Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 27th Apr 11, 11:45 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    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'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!

    Last edited by Pink.; 29-04-2011 at 3:42 PM.
Page 10
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 3rd May 11, 10:56 AM
    • 13,812 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    Have done a Tesco online shop for tomorrow morning and an Approved Food shop. When they arrive I will update my sig. when they arrive and I know for definate how much they are going to cost. The Approved Foods one was lunchbox stuff and trolls, as they are known here (toilet rolls that got written on the shopping list T.rolls and then t.rolls and then trolls as we got lazy.) Anyway hopefully I won't have to buy stuff for the lunchbox for a while which will hopefully make the bills cheaper, we'll see.
    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
    • SilverBird
    • By SilverBird 3rd May 11, 11:00 AM
    • 251 Posts
    • 2,107 Thanks
    My GC budget for May is £200.
    #Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain #We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us #If you focus on what you have left behind, you will never see what lies ahead - Gusteau/Ratatouille
    GC 2018: £2,104.01/£2,160 total spend
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 3rd May 11, 11:37 AM
    • 656 Posts
    • 1,883 Thanks
    I just popped to Asda and spent £12.74, and then to Lidl and spent £17.57. I've taken out cash and am only buying groceries using cash this month, and I'm hoping that will really give me some restraint. I've got meals planned for the week now so I'm hoping for a few NSD's although with the kids hobbies on Thursday and friday, those are impossible!
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2019 £11.69/£500
    Bring your Lunch to Work to Work Jan 0/19
    £2 Savers Club #25 - £4
    Pay debt in 100 days £170/£1200
    • Sparklyfairy
    • By Sparklyfairy 3rd May 11, 12:28 PM
    • 751 Posts
    • 1,539 Thanks
    My target for May is £188
    many thanks & good luck to all!
    • cookiemum
    • By cookiemum 3rd May 11, 12:36 PM
    • 131 Posts
    • 2,119 Thanks
    Please can you put me down for £300 for May. After my disaster in April am determined to be within budget this month.

    Already spend £77.92 but I am taking out weekly cash and keeping to a strict meal plan so fingers, toes and everything else crossed I should do it!

    Good luck

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

    • hex2
    • By hex2 3rd May 11, 12:56 PM
    • 4,722 Posts
    • 80,174 Thanks
    We voted and CBA to go shopping so we went to the village co-op instead. £5.62 spent on cereal (60% free so same pro rata as Aldi own), carrots (on offer), cold meat (£1 on offer), bananas and RTC half cucumber. Probably saved the same again in fuel and parking and no impulse buys. Got some cash out, and paid cash, the rest will now go in an envelope.

    Really pleased to see that the village egg shop is re-opening selling eggs, good bread, deli and decent cheese. This is brilliant! We also have a hardware shop that does household stuff so I can actually focus my money away from the supermarkets again.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • crockpot
    Well hoping for a NSD but HM pizza for tea and did not have any tomato sauce! Decided best to call at local shop and get it instead of driving to supermarket cost me £0.89 instead of £0.28! but saved me petrol, time and I could not be tempted to buy anything else!

    Might try an online shop for beg of week, when delivery cheaper and we have had an eat up over the weekend.
  • happierdaystocome
    Hi all

    Can I join please as I really need to get a grip of what we spend on food, I'm going to use this first month to see what we spend on food and so wont be setting a buget.

    There is OH (who eats like a family of 4 on his own and needs to have meat with every meal) myself, DD15 , DS12 and one dog. Oh and I take it in turns to cook but what tends to happen is I cook and he provides take aways.
    "Let your boat of life be light, pack only what you need- A homely home and simple pleasures,one or two friends worth the name, someone to love and someone who loves you, a cat, a dog, a pipe or two enough to eat, enough to wear and a little more than enough to drink, as thirst is a dangerous thing" Jerome k. Jerome
  • 4weeladdies
    Had to go to Ald! on the way home from the school run as we'd completely ran out of fruit & bread I had 3 of the boys with me (the oldest is on his school residential trip until Friday) and it felt like I said no to them about a million times in the 5 mins we were in there I did well though and really did say no to everything they asked for, only bought what I went in for Spent £11.57 & came out with a big bulging shopping bag (one of the huge re-usable bags too!) so was very proud of myself

    Feeling good this month so far, the fridge is looking a bit bare, but I've got loads in my freezer so shouldn't need much in the way of shopping before the weekend. Having spag bol for tea, the sauce for which has been lurking in there for a wee while now

    Hope you're all keeping motivated
    Feeding 2 adults and 5 piglets aged 7 months, 7, 8, 10 & 13. Thank heaven for Aldi!

    January 2013 grocery challenge £169.44/£360
    • laineyc
    • By laineyc 3rd May 11, 4:06 PM
    • 907 Posts
    • 5,215 Thanks
    I am still on the challenge. However, I have not been very well for a week so I have not been in control of things. Too much food has gone to waste. But thankfully I am feeling better so I will get back on top of things. I am away this weekend but there is pleanty on the freezer for dh to feed the masses with.
    GC 2011 Feb £626.89/£450 NSD3/7 March £531.26/£450 April £495.99/£500 NSD 0/7 May £502.79/£500
    June £511.99/£480 July £311.56/£480
    • SavingJane
    • By SavingJane 3rd May 11, 4:27 PM
    • 2,311 Posts
    • 7,315 Thanks
    Pops head round the corner

    I got off the rails somewhere but hey what matter's is I've jumped back on the track right?????

    Can I say £250 for may for me please, should be able to stick to it this month

    Not been to the shops in May so far as got a shop last week of April so we shall see how we go.

    Mummy to Lewis Born Aug 10
    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 3rd May 11, 4:37 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    First spends of May today £10.16

    Dont know if it has been mentioned but Mull£r yoghurts are on offer in Morri$onS - a pack of 6 for £3.29 but if you buy two packs of 6 they are just £2 for BOTH packs making them just 16p each. They are the chocolate corners, greek yoghurt and bio ones.
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH £62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
    • Dawning
    • By Dawning 3rd May 11, 4:50 PM
    • 477 Posts
    • 1,019 Thanks
    Should have been another NSD but I somehow found myself in Mr T Express and spent £18.08. I got a few bits for my supper and some wine, and the supper I had planned for tonight will be keep and be fine for tomorrow. It's always the little impulsive spends that are my downfall.

  • sparkle76
    Last night we roasted a chicken, made stock and have enough chicken for 3 more meals for the 2 of us.

    Now making red and green lentil and brown rice casserole for tonights dinner that has potatoes, spinach,and lots of spices in it to use up chicken stock and cupboard items.

    Also made tuna mix for tomorrow's lunch wraps and have made up the wraps in advance ready in foil.
    No spend at all...

    Does anyone know best place online to buy lentils/chick peas etc?
    Little Sweetpea born 12th July 2011

    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 3rd May 11, 5:28 PM
    • 13,812 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    Old family favourite for dinner tonight Cauliflower, egg and potato curry.

    Hard boil about 6 eggs.Meanwhile fry off over a medium heat a large, diced onion. Stir in a deseeded, red chilli, crushed garlic and grated ginger (quantities to taste I use very little chilli but about 4 cloves of garlic and a thumb size piece of ginger.) and fry for a few mins. Raise heat a little and add a couple of cubed potatoes and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently, until outsides are just softening. Stir in 2 tblesp curry paste, cook for a min then add a cauli cut into florets and stirfry for a min, stirring to coat.

    Pour on a tin of coconut milk and stir, add some salt to taste, raise heat and bring to boil, stirring frequently, then half cover pan and reduce heat to a slow simmer. Cook for 20-25 mins, stirring often until veg. tender.

    Cut the eggs in half, lengthways and stir them into curry and continue to simmer for a couple of mins.

    Serve with toasted almonds, coriander and basmati rice.

    Always empty plates.
    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
  • Missus Aka
    First spend of the month @ the turkish shop £7.91 (flat beans, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, turkish peppers and sliced bread), just ate dinner i made flat bean curry rice and salad, nice and cheap as can bulk it out with beef and potato pieces but i am on a diet for my sister communion as i am being forced to wear a dress for 2nd time since being 8 years old, so dont want to eat too much carbs and im not much of a meat person.
    SPC Member#1096 Target £150 Feb Count £82.18
    Aug Make£5P.DayChal £0/£155
    My August £100 Grocery Challenge £49.90/£100
  • helen jelly
    Hi everyone

    Just popping on to update my siggy
    Spending time reading the thread about housework and being messy - made me feel right at home reading about how other people struggle with keeping their homes tidy!! :]

    I'm hungry so off to make tea
    Loving reading all the bygone days posts

    Happy no spending everyone

    Helen x
    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
  • cat_smith
    First spend of May today on the way home from France. Dog not talking to us after almost 3 days on the road £19.52 on fruit/veg basics and a couple of little whoopsies. That should last us until end of next week as we are in and out.

    Am going to try and wean DH from Cheese sandwiches day in day out so have dug out my copy of 'Lunchbox'. 200+ recipes to take to work. I tried a couple out in France last week and they went down a treat. Seemed to reduce snacking as well. OK. The fruit and veg is more expensive, but I feel he'd be getting fed more sensibly.

    Off to update sig.
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
    • Gracie_1827
    • By Gracie_1827 3rd May 11, 6:21 PM
    • 290 Posts
    • 2,487 Thanks
    First spend this month at @sda, did go with a list but there were a few offers on so spent more than anticipated. Hein2 chopped toms 4 tins for £1 so got 2 lots & big box of Y0rkshire tea for £5..other bits of salad stuff that was whoopsied, plus other bits and bobs and got some flour to make bread tomorrow. £26.96 spent

    Made bacon and cheese flan for tea, leftover pastry made some jam tarts. also make banana nut loaf...using up ripe bananas.
    GC - Oct £36.17/£31
    GC - Sep £35.56/£30
    GC - Aug £30.73/£31
    GC - Jul £30.80/£31
  • TheBees
    TheBees would like to rejoin for May with a budget of £380 please.

    During April we didn't bother keeping a track of our grocery spends and low and behold, after looking back through the receipts we spent almost £100 more than our target of £380. I did a lot of small shops, popping in and out of the supermarket each time I needed something and spending way more than was necessary.
    So this month we are determined to get back on track.
    Good look everyone!
    Mortgage Free in 3 part 2 challenge - pay off £9000
    Sealed Pot Challenge 416 - target £500
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

571Posts Today

6,014Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Channel 4 really screwed up not doing this on the Tory leaders debate last night, just think of the ratings...

  • Teacher/head in a London(ish) senior school? I want film a 1hr ish talk to 16-18 yr olds on student finance (to put?

  • RT @thismorning: As a ban on rip-off bank fees is announced, @MartinSLewis explains if you can reclaim, and how to cut your overdraft costs?

  • Follow Martin