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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 22nd Jun 11, 4:19 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    July 2011 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 22nd Jun 11, 4:19 PM
    July 2011 Grocery Challenge 22nd Jun 11 at 4:19 PM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the seventh Grocery Challenge of 2011,

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your June budget, then keep on posting in the June 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 the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #3, #4, #5 and #6 on this thread.

    For everyone's targets and totals for the month please read posts #8 and #9 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Last edited by Pink.; 30-06-2011 at 10:22 AM.
Page 29
  • losingpatience
    Mean to say in my other post that the recipe for Millies cookies is fantastic! ( Though not so good for my waist line, I'm on to making my second batch of the week ) H2B is learning though, I don't buy biscuits anymore as they're just too expensive, he would quite happily sit and eat half a pack with a cuppa so I'd buy 2 - 3 packets a week ( and he doesn't like the cheap ones! ) So he's just asked if I would mind baking another batch, I said fine as long as he took over the ironing. Ten minutes later the cookies are in the oven and he's still working his way through the pile of ironing. Think I scored there!
    Going to get to grips with food shopping again, starting February!

    Got married to my lovely hubby on 12/11/2011
    • annem38
    • By annem38 24th Jul 11, 8:16 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 1,637 Thanks
    to do 96.61/50.00 all just in bits, eeeek! but on the plus side got some great bargains for the freezer in wait***e, crumpets reduced to 29p from 95p and meatballs 99p from 2.49, i mean, what are you meant to do when faced with these bargains??

    also on the plus side, have just done big mr T shop and should be about 60ish quid, my lowest in years, AND it also qualified for 200 extra points, lovely!

    must say i am shocked by how much these supposedly little shops during the week add up, in my head i had spent about 40-50 quid, no wonder i was in such a mess, can't wait until the august challenge!

    anne x
    • JIL
    • By JIL 24th Jul 11, 8:51 PM
    • 4,245 Posts
    • 23,424 Thanks
    I was wondering if any of you use tinned potatoes at all,I picked up a tin in A£di as I thought it would be good to have in, thought it might be nice in potato salad, but was wondering whether I could use them for fishcakes? I have got a small tin of salmon, does anyone use them for that? I am trying to build up my easy meal options from the cupboards list as at the moment it consists of pasta and sauce!!
    Originally posted by 69chick
    I like tinned potatoes but in things like potato salads, its the texture I think appeals to me. I have seen them fryed as roast pots in a cafe once. I am not sure they would mash very well, maybe the dehydrated potatoes would be a better option for making salmon fishcakes. Although I remember Delia does a rosti fishcake recipe, where potatoes are grated rather than mashed. This may work and you could adapt it to suit your tastes

    I know its another pasta recipe but a quick meal from the cupboards is a tin of tuna, a tin of sweetcorn, a tin of condensed mushroom soup or a tin of creamed mushrooms, heat them together and add cooked pasta. It is surprisingly tasty.

    I am sure there is a website that is full of recipes using tins, but I have had a quick look and cant find it. I will keep looking and post a link if I have any success.
    • medsdemon
    • By medsdemon 24th Jul 11, 9:14 PM
    • 745 Posts
    • 6,098 Thanks
    Arghh instead of buying just taco shells I spent £20.04 on wine, 2xdips bogof, 2x crisps for £2.50, veggie burgers, brown sugar, dark choc, walnuts, a chocolate milkshake, chewing gum and 15 eggs.

    Now I'm over budget. I will NOT go to the shop till wednesday to keep it so it's only £5 over. I'm so disappointed, but we had to buy bits for my DD to take to a BBQ and OH wanted to bake brownies. I needed wine
    Grocery challenge October: £228.28/£250.00 NSD 4 ( not completed)
    Grocery challenge November : £291.65/300.00 NSD 10
    Grocery challenge December : £0/240.00 NSD
  • rej-c
    I need to add £8.73 to my total, taking it to £105.98/£250.

    As I had to go into Mr S on the way home from the hospital, to get some decent painkillers from the pharmacy, I thought I'd have a quick swipe round the shop looking for whoopsies. Ended up spending just over £4 on some yellow-stickered organic lamb steaks for Him Indoors [who, when I brought it home laughed and said 'Sorry, that's wonderful, but I thought you knew I was joking when I asked you to get me some when that cookery programme was on the other day!' So next time I'll keep it cheaper and not bother ]. But aside from that, it was a few needed things like marge - and, erm, some more biccies and sweets that came out of my 'pocket money' - must try harder not to do that...

    Actually, looking at that receipt, looks like I've been slightly undercharged - something's missing, but I can't think what, and everything's put away now. Ah well, whatever it was, I guess I'll have to chalk it up as payback for all the times I've been overcharged at other branches. Thanks Mr S!

    [BTW, this came out of the 'pocket money' rather than grocery budget, but it may be useful to someone: I discovered a Superdrug near the hospital that still had some 19p bargains in - I was chuffed, as I thought they'd all gone now, but I nabbed a big bagful of bath crystals, body scrubs and so on for about a fiver. So if anyone else has been enjoying the thrill of the hunt, there are still some 19p delights to be had out there!]

    Aiming for several NSDs this coming week. It's my payday on Thursday, but Him Indoors' pay still hasn't come through and it was due last week. Not promising, particularly as his company has had 'cash flow problems' recently. Everyone involved clearly means well, but I'm starting to fear the writing may be on the wall...

    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 25th Jul 11, 6:20 AM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,661 Thanks
    i have lost track of my spending this month i need to dig out all of the receipts , last shop of the month today so will tot up later

    need to use up some of the freezer contents too this week

    hope everyone is ok

    (((hugs))) to all that need especially hippeechiq ( where are you?) and spiggle xx
  • highland fling
    Good morning everyone,

    lovely morning. Just finished off some strawberries for breakfast. I knew if I left them much longer I would throw them out. Also having left overs for dinner tonight. In the dim and distant past I probably would have binned any left over food.

    Off now to hospital appointment.

    Hope you all have a good day.
    It takes a long time to eat an elephant and I'm doing it a bite at a time!!!
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 25th Jul 11, 8:35 AM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    morning all, it was our youngests 2nd birthday yesterday we had a lovely day at the beach had a happymeal for lunch in the end it cost us £25 for food and ice cream ect which was alot cheaper than if we had had a party, i'm running out of nappies and bread so i'm gonna need to nip to town today
    DFW £7632/£28996 26.3%
  • rosieben
    TryingHardToSave, welcome to the GC

    , look forward to seeing you join us on the August thread; I like your way of negotiating by the way, you should be in politics!

    Eyebright, that's a great result for your first challenge I think I'm doing well if I get within about 10% of my target

    69chick, I was recently given a tin each of MrMs own label new potatoes and sliced green beans, they were ok so I've added a couple of tins of each onto my winter stock up list.

    I doubt the potatoes will mash very well, I use hm mash for my fish cakes, I also make a fish pie using a cod steak and a tin of salmon, the tinned potatoes might be ok sliced as the topping on that?

    Well done to GC'ers coming in close to, or on, budget, and to anyone who hasn't, August will be a whole new month! And just ask yourself how much you would have spent before joining the GC ...
    Last edited by rosieben; 25-07-2011 at 9:43 AM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • flower91today
    has failed her 1st gc, mainly as we have been away and spent more then we should, so far total for mopnth is 155.42/150.
    Hope everyone is doing well though
    72,77/ 150.00 - sept gc
    159.46/150.00 - aug gc
  • rosieben
    has failed her 1st gc, mainly as we have been away and spent more then we should, so far total for mopnth is 155.42/150.
    Hope everyone is doing well though
    Originally posted by flower91today

    you've come very close which is good considering you've been away
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • Nimeth
    Been meaning to update for a while, but been so busy that I feel like I've got no time!

    Got two weeks spending to catch up on, spent £42.62 in Te$cos the other week, then did my usual shop on Friday in A!di and Morrison$, spent £32.15 and £11.57 respectively in there. A trip up to Brum in the week including dropping in at the Chinese supermarket, spent £15.28 in there and came away with a good load of stuff that should last me a good while! So far up to £191.79 with one more July shop to go. It'll be a close thing this month, but it is a 5 week month for me, rather than 4.

    I did discover, as I ran low on some foodstuffs a lovely recipe for stuffed peppers! It's a good veggie meal if anyone is looking for some new ideas:

    Stuffed Peppers

    Prep method:
    1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
    2. Cut around the stalks and remove the very tops off the peppers. Put these to one side. Remove the insides and seeds of the peppers.
    3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and saut! the peas with the red onion and garlic.
    4. Soak the bread in water for two minutes, then break it into breadcrumbs. Add the breadcrumbs and the egg to the pea mixture and stir.
    5. Stuff the emptied peppers with the mixture and replace their tops. Place in a baking tray and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and drizzle with olive oil.
    6. Cook them in the oven for about 20-30 minutes until soft and cooked through.
    Om nom nom!
    Dec GC; £208.79/£220
    Save a life - Give Blood
  • rosieben
    ... I did discover, as I ran low on some foodstuffs a lovely recipe for stuffed peppers! ...
    Originally posted by Nimeth
    Stuffed Peppers recipe is added to the index
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • Winged one
    I spent €100 in hard cash over the weekend on groceries, but made a good few savings too. I was in the Market and spent €29 on various bits and pieces (pasta, cheese, eggs, olives, fish, etc); my overall bill in the SM came to €105 but I had points on my loyalty card that I used, and I had a lot of multi-buys (that I needed anyway and will use the extra) and some whoopsies in the cart too. Including nice in-store baked bread reduced to less than half price at the end of the day, which made for lovely mushrooms on toast for tea.

    My plans for this week are:
    Mon: Cod or mussels
    Tues: Opposite
    Wed: vegetable stir fry (may throw in a few prawns)
    Thurs: Out in town, so something small when I get in (more mushrooms on toast?!)
    Fri: Don't know yet - maybe rasher sambo
    GC 2010 €6,000/ €5,897

    GC 2011:Overall Target: €6,000/
    €5,442 by October

    Back on the wagon again in 2014
    Apr €587.82/€550 May €453.31 /€550
  • lizzyb1812
    First official month and I'm doing better than I expected. £78-64/£150 so far with just a week to go

    I've been using things from the freezer and cupboards so that has kept the spend down, but I've also done some bulk buying of pasta, kidney beans, whoopsied sausages, etc. Posting my meal plans has helped too.

    My next move is to research the nutritional value of petfood that is cheaper than the stuff I currently use. I do get a very good deal on it by shopping around online and buying in bulk for 6+ months when I see a really good deal but I'd like to get it lower whilst still providing good nutrition for my pets.

    I've always been pretty MSE but doing the Challenge has stepped that up a level and I'm saving loads
    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to's about learning how to dance in the rain." ~ Vivian Greene
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 25th Jul 11, 5:09 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    sent my mum for my nappies in the end so nsd for me cause they were already paid for and i'm just making do without bread, running low on spuds aswell so made yorkshire puddings with our sheperds pie to bulk it out, there will be loads left which i will fill with left over mince for the kids lunch tomorrow
    DFW £7632/£28996 26.3%
    • 69chick
    • By 69chick 25th Jul 11, 7:47 PM
    • 544 Posts
    • 6,205 Thanks
    JIL Thanks for the tips, I havn't thought of the mushroom pasta idea (I love mushrooms)..

    RosiebenThanks for the seems I have something in common with Delia, I too always order fishcakes if they are on the menu wherever I am eating..I love them!

    Think I will test the potatoes out in a potato salad to start I think about it, many years ago, an ex boyfriends Mum used to cook a Sunday dinner with a joint of meat and everything else was tinned including the potatoes and at the time I thought it was better than my Mums one with fresh veg (although my Mums cooking leaves a lot to be desired, which she would admit to!)

    NSD today (if you don't count the check for over £300 which is the balance for the twins summer childcare )

    quintwins great thinking on the yorkshires and that sounds like a lovely lunch tomorrow...I now get a real sense of achievement if I manage with what we have in,when in the past I would have nipped out to the smarket to get something else in and spent a fortune on stuff I didn't need...

    Lots of you sound like you are coming in close to your budgets , even if its an overspend, just think about how much you would have spent if you hadn't been trying to stick to a budget
    Starting with Avon C6 target sales £150.00
  • rosieben
    69chick, I think it was JIL who posted the link to the Delia fish cakes

    they sound good, I might be trying those myself
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • 69chick
    • By 69chick 25th Jul 11, 9:15 PM
    • 544 Posts
    • 6,205 Thanks
    Sorry Rosieben I got all beffuddled there, just realised also I said almost exactly the same thing as you about how much we would have all spent if we weren't doing the GC! can I blame my twins who decided not to go to bed as well as they usually do so I was typing under duress

    They do look good though those fishcakes, so thanks JIL
    Starting with Avon C6 target sales £150.00
    • JIL
    • By JIL 25th Jul 11, 9:24 PM
    • 4,245 Posts
    • 23,424 Thanks
    69chick, I think it was JIL who posted the link to the Delia fish cakes

    they sound good, I might be trying those myself
    Originally posted by rosieben
    They are good, and in a light bulb moment I remembered the recipe website, I spoke about, I have just had a look and surprised to see they are recipes by James Martin.

    There are a few recipes using tinned potatoes!!!
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