Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • 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 41
    • sproggi
    • By sproggi 3rd Jan 12, 10:54 PM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 6,376 Thanks
    Helen Jelly - Sorry to be a pain , but my budget is missing for this month, I set it at 350

    '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
    • SpikyHedgehog
    • By SpikyHedgehog 3rd Jan 12, 10:55 PM
    • 1,004 Posts
    • 10,093 Thanks
    Wow, it has taken me 3 days to finally catch up. I could have just skipped through to the end, but I do love reading how everyone is getting on.

    So far I have managed 2 NSD's and spent 17.42, mostly on milk and extra bits for DGS as he was visiting with DS1 yesterday and I had him all day today (14months old and he eats more than DS2 13years!).

    Children are back to school tomorrow and I must admit to having mixed feelings about it, whilst it will be nice to get back into routine, it will also seem empty in the house with just myself and OH all day. DD2 will be back from her dad's tomorrow, but she is full of cold so will spend all day in her room.

    Originally posted by sproggi
    I decided to post & then maybe try to catch up! M0rrin0ns tonight with the boys, but we did ok, spent 54 on groceries (+ 12 on thermal vests for DS1, 5 on reduced gifts to stash away for Mothers' Day, and 8 on DVDs but DS1 gave me the money for them), so I'm happy with that. Didn't get any flour though as they didn't have the ones I like, so next week will be more than it should be, but we have enough in the cupboard to last.

    We should be back to school/work tomorrow, but DS2 has the tummy bug, so will be off, so I will be too. Not good, as I don't get paid for days off. Will try to avoid popping to T3scos round the corner for juice for him by using up the lemon squash in the cupboard. Though I do have a gift card for T3sco, so it won't be a disaster if I do have to.
    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z #37 - waterproof wearing cage customiser, chief of cable ties and duct tape

    It's me, DS1 (23), DS2 (15), and the lurcher, and DS1's leopard geckos.
  • seductivesmile
    Happy New Year!
    Well, its only taken me three days to catch up on the January Posts! my goodness we certainly are flying!
    So far for January i have done a cupboard inventory, but yet to tackle the freezer, it is the bottom of a fridge freezer, so only 1 1/2 draws, but they are the perfect image of freezer tetris, I was even excited i had finished the cheese so i could take another grated bag out to fit half a tin of sweetcorn in, for tuna sweetcorn instead of throwing it out as dont need it til next week.
    How do i upload a MS word table, i'm hoping for inspiration to help me use up all the millions of things i seem to have.
    For january i am trying my hardest to use up some of my stocks, save the money and put it into my ISA, therefore i am budgetting my january as 60 please, that 15 a week, but i am hoping to spend much less as only need fruit and milk,
    I have a breadmaker and plenty of ingredients, as well as some part cooked rolls that need using before 15th, I have frozen veggies, bought, blanched and froze lots of whoopsied cauli, sprouts, broccoli, carrots so i've veggies for the month, as well as tinned beans and pulses.
    So far i have spent a nice round 0 and i'm not planning on spending anything before saturday when i will be going into town to look at the market fruit to see if it is any cheaper/ quality as the SM's as i usually buy mine from MR M.

    Meal plan for this week:
    Monday - HM Pizza with tata wedges
    Tuesday - Chicken, gammon and mushroom pie with veggies
    Wednesday - Birthday dinner with Daddy
    Thursday - LO Chicken pie filler with crusty rolls and veggies
    Friday - Baked Potatoes with Beans and cheese
    Saturday - HM Chilli and rice
    Sunday - Always eat at my parents

    Monday - Toast and Marmalade
    Tuesday - Roasted Veg cous cous
    Wednesday - Grilled peppers stuffed with LO cous cous
    Thursday - Egg Mayo crusty rolls
    Friday - Cheese Rolls
    Saturday - Cheesy beans in Pitta Bread
    Sunday - Scones and Jam

    And for all of this, i need to buy nothing!

    Take Care
    Each day is a new beginning, look at what you have an be grateful for every tiny thing. You don't know when it may be taken away.
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 3rd Jan 12, 11:05 PM
    • 3,996 Posts
    • 52,590 Thanks
    Dinners in 2012.
    Saturday was a roast using Chicken left from Christmas. On Sunday I made a stir fry using a handful of Prawns from the freezer plus lots of tired veg - also rinsed out a Worcester Sauce bottle into the Wok. Enough left for one portion - gone in freezer. I made a Liver Casserole yesterday - Lambs Liver reduced price - in the freezer - used the rest of my tired vegetables. I also rinsed out - a Mango Chutney jar + a Brown Sauce bottle and a Hot Chilli Wok Sauce bottle - it was a yummy casserole. I had enough left for two days dinners for the two of us - gone in freezer. Tonight was some Belly Pork - from the freezer - enough over for another dinner for us.
    15 in 2015 1/15
    • Ches
    • By Ches 3rd Jan 12, 11:32 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 10,371 Thanks
    As you can see from my sig I haven't much left of this weeks budget but to be fair 15 spent was on a new bun tin, 5 credit for my mobile (neither of which I have budget for anywhere else) and 5 for a large box of DW tabs that I didn't need right now but which were on special purchase. Shouldn't need anything else before Friday when I get paid again but even so I am surprised how quickly the cash has gone this week. I really thought that eating out of the freezer/cupboards/Christmas leftovers would give me a cheap week this week but despite not having to buy meat etc I have spent the same amount of money that I expected to have to spend in a normal week.

    Wish I got woopsies to help out but nothing reduced more that a few pennies off something reaching its sell by date from the shops here. Today in the C0-0p even really manky round lettuces were 49p when Iceberg ones were 1 and big enough to do 2 meals and very large joints of gammon only had 3 off. Mr S is a 30 mile round trip so too far to go for odds and ends.

    Dinner was nice though. I made a quiche with leftover pastry which I had frozen, some chopped leftover Christmas gammon and a sliced tomato, baked potatoes and salad with HM leftover coleslaw.
    Mortgage and Debt free but need to increase savings pot.
    • JillD
    • By JillD 3rd Jan 12, 11:38 PM
    • 1,768 Posts
    • 26,385 Thanks
    Took DD1 to Asda as promised for her new clothes. She seems to have grown about 3 inches in the last month and nothing is fitting except some leggings. So got her about 7 tops, a coat, 2 prs leggings, 1 pr shorts (for over the leggings), 1 pr jeggings and new undies, and new jeans for DS. Came to 80. Seemed like but I suppose I did get quite a bit for that. If I can come in 80 under for the grocery month then that will cancel that out which would be rather good! We also treated ourselves to drink and biccy in cafe to round off the girls shopping expedition - so about 5 from GC money.

    Very pleased with myself - dug BM out and made first loaf in ages, only problem is DS (8) still awake at 10.30 cos apparently the smell is making him feel hungry and he couldnt sleep

    Also stuck to the meal plan so that felt good too. Had spaghetti and (veggie) meatballs. For lunch tomorrow I will have the leftover spaghetti with tin of WW tuna in tomato sauce thats been urkng at back of cupboard for months, with salad that needs finishing up.
    Have checked meal plan for what I need for tomorrow, which is fishcakes and wedges that can be cooked straight from feezer with oeas and carrots.

    Going to do food shop tomorrow, only need fruit veg dairy but also meeting friends for DD2 lunch (lunchbox thingy) and coffee, cafe part should be under a fiver.

    Off to bed, wish me luck for school run tomorrow!
    Jan GC: 202.65/450 (as of 4-1-12)
    NSDs: 3
    Walk to school: 2/47
    Bloater challenge: 0/0lbs

    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 4th Jan 12, 5:41 AM
    • 3,839 Posts
    • 13,251 Thanks
    Mr S spent - 110.51. This was a shop that should have cost us 171.43 so I am calling that a win as 1/3 off .
    We did a lot of bulk buys. We have enough toilet roll to get us to April (at least), enough vegan marg for 4 months put in freezer (I have 2 months in fridge so 6 months in all), enough cereal for my partner for 6 months, crisps that will last my partner at least 3 months (4+ if lucky) etc. All in all a good shop.
    My partner still needs milk - he will be buying enough for the month when he does (freezing most of the milk), we will need to buy fruit and veg through the month as well and a few other items but mostly have all we need for this month.

    Chinchillas have enough food to last until mid May and enough hay for 3-4 months so they aren't a worry. They should have enough sand for this month and a few weeks into next month so we should look into buying some more of that this month to make sure we have some in 'just in case'.

    Yes we have spent a months percentage of the year already but it should easily even out due to bulk buying now when on offer/use of coupons etc and not buying it later.

    Year budget - 1,320.00
    Year Spent - 0,110.51
    Year left - 1,209.49
    I am a vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
    • SueP19
    • By SueP19 4th Jan 12, 5:45 AM
    • 1,706 Posts
    • 14,488 Thanks
    For those on the ciggy quit.............B**ts has the patches on offer at 6.70 (Niquit*n clear) which is less than half price, if you are saving your ciggy money this really helps, it's cheaper than the doc prescription fee (our doc would only give you 1 pack of patches per prescrip )

    I forgot to add 3.05 spend last night as well

    Meal planner has gone array !!! I suppose it will take awhile to get used to it, forgot to check it and tried to remember what we were having
    Last edited by SueP19; 04-01-2012 at 5:48 AM.
    Mort Oct 15 70,353 66,422 58,804 MF Dec 31 Jun 31(191 176 mnths)
    EF 2016 700/1,000 Debt May 09 30,217Oct 17 14,093Nov 18 6,336.12[/B]
    • ixia
    • By ixia 4th Jan 12, 7:18 AM
    • 1,324 Posts
    • 5,413 Thanks
    Morning everyone
    updating from yesterday 3.10 spent on toilet rolls and rolls.

    did get some other bargains in Clintons- wrap. tags, tissue and ribbon all with 70% off- It wil be a saving in the long run as it will do for birthday gifts and next xmas. That is out a different budget though.

    Have a good day all!
    • recovering spendaholic
    • By recovering spendaholic 4th Jan 12, 7:51 AM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 15,426 Thanks
    recovering spendaholic
    Morning everyone! Kids off to school with marginally less fuss than usual and now I am going to spend the day cleaning up and doing the meal plan and inventory that I have been putting off for the last few days.

    Last night DD1 went to Tesco for feminine hygiene stuff and rang me from there to see if there was anything we needed, and I directed her to the reduced aisle and asked what was there. She got me 7 600ml tubs of double cream reduced to 17p a carton so I spent an hour last night making butter for the first time! It was great (although messy) and I got 7 lots of butter (didn't weigh but reckon about 4lbs). Luckily I read the instructions off this thread before I started as I didn't know you had to wash the butter to get all traces of the buttermilk out or it goes rancid! Butter all now frozen as I still have some left in the fridge from the lurpak offer in Tesco before Christmas.

    Breakfast today was toast and philadelphia for all of us, lunch was packed lunch for 2 DD's - I made hm sandwich filling which tasted lovely - chopped up celery, spring onion, bacon, chicken, sweetcorn and a few cocktail sausages (all l/o) mixed with a bit of extra light mayo and salad cream. I will have chicken and sweecorn soup for lunch, using the last of the sweetcorn and a chicken cube and some noodles. Dinner tonight is l/o curry for DD2, hot turkey and stuffing baguettes for DD1 and me.

    NSD today as DD1 has gone to college with my keys so can't go out even if I wanted to!!

    Hope it is not to windy where you are - it is better here but the fences are all down!

    ENDIS. Employed, no disposable income or savings!
    • ClaireT13
    • By ClaireT13 4th Jan 12, 8:16 AM
    • 220 Posts
    • 3,462 Thanks
    Morning everyone

    Just popping in to report a 75p spend on bananas for DS lunches for the week. Will probably not be the last today was running low on some basics. Hopefully not too expensive though!

    • Need2bthrifty
    • By Need2bthrifty 4th Jan 12, 8:21 AM
    • 1,205 Posts
    • 10,120 Thanks
    I amon my 3rd day of no cigsand struggling,whatis NRT please and Comkmunity Oharmacy scheme,
    Originally posted by meg72
    Hi Meg72, NRT is Nicotine Replacement Therapy (patches and all manner of aids to help stop smoking) The local chemists have joined up with the local Health Service to encourage people to stop smoking without having to go to their GP to get prescriptions for the NRT and its free which is a bonus, but this may only apply in Scotland.

    Good luck kicking the habit, I couldn't have done without the NRT and now its just a case of breaking the habit of when I would have the cigs so I've made lots of changes to my routine.

    Sorry to repeat the info already given by other posters; replied before I read through the next few pages.
    Last edited by Need2bthrifty; 04-01-2012 at 8:38 AM. Reason: Replied before reading remaining posts.
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 4th Jan 12, 8:26 AM
    • 3,412 Posts
    • 34,917 Thanks
    Yea, it's the same ones as last year - except they're 72 washes in a box this time.

    There's also a printable voucher on supersavvyme for 1 off each of the ariel and the Fairy (it's my favourite ).

    Well done on the not spending money as well
    Originally posted by freyasmum
    Thank you so much for sharing the info on the voucher. Unfortunately I don't have access to a printer at the moment so can't use it I have decided to buy the soap powder out of my own/Christmas money and the GC can pay me back over the next 3 months. I want to use the money to buy some new jeans but will wait until they have cleared the sale rubbish out of the shops first. I hate shopping in the sales Love a charity shop, love a bargain but sales shopping does my head in.

    Gave the tea at work a miss again this morning so hoping for a NSD today

    HM Qu0rn shepherds pie for tea tonight. Will make 2 or maybe 4 depending on how much mince and ingredients I have to stock the freezer back up.

    Jackets with sausages, beans and cheese last night. Really enjoyed it.

    Will need to buy milk tomorrow so debating wether I should go to Ald1 after work and do my weeks shop or just get milk. I was planning to shop on Monday night but I will have had a very busy day at work, finishing later than normal. On the other hand can I go in to a shop and just buy milk?
    October Grocery Challenge - 277.74/220
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 4th Jan 12, 8:34 AM
    • 4,369 Posts
    • 30,042 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...thinking of going to the coop to see what is cheap....also need to make sure i have all the bits for tea....i have checked that i have the food in i need for this weeks teas and i think its excuse to go have gone back to school today so i need to rev up with the pack ups as well

    really on a use up mission and trying not to shop...also want to go to costco in feb so need to make some space.....gc task this week is sort out the stock pile so ii know what i have and know where it is so i can use it....simples

    take care tess
    onwards and upwards
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 4th Jan 12, 8:35 AM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Wahayyyy! I've just bought the Panny!

    It is the more expensive stainless steel one (I refuse to put anything other than stainless steel or black into the kitchen since we redid it 2 and a bit years ago!) but it was 129.99 from Coop Electricals which is cheaper for this model than it has ever been sold on Amazon.

    If you're looking for a Panny I highly recommend the site (free delivery too) but go through Quidco (or topcashback if they have a link) for cashback. If you're not yet a member, joining the Coop means you'll get points on your purchase too. The lowest price model was 99 - white one not sure now of the model No.

    We have a MR breadmaker at the moment but OH (who does all the cooking here ) has become terminally peeed off with the blade sticking, not getting the loaf he expected, etc and I promised him the best when I could get it at the right price.

    Right, I really have to get ready for work but got distracted reading on here. Thanks tigerfeet by the way for reposting the tips thread.

    And welcome to newbies and returners still joining us - great to see you.

    All the best,
    Mortgage Free October 2013
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 4th Jan 12, 8:42 AM
    • 5,058 Posts
    • 29,575 Thanks
    morning all i'm dead on my feet today clearly my kids think sleep is for the weak, i'm off for abit of shopping today but i got a shock yesterday when i looked in my freezer so it really will only be abit if i didn't need toiletroll i wouldn't bother

    kids are back to school today so 4 snack money and free school dinner, they're having cocktail sausages and chips for dinner, we're having gammon egg and chips
    OCT GC 196.12/200
  • Fellpony
    You guys have got me adicted to the thought of having a bread maker, i used to have one, a Kenwood and it was brilliant but when it was just me I could eat the whole loaf my self which was not good waist and weight wise so I donated it to my parents who had the same model but it wasn't working properly, so they then had the one they were used to and a spare pan and paddle. I asked the other night for reccomendations on who used what bread maker wise on my facebook, I got lots of responses, one friend offered to sell me hers as she never uses it, but another friend went one better and offered me hers for free as she bought it full of good intentions and used it three times and stopped (no idea until I pick it up tomorrow what type it is but knowing my friend it'll be a top model of some sort as she never does things by halves lol), by my recconing that is much cheaper than the 100 we were going to spend on a bread maker...!!! I already have my bread flour and yeast sat waiting to get started! I am very much looking forward to my loaf of home made bread, hubby was loitering in the bread (discounted) section last night and I reminded him we are getting the bread maker and he grinned and left all the bread for someone else.
    You never know how strong you are until you have no other option.
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 4th Jan 12, 8:54 AM
    • 504 Posts
    • 6,309 Thanks
    Hi all,
    Is there somewhere that has tips on getting good whoopsies? Time, place, where to look in the store etc? I'm not getting anything like the depth of discounts that some are managing and I want to find out how I can do that!
    many thanks in advance!
    Erratically money saving
    • janiepopps
    • By janiepopps 4th Jan 12, 9:13 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 1,335 Thanks
    I'm loving this thread, it is making me really think about our food from such a different angle!

    Last night we had a kinda weird pie that tasted lovely! We had loads of bits of root veggies left, sweet potato, carrot, celeriac, swede, parsnip so I chopped them all up and steamed for about 15 mins till tender. I mixed them with some defrosted LO turkey that I chopped up and popped it all in a pie dish.
    I then fried off some garlic and shredded brussel sprouts and sweated down some shallots too.
    Next, I made up some white sauce with English & wholegrain mustard mixed in and topped with half a LO pack of puff pastry.

    Didn't think OH would like it (too many veggies for him really) so served with baked beans (which it really didn't need). Leftover, leftover pie for tea tonight!

    If I'm honest, before finding you guys the pastry would have crawled out of the fridge in a week or two and half of the veggies would have gone mouldy before I'd bothered to use them either. So thank you all again x
    Jan '12 GC; 74.66/100
    2 saver club member #107
  • Vivw
    there's so much here already. My budget this month is 150 but I am hoping to save a third of that as there is so much food still in the house. I must get an inventory done. One question though - which coffee do you buy? We use so much and I am wondering if I could get away with buying cheaper brands - both instant and ground
    Last edited by Vivw; 04-01-2012 at 10:25 AM.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,179Posts Today

7,461Users online

Martin's Twitter