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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 first Grocery Challenge of 2012

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your December budget, then keep on posting in the December 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; 27-12-2011 at 12:52 PM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 16
  • Long tall sally
    Smallish spend in the Co Op & Mr T today on half price wine, strawberries, quiche & salad.
    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
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 30th Dec 11, 9:08 PM
    • 13,812 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    Am humming and hawing about whether to spend some of this months budget on a bread maker. Please can anyone offer me any advice? The family get through a full sliced loaf every other day. What would be most economical?

    Originally posted by Kylieminoag
    I along with many others on this board have Panasonics and swear by them. They are a bit more expensive than some but are worth every penny. I got mine for my birthday, I asked for the money and people gave it to DH who went and got it for me.

    There are a couple of threads on the board, i'll just go and find links for you. maker ker

    There are a lot more but that is the main one and another that is a chatty one. There are loads on the board you just have to do a search.
    Last edited by tigerfeet2006; 30-12-2011 at 9:25 PM.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    I now live in a country that is 4 hours ahead of the UK so you may now find I post at weird times
    • cw18
    • By cw18 30th Dec 11, 9:19 PM
    • 8,050 Posts
    • 85,993 Thanks
    Am humming and hawing about whether to spend some of this months budget on a bread maker. Please can anyone offer me any advice? The family get through a full sliced loaf every other day. What would be most economical?

    Originally posted by Kylieminoag
    My 'old' machine makes a choice of a 2.5lb or 3lb loaf. Great for a family (used to be 4 of us, but the loaf generally disappeared within a few hours as my lads loved warm buttered bread ), but rises too tall to be of any use in a toaster.

    It's only my 'old' one because those sizes are too big just for me, so I ordered a new one on 28th which arrived yesterday - and this one makes a choice of 1lb, 1.5lb or 2lb. Still likely to be too tall for the toaster if I make the 2lb (unless I slice them the 'wrong' way), but am going to try a 1lb and see how that does.

    The old one's a Prim@, the new one's a M0rphy Rich@ards.
  • theonlynuttytart
    oooooh new thread! can i join please?

    i was on the thread last year and sadly fell off the wagon (holds head in shame) and got caught up in house renovations and had an operation! so i let things slide but im back!!

    My monthly spend ..... gulp.... can you put me down for 100 for January!
    ive got to live out of cupboards and freezer. If theres ever a war everyones coming to mine as we could live comfortably for months!

    Starting to contemplate meal planning to see if that helps.

    Must become more organised!! My mantra for 2012!
    Last edited by theonlynuttytart; 31-12-2011 at 9:37 PM.
    Sealed Pot Member 1269 VSP... TO UPDATE!
    No more toiletries challenge..... Making progress!
    GROCERY CHALLENGE 100 January 2012
  • Libretia*
    I love my panasonic bread maker, but i am sure that lots of other breadmakers turn out great loaves too. Having said that, i always used to make bread by hand and then bake it. Its win win either way, because you are totally in control of the ingredients, shape etc.
    Every penny's a prisoner!

    GC January 14.01/100

    Jan NSD's 4/15
    • freyasmum
    • By freyasmum 30th Dec 11, 9:28 PM
    • 16,730 Posts
    • 48,917 Thanks
    Am humming and hawing about whether to spend some of this months budget on a bread maker. Please can anyone offer me any advice? The family get through a full sliced loaf every other day. What would be most economical?

    Originally posted by Kylieminoag
    Why not see if you can get a free one from freecycle or a cheaper one from a boot sale before you commit a proportion of your grocery budget? That way you can see if you're gonna get the benefit - it's far too easy to buy all the paraphenalia and get really excited and use it every day for a month and then relegate it to the back of a cupboard. Or, if you're like me, discover that you prefer to make bread by hand - I love the kneading and getting to grips with it.

    But then I'm not one for gadgets for gadgets' sake. My mum on the other hand...

    It is lovely waking up in the morning to the smell of freshly baked bread though!
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 30th Dec 11, 9:28 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    Wow, only just found out this thread is up!! Spent the last two hours reading through and catching up! Think I'd better stop and have my dinner now...

    Having been thinking about my annual budget. I need to have it split up into monthly bits, as otherwise I'd spend the whole lot by the end of this month! Having looked through fridge, freezer, cleaning cupboards, pantry, cupboard under the stairs, airing cupboard etc, I have realised that I won't be needing any loo rolls, washing powder, dishwasher stuff or indeed any other kind of cleaning stuff. I also have madly huge stashes of foodstuff, so I am revising my 140 for this month to 90. Sorry to make you change it, but I think this will help me with my annual budget, because I can allow myself more in months when I know I'll have to buy bulk-type things.

    Dinner tonight is cheeses, crackers, homemade chutneys and other random stuff that needed using up from the fridge! (Went out for lunch so already had my main meal for the day.)

    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
    • closemead
    • By closemead 30th Dec 11, 9:50 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    Please can I join aster failing miserably last year I am determined to succeed this year. Please can you put me down for 230 for january. This is for 7 of us dh and I , 5 kiddie winks 8,6,4,3 ,1 also 2 dogs and 2 cats. Wish me luck!
    Last edited by closemead; 30-12-2011 at 10:06 PM.
    March G.C. 300 fail 🙄
    April G.C. 380
    • mooomin
    • By mooomin 30th Dec 11, 9:53 PM
    • 13,655 Posts
    • 134,514 Thanks
    A whopping 13p spent today on an onion

    I have currently got 85.29 left from a 200 budget. If I had any sense, I would have bought bread too as I got home and realised I had run out - d'oh! Tomorrow I'm going to figure out when my local Morrisons shuts for Hogmanay and try and time my reductions-run well so I can try and stock the freezer up a little.

    Tonight for dinner I browned some chicken leg quarters (99p for two from Aldi) and then made a sauce:

    Few squirts of low-cal cooking spray
    Browned some onion with some garlic granules.
    Added a carton of passata
    Added some mushrooms I froze the other day
    Added some peas

    I poured this over the chicken quarters and whacked the mixture in the oven for about forty minutes - YUM!

    The whole thing would have cost less than 2 for two of us too
    Comping again

    Wins this year: - two night trip to Belgium, 100 Gett taxi credit, tickets to Newcastle game, FIFA 2016 for PS4, stitch markers, Cumberstitching book
    • njk1012
    • By njk1012 30th Dec 11, 9:55 PM
    • 257 Posts
    • 2,206 Thanks
    Been to Mr T tonight to do the first weekly shop which came to 32.87. However I checked the missing clubcard voucher thing before I went and was gobsmacked to find out I had 16 to print off, so took them along with me. Money Is usually very tight in our house so use the vouchers at the next shopping trip after they are delivered so no idea how these were missed but I'm not complaining. Total spend 16.87 which apart from milk should last us a week also included was a reduced pack of 3 trunk underwear for my youngest which I have no budget for so is included in the groceries.
    Grocery Challenge Sept 17 407.79/434. Oct 17 394.44/400. Nov 17 228.71/400
    Car finance 28/08/2017 = 8819.52 Car finance now 7934.38 (27% paid).
    Tax credit debt 28/08/2017= 2300
    • TheThriftyScrumpers
    • By TheThriftyScrumpers 30th Dec 11, 9:58 PM
    • 272 Posts
    • 5,359 Thanks
    Re breadmaker

    I too got a Panasonic for my birthday and highly recommend. We have made a variety of loaves - white, whole meal, granary, malted fruit, pine nut and pesto and sunflower seed and honey. I also made pizza dough yesterday for the kids and that was very easy too and economical.

    I only buy sm bread now if it is reduced to pennies to store in the freezer for emergencies. You have to be organised about putting a loaf on but once you get into a routine it is fine. The quickest loaf takes 2 hours.
    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
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 30th Dec 11, 10:01 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    My uncle is a millionaire many, many
    The pseudo-rich, the people who are for show are the ones that care about brands and have designer this and that splattered all over the place but the real rich don't care what people think about them, they already know they're loaded. And they didn't get there by spending a fortune on unnecessary 'stuff'

    So total of 19.82/2000
    Originally posted by freyasmum
    Well said! I once read that the truly rich "Don't feel they need to prove anything" so that explains what you have stated above. It is the working classes who need to show how well they are doing!

    Am humming and hawing about whether to spend some of this months budget on a bread maker. Please can anyone offer me any advice? The family get through a full sliced loaf every other day. What would be most economical?

    Originally posted by Kylieminoag
    I have a "cheap" breadmaker and I am not too pleased with it-I tend to use it to make the dough then bake it in the oven. I do suggest you follow the advice of others and get a "good" one-the panny sounds great! If you can get a cheap one or a free one thats great but the cahnces are they will be cheap machines which people dodn't like-it is, however, a good way to start. Have a look on youtube and check out reviews and demos of various models.
    Last edited by angelatgraceland; 30-12-2011 at 10:04 PM.
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is 1500 pa 125 calendar month 28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • njk1012
    • By njk1012 30th Dec 11, 10:01 PM
    • 257 Posts
    • 2,206 Thanks
    wow closemead your budget is amazing I wish I could get mine down to that and there is only 4 of us plus pets. Do you have a system you stick to?
    Grocery Challenge Sept 17 407.79/434. Oct 17 394.44/400. Nov 17 228.71/400
    Car finance 28/08/2017 = 8819.52 Car finance now 7934.38 (27% paid).
    Tax credit debt 28/08/2017= 2300
    • BohemianCoast
    • By BohemianCoast 30th Dec 11, 10:18 PM
    • 262 Posts
    • 1,497 Thanks
    OK I am off to a startlingly poor start as we *went to a supermarket* today (I never do this). Spent 41 there, and then 25 on groceries in IKEA (that includes 12 cans of Koppaberg Pear though, and as we let DD have one about once a month that should last all year . It did include some money-saving sort of stuff like cheap wrapping paper and half price IKEA ham, but still.

    Also did the next internet order -- this may change before it's delivered on 5th, but currently it's at 92. So in total I have spent 158 and January hasn't even started yet. 350 does not really seem very plausible.
    2016 Money saving target: declutter my house *and* my folks' house! Sell 1000 in 2016, minimise food waste, buy nothing new...
    • closemead
    • By closemead 30th Dec 11, 10:24 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    wow closemead your budget is amazing I wish I could get mine down to that and there is only 4 of us plus pets. Do you have a system you stick to?
    Originally posted by njk1012
    Only all the usual menu planning, cooking from scratch, buying in bulk etc. I always make sure we have at least 5 fruit and veg a day. I do have 2 freezers so I make the most of reduced bargains especially milk and meat. Dog and cat food I always buy 15kg sacks which is cheaper. I use washable nappies for little one in the day and disposables at night. The budget may go up next month but this January we are quite well stocked up
    March G.C. 300 fail 🙄
    April G.C. 380
    • gardenia101
    • By gardenia101 30th Dec 11, 10:29 PM
    • 578 Posts
    • 2,802 Thanks
    Hi All

    I'm going to try this challenge for 2012 as, sadly I'm pretty rubbish at keeping to a grocery budget. Could you please put me down for 100 - hoping this will be plenty as my cupboards are still rammed from Xmas, but I think I need to break myself in gently.... Thanks
    And I find that looking back at you gives a better view, a better view...
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 30th Dec 11, 11:06 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    Hi All.

    I'm a bit embarrassed to come back...

    I used to post last year/earlier this year as I was in the process of paying my debt off, and being part of this challenge made me achieve my debt free goal.

    Unfortunately this made me complacent, and whilst I am good with my money and have money left over at the end of each month for the first time in my life, I want to try and get back to sticking to a goal, to save more money!

    So...if I am allowed to come back I would like to set an initial target of 200 for January. This starts on Tuesday 3rd January which is payday. It's just for me and will include all meals shared with my flatmate (we cook 3 times p/w each), lunches for work, cleaning products, toiletries etc. I won't include alcohol or a meal out p/w (Sunday) in the total at this stage. I know it's a pretty high starter, but I want to bring it down eventually and starting higher will mean I'm not discouraged from the start IYSWIM? I will probably adjust the things included as well as time goes on.

    Anyway - if I am allowed back in, I'm looking forward to restarting the challenge.
    Last edited by NickJW; 30-12-2011 at 11:10 PM.
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

    Grocery Challenge 13 -spent 1453.06
    Grocery Challenge 12 -spent 1565.51

    DFD 1st March 2011
    • Kylieminoag
    • By Kylieminoag 30th Dec 11, 11:28 PM
    • 159 Posts
    • 2,649 Thanks
    Huge thank you
    Am humming and hawing about whether to spend some of this months budget on a bread maker. Please can anyone offer me any advice? The family get through a full sliced loaf every other day. What would be most economical?

    Originally posted by Kylieminoag
    Thank you so much to everyone that replied - I've put an entry on freecycle and will trawl the local car boots on Sunday - great ideas thanks. All the recipes on the threads have me drooling! I think I will definately give it a go.... will let you know when I've had my first warm crusty crumbs!

    Thanks again
    DFWNerd 1417
    MFW by 2018 Jan 2012 186,000 Sept 2015 50,000
    • philsmum
    • By philsmum 30th Dec 11, 11:36 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 2,206 Thanks
    Jan Grocery challenge
    Happy New Year to all. May it be a healthy prosperous one.
    Good luck to anyone doing this challenge for the first time.

    Please can you put me down for 200.00
    Debt free from April 2012
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 30th Dec 11, 11:46 PM
    • 491 Posts
    • 6,304 Thanks
    Hi Kylie,
    I think with brea dmakers it depends what kind of bread you like. I have one and did use it a lot at first, hardly ever now. As I see it:
    nice smell of bread in the morning if you set it overnight
    Can rustle up a loaf in 2 hours so it's easy to keep a constant supply
    can use all kinds of flours, good for those who like interesting/different breads or if you want to perk up a dull bit of pate, for example
    does make nice bread, tasty, fresh etc
    it makes great pizza dough

    making it gets to be a faff, i found, though it doesn't take long
    my kids wouldn't eat it - too used to awful pre-packed sliced stuff, grrr
    the hole in the base is a bit annoying, means the middle slice is a bit of a tram smash
    only the smallest loaf is sliceable, the bigger ones are so tall they're hard to slice, I found, and that means you might end up making at least a loaf a day, maybe even more if you eat a lot of bread

    Purely personal view points, others may disagree, I do think it saves money though, if you like that kind of unsliced loaf. Mine's a Panasonic btw, other makes might be different, HTH
    Erratically money saving
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