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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 50
    • sproggi
    • By sproggi 26th Oct 11, 7:45 PM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 6,376 Thanks
    Well I made it to my target of 20 NSD's . My month does not finish until 31st, so I may even manage to squeeze an extra few in

    '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
    • his missus
    • By his missus 26th Oct 11, 8:05 PM
    • 3,221 Posts
    • 19,762 Thanks
    his missus
    A day off work today so caught up with old friends. Took home made biscuits as my contribution to both get-togethers so a NSD, yippee!

  • rej-c
    A spend of 4.18 at Mr S on my way home tonight - nothing on the fresh fruit/veg/bread whoopsies front [they're getting a bit thin on the ground at that store], but I did get a couple of packs of pittas with long dates [90p for the two], more half-price Linda M sausages to stock the freezer, and a few packs of the frozen diced onions [now on sale at 25p/500g bag - I think they're clearing that section of the freezers for Christmas stuff! ]

    Hoping for at least another couple of NSDs before the week's out. I was sure we'd crash through the budget this month, but we're so close now I really want to sneak in under the wire!

    sls1365 - very best of luck with quitting. It's a great decision that will benefit you and your family in so many ways. One of the best things I ever did for myself, too
    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.
    • wouldbeqaulitymoneysaver
    • By wouldbeqaulitymoneysaver 26th Oct 11, 8:16 PM
    • 5,607 Posts
    • 10,481 Thanks
    I am over budget for this month.
    Hope I have some idea of a figure to use in November. Best wishes.
    #TY[/B] Would be Qaulity MSE Challenge Queen.
    [B]Reading whatever books I want to the rescue!:beer[/B
    WannabeBarrister, WannabeWife, Wannabe Campaign Girl Wannabe MSE Girl #wannnabeALLmyFamilygirl
    • suzybloo
    • By suzybloo 26th Oct 11, 8:46 PM
    • 1,081 Posts
    • 8,740 Thanks
    Evening folks still a couple of days to go, but doing not too badly, should come in just over, but considering how much I would normally spend I am more than delighted ;-) will post a final figure on Saturday. Have bought a couple of wee treats to pass on to others, along with a couple of christmas things that have been put away for christmas.

    Will sign up for November too, anything to keep me focussed!
    Every days a School day!
  • ShrinkingSavingKaren
    Can i please be put down for 300 this month please, going to give it a bash and anything saved is a bonus for xmas ,,,
    228/400 dec groc challenge...
  • Twiceblessed
    Spent 32.70 on a nice meal out with my DDs and a good friend
    9.49 on a birthday present

    Still on track for this month's target but heading towards some very weird food combinations so really need to stock up soon
    January grocery challenge 159.43/250.00
    February grocery challenge 209.53/200.00
    March grocery challenge 165.66/190
    April grocery challenge 186.27/170.00
    May grocery challenge 22.51/180.00
    • Pixie Fairydust
    • By Pixie Fairydust 26th Oct 11, 10:19 PM
    • 270 Posts
    • 3,797 Thanks
    Pixie Fairydust
    Another spend in Mr T this evening - no whoopsies though, think I was a bit late in!

    Spent 15.25 but not much to show for it
    I got a few xmas bits, chocs & advent calendars and some mint aero's BOGOF, so I can try making the cookie recipe posted on here a few days ago, they look lush!

    Thanks to all who run this forum and post on it, its great, I feel more positive about my budget now I'm part of this. I love all the encouraging comments, thanks

    Well done to you all for Oct - even if you've gone over a bit its still great - just think how much we were all spending and bumping up Mr T's profits when we weren't keeping a tally of things!

    Laters, 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.

    • MissOrganised1972
    • By MissOrganised1972 27th Oct 11, 5:08 AM
    • 174 Posts
    • 3,644 Thanks
    Tell me more, in 'Monica' style detail please

    I have never ventured into spreadsheet territory! But would love to give it a whirl, anything to help me get a grip on my grocery budget!

    Thanks in advance.

    Originally posted by Pixie Fairydust
    Sorry for the delay in responding but I'm usually reading up on MSE on my phone (as I am now) & so responding takes time. I've constantly been woken during the night tonight with 'I can't get back to sleep' by both DDs (overexcitement as today is DD1s Birthday & we're all off to the seaside) that I am now lay wide awake myself!

    Anyway, spreadsheets..........

    You are making your own little table in whatever layout you fancy! spreadsheets are great for numbers etc but none needed here, just typing in columns.

    I use a spreadsheet for each month. For each month I tend to have 3 columns. Column 1-has the date in. Column 2-has what we're eating in it & column 3 is for notes to remind you of who's in or out etc (eg kids on school dinners, DH away with work, me out on the town ). The more familiar you become with spreadsheets the more 'pretty' you can make your table but that is the basics of it!

    When I am next on MSE on my computer I will see if I can copy an excerpt from a spreadsheet on here.

    Good luck!

    Right must pop those matches under the eyelids while DD opens her pressies!
    2017 GC O-93.46/160; S-136.26/160; A-130.55/160; J-47.12/160;
    J-106.63/190; M-70.29/160; A-197.88/180; M-219.35/180; F-294.14/160; J-168.67/160
    2016 GC 2322.39/2285; GC-2012-2015 - 9789.91/7773!
    for 2 adults & 2 kids (13 & 11) for all food,toiletries,cleaners etc

    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 27th Oct 11, 5:56 AM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes

    Would everyone like me to add your total spends [when you declare at the end of the month] to the first page, beside your budget i.e Helen jelly 310/300 - my target was 310 and I spent 300, its no hassle for me to do this, you are able to look back and see what you spent in any given month - MrsM may not want to continue with this when she comes back but I'm happy to do it however it would be easier if it was for everyone rather than for some - up to you!!!! Let me know your thoughts please :]

    Helen x
    Originally posted by helen jelly

    Hi all,

    Helen - I think it would be a great thing, however, it would be really time-consuming for you...
    Originally posted by PennyGrabber
    Agree totally with PG here - everyone who helps run the thread does a wonderful job (and I've no idea how you find time) so although I think it would be wonderful, you do so much for us already .....

    I knew that there had to be a quicker way to find posts, and after my long winded reply, I have just worked it out

    At the top of the thread is the option to 'search this thread'.
    Left click it and go to advanced.
    Put name into 'user name' and it brings up all the posts that someone had made within this thread.

    Soooo much quicker

    Originally posted by sproggi
    Fantastic, thanks Sproggi - I sometimes remember someone saying something a few days back and on the very fast moving threads it can take ages trying to work back through all the pages to find it!
    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 27th Oct 11, 6:16 AM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    Chicken & Leek Risotto
    Hope no one minds me sharing a receipe - I've always put off making risotto (even though I love it!) as I thought it was really hard. However, I've now done this one twice and it's easy and very tasty!

    I couldn't find anything similar on the front pages but apologies if I've missed it!

    I've made it with both raw chicken breast and LO from a roast chicken and it worked equally well with both - although obviously you will need to cook the raw chicken for longer at the start of the recipe.

    I've used HM chicken stock but it could just as easily be done with a stock cube.

    The amounts below will serve 2 but can easily be adapted for families.

    1 to 1 1/2 pints chicken stock
    Olive oil
    1 Chicken breast - chunked
    1 Leek - sliced
    150g Risotto rice
    Mushrooms - approx 100g but can use whatever you've got
    Frozen peas - approx 100g
    Herbs - I use about 1/2 teaspoon of Sage but Thyme etc would also be fine

    Pan 1 - warm chicken stock and keep on a low heat

    Pan 2 - heat olive oil
    Add the leeks and cook until softened
    Add the chunked chicken and cook until heated through (longer if using raw)
    Add the rice and a couple ladlefuls of stock
    Simmer until stock is almost gone
    Add the mushrooms, frozen peas & herbs
    Add another ladle of stock & simmer until almost gone
    Repeat until the stock is gone / the rice is soft & tender (about 15 mins)

    If you've got some, you could grate a bit of parmesan on the top but I had it without (not great with dairy).

    Better mention that I've adapted this from a recipe that was in an Asda magazine a couple of months ago which was used as my starting point.
    Last edited by rising from the ashes; 27-10-2011 at 6:20 AM.
    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!
  • rosieben
    rising from the ashes, I've added your Chicken and Leek Risotto recipe to the index - I put it into this month's and November thread too
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • forever saving
    • By forever saving 27th Oct 11, 8:11 AM
    • 565 Posts
    • 8,850 Thanks
    forever saving
    A 1 spend on some milk. Could i please declare 248.43 for October. Have put Novembers up a little in the hope that i can stick to it.
    Many thanks.
    FS x
    Jan GC 298.62/300 Feb 298.01/300 March 331.06/300 April 69.96/300
    Learning to accept the things i cannot change
    • meg72
    • By meg72 27th Oct 11, 8:49 AM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    rising from the ashes, I've added your Chicken and Leek Risotto recipe to the index - I put it into this month's and November thread too
    Originally posted by rosieben
    Lovely recipe and has just reminded that I have loads if the free APfoods risotto packs under the spare bed, Must use them up.
    Slimming World at target
  • ebayqueen
    Morning all

    Mr A*da order delivered 35.82...mostly dried foods, staples etc. Well worth the 3.50 as its about 15 miles each way trip for me.

    Have to pop to Mr T's tomorrow for fish and whatever else I can see worth buying, so that will be me for October. Need to go and update total now.

    Take care all and well done so far.
    "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" C. S. Lewis
  • ebayqueen
    Please can you take my aim for November as


    Would need to do a serious freezer top up ...say approx 80 over the next few weeks as there is very little meat in there.

    Thank you
    "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" C. S. Lewis
  • mrs mum
    Seriously blown it in October 623/500

    I do have a very full freezer, most of Christmas in apart from the meat and I have 4 bags of tinned beans, tomatoes, bottles of squash etc in the shed

    I will aim for 500 again in November.

    I have been very good the last 4 days of this challenge so I may break down into 2 x 250 batches each lasting 15 days. I get paid on 15th of the month so I could have 200 between 30th and payday and 250 for payday to the end

    Mrs M
    Last edited by mrs mum; 27-10-2011 at 9:31 AM. Reason: spelling
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 27th Oct 11, 10:04 AM
    • 1,329 Posts
    • 15,828 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    Ok, not too bad, but still haven't quite made it. 145.50/120 My challenge only goes till yesterday and i got a shop delivered, but decided to add on to October, so i am not starting November on an uphill path. There were some bits that i wanted to get from Approved, but really don't need, just want. I will have a think and come up with a new figure on the November challenge. As usual, thanks to everyone for giving their time doing this.
    August GC - Food 55.56/80 Alcohol 17.24/20
    Bulk Funds - Food 19.73
    Save 12k in 2019 1,300/5,000 - #155
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 27th Oct 11, 11:25 AM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    So far my grocery spend is 316.16/400 which I am happy with as its just until 31st. Cancelled Asda order after resetting the date twice as my planned trips have all been rescheduled due to me now being offered a Saturday job close to Mr T Mr A and Lidl.
    As its a 6 mile trip to work for minimum wage I will do my main shop on a Saturday after work to be economical with fuel!
    Just cooking a pasta bake of my own recipe made with vegimince. Tomorrow will be a chickpea curry.
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is 1500 pa 125 calendar month 28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • Kaloloke
    • By Kaloloke 27th Oct 11, 2:23 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 505 Thanks
    We went over - but it's better than before
    Hi everyone,

    I have spent 7 on pizzas from the co-op. 27 on an Indian take-away - naughty us (first anniversary so it's allowed).

    That brings the totals for October to:

    Week 1 - 60.08
    Week 2 - 52.21
    Week 3 - 53.16
    Week 4 - 51.40

    I am going to start November's challenge on Saturday the 29th October.

    Thank you to those who make this thread possible.

    I am 56 years old with 3 cats and a beautiful view of the beach
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