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  • FIRST POST
    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 24th Jan 11, 3:50 PM
    • 9,343Posts
    • 17,889Thanks
    zippychick
    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 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. Hope it's a good one for all of us.

    Zip
    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 51
  • 123budget
    haven't joind in with the feb grocery challenge but am trying to mend my ways! Will try to budget for March but was wondering if people include toiletries/household items in with their figures. E.g. things like washing powder, toilet paper, toiletries and cleaning products or is it purely just food?
    I am a lot better at planning meals etc than I used to be but also wondered what people would think to be a reasonable monthly spend for a family of 5 (2 adults, 2 nearly adult boys 15 and 17 and a ten year old girl)
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2011 / no. 1205 £110 made]Sealed Pot Challenge 2012/no 1205 target £300
    Jan g/c 355.83/£450
    g/c Feb487.66/£400
    March 411.03/£450
    To feed 5 adults and 2 dogs includes toiletries & cleanining
  • LondonDreamer
    Mr T delivery this morning. Quite impressed, saved 25% in multi-buy savings, then used £10 in vouchers that I didn't know I had - just happened to check my balance online last night, haven't received my actual statement yet. So applied those to my order to make the food spend £14.55, plus £5.42 in fresh food. That includes £1.82 for my DH's favourite cheese as a treat. My tiny local finally had a massive shelf of whoopies (bread mostly, but some meat) but I resisted the urge to buy and picked up only what I needed from there - a bag of organic carrots for 52p. Will be lovely with roast turkey tonight.

    Takes me to £53.89/£100.00 at about halfway through the month. So keeping on track.
  • martafdz
    it's a nighmare isn't it, try phone somewhere independant tho because they knocked £30 off the currys sale price for me and delivered for free , have u looked on gumtree aswell? my hubbys funny about secondhand appliances so tahts why we got a new one

    if your not fussy about where your eggs come from iceland do 15 for £1.50, also i tesco do value 15 for £1.53, looks like your'll be in every sm getting the best deals
    Originally posted by quintwins
    Thanks! I need to have a look at washing machines, I found an Indes1t for £250 that looks good. But I also wanted a chest freezer I saw for £140 or so that would be perfect because it is quite narrow (35cm) That is too much money atm. I could use the cc but I am actually in the challenge to pay them off so I should not do it, unless I pay the goods within 54 days, which is the interest free period... but that requires discipline.

    I ended goint to both MrM and MrS, I stocked up in great bargains but I used most of the budget for the next two weeks. Idk if I should count it as part of Feb's budget because I stocked up on items for the next months. But I think I will just to make it simple, I know that it is not a real going over and I am quite happy with all the stuff I found.

    I spent £33.94 in MrM and £74.62 in MrS. I think my bargains are:
    From MrS

    Robinsons squash 1l at £1.60 x 2 bottles. It will last me until September.
    42 F1nish AllinOne Dishwasher tablets - £4.49 I stocked up until October, you are allowed to take 10 in a shopping.
    Flash multipurpose 1l £1. I use a cup of this diluted in water inside some old Flash sprays I have so they last me ages.
    Nescafe 3in1 satches, bag of 10 £1, I am stocking up for a couple of months, they save me a lot of money in coffees at work.
    18 value eggs at £1.87
    From MrM
    1l Innocent Juice at 99p trial offer. It lasts for over a month in the fridge according to the ood so I bought 6 to last until the end of March.
    Nescafe Decaff 200g (big jar), 2 x £5. I have coffee to last until August or later.

    I went to buy the toilet paper but the offer had finished!

    So that makes a total of £108.56 and I had £110 left plus an A&C delivery on Wednesday, so I am already over half way trough. However, I was spending £400+ before, I managed to reduce it to £250 for Jan so as long as I do not go over £300 I will be happy. I need to stretch the last £90 for the rest of the month and then I all my stocking up will pay off soon.

    I am going to do an excel list to add my regular items, the best price ever found, the price for unit/tablet/100g and last time I bought them. That will help me see better if a bargain is in fact a bargain and not different packaging and size. Last time I went to £land I spent a bit in things I thought were good bargains and then realized that actually worked more expensive because of the size, which was smaller. That will teach me!!!

    Off to see washing machines online!
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
  • elfen
    Need to add 27.68 to my monthly total, which is now 93.87, but includes some reduced beef bits for a stew, and a nice piece of pork loin for half-price. I now have 56.13 for the rest of the month
    ** Total debt: £6950.82 ± May NSDs 1/10 **
    ** Fat Bum Shrinking: -7/56lbs **
    **SPC 2012 #1498 -£152 and 1499 ***
    I do it all because I'm scared.
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 13th Feb 11, 2:44 PM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,926 Thanks
    jintyb
    Hi everyone,
    havent been on here for ages, this month's been a bit mad!
    Did my final shop today, wont need anything till the weekend now. My new month starts on Friday so my total for Feb is £154.98 - £25.02 UNDER budget!
    I renewed my membership at Co5stco last month and I feel that's really helped as I've stocked up on lots!Although my NSD total could be better, at least I'm not blowing the bank!
    That's us in for the rest of the day. OH is making a nice stew which we'll have with tatties, carrots and mangetout. Good old comfort food for a wet Sunday


    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 13th Feb 11, 3:02 PM
    • 2,300 Posts
    • 8,083 Thanks
    Ilona
    Will try to budget for March but was wondering if people include toiletries/household items in with their figures. E.g. things like washing powder, toilet paper, toiletries and cleaning products or is it purely just food?
    Originally posted by 123budget
    Personally I haven't set myself a budget, I keep an account of all the money I spend, on everything. I can't see the point of scrimping and saving on food alone whilst frittering away cash on whatever takes your fancy. In the grand scheme of things all money spent is relevant, if the money in and the money out doesn't balance you're sunk.

    As this is a grocery challenge, IMO you generally buy toletries and cleaning products with your weekly shop, so I would put them in, but it's up to you.
    Ilona
    I love skip diving.
  • LondonDreamer
    haven't joind in with the feb grocery challenge but am trying to mend my ways! Will try to budget for March but was wondering if people include toiletries/household items in with their figures. E.g. things like washing powder, toilet paper, toiletries and cleaning products or is it purely just food?
    I am a lot better at planning meals etc than I used to be but also wondered what people would think to be a reasonable monthly spend for a family of 5 (2 adults, 2 nearly adult boys 15 and 17 and a ten year old girl)
    Originally posted by 123budget
    I can't help with your budget since I don't have children, but I can answer the other. As there's just my husband and myself in our household, I only include food in this challenge. We go through everything else so slowly that I tend to purchase them only a few times a year. So for me, it makes sense to keep that budget separate as it would make a big impact to our spend that week. Where I'm really only interested in tracking food for this, as it's the area I find it easiest to overspend in. But do whatever makes sense for you, there's no wrong way to do the challenge.
  • martafdz
    Yeah, I put in the GC everything bought in a sm or market, whether it is food, cleaning products or washing powder. I take out, however, things that I might buy in a sm only once, like maybe a duvet cover, clothes or a hair drier. The main reason for me is that it will make my monthly spent unrealistic since I do not buy those items often and not generally from sm. So I include in the GC food, cleaning and toiletries. I do not include make up or branded face moisturiser that I buy specifically from B**ts or so but I include toothpaste and shower gel since I do buy them for both of us and I need a new one every month. I think in general any item that is just beauty-product related and only for me goes out of my "own toiletries" challenge, basics such as deodorant, shower gel or body lotion goes out from the shopping budget. I guess I could include all or exclude this and that but I can't be bothered to substract items from the supermarket's receipts and I find it much easier that way, plus it keeps encouraging me to save also on those items. You could look at your own budget and decide where you think you can save and then set an initial target to start with. If you do ok, reduce it a bit and see how it goes.

    Btw, I need to update my total to £208.04/£210 , there is no way I can make it this month since I have a delivery next week for veg and I also need to buy meat. However, £90 of that total has gone into stocking up like mad, so I will be happy if i can stay under £300 this month, since it would mean that in the normal shopping I have reached the target. I will keep the limit at £210 anyway so I do not get carried away with a bigger limit and go also over it.
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • sorting myself out
    • By sorting myself out 13th Feb 11, 3:34 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 583 Thanks
    sorting myself out
    Hi Everyone! Not sure where this weekends gone again!! doesn't help that i worked 12 hours in the pub yesterday!! My feet were killing me! anyway todays been lovely.....made 6 portions of carrot and coriander soup....defo need to have a look at making another one before i get sick of it, if anyone ones got a favourite let me know and i'll give it a go!! signature updated , had a mid week shop for meat and other essentials....cupboards and freezer looking more healthy now spent £22.38 in sainsbugs, my highlight being the persil washing liquid 85 washes for 8 quid it'll do little old me for a least 3 months! . Been to mr a's today for fresh stuff and so i dont need to pop in and be tempted during the week!! haha spent another £24.93 so getting abit too close to my total but i'm stocked up and meal plan is in place for the 1st week!! yayy2 Weeks to go i can do this!!!!
    Debt free since July 2013 - Saving for a rainy day ☔️☔️☀️☀️
  • 123budget
    Hi Everyone! Not sure where this weekends gone again!! doesn't help that i worked 12 hours in the pub yesterday!! My feet were killing me! anyway todays been lovely.....made 6 portions of carrot and coriander soup....defo need to have a look at making another one before i get sick of it, if anyone ones got a favourite let me know and i'll give it a go!! signature updated , had a mid week shop for meat and other essentials....cupboards and freezer looking more healthy now spent £22.38 in sainsbugs, my highlight being the persil washing liquid 85 washes for 8 quid it'll do little old me for a least 3 months! . Been to mr a's today for fresh stuff and so i dont need to pop in and be tempted during the week!! haha spent another £24.93 so getting abit too close to my total but i'm stocked up and meal plan is in place for the 1st week!! yayy2 Weeks to go i can do this!!!!
    Originally posted by sorting myself out
    Hi,
    I made a lovely soup from a recipe I found in a magazine;
    Spciy lentil soup: 300g red lentils, 2tbsp red thai curry paste, 1 onion, half can of coconut milk. veg stock
    fry onions lightly mix in curry paste,add lentils cover with about 1 1/2 litres f stock and simmer for about 20 mins until lentils are soft. then add coconut milk and liquidize. my son said it was a bit bland but you could add more curry paste, pepper or springle spring onions on. if you haven't got red thai curry paste i'm sure it would be good with whatever curry powder/sauce you have in stock.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2011 / no. 1205 £110 made]Sealed Pot Challenge 2012/no 1205 target £300
    Jan g/c 355.83/£450
    g/c Feb487.66/£400
    March 411.03/£450
    To feed 5 adults and 2 dogs includes toiletries & cleanining
  • SuziQ1962
    Oh dear blown the budget this month,don't really know where I have gone wrong! Will change my budget to £400 -or £80 per week and try sticking to it until the end of my month which is 26th.
    "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
    • SavingJane
    • By SavingJane 13th Feb 11, 5:06 PM
    • 2,311 Posts
    • 7,315 Thanks
    SavingJane
    Saving Jane:

    Gently drop the egg into a bowl of cold water. If it:
    • sinks to the bottom and stays there, it is about three to six days old.
    • Sinks, but floats at an angle, it's more than a week old.
    • Sinks, but then stands on end, it's about two weeks old.
    • Floats, it's too old and should be discarded.
    Originally posted by hex2
    Thank you, so if it's under 2 weeks old it's fine to use I take it

    Thanks again

    Jane
    Mummy to Lewis Born Aug 10
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 13th Feb 11, 5:08 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    quintwins
    martha u did well hope you find a cheap enough washer maybe get a washer this month and aim for a freezer for the end of next month it will give u something to work towards

    i've been buying stuff that will last us ages but still counting it in this month, i think i'll prob go a few pound over but i'm gonan try fortnightly shopping on march to see of that helps, well i'm really tired today so nipped to tesco's for a bag of lattice fries for tea there in the oven now with some reduced sausages from the freezer was gonna make pasta but i've used all the sauce in my freezer so it was just to much effort to make it spent £1.14, got 2 bags of 10p celery to chop and put in the freezer i only every buy it reduced but i love it in soup and casarole
    DFW £7632/£28996 26.3%
  • martafdz
    Thanks! I researched online and I found a solution, apparently the problem was I somehow overloadedthe machine at some point and a security thermostate had tripped off. After an hour taking off all the covers with an inadequate tool, my OH found the said switch and pressed it. It is working now. I am shocked this kind of thing is not known or that it requires you to take off covers and go into the guts of the machine. We would have spent almost £300 with delivery for something that only required us to press something similar to a button. Outrageous! None of us knew anything about this and only found out when looking online for the manual. So if your machine washes, spins and drains but all the clothes are soaking wet and cold when you open it to the point you have to hang them with some towel on the floor or inside the bath, you might have the same problem!! I hope this is a permanent fix!!

    At least it is all good news and I can start looking for the chest freezer!!! I think it would make my GC much easier to have a small one since I can take advantage of great offers on meat and fish.

    Thank you very much for the advice on looking at independent retailers because I can do that for the chest freezer now! Do you have one? Does it really save money in the long term or is it just a commodity for not going to the shops as often?

    EDIT: I might have spoken too quickly about having fixed it ... first load was ok, second one is just turning machine off :? No idea!
    Last edited by martafdz; 13-02-2011 at 6:04 PM.
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • Nicky321
    • By Nicky321 13th Feb 11, 5:37 PM
    • 1,423 Posts
    • 610 Thanks
    Nicky321
    Had a good look through the OSM boards and Grocery Challenge. Today made a start at planning my weekly meals went to Asda with a shopping list, cost £46.78, but didnt stray and stuck to the list, this will hopefully sort out the meals for the next week for Me, OH, DD & DS. Will have stuff left over like rice, pasta, eggs, teabags etc towards next weeks shop. May have to pop out for extras like bread, milk, cooked meats but will try and have at least 3 NSD out of the next 6.
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 13th Feb 11, 5:40 PM
    • 4,320 Posts
    • 29,747 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi....hope everyone has had a nice weekend...bit wet here but it kept us in so no spending which helps...had a reduced pizza for lunch which was quite nice...need to make a few lunch box bits...cakes etc in the week...the kids are on half term the week after next so ill be able to stand down the lunch box stuff

    got steak tomorrow for tea which is a valentines day treat which should be nice...it cost enough anyhow...might be a few bargains around on tuesday from the valentines meal deals...iv got to say im largely unimpressed with the selection of ready meals the supermarkets are offering in the name of romance

    anyhow take care tessa
    onwards and upwards
    • debtfreewannabe321
    • By debtfreewannabe321 13th Feb 11, 7:13 PM
    • 6,623 Posts
    • 22,333 Thanks
    debtfreewannabe321
    I've dont my weekly shop today and spent more than i wanted to, BUT thanks to offers & a te$co voucher for £9 i still got it under budget and should have enough left for next weeks shop too.

    I spent £70.70 today and got £20 worth of meat that was on offer, lamb (4 packs), sausages (24) & chicken. Also had to stock up on babies nappies and as i have two in different sizes had to buy 2 lots (although got an offer on them too)

    I'm finding it really useful to have a budget as i would have easily spent £300 by now as i would go without a list, no meal's in mind, usually go hungry (big mistake!) and pick up everything that would fit in my trolley!

    In my weekly shop i include all cleaning products, food, washing powder etc. In fact anything that is needed in the house that you can buy in a supermarket!

    Running total so far is 165.14/250
    2015 Goals:-#1 419.26/1000 (Emergency..target #1) 41.93% , #2- 14,010.70/15,000 (new house) 93.4% #3 395.07/1000 (Rental house fund target #1) 39.5% .
    Aim High!
    Debt-Free in 2013. Saving for a better future
  • Long tall sally
    NSD yesterday & Only a little spend of 39p on a whoopsied loaf of bread today.
    Grocery aim £450pm.Spent £519 August, £584 July, £544 June, £541 May, £549 April, £517 March, £517 Feb,£555 Jan, £573 Dec, £465Nov, £561Oct, £493Sept, £426Aug,£496 Jul, £528Jun, £506May,£498April, £558 March, £500Feb, £500 Jan, £490 Dec, £555 Nov,£566 Oct, £505Sept, £450Aug, £410 July, £437 June, £491 May, £471 April, £440 March, £552Feb, £462Jan
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 13th Feb 11, 7:20 PM
    • 2,300 Posts
    • 8,083 Thanks
    Ilona
    No spend day today, out walking.
    Ilona
    I love skip diving.
    • mummyjane
    • By mummyjane 13th Feb 11, 7:22 PM
    • 381 Posts
    • 3,682 Thanks
    mummyjane
    wondering if people include toiletries/household items in with their figures. E.g. things like washing powder, toilet paper, toiletries and cleaning products or is it purely just food?
    Originally posted by 123budget
    I include all my grocery shopping including toiletries and cleaning products. As I get better at budgeting I am hoping to start to include petrol and gifts as well. It is early days for me too though so we will see

    Although I was hoping to have a NSD today, I ended up spending £10.74 on crisps, microwave popcorn, fizzy pop, ice lollies, ice cream and kitchen roll plus a couple of dvds, one for us and one for the kids (but we had a 2for1 voucher). The weather here was awful so it was either that or take the kids out somewhere which I am sure would have been more expensive. We had a great time though and everything else this weekend was free as we pay for their clubs termly and spent a couple of hours in the library too.

    I would normally have a weekly shop coming tomorrow but I think I'll be able to stretch out what we have until Wednesday or Thursday. I'm trying not to fall back into the trap of ordering say every week even if we have plenty in. I'm sure I end up spending much more when I do
    Groceries Challenge 2019
    Jan £462.44/£400
    Feb £210.10/£450, 2/10 NSDs
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