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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 46
  • Long tall sally
    Thanks tigerfeet - I will also try not to overdose him again - that'll help my stress no doubt,lol!
    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
    • Chloris
    • By Chloris 15th Mar 11, 4:55 PM
    • 659 Posts
    • 9,479 Thanks
    £6.47 at the C0-op on milk, eggs and a salad bag. That is sooo expensive. Oh well, I have made mincemeat cake, chocolate brownies, chicken stock for a chicken rice dish for tea tonight - so a free streeetch meal. Am almost out of self raising flour. So searching for recipes for plain flour or strong bread flour cakes. That will be in a day or two, unless I blow my diet and eat all the cakes later!
  • elfen
    Aaaah, another NSD
    Just had a really nice piece of rump steak, two bits in Mr A's for 2.50. Think I'll be getting them as my once-a-month treat...yummy!
    ** Total debt: £6950.82 ± May NSDs 1/10 **
    ** Fat Bum Shrinking: -7/56lbs **
    **SPC 2012 #1498 -£152 and 1499 ***
    I do it all because I'm scared.
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 15th Mar 11, 5:08 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    Well dinner tonight was eaten buuuuuuut wasn't really a sucess so I am afraid that one won't be done again.

    Have my been thinking about my budget for the grocery challenge. At the moment I spend between £550 and £600 a month on food so I think I would like to get it down to £500 to start with and gradually work on it. I'll start officially on April 1st.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • allie23
    • By allie23 15th Mar 11, 5:09 PM
    • 1,343 Posts
    • 14,647 Thanks
    Hi All, just checking in. Spent £16.41 in Mr M today on stuff for packed lunches (also includes £5 saver stamps). Great deals on fruit - only 30p for packs of 5 plums or four kiwi as well as carrots and turnip. Also tried covent garden soup - not very old style I know but got it for speed. Just had it and it's not a patch on out homemade stuff.
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 15th Mar 11, 6:44 PM
    • 4,842 Posts
    • 58,667 Thanks
    another spend today
    £17.64 in l!dl
    managed to get the mu!!er yogs buy 1 get 2 free they only had the crunch ones though but the kids will be happy
    veggies for the guinea piggies
    salad veggies
    cooked meats
    and some chocolate

    edited to add DH has just told me he has bought £5 worth of sweets added to sig
    Last edited by sistercas; 15-03-2011 at 6:51 PM.
  • cat_smith
    Can't believe I have spent so little this month. OK one shop free from a gift card, but still resisting hard. The freezer is still fairly full as well. Just need some F&V and dog treats. Lovely SC sausage casserole tonight with DR Tolouse Sausages. Amazingly tasty. DH out tomorrow night so he'll take leftovers. I'll be doing my s/salmon and scrambled eggs standard. Then HM Pizza on Thursday with sad bits in the fridge - dough already in the freezer.
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
  • destroyerofdebt2011
    Evening everyone!

    Reporting a spend of £3.81 on storecupboard lunches for a work until the end of the month those 10p noodles and cup a soup stretch a long way!

    Also had a spend of £2.28 in superdrug which im also counting as part of the gc as its on cough mixture etc as the dreaded sniffles have finally caught up with me

    On a good note i had my 2nd attempt at making bread from scratch without a bm at the weekend and the pizza bases didnt end up in the bag of the other bread crumps currently sitting in the freezer after the first attemptyou could safely say go number one was a brick!

    Just eaten the prawns that needed eating up with the part bag of stir fry frozen veggies who were definetly resembling the iceberg that sunk the titanic... didnt taste too great but at least they didnt get wasted on the bin!

    of to update the sig now...
    HSBC £3223.20 £2060.00
    Cap1 £1724.91 £1782.00
    OD £939.78 £200.00
    No 49 of £2012 in 2012.. £645.10 so far & Crazy Clothes £14.09/£100.00 ReducingtheToiletryStash2012 UU12/IN 20 March Grocery 0.00/£65.00 & LbsNot£s Lost 14Lbs
  • M0neysav3r
    Hi folks

    Another weekly shop today of £30.05 but didn't get a couple of bits so need to pop out to aldi still.....
    leaving only £46 for the rest of the month
    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
    • Pinwheel
    • By Pinwheel 15th Mar 11, 8:29 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 1,138 Thanks
    Hi there, just updated signature. I spent £8.89 in L**l today on apples (couldn't wait for the market on Thursday) pears, blueberries, milk, eggs and chocolate. Only £22.70 to last until next Friday...ahhh! I should only need fruit, veg, milk and yoghurt so it's possible?!
    Oct GC £36.72/£220.00
    Sep GC £223.58/£220.00
    Aug GC £200/£200
    Jun GC £192.73/££220 - Jul GC £296.88/£220
    Apr GC £230.40/£200 - May GC £230.40/£220 -
    Feb GC £200.19/£200 - Mar GC £203.37/£200 -
    • burge23
    • By burge23 15th Mar 11, 8:37 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 504 Thanks
    Well I managed an NSD today but it's off for diesel tomorrow. Also need to get bread and milk and am seriously considering having a bash at baking bread at home. Lots of milk offers at present : Farm++ods, Li*l, and Al*i so hoping to come in under £5 for the shopping. Who knows with the deisel. We also really need a cow in the garden to keep up with the white stuff. I'd dreading how much we've gone through when I check the receipts at the end of the month! I am however looking forward to presenting MiL with black and white proof of how much coffee she drinks. Her presence not having affected the bills at all (Or so she tells me)
  • jumblejack
    Silly me, I just posted this on Januarys gc!!!

    Another thrifty day!

    We had roast pepper and lentil soup for lunch.
    The peppers were whoopsied (11p for a large mixed net). As they were so wrinkly, I popped them in the oven whilst I was cooking. When they had gone cold, I skinned them over a bowl (as they are full of sweet juice when roasted!) then chucked them in a large pan (with the roasting 'juice'!) with vegetable stock, a chopped onion and a couple of cups of red lentils and blended them when done...yum!
    Mega cheap n nutritious!! Will do us for a few lunches!

    I have also done a beef lobby (btw, did you know lobby is supposed to originate from when housewives would 'lob' ingredients into a pan to slow cook!). We will have it tomorrow but reserve some for a pie (the pastry is ready in the fridge as made some surplus especially!) Our tea was left over hotpot from yesterday.

    I want to get some dried peas in as I am eager to try pea soup. I wonder if they sell em in out local Asian shop? The pulses are in big quantities there and very cheap. Must look next time I go.
    Here is the very cheap recipe:
    Pea soup

    soak 8oz green split peas overnight in
    2 pints water
    next day add 2 large onions
    2 stock cubes
    lots of salt & boil until peas are soft
    15 mins in pressure cooker, maybe an hour normally
    blend & serve
    you can add cubes of ham or gammon if you wish!
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):£30.50/£40
  • TheBees
    Sunnyday - Can I ask a question regarding your Slow Cooked Brisket which sounds delicious? Is this brisket a large joint or is it chopped up into chunks before you cook it?

    Not been on here for several days but still sticking to the menu plan and trying to last until the weekend before shopping again!
    Mortgage Free in 3 part 2 challenge - pay off £9000
    Sealed Pot Challenge 416 - target £500
  • Hippeechiq
    I so wish I and my OH liked soup as there as some wonderful sounding soups being posted on here lately. Such a great way of making the most of all of your food - but sadly we don't.

    Sorry, meant to say NSD Sunday, yesterday & today. This morning I managed to give my son too much insulin by mistake so on the advise of the diabetic nurse we are at home for the day doing hourly rings or texts with his blood sugar readings to get through the day as best as we can! I was feeling very stressed earlier but calming down quite a bit now!
    Originally posted by Long tall sally
    Oooh - that sounds a bit scary! Hope you're both ok now. I'm assuming as you posted around 5(ish) that he's ok - not nice for you though

    £1.19 spent today on a big jar of Nutella - spends now up to £90.38
    Got an A$da delivery coming at the weekend for £70(ish) paid with from money left in my account for that very purpose, but I'm not entirely convinced I've got enough "cash" left to last the month, as I only ever have 4 weekly envelopes per month with £25 in each envelope.

    I'm currently using Week 3 cash, so with this being a 5 week month, that means that I wont have any "cash" left for w/c 28/3 unless I split Week 4 envelope and use £12.50 for Week 4 and £12.50 for week 5 which I can't see working as I struggle with £25 per week.

    Hmmm I think the only way around it is to use the remainder of the money in my "Meat" allowance envelope, given that I have enough meat to last me the remainder of the month due to canny purchases last month. It may mean I miss out on some meat bargains at the end of the month, but I can't see how else to do it.
    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
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 15th Mar 11, 10:13 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    I managed a NSD today, just! Was really tempted to go mooching this evening, but luckily, things I was doing ran over time, so I didn't actually have time to go. Then, I was out again from half 7 til just now, and was quite tempted again, but instead I'm going to go and sort through some more cookery books.

    I must say, I'm really enjoying having a half empty fridge. It's not a concept I've been familiar with since I moved here (by myself with 2 v young children) about three and a half years ago. i was always afraid that I'd run out of food, and the children would go hungry. I'm slowly learning that I'll get paid again, and then I'll have more money, so I don't need so much stuff in the house. This isn't just food - it's cookery books, reading books, crafting stuff, furniture, you name it, and I have too much of it, and I'm finally getting better! And, to be completely honest, it's because of the gc. Hearing so many other people's stories, and tips, and ways of doing things, it hasn't just helped me with my grocery spending, but it's filtering into every aspect of my life now, so thank you to everyone here who contributes in any way, shape or form. I, for one, will be eternally grateful, as I think I can work towards being a vaguely normal person now, instead of a mad hoarding demon who has a messy house because there's so much stuff in it yet still buys more!!

    Night all, and thanks again,
    PG x

    ETA - now halfway through month and not halfway through budget! That's got to be a first!
    Grocery challenge for family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(11), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries. Jan £87.97/£100 Feb £0/£100
    Frugal 2018 needed! Saving and NOT spending
  • janie-h
    Hi All

    Don't feel like I'm doing very well this month. Stopped smoking nearly 4 weeks ago and it feels like food shopping (i.e. popping in for a few things and coming out with bags and bags of stuff) has replaced it - that and eating like a horse!
    But, I started at SW last week and have lost a couple of lbs so that's better than putting it on! But it has added to my food budget as I've been stocking up on fruit, veg, yoghurts, meat, herbs and dressings

    Anyway, here's my spends update

    MrM - £6.98
    A**i - £24.70
    Sainbugs -£7.56 (all reduced, bogof or 3 for 2)
    A**a - £47.36
    A**a - £27.74 (those last 2 were within 2 days - bought loads, but why didn't I get what I needed the 1st time???)

    TOTAL = £114.34

    I've really got to get my head together, get sorted out and plan - this would help with GC and losing weight. Must get my a***e in gear and meal plan

    Will update sig - but dangerously close to budget, so I'm not going to make it this month! After very low spending last month and using up freezer/cupboard stores, I should have upped this months budget to cover it. Never mind, you live and learn - but looks like this months total is going to be scary
  • rosieben
    jumblejack, your Pea Soup is added to the index
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • scotsaver
    Just been round to MrM's to get some Fruit and try to get some of the FR eggs but sold out. Also got some Wa!kers crisps that are on special £2 for bag of 26, we only buy crisps when they are on special, got another 2 ICBINB as they are still on special, so total updated and now only £20 left for 10 days.

    Dinner tonight is HM Macaroni Cheese, tomorrow night is Mince & Tatties, Friday will be Fish and HM chips, Saturday sausage and mash, Sunday Roast pork and all the trimmings. Will add veg to each of these meals but not sure what yet so we have everything in that we need until at least Monday, fingers crossed.

    Need to get the BM on now and then decide what cakes/pud to make for next couple of days from what we have in, got a huge bag of dried apricots in the cupboard, some dessicated coconut so might make those flapjacks I saw on Hairy B!kers last night. Decisions, decisions.

    Have a good day everyone.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 16th Mar 11, 8:25 AM
    • 4,369 Posts
    • 30,042 Thanks
    tessie bear
    good morning....iv got savoury mince in the sc for a shepherds pie for tea...and iv prepped some off to costco om friday so need to make a list..i really like their mince so might get some more of that...oh and their eggs are very fresh iv found

    i havent been able to make any cakes this week as dont have any eggs...will be able to do a bit of baking over the weekend

    on thurs ald£ have a cute rabbit in with smartie type sweets in going to get a couple for the kids as they look cute in the leaflet....might have a look at the bargains as well

    have a nice day tessa
    onwards and upwards
    • By 16th Mar 11, 8:34 AM
    • 151 Posts
    • 1,452 Thanks
    Morning all

    Mr T delivery came the other night, the Aerie! that was on offer at £4 for the big bottle mysteriously was not in stock so was substituted and only 1 delivered not 2 (how a SM can run out of washing liquid is beyond me ) I can guarantee if I go into store, it will be there but I daren't cos I'll just spend more on things I don't need

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaanyway that meant shop was £4 cheaper so will change siggy in a min

    Veggie box came at 0523 this morning , don't think the delivery man was expecting to see anyone at that time in the morning and his face was a picture seeing me come towards him with my nightie on and serious bedhair (I'd only got up up to let the dog out LOL) Good job it was still dark!!

    Lots of goodies in it today, kohlrabi could be interesting never cooked or eaten it and there was a little piece of paper inside which said "That spacey globe in your box that could be a UFO is a kohlrabi" which made me chuckle

    I feel I'm not doing too badly with the shopping this month, especially as its a 5 weeker! I'm just getting used to the menu planning and learning to use cookery books again for the first time in ages and really enjoying it

    Hope I haven't waffled too much hope you all have a great day
    Aiming to be debt free and saving money for once in my life!!
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