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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 63
  • jackieglasgow
    Asda today was . 93.62 but I stocked up on quorn, lentils, chapatti flour and pasta which were all on offer. I also needed soy sauce, oil etc. so it was a storecupboard shop too. Also spent 15.32 in Aldi on F&Veg and mozarella and ice cream. Need to start mealplanning properly and in earnest now. I am also trying to lose weight so it will help with that, too!
    It's what is inside your head that matters in life - not what's outside your window
    Originally posted by mardatha
    Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory. - Ghandi
    • cat04
    • By cat04 10th Jan 11, 6:37 PM
    • 601 Posts
    • 2,596 Thanks

    Hope you don't mind if I join you all in the grocery challenge. Having read a few posts on what others do, I've decided that I'm going to set myself an annual amount, as week to week and month to month my grocery bill can change so much and for me it will be much easier to do it this way.

    I've always saved receipts for everything and had a book where I write them all down, catagorise them (e.g. food, clothes, petrol, haircuts, gifts etc). I have tons of reciepts but not written anything down for months so I have no idea what I spend per month, eek!

    I would really like to cut down on our grocery bill for various reasons, and I'm also hoping to lose some weight too this year so better meal planning will help with that too. As it's my first go, and on average I'm not sure what a weekly spend would be I'm going to go for 10 a day therefore a yearly total of 3650. It sounds such a lot in one go, and I really, REALLY hope I can stick to it. I'll get my receipts from the start of Jan to total up what I've spent so far - had a massive/expensive (!) stock up last week of loads of things so hopefully the rest of the month will be cheaper. Next year I'll try for 3000, unless I totally thrash that this year - I wish.

    3650 is for me and OH plus 2 DD's aged 6 and 3. To include: all food, drink, toiletries (not that I need many more lol), cleaning and household products
    Extra savings aim for 2016 4,000 2,799/4,000
    Starting mortgage over payments 2016 3,861.53/1,000
    Original MF date Feb 2025. Currently Feb 2023
    Married on 2nd August 2014
    • poohbear59
    • By poohbear59 10th Jan 11, 6:41 PM
    • 4,820 Posts
    • 55,754 Thanks
    Our 50 challenge for January was a tough one. The two youngest have gone back to uni/college and we are now just 3 adults. DH spent 25.54 on Sunday in the co-op and today spent 30p on 6 sausage rolls and 2 on cheese. So I only have 18.50 until the end of the month. Our month ends 24th so just 14 days to go.
    Grocery challenge 75/250 business mortgage 13798))''(+ Barclay's business kitchen loan 7116=Total of 20914, 69% paid off was 68105 Weight to lose 42lbs 0 to go!! PPI claimed and received 11117 Save 12k in 2017no 116. 0/5000
    'I had a black dog, his name was depression".
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 10th Jan 11, 6:58 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    Broad bean dip (from memory as can't find recipe)

    when i made this i had a tin of broad beans to use up and spent ages taking the skin off them to reveal the bright green bean underneath.

    tin of broad beans - drained and skinned
    low fat yoghurt
    lemon juice
    salt and pepper
    crushed garlic

    blitz with enough yoghurt until its the consistency you like (stiffer for crackers, runnier for vegetable sticks)
  • seductivesmile
    One last thing, anyone got any suggestions what I can do with some beef mince I have. Just froze 800gs of it in small portions but got another 800g I want to add some sauce to then maybe freeze, can anyone thing of anything other then a red pasta type sauce to go with the meat?
    Originally posted by zebredy
    When i had some mince beef given to me that i could not squeeze into my freezer, i first made mince, onions, mushrooms, pepper and chucked a tin of baked beans in, took portions out for shep pie, then added a tin of tomatoes, some garlic and herbs, took portions out for bolognaise, and then added kidney beans and sweetcorn, and chilli powder to make a chilli, used as chilli with rice, and as filling for enchiladas in the oven


    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.
  • Candy Belle
    Evening All, hope everyone's well and had a good day!

    Both DH and I managed to pick up the same bits of shopping today but separately! Spoke to DH at lunch and told him I'd already picked up apples,bananas and was going to pick up some rocket, cucumber and tomatoes up on my way back to work. Hmmmm I always knew he didn't listen to me - now I have proof!

    DH's Shopping

    I**land - 1 x Loaf - 1.35
    Bag of Apples - 1.00
    Huge block of cheese - 3.00 (600g methinks!)
    Total 5.35

    A**a - Vine Tomatoes - 1.54
    Rocket - 1.00
    Carrot Batons - 50p
    Total 3.04

    S/Bugs - Salmon - 4.00
    2 Boxes Mushrooms - 2.00
    Diced Chicken Breasts - 4.00
    Total 10

    Can't really complain in hinesight, he does do 95% of all the cooking and he'd gone straight into town from work (starts at 6.30am and finishes at 4.15pm and then waited to walk me home from work at 5.30pm)

    Now I'd better fuss up to what I brought!!

    A**a - Bunch of Bananas - 1.00
    Bag of Apples - 1.27
    Vine Tomatoes - 1.20
    Block of Cheese - 2.00 (on offer)
    Carrot Batons - 50p
    Cucumber - 40p
    Rocket - 1.00
    Total 7.37

    W***o's - 5 x Cat Food @ 68p - 3.40
    Treatsticks - 1.00 (for cat not DH!)
    Total - 4.40

    So all in all spend a hell of alot more than I wanted to today, but at lease we are good for cheese, rocket, vine tomatoes and carrots for a while!lol

    Sorry for the mammoth (sp?) post, off to cry while calculating new siggy!

    Have a good evening all! x
    Last edited by Candy Belle; 10-01-2011 at 7:23 PM.
    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 - Feb214.72/235.00
    NSD -May 3/31 Apr 10/30 Mar 3/31 Feb 6/28 NSD Jan 3/31
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 10th Jan 11, 7:26 PM
    • 3,288 Posts
    • 36,179 Thanks
    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.
    Originally posted by Rebelle
    Would something like this keep the door closed and sealed maybe?

  • SilverCo
    NSD for me today

    Lasagne for tea and have made up my sausage stew ready for the SC overnight. Will then freeze into around 4 portions in the morning.

    12 chorizo sausages
    2 onions
    2 potatoes
    2 carrots
    Half dozen mushrooms
    1 cup soup mix (or other dried pulses)
    1 tsp chilli powder
    1 400g tin kidney beans
    1 400g tin baked beans
    1 400g tins chopped tomatoes
    1 pint water
    Tomato puree

    Will stick on low for around 7-8 hours.

    Silver x
    Last edited by SilverCo; 10-01-2011 at 7:31 PM. Reason: Forgot an ingredient!
    1st LBM 21.12.09 Total Debt - 21049.95.
    Final LBM 16.8.13 Total Debt - 16583
    DFW Nerd #1282 - Proud to be Dealing with My Debts!
    SPC Member #1182
  • velbels
    Hi I've been lurking for a while but my first post on MSE. We are hoping to move this year so are trying to cut back a bit. Last year spent about 300 month on me DH and DS (2). This month trying to come in under 200. I have LOADS of previous approved foods and bargains stock to use up so hope will do ok. We cetainly have enough biscuits to last us to next Jan!

    Spend so far this month is 42.64 and think i have most of what i need for the week, except a roast for FIL visiting at the weekend.

    Meal plan:
    Mon: roast veg pasta (also made HM bread)
    Tues: Stir fry
    Wed: Chicken and Chips
    Thus: lamb cutlets and mash
    Fri: Lasagna
    Sat: sausages
    Sun: Roast

    Thank you for all the motivation on here
    • pixiedust09
    • By pixiedust09 10th Jan 11, 7:44 PM
    • 259 Posts
    • 3,126 Thanks
    Did an online shop at Mr T's that was delivered today and spent 39.37 I'll add that to my sig in a bit. Need to pop to PO and bank tomorrow so will pick up the bits I wanted from I**land then too. I always find their crisps and yogurts for OH's lunch box cheaper. Finished off shepherds pie for tea tonight with some beans. Also made a fruit loaf in the bread maker for the first time, half of which I've frozen as it will go stale quickly, and I've frozen my first ever black nana's instead of binning them, I'm so proud of myself , blimey I sound like a complete nutter.
    MFW 142- Oct 1999 55,0000, Jul 2013 27,593.17 Oct 2013 26,531, Dec 2014 22,600, Dec 2015 20,190, Jan 2016 19,944.19 Mar 2017 16,944.76 Decluttered 207/2018
    Smile it confuses people
  • zebredy
    When i had some mince beef given to me that i could not squeeze into my freezer, i first made mince, onions, mushrooms, pepper and chucked a tin of baked beans in, took portions out for shep pie, then added a tin of tomatoes, some garlic and herbs, took portions out for bolognaise, and then added kidney beans and sweetcorn, and chilli powder to make a chilli, used as chilli with rice, and as filling for enchiladas in the oven


    Originally posted by seductivesmile
    My OH doesn't like baked beans but all sound great to me, will try the chilli one in the next week or so, thanks ...
    Matthew, Izzy, Suzie, Harry, Darwin. My husband my cats, the main things that matter in my life...
  • pension-newbie
    Popped into large Mr T on way back from work trip - spent 22 on bits and bobs - bit undisciplined really but we do get through fruit at an enormous rate so hardly ever goes off so I don't mind stocking up. also got some half price frozen stuff for some cheapish ready meals for when we need to be quick
    All CC & Other Debts - Paid Off
    Fifty something family man looking to retire comfortably before he's dead or effectively so
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 10th Jan 11, 8:24 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    Last week of December meal plans before payday and I start Januarys challenge so this week we are having:

    monday - fry up sausages, bacon, eggs from our chickens, beans, toast and hash browns
    tuesday - homemade KFC wedges and homemade coleslaw with left over white cabbage carrots and some limp spring onions and mayo
    wednesday - shepherds pie and frozen veg gravy
    thursday - ham joint that I will have cooked wednesday night (will use leftovers for sandwiches and make a HM pastry free quiche for lunch) homemade chips and eggs
    friday - burgers and wedges
    saturday - pheasant and partridge that have been in freezer since Christmas our turn to cook dinner for friends
    sunday - lamb casserole (aldi do a bag of lamb chops in the freezer 2.99 for approx 7).

    Have also just pinned up my 2011 wish list hope I get some for Mopthers day, birthday or Christmas....

    list consists of so far

    set of circular needles for knitting socks, sausage maker and jam, chutney and pickles book.
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 10th Jan 11, 8:27 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    NSD today. That means I've only shopped three times this year, making 7 NSDs so far! I'm well impressed with that, as normally I'm tempted to go in for a 'few bits' and end up spending 20 or 30! OK, so I'm actually just over halfway through my budget, and not yet half way through the month, but oh well! Don't need too much, and I bought some UHT organics milk in asda (reduced to 50p in sale), and I dug out my breadmaker, which means that I don't actually need to go into the shop now. Have lots of tins of fruit and dried fruit, so mainly ok.

    Of course, being the compulsive shopper I am, I'm bound to muck up, but that's the beauty of a new month and a new budget!

    Children had potato waffle, poached egg and baked beans for dinner. I had their leftovers and some leftover Xmas cake! Not good for diet, but good for purse! Reckon it cost 59.5p plus a squirt of ketchup!

    Tip for newbies: I have a long old list of regular meals I cook at home. They are organised by price, so when I'm at the end of my GC budget, I choose from the cheaper end of the list!! HTH someone.

    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
  • welshkaz
    Hiyas all im doing really well this month for a change ... mrT just dropped off my order shame he dont pay for it lol 63.30 for me today x
    may groc challenge 167/280...
    • CupOfChai
    • By CupOfChai 10th Jan 11, 8:34 PM
    • 1,319 Posts
    • 7,295 Thanks
    Did another shop after work today, so I'm up to about 20 spent now and good for food until Friday. Want a pizza for that day's dinner, and helpfully I saw some offers on that should still be there when I go to get it.

    Now, I can't at all think of what to do for me and possibly Boyfriend for lunch on Saturday. We'll just want something smallish, like a sandwich or some such, but I've no idea what to make :S. Any ideas anyone? Don't say a sandwich, I don't want one of them again!
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 10th Jan 11, 8:36 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    I've frozen my first ever black nana's instead of binning them, I'm so proud of myself , blimey I sound like a complete nutter.
    Originally posted by pixiedust09
    I know im a complete nutter a mse nutter that is!!
    this time last year when we were given loads of large oranges they sat in the house until they went rotten, this year totally different frame of mind I cant throw anything away with looking on the web for a recipe to use it up, this year I made the oranges in to marmalade and it was soooo simple i couldnt stop smiling all day and tell everyone I made it.

    today i chopped up half a white cabbage, some limp spring onions and grated some carrots for HM coleslaw usually they would have all got chucked. My OH says Im getting obsessed but I dont care if it saves me money and pays off our debts quicker and we still have fun and we do weirdly but we both spend our time in the kitchen cooking.
  • cat_smith
    Pot Roast Chicken was delicious. Huge amounts left and its just falling off the bone.

    About to put SC on again with the juices left (ready made stock!), lentils and lots of frozen leftover veg. Should do lunches for the rest of the week.

    Forgot to get mushrooms so will go to Mr T first thing tomorrow. JUST mushrooms! Then I'm doing SC Gourmet Bolognaise for dinner. Wonderful recipe - added chicken livers and smoked bacon. It makes it really special.
    GC Mar 13 47.36/150
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 10th Jan 11, 9:15 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    Just been onto approved foods, and did a 30 order incl delivery. Then I deleted it all, as I don't actually need it or have space to store it! It was just stuff that I fancied, or that I wouldn't actually buy normally, therefore even though it was cheap, it was still wasted money, IYSWIM.
    Wow, I'm getting better! On that virtuous note, I'm going to bed - at least I can spend as much as I want in my dreams! Caviar, champagne, decent cuts of meat, heinz etc etc etc (mouth waters!)...

    Night all!
    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
    • Rebelle
    • By Rebelle 10th Jan 11, 9:46 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 786 Thanks
    Oh dear, oh dear. Popped to Asda for milk, bread and two weeks' petfood and loo roll (which would have blown the budget anyway) because I had a lift, but then spent another tenner on a few more bits for the freezer and some stuff on offer (2 for 1 Pot Noodles, 3 for 1 Ainsley cous cous, 50p Laughing Cow cheese).

    Am a bit disappointed to have gone so much over my 50 target with two weeks still to go, but it is my first month and I'm still learning! Think my target for Feb will be a bit more realistic, keeping track of things this month should give me a better idea of what to aim for.
    Pax Et Bonum
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