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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 22
  • adelight
    3 in tesco on soy milk(which has gone down by 7p hmm), nutella and golden syrup. didn't need the last two atm but they were on a good offer so decided to stock up.
    Living cheap in central London
    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 6th Mar 11, 11:11 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    Sunnyday
    Hi peeps

    DH did the weekly shop last night after work, all i`ve managed to get out of him so far is that it cost around 31, i shall prise the reciept from his mitts later and update my siggy then.

    We have an alarming amount of food in atm, i`ve just started a diet and i`ve never had so much fruit in the house it only just fits in the fridge. I need to make sure that i eat all of it and don`t just look at it when i open the fridge door

    I think that i shall gradually run down the overflow freezer by feeding DH all the fattening stuff he eats loads and is like a rake so hopefully as i lose weight he will put some on. I wish that i had his metabolism as he constantly eats and always stays the same weight.

    BBL to update siggy.

    Have a great Sunday everyone.

    SD
    Planning on starting the GC again soon
  • rachelww1
    Second weekly shop of the month done this morning, 40.22 spent which included 3 small easter eggs for the kids. I am never going shopping in T$scos on a Sunday morning ever again. Got there at 10.10 and it was heaving. Think I'll stick to Friday nights.
    LBM Dec 10. Total unsecured debt 41176 Nov 12 Debt Free Thanks Mum x RIP x

    2013 Savings 250
    2013 OP 3500
    • prophecy_grrl
    • By prophecy_grrl 6th Mar 11, 11:53 AM
    • 668 Posts
    • 3,379 Thanks
    prophecy_grrl
    My mam came down this morning with 3 onions for me - she'd bought some for heslef without realising she alreday had some in - so that's one item crossed off tomorrow's shopping list, should save me a few pennies!

    Have completely revised this week's meal plan to use up more stuff we already have in and buy less - will update tomorrow with the reult of how much I actually spend (budget is 50 p/w)
    *** PROPHECY_GRRL***
    *** DEBT FREE AS OF 17/10/11 - I DID IT!!! ***
  • martafdz
    Pork cheeks
    I made the other day some pork cheeks that were really nice and really cheap! The packet of 4 (2 for each of us) came at about 1.50 or so. You need to cook them for quite a long time, I think I left them for 4h simmering in the sauce, but they came with a strong meaty taste and really soft texture. I think they might be great for slow cooking. I found 2 recipes online, I only did one but I will post both, times are on the hob not in SC:


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Braised pork cheeks in red wine
    TIME: 4h and a half

    *Ingredients
    - 4-6 pork cheeks
    - 1 onion, chopped
    - 1 carrot, sliced
    - 1 tomato
    - 1 leek, 1 celery stick (optional)
    - 1 clove of garlic
    - Thyme, rosemary, tarragon
    - 1 glass of red wine (150ml-200ml)
    - 1/2l stock (any)
    - 1 tbsp brown sugar

    *Method
    1. Marinate the pork cheeks in the wine for 24h (optional), the longer the better.
    2. Drain the pork and keep the wine. Brown the pork in some oil. Remove and keep on the side.
    3. Saut!e the onion, garlic, tomato, leek, carrot and celery. Caramelize on full heat.
    4. Add the pork cheeks and the wine to the vegetables.
    5. Reduce the volume by half
    6. Add the stock, herbs and sugar.
    7. Braise for 3 to 4h on low heat
    8. Remove the cheeks and reduce the sauce until thick
    9. Pour sauce over cheeks and serve

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pork cheeks in cider
    TIME: 2h

    * Ingredients:
    4-6 pork cheeks without fat
    1-2 onions, chopped
    Butter
    400ml dry cider
    3 sage Leaves

    * Method
    1. Soft the onion with olive oil and butter.
    2. Brown the cheeks
    3. Add the cider and bring to the boil
    4. Preheat the oven at 160C
    5. Place in an oven dish and put it in the oven for 70 min. Baste often,
    6. Add the sage leaves and return to the oven for 20 min.
    7. Let it to rest for 10 min outside the oven
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
  • martafdz
    esmer, katenut, sunnyday, mothership thank you very much on the Slow cooker and Breadmaker advice!!! I can see it might save me a lot on electricity bills since all my appliances (hob, oven...) are on electricity and not gas. I need to think carefully on how many meals I think I would do a week with a SC. Can you do roast potatoes/chips there?
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • nat21luv
    • By nat21luv 6th Mar 11, 1:02 PM
    • 3,374 Posts
    • 27,415 Thanks
    nat21luv
    Prices have shot up in Sainsburys, I was looking for butter not a few weeks ago and noticed their basics spread for 50p. Saw it again today for 1.20! Tesco it is for the time being whilst they have a price war on with asda!
    12k in 2019 #=
    1% challenge 142= 16% 10 a day = 460/500

    **MONEY MAKES ME HAPPY**
  • martafdz
    Prices have shot up in Sainsburys, I was looking for butter not a few weeks ago and noticed their basics spread for 50p. Saw it again today for 1.20! Tesco it is for the time being whilst they have a price war on with asda!
    Originally posted by nat21luv
    If you need to stock up, MrM has I can't believe it's not butter both normal and Light 500g at 62p.

    Btw, roger, I forgot to mention it before but your challenge is amazing!! Good luck with that!! Can you "take borrowed" some tea/coffee from work, considering you have paid part of it? I got few supplies from samples too. I used to ask for any sample I could find and Twiggings and other herbal teas companies had every now and them some on their websites. Good way to try new flavours whilst saving pennies!

    EDIT: Also in MrM:
    Dishwasher Finish All in One 42 tablest at 5 (12p each tablet)
    1Kg onions 49p
    Robinsons 1l 50p (max 6)
    Cheerios 600g (big one) 1.38 (max 3)
    Pepsi 8 pack 1.98
    Last edited by martafdz; 06-03-2011 at 1:46 PM.
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • nat21luv
    • By nat21luv 6th Mar 11, 1:48 PM
    • 3,374 Posts
    • 27,415 Thanks
    nat21luv
    If you need to stock up, MrM has I can't believe it's not butter both normal and Light 500g at 62p.
    Originally posted by martafdz
    Thanks for that, I dont need any I just noticed how much of a difference it was from not a week ago and then I started to notice even more increased prices!

    Martafdz-where did you buy pork cheeks from, butchers?
    Last edited by nat21luv; 06-03-2011 at 1:52 PM.
    12k in 2019 #=
    1% challenge 142= 16% 10 a day = 460/500

    **MONEY MAKES ME HAPPY**
  • rosieben
    Pork cheek recipes are in the index martafd
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • Hippeechiq
    Hopefully, I will get into a discipline of appreciating that I don't necessarily need to buy things, just because they are on offer etc.
    Originally posted by roger ramjet
    I think we could ALL benefit from adopting that particular policy.
    Not sure how - but I seemed to miss your post that incorporated the above quote about having a 0 budget for March, but wish you the best of luck with it

    I also have a freezer (well two actually) bursting at the seams, and yet I've put aside an allowance from this months GC budget for meat - but in actual fact, have no room to buy any even if I do see a bargain!

    I do actually need several store cupboard items though, including things like herbs & spices, soy sauce and so on, so think a re-think is in order as to what I actually use this months "meat" budget money for, especially given that I have all the meat required for my menu plan up to and including the 26th, and probably enough after that until the end of the month too.....I would then have pretty much zilch left though - and the thought of that freaks me out!
    Also, buying as and when it's on offer means I seldom pay full price for any of my meat......it's not easy, is it? trying to work out what to do for the best

    NSD here today - I needed one!
    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
  • martafdz
    Martafdz-where did you buy pork cheeks from, butchers?
    Originally posted by nat21luv
    I bought them at MrM but butchers often have them, sometimes not on display. Ask them next time but ask also if they are already prepared (without skin and fat). I read Waitrose and I think Asda also have them sometimes. I have seen them at MrM every other week. It's a bit like the pork shank, they do not have it everyday but every so often I find one. We had one for 1.70 last week that turned out in a tasty meal for two. I am thinking about boiling one and have it for sandwiches as I read here, it works out cheaper than ham packages, more natural and much better. Not sure how to do it though, do you remove the skin first or do you do that later?

    Pork cheek recipes are in the index martafd
    Originally posted by rosieben
    Thanks!!
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • laineyc
    • By laineyc 6th Mar 11, 4:00 PM
    • 907 Posts
    • 5,215 Thanks
    laineyc
    It's been a less frantic day today. I am cooking brisket in the slow cooker and it smells lovely. I also baked some chocolate chip cookies. I have managed a NSD which is good.
    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
  • scotsaver
    I keep reading abiut slow cookers and I was wondering how many different kind of dishes can you do there. Can you do anything else other than stews? Without knowing anything about SC I kind of wonder if there is any other use other than braised beef, meatballs, bolognese, mince meat fillings.. I use my oven a lot, 80% of the time, I love roasted/grilled stuff. I would like to know what the slow cooker could bring to my home if I were to buy one. I know my next purchase should be a chest freezer, but then maybe either a Breadmaker or a Slow Cooker. I need to think what I would use the most
    Originally posted by martafdz
    Hi martafdz - I use my SC a lot, it's on at the moment with Brisket cooking. I also use it for Whole chicken, it all drops off the bone so no waste and your left with Stock for Soup, use it for Ham Shank, again it all drops off the bone and again you have Stock for Soup, I use for cheaper cuts of meat that need long, slow cooking, also for Mince based dishes like cottage pie, minced pie, spag bol, lasagne etc etc, Sausage casserole, curries the list is endless.

    BUT - I also would miss my Breadmaker as I use it for Bread, dough for rolls, pizza bases, garlic dough balls and this year I'll attempt Jam in the BM - normally make it on Stove top but will try the Jam setting on BM.

    I've updated my Total, kids had friends sleep round on Friday night and so I had 4 extra Teenagers to feed and then last night we had friends over for Dinner and we had to buy some Wine and Beer. Upshot of all of that is that we have less than 75 to last 20 days. Staying positive we do have 2 full freezers and full cupboards so I know we are well placed to stay within Budget.

    I've made Rolls, millies cookies and choc fridge cake for this week's Lunchboxes, we're well stocked with fruit and Yoghurt so all happy here.

    Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone.
    "WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!"
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

  • scotsaver
    It's been a less frantic day today. I am cooking brisket in the slow cooker and it smells lovely. I also baked some chocolate chip cookies. I have managed a NSD which is good.
    Originally posted by laineyc
    Snap - we're cooking Brisket too! Oh, and just noticed you baked Cookies too - great minds think alike.
    "WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!"
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • hamish222
    • By hamish222 6th Mar 11, 4:33 PM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,027 Thanks
    hamish222
    Can I ask how do you cook your brisket in slow cooker. I am sure I have a large brisket beef lurking in freezer. I have only cooked stews in slow cooker never whole joints. I also have a pork joint and chicken in freezer, how best to do them in slow cooker as well.

    Thanks
    Yearly Grocery Budget - 100.77/ 3500. January Treats Budget - 11.80 / 100.
  • scotsaver
    Can I ask how do you cook your brisket in slow cooker. I am sure I have a large brisket beef lurking in freezer. I have only cooked stews in slow cooker never whole joints. I also have a pork joint and chicken in freezer, how best to do them in slow cooker as well.

    Thanks
    Originally posted by hamish222
    I asked Mothership for help with the Brisket as I've never used before so following her tips I browned the joint and put in the Slow cooker with onion, carrot and celery, added water up to almost cover the joint, season with salt and pepper - I didn't add Ox0 as suggested as I want to see how "beefy" the stock becomes on it's own, want to see what the flavour is like as I'm new to using Meat from DR so making comparisons with what we've had before if that makes sense.
    "WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!"
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • Kitchenbunny
    • By Kitchenbunny 6th Mar 11, 4:50 PM
    • 1,861 Posts
    • 20,263 Thanks
    Kitchenbunny
    Afternoon, everyone! Hope your Sundays have been nice. I've had a quite busy day, what with visiting some friends, then some more friends popping over and finally settling to make a chicken & ham pie for tea to have with mash and carrots. I wish I could get used to writing down the steps of what I'm making - it would make it easier to share the recipes - but I tend to make pie filling by eye, and only follow my standard pastry recipe. Still, today has been a No Spend Day (yaaaay!) so I'm happy. I do have a bit of a shopping list tomorrow, but as it's Shrove Tuesday this week I might do our main shop tomorrow night instead of midweek and that makes the rest of the week a little easier.

    Have a good evening, everyone.

    KB xx

  • roger ramjet
    Mrs Ramjet and kids depart for the inlaws tomorrow - leaving me with my revision notes, two dogs and a stock of food. She doesn't think I can manage the whole month without buying more food, but I pointed out that we have approx 1kg of cheese, 8 tins of beans, 4 soups, chicken, beef, lamb pork, loads of fresh and frozen fruit and veg, and two bread mixes, etc, etc... I won't go hungry!!

    Day 6 done - still no spending! But is is funny, I feel as if I should be going shopping - my mind is hard-wired to pushing a trolley and convincing myself that I need stuff I clearly don't. Is it possible that supermarkets and their offers have made us addicted to spending?
    Mortgage Free Wannabe
    1st April 2015
    Outstanding Mortgage (1&2): 75023/76400 Target MF date: Jun 2019 (49 payments)
    Target OP (2015): 1500
    Outstanding Mortgage 3: 77000
    Outstanding Loan: 1161 What Loan!
    • boultdj
    • By boultdj 6th Mar 11, 5:45 PM
    • 4,505 Posts
    • 33,130 Thanks
    boultdj
    Called at L*dl yesterday and spent $19.70.
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