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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 64
  • cat_smith
    eveie189 the main 2 purse idea was Motherships. It's about keeping a purse for bulk buying, but I can't remember the details. If she's lurking I'm sure she'll elaborate.
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
  • LondonDreamer
    Only £14.52 spent today, £10 under budget!

    I still need to pick up some cereal bars as my local didn't have our usual, but that should be it. Got some whoopsied chicken breast, £2.54 down from £4. They had about half a dozen packs, so I rummaged for the one that felt the heaviest. Going to turn that into a big batch of curry as I have everything else in the cupboard or freezer.

    Off to update sig and catch up on posts. Happy Saturday!
  • Mothership
    Going out for the day down to Largs to visit DD2's baby's grave, he was born sleeping. Its the anniversary of his birth /death today.
    We are taking a flask of tea and a packed lunch. I'm off to make it then dive in for a nice bath, we are leaving about 12.30.
    We were all so happy when she gave birth to a healthy baby girl six months ago, then devastated by her health problems. Fingers crossed we have a nice day. No doubt I will end up bawling my eyes out again, I get overwhelmed with sadness every day, hardly surprising.

    Got a DR brisket in the slow cooker, with some carrot, onion & turnip, will just need to do the potatoes when we get home.
    Making curries(4 different kinds) tomorrow, the family is coming for dinner.
    Should have 2 large freezer drawers empty for the Donald Russell order on the 25th.
    1st Purse £114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse ££100
    Fridge Freezer £300 3rd Purse /£290.94
    • fedupandskint
    • By fedupandskint 19th Feb 11, 10:06 AM
    • 10,351 Posts
    • 97,525 Thanks
    Just under £20 spent today in Sainsbugs and then £3.20 on a sack of potatoes from the farm shop which will last aaaages

    Leavin £20 approx for next week. Let me see if I can make it!
    final unsecured debt to repay currently £8333
    Proud to be Dealing With my Debt
    DFW Nerd 1154 Long Haul 155
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 19th Feb 11, 10:22 AM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    No we rarely have a roast dinner, possibly only 2 or 3 times a year, we all in enjoy them we just enjoy other things as well.

    This weeks update:
    OH 3 x prescriptions £21.60 (he has an on going very agonising medical condition)
    Me, well firstly I didn't think I'd spent anything, feeling very saintly, then remembered, the tea & cake £2.50 yesterday afternoon and then the drinks I bought at ten pin bowling £3.20 earlier in the week, on both occasions I had taken my children and my nephews out for some fun, conclusion children are bad for the budget despite being great fun.

    Weeks total £27.30
    Annual Total £594.34

    Hugs to everyone who needs one
    Originally posted by Baileys Babe

    i buy a yearly pre-payment certificate, have done for years - if you go onto the website it will be worth you looking at all the options - i think i worked out if i buy more that 14 prescriptions in a year id be better off and i have about 5 a month so its best for me! i know you were looking at 3month - but if you work out over the whole year it may be worth you getting a bigger one.

    was wondering if it would be worth looking into whether your OH is intitled to free prescriptions for his condition. Theres a form you can get from pharmacy fill it out and then they will let you know if you are intitled - think you can get refunds too.

    I did have a look myself but i dont think i qualify - my tumours not cancerous though got years of drugs to take. Got other life long conditions that have never counted - but wouldnt be able to afford the month amounts if i didnt buy the prepayment. If i didnt have the meds it may prove fatal.
    Frugal living challenge - need to revisit its been.a while !! Need to reduce our debts!!
  • cat_smith
    Mothership thinking of you and DD today
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 19th Feb 11, 10:48 AM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    mothership - sending you lots of love virtual hugs ,to you and your daughter! still crying randomly over my loss in January so painful to lose children! hoping today goes as well as it could be!!
    Frugal living challenge - need to revisit its been.a while !! Need to reduce our debts!!
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 19th Feb 11, 10:50 AM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    no car today so stuck in middle of nowhere so a no spend day for me!! though i am gagging for a can of coke which i left in my car so hubby has it.if he drinks it divorce may be on the cards!!
    Frugal living challenge - need to revisit its been.a while !! Need to reduce our debts!!
  • rachelww1
    Went to Mr Ts last night and spent £69.73, taking me £4.30 over budget this month. I did get dog and cat food, pyjama pants (2 for £9) and washing tablets with this, so not too bad I suppose. I'd forgotten I was off for half term, so I expect I'll spend some more this week. We'll need more loo rolls and cereals. As long as I don't go over £300 I'll be happy.

    Also I've decided to go wheat free for a couple of weeks. I've had IBS for 25 years, and have a dreadfully swollen stomach, but I've never really addressed it before. Since I gave up smoking it's got worse, as I regularly can empty the contents of my fridge in one sitting So no bread for me, which is a shame cos my HM stuff is really yummy.

    Got 3 hot chickens last night reduced to £1 each. Got home, stripped them and chucked all the carcasses in the slow cooker overnight. Now I have 4 pints of stock cooling, and I don't have to cook the chicken thats in my freezer for our lunch tomorrow. Will be freezing some, and using the rest for sarnies/salads this week.
    LBM Dec 10. Total unsecured debt £41176 Nov 12 Debt Free Thanks Mum x RIP x

    2013 Savings £250
    2013 OP £3500
  • lolly101
    Hi Everyone,

    Just logging in my spends. I've not been on for a while as things have been pretty hectic lately, although I have been saving my receipts. The total comes to £67.69, which isn't too bad. I can see myself coming in under budget this month!

    Better go and update my siggy before I forget...
  • Hippeechiq
    Oh Mothership & Minnie 2 - what sadness you've both had to bare

    boysma Sounds to me like you're getting the hang of this GC lark - well done
    Now debating whether to just give up this month completely and go to Lidl tomorrow for their offers, or be good and resist! I don't really need what is on offer, but I know i'll use it, so seems silly to ignore it when it's cheaper.
    Originally posted by freakyogre
    I have the same debate with myself. I've just bought two big jars of Kenc0 coffed @ £3 each from Te$co and 2 jars of ½ price Pickled Eggs, two packs of ½ price Pork Loin Steaks from £idl and 2 packs of ½ price Vintage Reserve Cheddar (which works out at £3.60 per kilo!) which is an amazing bargain!! None of which will be used until next month, but you can't afford to turn down offers like that - can you? Now I'm home, I wish I'd bought more of all of them, but as it is - taking into account my online delivery tomorrow - I now only have £17.55 to last me until the 28th! Arrgggghhh

    6 weeks without duplicating a meal? thats amazing i could probably stretch to 3 without replicating, am trying to learn at least one recipe a month though, this month i learnt how to make prawn stirfry and pilau it was so so so yummy...and i have enough for a few more meals at least out of it...feel like going back to the fridge now, will restrain myself just
    Originally posted by Missus Aka
    That's exactly how I came to be able to do a 6week plan without repeating a meal

    Bought the abovementioned items today + some £idl Oh So Oaty Porridge (yum). Plus 4L of milk yesterday, brining my new total to £162.45. Have an A$da delivery for around £66 coming tomorrow, so all of a sudden, I'm sailing pretty close to the wind!

    I think optimism at this stage would be naive
    Last edited by Hippeechiq; 19-02-2011 at 1:26 PM.
    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
  • LondonDreamer
    I still need to pick up some cereal bars as my local didn't have our usual, but that should be it.
    Originally posted by LondonDreamer
    Just coming back to update that I found some old cereal in the cupboard. I'd use a klippit on it, so it was still pretty fresh. Made some breakfast muffins, so that's this week sorted with no spend.
    • hex2
    • By hex2 19th Feb 11, 1:29 PM
    • 4,722 Posts
    • 80,174 Thanks
    I am on £273.72 against my target of £450

    I just need to stay out of the shops which is relatively easy when the boys are at home. I hate shopping with children. The ever lovely co-op has re-filled my (already fairly full) freezer with £2 each RTC elmwood chickens today and A&C delivered a massive box of F&V yesterday and we are fully stocked for household stuff. The infamous famous last words 'only need milk' spring to mind..........

    ETA I didn't 'need' the chickens out of this months budget but at £2 each for 6 (a good 30 left for others) it would be stupid not to buy them. I can see the logic of an annual budget but not sure I have the self discipline. Once I have gone massively over my months budget I do get a bit reckless, like dieting, eat three bsicuits, might as well eat the packet.
    Last edited by hex2; 19-02-2011 at 1:33 PM.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 19th Feb 11, 2:10 PM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    Hi Peeps

    well i was going to update my siggy but now i`ve decided not to

    I got the money off coupon for the deodorant in boots so i stocked up - thing is i won`t be starting to use it for at least 4 months so i shall add it at a later date

    I also bought some frizz ease stuff that i would never normally buy and that was on offer too but as that was really a treat it will come out of my personal spends money as its not something that anyone else will use but me.

    Apart from that i`ve not bought anything else except for a couple of doggie treats so not too bad really.

    To curb the day-off-spend compulsion that i normally get when i`m not at w*rk i`ve spent ages in the kitchen batch cooking for the freezer, i`ve made 4 portions of spag bol, 2 medium sized pork pies, 2 loaf tins full of pork pie mixture which i`m making into loaf shaped slices as i can`t eat too much pastry, the donner kebabs from the takeaway secret and last but not least 20 lamb meatballs in a rosemary and tomato sauce

    I got the meatball idea from someone on here but can`t remember who i just wanted to say thanks i adapted the recipe a bit and they are now in the oven.

    Good use of gas too as the oven is absolutely rammed full and the house has lots of different aromas wafting through. I`m starving lol.

    Think i shall have to go back into the kitchen to make a sandwich, i was going to make some twinks but i think that i`m all cooked out now

    Planning on starting the GC again soon
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 19th Feb 11, 2:11 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    rachelww1 where did you go to get 3 hot chickens for £1 each ??? i never seem to get any good whoopsies
    Frugal living challenge - need to revisit its been.a while !! Need to reduce our debts!!
  • highland fling
    mothership; my thoughts are with your family today.

    have spent another £50 at A**A but needed some store cupboard ingredients.
    Stew in slow cooker and potatoes mashed ready to make fish cakes for freezer.

    Good luck to all
    It takes a long time to eat an elephant and I'm doing it a bite at a time!!!
    • ifonlyitwaseasier
    • By ifonlyitwaseasier 19th Feb 11, 2:34 PM
    • 2,787 Posts
    • 20,347 Thanks
    well i've failed to keep up with you all this month as wortk has been manic but our spending i think is still under control, we are at approx £120 so far

    have posted this on the new "its tough" thread but i thought it might need a home over here too

    Carrot cake
    2 cups sugar (by cups i mean that i use metal measuring cups)
    4 eggs
    1 and a half cups sunflower or veg oil
    3 cups grated carrot
    3 cups SR flour
    2 tsp cinnamon (or a big shake of it)
    1tsp salt
    half a cup of chopped walnuts (i leave these out)
    half a cup of rasins (i up this to 1 cup to account for the missing walnuts)

    beat the sugar, eggs and oil til smooth and light.
    combine flour, cinnamon and salt.
    add to the wet mix and stir.
    add the carrots and raisins (and walnuts if using) and stir thoroughly.
    pour into either a large lined loaf tin, or muffin cases.
    if in the tin bake at gas4-5/elec 180(fan170) and bake for 45-60mins
    for the muffins, same temp and bake for 35-45 mins or till golden and a toothpick comes out clean when tested into one

    Cream Cheese Frosting
    8oz of cream cheese
    1tsp of vanilla essence
    2 tbsp marg/softened butter
    5 cups sifted icing sugar

    combine everything BUT the icing sugar
    once well mixed add the sugar half a cup at a time
    ice the cake once its cold and enjoy
    Nonny mouse and Proud!!
    Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience
    Amor et metus. Lac? Sugar? Quisque massa vel duo? (stolen from a lovely forumite!)

    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 19th Feb 11, 2:35 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    Had to rush mum in to hospital on Thursday morning and have spent most of our time since at the hospital so today just ran round Te$co chucking anything in - result £43.88 gone and nothing to show for it. Just recently have been getting a full weeks shopping for less than this and todays haul will just last us until Monday maybe Tuesday. Just goes to show how beneficial making a list etc is.
    However all is not lost as we are well within our Feb budget and will just put todays shopping down to unforseen circumstances etc.

    Love & hugs to Mothership and everyone else. I think the majority of us are having a terrible Feb with one thing and another.
    Will update signature now.
    Last edited by Billie-jo; 20-02-2011 at 8:39 PM.
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH £62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
    • pepsi-kins
    • By pepsi-kins 19th Feb 11, 2:52 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 1,984 Thanks
    Hi everyone,
    Not done too bad on the shopping front this week, and I've clocked up another 5 NSD's so pleased with that, even though my signature looks horrific, especially as there's only the two of us. I'm consoling myself by knowing that my cupboards and freezer are full, too full infact, a colleague at work has lamb for sale, so i have half a lamb coming at the end of the week, I keep force feeding DH ice-cream and cakes, to make room for the

    I shouldn't need anything else this week, only a few bananas.

    Have a good week everyone x
    2018 G/C £2951.61/£2250
    Vouchers used £553.23
    Extra money £250
    2019 G/C £2562.28
    Vouchers: £213.33
  • martafdz
    Cheap days around the NorthWest
    I also want to take kids out somewhere- any suggestions for cheap days out for 15yr old DS and 11yr old DD around NW - Manchester, Liverpool , Chester area?
    DH still desperately looking for a job- not much look so far though- lots of pressure on me to bring home the money. I'm trying very hard to keep debts and budget under control but still enjoy life.
    Thanks to everyone on the OS board -lots of good advice and inspiration.
    Originally posted by blue cat
    You can always take them to the Museum of Science and Industry, if nothing has changed is free and they have loads of things to touch and experiment with, so it is not a "look and do not touch" museum.

    A tour around Old Trafford and a walk around their museum is £20 for the family, £12 if you only go to the museum bit. You can walk around Salford Quays first and have a look at the new BBC buildings, there is a cinema around there, a theatre, some restaurants and a retail outlet. Also 5min from there, the Imperial War Museum is also free. Manchester City has also a similar tour but I don't know the prices.

    The Police also has a free museum in a Victorian building (Newton St) with cells and a 1920s office. It all depends if they like all the "police and burglar" game.

    The Manchester Museum is free and huge. Also the Manchester Art Gallery in St Peter Square. I know Urbis was going to be transformed into a "Football Museum" but I don't know when, maybe it has already been done or maybe it is later in the year.

    Close to Trafford Shopping Centre you have the "Chill Factore" place, with indoor ski and snowboard. A bit pricey, though.

    Wythenshawe Park has horse riding sessions, no idea of the price. Also an Horticultural centre, mini golf, a small farm and they usually have some outdoor activities for children. Heaton Park is another good place to go for a walk and play but Idk if they organize many things there.

    I also found a website where you can get updates on what is going on regarding activities to do with kids:

    I had a read through and they have many many other things and suggestions. Worth a look!! Also, keep an eye on Groupon daily offers and LivingSocial deals, they both have a 24h offer in a couple of things every day, sometimes they do have amazing deals with £100s of pounds in savings.

    What kind of job is your OH looking for? There are a few websites with updated lists of jobs but some of them are only for specific sectors. One that is quite generic is and they usually have loads of new ones every day.

    For your 15yo, what about some paintballing together? They could choose one activity each month, one your DS, one your DD, alternating months, so there would be one thing to look forward to in the month and they both would be happy to go to places they like. I think it is difficult to choose for both because of the age. The Beatles Museum in Liverpool is really cool. They do some channel cruising from Manchester to Liverpool with return by bus, idk if they do family prices, when I went it was £30 each but it was summer and no discounts whatsoever for us. It took about 6h journey to go, then I think it was about 2h-3h there and back by bus. There are some big boats doing trips from Salford Quays to the city centre, a different way to see theh city. Much cheaper too.

    tomorrow you have a free "driving mini cars" in Salford: , have also a look at "All the events" on the left handside of the page.
    Last edited by martafdz; 19-02-2011 at 3:21 PM.
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
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