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

    Welcome to the tenth Grocery Challenge of 2011,

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your September budget, then keep on posting in the September 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 everyones totals, see post #7 on this thread

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Last edited by zippychick; 25-09-2011 at 6:11 PM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 46
  • ZoeGirl
    Have enough food to last me a good long while stockpiled in my house so am going to aim for a $40 month next month which hopefully will just be fruit/ veges as will use up some milk powder/ frozen milk/ bread!

    Just wanted to say tho, since I have to go back to work tomorrow after holiday!, that the best work lunch idea is:

    Whatever You Have Couscous Salad! To make...

    Take a cup of couscous and put in a bowl with a cup of boiling water (add a bit of oil/ salt it you want before adding boiling water). Cover with a lid or even just a plate. Leave 5 mins and then fluff with a fork. Put aside.

    Now, the fun part. Some suggestions

    1) Take 2/3 carrots and cut into long thin strips, called julienne carrots, or just grate if thats easier! Add some chopped diced capsicum (any colours), some diced tomatos, some diced/ sliced red onion, maybe spring onion too, add what ever chopped herbs you like - parsley/ chives/ corriander etc, and even mix through some fancy lettuce leaves. Mix in couscous.

    2) Roast couscous vege salad. This works well to use up softening veges! Take mushrooms/ red onions/ diced zuchinni/ sweet potato/ pumpkin/ parsnip/ carrot etc and chop into chunks. Roast till soft. Just remember to add mushrooms/ red onions/ diced zuchinni etc last as they will need less cooking. You can dress with balsamic vinegar + olive oil before cooking if you want...when cooked and slightly cool mix through couscous.

    Some other ideas:

    Seasoning: Mix through any clear type salad dressing, or make your own with a splash of balsamic/ olive oil or lemon juice/ olive oil. Or just mix in some tuscan/ morrocan seasoning blends etc to taste.

    Additions: Add some diced cheese = feta is good, some cold shredded chicken, diced ham, salami or bacon even, shrimps or prawns etc.

    The thing that makes this the BEST work lunch ever is that if you are careful and store it covered in sealed container in the fridge (dish it into small sealed containers for easy lunches if you want!) it lasts for days at a time.

    I just made a big batch for the rest of the week ;o) I prefer to add the meat if I am having any a day or two max before eating tho, as that wouldn't last well for a week!

    Any questions please ask!
    "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!!"
    Nov NSD: ?/30 Nov Make 10 Day ?/300
    Get Rid Of Debt: ?/2000 !!
    • debbiedeejay
    • By debbiedeejay 24th Oct 11, 9:53 AM
    • 504 Posts
    • 5,182 Thanks
    Flat Eric - have heard somewhere that if you sprinkle cat litter into trainers it helps to keep them smelling sweet as they absorb the smell (and probably the moisture too)put it in the night before and tip the stuff out in the morning.HTH

    Realised after updating signature that am over this months budget by 2.70 but am not going to beat myself up - well not just yet anyway.

    Looks like I will have to raid the cupboards and freezer this week - not much fun with two hungry teens at home. ah well at least it will help with stock rotation and making space - for what I have no idea but that's what I will tell them
    Crazy Clothes Challenge 2012 57.20/100,CCC 2013 68.67/100 ,CCC 2014 94.32/100
    *Frugal Living Challenge 2012, 2013, 2014*
    GC 2014 Jan 154.14/180;Feb 103.49/180;Mar 117.63/160
    • spendaholic
    • By spendaholic 24th Oct 11, 10:29 AM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 7,664 Thanks
    Not such a good week this week, with all the detergents needing replacing at the same time. I spent 63.10, bringing my total to 200.13 ... which is actually only 13p over budget, so not too bad after all.

    So, I'd like to declare at 200.13, please. Thank you!
    Highest debt: 35k (2005); Current debt: 6k (2018)

    2 tickets to the Home Building & Renovation show; 50 to spend on chocolate; 2 tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters; designer cat food caddy; 2,500 cash; 36 cash; Jesus Christ Superstar tickets + 2 t-shirts; Creative Craft Show tickets; Birmingham City v Barnsley FC tickets; Marillion tickets; Beyond the Pole DVD; 1,000 cash; Legend of the Guardians goody bag; Dancing on Ice tickets; Barnsley FC v Millwall tickets
    • Islandmaid
    • By Islandmaid 24th Oct 11, 1:13 PM
    • 3,108 Posts
    • 42,218 Thanks
    Ok chaps and chapesses,

    Tried to do a careful shop, most of which will come out of Nov,s budget, I have tried to split it into this months spends and next months spends, with some specifically for the party, which is now upto 40 people approx.....

    Party food - 2 x large mulled wine - 9.98
    6x chocolate bars (for brownies) - 2.10
    4 x 500g minced beef - 6.76
    2 x bread flour - 1.36
    4 x passata - 1.16. !All from Mr L,s.!
    3 kilo chicken wings - 3.79 = 25.15

    Monthly meat spend - November
    2.5 kilo brisket (into 3 joints) -10.51
    2 kilo good sausages -5.00
    2.5 kilo pork (into 2 joints) - 9.85
    2.5 kilo stewing steak - (3 portions) - 11.20
    2 kilo - minced beef - 6.76 = 43.32

    General shopping from Oct budget
    Garlic 89p
    Pears 89p
    Peppers 99p
    Plain flour 52p
    Sugar 82p
    Rice 1.39
    Pickle 82p
    4x tuna - 4.00
    Orange juice x 2 - 1.98
    Bin bags - 3.58
    Crisps - 1.99
    Milk 1.39
    Mushrooms 2kg - 2.50 (freezer) =20.76

    Grand total = 85.44

    Sorry if you think i,m mad writing all down, but it helps get my head straight, i,ve just got to remember to keep a note of the November bit - all chopped, bagged and tagged and sat in the freezer niw - sorry to waffle on xx

    PS OMG watched exteme coupons thing on tv last night - not sure if they are mad or hero,s - just wish we could get away with it in the UK
    Note to self - STOP SPENDING MONEY !!
    • Kaloloke
    • By Kaloloke 24th Oct 11, 1:30 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 505 Thanks
    Hi all,

    I went over again last week by a little bit

    Today I have spent 13.75 at the co-op on reduced cheese and some ham / chicken for sarnies and 3.65 at the bakers on bread and 2 x cakes

    I am 56 years old with 3 cats and a beautiful view of the beach
    • meg72
    • By meg72 24th Oct 11, 3:27 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    Declaring at 50.80.Soover by 80p but am very pleased as this was 5for four packs chicken thighs in Icelandand 6.80 for absolutely loads of whoopsies in Asda, proper price would have been 26,78.

    Have enough in for meals for November and really must use up as now have no space at all in freezer for Christmas stuff,although already have turkey crown (bought reduced last Easter) beef,
    Pork and gammon joints.

    So please can I be put down again for 50For November. I will use this to stock up on Christmas goodies
    Slimming World at target
  • CompBunny
    Adding 12 to my total...still on track to come in under budget Really pleased with myself, but have the tendency to skip lunch and breakfast and just have a carrot and an apple or something on some days so as not to use up food (OH gets a proper packed lunch of course, its just I sit at home all day expending little energy so it seems silly to use up food). But this probably isn't ideal so will try and think of practical cheap things.

    I'm interested in experimenting with dried chick peas and you really have to soak them?!

    PS ZoeGirl what sort of couscous do you use? I never knew you could just shove boiling water on it and leave it to cook itself!!! Would the Tesco Wholefoods cheapy one work OK?
    Last edited by CompBunny; 24-10-2011 at 4:26 PM. Reason: question for zoegirl! :D
    GC2012: Nov 130.52/125

    Quit smoking 10am 17/02/11 - 4315 saved as of Nov'12

    Engaged to my best friend 08/2012

  • Car-ree
    Hi all,
    Did an Aldi shop today and have stuff left from last weeks shop so I should be good for this week, I've still got 10 left for food this week, and just need to get trick or treat sweets and make/buy some cakes for a halloween party. So Will come in under budget this month my month ends sunday. Have updated my sig.
    Dh has been home since friday and don't think he's eaten anything from home, barr some biscuits I made for the DDs
    He has decided to do his own food shopping, which will cost us more having 2 lots of food shopping but we are saving 300+ a month on petrol as he's not back at work till next year, and he lives away from home in the week and buys his own food then anyway, so I suppose it will work out ok
    Anyway hope everyone is doing well with their challenges and if you're really skint a great cheap meal someone told me is pasta bake with value pasta 18p and value tom/chicken soup 18p pour over pasta then add half tin of water bake for 35mins GM6.
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 24th Oct 11, 6:14 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    Hi everyone, finally got my Mr A order delivered so have some veg at last!

    Another 42.55 to add bringing me to 95.93/100 so getting very tight and still a week to go!

    I should have enough in to last - although I may go slightly over as DM visits on a Monday so if I'm running low by then I'll have to take advantage as can't get out myself just now.
    Grocery Challenge 211/455 (01/01-31/03)
    2016 Sell: 125/250
    1,000 Emergency Fund Challenge #78 3.96 / 1,000
    Vet Fund: 410.93 / 1,000
    Debt free & determined to stay that way!
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 24th Oct 11, 6:15 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    A quick question ..... if I do need DM to get me a few bits on Mon, which will be for November use - can I count this as November budget even though it's the 31st?

    It seems a bit silly to pass up the opportunity when she's here.
    Grocery Challenge 211/455 (01/01-31/03)
    2016 Sell: 125/250
    1,000 Emergency Fund Challenge #78 3.96 / 1,000
    Vet Fund: 410.93 / 1,000
    Debt free & determined to stay that way!
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 24th Oct 11, 6:37 PM
    • 4,324 Posts
    • 29,765 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...had a great day out with the kids today....we had a pleasant time and got on but i saw a few stressed families....making ends meet is hard at the moment....anyhow nothing spent from gc budget but some spebt from other budgets

    we had costco chicken kievs for tea...lush hopefully buy some more later in the week when we visit along with a lotof other things such as eggs/weetabix/cereal/oats

    take care tessa
    onwards and upwards
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 24th Oct 11, 7:36 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    A quick question ..... if I do need DM to get me a few bits on Mon, which will be for November use - can I count this as November budget even though it's the 31st?

    It seems a bit silly to pass up the opportunity when she's here.
    Originally posted by rising from the ashes

    This is your challenge, so your decision. I personally would put it into the Nov budget, as that's when it's going to be used. Like you said, you can't get out, so you wouldn't be going if it weren't for the fact your dm was coming. HTH.

    Spend day for me today, but only a bit of milk and bread, and some reduced fruit. 6.07 in total. Gawd only knows how much I've spent now this month - a crazy (personal) couple of weeks at the start of the month didn't help too much, but I'm living happily ever after now!!

    My budget for next month will be 100, with the aim of using up as much of my store as possible. OH is moving up at the end of March, and at this rate, I'll still be eating stuff from the black hole that I refer to as the cupboard under the stairs!!!

    I'm really enjoying half term - i love spending time with my children, finding new things to do, and just being together. They're at an age now (5 and 6) where they understand we can't play all the time too, so we've been mixing house jobs and playing for the last few days. Today's job was clearing up the wallpaper bits from the floor in DD's room. Tomorrow's job is putting away the clothes that I'm in the middle of washing. Oh, sad news... the bottle of washing liquid I bought last summer (2010) has finally been finished. It was on a ridiculous offer, and I paid 4 for it. Not bad for about 15 months' worth of washing!!!

    PG x
    Grocery challenge for family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(11), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries. Jan 87.97/100 Feb 0/100
    Frugal 2018 needed! Saving and NOT spending
  • adelight
    Did my top up f&v shop a few days early but got some brilliant bargains in the reduced section at a$da! Must fish my receipt out to update but spent 6 something and got cheddar, 3 coconuts, 3 packs of seasoned spuds for freezer, noodles, loads of veg & tropical fruit- enough to make 3 litres of green fruit smoothies (in the freezer now)
    Living cheap in central London
  • rosieben
    ZoeGirl, I've added your Couscous Salad to the recipe index
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • prettypaula
    hi all

    i have 2 left in my "food purse" for this month....

    may only need milk if i'm honest, i was too late for the challenge this month but i'd like to declare 260 for November. Thats alot for me, DH and 5 cats...but...

    this is to include a big pet food stock up/litter stock up and i am wheat free low carb at mo so plenty of meat...

    i may well come in way under, but plan to buy up some xmas goodies also...
    DFW - Debt Free Date July 2013, LBM Oct 2011

    Total Debt Sept 2011 23,708.39
    Paid so far 2,383.91
    Current Debt 21,560.56

  • rej-c
    Another NSD for us today; I'll try for the same again tomorrow [trying to stick to store-cupboard meals as far as poss], but bread's running low and some more milk may be needed, so we'll see.

    Between our ever-expanding waistlines and Him Indoors' ever-decreasing p/t work [it's not official yet, but looks like the end is probably nigh], the writing's turning up all over the walls here.

    So there's some serious fine-tuning to be done and self-discipline to be found, one way or another. But from reading some of your stories, I know it's possible, and I'm confident that we can make it work out.
    Haven't done the GC since February, but a glance at the Tower of Receipts tells me I really need to get back into it... and plenty of other Challenges besides.
    • sproggi
    • By sproggi 24th Oct 11, 11:30 PM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 6,376 Thanks
    Just popping in to record another NSD for me

    Was annoyed yesterday morning, made DD2 and I a bowl of fresh fruit salad for breakfast topped with vanilla yoghurt.
    Well we both took one mouthful and nearly spat it out again! For some reason the yoghurt had a strange taste, not off, more a strange woody taste that was foul. I tried washing the yoghurt off (not easy trying to wash slippery sliced strawberries and bananas!) , but, with it still tasting, I had to admit defeat and throw both bowls away

    On the plus side, my out of date (by 3 and half years) yeast is still going strong with another batch of hm rolls made and all eaten yesterday.

    '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
  • ZoeGirl
    I'm interested in experimenting with dried chick peas and you really have to soak them?!

    PS ZoeGirl what sort of couscous do you use? I never knew you could just shove boiling water on it and leave it to cook itself!!! Would the Tesco Wholefoods cheapy one work OK?
    Originally posted by CompBunny
    Hey, yeah should work well with all couscous, I buy the cheapest one I can find and it is fine. Just make sure you use equal parts couscous and boiling water (ie, just boiled not sitting for a while), cover it and then most importantly fluff with a FORK. Honestly took me about 3 goes to get it right and it was because I was using a SPOON! My friends thought it was hilarious...still tasted fine but was lumpy!
    "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without!!"
    Nov NSD: ?/30 Nov Make 10 Day ?/300
    Get Rid Of Debt: ?/2000 !!
    • TheThriftyScrumpers
    • By TheThriftyScrumpers 25th Oct 11, 6:44 AM
    • 272 Posts
    • 5,359 Thanks
    I finally caught up with all the posts. Well I am pretty sure I will come in on or even under budget but we have been away or out a lot this month (diff budget). Freezer full so aim (again when will I learn) is to eat from freezer instead of adding to it. Got to dash. Spent two hours sorting Dd's room while she slept last night. She has just woken so I want to show her my hard work. Hope everyone has a fun and frugal day. X x
    GC Mar 11 437.08Apr 11 459.26 May 11 485.52 June 11 423.79July 11 409.22 Aug 11 250.10Sept 11 396.14Oct 11 382.37Nov 11 372.55Dec 11 332.29 Jan 12 375.19:Feb 12 349.58Mar 12 279.66Apr 12 249.12May 12 337.66/Jun 12 362.58/Jul 12 317.03/Aug 12 354.02/Sept 439.72/Oct 12 210.16
    • franby64
    • By franby64 25th Oct 11, 8:22 AM
    • 894 Posts
    • 10,920 Thanks

    Just updating while I can get on the pooter (have to fight for it during the holidays). Total is now 351.14. I'm getting an A*da delivery this afternoon which will take me over but not too bad.

    I wrote two annoyed emails to T*sco and the C*op yesterday about shrinkage.
    In Tesco the bread rolls were about 2/3 of their normal size, same price, and in the C*op the packets of 6 tomatoes were 5p more and much, much smaller.
    I know this, you know this and they know this but it does get up my nose so I had to vent my spleen.
    It's sneaky and I don't like being treated like an idiot. I'd just like to see what they say - b****r-all probably.
    Was it Spiggle who said supermarkets are not your friend!

    Hope everybody is managing to get somewhere near their targets!
    Starting weight on 22/6 14st 00lbs. Weight on 15/2 10st 11lbs. Lost 3st 3lbs.Target 9st 12lbs. 13lbs left.
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