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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 eleventh 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 theOctober 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 squeaky; 26-10-2011 at 5:52 PM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 27
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 8th Nov 11, 5:57 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    NSD for us today as far as GC was concerned.

    However, Him Indoors was kind enough to offer to head out into the dark to get chip-shop chips to go with his whoopsied chicken kievs and my fake chicken burgers. Unfortunately, our friendly neighbourhood chippy was closed [we don't go often enough to know their opening days/times], so he stomped off to the next nearest fish and chip shop, figuring it was worth trying another one out to see if it was worth having as a back-up.

    Result: guy in the shop took ages to serve him because he had his back to the door and was online shopping, but when he did get served, two large portions of chips = £5 - and they weren't that great, either.

    So, that's our treats budget blown for the week... but at least we know not to bother getting anything from there again
    Originally posted by rej-c
    That is VERY expensive if it was just chips!!! We live in an expensive area but ours are nowhere near that!

    I've just emptied out my fridge and peeled and sliced all of the carrots I bought last week which will not get eaten otherwise as I bought a few more today! They are now in bags in the freezer. Sorted out the "bits" of salad stuff and popped it into a tub for someone to simply add some meat or something to it for lunch. Kept a couple of carrots and used up half a tin of toms and the last inch of tomato puree along with 3 pieces(halves)of onion people had left in the fridge and boiled it all up to become spicy carrot and tomato soup. Just added water, 2 stock cubes and some chilli and it is yummy!
    Also saved the last 3 eating apples which had gone soft in the fruitbowl. Boiled them up with some sugar and a drop of water and served with cream-made 2 portions. I feel better now! Some waste this week but all of the above ingredients saved!!!
    Visited a new Mr A today but was rather disappointed as there were very little in the way of "smartprice" items-only the midrange and above so I think Mr T will get me in that town. There were some very cheap battery chickens for about £2.50 each but not what I wanted at all. Anyway-I don't NEED anything! I did top up on fruit and veg though to the total of about £5.50
    Last edited by angelatgraceland; 08-11-2011 at 6:00 PM.
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • prepareathome
    • By prepareathome 8th Nov 11, 5:59 PM
    • 1,822 Posts
    • 24,925 Thanks
    Well went rather mad today, and we had lunch out - only in Asda but still not something normally done, I blame the injections at the dentist for my fillings ( that cost not included in GC) it made me light headed and reckless, hubby of course was quite happy to have lunch out, for me its about the 3rd time this year. Actually GS spends comes to £33 but I actually spent £109 altogether in Asda yikes, but hubby desperately needed new shoes - the ones he is wearing let in, yes he could have bought new ones weeks ago, but unless I take him shoe shopping that will not happen so he walks around in shoes that sole has worn through and gets wet feet. We got him 2 pairs £17 each - we did try him on nice expensive ones once that could be soled and heeled and he went through those in week, and even when resoled heeled again another week, cobbler suggested putting metal on them but hubby did not like that idea at all, so now just kept for best as was costing us more than buying cheap ones - the way he drives he wears down the sole and heel on one side in about 4 months in cheap shoes. So hopefully these should see him through the winter as no doubt there will be times ahead when he wears his wellington boots, which he has had years and sole and heel never seem to wear down. Also some new undies for me and him - asked him how many he has and he said 5 only, and he complained when I popped more in basket, but as told him, what if power cut and I cannot wash things for over a week he must have at least a weeks supply clean at all time. He knows when I get onto winter preps its no use arguing. LOL. Also picked up a couple of runner carpets, machine washable whoopsied to £5 for hall - floor is quarry tiles and I adore them, in summer they are bliss as stay cool but in winter as sooooo cold. As one of my girls ( doggie) has a bit of a weak bladder she sometimes goes on the tiles, thankfully no where else, so anything not washable no use, but I can have one down and one in the wash, very handy and just what I have been looking for, for about 2 years. Bought a few other bits like storage containers so happy with my spends just more than I planned on spending when we went in. So all in all spent nearly £200 and more fillings to pay for next week - teeth suddenly falling to bits urg.

    I decided at beginning of month I would not only keep a record of GS but of total spends, so am keeping a journal of everything I buy - at front just a day by day list of where and amounts and at back a proper breakdown. This way I hope to be able to see what I am buying that I need, one offs and extras and maybe what shops I should avoid if broke, as I know me to well. So will update sig to include new total - hopefully till sat there should be only NSDs - fingers crossed.
    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z # 1 prepareathome - baker, premium prepper (hence member #1), topic keeper
    Sealed Pot Member1433:2011 £119.12/2012-? Save £12k in 2012 No 126
    Stopped Smoking Wed 25th Jan 2012
    • ms_night_ryder
    • By ms_night_ryder 8th Nov 11, 6:28 PM
    • 3,001 Posts
    • 11,582 Thanks
    Another 91p spent in mr S today, got a homebakes wholewheat bloomer, comfort pure conditioner, a bottle of sparkling water and a bar of cadburys toffee truffle, thanks to the wholewheat voucheer, he put it through at full price which was on sel for 1.65, but it went through at 1.20, then had another moc for 75p for conditioner, so good little shop! well pleased.
    Lose 28lb 3/28lb
    SPC Member 1522/2012-£264/ new pot 2013
    • medsdemon
    • By medsdemon 8th Nov 11, 7:14 PM
    • 751 Posts
    • 6,133 Thanks
    Well had our first shop of the new month yesterday- A*di £21.83, A*da £29.20. I am trying to cutback on the amount I eat and it's working well since I started my new job I don't have enough time to eat as much...or shop for food. Hopefully my mealplanning will mean I still provide us with a healthy meal without constantly visiting the SM every night.
    Today was a NSD.

    The family enjoyed the Lentil soup I'd cooked and left in the fridge. Tomorrow I am cooking Chilli Con Carne in the slow cooker so must go and take the mince out the freezer!!!
    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
    • MissOrganised1972
    • By MissOrganised1972 8th Nov 11, 8:53 PM
    • 174 Posts
    • 3,644 Thanks
    I love to cook but I only ever follow recipes. I am currently making a Chilli con Carne from Jamie Oliver's Happy Days book. I have doubled the recipe & so have the following bubbling away on my stove:

    900g minced beef
    4 onions
    2 garlic cloves
    4 tins of tomatoes
    1 large red chilli
    a few spices
    2 jars of sun dried tomatoes (blitzed in food processor) with the 1/2 the oil from one of the jars
    2 wine glasses of water

    Towards the end I will be adding 4 cans of drained red kidney beans.

    I want the recipe to stretch further and so have (very bravely) added 6oz of 'no soak' red lentils. I just wanted to know if a) I could add any more lentils than that and b) do I need to add some extra liquid (perhaps a mixture of red wine & water) to compensate for the lentils and any liquid they may absorb!

    Thanking you all in anticipation
    Originally posted by SallyHat
    In case anyone was interested (feel free to drop off to sleep here ) I added, to the original recipe:

    8oz of 'no soak' red split lentils (that's the original 6oz plus another 2oz)
    a very good 'splosh' of red wine
    1 cup of beef stock

    As usual, it turned out too spicy for the kids but it has fed DH & I for dinner with rice & fromage frais tonight. In addition, I have portioned it up for 6 more generous meals for the 2 of us. So, 14 portions in all. The original recipe was to feed 8. We don't eat massive meals or anything but often find a 'serves 4' meal does not feed the 2 of us twice. Therefore I think that the addition of the lentils has been great for stretching it a lot further.
    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

    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 8th Nov 11, 8:59 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    Ive been watching HFW River cottage veg tonight on youtube and feel very inspired veggy wise. we are not great meat eaters anyway and I do know that when we were very skint and living mainly on grains pulses and soya we were a lot healthier(low cholesterol and low BP). Expensive western diets are indeed bad! So I like to go back in time somewhat and introduce those old favourites again and certainly cholesterol wise they are paying off. Also going to make some pizza dough ready for Thursday.
    Ive cooked a bean curry tonight for tomorrow and made the dough for naan bread. i've also got some youghurt "on the go".

    Yoghurt Recipe

    For anyone interested in making youghurt you just need
    some live yoghurt(smartprice plain yoghurt)and
    a litre of long life full cream(well thats what I like) milk.
    a flask
    Work out how much liquid the flask holds. Mine holds 750 ml.
    Warm the flask with boiling waterMeasure out the milk to 50 ml less than the flask holdsPut the milk in a jug and warm to blood temperature in the microwave(think baby bath)Empty the water out of the flask(its not needed)Add 2 tablespoons(4 desertspoons)of live yoghurt to the warmed milk and mix.Add the warmed milk/yoghurt to the flaskWrap this up in a towel keeping the lid well insulated as well as the sides.

    It will be ready overnight or in about 6 hours. If you have a nice warm place to put it then do so.

    When its done it will pour from the flask easily into a container. Give it a stir and put into a tub with a lid to chill and keep in the fridge like any other yoghurt.
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • debbiedeejay
    • By debbiedeejay 8th Nov 11, 9:02 PM
    • 504 Posts
    • 5,182 Thanks
    Had to attended a meting in town last night and after had half hour spare before picking DD3 up so visited locacl big Mr T's - I just needed some crisps for lunches.

    Was very good as near to door was offer on various snacks(3 for 1)so choose 3 and wandered off to whoospie aisle and purchased
    8 paninis -60p
    2 salmon fillets in a chilli dressing -£1

    and 1 pack of their finest range large pack of smoked salmon (half price at mo at £7.50 per pack) down to £1.88. Now I could have hung around to see if it could have been reduced more but I had to go and it was either grab now or watch someone else get it.
    So now am quiet happy as I have bought something in prep for Christmas !

    Anyway I had to take it out of its sleeve and fold it in half to get in freezer!I even wrote on it all details how much I saved so I can be super happy when I serve it!

    In total £5.97

    Wasn't intending to spend anymore this week but I forgave myself pretty quickly.
    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
  • rosieben
    angelatgraceland, I've added your Yoghurt Recipe 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
    • meanmarie
    • By meanmarie 8th Nov 11, 11:21 PM
    • 5,135 Posts
    • 49,952 Thanks
    Spent another €49 to-day....mainly meat which means we should have nearly enough now for the rest of the month, will need dog and cat food but might manage to squeak out!

    Weight 08 February 86kg
    • recovering spendaholic
    • By recovering spendaholic 8th Nov 11, 11:41 PM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 15,426 Thanks
    recovering spendaholic
    Sallyhat - thanks for the link to the washing powder - it does seem like a great bargain, but I was wondering how you stop it from getting all clogged up in the bag? Where and how do you store it? Glad that the chilli worked out - sounded lovely!

    I was making meatballs and spaghetti for tea tonight but both kids said they wouldn't eat it as they had only had it last week In the end I gave in and went to the local chippie and got them something - paid £4 for a cheese and onion pie and chips and a chop suey roll and chips. I also bought a battered sausage as I have seen them and wondered what they were like and they were only 60p so I got one. It was perhaps the most revolting thing I have ever tasted in my life - I had to spit out my bite but DD2 ate it as she likes them! I must try and give them something healthier tomorrow - as soon as she had eaten her pie and chips DD1 started banging on about how unhealthy it was and how she needed to lose weight etc etc. I give up!! I had heated up chicken soup from the freezer and it was lovely!!

    I need to go shopping tomorrow for dog food, milk, eggs and bread, but don't actually need anything else as I have stuff in for meals until the end of the week and beyond.

    angelatgraceland - I have been HFW too - some of the things he makes look fab - I would love to grow my own stuff and might try it one of these days!! Is he eating totally vegan or is he having cheese and eggs and milk?

    ENDIS. Employed, no disposable income or savings!
    • sproggi
    • By sproggi 9th Nov 11, 1:04 AM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 6,376 Thanks
    Sallyhat - thanks for the link to the washing powder - it does seem like a great bargain, but I was wondering how you stop it from getting all clogged up in the bag? Where and how do you store it?
    Originally posted by recovering spendaholic
    I put mine into empty sweet tins to keep it dry and easy to store.
    One bag nearly filled 4 tins

    '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
    • TheThriftyScrumpers
    • By TheThriftyScrumpers 9th Nov 11, 5:47 AM
    • 272 Posts
    • 5,359 Thanks
    I haven't posted for a while as I was determined to read all the posts first and it has taken ages to catch up. I have spent £105.15 so far. £30 of it was spent at sainsbugs by Dh so he could save £10 off a new xbox game! He chose well though, a couple of bottles of red wine and enough toilet rolls and dishwasher tabs to last until 2012.

    I hope everyone has a good day 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
  • rej-c
    Good morning everyone - hope you have a good day.

    £2.95 spent from the grocery purse on the way home last night - £2.35 of that on lovely, lovely Redwood Lincolnshire-style veggie sausages from H&B [I had a yearning for them, and two ended up sliced up in our pasta last night], and 60p on an irresistibly reduced 8 pork pies and a pack of bread rolls from Waitro$e. [Just realised the combination of vegan and meaty purchases may seem odd - to explain, I'm vegan, but Him Indoors eats anything, so I get him the occasional meaty thing when it's well reduced.]

    I actually spent a lot more there, but it was mostly from the Christmas budget [eg Pringles are currently £1/pk, vegan fudge is cheaper - by about £1/pk - than the manufacturer itself sells it], and I even found a sturdy lump of fillet steak for Him Indoors' Christmas dinner [and will no doubt spend the next few weeks researching the best way to cook it]. He's not keen on turkey and particularly requested beef this year, so I've been looking out for a good-quality bargain.

    The pack gave me a laugh - original pack label has it at £10.19; whoopsie label said £2.66, reduced from £810.19. My whoopsie of the year!
    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.
  • ebayqueen
    Good one Rec-j...what a bargain

    Spent very little yesterday.
    £1.25 on milk and 59p on bottle of disgusting red coloured drink for YS. He popped into the shop for me and used the puppy dog eyes as he was so thirsty!!!

    So I feel as if I am doing real well. I have an As*a delivery arriving today and that will keep us going until Monday. I am doing my best to not put my foot in a food shop this week. In fact I haven't been in any shop this week at all. Have to go to bank this morning but I have to be back for my deliv at 10am so I won't be spending anything. I might pop into £land if I can get parked for some bleach and that will be it.

    I actually feel as if I will make my reduced budget this month. I am aiming for £350 instead of £400. It can be done Gosh when I think I used to spend £500 at least a month before joining these challenges at the end of last year. My best month was Jan 2011 when I hit £280 for that month. December will be frugal enough until Christmas week when my grocery bill will be approx £180 including turkey etc. Was going to start buying something everyweek but haven't and not sure if I will or not.

    thanks for all your posts
    "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" C. S. Lewis
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 9th Nov 11, 7:58 AM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,569 Thanks
    someone on my local facebook page sells 10kg of bold crushed powder for £8 with free del locally i'm tempted but i really don't need any at the mo she only has 50bags so i'll keep an eye and get soem when she's running low if not they've been popular so i'm sure she'll order more

    sent hubby to te$co last night for bread. eggs, lindt balls and something nice for himself and he spent £30!!! just of rubbish really aload of chocolate and he bought me a lindt adent calander, crisps and coke and he was overcharged for terrys chocolate orange but £3 but we wouldn't go back and my sons still ill so i'll not be going, it's not really worth the drive for £6 besides if i'd sent him back he's prob have bought morenot to self next time go yourself, i'll never come in under budget now

    dinner tonight is pasta bake to use up a jar in the fridge
    OCT GC £196.12/£200
  • ebayqueen
    Hi quintwins

    Thats awful. I hate being overcharged but as you say its not worth the drive back in there. I hope you don't mind me commenting its just that your budget seems quite low. How many people are you feeding each day. I hope you don't think I am being critical just trying to help

    There is 5 of us and a few days a week I cook for 7. I still think I could cut mine a bit more so will see from January onwards what I can do. Am going to start by allocating a yearly budget and trying to stick to that.
    Hope your son is feeling better soon.
    take care
    Last edited by ebayqueen; 09-11-2011 at 11:28 AM.
    "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" C. S. Lewis
  • ebayqueen
    Well I went to town to go to the bank, called as planned in £land and spent £5, bleach x 4 and some brown parcel tape. Proceeded to Iceland and spent £8.50!!!! Got pork roast down to £2.50, dessert in a battered box £2, some ham and crisps. I should not be allowed out of the house!!!!!!

    Saying that I have no need to be back in a shop to next week and I won't be.

    A*da delivery arrived very promptly and that was £56.44. So I am still within budget. Will update signature now.
    Last edited by ebayqueen; 09-11-2011 at 11:28 AM.
    "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" C. S. Lewis
  • tracey12
    Made some soup this morning using up some carrots, onions and potatoes. Then added some red lentils, stock and chopped bacon.

    Just popped into Mr T for a tiger loaf 70p to go with soup and a small pot of single cream 52p to go with Weetabix brownies that I also made this morning

    Officially debt free
  • LittleMissHappy
    Mr T order is coming today - I finally succumbed to the big shop I'll need to work out how much have spent on groceries as there are a couple of xmas presents in that too but I think it should be around £65-ish which should last well over a week with top ups of (whoopsied) bread and milk...I'll update my signature once I've taken off the pressies later x

    ETA - signature updated - spent £54-ish x
    Last edited by LittleMissHappy; 09-11-2011 at 4:35 PM.
    Be the change you want to see in the world - Gandhi
    OU - DD100 (P ), DSE141 (D ), DSE212 (P ), ED209 (02/12), DXR222 (07/12) SD226 (02/13)
    • xxlouisexx56
    • By xxlouisexx56 9th Nov 11, 12:17 PM
    • 2,191 Posts
    • 30,133 Thanks
    Spent 2.69 in iceland this morning on fruit flavoured water for DD (water only allowed at school but she wont drink it and this is our comprimise) and chicken fillets.

    Going to Morrisons this afternoon for cereal and other bits for dinner etc

    This is my first month of doing the GC and its really opening my eyes to how much we actually spend
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