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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 55
    • lotti379
    • By lotti379 20th Mar 11, 4:07 PM
    • 787 Posts
    • 6,181 Thanks
    Just dropping in to report we're up to £152.98/£200 for March so far...

    Looking at my mealplan and going to do a bit of jigging about, try and keep it down this week so we can treat ourselves next weekend perhaps... I think a lot of soup will feature as picked up a bunch of YS organic leeks for 30p yesterday... hello leek and potato soup, and some spicy sweet potato and chick pea!
    “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”

    NSD Challenge: August 2017 2/15
    • CherryPie
    • By CherryPie 20th Mar 11, 4:09 PM
    • 427 Posts
    • 5,349 Thanks
    Damage limitation alert!!

    Another £4 spent today on a gammon joint. Currently in the slow cooker, for sandwiches for this weeks lunches.

    Still, have £10 odds of DTD T£esco vouchers waiting to be used. Thankfully, as I'll need milk & bread this week.

    Went to friends for dinner last nite. She had treated herself to a slow cooker, and bubbling away in it was "my" sausage casserole recipe that she'd asked for. Taken directly from here and adapted to suit my taste / cupboard ingredients!!

    Obviously my constant raving about how I'd be lost without my slow cooker, has taken it's toll on her!!

    Here's to a very frugal week for me

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

    Grocery Challenge

    Feb 2016 - £46.73 / £100.00
    • lotti379
    • By lotti379 20th Mar 11, 4:43 PM
    • 787 Posts
    • 6,181 Thanks
    So meal plan until Friday, when I'll need to shop again for meat and veggies (we have no freezer)

    Monday - leek & potato soup, with h/m soda bread
    Tuesday - linguine with smoked salmon (sounds extravagant, but we have the salmon already, 1/2 price at Mr T's, so all I need to get is a small pot of cream. And it is soooo tasty!)
    Wednesday - honey and lemon chicken (or turkey), with cous cous. Can anyone suggest a good flavour for the cous cous? Mr L isn't a big fan of it un-flavoured. I would normally do a lemon and chilli flavouring, but it might be too much lemon with the chicken?
    Thursday - fish, whatever is on offer in smallish portions, with fresh veggies and probably some form of potato
    Friday - toad in the hole, with sticky onion sauce and peas.

    Lunches will be leftover soup, chicken and cous cous probably with some cherry toms we got reduced yesterday and chick peas added. Also have a pack of tortellini still in the fridge.

    Still debating about the cous cous. Maybe a ginger-based thing? Fresh chopped ginger, and a bit of chili powder for a touch of heat. Any suggestions?
    “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”

    NSD Challenge: August 2017 2/15
  • Candy Belle

    Hope everyone had a good weekend, just a few spends to report from yesterday:-

    Sainsbugs - £15.50
    A**i - £19.94

    Off to update the april signature!!!

    Nite all! x
    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
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 20th Mar 11, 9:33 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    evening all, just popping in quickly to update my sig, anothe rtake away last night so thats £14.38 plus i had to add 43p to my te$co shop after they took off my £59.90 dtd voucher then £3.50 on bread/milk/bananas that i rang threw seperate got a few gammon roasts so gonna change my meal plan in the morning to squeeze one in i'm well over budget now but also well stocked up, long may it last
    DFW £7632/£28996 26.3%
  • janie-h
    evening all, i went to te$co earlier and spent my voucher, cost me 35p got anotehr block of cheese some coke and fanta, another tin of tomatoes and some dairylea (to make it up to the £30 because they had no yogurts or chicken dippers does anyone have any recipes to use up diarylea? don't get me wrong it's lovely on toast and as finger food, but i have 36 triangles now) bananas, milk, cornflakes and some chocolate, then i told mil about the vouchers and she asked me to go with her, we wnet to the big one so while there i got yogurts and dippers they hadn't had earlier so spends for the day were £2.35 i should be getting another voucher tomorrow
    Originally posted by quintwins
    Hi, I know your post was a while ago but I've just caught up! Anyhoo... make up mix with mince (whatever your preference e.g. beef, pork, turkey) and onions, squidge up a triangle and wrap the mince mix around it to make burgers or large meatballs and cook in pan or in oven. Or, make a pocket in a chicken breast and stuff with dairylee triangle (mix with garlic, chilli or ham) coat in breadcrumbs or wrap with rasher of bacon, cook in oven. Yum

    As I say, been catching up with all your lovely posts and lovely recipe ideas yum, yum. I'll be trying a few of those.

    Here's a cheap and easy curry recipe told to me by another SW member when I was having a (cough) toilet problem (cough), but it takes minutes to make and really does taste lush ... and didn't need to call dynarod out

    Chop onion, fry till softened
    Flavour with curry powder to taste
    Add tin of mushy peas, tin of baked beans and tin of tomatoes

    Going to try a chicken, chorizo and tomato thingy from a Jamie recipe (converted to SW), will let you know how it goes.

    Can't believe we've got soooooo much of the month still left to go But at least joining SW has meant I've had to make more of an effort to meal plan, which really is where I fall down.

    Hope everyone is keeping well, enjoying the sunshine and having a better GC month than I am xxx
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 21st Mar 11, 4:56 AM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,661 Thanks
    should be a NSD today as i am working from 7.30 am till 8pm have got an hour off in the afternoon though

    Dbrother rang last night to say Dmum and stepdad were coming to visit next weekend so they want to book a restaurant on the sunday as an early mothers day meal , problem is we are already booked to go out on mothers day with DH's mum the following week and really cant afford to pay twice , not sure what to do (might have to take it out of my savings for my car service)
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 21st Mar 11, 5:52 AM
    • 13,812 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    Morning all

    Although I got the shopping over the weekend, today is my first official day of the Grocery Challenge and it will be a NSD today

    Well I will be buying trainers for DC3 but that's a different budget
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    I now live in a country that is 4 hours ahead of the UK so you may now find I post at weird times
  • Winged one
    I have failed miserably for March - I spent €235 over the weekend (well, I spent 208 and I am estimating that DH spent 25 in the farmer's market and another 2 on bread).

    On the flip side, it was a stores shop with lots of cleaning things, and a good lot of storecupboard items too as there were a lot of offers on various things we would usually use anyway. Meat for 8 dinners. And I had wanted to spend at least €153 in that SM to get an extra €20 voucher next month.

    I DO still have €110 to spend every week until the end of the year and I now have replenished a lot of things that were running low. I have also got a fair amount of voucher due to come in over the next while. And I finally got some things growing so will be getting more veg in the coming months.

    I have planted out 3 broad bean plants and 6 cabbages in the back garden, alopng with sowing radishes, spring onions and mangetout. There will be more going in to those beds in due course (tomatoes, peppers, courgette, peans, french beans). I have pots of salads leaves almost ready to start picking, with the carrots starting to show. There are also pots of cabbages, cauliflower, lettuce, leeks and 3 more broad beans started for planting out onto the plot in due course. I planted out another 4 cabbages on the plot, as well as sowing 2 rows of peas, a double row of broad beans, and a few garlic cloves (the bulbs were somewhat rotten so I will have to buy some after all). And I found 4 more garlic that we'd obviously missed harvesting last august, that are growing again. At home, I have started a good few tomatoes, peppers (sweet and chilli), and basil and coriander.

    My plans are to sow a pot of spinach for home and 1 seed tray which is already divided into rows of spinach for the plot this week. I want to sow another pot each of basil and coriander this week too for the windowsill. I need to dig over the roots bed yet, and that will have parsnips, turnips, beetroots, spring onions, lettuce and spinach which can all be direct sown. And I will need to start sweetcorn, courgettes and a range of pumpkins and swuashes once it warms up a little more, and anonther pot or 2 of leeks, and some calabrese. I have onion sets at home , and seed potatoes, all to be planted out on plot. So I am hopeful that with all that, and the fruit bushes on the plot, that we will actually get a good return there this year.

    In fact, this week I have purple sprouting brocolli for tonight's dinner, and rhubarb for desert (as well as rhubarb as a Thank You for my aunt, who had DD to stay on Sat night). I also have a handful of brussels sprouts, and 6 leeks, to use this week, all from the plot. The leeks will be coming for a while yet and they are still at the lovely small sweet stage.

    The menu for this week is:
    Sun: HM pizza using bases and sauce from FM
    Mon: Organic pork chops (sausage for DD), PSB, mash potatoes
    Tues: Slow roasted lamb shanks, roast pots, maybe roasted carrots and parsnips
    Wed: DH out so perhaps a small portion of spag bol from freezer
    Thurs:Chilli sausages, with tom sauce and pasta
    Fri: No idea yet but I have plenty of options to avoid takeaway
    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
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 21st Mar 11, 7:38 AM
    • 13,812 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    Wow! Winged One your allotment has really come on. We have ours for the first year this year so we are starting from scratch but hope it starts producing stuff for us soon.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    I now live in a country that is 4 hours ahead of the UK so you may now find I post at weird times
  • rosieben
    janie-h, I've put your Mushy Pea Curry recipe in the SW list, also added the cheese triangle ideas - I've never thought of using a cheese triangle in chicken
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • cat_smith
    Grrr. Having taken out some lovely DR meat for meals for the next 2 days, DH has just phoned to say he's switched his on call to tonight so won't be home for dinner. So meal plans for the whole week to be rearranged.

    Tuna pasta mess from last night was a roaring success though. And there are about 5 portions left for freezing. Still need to taste the burnt mash and decide whether to keep it. This GC thing is getting ridiculous - previously it would have gone straight in the bin without a second thought
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 21st Mar 11, 9:07 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    Woohoo!!! 5 days of March's GC left, and not only am i still well within budget but i also have a freezer full of food!!! I think i may have been overly adventurous with my meal plan, as we opted for easier meals in between and then picked out a few big things, but the main thing is that apart from eggs, bread and milk, i have bought NO groceries this month!!
    Half of the freezer food is uncooked meat - there is a whole chicken, shoulder of lamb, pack of chops, gammon joint and mince amongst some other bits. This is because when i did my big shop i took full advantage of the multibuy offers knowing that i had the freezer space. The other half of the freezer is full of home made ready meals. (I DO need to buy some tinfoil containers as i have now ran out of oven dishes. ) It means i am sorted for probably most of April. SO CHUFFED!!! So my April budget is going to be so low.

    Thank you to everybody for your support and ideas and RECIPES.
    DFBX2016 #160 - £3550/£8800

    DFBX2017 #160 - £0/£11,378

    £0/7807 CapOne (0% PAID) £0/2776 Tesco (0% PAID)
    £820/820 HSBC OD (100% PAID) £0/£795 HSBC M/C (0% PAID)
    • debtfreewannabe321
    • By debtfreewannabe321 21st Mar 11, 9:31 AM
    • 6,623 Posts
    • 22,333 Thanks
    well to try and limit damage to my budget....i am going to try and live off my freezer this week (not done this before) i'm sure we have enough meals in there! I've also got rolls, and chicken slices & gammon slices in the freezer so that is lunches, breakfast we will have toast & kids have this week i am going to try and spend less than £30- would be less but typically we have run out of loo rolls, washing up liquid, hair conditioner & a few other bits that all add up :/ but food wise i hope to only buy some fresh fruit/veg/salad stuff & juice/squash etc -basic fridge items....will see how i go! Really hoping to keep spends under £300 this month!!
    2015 Goals:-#1 419.26/1000 ( #1) 41.93% , #2- 14,010.70/15,000 (new house) 93.4% #3 395.07/1000 (Rental house fund target #1) 39.5% .
    Aim High!
    Debt-Free in 2013. Saving for a better future
    • By 21st Mar 11, 10:34 AM
    • 151 Posts
    • 1,452 Thanks
    I am here to confess to buying a HUGE block of cheese at the market on Saturday , it is over 5kg in weight and cost me £20....... added to the total
    Aiming to be debt free and saving money for once in my life!!
    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 21st Mar 11, 10:45 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    I am here to confess to buying a HUGE block of cheese at the market on Saturday , it is over 5kg in weight and cost me £20....... added to the total
    Originally posted by
    is that good? and do you freeze a lot of it?
    DFBX2016 #160 - £3550/£8800

    DFBX2017 #160 - £0/£11,378

    £0/7807 CapOne (0% PAID) £0/2776 Tesco (0% PAID)
    £820/820 HSBC OD (100% PAID) £0/£795 HSBC M/C (0% PAID)
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 21st Mar 11, 11:20 AM
    • 13,812 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    is that good? and do you freeze a lot of it?
    Originally posted by cutiepieabf
    ^^wss ^^
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    I now live in a country that is 4 hours ahead of the UK so you may now find I post at weird times
    • Chloris
    • By Chloris 21st Mar 11, 11:43 AM
    • 651 Posts
    • 9,422 Thanks
    Hoping for a NSD here, may be a dash this evening for milk. I hope not!

    HM spinach and mushroom lasgana, wedges and salad for tea. And either jam buns or chelsea buns for pudding/packed lunches tomorrow. I only have one egg left so need to decide what to make.
    Last edited by Chloris; 21-03-2011 at 5:45 PM.
    • slbhill
    • By slbhill 21st Mar 11, 1:05 PM
    • 5,208 Posts
    • 363,110 Thanks
    Ok, scratch the cheap month - since things are going so well we're having a belated housewarming party at the weekend. Planning a buffet evening meal for 20 or so people. My idea is to have a variety of cold stuff out, and one oven-load of hot things (to provide hot food but not spend all of the party in the kitchen!). I've said we'll provide soft drinks but alcohol is a "bring your own" deal.

    I'll get a couple of bags of ready-made mini sausage rolls, and do a big pizza or maybe a quiche cut into bits. I have had a look through the recipe index & found some promising buffet ideas (cheesy lentil loaf in particular looks suitable) but obviously most of it is for sit-down meals. I've had a google and a general search & got a few other ideas. The easy option for hot things would be those supermarket frozen selection platters but I'd like to avoid blowing the budget completely!

    I'd love suggestions for hot or cold finger food that's reasonably cheap!
    I do have a bit of time to prepare - I'm ok at baking but not great at fiddly things It's mainly adults but some kids, mainly meat eaters but some veggies.
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 21st Mar 11, 1:07 PM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,661 Thanks
    I am here to confess to buying a HUGE block of cheese at the market on Saturday , it is over 5kg in weight and cost me £20....... added to the total
    Originally posted by
    £4 a kg thats good well done
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