lots of food in the cupboards but the fridge is bare, however, I do hope for quite a few NSD.
    Mortgage 111,000 107,000- under 100,000 by December 2011
    Grocery challenge January 2011 - 50.91 / 50(+5%)
    NSD - 5
    Weight loss challenge - January 2011 - 3 / 4lbs Total to loose - 10lbs Gym - 6/Jan11
  • jackieglasgow
    First spend of the year yesterday, 68.02 at Mr T, mostly for booze and soft drinks, but they should last a wee while, and I have a food store in. Good luck everyone for 2011!

    Oops also 75 fuel in the two cars!
    It's what is inside your head that matters in life - not what's outside your window
    Originally posted by mardatha
    Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory. - Ghandi
  • helen jelly
    Just done an on-line order for 60ish so when that comes on Monday I'll update siggy

    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
    • Tibbie's mum
    • By Tibbie's mum 1st Jan 11, 2:01 PM
    • 981 Posts
    • 2,106 Thanks
    Tibbie's mum
    Can I join in, please? I know I'm a bit late, but I need to turn over a new leaf.

    I'm doing the storecupboard challenge atm, so can you put me down for 150, that's from 27th Dec to 30th Jan. I've spent 22.44 so far, must organise myself and get reading Weezl's website.
    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 1st Jan 11, 2:05 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks

    First day of the year and it will be a NSD Hope there are many more to come.

    Hardly eaten anything except soup since Christmas day due to flu but today felt hungry so just made two small hash browns from scratch and they were lovely. Thanks to who ever it was who mentioned them.
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH 62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
  • Candy Belle
    Hi, hope everyone having a relaxing day!

    Well didn't manage to get to the outdoor market yesterday to get my fruit/veg, managed to get into town had a bust up with DH came home emptyhanded! It least I didn't spend anything!

    But had to nip out today when I realised that Sainsbugs was open! Brought the following

    2 Pks MullierLight Yogs
    Bag of Gala Apples
    1.915 Kg of Fairtrade Bananas
    Bag of 8 Kiwi's

    Total 11.23

    Off to update siggy!
    Grocery Challange for DH, Me & 2 Fussy Cats (inc Grocerys, Cleaning Products & Cat Food)
    G/C -May 177.04/235.00 Apr 237.79/235.00 Mar 226.16 /235.00
    G/C - Jan 248.52/235.00 - Feb214.72/235.00
    NSD -May 3/31 Apr 10/30 Mar 3/31 Feb 6/28 NSD Jan 3/31
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 1st Jan 11, 2:08 PM
    • 3,412 Posts
    • 34,917 Thanks
    oooh that sounds lovely any chance of the recipe?
    Originally posted by pavlovs_dog
    Here is the recipe as requested:

    Cheese and Parsnip Loaf

    1 tblsp oil
    1 large sliced onion
    175g SR flour
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp thyme leaves
    50g parmesan or mature cheddar, finely grated
    175g parsnip, grated
    1 medium egg, beaten
    2-3 tbsp milk
    Freshly ground black pepper

    Pre heat oven to 180/Gas 4.

    Fry the onion until lightly coloured, about 10 mins. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

    Mix together flour, salt, thyme, cheese, parsnip and add some pepper then the onion and the egg. Make a soft dough by adding the milk. You might need a bit extra milk. Shape into a round and put on an oiled baking sheet.

    Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when you knock the bottom.

    Eat warm with lots of butter.

    We made it out last night for our meal with friends after all, I was going to add this to the total but in hindsight it is a night out not a meal out cos we couldn't be bothered to cook so I am going to leave it out.

    I do have to add 8 for some beer I bought for DH yesterday when I thought we were staying in. NSD as I am staying in. Off to make some bread to have with soup for tea.

    Happy New Year everyone x
    Last edited by XSpender; 01-01-2011 at 2:09 PM. Reason: To add in recipe title
    October Grocery Challenge - 277.74/220
  • Candy Belle

    Oh forgot to mention that in sainsbugs they have got the 6 pack of Mullier Light yogs for half price @ 1.64 and a lot of fruit and veg at half price too x
    Grocery Challange for DH, Me & 2 Fussy Cats (inc Grocerys, Cleaning Products & Cat Food)
    G/C -May 177.04/235.00 Apr 237.79/235.00 Mar 226.16 /235.00
    G/C - Jan 248.52/235.00 - Feb214.72/235.00
    NSD -May 3/31 Apr 10/30 Mar 3/31 Feb 6/28 NSD Jan 3/31
    • ifonlyitwaseasier
    • By ifonlyitwaseasier 1st Jan 11, 2:13 PM
    • 2,787 Posts
    • 20,347 Thanks
    well have added to my siggy, we popped out yesterday for a couple of bits as well as some proper bagels

    have a meal plan all organised and heres hoping we stick to it!!
    Nonny mouse and Proud!!
    Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience
    Amor et metus. Lac? Sugar? Quisque massa vel duo? (stolen from a lovely forumite!)

    • Cat72
    • By Cat72 1st Jan 11, 2:22 PM
    • 2,388 Posts
    • 2,370 Thanks

    Hope its a great moneysaving year for us all. Really being struggling the last 2 months with this challenge as so many things have been happening personally, its hard to focus on saving money/budgetting.
    Hopefull can get back on with it no so put medown for 150 for food for us, that way not too tight a budget .Hopefuly workable, gives me something to build on and get up and running again .
    Good luck everyone x
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 1st Jan 11, 2:26 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    In my monthly budget what do i include?
    just food or cleaning products toilet rolls etc
    Originally posted by david69
    Hi Can I join in too please? I really need to get the grocery bill down. In the past we probably spent between 220 - 250 a month and theres only two of us. I haven't included the pet food in that either ...
    Originally posted by pixiedust09
    Hello and welcome david69 and pixiedust09 and all other newbies,

    Everyone puts into their budget what suits them best which doesn't really answer your question I'm afraid. Most people though include all food they buy for their household. Some will also include takeaways or meals out if they have them. The majority will include all ceaning stuff whether for the people or house so toothpaste, shampoo, etc. (toiletries) and washing powder/liquid, polish, washing up liquid/tablets, etc.

    Some include the petrol/diesel for the car. Personally I don't but in my personal overall budget planner I have a separate budget for this. (There is a fantastic annual budget planner spreadsheet that runs on excel on the main web site that you can download and allocate individual spends - it's very good and you can find it here on this page. It's not the Budget Brain one by the way but that is good too, I think.)

    As for pet food, my two 9 year old kittens () have a special dry diet food most of the time which is quite expensive. They also have a pouch of Wh*sk*s a couple of times a week. Initially, I only included the cost of the pouches because I buy them in the sm. I excluded the dry food. As time went on and we got spending more under control, we included the special diet food into the GC budget. So rather than reducing my GC budget accordingly I included the 31.99 it costs per month/six weeks.

    We don't include alcohol in the budget as we only buy it for the house on occasions that we are likely to provide it for visitors e.g. birthday party. Personal consumption is paid for by each of us out of our 15 per week pocket money (pm). OH uses virtually all his pm on beer whereas I occasionally get myself a bottle of martini or wine but otherwise ferret the money away.

    Similarly, for smokers (bad people of whom I am one ) it's up to them whether cigs/tobacco are included. I have a separate budget line in my planner for tobacco but include papers and filters in the GC.

    For Christmas and birthdays I have separate savings accounts and budgets (take a peek at the piggybanking guide on the main site). Christmas goodies, of which we don't buy too many, I list separately from the GC but Christmas/party food is included in the GC budget for the relevant months.

    Then for things like garden, DIY, etc. it's up to the individual what they include.

    I hope that helps a little.

    ... but we are going to live out of the freezers and store cupboard, as I made a January box gradually over the previous three months picking up offers here and there, so this will now be out into the cupboards to restock them ...
    Originally posted by suzybloo
    Suzybloo what a brilliant idea the January box is! I must admit that as I have around 110 of vouchers points in MrT and MrS I had earmarked those for January this year. But as I'm now going to try to avoid the big four sm after spending the vouchers/points and buy only from local independent shops and the Coop, this idea will be good for next year. I'm going to put into my spreadsheet to start this in October.

    Ok, OH just popped over to the local shop to get some spaghetti so I'll add 89p to the spreadsheet and sig in a few minutes. The 6 already showing by the way is the washing liquid I bought on offer back in October (I think) that is still waiting to be opened and used! So not a NSD today but hey what the heck it's a new year!

    I think I remember getting an email from MrS a few weeks back saying I could shop online with my N*ct*r points so I'm going to look at drawing up a home delivery order as I can't cope with the thought of going to the store. Essentially I'm going to be using these to get all the big bulk things like loo rolls, kitchen rolls and store cupboard items.

    Right, first essay of the year written (sorry ) so I'm off to browse the boards a bit, check out my budget planner and make a list for the online shop.

    Hope your new year hangovers are not too bad and you're looking forward with enthusiasm to a new year moneysaving.

    Take care,
    Mortgage Free October 2013
    • ironed out
    • By ironed out 1st Jan 11, 2:43 PM
    • 151 Posts
    • 145 Thanks
    ironed out
    Happy New Year everyone

    I'd like to join in for the first time please and set myself a budget of 360 for January for my family of 5 (4 adults & 1 child) This will include all food, toiletries & cleaning materials.
    I normally spend about 100 pw but I do have a full cupboard and freezers.
    Looking forward to being able to reduce this
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 1st Jan 11, 2:47 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    First spend of the month came to 16.20 at Mr S. I did get quite a few meals from that though including stewing beef, which will be added to the leftover carrots, parsnips, onions, cranberry sauce and red wine from Christmas, as a stew tonight. I feel very lazy today - I just hope that there is something half decent on TV!

    Happy belated New Year everyone!
    Last edited by NickJW; 01-01-2011 at 2:51 PM.
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

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

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • wssla00
    Thanks Mrs MC will give that a go. Just used some of that hand ground flour for my bread making and it is amazing! Really nice to work with and beautiful in consistency. So now I have a wholemeal loaf and a cholla bread proving, getting ready to be baked in the oven

    Lovely stuff!
    Feb GC: 200 Spent: 190.79
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