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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 52
  • jumblejack
    Doesn't the sun lift your spirits!

    I've just been to Lidl for the fillets offer they also have 5 aeros for a quid. Not an essential I know but they're great to hide away for when you want to offer treats!

    Bought a large chicken too as I want to try the lemon chicken idea that someone came up with (saved a few lemons in the hope I'd see a reduced whole chicken!)

    Tried to cook some chana dal yesterday in my thermos and... It works!!!! A great way to save energy cooking pulses that need hours!

    I'm gonna make a chana dal and spinach later ready for our curry meal tomorrow. Pud is already sorted (concrete chocolate n mint custard from my school days. Gonna make the custard tomorrow though!)

    I'm also dead chuffed that I haven't been boiling the kettle much at all. I keep a flask by the kettle, when it boils I pour it in ready for cuppas then I unplug the kettle as it is almost a reflex reaction when I'm thirsty to flick it on. This gives me a moment to realise that hey, boiling water is already there!! It REALLY works and I have a brew even quicker, yay!!! Good for the pocket AND environment!!
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):£30.50/£40
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 19th Mar 11, 9:01 AM
    • 13,817 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    Ohhhh just made Coconut Balls to use up a pack that was going out of date and the bonus is............. kiddies don't like coconut so its just me and DH that need to scoff err delicately munch on them - yeah!!!


    Recipe for Coconut Balls


    180gr Sugar [I used Castor]
    2 Eggs
    250gr Desicated Coconut

    Beat the eggs and sugar together, add the Coconut and mix all together
    Shape into balls [about the size of a Golfball]
    Place onto a greased baking tray
    Cook in the oven 160.C for 10-15mins
    They are ready when they are golden brown

    I have a fan oven and used 160.C for 13mins
    Originally posted by helen jelly
    oooh!! yummy scrummy. we all love coconut in this house, so will try those today. It looks like my kind of recipe, lovely end result for minimum effort, it's why I like my peanut butter cookie recipe. Will be doing these today.

    Right, the shopping list to stock up the store cupboard for the month is done, the monthly meat list is done, so will be off to Aldi and Lidl as soon as DH crawls out of bed. I have also done weekly shopping lists as well, so I know what essentials I need to get for that weeks menu plan and I shall just add to it as I need things like yoghurts etc.

    As DH gets paid on the 23rd I have decided my month will run from the 23rd to the 23rd and I will start at £500 and see if I can gradually reduce it over a few months.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 19th Mar 11, 9:45 AM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    NickJW
    Hi All

    Calling into report my spend at Mr T last night - £19.06 after £2 off £20 spend voucher was used.

    There were a lot of bargains I couldn't refuse! Including a 1.5 kilo pork crackling joint for £1.89 instead of £7.89! I also stocked up on chicken thights, pork chops, mince, bacon, chopped tomatoes, anchovies and veg. I won't need any more meat for a while for sure!

    Last night I made chilli and for the first time bulked it out with a handful of lentils, a handful of oats and some reduced mushrooms. And I couldn't tell ANY difference at all! There is a huge portion left which will be going into the freezer for a quick meal one day after work another week.

    Submitted by Mr T receipt onto pricecheck, but considering I got a lot of deals I doubt Mr A will be cheaper. Can always try though...

    Have a good day everyone!
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 £46.05/£130

    Grocery Challenge 13 -spent £1453.06
    Grocery Challenge 12 -spent £1565.51

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • LittleMissHappy


    I was going to take the money from my DTD shop off my sig, but I might keep it on and not count the voucher money instead Makes things less complicated.
    Be the change you want to see in the world - Gandhi
    OU - DD100 (P ), DSE141 (D ), DSE212 (P ), ED209 (02/12), DXR222 (07/12) SD226 (02/13)
    • CherryPie
    • By CherryPie 19th Mar 11, 10:49 AM
    • 427 Posts
    • 5,349 Thanks
    CherryPie
    Feel a wee bit disappointed that I've blown the budget yet again, but will console myself with the fact I should have £10 of DTD vouchers heading my way.

    Maybe if I was a little more organised I wouldn't go so much over budget? Went to T£sco to but a bottle of wine to take with me tonight (going to friends for dinner) I forgot my £2 DTD voucher I already have!!

    So thought I'd "earn" somemore while I was there. Got the comfort exhilirations which is lovely, the mullerice 6 pk which is a great brekkie zapped in the micro for a minute, and a wee treat of the cornettos which will also come with me tonight.

    It'll be nice for someone else to do the cooking for a change.

    Have a good weekend everyone

    CherryPie x
    My name is CherryPie and I'm addicted to grocery shopping!!



    Grocery Challenge

    Feb 2016 - £46.73 / £100.00
  • Hippeechiq
    You're right jumblejack, the sun does lift the spirits. It's absolutely glorious here today

    i am making this for tea tonight



    its CHICKEN AND CHORIZO BAKE
    I havent tried it yet but it sounds nommy
    Originally posted by sistercas
    Mmmmm - that looks totally lush. I'd be interested to hear what it turns out like, as I'd like to give it a bash too.

    I'd just be making it for two though, so would need to halve the recipe......Not quite sure how much a "whole fresh chorizo sausage" weighs though? Anyone?

    I usually buy my whole chorizo from £idls and I've never paid attention to the weight as I chop them up into 50g chunks and freeze them for using in Chicken Chorizo & Prawn Paella and Potato, Chorizo & Red Onion Fritatta, and I can't remember what it weighs to start with or how many 50g chunks I get out of one sausage. Do they all weigh roughly the same?

    Just back from £idls - bought 3 packs of the Chicken Breasts, and a box of their 0h So S!mple 0ats. Then some Wild Rice & Garlic Bread from Te$co and 4L of Milk and a tub of Ice Cream from Ice£and.

    Total spends of £11.53 so new total stands at £114.37. A$da shop tomorrow is going to bring me up to best part of £200.
    IF I manage to bring this month in at £45 less than I was doing 6 months ago, and £20 less than the previous 2 months, I am going to be seriously chuffed with myself. It is a big IF though, and I wouldn't want to have to try and bring it in at £230 every month.

    I will have to reduce my budget from £250 next month though, as in April, my Broadband package is going up, and prescriptions are going up and there's nowhere else to get the money from.

    It's certainly a challenge having to manage on less and less money when everything is going up more and more
    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
    • pepsi-kins
    • By pepsi-kins 19th Mar 11, 11:37 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 1,984 Thanks
    pepsi-kins
    Hi All,
    Just spent another £33.30 in Mr. A, really disappointed I can't do better at this. I was hoping my total for the year at the end of March would read £665, but thats been blown. Never mind I haven't bought anything that wasn't or wouldn't be needed in the near furture. I'm making oat crusted mackerel for tea tonight, which I've never had before, (the mackerel was whoopsied) so hopefully that will be nice.

    I've got to really be as frugal as possible now, something is afoot at work, and the future is uncertain, as it is for many other people I know, I never really thought that I would be in that position, so I need to be as careful as possible, so that I'm in a good position if the worst comes to the worst.

    Have a good week everyone x
    2018 G/C £2951.61/£2250
    Vouchers used £553.23
    Extra money £250
    2019 G/C £1786.40
    Vouchers: £143.90
  • Candy Belle
    Yey!!!! it's the weekend!

    I'm going to declare my March total as £226.16!

    I'm very pleased that I've managed to come in under budget for another month, but don't want to jinx it by lowering my budget for April so can I please be put down for £235.00 for April?

    Thanks again to the wonderful ladies who look after this thread and everyone else posting for the tips, recipes and encouragement. xxxx
    Grocery Challange for DH, Me & 2 Fussy Cats (inc Grocerys, Cleaning Products & Cat Food)
    G/C -May £177.04/£235.00 Apr £237.79/£235.00 Mar £226.16 /£235.00
    G/C - Jan £248.52/£235.00 - Feb£214.72/£235.00
    NSD -May 3/31 Apr 10/30 Mar 3/31 Feb 6/28 NSD Jan 3/31
  • karmachilovething
    OK, I had intended to catch up on the thread today, but it's just too beautiful outside to sit staring at a screen, so I'm going to update and then catch up another time (or not, maybe I have to learn that it's not necessary to read every post and I'm allowed some non-forum life as long as it's MSE )

    So Wednseday I found myself in town at lunchtime, and it was market day. Veggies are super cheap there so thought I'd get a few things. I was craving japanese food so bought some oriental flavours (ginger, corriander) and a bream from the fishmongers, and then a rabbit from the butcher. So got a little out out control really. And on the way home I walked past the British Red Cross appeal for Japan so they got my change. £20 spent in total.

    So anyway, I had steamed bream fillet with ginger and spring onion, sushi rice and steamed broccoli and carrot. Yum. And the bunny is boiling on the strove as we speak to make rabbit ragu for tomorrow dinner.

    Anyway as I said I over did it - didn't really need any of what I bought, and now going to have to be pretty clever with my meal plans to eat it all Not helped by the fact the freezer really, really is full and so I can't even cook and freeze double

    When will I learn . . . ?
    Total debt: £9473.62 £7,384.87 22% PAID
    TAF #25 NSD 8/12 | Food £43.45/£50 | eBay 0/20 | Exercise 5/18
    Proud to be Dealing with my Debt
    DFD: June 2015
  • Long tall sally
    Adding on £4 today for some gluten-free chocolate brownies & carrot cake that I just spotted whilst in town for something else. Also noticed when I got back that the bananas are quite brown looking & I know that the kids won't eat them if I put them in their lunch boxes this week which probably means a trip to the Co Op later or tomorrow.
    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
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 19th Mar 11, 1:28 PM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,664 Thanks
    sistercas
    Mmmmm - that looks totally lush. I'd be interested to hear what it turns out like, as I'd like to give it a bash too.

    I'd just be making it for two though, so would need to halve the recipe......Not quite sure how much a "whole fresh chorizo sausage" weighs though? Anyone?

    I usually buy my whole chorizo from £idls and I've never paid attention to the weight as I chop them up into 50g chunks and freeze them for using in Chicken Chorizo & Prawn Paella and Potato, Chorizo & Red Onion Fritatta, and I can't remember what it weighs to start with or how many 50g chunks I get out of one sausage. Do they all weigh roughly the same?
    Originally posted by Hippeechiq
    the chorizo i bought was from mr T was a 'spanish chorizo ring' £1.97 225g
    when i looked on my superm@rket they had some for a £1 but i couldnt find it
    i will use less than half of the sausage ( and freeze the rest) for this recipe and thats for 4 adults
    (i havent got all the cheeses it asks for either i shall just use chedder)

    will report back later and let you know what its like

    the chicken , chorizo and prawn paella sounds lovely do you havea recipe please
    Last edited by sistercas; 19-03-2011 at 1:31 PM.
  • WelshWoofer
    Been a busy bee this morning and been to Mr S and the greengrocers - spent £8 on fruit and veg and got quite a big bag full of stuff (it is cheaper than supermarkets) and then £39 in Mr S on everything else needed including lots of dog food and household bits.
    So a total of £47 - £2 over my hopeful budget of £45

    I think I'm unrealistic these days with how much food costs and need to budget £50 at least instead. I didn't buy any treats, extras or unnecessary things as I'm on a diet and can't afford them either.
    So the whole shop was stuff we needed rather than wanted and still came in over my budget. Luckily, I can afford to spend a little bit extra if we need to but really feel for those that can't and are struggling.
    Last edited by WelshWoofer; 19-03-2011 at 1:34 PM.
  • Zend
    March Grocery Challenge
    Final spend of the month yesterday and total spend for the month has come to £156. Only £6 over which is good as I usually spend £200 a month . Bring on April!
    January spend = £100
    Spent =
    saving =
  • elfen
    Need to add 10.26 to my shop please
    ** 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.
    • Pinwheel
    • By Pinwheel 19th Mar 11, 2:20 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 1,138 Thanks
    Pinwheel
    Hi just dropping in to report another £5.23 spent in L**l and W***rose on Shampoo (Head and Shoulders on offer in L**l - £2.50 for a huge bottle), eggs, avocados and some crinkly chips in W**trose, chosen by youngest who has been poorly all week. I've got to buy some potatoes, carrots, fruit and yoghurts and that might be it until payday on Friday so I might do it!
    It's a beautiful sunny day, I hope you've all got sunshine too.
    PWx
    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 -
  • Hippeechiq
    the chorizo i bought was from mr T was a 'spanish chorizo ring' £1.97 225g
    when i looked on my superm@rket they had some for a £1 but i couldnt find it
    i will use less than half of the sausage ( and freeze the rest) for this recipe and thats for 4 adults
    (i havent got all the cheeses it asks for either i shall just use chedder)

    will report back later and let you know what its like

    the chicken , chorizo and prawn paella sounds lovely do you havea recipe please
    Originally posted by sistercas
    Thanks for that hun. I'd use about 50g for the two of us then. I look forward to hearing how it turns out

    CHICKEN PRAWN & CHORIZO PAELLA (Serves 2)

    1 Tbs Oil
    40-50g Chorizo, very finely sliced
    200g Chicken Breast, diced
    1 Onion, finely diced
    ½ Tsp Lazy Garlic (or more, depending on preference)
    ½ Red Pepper, diced
    150g Long Grain Rice (I use a 110g Bag Tesco Value Savoury Rice and top it up with 40g Long Grain Rice)
    500ml Chicken Stock
    50g Frozen Peas
    50g Cooked Prawns

    Fry Chorizo for 2 mins over a medium heat and set aside
    Fry Chicken over a high heat until browned all over and set aside
    Fry Onion over a medium heat for 4-5 mins until softened
    Add Pepper & Rice and cook for 1 minute
    Stir in Garlic and Chicken Stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins, stirring occasionally
    Return Chicken to pan and add Peas and season with Salt & Black Pepper
    Cook for 10 mins stirring frequently until Rice is tender and nearly all the liquid has been absorbed
    Add Chorizo & Prawns to pan and stir in gently
    Cook for 4-5mins until both are heated through


    It isn't a true Paella, and it "cheats" a bit, but it's quick and easy and very tasty It's also very filling.
    I normally cook it for just the two of us, but it's one of the few things that I'm able to tempt my DD with now and again.
    Last edited by Hippeechiq; 19-03-2011 at 2:39 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
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 19th Mar 11, 3:11 PM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,664 Thanks
    sistercas
    thankyou Hippeechiq

    i have saved the recipe in my folder i shall look forward to making it, my kids and dh will love it
    • fedupandskint
    • By fedupandskint 19th Mar 11, 3:31 PM
    • 10,351 Posts
    • 97,525 Thanks
    fedupandskint
    £19 spent today on weekly shop and £12 in HB on stocking up on cleaning products for the next few months

    Leaves £44 until 27th March when the month ends for payday - should be ok so long as I reign it in next week and don't pick anything up for tea on the way home
    final unsecured debt to repay currently £8333
    Proud to be Dealing With my Debt
    DFW Nerd 1154 Long Haul 155
  • Long tall sally
    Is anyone else having trouble with their "Thanks" button today?
    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
  • jumblejack
    Thought I'd pop on an update as I have yet another teabreak!

    The lemon chicken is yum. We've had the chana dal with spinach recipe today instead of tomorrow and had the wings & legs of the chicken with it. Yum.
    ...Funny thing is though, realised why I was having trouble putting the lemon in the 'cavity' earlier...

    I'd put it in the neck end

    That's what happens when you multi task!!

    The breast looks yum though as I'd stuffed under the skin with butter, value mixed herbs and lemon zest. Smells fantastic. Gonna have this tomorrow instead of curry now...
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):£30.50/£40
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