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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 74
  • Emily87
    Just a quick update to say that today I bought all my baby snacks, wipes etc that are part of my grocery budget with my b00ts advantage points! Yeah So a saving of 15!
    June Grocery Challenge - ???/230
    Credit card debt - Start - 10,613 Now - 10613
    Personal loan - Start - 10,116 Now - 10116

    DFD - October 2015

  • Hippeechiq
    Mothership I'm really sorry to hear that you and your family are going through such sad times hun

    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.
    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! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8L1OVkw2ZQ8&feature=related
    Originally posted by angelatgraceland
    Thank you so much for that Angela I've only had a chance to have a quick look, and then the video froze and I had to get on with some jobs anyway. But I did have a chance to copy what the guy was doing as he was doing it by opening a spreadsheet in 0pen 0ffice, and copying him, and it does appear to pretty much identical to MS 0ffice, so I'm hoping when I have a sensible amount of time to have a proper bash, I may actually be able to follow it!

    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.

    Edit - just noticed that there are a number of budget emplates
    Originally posted by Tropicalmoments
    Thank you also for this Tropicalmoments - that's a great idea, as I could do with some kind of template to use/guide me. When I get a chance, I will have a look at this too. You've both been very helpful

    Thought I might share my tea tonight with you, as it's sooo very tasty, though not quite sure how it got it's title.

    BARBECUE PORK
    Serves 4

    2 Tbs Oil
    1 Large Onion, finely chopped
    450g Lean Minced Pork
    2 Red Peppers, diced
    28g Raisins
    3 Tbs Orange Juice
    2 Tbs Clear Honey
    2 Tbs Soy Sauce
    1 Tbs Tomato Puree
    1 Tbs Vinegar
    1 Tsp Paprika
    Tsp Cayenne Pepper
    1 Garlic Clove (I use Lazy Garlic)
    Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste

    Heat oil. Add Onion, Pork & Red Peppers and cook gently for 5 mins
    Combine Orange Juice, Honey, Soy Sauce, Tomato Puree, Vinegar, Paprika & Cayenne Pepper and add to pan.
    Followed by the Raisins, Garlic & S & P.
    Bring to boil. Lower temperature, cover and simmer for 45 mins or until pork is cooked through and tender.
    Serve on a bed of Wholewheat Spaghetti

    On the GC front it's been a NSD here today (brings my total to 7) as I've been tackling the housework , and there's still plenty to do, so I'd best get on!
    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
  • scotsaver
    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).
    Originally posted by Mothership
    Mothership - sending you some virual hugs.

    I just logged back on to update my total with this morning's spends in Sainsbugs - going to try and stay away from the shops until Monday. You know you have a problem when you can't wedge anything else into the Freezer (and I've got 2 of them) and I've noticed that we have 3 lots of Ice cream, one has hardly any left in it so will try and use that up tonight and then we will have a little bit of space.

    Off now to make a start on the Tomato sauce for tonights Pasta.
    "WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!"
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • Gracie_1827
    • By Gracie_1827 13th Jan 11, 2:29 PM
    • 290 Posts
    • 2,487 Thanks
    Gracie_1827
    Got an email from Co-*p about offers. Chicken breast fillets 540g for 3.75 had to go out so picked up 2 packets...and they were reduced to 2.59, sell by dated 14th so got 6 large fillets for 5.18. 4 to the freezer and 2 for tonight, wrapped in bacon with vegs.
    Also, I like Discovery seasoning mixes, especially their chillli, but couldn't find any where I live now. So emailed them for stockists in the area. They let me know who should have them, but in the meantime they'll send me some in the post. Received 2 packs today, aren't people nice
    GC - Oct 36.17/31
    GC - Sep 35.56/30
    GC - Aug 30.73/31
    GC - Jul 30.80/31
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 13th Jan 11, 2:45 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    minnie2
    Thanks hun, i know we are definately doing better than a few years ago. We are spending less on average each month than we did before we had kids. Had a chat with OH last night and thankfully got him back onboard with meal planning so i'm gonna crack on with listing my food and meals today. I'm gonna put it up in the kitchen so i can tick meals off as we have them.
    Originally posted by nickynoo08
    Well since buying the house me and hubby are doing terribly!!!! weve been living as we were before this massive expense and our debts have rocketed!!!!!

    im going to have a bath, bath one of the dogs and then while she is drying off in kitchen go through my cupboards and freezer!! see if i can work out how many meals and lunch days are left etc!
    Frugal living challenge - need to revisit its been.a while !! Need to reduce our debts!!
  • FluffyBunnykins
    Well that's bu*gered it !!

    Did the big shop yesterday, after emptying cupboards and freezer. The total came to 91.98 so I not impress at the moment, bl**dy husbands and there razor blades. I can't put all the blame on him, (can't believe how expensive the blades are thou/gone up so much) as the cupboards were bare so a lot of stocking up was needed.

    On the plus side, I have just done my meal plans and I have over 30 days. So hopefully Feb will be better and balance out/under.

    Just will have to watch the milk and bread shops, stay just milk and bread.
    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
  • Maisy Mouse
    Went to S today to take advantage of the baby offers. Did some stocking up-nappies, wipes, baby food etc but am now down to the last 100 for the rest of the month and we have NO fresh fruit and veg left in the house.
    Think I may be going over like you fluffy bunnykins. Bl**dy razor blades!!
  • rosieben
    Hippeechiq, Barbecue Pork is in the index ... nom nom nom

    Mothership, sending lots of positive vibes your way
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • ebayqueen
    Hello All
    Went to do my end of week list this morning as I dont intend to be in town tomorrow....so hoping for 3 NSDs this weekend. Did really well stuck to my list bar seeing Soda bread flour half price is Mr Ts so bought 2 at 96p.
    Still using My Supermarket and then printing out list. Mr T seems to be the best value for me at the moment. Spent 29.26 including whoopsies of Free range chicken, chicken legs, 2 mince lean, big pack Pork Loin steaks, would have been 37.25 full price.
    I have all milk, bread fruit etc in for the weekend. I cannot see me having to go near a shop before next tuesday.
    This is incredible for me. Its now 13th and by now I could easily have spent on 2 weeks shopping 250-270

    I really feel for the first time that I am in control of my food shopping. I find thats were most of my money goes.
    Its my birthday in 2 weeks and am going to treat my car to a mini valet and get my hair washed and blow dried...30 in total that I would have wasted in P'LAND or Boots!

    Still havent bought one toiletry this month so far. Using what we have. Was in a charity shop today and there were some great items for 50p but decided not to waste my money
    Thanks to all who post here. Every comment is of help to all of us.

    Take care
    God bless


    "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" C. S. Lewis
    • mandco
    • By mandco 13th Jan 11, 4:10 PM
    • 759 Posts
    • 9,876 Thanks
    mandco
    well only 1/2 way through the month and nearly 3/4 of the way through the budget really need stop shopping lol

    have stocked up on some stuff and am hoping I can still come in on budget but its gonna be hard guess the best way to look at it is whatever I end up spending its still gonna be less than I was spending before so thats a bonus

    today was a good day only a small spend of 1.82 total 82p on some rolls & hot cross buns saw lots of other bits on offer that we'd use or like but dont really need and so didnt buy them which before i would have done & 1 on 12 kipling fruit pies from poundland didnt really need them but was such a good price & dated till next week

    made a yummy fruit cake today theres lots of similar one out there but I use a recipe i've been making since i was a kid its pretty healthly too as its virtually fat free
    1 cup hot black tea/boiling water
    2 cups of dried fruit(you can add cherries/nuts ect at the mixing stage if you want but reduce the amount of dried fruit by 1/2 a cup)
    1 cup sugar(often i use a little less)
    2-3 teaspoons mixed spice (you can use cinnamon/nutmeg)
    put these in a saucepan and bring to the boil for 5 mins then leave to cool for about 20 mins
    2 cups SR flour( I use 1 reg & 1 wholemeal)
    2 eggs
    stir these into the cooled fruit mix(add cherries/nuts if using)
    pour into a greased/lined tin and bake for approx 50 mins in 1lb loaf tin till knife comes out clean (i often make 2 and cook side by side)
    depending on the size/ shape of tin & cup size you use it may take a bit longer

    right i'm off to catch up with the rest of this tread coz it grows so fast
    this year do something that scares you for courage is not the absence of fear just the knowledge that some things are worth the risk
  • wssla00
    Hi all hope you are all well!

    A NSD for me today so that was a positive. not sure what to have for dinner tonight. Something small probably.

    I got as a birthday present yesterday river cottage everyday so very excited looking through it
    I also got a lovely waterstones voucher which was great! I managed to get two books on allotment growing and one on cakes and biscuits!

    WHOOP lol

    Enjoy the rest of the day!
    S
    x
    Feb GC: 200 Spent: 190.79
  • wssla00
    Then I'm going to have a bash at making bread, (by hand) not made bread for 20 years. Looking forward to that.
    Originally posted by Mothership
    I find it makes me feel better- the kneading is very therapeutic!
    Feb GC: 200 Spent: 190.79
  • lou1981
    I had a small spend today just bread and milk. 3.50 just bought a small milk as we will need to do shop this week.
    mandco That cake sounds yum, I have copied it ready for a lunchbox treat. Thank you. xx
    Jan Grocery Challenge 48.21/200
    NSD Jan5/10
    Clothing Challenge 6/200
    • catslovelycats
    • By catslovelycats 13th Jan 11, 4:47 PM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 11,207 Thanks
    catslovelycats
    Off to do inventory on my kitchen cupboard . . .
    If I'm not back in 6 hours, someone come over and fish me out of its depths, please...!
  • rosieben
    mandco, your fruit cake sound lush, its now in 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
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 13th Jan 11, 5:44 PM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,926 Thanks
    jintyb
    made a yummy fruit cake today theres lots of similar one out there but I use a recipe i've been making since i was a kid its pretty healthly too as its virtually fat free
    1 cup hot black tea/boiling water
    2 cups of dried fruit(you can add cherries/nuts ect at the mixing stage if you want but reduce the amount of dried fruit by 1/2 a cup)
    1 cup sugar(often i use a little less)
    2-3 teaspoons mixed spice (you can use cinnamon/nutmeg)
    put these in a saucepan and bring to the boil for 5 mins then leave to cool for about 20 mins
    2 cups SR flour( I use 1 reg & 1 wholemeal)
    2 eggs
    stir these into the cooled fruit mix(add cherries/nuts if using)
    pour into a greased/lined tin and bake for approx 50 mins in 1lb loaf tin till knife comes out clean (i often make 2 and cook side by side)
    depending on the size/ shape of tin & cup size you use it may take a bit longer

    right i'm off to catch up with the rest of this tread coz it grows so fast
    Originally posted by mandco

    Mandco, that sounds great, I'm going to make it this weekend. I take it for a 2lb tin you would double up the ingredients? Also, what temp for the oven?

    Thanks for posting


    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
    • catslovelycats
    • By catslovelycats 13th Jan 11, 5:48 PM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 11,207 Thanks
    catslovelycats
    the recipe looks great!
    on my list for when i next shop is mixed spice and dried fruit now!
    perhaps tho ought to make sure i finish the 2 christmas cakes before making one
  • 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.
    Originally posted by JayJay14
    Thanks JayJay14, the only problem is that SkittlesCat will only eat Felix "As Good As It Gets" Tuna flavour and thats quite literally the only wet food she will eat and my other cat Crunchy will only eat Sheba Chicken & Turkey in gravey & Lamb in gravey so I end up having to buy the single pouches/foil trays, which when you are watching the pennies is vexing.

    Argh two fussy cats! But I've never explored Amazon so I'm definatley going to have a good look at it.

    Thank you so much again for posting the link for me x
    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
  • LittleMissHappy
    Just want to say Thankyou to kezlou for the yummy macaroni cheese recipe on the 1st page Just had it for dinner and nom nom nom Really yummy and hardly costs anything (it made 4 portions for 2 x bottomless pits (or DS1 and DS2) 1 x DD (5yo) and 1 x adult) with added veg on the side. I think the meal must have cost around 2 1.20 (got my sums wrong ) including the veg
    Last edited by LittleMissHappy; 13-01-2011 at 6:29 PM. Reason: Got my sums wrong!
    Be the change you want to see in the world - Gandhi
    OU - DD100 (P ), DSE141 (D ), DSE212 (P ), ED209 (02/12), DXR222 (07/12) SD226 (02/13)
  • katenut
    Sausage, Black Pudding, Bacon & Bean Stew

    Just wanted to say thanks to CherryPie for the recipe - it is delicious!!! A proper hearty cheap winter warmer

    January budget is going well, trying to empty the freezer so we can defrost it so only need to buy fresh stuff. Just need to work out what the random lumps of meat at the bottom of the freezer are!
    Trying to jump back onto the moneysaving wagon ....
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