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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 58
    • SavingJane
    • By SavingJane 16th Feb 11, 11:46 AM
    • 2,311 Posts
    • 7,315 Thanks
    Sounds interesting, will add it to my word doc of food info, thanks
    Mummy to Lewis Born Aug 10
    • philsmum
    • By philsmum 16th Feb 11, 12:12 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 2,206 Thanks
    Hi all,
    Doing really well this month (up to now) but things may change, I have just got a Kenwood chef from Freegle, cannot believe my luck. Made bread, scones, pastry and sponge cake yesterday, sponge cake flopped but that was my c**p oven at fault. Off to Mr M for more ingredients. Will have to be good though or my diet will go through the window.
    Should not say diet it is a healthy eating plan (for life) May open a bakery LOL
    Debt free from April 2012
    • laineyc
    • By laineyc 16th Feb 11, 12:14 PM
    • 907 Posts
    • 5,215 Thanks
    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.


    That was me. Thanks for letting me know, Xspender.

    Today will be a NSD and the same hopefully tomorrow. DH is out tomorrow night so we can have a meat free meal. Didn't have the energy to bake the apple cake last night. Will do it as soon as I get in tonight.
    GC 2011 Feb £626.89/£450 NSD3/7 March £531.26/£450 April £495.99/£500 NSD 0/7 May £502.79/£500
    June £511.99/£480 July £311.56/£480
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 16th Feb 11, 12:51 PM
    • 2,300 Posts
    • 8,086 Thanks
    Posting this early because I know I am not going to spend any money today. But I will tomorrow.
    I love skip diving.
    • philsmum
    • By philsmum 16th Feb 11, 12:55 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 2,206 Thanks
    Coffee pods
    has anyone seen a cheaper place to buy Senseo coffee pods?

    we spend at least £7 a month on these, but wouldnt be without our machine as it gets used multiple times per day.

    best we have found is A*da 20 mug size pods at £3.62

    Originally posted by prettypaula
    Not Senseo, but Lidls do lovely pods for £1.49 the Kenya blend is very good hope this helps.
    Debt free from April 2012
  • goodgirl80
    Had to buy lunch today as I was in a bad mood last night and didn't make anything for lunch.

    Total now £70.55/ £100.00
    • jovi20
    • By jovi20 16th Feb 11, 1:19 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 862 Thanks

    Had a bad week challenge wise, spent £35 at Co-*p, £16.50 at L1dl and £45 at Tesc*'s, which now takes me £11 over budget so not great.

    I'm blaming it on In-laws coming to stay for 3 days, hadn't included that in the budget.

    On the positive side, I have got stocked up on cat food, nappies and baby food which were all on offer, which should last us a while, but doubt if we have enough bread, veg , milk to see us through until end of month, so will no doubt end up going even more over.

    2015 TARGETS

    Weight loss 12.5/112lb 18th feb -4.5lb, 25th feb -2.5lb, 4th mar -2.5, 11th Mar -3,

    Savings £100 per month £300 /£1200
    • nickynoo08
    • By nickynoo08 16th Feb 11, 1:26 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 17,030 Thanks
    Had my first big shop of the month delivered today, used the £10 off voucher that was given to me last time they were 5mins late so total was only £67 inc delivery. Was v impressed with how much i got, cupboards fridge and freezer are now fully stocked. Will only need to get a few bits they were oos in.

    Annual running total - £329/£2000
    Debt 1 £1111.23 0% until March 19 pay by xmas 0/1111.23
    Debt 2 £2100 0% until August 19
    Debt 3 £2161.86 0% until August 19
    Debt 4 £1846.98 0% until December 19
    Saving for xmas 5/120
    1 debt at a time! We can do this!!
  • martafdz
    Had my first big shop of the month delivered today, used the £10 off voucher that was given to me last time they were 5mins late so total was only £67 inc delivery.
    Originally posted by nickynoo08
    5 min late and they gave you a £10 off voucher? Where do you shop? Last time I ordered online (Asd4) they never turned up, twice in a row!! No voucher, no apologies and no groceries. Service is appalling in my local one (can't speak for the rest).

    I received an A&C delivery, so I have to update sig. Total was £12.48, which makes my current Feb total utd £220.52, so a bit over.
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • franby64
    • By franby64 16th Feb 11, 2:17 PM
    • 894 Posts
    • 10,920 Thanks

    It's just over halfway through the month so it is of course the point at which I realise, once again, that I'm not going to make it!

    I'm now up to £316.89/£342.76 for Feb and with next week being half-term I'm going to go over by some way . One thing I must sort out is that I have had too many deliveries this month - I need to plan the timing better. I'll have to have another A*da one this week (which I'll keep to the £25 minimum) but it's really only for pizzas after last time's mess-up (they gave them to somebody else - sorry about going on about it but it did muck me up!!)

    Apart from that it's not too bad. Today I made 5 double portions of spag bol for the DDs and 3 lots of shepherd's pie filling for the freezer and I really enjoyed cooking it all - I love having 2 or 3 pots on the go and thinking how much work I'm saving myself later! Tomorrow I'll do some lentil loaf and that should all last for a while.

    I keep cancelling my veg boxes as I don't use everything and I need to be in the mood to incorporate random veg into my plan which I'm not at the moment. Also the £££! I might cancel permanently tbh.

    Hope everybody's challenge is going well!
    Starting weight on 22/6 14st 00lbs. Weight on 15/2 10st 11lbs. Lost 3st 3lbs.Target 9st 12lbs. 13lbs left.
    • wmf
    • By wmf 16th Feb 11, 2:24 PM
    • 1,821 Posts
    • 21,855 Thanks
    some lemon curd yogurt (droooool).
    Originally posted by OrkneyStar

    Have you tried a spoonful (teasp) of lemon curd stirred into natural yog? I really like it and sometimes stir that into muesli or just porridge oats and leave it overnight.
    • Pinwheel
    • By Pinwheel 16th Feb 11, 3:08 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 1,138 Thanks
    H just updated signature, bought washing liquid, washing up liquid, tissues and biscuits in 99p shop so £3.72 spent (the wu liquid was 75p not 99p). The washing liquid is non bio so I hope it's ok for us, we've all got quite sensitive skin, I thought it was worth a try anyway.

    Oct GC £36.72/£220.00
    Sep GC £223.58/£220.00
    Aug GC £200/£200
    Jun GC £192.73/££220 - Jul GC £296.88/£220
    Apr GC £230.40/£200 - May GC £230.40/£220 -
    Feb GC £200.19/£200 - Mar GC £203.37/£200 -
  • gdyr1945
    Wow, having asked for advice about the cashback sites; I have managed to get nearly £300 in a very short time just buying things that I would have bought anyway. I have to wait for 3 months for some of that so fingers crossed the company doesn't go bust.

    You can get cash back on DR orders. Which makes it an even better buy. I agree that the only problem with DR is that all other meat seems inferior.

    The following is one of our fav. cheap recipes which has the advantage that it has many variations depending on what I have in.

    Sausage and pasta

    4 sausages - skinned - any you like
    50ml dry sherry or stock or maderia or wine
    1 lemon - juice and zest or lime
    pinch dried chilli flakes or fresh chilli
    parsley - optional
    parmesan or cheddar - grated
    veg - peas/peppers/mushrooms/whatever
    pasta boil - drained

    fry the sausage meat - medium heat - breaking up - well browned
    add chopped veg (frozen peas go in with pasta)
    add sherry or ? boil to reduce
    add lemon juice, zest and chilli

    mix pasta and meat toss well
    add cheese and parsley

    hugs and kisses to all
  • Hippeechiq
    I spent several hours doing my menu plan at the weekend, but the result is that (including this week) I menu planned for the next 6 weeks, incorporated 4 new recipes to try and haven't repeated a meal once, so I'm pretty chuffed

    It always takes me soooooo long to do but I get quite a sense of achievement once it's done.

    If I didn't like to try new recipes, I could simply repeat the previous 6 week plan, but I like to experience new meals and new tastes. It also means I (almost always) look forward to what I'm having for tea. Plus with things so difficult here, it's an immense help to get up in the morning, look on the fridge and know what I'm having for tea.

    Several spends since I last updated, bringing me to a new total of £134.04, and a NSD today brings my total to 6

    Just placed an online order with A$da - I see all their delivery charges have gone up by 50p. Hardly surprising, and I'm guessing we'll be seeing a lot more increases on the delivery charge front with fuel prices constantly rising the way they are - another reason why I'm trying to manage with just the one online shop per month - which in turn will increase food costs...............eyyyy - I think we ALL deserve a medal for even trying to come in on budget, and definitely one for OPTIMISM
    Aug11 £193.29/£240

    Oct10 £266.72 /£275 Nov10 £276.71/£275 Dec10 £311.33 / £275 Jan11 £242.25/ £250 Feb11 £243.14/ £250 Mar11 £221.99/ £230
    Apr11 £237.39 /£240 May11 £237.71/£240 Jun11 £244.03/ £240 July11 £244.89/ £240
    Xmas 2011 Fund £220
  • cat_smith
    gdyr1945 where can you get cashback on DR?
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 16th Feb 11, 3:36 PM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    Have you tried a spoonful (teasp) of lemon curd stirred into natural yog? I really like it and sometimes stir that into muesli or just porridge oats and leave it overnight.
    Originally posted by wmf
    Thanks for that suggestion. We are not that big on lemon curd so don't tend to have it in (I make lemon cakes with lemon juice and lemon rind). It was a wee treat and tbh I would not have bought it if I thought it would break the budget!
    Talking of porridge though, I do love the yoghurt with cereal in, and have often thought of adding some seeds/oats, although never actually added them as yet!
    Thanks again.
    Better shush now as this is my third post today (mind you I have not posted for about a week!) x
  • LittleMissHappy
    Another spend at Mr T today - Around £27 so getting close to my budget I have set myself a low budget and think I may go over this month because strawberries and raspberries are on offer and I can't resist I won't blow the budget though.....I may set it higher next month
    Be the change you want to see in the world - Gandhi
    OU - DD100 (P ), DSE141 (D ), DSE212 (P ), ED209 (02/12), DXR222 (07/12) SD226 (02/13)
  • kookgekje
    Went to MrA on Monday for a bit of a shop and convinced myself I had to buy this month's Good Food magazine. For a change I actually did make something rather than just read it. I made the Selkirk Bannock (sort of a bread/cake with tons of sultana's) and it is scrummy. I had all the ingredients already (substituted raisins for the sultana's though) so didn't have to spend any more money on ingredients. I had it toasted for breakfast this morning with rather a lot of butter. Nom, nom, nom. Guess I'll be having a rather light dinner then. The recipe is on their website as well for anyone who's interested.
    Cheese… milk's leap toward immortality
    Clifton Fadiman

    Feb'11 - GC: £105.89/£125 - NSD: 15
    Mar'11 GC: £3.84/£100 - NSD: 0
  • rosieben
    Added to the index:

    gdyr1945's Sausage and Pasta recipe
    Mothership's Sweet and Sour Chicken with Rice

    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • katholicos
    Just nipping in to say hi to you all. Haven't really been totting my grocery spends up but it's only a quid or two here and there so i think i need to add about £8 to my running total. Will update siggy shortly :-)
    Grocery Challenge for October: £135/£200

    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
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