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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 76
    • iwanttogoonholiday
    • By iwanttogoonholiday 9th Jan 12, 4:57 PM
    • 343 Posts
    • 2,569 Thanks
    had another little spendtoday of 7...which isnt too bad cos i only got the stuff i needed - if i want to stick within the budget though i will need to last on 50 quid for the rest of the month - im due to have a baby next week ! so we may need to see how that goes lol
    Learning to keep within budgets !

    • piggeh
    • By piggeh 9th Jan 12, 5:13 PM
    • 1,679 Posts
    • 1,300 Thanks
    Monday evening. No food left in the fridge. Need to do some shopping.

    Guess I better do a list. I really fancy some chocolate.. :/
    matched betting: 879.63
  • MumOf2Beasties
    Spends update, spent 6.79 today in m'sons.

    Popped down with OH this morning as kids had school and nursery

    Had a breakfast and seeing as we have decided to try for bump number 3 I popped to the pharmacy to get some folic acid exciting times ahead i hope

    will add spends to sig now and try very very hard to do well with the spends!!

    Good luck peeps and well done to all those still on the straight and narrow
    1 adult, 3 children-Newborn and ages 4 & 6, 1 rabbit
    budget of 250 is for food, toiletries, nappies, wipes, cleaning/washing products and pet supplies (litter, sawdust, food)
    • piggeh
    • By piggeh 9th Jan 12, 5:30 PM
    • 1,679 Posts
    • 1,300 Thanks
    I need something for breakfasts and quite tempted to try these:

    anyone tried them? Not sure whether it's too many nuts & seeds (was more after the oats than anything!)

    someone suggested a different flapjack recipe for breakfasts but cant find it
    matched betting: 879.63
  • LondonDreamer
    Another spend today for the bits that weren't in stock on Saturday. 7.63 total. About half of that was stocking up on lunchbox things for a fortnight though, so I guess it's not too bad.
  • rachbc
    love those breakfast bars - however be warned they are very moreish. I vary what I put in them so sure you could reduce the seeds and more oats
    People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • lemmings1986
    hi guys hope every1 is well and hugs to those that need them
    had a nsd yesterday we had left over lamb cooked in lamb and mint gravy,veg,mash ,roasties etc it was yum and had to buy a loaf on way home from work this morning,have been on nights and was totally worn out so couldnt be bothered to make 1.29, need to add to signature.
    am on target this week so shouldnt go over budget as im on nights all week havnt really got time to go shopping and cupboards and freezer stil quite full.
    just had chicken pie,chips and gravy for tea and am taking a sandwich,drink etc to work tonight so shouldnt spend any money .
    i didnt get to boots to pick up a quick kit as was too tired so think im just going to order 1 off line will see how it goes.
    just wanted to say good luck with the challenge every1 your all doing great and the fact that were here trying whether we go over budget or not is a achievement in itself
    right off to get ready for work
    Last edited by lemmings1986; 09-01-2012 at 5:55 PM.
    VSP#17 2.34
    debt free 26/10/2012
    • JIL
    • By JIL 9th Jan 12, 5:49 PM
    • 4,945 Posts
    • 25,059 Thanks
    Arg, the horror! I've actually run out of stuff!

    Made some bread and some granola for breakfast, and have, without doubt, run out of sunflower seeds, and low on pumpkin, poppy and sesame seeds. Am going to have to go to a shop and buy expensive packets of seeds before I next make bread so this week.

    Can anyone think of a cheap place to buy packets of seeds and nuts? Otherwise I've looked up the prices at my local food co-operative and they seem to be significantly cheaper than Sainsbobs, which is sort of annoying as I have a coupon for 2 off 20 that needs to be used up on Wednesday.

    So next conundrum - what to buy at Sainsbobs? Or should I just let the coupon expire, as I have enough food for the rest of the week and plenty of stuff in the cupboard and freezer?
    Originally posted by bupster
    Sorry if you, have had a reply already, but Aldi do really cheap packets of seeds and nuts and a good variety as well. There are nuts and seeds,/ nuts, fruit and seeds. /fruit and nuts , / and seeds and fruit they are about 89p or thereabouts per pack and are in the crisp isle. I often buy a pack and make some flapjacks with them.

    I went to Morrisons today and bought myself a portion of cherries at 1, but wonder why I bother they were very tasteless.

    I spent another 1 on five bars of galaxy gift chocolate reduced to 20p and bb April. Bet that tastes much better than the cherries did.

    Still eating out of the freezer but there still does not seem to be any space in it yet.
    Last edited by JIL; 09-01-2012 at 6:15 PM. Reason: how spooky now i have read all the other posts, the previous posts to this one are talking about flapjacks!!!
    • lisakay
    • By lisakay 9th Jan 12, 5:52 PM
    • 434 Posts
    • 6,131 Thanks
    Mumof2beasties us too!!! implant was removed on friday, got to make a dr appointment to dicsuss folic acid as DD2 was born with a cleft lip and palate, so I'll need a higher dose than normal. we're keeping it a secret IRL , but we're very excited.

    40 spent in aldi yesterday, hoping not to spend anything else until next sunday, but at the rate my 2 are going through the fruit and veg I may need to top up before then. we've already gone through half a bag of apples, half a net of satsumas, 4 bananas, a whole cauli, a bag of carrots and half a cabbage, AND they had a strop because I forgot to buy sprouts. I've never known kids like them.

    We seem to be doing well with the budget this month. I'm trying to make sure nothing gets wasted. tea tonight was a roast with half of a big pork joint reduced to 3.50 between christmas and ny, so 1.75. It's done roast for DH and kids, butties for kids dinner tomorrow and sweet and sour pork for tea tomorrow. possibly butties for wed as well! :ma d:

    ooops, DD1 (6) had a field day with the smilies while I nipped to the loo!!
    Last edited by lisakay; 09-01-2012 at 5:53 PM. Reason: eta
    freecycler and skip diver extraordinnaire
    • pixiedust09
    • By pixiedust09 9th Jan 12, 6:02 PM
    • 260 Posts
    • 3,126 Thanks
    They keep sending me emails with codes to use. I've got one free delivery code to use by the 19th Jan and another by the 2nd Feb if I spend 50. I don't know if they are specific to me, or whether they are able to be switched between other users? I'm sure I've read someone on the forum that they don't like their codes discussed on here, so if anyone knows whether they are specific to the recipient or transferable to anybody please let me know. I'll be more than happy to PM them onto you if they are.
    Originally posted by NickJW
    Thanks, I wasn't sure whether there was a secret site full of money saving codes I didn't know about . I'll keep my eye peeled on my e-mails in the hope they'll send me some free codes.
    MFW 142- Oct 1999 55,0000, Jul 2013 27,593.17 Oct 2013 26,531, Dec 2014 22,600, Dec 2015 20,190, Jan 2016 19,944.19 Mar 2017 16,944.76 Decluttered 207/2018
    Smile it confuses people
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 9th Jan 12, 6:19 PM
    • 3,996 Posts
    • 52,590 Thanks
    Shopping today.
    We needed milk - first bought this year! Also bought some dog chews and Glucosamine tablets - always get those out of my shopping money. Did buy some sweets - have to have a little treat!
    15 in 2015 1/15
    • Gorgeestwo
    • By Gorgeestwo 9th Jan 12, 6:37 PM
    • 364 Posts
    • 5,889 Thanks
    Good evening

    Popped into the local shop today for cartons of juice for DS and DD's lunch's, managed to buy some reduced rinse aid and some fabric conditioner that was on offer, so spent 4.47.

    Lisakay, glad its not just my two children who demolish fruit and veg like its sweets, they also love sprouts I'm so glad they're like it, but I do seem to spend most of our budget on fruit and veg

    Hoping for a NSD day tomorrow
    Grocery challenge : January 2016 65.86/300
    For 2 adults, 2 children (10 & 9 yrs) 3 cats & 2 dogs.

    • sproggi
    • By sproggi 9th Jan 12, 6:37 PM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 6,376 Thanks
    2.16 spent today

    1 on big pot of yoghurt
    97p on ys sliced turkey breast
    19p on ys crumpets

    Need to get milk and coffee, will pick them up tomorrow when I get the mirror for DD1 (she wants the next slimming world supliment).
    Too much choc left in the house for me to think about weight loss 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
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 9th Jan 12, 6:37 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    Great recipe find Pigeh.

    Tonight was [GF and DF] SC Chicken with herby sauce (The one I used for the gammon the other day. For the herb sauce I made a roux from two tblsp butter (marg or DF spread can be used) and Two tblsp flour( I use Doves Farm GF flour) Then slowly add 300ml of chicken stock ( I use Bisto Best or HM chicken stock) just a little at a time stirring until all incorporated, add extra water if needed. Then stir in 2tsp of mixed herbs.)

    Served with potatoes and carrots plus a stir fry made from a 1/4 of shredded cabbage lingering in the back of the fridge, brussell sprouts-shredded, that were still on the stalk (from the allotment and are starting go cabbage like. I have 3 stalks left.) A pepper that needed using up and a handful of limp mushrooms that were just going. In the wok with seseme oil and lots of garlic and ginger.

    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
  • adelight
    GRRR Does anyone else have issues with tesco online shops? ie. items not turning up and disappearing off the receipt!!!
    My house just had ours delivered and it's missing loads of stuff and those things have disappeared off the online receipt- 35 worth of stuff has gone since we did the last update and saved the order. There are things missing from the last update but also not the right number of some and some of the very first things we added to the order are missing
    Sure it means I've only spent 13.62 but i'm missing carrots, spinach, onions and bread- all pretty basic essential items
    Living cheap in central London
  • lemmings1986
    GRRR Does anyone else have issues with tesco online shops? ie. items not turning up and disappearing off the receipt!!!
    My house just had ours delivered and it's missing loads of stuff and those things have disappeared off the online receipt- 35 worth of stuff has gone since we did the last update and saved the order. There are things missing from the last update but also not the right number of some and some of the very first things we added to the order are missing
    Sure it means I've only spent 13.62 but i'm missing carrots, spinach, onions and bread- all pretty basic essential items
    Originally posted by adelight
    hi adelight give them and ring and see what they say they should be able to give you a run down of whats what and hopefully help you sort it out.
    VSP#17 2.34
    debt free 26/10/2012
    • mrsdwhite
    • By mrsdwhite 9th Jan 12, 7:10 PM
    • 288 Posts
    • 1,590 Thanks
    Hi all

    Just popping in to update on my Grocery spends for the month so far.
    I did some impromptu shopping on friday as DH needed to go to Mr T (work related) and I tagged along. Though I did get some cheap salmon that I've cut up and frozen that will easily do 6 meals (works out at 1.50 per person per meal), and some tomatoes that went into a nice soup That shop was 15.46.
    I had the weeks main shop delivered this morning, I tried quite hard to meal plan and think about what we already had in and what we'd need. That shop was 41.04. Still a bit higher than I'd like but there were some offers on things that I usually buy so stocked up. Hopefully the things I've bought that were on offer will mean less spending over the next few weeks.

    I think I also need to put some thought into only getting my shopping delivered every other week as it's costing me 18 a month just getting it delivered!
    So my total now for the month is 164.50 of 180
    Next week is my last week of the month so it's really going to have to be a small shop! Though I think we have plenty in the cupboards and freezer to make it through.
  • bupster
    Another NSD today, which I'm pleased with - lunch was leftovers from catering yesterday and nom nom nom, got myself out of the office at lunchtime anyway (Brassic, I just tell everyone I have to get out and stretch my legs or I'll go a bit mad, and I think they believe me ). Went round to the mobile library round the corner and got out a brand new paperback that's the second in the series I'm reading, so that's me sorted for another week . I forgot to say, my friend keeps dropping off cartons of juice and juice drink that she's afraid she won't use up, because it's either full of sugar (she's diabetic) or near the use by/best before date. I don't drink much normally but usually because it's so expensive, so this is a new one to me - anyone got any good ideas of what to do with loads of extra cranberry juice and orange juice? I was thinking I could poach a chicken in the orange juice or something?

    PS if anyone's interested, I did a bit of a search on the price of seeds (if anyone makes their own muesli or granary-type bread). It was really startling - my local food co-op is the second cheapest I could find, but the cheapest, of all places, was Planet Organic I thought that place was ludicrously overpriced for everything, but no, in some cases packets of sunflower or pumpkin seeds were half the price of the big supermarkets. Mad, eh? Holland and Barrett were ok but not brilliant. So the moral is check out yer mad little local health food places and if you find them cheap, buy them in sacks

    But where do the health food places buy them? Is there some wholesalers full of rabbit food where we could get them even cheaper? Maybe I should start buying rabbit food?
    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
    • Ches
    • By Ches 9th Jan 12, 7:14 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 10,371 Thanks
    Spent 1 today. 50p on a cuppa at my local club and 50p towards newspaper bill as OH didn't have enough change. On the upside OH gave me the 10 win on the lottery which has reimbursed me for the money spent on the meal out this week. As he has charge of the entertainment budget I don't feel guilty.
    Mortgage and Debt free but need to increase savings pot.
    • pipersky
    • By pipersky 9th Jan 12, 7:20 PM
    • 949 Posts
    • 15,015 Thanks
    I have nothing to declare except my consumption of leftovers
    Part time GCer, NSDer, Comper and (Bad)Flylady

    A big shot is just a little shot that kept shooting ...
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