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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 117
  • Mothership



    I also do this, but I buy the cheapest food bags I can find, put whatever inside, then I put that bag inside a zipock/sealable bag and put a small piece of paper in between the two bags with (I keep all junk mail I receive that is blank on the back for this purpose, and also for writing shopping lists on) for example, 200g Chicken Breast diced 26.1.01 written on it.

    By doing this, I always know what's in the bags, and how long they've been in the freezer. Double bagging them also helps stop them getting freezer burn, although that's not much of a risk for me, as because I put the date on everything I freeze, I rotate my stock by putting the most recently purchased underneath what has already been purchased and frozen. Value/Smart Price food bags are as cheap as chips, but are very thin, so when I've used them once I throw them away when I defrost whatever is inside them, but I reuse the ziplock/sealable bag.

    Originally posted by Hippeechiq
    Thats a great way of packing food for the freezer.

    I noticed that the supermarket food packages were the ones that had freezer burn, all my own packages were in perfect condition. There's two packs of chicken in my freezer that I'm not sure about, I might end up feeding them to the cats in the lane. I've stopped buying Chicken from SB's and Mrrsns altogether. I've had this happen too many times over the years. I think the problem is if there is any space in the packaging ice can form.
    I like M+S Oakham Chicken I buy these when the 3 for 10 offer is on and cook them all together. Have a roast dinner and portion the rest up, make stock with the bones and freeze it. I've stopped freezing chicken thighs, I cook them fresh. They taste better.
    I also brown mince remove the fat then freeze in, it stacks better in the little flat packages. And cooks really quickly, most evenings I need to get the dinner on the table quickly.

    Thank you for the tips, I'm always on the lookout for a better way to do things, found some great ones on here.
    1st Purse 114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse 100
    Fridge Freezer 300 3rd Purse /290.94
  • Mothership
    See you and my other virtual friends at the weekend then
    Originally posted by Sunflower1227
    ROTFLMAO! Better than having invisible friends, or hearing voices LOL. Well we are all real somewhere, we meet in cyberspace, virtual reality. We are Nerdwifes.
    1st Purse 114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse 100
    Fridge Freezer 300 3rd Purse /290.94
  • prettypaula
    ROTFLMAO! Better than having invisible friends, or hearing voices LOL. Well we are all real somewhere, we meet in cyberspace, virtual reality. We are Nerdwifes.
    Originally posted by Mothership
    im a Nerds wife to.

    im a geek tbh... work with technology... bit mad about it really.
    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

    • Sunflower1227
    • By Sunflower1227 26th Jan 11, 10:23 PM
    • 1,680 Posts
    • 22,390 Thanks
    Sunflower1227
    Check it out

    http://www.thenerdswife.com/
    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
  • wannaBrich
    I'm gonna join you!
    Oh c'mon then, count me in ... eeeeeeeeeek!

    I live on my own and spend way to much on take away pizzas, ready made sandwiches, buy food and end up throwing it away

    My wages went in today so gonna start from TODAY!

    I guesstimate I spend 400 per month currently ...
    is there a rough % how much I should downgrade?

    Right then, bring it on!!!!!
    Feb GC 298.72/250
    Mar GC ? / 300

    Start SW this wk!
  • Mothership
    Oh c'mon then, count me in ... eeeeeeeeeek!

    I live on my own and spend way to much on take away pizzas, ready made sandwiches, buy food and end up throwing it away

    My wages went in today so gonna start from TODAY!

    I guesstimate I spend 400 per month currently ...
    is there a rough % how much I should downgrade?

    Right then, bring it on!!!!!
    Originally posted by wannaBrich
    Ooooh! thats a big budget for one person, you choose how much you want to try and live on. THen do your best to stick to your budget.
    You will love this thread , there are lots and lots of LOVELY folk frequenting it. Its lively and fun, and it will teach you to manage your food better.
    Welcome and enjoy!
    1st Purse 114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse 100
    Fridge Freezer 300 3rd Purse /290.94
  • wannaBrich
    Ooooh! thats a big budget for one person, you choose how much you want to try and live on. THen do your best to stick to your budget.
    You will love this thread , there are lots and lots of LOVELY folk frequenting it. Its lively and fun, and it will teach you to manage your food better.
    Welcome and enjoy!
    Originally posted by Mothership
    Thanks for the welcome

    The only thing I have in freezer is alphabites and in fridge ketchup and mayo, hahahha, so I NEED to do a big shop.
    Cupboards are bare as well, really mean it -
    7 cartons of passata
    few herbs and spices
    cup a soup
    spaghetti hoops
    2 baking potatoes
    2 boxes cereal bars
    10 mini boxes of raisins

    that is ALL I have. lol

    I have a few health probs and take between 14-20 tablets a day so sometimes I feel sicky, so I am quite an awkward eater at times.
    And aim to eat healthy and not eat foods more than 5% fat.

    Gonna sleep on this budget idea, I'm thinking 250 maybe?
    That sounds achiveable.

    Nite nite guys, look forward to getting to know you
    Feb GC 298.72/250
    Mar GC ? / 300

    Start SW this wk!
    • boysma
    • By boysma 27th Jan 11, 5:54 AM
    • 827 Posts
    • 12,862 Thanks
    boysma
    Morning all,

    Spent 17.16 in Mr T last night - on very little though it did include a bottle of wine This brings me over my total already and i still have meat to buy at the weekend
    Payment A Day 15 (started 17/5/14)
  • goingontoolong
    Morning all.

    My top up shop was 13.02 (added to my siggy). Emphasises the fact that I should not shop on a saturday!
    I am trying to make this lot last til monday when I will do the shopping again.

    GOTL x
    Wedding, CC and Loan by May2012 Target - 35 a day
    Starting 21/01/11 Total so far added to savings - 2316.15 (82 a day)
    #1280 sealed pot - 58.57 11k in 2011 - 981.10/11,000
    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 27th Jan 11, 9:21 AM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    OrkneyStar
    Signature updated: budget re-jig per week (as realised last week is a short week) but overall amount for the month is not changed! For anyone really interested basically I shifted 10 from last week of month to this week ending today, allowing me to buy cheese for freezer, tomato ketchup, eggs and a couple of other things.
    New week starts tomorrow and will likely pop to Lidl.
    x
    ETA Will definitely pop to Lidl as have just seen all the oriental special offers, hope there is some left tomoro!
    Last edited by OrkneyStar; 27-01-2011 at 9:47 AM.
  • scotsaver
    Gracie_1827 - Happy Birthday

    minnie2 - sorry to hear about the Funeral.

    MRSMC - Please put me down at 248.65 for Jan, 1.35 under but every little helps. Please put me down for 250 for Feb please.

    Right, now that's done and I'm ready for Feb, already updated my total as I've got Donald R. order coming on the 25th of Feb and I've been to Lidl this morning so I've already spent over 96 but we WILL be within budget for Feb as we WILL have to live out of the Freezers to make room for the Delivery, got loads in there so I know we will be fine.

    Dinner tonight is Cottage Pie, not sure what veg I'm serving with it yet, will see what's in. Not planning to do a pud as this should be filling enough.

    Good luck for those still to delcare.
    "WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!"
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

  • Winged one
    This week, I am mostly working from the freezer and cupboard stores (need to get back on track) and it actually doesn't look too bad except for a bit of a lack of red meat. I want to get some liver for my lunch (DH will eat but DD won't) on Saturday, some meat for Sunday dinner and lamb pieces for a big batch of curry for Monday, lots of fruit and veg, and otherwise almost nothing this week.

    Menu is:
    Today: Second half of chicken and ham pie, with mash and frozen mixed veg (had carrots last night).
    Tomorrow: Chicken goujons and homemade potato wedges
    Sat: Fish risotto (have 1 small piece each of cod and hake in freezer, and bag prawns, and carton fish stock)
    Sun: Possibly a chop and spuds
    Mon: Lamb rogan josh
    Tues: Chicken with HM tomato sauce (both in freezer) and pasta
    Wed: Pork (F) stir fry and noodles
    Thurs: Meatballs (F) and HM wedges

    DD was off form last night and didn't want anything on offer really, so I cooked some pasta for her and rehydrated some dried mushrooms (I get large bags cheap in Asian supermarket), reduced the mushroomy water down and made a sauce with some cream. What she didn't eat, I have for my lunch - and it was surprisingly tasty! And quick!

    And, as DD was not eating whole apples in school, I have taken to chopping them into pieces and giving them in a tub - so it lasts 2 days and we are not throwing out a half eaten apple covered in yoghurt.

    I am also trying to make time this weekend to start sowing seeds. And hopefully get to the plot to harvest whatever has survived since late November (weather prevented it in December, and we are locked out for the first half of Jan to avoid acquiring squatter's rights on land - it's eventually due to become a road).
    GC 2010 6,000/ 5,897

    GC 2011:Overall Target: 6,000/
    5,442 by October

    Back on the wagon again in 2014
    Apr 587.82/550 May 453.31 /550
    • Pink_Giraffe
    • By Pink_Giraffe 27th Jan 11, 9:35 AM
    • 183 Posts
    • 1,393 Thanks
    Pink_Giraffe
    Disappointingly I have gone over by about 20 this month, my OH has decided he wants to start eating fruit which hasnt helped! Not added to my sig yet though, think I'm in denial! Can I go in for Feb at 110 and will try harder! Will try and post more this time round as well - I'm still finding my feet in here!
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 27th Jan 11, 9:39 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    happycrafter
    This week, I am mostly working from the freezer and cupboard stores (need to get back on track) and it actually doesn't look too bad except for a bit of a lack of red meat. I want to get some liver for my lunch (DH will eat but DD won't) on Saturday, some meat for Sunday dinner and lamb pieces for a big batch of curry for Monday, lots of fruit and veg, and otherwise almost nothing this week.

    Menu is:
    Today: Second half of chicken and ham pie, with mash and frozen mixed veg (had carrots last night).
    Tomorrow: Chicken goujons and homemade potato wedges
    Sat: Fish risotto (have 1 small piece each of cod and hake in freezer, and bag prawns, and carton fish stock)
    Sun: Possibly a chop and spuds
    Mon: Lamb rogan josh
    Tues: Chicken with HM tomato sauce (both in freezer) and pasta
    Wed: Pork (F) stir fry and noodles
    Thurs: Meatballs (F) and HM wedges

    DD was off form last night and didn't want anything on offer really, so I cooked some pasta for her and rehydrated some dried mushrooms (I get large bags cheap in Asian supermarket), reduced the mushroomy water down and made a sauce with some cream. What she didn't eat, I have for my lunch - and it was surprisingly tasty! And quick!

    And, as DD was not eating whole apples in school, I have taken to chopping them into pieces and giving them in a tub - so it lasts 2 days and we are not throwing out a half eaten apple covered in yoghurt.

    I am also trying to make time this weekend to start sowing seeds. And hopefully get to the plot to harvest whatever has survived since late November (weather prevented it in December, and we are locked out for the first half of Jan to avoid acquiring squatter's rights on land - it's eventually due to become a road).
    Originally posted by Winged one

    Ald! is doing different varieties of dried mushrooms soon in their Chinese foods promotion, I was going to stock up with some then plus some other spice jars they are selling cheap.
    • kippers
    • By kippers 27th Jan 11, 9:45 AM
    • 1,971 Posts
    • 6,041 Thanks
    kippers
    Just doing my freezer inventory, and have come across some UMOs (unidentified meat objects). I'm not entirely sure how old they are, maybe 1 to 2 years? They're wrapped well, not cooked, just bits of meat. Can I still use them, or are they too old? HELP!!!!

    Thanks!
    PG x
    Originally posted by PennyGrabber
    I'd use them. I'm sure i've read that it's just flavour that alters slightly the older the meat is. Every month before i do a 'big' shop i take everything out of my 2 freezers and write it all down. If you cross off everything you take out and add anything you put in then it really helps with your shopping budget as you don't buy duplicate things or waste anything. It is a bind to do this at first but it soon becomes second nature.

    Oh c'mon then, count me in ... eeeeeeeeeek!

    I live on my own and spend way to much on take away pizzas, ready made sandwiches, buy food and end up throwing it away

    My wages went in today so gonna start from TODAY!

    I guesstimate I spend 400 per month currently ...
    is there a rough % how much I should downgrade?

    Right then, bring it on!!!!!
    Originally posted by wannaBrich
    Welcome on board! Run by your budget this month and if you acheive it easily then bring your budget down to a more realistic budget the next month. Good luck.


    Well i had a lovely evening last night with my old friends from school. I think they all enjoyed my h/m pizza and chutneys etc. My friend bought a h/m tomato soup and it tasted really wonderful.

    Well today i went to the docs as my excema has gone wild on my hands...he says my hands are infected and gave me antibiotics to take and an antibiotic cream to use initially and some cream to use afterwards...it cost me over 21 this will need to come out of my grocery budget so i think it's going to be a tight month again.

    Tonight my fussy dd2 is at a friends for tea so i am going to attempt to make the chicken korma recipe that was on 'This Morning' yesterday as it looks lovely:

    http://thismorning.itv.com/thismorning/food/my-healthy-creamy-chicken-korma

    I'll let you know how i get on.

    Hopefully it will be a NSD today for me.


    Edit:
    I just thought i'd put a link to this website for you all to see...i've just found it and it has some lovely frugal recipes on:

    http://thefrugalcook.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00Z&updated-max=2012-01-01T00%3A00%3A00Z&max-results=3
    Last edited by kippers; 27-01-2011 at 10:34 AM.
  • wssla00
    Just a quick one for me today hope you are all well! I am popping out to the shops but an NSD as I have to fax something through for my dad's estate and open a new bank account. Also have to return a dress which, was not only too short but looked a bit weird on me so it is now gone I so desperately want to look like a young thing LOL

    Just also wanted to say that this curry http://www.annabelkarmel.com/recipes/family/chicken-curry is amazing! It's absolutely delicious! I ate the whole thing and felt full for SO LONG! Very impressed!

    Anyway best be off! Have LOADS to do today!
    x
    Feb GC: 200 Spent: 190.79
    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 27th Jan 11, 10:36 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    cutiepieabf
    NSD today. Going to do an inventory of my freezers, and maybe my pantry tonight once the children are in bed. Then I'll do a Feb meal plan from that, then I'll post a budget for Feb. Seems fairly sensible so far...

    Ok all, are you ready for what I discovered today? I always knew this, but I never really knew this. If you don't go to a sm, you don't spend any money there!!! Sounds stupid, but there you go! I was, before this month, forever 'popping in' to a sm to have a mooch around (sad, but I enjoy it!), but ended up spending up to 50, instead of just getting the one or two things i should've got. I'm so stupid!

    Have tried really hard this month, and have resisted nearly all of the time, which for me is some kind of miracle, so that is my success for this month.

    Still have my 6.60 left, looking forward to spending as little of that as possible at the weekend! Don't really know what we're having for dinner tom, so I'll get something out of the freezer when I do the inventory tonight. Really like the look of that bacon roast chicken thing - will def put that on the list for next month!!

    PG x
    Originally posted by PennyGrabber
    I know exactly what you mean. we live around the corner from a c*-*p and every day when i came home from work i would walk around to get the paper... well we all know that it doesnt stop at the paper... so i have now done two things -
    1) i have stopped buying the paper (2x45p 5 days a week + 2x60p wkend) saving of 5.70 a week/296.40 a year!!! and now check the news online first thing in the morn.
    2) signed up for a c*-*p membership card so that atleast when i do 'NEED' to shop there i will get cash back!!

    Makes me feel a little better when i cant resist the urge or due to bad planning have to get last minute groceries....

    DFBX2016 #160 - 3550/8800

    DFBX2017 #160 - 0/11,378

    0/7807 CapOne (0% PAID) 0/2776 Tesco (0% PAID)
    820/820 HSBC OD (100% PAID) 0/795 HSBC M/C (0% PAID)
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 27th Jan 11, 10:43 AM
    • 3,412 Posts
    • 34,917 Thanks
    XSpender
    I had run out of wholemeal flour yesterday and only had half the amount of strong white I needed to make a loaf in the BM so used half normal plain flour and it has turned out suprisingly well.

    I had to pick DH up from work last night so we were in late and the tea I had planned didn't get made. We had a chippy tea and I paid using my own money so I won't add it to the GC total. If I have enough left this month I will repay myself but if I don't I won't.

    The sausages and mash are planned for tonight instead

    I am looking forward to doing my first shop with my meal plan, shopping list and cash budget of the month tomorrow? Am I a bit sad?
    October Grocery Challenge - 277.74/220
  • Mothership
    I'm ready for Feb, already updated my total as I've got Donald R. order coming on the 25th of Feb and I've been to Lidl this morning so I've already spent over 96 but we WILL be within budget for Feb as we WILL have to live out of the Freezers to make room for the Delivery, got loads in there so I know we will be fine.
    Originally posted by scotsaver
    Thats EXACTLY what I'm doing lol, my delivery arrives on the 25th too. I've got another order sitting in the basket. but there's no way I could take delivery till March (I will pay for this from the 3rd purse, set up new bank account with the 180 I have in it , wont order until I get card through). I want two lots of this... http://www.donaldrussell.com/p//D1143.htm

    I sorted the freezer out and I've got every meal planned for the whole of Feb. Will just need to buy fruit and veg ,milk, and other perishables.

    I will be over budget for Jan though, as I have two M+S 5 off 25 spend left, will be going tomorrow to stock up on butter, and 2 lots of 3 for 10 chicken 6 Chickens (will cook them all together) have a roast dinner then freeze the rest. I will get 1 meal deal. And whatever else I can find.
    My Jan total after my M+S spree will be 240 40 over.

    Because I've overspent and I have the 2nd and 3rd purse as back up.

    My budget for FEB will be 130

    PLEASE FINALISE JAN FOR ME AND PUT ME DOWN FOR 130 for FEB
    1st Purse 114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse 100
    Fridge Freezer 300 3rd Purse /290.94
  • Mothership
    2nd Purse
    I've put all the details on my signature for Feb so anyone who wants to try the 2nd purse can follow it.

    Because I have a good stock I have reduced my Feb Budget.

    When I buy anything from the 2nd or 3rd purse and list it like this...


    2nd Purse
    3 bottles Fabric conditioner T***O 3 for 2 Total 2 PP 1 ea

    3rd Purse
    Donald Russell http://www.donaldrussell.com/p//D1143.htm 83
    REMEMBER YOU DONT HAVE TO PAY THIS BACK.
    (they have put the price up to 60) Grrrr! still 39 in basket

    The above shows how it works, after doing it for a while, you will need less for your 1st purse (weekly or monthly shop).
    This money could be used to pay off your mortgage or debts.

    Any questions???
    Last edited by Mothership; 27-01-2011 at 11:28 AM.
    1st Purse 114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse 100
    Fridge Freezer 300 3rd Purse /290.94
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