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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 12
    SW black pepper and lemon chicken goujons recipe
    Black pepper and lemon chicken goujons
    serves 2 @ 2.5 syns each -on red/EE
    • 2 chicken breasts - cut into strips
    • 1 beaten egg - for dipping
    • 28g dried breadcrumbs (5)
    • grated zest 1 lemon
    • plenty of ground black pepper
    • salt
    just mix the last 4 together and then dunk the chicken into the egg and then the crumb mix and bake -it sereved 2 of us at 2.5syns each -although there were leftover that hubby ate cold
    You can make loads of variations on therse by adding parmesan, or using dried herbs, paprika etc
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    SW braidsed lamb shank recipe
    Now then I did mine in the remoska but I will give the oven version and then add the remoska version for anyone else who has one
    SERVES 4

    3 syns per serving on Red/EE
    1. 4 lamb shanks (fat removed)-I used 2 as there is no way we can eat a whole one each
    2. 2 red onions -thinly sliced
    3. 2 cloves garlic -crushed/grated
    4. 100ml balsamic vinegar (now I liked the full amount but it might be a bit much for some -so you can always start off with less and add more if you like it ..)
    5. 300ml red wine (11)
    6. 2tbs tomato puree (1)
    7. sprig rosemary -I used 1 tsp of dried
    8. 150ml hot water
    9. 2 oxo cubes -I used lamb
    10. seasoning
    • pre-heat oven to 150c/130fan/gas2
    • heat a large casserole on the stove and drop in the lamb shanks to colour.
    • remove the shanks onto a plate
    • drop the onions into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes
    • add in the tomato puree, garlic, stock cubes and rosemary and sit over the heat for a couple of minutes
    • add the balsamic and wine and bring to the boil, add in the water
    • drop the lamb shanks, cover and cook for approx 2.5hrs until the meat is tender
    • remove the lamb from the pan and keep covered and warm
    • place the casserole on the stove and boil the sauce down to the consistancy you like and season to taste
    • serve...
    Now I stripped the meat off the bones and dropped it back into the sauce -made it much less messy to eat

    Ok -so a quick remoska version....
    • drop the shanks in the remoska and switch on -cook for about 30mins until coloured
    • take them out and add in the onions and cook down for about 10 mins
    • stir in the puree, garlic, stock cube and rosemary -cover with foil and cook for about 20mins
    • pour in the wine and balsamic (no need for the 150ml water)
    • add the shanks back in -cover with foil and cook until tender
    I found that eventually the sauce went all thick n sticky
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    SW Ox burger recipe
    Now I have tred all sorts of home made burgers but this one is IT and I know some of the ingredients might sound a bit odd -but trust me -NOMNOMNOM

    Ox burger

    makes 6X100g burgers
    • 500g extra lean minced steak
    • 1 onion -finely chopped
    • 1tbs capers - well chopped
    • gherkin-finely chopped - (about 1tbs once chopped)
    • 1tsp wholegrain mustard (0.5)
    • 1tsp worcestershire sauce.
    • 2tbs fat free natural yoghurt
    1. Squish everything together with your hands and chill for about 1hr
    2. break of 100g pieces and shape into patties (I have a burger press )
    3. place back in the fridge until required
    4. heat a non-stick frying pan and cook drop them in and let them seal before turning over and cooking the other side -I cooked them on a fairly high heat to stop them losing all their juices
    We had 2 each with some home made wedges and the leonslaw (which was also gorgeous -so I will post that recipe in a moment too) and the burgers are seriously savoury and juicy, oh and the leftovers are lovely cold
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    SW Leonslaw recipe
    Righty-ho then the Leonslaw, Is a lovely winter coleslaw thingy.... and is:-

    serves 8
    0.5syn per serving
    • 1 raw beetroot -peeled n grated
    • 1 large carrot -grated
    • 1/4 small celeriac -peeled n grated
    • 1/4 small cabbage -finely shredded
    • 1/4 red cabbage -finely shredded
    • 2 sticks celery -finely sliced
    • approx 30g pickled gherkin -roughly chopped
    dressing :-
    • 2tsp cumin seeds -toasted
    • 1/2 tbs white wine vinegar
    • 2tsp extra virgin olive oil (4)
    1. mix all the veggies together
    2. mix the dressing ingredients together
    3. then mix all together -tada
    I was suprised by how tasty this is - and it is better when it has stood over night and had time to "give" ... on tasting it-my first thought was *falafel* -it must be the cumin seeds....
    I hope you all like it as it is a serious hit of goodness in this cold weather
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    SW mechado beef recipe
    Now I use my slow cooker -but you can always do it in the oven (you will need to add 350ml of water though)

    Mechado beef stew
    serves 4
    1 syn per serving on Red/EE
    1. 600g braising steak - cut into bite size chunks
    2. 1 medium onion -finely chopped
    3. 2 cloves garlic -grated/minced
    4. 2 large carrots -finely diced
    5. 2 red peppers - finely diced
    6. 1 bay leaf
    7. juice 1/2 lime
    8. 2tsp sugar 2
    9. 2 large tomatoes -peeled and chopped
    10. 1tbs tomato puree - 0.5
    11. 1tbs tomato ketchup - 1
    12. 2tbs soy sauce
    13. 1 oxo cube
    • drop the diced beef in the slow cooker and switch on -I use high..... you can brown the meat if you prefer
    • cook for about 1hr
    • ad the crumbled oxo, puree, ketchup, garlic, soy, sugar and lime juice and mix well
    • add in everything else and stir
    • switch onto auto and cook until the meat is tender
    • if you need to you can strain off the liquid toward the end and reduce down -but we didn't need to.
    • oooh remove the bay leaf and serve
    it is supposed to be served on rice
    The only thing I changed the next time was to cut the meat smaller so its more evenly distributed Im also going to try making it with minced steak
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
  • goodgirl80
    First shop of the month today - 17.18/125
    Spent a bit more getting more cat food and a lock for the shed so i think i'm at 27.66 for the week, will have to rein in a bit next week
    Last edited by goodgirl80; 04-03-2011 at 8:06 AM.
    • Rhealea
    • By Rhealea 2nd Mar 11, 2:26 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 187 Thanks
    435.00 for me again this month please.
    Grocery Challenge - Jan 426.06 / 435.00
    Feb 376.37 / 435.00
    March 0.00 / 435.00
    SW cheesy bacon lasagne recipe
    cheesy bacon lasagne
    serves 4
    EE = 1heA+1.5-ish syns

    Green = 1heA+5.5 -if synning the bacon
    1. 1/2tsp oil (1)
    2. 1 large onion -chopped
    3. 2 cloves garlic - grated
    4. 120ml hot water
    5. 1 oxo -I used lamb
    6. 200g bacon(14)(chopped) -weight after all fat removed
    7. 400g mushrooms -I used frozen ones defrosted and squeezed out
    8. carton passata
    9. 1tsp dried mixed herbs
    10. slosh of balsamic
    11. seasoning
    • heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan
    • add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes
    • add the garlic and the oxo and hot water -bring to a bubble and then reduce down and cook until the liquid has evaporated and the onions are sticky
    • throw in the bacon and mushrooms and cook for about 5 mins
    • add the herbs, balsamic, passata and bubble ove a low heat until thickened -season
    1. 375ml semi (1.5xA)
    2. 5tsp cornflour (5) let down with a little of the milk
    3. 1tsp English mustard (0.5)
    4. seasoning
    5. 105g low fat cheddar or 70g full fat (2.5XA)
    • warm the milk
    • add the conflour mix and stir until thickened
    • add mustard and seasoning
    I used about 1/4 of the white sauce on the base, then half the bolognaise, then 4 sheets lasagne, the rest of the bolognaise and top with 4 more lasagne, pour over the white sauce and top with the grated cheese -bake until golden..
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    Right I will leave it there before Rosieben belts me for creating more work (sorry Rosiben )
    Off to update the list.... and I will be quiet now
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
  • misscreditcrunch
    Mrs Mcawber - all those lovely sw recipes are making me hungry!!! I haven't posted probably for a couple of years but have been lingering in the background. I find I spend far too much time on here and far too little on what I should be doing. Anyway thank you for all the lovely meal ideas. My spend for this month would ideally be 600.00for usually 6 adults (2 x adults and 4 large teenagers) and one dog! and anyone else who appears at the door in need of feeding - have already spent 129.00 this week!!!!!
    • boultdj
    • By boultdj 2nd Mar 11, 2:48 PM
    • 4,505 Posts
    • 33,130 Thanks
    Got another $12.62 to add on... and it's only the second day for me.
    • Kitchenbunny
    • By Kitchenbunny 2nd Mar 11, 2:58 PM
    • 1,861 Posts
    • 20,260 Thanks
    Thanks, MrsMcawber, I'll definitely be trying the cheesy bacon lasagne as those are my favourite things Hmm, today has been a no spend day, which has been nice - first in ages. As we had guests over last night, I'll do sausage pasties tonight (shortcrust pastry filled with chorizo and sausagemeat) with some homemade wedges. I could do with another shelf in the oven, that way I could get a shelf of biscuits or cookies on baking at the same time. By the way, someone raised a question about shortcrust pastry - mine was really ropy but then I started using a different kind of cooking fat. I switched to something like Cookeen and that works really well for me.

    So far we don't need anything and I'm finding I prefer my tea without milk when I drink it so that's one item I won't need to buy just yet. I'll post the recipe for the chorizo pasties tomorrow if anyone would like it.

    KB xx

  • Mothership
    Just bought a few things from T***0's

    B1G1F Tomatoes on the vine 2 for 1.80
    B1G1F Baking potatoes 2.5kg 2 for 1.85
    Total Spend 3.65

    2nd Purse
    B1G1F De Cecco Linguine 1.41 ea 6 for 4.26
    3 for 1 Dole Sliced Pineapple 59p ea 6 for 2.00
    Total Spend 6.26
    1st Purse 114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse 100
    Fridge Freezer 300 3rd Purse /290.94
  • cleggie
    Just updated my signature.
  • 01001011
    First two shoppings... 1 Mar 2011 Soya milk 89 Waffer 79 Cucumber 65 Cauli flower 114 Carrots 72 Dill 99 2 Mar 2011 Cous cous 84 Tomatos 61 --- total: 673 Eur cents
  • scotsaver
    I paid off ALL of debt today - such a good feeling!
    Originally posted by NickJW
    NickJW - that must feel great, congrats.

    I had a lunchtime seminar across the city yesterday, so I took an extra 20 minutes while there (from my actual lunchbreak time) to dash into Ald* and get some "super 6" veg. French beans, baby corn, mangetout, parsnips and courgettes. We use a lot of veg, I was already planning 3 stir fry dinners, and for 3.45 I was delighted to get a bagfull!
    Originally posted by Winged one
    Winged one - I really miss the Super 6, our closest Ald! closed down last year and the next nearest one is too far away to walk, would use the car but can't justify the petrol so only go there if I happen to be down that way for something else.

    MRSMC - many thanks for taking the time to type up all those Recipes and passing them on for us - they look really tasty.

    I've updated my signature with my spends this week.

    Dinner tonight is HM Sweet & sour pork with egg noodles. I'm using some sliced pork that was in the Freezer from a Roast a while back, still have some sliced turkey and gammon left from Xmas - didn't realise how much was left until I started emptying the chest Freezer and moving/rearranging into the Fridge/freezer.

    Everything in order now and I have meal planned to try and use up what's left.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 2nd Mar 11, 3:55 PM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    took DS to have a haircut and nipped in the coop, i know i should have walked the extra bit to MrT and saved a bit but it was cold and we wanted to get home spent 7.46 will update sig.

    thank you for those lovely recipies MrsMC

    promised DS we will make muffins now we have eggs
    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
  • maid in cornwall
    I wish all corner shops only opened for an hour a day and preferably when I was working! Nipped in for the paper and 7 later came out! will update my sig now and try not to go back there for the rest of the week

    Repeat ! I will not spend the money, I will not spend the money......
    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 2nd Mar 11, 4:09 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks

    I paid off ALL of debt today - such a good feeling! [/QUOTE]

    Well done you - an amazing achievement. Hope that you feel very proud of yourself cause you should be.

    NSD for us and having a rare tea without meat for us tonight - cheese, onion and potato pie with some vegetable spring rolls.
    Have also made a jelly and will have some of that for after with some tinned fruit from the store cupboard.
    Have to admit though have some chicken stock simmering away but its for tomorrow's soup not tonight.

    Will be doing a shopping list later on tonight but going to try to keep it under 25
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH 62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
  • LittleMissHappy
    Spent 25 of my budget today.....only needed bread, milk and bananas, but my cat is very poorly and has to stay at the vets so I was just chucking stuff in. Oh, well, it will get used (and I got the cat some smoked salmon for a treat when he gets home) x
    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)
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