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    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    • 9,343Posts
    • 17,889Thanks
    September 2011 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    September 2011 Grocery Challenge 4th Jun 11 at 11:19 AM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the ninth Grocery Challenge of 2011,

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

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Last edited by zippychick; 31-08-2011 at 9:44 PM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 20
    • sparklysaver
    • By sparklysaver 7th Sep 11, 11:57 PM
    • 392 Posts
    • 939 Thanks
    Evening everyone. Or middle of the night, whatever.

    Just in to update totals; spent £1.32 today on sweeties to decorate some cupcakes I'm planning to make for a hen do this weekend. Was going to count the ingredients for these separately since they're not for me to eat but actually think I can do it within budget, fingers crossed.

    Still haven't actually gone to the shops and bought f+v, butter, milk etc like I've been meaning to all week. Am being very inventive with what's in the house instead, but that's mainly out of sheer laziness. Went out for lunch today too, someone else's treat, and ate loads, so didn't need much this evening.

    Plan for tomorrow; Chinese supermarket, greengrocer, L*dl, T*sco. Need mountains of butter for baking and making the icing, also need yoghurt, eggs, milk & muesli. And some fresh fruit, because I've not eaten any today. Have just had to make green tea instead of regular because the only milk I've got in is on the turn and it tasted a bit funny, so I'll be making a batch of scones too. Any excuse.

    Hope everyone else is doing ok, off to have a quick catch up before bed.

  • Puzzledbubbles
    can anyone advise me please. i have been given a large carrier bag of cooking apples, and having spent several days doing other fruits and looking for a way out instead of all the peeling and coring. i'm sure i saw a recipe once where the apples went in whole (but not sure what it was). Does anyone have any tried and tested recipes like this they could share with me please

    poppy x
    Originally posted by poppy-glos
    The only recipie i know for whole cookers (which happens to be one of my fav's) is to simpply bake them in the oven, if you core them and then fill the middle with mincemeat (or sultanas/raisns and a couple of spoons of honey) and then top off with some custard.

    I am sharing your pain though, MIL has a great cooking apple tree and it always seems like a never ending round of peeling, chopping and coring to get them in the freezer.

    If you can face peeling some and making a tart this is the recipe i use which always goes down well.

    Apple, Lemon and Honey Tart

    23cm fluted dish (i use a ceramic one from Mr T)
    250g (or enough to line the dish) short crust pastry
    Lemon Juice (i use bottled but recipe calls for jucie and zest of 2 lemons)
    3 eggs
    100g Clear Honey
    50g caster sugar
    500g cooking apples peeled and grated

    Make the pastry (normally a 8oz flour 4oz fat mix is enough) and line the dish, blind bake in the oven for 15 mins at 190c or gas mark 5

    Beat together lemon zest, eggs, honey and sugar then add 4 tbsp of lemon juice.

    Stir in the grated apple then spoon into the pastry case.

    Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until set and lightly brown

    Serve warm (30 seconds in the micro if reheating by slice) and with cream or ice cream if you have it.

    • kahunababy
    • By kahunababy 8th Sep 11, 7:46 AM
    • 165 Posts
    • 995 Thanks
    Just popping on to update quickly. Had to dash to MrT's last night as was running low on fruit for kids lunches. Ended up spending £15.51 taking my totals for this month to £112.73/£250, not good.

    I am currently attempting to give up smoking so that shop did include a new toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash to keep in my bag, every time I feel like a fag I brush my teeth and the craving goes! Shopping also included the (free) jelly mentioned on another thread. I only got 3 to see if it worked and it did so I may have to go back and buy some more today (dated till Jul12) and they make a nice change for kids pack ups!

    Anyway, off to brush my peggs again!!!
    Just little old me!
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 8th Sep 11, 8:09 AM
    • 1,223 Posts
    • 2,940 Thanks
    Morning all,

    Popped to MR T's last night. I was looking for one of the elusive £20 printers on the weekly email but alas there were none I also needed sausages to make Toad in the Hole tonight. I ought them on weekly shop last week but DH cooked them for breakfast at the weekend.

    Luckily I managed to get 2 packs of 18 Richmond sausages for £1.33 each in the reduced aisle. The kids bubble bath/wash stuff was also half price so picked that up too. I also got custard powder and some more plain flour to make some custard cookies with.

    Total spend of £12.18 added to my sig.

    Oh and I bumped into my brother there so that was a lovely bonus for me

    Naomi x
    CC's Nov16 £18,609.97 / Jun17 £21032.03 Overdraft 06/17 £4577.44 07/17 £4505.35
    Aiming for a debt free date: April 2024
    £2 savings club #26 lost count but still collecting!
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 8th Sep 11, 8:36 AM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    morning all nsd food wise today however if i can drag myself out (it's freezing) i'll be grabbing the kids p.e shoes and school coats (already paid for) i'm tempted to wait til sat so i don't have to go with all 3 kids lol, we were in really late last night so the kids had pasta and then once they were in bed we had fishfingers chips and beans it was yummy so were having sheperds pie tonight
    DFW £7632/£28996 26.3%
  • helen jelly
    Morning all

    totals done to this post

    Went to Coop to get sugar and some reduced bits fell in my basket - how naughty of them!! So thats £9 to be added to my total

    Have a good day everyone

    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
  • rosieben
    Puzzledbubbles, I've added your Apple, Lemon and Honey Tart to the recipe index; it sounds really good - I've saved it to my recipe folder
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • annasoper
    I know this may not mean a lot to any one but if you're stuck every evening washing up plates and pans for 15 mins after dinner, this may be a little useful: just opened this pack of sponge scourers (8) I bought from Al di the other day which I purchased for 60 pence if my memory serves me correctly. They are so much more superior in quality compared to the cheap rubbish I used to get from As da and for almost half the price. The sponge is really thick and the abrasive side is so much stronger. It just goes to show that these big supermarkets not only sell us inferior quality goods but also charge us double for them. So so so cross (but still happy that I discovered these new ones )
  • crockpot
    I must keep out of supermarkets, or atleast my local Mr T`s, even though its Thurs am not many checkouts open and got stuck behind an old couple who had loads of stuff and were so slow, although did have a nice chat with them. I hate queing!

    went to Ald* first and was so much better, in and out.

    But had to go to Mr T`s for some stuff for mother in law. also picked up a few bits, so £20 odd later! on top of £30 in Aldi! Seem to have cupboards and freezer full so did not think it worth doing an online shop at Mr S as I have £10 off a £50 spend, did not think I would spend that.

    Had to come home and have a cuppa and piece of tealoaf!

    Was going to `dress` pizzas, made dough yesterday but left it out and has a hard crust on it, so have to make more, trying to save time yesterday-now a waste in food.
    • dumpling
    • By dumpling 8th Sep 11, 10:41 AM
    • 1,689 Posts
    • 23,615 Thanks
    Hi, just popped on to update my totals. Went to Mr T's for bread and milk and ended up spending £26.80 . I don't think I've quite got the hang of it yet lol! In my defence though everything I bought was reduced or BOGOF so it probably wasn't as bad as it could be.

    • FoxFace
    • By FoxFace 8th Sep 11, 10:55 AM
    • 282 Posts
    • 3,122 Thanks
    Just updating my first spend since starting the challenge

    Spent a total of £48.92p today, and although that is my weeks budget practically gone, it was on items that you don't buy often. My boys have to take a certain type of vitamins which they had nearly run out of (£14), and DS1 needed new plimsolls (£3) and I needed hair dye (£3.48), as I start my new job on Monday and my roots are quite frankly an embarrassment I did wonder whether or not to count all this on the grocery challenge... but the fact of the matter is that I have no other money, so will need to find a way to live on £1.08p until next Thursday

    I do have my menu plan, which takes me to Sunday, plus I picked up some 50p baking potatoes in Mr T's so that's another day... and I have plenty of eggs so I can do omelettes or scramble. I also bought a lot of baking supplies, so we can live on cakes & biscuits if need be

    It's not going to be too bad, and at least I'll rack up a few more NSD's
    Last edited by FoxFace; 08-09-2011 at 10:58 AM.
    Debt Free Wannabe 21.05.2017
    Total Starting Debt = £11,020.01p Currently: £7282.99p
    ~Grocery Challenge: May: £26.77p/£350.00p~
    ~Fox's Vegan Recipes~

  • TrixieB
    hi everyone

    was hoping for a nsd but need to make a pot of soup and no fresh veg of any description left!! Leeks and tatties to buy and got stripped chicken from carcass set aside to put back in the stock for the soup
    Also need to source a cheapo bar of chocolate with some kinda flavouring in like cherry, orange, mint etc, to make choc stirring teaspoons to go in a hamper for xmas - thinking Aldi or Lidl would be a good bet?

    if anyones looking for a new loaf tin I bought one yday in £land and it's fab, very heavy and solid - made an earl grey tea loaf in it last night and turned out just fine

    have good days all
    Trying very hard to be frugal and OS - just plodding on and doing my best!

    • sproggi
    • By sproggi 8th Sep 11, 11:37 AM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 6,376 Thanks
    if anyones looking for a new loaf tin I bought one yday in £land and it's fab, very heavy and solid - made an earl grey tea loaf in it last night and turned out just fine
    Originally posted by TrixieB

    Thanks for that TrixieB, I went to make a loaf yesterday and my tin has gone awol, ended up making rolls and even they ended up like burnt rocks due to a friend phoning

    Another NSD for me
    Parents just gave me potatoes and runner beans from their garden and I am off foraging for apples and blackberries on Saturday with mum, sis and DD2, we were going for cherries too, but somebody has beaten us to the tree and stripped it

    HM chicken and bacon pie for tea tonight, my first attempt at this and pastry never was my strong point unless it's choux, but don't think that chicken and bacon eclaires would catch on somehow

    'We can get over being poor, but it takes longer to get over being ignorant'
    Jane Sequichie Hifler
    Beware of little expenses.A small leak will sink a great ship
    Benjamin Franklin
    • the_cat
    • By the_cat 8th Sep 11, 11:40 AM
    • 2,075 Posts
    • 11,317 Thanks
    [QUOTE=TrixieB;46738361Also need to source a cheapo bar of chocolate with some kinda flavouring in like cherry, orange, mint etc, to make choc stirring teaspoons to go in a hamper for xmas - thinking Aldi or Lidl would be a good bet?


    Lidl have their milk chocolate on special at 19p a bar this weekend. Maybe a load of that plus a bottle of essence to add flavour?
  • TrixieB
    thank you very much for that thecat!! I have a bottle of ginger concentrate already, could easily use some orange or mint essence in other stuff so worth the outlay probably already bought the teaspoons, 10 nice solid ones from £land so I can make a few spares for me to try lol
    Trying very hard to be frugal and OS - just plodding on and doing my best!

  • Elisheba
    We has £20 odd in Mr T vouchers so we went there for our weekly shop last week. Totally meal planned, and after special offers it came to £70, so with vouchers £50.

    This week, started SW, and meal planned again. Much more complicated meals, following recipes and everything. No more vouchers so went to Lidl - £37, and then £5 for some of the fat free dairy I had to buy in Mr T's.

    That is a serious difference in shopping costs! I mean DH had to get razor blades last week I think, so that upped things, and I bought some washing powder, but thats not what is essentially a £30 difference! Madness.

    On the plus side this month, we are within our grocery budget. About £140 spent from £300, and have all the cat food, and loads of food.

    On the more annoying side DH has overspent on his personal money, and will be borrowing from the pot again, and we will be really quite lucky if we don't have to resort to credit cards. I don't see the point of us scrimping and saving with the food shopping, and me turning down event after event to stay within budget, when he just goes out and blows it on a whim. He knows better than this, and we have been doing really well, so there is no cycle of everything just getting worse for him to feed into. And also, its not like we haven't been busy, or he has been stuck in the house. I just don't understand his head sometimes.
    Live simply so others may simply live

    March GC: 129.69/160
  • sonastin
    My biggest problem is I keep running out of my staples. The stuff I used to have in the store cupboard that lasted forever needs replacing every month now I'm feeding 2 of us. It feels like I'm feeding 3 coz OH is eating like its going out of fashion!

    Had to go to ald1 last night to get some spuds and some onions and stocked up on a few other bits while I was there. Not sure I'd call them "needed" yet but they'll certainly be used! Hopefully there is enough in stock now to cover main meals through to the end of the month. Had to buy some eggs as well. Spent the entire drive home from work on Tuesday planning how I was going to try toad in the hole for the first time only to find that OH couldn't be bothered to make sandwiches and had egg on toast instead. So toad in the hole is scheduled for tomorrow now!

    Haven't got a proper kitchen at the moment and there is a limit on how much you can bake in the "oven" setting of a combi microwave but I'm getting so many ideas from this thread - I can't wait until I get a proper oven to play with again.

    Anyway, yesterday's spend was about £23 which is taking me worryingly close to my budget limit but I'll update my sig when its gone from my bank coz I've lost the receipt already.
    • recovering spendaholic
    • By recovering spendaholic 8th Sep 11, 1:24 PM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 15,426 Thanks
    recovering spendaholic
    Just got back from Asda and spent £21 on flour, Clover (on offer 1kg for £2 so got three tubs), Stork, vanilla, bacon,celery,strawberries, ketchup, soup mix, carrots,swede and Korma sauce. I then impulse bought two Bernard Matthews turkey steak things which were in the chiller by the tills, but they were only £1 so will do a meal for kids.

    I really don't think that Asda is that much cheaper any more - I think you get better quality -like for like - in Aldi - their chickens are certainly nicer - no fat comes out of them when you cook them.

    I am really annoyed with myself because I boiled a chicken carcass for stock last night and this morning I picked off the meat and then added carrots, onions etc to make a nice pan of chicken and veg soup. I then went into the living room and sat down for 5 minutes, fell asleep and woke up to the smell of burning veg!! My pan had burned dry and my "soup" was totally unsalvageable!! Will have to make soup with stock cubes now!!

    ENDIS. Employed, no disposable income or savings!
    • the_cat
    • By the_cat 8th Sep 11, 1:47 PM
    • 2,075 Posts
    • 11,317 Thanks
    Oh dear, not doing too well atm!

    I've come to realise that I must have been spending a lot more than I thought per month. I haven't been keeping track as my spend patterns seems to revolve around lots of little spends per week rather than a big shop. Although this saves me money long term as it's on offers in different shops, plus lots of whoopsies it means that adding them all up each week has recently gone by the wayside and I guestimated my usual spend. I've already spent £122.56 out of my £200 budget and still have 20 days till payday. To make matters worse I started this month with a huge stock in the freezer, plus full cupboards so should only be needing fresh stuff and a few extra bits. Might just about make it this month if I hunker down now, but sadly it appears to be time to concede defeat and up the regular budget to reflect the constant price increases

  • TrixieB
    recovering spendaholic - I too had a soup disaster today, made the stock last night from carcass etc and put in fridge in big bowl overnight and was getting it out today to cook soup and boil some rice in and portion rest for freezer and overbalanced and tipped half of it on the kitchen floor :/

    thecat - have you stocktaked all you've got and menu planned?

    Just been to Aldi and bought
    spring onions 39p
    a large red cabbage 59p
    packet of ready prepared broth veg 89p - yes I know I know!! but I've used all my energy today mopping the floor on my hands and knees and walking to shops half a mile away
    packet broth mix - pearl barley, split peas etc 55p
    pack of mangetout for chinese stirfry tonight 79p
    farmhouse white loaf reduced to 50p
    total £3.71
    off to update my signature.
    Trying very hard to be frugal and OS - just plodding on and doing my best!

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