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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 78
    • JillD
    • By JillD 9th Jan 12, 10:04 PM
    • 1,768 Posts
    • 26,385 Thanks
    JillD
    Evening all.
    Had to admit defeat today and do my weekly shop today instead of Wednesday, we had hardly any milk left, no marg and hardly any fruit. If we'd had the marg we might hae been able to eke it out til Weds but the lack of milk too meant n toast or cereal optin for kids brekkies. Decided rather then just going to Asda for marg I would just do a list and shop for the next 9 days or so.

    I am SOOOOOOO pleased, I stuck to my list (which I made from my meal plan), looked closely at all prices, used my ohone calculator to work out best value, I even weighed prepacked smart price courgettes to work out price per kilo.

    Weekly shop came in at 90 ish which is about 50 less than normal

    Only downside was that annoyingly I printed out about 8 of price comparison vouchers before I went, I even took them with me, but forgot to use them ah well that will come off next week's then!

    Also spent 13 on coffee, juice and snacks for us all out shopping yesterday, and then 3 on DD2 lunchbox from Asda cafe which she ate in the trolley on the way round (I am teaching her the art of multitasking )
    Need to add exact amounts but total spend at the moment is loking like roughly 308.

    Current food should last till next Mon16th, will do a weekly shop then, and then that should last til 24th which is payday Reeeeeallly hoping to come in under budget which would be HUGE for me

    Actually tomorrow I am going to look back at statements for Sept, Oct, Nov and work out how much I was spending on food then. Bet it will be a big shock!
    Jan GC: 202.65/450 (as of 4-1-12)
    NSDs: 3
    Walk to school: 2/47
    Bloater challenge: 0/0lbs

    • Fiasco55
    • By Fiasco55 9th Jan 12, 10:06 PM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 15,364 Thanks
    Fiasco55
    I have managed a 4th NSD this month today . This is real progress for me. Dinner tonight was a lovely panini. I am a day shift tomorrow so lunch will be egg mayo sandwich and I am not too sure what I will have for dinner. * wonders off to rummage the cupboards...
    No buying toiletries Graduated May 2017

    Decluttered 2016 2469 items, 2017 1580 items
    2018 3060 items

    Sealed Pot Challenge No 038
    • meg72
    • By meg72 9th Jan 12, 10:22 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    Hi all, and thank you so much for all your inspirational stories. Am struggling to keep up with it all - had no idea joining would be such a time commitment, but am still very motivated. Really struggling as a newbie tho' and completely in awe of how frugal so many of you manage to be. Haven't totted things up yet, but know I'm overspent. However, I have done a stock take of everything and made a meal planner for rest of month. Problem is I'm setting up the 2nd purse system and am drawn to half-price or less offers on anything (that isnt perishable) that we use regularly. I spent the weekned clearing out more of the loft to make room for it all, and it's giving me a real buzz, but buying those offers in the first place is costing a fair bit....am I doing it all wrong?
    Originally posted by mumwithamission
    Bless, No you are not doing it wrong,anyway you want to do it is fine, Its YOUR challenge.and as long as you reduce your overall spend you win.

    It is tempting at first to buy up all the offers you see, but honestly these offers do come round quite regular so maybe not buy quite so many,and every so often have a use up week.
    Slimming World at target
  • rosieben
    tigerfeet, your [GF and DF] SC Chicken with herby sauce is in the index
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • ms_night_ryder
    • By ms_night_ryder 9th Jan 12, 10:41 PM
    • 3,001 Posts
    • 11,582 Thanks
    ms_night_ryder
    spent 1.25 in mr t's on 1 lindt 100g teddy bear 75p x2 small selection packs 25p each will add that and the graped from yesterday to my total.
    Lose 28lb 3/28lb
    SPC Member 1522/2012-264/ new pot 2013
  • PolkaDotsAndLace
    Burning the midnight oil sitting and working out the shopping list for the weekend (bit early, but if I don't at least start the list I end up running around the morning we're shopping and forget we've run out of stock cubes or something) Will hopefully manage it for around 30, but I'm really miffed to see that the grated cheese is now hiked up by around 30 - 50p. I'll buy that in Scotmid instead if it's still a 2 for 3 offer.
    February Grocery Challenge - 100.87/180
    February Don't Throw Food Away Challenge - 0.60/1.50
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 10th Jan 12, 1:53 AM
    • 1,329 Posts
    • 15,828 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    Hi all, and thank you so much for all your inspirational stories. Am struggling to keep up with it all - had no idea joining would be such a time commitment, but am still very motivated. Really struggling as a newbie tho' and completely in awe of how frugal so many of you manage to be. Haven't totted things up yet, but know I'm overspent. However, I have done a stock take of everything and made a meal planner for rest of month. Problem is I'm setting up the 2nd purse system and am drawn to half-price or less offers on anything (that isnt perishable) that we use regularly. I spent the weekned clearing out more of the loft to make room for it all, and it's giving me a real buzz, but buying those offers in the first place is costing a fair bit....am I doing it all wrong?
    Originally posted by mumwithamission
    Sorry if this has been answered, I CANT KEEP UP WITH THIS THREAD. I think sometimes it can be a good idea to stockpile non perishables if they are things that you use, but i would not go buying them all from the supermarket at once, as this can be a more expensive option, but maybe try approved foods, foodbargains, rospa, etc, sites that sell short dated foods. I have bought 12 packs of cous cous at times, for 99p, when you build up your stocks over a few months, without breaking the bank, you get to a stage where you are just topping up with fresh stuff. I think the fact that you are feeling so motivated is great. Throw in a couple of nights of really cheap stuff. There are some great posts at the beginning of this thread on meals for 2 for 50p, which could give you some ideas. Meal plan, go through your cupboards and see what meals u can make from what you have, then just buy things to go with it. I have become frugal by disciplining myself and saying im not gonna buy anything for the freezer until i have cleared a drawer, so far its working this month, but it doesn't always. There is always another bargain around the corner, or in another store, so you will not miss out. Find out when your local supermarket reduces their stuff, i have not paid more than 50p for top quality bread in ages, sometimes its 10p, though i should not be buying it as ive got loads of bread mix (derrrrrr). if you haven't fallen asleep reading this, Good luck and your doing great.
    August GC - Food 55.56/80 Alcohol 17.24/20
    Bulk Funds - Food 19.73
    -
    Save 12k in 2019 1,300/5,000 - #155
    • SpagBol
    • By SpagBol 10th Jan 12, 2:50 AM
    • 1,370 Posts
    • 10,553 Thanks
    SpagBol
    Today I found loads of risotto rice in the cupboard, it's difficult to judge but I reckon we could make quite a few meals in one go...can you freeze a veg (got carrots, brocolli, frozen peas/sweetcorn and a tin of kidney beans) risotto no cream or anything just the rice, stock and veg? I'm hoping guessing yes!
    DMP started Oct '17: 79,974
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 10th Jan 12, 6:26 AM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    I freeze all sorts of risottos with no problems.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
  • djhops
    I'm in plus my tips
    I'm in going for 100 pcm please, for the record here's my tips (I would welcome anyone else's)

    - Never shop at the same supermarket twice (they all have their own specialisms/ bargains)
    - Always cross-question branded (what are you getting extra for your money)
    - Cook food from scratch (healthier too) and make in bulk (use for lunches etc)
    - Remember with food, it's 'best before' not necessarily 'throw away after'
    - Eat less meat (also healthier too)
    - Try to reduce portion size if you're overweight (that's healthier too, you sense a trend!)
    - Don't automatcially buy two for one (sometimes you just end up being a glutton)
    - Finally and I appreciate it's not for all... brew your own beer!
    Last edited by djhops; 10-01-2012 at 3:08 PM. Reason: typo
    • SueP19
    • By SueP19 10th Jan 12, 6:58 AM
    • 1,706 Posts
    • 14,488 Thanks
    SueP19
    Hi I'm new to this thread & have read through but I'm still confused so any suggestions/help very welcome. I basically spend 100 A week on everything, plus a takeaway & it's just ridiculous now, the are 2 adults, a 10 yr old, a 4 yr old & the cat. The kids rarely eat the same as us so end up cooking even more. I don't tend to waste much in that it doesn't get thrown out but surely I can reduce this. I've chatted to mr moomi about this & he agrees. I just don't know quite where to start! I can see a few of you meal plan, do you have exAples I could see? Also bulk buying, should I do this straight away for stuff like washing powder, dishwasher tablets, cat food etc? Thanks everyone
    Originally posted by moomi
    I am just like you, we are 3 adults and we started last year spending about 110-120 a week, we didn't buy luxuries or throw food away. I was very confused how to reduce it but steadily we did by switching brands etc I join here in january and did my first meal plan (with a calender and just added sausages once a week, joint once a week etc).
    By visiting this thread everyday I have managed to shave my budget more, it makes you very focused on what you spend when you get in the supermarket and by having the meal plan I am currently working on next weeks shopping comparing prices and whats on offer

    Keep going you won't regret it

    Am also just starting the 2nd purse system
    Last edited by SueP19; 10-01-2012 at 7:00 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]
  • Catwoman103
    My first shop of the year on Saturday coincided with the start of my diet. Had a good check throigh my larder and freezers before I went and only bought what was necessary for me, my cats and my bunnies - total spend 16.66 for the week.
  • lemmings1986
    morning guys hope every1 well.
    had a low spend this morning went to mr mccols and got 3x bottles of tropicana reduced to 20p each and 2x packs of ham reduced to 39p total 1.38 bought the tropicana as oh loves it but doesnt normally get it as its too expensive and i eat quite alot of ham so have put 1 in freezer.
    they also had some cheap sausages for 60p but ive got 3 packs in freezer so didnt buy any .
    tea tonight is leftover pasta bake
    i recieved my 50 amazon vouchers this morning for a forum thing i did and also cashed out on su**rp*in*s so another 10 to add to my amazon account so have got nearly 70 in there which should help towards grocery budget i know there not always the cheapest but it was money i didnt have so will have to hunt down the bargains before i'll part with it .
    i ordered andrex loo roll off there last week and it was surposed to take 5 days for delivery,but it came the next day
    i might order some more and stock up.
    hope every1 has a good day im off to bed am nodding and have to keep checking what ive wrote as i keep spelling it wrong
    VSP#17 2.34
    debt free 26/10/2012
  • cheekychipmunk
    Morning. Not had any more big spends, but I am surprised at how quickly all the basics like bread and milk quickly add up! Had a 'weak' day yesterday - spent ages boiling some black beans to make a mexican soup, but they were still like pebbles after 2 hours. Felt so deflated after this, I gave up on the soup idea and we ended up having fish and chips... Didn't even enjoy them! Will try harder next time to have a back up plan!
    January 2012 GC 296.96/300
    • janiepopps
    • By janiepopps 10th Jan 12, 9:14 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 1,335 Thanks
    janiepopps
    Just gave in and popped out for a loaf of bread, but was very good and pulled up outside the bakery rather than paying 1 to park, or parking for free and walking in and then spending 1/2 an hour mooching (and probably spending too)
    Jan '12 GC; 74.66/100
    2 saver club member #107
  • wannabehermit
    I've been pretty rubbish with posting and think this is actually my 1st post on this thread . Well half way through our month and at 226.35. So well within budget so far. If I can keep that up for the other half of the month I'll be 50 under budget and can knock it down a bit more next month.

    I start work this week in a brand spanking new supermarket so will def be using my staff discount. The shop is a bit dearer than others, but I reckon on my normal spends probably only a max of 20 over the month, but with a staff discount should bring it down to about 25 a month saving which will be very welcome indeed.

    We've started doing a Jamie Oliver pasta dish recently. I don't like pasta, but accept that on the whole it's cheap so needs must, but this is really nice, very quick and easy to cook too. I don't tend to measure anything out, just chuck in as much as suits us, then freeze any leftovers in small portions for DD. I couldn't see anything similar on the recipes list so here it is:

    Cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, fry some thin strips of bacon in a pan with oil & butter. Once the bacon is starting to brown off, add frozen peas to the frying pan (we zap them in the microwave for 30 seconds, but recipe says you don't need to, I guess whatever you prefer). After a couple of minutes add 2-3 heaped dessert spoons of creme fraiche, then drain and add the pasta, season and serve.

    It is dead easy, takes as long as the pasta takes to cook. For us we use about 6 rashers of bacon and about 1.5-2 portions of peas. It's not the cheapest pasta dish in the world but for someone who doesn't like pasta it's great and still cheaper than a lot of other meals.
    Clean credit file:12 mths
    Car loan: FREE!
    THE PLAN: 1.Pay off debt 8808.42(3254.45, 1570.32, 2698.33, 0, 1000, 285.32) 2.Save monthly for Christmas/insurance etc 150 per month 3.Save for emergencies /1500 4.Save for our B&B ????depends which one takes our fancy
  • wannabehermit
    Morning. Not had any more big spends, but I am surprised at how quickly all the basics like bread and milk quickly add up! Had a 'weak' day yesterday - spent ages boiling some black beans to make a mexican soup, but they were still like pebbles after 2 hours. Felt so deflated after this, I gave up on the soup idea and we ended up having fish and chips... Didn't even enjoy them! Will try harder next time to have a back up plan!
    Originally posted by cheekychipmunk
    I always make sure the freezer has something in it that can be chucked in the microwave or oven just in case. Otherwise that's exactly what happens, you have a disaster and end up going to the chippy, adn all your hard work trying to save money is wasted.
    Clean credit file:12 mths
    Car loan: FREE!
    THE PLAN: 1.Pay off debt 8808.42(3254.45, 1570.32, 2698.33, 0, 1000, 285.32) 2.Save monthly for Christmas/insurance etc 150 per month 3.Save for emergencies /1500 4.Save for our B&B ????depends which one takes our fancy
    • dobs
    • By dobs 10th Jan 12, 9:46 AM
    • 515 Posts
    • 1,534 Thanks
    dobs
    Hello all, have lost some of my receipts and hubby who does the shopping had bought extras (grr) but have put down 130.00 as our spends so far as that seems pretty near, does include a birthday cake in that as well. Need to start to meal plan and batch cook though, so unorganised lately! Wondering if internet shopping if worth trying, does anyone do that? Only thing is if you can get everything online that you can at the supermarkets? We are spoilt here we have a big Asda, two sainsburys, tescos, Morrisons, 2 lidls, tesco expresses and in the nearby town a waitrose! Need to get some milk today or tomorrow, the container split and i have put in into a gravy jug but worried it will go off and can't do without my cups of tea! I have seventy pounds now for the rest of the month, for five of us and two dogs (won't include the hamster, rabbit or guinea pig food!), am determined to try and do it!
    grocery challenge jan 17 / 350.00
  • helen jelly
    To All New People

    Hi and Welcome

    Please do NOT be put off by the size of the thread at the moment - in Jan it is always huge as we have lots of people joining us. It will settle down and become more managable. Don't be put off either by how well some people do - remember some posters have been doing the GC for a long time and have got their spending down to a fine art - wish that was me!!

    The other thing I wanted to say was don't be surprised if you don't come in under or on your target - its the first time you are doing this - I think that for the first couple/few months its all a learning curve and things crop up and we need to be flexible

    Good luck
    Stick with it/us

    Ask lots of questions

    Helen x
    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
    • kerri_dfw
    • By kerri_dfw 10th Jan 12, 9:54 AM
    • 4,556 Posts
    • 29,115 Thanks
    kerri_dfw
    Another 2.18 to add for me, I bought a Mr T microwave pasta dish for my lunch as I was in no mood for cooking anything last night. I know I could make it cheaper myself, but it's my first bought lunch this year so won't chastise myself too much.
    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
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