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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 24th Feb 11, 9:52 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    March 2011 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 24th Feb 11, 9:52 AM
    March 2011 Grocery Challenge 24th Feb 11 at 9:52 AM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the third Grocery Challenge of 2011, it's almost spring so hopefully this will be a new beginning for all of us.

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your February budget, then keep on posting in the February 2011 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, #7 and #8 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Last edited by Pink.; 27-02-2011 at 11:01 PM.
Page 4
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 28th Feb 11, 3:44 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    Can I please have my usual £135 for March please?
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 £46.05/£130

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

    DFD 1st March 2011
    • Kitchenbunny
    • By Kitchenbunny 28th Feb 11, 4:05 PM
    • 1,861 Posts
    • 20,265 Thanks
    Great, a new thread started and a positive vibe to the beginning of March. Here's to lots of bargains, kept budgets and lots of new recipes and support. I'm going to do my best to keep up with this one this time and try to meet my budget goal. Thanks for starting the thread.

    So, looking at my mealplan for the coming week, I need to buy:

    Mushrooms, Potatoes, Onions, Plain Flour and Cooking Marge (something like Cookeen) those are the only things I need for the actual main meals. Additional items include:

    Cola x 2 ltr bottle (guests and mixers)
    Cola x 6 cans (DH work)
    Orange Juice 4 x 1ltr cartons
    Milk x 1 pint
    Mixed dried fruit x 500g
    Caster Sugar x 1kg

    I think that's all we actually need. I'm not sure whether I'll buy anything else, as if I do see a bargain that I can work into future weeks then I will. I've posted my mealplan for the coming week on the mealplan thread, but here's a quick run down:

    Tonight - chicken salad
    Tues - Spicy Sausage Pasties with salad or HM wedges
    Weds - Fajitas
    Thurs - Chicken curry
    Fri - Chilli con carne with sauteed potatoes
    Sat - Ribs & Rice
    Sun - Chicken & Ham Pie and Mash.

    I'm going to be baking a batch of biscuits (probably Twinks) and a batch of rock buns for the cake tin. Everything else I have in the freezer so it won't be too difficult - I hope! Sorry for going on, but it helps me to write out what I need and what I could do with. Thanks for bearing with me.

    That's all set for the first shop of the month - I think that'll be on Wednesday as I'm trying to avoid the shops tomorrow.

    KB xx

    • ifonlyitwaseasier
    • By ifonlyitwaseasier 28th Feb 11, 4:07 PM
    • 2,787 Posts
    • 20,347 Thanks
    yay!!! new thread!!

    well i lost track again last month :O so for this month can we have £150
    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!)

    • pencakes
    • By pencakes 28th Feb 11, 4:08 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    My first challenge!

    £150 for me please! After going through my bank statements with a fine tooth comb, I worked out I spent £290 last month on food! And that wasnt including toiletries and other bits (£140) and Starbucks (£61)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Yes I have been very bad. I know you are supposed to take small amounts off each month, but Ive been so ridiculous it will be fairly easy to cut back. Starbucks has been divorced!

    Having all your posts/hints/tips has really encouraged me to do this without feeling daunted, so lots and lots of love to you guys.

    Will keep my signature updated with how I'm doing.
    LBM Sept 2014

    DFD June 2018, now Dec 2017

    Total debt @ LBM: £25,529 now £17,951 £16,648
  • jackieglasgow
    First spend of the month at Mr T £57.55 with 3 for 2's etc, and then used £9.50 in vouchers, I paid £38.33 I am determined to start as I mean to go on this month.

    Thanks for the new fred ladies.
    It's what is inside your head that matters in life - not what's outside your window
    Originally posted by mardatha
    Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory. - Ghandi
  • Shysarah
    OK after Febs disaster it is time to sort myself out a bit.

    A bit more of a practical budget for March of £120.

    Fingers crossed x
    GC 2011
    Jan £43.45/£40.00 Feb £55.14/£55.00 Mar £64.88/£120
    Time you enjoyed wasting, was not wasted (John Lennon)

    • allie23
    • By allie23 28th Feb 11, 4:24 PM
    • 1,343 Posts
    • 14,647 Thanks
    Hi All

    I have done the grocery challenge a few times and it has always been a real inspiration but since going back to work full time about two years ago I have got out of the habit. I am hoping to resign from my job within the next few months and really need to start watching the pennies again. Please put me down for £250 for March Mrs M.
    February 2019 Grocery Challenge
    Frugal Living Challenge 2019
    Save £12k in 2019 - Challenger No 69 - £13,310/£40,000
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 28th Feb 11, 4:26 PM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    thanks for the new thread, will draw a line under last month and be more positive this month. I AM going to be in budget this month

    will start my march sig tomorrow but hoping for no spends till the weekend.
    NSD today.

    hm shepherds pie for tea and just remembered need to get the mb on and start the rolls for tomorrows pack ups
    SPC~12 ot 124

    In a world that has decided that it's going to lose its mind, be more kind my friend, try to Be More Kind
  • jumblejack
    Ooo. Please can I be included?

    I posted on another forum this Sunday as I was excited to actually save receipts for the week and total them. It was for 8 days (Sunday to Sunday) and there are 4 of us, 2 adults and 2 growing boys. It came to £57.45 but that included a £6 gift so that doesn't really count. I have started a book which has a weeks receipts added to a page. As I buy in bulk as opportunities arise (I have decided to call this 'Sh-opportunist' buying) it has been hard to figure out what my weekly/monthly average is.
    This will now change!!!
    I didn't know this thread was here, yay!!!

    My self imposed challenge this week is to meal plan with my pantry/freezer items that need using up. I intend to significantly reduce it this week.

    My goal is £200 for the month for all 4 of us-2 adults, 2 kids and also 7 chickens, which I intend to smash!!

    I can't find how to highlight it in red, sorry!
    Last edited by jumblejack; 28-02-2011 at 6:19 PM. Reason: Wasn't sure how it worked!
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):£30.50/£40
  • jackieglasgow
    At the top of the reply box, where you type your message, there is an A with a black line under it and a small arrow beside it. Highlight the text you want to change then click on the small arrow and select the red from the choice of colours.
    It's what is inside your head that matters in life - not what's outside your window
    Originally posted by mardatha
    Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has its stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory. - Ghandi
  • SylvieDee
    My first challenge! Please can i be included? I'm really ona budget this month so will try and stick to £50 this month!

  • BrownGun86
    Another newbie here.

    Can I have £305 for March please?

    Work lunches are definitely my biggest problem, need to get it under control!
    No. More. Waste.

    MarchGC: £58/£305
    2011CrazyClothesChallenge: £73/£750
    • Sunflower1227
    • By Sunflower1227 28th Feb 11, 5:43 PM
    • 1,680 Posts
    • 22,390 Thanks
    Hi everyone

    to everyone that needs one, hope everyone is well.

    Mrs M can you put me down for £225 please.
    I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.

    Weight loss 3 stone
  • jinky67
    I need to join in here again to keep myself focused

    Can you put me down for £100 for the month please?
    Once a Flylady, always a Flylady
  • helen jelly
    Hello all the new people - stick with us - and ask lots of questions - loads of people on here who are very clever and will help out, also check out the recipes on Page 1 that Rosieben does for us - she's a star!!

    Thank you to Pink, MrsM and Rosieben for the thread

    I'm off to Sainsbugs tomorrow to get a few bits, hoping to keep in under £15

    Have a nice evening everyone

    Helen x
    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
  • BlimusOreilly
    Thanks for the new thread. Please can you put me down for £180 in March? That's for two adults and two children.
    DFW Nerd 941 Proud to be dealing with my debt
    August GC £0/£300

    • Sunflower1227
    • By Sunflower1227 28th Feb 11, 6:09 PM
    • 1,680 Posts
    • 22,390 Thanks
    Made some nut, apricot & choc chip biscuits yesterday and OH said they were great, so I thought I would share.

    125g butter
    100g castor sugar
    1 egg, beaten
    80g chopped apricots
    60g chopped peanuts (not salted)
    40g plain cooking choc chips
    125g plain flour
    1 tsp bicarbonate of sugar
    pinch salt
    90g rolled oats
    few drops vanilla essence

    Melt butter
    Pour into large mixing bowl, add sugar and mix well
    Add beaten egg & stir
    Stir in apricots & nuts
    Mix in flour, salt & bicarb then add a few drops of vanilla essence
    Mix in oats & choc chips and mix well
    Mixture will be soft, shape into balls & flatten out on a greased baking tray, leave room for them to spread
    Cook in a pre heated oven gas mark 4, for approx 15-20 mins until golden brown - then enjoy
    I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.

    Weight loss 3 stone
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 28th Feb 11, 6:19 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Yay!!! A new thread.

    Thanks to Pink-Winged, MrsMcCawber and Rosieben for the thread and all your kindly given voluntary help. You're all brilliant.

    Welcome all the newbies who are joining us. As has been said, you've come to the right place for supportive and inspirational ideas. If you're unsure of anything just ask and the wonderful people on here will be helpful, welcoming and innovative. Do use the recipe lists, especially if meal planning, and a stocktake of your cupboards, fridge and freezer will be an eye opener. Don't go shopping without a list and always check your staples (bread, milk, cheese, butter, etc) before you go shopping to avoid the need to 'pop in' for one thing and come out £20 lighter.

    Well, in the morning I will be a one year old GCer! I can't even begin to calculate how much I have saved (think £600+ per month for two people in Feb 2010 and you'll see that it's a huge amount ) with the help and encouragement of everyone on here so a huge THANK YOU to you all, you're wonderful.

    Nothing to report in terms of spends and I updated sig yesterday to include today.

    So I just wanted to say keep on doing what you're doing 'cos it works.

    Good luck all for March!

    Thank you and all the very best,
    Mortgage Free October 2013
  • destroyerofdebt2011
    Thanks ladies for the fresh start to a new month and its great seeing so many new yummy recipes. So far up to £23.46 on spends so far for March but the cupboards & fridge were truely bare and now ive got baking stuff for over a mnth and essentials for a gd couple of weeks oh and enough loo roll for an andrex puppy advert(mine aint andrex).

    I hope u have a fantastic bday 2morrow spriggle

    Happy bargin Hunting
    HSBC £3223.20 £2060.00
    Cap1 £1724.91 £1782.00
    OD £939.78 £200.00
    No 49 of £2012 in 2012.. £645.10 so far & Crazy Clothes £14.09/£100.00 ReducingtheToiletryStash2012 UU12/IN 20 March Grocery 0.00/£65.00 & LbsNot£s Lost 14Lbs
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 28th Feb 11, 7:40 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    £5.05 spent today.

    £4.10 in Tesco on apples, frozen spinach, potatoes, wholegrain mustard and an onion! I wanted frozen green beans too but there wasn't a single bag in there so I popped to Lidl and got some - 95p.

    I don't need anything for evening meals this week and lunches are sorted. I will need milk at some point as used more than I thought making some soup yesterday. I must be good and not buy anymore for the freezer...still need to find room for a quiche I made yesterday!
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
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