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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 39
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 5th Jan 11, 8:35 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    happycrafter
    I've been reading through the threads, and found alot of comments about people splitting their shopping between different stores... Certainly in my area I have to drive to any of the main supermarkets and occasionally send my son to the local shop for the odd pint of milk. In the main I try to be "good" and only go food shopping once a week and on a full stomach! - I really overspend if I shop when I'm hungry! But my question is, is it worth splitting the shopping like this? Does the amount of money saved outweigh the extra cost in fuel? Thanks!
    Originally posted by Tracey2609

    On payday I finish work get picked up by OH on his way home go to asda and then do aldis on the way home as we go past it, I have a spreadsheet which has my menu plan and ingredients list which I use a pivot table to convert in to a shopping list then I sort it by asda, aldi or butchers. its very geeky but suits me down to the ground. my butchers is local so I walk up there
    • Keybilly
    • By Keybilly 5th Jan 11, 8:35 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 249 Thanks
    Keybilly
    Hi booskyeboo,
    May I ask what you are going to make with your dried fruit?
    I was given quite a lot of dried fruit in a Christmas hamper. In my bid to be healthy, I'm eating it on its own but I know that I'll get bored of it very soon.
    Many thanks for everyone's helpful suggestions.

    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
    • suzybloo
    • By suzybloo 5th Jan 11, 8:39 PM
    • 1,081 Posts
    • 8,740 Thanks
    suzybloo
    I am really surprising myself this month as I have more than halved our budget and have only spent 10 odd so far this month. Need to get Bread, milk, rolls, choc bisc and cold meat tomorrow for hubbys packed lunches so that should only be about 6-7. Will go to semi-chem for the biscuits as penguins are on at 9 for 69p - a good buy plus I cant stand them! Bread has gone up 8p in the past week or so from 1.27 to 1.35, as I always buy the same one (Warburtons Toastie - orange wrapper,) cold meat will be whatever is cheapest as hubby doesnt mind which one. Milk is around about 0.85 and rolls will be 2 for 8. I will take out whats left on Friday from my budget and put that into my savings for the 11k in 2011 challenge on the up your income thread,
    good luck everyone
    Every days a School day!
    • PurpleJay
    • By PurpleJay 5th Jan 11, 8:48 PM
    • 475 Posts
    • 2,490 Thanks
    PurpleJay
    Hi all

    Had a Sainsburys delivery tonight which came to 60.71. Still have to buy bread for the week (I order 3 loaves every friday from a local bakery which I collect from our paper shop) and a few other bits but no more than 10.00 though which is on target. We are completely stacked out with food and we are away for a couple of days next week so I will probably just get bits as we need them. I will try and keep track. I need to do my meal plan, ideally up to the end of next week.

    Managed not to spend anything on the 2 days I have been at work this week other than 50p for the tea fund

    A good start.
    'Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass,
    it's about learning to dance in the rain'
  • youngmummy
    hi all i have updated my sig, spent 77 pound so far ... dont know how but anyway ... will proberly go over budget this month !!! im eally going to try harder the rest of the year. my budget works out at 212 per month hopefully i wont go over on my annual budget though. got a pantomine to go to sunday curtosy of my grandma. so will need some money for then but hopefully all will be ok x
    (#80 save 12k in 2015) aim 10,000
    make 10 a day in 2015 261/4000
    emergency fund aim 100/1000
    1 a day for xmas 2015 0/365
    NSD feb 0/16
    feb GC 0/120
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 5th Jan 11, 9:00 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    minnie2
    thank you for your help!!!! well overall i am overspending by 837 a month according to the budget plan - but what i have worked out grocery wise is 395 that does include laundry, though i want to get this down to 155 a month.

    There is only my hubby and me and our three dogs! But we are clearly going wrong! I tend to be frugal in some ares but then go all out in other areas. I have many allergies - so have been limited to many items - which tend to be the more expensive ones!!! I also feel i am losing the battle with my hubby who has no idea about money - or what things cost - or how not to waste money!!! For example - came home tonight to find him in the bedroom on his games while the tv was on downstairs - with 5 plugs on the go on hte extension lead!!


    I finally used my eco balls tonight - tried them on my towels to start with - apparently they have come out smelling clean ( i have flu so cant do the smell test myself). I have had them for two years now but havent got round to using them! Washing is a complicated area due to my allergies, so i have been testing many different products trying to find a good combination.
    Anyway seem to go well - so thats a 3p wash instead of 25p!

    We had frozen chriistmas left overs for dinner tonight - veg, roasties, stuffing and gravy

    Currently also defrosting turkey mince to make up meals to freeze in small containers for our lunches!!


    Feeling positive about saving and making changes this year!!

    oh any suggestions about mince and finding cheap mince will be greatfully received!! I am allergic to beef and the smell of lamb makes me vomit- so have to buy pork and turkey mince which keep going up in price. And ive tried 6 butchers who are reluctant to do either type of mince unless its a big order and it also works out more expensive than the supermarket! i have tried the frozen mince but it dregrades into mulch and smells awful. thanx
    • curiouscrafter
    • By curiouscrafter 5th Jan 11, 9:01 PM
    • 138 Posts
    • 667 Thanks
    curiouscrafter
    Hello all,

    Please can I be put down for 120 for 4 weeks in January, this is a little less than a normal month, but we are still maiking our way through all the Christmas leftovers!!
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 5th Jan 11, 9:11 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    happycrafter
    thank you for your help!!!! well overall i am overspending by 837 a month according to the budget plan - but what i have worked out grocery wise is 395 that does include laundry, though i want to get this down to 155 a month.

    There is only my hubby and me and our three dogs! But we are clearly going wrong! I tend to be frugal in some ares but then go all out in other areas. I have many allergies - so have been limited to many items - which tend to be the more expensive ones!!! I also feel i am losing the battle with my hubby who has no idea about money - or what things cost - or how not to waste money!!! For example - came home tonight to find him in the bedroom on his games while the tv was on downstairs - with 5 plugs on the go on hte extension lead!!


    I finally used my eco balls tonight - tried them on my towels to start with - apparently they have come out smelling clean ( i have flu so cant do the smell test myself). I have had them for two years now but havent got round to using them! Washing is a complicated area due to my allergies, so i have been testing many different products trying to find a good combination.
    Anyway seem to go well - so thats a 3p wash instead of 25p!

    We had frozen chriistmas left overs for dinner tonight - veg, roasties, stuffing and gravy

    Currently also defrosting turkey mince to make up meals to freeze in small containers for our lunches!!


    Feeling positive about saving and making changes this year!!

    oh any suggestions about mince and finding cheap mince will be greatfully received!! I am allergic to beef and the smell of lamb makes me vomit- so have to buy pork and turkey mince which keep going up in price. And ive tried 6 butchers who are reluctant to do either type of mince unless its a big order and it also works out more expensive than the supermarket! i have tried the frozen mince but it dregrades into mulch and smells awful. thanx
    Originally posted by minnie2
    what about quorn mince? or buy a piece of meat and mince yourself in a food processor just pulse until the right texture.
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 5th Jan 11, 9:16 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    minnie2
    hi thanks for suggestion! im allergic to quorn and have considered making own but would have to spend on the equipment initially and also have no idea what pieces of meat to buy to make mince from especially turkey (which is cheaper than pork) but the only other turkey i see is breast etc. Do you think its worth while investment? we got an argos voucher for christmas and we were going to put it towards a mincer but replaced our can opener instead!
    • Sunflower1227
    • By Sunflower1227 5th Jan 11, 9:17 PM
    • 1,680 Posts
    • 22,390 Thanks
    Sunflower1227
    thank you for your help!!!! well overall i am overspending by 837 a month according to the budget plan - but what i have worked out grocery wise is 395 that does include laundry, though i want to get this down to 155 a month.

    There is only my hubby and me and our three dogs! But we are clearly going wrong! I tend to be frugal in some ares but then go all out in other areas. I have many allergies - so have been limited to many items - which tend to be the more expensive ones!!! I also feel i am losing the battle with my hubby who has no idea about money - or what things cost - or how not to waste money!!! For example - came home tonight to find him in the bedroom on his games while the tv was on downstairs - with 5 plugs on the go on hte extension lead!!


    I finally used my eco balls tonight - tried them on my towels to start with - apparently they have come out smelling clean ( i have flu so cant do the smell test myself). I have had them for two years now but havent got round to using them! Washing is a complicated area due to my allergies, so i have been testing many different products trying to find a good combination.
    Anyway seem to go well - so thats a 3p wash instead of 25p!

    We had frozen chriistmas left overs for dinner tonight - veg, roasties, stuffing and gravy

    Currently also defrosting turkey mince to make up meals to freeze in small containers for our lunches!!


    Feeling positive about saving and making changes this year!!

    oh any suggestions about mince and finding cheap mince will be greatfully received!! I am allergic to beef and the smell of lamb makes me vomit- so have to buy pork and turkey mince which keep going up in price. And ive tried 6 butchers who are reluctant to do either type of mince unless its a big order and it also works out more expensive than the supermarket! i have tried the frozen mince but it dregrades into mulch and smells awful. thanx
    Originally posted by minnie2
    Hi you could try an mince your own meat, i remember my mum doing this many years ago in a mincer like this one

    http://www.lakeland.co.uk/meat-mincer/F/C/preparing-food/C/preparing-food-mills-grinders-mincers/product/10118
    I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.

    Weight loss 3 stone
  • Long tall sally
    Hi everyone.

    Justa quick note to say NSD today but have to get milk, bread, ketchup & a few other things tomorrow (if my car starts as I keep gettinga flat battery).

    Got a few pages to catch up on on reading - note to myself - up to p33!
    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
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 5th Jan 11, 9:46 PM
    • 16,922 Posts
    • 144,912 Thanks
    JackieO
    I was so tempted today when I was at the Uni library as the cafe is just next door and I could smell something delish cooking but I am determined not to spend unnecessarily this month.So I kept my money in my purse and came home and had some pate on toast instead which didn't cost me anything.I think I may have to invest in a padlock for my purse.But so far I am sticking to it ,but will have to shop next Monday I think.I sorted out one of the shelves in my freezer today and I have so much stuff in there that I am definitely not buying anything I really don't need if I can help it.I want to eat down some of the freezer first
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
  • Mothership
    Mince n Totties n Dumplings serves 4
    1 lb or 450 gram pack Lean Minced beef (the best quality you can afford. M&S Aberdeen Angus mince is the best I've found)
    2 big carrots
    2 onions
    2 beef oxo cubes or veg stock cubes
    1 pint of water
    Beef granules to thicken at the end of cooking not too much

    Method

    Brown mince, put in sieve and press with a spoon to get any extra fat from meat, dry pot with kitchen paper and put mince back, add sliced onions and carrots, stir for about 5 min to sweat onions, add stock cubes or oxo's & water, but not the gravy granules.

    Simmer for about 30 min, remove any fat that rises to the top.
    Taste the mince at this stage and salt to taste if liked. There should be about half the liquid in the pan top it up, if your making the dumplings, the gravy will reduce during the last stage of cooking. Plate up the dumplings then thicken what gravy is left now, if it looks dry add a little water.

    I quite often make the mince to this stage and put it in the fridge, then pop it in the slow cooker about an hour before we are going to eat, then add the dumplings. If you do this heat the mince and slow cooker before adding the dumplings. You can cook this from start to finish on top of the stove, just be careful it doesn't dry out.


    Dumplings enough for 4 Good size ones

    1/2 Cup Atora Suet
    1 Cup SR Flour
    Water
    Salt 1 1/2 teaspoon

    Method

    Add suet, salt and flour to bowl, add a little water at a time, till mix binds together, we want the mix to be just bound if you go past this stage just add a little flour.
    Divide mix into 4 and drop the dumplings on top of the mince. (I usually sprinkle a little parsley on top of them.)
    For the last 25-30 min of cooking time.

    You can have these dumplings with any casserole/stew type dishes.
    If you only want one use a smaller measure like an egg cup. 1 of suet 2 of flour.
    If your family are anything like mine they might ask you to make bigger dumplings.

    Serve with fluffy mashed potatoes, garden peas or cabbage.
    Jersey Royals or Ayrshire potatoes are AMAZING! with mince.

    My OH would eat this every day LOL.



    I made Sweet and Sour chicken with boiled rice tonight, I used some of the leg meat from the 3 chickens I cooked for the freezer yesterday. It was ready in 15 minutes, the chicken balls are done in batter and are not greasy like takeaways.
    If anyones interested I'll post that recipe too.

    Took my granddaughter to the park today, never went anywhere near a shop LOL. This is a 1st for me, I usually pop in if I'm passing to see if there's any bargains.
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 5th Jan 11, 9:54 PM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,569 Thanks
    quintwins
    i just spents another 25 on some clothes and a gift for a friends baby, things aren't looking good considering were not even a week in, but i just sorted my freezer out and we have loads of meat (including 2 chickens and 3 pheasants and about 8 meals worth of mince) so i don't think i'll be spending much for the next few weeks, i'll maybe do a little stock up in iceland on mon, and 47 of my spends in non food items
    OCT GC 196.12/200
  • Hippeechiq
    HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone

    Hello & Welcome to all newcomers

    Am way behind with this thread, so behind I need to start from page 1! Lol

    If I'm not too late MRSMCAWBER could you put Hippeechiq down for 250 please

    I've no idea how I'm going to achieve this, as I was struggling to bring my budget in at 275, but with only 1 wage coming in, I need to skim 25 off my groceries if we are to be able to afford Chr*s*mas this year, and there's nothing else we can cut back on.

    I can but try eh? My month runs from the 1st to the 31st inclusive.

    Good Luck with this months challenge everyone
    Last edited by Hippeechiq; 05-01-2011 at 11:12 PM.
    Aug11 193.29/240

    Oct10 266.72 /275 Nov10 276.71/275 Dec10 311.33 / 275 Jan11 242.25/ 250 Feb11 243.14/ 250 Mar11 221.99/ 230
    Apr11 237.39 /240 May11 237.71/240 Jun11 244.03/ 240 July11 244.89/ 240
    Xmas 2011 Fund 220
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 5th Jan 11, 10:00 PM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,569 Thanks
    quintwins
    Hi booskyeboo,
    May I ask what you are going to make with your dried fruit?
    I was given quite a lot of dried fruit in a Christmas hamper. In my bid to be healthy, I'm eating it on its own but I know that I'll get bored of it very soon.
    Many thanks for everyone's helpful suggestions.

    Kx
    Originally posted by Keybilly
    wat about a nice tea cake? i hate dried fruit so not really much help, bread and butter pudding is yummy with raisins in it tho
    OCT GC 196.12/200
  • Mothership
    Welsh cake recipe

    8oz self raising flour
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    4oz butter
    3oz sugar
    3oz currants
    1 large egg and a little milk
    good pinch of mixed spice or nutmeg

    rub fat in to flour, baking powder and spice
    add sugar and currants, bind with beaten egg and milk to a stiffish paste. roll out 1/4 inch thick then cut in to 2.5 inch rounds and bake on a greased griddle, 3-5 minutes each side until mottled with golden brown sprinkle with sugar and eat while warm.
    Originally posted by happycrafter
    These look Yummy! I will wait till OH eats the stuff I made yesterday, then I'm going to have a bash at these. Can you ask your mum where she got the planc? I'd love to get one I've been looking for a griddle for 25 yrs LOL.
  • rosieben
    Mothership, Mince n Totties n Dumplings are in the recipe index
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 5th Jan 11, 10:13 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    happycrafter
    These look Yummy! I will wait till OH eats the stuff I made yesterday, then I'm going to have a bash at these. Can you ask your mum where she got the planc? I'd love to get one I've been looking for a griddle for 25 yrs LOL.
    Originally posted by Mothership
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Cast-Black-Steel-Baking-Stone/dp/B0001IWYFA/ref=sr_1_2?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1294269029&sr=1-2

    this is the one she got me from amazon and its great, and she got me the little book of welsh bakestone recipes to go with it.
  • Mothership
    Uses for a bag of Lemons
    I'm looking for something to make to use them up, any suggestions? I've also got nearly a whole jar of cranberry sauce , that one has me stumped LOL.
    I've also got a jar of olives and a quite a lot of rosemary, any suggestions for them, I will use some for rosemary & garlic potatoes.

    I was wondering if anyone knows if you can freeze rosemary?

    These last few days have really taken me back to my childhood, I can remember my granny in the kitchen teaching me how to cook and not waste anything. I'm the granny now LOL my wee darling GD is only 4 months old.
    I'm ashamed of the stuff thats been wasted from my kitchen, I vowed last year I would change my ways, I was waiting to join this years grocery challenge this month, so glad I have , I feel it has grounded me. Thank you so much everyone.
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