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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 103
    • Baileys Babe
    • By Baileys Babe 22nd Jan 11, 10:16 PM
    • 2,593 Posts
    • 13,568 Thanks
    Baileys Babe
    Hello all, I will admit I am seriously failing to keep up with this thread partly as it is so lively but mainly not having internet access for a week, I should do better in future as our internet appears to be restored as well as OH has resurrected my dead laptop with a new operating system.

    I last updated on Wed 12th, we went away visiting family and friends on the Thursday and returned on Tuesday. Whilst away we went out for dinner twice with different friends, which covers the majority of our GC spends so far this year. I'm trying hard to use up food we have in before going to the supermarket, we now have a scrap pad where we note down things as they need replacing. I have also meal planned for the next 3 days, which is the best I have ever done. In addition we have come up with a few ideas for later in the month, just need to order the veg.

    GC spending from 13-1-11 to 22-1-11 = £152.30
    Dinners out: £123.25
    OH away working:£23.29
    Sandwich shop: £3.68
    Groceries for friend we were visiting £1.68

    January total £169.68
  • martafdz
    Thanks everyone for your replies......i was thinking because i stock up a lot some months & not others (next month i wont stock up) that i will give myself a yearly stocking up budget of £180 that i can decide to use whenever i want to stock up but reduce my grocery challenge per month from £150 to £135 so i still have the same target overall for the year....what does everyone think please?

    Its just because i have bought 6 months comfort softener, 3 months of bleach, 3 boxes of washing powder, 1 month of tuna, 4 cans of mr muscle oven cleaner, 6 months of shower gel, 6 months of shampoo/hair conditioner, 6 months tea bags dont worry all very very good prices....cant believe 85 wash comfort softener is only £3.10!!!!!! I just would like to even it out better, It will mainly be non food items
    Originally posted by Missus Aka
    You could put yourself a yearly budget, instead of a monthly one. That way it does not matter how much you stock one month.

    I think that for convenience and clarity (for yourself) it is better to just add the shopping to that month's budget, whether it is for other months or not. However, unless it is really cheap and a really good bargain, I found that I used to stock up too much just for the sake of it or because I thought I should always have 3 items in the reserve, and never looked around for the best deal. Now I am not stocking up because I end up paying much more, it is easier to just spend weekly a set amount and get what it is really needed. If I see an amazing bargain, then I buy enough for a couple of months but that's it. Specially because if we have the cupboard full of stuff we end up overating just because we have loads of things in there. I have been doing much better with less food and I am cooking more from scratch, so everything helped.

    Let us know how you do!

    EDIT: I misread your post, I see you have stocked up on household items, which cannot be consumed impulsively lol!! You could set up yourself maybe quaterly or half a year targets. The idea of separate budgets is good but requires counting and checking tickets... I would not have the patience for that!! Lol
    Last edited by martafdz; 22-01-2011 at 10:28 PM.
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
  • rosieben
    Mothership, your Salmon Brocolli and Potato Pie is in the index
    Made the cheese and onion braid recipe today and it was lovely. ... THANK YOU
    Originally posted by Jolaaled
    Glad you enjoyed it, think I'll put one on my menu plan next month

    ... Hopefully the online shop won't take as long next time - I'm more tired than if I actually go to the supermarket!
    Originally posted by zcrat41
    Soon after I've checked out one order I start the next one -always with milk bread and eggs - its really useful to be able to add things as I think of them; I check it out when I know what date I want but that ongoing list is a great time saver

    ... i will give myself a yearly stocking up budget of £180 that i can decide to use whenever i want to stock up but reduce my grocery challenge per month from £150 to £135 so i still have the same target overall for the year....what does everyone think please? ...
    Originally posted by Missus Aka
    I think that's a really good idea and you won't get stressed when you do see a really good offer and want to buy in bulk
    Last edited by rosieben; 23-01-2011 at 12:44 AM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • rosieben
    also, has anyone got a carrot cake recipe i could have? its my DH birthday on Monday and would like to make him one.
    ... thankyou
    Originally posted by prettypaula
    we've a couple of carrot cake recipes in the Complete Cooking Index;

    there are several recipes in the Killer recipe for carrot cake wanted thread
    Last edited by rosieben; 22-01-2011 at 11:53 PM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • welshkaz
    Still hanging on in here another £69 for me to go on my list xxx
    may groc challenge £167/£280...
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 23rd Jan 11, 4:05 AM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,926 Thanks
    jintyb
    Thats EXACTLY what we are doing LOL. You know its just a great pity we are all spread so far and wide, I bet we would all get on like a house on fire. All like minded folk trying to feed our families and survive this recession.
    I for one am sick to the teeth of having to buy from the big ones, and seeing all the little businesses go under. Six butchers/wet fish shops within a 2 mile radius of have closed down. The lure of cheap supermarket meat drew all of us in, and its just tasteless mush. I still have to go to the supermarket for most stuff, but I'm an utter tart I go to them all, buy the deals and leave.
    I love the whole ethos of this site. The idea of the consumer fighting back really fires me up. If I need inspiration half an hour reading all your posts keeps me focused.
    Originally posted by Mothership
    I totally agree with all you write Mothership. We are the same here, we have one local butcher left , one baker ( Gr€ggs) and a couple of F&V shops. Loads of SM's though. Cheap meat just isnt worth the effort, the stuff the SM sell is just awful, esp the "3 for a tenner" type deals. I must confess though, I buy my meat from Co$tco as I find it very good quality. It's not the cheapest, but it cooks well and tastes good. I stock up about every 4mths.
    I also "tart" around th SM's. I'm lucky in that I have time to do it but it saves a lot! Forinstance, last week I did my list on my$UPERMARKET and it came to £25, by the time I'd shopped around I got everything for £19 - £6 which is better in my pocket I think!

    Anyway = my Jan finished on the 19th - total £178.84, which was £21.16 under. This included a BIG stock up so I am very happy with that. I'm setting my budget at £180 for February, should be doable as I've got loads in.

    Thanks to everyone for all the motivation


    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
    • PurpleJay
    • By PurpleJay 23rd Jan 11, 7:18 AM
    • 475 Posts
    • 2,490 Thanks
    PurpleJay
    Morning all

    Just a little update, spent just under £20 in Lidl this week (got loads for the money - just went in for choc croissants as my lil man loves them and potatoes but stocked up on juices, colslaw and other bits and bobs too) and then about £5 on bread and mags on Friday and £3 at Tesco express yesterday. Exact figures used to update sig. Still on target for Jan!
    'Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass,
    it's about learning to dance in the rain'
  • Mothership
    Individual Potato Pies
    Onions (Fried in a little butter)
    Mashed potatoes (quite firm, not too much milk)

    Breadcrumbs
    Cheese (grated)

    Yorkshire pudding tray (4 section one) rings or ramekins.

    Spread the onions on the bottom of the trays /rings.

    Press some cheese/breadcrumb mix to the sides of the tray.

    Pile on the mash.

    Mix the breadcrumbs with the cheese and press well into the mash.

    Bake at 200 for about 10-15 min or until nicely browned.

    The onions go quite crispy, and so does the top. I started off making these with leftover mash, the kids went nuts for them and I ended up making them at least once a week. They had them with everything, sausages /burgers/fish fingers. They look pretty plated up too.

    The topping is also good on any potato topped pie or even macaroni cheese/ and Lasagne. I grease my dish and line it with the cheese/breadcrumb mix, pour in the macaroni cheese , then top with more cheese/breadcrumb mix, and a few sliced tomatoes. The cheese /breadcrumbs go all crispy all round the macaroni, my kids used to 'fight ' for the crispy bits.
    They also liked a layer of mashed potatoes on top of the macaroni/cheese topped with the cheese/breadcrumb mix, they called this macaroni dinner pie. Sometimes I put fried onions at the bottom of this. They loved this with salad, dressed with olive oil /balsamic vinegar.
    1st Purse £114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse ££100
    Fridge Freezer £300 3rd Purse /£290.94
  • Mothership
    Mock Lasagna
    Minced beef/chicken/ lamb/turkey (browned then place on sieve and let the fat drain off into a bowl)
    Onions
    Any veg you have , peppers, carrots, brocoli, mushrooms, peas
    A tin of Campbells condensed mushroom or tomato soup. Or chicken if using chicken/turkey mince). + 1 tin milk /water. (not nice with any other brand)
    Cooked pasta or macaroni
    Season to taste

    Breadcrumbs
    Cheese
    Mix together to line dish and for topping.

    Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and fry onions/ peppers
    Add mince and remaining veg, mix in soup pasta.
    Pour into lined dish and bake in the oven at 200 until nicely browned on top.

    I've also made this with tuna with the mushroom soup.

    My kids used to go mad for this, they are all fully grown and still ask me to make it, I've not done for a long time.
    My daughters boyfriend is a chef and is horrified at the thought of soup with pasta, she's urging me to make it one night he's coming for dinner. She said of all the food she had as a child this was her favourite, its a great way of getting veg into kids.
    1st Purse £114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse ££100
    Fridge Freezer £300 3rd Purse /£290.94
  • SuziQ1962
    Morning-just! When I was doing my shopping I resisted the temptation to buy ready made biscuits,cakes and yorkie puds and have spent the morning making flapjack,chocolate cake ,coconut cake and have a ginger bread in the oven,made the batter for my yorkies for tonight and that's in the fridge! Am feeling quite good with myself as 1.have saved some dosh 2.the kids are eating good things not food industry chemicals 3.my house smells amazing! Think this is the way to go on a Sunday morning
    Have a good day!
    "Sealed Pot challenge" member No 1099 2011/£26.00
    Crazy clothes challenge 2012-Budget £28.90/£100
    January 2012 Grocery challenge £378.27/£240
    14/16 NSD in January
    2012 Weight loss challenge -5lbs
    • Jolaaled
    • By Jolaaled 23rd Jan 11, 11:05 AM
    • 1,038 Posts
    • 2,504 Thanks
    Jolaaled
    Onions (Fried in a little butter)
    Mashed potatoes (quite firm, not too much milk)

    Breadcrumbs
    Cheese (grated)

    Yorkshire pudding tray (4 section one) rings or ramekins.

    Spread the onions on the bottom of the trays /rings.

    Press some cheese/breadcrumb mix to the sides of the tray.

    Pile on the mash.

    Mix the breadcrumbs with the cheese and press well into the mash.

    Bake at 200 for about 10-15 min or until nicely browned.

    The onions go quite crispy, and so does the top. I started off making these with leftover mash, the kids went nuts for them and I ended up making them at least once a week. They had them with everything, sausages /burgers/fish fingers. They look pretty plated up too.

    The topping is also good on any potato topped pie or even macaroni cheese/ and Lasagne. I grease my dish and line it with the cheese/breadcrumb mix, pour in the macaroni cheese , then top with more cheese/breadcrumb mix, and a few sliced tomatoes. The cheese /breadcrumbs go all crispy all round the macaroni, my kids used to 'fight ' for the crispy bits.
    They also liked a layer of mashed potatoes on top of the macaroni/cheese topped with the cheese/breadcrumb mix, they called this macaroni dinner pie. Sometimes I put fried onions at the bottom of this. They loved this with salad, dressed with olive oil /balsamic vinegar.
    Originally posted by Mothership

    Thanks mothership.
    Last week, I tried to line my basin with breadcrumbs when making potato pie...but the breadcrumbs simply fell off!!! Do you have any tips for making them more 'sticky'??...(I'm assuming that I need to use 'soft' breadcrumbs, rather than the toasted/golden ones??).

    THANKS
    • mothershipton
    • By mothershipton 23rd Jan 11, 11:05 AM
    • 301 Posts
    • 2,692 Thanks
    mothershipton
    Having quite a good month, so far only spent £188, but i suspect there may be receipts hiding somewhere. Hubbie hasnt been to the shop since he spent over £90 in morrisons on !!!!!! all!! I managed to get last weeks shop for £33. We have a new store near us called Booths, which whilst expensive has fantastic markdowns and staff will mark stuff down for you if you take it to them! so have been popping in there late in the evening and then trying to fit the plan round the markdowns,
    Also morrisons is doing some really good offers at the moment.

    good luck all for the rest of jan
    Grocery Challenge Feb 16 £346 /400
    • nickynoo08
    • By nickynoo08 23rd Jan 11, 11:10 AM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 17,030 Thanks
    nickynoo08
    Blummin OH! He went out to the shop this morn to pick up some milk and bacon and ended up spending £9.09. He saw some yogs, crips and juice on offer so got them too. It'll all get used but it's not stuff we needed! So much for not buying any food except mik n bread for 10 days
    Debt 1 £1111.23 0% until March 19 pay by xmas 0/1111.23
    Debt 2 £2100 0% until August 19
    Debt 3 £2161.86 0% until August 19
    Debt 4 £1846.98 0% until December 19
    Saving for xmas 5/120
    1 debt at a time! We can do this!!
    • buddiebabe
    • By buddiebabe 23rd Jan 11, 11:18 AM
    • 1,407 Posts
    • 3,667 Thanks
    buddiebabe
    Haven't really had the chance to update or catch up on most of the posts... i can't get my head around meal planning at all I work 2 jobs and my OH works shifts so one week we are both at home for dinner all week and the next its only 4 nights out the week we are both in.

    If i do decide to plan what we are having by the time i get home i don't want what im supposed to be eating and neither does he How do you all manage it??

    I've got beef olives and mince defrosting in the fridge at the moment.... the beef olives are for tonights dinner and im going to make lasagne for OH to take to work for dinner for this week but thats as far as i get.

    I've still got £29.70 to last me till the end of january and only really need to get bread and milk which i will do today.

    We seem to be managing to stick to the budget but we aren't including things that we buy for lunch if we could have taken something out the house... its coming out our own money so its making me more likely to take something out the house as i really don't want to spend my money

    Buddiebabe x
    DEBT OUTSTANDING 23.04.17 £16802.97
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 23rd Jan 11, 11:20 AM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,575 Thanks
    quintwins
    i still havent spent anymore from my last post, main because i was going 2 tesco in fri and hit my car in the driveway so had 2 sort that instead, still need bread/milk ect tho
    OCT GC £196.12/£200
    • Keybilly
    • By Keybilly 23rd Jan 11, 11:28 AM
    • 20 Posts
    • 249 Thanks
    Keybilly
    updated siggy to reflect £5.49 spend at Toby Carvery today
    Although not groceries, my food budget includes eating out
    hoping I can come within budget for next Monday
    Originally posted by catslovelycats
    In my grocery budget, I count my lunches, eating out and takeaways as well. Its all too easy to pop to chippy and sandwich shop - also more expensive, better for waistline and less food waste.
    Kx
    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
  • gdyr1945
    I think we all feel closer to the other board members rather than people we actually know. Where I live I have some good friends but they are all quite comfortably off; with either good jobs or pensions. They have no conception of the problems of trying to balance a small budget. When our children were young we didn't earn enough to pay income tax and I only got 50p child benefit for the 2nd child. Our children say that now they are adults they realise just how hard it must have been but they were not aware of 'going without'. I admit it was much easier for us as there were not all the 'electroinc gadgets' about which 'everyone' has. We took them out a lot but always to places that were 'free' and we took our food with us.

    I now use my Tesco vouchers in order to take grandsons out to all sorts of places that we couldn't afford if we had to 'pay'. We still take our food & drinks with us.

    Can't remember who put the Doves Bread site on this board; but Thank you; the recipes are fantastic. I bought some bread mix from DanAp.Fds and have used this with the suggested additions. The only downside is we are eating a lot more bread! It is too yummy to have just 1 or 2 slices!

    Got 48 packs of coffee coming tomorrow from Dan - only 75p instead of the usual £3+.

    Beginning to feel benefit of exercise - almost jogged round to Mum's this morning. Great inprovement on my normal slow walk.
    • boysma
    • By boysma 23rd Jan 11, 11:36 AM
    • 827 Posts
    • 12,862 Thanks
    boysma
    Another 89p for milk - which leaves me with 18.31 till next Monday I have a small shopping list made out for during the week and am determined to stick to it
    Payment A Day £15 (started 17/5/14)
  • Mothership
    Thanks mothership.
    Last week, I tried to line my basin with breadcrumbs when making potato pie...but the breadcrumbs simply fell off!!! Do you have any tips for making them more 'sticky'??...(I'm assuming that I need to use 'soft' breadcrumbs, rather than the toasted/golden ones??).

    THANKS
    Originally posted by Jolaaled
    If the bowl is buttered and you mix fresh breadcrumbs with cheese, lay the bowl on its side and turn as you go, they should stick ok, then do the bottom.
    1st Purse £114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse ££100
    Fridge Freezer £300 3rd Purse /£290.94
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 23rd Jan 11, 11:47 AM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Spiggle
    Hello All,

    ... Just wanted to say echo what others have written about there being no 'particular' way of participating in the GC challenge. Just as there is no one way of participating in the NSD challenge. It's only right that each individual should decide what they will record as 'spends'. Also, i find it is important to maintain a healthy attitude towards both challenges ...in other words, if i have spend days i had hoped would have been NSD's or if i go over my GC monthly budget, that is not a bad thing. It is an experience i will try to learn from, but it really isn't worth beating myself up over. Any attempts at 'cutting one's cloth according to one's means' are attempts well made, at least in my book. Not that there has to be a financial motivation for all of us, some of us may want to participate in the GC so that we feed ourselves and our families healthier, home cooked food, eat better quality food but less of it, shop for food that is locally produced, 'live better on less' as the saying goes.

    There are no right ways and no wrong ways of approaching the GC.

    Speaking from my own experience participating in the GC has had a significant impact on reducing my spending, and as my financial situation is currently rather dire, i couldn't be more pleased that I joined in the challenge. This thread has been enormously helpful in influencing my personal approach to getting the most out of every penny spent on groceries, without compromising on the taste or quality, and even quantity of them (for the most part).

    Well done to EVERYONE who is/has participated in this months GC.

    I'm so glad to be back on board
    Originally posted by katholicos
    What a wonderful post katholicos. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you've said.

    ... I was chuffed that I had done a shop week last friday, and did not enter another shop till today - over a week of NSD!!!! NEVER known that before, so pretty chuffed with myself. Now I know I can do it, hope for a repeat this week!

    Some good progress on the home improvements! Now getting the bathroom floor tiled first, and the plumber is coming to replace the bathroom taps and lift the toilet. The tiler cannot do the kitchen until a week on monday, at at least things are moving now.
    The plumber is also putting a quote together for fitting a new shower, so I MUST KEEP UP THE CHALLENGE!, to pay for that. I am so pleased that I started this, have not felt that I have skimped on food quantity or quality - just shopped smarter, and got out of the spending habit. Keep up the good work all, here's to Feb's GC!!!
    Originally posted by supersally01
    Brilliant achievement on the NSD Supersally! And how lovely that you are able to make positive improvements in other areas of your life that really show you the benefits. A wonderful story!

    Ooopps, meant to also quote Missus AKA but missed it! For the most part I will list things bought in bulk in the month the money is spent. But for some things e.g. wash liquid I do transfer the spend to the next month or two. This is easy for me as I have a spreadsheet to log my spends (so in January I had a £6 spend but all NSDs as I bought wash liquid a couple of months earlier that I knew wouldn't be touched - and it still isn't!) but wouldn't be so easy if I didn't use that. However, I don't ever bulk buy in the way that you have which I think would be difficult to allocate to months. So, for what it's worth, I think the plan you have devised for your household is great and will relieve any stress for you.

    I've updated the sig. We went and got bits from town yesterday, grocer, butcher and coop and we now stand at £110.87 so far. I will need to get milk at some point, probably tomorrow, and unfortunately will need to get this at MrT due to the uncooperation of the coop!

    This is such a long month. It still seems like ages until the month end on a week Tuesday. And while we should be fine on the GC budget this month, the more I think about it the more likely it is that my OP on the mortgage will have to be reduced at the start of Feb due to other expenditure 'catching up'. I've spent a year without using the overdraft and it's killing me that we have slipped into it now. So need to steady the ship a little bit. I could just leave it run and adjust later but I'd rather keep the bank account steady and chuck extra in to the mortgage later in the year once we are back on an even keel iyswim.

    On a more positive note, OH is currently making up our last batch of marmalade at the moment. The first lot is delish but could have done with maybe 20 minutes less cooking as it is very thick and sticky. A bit like the consistency of thick golden syrup but with a fantastic orange flavour. Mind you, if I can get any more sevilles I may get him to make some more and then we definitely wouldn't have to buy branded stuff again this year.

    I'm just gonna have some lovely toasted hm malted bread with good Welsh butter and the hm marmalde then off into the garden to do a little bit more pruning. And maybe walk out the area where we plan digging over and putting in raised beds to grow more veggies this year. Also I'm gonna calculate how many fruit bushes I can get into the borders so that we'll be a little more self sufficient with that too. I lay in bed just dreaming about it and mentally planning this morning when I woke up. Very excited to be moving on with this project.

    Right so that's me for now. I'm gonna look at the boards for a few minutes while I have my toast and I'll be back to read about your weekend later. Have a great Sunday and keep up the brilliant work everyone.

    All the best,
    Spigs
    Last edited by Spiggle; 23-01-2011 at 11:52 AM.
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