Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • 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 31
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 10th Mar 11, 9:48 AM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    How does frozen basics mince fair to fresh basics mince nowadays? I used to buy frozen years ago but every bite seemed to be grizzle and it started to turn my tummy! I find the fresh mince lovely, no grizzle so was wondering if the frozen has improved?!
    Originally posted by nat21luv

    Don't know really. I am taking a gamble to try and get my shopping bill down and hoping all will be fine. I didn't go for the really cheap basics mince but the next one up. So fingers crossed
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
  • jumblejack

    So the menu plan for this week Sat-Sat is....
    BBQ Cannelini beans and sausages and mash or HM bread
    Belly Pork and rice
    Spag Bol. (I am going to bulk out with grated carrot. Also went for frozen mince as it was cheaper for more so that will do for a chilli next week.)
    Falafel Burgers and chips and sweetcorn
    Chicken and veg (will do in the SC. Usually put lemons in cavity and herbs, garlic & salt on the top.)
    Cheats Chicken Cassoulet and rice (will use meat from roast)
    Harry Potter Stew
    Originally posted by tigerfeet2006
    What a FAB idea! "Lemon in the cavity!"

    I am DEFINITELY trying this next time I cook a bird. Absolutely inspired idea!
    Last edited by jumblejack; 10-03-2011 at 11:32 AM.
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):£30.50/£40
  • MumOf2Beasties
    Eeek just realised i whent to m'sons on march 1st, and seeing as i'm counting my month as march 1st to march 31st i've already spent quite a bit plus i got a few bits from p'land and pets at home,and again on sunday for pudding as i had some family over for a big dinner!! keeping receipts is an eyeopener!!going to have to be really careful for the rest of the month

    have got weetabix loaf/cake in the oven hope the beasties like it
    Last edited by MumOf2Beasties; 10-03-2011 at 11:10 AM.
    1 adult, 3 children-Newborn and ages 4 & 6, 1 rabbit
    budget of £250 is for food, toiletries, nappies, wipes, cleaning/washing products and pet supplies (litter, sawdust, food)
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 10th Mar 11, 11:34 AM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    What a FAB idea! "Lemon in the cavity!"

    I am DEFINITELY trying this next time I cook a board. Absolutely inspired idea!
    Originally posted by jumblejack
    Thanks

    Usually 2 lemons cut into quarters and stuffed in.

    If I have 15 minutes to spare then I lift the skin and put the garlic and herbs under the skin. I just bung it in the SC as it is, no extra liquid. The brood love it and it just falls off the bone so great for ease of use for the next meal.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
  • helen jelly
    Spiggle - lots of love and hugs and huge get well vibes

    angel - have been thinking of you and OH and really, really hope the news isn't too bad, huge hugs for you 2 and lots of "burger off vibes" for whateber OH has

    Helen x

    PS DH is going to L!dl later so will update siggy when I know how much he has spent - smacked bum if its too much!!!!
    Last edited by helen jelly; 10-03-2011 at 12:03 PM.
    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 10th Mar 11, 12:00 PM
    • 4,361 Posts
    • 30,013 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hello...having a no spend day today...its blowing up a storm outside so best to be it

    made some quiche yesterday and we had them for lunch...nice if i do say so myself...got hm burgers for tea which we dont have often so im looking forward to them...also got to get a chilli in the sc but might leave that until tomorrow....busy busy

    i made a big pineapple upside down cake yesterday so i think we will have the other half of that for pudding...also got some going brown nanas so need to sort them out
    tata tessa
    onwards and upwards
  • Diflower
    Hello,
    Not had time to update before, doing ok. Just back from L!dl where they'd reduced the frozen turkeys to £6.99 so I got one and will cook it tomorrow. We'll have OH's boys for the weekend so will surprise them with and unChristmas dinner. Will keep some out and freeze the rest in batches for sandwiches etc.

    Went back to find Angel's post. Just wanted to say I'm thinking of you, it's a tough time
    x

  • Long tall sally
    I think I need to get on board. My weekly shopping bill has been creeping up to £100/120 a week for 5 of us.
    I have two children with Gluten Intollerance which makes things a bit more expensive. All 3 of mine have packed lunches and I try and make cakes etc. I do have a breadmaker and must try to get back into the swing of doing it again, especially the GF bread as Genius GF is £2.83 for a 600g loaf and I go through 2 a week.
    Originally posted by tigerfeet2006

    Hi Tigerfeet - have your children been officially diagnosed because if so you can now get Genius bread on prescription. My son has Coeliacs & I agree it does make things more expensive. Even though we get bread & some biscuits or pasta on prescription, I seem to have a lot of trouble getting some things & still end up buying a lot of it & it certainlu bumps the food bill up!

    NSD yesterday & today may be the same although I really need bread & ketchup.
    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
  • martafdz
    How does frozen basics mince fair to fresh basics mince nowadays? I used to buy frozen years ago but every bite seemed to be grizzle and it started to turn my tummy! I find the fresh mince lovely, no grizzle so was wondering if the frozen has improved?!
    Originally posted by nat21luv
    I bought it once and not happy about the quality, tbh. I now buy the 800g-1Kg (can't remember) packet from MrM that are at 3 x £10. I divide each tray into 3 small packets for freezing and use one for a meal for two. Each little packet I make has a value of £1.10, 55p per person, and I must say the mince is really good. I used to buy MrS but found that it had too much water/"whatever it is that makes it watery". It works out about 250g of mince meat each meal for two, which is really filling if you are also adding vegetables. I think it is good value for that price. You can buy other things in the 3 x £10: 4 pork chops, 4 lamb chops, 25 meatballs, one full chicken, 3 chicken breasts, etc.


    What a FAB idea! "Lemon in the cavity!"

    I am DEFINITELY trying this next time I cook a bird. Absolutely inspired idea!
    Originally posted by jumblejack
    I also do it often. It is really nice. The other day I just added the lemon juice from the bottle I had bought for the pancakes though It was really juicy and tasty. I mixed about 20ml of lemon juice with some olive oil, black pepper and salt. Then baste the chicken every 20min with this. The lemon makes the oven a bit smokey if you have it in juice instead of in pieces inside. But the result is really nice both ways. I did not have extra gravy and had instead the juices from the bottom of the pan, which were only the lemon, the spices and the juices from the chicken. Tasty tasty tasty... I am hungry now!!


    By the way, Idk who said about boiling ham at home for sandwiches, but thank you thank you thank you. I bought a pork shank for £1.7 at MrM and boiled it for about 2 or 3 h. I then took the meat out and into a tupperware. I had about 8 sandwiches full of meat, thick chunks, really tasty, with no added water, preservatives or whatever. And I also made stock with the bone and the remaining water. Amazing. I never thought of that. A packet of good ham costs at least £2, unless it is reformed with bits and pieces and added stuff. This was natural, healthy, really tasty and much cheaper!! I probably would have only had 3 sandwiches from a packet and I had over twice as much being really generous with the amount of meat we out in! Thank you!
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • findingmyfeet
    • By findingmyfeet 10th Mar 11, 1:47 PM
    • 494 Posts
    • 5,666 Thanks
    findingmyfeet
    afternoon everyone,

    not had time to catch up on the thread (will read later tonight), but just wanted to do a quick spends report to keep me on track.

    i have spend £35.00 exactly since 2/03/11, went on stuff in fa*mfoods, home*argins, and a couple of bits from C*op. so think i am doing ok , makes my march total £95.37 so for.

    still need f n v, milk and bread for the weekend though so a little more will go there tomorrow.
    took pity on my hard up ds (student) and let him take half my stock of tins to help him out so will have to try and replace them too.

    tea tonite- pork loins, mash veg and gravy.
    need to do a meal plan again for another week. keep up the good work all
    x
    sealed pot member no :435 2011- £306.68 2012-£304.36 2013- £387.44 2014 - £441.43 £482.30
    • Aldahbra
    • By Aldahbra 10th Mar 11, 1:48 PM
    • 315 Posts
    • 3,684 Thanks
    Aldahbra
    This is for a family of 3

    Out of all that we shall have the following meal wise;
    Pork & apricots with rice (had this last night with another portion for the freezer and still half the pork joint left, had rice already)
    Sweet & Sour chicken & rice (again already got most of the ingredients)
    Spaghetti Meatballs & garlic bread (have the pasta)
    Chicken Fajitas
    Chicken & Broccoli pie
    Salmon Pasta
    & probably roast pork
    Originally posted by M0neysav3r


    Wow!!! Your menu plan looks nicer than ours too. I think I might give yours a go and see how it works for us.
    • Moniker
    • By Moniker 10th Mar 11, 1:55 PM
    • 626 Posts
    • 9,607 Thanks
    Moniker
    Just popped in to update my weekly spend and give you my totals. I have just under a £100 of this month's nominal budget left. On the plus side I have managed 5 out of 10 NSDs so far this month.

    Today's 'big' shop included 2 Lurp*k spreadable 500gms for £4 and 2 C*vent Garden soups at £1 each (though Waitr*se made a mistake and charged me the full price - I will have to go back and get them to refund it tomorrow).

    BTW, Co*p are selling 12 rolls of Nouv*lle loo rolls for a £5 while stocks last, so I will be popping in on my way to work this afternoon to stock up.

    Have a good day folks.

    Moniker
    • Moniker
    • By Moniker 10th Mar 11, 1:58 PM
    • 626 Posts
    • 9,607 Thanks
    Moniker
    What a FAB idea! "Lemon in the cavity!"

    I am DEFINITELY trying this next time I cook a bird. Absolutely inspired idea!
    Originally posted by jumblejack

    I quite often do this with a roast chicken - it keeps the meat lovely and moist. It works with an orange too.

    Moniker
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 10th Mar 11, 2:47 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    Hi Tigerfeet - have your children been officially diagnosed because if so you can now get Genius bread on prescription. My son has Coeliacs & I agree it does make things more expensive. Even though we get bread & some biscuits or pasta on prescription, I seem to have a lot of trouble getting some things & still end up buying a lot of it & it certainlu bumps the food bill up!

    NSD yesterday & today may be the same although I really need bread & ketchup.
    Originally posted by Long tall sally
    I used to be able to get a prescription but as they are only GI and not Coeliacs our PCT won't cover the prescriptions now. I sometimes manage to get a sympathetic locum who will do one for me. It's a pain because they used to be able to get it.

    I make my own biscuits now. Peanut Butter Cookies being the favourite. They even go down well with non GI peeps and at school fairs etc. I can post the recipe if anyone is interested.

    I bought it once and not happy about the quality, tbh. I now buy the 800g-1Kg (can't remember) packet from MrM that are at 3 x £10. I divide each tray into 3 small packets for freezing and use one for a meal for two. Each little packet I make has a value of £1.10, 55p per person, and I must say the mince is really good. I used to buy MrS but found that it had too much water/"whatever it is that makes it watery". It works out about 250g of mince meat each meal for two, which is really filling if you are also adding vegetables. I think it is good value for that price. You can buy other things in the 3 x £10: 4 pork chops, 4 lamb chops, 25 meatballs, one full chicken, 3 chicken breasts, etc.

    Unfortunatly our MrM's is out of town and not on a direct bus route to me, which is a pain. The same with MrS. We do have a small MrT in town which I sometimes shop at. I don't drive so it is shank's, bus or taxi, so I tend to do my shopping online.

    I also do it often. It is really nice. The other day I just added the lemon juice from the bottle I had bought for the pancakes though It was really juicy and tasty. I mixed about 20ml of lemon juice with some olive oil, black pepper and salt. Then baste the chicken every 20min with this. The lemon makes the oven a bit smokey if you have it in juice instead of in pieces inside. But the result is really nice both ways. I did not have extra gravy and had instead the juices from the bottom of the pan, which were only the lemon, the spices and the juices from the chicken. Tasty tasty tasty... I am hungry now!!

    Glad lots of others do this It does make it very yummy and moist.


    By the way, Idk who said about boiling ham at home for sandwiches, but thank you thank you thank you. I bought a pork shank for £1.7 at MrM and boiled it for about 2 or 3 h. I then took the meat out and into a tupperware. I had about 8 sandwiches full of meat, thick chunks, really tasty, with no added water, preservatives or whatever. And I also made stock with the bone and the remaining water. Amazing. I never thought of that. A packet of good ham costs at least £2, unless it is reformed with bits and pieces and added stuff. This was natural, healthy, really tasty and much cheaper!! I probably would have only had 3 sandwiches from a packet and I had over twice as much being really generous with the amount of meat we out in! Thank you!
    Originally posted by martafdz
    Oooh! that is a good idea. Might have to try that. Will I able to tdo the shank in the SC do you think?
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 10th Mar 11, 2:54 PM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,569 Thanks
    quintwins
    you can do shanks in the slowcooker but really they need boiled to get rid of the salt imo, i have read a few on here doing them in the SC tho

    te£co do 3 packs of meat for £10 aswell, i really can't stand frozen mince i did use to get it years ago if i was really skint, i buy 2 packs on 800g value mince and split it in 5 portions, which i think works out 80p a portion, and i bulk it out with grated carrots, frozen peas and sweetcorn to make it strech, i feed 6 people on one yesterday, i used to gte 6 portions out of 2 packs but they used to be 1kg
    OCT GC £196.12/£200
  • Hippeechiq
    I am reading but feeling a bit quiet recently and I have been working some long days this week. I'm really feeling for Angel at the moment too and, a little selfishly, for myself as it's my lymphs that they think there is something in
    Originally posted by Spiggle
    There is nothing even remotely selfish about that Spigs, nothing at all.

    I sincerely hope - as I do with Angel - that you have some good news to share with us very soon. You hang in there hun
    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
  • Long tall sally
    tigerfeet2006 - That's a shame about not being able to get the g/f food on prescription. I would love the recipe, if you don't mind please.
    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
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 10th Mar 11, 3:00 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    Thanks for that Quint. Think I will go and change my order to 'proper' mince.

    It's a pain about the size thing, isn't it? I used to be able to do so much with 1kg but the 700g is such a nothing size.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 10th Mar 11, 3:10 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    tigerfeet2006 - That's a shame about not being able to get the g/f food on prescription. I would love the recipe, if you don't mind please.
    Originally posted by Long tall sally
    Peanut Butter Cookies

    Pre heat oven to 180degC. Line baking trays with baking parchment. Usually makes 20-24

    6oz caster sugar
    7oz peanut butter (usually buy shops cheapest)
    1 egg
    1tsp of baking powder

    whizz sugar and pb in food processor. Add egg and baking powder and whizz. Roll into balls and flatten in your palm and put on baking tray. Cook in oven for 10-15 minutes. Let cool and store in an air tight container.

    No flour involved what so ever
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 10th Mar 11, 3:20 PM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,569 Thanks
    quintwins
    Thanks for that Quint. Think I will go and change my order to 'proper' mince.

    It's a pain about the size thing, isn't it? I used to be able to do so much with 1kg but the 700g is such a nothing size.
    Originally posted by tigerfeet2006
    if i cooked a whole kg it either would only ahev onions in it and be enought for 2 meals and possibly a pie, whay was really annoying was when i didn't relise when i was shopping and suddenly had 400g less when i got home
    OCT GC £196.12/£200
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

878Posts Today

6,810Users online

Martin's Twitter