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  • FIRST POST
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 27th Apr 11, 11:45 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    Pink.
    May 2011 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 27th Apr 11, 11:45 AM
    May 2011 Grocery Challenge 27th Apr 11 at 11:45 AM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the fifth Grocery Challenge of 2011,

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your April budget, then keep on posting in the April 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 #7 and #8 on this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #3, #4, #5 and #6 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Pink
    Last edited by Pink.; 29-04-2011 at 3:42 PM.
Page 9
  • Missus Aka
    CAN I BE PUT IN FOR £95 PLEASE?

    This month will be for me, ds, little sis (7) 2days per week, and my other sis (21) who will be with me for a week

    Got side tracked last month and didnt keep total....dont think i did too bad though. Will try better this month.
    SPC Member#1096 Target £150 Feb Count £82.18
    Aug Make£5P.DayChal £0/£155
    My August £100 Grocery Challenge £49.90/£100
    • Mrs Money Penny
    • By Mrs Money Penny 2nd May 11, 7:16 PM
    • 732 Posts
    • 6,347 Thanks
    Mrs Money Penny
    Hi All

    Just a little spend today of £10.90 which included a couple of things to make the following.

    Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup

    1 Medium onion
    2 red Peppers, deseeded
    1 Medium sweet Potato peeled
    2 Medium carrots
    1tbsp olive oil
    1 garlic clove
    900ml just-boiled water
    1 vegetable stock cube
    Black pepper
    Fresh basil

    Slice the onion, peppers, sweet potato and carrots. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the vegetables with the garlic for 10mins until softened. Crumble the stock cube in the pan and add the water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 10-15mins until all the vegetables are tender. Remove the pan from the heat and leave to cool. Add the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pan and heat through gently. Season with ground pepper. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.



    Have a good week everyone.
    MFIT Challenge save £40k
    £48828.05/£46842.89/-£1985.16Mortgage neutral 03/19
    • susan946
    • By susan946 2nd May 11, 7:44 PM
    • 508 Posts
    • 5,254 Thanks
    susan946
    my hubby said my bread was really heavy til i started doing it with hotter water i know this sounds silly but it does seem to work, so now i do 1/2 a cup of water from the tap and 1/4 from the kettle, it might be worth checking your measurements aswell to make sure your not using too much flour

    homemade bread is generally more filling anyway but my first ones were real stodgy now there lovely and i have a slicer now aswell, i have bought a few loafs the past 3weeks with the kids being sick and holidays ect but i'll be going back to hm now i acually made one this morning
    Originally posted by quintwins
    My brother-in-law made some beautifully light bread at Christmas so I asked him his secret. He said he has adapted Delia's method. I have used his method and our bread is lighter. He made white bread and we always like wholemeal and that is always denser but this is how I do it.

    Start with the tepid water. I test it with a finger and if it is just slightly warm that seems about right. I dissolve the dried yeast and sugar in the water in a jug, give it a quick whisk with a fork and leave it somewhere warm. I preheat the microwave combi oven to 150 and weigh out the floue - half and half extra strong white and strong wholemeal in the bm bowl with salt to taste. Turn the oven off as soon as it reaches temperature and pop the flours in. Leave for around 30 minutes (not critical) while you go and do something else.

    By this time there should be a froth on the yeast. The flour should be just warm. Pop the bowl in the bm, start the programme and as the paddle turns slowly add the yeast mix. I always stand by at this point with a wooden knife to make sure all the flour gets mixed in. It should anyway but I have known it not to.

    After that just let the programme run.

    Our bread is much lighter made this way and it's worth the extra wait.

    Sue
    • fedupandskint
    • By fedupandskint 2nd May 11, 7:46 PM
    • 10,351 Posts
    • 97,525 Thanks
    fedupandskint
    Just to clear up any confusion about which recipe it was its this one - I didn't realise there were 2 recipes on the front page

    Spicy bean and lentil loaf http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?p=20913853#post20913853

    By the way do you mind if I ask a question? I usually make pizza bases using the BM prog and strong white four. Would the pizza dough programme work with normal plain flour? Just wondered today as I'm about to run out of strong flour
    final unsecured debt to repay currently £8333
    Proud to be Dealing With my Debt
    DFW Nerd 1154 Long Haul 155
    • looie
    • By looie 2nd May 11, 8:27 PM
    • 701 Posts
    • 5,749 Thanks
    looie
    Updated sig with latest spend of £6.95 in a's today. Back to work tomorrow after nearly two weeks off and needed milk and coffee.
  • rosieben
    Mrs Money Penny, I've added your Red Pepper and Sweet Potato Soup recipe to the index
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • ragz
    • By ragz 2nd May 11, 9:05 PM
    • 3,153 Posts
    • 27,335 Thanks
    ragz
    Does anyone on the grocery challenge get veg boxes? Do you find it helps? I'm just wondering as it may stop me needing to go to supermarkets so often as I can get milk from milkman (and veg boxes! though I'd rather get a local one).
    Ragz is busy studying
    Progress is easier to acheive than perfection.
    • TheThriftyScrumpers
    • By TheThriftyScrumpers 2nd May 11, 9:14 PM
    • 272 Posts
    • 5,359 Thanks
    TheThriftyScrumpers
    Hi
    Nsd day today
    I have a veg box coming thurs and a meal plan for week so I will only need to get some milk.

    NickJW
    I cooked the recipe you recommended for Rosieben - White fish with spicy beans and chorizo. It was delicious and very easy and quick. Thanks, I will definitely make this again.
    GC Mar 11 £437.08Apr 11 £459.26 May 11 £485.52 June 11 £423.79July 11 £409.22 Aug 11 £250.10Sept 11 £396.14Oct 11 £382.37Nov 11 £372.55Dec 11 £332.29 Jan 12 £375.19:Feb 12 £349.58Mar 12 £279.66Apr 12 £249.12May 12 £337.66/Jun 12 £362.58/Jul 12 £317.03/Aug 12 £354.02/Sept £439.72/Oct 12 £210.16
    • meanmarie
    • By meanmarie 2nd May 11, 9:15 PM
    • 5,135 Posts
    • 49,952 Thanks
    meanmarie
    Spent €51.23 to-day....not as bad as expected but have to buy roast of beef for visitors on Thursday, there will be 10 of us so need a good joint....have chosen beef as butcher has offer on at present of 5.+ per kilo...half price so a good deal.

    Marie
    Weight 08 February 86kg
    • TheThriftyScrumpers
    • By TheThriftyScrumpers 2nd May 11, 9:27 PM
    • 272 Posts
    • 5,359 Thanks
    TheThriftyScrumpers
    Ragz
    I have been getting a veg box for about a month now and I love it. We are trying different veg and new recipes. I am using Abel and Cole. They were doing "get your 4th box free". You could choose any box for your free one so I went for large fruit and veg which should cost £24 Their website has a recipe section which is good. You can also get loads of other stuff too like bread, milk, meat etc.

    I plan to get my meat in bulk from my butcher/farmers Market, veg/fruit weekly by box which should result in one or two supermarket shops a month. Supermarkets are my downfall, it's so easy to get drawn in by their offers and end up buying stuff I don't need. Hope this helps.
    GC Mar 11 £437.08Apr 11 £459.26 May 11 £485.52 June 11 £423.79July 11 £409.22 Aug 11 £250.10Sept 11 £396.14Oct 11 £382.37Nov 11 £372.55Dec 11 £332.29 Jan 12 £375.19:Feb 12 £349.58Mar 12 £279.66Apr 12 £249.12May 12 £337.66/Jun 12 £362.58/Jul 12 £317.03/Aug 12 £354.02/Sept £439.72/Oct 12 £210.16
  • JayJay14
    By the way do you mind if I ask a question? I usually make pizza bases using the BM prog and strong white four. Would the pizza dough programme work with normal plain flour? Just wondered today as I'm about to run out of strong flour
    Originally posted by fedupandskint
    I have a pizza express recipe book which says use about half an half plain and strong flour. I often use ordinary flour for bread, especially rolls.

    GC going fine for the start of the month though I am going to be in a big te$co tomorrow - could be expensive.
    • boysma
    • By boysma 3rd May 11, 6:08 AM
    • 827 Posts
    • 12,862 Thanks
    boysma
    Counted up my receipts from 27th April and they total 76.68 I have a 4.00 off 30.00 spend for Mr T which i intend to use before 15th when it expires. Just have to get potatoes today for evening meal and have meal planned for nearly 2 weeks using freezer food. Will need a top up shop though to supplement it. Fingers crossed i can come under budget this month.
    Payment A Day £15 (started 17/5/14)
    • Savvy sewing
    • By Savvy sewing 3rd May 11, 7:14 AM
    • 10,808 Posts
    • 56,813 Thanks
    Savvy sewing
    Sorry I have been abscent most of the time. Have to confess I didnt follow any of my plans. Although I only did two major shops in April, I avent done my accounts! Oopos. But think I probably spent about £250 last month.

    I will try harder this month. Please can you put me down for £200 for may please.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
  • espresso21
    I am finding this time of year difficult - as the weather gets better, my husband does more barbecues which are meat-heavy. Normally I cook meals which can be stretched in various ways but a bbq tends to be a slab of meat and some salad - it's a bit difficult to use the normal tricks to stretch the meals in this case.
    • hex2
    • By hex2 3rd May 11, 7:31 AM
    • 4,722 Posts
    • 80,174 Thanks
    hex2
    Ragz, I have been experimenting with veg boxes for a while now. If by the Milkman you mean Milk&More I shouldn't bother, very poor value for money and it wasn't great quality. Google for box schemes in your area. I am lucky and can choose from two milkmen (the one I use - Kirby and West - does a huge box of F&V from Leicester wholesale market for £13), two local schemes plus the two big schemes of A&C and Riverford. If it has to be organic then A&C is great quality and you can stop them sending things you don't like - valuewise they are ok when I can get 3 for 4 boxes but I don't bother with the fruit as it is very pricey. The local schemes were ok but better in the summer gluts when I don't need a box, and I haven't tried Riverford. My 25 trips to the co-op were mostly not for fruit and veg BTW but we do tend to need more carrots and cucumber for small people who like them a lot.

    Fedup, I am sure the recipe I use for pizza bases specifies normal flour.

    Today will be a spend day but I am planning. I tidied the kitchen and swapped the stuff that was stored in our bedroom to the pantry. I can now see what we need for packed lunches so I can go with a list rather than make random purchases. Juice cartons for packed lunches, packed lunch stuff, cereal, tomatoes, carrots and cucumber. Tissues, and PG Tips if they have them on offer.

    50p for butter in Asda looks very tempting but I would be making a specific journey and I don't actually need it.
    Last edited by hex2; 03-05-2011 at 7:35 AM.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • scotsaver
    I am finding this time of year difficult - as the weather gets better, my husband does more barbecues which are meat-heavy. Normally I cook meals which can be stretched in various ways but a bbq tends to be a slab of meat and some salad - it's a bit difficult to use the normal tricks to stretch the meals in this case.
    Originally posted by espresso21
    espresso21 - hi, can't you just try to convince him that you don't need to have a BBQ to eat outside, you can still have what you would normally cook but still eat Dinner outside?

    I've updated my total with spends from the last few days, don't really know what it's been spent on as I still need to go shopping today to get some more Fruit. It's been a funny few weeks with the Kids having 2 weeks off for Easter and only being back at School 3 days and having the last 4 days off, back at School today and hopefully things will get back to normal - they just eat so much and when they have Friends over it's even worse.

    Visited a Farm shop yesterday so with our DR Sausages tonight we are having some Steamed Jersey Royals, steamed asparagus and carrots.

    Have been trying to use up the DR supplies so that I can place an order for the end of May, I've only had 2 deliveries this year and still have a lot of stuff left so quite pleased with how it's fitting into our Budget. We had the Sirloin steak on Saturday night and it was melt in the mouth, no shrinkage and definitely worth the money.

    Have a good day everyone.
    "WASTE NOT, WANT NOT!"
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 3rd May 11, 8:21 AM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,569 Thanks
    quintwins
    My brother-in-law made some beautifully light bread at Christmas so I asked him his secret. He said he has adapted Delia's method. I have used his method and our bread is lighter. He made white bread and we always like wholemeal and that is always denser but this is how I do it.

    Start with the tepid water. I test it with a finger and if it is just slightly warm that seems about right. I dissolve the dried yeast and sugar in the water in a jug, give it a quick whisk with a fork and leave it somewhere warm. I preheat the microwave combi oven to 150 and weigh out the floue - half and half extra strong white and strong wholemeal in the bm bowl with salt to taste. Turn the oven off as soon as it reaches temperature and pop the flours in. Leave for around 30 minutes (not critical) while you go and do something else.

    By this time there should be a froth on the yeast. The flour should be just warm. Pop the bowl in the bm, start the programme and as the paddle turns slowly add the yeast mix. I always stand by at this point with a wooden knife to make sure all the flour gets mixed in. It should anyway but I have known it not to.

    After that just let the programme run.

    Our bread is much lighter made this way and it's worth the extra wait.

    Sue
    Originally posted by susan946
    i do mine in the breadmaker tho so i just wing it in and go

    i'm just back from my first school run of the week, now i'm off to the post office and to grab a few bits from town will update when i'm bk but since i only have £12 in my purse i can't see myself spending much

    i don't buy a veg box because the only local place is very expensive and i tend to buy reduced fruit in te$co and frozen veg
    OCT GC £196.12/£200
    • ragz
    • By ragz 3rd May 11, 8:52 AM
    • 3,153 Posts
    • 27,335 Thanks
    ragz
    Espresso21 - How about kebabs? Good way to stretch meat on a BBQ as you can load up the veg too, plus it makes it more of a complete meal... you can use marinades too so you get a lot of flavour. Also making your own burgers can be cheaper than 'lumps' of meat as you can bulk them out with breadcrumbs and grated veg (carrots in beef, apples in pork).

    Hex2 Thanks for the tips on veg boxes, I had decided against the milknmore one as like you said its not great value. I've found a local one for the same price as A&C so I'll try that for a week or two and see how it goes.

    Hoping for a complete NSD today, don't need anything. We were given a complete cider kit by a friend last night which will make 40 pints in 4 weeks so that should save us a bit on the booze next month!
    Ragz is busy studying
    Progress is easier to acheive than perfection.
  • rachbc
    Can I go down fro £240 again please. Doing the Live Below the Line challege this week so mon-fri is £20 budget this week - spent £15 as had some stuff fo the challenege in already. Will no doubt blow the budget on a mega shop on saturday lol!

    Going to keep at this for a few months before seeing if I want to shave anymore off - currently feels comfortable at this level
    Last edited by rachbc; 03-05-2011 at 1:13 PM.
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 3rd May 11, 10:32 AM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,569 Thanks
    quintwins
    just back spent 90p in iceland on milk, £1.68 in tesco on bananas and some orange juice (not cause i needed it but because i was dying for a drink and it was teh cheapest option) and £9.50 in next clearance on some new pumps for the twins, i nearly didn't buy them because i could get them elsewhere for the same price til i relised that next sells on better so i might aswell
    OCT GC £196.12/£200
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