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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 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 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 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 54
    • stardrops42
    • By stardrops42 5th Jan 12, 7:45 PM
    • 855 Posts
    • 4,759 Thanks
    stardrops42
    Small spend for me today, ran out of bread so had to call in the corner shop. Got 2 loaves of Hovis for £2 so not to bad, will update my total
    Feb GC £80 per week (Well I'm gunna try)
    Diet starts today(31/12/16)! Only 18lbs to lose

    4/2/16 - 13lbs to lose
    11/2/16 - 12lbs to lose
    3/3/16 - 11lbs to lose
  • Frugal dragon
    Update on GC this month. I am finding that by getting bits and bobs as I need them I am actually spending less than I would on a 'weekly' shop! Have made a couple of visits this week to Mr T, Mr A and Mr S, got a lot of whoopsies to fill the freezer, mainly bread and meat and stocked up on some washing powder, Bold currently half price £6 for the big box at Mr T.
    Had a go at making home made baked beans. Had them with Jacket potatop and cheese, the family loved them. Loads left for the freezer as well. Definately need to a freezer audit this weekend!!
    Frugal dragon

    GC Jan £85.07/£346
  • mumsieknock
    I know this may not be the right place to ask but I'm really hoping someone can point me in the right direction

    Due to family situation at home we really need to save on our shopping bills. I recently saw a programme on telly the other week that followed a lady that did her shopping using coupons that she had printed from the internet and was saving herself £££'s. I've been trying to find sites where i can print off vouchers and I'm not finding anything. I know it must be me doing something wrong but can't find any vouchers, all I can find vouchers for resturants or gyms etc.

    I'll def be looking at and using the recipies listed already but any links that anyone can give me would be great. Thanks
  • LondonDreamer
    I know this may not be the right place to ask but I'm really hoping someone can point me in the right direction

    Due to family situation at home we really need to save on our shopping bills. I recently saw a programme on telly the other week that followed a lady that did her shopping using coupons that she had printed from the internet and was saving herself £££'s. I've been trying to find sites where i can print off vouchers and I'm not finding anything. I know it must be me doing something wrong but can't find any vouchers, all I can find vouchers for resturants or gyms etc.

    I'll def be looking at and using the recipies listed already but any links that anyone can give me would be great. Thanks
    Originally posted by mumsieknock
    Try the vouchers board. I think the printable coupon sticky would be the best place to start.
    • Gorgeestwo
    • By Gorgeestwo 5th Jan 12, 8:11 PM
    • 364 Posts
    • 5,889 Thanks
    Gorgeestwo
    wow this thread moves fast

    Spent another £30 today we spent the afternoon adding up various things on our last 6 mths bank statements, I'm so embarrassed about how much money we've been spending on our groceries alone its an alwful lot more than I guessed at! I have to say judging by the figures it'll be a minor (probably major!!) miracle if I get within a £100 of my target, but I'll be the happiest person around if I do I know its something we can conquer (we have to lol) just need to stick at it, you are all certainly giving me lots of inspiration, so thank you
    Grocery challenge : January 2016 £65.86/£300
    For 2 adults, 2 children (10 & 9 yrs) 3 cats & 2 dogs.


    • piggeh
    • By piggeh 5th Jan 12, 8:11 PM
    • 1,679 Posts
    • 1,300 Thanks
    piggeh
    minced beef
    chopped onion
    1tsp garlic paste or 1 clove
    tin chopped toms
    tin baked beans
    chilli powder
    black pepper
    Originally posted by stardrops42
    Nice

    I was going to do one with kidney beans but they take too long to cook. This looks easier, although beef stock cube might be worth a look
    matched betting: £879.63
  • Ninno820
    Had another nsd day - until I arrived home and a friend had kindly left me some cleaning products - I had asked her before Christmas to get me a few things and had completely forgotten about it! Grr - good job there's a small "emergency fund!"
    44 day challenge


    1. Pay £650 off overdraft (£ 288/ £650)
    2. Lose 12 lbs (4.5/ 12)
    3. Use YNAB everyday (6/44)
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 5th Jan 12, 8:19 PM
    • 3,410 Posts
    • 34,908 Thanks
    XSpender
    Can I have the recipe for this please?
    Originally posted by Brassic Park
    Here you go.......

    Quick Courgette Lasagne

    1 tblsp olive oil
    2 large courgettes, grated
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    Pinch chilli flakes
    1/2 tub of ricotta
    3tblsp parmesan
    Jar of tomato based pasta sauce, or a tub of fresh, or even homemade
    6 sheets lasagne (i use dried but cook it first or use fresh)
    1. Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan. Cook the courgette, garlic and chilli until soft. Add the ricotta and 2 tbsp of parmesan, season and mix well.
    2. Put a layer of the mix in the bottom of a small dish. Add a quarter of the sauce then cover with 2 sheets of lasagne in a single layer. Repeat twice, ending with lasagne. Spoon over the last 1/4 of tomato sauce and sprinkle over the Parmesan. Bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbling.
    October Grocery Challenge - £277.74/£220
  • bupster
    Piggeh, canned kidney beans take no longer than the rest of the ingredients - honest - and they'll really fill you up. I only use the canned ones because I can't be arsed otherwise
    Grocery challenge - April £65.28/£80
    Entertainment - £79

    Grocery challenge March £106.55/£100
    Grocery challenge February £90.11/£100
    Grocery challenge January £84.65/£300
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 5th Jan 12, 8:33 PM
    • 3,410 Posts
    • 34,908 Thanks
    XSpender
    Hi everyone

    Gone a bit mad the last couple of days but only spent on food I will use the rest of the month, froze any veg I have bought and not using in the next couple of days, and have a large beefless and ale stew in the SC (I use quorn) which should last a couple of days with some for freezing.
    Originally posted by nannygladys
    Could I have the recipe for this please? I am always on the look out for veggie SC recipes. Thank you

    NSD for me today

    I need to dust off the bread maker tomorrow to make the pizza base for the pizzas I am making for tea. I also want to make some tomato and herb bread in it on Saturday to go with HM soup for lunch. Leek and potato I think or something out of the HFW veg book I got for Christmas.

    My first veg box in 9 months arrives in the morning and I am so excited.

    I am trying to debate when to do my food shopping for next week. I would leave it until Monday but I will need fruit for the weekend and lunch on Monday but if I go after work tomorrow I can nip to Ald1 and not have to take DS. He is getting so big I stuggle to lift him in to the seat in the trolley but at 20 months he is too little to walk. I am only little myself.

    DH doesn't want any alcohol Friday or Sunday as he is at work the next day so I am going to persuade him to drink wine or whisky (both we already have in from Christmas) on Saturday night so I don't need to spend any money on beer £10 saved

    Off to see what can be tweaked on the menu plan/crossed off the shopping list and I will attempt to get to Ald1 tomorrow afternoon.
    October Grocery Challenge - £277.74/£220
    • meg72
    • By meg72 5th Jan 12, 8:36 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    Hang on in there Meg 72... it will get easier I promise.... I've done it. I swore at my best mate, I locked myself in a room and screamed, I rolled up a newspaper and beat the living daylights out of the back wall of the house.... and I drank a glass of water everytime I needed a cig. I also remembered my wedding day....one of the most important days of my life and I couldnt wait for the service to be over so I could go for a cig. How pathetic I was! I'm never going back there...... its four years now but like you I started going through it one minute, one hour, one afternoon, one day,,,, its worth every moment of agony in the long run. You've already done the hardest bit.

    NRT is nicotine replacement therapy. (patches/gum etc) Sorry I'm not sure what the community pharmacy scheme is. I would suggest if you've got to day 3 you might be ok without all that as your will power is pretty good.
    ... but do whatever you need to to get through.
    Originally posted by Kylieminoag
    Many thanks for the encouragement,day 5 now but I cannot say it seems any easier.

    I have a horrible cold at the moment and havent got dressed for the past two days,I am sure if I had have been dressed I would have made a quick sprint to the local Spa shop for baccy by now. Somehow by the time I have considered getting ready to go out
    the urge has passed over.

    Still not spent any money on grocerys but may go to the market tommorow if feeling better.
    Slimming World at target
    • Coxy11
    • By Coxy11 5th Jan 12, 8:37 PM
    • 2,322 Posts
    • 27,347 Thanks
    Coxy11
    Had burgers in baps tonight from the freezer, with homemade chips. DS1 invited a friend round for tea - dontcha just love it when they text you as they are on their way home. Nice lad tho'. Luckily there were enough burgers and buns (leftover burgers from a scout camping trip in October), so not a problem, although it meant that the two buns I was saving for packed lunches tomorrow got eaten.

    Emergency shop at MrT just now netted some whoopsies (naan bread, baps, pastry), plus the fruit I needed, Kenc0 coffee refill (thanks whoever posted about this - better than half price), plus a new canopener as ours has given up the ghost.

    Off to update sig.

    PS. good idea to whoever suggested putting special offers in bold. I love hearing about people's whoopsie finds, but at least special offers are open to everyone and could save peeps a few pounds
    Cross-stitch WIP: Pretty Maids in a Row
    • Mrs Money Penny
    • By Mrs Money Penny 5th Jan 12, 8:40 PM
    • 732 Posts
    • 6,347 Thanks
    Mrs Money Penny
    Hi All Have been missing for a good 3 or 4 months due sadly to my dear Dad passing away with cancer. So what with the New Year I feel I am ready to start again with the grocery challenge.

    Could you please put me down for £200 for January.
    MFIT Challenge save £40k
    £48828.05/£46842.89/-£1985.16Mortgage neutral 03/19
    • clarkey1000
    • By clarkey1000 5th Jan 12, 8:41 PM
    • 172 Posts
    • 468 Thanks
    clarkey1000
    I like the idea of making a list of the food in the freezer. I may have trouble identifying some of the meals I've frozen though!
    Spent £1.80 on a coffee today (to get me through a few hours at the soft play) and £2.40 on eggs from the farm shop.
    Hoping for a NSD tomorrow.
    Feb 14 GC - £89.37/£300
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 5th Jan 12, 8:50 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    Spent £4.90 so far this week, £3.00 on eldest dd school lunch today Forgot to take bread and milk out of freezer last night oops, learnt my lesson and wont happen again.
    Originally posted by freyaluck

    I always keep my bread in the freezer. I make sandwiches either the night before, or in the morning (if i forget!), and I make the sandwiches with frozen bread. That way, I don't waste bread, and you don't get those few slices that taste like you should've eaten them a few days ago!! The bread just defrosts in the fridge, and you'd never know i'd make it from frozen!

    I used to, in the dim and distant past, make a week's worth of sandwiches on a sunday night, and freeze them, and then just take them out the morning of. You can't freeze salad-type things, but then, my ex oh would only ever have corned beef and ketchup sandwiches, and I would have cheese/sausage/ham/whatever, and if i was that fussed, I'd add some tomato etc once defrosted!

    No spends to add to the gc today. Enjoyed the fish and chips (my leaving present to my friend) and the company, will really miss her when she's gone

    Good news from the garage. My motorbike went into hopsital yesterday, and I was warned that it could be fatal, but they fixed it really easily so yay! Will try and work out how to pick it up tom with the children (may have to get friend on board!).

    NSD hopefully tomorrow, then will spend on either Sat OR Sun. Don't know what dinner is tom, but needs to be a five-minute job, then the weekend dinners are hm pizza and hm chicken nuggets (chopped up breast in flour, egg and breadcrumbs, so really healthy! And cheap, as one breast does the three of us, and I got loads reduced in coop last year.).

    Take it easy,

    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
  • moneysaver13
    Need to stop buying toilettries, Mr Wilko still has Tresemme (900ml) down at £1.98 instead of £4+ so grabbed two of these, along with some washing gel sachets for DS1 for his return to Uni and then popped into Mr B's and bought 3 x colgate whitening toothpaste reduced from £2.60 to £1.30, I had a 25% off and a 250 points voucher, both from the advantage machine, so in the end paid £3.25 for all 3 and got £2.50 in points. Then used my £5 off no.7 voucher to get a concealer for £3 and bought a large Elvee shampoo, £3.79 reduced to£1.90 but I had a 25% coupon for that so all in all did very well at Mr B's by spending £7.19 and saving £12.40 but I must stop buying all these toilettries. So total for January up at £74 though £15 is for DS1! Thank you to everyone on this forum who has pointed me in the right direction. Never used my advantage card in the two years I've had it but its has already saved me loads in January!
    GC 2012 April £0/£150
    March: £176.71/£150
    (payday 22nd) NSD 3/10
    Feb: £138.93/£150 NSD:11/10
    Jan: £171.13/£150
    Nectar rewards: £18.55, Boots £13.82
    Sealed pot challenge 5 no 1602:
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 5th Jan 12, 8:54 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    Oh, meant to say, I daren't do an inventory of my freezer - I may not get everything back into it again! Serious freezer tetris going on in there! I did an inventory of the cupboard under the stairs a few weeks ago, and found 7kg pasta, 3kg rice, 12 tins toms, and loads of other stuff... Oops!

    One of my main resolutions for shopping for this year, is to learn to say "Oh well, we'll have to go without until shopping day." That's what used to happen when I was a child, and I didn't suffer too much, so that's what I'm going to do now! Run out of squash? Drink water! Run out of milk? Have toast instead of cereal, and fruit tea instead of normal. Run out of pasta (yeah right!)? Have rice. Run out of bread? Make some! Run out of biscuits? Have fruit/make cakes/have anything else!
    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
    • recovering spendaholic
    • By recovering spendaholic 5th Jan 12, 9:14 PM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 15,426 Thanks
    recovering spendaholic
    I teach a child piano once a week and charge £7 for it. My plan is to use this money only for the next 4 weeks (until pay day from main job) on food shopping which means my budget is £28 for 4 weeks grocery shopping!!!


    I am starting tonight as I just gave the girl her lesson at 5 pm...wish me luck!
    Originally posted by LisaJane
    Wow!! The piano teachers round here charge at least £15 and more often £20 a week!!! She's got a real bargain!!

    Quick question for you all - I have a load of celery in the fridge, going to make celery soup tomorrow (found recipe on the recipe thread - thanks to all who maintain this )
    I also have half a bag of spring greens to use, do you they think that would work in the celery soup ? Was thinking 1 1/2 heads of celery, 1 1/2 large spuds, couple of carrots, couple of small onions and the half bag of cabbage.
    What do you think ? And if the cabbage is a no go what else could I do with it ?
    Originally posted by JillD
    I use spring greens or any other cabbage in home made minestrone soup - I just chop celery, carrots and onions and sweat in olive oil, then add shredded cabbage, tinned tomatoes, mixed herbs, a good squirt of ketchup, tsp of balsamic vinegar and stock and simmer for about 20 minutes, then add a handful of dried pasta and when that is cooked throw in a tin of cannellini beans and season and serve with parmesan and crusty bread.

    I had a hospital check up today and on the way home it was lunchtime so I went into a nearby asda and got a meal deal for £2.50 - while I was there they had lily o'briens chocolates reduced to 50p. I love them so got three lots!!! May be store specific I'm not sure.

    Had to give DD2 extra lunch money today as she didn't have a drink to take and I didn't have a bottle to refill, plus she wanted to get toast from the breakfast club as all her friends do it.

    Have just got to nip round to the little Tesco for milk so my total spend for today is £7.

    Still eating well from the freezer and cupboards - managed to make a full on roast dinner tonight with meat and veg from freezer and hm yorkies!
    Jane

    ENDIS. Employed, no disposable income or savings!
    • meg72
    • By meg72 5th Jan 12, 9:18 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    Piggeh, I do one onion, some garlic, a beef stock cube or two, half a pack of minced beef, a can of kidney beans, a can of tomatoes, a teaspoon of chopped chilli, and a teaspoon of hot chocolate or cocoa, plus a squeeze of tomato puree. I sweat the onion and garlic, add the meat and brown it (not grey, mind, brown - it'll shrink like anything but the flavour's loads better), then bung in the rest and simmer until it's gloopy. Anything up to an hour. I'm not a precise cook - can you tell?

    ANOTHER spend tonight - had to go to Sainsbobs for milk - added whoopsied multiseed bread and a pack of 8 corned beef slices for a total of £3.67. I do like my corned beef . Must stop spending though, the milk I needed but that was it.
    Originally posted by bupster
    Thats the recipe I use for Chilli, but without the hot chocolate, Ihave never heard of this being added before, does it make much difference?
    Slimming World at target
    • stardrops42
    • By stardrops42 5th Jan 12, 9:20 PM
    • 855 Posts
    • 4,759 Thanks
    stardrops42
    Nice

    I was going to do one with kidney beans but they take too long to cook. This looks easier, although beef stock cube might be worth a look
    Originally posted by piggeh
    I sometimes add a splash of worcester sauce to give it a bit more of a kick! But by far the best thing to do is make it the day before you want it as it always tastes better
    Feb GC £80 per week (Well I'm gunna try)
    Diet starts today(31/12/16)! Only 18lbs to lose

    4/2/16 - 13lbs to lose
    11/2/16 - 12lbs to lose
    3/3/16 - 11lbs to lose
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