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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 57
    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 16th Feb 11, 5:51 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    Morning peeps

    just updated my siggy i`m still ok with 10.77 left even though my month ends tomorrow

    I`ve already made a saving towards the mortgage overpayment so anything else left from this month will be added onto next months budget as i plan on some little stock-ups as offers are available.

    On the meat subject i buy quite a bit from MrM - as others have said their meat is far superior to other supermarket meats, it lasts longer and tastes so much nicer. It may just be me but i also think that it looks nicer too as it is well presented. We also have a "local" butcher who is very good, not too local but i do try to support local businesses as much as possible - i would hate it if they all dissappeared as so many already have.

    I`ve tried DR meat as my Mum used to order their goods quite a lot and it is nice but she has now decided that the prices have climbed far too much and she now rarely orders. There are also issues of "food miles" to consider so Mum also tries to source her meat locally too.
    The butcher closest to me closed last year and the grocers closed a few months ago so its a sorry state of affairs really. We do still have some local shops so it is worth trying to keep them open. I do wonder what will happen if all the local shops close and as we age driving is no longer an option, there are fuel cost to consider too - will we all be forced to shop online and be tied completely to the supermarkets? They will indeed be able to charge what they want then and also have huge delivery fees and we won`t have any other option Just a little something to think about

    Think i`ve rattled on enough for one morning now so i shall leave you all to it. Happy shopping gang.

    Planning on starting the GC again soon
  • Candy Belle

    Morning All!

    Just a few little spends to report from yesterday

    A**a - 3.64 Go Cat & Treat Sticks & Ribena

    I**land - 3.11 Milk & Lucozade & Cream Crackers

    Have a good day y'all!

    Grocery Challange for DH, Me & 2 Fussy Cats (inc Grocerys, Cleaning Products & Cat Food)
    G/C -May 177.04/235.00 Apr 237.79/235.00 Mar 226.16 /235.00
    G/C - Jan 248.52/235.00 - Feb214.72/235.00
    NSD -May 3/31 Apr 10/30 Mar 3/31 Feb 6/28 NSD Jan 3/31
    • goodlife wannabes
    • By goodlife wannabes 16th Feb 11, 7:07 AM
    • 51 Posts
    • 458 Thanks
    goodlife wannabes
    Hi Please can you put me down for 200 this month sorry I'm sooo late. I've nearly reached my budget already, it's getting harder and harder each month
    MAR GC /346
    The great, good and not so good bits about growing your dinner 2017
  • funnyflipp
    NSD, about time too!
    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
    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 16th Feb 11, 8:06 AM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    Our new month started yesterday. Off to do some shopping at T***o today....mainly fresh veg (really into veggies just now and going off meat!), bread, fruit etc.
    Will let you all know how I get on later.
    Hope everyone doing ok.
    • mummyjane
    • By mummyjane 16th Feb 11, 8:17 AM
    • 381 Posts
    • 3,684 Thanks
    My spends for yesterday were 16.38, need to buy milk today but that should be all for the week as I have my veg box coming tomorrow. For a short month this has really been an expensive one! I am really hoping to stay under my target as it needs to include petrol next month as well (due to car tax being due).
    Groceries Challenge 2019
    Jan 462.44/400
    Feb 210.10/450, 2/10 NSDs
  • rosieben
    I've just added two more great recipes to the front page index -

    - cutiepieabf's
    Corned Beef Hash recipe
    and halight's BBQ sauce recipe from the OS daily thread

    jackieglasgow - done now, thanks
    Last edited by rosieben; 16-02-2011 at 9:26 AM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • debtfreewannabe321
    • By debtfreewannabe321 16th Feb 11, 9:23 AM
    • 6,623 Posts
    • 22,333 Thanks
    i've added another 1 to my signature, i forgot stock cubes on the weekly shop! New total is 166.14/250 I've still got next week's shopping to go on but i think i will definately get it for less than my budget that's left

    I'm really pleased with myself....this is my first grocery challenge, and up to last month i was spending 120+ every week on groceries (that's including all the top up shopping) next month is a longer month but i think i may reduce the budget again and see how i do! But as it stands this month i have already saved about 200 !!!
    2015 Goals:-#1 419.26/1000 ( #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
  • Mothership
    Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice
    Rice, 1/2 cup per person

    Chicken (breast cut into cubes) 2 will serve 3-4
    You can use cooked chicken. Or Leftover roast pork, or prawns.

    2 Eggs (whisked until Frothy)
    A little milk
    SR Flour ( add a little at a time)
    1/2 Teaspoon Salt
    1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of Soda
    Mix the above together, we want a really thick batter that will stick to the chicken, the bicarb will start reacting with the flour fairly quickly. Pop the chicken in the batter.

    Oil for frying, I find sunflower oil is best, I keep a separate pan for this, I strain the oil and keep it in the fridge, that way you can use it 3-4 times.
    Fry until dark golden brown & drain on kitchen paper, the chicken balls will puff up, i find takeaway sweet and sour really oily , these are not

    Sweet & Sour Sauce
    4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
    4 Tablespoons White wine vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
    2 Tablespoons soy Sauce
    2 Tomatoes (chopped) Or 2 Tablespoons tomato sauce or mix of both.
    1 Small Carrot ( cut into small strips microwave in a little water for 2 min)
    Red Pepper (cut into small strips, you don't need a lot)
    If you have frozen Sweetcorn or Garden Peas add a tablespoon near end of cooking for a really colourful sauce.

    1 small can of pineapples, ( mix juice with 1-2 Teaspoon cornflour) Or fresh pineapple with 3 tablespoons water)

    Add sugar to pan, dissolve, then add all the ingredients in the order listed. Bring to boil stirring continuously for a few minutes, add pineapples + cornflour , Stir continuously until sauce thickens.

    You can use Uncle Bens or Homepride ready made Sweet and sour, the homemade version is far superior

    ABSOLUTELY YUMMY! This is a Firm family favourite in our house, its really filling and a good thing to make if you get unexpected guests for dinner.
    Last edited by Mothership; 17-02-2011 at 6:48 AM.
    1st Purse 114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse 100
    Fridge Freezer 300 3rd Purse /290.94
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 16th Feb 11, 10:12 AM
    • 4,328 Posts
    • 29,793 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...went to asd$ and found the syrup in bottles was x2 for 1 so i got a has a good date on it...also got easter eggs for 2 for those like me who have a few to buy

    have spent a bit too much but have a lot in which is handy with half term coming makeing mrs m's bagettes at the moment so will report back on wether i make a hash of them

    have a great day
    onwards and upwards
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 16th Feb 11, 10:23 AM
    • 3,348 Posts
    • 34,483 Thanks
    Love the sound of the sweet and sour sauce Mothership, will try it with a couple of sliced quorn fillets a I have everything in

    A poster (sorry can't rermember who)asked me to let them know how the Mr T value feta was - it was not very nice Very rubbery/plastic not crumbly like normal feta and quite tasteless. It did not melt either like normal feta which melts a little when added to the hot pasta sauce I make. I won't buy it again.

    I start work early to mid march but it is going to play havoc with our cashflow as I will not have an income for a month and have to pay DS nursery fees up front. On top of that I have had a 300 energy bill DH suggested we eat out of the cupboards/freezer when he found the start of my June box (must hide it better) but what he doesn't realise is we have been using up stuff since Christmas and there isn't a huge lot left

    I am sure I will go over this month by about 20 which I am ok with. I have had to give DH cash a few times this month for his lunch as the BM kept creating lumps not loaves. This accounts for about 15 of my spend this month. We don't actually need much this week except some bread, fruit, milk and formula. If I can do one shop on Friday and another top up the following week for bananas and bread and leave my main shop for that week until after the 28th or later I will have cracked it

    If I could drop my spend to 200 for the whole of March it would really help my cashflow. Would also be a miracle too I need to meal plan and sort out what I have got left in the freezer and cupboards and ban takeaways!

    I made 2 greek pasta bakes yesterday, 10 meals for DS and today I plan to make 2 qu0rn and leek pies and a big batch of bolognaise sauce as I have tons of qu0rn mince in the freezer. Any ideas for using Qu0rn mince except chilli, shepherds pie and bolognaise?
    • SavingJane
    • By SavingJane 16th Feb 11, 10:44 AM
    • 2,311 Posts
    • 7,315 Thanks
    I made my first ever home made chicken pie last night using recipe off page 1 the cheesy chicken 1 but did ours with carrots and peas and Oh My it was just so yummy.

    OH has said we need a bigger round dish so i can make a bigger one next time....he had 2nds of the pie I had made so wasn't small lol

    Shall be doing brownies this afternoon, from recipe posted on here not long ago.....loves cakes ect but there so expensive so if i can bake them even better and they will be handy extras to fill out OH's lunch as I've stopped buying cakes ect for it and feel tad bad he doesn't have as many treats in there. This week he has home made heart shaped cookies to keep him going thou

    Had a NSD yesterday it rained all day so we just stayed in, might get away with another today as 2mora we have baby group so will be a few s spent then but still only a small spend

    I've been really good this month and very impressed with myself

    Quick Question.

    We used to buy lot of potato croquetts, waffles, ect and now I'm not buying them wonder what different things I can do with freash pot's to go with meals. Other then roast, sliced and diced. We don't like mash so that's out...thanks
    Mummy to Lewis Born Aug 10
  • WelshWoofer
    Hello all!
    Just been taking stock of what we have in and I think that I can get away with buying just the bare minimum this weekend. We need things like squash, sandwich stuff, bread, tinned tuna, some fruit and veg, cereal, milk and cheese and biscuits and as far as I can tell that's about it

    I need to do a proper meal plan to really see what we need - I'm betting I'll need a few more bits that I can think of now but hopefully the spend won't be much more than 20 ish. I have 7 in Clubcard vouchers too so will use them towards the shop.

    I usually spend 50 ish so a 20 spend woulld be a big saving for me. Famous last words!
    January grocery spending - 82.73/ 120
  • WelshWoofer
    SavingJane - what about chopping them up into wedges adding some spices like cajun/bbq and a teeny bit of oil and chucking them in the oven? We do this quite often and it makes a nice change.
    January grocery spending - 82.73/ 120
  • Long tall sally
    Just updated signature with spends from the Co op, Mr Ts & Sainsbu*ys. 10 days to payout but I know I will go over as I have some spend & save vouchers along with till spits that I intend to use in the next week even if it is only to stock up on things that are on offer. Next month should be a shorter month for me as I go from the 26-26 so hopefully that will be better.
    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
    • SavingJane
    • By SavingJane 16th Feb 11, 11:11 AM
    • 2,311 Posts
    • 7,315 Thanks
    Great idea, might try them 2mora if I don't do burgers 2nite. Thanks
    Mummy to Lewis Born Aug 10
  • cat_smith
    savingjane can I just ask why you like croquettes and waffles and not mashed potato? Aren't they are virtually the same thing rolled in breadcrumbs or shaped and deep fried?
    GC Mar 13 47.36/150
    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 16th Feb 11, 11:34 AM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    Our new month started yesterday. Off to do some shopping at T***o today....mainly fresh veg (really into veggies just now and going off meat!), bread, fruit etc.
    Will let you all know how I get on later.
    Hope everyone doing ok.
    Originally posted by OrkneyStar
    Well we survived!
    I was good and got mainly veg, bread, milk and a few other bits and bobs we needed....came in well under budget so money left if we run out of anything before next shop. I ended up paying more for a some veg from the 'finer' range- just looked so much better and am really trying to get decent veg into me these days (if value looks better I get that lol, just depends!). Only 'treat' really was a tub of ice-cream (cherry ripple chosen by DS) and some lemon curd yogurt (droooool).
    Last edited by OrkneyStar; 16-02-2011 at 11:38 AM.
    • SavingJane
    • By SavingJane 16th Feb 11, 11:36 AM
    • 2,311 Posts
    • 7,315 Thanks
    savingjane can I just ask why you like croquettes and waffles and not mashed potato? Aren't they are virtually the same thing rolled in breadcrumbs or shaped and deep fried?
    Originally posted by cat_smith
    I know it's crazy but I don't like the texture of it on it's own

    Thou will be making a little bit soon for LO to try as don't want him to grow up with our fussy habits
    Mummy to Lewis Born Aug 10
  • cat_smith
    How about making your own croquettes? Could also try a version of dauphinoise I do. Slice thinly and boil for about 10 min. Intersperse with some fried off onions and and butter. Bake in the oven for about 1/2 hr. Can add cream and top with cheese if wanted. I do this in bulk and freeze leftovers for later.
    GC Mar 13 47.36/150
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