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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 96
    • kahunababy
    • By kahunababy 20th Jan 11, 6:29 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 995 Thanks
    kahunababy
    Hi All

    I didn't realize how much carrots I had cut up until I looked at the pan!!! Is it possible to freeze swede and carrot mash? I'm thinking it will be possible, but will it end up really watery when defrosted?

    Thanks
    Originally posted by NickJW
    Hi,

    At xmas we had loads and loads of carrot & swede mash left. I froze it in bags of smaller portions and so far we have already eaten 3 portions (kids love it) I just defrost overnight then warm in the microwave. Just pop it in a bowl with some cling film over it (pierced) and I heat for 1min at a time stirring in between till steaming hot. HTH

    Also didn't go watery at all!
    Last edited by kahunababy; 20-01-2011 at 6:30 PM. Reason: Also didn't go watery at all!
    Just little old me!
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 20th Jan 11, 6:33 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    NickJW
    Hi,

    At xmas we had loads and loads of carrot & swede mash left. I froze it in bags of smaller portions and so far we have already eaten 3 portions (kids love it) I just defrost overnight then warm in the microwave. Just pop it in a bowl with some cling film over it (pierced) and I heat for 1min at a time stirring in between till steaming hot. HTH

    Also didn't go watery at all!
    Originally posted by kahunababy
    Thanks for that - worries over! It's not something I usually do, but they needed using up
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

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

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • gdyr1945
    Realy feel like swearing*******. My mother gave me some cherries, which I love but don't often but 'cause of cost and I have broken my front tooth on a stone! Have to see if I can get emergency appointment at dentist tomorrow. That will be a fun (and probably expensive) way to spend Friday.

    I was feeling so good too. Had lovely long walk with friend this morning. We nearly froze as the wind was sooooo cold but we both felt very virtuous afterwards. Have also started a gentle strength work out from 'Strong Women Don't Get Fat'. Trying to look on bright side I wont be eating much tomorrow!

    Thanks for 'listening' to my rant. I always feel as though I have had a lovely chat and hug from my best friends after reading all the wonderful support and understandidng out there.

    Will probably feel very sorry for myself tomorrow.
    • kahunababy
    • By kahunababy 20th Jan 11, 6:50 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 995 Thanks
    kahunababy
    Realy feel like swearing*******. My mother gave me some cherries, which I love but don't often but 'cause of cost and I have broken my front tooth on a stone! Have to see if I can get emergency appointment at dentist tomorrow. That will be a fun (and probably expensive) way to spend Friday.

    I was feeling so good too. Had lovely long walk with friend this morning. We nearly froze as the wind was sooooo cold but we both felt very virtuous afterwards. Have also started a gentle strength work out from 'Strong Women Don't Get Fat'. Trying to look on bright side I wont be eating much tomorrow!

    Thanks for 'listening' to my rant. I always feel as though I have had a lovely chat and hug from my best friends after reading all the wonderful support and understandidng out there.

    Will probably feel very sorry for myself tomorrow.
    Originally posted by gdyr1945
    Oh no, I hate the dentist too (probably because it hurts my pocket more than me!) Hope you manage to get an appointment and itis not too costly for you
    Just little old me!
  • helen jelly
    Evening all

    Popped into MrT tonight to get a couple of bits but spent way too much - couldn't resist the whoopsies. Spent 19.58 on meat that would of cost me 39 so have lots of chicken thighs, quarters, beef mince and whole chickens. Anyhoo total spend was 32, need to update siggy and discuss with DH how much Feb shopping should be considering we have soooooooo much food.
    Not bothered that I've gone over this month considering how much I've bought!!

    Helen x
    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
  • rachelww1
    Cooked a version of the twice baked spuds tonight with single cream, cheese and smokey bacon. Did twice as many as I thought I might take a couple to work tomorrow. They were delicious.

    Would it be ok to freeze the rest as they have cream in?
    LBM Dec 10. Total unsecured debt 41176 Nov 12 Debt Free Thanks Mum x RIP x

    2013 Savings 250
    2013 OP 3500
  • martafdz
    gdyr, I hope you get it sorted! Was it a big bit?
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • CupOfChai
    • By CupOfChai 20th Jan 11, 7:45 PM
    • 1,319 Posts
    • 7,295 Thanks
    CupOfChai
    Ended up in Tesco tonight, and saw they were doing a deal on massive boxes of Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. So of course I was forced to get one. Then of course I was forced to eat a small serving of said cornflakes after my tea tonight .

    It was sooo worth it

    ETA I've not updated my sig total with that yet, going to do it all in one when I've done me big shop, save faffing. I have kept receipts so I will know how much and it's ok.
    Last edited by CupOfChai; 20-01-2011 at 7:48 PM.
  • gdyr1945
    feels big! Doesn't hurt at the moment but has very sharp edges. It's about 1/8 of my tooth. Was hoping not to spend too much this month but somethings you really can't cut back on!
    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 20th Jan 11, 8:06 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    Billie-jo
    Minnie2 - Sorry to hear you are having to go to a funeral especially of someone who has passed away far to early in their life.

    Took mum to Te$co this morning. I only spent 14.90 which was pleased about. They had one or two things reduced but to be honest they were not reduced by much so was'nt tempted at all.

    Came back and made some soup using a little bit of chicken, 1/2 a leek, an onion, garlic,mushrooms, chicken stock and chopped chilli. I then got 1/2 a packof the cheapo noodles, soaked them for a short time, cut them up and added these. Have loads of these in the cupboard and not that keen on them although DH and DS eat them occasionally. Have more of the same ingredients left so will probably be doing another lot of soup on Saturday may add some sweetcorn to it though this time.
    Had pasta with some sauce and salad for our tea. I did say a while ago that I would try to have a few more meals without meat so this was one of them.
    For some strange reason I keep thinking its Friday today must be going daft in my old age!


    Got some pork chops in the fridge that will need using tomorrow so thats what we will have for tea and may have a few chips with them as not had any for ages.
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH 62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
  • Equilibrium
    Just popping on to update Signature, still under budget but may go over by the end of next week . I will be a little disappointed if it does as ive tried hard , but i will be happy anyway as i know we have done great this month as before we would spend over 350 a month before for just the two of us.
    Thought i would share a gingerbread men recipe with you , they came out lovely

    Gingerbread Men


    350g / 12oz plain flour

    175g / 6oz light soft brown sugar

    100g / 4oz butter

    1 medium egg

    4 tablespoons of golden syrup

    1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

    2 teaspoon of ground ginger



    The pastry will be easier to mix if the butter has been removed from the fridge half an hour before starting mixing.


    Put the flour, butter, ground ginger and bicarbonate of soda in a mixing bowl. Mix it all together with fingertips until crumbly. Add sugar, syrup and egg and mix until it forms a firm pastry mix.

    Pre-heat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4
    Using the rolling pin, roll out the pastry to about 5mm thick. Make sure the surface and the rolling pin are well dusted with flour. Cut out the shapes with a knife and/or pastry cutter


    Place the cut out pastry on a greased or non-stick baking tray.
    put the baking trays in the pre-heated oven. Remove after 15 minutes (check after 10 minutes).
    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
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 20th Jan 11, 8:38 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    Thanks for the gingerbread man recipe Equilibrium! Something I've always wanted to make with the children, but they do it at their grandparents' house so I haven't bothered up til now. Seems easy so will give it a go!

    Spent 6.06 today in T. Got some fruit as had run out, and then got some bread and milk while I was there. Two loaves of bread - one normal white, nice brand but can't remember which! down to 34p, and a really nice seeded loaf for me as ch don't like for 21p. Bargain! Although I've been on and off here for 2 years now, this is the first month where I've enjoyed the challenge and taken it more seriously. Think I've had my LBM!! Will need to be living from freezers and storecupboard form now on though, as not many pennies left!

    Children had tuna pasta for dinner, one of my storecupboard faves, and ! had a jacket potato with salad nomnom. Feeling very virtuous, as I've lost half a stone since Christmas woop woop! (Only another 2 and a half to go!!) Off now to clear up, put the dishwasher on and then settle down with my book again. Will need to do sooo much housework when I've finished the book!

    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
  • rosieben
    Equilibrium your delish Gingerbread Men recipe is in the index, thanks
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • zebredy
    I declare that I have gone way over this month and we don't have all the receipts so can't get an exact figure

    There is always next month, but think I'm gona try weekly rather then monthly as having that much money to think about in one go is not good. Feel like giving up all together and its only January.

    Anyway hope the rest of you are doing better.
    Matthew, Izzy, Suzie, Harry, Darwin. My husband my cats, the main things that matter in my life...
    • cat04
    • By cat04 20th Jan 11, 9:23 PM
    • 601 Posts
    • 2,596 Thanks
    cat04
    I keep having a quick read but not updating. I really should as it helps me keep on top of everything. I have found most of the receipts - just need the most recent ones from OH and to find out what he's spent on food for work. With having the DDs off school and playgroup, and me feeling poo too I've not got out of bed in the morning to make him any sandwiches (he doesn't leave himself enough time in the mornings as he's uaually packaging up blu rays and dvds he's sold on a 'media' forum, and he doesn't particularly like sarnies made the night before) so he's been buying a sandwich - he has other pack up things to take, just no sandwiches.

    Although I know there are 11 days left this month I think I'm on track for this month (10 a day x 31 = 310), as from the receipts I've added up so far was under 200. 3 sick days with the kids = no spend days for me as haven't left the house, and today is the first day this week OH had to bring home milk and fruit. A nice cheap week so far
    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
    • Keybilly
    • By Keybilly 20th Jan 11, 9:52 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 249 Thanks
    Keybilly
    Well done to all who are still in budget.

    As you can see from my sig, I have to have 11 NSD if I wanted to meet the challenge. I'll be honest, hold my hands up now and say it's 'not gonna happen'. However, I'm not down about it as I feel that I have kicked myself into gear by cooking healthier dishes for myself. I have learn't a few more recipes. I have lost weight. Have a beautiful red slow cooker which will save me calories and time for when my studies absorb all my time. (Made potato, cheese, onion, sweetcorn and tomato patties tonight :-)
    Your tips and advice has helped me reduce my mortgage (which I must do before the interest rate goes back up).
    So a huge thank you to you all.

    Next month, I'll add a tenner to the challenge - there is less cupboard food remember but I suppose there's only 28 days instead of 31. I think 60 is a realistic target for me.

    Kx

    PS: 10% of 50 is 55 so I won't have a spending splurge and go grossly over my set challenge. NSD tomorrow - me thinks :-)
    Keybilly
    Mortgage 111,000 107,000- under 100,000 by December 2011
    Grocery challenge January 2011 - 50.91 / 50(+5%)
    NSD - 5
    Weight loss challenge - January 2011 - 3 / 4lbs Total to loose - 10lbs Gym - 6/Jan11
  • Picklepud
    Just wanted to say hello I joined in November and did ok completely lost the plot in December and am trying to get sorted thinking of January as a getting phyced (sp) up and am going to join whole heartedly into the February Grocery Challenge.

    Got some great whoopsies tonight that really spurred me on roll on 1st feb

    Well done all of you you are an inspiration.....
    Determined to do better
  • katholicos
    Thanks for the warm welcome back :-)

    By my reckoning my grocery spends so far this month come to about 48.27. I will update my signature shortly.
    Grocery Challenge for October: 135/200


    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
  • Mothership
    Chinese Stir Fried Noodle or Fried Rice thingy
    1 in piece root ginger, chopped finely (or 2 teaspoons jar or dried)
    3 Garlic Cloves, chopped finely (or 2 teaspoons jar or powdered)
    chili fresh (dried or powdered)
    2 tablespoons oil groundnut/sunflower/ olive oil or a mix of these.
    Fry all the above then add...
    1 Onion (chopped)
    If the food sticks to the pan add a little water to free it.

    Small piece Steak I used fillet, (cut into strips marinade in Soy Sauce)
    If using raw steak add this now. (move around till cooked, then remove from pan).


    Leftover Roast Beef
    Leftover Chicken
    Leftover Ham
    Leftover Pork
    Prawns
    Choose any of above, add near the end of cooking


    Carrot (chopped)
    Pepper (chopped)
    Use up any veg you have, mange tout, green beans, courgette, cabbage etc, frozen peas, sweetcorn.
    Stir fry above.
    If your using prawns add them now.

    Cook the following separately
    Mushrooms (cook under grill in pan with a nob of butter)
    2 eggs beaten with a little milk cook in same pan you made the mushrooms in (don't cook with the mushrooms).

    If your using noodles stir fry veg packs with bean sprouts are good.
    Bean sprouts and any veg you have will do.
    Amoy Straight to wok are good or any cooked noodles you have.
    Add the meat, mushrooms & cooked egg.
    Garnish with spring onions and coriander, a little chinese 5 spice, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt if liked.

    If making fried rice, cook the rice. 1/2 cup per person. Add the rice to the pan of cooked veg, add the cooked egg.
    Garnish with spring onions, add soy sauce, and coriander.

    I like making both these dishes with a variety of different coloured veg, they look amazing and taste delicious, are quick and easy to cook.
    I keep little bags of chopped up leftover meats/veg in the freezer.
    You don't need much meat. For Veggie option no meat LOL.

    Its a great way of using up vegetables (even cooked leftover ones), at a push you can even make the fried rice with onions and a few eggs, I do this quite often with leftover rice for quick lunches.

    I had a look at what I spent the last 4 Januarys between 500- 700
    So my budget of 200 for this year was much less than I usually spend, so I am VERY pleased with my progress.

    Forgot to tell you, when I'm serving up a roast I always cut a slice for the freezer, chop it up and wrap in a little cling film. I keep a zip up freezer bag that put them all in. I always put it in the same place in the freezer , it saves rummaging around looking for wee packages. you can freeze leftover rice too. i usually put that in a zippy bag too, take it out when its partly frozen and break up the grains.
    Last edited by Mothership; 22-01-2011 at 9:46 AM.
    1st Purse 114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse 100
    Fridge Freezer 300 3rd Purse /290.94
    • jovi20
    • By jovi20 21st Jan 11, 1:57 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 862 Thanks
    jovi20
    Hi everyone,
    Hope I'm not too late in joining in, but would like to join your thread, have read a lot of your comments and got some good tips, (like the seperate purse for grocery shopping idea)
    Currently on Maternity leave so my income has dropped, so need all the help I can get.
    I know not long of January left, but need to cut back spending, I think this could help.
    Have already spent approx 309 this month on food and toiletries, inc 2 cats and a baby. Just had T**co delivery today which is included in that, so would hope to spend no more than 350.00 in total, by the 31st and then reduce that for Febuary. Didn't realise how much I spent till I added it up!!
    Wish me luck!!
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