Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • 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 72
  • Hippeechiq
    I'll second that - in fact, I had some frozen celery in my Coq Au Vin for tea tonight.

    It's fine as long as long as you use it in a dish - like the above, or a stew or a curry
    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
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 12th Jan 11, 9:39 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    NickJW
    It seems a lot of us are being hard on ourselves today. Thank you for the supportive post Moniker

    Someone actually showing me how it works would be best, but funds wont allow, and I don't really know anyone where I live apart from the people I used to work with, who were work colleagues rather than "friends" are they were all pensioners, apart from management. Mind you, I'm sure some of the pensioners are probably more clue up than I! So I think Excel for Dummies is probably a good idea, especially as we have a library a 2minute walk from me - thanks for the suggestion

    To all newcomers who are struggling with their budget this month, you need to cut yourself some slack - budgeting for less than you're used to spending is difficult. I've been taking part in the challenge for the past 6 months and I've only been successful 3 out of those 6. Take the positive from the situation with the knowledge that if you hadn't been trying, you would undoubtedly have spent much more

    wssla00 I'm really sorry to hear about your job hun. It seems that much worse to hear it's hanging in the balance on your birthday.

    Let's hope it doesn't come to that, but, if it does....I lost my job last year the day after my birthday (also January) and although things haven't picked up (we're still surviving on OHs wage and no benefits) it isn't all doom and gloom, and you do get by, and actually, although it is hard, it's a nicer pace of life.

    Glad the trees turned up and you're pleased with them. I'd love some fruit trees, but sadly, all my back garden is paving slabs, and there's not really any room for such things.
    Originally posted by Hippeechiq
    You'll be okay Hippiechiq - once you get used to it it's like 'riding a bike' as they say. I don't know if you do, but do you have Powerpoint installed on your computer by any chance? Sometimes it comes automatically installed on your computer even if you don't use it. If you do I can create a quick p.point presentation (like a slide show), which gives an easy step by step guide. If not I can message a easy Word document with print screens to a similar effect. Otherwise, if you find the Excel book that will be just as good.
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

    Grocery Challenge 13 -spent 1453.06
    Grocery Challenge 12 -spent 1565.51

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • Tropicalmoments
    Haven't posted for a few days but actually haven't spent anything. However tonight went to Mr T's and got a weeks worth of shopping but menu planned before hand and worked out my shopping list on my supermarket before heading out - and stuck to my list too. Spent 21.81 but I had 16.00 of vouchers leftover from end of last year so I used those therefore my total spend from my grocery budget was 5.81.

    I've updated my signature accordingly and I'm really, really hoping that I won't need to venture near a shop or petrol station until next Wednesday

    If I can stick to my budget this month I'll be well chuffed.
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 12th Jan 11, 9:41 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    NickJW
    You can chop and freeze the celery for future use if you can't find a recipe for it. I do this all the time and it is fine to use in soup or stews from frozen
    Originally posted by XSpender
    Thanks for this! Do you have to blanche it or anything? (I should look at how to do this!) I froze cabbage fresh once, and when I defrosted it, it tasted rotten! I've never dared to freeze fresh veg ever since then!
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

    Grocery Challenge 13 -spent 1453.06
    Grocery Challenge 12 -spent 1565.51

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • helen jelly
    Evening all

    Welcome to all the new people - nice to see you

    Went to MrS today for a couple of bits and spent 42 - I'm blaming DH cos he was with me lol

    Off to update siggy now

    Helen
    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 12th Jan 11, 10:39 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    happycrafter
    My flatmate cooked tonight, so we had a Jamie Oliver fish pie from the new cookbook - very nice, and enough leftover for tomorrow. The problem is that he bought loads of veg to go with it, and there was only a bit used. There is now a big bag of celery and a load of spinach, plus more chillis (which are okay because they last). If I don't use it, he will just chuck it away!

    I was thinking of doing THIS recipe for some of it on Friday, because I just need to get one carrot and chorizo. It calls for Sherry vinegar which I don't have, so I wondered if Rice Wine vinegar would be an acceptable subsitute. I saw that Sherry vinegar is 1.59 in Mr S on Mysuperm*ket, so I'll buy if I have to, but if anyone thinks it won't be necessary I'll just use the rice wine vinegar.

    UNLESS anyone has any ideas on how to use up spinach,celery (not raw - yuck!), and chillis (red, green and birds eye)? They don't have to be all together, but I need to use the spinach and celery in 2 meals this week. I have also have chicken, bacon, sausages and stewing beef in the freezer, red and white wine if need be, rice, pasta, lentils, beef and chicken stock, cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley and thyme needing using up, chopped tomatoes chickpeas, cannellini beans, plus every dried spice, herb and baking product you can imagine. My eyes are going sore searching tonight and for once I have absolutely ZERO inspiration! Willing (actually would like to) do veggie if necessary.

    ETA: it sounds like I am doing a dating ad here! :-)
    Originally posted by NickJW
    sorry replying a bit late had friends round tonight for a goss, you could use your spinach and chillis, chopped toms with the lentils and make a dhal. Not sure on the celery as its not something i enjoy eating.
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 12th Jan 11, 10:43 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    happycrafter
    PS I love the people on this thread so friendly and full of information, its the same on both the thrifty gifty make money and presents thread, plus the knit your sqaure infact every thread I post on is full of really great people.
    xx

    just had a great night with friends and feeling all warm and fuzzy no alcholol required either
  • janie-h
    Hi all

    Well, I was at Uni all day today and so bought lunch & coffee there... oh, and a bottle of ribena - so 5.00 there!!!

    Also, small-ish shop in A**i on way home 8.09. But, that included 4.58 for cat food and 1.58 for some sweets for friend at work. She's allergic to beef so can't ususally eat jelly sweets as they contain beef gelatine, but the A**i ones are pork gelatine and she's well chuffed that I found them.

    Noticed in some posts reference to fruit trees and a website that they were from... I would love some fruit trees to add to my blueberry, gooseberry and herbs, but can't find the original post with the website. Can anyone help?

    Off to update sig. Have a good Thursday everyone
  • Hippeechiq
    Nick I don't have MS 0ffice on my lappy, and because of that, I don't even get to have MS Word can you believe?!

    Not even Wordpad. Well, I have Wordpad, and I can create a document in Wordpad, but once I've saved it and go to open what I've saved, I apparently need MS W0rd to be able to do it, which it seems is now part of MS 0ffice.

    All I have at my disposal is Notepad, and 0pen 0ffice, which should - I believe - behave like MS 0ffice....but I imagine if you sent me a Powerpoint presentation (for want of a better word) you'll then be talking to me about importing files or something or other or PDF, or maybe neither, but I really don't have a clue about any of it - go me! lol

    With regard to your celery - not a veggie recipe I'm afraid, but very nice, and very simple. Quick to assemble and quick to cook. Bit of a cheats curry really

    FRUITY CHICKEN CURRY
    Serves 2

    1 Tbs Oil
    200g Chicken Breast, diced
    1 Onion, diced
    2 Garlic Cloves (or tspns of Lazy Garlic)
    1 Tbs Medium Curry Powder
    1 Tbs Mild Curry Powder (although you may want to adjust this according to taste - recipe actually calls for 3, but I find one tablespoon of each enough)
    1 Celery Stalk, chopped
    Apple, diced
    Red Pepper, chopped
    75g Sultanas
    450ml Chicken Stock

    Recipe calls for salt, but I find there is enough from the stock cube. Better to taste and see, than add, and find it's too much

    Melt oil in pan over medium heat
    Add Chicken and brown on all sides (approx 5-7 mins)
    Remove from pan and transfer to plate
    Add Onion and saute for approx 6 mins until translucent (add Garlic at this stage if using fresh)
    Stir in Curry Powder and cook for 30 seconds
    Return Chicken to pan, and add Apple, Celery, Pepper, Sultana, Stock & Lazy Garlic if using
    Cover and simmer for 10 minutes

    I cook it for 20 cos I worry about food poisoning (but that's just me) and remove the lid for the last 5 mins to allow the sauce to thicken.

    It's not a "creamy" curry, and it bites back! Oh, and no need to blanche the celery before freezing
    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
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 13th Jan 11, 12:00 AM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    angelatgraceland
    Nick I don't have MS 0ffice on my lappy, and because of that, I don't even get to have MS Word can you believe?!
    Originally posted by Hippeechiq
    Ive just had a look on youtube for you and found a decent little video for you which explains some spreadsheet basics! Take a look at the 3 minute mark-its magic! Whether excel or open office its basically the same. There are loads of tutorials on youtube-all free!
    Same applies to your word processor program. Some documents will open in it-it is worth looking for instructions on youtube-there are a lot of people who put these on who are well qualified-my son being one of them! Its not all films and larks on youtube-we often forget the serious videos!
    All good moneysaving-it is also good place to review items b efore buying them as my son does-you can see things being used-all the functions etc-there are a lot of really fantastic vids-nerby maybe but great.

    Just spent 2 today on the lucozade and mars bars for hubby.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8L1OVkw2ZQ8&feature=related
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is 1500 pa 125 calendar month 28.84 pw for 3 adults
  • Tropicalmoments
    Nick I don't have MS 0ffice on my lappy, and because of that, I don't even get to have MS Word can you believe?!

    Not even Wordpad. Well, I have Wordpad, and I can create a document in Wordpad, but once I've saved it and go to open what I've saved, I apparently need MS W0rd to be able to do it, which it seems is now part of MS 0ffice.

    All I have at my disposal is Notepad, and 0pen 0ffice, which should - I believe - behave like MS 0ffice....but I imagine if you sent me a Powerpoint presentation (for want of a better word) you'll then be talking to me about importing files or something or other or PDF, or maybe neither, but I really don't have a clue about any of it - go me! lol
    Originally posted by Hippeechiq
    Hippeechiq - if you set up a googlemail account it will give you access to wordprocessing, spreadsheets and presentations software on your computer without you needing to install the software. It's called 'cloud computing' but is great if you don't have MS office on your computer. And when you save the documents you save them in your google space rather than on your computer so they are accessible whichever computer you use.

    Just set up an account - go to documents and then create and you can choose whatever sort of document you wish.

    Tm

    Edit - just noticed that there are a number of budget templates
    Last edited by Tropicalmoments; 13-01-2011 at 12:37 AM.
  • youngmummy
    spent 4.40 over the last few days on lil bits, milk, bread carrots ect , have updated sig 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
  • scotsaver

    I've been feeling a bit down the last few days-i'm sure it's just that it's wet and gloomy and i'm desparate to get back to my allotment as i haven't worked on it for ages due to the weather. I'm still waiting for my fruit trees, blue berry bushes to be delivered so i can plant them, so i know it will cheer me up when they do come. Dreaming of the fruit i have to come in the future cheers me up as it will be more to save on groceries as fruit is so so expensive. I opened some yellow plum jam today that i made in the summer from my allotment neighbours tree ...it tasted of summer...i can't wait till the warmer spring days.

    Anyway, hope everyone is having a good day and enjoying the challenge.
    Originally posted by kippers
    kippers - sorry to hear you've been feeling down - I think you're right about it being the Weather, it's already felt like a long Winter as we had snow in November and again in December and now we've had nothing but rain. I too can't wait to get back onto the Allotment, was perked up today when a Friend who doesn't live close by phoned to say they loved their Hamper that I made them for Xmas, they loved the Jams and Chutneys and she wants to give me the Basket back so that I can make another for next Xmas - that really made me feel chuffed.

    Yesterday's HM Bread was delicious, will definitely be making it by hand from now on, going to try experimenting with different shapes etc.

    Think I'll be going to Sainsbugs today - they have sent me a 7.50 off a 50 spend and checked Mysupermarket and they have loads of offers on so think I'll be tempted.

    Dinner tonight will be something with Pasta, found a recipe in one of my books that uses Tuna so may give that a go.

    Hippeechiq - you haven't "failed" - you are spending less than this time last year, in my eyes that's a huge success. Keep positive.

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

  • Candy Belle

    Morning!

    Just a small spend yesterday

    A**a - Toliet Wipes - 1.02
    2 x Fox's Biscuits - 1.00 (on offer)

    Wil**s - Pk 8 Sponge Scourers - 98p
    5 Pouches Felix - 1.95

    Total 4.95

    Have a good day everyone
    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
    • MrsGSR
    • By MrsGSR 13th Jan 11, 6:35 AM
    • 1,036 Posts
    • 5,311 Thanks
    MrsGSR
    I've come in under budget this week. Weekly spend is 40 and we spent 31 alltogether and thats with using a meal plan and sticking to the list.
    It means we are eating list crap though lol
  • JayJay14
    Morning!

    Just a small spend yesterday

    A**a - Toliet Wipes - 1.02
    2 x Fox's Biscuits - 1.00 (on offer)

    Wil**s - Pk 8 Sponge Scourers - 98p
    5 Pouches Felix - 1.95

    Total 4.95

    Have a good day everyone
    Originally posted by Candy Belle
    Have looked here they are free delivery and work out at about 24p a pouch.

    And if you have a nectar card you can go to amazon through their website and get points too.
    Last edited by JayJay14; 13-01-2011 at 7:19 AM.
  • SeriouslySeekingtoSave
    Great words of advice Hippeechiq (sorry if I've spelt that wrong...). I agree that it's good not to beat yourself up too much. I've just started this challenge and although I'm sure I'm going to make it, it's just because I had no idea how much I spent on food and so set a target of 150 which is basically 5 a day. I had no idea if this was going to be doable or not but it turns out that it definately is so next time I'll try for something a bit tougher...

    But if you don't meet your target, never mind. As you say, just trying to keep inside of a budget probably means you've already saved more than you would have if you hadn't been trying.

    Positive vibes everyone!
    Mini Challenge - Halve 2nd Mortgage by Year End
    Starting: 10,000 Currently 8,142.62
    3,142.62 to go!
  • SeriouslySeekingtoSave
    P.S. That looks like a brilliant easy to make chicken curry. I'm taking a copy and I'll give it a go.
    Mini Challenge - Halve 2nd Mortgage by Year End
    Starting: 10,000 Currently 8,142.62
    3,142.62 to go!
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 13th Jan 11, 7:34 AM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,926 Thanks
    jintyb
    [QUOTE=freedom2011;40180576][QUOTE=adelight;40163266]

    Ooooh are they good beans? I do love coffee! I live opposite a shop that sells coffee machines and dozens of varieties of coffee beans, they will make up and grind blends in front of you so I have to keep myself well stocked with Lidl coffee to avoid temptation!

    Yes, they are delish can you beileve I normally pay 3 per bag. I am lucky to have a good quality coffee maker which grinds the beans for each cup, we never have coffee out now & even friends pop by just 2 have one! Hubby makes up a flask fresh to take to work.
    Originally posted by freedom2011

    May I ask what make your coffee maker is? Have been thinking of treating myself to one, so it would be good to have a recommendation.


    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
  • Mothership
    Lamb Chops (from the freezer) for dinner tonight. My veggie sister is coming to stay the night, will make fried rice for her.
    My First Mr T order arrives tonight, hope all the stuff comes.

    I'm really enjoying this GC, and the discipline it brings with it. I was brought up with my grandmother who taught me all the old ways, they seemed to get lost in the madness of modern living. The supermarket have us all brainwashed into thinking we need all this stuff.
    I have vowed NEVER to buy another convenience meal, or anything I wont actually use. I've gone back to making everything from scratch, I was surprised how it all came back to me. I love cooking, but had become lazy, not every day, but enough to waste money.
    The good thing about this thread is it reeducates you. I for one really appreciate all the effort that has gone into the organisation and maintenance of these pages. So a BIG thank you from me.

    I love reading this thread and catching up on everyones posts. it keeps me focused on the job in hand and distracts me a little from a great overwhelming sadness that has engulfed my family, I'm having to be strong for them, and hide my feelings.
    When I'm upset about something I can usually work it out in the garden (but its much too cold to do anything yet).

    I've been making curtains , upholstering etc , for my two youngest daughters freezing flats. I was really pleased when I got the younger ones new sitting room curtains up, the difference in the warmth of the room was really noticeable. Got the other daughters to do this morning, and the linings to make, 2-3 hrs should do that.

    Then I'm going to have a bash at making bread, (by hand) not made bread for 20 years. Looking forward to that.
    1st Purse 114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse 100
    Fridge Freezer 300 3rd Purse /290.94
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

811Posts Today

6,731Users online

Martin's Twitter