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  • FIRST POST
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 24th Feb 11, 9:52 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    Pink.
    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 competition....it'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!

    Pink
    Last edited by Pink.; 27-02-2011 at 11:01 PM.
Page 8
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 1st Mar 11, 12:56 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    angelatgraceland
    Right guys, I really need your help!

    I have to reduce what I'm spending on work lunches but my problems are that: by the time I get home from work at 8/9pm I can't be bothered to prepare much for the next day, I don't like sandwiches, I never have any leftovers (greedy OH and dog!) AND I'm trying to lose a little bit of weight.

    So I've been spending a fortune on low calorie (well, relatively) wraps, salads etc from B*ots, S*insbury's, S*bway, you name it!

    Pleaaaase inspire me with some alternatives I can bring from home
    Originally posted by BrownGun86
    Assuming you are home on a sunday you could prepare a couple of wraps for Monday and Tuesday in advance? I take in a dish of couscous or rissoto or homemade soup and reheat in the micro at work. Can you do this?
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is 1500 pa 125 calendar month 28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 1st Mar 11, 1:01 PM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,575 Thanks
    quintwins
    Right guys, I really need your help!

    I have to reduce what I'm spending on work lunches but my problems are that: by the time I get home from work at 8/9pm I can't be bothered to prepare much for the next day, I don't like sandwiches, I never have any leftovers (greedy OH and dog!) AND I'm trying to lose a little bit of weight.

    So I've been spending a fortune on low calorie (well, relatively) wraps, salads etc from B*ots, S*insbury's, S*bway, you name it!

    Pleaaaase inspire me with some alternatives I can bring from home
    Originally posted by BrownGun86

    you do relise that those wraps and sandwichs aren't really all that healthy? with all the next sauces ect, someone once told me there was the same amount of calories in a big mac and a filling stations plougmans

    you can freeze sandwichs and defrost them as and when you need them, if you don't fancy cooking you could get some of those egg noodles and some stir fry veg and watever sauce you prefer mix them together and eat them cold it would only take a few minutes
    OCT GC 196.12/200
  • missfit
    Hi All. Can I please be put down for 180 this month. Thanks for keeping this going ... good luck all!
  • BrownGun86
    Assuming you are home on a sunday you could prepare a couple of wraps for Monday and Tuesday in advance? I take in a dish of couscous or rissoto or homemade soup and reheat in the micro at work. Can you do this?
    Originally posted by angelatgraceland
    Thanks for your advice. Think I will give wraps a go this week and see how I get on. Any ideas for un-soggy () fillings that would be ok on the wrap for a day or two? I like the soup idea too, as I've got a slow-cooker so could possibly make a week's batch at the weekend. Will invest in a thermos when I next go shopping I think.
    No. More. Waste.

    MarchGC: 58/305
    2011CrazyClothesChallenge: 73/750
  • jinky67
    Got some bonus Italian type sausage, whoopsied.....they are very garlicky, nice stewed sausage dish will be going on there I think
    I also bought a packet of pearl barley to try out a "risotto" recipe someone posted elsewhere on the board
    and 3 boxes of stuffing mix reduced to 39p.....I got them for 1p
    Once a Flylady, always a Flylady
    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 1st Mar 11, 1:19 PM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    cutiepieabf
    scary when you see it in black and white isnt it? I have to do the same with my craft buying on ebay

    Welcome to our newbies and good luck with your first challenge

    Congrats to all who made it near or under budget last month

    I'm off to do my meal plan for the month and see if I can reduce my sainsbugs online shop booked for next week ....



    have a look at this thread

    eta forgot to say Sunflower, your Nut, Apricot and Choc Chip Biscuits are now in the index (part 4 for the moment)
    Originally posted by rosieben
    thank you rosieben - you are a star!!
    DFBX2016 #160 - 3550/8800

    DFBX2017 #160 - 0/11,378

    0/7807 CapOne (0% PAID) 0/2776 Tesco (0% PAID)
    820/820 HSBC OD (100% PAID) 0/795 HSBC M/C (0% PAID)
    • mummyjane
    • By mummyjane 1st Mar 11, 1:35 PM
    • 381 Posts
    • 3,685 Thanks
    mummyjane
    Please can I be put down for 400 this month. After a difficult first try in Feb I am hoping to come in under budget this month - although I now need to include dh tobacco and weekly tipple as well. Cupboards fit to burst and I have a shop coming tomorrow so I am going to have a go at batch cooking for our weekday meals. Has anyone tried freezing hm pizzas? Do you need to part bake them first?

    Had my delivery from AF today so we have enough ketchup and loo roll to last for a few months .
    Groceries Challenge 2019
    Jan 462.44/400
    Feb 210.10/450, 2/10 NSDs
  • sveika
    We'd like to try for 50 this month please... Thanks!!
    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 1st Mar 11, 1:45 PM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    cutiepieabf
    A NSD here! . That doesn't happen very often. x

    Need to find some recipes for pork pasties for tomorrow. Anyone made any before? It's leftover roast pork.
    Originally posted by Chloris
    hello!!

    i think i would cheat and use ready made puff pastry.

    Boil a little pan of pots and carrots cubed, fry off some onion and mushroom, add pork to warm through, after 10mins add pots and carrots to frying pan with a little of the veg water. add salt and pepper/brown sauce/worcester/l&p and simmer. after 10mins if it is too thin add cornflour or bisto. if too thick add a little more veg water. nice to have a thickish gravy but not too runny or it will just make the pastry soggy.
    cut your pastry into rectangles - double pasty size and lie on baking tray. add part of mixture to right hand side of pastry, rub water along rim of pastry where left hand section will join, and fold left side of pastry over pressing around rim to hold in the mixture. brush milk over the top and !!!!! with fork.
    cook in oven for approx 20mins.

    never cooked them but thats how i would do it.

    edit: just thought - it would be lovely to add a few spoons of apple sauce too. mmmmm.
    DFBX2016 #160 - 3550/8800

    DFBX2017 #160 - 0/11,378

    0/7807 CapOne (0% PAID) 0/2776 Tesco (0% PAID)
    820/820 HSBC OD (100% PAID) 0/795 HSBC M/C (0% PAID)
    • Chloris
    • By Chloris 1st Mar 11, 1:57 PM
    • 659 Posts
    • 9,479 Thanks
    Chloris
    Please can I be put down for 400 this month. After a difficult first try in Feb I am hoping to come in under budget this month - although I now need to include dh tobacco and weekly tipple as well. Cupboards fit to burst and I have a shop coming tomorrow so I am going to have a go at batch cooking for our weekday meals. Has anyone tried freezing hm pizzas? Do you need to part bake them first?

    Had my delivery from AF today so we have enough ketchup and loo roll to last for a few months .
    Originally posted by mummyjane
    I have frozen them. Just make up like normal and then wrap in greaseproof paper (sprinkled with flour) and freeze. No need to part bake. HTH

    hello!!

    i think i would cheat and use ready made puff pastry.

    Boil a little pan of pots and carrots cubed, fry off some onion and mushroom, add pork to warm through, after 10mins add pots and carrots to frying pan with a little of the veg water. add salt and pepper/brown sauce/worcester/l&p and simmer. after 10mins if it is too thin add cornflour or bisto. if too thick add a little more veg water. nice to have a thickish gravy but not too runny or it will just make the pastry soggy.
    cut your pastry into rectangles - double pasty size and lie on baking tray. add part of mixture to right hand side of pastry, rub water along rim of pastry where left hand section will join, and fold left side of pastry over pressing around rim to hold in the mixture. brush milk over the top and !!!!! with fork.
    cook in oven for approx 20mins.

    never cooked them but thats how i would do it.

    edit: just thought - it would be lovely to add a few spoons of apple sauce too. mmmmm.
    Originally posted by cutiepieabf
    I might go with this idea! Although will have to hide vegetables for my fussy son. I might even make a veg puree/sauce. And I have puff pastry in the freezer . Thank you!
    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 1st Mar 11, 1:59 PM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    cutiepieabf
    Thanks for your advice. Think I will give wraps a go this week and see how I get on. Any ideas for un-soggy () fillings that would be ok on the wrap for a day or two? I like the soup idea too, as I've got a slow-cooker so could possibly make a week's batch at the weekend. Will invest in a thermos when I next go shopping I think.
    Originally posted by BrownGun86
    i would also invest in a cucumber, an iceburg lettuce, punnet of toms and some french dressing (you could even easily make your own if you are feeling adventurous). total cost of 3.50 for 5 days salad! making your salad from scratch is so much more healthy, tastes far fresher and is much much cheaper. if you spend 5mins chopping some lettuce, cucumber, toms, add some grated carrot, then if you can take your dressing with you to work and put some on before you eat it, otherwise it will make the lettuce wilt.
    also - pasta is a good lunch time snack and even if you dont want to bother with sauces and meat etc, how about boiling 4/5 handfuls of pasta, when cooked drain water and add a tin of chicken and mushroom soup, tin of sweetcorn, and some leftover chicken/ham torn up. heat pasta mix through and decant into a few containers. thats 3/4 lunches sorted!
    i have soup days where i just cook 3/4 different soups in one go - mushroom, tomato, cheese and brocolli, carrot and coriander, and then freeze them. that intense day of soup making will provide about 16 servings of soup!!

    hope this helps.
    DFBX2016 #160 - 3550/8800

    DFBX2017 #160 - 0/11,378

    0/7807 CapOne (0% PAID) 0/2776 Tesco (0% PAID)
    820/820 HSBC OD (100% PAID) 0/795 HSBC M/C (0% PAID)
    • nessie216
    • By nessie216 1st Mar 11, 2:02 PM
    • 839 Posts
    • 5,176 Thanks
    nessie216
    Thanks for your advice. Think I will give wraps a go this week and see how I get on. Any ideas for un-soggy () fillings that would be ok on the wrap for a day or two? I like the soup idea too, as I've got a slow-cooker so could possibly make a week's batch at the weekend. Will invest in a thermos when I next go shopping I think.
    Originally posted by BrownGun86
    Ham and cheese would work & you could take some sachets/bottle of mayo/salad cream to moisten it up at work?

    I used to do DH wraps for the whole week using ham, cheese and mayo - though he didn't mind them soggy!

    Best thing if you looking for 'healthier' lunches is to make a batch of pasta with some tomato sauce with lots of veg on Sunday - enough for the week & keep in fridge - thats if you don't mind eating it cold (could always warm up in micro - if one is available)

    Worse comes to worse - get your OH to prepare it for you???

    I take a whole variety of lunches to work, today i had a 'stew' of cannelini beans, chicken, bacon, chopped toms, bacon, mushrooms, peppers, cauli & broc - i eat it cold mind you!

    • Kitchenbunny
    • By Kitchenbunny 1st Mar 11, 2:25 PM
    • 1,861 Posts
    • 20,264 Thanks
    Kitchenbunny
    Adding my first spend for March (day one, thought I could do better than that) but had to change plans as we've got guests coming over for food tonight and I had no idea. So, shopping a day earlier, but hopefully that means tomorrow will be an NSD. At any rate, I spent 33.40. I'll update my signature.

    That means my mealplan has changed, but I'll be doing the jambalaya so hopefully it won't be too much extra effort. I was looking forward to a sit down!

    Keep up the good work, everyone.

    KB xx

    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 1st Mar 11, 2:43 PM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    OrkneyStar
    So today is the 3/4 shop for us (we run 15th-14th of next month), managed to get some different things to have for dinner but still sensible!
    Went mainly to Tesco, and then popped into Lidl but only got some plums, kiwis and treats (from separate budget) such as chocolate for the end of a hard day looking after DS lol! Roast chicken for tea but having with salad and chips, then tomorrow and next day will be some of the chicken used for stirfry and for a caul/brocc pasta bake.......DH will have a drumstick for work too .
    Hope all are well and happy new GC month!
    • slbhill
    • By slbhill 1st Mar 11, 2:58 PM
    • 5,241 Posts
    • 365,499 Thanks
    slbhill
    I just declared my total on the February thread and posted March's target, then realised I should have posted that here - sorry . So, as I said "last month" LOL could slbhill be put down for 150 again please. And of course a big thank you to all the people who put in the effort to keep this thread so running, I never guessed how useful it would be

    I might be starting to get the hang of this (famous last words?), and making some interesting discoveries about things we eat which are cheap or expensive - often not the ones I thought!
  • sazzledazzle
    Well went and did a shop in Mr T today and before money off vouchers bill came to 22.12 with a multibuy saving of 2.03. Had a 4 off a 20 spend and a Mr S 2 off 20 spend which they took both off so total bill down to 16.12, which is a saving of 8.03
    finding things much easier now a days by doing a food plan and so not tempting to buy things we dont need. Enough food now for this week and most of next.
    MAY NSD's

    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 1st Mar 11, 4:06 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    Billie-jo
    Welcome to all the newbies joining I hope you do well and can make some substanial savings. Wonder if Mr. Te$co ever reads this thread if so he must be runing scared lately and weeping into his wallet what with so many of us on the money saving wagon.

    Happy St. Davids day to everyone by the way - Dydd Gwŷl Dewi Sant hapus !
    Oh dear I DO hope thats right. Blame the t'internet if it isnt.

    Have just made a saucepan full of leek, potato and swede soup. Added the swede mainly because it needed using up and trying very hard not to waste anything. Just had a small sample and it is delicious and much needed as been out most of day and its freezing here today. Dry but bitterly cold again.

    Have got home made pork burgers for tea tonight and will have them with a few chips. We were going to have pancakes after as I thought it was pancake day today but then realised its next week. Oh well there's no law to say we cant have them two weeks in a row. Will count today as a practice day then.

    Best of luck to everyone.
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH 62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
    • mandco
    • By mandco 1st Mar 11, 4:48 PM
    • 759 Posts
    • 9,876 Thanks
    mandco
    thanks to everyone who keep this tread going
    could you put me down for 225 for march please

    was mia last month so really need to get back on track.
    Today is a NSD but gonna have to go shopping tommorrow as the fridge/cupboards are bare

    goodluck everyone with this month challenge
    this year do something that scares you for courage is not the absence of fear just the knowledge that some things are worth the risk
  • rosieben
    Pork Pastie recipe is in the index (post 4 temporarily), thanks cutiepieabf
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • M0neysav3r
    Very impressed with this weeks shopping total - 39.33 and that includes 3 bottles of wine

    I've a question for those who make their own bread - I got a morphy richards bread maker from freecycle which didn't come with instructions but on the oven tells you which buttons to push etc anyway, i followed the recipe on the yeast packet last week and the bread tasted awful and came out only 5cm high But the yeast was a year out of date so put it down to that. I've now just added bread flour 500g, butter 25g, salt, sugar, yeast and warm water - again the recipe on the yeast packet, the bread maker is making some noises and appears to be working but I'm wondering if i'm doing something wrong? When I used to make my own rolls (a few years ago) I used my conventional oven and it took hours to leave them to rise and divide them up how comes the bread maker can do it all in less than 3 hours?
    No Debts (Other than HUGE mortgage! )
    Generally trying to cut back where possible
    GC - March 143.82 / 200 Feb 156.03 / 150 Oops! Jan 180.78/200
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