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  • FIRST POST
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Dec 10, 1:15 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    Pink.
    • #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 competition....it's designed to take you and your grocery spending to a level you are happy with.

    If you are new to the challenge I have quoted the advice from Galtizz below which will help you get started.

    Please post into this thread for help and advice and support at any time. Good luck to everyone taking part!

    I have said this before, but for all the newbies to the challenge;

    For the first month I took a guess at the budget but I really had no idea how much I was spending.

    I found the best thing is to have a guess the first month but SAVE ALL OF YOUR RECEIPTS (and yes, that does include the ones from the local shop when you run out of milk ), then at the end of the month add them all up and have a look if you were on budget, if not, it doesn't matter because your budget was a guess. For the next month you can use the total of your receipts and take a bit off to get a realistic budget, just shave off as much as you think you can, it could be 1 a week or 20 a week.

    If you are currently spending 200 a month don't suddenly drop it to 100 - you'll never do it but if you cut 20 a month off for a few months you'll get there eventually without feeling you're missing out on anything.

    You might think you've done everything you can in the first month but someone always comes up with a new idea and, if you try it you often find you save a bit more (unless you are SarahSaver who is an expert at this and could only save more if she turned her back garden into a paddy field and lived on rice ) In the first month I thought, I'm planning meals, I couldn't possibly save any more, but then I started double cooking and freezing, and making soup instead of buying it in tins.

    I've been doing this since Feb but only saved ALL of my receipts last month, it has given me a much better idea of where it is all going. Budget for next month is 80 for 2 of us, I'll start on 30/4. I could probably save more, by eating different foods but I can afford to live on 80, I have saved a lot of money since Feb. and I don't waste food or money any more. So I'm happy with my budget.
    For 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.

    Pink
    Last edited by Pink.; 29-12-2010 at 9:09 AM.
Page 25
  • SuziQ1962
    Hi there,been off and done my first shop of the year and overspent by 13.65 but will claw it back over the next couple of weeks,but have menu planned and went with a shopping list and tried really hard not to buy extras and bought SP range wherever I could,also needed dishwasher tabs and washing powder,shampoo and shower gel-hopefully those will last a couple of weeks! Am going to make this work! :-D
    "Sealed Pot challenge" member No 1099 2011/26.00
    Crazy clothes challenge 2012-Budget 28.90/100
    January 2012 Grocery challenge 378.27/240
    14/16 NSD in January
    2012 Weight loss challenge -5lbs
  • booskyeboo
    Hi

    Just a small spend on mushrooms and cottage cheese 85p
    WW start date 31/8/2011

    weight lost so far:- 32lbs
    • Tibbie's mum
    • By Tibbie's mum 3rd Jan 11, 1:58 PM
    • 981 Posts
    • 2,106 Thanks
    Tibbie's mum
    Just spent 2.28 on milk and bread! Kingsmill 50/50 has gone up 25p this week! Must get the breadmaker going again!
    Originally posted by catznine
    2 loaves for 1.50 in Lidl, I stock up on this offer weekly.
  • Princesslauraliz
    Hi everyone!

    Just checking in to confirm that i have spent 40.17 of my 160 budget for January. As part of my shop I have bought some chicken thighs and veggies and have used my slow cooker (xmas present from the in-laws) to make a chicken stew - there is plenty for me and the other half and enough for another meal this week.

    I'm definitely going to have to get to grips with using the slow cooker as I think it may be a good MSE tool for this challenge!!

    Bit annoyed with myself as i still need to buy some fresh fruit for packed lunches for when i am back at work on wednesday so this will be another spend but won't venture to the supermarket until Tuesday to buy the fruit.

    Good news is that today is a NSD as we are having tea at the in-laws - which means one less meal to pay for out of the grocery budget!!!

    Congrats on the pregnancy toddles and great weightloss Mrs McM!!

    Princesslauraliz
    go to the graze website and enter this code: 4LKM1R3B to get your first graze box free and the second half price!!
    • elly2
    • By elly2 3rd Jan 11, 2:08 PM
    • 553 Posts
    • 5,227 Thanks
    elly2
    1.70 spend on milk today will take it to 2 (am rounding things to the nearest pound so i can put all change into my saving pot is it ok to do this ?).
    Am awaiting the delivery of my new slow cooker 11.99 in the argos sale my cousin is picking it up for me (not included in grocery budget) , my old one broke about 6 months ago but didn't have the cash to replace it am really excited about having a new one .
    so my weeks spend stands at 57 so far and my new week starts wednesday and it's looking like a nsd tomorrow .
    quick question what do people do with the money they save from the GB ?


    • elf06
    • By elf06 3rd Jan 11, 2:15 PM
    • 1,498 Posts
    • 15,140 Thanks
    elf06
    Can anybody tell me how to do the crossing out thing in your signature so I can look like I'm making some progress?

    Ta
    Originally posted by Georgiegirl2012
    Hi Georgiegirl you just need to go to edit signature then highlight the bit you want to score out then click the symbol at the top right (under the font/font size/colour bit) that looks like a S with a line through it.

    HTH
    Emma

    Aug GC - 88.17/130
    NSD - target 18 days, so far 5!!
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 3rd Jan 11, 2:16 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Spiggle
    would you count tesco clubcard vouchers as spending money?
    Originally posted by costaerer
    ... Trying to be money savy said that I would have to go for the silver one due to being cheaper but did preferred the red one. He said he'd sell me the red one for 20, got out my gift voucher card from my birthday. Very happy with my new slow cooker, but would you class this purchase as a spend?
    ... Another question, if I spend T*s** vouchers on groceries, do you class that as a spend?
    Originally posted by Keybilly
    I can't believe the number of pages since I was on last evening! Amazing!

    I'll be back in a minute with another post but just wanted to say to both costaerer and Keybilly that I would definitely not count voucher or gift card or N*ct*r point redemption as spends.

    The vouchers and points have been earned through spending your money in a sm providing them with profit and so you could say the money has already been spent in the profit the sm includes on it's goods.

    If you spend more than the value of the voucher etc. then just add that amount to your balance.

    Gift cards are money spent by someone else for you so there is no way you should count that as a spend you have made.

    And just on a related point, well done on brilliant MSE tactics Keybilly. I wouldn't have included the purchase of a slow cooker in my grocery spend anyway, it comes from a different budget.

    Back in a minute or 20!
    Spigs
    Mortgage Free October 2013
  • FluffyBunnykins
    Today just needed a few bits, milk, bread etc. and grabbed a few store cupboard items. Spent a total of 7.54.
    • Zeddy
    • By Zeddy 3rd Jan 11, 2:21 PM
    • 158 Posts
    • 331 Thanks
    Zeddy
    Pavolvs_dog pointed me in this direction and I'd like to join in please. I'm setting the budget at 350 this month, which I'm hoping to do, there's 2 adults, 1 toddler, still in nappies so this gets included in our grocery shop and 2 cats - on the face of it the 350 seems easy, but I've been trying to stick to this amount for the last three months on my own and can't do it, so I'm hoping that by doing it formally I may just do it.
    • pixiedust09
    • By pixiedust09 3rd Jan 11, 2:32 PM
    • 260 Posts
    • 3,126 Thanks
    pixiedust09
    Hi folks, had to have a trip to Mr T's today, that was a stoopid thing to do on a bank holiday Monday I can tell you . Spent 30.80 but probably forgot something as too busy in there and just wanted to get out. Did buy a large box of coco pops half price, don't normally buy this cereal but fancied it and it was on offer.

    Thanks for the Rice Pudding links, will try making some later, only have semi skimmed milk though so hope this works.
    MFW 142- Oct 1999 55,0000, Jul 2013 27,593.17 Oct 2013 26,531, Dec 2014 22,600, Dec 2015 20,190, Jan 2016 19,944.19 Mar 2017 16,944.76 Decluttered 207/2018
    Smile it confuses people
  • Maisy Mouse
    Yikes!
    I don't think I'm going to be very good at this! Big supermarket shop today with a fair bit of 'stocking up', but still..... over 100, must do better.

    Also our kettle blew up-so had to buy a new one :-(., but I didn't count that as groceries, hope thats OK!! Back to work tomorrow-packed lunches for everyone!
    • Georgiegirl2012
    • By Georgiegirl2012 3rd Jan 11, 2:40 PM
    • 538 Posts
    • 6,246 Thanks
    Georgiegirl2012
    Hi Georgiegirl you just need to go to edit signature then highlight the bit you want to score out then click the symbol at the top right (under the font/font size/colour bit) that looks like a S with a line through it.

    HTH
    Originally posted by elf06


    Thanks


    Not that I'm not thanking you
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 3rd Jan 11, 2:46 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Spiggle
    ... Well done Spigs on getting organised re spreadsheets - I love a spreadsheet (sad, eh) Do you have a template you'd be willing to share? Mine is a bit erratic! BTW I really enjoy your essays! ...
    Originally posted by jintyb
    Hi jintyb,

    As I get excited about them too I would not suggest you were sad! Send me a PM and I'll send you what I use. You will probably be able to improve on mine though.

    Getting a bit down with all the spending. Spent 50 in Waitr*se and that wasssn't even the full shop. Had to go to hospital today so OH is being let loose in T*sco. Good job oven not gas or would be putting my head in it.
    Originally posted by cookie9
    Cookie9 don't get down please. When you first start doing the GC you can be a bit shocked at the level of spending you and your family do. The thing is that for most of us we haven't been looking at what we spend - just handing over the plastic and then panicking about how to pay and where it had gone when statements come in a month or so after. So it's quite normal in the beginning to think specifically because you're now watching the spends. it gets easier as the months go on. Don't despair just come on here and have a moan, ask advice or just read what others are saying. I hope everything was ok for you at the hospital.

    I'm trying for a NSD day today. BUT i need to make a cheese sauce for our lasagne and NO idea where to start. Anyone got a fail proof recipe?
    Originally posted by bramble1
    Bramble1 I don't do the cooking now but did teach my OH to make white sauce, to which you just add cheese, so I'll try and help. Trouble is my Mum taught me without a scales so it's a bit by eye but here goes ...

    Put a couple of ounces of butter/marg into a pan with salt and pepper and melt until hot but not brown

    While still hot gradually add flour and stir in until it forms a thick paste (do beat this well so no lumps are in it)

    Over heat and with pan warm (not hot!) gradually add milk a little at a time stirring constantly (it will thicken as it gets near to boiling)

    It will loosen then thicken a number of times and when it becomes too thick add more milk until you have a nice creamy consistency.

    Once your happy with the thickness of it simmer for a minute or so to make sure it isn't going to thicken up again too much.

    Then when the white sauce is at the just boiling temperature remove pan from heat and gradually add grated cheese at the quantity you want to use or to taste stirring all the time.

    The stirring is the key! I hope that helps.

    Got a visitor so got to run be back later,
    Spigs
    Last edited by Spiggle; 03-01-2011 at 4:07 PM.
    Mortgage Free October 2013
    • Sparklyfairy
    • By Sparklyfairy 3rd Jan 11, 2:54 PM
    • 751 Posts
    • 1,539 Thanks
    Sparklyfairy
    Since I have the lurgy I sent dh off to Aldi with strict instructions to only get what was on my list...AND HE DID! Whoop Whoop! 1st spend of the year - 8.63 - just off to update my signature now..
    • becky170
    • By becky170 3rd Jan 11, 3:03 PM
    • 562 Posts
    • 4,435 Thanks
    becky170
    My first spend of the month is a biggie 63.24 as I've just has a tesco online delivery. Went a bit overboard stocking up on toilet rolls, shampoo etc! Oh well, at least I won't need to buy any stuff for the bathroom for a couple of months now, especially considering how much shower gel and body lotion I got for christmas
    MFW 2019 #7 1377/1615
    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 3rd Jan 11, 3:09 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    Billie-jo
    Another NSD today

    Used a few eggs that were short on shelf life and a couple of tomatoes which were past their best today as DH and myself had an omelette for lunch DS is out until later on and for tea we are having some of the frozen ham from Christmas with mashed potato and some veg. So lunch and tea today will have been made from using left overs up.

    Made some broccoli soup earlier on and DS took it down for his nan so we know that she is having something hot to eat. She would live on sandwiches, cake and carp if we didnt keep an eye on her.
    We had some red wine that was left over so have frozen it into ice cubes and have 2 full margarine tubs in the freezer and there is still a drop or two left - these will be used for adding to spag bol etc. Yum may have to do spag bol soon
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH 62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
    • monicaj
    • By monicaj 3rd Jan 11, 3:10 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 591 Thanks
    monicaj
    Another Newbie to the Grocery Challenge
    Hi

    This time last year we were spending 130 pw on groceries Since May we have been cuttting down and setting ourselves challenging targets. After much practice we are now eating a very healthy balanced diet with fresh meat and veg, 95% of meals cooked from scratch and no waste. We are challenged to spend only 300 per month 69.32 per week for 2011 - I love to cook and experiment with different dishes so the budget must cover everything.

    This budget is for 3 Adults and 1 child - 5 - as I said challenging but very doable with planning and discipline.

    Good Luck everyone and I'm really excited by some of the cheap family meals I've been reading about on other thread

    Just off to add my signature.

    Monica
  • Miss Orangey Goodness
    Hi there, please may I join you - I haven't done so before. I hope to spend throughout January no more than 300 this month (hoping not to go over 3700 this year) Thank you.
    Just done my first shop in Asda and spent 55.
    Last edited by Miss Orangey Goodness; 03-01-2011 at 3:19 PM.
    Single working mummy to 3 year old cheeky monkey DFD: July 2016 - Tesco Loan 14,000 13,490 / Owe dad (500450 / Very account 7060 / Overdraft 270 = Total (Jul11 14,940 Now 14,300 (Paid off 670) Need to lose 14lb (3/14) (currently 11st12 11st9) Deseparately need a holiday for 2012 (0/1000) - Car Fund (0/1500) - Christmas Savings (70)


  • Winged one
    Can I please ask to be put down for €450 for January please, Mrs Macawber?

    We spent €14 in M&S today, first spend of the new year, on nice garlic bread, puppodums, sliced pan and a pack of sushi for DD to try (rather than stopping at the Sushi bar on the way in). I am working from freezer mainly this week: we've had a chicken curry and a macaroni cheese bake, as well as old fashioned pork and apple sausages with mash (DH got the saussies for €3 on NYE). We're having a spag bol tonight (with garlic bread), and a beef stew tomorrow night (with lots of veggies frozen from the plot).

    The end of last year went well too. I had a few bits to get when I was in town on NYE for a celebration dinner (overall cost was €60 - but that was 4 courses for DH and I, 3 courses for DD and a nice bottle of wine). We went to Aldi when we were with the ILs and got some mushrooms and apples on the super 6, and a pack of chillis. But we are using up what's on hand before a reasonable stocking up shop at the weekend - and perhaps only getting a few things we really need this week and doing the big restock in a week or 2 when I have cleared out a LOT of the more exotic ingredients!

    And having plenty of baking and chocolate ingredients on hand has been useful over Christmas too. I made up hampers of homemade goodies for 4 different couples - 3 have them already (2 have been gushing in compliments, as was another non-recipient at the giving-event, a lil bro trying to raid his big sis's box!! (Late 40's lil bro!)), and I will hand the last over this week when they are home again.

    We used up one of the pumpkins I got for 45c just before Halloween to make soup last weekend, when it was really chilly so that was lovely and warming. I have 2 lunch-sized portions frozen for work, and a portion of pureed pumpkin (to add stock and seasoning to) for a family sized batch there too. I was able to use up cream that was turning making scones, and DH suggested doing half the batch with grated cheese rather than the usual raisins (luckily, just BEFORE I added the sugar!) - they were very nice with the soup.

    I need to plan my meals for the next few weeks to make best use of my storecupboards, and to allow for busy times (I have some hectic stuff coming up at work, weather due to be bad again, and DD has a birthday party to be planned later in the month). But I also have to renew my subscription for my plot this week, and I think I will get more than €60 worth of veg from it, so will renew again!

    I am aiming, overall, for staying within the €6k again for the year, but I think it may be more tricky, even if more necessary, this year than last.
    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
    • pipkin71
    • By pipkin71 3rd Jan 11, 3:17 PM
    • 19,360 Posts
    • 87,170 Thanks
    pipkin71
    Getting a bit down with all the spending. Spent 50 in Waitr*se and that wasssn't even the full shop. Had to go to hospital today so OH is being let loose in T*sco. Good job oven not gas or would be putting my head in it.
    Originally posted by cookie9
    Cookie9 don't get down please. When you first start doing the GC you cna be a bit shocked at the level of spending you and your family do. The thing is that for most of us we haven't been loooking at what we spend - just handing over the plastic and then panicking about how to pay and where it had gone when statements come in a monthor so after. So it's quite normal in the beginning to think specifically because you're now watching the spends. it gets easier as the months go on. Don't despair just come on here and have a moan, ask advice or just read what others are saying. I hope everything was ok for you at the hospital.
    Originally posted by Spiggle
    I agree with Spiggle, cookie9.

    It's easy to feel down-hearted at first, because you are now watching what you spend, but, once you see where you can make savings, and where you can stop wasting money, it is a great feeling knowing there is more in your purse than in the tills


    Pipkin71 here is the recipe for banana muffins that I use.

    [........]

    Hope you enjoy them. You can also add chocolate or walnuts during the final mixing strokes if you want a little variety.
    You can freeze bananas and thaw for muffins. May look unappatizing but they are perfect for baking.
    Originally posted by highland fling
    Thanks for that, highland fling.

    I'm going to be making them this evening, once the dishes are cleared from our main meal.

    I have C&P'ed and printed out your recipe to go in my scrap book, so it will be easy to find

    ........................................

    We went for a walk today and poped to the local shop for milk, cheese and bottled water. Total spend: 6.67, so will update signature.

    I made the caramalised onions today, which were simply The onions were nearing the end of their eating life so it was good to use them up rather than throw them out.

    I made rolls using the BM and will do that more often, hopefully. I've spoken to DDs about the GC and have them on board, which is helpful, because when I can't do anything, they are going to do what they can.

    Having a chronic illness means it is easy, sometimes, to just order a take-away, when I can't cook, but it costs so much more.

    The plan is to batch cook regularly, and show my DDs how to make a few more simple meals, which will hopefully mean staying under budget.
    There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you - Beatrix Potter
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