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  • FIRST POST
    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    • 9,343Posts
    • 17,889Thanks
    zippychick
    • #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 competition....it'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!

    Zip
    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 29
  • Nimeth
    Finally located last week's top up shop, I'm hip deep in filing and receipts atm so it got misplaced somehow. Spent 26.37 in A!di and then 1.20 in Morrison$ (I'm starting to wonder whether it would be worth taking out a subscription to Radio Times rather than purchase it every week?) So a total spend of 27.57 for this last week.

    Don't know how I'm going to manage in the next couple of weeks, promised OH he could go to the German market in Birmingham soon, we're doing Thanksgiving dinner for some American expat friends and now OH has gone an eaten an entire stir fry packet sauce (that would have served 2-3 people) to himself for lunch. We're also low on cereal despite me buying a month's worth two weeks ago because he can't stop munching on it all day. How do I get him to stop doing that as I can't afford to keep adding more stuff onto my top up shops?
    Dec GC; 208.79/220
    Save a life - Give Blood
    • franby64
    • By franby64 10th Nov 11, 12:50 PM
    • 894 Posts
    • 10,920 Thanks
    franby64
    Hi

    Now up to 220.26 but have most of the basic stuff for the month and some of the ingredients for mincemeat and puddings.
    So November's looking quite good but no doubt I will find a way to spend it all!
    Starting weight on 22/6 14st 00lbs. Weight on 15/2 10st 11lbs. Lost 3st 3lbs.Target 9st 12lbs. 13lbs left.
    • xxlouisexx56
    • By xxlouisexx56 10th Nov 11, 12:52 PM
    • 2,191 Posts
    • 30,133 Thanks
    xxlouisexx56
    Nimeth - is your hubby not at work?

    When my DP is not at work (day off - studying - working from home) he always has to have some sort of cooked meal for lunch. Whereas, during the week its just myself and the baby at home (bigger DD at school) and i will have just a sandwich, or toast or some leftovers from the fridge.

    He also doesn't realise that i don't have endless amounts of money to spend on food
    • MissOrganised1972
    • By MissOrganised1972 10th Nov 11, 1:06 PM
    • 174 Posts
    • 3,644 Thanks
    MissOrganised1972

    Don't know how I'm going to manage in the next couple of weeks, promised OH he could go to the German market in Birmingham soon, we're doing Thanksgiving dinner for some American expat friends and now OH has gone an eaten an entire stir fry packet sauce (that would have served 2-3 people) to himself for lunch. We're also low on cereal despite me buying a month's worth two weeks ago because he can't stop munching on it all day. How do I get him to stop doing that as I can't afford to keep adding more stuff onto my top up shops?
    Originally posted by Nimeth
    Poor you! Sounds like my husband! He'll come in and pinch cheese out of the fridge or 3 slices of ham. When I point out that it could have filled the kid's sandwiches the next day he looks at me as if to say-can't I even snack on something! He tries to be a healthy eater and asked me not to buy biscuits any more (a long time ago). I didn't buy them for ages but he is rather partial to biscuits & so now I have gone back to buying them but only the value ones (approx 35p a pack) and perhaps offer him a cup of tea when he gets in & then a biscuit goes well. Also, I make his lunch for him each day so that I can try & give him what I want him to have!

    With regards the German market. We've been a couple of times. We've travelled in on the train after school. We've had 1 or 2 drinks each & had something to eat off one of the stalls (not lots, perhaps a crepe, some garlic bread & 1 other thing between the 4 of us). The kids usually go on the carousel & we usually end up spending 50+ (incl the train)! Add on to that any purchases you want to make! So as much as it is a fantastic atmosphere, especially if you go on a December evening, it is not a cheap outing.

    Just been to Morrisons & very disappointed! Had to pay full price for my fruit! Kept nipping back to the fruit & veg section but they still didn't reduce anything! Booo!!
    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



  • Nimeth
    Nimeth - is your hubby not at work?

    When my DP is not at work (day off - studying - working from home) he always has to have some sort of cooked meal for lunch. Whereas, during the week its just myself and the baby at home (bigger DD at school) and i will have just a sandwich, or toast or some leftovers from the fridge.

    He also doesn't realise that i don't have endless amounts of money to spend on food
    Originally posted by xxlouisexx56
    He is at work in the week, he usually has a sandwich or last nights leftovers, occasionally he'll make himself a small portion of pasta with some sandwich filler. I'm not so annoyed that he made stir fry as a I am that he used the whole packet to himself.

    I do the shopping so he doesn't really understand that I'm trying to keep the food budget down. I'm trying to get through to him that if we run out of something, that's it for the rest of the month.

    Sallyhat: He does that with the cereal. He'll have a couple of bowls for breakfast, which is fine, but then he insists on having two more before bed! I remind him gently that those have to last the month but it doesn't seem to be registering. Maybe I'll let him run out and not get any more till next month's big shop.

    I may have to go back to making his lunch for him. And tack a meal plan to the kitchen noticeboard so he knows what he can snack on and what I need to make dinner
    Last edited by Nimeth; 10-11-2011 at 1:14 PM.
    Dec GC; 208.79/220
    Save a life - Give Blood
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 10th Nov 11, 1:15 PM
    • 4,364 Posts
    • 30,028 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi....went and got the m and s meal deal....went for the chicken and apple pie....also went to tesco and gor a selection of jam and peanut butter...flipping heck i asked the lady to put it through in 3's and u would think id ask her to do cartwheels down the freezer isle naked...but she did in the end....its a shame u cant put it all through and the till take off a third of your spend...prob cost them too much

    got chilli for tea and spag bol tomorrow...bit of a mince habit going on here...got a sack of potatoes arriving on sat so need to get some cash to pay for them

    take care tess
    onwards and upwards
    • MissOrganised1972
    • By MissOrganised1972 10th Nov 11, 1:19 PM
    • 174 Posts
    • 3,644 Thanks
    MissOrganised1972
    Poor you! Sounds like my husband! He'll come in and pinch cheese out of the fridge or 3 slices of ham. When I point out that it could have filled the kid's sandwiches the next day he looks at me as if to say-can't I even snack on something! He tries to be a healthy eater and asked me not to buy biscuits any more (a long time ago). I didn't buy them for ages but he is rather partial to biscuits & so now I have gone back to buying them but only the value ones (approx 35p a pack) and perhaps offer him a cup of tea when he gets in & then a biscuit goes well. Also, I make his lunch for him each day so that I can try & give him what I want him to have!
    Originally posted by SallyHat
    Gosh, just reread this to myself! I promise I am not the control freak I sound! My husband works long hours & I only work 3 hours a day and so I look after our finances, the shopping & cooking (as well as all the other jobs a woman tends to do ). He is happy for me to get on with it but sometimes doesn't realise that we are living WITHOUT a money tree at the end of the garden!
    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



    • his missus
    • By his missus 10th Nov 11, 3:09 PM
    • 3,221 Posts
    • 19,762 Thanks
    his missus
    Hello all!
    I've been away from a computer for a few days.. Spent a couple of nights away with DH and have just been really busy at work.

    I hope you are having more success sticking to your budgets than I am. I will need to do a proper tot-up when I get home but we've done an almost 80 Mr A's shop (ended stocking up on wine as one of our faves was on offer at 5 a bottle) then had a massive 125 Mr S delivery on Tues night (ordered before the impromptu trip to Mr A's). My freezer is fit to bursting now, I'm a sucker for those 3 for 10, 2 for 5 meat deals, end up buying one of each as I can't decide what to get. I really don't think I needed to order quite so much food but as most isn't perishable, should be ok. Shouldn't need to shop now til Xmas!

    Wll update sig tonight when I've logged all my shopping on my spreadsheet. I imagine most of my shopping budget this month will end up being meat and wine.

    Keep up the good work everyone!

    • recovering spendaholic
    • By recovering spendaholic 10th Nov 11, 3:38 PM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 15,426 Thanks
    recovering spendaholic
    Nimeth and Sallyhat - Your OH's sound veritably constrained compared with my eldest DD - she's 20 and eats enough for a small army. When the free shreddies were on the go I got 12 packets and they were gone in two weeks (not kidding!) - she is like a locust!! She won't eat fruit or veg so they last okay, but I have stopped buying biscuits and other treats as they go in a day, no matter how many I buy. Even when I made and froze flapjacks individually she ate them frozen!!!! And the milk she goes through!! I have decided to stop buying Cravendale because it has gone so expensive compared with Aldi - Cravendale was 1.60 for 2 litres on Friday night and last night it had gone up to 1.90 - so much for Tesco's big price drop!! I got Aldi's milk for 1 this morning.

    Spent 25 in Aldi today and 37 in Tesco last night and that should do us until this time next week, except for milk.

    I have baked gnocchi and meatballs in the oven for tea, to have with garlic bread, plus I made a rice pudding for me, as I like it for breakfasts!

    The baked gnocchi is lovely - her is the recipe:

    I pack of gnocchi (I get the 79p one in Aldi),
    a tub of pasta sauce (I usually get whatever is on offer or reduced in the reduced ailse - got the one I just used for 14p last night)
    a pepper, an onion and some mushrooms, chopped
    two rashers of bacon
    2oz of cheese, grated
    bit of parmesan
    pack of meatballs (I use a pack of the Tesco 2 for 3)

    you just fry the onion, mushroom, pepper and bacon until soft and cooked through and then pour in the sauce, plus half of the container filled with water. Cook the meatballs (I use the george but you could do them in the oven as it will be on to cook the finished dish). Chuck in the cooked meatballs and then chuck in the pack of gnocchi (no need to cook). Season to taste.

    Pour everything into a large casserole dish and top with cheeses. Bake 30 minutes in a 170 degree oven.

    It's lovely - the extra water you add with the sauce is absorbed by the gnocchi so it cooks and is not too stodgy. Makes easily enough for 6.
    Jane

    ENDIS. Employed, no disposable income or savings!
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 10th Nov 11, 4:02 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    Oh dear.... I'm way behind! Off to catch up as can hardly type today (scrubbed kitchen floor with a nailbrush yesterday and it's upset the arthritic hands) so it'll give me something to do!

    DM arrived with her old dresser that she's donated to me (storage in very short supply in the whole house & esp the kitchen) and everything was crammed in where I could find space.

    Of course, every cupboard now need reorganised. However, I now have all my baking stuff in one cupboard (previously spread over 3), tinned in another, staples together etc etc.

    Hoping this will really help with grocery planning as I'll be able to see exactly what I've got rather than thinking I'm about to run out of something, buy more & then discover there's a load in a different cupboard.

    Hope everyone is well .... off to catch up 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!
    • allym464
    • By allym464 10th Nov 11, 5:00 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 628 Thanks
    allym464
    Hi there - please could I join up? I would like to try and just spend 100 between now and pay day (29th) on groceries which includes kitty litter. Thanks!
    __________________________
    Debt free by xmas 2013 #111 Credit card debt 5000 paid off!| Santander loan: 3000 paid off!. SPC#5 1374 saved 75.47!. SPC#6 TBA!
  • bikelesschick
    Can I please join this challenge? I've been setting myself budgets every month but I never seem able to stick to them and just end up giving up. I'm hoping that joining the thread (and finally leaving lurkedom land) will help me.

    I'm not sure what a reasonable budget for a single person is, so any ideas are very welcome! In the meantime, can I please be put down for 30. I know this is quite low but it's only until the end of the month and I'll be spending 9 days at my parents so I really only need 11 days worth of food. Also, I have a few bits in the freezer as well so I'll use these up.

    Thank you.
  • Long tall sally
    Small spend today at the Co Op.
    Grocery aim 450pm.Spent 519 August, 584 July, 544 June, 541 May, 549 April, 517 March, 517 Feb,555 Jan, 573 Dec, 465Nov, 561Oct, 493Sept, 426Aug,496 Jul, 528Jun, 506May,498April, 558 March, 500Feb, 500 Jan, 490 Dec, 555 Nov,566 Oct, 505Sept, 450Aug, 410 July, 437 June, 491 May, 471 April, 440 March, 552Feb, 462Jan
    • Living proof
    • By Living proof 10th Nov 11, 7:25 PM
    • 1,617 Posts
    • 10,571 Thanks
    Living proof
    It must be Christmas. In the post this morning I had a 25 premium bond cheque, several 5 off 40 Tesco vouchers, and out of nowhere 4 off 20 shops (4 of them) from Sains's. Wow! Don't they know that I spread myself around these days - Aldi, Lidl, Asda, Tesco and occasionally if I am out and about, Sains's? Things are getting seriously competitive out there. There were also 12.50 of Tesco vouchers, so that's even less I will be actually spending.

    Talking about vouchers, I get regular incentive vouchers Capital Bonds, and the only grocery type places I can use them is Farmfoods and Iceland. No matter how open minded I try to be these stores are just not for me. All the garish packaging puts me off and I can see that they would be really good value for people with young families, but for mature singles and couples, I don't think they have much to offer. I notice that if I lose 10% of the value I can swap for Asda vouchers, so do you agree that I would overall get better value from these to save up and swap? Vouchers are always so much more fun that money - that just gets eaten up in the general scheme of things, and probably saved these days whereas vouchers are almost for treats - king prawns, sea bass, great bottle of wine, etc. What do you think?
    Solar Suntellite 250 x16 4kW Afore 3600TL dual 2KW E 2KW W no shade, DN15 March 14
    Mortgage and Debt Free. Unfortunately Pension Free too!
    • totallybored
    • By totallybored 10th Nov 11, 8:07 PM
    • 1,084 Posts
    • 2,506 Thanks
    totallybored
    I'm up to 21.98 so far this month (I was away for the weekend though). I've only popped in Mr Ts for some beans and pizza last week and then Iceland for some bread and milk. Tomorrow night I'm going to meal plan for the rest of the month and hopefully I can be under budget and make up for last months over spend.
    • pipersky
    • By pipersky 10th Nov 11, 8:29 PM
    • 949 Posts
    • 15,015 Thanks
    pipersky
    No spends today or yesterday.... my other half went to T's to pick up some sheets yesterday and we then realised they were in the double up promotion so I ordered them online with double up vouchers (insert virtuous smily here!) but then he decided that since he was there he would buy a big tub of Smarties for him, a box of chocs for someone at work who he managed to offend (don't ask!) and the massive pack of Magnums (the pack of 8 for 4!!!! eeeeeeep!!!)

    I refuse to include them in the grocery spends as it's just junk that I wouldn't have bought so he can take the hit! :P

    So anyway, spends remain the same regardless of whether I have sneakily eaten several of the magnums *blush*
    Part time GCer, NSDer, Comper and (Bad)Flylady

    A big shot is just a little shot that kept shooting ...
    • meg72
    • By meg72 10th Nov 11, 8:30 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    H

    Can I ask if anyone has tried freezing tinned corned beef - I used to by the small tins cause a large one keeps me going for days, but I recently started buying the larger 'basics' one but after two meals I still have a third of the tin left , I know it would keep for another couple of days in the fridge, but for next time wondered about freezing some when I open the tin.
    Originally posted by Need2bthrifty
    Corned beef freezes really well.I love cold cornbeef with chips and
    sp pickled beetroot. I can get 5 meals from a big tin so slice and freeze in bags.
    Slimming World at target
  • Twiceblessed
    update for last few days

    0.85 milk
    5.00 fleece on offer from Play
    3.18 bits and pieces from Home Bargains
    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
    • ms_night_ryder
    • By ms_night_ryder 10th Nov 11, 9:38 PM
    • 3,001 Posts
    • 11,582 Thanks
    ms_night_ryder
    Nothing more spent on groceries, my fridge is rather bare and only have a few quid of my budget left, i have loads in the freezer, but i need a small amount of veg and fruit, im thinking since i didnt include a tescos voucher i got i will spend that and maybe top it up with a tiny amount of my budget money if needed.
    Lose 28lb 3/28lb
    SPC Member 1522/2012-264/ new pot 2013
  • rosieben
    Having read it here, I've just frozen half a small tin of corned beef for next week/month never thought to slice it and freeze it - duh! - thanks, Need2bthrifty and meg72


    recovering spendaholic, I've added your baked gnocchi to the recipe index
    Last edited by rosieben; 10-11-2011 at 11:16 PM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
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