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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 33
  • Missus Aka
    Hi can i join please?

    Aiming for £150 (Jan 1st - Jan 31st)

    This is for myself, DH and DS3
    Last edited by Missus Aka; 04-01-2011 at 11:43 PM.
    SPC Member#1096 Target £150 Feb Count £82.18
    Aug Make£5P.DayChal £0/£155
    My August £100 Grocery Challenge £49.90/£100
    • lotti379
    • By lotti379 4th Jan 11, 11:21 PM
    • 787 Posts
    • 6,181 Thanks
    @NickJW - I never even realised that is what the stars were for! Makes sense now someone else has pointed it out... I shall be scrutinising those stars in future!
    “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”

    NSD Challenge: August 2017 2/15
    • Georgiegirl2012
    • By Georgiegirl2012 4th Jan 11, 11:25 PM
    • 538 Posts
    • 6,246 Thanks
    @NickJW - I never even realised that is what the stars were for! Makes sense now someone else has pointed it out... I shall be scrutinising those stars in future!
    Originally posted by lotti379
    I always thought the stars were for things on offer.
    • lotti379
    • By lotti379 4th Jan 11, 11:28 PM
    • 787 Posts
    • 6,181 Thanks
    I always thought the stars were for things on offer.
    Originally posted by Georgiegirl2012
    Hmm... I think I shall find some old receipts lurking in my purse (as there always are...) and get to the bottom of this! I seem to remember, vaguely, getting lots of stars and not that many offers last time in Mr T's. But, I shall think about that tomorrow, sleep time now!
    “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”

    NSD Challenge: August 2017 2/15
  • Missus Aka
    Have spent £82.62 of £150 budget already but this is ok as my main shopping is at beginning of the month to stock up:

    Mr t****s £51.71 (lower than normal for monthly T shop as some items not in stock, service charge was refunded, £1.50 off in spend x amount on certain foods and get 25p off x 6, £5 refunded goodwill gesture, & £10 off next grocery shopping because delivery was due between 8-9 last night and didnt turn up till 10.30 this morning after a few calls)

    Local Turkish Shop £30.91 (all my meat, poultry, vegtables and turkish food comes from here)

    Does anyone have a rough idea of how much tomatoes cost per kg because the local turkish shop charges £2.39 and i make loads of salad a week and would like to try to get this down a bit.

    On the plus side have been preaching to sis in law about budgeting and shopping around for prices, she told me she spends £170 a week of the top of her head (her, her dh & 2kids) we all know this is is more when we keep our receipts you always forget the little shops, i nearly fell of the sofa. £170 a month would make me a happy bunny, i told her i get princes tuna for £2.39 (4 can) & she was amazed how much ashe could save by stocking up on items when they are 1/2 price, buy one get one free etc, i am going to start going shopping with her, i said that even though they could afford it, the money could be put towards buying a house, savings, shoes etc. She agreed, she does like her shoes.....
    SPC Member#1096 Target £150 Feb Count £82.18
    Aug Make£5P.DayChal £0/£155
    My August £100 Grocery Challenge £49.90/£100
    • Rebelle
    • By Rebelle 5th Jan 11, 12:04 AM
    • 83 Posts
    • 786 Thanks
    Does anyone have a rough idea of how much tomatoes cost per kg because the local turkish shop charges £2.39 and i make loads of salad a week and would like to try to get this down a bit.
    Originally posted by Missus Aka
    Hiya, just checked and their cheapest toms (just normal ones you could use in salad etc) are £1.60 per kg, so a bit cheaper but I bet the ones you buy will taste better, don't eat fresh toms myself just use tinned in cooking, but have heard others complain that some supermarket toms are really tasteless and not very nice. Organic ones will prob be better but are even more expensive than what you buy - organic cherry toms are £5.88/kg!

    Growing your own could be an option, have never done it myself but there's loads of advice on the forums here about it, my grandad used to grow them in his conservatory, don't think it's too difficult you just need a bit of space to do it.
    Pax Et Bonum
  • rosieben
    I've added your Spinach and Avocado Soup recipe to the front page index Mothership
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • Mothership
    Xmas pudding loaf
    10 oz SR Flour
    4 oz Brandy Butter, butter, or a mix of both, or marg if you prefer
    4 oz Sugar
    1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
    1 Teaspoon Mixed Spice
    3 Eggs
    10 oz crumbled (Cooked) Xmas pudding
    1 Small cup of strong tea.


    Mix all the ingredients together, butter a large loaf tin or 2 small ones. Bake at 180 for 40-45 min.

    This is the second xmas pudding loaf I've made, the first one was made with leftover pud, it was so nice I went on a reduced xmas pudding hunt, found some and tried the second one, the brandy butter and mixed spice really improved the taste.
    The texture is light and crumbly, and is fantastic with a cup of the same tea you make the loaf with.

  • Mothership
    Xmas Pudding Scones
    10 oz SR Flour
    4 oz Brandy butter, butter or a mix of both, or marg
    1 oz Dried milk powder
    1 Teaspoon Baking powder
    4 Ox Sugar
    Crumbled Xmas Pudding (not more than weight of flour)

    Binder = Buttermilk/Cream/yoghurt/ milk, even milk just about to go off to bind mix.


    Add the flour, baking powder, butter and dried milk to bowl, add butter rub in, lift the mix as high as you can while rubbing to get air into the scones, add the sugar, and crumbled cooked xmas pud.
    Bind the mix with a little at a time of your choice of binder, stop when the mix starts coming together. Shape into a sausage and cut into slices about 1 1/2 in thick. I put mine on a round baking tray, they had all baked into each other and looked like a flower.
    Bake at 180 for about 15-20 min. I left mine in a bit long, I was reading all the lovely recipes on this thread LOL, but they were still delicious.

    I was watching the Edwardian Farm recently and saw them making scone thingys, one of the ingredients was powdered milk. I've never made scones with it so was desperate to try it, the outside is crisp and the inside soft and fluffy.

    Well worth looking for reduced xmas puds and brandy butter to make.

    Someone here suggested xmas pudding, bread and butter pudding, guess what I'll be making for the OH tomorrow LOL. If its any good I'll post the recipe, if not I will hide LOL.
    Last edited by Mothership; 05-01-2011 at 11:01 AM.
    • Rebelle
    • By Rebelle 5th Jan 11, 4:35 AM
    • 83 Posts
    • 786 Thanks
    Oooh Mothership thank you so much for posting those, especially the Xmas Pud loaf, I have both Xmas Pud and brandy butter to use up and don't fancy them as is, your recipe is perfect! Cheers!

    ETA: Scratch that, still got that damn yoghurt in the fridge that needs using, will do the scones instead!
    Last edited by Rebelle; 05-01-2011 at 4:37 AM.
    Pax Et Bonum
  • welshkaz
    Mr a delivered my first shop of the year £56.19, plus yesterday bread and milk £2.00 plus £6.00 in chemist on flu tabs god weve been so ill here x
    may groc challenge £167/£280...
  • zebredy
    Reading some of these posts I felt so silly lol, never new what a whoopsie was before, how do we find out what the best time to go to the shops to get bargan stuff is?

    Anyway I'm new to the shopping challenge, and going to give it a try for the month.

    As per other advice on this forum I had a look in my cupboards and after using passata as the base for some of my sauces for a while, being lazy and never really checking before what I already in had at home (100%) and a Christmas shop in Morrisons with my mum who had a full book of stamps, I realise to my amasement, I have enough pasta and rice for the month including lasagna sheets to make my sloppy lasagna ( this is bar some more brown pasta, as I like to do a sort of 60/40 white / brown pasta for me and my 'I hate brown pasta' hubby at least once a week, as I think its healthier and he actually is ok with that, plus I love brown pasta more then white)

    I have 18 jars of shop bought sauces in the cupboard, 4 pizza mixes (also have stuff to make 4 cheese pizzas) loads of fish fingers that I bought when on special, and a bag of chips and some curly fries for OH, so thats another 4/5 meals (depending how long chips/curly fries last) ooh and I still have half a bag of frozen spuds left over from new years eve, and some stuffing, and a bit of frozen veg (onions and peppers) and sweetcorn in cupboard, some chicken will go nicely with some of those last things, for a cheap ish roast.

    Never realised how much I had before. I mean even have 3 packets of gravy granules in the cupboard which will come in handy..

    All I need to do really, is stoke up on cat food for 4 crazy cats, worked it out at about 112 cans for 28 days (is this to much do you think, feeding them 4 cans a day 2 for morning meal, 2 for evening) some veg and potatoes, some meat (to go with all those sauces) some wraps and one or two other things like eggs and butter, as we have cereal and milk a plenty, (now I know why I love UHT so much, lasts ages lol)

    Wow sorry for going on a bit, but seems it might be a better month money wise then I had first hoped (fingers crossed)

    I realised to my horror that the cat food is going to make a big dent in my budget around 50-60quid lets hope I over estimated on that hey (I don't mind there all worth it, except when I want to kill them for bringing another dead bird in the flat for me like they did yesterday lol) but this month we might be able to buy slightly better meat with the other money and still do ok (again fingers crossed)

    Got farmers market on in Romford on Sunday 10-3 (this is the second sunday of the month so it should be on?)

    Anyway enough from excited little me (who is hoping to be dept free by end of 2011 which is 95% very likely) not sure about adding my figure this month as not sure I'm gona get it 100% correct (know its not always possible on first month) but I think somewhere around £100-120 a month is a good figure for this month, really hoping for less then £100 but don't want to jinx things

    Once again sorry for very long post, the rest will hopefully not be as bad
    Last edited by zebredy; 05-01-2011 at 6:23 AM.
  • Candy Belle

    Doh! didn't manage a NSD yesterday as had to pick up the following:-

    Wilko's £8.08 6xCat Food, Toothpaste & Surf Cap's @ £3.00 (instead of £5.98)

    A**a £2.77 2X Friskies - Indoor & Kitten and Cat Treats

    Off to update my siggy!

    Have a good day all 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 - Feb£214.72/£235.00
    NSD -May 3/31 Apr 10/30 Mar 3/31 Feb 6/28 NSD Jan 3/31
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 5th Jan 11, 6:58 AM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    I found a list of VAT products on Mr S's website btw everyone. It does it from last year when it increased from 15% to 17.5% but I guess the information is the same.

    I'm glad that I realized what the stars were because I too thought they were for offers!

    (Sorry - because of the number 2 in the website link I can't seem to be able to create a separate linky)
    Last edited by NickJW; 05-01-2011 at 7:24 AM.
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 £46.05/£130

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

    DFD 1st March 2011
    • patentgirl
    • By patentgirl 5th Jan 11, 7:36 AM
    • 886 Posts
    • 12,312 Thanks
    Rebelle what a brilliant bargain well spotted
    should be another NSD day today cant see I will be tempted by anything as at work till 5, got my packed lunch
    Have a good day everyone
    February grocery challenge £200
  • zebredy
    Please can I be put down for £120 for 4 weeksfor January if its not to late? I'm hoping its going to be way under that figure but we shall see.

    Will update signature (if I remember lol) when I get back from a free BBC mozart concert
    • 69chick
    • By 69chick 5th Jan 11, 8:18 AM
    • 544 Posts
    • 6,205 Thanks
    Hi all and Happy belated New Year I havn't been on here for ages. Have got out of the habit since moving my whole family South and now living with parents till we can get a new house sorted.

    Anyway can I join you on the grocery challenge...have got soo bad with spend especially as I am spending more being not in my own house and doing stuff quickly for convenience.

    Right enough waffling....I have been doing a budget for spends and my total from 20Dec to 20Jan so my Jan budget was 400.00 have already spent £263.54

    will update siggy later...keep up all the great advice..
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 5th Jan 11, 8:37 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    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.
    Originally posted by Mothership

    A planc is the welsh term for a flat based cast iron griddle, if I call it anything else but a planc my mum shouts at me! My mum bought it for me as a Christmas present and was one of the best presents I received and it will be well used.
  • Kazsaver
    Went into Mr T yesterday and just got two loaves both reduced even though they were dated 7th jan. so total spend for today 1.40.
    I'm pleased with my self as that is all I bought. Shopping day tomorrow will go into Aldi first, as I don't normally look in there, before going into Mr T.

    should be NSD not going near a shop but hope to make some soup and go through freezer and meal plan for rest of month. I've been looking through the recipes at the beginning they have given lots of inspiration thank you.

    Have a great day every one

    Kaz x
    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 5th Jan 11, 8:45 AM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    Weekly update
    From my £60 I spent today:
    £44 on food (£36 Tesco, £8 Lidl)
    £10.01 diesel (£1.36.5 per litre up here!).
    The remaining ~£6 will be kept for milk.

    Off to meal plan now.
    Originally posted by OrkneyStar
    Spent £2.00 of this last night (hubby bought Cravendale in the local shop- had to pay £1.99!!!!)...might nip into library in town today and will see if Tesco have any Cravendale 2 for £3 in stock (none on monday).

    So I now have £4 left for this and anything else! do until Sunday 9/1/11....easily do-able as have plenty in and meals planned .

    On the bright side hubby treated me to special offer 5-Alive which he did not want cash for .
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