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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 62
    • Savvy sewing
    • By Savvy sewing 10th Jan 11, 12:53 PM
    • 10,808 Posts
    • 56,812 Thanks
    Savvy sewing
    I have just gone a bit crazy and ordered loads of "luxury goods" biscuits, cakes, and the like from ApproOved Foods. Spent £20.20 out of my budget, but have masses coming as I was £20 in credit! Now I am wondering where I will store it all as the new house doesnt have room! Oops. under the stairs will need a complete rethink! Although I know that the kids usually all go home with a carrier bag of stuff each whenever I have one of these kind of deliveries!.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • thriftmonster
    • By thriftmonster 10th Jan 11, 12:53 PM
    • 1,656 Posts
    • 8,014 Thanks
    thriftmonster
    Had a NSD day yesterday - normally we would have got bread for lunch - but we had slightly stale bread toasted instead and then dh made rolls for the packed lunches today. Spent £2.89 today on 5 large sausage rolls (for p/ lunches), a 12 pack of crisps (will do p lunches for weeks as I don't put them in too often) and 1 pack of crisps reduced to 10p. Remembered to bring lunch to work as well so a good day so far.

    Am definitely considering purchases now before I make them.
    ďthe princess jumped from the tower & she learned that she could fly all along. she never needed those wings.Ē
    Amanda Lovelace, The Princess Saves Herself in this One
  • brodie1
    Hi all,
    not doing badly at the mo, goabout 47.00 of my budget andmy month ends Sunday. have masses in and 2 totallt stocked freezers, for the first time ever
    Went in to morrisons today to tke advantage of their HP sauce at 72p and thie own tom sauce at 26p. I love thie M value tom ketchup but brown sauce we prefer HP.
    Also got tetley tbags at 2.64 for 240 , got 2 of those, icbnb 4 of at 56 p each (always stock up on this for basking especially).
    They also had golden syrup cake on bogoff so got 4. DS and his GF have demolished one for breakfast. Its so nice to see some proper offers on things we use, they seem to have been lacking lately.

    MrsM snap, we are having spanish chicken too!! We all love it so much it is so lush. To anyone who hasnt tried it you should. Mrs M posted it on here so I am sure it must be in the recipies.
    We are having hm semifreddo for dessert , not exactly MSE desset but it works out about £4.00 . I do try to keep most main courses well under £1.00 per portion

    Anyway really pleased how this month is going and pretty sure I wont need anything else.

    Brodie1
    Brodie 1/ july 300/330.62August300/322.49
    September 300/239.78Oct300/258.50Nov 250/282.24 December 300/300.01 JAN 2011 300/288.72 . September 300/319.19, October 300/351.59Three adults, 1 dog and 1 cats and cleaning stuff, toiletries, beer.
  • FluffyBunnykins
    Had a small spend this weekend as my mum had grabbed two turkey crowns and frozen them for me all the sum of £3 (£1.50 ea). So they will stay frozen for now and when I can possibly treat myself to a meat slicer, one of them will be sandwiches for work.

    Talking of meat slicers, does anyone have any recommendations??

    Keep up the good work peeps
    MAR GC £92.43 / £100 NSD 16 / 31
    FEB GC £123.29 / £100.00 NSD 21 / 28
    JAN GC £133.89 / £100.00 NSD 23 / 31
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 10th Jan 11, 1:49 PM
    • 1,614 Posts
    • 4,357 Thanks
    zcrat41
    Oh Lordy....
    I thought I was quite good with money and cooking from scratch at home etc.

    In Dec my boyfriend proposed and became a fiancee!!! I moved in with him at the end of Dec and we've organised a joint account etc which we each put £250 per month in for groceries. There's only 2 of us but the idea is that we'll spend WAAAAAY less than that and use the remainder for meals out/holidays/cleaner during the summer (we're both farmers and work up to 100 hr weeks during the summer so don't have time to do much else.)

    I'm in charge of grocery shopping and I've managed to spend a whopping £96 on 2 of us for the first week of Jan. OMG! I was thinking I'd aim for £50 - 60. Well, I hit that in the supermarket but then proceeded to "nip to the shop" for bits and bobs 3 times. Dangerous habit to be starting.

    So, just a bit of a rant really. There's no reason why I can't do better - I work 7.30 - 4.30 mon - fri during the winter (although planning a wedding for June feels like a full time job in the evenings!) so this was just a bit of a rant on paper to kick myself to get my act together for next week!!

    Thanks for listening ZC
  • Jo4nne
    Well, today I went to A*da and managed to do my weekly food shop for under £20, but more importantly I completely avoided the temptations of magazines, clothes, books or DVDís and only bought the items on my shopping list, I canít remember the last time that happened - yay. But then got home and noticed one of the reduced items had a BBE date of 9th Jan - boo!
    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 10th Jan 11, 1:56 PM
    • 9,343 Posts
    • 17,889 Thanks
    zippychick
    ive merged this with the grocery challenge thread Good luck with it
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

    • Fruball
    • By Fruball 10th Jan 11, 2:00 PM
    • 5,093 Posts
    • 36,653 Thanks
    Fruball
    Well, today I went to A*da and managed to do my weekly food shop for under £20, but more importantly I completely avoided the temptations of magazines, clothes, books or DVDís and only bought the items on my shopping list, I canít remember the last time that happened - yay. But then got home and noticed one of the reduced items had a BBE date of 9th Jan - boo!
    Originally posted by Jo4nne
    What was the item that was BBE 9th? As its Best Before you can probably still use it - its different to a Use By date in that the product is BEST before that date, but still probably quite useable
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 10th Jan 11, 2:16 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    minnie2
    Well that's pretty amazing! Well done
    Originally posted by Hippeechiq
    THANX hopefully we can do well in other areas too though!! and our cupboards and freezer re looking a bit thin on the ground now!!
  • Jo4nne
    Hi Frugal,

    The item was for some prawn wontons, reduced from £1.99 to 0.74p. I was going to freeze them today and have as a treat with my home made Chinese on Saturday. I've just checked and it has a 'display' and 'use by' date of 9th Jan. What do you reckon - still usable?

    Thanks
    Jo

  • wssla00
    Spent £24.35 on bits and bobs including food, honey, jam, cleaning products, the AMAZING fabric conditioner form Lidl and some finish quantum dishwasher tabs. I slipped up by buying both ice cream and cornets from Lidl but the two of them together will last ages so not such a bad thing. I'm pretty much set now until OH payday on 20th, which is when my month ends. I MAY however be tempted by an approved food order before the month is out!

    Have a good day all
    Feb GC: £200 Spent: £190.79
    • Sparklyfairy
    • By Sparklyfairy 10th Jan 11, 4:18 PM
    • 751 Posts
    • 1,539 Thanks
    Sparklyfairy
    Spent £24.35 on bits and bobs including food, honey, jam, cleaning products, the AMAZING fabric conditioner form Lidl and some finish quantum dishwasher tabs. I slipped up by buying both ice cream and cornets from Lidl but the two of them together will last ages so not such a bad thing. I'm pretty much set now until OH payday on 20th, which is when my month ends. I MAY however be tempted by an approved food order before the month is out!

    Have a good day all
    Originally posted by wssla00

    If you don't mind me asking, which fab conditioner did you get from Lidl? I'll pass by one this week & in desperate need of some!

    As for me - I already spend almost £36 at Aldi TODAY & someone mentioned AP & there I am, spending £19. Poop. Anyhow - we're sorted for the kids lunches & my oh will be happy with some cakes & almond extract & peppermint flavouring I plan on using LOTS of, (Penguins & popcorn, too). Still, where is my will power??!!

    I hope you all are doing much better than I am!
  • wssla00
    Hiya sparklyfairy,

    It's called doussy softcare (the white one). It's good as my skin is really sensitive but smells super dooper! It's £1.99 I think for 1.5l but it's concentrated so it's the equivalent of the massive ones you get from comfort and the like, so saves a bundle! I really like their cleaning stuff. The smells on them are pretty good!
    Feb GC: £200 Spent: £190.79
    • Sparklyfairy
    • By Sparklyfairy 10th Jan 11, 4:29 PM
    • 751 Posts
    • 1,539 Thanks
    Sparklyfairy
    Hiya sparklyfairy,

    It's called doussy softcare (the white one). It's good as my skin is really sensitive but smells super dooper! It's £1.99 I think for 1.5l but it's concentrated so it's the equivalent of the massive ones you get from comfort and the like, so saves a bundle! I really like their cleaning stuff. The smells on them are pretty good!
    Originally posted by wssla00

    Ooh thanks for that! I'll def give it a go - I haven't tried that one yet n- can't wait! xx
  • scotsaver
    I was a bit dissapointed today as i have lost various things at my allotment due to heavy snow/low temperatures for so long...all my celeriac's, savoy cabbages, broad beans and purple sprouting broccolii is rotten. I do still have parsnips, curley kale and jeruselum artichokes and leeks left but some of my apples in my shed are also going rotten....this will affect my shopping budget...it's very frustrating....but never mind it's a set back i will need to get over.
    Originally posted by kippers
    kippers - I can sympathise with you on this, I lost my cauli's and was upset, I only planted about half the allotment last year as it was my first year, this year I'm all set to plant up the whole plot and I know there will be successes and failures but I'm still learning so hey ho!

    Also made some 5 root veg soup for lunches for the next 2 days. Tomorrow I am attempting to cook fresh beetroot for the first time, wish me luck
    Originally posted by XSpender
    XSpender - I cook my fresh beetroot, leave the skin on, boil until softened and then I put on a pair of rubber gloves and the skin just sort of slips off. I much prefer the taste of freshly cooked beetroot to the pickled stuff. Fresh beetroot is also delicious roasted.

    Can't remember who asked about Egg Whites but I too freeze any spare and they never go off. When making meringue, I always follow Delia's recipe, 3 egg whites and 6oz caster sugar. Preheat oven to 150 degrees, Whisk the egg whites to soft peaks then add sugar gradually, spread onto a baking sheet, put in the Oven, reduce temp to 140 degrees, cook for 1 hour then turn the oven off and leave the Meringue in the Oven until cooled, I've used this Recipe for years and never had a problem and always lovely and crisp.

    I've updated my total with spends in Lid! today, got plenty of fruit & veg for the rest of the week and also picked up a big sack of potatoes 7.5kg for £2.49 which I thought was great value.

    Dinner tonight is a Lamb Curry using the leftover Lamb from last nights roast, serving it with spicy potatoes instead of rice as had some baby potatoes to use up.

    Have a good evening everyone.
    "WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!"
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

  • cat_smith
    Yeah. Managed to go out and drop off bumpf at Oxfam, go to gym and homebase and still manage a NS day. I do have some will power
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
  • bella121984
    [QUOTE Dinner tonight is a Lamb Curry using the leftover Lamb from last nights roast, serving it with spicy potatoes instead of rice as had some baby potatoes to use up.

    Have a good evening everyone.[/QUOTE]

    LOVE the idea of spicy potatoes with curry instead of rice...we often have potatoes left over and I never know what to do with them...great idea!
    January grocery challenge- £338.09/£350
    £365 in 365 days- £25
    January NSDs- 9
    Money made on ebay- £16.89
    • Rebelle
    • By Rebelle 10th Jan 11, 5:46 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 786 Thanks
    Rebelle
    Hello

    Well you're all still working your magic on me - first day back at work today since Xmas, went in 3 separate shops (Home Bargains, Netto & Iceland) and in each one bought only what I needed and nothing else! Knowing I have to come on here, do my total and 'fess up keeps me on the straight and narrow, definitely. I love you guys!

    £12.57 to add to the GC total, spent a bit more than I thought (as usual!) replacing stuff because the dodgy seal on my freezer door came unstuck overnight and OH rang me at work to say some of the contents had defrosted - the tightly packed stuff on the lower shelves was fine but lost a few HM readymeals, some mince and potato waffles that had gone too far, bit annoying but not a total disaster. Also now have a whole chicken and a small gammon joint that were in there defrosting in the fridge, but at least that's this week's dinners chosen for us! Think I'll have to look for a cheap little chest freezer to avoid anymore mishaps and use the dodgy freezer just for bread.

    Had a bit of good luck today too though - a surprise windfall! Just before Xmas I was given a letter by an old neighbour which had been delivered to my previous address. It was about a savings acct I'd had as a kid that I'd totally forgotten about, but couldn't find out til today when I went into the branch to close it down how much was in there... turned out to be £85! Not a fortune, but very helpful, especially this month when things are so tight!

    So thanks again to you all for helping me stay on track, gonna stop rambling and go and update my sig...
    Pax Et Bonum
  • Tracey2609
    My second no spend day of January woohoo!!!
    Always be yourself, unless you can be a Unicorn - then always be a Unicorn !
    -----------------------------------------------------
    No More Buying Unnecessary Toiletries - Joined May 2013


    28x UU
  • Penny-Pincher!!
    Have spent £27.11 so far from the 3/1/11, so quite pleased with that. DD loves Tropicana smooth and Lidl's have them on offer atm at £1.25 each, so we bought 10 and that should last us 18-20 days....yeah right....we will see. So that was £12.50, then we needed some salad (69p) on offer atm, muller yogurts x 2 (50% off atm), squash x 2 (offer), cottage cheese x 2, cheddar (offer), cucumber (offer), ham (offer), kingsmill (reduced x 2), bacon(offer) and paper towels (offer). Cant remember we shopped at Lidl, but all seemed good value.

    We have got a F&V box for 4 weeks to get the free one, so this works to £12pw on top, but EVERYTHING has been used, which Im pleased about.

    No diesel yet and still half a tank, so will fill her up next week maybe.

    Total so far £51.11 inc the F&V box tomorrow for 2 weeks.....so far...so good!

    Also today we sorted our bathroom cupboard to do the no toiletries for a year thread and am very embarrased by how much "cheapies" we have! I think the only thing we will need this year will be toothpaste and some sanitary wear much later in the year and some wet wipes when Boots have a voucher code worth using, or may use points to buy these.

    I have found a spare purse to put the food and diesel money in and am keeping all receipts etc to keep track of things.

    Hope everyone is doing well.

    PP
    xx
    To repeat what others have said, requires education, to challenge it,
    requires brains!

    FEB GC/DIESEL £200/4 WEEKS
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