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    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 12th Jun 11, 2:42 PM
    • 9,343Posts
    • 17,889Thanks
    August 2011 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 11, 2:42 PM
    August 2011 Grocery Challenge 12th Jun 11 at 2:42 PM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the eighth 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 July 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 #4 and #5 on this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #6, #7, #8 and #9 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Last edited by zippychick; 30-07-2011 at 4:49 PM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 31
    • Islandmaid
    • By Islandmaid 23rd Aug 11, 3:31 PM
    • 3,109 Posts
    • 42,220 Thanks
    Hi all,

    Back from the daily slog, I mean my very forfilling work

    Another NSD for me, but non-food spends are creeping up school uniforms, and little darlings asking for 'spends' - roll on school -
    I need to make a firm descision about school lunches - me half being lazy and half the kids being fussy, usually give them money for lunches, but at 100 pm it seems like I could spend alot less with packed lunches, but then I worry because most of what they take comes back uneaten - I especially worry about DD as she has eating issues anyway and no matter which way I choose I worry that
    she,s not eating - time for a family chat I think .....

    I need to be alot firmer with myself next month, as I could have spent alot less on food and non-food if i,d put my mind to it

    Anyway enough of my ramblings.

    Sausage and mash for dinner.

    Have a great evening all x
    Note to self - STOP SPENDING MONEY !!
    • ixia
    • By ixia 23rd Aug 11, 3:41 PM
    • 1,324 Posts
    • 5,413 Thanks
    spent 9.75 in mr A's todayy wasn't needing anything, just can't help picking stuff up.

    I was car sharing today and went in with my friend need vto stay in carpark next time
    • boultdj
    • By boultdj 23rd Aug 11, 4:07 PM
    • 4,504 Posts
    • 33,115 Thanks
    And another 12.54 given to Mr.M.
    • becky170
    • By becky170 23rd Aug 11, 4:54 PM
    • 517 Posts
    • 4,307 Thanks
    Well my grocery challenge month ends on thursday, and I think this month I may come under budget So far I've spend 121.06 out of my 130 budget, which includes 2 bottles of wine and nibbles to take to gatherings over the weekend. Just got to get some treats for taking to the cinema tomorrow night and then that will be me done for August
    MFW 2019 #7 926/1615
    Grocery challenge June 440/450
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 23rd Aug 11, 6:30 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    I haven't been on here for a couple of months at a guess as my time has been too consumed with hospital visits. I have been watchful of my budget but have not bothered to keep track of it due to circumstances so I am going to guesstimate the missing months which I think will be July and August and count them as full spends. From September life will hopefully resume to some sort of normallity when hubby has finished his chemo and I can sort out my work pattern to something normal again-at least I still have a job-the company have been supportive along with my workmate.My dd finished and passed her proffessional cookery course(level2)so between her and myself we are wellfed although she has yet to learn the skills of fully adapting the recipes(getting there)for moneysaving and does tend to use full quantities of meat in the recipes whereas I usually use half. DD has used the slowcooker for the first time today and we have a beef stew almost done-I did the dumplings as she has not made those yet. Moneywise things improved upon what I had forcasted as we are getting more child tax credit until dd is 19(18 months yet)it will be after that time that we will need to tighten our belts but I do not forcast any problems as we are welltrained! I hope everyone else is doing well and those with heath issues are getting good news. Big hugs to all.X
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is 1500 pa 125 calendar month 28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 23rd Aug 11, 7:08 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    12.53 spent in Asda yesterday (4.00 for parking was taken off, but i'll include it).

    Got quite a bit for that including 2 packs of grapes for 15p each (small packs, but still a bargain) and a bag of potatoes reduced to 40p.

    I shouldn't need much else before the end of the month.
    Grocery challenge - Nov: 52/100
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 23rd Aug 11, 7:48 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    Plum Cobbler
    I adapted a previous recipe tonight(fruit cobbler)and made a few changes. I chose plums as we have a surplus from the plum tree and they need using up. Any fruit could be used including apples/dried fruit or drained tinned fruit. This recipe serves 6 people and if you have free fruit like me costs approx 40p(for 6 servings) if using a free range egg. The egg was not in the original recipe so could be omitted. I made a a couple of pints of custard to go with mine. If you use full cream milk you can use less milk and add 25% water for your custard. As a guide custard takes approx 4/5 mins in the micro for a pint. Otherwise just follow instructions for custard on the tub.

    Plum Cobbler

    8 oz SR flour (or 8 oz plain flour and 2 tsp of baking powder)
    1 egg(optional)
    3 or 4 oz sugar
    6 ripe plums stoned and quartered(leave the skins on)
    2 teaspoons of Garam Masala or mixed spice
    Enough milk or milk/water or just water to mix

    Beat the egg in large mixing bowl
    Add flour sugar and Garam Masala(or mixed spice)
    Stir in enough milk or milk/water to mix to a consistency like you would use for sponge cake

    Pour half of this into a greased bowl or medium sized casserole dish-making sure it is only just over half full when all the mixture is in.
    Place the plums in the casserole on top of the mixture so they are evenly spread.
    Add the rest of the mixture.
    Cover with clingfilm and pierce about 8 times

    Put in micro and cook on full for approx 5 or 6 mins. Better to undercook than overcook as it will go rock hard if cooked for too long. If its wet in the middle pop it back in for another minute. Let it stand for a few minutes.

    Serve with custard, syrup or ice cream

    If you omit the egg and use water to mix and have free fruit it would only cost about 15p total. The custard can be made with half fullcream milk and half water if desired-this would cost approx 40p

    Custard can be made cheaply by using cornflour instead of custard powder(same thing) and adding a little yellow food colouring if it "has" to be yellow. You can use dried milk powder,long life milk,evaporated milk or fresh milk,goats milk etc. I often "use up" such items for custard.
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is 1500 pa 125 calendar month 28.84 pw for 3 adults
  • KolaKube

    Well, one thing led to another and 53.67 spent this evening at MrT Did get a decent trolley load of shopping for 6 that with a few nice treats for doing so well sticking to our budgets for this month as our first on one wage

    OH needed a few toiletries (shaving foam and deodorant, he was happy with MrTs own, which I was quite surprised by, I'm proud of him for suggesting it!)

    Bargains included some of the 2.50 chickens (one will be jointed by OH and used tomorrow and the other frozen), bakery rolls reduced to 30p for a pack of 8 x2, MrT roast chicken cupasoup reduced to 34p a pack of 6 (?why - they must be changing the packaging?) - picked up 3 of these for the storecupboard.

    Added to our stock with lots of 16p cans of kidney beans (I'm anticipating these will go up soon perhaps!), 17p tomato soup, and 15p packs of stuffing (we do make our own but these are quite handy, especially for 15p!), and 29p jam.

    Had an entertaining conversation with a woman who I noticed looking for ages in the canned fish aisle picking cans up and putting them down about how both of us worked full time jobs but neither of us could afford to buy tuna at the moment glad its not just me!
    MFW Sept 2013 Starting balance: 101160.59 25 years
    OPs 2013-2014: 64.33 MFW #78
    • Baking Mad
    • By Baking Mad 23rd Aug 11, 8:41 PM
    • 401 Posts
    • 1,162 Thanks
    Baking Mad
    I've not been here for a couple of weeks, but finally got round to updating my signature. With 8 days to go in August I've almost hit my monthly budget and will almost definitely go over now as I've still got to pay for DDs school lunches for next week.

    I'm still very happy as this was my first attempt and I've come in pretty close.

    I've also included all my fuel spend into this which on its own came to almost 75 so far, not sure whether I should include it in the next month or not. What does everyone else do?

    Had a real wake up call the other day when my DD asked me to go for lunch to the local M&S cafe. 2 toasties with salad, coffee for me and a juice for her came to 12.10 I couldn't even digest my food after that. To make matters worse I noticed a family having lunch next to us with 3 little ones. well, they ordered 1 toastie to share btw adults and 1 teacake for the older kids to share, the baby had a jar of food. It really made think about these little spends that all add up at the end of the month and I decided to be a lot more careful from now.
  • flower91today
    have been doing a bit of shopping as have has alot of money off from mr t and mr s. am now at 141.88 and will need to by some lunch bits at weekend so will go over by a small amount i think. hope everyone is doing well
    72,77/ 150.00 - sept gc
    159.46/150.00 - aug gc
    • prophecy_grrl
    • By prophecy_grrl 24th Aug 11, 7:43 AM
    • 668 Posts
    • 3,379 Thanks
    Apologies for not posting my August GC aim till almost the end of the month but this month I'm aiming for 200. So far I've spent 135.82, I have to do a shop this week but that should be it till September budget.

    Thanks to all who set up and run this thread, even though I don't post often I am comitted to GC and have stuck to it all year and have done realy well.

    Thanks all

    prophecy xxx
    *** PROPHECY_GRRL***
    *** DEBT FREE AS OF 17/10/11 - I DID IT!!! ***
    • meg72
    • By meg72 24th Aug 11, 8:04 AM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks

    Oh, and I've finally found a way to make a start on a '2nd purse'-type strategy [couldn't quite get my head around it for a while there]. I spotted that a local Mr S was clearing out a washing detergent I like for less than half price, so I nabbed... erm, let's just say enough to keep us going for years ...and paid for it out of my 'pocket money'. Every bottle I use from that stash, I'll buy 'from myself' with housekeeping money as and when [and put an equal amount into a yet-to-be-decided savings pot].

    What a great idea.Think I will go for this in September.As virtually all of my stocks are either whoopsies or or too good to miss offers
    I like the idea of bargain shopping from home.
    Slimming World at target
    • medsdemon
    • By medsdemon 24th Aug 11, 8:12 AM
    • 745 Posts
    • 6,098 Thanks
    Morning all.

    Well yesterday ended up not being a NSD as I walked to town and visited the butchers to buy sausages so that's another 4.00 on to August budget. I asked if he sold pigs cheeks and said he could as they get them in for popping in the sausages so I have a supply for a couple of HFW recipes I want to try. I'm declaring at 229.25 for August

    Septembers budget starts for me today and i plan a NSD. Please put me down for 200 for September please. I'm determined I will come under oneday, but not sure it will be this month since it's a 5 week month for us
    Sausage and herb stuffed aubergines and potato gratin for tea tonight..nom nom.
    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
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 24th Aug 11, 8:22 AM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    morning all nsd today, i thought i had a hospital appointment but when i went to check the time it was friday lol so nice quiet day at home

    i don't include fuel in my budget as we usually spend more on it than on food :O it's not like we go far either

    dinner tonight is baked taties with spag bol and cheese

    i'm lowering my budget way down for sep as we don't need much and an online shop showed that even if i did need everything i could feed my family for 130 with a few treats thrown in, i was gonna go for 100 but i remebered we have to pay the school 4 a week so.... Can i have 115 for sep please

    the bigger 2 will be on school dinners so that will help a little bit and they will get atleast 1 peice of fruit in school so i can buy slightly less, budgets looking good this month

    those people in m&s could have made 5 toasties for what they paid for 1, saying that if i'm meeting friends i tend to feed the kids before we leave and then get them a bun or drink of milk as it gets expensive buying all 3, and i've been known to grab a packet of biccys before we leave and just give them them and a bottle of squash i brought with us, it's not that we can't afford it it's more a case of i bregrudge paying it as it's all seriously overpriced even in cheap places

    fil gave me about 20 plums off his tree yesterday i might stew them and serve with rice pudding, my own tree should be ready very soon aswell and i'll have pears soon, he has apples aswell so i'll hopefully cut down my fruit bill
    Last edited by quintwins; 24-08-2011 at 8:27 AM.
    DFW 7632/28996 26.3%
  • xXLauraXx
    Can I please join this, as of Friday i'm in desperation to not be spending all our spare money on food, its just getting silly.

    If i can add my total for Sept to start off at 300, almost half what i'm spending now. With meal planning and avoiding supermarkets at unneccesary times i'm hopeful i can easy do it, and then start to reduce it month by month.
    • medsdemon
    • By medsdemon 24th Aug 11, 11:06 AM
    • 745 Posts
    • 6,098 Thanks
    Arghh Had to buy milk in the end as hadn't realised I was so low and need it to make the gratin for tea tonight. I also bought a bottle of squash beacause I'm out and it was half price and 2 jars of cheesy vegetable bake sauce for 74p for both as thought it's cheaper and quicker for emergency meals than making my own sauce. So that's 2.48 to start my September challenge with. NSD's the rest of the week...!!!!!
    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
    • MummyEm
    • By MummyEm 24th Aug 11, 11:15 AM
    • 573 Posts
    • 5,144 Thanks
    I havent had time to catch up on the thread as v busy with the kids at the mo, but a quick update on my totals so far ...

    Had a few spends over weekend and today taking me up to 369.99 /450. It's gonna be close!
    Need to do a mealplan for the rest of the month with what is in the freezer to keep it down as low as poss. Have a very busy first weekend in sep with lots going on, and family staying so need to try to get food organised for that asap or it will end up costing a fortune which we cannot afford!!
    Think I will do a mealplan up to the 6th Sep. Writing a shopping list of bits needed up to the 31st - which I will then buy in next few days, and a list of things to buy on the 1st of Sep - so this can go in the Sep budget.

    Fingers crossed
    MFW original end date 295000 Nov 2039 currently 224,824.58 Jul 2035 Dream end date Nov 2025
    2017 Target EF 20,000/ 20,000 OP 2390.10/1900
    TOTAL OP 2014 1042.60 OP 2015 3357.75 OP 2016 6480.98 Family Loan 17000.00
    • eveie189
    • By eveie189 24th Aug 11, 12:54 PM
    • 300 Posts
    • 2,896 Thanks
    Hi everyone,

    I would like (or maybe not) to declare 436.24 for July. That's 107% of my original budget of 405. To be honest I don't think it's that bad considering I regularly spend over 500 per month usually even though I have been a lurker/occasional poster on here for ages!! I would like to go for 400 for September please. I am determined to get under this time.
    April GC 9th-7th may 0/320
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 24th Aug 11, 1:09 PM
    • 747 Posts
    • 3,709 Thanks
    Had a small top up as running low on milk. Came to 15.64 so technically will be under budget however have had a few meals out so need to try harder.
    MFW 91 op 2014 410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 812/4500
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 24th Aug 11, 2:27 PM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    i havent finished Aug yet but will go for 400 for Sept.

    got everything out of the cupboards on monday and listed whats in there with the hope of using some up. last nights tea was what was left of a bag of dried beans and pulses that i soaked overnight then boiled, i added them to a grated carrot,grated courgette, a few sliced mushrooms and a handful of shelled peas ad a bit of soya mince. i served it with mashed sweet potato.

    dad and step mum visited this morning with a lovely big bowl of tomatos so had cheese and tommy sarnis for dinner
    tea will be quorn and leek pie with cheesey pastry
    SPC~12 ot 124

    In a world that has decided that it's going to lose its mind, be more kind my friend, try to Be More Kind
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