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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 29
  • Long tall sally
    Hippeechiq - That's disgusting about your daughter. It makes me really bad how some people are treated in this country. I hope that the people who have to make this decision see sense & realise that your DD is defintely not fit for work. I bet you wish that someone would just give you a break one day, you have so much to put up with but well done on remaining strong & fighting for your daughter.

    Right, while I am on, I will add on the amount spent at Lidl of £58.92 which takes me to £204.62 so far for the month plus possibly the other spends that I will investigate later.
    Grocery aim £450pm.Spent £519 August, £584 July, £544 June, £541 May, £549 April, £517 March, £517 Feb,£555 Jan, £573 Dec, £465Nov, £561Oct, £493Sept, £426Aug,£496 Jul, £528Jun, £506May,£498April, £558 March, £500Feb, £500 Jan, £490 Dec, £555 Nov,£566 Oct, £505Sept, £450Aug, £410 July, £437 June, £491 May, £471 April, £440 March, £552Feb, £462Jan
  • Hippeechiq
    I appreciate the suggestion hun, but at the time we spent £300 (on OHs c/card as we don't have that kind of cash spare) on the "bright ideas" that the garage came up with that might fix it. They even took it took a part to a "specialist" who could test some or other components inside the sealed box thing (I know all the technical lingo ) and no joy.

    Everything they've tested shows that there are no problems, they simply can't get the lights (handbrake, airbag & ABS) to actually go off.
    The only way I would spend more money on it now, would be if I knew for sure, whatever I tried would result in a pass - but I can't, and we can't afford to spend more money "trying" IYSWIM

    It made us sit back and do our sums at the time, and with me losing my job at the beginning of last year, we really can no longer afford to run a car now anyway. It's just that if it was a pass, obviously we would get a lot more money when selling it.

    Never mind - you just have to know when to let some things go, and we did at least try.

    Thanks again for the suggestion though hun

    Hippeechiq - That's disgusting about your daughter. It makes me really bad how some people are treated in this country. I hope that the people who have to make this decision see sense & realise that your DD is defintely not fit for work. I bet you wish that someone would just give you a break one day, you have so much to put up with but well done on remaining strong & fighting for your daughter.
    Originally posted by Long tall sally
    Thank you hun - I appreciate your support
    Unfortunately, it's just a questions & answers job. DD will be asked questions, AT0$ Assessor (who won't have Mental Health qualifications, and who have allegedly been given a target to reduce the number of people claiming ESA by 93%) writes down her responses and sends off his report to another dept (whose name eludes me at the moment) where some person who hasn't even met my DD, reads said report and decides whether or not she's fit for work.

    Back on topic - on the GC front a NSD here today, and am now away in an attempt to shake of these blues by baking a Jamaican Ginger Cake & some Weetabix Brownies
    Last edited by Hippeechiq; 09-03-2011 at 12:47 PM.
    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
    • mummyjane
    • By mummyjane 9th Mar 11, 1:24 PM
    • 381 Posts
    • 3,682 Thanks
    Angel - will be thinking of you and your dh, I really hope you get some good news tomorrow x

    Had a Mr T's shop last night totalling £65.47 but that now gives me enough meals and baking bits for the next two weeks

    Dh brought the shopping in and couldn't believe how little there was should only need to buy milk for the next couple of weeks, possible also some fresh fruit and meat for lunches but I am trying to put some by from my joints so I don't have to. Plus I have a veg box coming on friday which should see me through.

    I still cannot believe how little I am spending on groceries compared to before I started the GCs. Frightening really how much food and money we must have been wasting .

    Should add that I am having a NSD today
    Last edited by mummyjane; 09-03-2011 at 1:27 PM.
    Groceries Challenge 2019
    Jan £462.44/£400
    Feb £210.10/£450, 2/10 NSDs
  • roger ramjet
    Just sold 40 CDs via Music Magpie for £28!

    Still no spends yet. Getting that nervous tic again!!
    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!
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 9th Mar 11, 2:17 PM
    • 4,324 Posts
    • 29,765 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...we have got hm chicken and mushroom pie for tea and i made quiches with the bit of pastry i had left...done some meal planniing for next week....need to do a bit of shopping for the things i want to make

    hope all are doing well with their budgets
    onwards and upwards
  • Zend
    March Grocery Challenge
    First shop of the month has come in at £76.
    January spend = £100
    Spent =
    saving =
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 9th Mar 11, 3:20 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    it might be work breaking it for parts then, running a car has got so expensive and were a single wage family (with 3 under 5's childcare would kill us if i worked) so i know what you mean every pennys counted for

    my approved foods order just arrived and all i can say is wow from it and MRT's on mon everywhere is fit to burst in my house i can't see us needing anything else except milk,fruit and spuds before the end of the month
    DFW £7632/£28996 26.3%
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 9th Mar 11, 3:29 PM
    • 1,549 Posts
    • 4,196 Thanks
    Ok, so due to a little overspend at a wedding last weekend I've got £100 to last me till the end of march for me and Oh. Should be easy as I spent £100 on a big tesco shop for all our dry goods etc last week.
  • ~moneysavingnovice~
    I've lost the plot with the March GC already.

    I think I'm broadly on track, but I've lost all my receipts! Will start again in April (though will continue reading for motivation and keeping costs as low as poss).

    I also want to give my budget a good review, as I think I keep failing because it is a little too low for me, OH & dog, and we can afford to up it a little, though it does pain me to do so! If we don't, I can foresee constant failure at the GC in my future, and I don't want that to throw me off track completely IYSWIM.
    Mortgage£148,725 Student loan£13,050 HSBC loan£12,221
    • Aldahbra
    • By Aldahbra 9th Mar 11, 5:45 PM
    • 315 Posts
    • 3,684 Thanks
    OK I have never tried this before. What are the rules. Is the grocery budget to cover everything you get from a supermarket or just food?

    What about pet food, stationary, printer ink, school dinners and cleaning products?
    • Kitchenbunny
    • By Kitchenbunny 9th Mar 11, 6:00 PM
    • 1,860 Posts
    • 20,252 Thanks
    Just posting (another) shop Spent another £10.24 in Mr M thanks to the lovely fruit & veg they have on offer. I stocked up so we won't go short for a while. Also picked up some laundry stuff as we needed it. Will update my sig now. Plans have changed for tonight; we were going to be out and have dinner at Mum's, but as DH not yet back from work I have come home early (having eaten already) and will cook DH something when he gets home. I'll probably do him a pizza toastie or something.

    My plan of a pizza toastie being:

    half a red onion, very finely chopped
    half a red pepper, very finely chopped
    2 mushrooms, very finely sliced
    3-4 rashers or bacon, snipped

    All of the above softened in a frying pan, then adding a small amount of passata and some salt & pepper. Heat through for a bit. Spread the mixture onto two slices of bread, top with grated cheese, another slice of bread and into the sandwich toaster it goes. Should be nice. I do have a little of that chorizo left so might add a teeny bit of that as it's spicy! And if there's any left I may have some for myself!

    Have a good evening, everyone. Angel, I'm thinking of you both for tomorrow. (((hugs)))

    KB xx

    • franby64
    • By franby64 9th Mar 11, 6:03 PM
    • 894 Posts
    • 10,920 Thanks
    Angel - sending my best wishes to you and your DH for tomorrow.
    Starting weight on 22/6 14st 00lbs. Weight on 15/2 10st 11lbs. Lost 3st 3lbs.Target 9st 12lbs. 13lbs left.
  • Long tall sally
    Well I am none the wiser looking back at February's posts as to whether I had already included my spends on the 24th & the 25th of Feb when I posted on the 25th, so have decided that I will add on the £56.76 to March that I spent on the 25th but not the £11.78 that I spent on the 24th. So that brings me to £263.38 for the month so far. Two and a half weeks to payday (well OH's, mine is 31st)!

    Aldahbra - I meant to say that basically it is up to you what you include as it is your challenge. I include food, alcohol, cleaning products & toiletries if bought from a supermarket. However I don't include anything else even if I do buy it from a supermarket & strangely enough I don't include toiletries if I buy them from Boots, although that doesn't happen too often. Hope this helps and welcome!
    Last edited by Long tall sally; 09-03-2011 at 6:11 PM.
    Grocery aim £450pm.Spent £519 August, £584 July, £544 June, £541 May, £549 April, £517 March, £517 Feb,£555 Jan, £573 Dec, £465Nov, £561Oct, £493Sept, £426Aug,£496 Jul, £528Jun, £506May,£498April, £558 March, £500Feb, £500 Jan, £490 Dec, £555 Nov,£566 Oct, £505Sept, £450Aug, £410 July, £437 June, £491 May, £471 April, £440 March, £552Feb, £462Jan
  • Winning Angel
    Ok , my first challenge in February was pretty bad. I'm hoping to do better this month. Can I be put down for 200 Pounds.

    I need to continue shopping online. I normally shop with Sainsburys and I'm lucky that it's free delivery if I spend over 40 pounds. Its when i venture into the stores that havoc happens.

    I need to do better.
    • Aldahbra
    • By Aldahbra 9th Mar 11, 6:22 PM
    • 315 Posts
    • 3,684 Thanks
    Here goes lets give this a try then
    For my first try at this I'm going to guess that I spend £500 which will include everything I routinely buy from a supermarket. Sounds really high compared to everyone else’s but I think I might find it quite hard to stick to.
  • jumblejack
    Just did a little bargain shop from Tesco as I was passing the store.

    Thought I'd share that Tesco are selling strong White bread flour 1.5k at 50p.

    I bought 5 nets of oranges at 10p each, 2 nets of lemons at 10p, 3 extra large pineapples at 10p, I punnet of plums at 10p, also finger chillies and little gems also at 10p, yay!!!!

    Had a very industrial and thrifty day today. Posted it on the other OS thread. Made hm yoghurt cheese, used the whey in a BM loaf and used the rest as stock in a leek n potato soup (all whoopsied). Made lots of pastry. Used some in a treacle tart (using up breadcrumbs from whoopsied baguette!). I used some pastry in a cheese n potato pie, topped with tomato slices and breadcrumbs mixed with more cheese, value herbs n cayenne). The rest of the pastry is saved to make a left over pie in a few days time.

    Last edited by jumblejack; 09-03-2011 at 6:59 PM.
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):£30.50/£40
  • helen jelly
    Hello everyone

    Been to MrM and spent £30 - bought 6 ICBINButter, some flour, cereals for putting by for our hols, apples, eggs, sage and some other bits and DH spent £5 at MrT on Coffee [D.Egberts reduced to 32.99] and other bits.

    Welcome to all the new people - remember, we don't fail, we look, learn and move on

    Spiggle - where are you, is everything ok, your posts are missed

    Angel - Good luck for tomorrow, thinking of you

    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
    • savvyshe
    • By savvyshe 9th Mar 11, 7:08 PM
    • 96 Posts
    • 1,342 Thanks
    Thanks Hippeechiq for advice, Have been doing the' GC on my own without posting since October as things have been ''going on at home but I now need to get back in the routine of checking weekly what I have spent. I like the idea of envelopes but If I have cash I tend to spend it more quickly. I usually use my debit card for shopping, might give it a try though next month.
    I made 30 pancakes in school for children yesterday all perfect but when I made them at home what a disaster!! and I used the same mixture, think it was my pan, they stuck and burnt even my boys wouldn't eat them.
    I really feel for you, re your daughter, could you enquire to see if you are entitled to some respite care for a few hours a week. It makes me cross to hear how so many people will suffer under the new goverment changes.
    Looked in freezer tonight and even though its full could not magic a meal so been to chip shop and had chips and curry sauce with bread and lots of salt and vinegar very yummy but not so OS. Have got mince out for tomorrow so will do better tomorrow. Going to read all this months GC thread now so onwards and upwards folks.
    Last edited by savvyshe; 09-03-2011 at 7:11 PM.
    M&S 2,200.00
    Barclaycard £3840.00
  • Missus Aka
    I am up to £87.62/£95 i will be needing some onions, peppers, 3 chicken breasts and veg, but the freezer is packed, i really want to buy a tall fridge/frezzer so i will have more room, i have about 15packs of pitta bread, pizza base, frozen sliced mushrooms, 2 packs chips, 4 boxes fish fingers, 3 bags value prawns, 1 pack king prawns, 28 beef burgers, 4 packs of mince, chicken dippers, peas, garlic bread, well at least we will never starve. Most of the stuff i put in my freezer is quick fix food (apart from prawns/mince) for lunch and then i make dinners from scratch. I think i may make chicken and potato pie this month as it will last longer and is easy to bulk out with potatoes and peas with dh not here meals last ages and i eat a lot still, i made prawn stirfry and this is the 3rd day im eating it (i dont mind its real good)
    SPC Member#1096 Target £150 Feb Count £82.18
    Aug Make£5P.DayChal £0/£155
    My August £100 Grocery Challenge £49.90/£100
  • M0neysav3r
    Another weeks shopping done today for £30.19 So chuffed with that as thats LOADS of meals worth
    My HUGE expense was a Pork joint for £6 but it is almost 2.5kgs and will feed us many meals.
    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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