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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 24th Mar 11, 4:15 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    April 2011 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 24th Mar 11, 4:15 PM
    April 2011 Grocery Challenge 24th Mar 11 at 4:15 PM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the fourth Grocery Challenge of 2011, Spring has sprung and I'm feeling optimistic! Hopefully we'll all have a good month!

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your March budget, then keep on posting in the March 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.; 29-03-2011 at 9:35 AM.
Page 35
  • sparkle76
    I *need* to rejoin this thread as we have been terrible lately...

    In our flat in town we used to spend around 30 a week for 2 of us...

    Now we are out of town in a house, and have a hungry cat and a car... average spend is 60 per week! Food & cat food alone is 50 of that prob.

    We have a baby on the way, so I really have to get on with this, any help much appreciated!

    I'm thinking that motivation techniques will be to stop buying bad food and expensive fresh food (pregnancy's fault, not mine)... keep receipts on the coffee table for that particular month rather than all in a stack I never look at... Maybe start shopping online too again as this was good before, now we have the space though x
    Last edited by sparkle76; 20-04-2011 at 6:44 PM.
    Little Sweetpea born 12th July 2011

  • 123budget
    Well last shop of the month for me tomorrow. Second month on challenge and second month Iv;e gone over With the kids being off and the weather changing my 5 week meal plan didn't really work - think I may try doing a 2 week plan instead. So as it stands I am 60 over but have just gone through freezers and cupboards and have loads of meat in. Decided to have bbq this sunday and found, pork loin steaks, 4 burgers, chicken breasts and loads of mince so I can make more burgers if friends come round. Also have more than enough meat, frozen potato wedges etc to last the rest of the week. Hopefully shopping will be no more than 40 tomorrow to make it a round 100 over . I am still fairly happy because it is still less than I used to spend before I joined the challenge - next month can only be better!!
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2011 / no. 1205 110 made]Sealed Pot Challenge 2012/no 1205 target 300
    Jan g/c 355.83/450
    g/c Feb487.66/400
    March 411.03/450
    To feed 5 adults and 2 dogs includes toiletries & cleanining
  • Downsizing
    NSD today. Well, I say that, but I did spend in Starbucks. That's under 'entertainment for the holidays' budget, and tbh I can't remember the last time I went to one. Having been today, now I remember why I never go! Took the children to meet a mate, she suggested there (she doesn't have kids!!), and I had a hot chocolate. There was very little choice for the children, so they had an innocent smoothie each - at least it was 2 of their 5 a day!- but it cost me nearly 8!! It was over 2 for each drink, and I was thinking "I could make a 3 course meal for the price of each of these drinks!" Ridiculous!

    PG x
    Originally posted by PennyGrabber
    Just a thought - Starbucks here do a "babyccino" - warm milk and froth - for kids - and it's free! Aso, if you get a Starbucks card and register it, you get all sorts of freebies such as free soy milk, free syrup in your drinks, free cream, etc. You also get a tall filter coffee for 1 instead of 1.50 and a free refill is included. So my tall filter coffee with cream and hazelnut syrup x 2 costs me 1 and I get a free babyccino for my daughter too. Worth asking about!
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 20th Apr 11, 8:18 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    1.05 spent yesterday on sweets for the cinema.

    1.54 spent today on a newspaper, baguette and mustard seeds.
    Grocery challenge - Nov: 52/100
    • pepsi-kins
    • By pepsi-kins 20th Apr 11, 8:19 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 1,984 Thanks
    [QUOTE=tootoo;43011714]I would like to know the answer to this too! He will eat tinned tuna, but then refuse anything for the next few days thinking if he protests he will live on tuna forever!.....I bought felix tins (surely the same as pouches!?) and he is refusing to eat them, just munching his biscuits instead....guess I'll be going shopping tomorrow!

    I've never "quoted" before, so I hope this is right! Back in January I decided to try my cat on fe!ix tins rather than the pouches, as I was probably throwing away more than she ate. For the first week, she wouldn't touch the tinned stuff, just munched her biscuits instead. I was determined, not to give in to her, so it took about another week, of me sitting on the floor next to her bowl coaxing her to eat...finally she started eating it, no problems at all, and it has saved me a fortune. I bought the tins on Ama!!on, not sure how many I got now, it cost me 28 and I still have several left, so I am really chuffed I persivered.
    2018 G/C 2951.61/2250
    Vouchers used 553.23
    Extra money 250
    2019 G/C 2562.28
    Vouchers: 213.33
    • Sue14
    • By Sue14 20th Apr 11, 8:56 PM
    • 899 Posts
    • 10,894 Thanks
    Went to Mr M's on Monday and spent 44.24, still not doing too bad, but need to go to A1di tomorrow for a few bits.
    Weight loss challenge 3/10lbs
    Total weight loss 21lbs

    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 20th Apr 11, 9:29 PM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,569 Thanks
    went to spend my dtd vouchers so have a few spends, i muddled myself up so my first one was 28.88 then a 20 voucher, 2nd one was 21.42 with a voucher for 19.44 then i did a sperate shop of 6.18 for toothbrushes and toothpaste on offer and a few woopsies hoping for 2 vouchers back of 30-35

    in acual cash i spent 15.06
    Last edited by quintwins; 20-04-2011 at 9:32 PM.
    OCT GC 196.12/200
  • Hippeechiq
    Sistercas Glad your back is finally showing signs of improvement hun

    Am now at 189.37 out of 240 and there are sooo many things I need to buy, and they add up to more than I have. I constantly seem to have a list of things I need but don't have the money for and I owe money to my 2nd Purse. I knew I would find it difficult to pay money back each time I use something, simply because I never have spare money, but I'll stick with it for a while yet to see if I can look at it from another angle, because I can see that it will help me if I can perfect it.

    That said, I still feel I'm doing well considering 5 months ago my budget was 275
    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
  • Mothership
    Sistercas Glad your back is finally showing signs of improvement hun

    Am now at 189.37 out of 240 and there are sooo many things I need to buy, and they add up to more than I have. I constantly seem to have a list of things I need but don't have the money for and I owe money to my 2nd Purse. I knew I would find it difficult to pay money back each time I use something, simply because I never have spare money, but I'll stick with it for a while yet to see if I can look at it from another angle, because I can see that it will help me if I can perfect it.

    That said, I still feel I'm doing well considering 5 months ago my budget was 275
    Originally posted by Hippeechiq
    Hi Hippieechiq

    I didn't know you were trying the 2nd purse
    Just remember the 2nd purse is there to take the pressure off you, not add to it. If you can put aside the 10 per month for stocking up items you use all the time, and buy different items every time over the course of a year, what happens is you gradually reduce your main shopping bill, thus freeing up money to pay back the purse. Why don't you try the 10 per month for 6-12 months just to stock up , then start paying back the purse for the items you use, when you feel you can afford to.
    If you have a wee look at my signature, you will see that I'm not spending much, just fresh fruit & veg /bread/milk ( wee top up shops). I've been experimenting to see just how far I can take this, we have been living from the freezer stock and store cupboards for the last two months, I'm paying the purse 3 per day at the end of the month for re-stocking, ( mainly for freezer stock). The beauty of it is 'you still have the money'. I've been re-stocking with prime meat, we eat a little less, it tastes better, and we are feeling healthier. Canny be bad.

    When I started the 2nd purse, I had so little money and so many to feed. If you can persevere with it, you will benefit in the long run.
    This thread has been a real eye opener for me, I've completely changed my ways, my months spend last April was 600. I think the S/Mkts have us all brainwashed into thinking we 'need ' all this stuff. We can get by on so much less than you think.
    I've started shopping for 'opportunities', what I mean by that is, I see what fresh produce I can find cheap, then meal plan around them. One of my recent bargains was 1.5 kg of mushrooms at 66p. Boy did we have a few feasts with those LOL.
    Love and light to you and your DD hippeechiq xx

    Macaroni cheese, roast potatoes, salad & gammon for dinner last night.
    Lost ram (Roast Lamb with rosemary/garlic/ baby potatoes/ brussels sprouts/carrots tonight ).
    Last edited by Mothership; 21-04-2011 at 1:35 AM.
    1st Purse 114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse 100
    Fridge Freezer 300 3rd Purse /290.94
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 21st Apr 11, 5:45 AM
    • 4,842 Posts
    • 58,667 Thanks
    Sistercas Glad your back is finally showing signs of improvement hun
    Originally posted by Hippeechiq
    thanks hun x

    my online t3sco shop is coming today , i didnt order any meat as i have some in the freezer but i did order some ice cream and ice lollies for the kids as then weather has been so warm

    the kids are asking for a bbq but im reluctant as we end up using meat that could have been stretched to 3-4 meals in 1 go
    think i will make up some braised mnce ( a la economy gastronomy) so i can make a lasagne and a cottage pie

    i need to do a meal plan for the next 7 days
    • cookiemum
    • By cookiemum 21st Apr 11, 6:52 AM
    • 131 Posts
    • 2,119 Thanks
    Not been able to post for a while - work been crazy busy.

    Just added up total and already over . Planning a bbq on sunday with family so still have meat to buy - agree that you use so much more meat than usual but it is a treat for mum who is arranging Easter egg hunt for the kids!

    Pay day next tuesday so not long to go luckily.

    Enjoy sunny weekend everyone

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

  • GroinSexyPavement
    Will have 5 extra mouths to feed this long weekend, so I'm very worried about exceeding my budget. I hope I can just scrape through, though there has been talk of takeaways and meals out
    MayGC:118/360 April:283
    • Trim my budget
    • By Trim my budget 21st Apr 11, 9:10 AM
    • 31 Posts
    • 246 Thanks
    Trim my budget
    We have a Spanish friend coming to stay for a week next Saturday, so any ideas for nice meals that aren't going to break the budget would help! Have just about managed this month feeding hubby and 2 hungry teenagers on 70 a week and dont want to go back to old ways!
    Credit card debt 480- interest free until Aug 2014
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 21st Apr 11, 9:15 AM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,569 Thanks
    morning all, today shud be a nsd, havent really decided wat to do for tea, i'm thinking cheese and ham toasties and a few chips, i'm feeling rough again i was up half the night with one of the boys and my ears so i'd like something quick and easy because i then have to go help my mum move
    OCT GC 196.12/200
    • Chloris
    • By Chloris 21st Apr 11, 10:03 AM
    • 659 Posts
    • 9,479 Thanks
    Have updated signature with our last big shop of the month. A whopping 77.06 at MrM. I seriously am banned from going to the shops as we always spend more when I am there. If I write the list and leave DH to it is works fine. He doesn't know what the meal plan is so doesn't pick up nice little bits to go with things. I am under budget at present, so it looks like no top ups this week. Except maybe milk.

    Made lovely smoked hoki fishcakes, new pots, peas and tartar sauce for tea last night. 52pence a head, so annoyingly over my ideal 50p. That will be because of the tartar sauce that wasn't on the list .
    • Baileys Babe
    • By Baileys Babe 21st Apr 11, 10:37 AM
    • 2,586 Posts
    • 13,538 Thanks
    Baileys Babe
    Just popping to up date & keep me on track.
    13/4 Sains 32.58 mainly fruit, salad & fish in laws were visiting the next day
    15/4 Ald! 11.80 a few bits for dinner and some baking stuff for the stores
    19/4 Tesc0s 14.50 included a bucket of Easter eggs for Sundays hunt as well as the bits from the original shopping trip earlier in the month where I came home to socialise instead of going to Mr T's
    20/4 14.50 veg box

    Bring my total for the year to 1354.30
  • Rebekah24
    Trying to keep my shopping OS/ as cheap as possible whilst seperate to OH ..any help
    Was not sure where to pop this really, but any help at all would be fantastic.

    I think I will ultimately join the April thread for help with this.

    Probably going to shoot for a low goal for myself and go for it. I have been getting my OH's shopping and my own for the past couple of months but it isnt really working out doing it that way. Now he is going to order his and I am going to get mine seperately.

    Would it keep me more mindful to have physical 10 a week to spend or 10 in an account?? - any tips at all would be ace.

    All my food items go in the salad crisper/ I have a freezer drawer! Nice and easy!

    I spend around 1/5 of the amount OH & kids spend & I really need to start making more savings in my personal budget, this is somewhere I can really be saving on!! Have done it in the past when on my own and want to get it going again!! Just need some help really

    I am thinking - divvy up 30 in an envelope and thats my food money for the month. When its done its done. If I do get anything for OH to immidately give the receipt to him to be reinbursed

    Can use freezer space etc for whoopsies ... plenty of opportunity to shop different places and lots of larder space in new house!

    Been away too long I think..have clearly been gone far too long!! lol we been spending 40 a week..I never used to spend that a month!! Time to get it down!!

    Any tips/suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks in advance guys
    OU Law student

    May Grocery challenge

    30/ 11
    • nessie216
    • By nessie216 21st Apr 11, 10:54 AM
    • 839 Posts
    • 5,176 Thanks
    Morning . . . just about

    Just updating my sig & my April challenge is complete (runs from 20th of month due to pay day)

    Major disappointment as totally blew it, but i have had a pay rise, and done some overtime

    Also stocked up on my cereal bars etc.

    Next month will be better


    April = 237.31

    May Challenge = 180.00

    Changing it to give me a little bit of a boost if i come in under budget!

    • nessie216
    • By nessie216 21st Apr 11, 10:57 AM
    • 839 Posts
    • 5,176 Thanks
    We have a Spanish friend coming to stay for a week next Saturday, so any ideas for nice meals that aren't going to break the budget would help! Have just about managed this month feeding hubby and 2 hungry teenagers on 70 a week and dont want to go back to old ways!
    Originally posted by Trim my budget
    How about a mushroom risotto?

    A curry?


    Shepards pie?

    I haven't read the past .... pages, but has anyone been taking the tips on board from the SuperScrimpers on Channel4?
    You can bulk out a chilli or shephards pie with oats apparantley, keeping costs down!

  • rachbc
    Just checking I have got this right - you live with Oh and kids but buy and cook seperate food for yourself? Why don't you cshop/ cook togtehjr - its often a cheaper way of doing things overall.

    You have a budget of 30 per month - is this for all your food/ drink? I don't know if the cheap family recipes planner can be adapted for 1 as some if it invovled bulk batch cooking but in theory that would feed you healthily for 25. What sort of stuff do you like to eat/ cook?
    Last edited by rachbc; 21-04-2011 at 11:03 AM.
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