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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Dec 10, 1:15 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    • #1
    • 25th Dec 10, 1:15 AM
    25th Dec 10 at 1:15 AM
    Hi Everyone,

    Welcome to the first Grocery Challenge of 2011, a new decade and a new beginning!

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your December budget, then keep on posting in the December 2010 Grocery Challenge

    As always this challenge is to reduce your own grocery budget to levels that you will be pleased with, not forgetting that we always recommend that you stay inside your own comfort levels and take things gently one step at a time. Remember that this is not a's designed to take you and your grocery spending to a level you are happy with.

    If you are new to the challenge I have quoted the advice from Galtizz below which will help you get started.

    Please post into this thread for help and advice and support at any time. Good luck to everyone taking part!

    I have said this before, but for all the newbies to the challenge;

    For the first month I took a guess at the budget but I really had no idea how much I was spending.

    I found the best thing is to have a guess the first month but SAVE ALL OF YOUR RECEIPTS (and yes, that does include the ones from the local shop when you run out of milk ), then at the end of the month add them all up and have a look if you were on budget, if not, it doesn't matter because your budget was a guess. For the next month you can use the total of your receipts and take a bit off to get a realistic budget, just shave off as much as you think you can, it could be £1 a week or £20 a week.

    If you are currently spending £200 a month don't suddenly drop it to £100 - you'll never do it but if you cut £20 a month off for a few months you'll get there eventually without feeling you're missing out on anything.

    You might think you've done everything you can in the first month but someone always comes up with a new idea and, if you try it you often find you save a bit more (unless you are SarahSaver who is an expert at this and could only save more if she turned her back garden into a paddy field and lived on rice ) In the first month I thought, I'm planning meals, I couldn't possibly save any more, but then I started double cooking and freezing, and making soup instead of buying it in tins.

    I've been doing this since Feb but only saved ALL of my receipts last month, it has given me a much better idea of where it is all going. Budget for next month is £80 for 2 of us, I'll start on 30/4. I could probably save more, by eating different foods but I can afford to live on £80, I have saved a lot of money since Feb. and I don't waste food or money any more. So I'm happy with my budget.
    For quidelines on posting in this thread please read the second post in this thread.

    For everyone's targets and totals for the month please read posts #3 and #4 on this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #5, #6 and #7 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month and may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year! Hope it's a good one for all of us.

    Last edited by Pink.; 29-12-2010 at 9:09 AM.
Page 104
    • ma-ri-ella
    • By ma-ri-ella 23rd Jan 11, 11:57 AM
    • 970 Posts
    • 9,452 Thanks
    Can't remember who put the Doves Bread site on this board; but Thank you.
    Originally posted by gdyr1945
    going to join this challenge,am aiming for £5 a week until next pay day (about 2/3 weeks away)i have loads of basics in the cupboard-flour,alpro yogurts... the only things i think i will need to buy are eggs(for making bread) and milk(have enough slimfast powder in there to last about a month ) does anyone know where i can get dove flour cheap? i picked up some from holland and barrets for £1.19 because it expires soon but its normally 2quid odds. have been keeping a spending diary since about the 10th jan and its shocking how much on it was not really worst thing is buying things after work(work in a supermarket)when i see them coming through the checkouts and am hungry-will leave the purse at home!!!
    £365 a year spend challenge - this has included food/clothes/beauty?? who knows where I am
    20,000 step a day challenge
    • catslovelycats
    • By catslovelycats 23rd Jan 11, 12:09 PM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 11,207 Thanks
    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??

    Buddiebabe x
    Originally posted by buddiebabe
    I'm the same buddiebabe
    I work very long hours
    I just make what I can be bothered to make at the time
    often by the time I get home I'm not interested in eating much at all

    but I've done an inventory, know what food I've got in and am in better control of it than I was before - that's where my success lies, rather than in planning
    • Jolaaled
    • By Jolaaled 23rd Jan 11, 12:31 PM
    • 1,038 Posts
    • 2,504 Thanks
    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.
    Originally posted by Mothership
    Thanks...will give this another go, as the recipe sounds just tooo lovely!.
  • adelight
    Just did a big shop and went quite a bit over for the month, spent £7.67 in Lidl on pears, spuds, sweet spuds, broccoli, yogs, mayo, peanut butter, peas and two packs of 99p 500g beef mince(bargain!)

    I feel a bit of a flop for going over, but relying on the freezer didn't work out so well when the freezer copped it at the start of the month and I had to throw away all the meat/fish! Next month I'll aim for £35, still £5 less than my £40 of 2010, and do a bit of monthly meal planning(ie, a week where I use up a pack of the mince and freeze some meals, a week where I use up a pack of chicken drumsticks I got two weeks ago, just so I have a rough idea of what I need).
    Living cheap in central London
    • catslovelycats
    • By catslovelycats 23rd Jan 11, 12:56 PM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 11,207 Thanks
    Desperately want to keep within my budget this month
    This is my 1st month on here and I want to feel like I can succeed
    I reckon I can just about get by with only buying a loaf of bread, some reduced veg for the guinea pigs and bananas for my brekky for the week
    fingers crossed!
  • Mothership
    Fat from food cloggs drains...
    So my husband just told me.

    Next door neighbour just had his main drain cleared the cause 'FAT' .

    We had to have our 'shared drain' cleared twice last year. The cause 'FAT'. But not ours.

    I let him rant on for about half an hour, then held up my hand and said stop right there, "I DONT put ANY fat down the drain", I showed him the bowl of FAT I'd collected from our food since last Sunday. All 1.4 kilos of it, all from supermarket meat.

    For some strange reason I've been collecting and weighing it every Sunday since the beginning of December. I was just curious to see what the monthly tally was. There was 2.1 kilos in December, so thats 3 1/2 kilo's in less than two months.

    The funniest thing was we've been together 33 years and he never ever noticed me taking fat off our food before cooking and during cooking.

    He took the bowl next door to show our neighbours. They were horrified.

    I go to great lengths to remove any fat, one method I use...I put a whole tray of ice cubes in gravy/soups swirl them for a few seconds let the fat stick to them then fish them out quick.
    Just imagine what all that fat would do to your insides, now he knows why his cholesterol is only 4.2 LOL.

    The Dynorod man told him that 90% of blocked drains are caused by fat, even if it is mixed with washing up liquid that appears to dissolve it, as soon as it hits the drains it sticks to the cold pipes, City Councils spend millions clearing it every year. I didn't know that myself, I just put it in the bin, but it made me think, me and my husband didn't know , neither did my neighbours. So thought it would be good to share.
    Food for thought eh?
    1st Purse £114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse ££100
    Fridge Freezer £300 3rd Purse /£290.94
  • rosieben
    Mothership, I've added your Mock Lasagne and Individual Potato Pie recipes to the index, thank you

    like you, I pour fat off into a dish or cup, let it cool and then I put it in the bin, horrified to think how much there is of it! if I were able to feed the birds I would use it in bird pudding
    Last edited by rosieben; 23-01-2011 at 1:00 PM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • catslovelycats
    • By catslovelycats 23rd Jan 11, 12:57 PM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 11,207 Thanks
    Just did a big shop and went quite a bit over for the month, spent £7.67 in Lidl on pears, spuds, sweet spuds, broccoli, yogs, mayo, peanut butter, peas and two packs of 99p 500g beef mince(bargain!)

    I feel a bit of a flop for going over, but relying on the freezer didn't work out so well when the freezer copped it at the start of the month and I had to throw away all the meat/fish! Next month I'll aim for £35, still £5 less than my £40 of 2010, and do a bit of monthly meal planning(ie, a week where I use up a pack of the mince and freeze some meals, a week where I use up a pack of chicken drumsticks I got two weeks ago, just so I have a rough idea of what I need).
    Originally posted by adelight
    sorry to hear abut your freezer
    I guess you would have been within budget if it hadn't died on you ??
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 23rd Jan 11, 1:01 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    Yesterday was a NSD - One of my new years resolutions was to do different things, so I went on an art tour in East London. It was great, but 3.5 hours was quite a long time! I went with some friends and one is a manager of a restaurant in town so she got a meal for us on the house (I said I would pay but she wouldn't accept, so I said I would buy her a meal next time we're out). So a lovely day out for no money - beats sitting at home!

    Today I spent £1.20 in Mr S for some coriander for a curry using leftover pork from the freezer from Xmas, and store cupboard spices, onions etc
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 £46.05/£130

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

    DFD 1st March 2011
    • Gracie_1827
    • By Gracie_1827 23rd Jan 11, 1:04 PM
    • 290 Posts
    • 2,487 Thanks
    Nipped to MrM's and was good and bad. They had Little gem lettuces at 2 for 25p so bough a couple of packs. Last week in As@a they were £1 also got apples for 90p and a few other bits. But was tempted by Activia yogs at 8 for £2.....didn't really need them but a little of what you fancy . Needs some coffee but will get that next week at MrS...and use Nectar points for that. I've got a MrT £10 gift voucher (from survey) might have to use that to stay under budget
    GC - Oct £36.17/£31
    GC - Sep £35.56/£30
    GC - Aug £30.73/£31
    GC - Jul £30.80/£31
  • adelight
    sorry to hear abut your freezer
    I guess you would have been within budget if it hadn't died on you ??
    Originally posted by catslovelycats
    I think so but nothing I can do about it now! Thesr things happen, eh?
    Living cheap in central London
    • Jolaaled
    • By Jolaaled 23rd Jan 11, 1:21 PM
    • 1,038 Posts
    • 2,504 Thanks
    Spiced Marmalade Cake
    Have got a glut of newly made marmalade the mo'!..thanks to all the Seville recipes and helpful tips I found on here.

    So today, have made my mum's Spiced Marmalade cake ...soooo easy!..and each time, it comes out so well (except the sultanas always sink to the bottom). I think the recipe may have originally come from a Yorkshire WI recipe book, but not sure. As a result, I use the old-style 'big' tablespoon measure IYSWIM.

    Heres the instructions:

    6 oz SR flour
    1 tsp mixed spice
    3 oz margerine
    3 oz sugar
    3 oz sultanas
    3 tbs hot water
    1 egg
    2 tbs marmalade
    2 tbs golden syrup.

    Heat marg, sugar, marmalade and golden syrup in microwave.
    Add sieved flour and mixed spice and stir well.
    Add the hot water.
    Stir in floured sultanas
    Lastly, add the beaten egg.

    Put in well-greased tin and cook for about 20-30 mins 160 degrees C.

    • catslovelycats
    • By catslovelycats 23rd Jan 11, 1:24 PM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 11,207 Thanks
    I swear I can smell that cake!
    Looks lovely!
    • kippers
    • By kippers 23rd Jan 11, 1:29 PM
    • 1,970 Posts
    • 6,035 Thanks
    Last day of my January GC and would like to declare £299.75 for Jan out of £300, so just 25p to spare. I didn't think i'd manage it.

    Can I be put down for £300 for Feb pls.

    I must say i've found £300 difficult in January as everything is going up so much. There isn't much else i can cut out of my monthly shop now. Roll on summer so i can get my lovely homegrown lettuces and cucumbers etc

    By the way, i'm thinking of buying an easiyo yoghurt maker as we love natural yoghurt...has anyone got one?
  • SuziQ1962
    Yum Yum ^^^ ^^^
    "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
  • adelight
    Jolaaled, that looks delicious! Gonna have to squeeze some sultanas into feb's GC so I can make one
    Living cheap in central London
  • scotsaver
    Popped to Lid! today as they had Multipacks of OJ on special and we use these in Lunch boxes - big mistake - ended up spending over £20. Too many things on offer, got more Cheese, the juice cartons, B!sto granules, bleach, dishcloths, bananas, apples etc etc. We now have £1.35 to last until Wednesday.

    I've checked and double checked meal plan and I won't need to buy anything until Friday - have enough Fruit, veg and milk and have enough Bread flour to make next batch of bread and rolls so we should just make it.

    Dinner tonight is Roast Beef and all the trimmings. Not made a Pud as dinner itself should be filling enough as I always serve it with Stuffing, bread sauce, yorkies and loads of veg.YUM

    Everyone seems to be doing well, this month is usually hard and always seems such a long month but I think it's going really fast.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

  • Missus Aka
    Thanks for everyones input, have decided that i will do as i planned and drop my monthly budget to 135.00 a month and have a yearly stock up budget of 180.00 for things like washing powder, toothpaste, softener etc. so then my monthly spends wont be so up and down due to stocking up so it will even out.....i think it will go to plan so can i please have my grocery budget changed to 135.00 please

    I will be stocking up on washing powder bleach showergel toothpaste crunchnut etc i will also be keeping a log of my stocking up budget in my sig. so i am currently on 129.19 on my grocery budget and 26.95 on my stocking up budget....will do a stocking up shop at sainsburys and one at tescos both on the 25th my gran wants some stuff on offer as well so will do it all together
    Last edited by Missus Aka; 23-01-2011 at 2:32 PM.
    SPC Member#1096 Target £150 Feb Count £82.18
    Aug Make£5P.DayChal £0/£155
    My August £100 Grocery Challenge £49.90/£100
    • mongmoney
    • By mongmoney 23rd Jan 11, 3:00 PM
    • 174 Posts
    • 1,009 Thanks
    Mongy's Update
    Afternoon Peeps,
    I think I must have forgotten to record some spends, either that or I'm getting better at wasting less.
    If I don't count spends on my cats then I've only spent about £30 on food so far this month.
    I'm swopping current accounts and the changeover date doesn't match salary. This has caused a bit of a headache but keeping grocery spends down has helped.
    I've got to make that cake, it looks lovely, thanks J.
    Hoping to declare at under £60, just under 10 days to go.
    Jan GC £28-49/£120 NSD's 15/17
    Dec GC £90-90/£140 NSD's 17/18
    Storms make oaks take deeper root
    • boultdj
    • By boultdj 23rd Jan 11, 3:14 PM
    • 4,504 Posts
    • 33,115 Thanks
    A $22.61 spend for me today.
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