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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 32
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 2nd Jan 12, 9:05 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    OH "bought" me that panny for xmas (I did all the work researching what I wanted, where to buy it, ordering it, paying for it, etc!). It is AWESOME. Have made something in it every day since christmas, apart from NYE when we weren't home. I couldn't find that model for less than 115 so I think it is a pretty good deal. They were advertising it with 20 cashback from amazon but I'm not sure if that bit expired on 31 December.
    Originally posted by sonastin

    Thanks for that - I'm just still a bit worried that I'll spend all that money, and still get heavy bread. Hmm - what to do, what to do?!
    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
  • Rachel021967
    Spent 3.40 on drinks and 4 on coffee. Todays grocery spend comes to 7.40, that leaves 602.60
    • TheThriftyScrumpers
    • By TheThriftyScrumpers 2nd Jan 12, 9:08 PM
    • 272 Posts
    • 5,359 Thanks
    Had my delivery from Mr T earlier. There were a few substitutions but not too bad. Unfortunately the driver forgot my receipt so it's in the post. Judging by my online banking it's 61.26 but I'm still not totally sure. We've got enough meals in to last till a week on Saturday now, so hopefully just a couple of small top ups until then.

    Here's my meal plan, in no particular date order, in case anyone's interested:

    SC beef in port & stilton w.rice x2
    butter chicken curry w.rice x2
    vegetable rice one-pot
    fresh pasta w.meatballs x2
    pasta bolognaise
    tuna pasta bake
    fish pie w.greenbeans,carrots
    gammon, egg & chips x2
    Originally posted by Brassic Park
    Please could I have your recipe for sc beef in port and stilton? thank you
    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
  • plumtreebabe

    OH likely to lose job this year, don't know whether March or September so am trying to curb spending and save as much as we can. Going for 170 pm with me, oh and dd (age 8); I am loyal to local veggie van and milk delivery so no savings there (we are very rural and there are people totally dependent on these so I like to support them).

    The hardest thing for me is that I save money by lift sharing to work but then don't get the chance to go shopping so give oh a list of things to get on the way home which means far more than I asked for! The only way I will be able to this is by meal planning and batch cooking - a bit like going on a diet, on a roll to start with but then I fail miserably!

    I think this time I will keep a log of all food/household spend and see where all the money is going.

    good luck everyone!
    • pepsi-kins
    • By pepsi-kins 2nd Jan 12, 9:26 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 1,984 Thanks
    Went to the C**p today as ran out of milk. I noticed they had mature cheddar 350g with 100% free for 3.29, I thought this was a good deal as I usually aim for about 2 ish a pack (even though i've noticed the packs are getting smaller), so I bought 4 packs, so now have 8 blocks of cheese in the freezer, so that should last a good while. The offer ends tomorrow HTH.
    2018 G/C 2951.61/2250
    Vouchers used 553.23
    Extra money 250
    2019 G/C 1561.72
    Vouchers: 138.40
    • catznine
    • By catznine 2nd Jan 12, 9:28 PM
    • 3,187 Posts
    • 24,544 Thanks

    Please can you put me down for 150 this month? Really need to use up stores and save some money after spending a lot on visiting our lovely little grandaughter for Christmas, she is worth it though!
    Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.

    Jan grocery challenge 35.77/120
  • Brassic Park
    Please could I have your recipe for sc beef in port and stilton? thank you
    Originally posted by TheThriftyScrumpers
    I brown off a pack of diced casserole steak (normally cut off the gristly bits first though doesn't matter too much in SC) and add to a tin of chopped tomatoes, 1/3 bottle port (or any red wine will do), plus a dissolved beef stock cube and a touch of water. Season with pepper and balsamic vinegar. I added what Stilton I had leftover from Christmas, but you need a fairly good amount, depending on what you have in/how strong you want it, diced into cubes and stirred through (it'll melt through pretty quickly). I cook on high for about 5 hours and the beef is like butter, so soft. I normally also add an onion, maybe some carrots or whatever's left in the fridge really. This normally does me and OH 2 dinners, sometimes with a spare lunch portion too. Goes nice with rice or mash. Hope that helps!
    Future hopes, dreams & emergencies fund: 4,000
    No. Internet. Shopping.
    • MissOrganised1972
    • By MissOrganised1972 2nd Jan 12, 9:33 PM
    • 174 Posts
    • 3,644 Thanks
    Hi all

    I have been trying to catch up before posting my budget etc but seeing as it's taken me 4 days so far & I'm only up to page 20 it could be a while! So, I'm going to have to check in & slowly plod my way through the posts! Please can you put me down for 135 for January. I have changed my user name & so just for the record Helen I replace SallyHat! If that makes sense!

    We are 2 adults & 2 children. I will have no desserts or unhealthy snacks to buy or make for a while as we have 1 Birthday cake & 2 Christmas cakes to work our way through! I have made a meal plan for the month but am only shopping weekly so that the meal plan can be changed according to whoopsies etc! Tonight's tea was lovely, easy & new to me.

    Onion. Cranberry & Blue Cheese Tart (great for using up the Christmas cranberry sauce & end of the Stilton)
    I greased a baking sheet & placed one sheet of frozen Jus Roll Puff pastry (defrosted) onto it. I spread the pastry with about 2 heaped tbs cranberry sauce, leaving a border around the edge. I fried 3 medium onions (sliced) in a little oil for about 10 mins (until soft) & then put them on the cranberry sauce. I put this in the oven (about 180c fan) for 12 minutes. Then I crumbled about 3oz/80g of Stilton on the top of it & popped it back in the oven for 14 minutes! It was gorgeous (even if I do say so myself)! Kids loved it too (although DD2 tried to remove the onions)! I served it with veg & saut! potatoes. DH suggested we have it with salad another time.

    Sorry to waffle folks!
    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

  • lemmings1986
    hi everyone hope everyone is well, just caught up with last few pages this thread does move fast
    well had a longer day then expected at work so just got home,oh cooked tea a bit of a concocion but very nice currently eating chinese noodles,chicken skewers,mini prawn toast,mini wonton and mini spring rolls with dauphinose patatoes all reduced just before xmas so cost about 80p in total.
    ended up goin to t's earlier and got some covert garden potato and leek soup reduced 25p and some fresh stuffing balls with cranberry dip 25p so 2.97 so far 12.03 left for rest of wk
    the stuffing has gone in freezer and am having the soup for dinner tomorrow.
    also while i was there the staff was putting stock out for new promotion which starts tomorrow 18pk toilet roll 3.00 there was quite a few others things like heinz beans,curry sauce,stirfry noodles and stirfry sauces and some special k cereal and oats so simple porridge sorry i dont know the prices of them as they was just putting them out but good if any1 needs toilet roll,beans etc but will check prices in week
    oh has eaten all the tomato and parmesan rolls i made yesterday so am going to make some more when ive had my tea i know its late but im always up late and i work fulltime so needs must.hope every1 has had a good day
    VSP#17 2.34
    debt free 26/10/2012
  • rosieben
    3 more great recipes for the front page index

    Brassic Park
    , your SC Beef in Port and Stilton recipe is in the index
    Beccatje, I've added your Hutspot recipe to the index
    MissOrganised, I've added your Onion, Cranberry & Blue Cheese Tart too
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • needtosavE
    Happy New Year everyone!

    Well this is my first visit of the year and im proud to say i only went over in my December budget by around 10. I though i was setting myself an impossible task for my first month but it seems I wasnt far off! Going to stick with the same number this month too.

    So I have 4 spends to report already of 46.64. A bit scary as we are only on the 3rd but 12 of that was on fancy coffees (bags of, not take aways) that OH is making me include on the grocery budget. I would have left it out as we didnt buy it in the SM but I suppose I know I would be cheating!!

    Can I just say thanks to everyone for their support last month. I needed to reign in the spending especially over Christmas to allow me to continue my wedding savings and its worked!
    June GC 130.93/150
    Wedding Date Set 13th October 2012
  • rej-c
    Hello all, I'm back again for another go.

    Can you put down 100 for rej-c for the calendar month of January, please, Helen?

    That's a return to our November budget [two adults], to help adjust back to the 'new normal' in the wake of Christmas/New Year indulgence. But I'll be trying to do a bit better than that, and put any unspent cash into a second purse to spend on bulk buys and whoopsies in the coming months, when we've worked our way through the freezer and cupboards stash a bit. From Feb, we'll be back to shaving a bit more off the budget every month.

    My meal plan's sorted, and as of today, I'm determined to shop like a grown-up - I WILL have a proper shopping list every time I set foot in a food shop, and follow JackieO's splendid example by just avoiding going in them as far as possible [hence the target of 20 NSDs].

    Had an NSD on the 1st; today we spent 9.02 in a local deli [new spices for the new year, plus frozen vegan sausages/burgers for the month], and 8.38 at Mr T [almost all veg, some reduced, plus a pack of whoopsied roast chicken and a couple of noodle snacks for Him Indoors]. Don't plan on getting anything more until Thursday or Friday at the earliest.

    This will be interesting, as we're now both doing SW [Him, particularly, doing brilliantly], so we'll be buying and using up a lot more fresh fruit and fresh/frozen veg, and less bread and milk.

    Good luck and thanks to everyone participating and running the thread.
    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.
  • DaisyMeRollin
    Hi! I'd like to pledge 200 for DaisyMeRollin this month please. That's for 2 adults and 2 children so should be more than enough! My OH is a big eater but I managed to get quite a few joints of meat on offer between Christmas and New Years which should tide him over for a while and the kids seem to go through milk like someone left the tap running but again my freezer is now filled with 'whoopsied' milk (11 x 4pinters for 1.50!). Let's just see how long that long lasts!
    Tesco CC 201.17 /189.36| HSBC CC 1072.25/1038.14 | Natwest OD 1061.30/1073.47
    Current monthly mortgage overpayment: 150pm

    GC: Jan 108.61/200
  • wornoutmumoftwo
    Spent 3.69 today. Got some strawberries for 20p and 2 lots of clementines for 38p (everything else was full price).
    Payment a day challenge: 236.69
    Jan Shopping Challenge: 202.09/250
    Frugal Living Challenge: 534.64/15000
  • Libretia*
    Not spent anything so far. Ate at mothers yesterday and the day before and havent been out the past few days. Was going to place a sainsburys online order but even with the 10 ofrf discount code, i still dont want to pay 40 plus delivery charge when i still have quite a lot of food in my freezers, pantry and fridge.

    Will try to resist shopping tomorrow too, but we will see!
    Every penny's a prisoner!

    GC January 14.01/100

    Jan NSD's 4/15
    • JillD
    • By JillD 2nd Jan 12, 11:53 PM
    • 1,768 Posts
    • 26,385 Thanks
    Happy New Year one and all

    Since my last post I went to Asda to shop for the party we had, got a few things for ourselves (milk etc), and total spend was 70. Not entirely sure what on so need to exmine receipt tomorrow (too tired now).
    Also spent 2 on a paper to get a free bottle of perfume that is going in my present stash so that will come out of present pot, and to Boots to get some sudafed for my cold. Must dig out that receipt too

    Managed a NSD yesterday (despite reeeeaaalllly wanting takeaway pizza to soak up the hangover , we cooked instead), and another NSD today - today's entertainment was to take the children out (some of them kicking and screaming - well crying a lot anyway) in the rain to the park and to feed the ducks. Took flask of coffee and leftover Christmas sweets to eat whilst there.
    So haven't spent any money yet THIS YEAR

    Love the idea of cutting down on car usage, its not that practical for me to not use it at all - some days I have 4 school runs to do and limited amount of time, but I will track how many school runs in the month I walk compared to drive, and would like to go for 50/50. Good exercise as well as less petrol consumption!

    I did a cupboard/freezer inventory earlier this evening and have a reasonable amount in. I've done a meal plan for the week and really just need milk, bread, fruit, salad stuff and some yoghurts.

    Unfortunately DD1 (7) was in tears this morning as so many of her tops dont fit any more, so we are off to Asda tomorro to get some new ones for her, and do the small grocery shop whilst there.

    Must stop reading this thread late at night, it makes me hungry
    Jan GC: 202.65/450 (as of 4-1-12)
    NSDs: 3
    Walk to school: 2/47
    Bloater challenge: 0/0lbs

  • mummybearx
    After a few NSD's I spent 1.29 on a bottle of juice and 1.49 on a loaf of bread from the petrol station. Ach, hate buying things from there but it was the only place that was open.

    So that leaves me 247.22 for Jan. Hopefully won't be spending much over the next few days, probably something for lunch in work. Should really be taking a lunch with me, will add that to my 'things to do' list

    Can't think of anything smart to put here...
    • plzhelpmesave!
    • By plzhelpmesave! 3rd Jan 12, 12:29 AM
    • 1,302 Posts
    • 2,869 Thanks
    Hi all

    DH spent 1.40 on natural yogurt pot from the corner shop - more than double what I would have paid in aldi!! needed it for visitors food.

    He also paid 7 for DSs haircuts, and bought some socks for 4 from matalan and a 14 duvet that I have told him he needs to take back, coz I bought one from argos for 7 using a 10 voucher that i had!
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 3rd Jan 12, 12:33 AM
    • 3,984 Posts
    • 52,562 Thanks
    Can I join this thread please?
    I haven't spent any shopping money this year yet - can I be put down for 100 for January - just two of us plus a dog. I don't know how to put colour on the 100.
  • JayJay14
    I've started the new year by spending 11.40 in Asda on Sunday and 9.34 in Aldi yesterday. The Aldi spend did include 2 x FR chickens at half price so I am more than happy with that one.

    Have no plans to spend anything today especially as the weather outside is awfull and then I'm at work at 3pm.
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