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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 32
    • fedupandskint
    • By fedupandskint 4th Jan 11, 8:43 PM
    • 10,351 Posts
    • 97,525 Thanks
    fedupandskint
    Well it was a spendday for me today with 2 prescriptions to pay from, lottery work money due for the last time now its ending and then realised as it was a spend day surely it would be a good idea to buy some milk and fruit juice cartons needed for later this week

    toddled off to sainsbugs and returned 11.38 lighter for 8 pints milk, 18 catons of basics fruit juice in apple and orange, 10p double cream for freezing 300ml, half price macoys crisps 6pack, half price 4 cans napolina tomatoes (my weakness) basics tuna and sweetcorn and a lettuce to have in tuna and sweetcorn sandwich next week. Might have been some thing else? Apples and pasts. Anyway that should be it for this week as have enough clementines and bananas for next week
    final unsecured debt to repay currently 8333
    Proud to be Dealing With my Debt
    DFW Nerd 1154 Long Haul 155
  • supersally01
    Love all the ideas, gonna try the pizza bagette idea for DD, as she is always starving after school, yet needs independance , so this will suit, and the ribs sound yummy.
    I noticed that a lot of people are buying liquid paracetamol for their children, not suprising as there is 'a flu epedemic' apparently, but do Engalnd and Wales run the Minor Ailments service that we have in Scotland? This involves you registering with a pharmacist, and you can obtain free advice and stuff like paracetamol/ibuprofen etc for free, without visiting your GP. I usually phone with the problem, then collect my product 30 mins later - so no wait!!! I too am registered, as I have an excemption certificate, and can get stuff free for women conditions too. Not much, but it all helps!
    What are people doing with all the offers that the big supers are throwing at us? Both Mr T and Mr M seem rammed with 1/2 price or less stuff, are people stock piling, or is it just another ploy to get us in???
    Just a 9 shop for me today, as working.
  • redkids1972
    Supersally01 I think its a ploy however if the budget allows it may be an opportunity to stock up for later months
    New to comping 11/2/2013

    Feb wins to date: 0lympic messenger bag, 100
  • LittleMissHappy
    Hello

    I have been lurking for a while and have decided on a budget for the month - is it ok if I join you all? I normally spend around 100 pw at Mr T's and am planning on spending half of that, so 200 for January. This is for 2 adults and three children (10, 8 and 5) a dog and two cats

    I know this is doable as have done it before, but just can't be bothered to meal plan This has to change as I am doing a major overhaul of our finances this year and groceries are the thing I have most control over!

    So far no spends on groceries this year

    Have to go and get milk and bread tomorrow, though
    Be the change you want to see in the world - Gandhi
    OU - DD100 (P ), DSE141 (D ), DSE212 (P ), ED209 (02/12), DXR222 (07/12) SD226 (02/13)
  • nattyt
    Had to buy toilet roll as well as my kitchen roll and DD1 informed that she'd eaten the last of the frozen chips just before tea so had to grab some of them. Would have made my own but hadn't the time. So 7.22 that also includes some parcel tape! Trying for a NSD tomorrow!
    If music be the food of love then play on
    "No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow". ღ ~Maya Angelou
    Doing it for my kids. For a better secure life. x
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 4th Jan 11, 9:22 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    happycrafter
    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.
    Originally posted by Mothership
    these sound yummy and I can make them on my planc my mam bought me for Christmas to make welsh cakes on, those are easy to make and the kids stand and eat them as I cook them!
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 4th Jan 11, 9:25 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    happycrafter
    I noticed that a lot of people are buying liquid paracetamol for their children, not suprising as there is 'a flu epedemic' apparently, but do Engalnd and Wales run the Minor Ailments service that we have in Scotland? This involves you registering with a pharmacist, and you can obtain free advice and stuff like paracetamol/ibuprofen etc for free, without visiting your GP. I usually phone with the problem, then collect my product 30 mins later - so no wait!!! I too am registered, as I have an excemption certificate, and can get stuff free for women conditions too. Not much, but it all helps!
    What are people doing with all the offers that the big supers are throwing at us? Both Mr T and Mr M seem rammed with 1/2 price or less stuff, are people stock piling, or is it just another ploy to get us in???
    Just a 9 shop for me today, as working.
    Originally posted by supersally01

    In Nuneaton and Bedworth we have the minor ailments scheme but not in the rest of Warwickshire, I have used it in the past for the kids.
  • rosieben
    Mothership, your potato scones recipe in now in the index
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • Mothership
    Spinach and Avocado Soup Recipe AKA Popeye Soup
    I good size onion (finely chopped)
    Fry till translucent in a little oil or butter.

    2 Ripe Avocado's (Mash well).

    250g bag of Fresh Spinach (frozen or tinned would do as well)
    Chop it finely if you don't have a blender.

    1 litre of water/ milk.
    800 ml of water and 200 ml of milk works well. If you want it creamier just add more milk less water, (add the milk near the end of cooking.)
    2 Vegetable stock cubes.

    A swirl of cream to finish, if liked.

    Method
    Fry onion in butter, add mashed avocado, stir around for a few min, add spinach. water, stock cubes.
    Bring to the boil turn the heat down and simmer and stir for a few minutes, add milk, warm through, take off the heat.
    Blitz for a few seconds with a stick blender, or blend in blender, if you have one. Season to taste and serve.

    This soup is addictive, its great served with crusty or garlic bread, a wee grating of nutmeg before serving is nice, along with a swirl of cream.

    If I'm freezing soup, I place it in bowls in the freezer then remove from the bowls and stack in bags. All you have to do is pop the frozen soup into the same bowl, defrost and heat.

    Everyone I've given this soup to couldn't guess what the secret ingredient was (the avocado), I find spinach a bit bitter on its own, the avocados go really well with it.

    Could someone put this recipe with the others please? I don't know how to do it, many thanks!
  • MRSMCAWBER
    Evening everyone...

    Hello to all the newbies joining in


    Well I have been productive today ... I:-
    • made a big batch of baguette dough
    • made hubby a pizza for dinner -complete with the home made tomato sauce from yesterday
    • made a large calzone
    • made 2 "calzone" with leftover cornedbeef hash in (hubbies Idea not mine ) -he is taking 1 tomorrow to heat up for his lunch -the other 2 will be wedged into a freezer if I can find space *wish me luck*
    • prepared lots of veggies and got them into stay fresh bags -to use up this week
    • turned the veggie "off cuts" into 1lt of soup for my lunches for a few days...
    AND THEN.... we went shopping - I was going to hold off, but then realised we needed water as we were down to 6 bottles and hubby is back at work tomorrow ... so whilst I was there I topped up on the milk, fruit, yoghurts and some other bits n bobs .... so 30 spent....

    I can't remember who asked *sorry* but I have a recipe for spanish pork, chorizo and potato casserole that is -I did mine on the stove, but Im sure you could adapt to slow cook it.. I will post it in the morning when Im more awake

    Right -bed time for me I reckon... sleep well everyone..
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • Winchelsea
    • By Winchelsea 4th Jan 11, 9:44 PM
    • 691 Posts
    • 9,316 Thanks
    Winchelsea
    Was sitting waiting for the bus at the hospital with DD4 this evening (after visiting my DH) - she suddenly opens her bag and pulls out a pack of cheese and gives it to me! She remembered she'd got 2 packs as a bargain earlier, and chose to share! So I now won't have to buy cheese tomorrow, which I would have done. So, might manage another NSD!
    Keeping three cats, the car and myself on a small budget, and enjoying life while we're at it!
  • Mothership
    these sound yummy and I can make them on my planc my mam bought me for Christmas to make welsh cakes on, those are easy to make and the kids stand and eat them as I cook them!
    Originally posted by happycrafter
    I don't know what a planc is LOL, if it has a flat base it should cook them. My daughter made her first batch on a griddle, and the scones got stuck in the grooves. Mine are all gone, my husband had the last 3 fried in sunflower oil for his supper. They taste completely different fried. Whatever you do don't try and fry them first, the scones seem to soak up the oil and are not as nice.
    I'm away to make some xmas pudding scones and bread noo, will post those recipes tomorrow.
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 4th Jan 11, 9:53 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    angelatgraceland
    Love all the ideas, gonna try the pizza bagette idea for DD, as she is always starving after school, yet needs independance , so this will suit, and the ribs sound yummy.
    I noticed that a lot of people are buying liquid paracetamol for their children, not suprising as there is 'a flu epedemic' apparently, but do Engalnd and Wales run the Minor Ailments service that we have in Scotland? This involves you registering with a pharmacist, and you can obtain free advice and stuff like paracetamol/ibuprofen etc for free, without visiting your GP. I usually phone with the problem, then collect my product 30 mins later - so no wait!!! I too am registered, as I have an excemption certificate, and can get stuff free for women conditions too. Not much, but it all helps!
    What are people doing with all the offers that the big supers are throwing at us? Both Mr T and Mr M seem rammed with 1/2 price or less stuff, are people stock piling, or is it just another ploy to get us in???
    Just a 9 shop for me today, as working.
    Originally posted by supersally01
    No such luck in England! Advice is free but that is all! It seems we have to pay for everything and Scotland has a definite advantage-except for the weather!
    A lot of the halfprice stuff the shops offer us do tend to be rather processed products rather than meat fish and veg. We all need to find a list of what is/is not vat-able-perhaps we can all start searching and post it up? A good guide is the discount places like costco and makro as it says on your receipt-Ive n o idea as I don't use them. Surprisingly-fresh fruit juic has vat on it! Crisps I can understand but fresh fruit juice Id consider to be "real " food.

    Made some chicken and veg soup tonight from yesterdays chicken Added some butternut squash, herbs,onions and frozen mixed veg to the chicken stock along with 4 stock cubes. That is tonights supper and tomorrows lunch for me-maybe dd will also eat some-doubt the rest will.
    Last edited by angelatgraceland; 04-01-2011 at 9:57 PM.
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is 1500 pa 125 calendar month 28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 4th Jan 11, 10:02 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    NickJW
    NSD today - I had Toasted sandwiches with the last of the goats cheese and tomatoes. Dinner was Jerk chicken cooked by my flatmate.

    Tomorrow and Thursday lunch I'll have a small plate of curry and then afterwards a small bowl of Xmas pudding with brandy sauce for lunch (it needs using up..........)

    Not sure what I'll do for my dinners but I'll decide later.

    Shouldn't need to spend anything until Saturday in actual fact since I've still got a lot of food in (famous last words!)

    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
    Originally posted by Lola76
    Sorry - what are Huggises? I looked online but it asked me if I meant 'Huggies' and I presume you aren't planning on eating baby nappies
    Last edited by NickJW; 04-01-2011 at 10:05 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
    • jammy dodger
    • By jammy dodger 4th Jan 11, 10:07 PM
    • 1,112 Posts
    • 5,384 Thanks
    jammy dodger
    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!
    Originally posted by Pixie Fairydust
    ive had a bread maker for 3 years now and apart from the occasional whoopsied loaf i havent bought any bread , i buy my flour from lidl 50p at moment ( mkes 3 loaves ) and i invested in a panasonic bread maker shall try and put link in to breadmakers as there is a wealth of information about them , i did have a "cheaper" bread maker before the panasoninc but i didnt like the bread it made am Very happy with what i have now and make naan breads tortillas and different flavoured loaves in it

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=448840&highlight=bread+maker
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 4th Jan 11, 10:10 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    NickJW
    No such luck in England! Advice is free but that is all! It seems we have to pay for everything and Scotland has a definite advantage-except for the weather!
    A lot of the halfprice stuff the shops offer us do tend to be rather processed products rather than meat fish and veg. We all need to find a list of what is/is not vat-able-perhaps we can all start searching and post it up? A good guide is the discount places like costco and makro as it says on your receipt-Ive n o idea as I don't use them. Surprisingly-fresh fruit juic has vat on it! Crisps I can understand but fresh fruit juice Id consider to be "real " food.

    Made some chicken and veg soup tonight from yesterdays chicken Added some butternut squash, herbs,onions and frozen mixed veg to the chicken stock along with 4 stock cubes. That is tonights supper and tomorrows lunch for me-maybe dd will also eat some-doubt the rest will.
    Originally posted by angelatgraceland
    I only realized on Saturday that they put a star next to VAT products on supermarket (well Mr T and Mr S) receipts. I guess everyone else knows this already though!

    I know that's not much use because you've got to buy it before you know...but I did feel a bit silly that I had never realized it until now (I guess I just wasn't looking until I started to monitor my food spends even more closely)...
    Last edited by NickJW; 04-01-2011 at 10:14 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
    • buddiebabe
    • By buddiebabe 4th Jan 11, 10:25 PM
    • 1,407 Posts
    • 3,667 Thanks
    buddiebabe
    Went to MrT after work and managed to get some woopsie tortilla wraps for 3p and 2pts skimmed milk for 55p so spend a grand total of 58p today

    The wraps are in the freezer so don't need to worry about them and the milk still has 3 days on it before it needs used up and i plan to have some frosties for breakfast and possibly mid morning snack for the next few days.... if i remember to take it to work.

    Will go get all work stuff ready just now so i don't forget anything in the morning!

    Buddiebabe x
    DEBT OUTSTANDING 23.04.17 16802.97
    • kalojac
    • By kalojac 4th Jan 11, 10:49 PM
    • 422 Posts
    • 5,363 Thanks
    kalojac
    Spent 29.76 in Tesco and 13.03 in Lidls today mainly stuff for meals to last us til the end of the weekend. Also the kids are back to school tomorrow so needed snacks, juice boxes etc which was an expense I didn't miss over the festive period. On the upside my mam bought some sweets, 2 packets of 12 thick sausages and 2 packs of 6 sausage rolls so that will help eek out the grocery budget.

    Will update sig now.....
    • Rebelle
    • By Rebelle 4th Jan 11, 10:50 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 786 Thanks
    Rebelle
    Hello

    Wasn't going to post again today, just update sig - but had to share my excitement (it's sad I know!) at getting 12pts milk at MrA for a grand total of 6p! They had loads of 4pt cartons with Display until date today, Use by next Tue at 2p each, so bought 3. If any needs using up next week will attempt a HM rice pud, all the talk of it on here has got me craving some, not had it for years and never made my own before.

    Spent 7.22 altogether, more than I thought but got another 6 tins cat food so now have a fortnight's worth of petfood in with what I've already got, plus the milk, bread and w/up liquid I needed, and with the money saved on the whoopsie milk I got 3x Ainsley couscous for 1 and 2x Pot Noodle for 1, both on offer.

    50 target definitely looking a bit dodgy now, will have to take my cue from you lot and try to be strong and not even look at offers in the SM, just get what I need and get out! Even if I blow the budget will carry on posting, it's eyeopening how much I actually do spend, even when trying hard to cut back and with loads of food in anyway. Am already agonising over my Feb budget! Thinking 200 but will wait and see how I do this month first...

    Gonna stop waffling now and get to bed, night all xxx
    Pax Et Bonum
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 4th Jan 11, 10:50 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    angelatgraceland
    I only realized on Saturday that they put a star next to VAT products on supermarket (well Mr T and Mr S) receipts. I guess everyone else knows this already though!

    I know that's not much use because you've got to buy it before you know...but I did feel a bit silly that I had never realized it until now (I guess I just wasn't looking until I started to monitor my food spends even more closely)...
    Originally posted by NickJW
    My thinktank must have gone wrong as years ago I knew that and have since forgotten! Too sidetracked by the figures I guess! Thanks for that-as all of us with our receipts can now check what had vat and what didn't! Thanks for telling us!
    Last edited by angelatgraceland; 05-01-2011 at 12:40 AM.
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is 1500 pa 125 calendar month 28.84 pw for 3 adults
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