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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 53
  • karmachilovething
    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
    Here's a favorite of mine (made up by my DM):
    Leek and Lentil Soup

    1 onion, chopped
    6 leeks, washed trimmed and chopped (half moons or disks)
    3 carrots chopped (half moons or disks)
    6 rashers smoked streaky bacon
    Couple handfuls of lentils (red or green)
    2 pts (I think from memory) of stock

    Gently fry the onion, leeks and bacon in butter and oil until the vegetables are soft. Add the stock and lentils. Cook for 30-40min until the carrots are tender.

    It's a broothy soup rather than a thick one, so the 2pt of stock is a guide, but enough to cover and allow all the bits to float freely! (if that makes sense). Often I don't bother using stock too, just water, particualrly if the streaky bacon is good.
    Total debt: £9473.62 £7,384.87 22% PAID
    TAF #25 NSD 8/12 | Food £43.45/£50 | eBay 0/20 | Exercise 5/18
    Proud to be Dealing with my Debt
    DFD: June 2015
  • cat_smith
    Just got back from Mr T. £33.27 spend with £10.57 off for BOGOF and similar. Bought a couple of things not on the list, but they were on offer and will get used - Shreddies 342. The DH seems to inhale them so the 3kg will probably only last about 2 weeks

    That should be my total spend for the month. DH won't need much as I've stocked up for him.

    Off to update sig.
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
  • kookgekje
    A quick signature update. Ten days to go and on track (for now). I need to go for a shop for this week's food though as my fridge and storecupboards are a bit bare. I've got my list so I'll try to stick to that.
    Cheese… milk's leap toward immortality
    Clifton Fadiman

    Feb'11 - GC: £105.89/£125 - NSD: 15
    Mar'11 GC: £3.84/£100 - NSD: 0
    • SavingJane
    • By SavingJane 14th Feb 11, 1:52 PM
    • 2,311 Posts
    • 7,315 Thanks
    Hey all

    I spent £4 in Icel@nds and 88p in L*dl Total £4.88 so will update me sig

    I have a LOAD of left over cooked roast chicken, can I freeze this or not.....Theres enough for a few meals maybe even 4 so won't be used this week.


    Mummy to Lewis Born Aug 10
  • goodgirl80
    soy sauce
    Oh and I forgot to say - tonight we had chinese stir fry. Mr T were selling ready cooked noodles on BOGOF and stir fry veg on BOGOF. We made our own stir fry sauce with 2 dessert spoons of soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and peanut butter with a bit of water. (A recipe from the Waitrose weekend magazine). DH turned his nose up at the fact that I hadn't bought any meat of any sort to go with it but in fact it was really filling and we didn't really miss the meat. I bought two packs of each and there's enough left over to have it again on Monday! Can't leave it any longer or the veg will be feeling a bit sorry for itself.
    Originally posted by TheBees
    That sounds delish. Have you any tips on where the cheapest soy sauce might be? Tesco keep putting up their prices!
  • cat_smith
    SavingJane You can freeze it cooked - but then can't freeze anything you make with it later. Or, you could make up a couple of meals and freeze them. I'm doing a chicken, bacon and leek pie today with my leftover roast. Will then put it into single portions in the freezer for later consumption.
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
    • SavingJane
    • By SavingJane 14th Feb 11, 1:57 PM
    • 2,311 Posts
    • 7,315 Thanks
    SavingJane You can freeze it cooked - but then can't freeze anything you make with it later. Or, you could make up a couple of meals and freeze them. I'm doing a chicken, bacon and leek pie today with my leftover roast. Will then put it into single portions in the freezer for later consumption.
    Originally posted by cat_smith
    Perfect thank you, we only have a small freezer so can't batch cook, so i shall just bag it up into right size for us and not waste any


    Mummy to Lewis Born Aug 10
  • sazzledazzle
    Well fell of the MSE wagon last week and hardly came on here, but that was also due to being very busy. Cant believe how little I have spent so far this month. I seem to be able to make meals out of hardly anything and not buying so many sauces etc but making my own. Have even lost 4lb so shows what rubbish is in them.
    The other strange thing is I am starting to really not like going to the SM's. I used to love going shopping there as thought I could cover my shopping addiction by saying its food but now just dont enjoy it at all. Hope I am not becoming a scrooge.
    MAY NSD's

    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 14th Feb 11, 2:24 PM
    • 4,361 Posts
    • 30,013 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...havent bought any food today but am planning to spend a bit in costco tomorrow..we need to get a few lunches in for half term next week

    i also need to make something for the cake tin as it has a lot of fresh air in it...not good

    i am doing well keeping my receipts which makes a change for me...i normally loose them or misplace them...a pain but i think im keeping check a bit better

    hope everyone has a valentines day

    tata tessa
    onwards and upwards
  • cat_smith
    sazzledazzle I know what you mean. It's become a matter of pride already not to admit to an overspend. I don't think I've ever spent so little and I still have a full freezer. Finding ways to use up wilted bits and things about to die is becoming a great challenge. Never thought I could get so many meals out of a chicken! At the moment I am roasting 4 peppers that will not get used while I am away. Will freeze and use in lasagne when I get back. Mushrooms on the hob to be treated the same.

    Anyone got any suggestions for yoghurt? Can you freeze it? I have a bit sitting in the fridge and OH won't go near it.
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
    • nessie216
    • By nessie216 14th Feb 11, 2:29 PM
    • 839 Posts
    • 5,176 Thanks
    Afternoon All,

    I am not proud that i am well and truly over my budget & i just placed my first AF order - the lucky boxes are back!

    But on a good point i have not used a credit card once this month! Only 4 days until i get paid! Will start my March budget from 19th Feb - 18th March - going on my pay days!

    I brought fillet steak at the weekend - not very MSE at all but i treated DH to steak & chips for Valentines day and he treated me to a massive box of chocolates - not good SW wise! But i enjoyed it - isn't that the whole point!?!?!?

    Will update my sig when i get a chance!

    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 14th Feb 11, 2:46 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    Hi All

    A few spends to report from the weekend.

    £13.40 for a meal out with my mum for her birthday.
    45p on a tub of coleslaw from Mr S.

    There will be a few extra spends over the next coming weeks because my fridge, freezer and cupboard are empty bar the obligotory mint sauce, ketchup, oregano, cumin etc. I've got the spices/condiments just nothing to add them to.
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 £46.05/£130

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

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • goodgirl80
    A quick dash to Tes&co today for a few essentials. No time to wait for the reducing lady.
    Melon, plums, swede, big bag of carrots, (potatoes too expensive so decided to pass), soya milk, yogurt, lettuce, value mushrooms, broccoli, Value potato salad, 4 baps. Total £8.34.

    This should last me for most of next week.
    Originally posted by Ilona

    Hi Ilona,

    I have found the potatoes have gone up in price at Mr T, but Sainsbergs do quite good ones at .99p for 2.5kg
  • goodgirl80
    Third time lucky..
    Hi there, just spent £2.49 in Sainsborg's. Took my online Mr T. list and found a couple of things I could get cheaper. Will now be prowling Addl and Lidi to knock a few more things off the list before going to Tesc's to finish off and use my vouchers hurrah!

    Will update this weeks running total when I return. x

    Oh - and p.s. Does anyone think it's worth me adding Morriscones to me travels as I have that near me also ?? Don't usually bother as I don't generally go past it en route.

    Second shop this month 26.53

    Total: 47.04/100
    Originally posted by goodgirl80
  • Mothership
    Swear word swear word swear word
    I forgot to take something out of the freezer for dinner AAAAAH now I will need to buy something LOL. Fish I will get some fish, cant do much damage in the fish shop can I ? DD2 wants to go to the supermarket later too.

    I can resist anything except temptation LOL.
    1st Purse £114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse ££100
    Fridge Freezer £300 3rd Purse /£290.94
  • cat_smith
    Mothership have you got NOTHING in the house? Pasta? Tuna? Tomatoes? Or do you have a microwave - they are great for last minute defrosts. RESIST RESIST RESIST
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
  • martafdz
    I know its halfway through the month but can I join in? [...]Is this possible do you think??
    Hope its ok to join now. Lyns
    Originally posted by LKBlogg1980
    Hi Lyns!!!
    Of course it is ok! Make sure you post your target in bold and red so when they update the OP they can see you. Also when you want your updated total to be changed. This challenge has helped me A LOT already and I have reduced the monthly shopping to almost half, so I am quite chuffed with that!

    Anyone got any suggestions for yoghurt? Can you freeze it? I have a bit sitting in the fridge and OH won't go near it.
    Originally posted by cat_smith
    Not only you can but yogurt makes nice and low kcal icecream!! I found this recipe online (not mine):
    8 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup)
    • 2 cups vanilla low-fat yogurt
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries in light syrup, thawed
    • Fresh raspberries (optional)

    Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl; stir until sugar dissolves.
    Place thawed raspberries in a blender; process until smooth. Strain puree through a fine sieve over a bowl. Discard seeds. Add puree to yogurt mixture.
    Pour raspberry mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. Spoon into a freezer-safe container; cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm. Garnish with fresh raspberries, if desired.

    Also some recipes with different kind of yogurts here:
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
  • martafdz
    I forgot to take something out of the freezer for dinner AAAAAH now I will need to buy something LOL. Fish I will get some fish, cant do much damage in the fish shop can I ? DD2 wants to go to the supermarket later too.

    I can resist anything except temptation LOL.
    Originally posted by Mothership
    I had the same problem so I am making pasta bake. I had some chicken fillets in the freezer that will defrost enough with a bit of warm water or a couple of minutes in the microwave with low setting. I will then cut it and fry it for a bit, add onion, vegetables and tomato maybe bacon. Then I will boil the pasta a bit, drain, mix and ev,erything into a casserole dish in the oven. Last 5 minutes of grated cheese and ready! I am off to start it!!
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
  • cat_smith
    martafdz Duh. Should have thought of that - frozen yog. Will freeze before I leave and cook when I get back. Many thanks.
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
    • Linda32
    • By Linda32 14th Feb 11, 3:36 PM
    • 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.....

    New total £94.61

    Home Bargins £6.97
    Co-op £12.95
    Sains £11.69
    Sains £33.70
    Tesco £1.75

    New Total 161.67

    Month will run until after shopping on 25th February 2011
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