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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 24
    • fedupandskint
    • By fedupandskint 7th Mar 11, 5:31 AM
    • 10,351 Posts
    • 97,525 Thanks
    Does anyone have any ideas for purple sprouting brocoli and pasta meals?

    Sorry its early!
    final unsecured debt to repay currently 8333
    Proud to be Dealing With my Debt
    DFW Nerd 1154 Long Haul 155
  • jumblejack
    I thought I ought to share my success here as all credit goes to the monthly grocery!

    Yesterday I bought the weekend offers from lidl: lean steak mince 1.19 and new potatoes 59p a kilo.

    (I also bought 4 packs of potatoes from Tescos at 30p. When I got home I noticed that they had charged me 1 for each bag. Took em back and they gave me double the difference!! It was 5.50 odd!!!)

    I made mince n onions in gravy with new potatoes and cabbage.

    I only used half of the mince n onions.

    I put some of the left over mince mix with the leftover steamed baby potatoes into a large pie!

    The remaining mince mix was added to a tin of rinsed kidney beans. I also added paprika, chilli & cumin, yum!!

    As I made a LOAD of pastry, I made a flan with hm soft cheese (some of my thermos yogurt separated into curds n whey so I seived it and it's yummy!). I just added eggs, milk, herbs & salt. I poured it over broccoli florets in the case.

    I reserved some of the hm soft cheese to go with the chilli tomorrow instead of soured cream.

    With the pastry cuttings I rolled it and cut out discs with a cup, popped them into a bun tin and spooned in
    lemon curd to make tarts.

    The flan, pie & tarts all went in the oven together and it has cost next to nothing for several days worth of meals!!!

    1.19 mince
    39p new potatoes (I still have some of the bag left!)
    10p cabbage (whoopsied!)
    26p flour (half a bag)
    19p value kidney beans
    7p broccoli florets (whoopsied, half a bag)
    25p margarine (3rd of utterly butterly tub on offer at 75p)
    15p lemon curd
    20p hm soft cheese (made from UHT milk)
    5p spices

    (My eggs are from my hens so i havent put a price)About 2.60 for 3 main meals and a batch of tarts!!
    This is for a family of 4!!!!! If you bought eggs then it would have cost just under 3 in total

    Gosh, how CHEAP is that per head, per meal!!!! It feels so great to not waste anything and to feed the family at less than 25p a head feels great too. **runs off to shine her halo!**
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):30.50/40
    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 7th Mar 11, 6:44 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    Doing very badly this month - more than a third of the budget is already spent!
    Originally posted by beemuzed
    Beemuzed - Try not to worry as it can make things worse, i do this quite often and as the last part of the month approaches you usually find that you hardly need to buy anything at all as there is so much food in.

    Try and look for a couple of cheapy pasta/rice based meals which make all the difference.

    Jumblejack - Massive well done It just shows what can be done when you put your mind to it and manage to get the offers. Good job that you noticed about the spuds I`ve been overcharged at MrM rwice in a week recently

    Well DH has vanished again this morning taking the evasive receipt with him, i know that its 31 and pence so i`ll adjust my siggy and then add the pence when i do get my mitts on it.

    No shopping planned for the next few days

    Have a good day peeps.

    Planning on starting the GC again soon
    • looie
    • By looie 7th Mar 11, 6:55 AM
    • 700 Posts
    • 5,740 Thanks
    morning all, just reporting my spends from last week - a grand total of 19.27.

    Went to t's on Saturday, bought utterly butterly bogof, quite a bit of reduced stuff ranging from 25p to 35p, ryvitas, crackers, juice 2 for 2.50, cheese bogof and milk.

    I will only need crisps and yogurts today which I think are on offer at a's so won't need to go shopping until the weekend

    Hope everyone has a good day, not at work today so we are going for a drive to the coast x
    • SavingJane
    • By SavingJane 7th Mar 11, 7:49 AM
    • 2,311 Posts
    • 7,315 Thanks
    Walks in LATE LATE LATE VERY LATE which I'm very sorry for as perfer to join at the start

    Hope everyone is doing ok and hugs to all that need them

    I did well last month Budget was 250 and I came it around 160, thou was a short month!!!!

    This month I shall say 225 as it's a longer month and don't want to cut down too fast and not make it. Thou I hope to keep it under 200

    Shall update sig when I've added last week's spends together.

    I have done a meal plan for the 1st 4weeks of the month, 1 week used so will work out last week of the month this week as might have to do a small online order at end of week and can add food for that week onto that as will have a tad room in freezer.
    Mummy to Lewis Born Aug 10
  • rachbc
    Total spends so far 81.51 - though that does inc a 8 fruit tree from lidl - only had 2 types of apple left when I went - really wanted a cherry too!

    Thats about third of budget so far but for half the months worth of fresh stuff and all the dry/ freezer stuff so fingers crossed....

    Still kicking myself about friday's takeaway!
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 7th Mar 11, 8:41 AM
    • 4,324 Posts
    • 29,765 Thanks
    tessie bear off shopping in a bit...asd$ and b and m i love a browse in the later shop...seems to have interesting food bits and a boring list for the other shop

    to new peeps have u considered a look at the old style boards ? there seems to be a wealth of threads on cutting grocery spend...a shame in some ways but i admire anyone who wants to sort out their spending and do their best for their family iyswim

    take care
    onwards and upwards
  • rosieben
    It took a little while to realise that you didn't have more than seven days in a week - just a selection of recipes that you could cook. E.G. Monday would be a chicken recipe, Tuesday pork, Wed pasta and so on. ...
    Originally posted by janie-h
    it works really well for me, and I swap days around if I want to; at the moment I'm trying to empty my freezers and use up some pantry stock so I did an inventory, wrote down a list of meal options and its a case of pick-a-meal-a-day this will take me to the end of March buying just vegetables, plus the usual milk, eggs etc (runs off to figure out why tomorrow's sainsbug order is nearly 70 then!)

    I know a lot of people struggle with meal planning but at its most basic it's just a list of meals

    * * *
    jumblejack that's brilliant!

    Sunnyday, I've added your SC brisket to the index
    Last edited by rosieben; 07-03-2011 at 8:48 AM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • Chloris
    • By Chloris 7th Mar 11, 8:48 AM
    • 651 Posts
    • 9,422 Thanks
    I am doing sooo badly. But I will be brave and have a look at the cupboards. Will have to tighten the belts for the rest of the month. Have updated signature.
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 7th Mar 11, 9:10 AM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    Does anyone have any ideas for purple sprouting brocoli and pasta meals?

    Sorry its early!
    Originally posted by fedupandskint
    what about pasta bake witha simple white sauce (or some sour cream like jamie oliver does if you have some) topped with cheese
    DFW 7632/28996 26.3%
    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 7th Mar 11, 9:54 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    I've had leftover brisket for tea too! It was lovely and a small amount left now - not too sure what to do with the last few slices - in a sandwich or in a leftover concoction I think!

    NSD weekend for me too - another full NSD weekend like last week. Aiming for Mon/Wed/Thurs for NSDs next week then off out for the weekend so food shopping is Fri/Sat

    Froze the breadrolls made today and kept one for a work lunch tomorrow and the lemon drizzle cake was very nice too! I halved the ingredients as didn't have enough butter for the larger version. But a smaller one is just right for me!

    Next lot of baking will be next weekend and possibly another loaf cake I think - will have a mosey through my cookbooks for some ideas to see what I can use up whats in the cupboard
    Originally posted by fedupandskint
    how does banana cake sound? it is gorgeous in a loaf tin. if you dont have a recipe let me know and i'l post later.
    DFBX2016 #160 - 3550/8800

    DFBX2017 #160 - 0/11,378

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  • Winged one
    A total spend of €32 on the weekly shopping this week, and that included a box of cereal I could actually have waited till next week for after all (did it on way home from a family outing, rather than a seperate trip later so hadn't checked).

    €6.66 on 2 steaks on Saturday, and then €25 in the local Eurospar on fruit and veg, 2 bottles milk, loaf of bread, and cereal (wheetabix for DH and a cocopops type thing for DD).

    DH made a spanish omlette for lunch - used up the last 2 mushrooms, last 2 rashers, last tomato, and a spud and some grated cheese. Yum. And, as DH is away on Tuesday, we had pancakes last night (he is chief pancake maker in the house), and we had crab cakes for a substantial starter with that (tin of Sainbugs own crab meat, large bowl of mash, third of a tin of sweetcorn, and a gently fried HG shallot, with 2 eggs, couple spoonfuls flour, and frozen breadbrumbs) - half the crabcakes are frozen for another night.

    I also made the shepherd's pie for tonight, with 1lb of mince. But I added 2 carrots, 2 parsnips, half a courgette, handful frozen peas, and tried out the tin of green lentils that has been sitting in the cupboard for about 2 years. So I got a decent dinner for tonight in the oven on the timer, and a batch of mince made up and put into freezer that will feed us on a day that either: we are all likely to be starving with 1/2 lunch portions leftover; or that we will have visitors. I really didn't think it would stretch THAT far!

    Using up lots from freezer this week though, as we seem to have loads of small bags of rice and portions of pork pieces, but very few meals. So I need to clear it out again. The menu mostly stays as is, but I may change the Beef stew night for a stir fry to use up the rice. And we probably won't be travelling next weekend after all, so we will do a lot then too.

    I MAY, possibly, actually come in under budget this month. Although I got a letter from one of the big SM chains here that if I spend €200 this month, I get an extra €20 back in the next mailing which would be worth stocking up on certain non-perishables (I think I will need cleaning products by then anyway).
    GC 2010 6,000/ 5,897

    GC 2011:Overall Target: 6,000/
    5,442 by October

    Back on the wagon again in 2014
    Apr 587.82/550 May 453.31 /550
    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 7th Mar 11, 10:17 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    i made a chicken and brocolli bake on saturday, much the same as the one in the recipes section, but with crunched crunchy nut cornflakes and cheese on top. i also made my own cheese sauce for the first time ever (i normally cheat and use packet mix) and it was so much nicer. wrist was aching after from whisking the milk but it was so worth it, and the best thing is i made two so we have one in the freezer for later in the month!! mmmmm....

    Quick question - when you batch cook and freeze, do you cook both batches and then freeze one, or do you just prepare it and freeze it for cooking when you want it?

    we had sausage, leek and apple pie for tea last night. it was good. i'll check if theres a recipe in the index and if not i'll post.

    happy saving!
    DFBX2016 #160 - 3550/8800

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    • Pinwheel
    • By Pinwheel 7th Mar 11, 10:24 AM
    • 63 Posts
    • 1,138 Thanks
    Morning everyone, I have updated my updated my sig and it's not looking good at all! I had friends over on Friday and had to spend 7.51 in the c**p on ingredients for soup and eggs for baking. I have also been to Sain******, Li**, and Super**** for necessary groceries and toiletries. I've got enough milk and yoghurts for the week, I make our bread and have a meal plan. I have got lots in the freezer so should only need to buy milk, yogs, fruit and veg for the rest of the month. Still not sure I can do it on what I've got left, I'll try though.
    Have a good day and thank you to those who look after the GC, it really helps to read everyones tips.
    Oct GC 36.72/220.00
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    Feb GC 200.19/200 - Mar GC 203.37/200 -
    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 7th Mar 11, 10:34 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    Sausage, leek and apple pie

    8 sausages
    3 leeks - chopped
    1 apple - peeled, cored and chopped
    1/2 pint stock
    1 tbsp whole grain mustard seed
    1 tbsp plain flour

    - Brown 8 sausages in a frying pan for 5mins.
    - add leeks and stir until soft
    - add apple and whole grain mustard seed
    - cut sausages up, sprinkle flour over and stir, then add stock
    - leave to simmer, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens (5-10 mins) (i also added lea and perrins to give it a bit of lift)
    - spoon mixture into casserole dish and top with shortcrust pastry. brush top of pastry with egg or milk
    - bake in oven at gm6 for 25-30 mins or until brown on top.
    DFBX2016 #160 - 3550/8800

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    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 7th Mar 11, 11:01 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    Cutiepiebf - i cook everything and then freeze meal sized portions in tubs for a hm ready meal If i`m cooking a chilli for example i`ll freeze some on its own in a smaller tub or if i`ve time i`ll cook the rice too and freeze it in a larger tub so that both curry and rice are together and just need a few mins in the microwave. Stops me buying takeaways as i can just pop one in the nuke machine for a few mins.

    I can`t get anything else in either of the freezers atm so we will be eating some meals twice this week

    I`ve just put the ingredients for a curry in the SC crock which is now stood in the fridge, this will go in the SC tonight overnight when the electricity is cheaper

    I have all that i need so NSD planned again for today

    Planning on starting the GC again soon
  • funnyflipp
    Oh my goodness I am so late but will aim for 400 as I am feeding an extra bod for half o f the month and after last month realise that I need to be a little more realistic
    (Also have to allow for prescription food!)

    SO far I have spent 194.48 and have enough until the end of the week
    112121.02 10 Years and counting!
    Target in 2011 22K /10646.97 DFD Feb 2017
    42Lbs /23 Down 19 to go!
    So now I just need to keep going!
    Nearly half way through the year and I'm still here
    • cookiemum
    • By cookiemum 7th Mar 11, 11:27 AM
    • 131 Posts
    • 2,119 Thanks
    Added up weekend spends at 73.66 which have added to my total.

    Had a trip to Mr T's on saturday and stocked up on cat sachets on offer. Buying all meat from our local butcher now and although comparable in price to the supermarkets the quality is so much better so it can stretch further. Also found a local farm which sells trays of 30 large free range eggs for 4.50. Local garden centre has a great stall outside selling fruit and veg. I bought 2 punnets of strawberries, 1 blueberries and 1 raspberries for 4 and he threw in a large carrier bag of bananas for free only slightly past their best - I'm going to have to search the thread for banana recipes!

    Lovely and sunny here today - doesn't everything seem better when the sun is out! Enjoy

    February Grocery Challenge 301.46/300
    To feed - Me, DH, DD, DS and 1 dog

  • rosieben
    cutiepie, I've added your Sausage, leek and apple pie to the index; it sounds lush! I've noted it for next month's menu plan, thanks
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • goodgirl80
    Spent loads of money on pizzas and a DVD. Greedy piggies. Going to do a meal plan for the rest of this week with what I have in.
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