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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 31
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 4th Jan 11, 7:17 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    freakyogre
    £3.08 spent since yesterday.

    £1.83 yesterday on milk, wraps and some reduced basil. Also got some christmas cards, but they're not included.
    £1.25 spent today on lipbalm - I have dropped a brand! I usually always get Nivea but the price keeps creeping up and is now around £1.50 for one I got 3 for £1.25 and they seem to be quite similar.
    Last edited by freakyogre; 04-01-2011 at 7:20 PM.
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
    • guccigoo
    • By guccigoo 4th Jan 11, 7:29 PM
    • 467 Posts
    • 5,112 Thanks
    guccigoo
    these pages ave moved fast since last night
    A very small spend in mr s today £1.50 on orange squash.
    Have got a mr t delivery coming tomorrow so will update then.
    Everybody is doing really well atm
    I will lose 2 stone by this summer!!!!!!
  • Lola76
    Hello Everyone!


    Thank you for all your tips and notes!!!

    After setting a challenge for this month i seem to be thinking twice before going close to the supermarkets. usually i shop on Saturdays but then i pop in to Mr. W or Mr. C op a few time a week for bits and bobs.
    things that started me off:

    1.did a stock take of my cupboards, i seem to have amongst other things 12 packs of pasta, 19 cans of all sorts of peas and beans, around 4 kilos of different sorts of rice,and had to get rid of an out-of-date meringue nests and vacuum packed beetroot today! this shows that i had a little idea of what is in my cupboards...

    2. stock take of my freezer - it had, 12 breasts of chiken, 2packs of mince, 2 bags of prawns, 3 packs of sausages, 8 (!) tuna steaks, Ham and 2 huggises (not sure what to do with them) they have been brought to us as a gift. large bag of freshly frozen bluckcurrants. 2 packs of tortilla wraps. a loaf of bread

    3. wrote out a menu for this week. all food is based on the contents of my cupboard and fridge. i will find it not as hard to stick to my 40 pounds.

    i have a slow cooker and use it a lot for the last few years. Bread machine however does not get used as much, is it really cheaper to make my own bread rather than buy a loaf from the shop? if so is it still cheaper to use ready bread mix?
    January grocery challenge 300/278.57 declared
    February grocery challenge 300/7.75
    • tiredwithtwins
    • By tiredwithtwins 4th Jan 11, 7:35 PM
    • 464 Posts
    • 1,532 Thanks
    tiredwithtwins
    hi everyone,
    im going to have to revise my initial plan of £40/week - and up it to £50. I dont have enough stock in to manage (and forgot to add my planned spend included toiletries/washing stuff too) so have to buy extras - like meat! ... cos i didnt have anything in the freezer after all
    dec gc epic fail!/150 ..jan 140/160 ..feb gc 90/150
    mar 100/120 apr 85/120
    wading through the treacle of life!
  • madras79
    ran out of milk today so that was a £1.50 spend at farm foods. staying strong at the moment, first spend for 6 days
    .so temting to buy food, i swear i am addicted to food buying its like having withdrawel symtems stop buying so much food.i need this thread like therepy any one else like this.
    74.64/£100 grocery challenge
    11/15 nsd
    £23/365 pounds one pound a day challenge 2011
    • Rebelle
    • By Rebelle 4th Jan 11, 7:50 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 786 Thanks
    Rebelle
    Hey guys!

    Still not spent anything yet today, but my Dad is popping over soon and will run me to Asda to get the few bits mentioned last post (milk, bread etc), should be about £4, will update sig with exact amount when I get back.

    Well chuffed tonight, friend of OH's came round and fancied ordering Dominos Pizza for tea - so he got their "Two for Tuesday" BOGOF deal and very kindly wouldn't take any money for the 'free' pizza, which OH and I shared.

    They also unfortunately messed up the toppings on our friend's pizza, so he rang them and got a replacement sent (along with 6 mini slices of cheesecake for free! ) but by the time it arrived he'd stuffed himself with wedges as a starter and only had a couple of slices, so he left it here for us to have for lunch tomorrow. Tried to persuade him to take it but he's not keen on reheated food and doesn't like it cold, so he insisted. So ended up with an unexpected two free meals - it will have to be our treat next time, after payday of course!

    Right, Dad's just arrived so off to Asda I go! xxx
    Pax Et Bonum
  • Mothership
    Potato Scones Recipe
    230g Mashed potato (with milk & Butter)
    50g Flour either will do.
    Salt & Pepper if liked.

    Method
    Put your frying pan or griddle (Flat based) on low heat and dust with flour (No oil or fat).
    Mix ingredients with your hands.
    Divide mix into six pieces about the size of an egg, flour your hands and roll into balls, flatten mix between your palms to about the size of the top of a cup, drop into pan, cook on either side for about 5 min, or until the scones start to have brown speckles on them, put them on a piece of kitchen paper.

    You can serve them with a little butter or fry them in a little sunflower oil and have with a cooked breakfast, or poached eggs yumdiddlyumptious! Thats if your family don't get them first LOL.
    I made six half an hour ago and three are gone already.
    • pipkin71
    • By pipkin71 4th Jan 11, 7:55 PM
    • 19,360 Posts
    • 87,170 Thanks
    pipkin71
    With the last Asda shop I bought their value bubble bath - 18p, if I recall.

    Anyway, have just used it to fill up the three hand washes at each sink in the house - normally cost £3 in Poundland, instead cost 18p

    I wish I could bring myself to use it in the bath, but I like Dove
    There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you - Beatrix Potter
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 4th Jan 11, 7:58 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    angelatgraceland
    Hello Everyone!

    3. wrote out a menu for this week. all food is based on the contents of my cupboard and fridge. i will find it not as hard to stick to my 40 pounds.

    i have a slow cooker and use it a lot for the last few years. Bread machine however does not get used as much, is it really cheaper to make my own bread rather than buy a loaf from the shop? if so is it still cheaper to use ready bread mix?
    Originally posted by Lola76
    Well I think it works outt the same price more or less as shop bought but that does depend what you normally pay for shop bread. I normally only ever buy whoopsies plus some kingsmill @ 2 for £1.50. If you normally pay about £1.20 a loaf tho then homemade if def cheaper-again it depends where you buy your flour. Best buy for my bread is lidls strong white bread flour-about 59p-enough for say 3 loaves. Add to this some yeast and butter the approx£1 for 3 small loaves. So yes-looking at it that way its cheaper to make your own. However-if like me you are buying loaves of short dated bread for say 19p for a hovis wholemeal 800g(I got 4 on my last stockup)then its cheaper to buy it. Homemade has a flavour all of its own tho which you cannot match with bought. The best results Ive had is to prepare it in the BM and bake it in the oven.

    Had a NS day today-used some rice from the freezer, yesterdays cooked chicken and a tin of value s/s sauce(not my fave)for a quick tea. Cooked some more rice and will freeze later for another day-its nice to have it ready cooked in the freezer!
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • pixiedust09
    • By pixiedust09 4th Jan 11, 8:03 PM
    • 259 Posts
    • 3,126 Thanks
    pixiedust09
    Unfortunately back to work today , but in between shifts I did prepare all veg for tonight's dinner, so we had Gammon again (that's it gone now, thank god) Roast Potatoes, parsnips, cabbage and carrots, and a small amount of hm cauliflower cheese I made for lunch, was very scrummy. Last night I made a very tasty baked rice pudding and two Victoria sponge cakes for OH's lunch box. One is in the freezer the other I spread with my HM blackcurrant jam and is in the cake tin, in fact its calling to me now but I will resist. Had a nsd today so that's 3 out of 4 for January, I hope it lasts.
    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
  • Tracey2609
    I had 3 open bags of onions in the fridge when I looked tonight - DH had opened the "new" pack that I brought on Friday! The other two bags were out of date (Christmas week), but instead of shock horror throwing them out (which is what I would normally do), I made scrummy French Onion Soup for dinner, I've got some left over so I'm going to freeze that for another day. Feeling quite pleased with myself
    Always be yourself, unless you can be a Unicorn - then always be a Unicorn !
    -----------------------------------------------------
    No More Buying Unnecessary Toiletries - Joined May 2013


    28x UU
  • Tracey2609
    Hello Everyone!


    Thank you for all your tips and notes!!!

    After setting a challenge for this month i seem to be thinking twice before going close to the supermarkets. usually i shop on Saturdays but then i pop in to Mr. W or Mr. C op a few time a week for bits and bobs.
    things that started me off:

    1.did a stock take of my cupboards, i seem to have amongst other things 12 packs of pasta, 19 cans of all sorts of peas and beans, around 4 kilos of different sorts of rice,and had to get rid of an out-of-date meringue nests and vacuum packed beetroot today! this shows that i had a little idea of what is in my cupboards...

    2. stock take of my freezer - it had, 12 breasts of chiken, 2packs of mince, 2 bags of prawns, 3 packs of sausages, 8 (!) tuna steaks, Ham and 2 huggises (not sure what to do with them) they have been brought to us as a gift. large bag of freshly frozen bluckcurrants. 2 packs of tortilla wraps. a loaf of bread

    3. wrote out a menu for this week. all food is based on the contents of my cupboard and fridge. i will find it not as hard to stick to my 40 pounds.

    i have a slow cooker and use it a lot for the last few years. Bread machine however does not get used as much, is it really cheaper to make my own bread rather than buy a loaf from the shop? if so is it still cheaper to use ready bread mix?
    Originally posted by Lola76
    The only problem I have with home made bread is that it gets eaten quicker in our house - especially when it's still warm! Shop brought bread lasts longer!
    Always be yourself, unless you can be a Unicorn - then always be a Unicorn !
    -----------------------------------------------------
    No More Buying Unnecessary Toiletries - Joined May 2013


    28x UU
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 4th Jan 11, 8:13 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    angelatgraceland
    I now fancy some cauliflower chees too! I think Ive got a bag of cauli in the top of my freezer(reacheable). I could do it half cauli and half pasta-Im tempted!
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
  • Caltha
    .so temting to buy food, i swear i am addicted to food buying its like having withdrawel symtems stop buying so much food.i need this thread like therepy any one else like this.
    Originally posted by madras79
    Yep, I'm exactly the same. Its like fighting an addiction. I know I use a trip to the supermarket as an excuse to avoid doing other more important stuff that needs to be done.
  • Winged one
    I had to get milk this afternoon, and got some small bags of popcorn to stop DD getting into my stash of Walkers Baked (my niece and nephew gave me a 6 pack each for Christmas, when they were over from the UK, as the kind I really like, ready salted, aren't sold over here!). And a bottle of calpol as there seems to be something brewing in DD. So an additional just under €7.

    Lunch was an old tin of condensed tomato soup, with a small tin of tomatoes, an onion and some herbs I'd dried from the plot. We made a dinner of a beef stew using a whoopsied pack I'd frozen, with frozen leeks, peas and beans from the plot too.

    I am somewhat annoyed though that entertainment budget took a hammering. Megamind was too scary for DD, and she knocked over the popcorn on the way out, so we went for a cup of coffee instead (she really needed some "mommy and me" time today). I managed to pick up a lovely Christmassy cookiejar for a very good price, that I have put away to fill with cookies as a present next December. But I must stop spending otherwise for a while, until next paycheque comes in. (Was OK, but forgot that I'd paid in IKEA - will transfer money from savings tomorrow to offset).
    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
  • Long tall sally
    I had another smallish spend today in the Co op. I had noticed yesterday that they had mullerlights yogurts half price on the packs of 6 but didn't get any then because the dates on them weren't very good so got some today with better dates. Also got some veg, some whoopsied prawns for £1.20 & some pate for 50p.

    Pixie Fairydust - I don't really have any tips to give you because as you can probably tell from my signature that I am not very good at this grocery challenge malarky even though I have been trying for a while! I just wanted to say however that my DS aged 9 is also diabetic (as well as having Coeliac disease so has to have gluten free food) & I don't think that this makes it any easier to keep the food bill short. I obviously don't know what regime your son is on but mine is breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, bed time snack & then quite often 11 pm snack before I go to bed if his levels are not high enough & it certainly all adds up (especially at G/free extortianate prices!). He is due to change onto a different regime in a month or so which means that snacks will not be so necessary & I look forward to that, although of course I will have to convince him then that he no longer needs them!

    Sorry, I am waffling a bit!
    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
    • Pixie Fairydust
    • By Pixie Fairydust 4th Jan 11, 8:25 PM
    • 270 Posts
    • 3,797 Thanks
    Pixie Fairydust
    Thanks
    Thank you SilverS and HappyCrafter for your tips, will take note, will try the baguette pizza idea, they love pizza!

    I will try to cut back gradually as I think doing it in one go will be too difficult.

    Would love to try some easy cakes/biscuits, will look at the beginning of the thread.

    Am thinking of getting a bread maker, I've never had one and people at work have given me mixed reviews? What do you think? Have been told not to get a cheap one as you are limited to what you can make, is this right? Can you leave it running overnight?

    Thanking you all in advance.

    Will do my Jan gc myself then may go public in Feb, see how I get on!
    It's the most wonderful time of the year!
    Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica!
    I wish you were here.
    But you're not, you're there.
    And there doesn't know how lucky it is.


  • laurasbump
    Joining challenge
    I'm running a bit late on this one - looking to stick to £400.

    I have a family of 4 - 2 adults and 2 toddlers.
    Our grocery bills has been running to £650 plus monthly since September. Since we're in serious debt this is definitely unsustainable.

    I'm going to limit us to £400 a month for now as I need to buy nappies for both children this month and I usually bulk buy depending on who has the best deals.

    I know we can do this - the cupboards are full but we just can't stop shopping!

    Laura
    Mummy to DS May 08 and DD Oct 09
    Started joint IVA in Nov 09 - 13 payments down 47 to go!
    • Keybilly
    • By Keybilly 4th Jan 11, 8:36 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 249 Thanks
    Keybilly
    Hippie, my first NSD today. :-)
    It's going to be a spend day tomorrow, I'll be picking up some veggies and eggs from the farm shop near my uni. Also, I need decent coffee at uni otherwise I fall asleep. I could take a thermal mug with me but the coffee tends to be cold by the time I reach my destination. The decent coffee is £1.50 so it's not as bad as the other coffee shops charging £3 for a cappa.

    To ensure we keep our food bills down, is there a list of foods that are taxed? I guessing sweets and crisps have risen in cost due to the increase in VAT this year.

    Well done to the peeps who have had 3 NSD's - I'm well jealous.
    Kx
    Keybilly
    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
  • bramble1
    Keybilly do you preheat your thermos before you put coffee in? I never knew you had to do this nad got annoyed my tea was never warm!
    Annual Grocery Budget £364.00/£1500
    Debt payments 2012 £433.27
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