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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 55
  • 2joanne
    Hi

    First time I've ever posted on MSE forums - hope this is right!

    Hopefully I'm not too late to join in!

    Please can I be put down for £4680 for the year

    Many thanks
    Last edited by 2joanne; 08-01-2011 at 8:41 PM.
  • salski
    Hello all - well a first for me today - EVER. I had my first NSD ever! Im so chuffed. I walked to the shop with the dog to get some cigs and crisps, got halfway there and took the conscious decision to give up smoking again tomorrow. So thought whilst Im at it - have some humus and carros instead.
    Breakfast was cornflakes and milk
    dinner was a store cupboard meal of a pitta bread stuffed with humus, fried toms and mushrooms and grated cheese on top
    tea was a pizza with OH that was horrid - from Iceland - supposedly think and crispy but it was neither!
    Either way - I stopped myself from going to the shop - Im so chuffed! NSD NSD NSD!
    Loan finished Sep 2010 - HSBC CC - WAS £750 now £0! Natwest CC - WAS £1600 now £100 - Overdraughts to be worked on! WILL be debt free by mid 2011!!!
    £2000 Saved so far for maternity leave - Our baby girl arrived valentines day! Elsie Ann - WELCOME
    Sealed pot challenge number 4 - number 1167 - Last day smoking: 8/1/2011
    • Maybeanotherday
    • By Maybeanotherday 8th Jan 11, 8:04 PM
    • 694 Posts
    • 934 Thanks
    Maybeanotherday
    Please can you put us down for £340 which equals to £85 a week this is including beer, cleaning products, bathroom products...can anyone advise me what else I need to do as Ive never done this before or PM me the thread I need to read?
    • Jolaaled
    • By Jolaaled 8th Jan 11, 8:12 PM
    • 1,038 Posts
    • 2,504 Thanks
    Jolaaled
    Have just also made Delia's Seville Orange Marmalade. It kept it on a rolling boil for 50 mins...it's still a bit runny!
    Originally posted by Jolaaled
    Quick up date now that the marmalade has cooled a bit:

    Now not nearly so runny..in fact, i think it should be ok after a short spell in fridge!

    PHEW.I am relieved at the Seville Oranges were not cheap (£2.00 per kilo). Not used them before and they are strange looking fruit on the inside...lots of pips, a thick skin, but they do smell divine!..and the marmalade is really fab.
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 8th Jan 11, 8:12 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    Well done Salski! I get quite excited about not shopping too!

    I went shopping yesterday, and put several things in my trolley only to take them out again as I don't need them. Ended up spending £35.67, but did include about £24 worth of medicine, vitamins, tissues, STs and a plug in air freshener. Just went through and worked that out, and quite shocked by the amount I spent that wasn't food!

    Had macaroni cheese for dinner tonight - the children love it and it's quick. Unfortunately the OH 'helped' me. There's a reason I keep him out of the kitchen!! He asked if he could grate the cheese. I said yes, he said all of it? I said yes, only to turn around and find he'd grated all of a 500g block, rather than all of the partial block! What kind of wally would start a new cheese before finishing the old one? And why did he think i wanted that much cheese?!! Now i'll have to change my meal plan to use it all up as i've found that grated cheese doesn't keep for as long as block cheese. To make matters even worse, that was my last block! I always stock up on cheese as my children and i love it, (sometimes have 8 blocks piled up at the back of the fridge!) but I had been really good and not bought any yesterday, and now this!! ARGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

    Off to do some crafting now to calm down!!

    PG x
    Grocery challenge for family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(11), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries. Jan £87.97/£100 Feb £0/£100
    Frugal 2018 needed! Saving and NOT spending
    • Jolaaled
    • By Jolaaled 8th Jan 11, 8:15 PM
    • 1,038 Posts
    • 2,504 Thanks
    Jolaaled
    Well done Salski! I get quite excited about not shopping too!

    I went shopping yesterday, and put several things in my trolley only to take them out again as I don't need them. Ended up spending £35.67, but did include about £24 worth of medicine, vitamins, tissues, STs and a plug in air freshener. Just went through and worked that out, and quite shocked by the amount I spent that wasn't food!

    Had macaroni cheese for dinner tonight - the children love it and it's quick. Unfortunately the OH 'helped' me. There's a reason I keep him out of the kitchen!! He asked if he could grate the cheese. I said yes, he said all of it? I said yes, only to turn around and find he'd grated all of a 500g block, rather than all of the partial block! What kind of wally would start a new cheese before finishing the old one? And why did he think i wanted that much cheese?!! Now i'll have to change my meal plan to use it all up as i've found that grated cheese doesn't keep for as long as block cheese. To make matters even worse, that was my last block! I always stock up on cheese as my children and i love it, (sometimes have 8 blocks piled up at the back of the fridge!) but I had been really good and not bought any yesterday, and now this!! ARGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

    Off to do some crafting now to calm down!!

    PG x
    Originally posted by PennyGrabber
    PennyGrabber...grated cheese freezes really well..you could divide it up into portions and then freeze in individual bags.

    HTH
    • fingersxed
    • By fingersxed 8th Jan 11, 8:16 PM
    • 265 Posts
    • 2,664 Thanks
    fingersxed
    HI
    Shoppin day for me i,m afraid

    I was gd n did lidl,b&m and finally tesco. Spent quite abit!!! Only £283.93 to last till end of Jan.

    Watchin all my pennies now. Pickin up new ideas off the boards all the time. I,m totally addicted to spreadsheet. Can't believe how much we spent this month already.
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 8th Jan 11, 8:19 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    minnie2
    thanx will look them up!!!

    So i had to buy ingredients today - had £6.46 in the purse spent all but 79p! but they didnt have any flour!! walked to local shop but they only had flour for 85p so went home rummaged in drawers found 6p and went back so total spend of £6.52 today!!!


    tomorrow is going to be another nsd as i am not leaving the house!

    I have been working since 1pm today! and am working as we speak - getting paid to loaf on the couch, got paid to watch footy earlier too!! so by end of weekend i should have earnt just over £100 after tax (which is 20% as its my second job!) so hoping with the savings we are making that that can go towards some of our debts!! though i wont get paid till next month!!!

    oh i also done 3hrs of overtime last week!! all money in the kitty though again i wont see it till end of feb!!!
  • Tracey2609
    I have a couple of tips - some people may have already thought of them - so sorry if these are old hat...

    When shopping by myself I always round the prices up to the nearest 50p, that way I always spend less (my maths is appalling! but I can manage to do this!) The other thing that I do is on the main food shop I get my husband to add it up for me - he always over estimates how much we've spent and that way for approx. 8 weeks we've been under budget on our weekly shop. I've also taken my debit card and credit cards out of my purse - that way I can't overspend as I've got "no safety net" !!!
    Always be yourself, unless you can be a Unicorn - then always be a Unicorn !
    -----------------------------------------------------
    No More Buying Unnecessary Toiletries - Joined May 2013


    28x UU
    • Moniker
    • By Moniker 8th Jan 11, 8:30 PM
    • 626 Posts
    • 9,607 Thanks
    Moniker
    Thanks to angelatgraceland, wssla00 and scotsaver - I will be trying that can of evap tomorrow(I feel a rice pud coming on!)

    Trip to see APs went well and the lasagne I made turned out ok - more than enough for the 4 of us, so I brought back two helpings which DH and I will eat on Monday (so I don't have to cook whenI get home from work!)

    The German apple cake was ok - quite moist and pleasant but not enough apple and cinnamon flavour for my taste. It wasn't cheap to make - 4 eggs and double cream and sour cream in it - and I am not sure if it cooked correctly as the picture showed the apples on the top but in my case the cake mix rose up and covered everything. It made a huge cake though (I used a 12x12 inch tin) and I have put three quarters of it in the freezer. The quarter I took with me today made 4 generous portions. I can post the recipe if required but as I said it isn't a moneysaving one!

    As we were out visitng it was another NSD for me and no plans to shop tomorrow either!

    Off for an early night now. Catch you all tomorrow folks.

    Moniker
  • Equilibrium
    Lobby is local dish to Staffordshire. Its a stew/soup type dish that tastes better the next day, very warming and we often have a large pan of this ready for when we come in when the weather is cold and wet.. Its a dish that contains more meat when you can afford it and more veg when you cant. I remember my granny making it and if it was near pay day you would be lucky to find any meat in it

    11b - 1.5lb of stew beef (I use skirt beef) cut into bite sized chunks
    2 large onions - sliced
    handfull of pearl barley or rice
    some swede - diced small
    1-2 sticks celery, chopped
    4-5 carrots cut into thinish rounds
    4-5 potatoes cut into chunks.
    Stock or 2 beef stock cubes

    put the meat, onions and pearl barley/rice into a large saucepan, add the stock or stock cubes and enough cold water to cover, bring to the boil then turn heat down and cook slowly until meat is tender.
    Now add the veg and some seasoning and add more water to cover if necessary, cook again until the veg is cooked. Stir occasionally.
    Serve in bowls with thick crusty bread. It can be frozen as well.

    I cook this in a LARGE saucepan on the top of the cooker(usually last us 2-3 days) but it can be done in the pressure cooker or a slow cooker. (mum always did it in pressure cooker)
    We eat about half of the lobby and then add a tin of tomato soup to it for the rest.

    The recipe above is what I do but you can alter it to fit any veg you want using up and I suppose you can use lamb as well. Have done it with chicken but didnt like it as much but maybe thats just us.
    Originally posted by Billie-jo
    Thankyou Billie- Jo, ive never heard of it before but it definately sounds yummy. Thankyou so much for the recipe :D

    I have mine with mashed neeps-swede cooked until soft drained and mashed with butter salt pepper and a little cream,mashed tatties -again with butter salt pepper and a little cream,and a wee dram or some nice red wine to wash it all down,I have veggie haggis and microwave it in a covered dish-works fine for non veggie too and keeps it moist
    Originally posted by SuziQ1962
    Thankyou SuziQ thats pretty much what i do with mine so thats great

    Sorry to be a pain but ive had a hunt and I cant find what im looking for anywhere...where abouts will I find all the recipes that fit into slimming world? Ive lost just over 3 stone since June but have about another 3 to go lol and healthy food is always more expensive than crisps/ chocolate etc so some nice cheap and healthy recipes would be really helpful :-)
    Originally posted by bella121984

    Well Done Bella that's amazing weight loss


    NSD here today
    GC spend Jan so far £165.68/ £160 FEB £189 /£170
    MARCH £0/£170
    Beautiful pictures are formed from dark negatives , so when your having a dark day feel rest assured that a beautiful picture is being prepared for you
  • leeds1947
    Had a good week making lots of meals from scratch and using up what ive got in. Not buying any junk food and using any extra money earned to pay of credit card debt.Feels good to be taking action to be in control! Grocery challengespent £66.10/£200 Jan Credit card was£1566.38 Jan 1st paid £300 off 7th jan
    • buddiebabe
    • By buddiebabe 8th Jan 11, 9:47 PM
    • 1,407 Posts
    • 3,667 Thanks
    buddiebabe
    Hey

    Well didn't take lunch into work but have decided that if i don't take something from the house i have to use my own cash to buy lunch or dinner. Its not allowed to come out the grocery money as its we have plenty of food in the house i just couldn't be bothered to get something ready to take in! Main reason was i looked out the window and realised it had been snowing so decided to walk to work....

    Anyway i spent a grand total of £1.15 from the grocery budget today i got pain au chocolats for breakfast 2moro 55p (best before 08.01.11 but will be fine when i put them in the oven in the morning) and my bargain was a pack of lean steak mince for 60p display until 08.01.11 use by 09.01.11 so think we'll have spaghetti bolognese for dinner 2moro night... if i can be bothered to cook.

    2moro is my only day off and was looking forward to a nice long lie but i have a dilema. Our local farmfoods is shutting to get a refit for 3 weeks and the signs up in the window say that its closing on the 9th and that there will be 50% off. Now my freezer is nearly full to bursting so don't need any freezer things but i was thinking if the bottles of juice and jars and packets are going to be half price it may be worth while going to see if the 50% off applies to this stuff.... only problem is the shop is opening at 7am and closing at 12 so not sure what to do.... kinda want to go incase i miss out on bargains that would save me money in the long run but on the other hand would it be a false economy going???

    Decisions decisions.... really need someone to tell me what to do... I HATE MAKING DECISIONS

    Buddiebabe x
    DEBT OUTSTANDING 23.04.17 £16802.97
  • MRSMCAWBER
    Slow cooker Goan pork curry
    Righty-ho here is another recipe I have SW'd
    Now its not like a standard creamy curry -it has a hot sharpness to it... we love it and I don't even like curry

    Slow cooker Goan pork curry
    serves 4

    0.5 syn per serving on Red/EE
    • 900g pork (fat removed) -I used shoulder -diced
    • 100ml white wine vinegar
    • 2.5 fresh red chilies -deseeded and chopped
    • 1.5tsp turmeric
    • 1tsp yellow mustard seeds
    • 2tsp cumin seeds
    • 1tsp oil
    • 3 large onions - chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic
    • 1" chunk of fresh ginger -grated
    • oxo cube -beef/pork
    1. Mix 2-6 in a non metallic bowl and add the pork
    2. stir to coat and then cover and chill over night or for up to 24hrs
    3. tip into the slow cooker and switch on - cook for about 1hr
    4. heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan
    5. add the onions and once coated, sprinkle with a little salt
    6. add the garlic, ginger and cook until the onions are soft and starting to colour
    7. tip the onions in with the pork and add the crumbled oxo cube -stir to combine and then cook until the pork is tender
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
  • MRSMCAWBER
    sticky ginger pork marinade
    sticky ginger pork marinade
    serves 4
    3 syns per serving
    1. 4tbs Hoising sauce 6
    2. 2tbs soy
    3. 2tbs clear honey 5
    4. 1tsp ground ginger
    5. 1tsp 5 spice powder
    6. zest 1 orange -optional
    Simply mix all the ingredients together and throw in sliced pork/chicken or whatever you fancy and leave to marinade until you are ready to cook
    I stuck mine in first thing in the morning and left it all day. I only did half the mix for the 2 of us and to be honest it could probably have done enough meat for 3-4... so if you want to save syns
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
  • MRSMCAWBER
    SW stifado
    SW stifado
    serves 4
    pre-heat oven 170c/gas3
    1.5 syns on EE/Original

    9 syns on green
    • 2 onions -peeled and sliced
    • 3 cloves garlic -crushed
    • 600ml beef stock
    • 450g lean stewing steak-diced
    • 1tbs tomato puree
    • 180ml red wine
    • 2tbs red wine vinegar
    • 2 thyme sprigs (I used 1tsp dried)
    • 1 rosemary sprig (I used 1/2stp dried)
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1/2tsp cumin seeds
    • 1/2tsp cloves ----- tie these 3 into a piece of muslin
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 400g pickling onions -peeled and blanched
    • juice 1/2 lemon -I missed this out
    • seasoning
    1. put sliced onions, garlic and half stock in a large flameproof casserole - cover and bring to the boil for 5-10 mins -reduce the heat and simmer uncovered 20-30 mins until the onions are golden
    2. add steak and brown.
    3. add puree, red wine, vinegar, herbs and remaining stock
    4. drop in the muslin parcel
    5. cover and cook in the oven for 1 hr then add pickling onions then cook for a further 1-1.5hrs until steak is tender
    6. remove herbs and spice bag
    7. add seasoning and lemon juice
    It was gorgeous... I bubbled it to death on top of the stove just before serving to reduce the liquid right down,,,,, and like many things its much nice made the day before you want it and left to stand
    I will post some more tomorrow -I just don't want to flood the thread..
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 8th Jan 11, 10:18 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    happycrafter
    Quick up date now that the marmalade has cooled a bit:

    Now not nearly so runny..in fact, i think it should be ok after a short spell in fridge!

    PHEW.I am relieved at the Seville Oranges were not cheap (£2.00 per kilo). Not used them before and they are strange looking fruit on the inside...lots of pips, a thick skin, but they do smell divine!..and the marmalade is really fab.
    Originally posted by Jolaaled
    Glad it worked, I took one of my jars to a friend who made us dinner tonight (we take it in turns to cook dinner each saturday night), and mine was set perfect they had it on condition they give me glass jars for future supplies.
  • youngmummy
    spent - £5 today on milk, bread, and ham slices willl update sig now .... ive still got too do my main shop yet have a feeling i will go over by £200 a mth spend but will spend less in feb so it should all work out 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
  • rosieben
    MrsMc - your SW recipes are now in the index I might reorganise the list for next month so all the SW recipes are together.

    First post was full up so I've had to split some of the main meals recipes off into the second post

    I also added a recipe for Palmiers which flowertotmum posted on the Its tough thread

    well done moneysavingnovice on paying off the credit card
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • janie-h
    Hi all

    Thanks to everyone who runs and contributes to this thread - it's great to hear how you all are doing. I particularly love all the recipes (and special thanks to MrsM for the SW ones).

    Haven't been on the thread for 2 days - and it has taken me AGES to catch up (I don't like to miss anything!).

    Anyway, quick update - spent £17.87 in MrT's tonight. Will update sig.
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