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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 38
    • jetbag
    • By jetbag 23rd May 11, 4:47 PM
    • 184 Posts
    • 2,333 Thanks
    jetbag
    Mr T delivery today 106.84, they did not have some of the thing I ordered so I will have to go to the local Butchers, Bakers and Lidl during the week.
  • 123budget
    Right, going to be in for my 1st ever GC, could you put me down for 400 for June please (25th May - 24th June).

    It sounds alot but after reading the thread for a few weeks now people have very wisely said start gradually, I would love it to be much less than this, but will see how I get on. We are 5 adults (3 teenagers, 1 is pregnant) & 2 cats & my lovely garden birds.

    Pixie
    Originally posted by Pixie Fairydust
    I think 400 is great if you can do it - theres five of us too and am trying really hard to stick to 450. Have been doing the GC for 3 months now and am getting nearer but still haven't managed to come in on or under budget. Thought I had done it this month but had to pop to local shop to get pesto 1.29 and due to a busy weekend didn't bake so had to pop to Aldi for lunchbox snacks and milk. So This month I am declaring at 457.05/450 still quite pleased as its the nearest I have got.
    I am giving myself a big budget for June as I have lots of family occasions:
    DS 18th - party/barbecue at home for him and 40 friends and some sleeping over and bacon butties next morning!
    DS 2 16th birthday sleepover and also his school prom - parents coming for drinks and nibbles to see them off.
    DD 10th birthday sleepover!!
    and my wedding anniversary
    So for June can you put me down for 650 to include parties and meals out.
    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
  • katholicos
    I took advantage of DD being willing to go shopping with me, so while i'm sure i am now over my grocery budget, i needed DD to help me and do a lot of the lifting and carrying, so i got stocked up!

    Having really overdone it, i had to go to lie down when i got in

    Here is what i brought...

    From Mr A

    10 x 1.5kgs of Strong white bread flour at 68p a bag = 6.80
    5 x multipack of 4 Branston Baked Beans at 1.00 each = 5
    1 x kg long grain basics rice (never tried it before, thought i'd give it a go) at .49p
    1 x 2kg tub of baking margarine (never tried it before) at 2.89
    2 x 250gram boxes of lasagne sheets @ 23p ea = .46p
    3 x tinned tomatoes @ 33p eac =.99p

    Total: 16.63

    Mr M's

    3 x 4.25kg washing powder @ 5 ea = 15
    4 x tins of Mr M's Value Sweetcorn @ .32p ea = 1.28
    2 x pkts paracetamol @ 19p ea = .38p
    1 x multipack of semi skimmed milk @ 4

    Total: 20.66 - 5 fuel reward voucher = 15.66

    Mr S's

    10 x Basics tea bags @ 27p ea = 2.70
    1 x pkt of whoopsied lean minced steak/beef @ 2.69

    Total 5.39

    Home Bargs

    2 x bleach @ 39p ea =.78p
    1 x sensations lime and chutney poppadums @ .59p
    1 x multipack of Golden Wonder cheese and onion crisps @ .79p
    1 x jar of pesto @ .99 (can't wait for basil to 'take off' in the greenhouse then i can make my own pesto!)
    6 free range eggs @ 89p

    Total 4.04

    Grand total = 41.72p

    And a monthly total thus far, of 91.32..so 11.32 over my budget. Still, i'm hoping not to spend any more money on groceries this month, so hopefully i wont go any further over budget than i already am now
    Grocery Challenge for October: 135/200


    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
    • SavingJane
    • By SavingJane 23rd May 11, 6:02 PM
    • 2,311 Posts
    • 7,315 Thanks
    SavingJane
    Hi all

    I've got lost for this month, OH crushed his fingers at work (his own silly fault) 2 broken fingers and damaged tendens

    So last weeks menu went out window as was at hospital for near enough 3 days.

    I shall start back for June but will put shopping when I order it for this week onto June to make it fair.

    Not read back but hope everyone is doing ok, hugs to all that need them
    Mummy to Lewis Born Aug 10
    • Pixie Fairydust
    • By Pixie Fairydust 23rd May 11, 6:11 PM
    • 261 Posts
    • 3,720 Thanks
    Pixie Fairydust
    123 Budget - I am worried now, hope I can stay under 400! will give it my best shot.

    We had friends/family over when it was my daughters prom, ask your guests to bring the drink and you do the nibbles, much cheaper.

    Try the Mr A Chantemelle Rose, 1.77 for a 75cl bottle, its lush, we had it at Christmas, went down a treat

    Or you could do a couple of punches, alcoholic and non alcoholic, that way eeks out the alcohol a bit more especially if mixed with lots of chopped up summer fruits.

    Enjoy your evening whatever you do.

    Should I buy a bread maker? Please advise, having been umming and ahhing for ages now. All advice gratefully received. Any makes and models that are good too, thanks.

    Pixie
    It's the most wonderful time of the year!
    Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica!
    I wish you were here.
    But you're not, you're there.
    And there doesn't know how lucky it is.


    • 69chick
    • By 69chick 23rd May 11, 6:50 PM
    • 544 Posts
    • 6,205 Thanks
    69chick
    Have managed a nsd today I think the key for me is to try to avoid little shops that turn into big ones made a lovely fish pie for tea for me and the girls, although one of them wasn't so keen on it...does anyone have any kid friendly meals to do with cod fillets? I usually have them in the freezer and i have one baked with veg as a meal but although the girls like fish they won't eat it plain....

    Katholicos, I notice on your shop you bought loads of MrS basics tea bags, I love a cuppa and usually get a branded one on offer, would you recommend them?

    Also to anyone else, I have a Mr S shop due to come on Friday as I do like their basics range and I have a free delivery, can any of you recommend anything in their basics range that they have tried?
    Starting with Avon C6 target sales 150.00
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 23rd May 11, 6:58 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    quintwins
    my boys love baked fish topped with philly and dried chives

    also if your doing a sainburys shop you should log into quidco (you can still use your code) but if you get 50p cashback and they give you 10 off if your a new customer
    DFW 7632/28996 26.3%
  • katholicos
    Have managed a nsd today I think the key for me is to try to avoid little shops that turn into big ones made a lovely fish pie for tea for me and the girls, although one of them wasn't so keen on it...does anyone have any kid friendly meals to do with cod fillets? I usually have them in the freezer and i have one baked with veg as a meal but although the girls like fish they won't eat it plain....

    Katholicos, I notice on your shop you bought loads of MrS basics tea bags, I love a cuppa and usually get a branded one on offer, would you recommend them?

    Also to anyone else, I have a Mr S shop due to come on Friday as I do like their basics range and I have a free delivery, can any of you recommend anything in their basics range that they have tried?
    Originally posted by 69chick
    This time last month (or there abouts), I was a tea addict who only drank the 'superior' (read, more expensive) brands of tea...but i was over at my uncles and gasping for a cuppa a few weeks ago, and made myself a cup of tea while there, using these economy tea bags he buys ( he has the money to buy his shopping in Waitrose, but is frugal where groceries are concerned) and i was gobsmacked how good the tea tasted.

    I went to Mr S a few days later and brought some, i even converted my DD19 and my mum to them...we are all tea addicts (we don;t drink coffee at all) so it must taste good for us to like it! It's saving us a small fortune

    Try it, it's 27p for a box of 80 tea bags, so you aren't losing much money if you don't like them.
    Grocery Challenge for October: 135/200


    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
    • 69chick
    • By 69chick 23rd May 11, 7:36 PM
    • 544 Posts
    • 6,205 Thanks
    69chick
    Thanks Kathilicos, have added them to my shop like you say not a lot of outlay for a possible massive saving.....

    Also has anyone had the Mr S Cod steaks? I usually get fillets but these look good value and are skinless and boneless to (which I prefer, have a serious problem with fish bones!!)

    quintwins I love philly but the girls don't was thinking maybe a tinned tomato sauce of some sort, like a bake maybe :-)

    Pixie Fairydust love your drinkies ideas, the rose sounds good...
    Starting with Avon C6 target sales 150.00
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 23rd May 11, 7:44 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    freakyogre
    10.78ish since my last post. I lost a receipt from Thursday, but know I bought a wrap for lunch and got some tortilla wraps for 29p using a voucher.

    Today the rest was spent on bleach, milk, some cartons of juice (I really must take a drink with me when I go out), toilet rolls, apples and bananas (which doing my good deed I got at the greengrocers and they were about twice the price of a supermarket, so I won't be doing that again!)

    All meals are planned for this week, but I may need to buy a few things as i'm having a brace fitted on Friday, so might need to make some soups/liquid meals for the weekend and next week.
    Grocery challenge - Nov: 52/100
    • Pixie Fairydust
    • By Pixie Fairydust 23rd May 11, 7:55 PM
    • 261 Posts
    • 3,720 Thanks
    Pixie Fairydust
    Tea Bags!
    69 Chick - the Mr S basics tomato chutney is lovely in a cheese sarnie, I also like the basics grated cheese. Jaffa cakes too. The only thing I find with Mr S online is that if the product you ordered isn't available, they substitute with another but don't honour the original price! unless they have changed this? whereas Mr T and Mr A do honor the price.

    If you don't like the basics tea bags you could use them up making a malt loaf, one of Black Saturn's recipes;

    3 weetabix
    4oz sugar
    4oz raisins or sultanas
    1 mug of hot black tea
    2 eggs
    4oz SR flour
    2oz porridge oats

    Put weetabix, sugar & raisins in a bowl. Add mug of tea. Leave to soak until cold. Stir in 2 eggs, stir again and add the flour and porridge oats. Mix well and tip into a greased loaf tin. Bake at 180, check after 25 mins, may take longer. Enjoy

    Pixie
    It's the most wonderful time of the year!
    Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica!
    I wish you were here.
    But you're not, you're there.
    And there doesn't know how lucky it is.


  • espresso21
    Hi all

    I've got lost for this month, OH crushed his fingers at work (his own silly fault) 2 broken fingers and damaged tendens
    Originally posted by SavingJane
    Ouch! Poor man - that sounds painful. How on earth did he do that!?

    I spent today when I shouldn't have so am over my monthly allowance now - will update my signature in a moment. I spent 8.60 in Morrisons; mind you 7 of that was hayfever medication and I did quite well as it was only 1.50 and bogof. The named brand was 4.99 for 7 while the Morrisons own brand was 1.50 for 14. I checked the ingredients and they are exactly the same - so why would anyone pay full price...unless I am missing something here!

    Had a bit of a shock today. Soon my salary is going to be cut drastically (which I already knew about) - what I only found out today is that my train fare is going to go up by inflation + 3%!!! How can they justify that when it's gone up twice already this year. I won't be able to afford to go to work soon! I was already stressing about how I was going to cope on a lower salary, now I have to factor that in as well. Blimey!
  • 123budget
    Should I buy a bread maker? Please advise, having been umming and ahhing for ages now. All advice gratefully received. Any makes and models that are good too, thanks.

    Pixie
    Originally posted by Pixie Fairydust
    I lost mine in a house move and really miss it. Have asked if anyone on freecycle has one but no luck. I had a Panasonic one with the programme that automatically adds dried fruit during the cycle. Would love to get one of those again will have to keep my eyes open for a good deal.
    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
    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 23rd May 11, 8:47 PM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    Sunnyday
    I lost mine in a house move and really miss it. Have asked if anyone on freecycle has one but no luck. I had a Panasonic one with the programme that automatically adds dried fruit during the cycle. Would love to get one of those again will have to keep my eyes open for a good deal.
    Originally posted by 123budget
    My ageing Panny is being replaced soon (if i ever manage to get the delivery from the dreaded City L!nk )

    I found a decent deal here http://www.letsgodigital.co.uk/index.n/search/normal?search=BREAD+MAKER with free delivery I wanted the SD255 with the dispenser but it was OOS when i ordered so i went for the SD256, my current one is the SD254.

    The price is far better than the 119 that Mum has just paid for hers

    TBH my old one despite being used three times a day some days still has plenty of life in it yet but the bread pan has seen better days and i do blame DH for this. If i ever find a reasonably priced replacement pan then i shall buy one and use both BM`s

    HTH

    SD
    Planning on starting the GC again soon
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 23rd May 11, 8:59 PM
    • 3,338 Posts
    • 34,388 Thanks
    XSpender
    NSD for me today I even managed not to spend a single penny in the staff canteen, first time since I started working there I think

    I forgot DH was away overnight with work so saved a meal on the meal plan and just made myself a bowl of soup.

    Pasties (not HM), HM wedges and mushy peas tomorrow and we really must eat up the apple pie we got at the weekend.

    I also need to sort out my freezers to squeeze a couple of bits in that won't get used while I am away this weekend. I will also sort out the easy bits like sausages and put them at the front of the drawer to make it simple for DH. Although he will probably live on sandwiches while I am away

    I have a 2nd round job interview to go to on Thursday afternoon so will get the extra bits DH and DS will need over the weekend after that.
  • M0neysav3r
    As you can see OVER budget again this month and still over a week to go til the end of the month!!

    Biggest problem is that I really don't have many pennies left either this month, I do NOT want to dig into savings so i'm planning on eating from the freezer until the end of the month - Only problem is lack of fruit and veg so will have to use some spare cash in the house for that

    On a positive, off to parents tomorrow so free dinner
    No Debts (Other than HUGE mortgage! )
    Generally trying to cut back where possible
    GC - March 143.82 / 200 Feb 156.03 / 150 Oops! Jan 180.78/200
    • CupOfChai
    • By CupOfChai 23rd May 11, 9:40 PM
    • 1,319 Posts
    • 7,295 Thanks
    CupOfChai
    I'm over budget too. Naturally. Grrr.

    Any ideas on how I can save more? I've started looking at whether there's anywhere else I can bring myself to downshift brand, though this was not exactly successful the other night while placing my online Asda order. After excessive amounts of dithering over cheese, it turns out that the own-brand medium cheddar was the same price (per kilo) as the "cheapest" Smartprice mild cheddar! Pfft! I'll stick with what I had been getting already then!
    • Pixie Fairydust
    • By Pixie Fairydust 23rd May 11, 9:50 PM
    • 261 Posts
    • 3,720 Thanks
    Pixie Fairydust
    Thanks Sunnyday for the link, would you recommend one of these then?

    I would love to be able to do pizza dough, bagels, fruit bread etc.

    Do you find it works out cheaper per loaf? and is it easy to use?

    123budget - I lost my wellies in a house move!

    Had jacket potatoes for tea with Stagg veg chilli (in a tin) on offer in Mr T, 2 for 2.50, I know its cheating but DS is ill and just wanted something quick, it was lovely, nice to have in the cupboard for emergencies. He had a pot noodle, all he fancied , but has had lots of fresh orange juice and cold water too.

    Pixie
    It's the most wonderful time of the year!
    Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica!
    I wish you were here.
    But you're not, you're there.
    And there doesn't know how lucky it is.


    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 23rd May 11, 10:48 PM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    Sunnyday
    Thanks Sunnyday for the link, would you recommend one of these then?

    I would love to be able to do pizza dough, bagels, fruit bread etc.

    Do you find it works out cheaper per loaf? and is it easy to use?


    Pixie
    Originally posted by Pixie Fairydust
    Yes i can recommend the pannys, i would be lost without mine, i did try making bread without one and found it too messy, time consuming and very hard on my poor old wrists lol

    Far easier to shove all the ingredients in and set the timer overnight and wake up to the smell of fresh bread Some peeps don`t get on with the paddle that sits in the bottom of the pan as it sometimes gets stuck in the bottom of the loaf but it doesn`t bother me.

    I`ve had a couple of different breadmakers over the years and can`t fault the panny. I tend to use it for loaves, dough for breadcakes, pizza dough, cinnamon and fruit breads for toast and also sundried tomato & parmesan bread which we love toasted.

    It takes 14oz flour for a medium loaf which is the size that we bake the most and i buy mostly Asd@ strong white bread flour so not a bad saving at all considering the price of shop bought bread these days

    No preservatives in hm either so much better for you. My bm is on the timer atm and when the alarm goes off in the morning the smell of freshly baked bread helps me prise my back off the mattress

    SD
    Planning on starting the GC again soon
  • Brassic
    Well, so far so good.

    I've got all this weeks food up until Friday. Bad news is we've got friends coming round on Saturday (2 adults, 4 children) which will cost more, and the dad is pretty much guaranteed to polish off nearly all my alcohol

    However, on the bright side, I've spent 454.85 of my 500 budget so it is doable. I have 5 more days to buy for, including dinner for the friends, and I'm determined to stay under. I've got enough mince to do a spag bol and lasagne, so that will be Friday and Sat sorted. Monday will be store cupboard pasta, which just leaves tuesday and Sunday to sort out. I WILL do it!!

    Cheers,
    Brassic
    Debts @ lightbulb moment (13/06/2006) - 59,842.23 All commercial debts now clear!!! Debts April - 20,000 to family (incl extra 10k borrowed for house deposit). DFD - Aug 2014
    Proud to be dealing with my debts
    Goal of the month - 500 on groceries for family of 5 - Apr 2011 - 620! May - 454.85 so far.
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