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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 51
    • Chloris
    • By Chloris 7th Jan 11, 10:17 PM
    • 651 Posts
    • 9,422 Thanks
    Chloris
    Rosieben - I completely agree, do not stop posting!!!! I find it very helpful.

    I do have a quick question that perhaps one you lovely people can help with.

    I am going to try pizza dough in my panny BM for the first time tomorrow. Just been looking recipe up in the recipe book that comes with the BM. Says to prove the bread for about 20mins at 40c how do I do this? Where is warm enough in the house? I'm thinking maybe the oven on plate warming setting but not sure what temp this is, it may be quite a bit hotter than 40. Would love any ideas or suggestions.
    Thanks
    Originally posted by MummyEm
    In the winter our house can be quite cold. I used to prove our pizza/bread dough in the hallway with the bowl butting up against the radiator. This worked well until I found my youngest pushing orange segments into it. Now I replace the dough in the mixing bowl (after kneading, my BM died) and place it into the washing up bowl which I have filled up to a third with hot water. It seems to work well and the LO have not fiddled with this arrangement yet (insert evil Doctor Doom laugh).

    Oh, cover the mixing bowl with cling film or a carrier bag.
    Last edited by Chloris; 08-01-2011 at 7:43 AM.
  • mummy2mygirls
    Spent £77 in MrT tonight!! Hits my mthly target lots but i think we should still be ok - fingers crossed!! Have loads of meat and main meals so shouldnt need to go to the shops again for a while.....i hope
    GC: Nov: £60.22/£450 Oct: £338.48/£450, July: £363.05/£450, June £447.98/£500
    £2 savers No68: £104/£100

    mummy to: 8yr, 5yr, 3yr, 2yr, 1yr. No6 Due Mar 2013 My world.
  • seductivesmile

    Will need another 2L of skimmed milk tomorrow and a 2.5kg bag of potatoes (if I can face humping them home in my backpack) and when oh when are £idls going to have another offer on their chicken breasts or thighs for goodness sakes?! I'm having to pay full price again for both for the first time in about 6 months, and I'm not impressed! Lol
    Originally posted by Hippeechiq
    This weekend!!
    Breasts are half price!

    HTH xx
    Each day is a new beginning, look at what you have an be grateful for every tiny thing. You don't know when it may be taken away.
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 7th Jan 11, 10:37 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    angelatgraceland
    Moniker-I'd use the evaporated milk. I'd open it fully and look at the inside of the tin. If the tin looks good condition(not brown bits falling off the sides)I'd take a teaspoonful and taste it-that is if you want to be cautious. Personally Id just use it without doing the above-its not "that" old.
    Nicl-re stilton its ripe rather than mouldy Id say-cheese is a funny one re useby dates as a lot of it juct carries on maturing rather than going off.
    Ive made cheese sauce with my stilton by melting it in the micro and mixing in some cream and serving over some nice leeks!
    Nearly had a nsd today but ended up buying throat sweets for £3.76-oh the luxery! Got around to handing in my sicknotes at work and explaining why I couldnt phone in daily-well-I literally lost my voice for a week and they have serious phone problems so had to text the manager daily. she is totally understanding but HO are not to bright at times.If I get paid it will be great but Im assuming I won't then I won't feel let down. My feeling was I was/am to ill to work so money or no money I won't be there-there isn't an option!
    Darn flu is hitting so many people.
    DD(16)has a mate staying over tonight and normally Id pop out for frozen pizzas and treats but today I told dd she would have to cook something for them(she is studying prof cookery)so we all ended up with a very basic spag bol and she cheated-putting in meatballs to make it speedy(sometihng I showed her once). Tasted fine but not our usual standard,and I ate too much and feel heavy now!
    MummyEm-do you have an airing cupboard? Thats where people used to prove bread but with the new combi boilers it doesnt work now unless you have an older system-an immersion heater.
    Hippechiq-you can buy frozen chicken breasts at low cost in Iceland-that is where I always buy mine.
    Rosieben-I echo what everyone else says! Keep posting as normal!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by angelatgraceland; 07-01-2011 at 10:41 PM.
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
  • rosieben
    In the winter our house can be quite cold. I used to prove our pizza/bread dough in the hallway with the bowl butting up against the radiator. This worked well until I found my youngest pushing orange segments into it. Now I replace the dough in the mixing bowl (after kneading, my BM died) and place it into the washing up bowl which I have filled up to a third with hot water. It seems to work well and the LO have not fiddled with this arrangement yet (insert evil Doctor Doom laugh).
    Originally posted by Chloris
    a tip I read on one of the breadmaking threads - cover the bowl with a shower cap; I used to do this when I lived in a cold and draughty kitchen and it works a dream

    just to clarify, I bought a cheapy pack of 3 plastic shower caps which I used just for this purpose!

    eta - I didnt live just in the kitchen ...
    Last edited by rosieben; 08-01-2011 at 12:52 AM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • Hippeechiq
    This weekend!!
    Breasts are half price!

    HTH xx
    Originally posted by seductivesmile
    Ooooh seductivesmile I could kiss you!......in fact - I will Lol
    Thank you

    Hippechiq-you can buy frozen chicken breasts at low cost in Iceland-that is where I always buy mine.
    Originally posted by angelatgraceland
    Thanks for that Angela, but I always cube mine up into bags of 200g and freeze. That's all OH and I need for a meal. SS wont eat chicken and DD has difficulty eating due to meds, although....... actually.... I may just buy a bag to see what the average weight of each breast is (unless you happen to know?) It may well be that they're all roughly around 200g, so thanks for the suggestion.

    Hope you're on the mend soon hun
    Last edited by Hippeechiq; 07-01-2011 at 11:41 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
    • Pernicious
    • By Pernicious 8th Jan 11, 12:33 AM
    • 1,786 Posts
    • 8,895 Thanks
    Pernicious
    Hi everyone,

    I popped to the shops today & spent £14.21, leaving me with £18.32 for the rest of the month...suddenly I am beginning to doubt if I can do this challenge!

    Wish me luck
    Debt at July 2012: £12,862.57
    Current Debt: £0
    100% paid off!
    Savings Goal for November 2016: £5000
    Current Savings: £1176.24
    23.52% Saved!
    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 8th Jan 11, 6:07 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    Sunnyday
    Morning peeps

    i`m planning on a NSD today, the only thing that i need is carrots but i can manage for a day or so without them

    Mummyems - When i make pizza dough in the panny i just leave it in there until i need it, i`ve never taken it out and proved it and it makes lovely pizzas, don`t leave it too long though or it will end up huge

    HappyCrafter - Will pm you shortly, i would love a copy of your shreadsheet, i don`t have a clue about pivot tables but it would be very useful for me and also help me to learn, thanks

    Rosieben
    - I`m so glad that you have decided to keep posting and leave things the way that they were, i find your posts useful and often look for your name to follow links to recipes, thanks for all your hard work - we all know that you donate a lot of your free time to the thread and we appreciate it very much.

    I`m off to send that pm, have a good day peeps.

    SD
    Planning on starting the GC again soon
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 8th Jan 11, 7:13 AM
    • 3,343 Posts
    • 34,437 Thanks
    XSpender
    Sat here drinking hot water and lemon as the detox started this morning

    I had to pick DH up from work last night, a 40 minute round trip which messed up our routie a bit, well that is the excuse I am giving for the £6 on beer and £16 on a chinese that was spent last night

    Things are starting to look like they may be a bit tight this month and I have 23 days left Will only need a little fresh fruit and veg in the middle of the week and then a veg box on Friday I hope.
    • maz1964
    • By maz1964 8th Jan 11, 7:15 AM
    • 876 Posts
    • 2,828 Thanks
    maz1964
    That would be great, thank you, I have sent you a PM with my email address!
    Originally posted by bella121984

    hiya happycrafter

    would you kindly send me this spreadsheet too have pmd you my email address

    maz
    Sealed Pot Challenge member 1525

    "Knowledge is the Power to get Debt Free"

    Truecall device, stops all the unneccesary phone calls - my sanity has been restored and the peace in the house is truely priceless!
    • Chloris
    • By Chloris 8th Jan 11, 8:34 AM
    • 651 Posts
    • 9,422 Thanks
    Chloris
    a tip I read on one of the breadmaking threads - cover the bowl with a shower cap; I used to do this when I lived in a cold and draughty kitchen and it works a dream

    just to clarify, I bought a cheapy pack of 3 plastic shower caps which I used just for this purpose!

    eta - I didnt live just in the kitchen ...
    Originally posted by rosieben
    That is a good idea, thank you. I will look out for them as it will save on the disposable plastic!
  • adelight
    Hey all! Finally got to the shops, quite a big spend of £12.85 but I stocked up on 2kg chicken legs(£1.12/kg!!) and tinned tuna, also got bread, veg, activia yogs, quorn, pate, few tins soup and a reduced quiche. Apparently i'm a sucker for a reduced quiche now that I don't have to worry about what's in them, and I can say Lidl's are a million times better than mrS!! Creamy quichey fatty goodness I can't make a quiche half as good or for less than 90p so I'm not gonna worry about having bought something ready made.
    Living cheap in central London
  • adelight
    Hi everyone,

    I popped to the shops today & spent £14.21, leaving me with £18.32 for the rest of the month...suddenly I am beginning to doubt if I can do this challenge!

    Wish me luck
    Originally posted by Pernicious
    I'm sure you'll manage it! Or at least won't go over by much. I always find myself doing a big shop early in the month and not needing to spend as much later on.
    Living cheap in central London
  • Mothership
    . Mango cake
    Ingredients

    10 oz SR Flour
    6 oz Sugar
    3 Eggs

    1 tsp. cinnamon
    2 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 tsp. vanilla

    8 oz. fresh or tined pineapple, (cut up small).
    8 oz chopped mango
    4 oz chopped walnuts
    4 oz raisins

    Method

    Sieve flour, cinnamon baking soda & salt. Add eggs (beat them first), vanilla, pineapple. Add walnuts, raisins and mangos.
    Mix ingredients together. Bake at 180' for 45-50 minutes.
    1st Purse £114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse ££100
    Fridge Freezer £300 3rd Purse /£290.94
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 8th Jan 11, 9:43 AM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    minnie2
    Whenever I discover I've run out of washing up liquid I've used either bubble bath or shampoo - never come to any harm yet Also, Stardrops can be used as washing up liquid if you have any

    It's really all about finding out what works best for your Minnie to be honest. I'd say most people taking part seem to go from pay day to pay day. For some, that means from say the 15th of one month to the 15th of the next, for others 25th-25th and so on.

    I do monthly pay day to pay day, but it just so happens that OHs pay day is always the last day of the month, so mine always runs from the 1st to the last day of whatever month we're in. Others find it easier to do it weekly or yearly. It's just trial and error until you find a system that works for you personally, but you'll get there
    Originally posted by Hippeechiq


    Thanx!! what are stardrops? i have unfortunately come off the NSD wagon and bought some washing up liquid 39p from co-op


    well the two challenges im doing are monthly jan feb etc but our actually pay days are mid month and for my second job i get paid random and odd fridays.



    Rosieben - post as much as you like!!


    right so i took money out of the bank - big mistake!! went to cash machine wanting a tenner - but lowest it would give was £20 argh!!!

    so went into co-op 39p washing up liquid (which is cheaper than tescos at 61p)

    also bought a can of coke 71p feeling very guilty!!

    then i bought a packet of baby wipes in tesco for 20p


    so £1.30 spend


    if anyone uses soda crystals co-op has them for 85p which is cheaper than 92p tescos which i usually buy also co-op has hot cross buns 50p for 6 - may do in packed lunches (i cant eat tehm personally)
  • rosieben
    Mothership, I've added your Mango cake recipe to the index, thank you
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • elly2
    • By elly2 8th Jan 11, 10:03 AM
    • 553 Posts
    • 5,227 Thanks
    elly2
    Morning all another 2 on milk yesterday (4 litres) good to see that the milk is still only £1 a carton at the corner shop some shops have increased theirs by 10 p . So total so far is £29 will need some cat food today and some more garlic bread and other odds and ends so will update when i get back.
    Also spent £13 on our weekly takeaway which will from now become our fortnightly takeaway saving me £££££, i also have the takeaway secret in my amazon basket which may well stop me buying takeaway ever again i hope .


    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 8th Jan 11, 10:15 AM
    • 3,286 Posts
    • 36,166 Thanks
    CRANKY40
    OH bought a take away for dinner tonight.... can't believe the money and food wasted on it..... felt so guilty eating it didn't even really enjoy it... all i could think about was how much food i could have bought with the money
    Originally posted by buddiebabe
    As I have virtually no social life other than the occasional takeaway eaten with friends, I look at it from another angle. Think of the money you have saved by eating it at home and not in a restaurant. You can also have a glass of wine with it and nobody has to be a designated driver or pay for a taxi home.
    • Pernicious
    • By Pernicious 8th Jan 11, 10:19 AM
    • 1,786 Posts
    • 8,895 Thanks
    Pernicious
    I'm sure you'll manage it! Or at least won't go over by much. I always find myself doing a big shop early in the month and not needing to spend as much later on.
    Originally posted by adelight
    Thank you! I hope you're right, when I initially did the sums using mysupermarket it looked doable, but it sounds like such a low number for the two of us for the rest of the month! I guess I'm just used to refilling the freezer/cupboards rather than actually using them all up first which is what we'll be doing this month.
    Debt at July 2012: £12,862.57
    Current Debt: £0
    100% paid off!
    Savings Goal for November 2016: £5000
    Current Savings: £1176.24
    23.52% Saved!
    • catslovelycats
    • By catslovelycats 8th Jan 11, 10:21 AM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 11,207 Thanks
    catslovelycats
    I've just ordered a shop from Tessie's - partly due to the fact I'm suffering from a chest infection so not up to going myself. Have bought more than I would if I'd walked there, but made sure I bought long-life stuff that can stay in a cupboard and not go off within a few days, so hoping to save money later in the month.
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