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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 49
    • flippin36
    • By flippin36 5th Jan 12, 8:44 AM
    • 1,953 Posts
    • 6,391 Thanks
    Well my mission for the month is to utilise my freezer and hunt down the yellow stickers. I could never be bothered with going late at night and searching through the reduced chiller but after going to Morrisons after 6 one evening I came back with allsorts for the freezer. I'm converted!

    Crusty bread loaves (19p), 18 eggs (19p had to do a massive baking session to use them all up), sandwhich meat (25p don't normally bother as I use whats left over from a joint or we have cheese or tuna but for 25p a packet was chuffed!) I also picked up 5p yoghurts (though these needed eating straight away - don't think we can freeze yoghurt?) Huge block of lancashire Cheese (89p - enough for a fortnight), warbatons crumpets (30p). Large fresh ham and pineapple pizza (89p)

    Everything that could be frozen was put into portions first, so I don't need to worry about using up a whole loaf in a day for example. I'm also freezing mushrooms, peppers, onions and celery quite successfully also in portions, so I can add them to casseroles etc when I need them - quick and no waste!

    My first week is up and I am under budget at 55 (budget 62) but i bought an extra bottle of wine for NYE so it would have been cheaper and my freezer is quite full.

    Tonight we are using things up so its bacon carbonara. Bacon (1 at morrisons at the moment), use up some single cream, value spaghetti, mushrooms, onions, and peppers from the freezer, cheese (yellow sticker) served with crusty bread (yellow sticker) Cheap and easy!

    Have a huge dentist bill to pay for so am doubly determined to come under budget this month!
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 5th Jan 12, 8:56 AM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    yes you can freeze yogurt just be careful the pot doesn't split

    nsd today, using up from my freezer, so kids are having pork pies and spagetti for tea, me and hubby are having mince and taties

    i will empty my freezer.....i will empty my freezer....i will empty my freezer
    DFW 7632/28996 26.3%
    • sproggi
    • By sproggi 5th Jan 12, 9:15 AM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 6,376 Thanks
    Just back from shopping and spent a horrifying 67.83
    I keep looking at my reciept to try and work out where it all went.
    I did get coffee, drinking chocolate, cereals and cheese, all of which were
    high price and then 7 went on toilet rolls and 6.60 stocking up on fabric
    softner while it is on offer. It all soon adds up

    Tea tonight is turkey stew, we have not had any l/o turkey since the day
    after boxing day, so we have not had a chance to get fed-up of it yet.

    '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
  • PolkaDotsAndLace
    Keep tweaking the shopping list and meal plan before going to Asda today - sometimes I think I spend far too much time doing this and confusing myself more! Can't see it being less than 60, but this will include most of the meat for the month and should have the cupboards well stocked up for the month, I hope!
    February Grocery Challenge - 100.87/180
    February Don't Throw Food Away Challenge - 0.60/1.50
    • SueP19
    • By SueP19 5th Jan 12, 9:21 AM
    • 1,706 Posts
    • 14,488 Thanks
    didnt really save much
    week 1 savings
    5 on home delivery charge,
    packed lunches for week saved 25 (but didnt say shed taken into account extra food bought)
    frozen food Vs takeaway pizza saved 18
    week 2
    low key family birthday party for childs 2nd birthday instead of hiring village hall and having caterers saved 180 --really who would for a 2nd birthday anyway?
    no top up shop saved 20 --but they had fish fingers and hash browns two nights running

    week 3
    oil of olay vs dermaogica when shed run out saved 15
    using the sunday roast when friends came over instead of having baby sitter and going out saved 15 but they had frozen steak and kidney pie for sunday lunch

    week 4
    no blowdry (did own hair) saved 25
    no waxing (bought diy strips) saved 15
    no professinal manicure (did own nails) saved 6
    child ill so couldnt go to minders or any pay for outing so went libaray instead saved 6
    buying a nephew a cheaper birthday pressie ( a cattapault instead of an etchasketch) saved 5

    says total saving for month were 365 but doesnt mention food shopping apart from first week the last week seems like the only money spent was preparing to go to a 40th birthday
    Originally posted by mrs-moneypenny
    Looks like she could have saved that lot regardless of trip to the supers

    I understand why you said she could have done with coming here, she could have doubled her savings
    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]
  • 98jdougl
    Can I join in please? Always had a nosey last year and had my own budget but am hopeful the act of having to declare it will motivate me a bit more.
    Can you put me down for 150 for this month please (includes all cleaning stuff/ cat food and litter and tobacco for me and OH) (and wish me luck!)
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 5th Jan 12, 9:58 AM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    Hi All

    Thanks for adding the recipe rosieben. I can't be doing with anything that takes more than 30 minutes to prep and cook after work so this was perfect.

    2 spent today on some mushrooms and babycorn from Mr S. Tonight I'll use the rest of the pork, onion and green beans with the babycorn with some Thai 7 spice seasoning needing using up in the cupboard w/rice.

    Mushrooms are for a pasta dish tomorrow - forgot I had a huge block of stilton gifted to me for Xmas at the back of the fridge, so will use these and bacon in a pasta dish.

    Starting to run really low on non-food items at the moment. I've got hardly any cleaning products and am down to the last loo roll! . Rather than venture to a big supermarket or pay ridiculous Mr S local prices, I'll look into doing another online shop soon. At least I don't get tempted and stick to a list that way!
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

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

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • Redouble
    Today I am going shopping in my cupboard of doom... It has become a bit overrun with Christmas decorations that came down before I went visiting family and other random tat I couldn't be bothered to put away but at the back is my collection of non perishable food. I am going to tidy the cupboard and make an inventory of what is in there and tally with what is in my fridge/freezer and see when I next need to go and do an actual shop

    Strange what money saving can do to you, I am actually quite excited by this haha!!
    NSDs 7/20
    Make 10 a day 403.74/310
    • raphanius
    • By raphanius 5th Jan 12, 10:09 AM
    • 1,269 Posts
    • 6,633 Thanks
    just took delivery from Mr S and that's another 42.90 of food

    shouldn't need to buy anything else this month apart from bacon, tomato puree/passata, milk, bread and chicken nuggets for DS
    Wins: 2008: 606.10 2009: 806.24 2010: 713.47 2011: 328.32

    • mumsiemum
    • By mumsiemum 5th Jan 12, 10:17 AM
    • 241 Posts
    • 2,608 Thanks
    ........ and another visit to Mr Ts!
    I keep thinking I have enough groceries to not have to visit any shops - then I find I've missed something! Usually I can find alternatives in my cupboard but not always

    So today went for a top up shop which came to 60.89 I did buy washing powder, loo rolls, rice and meat so we SHOULD be OK (said that the last time ) and put some items back which were not on my list before checking out.

    Still under budget though (Yep I know its only day 5!) and will try very hard keep control of it.

    Have a good day everyone

    Pay all your debts by Xmas 2013 #008
    Finally debt free!!!!!
  • lemmings1986
    hi all if any of you use f**eb**k there is a coupon for a free block of clover i think there about 800 left so you'll have to be quick
    in the search box just type clover lighter or clover block
    VSP#17 2.34
    debt free 26/10/2012
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 5th Jan 12, 10:35 AM
    • 13,812 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    Tesco shop was delivered at 9.30am. Looks like I am trying to feed the 5000 Total was 111. But as I said earlier there is tons of meals in there, hopefully around 3 weeks of meals.

    I have but the gammon in the SC for dinner tonight. It's a bit of an experiment tonight as all I have added is around half a bag of soft brown sugar. I covered the bottom of the SC with it and then put the gammon in and then covered the top of it as well. Will let you know after dinner tonight whether I have ruined 2.2kg of gammon
    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
    • kerri_dfw
    • By kerri_dfw 5th Jan 12, 10:38 AM
    • 4,556 Posts
    • 29,115 Thanks
    Thanks lemmings, printed and will use on next shop it's valid until 4th feb
    Diary: Getting back on track for 2013 and beyond
    DEBT FREE 13-10-13
    Beautiful daughter born 11.1.14
    Mortgage: 399,435.91 377218.83
    Deposit loan from Dad: 900010000
  • tracey12
    Thanks Tracey, new recipes are always gratefully recieved
    Originally posted by tigerfeet2006
    Here is the recipe for the flourless chocolate raspberry cake

    Serves 6-8

    300g plain chocolate, chopped
    225g caster sugar
    175ml boiling water
    225g salted butter
    6 eggs, separated
    1 tsp instant coffee powder
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    200ml creme fraiche
    250g raspberries
    1 tbsp plain chocolate, grated
    Icing sugar to dust

    Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.

    Grease and line a 23cm cake tin with greaseproof paper.

    Blend the chocolate and sugar together to form a fine powder. Add the boiling water, butter, egg yolks, coffee powder and vanilla extract and mix well.

    In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites until slightly stiff, then use a metal spoon to gently fold them into the chocolate mixture.

    Pour the mixture into the tin and cook for 45-55 mins until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool, then transfer the tin to the fridge for 2-3 hours.

    To serve, remove the cake from the tin and place on a serving plate. Spread the creme fraiche over the cake and then scatter the raspberries on top. Sprinkle grated chocolate over the top and dust with icing sugar.

    once we finally finish all the xmas carp will be starting on a new heathly eating plan which no doubt isnt gonna be cheap(why is it all the heathly stuff seems so much more expenisve?) so gotta do some price checking for the best deals around esp on f&v and search out some tasty but low fat/calorie meals

    goodluck everyone
    Originally posted by mandco
    If you want low fat/calorie meals look on the recipe list at the start of this thread there is a slimmers world adapted recipe list for tasty meals.


    Officially debt free
  • majjak
    Morning all

    We're off out for a meal tonight so no cooking for me . It's a 50th birthday party for DD's boyfriend's dad - a nice carvery in a local pub and at only 6 per head, it's a bargain !

    I'm finally on the mend after my awful cold/virus too, feel much better today .

    I'll probably have to buy some potatoes/veg for the weekend but I have everything else in. I'm also going to get some fabric conditioner as it's on offer and I have a coupon so it's worth buying a few.

    So, at the end of the first week of January, I should be well under my 69 budget. I have quite a bit of food in for next week already. I'm very happy with the way things are going this month .
    Save 12K challenge 2015 # 173
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 5th Jan 12, 10:44 AM
    • 4,320 Posts
    • 29,747 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi....i got the meat out for a stew...when defrosted it turned out to be mince so going to make some beefburgers with it....stew another day

    im going to make a chicken curry for tea tonight and some fried rice...maybe some pudding but not sure what....did my shopping list for next week and have planned some meals so everything ship shape with the gc presently...unless i have forgotten summat

    quin twins...we should start an empty the freezer club and encourage each other...anyone else trying to do same

    take care today the weather is horrible in my (usually) lovely bit of the mids

    onwards and upwards
  • lemmings1986
    hi....i got the meat out for a stew...when defrosted it turned out to be mince so going to make some beefburgers with it....stew another day

    im going to make a chicken curry for tea tonight and some fried rice...maybe some pudding but not sure what....did my shopping list for next week and have planned some meals so everything ship shape with the gc presently...unless i have forgotten summat

    quin twins...we should start an empty the freezer club and encourage each other...anyone else trying to do same

    take care today the weather is horrible in my (usually) lovely bit of the mids

    Originally posted by tessie bear
    hi tess yes i think thats a great idea,i cant remember the last time i saw the back of my freezers they are going down,but everytime i make something ive been putting the leftovers in so still quite full
    VSP#17 2.34
    debt free 26/10/2012
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 5th Jan 12, 10:51 AM
    • 16,733 Posts
    • 143,365 Thanks
    Just back from my first shop since Christmas Eve, and I am quite pleased .I got lots of fruit and veg at Sainsbobs plus a good sized Chicken as I have my friend coming to stay for a few days tomorrow.and I had .7.50 in nectar points to knock off the bill so it only came to 7.09 then I went into M&S and bought a few bits in the food hall for us as a treat, and got my beloved King Edwards spuds.

    I asked in Sainsbobs and was told we don't bother stocking them much as its cheaper to get 'vivaldi or other potatoes.Well I'm sorry but I find that strange to me the best potato although maybe a little dearer is a King Edward and I won't be co-erced into having what supermarkets tell me to buy.
    I told the 'suit' in there as well and he probably thought I was a grumpy old woman, but who cares, he looked about 12 to me, and maybe I am, but I am also a customer without whom he wouldn't be able to walk around telling women old enough to be his Mum how to suck eggs
    rant over back to sweet little old lady mode

    The lady on the till in M&S agreed that she too preferred KE spuds so its not just me then
    So in all I spent 7.84 in there and came home only having spent 14.93 from my purse and now have no shopping to buy for at the very least another week if not more.Onwards and upwards chums
    JackieO xx
    Last edited by JackieO; 05-01-2012 at 10:53 AM.
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 5th Jan 12, 10:54 AM
    • 13,812 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    Thanks for that Tracey Will add the bits to my next shopping list to make for the family. I think it will be demolished.
    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
  • pinkie_pie
    Can I join please? Put me down for 380, I'm not entirely sure what we've spent so far but baby steps...
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