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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 110
  • Tropicalmoments
    I'm still under last months budget - just - but I'm going to up my budget this month because it's been uncomfortably tight and I've used up a lot of stuff in my freezer and cupboards (which is good but I need to replace some of it). So 300 for me for February please.

    I'm also keen to try Mothership's second purse idea.
  • SeriouslySeekingtoSave
    Greetings you fellow food budget batterers! My current total stands at 68 but it's not the end of the month yet.... However...

    YEE HAH!!!

    That is half of what I thought I might be looking at for a month. Next time (which will be March as I'm off for a big chunk of Feb), I'll try to improve on the 70! If I save on the basic food bill that gives me more lolly for getting jolly!
    Mini Challenge - Halve 2nd Mortgage by Year End
    Starting: 10,000 Currently 8,142.62
    3,142.62 to go!
  • LittleMissHappy
    Hi everyone Have got 20 left until 31st so need to be careful, I only need milk, bread and fresh fruit and veg so I'll be fine, just need to think carefully before I spend. I have more than halved my grocery budget this month (compared to what i would normally spend willy-nilly) which i still can't believe! Anyway, will need to get some stuff tomorrow, but that will have to be all until next week Wish me luck!
    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)
    • MummyEm
    • By MummyEm 24th Jan 11, 9:37 PM
    • 573 Posts
    • 5,144 Thanks
    A*** delivery arrived total cost 65.71. That leaves me with 11.13 in budget. Did also have two items missing so have mailed them so hoping that they will refund these, I've not had anyhting missing with them before so don't know whether they usually do this?
    I need to get a few bits from L**L tomorrow - Ham, milk, squash. Would really like to stock up on extra milk for the freezer but I don't want to go over the budget so will only buy what I can with what's left! My month follows calendar month so through to next Monday. I'm a bit anxious about spending all remaining money tomorrow in case I've forgotten anything!

    Need to have a think about what to set for Feb. We have budgetted 500 per month in our yearly budget but it is a shorter month and we will be away for a week. May use some of the budget towards holiday spends as the holiday budget is looking pretty tight! Will have a ponder ...
    Last edited by MummyEm; 24-01-2011 at 9:45 PM.
    MFW original end date 295000 Nov 2039 currently 224,824.58 Jul 2035 Dream end date Nov 2025
    2017 Target EF 20,000/ 20,000 OP 2390.10/1900
    TOTAL OP 2014 1042.60 OP 2015 3357.75 OP 2016 6480.98 Family Loan 17000.00
    • ma-ri-ella
    • By ma-ri-ella 24th Jan 11, 9:44 PM
    • 972 Posts
    • 9,459 Thanks
    I think i might make my feb target 30-thats just for me :P i still have a cupboard full of stuff(going away for a long weekend-not included ) and and if i was really stretching myself i could make do with whats there and only need to buy milk/eggs for making bread for the month.
    365 a year spend challenge - this has included food/clothes/beauty?? who knows where I am
    20,000 step a day challenge
    • ma-ri-ella
    • By ma-ri-ella 24th Jan 11, 9:49 PM
    • 972 Posts
    • 9,459 Thanks
    [QUOTE=MummyEm;40575834]A*** delivery arrived total cost 65.71. That leaves me with 11.87 in budget. Did also have two items missing so have mailed them so hoping that they will refund these, I've not had anyhting missing with them before so don't know whether they usually do this?
    QUOTE]this does happen occasionally-when deliverys are done in the morning someone will put together all the produce items,another will do bakery etc..
    i dont know if u asked for a refund in your email but either they will refund you direct or you might get a phonecall from the store asking what you want to do-either pick up in store or sometimes if they have another delivery out your way they might offer to deliver it later.
    365 a year spend challenge - this has included food/clothes/beauty?? who knows where I am
    20,000 step a day challenge
    • Sunflower1227
    • By Sunflower1227 24th Jan 11, 10:03 PM
    • 1,680 Posts
    • 22,390 Thanks
    Hi everyone

    :hugs: to everyone that are having a hard time

    Another NSD today for me, hoping for another one tomorrow as I dont need anything.

    Just a reminder to the people that shop at Mr As dont forget to check your reciepts (and any others that you might find left laying around) on there site for the 10% back guarantee offer.

    3 of the 5 reciepts that I found in trolleys gave me back nearly 5.00 not bad as I only nipped in for a couple of items late on saturday nite.
    I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.

    Weight loss 3 stone
  • janie-h
    Just a note on the dishwasher tablets as everyone seems to be talking about Finish. I tried DW tablets from Lidl this week - W5 Dishwasher tablets all in one. I decided to try these as budget wouldn't stretch to Finish this time. I am completely sold on them and am recommending them to everyone I know. I was very much a one brand lady when it came to the dishwasher but not anymore! Considerably cheaper, and doing a great job. I have as yet to remove anything that hasn't been washed properly, glass is very clear, no overpowering smell which I don't like much either.

    Hope this helps someone
    Originally posted by MummyEm

    I use these too. They came out 1st in tests - can't remember where I read it. Dishes always come out spotless and fresh.

    I do ocassionally buy Finish, but only when on 'very special offer' (sometimes in HomeBargs)
  • helen jelly
    I use Lidl DW TAbs too - never had a problem with them and I absolutely refuse to pay the prices others charge - I'd rather get rid of the DW!!!

    I told DH tonight that the Feb budget was 150, its not really, but he doesn't need to know that! I'll keep it at 250 for Feb as we need to see what we are spending for more than 1 month before I start to reign it back in and cut it back.

    DH has spent yesterday afternoon and all today taking up flooring in the Landing and our Bedroom and its been a nightmare so I popped out and got him some beer as a reward - he worked really hard today and I was of little help, I am now the best wife ever lol

    Happy no spending and sleep well

    Helen x
    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
  • prettypaula
    well although i didnt take part this month, i sent hubby to shop today for some bread flour, yeast, 1 x leek, 1 x tin toms and 1 x tin beans.

    he actually only bought was was on the list. amazing.

    Budget for Feb is 150 please
    DFW - Debt Free Date July 2013, LBM Oct 2011

    Total Debt Sept 2011 23,708.39
    Paid so far 2,383.91
    Current Debt 21,560.56

  • Mothership
    How NOT to make marmalade.
    Before you even begin, go for a wee, if you don't need, wait till you do. Then start. Make sure your family are not going to be under your feet. DONT answer the phone.
    I did none of the above and disaster struck.

    Remember this was my VERY first time making marmalade.

    I had my 1 bag of Oranges from A**A
    My 2 for 1 bags of Sugar from T***O

    I sat happily juicing the oranges, and finely slicing the peel. Does the juice go in as well I wondered, well it does in mine. How many Oranges??? I had a whole bag. I peered in the pot WOW! thats a lot, so I stopped chopping, there was one whole orange left. I put some water in the pot and brought it to the boil, half an hour later I had a wee look, all was well, I added the sugar 1 bag at first, stirred it around and decided to add half a bag more.
    It hadn't come to the boil yet, when I realised I had to go to the loo NOW! I was just on my way back to the kitchen when the door went. Daughter no 2 with sleeping baby. I opened the door helped her in , then the phone rang. One of those cold callers AAAAH!
    Got back to the kitchen to find my husband with a bucket full of water at the sink. As I got to the cooker the pot boiled over, covering the cooker, units and floor with marmalade, I lifted the pot off the cooker turned to the sink , put my foot in the bucket of water, and promptly knocked it over. My husband set too clearing it up and I cleaned the outside of the pot, I then turned to the cooker and started mopping the marmalade up, the kitchen was filled with smoke, the smoke alarm went off in the kitchen, then the one in the hall, then the baby got a fright and woke up screaming. My husband is running around looking for a broom to poke the smoke alarms with, and I'm standing at the cooker stirring the marmalade on another ring while the smoke was still belching from the cooker.
    "WHAT are you doing he shouted, yer a bloody nutter" , "Canny stop the noo, the marmalade must be near setting point" I told him."
    A little later I put it in the jars, what was left of it LOL, must have been about half of what I should have had. Good job I added the extra sugar I thought or I'd have had none!

    Anyway as the marmalade cooled down and the cooker was all cleaned, the baby back asleep, I put the kettle on and some toast, my daughter was in hysterics, my OH was sitting in the other room waiting on his lunch. "Your not giving him toast and marmalade are you?" she said. "Of course I am " I said "He loves it",
    "Oh! I don't know about that mum I think it might be the LAST thing he wants right now.
    I took it through to him , he burst out laughing when he saw the plate and said "How can ye no buy marmalade like normal wummin".
    "Well I wont be buying anymore" I told him, its so easy to make your own.

    How I ended up with something even remotely edible after all that I'll never know.

    I don't think this is one for the recipe collection eh? ROTFLMAO!

    I forgot to tell you I had to throw my slippers out, one was soaking wet and the other all sticky, they were on their last legs anyway.
    Last edited by Mothership; 25-01-2011 at 12:43 PM.
    1st Purse 114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse 100
    Fridge Freezer 300 3rd Purse /290.94
    • boultdj
    • By boultdj 25th Jan 11, 6:53 AM
    • 4,505 Posts
    • 33,130 Thanks
    Thank's for sharing Mothership, my side's hurt now :-}
  • cat_smith
    Mothership, that is priceless.

    1 more NSD. Spent 5.50 on a chicken for the freezer. Didn't really need it, but our local butcher doesn't often have them in and I like to support them whenever possible.

    Off to update sig.
    GC Mar 13 47.36/150
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 25th Jan 11, 8:23 AM
    • 3,406 Posts
    • 34,882 Thanks
    Just popping in to update my signature. I have had no broadband all week so I am waaaay behind with the thread. Will try and catch up over the next 2 days.

    I only need a tub of formula costing 7.59 but I only have 7.24 left. Ahhhh I would have done it without the price hikes I will be 35p out but that is the closest I have ever been to hitting my target in all the months I have done the GC so not too bad a result although I did have quite a generous target for 4 weeks. This included doing a detox diet which cost a fortune in fruit and wheat free pasta etc!

    My new month starts on Friday and I will have 5 weeks shopping so I am going for 300. This works out at 60/week.

    I have decided I really need to get a hold of my grocery spending and will go back to taking out 60 cash a week and sticking it in a seperate purse. I am going to avoid bulk buying and stocking up this month and until I have my spending better controlled. I will buy a small item each week for my June and Holiday boxes though like beans or soup.

    I am also meal planning and sticking to it so far this last couple of weeks. I am going to make more veggie based meals, good for my health and waistline as well as my pocket.

    We need a new kictchen table to go with our new kitchen so we are trying to raise the 225 needed by ebaying and savings from our living expenses. Anything I save on the GC each week will go towards our table. DH is on board with this too so I am hoping he will not want to spend as much on beer

    One last thing, can I thank the poster who recommended adding more yeast and hotter water to the bread maker dough to make a lighter loaf. I am sorry I can't remember who it was but I tried it and it worked and I am now back to using my bread maker for all our bread. Thanks a million
    Last edited by XSpender; 25-01-2011 at 8:25 AM.
    October Grocery Challenge - 122.00/220
    • Pinwheel
    • By Pinwheel 25th Jan 11, 8:24 AM
    • 63 Posts
    • 1,138 Thanks
    Hello I'm new to this

    I have been reading the January thread and feel inspired to join you in February if that's ok (our Feb starts from payday which is Weds 26th Jan). There are 2 adults and 2 children, 8 and 4 and I am going to try for

    200 for February please

    I've got a delivery from T***o coming tomorrow night and then I am going to try using cash in my grocery purse for the top up shops. I have already got lots of ideas and help from everyone here and look forward to more, thanks!

    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 25th Jan 11, 9:12 AM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    Just to say I will move to February when you all do .
    I am just doing weekly (which changes every so often!) and so no budget to add to the list for me- thanks everyone!
    • babyboysmommy
    • By babyboysmommy 25th Jan 11, 9:20 AM
    • 405 Posts
    • 4,411 Thanks
    I did my last shop of the month today so
    I would like to declare 145.37 for January please.
    Although it's way over budget I'm delighted as we normally spend at least 400

    My February budget is going to be a lot more realistic as we are almost through all the extras we bought in December.

    300 for February please

    Hopefully we can stick to 300 for the next few months, get used to that & then when the baby arrives keep to the 300 even though our expenses will go up. That's the plan anyway
  • wssla00
    Morning all just popping in to update my feb signature. 80.69 spend in Asda for a months worth of essentials. Will need to go out into town to pick up some other bits and pop into morrisons for some fresh fruit and maybe a nice new cooking pot.... that place is dangerous!!

    Going to have a fruity chicken curry tonight! Yummy! With some chapattis and rice! I bought the book Annabel Karmel 100 family meals from the my kitchen table range and some of the recipes look amazing. This is one of them so will let you know how I get on.

    Anyway I better be off and sort out all of this!

    Have a good day people!
    Feb GC: 200 Spent: 190.79
    • mummyroysof3
    • By mummyroysof3 25th Jan 11, 10:20 AM
    • 4,318 Posts
    • 25,275 Thanks
    i have updated my total below...done really well i think compared to the 400-500 we normally spend
    Have a Bsc Hons open degree from the Open University 2015
    • elly2
    • By elly2 25th Jan 11, 10:46 AM
    • 553 Posts
    • 5,227 Thanks
    Morning all, today is my last Jan shop and went a little over the 10 i wanted to spend, spent 15 today mostly on bread (4) milk (2) tom sauce (2) also got pots and eggs and a hair dye for me (99p) so not too bad really . If my adding up is right i have spent 255.00 out of the 400.00 Jan GC . I have emptied both purses and have another 100 to add to my savings , and some more spare coins for my sealed pot which is now at aprox 50.

    Have a pan of leek and potato soup bubbling away and it smells fab (hope it tastes as good ). Leek and pot soup tastes great i may keep some for myself and have it with onion dumlings.
    Still not sure how to work out my Feb budget but will probably leave it at 100.00 per week , and not count whatever my dad buys.
    Last edited by elly2; 25-01-2011 at 1:02 PM. Reason: soup tastes great

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