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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 69
    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 28th Mar 11, 10:34 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    Easy Cheesy Tortellini

    1 pack of spinach and ricotta tortellini
    1 jar of tomato pasta sauce
    1 ball of mozzarella

    - Sprinkle bottom of casserole dish with water
    - Lay tortellini in bottom of casserole dish
    - tear up half of mozzarella into pieces and sprinkle over pasta
    - pour half of jar of sauce over pasta and top with remaining half of mozzarella
    - grill for 10 mins

    Now, this is what the recipe said, but after 10 mins the top was cooked and the pasta was still cold so i decanted into bowls and zapped in microwave for 2mins. Result = DELISH!!! Will definately do this one again!!
    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)
    • Chloris
    • By Chloris 28th Mar 11, 10:52 AM
    • 659 Posts
    • 9,479 Thanks
    I am declaring for March £418.88 which brings my annual budget up to £1169.92. So I am over budget for March (again!). But I am going to drop my monthly budget to £330 for April and if I can manage this every month (!) I will be inside my annual come the end of the year. (Sorry for the messing around Mrs M.)

    First spend of £15.53 at C*-0p. Have done a monthly meal plan so I picked up some offers and whoopsies for later in the month. Will see how this method of planning goes.

    Good luck everyone. x
  • shinydriver
    I lost the plot in March. Going to keep plodding along though as we have found my H's job isn't as safe as we thought it was going to be.

    April runs from 24 March to 23 April and I am going to take my budget out in cash and see how that goes. it will be £200 for April

    Thank you
    New to MSE

    April grocery challenge £200

    March GC lost count
    February GC £216/£200 (1st month)
    2 Adults (one Weightwatcher ), 2 Children aged 2 & 4
    • cookiemum
    • By cookiemum 28th Mar 11, 11:50 AM
    • 131 Posts
    • 2,119 Thanks
    Declaring at £290.12 for March.

    Please can you put me down for £300 for April. Already been naughty and ordered a case of Wine from Tesco for £44 but it will last us a couple of months so don't know whether to split it over two months or take hit in April! Decisions, decisions.

    Well done everyone for this month .

    February Grocery Challenge £301.46/300
    To feed - Me, DH, DD, DS and 1 dog

    • perrywinkle
    • By perrywinkle 28th Mar 11, 1:43 PM
    • 224 Posts
    • 2,641 Thanks
    Last edited by perrywinkle; 03-06-2012 at 7:52 PM.
    • Mrs Money Penny
    • By Mrs Money Penny 28th Mar 11, 3:03 PM
    • 732 Posts
    • 6,347 Thanks
    Mrs Money Penny
    Hi Had a spend this weekend of £42.80. Good luck everyone.
    MFIT Challenge save £40k
    £48828.05/£46842.89/-£1985.16Mortgage neutral 03/19
    • lotti379
    • By lotti379 28th Mar 11, 5:08 PM
    • 787 Posts
    • 6,181 Thanks
    Another small spend taking us up to £188.98/£200

    I really really hope we do it, there is only 5 days left of march, and this is the closest we've ever come!
    “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”

    NSD Challenge: August 2017 2/15
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 28th Mar 11, 5:17 PM
    • 7,396 Posts
    • 44,269 Thanks
    determined new ms
    Hello I'd like to join if that's ok? Can't promise I'll keep up with everyone but I'll try, have kept myself entertained while off sick today reading your posts. Going to put myself down for £250 for April - for myself, oh & ds & we have 2 18 yo thai girls staying for the duration!
    DF as at 30/12/16
    Wombling 2017 £3016.55/Roadkill £8.73
    Wombling 2018 £145.73/RK £0.04
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 28th Mar 11, 6:09 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    £1.48 spent in Lidl today on a bag of apples and a bag of red onions.
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 28th Mar 11, 6:36 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    Spent £14.99 in tesc@ on saturday, bringing my total to £127.72, which for this far into the month is unheard of! Also, out of the 28 days so far in March, I have 20 NSDs!!

    Still no fridge freezer, which tbh is helping a bit, as otherwise I would be more tempted to have a mooch. That comes on Friday, which is sort of good and bad. Good because it's a new month's budget, but bad because it's a new month's budget and I don't want to blow it all! Will organise my outside freezer into the indoor one first, then see how much space is left for stocking up with stuff before I even go near a sm!

    Not declaring for March yet, but would like to set £150 for April please. I was going to lower it, but then realised that 2 weeks of that is school hols so we'll be eating more (never really sure how that works!!) My aim is to hit target 2 months in a row, then lower to £130. Maybe!

    Hope everyone has had something good happen to them today. No matter how small, a good thing is still a good thing, and is what keeps you going when the going feels tough.

    PG x
    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
  • lost_mum
    Hi I would like to join in for April if thats ok I tend to shop weekly am going to start with a budget of £100 for the week thats for me DH and 4 fussy DCs that never seem to like anything I cook and all cleaning products etchave never stuck to a budget before and meal plan so am hoping it goes well.
    I am going to start with trying to make our food better fresh meat more veg and less sweets and waste am following SW and am happy without meat for a fair few meals then will look into reducing my budget does that sound like a good plan am worried if I went for better food and smaller budget I would fail and give up

    Am off to look up meal plans and recipes now
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 28th Mar 11, 6:54 PM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,569 Thanks
    sorry i know i already declared but was reading someone elses post and i just relised the twins are off for over 2 weeks for easter at the end of april so

    can i please have £250 for april instead

    sorry to be awkward
    OCT GC £196.12/£200
    • Pinwheel
    • By Pinwheel 28th Mar 11, 7:16 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 1,138 Thanks
    Just updated my new April signature. Our month started on Friday and I've already spent loads, worryingly I haven't done my usual internet shop to start the month off but have still managed to spend £67.95. I usually get a months supply of bread flour, butter, tea bags, tins, fruit juice etc but I haven't done that, and now I feel that I can't because I won't have enough money left for top up shops for the rest of the month. I'm going to have another look at my receipts and my meal plan and see what I can work out. I think I got a bit carried away, I did buy some treats like cornett*s and a few other unnecessaries! Ooops.
    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 -
    • Living proof
    • By Living proof 28th Mar 11, 7:37 PM
    • 1,615 Posts
    • 10,561 Thanks
    Living proof
    PennyGrabber - I had something good happen today. My refund of car tax from a car a sold in December could well have been forgotten about but I put the expected payment in my budgetting spreadsheet and therefore, when it didn't materialise, forced me to contact DVLA to get their act together. Almost £100 that could have gone permanently AWOL!

    This is on top of having a £50 cash bonus at work, £25 premium bond win and £61 charity win all in the same month.

    What's the expression - money breeds money.

    I knew that compost bin would come in useful one day!
  • cat_smith
    OK. Rethink of menus for the week. I'm feeling yucky and barely managed to keep down a couple of bites of omelette today. DH fed from batch baking in freezer. Going to re-arrange to something very simple for tomorrow in case I still feel this bad.

    Being carless has its advantages. No random Mr T trips for little bits that turn into major expenditure. Although 2 of the clementines that were delivered on Friday are already rotting so I'm not happy with that.
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
  • destroyerofdebt2011
    First spend of the month for me not a biggee because i used up a double the difference voucher but im counting it as its full value to save the voucher value till later in the month iykwim.

    £2.47 on shop bought, biscuits, sweeties and choc 3p change placed in the misc tin for padding with later
    £8.25 on proper food for the week.

    Just baked some peanut butter cookies and a fruit tea loaf with some home made candied peel and some currants. So deffo shouldnt need to buy any more naughty goodies this week. Now off to update siggy...
    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
    • runnerbean17
    • By runnerbean17 28th Mar 11, 8:36 PM
    • 279 Posts
    • 2,498 Thanks
    Declaring 352.39 for March

    please put me down for340.00 for April thanks
    Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend...

    • Gracie_1827
    • By Gracie_1827 28th Mar 11, 9:38 PM
    • 290 Posts
    • 2,487 Thanks
    Declaring for March £177.28 over again!!!grrr

    Please put me down for £140 for April....and I'll try again to keep under
    GC - Oct £36.17/£31
    GC - Sep £35.56/£30
    GC - Aug £30.73/£31
    GC - Jul £30.80/£31
  • ChocClare
    Well, it's the 28th of March and I've got a pile of receipts I haven't even looked at or counted. I think I came in under budget but couldn't swear to it and have indeed probably spent more than usual for the simple reason that I haven't been keeping an eye on it AT ALL.

    So please may I forget about March and try again for April with my "usual"


    Thank you very much - Must Do Better...
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 29th Mar 11, 12:38 AM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    Hi all-Ive been missing from forums this week-just so busy!Hospital visits were frustrating and none the wiser for all of the scans! Just awaiting some action on that front! Work busy but I still manage to shop too much!
    Defrosted my freezer Mon afternoon(was going to say today but er- its now yesterday)and was amazed by just how much stuff is in there. My ds(21)said well surely thats good? Well-it is and it isnt cos somehow it needs using! so I bagged it all up on the garage floor(its a big chest freezer)sorted it out to bags of potato products, veg,meat etc so I know where to look for things-put all my readymade meals in tubs on one side in the little divider bit and its all done. I scrape it and sweep it up with a dustpan and brush to defrost. Its all done and finished before theres any sign of wetness on the bottom of the freezer. Im always worried that it may not start up again after switching it off as its now 16 years old so not covered on my contents insurance(up to 15 yrs). so I want to lower the value of what it contains as presently there is a lot of meat in it which Ive bought reduced the last two weeks. Ive been totallling up ready to declare and I know Im over BUT Ive inclueded fuel for 2 cars of about £110 so I may rejig my grocery allowance and exclude fuel with the high price of it as it is throwing the budget askew and not really reflecting grocery spends. If I do this I will of course lower my annual budget to reflect Im not including fuel-I will update on this later.

    Spiggle-thinking of you-hoping you are ok as Ive not had time to read the lates posts.

    Big hugs to all who need them.((()))
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
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