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    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 24th Jan 11, 3:50 PM
    • 9,343Posts
    • 17,889Thanks
    February 2011 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 24th Jan 11, 3:50 PM
    February 2011 Grocery Challenge 24th Jan 11 at 3:50 PM
    Hi Everyone,

    Welcome to the second Grocery Challenge of 2011

    This is my first time starting the thread so EEEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKK! It's a bit scary.

    Pink, you're not going to shout at me are you? Just thought I would have try to help you out and have a bash at it myself this month. Credit where it's due Pink - this thing has pickled me brain!

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your January budget, then keep on posting in the January 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. Hope it's a good one for all of us.

    Last edited by zippychick; 28-01-2011 at 8:44 PM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 22
  • funnyflipp
    So Mr T's last night (and took the kids ) but came in at 47.60 planned on 50 so happy with that, spent 130 last week (I run from 25th - 25th)
    So far including last night have spent 178 but I have trawllws through my freezer and appear to have enough to feed us for a good gew weeks! just need to get veg and a joint for the weekend! finger crossed.
    112121.02 10 Years and counting!
    Target in 2011 22K /10646.97 DFD Feb 2017
    42Lbs /23 Down 19 to go!
    So now I just need to keep going!
    Nearly half way through the year and I'm still here
  • martafdz
    Chicken and Sweetcorn soup

    - any leftover chicken (including carcass/bones) plus around 100g chicken meat (it can be just from the carcass or a really small chicken breast).

    - 1 tbsp sunflower oil.
    - 1 clove garlic chopped really finely / a teasp of garlic salt
    - a bit of ginger chopped finely / a teasp of ginger salt
    - 2 tablespoons pf cornflour
    - 600ml chicken stock
    - tin of creamed corn (or sweetcorn if that is what you have)
    -1 egg

    optional: 1 spring onion, tsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp lemon juice


    1. First get the stock ready, so you can just boil the carcass/bones for about an hour to get the flavour, pass through a colander, season with a bit of salt and you are good to go. Or mix a cube of chicken stock in hot water. Or buy chicken stock but that is not very MSE! Lol You could also boil the chicken you are going to use if you haven't got any bones. Just take it out later in order to shredder it and add the rest.

    2. Put the oil, ginger, garlic and chicken in a pan and fry a bit. Make sure it does not go brown but just seals the juices, cooks the chicken in the inside and garlic and ginger leave the flavour in the meat and oil without burning. If you have put the chicken aleady in the water to do the stock and you have it on the side, just fry slightly the ginger and the garlic.

    3. Blend the cornflour with a bit of stock (take a bit with a mug and put the cornflour, stir until dissolved). Then add it to the pan.

    4. Add the shredded chicken and the oil, garlic and ginger. If you have put more than a tbsp of oil to fry them, do not add all of it.

    5. Add the tin of creamed corn / sweetcorn.

    6. Leave to boil a bit at low heat for about 15-20minutes.

    7. Taste and add more salt if you need to. Check the consistency, if you like it thicker add a bit more of cornflour but do not add a lot because once we add the egg it will get thicker anyway.

    8. Once you feel everything is cooked and seasoning is ok, put the heat down, beat the egg on a small bowl and star to slowly add it into the soup. Use a fork or the egg beater to "break" the egg as it falls and make strands. So make a slow motion circle (for example) with the fork and add the egg slowly. The fine egg strands will cook as soon as they touch the hot water and you will get like long strands of egg inside the soup. This will give the soup a thicker consistency and add a lot of taste.

    9. Soup is ready. You can add the tbsp of lemon juice if you fancy (I didn't). Also, you could add a drizzle of the soy sauce and some chopped spring onions on top when serving. I put the spring onions and OH complained. I did like them though. I did not use the soy sauce in case it killed the flavour and being liquid I could not take it out. But you can always try in one bowl and see how it goes.

    I have the rest in the fridge for today
    Last edited by martafdz; 03-02-2011 at 9:54 AM. Reason: adding stuff
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • MKS
    • By MKS 3rd Feb 11, 9:20 AM
    • 10,092 Posts
    • 153,322 Thanks
    I usually make it with a tin of creamed corn. Thanks for the info on adding the egg. I always wondered what the strands were in the C&SS from the chinese.
    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 3rd Feb 11, 9:23 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    Went to the dreaded c*** yesterday and picked up apples, a melon, puff pastry, yoghurts and biscuits for the tin....
    I couldn't find any sausage meat! They only had skinned sausages. So my sausage roll idea went out the window until i remembered that i have some cocktail sausages in the freezer left over from xmas!! That'll do the job!!
    Then went home and made apple turnovers, and gingerbread men with the 5yr old. he loves decorating them after and although he normally has school dinners he insisted on having packed lunch today so that he could have hm fruit salad and a gingerbread man.
    This is coming from the child that, while sitting and eating our full on roast dinner on Xmas day says, 'Can i do my homework now?'
    Strange child...

    So anyway spend for yesterday - 8.98.

    If anyone wants the gingerbread man recipe let me know and i'll post later.
    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)
  • Equilibrium
    MRSMCAWBER - Well done on staying away from all the sweets and treats Im trying to do that at the moment but nbot doing so well

    Hi Equilibrium
    and it was very nice, although, as much as I love Sweet Potato, I think next time I make it, I'll use normal white ones.
    I also added 1Tsp Smoked Paprika, 1 Tsp Mild Chilli Powder, Tsp Lazy Garlic, and a tiny extra splash of Red Wine before putting it in the dish and adding the mash

    Also these are all on my monthly menu planner too:
    and this CHEESE & LENTIL LOAF is divine

    Hope some of them appeal to you
    Originally posted by Hippeechiq
    Thankyou Hippeechiq they sound lovely , i will definately try them

    does anyone have any tips for purchasing a good chest freezer at a reasonable price.
    Thanks all.
    Originally posted by redkids1972
    Hi Redkids , I brought a small chest freezer at the end of last year. I looked through the 2nd hand stores first but because everyone had been buying them for xmas they had none left. So eventually we found the cheapest one was at Argo* . But have a look around you local 2nd hand places first as they will be much cheaper . And well done on all the bargain shopping

    Updating Sig.
    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
  • SuziQ1962
    Hi thanks for the links to the recipes -we are going to have the cheese and lentil loaf for tea tonight as I have some mushrooms and peppers crying out to be used up!
    Not doing to well on the challenge at the mo as have used nearly 2 1/2 weeks money in a week as we were out to dinner at a friends and had to buy wine and bring a course etc and am doing a birthday tea at the weekend so will have to buy loads of baking stuff as I have run out!
    Oh well maybe lentils for the rest of the month !
    "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
    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 3rd Feb 11, 9:50 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    does anyone have any tips for purchasing a good chest freezer at a reasonable price.
    Thanks all.
    Originally posted by redkids1972

    i bought this one last year to use as a top up freezer. I have it upstairs in the corner of the spare room.
    I only paid 80 for it though in the sale.

    I was reading about freezers failing outside this winter due to the cold temperatures and remember reading someones post saying that Beko are the only brand that will work properly in temperatures below -5 degrees. Not sure how true that actually is so you may want to do some research.



    EDIT Link amended
    Last edited by Sunnyday; 03-02-2011 at 11:02 AM.
    Planning on starting the GC again soon
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 3rd Feb 11, 9:51 AM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    ran out of cotton buds and sandwich bags yesterday so nipped in mrT as its next to the drs, linda mccartney 6 pack sausages are on offer at the mo at 1 a pack so got three packs while i was there (the same price as iceland but their packs only have 5 sausages in)

    handt had time to do anything yesterday with drs appt etc so it was chips and sausages for tea.

    i did make bread rolls for pack up so day wasnt a total loss

    hoping to make muffins and a veggie lasagne this afternoon, eldest ds has mate hoem after school so theyll probally want feeding if so early tea for them will be spag boll, ive got mince in the freezer.

    just realised i declared my jan spend and put this months goal on the end of the jan thread so id better do it here as well

    over spent by 27 in january
    im going to go for 340 in feb as i ended up dawing out an extra 60 form the bank that i shouldnt have so going to try and reabsorb that
    Last edited by mrs-moneypenny; 03-02-2011 at 9:55 AM. Reason: added goal for feb
    SPC~12 ot 124

    In a world that has decided that it's going to lose its mind, be more kind my friend, try to Be More Kind
    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 3rd Feb 11, 9:52 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    I'm glad the cake turned out jam instead...sound really delish..must make a note to remind myself to try that in the summer when I make my jam! Did you still add spices too??
    Originally posted by Jolaaled
    Hi Joalaad,

    yes i still added everything as per the recipe and it was great. DH has requested it again soon

    Planning on starting the GC again soon
  • martafdz
    I usually make it with a tin of creamed corn. Thanks for the info on adding the egg. I always wondered what the strands were in the C&SS from the chinese.
    Originally posted by MKS
    mmmm It might have been creamed corn and that is one of the reasons it was not as thick as my OH wanted? I have edited the recipe and added creamed corn beside sweetcorn. Thanks!!!

    I also wondered what it was lol, it kind of made sense when I did it myself. One egg goes a long way in the soup, the whole soup if full if the strands now and they are really tasty!
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • mummyroysof3
    • By mummyroysof3 3rd Feb 11, 10:01 AM
    • 4,318 Posts
    • 25,275 Thanks
    spends of 9 today, going to have a go at making the marmalade cake today and some muffins
    Have a Bsc Hons open degree from the Open University 2015
    • Linda32
    • By Linda32 3rd Feb 11, 10:26 AM
    • 4,310 Posts
    • 9,437 Thanks
    Hello all,

    I'm going for 260.00 for this month, came in at about 266.00 last month, so here goes.....

    Spend so far 40.57

    Sainsburys 3.41

    New Total 43.98

    Month will run until after shopping on 25th February 2011
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 3rd Feb 11, 10:54 AM
    • 4,842 Posts
    • 58,667 Thanks
    chocclare the chutney sounds delish , i may have a go myself although i have never done anything like that before

    back from t3sco and sainsbugs
    spent 30.13 in sainsbugs but did get a 3kg icing sugar for 3.60 and 1200 herm@setas for 2.99 so that should last ages

    22.21 in t3sco , bought a klipfresh jar that i am sure was priced at 1.65 on offer on the shelf , but it went through the till at 3.20, I queried it at customer services but they said they wernt on offer, so i asked for my money back, i'm not paying that price
  • Mothership
    Chicken & Chorizo Pasta
    Cook pasta
    Chorizo sliced, (sweat in pan to release fat then add the onion & Garlic).
    1 Red Onion (finely sliced).
    3-4 cloves Garlic , chopped grated (or whole roasted cloves*).
    Chicken cut into strips, (Stir fry with above till almost cooked, add a little butter/extra virgin oil if dry).
    Red pepper finely sliced (I used a large long one, cut in half lengthways).

    Stir around for a few minutes.

    White wine (I used about a glass, was cooking for 4, bring to boil).
    1 vegetable stock cube (dissolved in a little hot milk, about 200 ml)
    Cream, (small carton add at end & warm through).

    Thicken with a teaspoon of cornflour mixed with a little milk if you want the sauce thicker.
    Sprinkle a little chopped chives or parsley over sauce then add to pasta.

    *I roast whole cloves when I buy a big net of garlic for the freezer, I whiz half in the chopper, freeze flat in a zippy bag ( breaking up the grains now and then as it freezes).
    I roast the other half with a little olive oil and water, cover with foil or use dish with lid (cook in bottom of oven ( 30 min) when your cooking something else). When cool squeeze cloves from bulbs and freeze flat in a zippy bag ( separate the cloves now and then to prevent them clumping together).
    Garlic was one of the things I was forever forgetting I had, by the time I went to use it, it had gone off, had the same problem with ginger.
    I get a net from the local asian store with about 10 bulbs for under 3 they are usually twice the size of the ones in the supermarket.
    Sometimes i get them from Makro, I buy about 2 killos of ginger from there as well for under 3, remove skin (with a teaspoon) whizz in the chopper and process in the same way as the garlic.

    I use a lot of garlic and ginger & coriander I get that from the asian shops 2 -3 bunches for a 1. I wash and chop and freeze in tubs.
    All the above freeze well and cost much less to buy in bulk if you have the room. And best of all it saves you loads of time

    This RECIPY was inspired by ORKNEY STAR, who mentioned that chicken and chorizo went well together, it does indeed nom nom nom!

    OH had a bacon sandwich and I had a tub of cottage cheese for dinner last night. Both of us woke up at 3.30 am with growling tummies, we lay laughing for about an hour, and he said "I'm starving, can I have some porridge?" So we had porridge at 4.30 am for breakfast, now he's looking for 2nd breakfast and its nearly lunch time. I feel like a hobbitt LOL. Meal times all to pot.

    A wee giggle for you...
    1st Purse 114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse 100
    Fridge Freezer 300 3rd Purse /290.94
    • walby1993
    • By walby1993 3rd Feb 11, 11:24 AM
    • 353 Posts
    • 994 Thanks
    I hope I am not to late to join the challenge! Could you put me down for 140 for the month please!
    Became Mrs W in 2011
    Blessed with Baby boy 1 in 2013, Baby boy 2 in 2016 and Baby boy 3 in 2018
    Debt @ 19/8/11 20,060 current 0
    Paid off 100%
    • mrs baggins
    • By mrs baggins 3rd Feb 11, 11:36 AM
    • 1,275 Posts
    • 642 Thanks
    mrs baggins
    ha! was on training course yesterday-food supplied so that was graet. And had seconds!! also took banana home with me as I didnt have enough room in tum!! so still only spend 2.20 so far! bonus!!
  • NorthWest-Lass
    Jolaaled - Sunnyday

    I have had an upright Beko freezer in my garden shed for the last two years and I've had no problems with it. I bought it because the blurp recommended it to be used in a shed. Sorry not a chest freezer but I hope this helps.
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 3rd Feb 11, 12:06 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    I've been very, very bad today!

    I started off well by bringing leftovers from last night for lunch today (there is enough for tomorrows lunch as well), BUT I succumbed to crisps, chocolate and a diet coke (plus pasta which is okay) - 2.83 spent!
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

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

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • moonpixiewitch
    I am in again for this month please 300 but I am going to try for less .
    Started my own business and loving being my own boss
    march gc 144/230
  • rosieben
    martafdz, your Chicken and Sweetcorn Soup, and Mothership, your Chicken and Chorizo Pasta now in the index
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
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