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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 59
  • Frugal dragon
    Quick check in. Went to Ald* and spent 39.85. Some good bargains in fruit and veg. So currently simmering home made leek and potato soup and soaking orange peel and juice for marmalade making tomorrow!
    Will be going to butchers tomorrow for chicken and se what he has to go in the slow cooker.
    Have a good weekend all.
    Frugal dragon

    GC Jan 85.07/346
    • medsdemon
    • By medsdemon 6th Jan 12, 5:24 PM
    • 751 Posts
    • 6,133 Thanks
    7.78 spent in A*di on the way home from work for DD and I's lazy avoiding a takeaway tea of a whoospied Lasagne that cost 5p and curly fries that were 1.19 a bag. So saved some money there. Also bought milk, diet coke and of course my weekend bottle of vino
    Grocery challenge October: 228.28/250.00 NSD 4 ( not completed)
    Grocery challenge November : 291.65/300.00 NSD 10
    Grocery challenge December : 0/240.00 NSD
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 6th Jan 12, 5:29 PM
    • 1,329 Posts
    • 15,828 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    SO ive changed my mind ive decided to join but am goin to use a annual figure rather than a monthly as i dnt tend to do much shoppin and pick up lots of offers from work my annual figure will b 1020 which is a weekly figure of 20 although i have enough food in the freezer to last me a lifetime.. theres only me and my little girl (whos at her dads half the week) think ive got 3 whole chicken (88p EACH!!!), 3 pks of pork loin steaks (1 EACH), 3 packs of beef mince (50p EACH), lots of cooked chicken packs, lots of sausage (richmond for 15p a pack) so have plenty of food to go at jus want to try new things as i get bored easily, have found a few recipes to try
    thanks good luck
    Originally posted by linz4383
    Hi, i was thinking of doing a yearly, as i want to be able to take advantage of really good offers that come along, also thinking of doing 20 per week, is it not 1,040, am rubbish so prob wrong. Spent 15.55 in Lidl, no reduced, but came out with 2 massive bags of shopping, wow, forgot how cheap some of their stuff is. Updated sig.
    Last edited by Save Dosh; 06-01-2012 at 5:35 PM. Reason: Forgot to add my spends
    August GC - Food 55.56/80 Alcohol 17.24/20
    Bulk Funds - Food 19.73
    Save 12k in 2019 1,300/5,000 - #155
    • Byatt
    • By Byatt 6th Jan 12, 5:44 PM
    • 3,403 Posts
    • 46,835 Thanks
    Bought some dog food and a few other odd bits and pieces,milk, bread, cheap lemonade but had a 10 voucher for Mr T's so cash used was only 2.12, think I'll add in the 10 though in my total.

    edit: doesn't look good in black and white and it's only the 6th!!
    Last edited by Byatt; 06-01-2012 at 5:48 PM.
    • Coxy11
    • By Coxy11 6th Jan 12, 5:52 PM
    • 2,322 Posts
    • 27,347 Thanks
    Hi - sending hugs to all those who need them

    Massive thanks to Spiggle who posted Co-0ps special offers in bold. I went on the school run slightly earlier and picked up 3 x chicken breast, tetl*y teabags, and some whoopsied items.

    Got home and realised that we were low on milk and as both DSs have cereal I walked to MrT's to get their creamfields 4 pinter for 1 and managed to get a couple more whoopsies (pork mince and casserole beef) plus Frubes on offer at 1 for 9 tubes or 6 pouches, and mini babybels on offer at 79p. Both offers end 17.1.12. Hopefully useful for those having to prepare packed lunches now the schools are back

    Off to update sig.
    Cross-stitch WIP: Pretty Little London by Satsuma Street
    • monks
    • By monks 6th Jan 12, 5:53 PM
    • 159 Posts
    • 1,422 Thanks
    Please may i join in. last time did this must be aprox a year ago, although have lurked !. Trying to use up left over christmas bits still and eat from freezer/cupboards as money quite tight, but quite a bit of food in . Aim for 120 FOR JAN PLEASE for food,tolietries,cleaning stuff and pet food.
    So far managed 5nsds and only one shop from aldi 21.57.Will need to get some more fresh fruit for school lunches next week but otherwise think have everything until at least 11th.
    many thanks.Good luck everyone.
    Last edited by monks; 06-01-2012 at 6:00 PM.
    Annual GC 3000- 1750

    EF#176 - 1000/1000
    Weight loss 0/7
    Clutter free challenge 1000/2019
  • Dee500
    Evening Everyone,

    Am late joining this month as my internet has been playing up - finally had visit from technician today and so far so good.

    So my budget for Jan is 250 - month runs from Fri 30th Dec to Thurs 2nd Feb - trying to stick to 50 per week but will borrow from Peter to pay Paul IYKWIM - if I see bargains/whoopsies.

    Have been keeping my receipts so as of this evening:

    31/12 Ald* - 6.17
    05/01 Ald* - 6.61
    05/01 Butchers - 5.45
    05/01 Poundl*nd - 1.49
    06/01 Mr T - 5.76
    06/01 Sainsbobs - 12.66
    06/01 Bakery - 3.20

    Total - 41.34/250.00

    Bakery was treat for friends coming over tonight for dinner
    - taught I'd get time to bake last night but went to gym and was wrecked when got home!!

    Off to put the dinner on - better get my skates on - everyone's due round 8
    October GC: 97.83/250.00
    • linz4383
    • By linz4383 6th Jan 12, 6:08 PM
    • 287 Posts
    • 4,276 Thanks
    hi save dosh...
    as ive started a week later than the beginnin of the year i was goin on 51 weeks at 20 which is 1020 ... although i cud probably live on what ive got in the cupboards and freezer for the year!

    also found in the freezer sum whoopsied turkey steak 56p the upside of workin at a supermarket mmmm ne ideas on what could b done with them.. normally just have a dinner but fancy a change! thanks
    House deposit 0/10000
    Loan 6,065.43- 5803.30
    credit card 3,932.25 - 4233.40
    • LisaJane
    • By LisaJane 6th Jan 12, 6:10 PM
    • 354 Posts
    • 2,800 Thanks
    2.32 on bananas and a packet of chicken noodle soup earlier.

    As I didn't eat lunch today 2.70 for a chip with kebab sauce for dinner and 1.92 on crisps as I've decided tonight is treat night. Feel a bit shameful about this as I have a kitchen full of food
    Save 12k in 2014 (my target: 10 000):
    My savings: 4878.54/7000
    Joint account savings: 2685.57/3000
    Total:7564.11/10 000 (as at 26/10/14)
    • linz4383
    • By linz4383 6th Jan 12, 6:10 PM
    • 287 Posts
    • 4,276 Thanks
    Hi All

    I haven't been on here for a few months now But I have been sticking to my budget and have been more or less or track, although the takeaway costs (which used to be included in my budget) seem to have been rising....

    So now i'm here, back on track and back including T/A's in my budget!

    My Monthly budget is 200

    So far this month I have spent 33.48 of my budget And this week i've had 3 NSD's

    Does anyone know the cheapest place for Quorn? I'm interested in reducing our meat eating days but don't think dh would be pleased so will try to cheat him before I suggest it
    Originally posted by M0neysav3r

    i think ive seen it on offer at asda at 1 but not sure if its still on
    House deposit 0/10000
    Loan 6,065.43- 5803.30
    credit card 3,932.25 - 4233.40
    • cw18
    • By cw18 6th Jan 12, 6:18 PM
    • 8,081 Posts
    • 86,080 Thanks
    also found in the freezer sum whoopsied turkey steak 56p the upside of workin at a supermarket mmmm ne ideas on what could b done with them.. normally just have a dinner but fancy a change! thanks
    Originally posted by linz4383
    I've been known to do the same with them as I would a small chicken breast

    Slice very thinly (while raw) at an angle
    Heat a small amount of garlic infused olive oil (or plain olive oil and some form of garlic) in a small pan along with some freshly ground black pepper - I use a frying pan that takes the lid of one of my saucepans
    Add the meat, and start it cooking while stirring it around (so it doesn't clump together)
    Lower heat and put lid on pan - I normally leave it for about 8-10 mins, checking it every few mins to check there's still some liquid in the pan (easy for me as I have glass lids)
    While it's cooking take some bread or a large roll, spread with mayo (both slices/halves) and dust with more black pepper
    Put cooked meat onto one slice/half and top with the other

    I quite like them with salad on as well

    When my elder lad was living at home he always seemed to know when I was planning on making myself one of these - and always appeared in the kitchen as it was ready to serve even when he's been out..... so I invariably ended up having to make another one for me
  • 123budget
    2nd weekly shop of my month today (going upto 26th Jan as thats payday) spent 36.65 in Ald* (loads of veg) and 49.10 in mr T's (which included a bottle of brandy) also 2.85 in co op yesterday. Only have two more 'big' shops this month so should come in on/under budget hopefully
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2011 / no. 1205 110 made]Sealed Pot Challenge 2012/no 1205 target 300
    Jan g/c 355.83/450
    g/c Feb487.66/400
    March 411.03/450
    To feed 5 adults and 2 dogs includes toiletries & cleanining
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 6th Jan 12, 6:23 PM
    • 1,329 Posts
    • 15,828 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    Hi, Sorry to mess you about, I am presently on a monthly budget, can i please change to 1,040 Annually. Thanks
    August GC - Food 55.56/80 Alcohol 17.24/20
    Bulk Funds - Food 19.73
    Save 12k in 2019 1,300/5,000 - #155
  • SuziQ1962
    Does anyone know the cheapest place for Quorn? I'm interested in reducing our meat eating days but don't think dh would be pleased so will try to cheat him before I suggest it
    Hi we use a lot so I tend to shop around,LID*have the chicken style pieces and mince on offer at the mo,I think at 1.19-have loads in the freezer so wasn't really paying attention.
    Good veggie sausages are the lincolnshire ones from ASD* 3 for 2 packs =10 sausages
    Also Icelan* is good too and they have quorn family roast which we use for sunday dinner with all the veg etc ,chicken style dippers and bags of 8 or 10 quorn sausages for 2 ish
    Hope that helps
    "Sealed Pot challenge" member No 1099 2011/26.00
    Crazy clothes challenge 2012-Budget 28.90/100
    January 2012 Grocery challenge 378.27/240
    14/16 NSD in January
    2012 Weight loss challenge -5lbs
  • 98jdougl
    Spent another 5.12 at MrM's - went to look for yellow stickers but very dull. Got some pittas, milk which I need (got whole milk which I will dilute for my cereal and sauces) value tortilla chips because they were oos in tesco when I went, salsa sauce on bogof (need to learn how to make my own though as we race through it) and then beer for OH - cost more than tesco's own (only by about 8p though) but was 1.8% weaker - so he not a happy chappy right now lol.

    Fingers crossed for a NSD tomorrow! Also picked up a quit kit at the pharmacy with the aim of quitting in a fortnight (smoke like a chimney at work and have a few days off then)
    • janiepopps
    • By janiepopps 6th Jan 12, 6:48 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 1,335 Thanks
    Does anyone know the cheapest place for Quorn? I'm interested in reducing our meat eating days but don't think dh would be pleased so will try to cheat him before I suggest it
    Originally posted by M0neysav3r
    Got the Lid1 flyer here, Quorn Mince and Chicken style pieces (both 300g) are both 1.19 (down from 1.98)
    Jan '12 GC; 74.66/100
    2 saver club member #107
    • Fiasco55
    • By Fiasco55 6th Jan 12, 6:48 PM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 15,364 Thanks
    I am now on my third NSD in a row which I have never been able to manage before. I had some hm chili tonight from the freezer for dinner. I am planing on going to Mr T tomorrow to pick up the plenty 8 roll pack for 4 as I have just opened my last pack up and I like to stock up when it is on offer.
    No buying toiletries Graduated May 2017

    Decluttered 2016 2469 items, 2017 1580 items
    2018 3060 items

    Sealed Pot Challenge No 038
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 6th Jan 12, 6:56 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    Saved from spending .....

    I rarely want chips - maybe 1/2 a dozen times a year but - when I do - that's it, nothing else will do and tonight is one of those nights!

    Headed off to the freezer to get the bag (always there - just in case) and to my horror remembered that it was one of the casualties of the broken fridge/freezer when I had to try to cram what I could in the outside freezer and the least expensive things didn't survive.

    Usually in such an emergency, a trip to the Co*op would've been on the cards but I had a cortizone injection in my foot this morning & can now hardly stand - let alone attempt to drive

    Determined not to be defeated, I've taken some potatoes & chopped into "chips" - along with a swede (I'm drowning in swede after getting a net of 16 for 3.50 at the market). Have par-boiled them & done in the oven like roast pots but have put some seasoning on and ...... yum!

    I may never buy chips again!
    Grocery Challenge 211/455 (01/01-31/03)
    2016 Sell: 125/250
    1,000 Emergency Fund Challenge #78 3.96 / 1,000
    Vet Fund: 410.93 / 1,000
    Debt free & determined to stay that way!
    • freyasmum
    • By freyasmum 6th Jan 12, 6:58 PM
    • 16,731 Posts
    • 48,923 Thanks
    Spent the whole evening at hospital (visiting a relative who's been given 24 hours ). So had to get cash out of the hospital ATM, 1.85 surcharge, cos the canteen didn't accept cards. So 10 on two horrible plates of slop. But do you know what, I'm not counting it.
    Originally posted by Brassic Park
    You poor thing

    Janiepopps, angelaatgraceland, Mrs Money Penny. I'm thinking of you all too

    Sizzling beef strips for dinner tonight.

    To serve four:
    400g beef (or other meat) cut into nice strips
    few carrots - maybe four or so - in a nice, thin julienne
    half a dozen or so spring onions, sliced into coins

    1tsp chinese five spice
    2 tbsp cornflour
    2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
    soy sauce - enough to give the mix a nice coating

    Chuck everything in a bowl and mix well. Stir fry till cooked.

    Serve with rice - my preferred is thai jasmine.

    You could use plain oil if you desperately wanted, but the toasted sesame gives an extra delicious flavour. You could also add some mushrooms if you want.

    My daughter was sitting making lots of 'mmmm' noises while she was eating it. I said do you like it? She said 'like it!? I LOVE it, it's excellent! That one's a regular for us
    • mumofjusttwo
    • By mumofjusttwo 6th Jan 12, 7:00 PM
    • 2,602 Posts
    • 40,789 Thanks
    Think I may join this. Can I put in for 200 please I have already done 1 week and this is a 5 week month for me. Thanks
    January Grocery 11/374
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