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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 83
  • needtosavE
    Not posted on here in a while but im sticking with the budget.... i promise!!

    I am now at 94.01 of my 150 budget. Just 2 weekends shops left to do which will be no bother. As long as there arent any deals we 'cant live without!'

    Talking of deals though, I spent 10.13 between sains and morr last night and got the following

    Bag of Salad 39p
    Bananas 36p
    stir fry veg 35p
    courgettes*7 78p
    large extra lean beef joint (5 portions) 1.70
    4 chicken legs 89p
    2.3kg silverside 3.50!!!
    Bag of Lemons 1
    600ml double cream 19p
    chilli houmous 19p
    soy sauce 69p
    cranberry and pumkin seed bread 9p

    Officially the best bargain haul i have ever had! Especially the beef. We just cant afford to have meat like that when its full price. And the bread which was from Morrisons is AMAZING! I took it into work today for everyone to share and everyone loved it. Prob just a seasonal thing though i suppose
    June GC 130.93/150
    Wedding Date Set 13th October 2012
  • bupster
    NSD today, and got a book called Simply Italian out of the library which looks like it teaches you from scratch how to make all of the regional dishes of Italy, nom nom nom

    On the downside, several unexpected things came out of the current account, including a DVD box set I'd forgotten I'd pre-ordered, and a subscription that I thought I'd paid up. Oh well. It's well within the month's budget (which is turning out to be super-generous when I thought I'd struggle, which just goes to show how stupid I'd got with my spending by December) so I'll just take the hit and not complain. It really only means that I'll be paying down a little bit less of the debt next month than I'd hoped for - and I was already planning to pay down more than I'd planned, if you see what I mean

    Tomorrow will be a spending day though: I'm going to buckle and go to one of my local food co-operatives and bulk buy some seeds and things to go in breakfast bars and granola and bread, because it saves me so much money doing it that way. I do two or three weeks' worth of breakfast mix at a time, which I should probably cost properly, but given how much I'd spend otherwise (an absolute minimum of a fiver a week) is probably saving at least a tenner a month, before even thinking about what I'm saving on bread. Also I feel very virtuous and earth mothery. I feel like I'm wearing hand-made sandals and ought to keep goats, when actually I live in a flat full of books and chocolate.
    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
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 10th Jan 12, 9:27 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    Just this minute heard on the news that food has gone up by 3% recently (not sure how long that is). We've all been posting much more than 3% rises - how have they calculated this?!?!

    Spent today, but need to sit down and work out what's gc money and what's not - bought a couple of magazines, etc which I don't count so need to take off.

    Spent some time chatting up the reductions lady in morri$ons earlier, and she gave me some lush things - big ol' loaf for 19p, 5 choc brownies for 15p (the hm-tasting ones), pasties for pence, and the list goes on. The best thing was some ham ends from the deli, 1.03 for 51p, but I was nibbling that all the way home, well, scoffing really!! and i've just finished chopping it up into little bits to freeze then add to pasta etc and i reckon there's at least two meals' worth of ham there! Love it!!

    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
    • janiepopps
    • By janiepopps 10th Jan 12, 9:28 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 1,335 Thanks
    janiepopps
    I feel like I'm wearing hand-made sandals and ought to keep goats, when actually I live in a flat full of books and chocolate.
    Originally posted by bupster


    Can someone help me sort out a problem we have seem to have with portion sizes? I've googled it to not much avail, but I always seem to cook (and therefore dish up) too much.

    OH is a builder so needs more than a sedentary type. However I am most definitely not! Most evening meals leave me feeling uncomfortably full, although I always have considerably less than him.

    Tonight we had Xmas Pie, a lovely mix of the leftover xmas dinner in shortcrust pastry (which was yummy) with mash & peas. What I now wish I'd done was leave some mash in the pan for tomorrow but I slapped it all on the plates

    How much do you guys put on your plate, do you have any tips for me to stop me being so gluttonous...?
    Jan '12 GC; 74.66/100
    2 saver club member #107
    • linz4383
    • By linz4383 10th Jan 12, 9:37 PM
    • 287 Posts
    • 4,276 Thanks
    linz4383


    Can someone help me sort out a problem we have seem to have with portion sizes? I've googled it to not much avail, but I always seem to cook (and therefore dish up) too much.

    OH is a builder so needs more than a sedentary type. However I am most definitely not! Most evening meals leave me feeling uncomfortably full, although I always have considerably less than him.

    Tonight we had Xmas Pie, a lovely mix of the leftover xmas dinner in shortcrust pastry (which was yummy) with mash & peas. What I now wish I'd done was leave some mash in the pan for tomorrow but I slapped it all on the plates

    How much do you guys put on your plate, do you have any tips for me to stop me being so gluttonous...?
    Originally posted by janiepopps


    i do exactly the same since i split from my ex... im terrible which makes me not cook so much coz of throwin it away :s BUT tonite i did turkey steaks mash veg and yorkshires i put a dinner out for me and my little girl save a turkey steake to do a sweet n sour or something like that as well as puttin a dinner out for the little one tomorrow and one out for me to do as bubble and squeak so thats 3 meals from one quite impressed with myself as id usually just throw it
    House deposit 0/10000
    Loan 6,065.43- 5803.30
    credit card 3,932.25 - 4233.40
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 10th Jan 12, 9:48 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    PennyGrabber


    Can someone help me sort out a problem we have seem to have with portion sizes? I've googled it to not much avail, but I always seem to cook (and therefore dish up) too much.

    OH is a builder so needs more than a sedentary type. However I am most definitely not! Most evening meals leave me feeling uncomfortably full, although I always have considerably less than him.

    Tonight we had Xmas Pie, a lovely mix of the leftover xmas dinner in shortcrust pastry (which was yummy) with mash & peas. What I now wish I'd done was leave some mash in the pan for tomorrow but I slapped it all on the plates

    How much do you guys put on your plate, do you have any tips for me to stop me being so gluttonous...?
    Originally posted by janiepopps
    I have been a bit anal about things like pasta - I have weighed how much (dry) I cook, and then upped/downed it until I'm happy I've got the right amount. I know that I use 160g of dry pasta for the three of us for dinner, and 1 cup (not a tea cup, a random thing I have) of rice for the three of us. When I do mash, I always cook too much , but I dish up what I know we'll eat, then use lo for fish cakes etc. I have been working really hard on portion sizes for a while, and I now eat off a side plate, and then give myself a bit of seconds/supper if I need it.

    It's just a case of re-educating yourself - rather than dish up everything you've cooked, dish up what you need to eat, then do something with the leftovers!

    HTH

    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
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 10th Jan 12, 9:51 PM
    • 13,812 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    Tonights dinner was Chicken and leek and philly pie (GF&DF)

    I stripped the chicken off the carcass from yesterdays SC chicken. I softened 2 large leeksin a pan with a little butter (for DF use something like Pure), then sprinkled a tblsp of flour over them (I use Doves GF plain flour) and cooked for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time. Stir in 330ml of chicken stock (I use Bisto Best or HM stock) If you have some white wine to use up then you can put in half wine and half stock. Add the 100g of philly cheese (I use tesco own. For DF use Lactofree) and stir until melted, add a dash of water if it is too thick. Add the chicken and add a handful of coriander leaves or a couple of tsp of dried coriander leaves. Spoon into an ovenproof dish and leave to cool.

    For the pastry I used 200g flour (Doves for GF), 100g butter (Pure for DF) into the food processor to mix together and then added water until it bound together. Wrap it in cling film and in the fridge for at least 30 mins.

    I usually make this all in the morning and keep in the fridge and then put the pastry top, brushed with milk (use Lactofree for DF) on just before I bung in the oven on 190degC for 30-35 mins until golden.

    Tonight I served it with roasted parsnip and carrot, in a roasting dish and drizzled with olive oil and a few crushed garlic. In the oven for 40 mins or so and then I drizzled honey over and roasted for another 20 mins. Also had some peas and corn on the cob with it.

    REMEMBER TO CHECK THE INGREDIENT'S OF ALL SAUCES ETC. AS CONTENTS CHANGE AND WHAT IS NOW GF/DF COULD CONTAIN IT IN FUTURE. Lactofree products are lactose free but not casein free.

    The carcass will be used for stock.
    Last edited by tigerfeet2006; 10-01-2012 at 9:56 PM.
    BSCno.87
    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
    [/COLOR][/CENTER]
  • lula_moneybaggins
    I will have to venture into the supermarket...!
    Third NSD for me in a row now, but I am now out of milk so will unfortunately have to face my enemy, The Supermarket, tomorrow. I vow not to let him seduce me with his delicious, yet overpriced goods. I am going in for the following:
    • Milk
    • Chopped tomatoes
    • Ground cumin
    • Ground coriander
    • Baking potatoes
    And that is all. If I come out with more, please slap my wrists.

    Today I had homemade soup (I remembered to defrost in advance! Yessss!). Dinner was as follows: diced pork, giant couscous, harissa paste, chilli, red pepper, peas, onion, veg stock and coriander. You have to treat the couscous like you would risotto and fry it in some oil for a couple of mins before adding stock. Stock/couscous ratio is 2:1, again like rice. Normal couscous is unsatisfying and bitty, but I love the giant stuff. Have enough for lunch tomorrow too.


    Lula
    Debt Jan 09 = 10,046 Debt-free since 16/12/2011
    Save 12,000 in 2012: 11,403.13/12,000
    Save 12,000 in 2013: 4000/12,000
    • Ches
    • By Ches 10th Jan 12, 10:07 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 10,371 Thanks
    Ches
    OH bought some bits today and insisted on paying so a NSD for me. Yes I guess it is cheating but with OH and I keeping our monies and budgets seperate I can't be bothered to work out all the toing and froing of all the fine details. As long as my books balance I am happy.
    Mortgage and Debt free but need to increase savings pot.
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 10th Jan 12, 10:16 PM
    • 491 Posts
    • 6,304 Thanks
    carolinerunner
    Got fed a lovely lunch and cake by good friend today, out this eve so left DH and DSs with defrosted fish pie. If not made easy for them, they will get a takeaway so best make it easy for them
    Just under 5 in Mr Ts, best was 6 worth of olives off the deli counter for 31p. Not whoopsied but they have 12 Danone yoghurt drinks for 2 (I think, ie less than 20p each), and as I got to Mr Ms after it shut I couldn't get their BOGTF on Youngs Fishfingers so got 30 BE for 2.49 which seemed not bad.
    So far, so good!
    Night all!
    Erratically money saving
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 10th Jan 12, 10:30 PM
    • 13,812 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    Meant to say there is a portion left which I have boxed up with the LO veg. For DH lunch tomorrow.

    Some one was asking about portions, sorry can't remember who, I use the rule of thumb that it is about my fist size of the meat product I am serving for me, DH for him ( though I am trying to cut it down slowly) and a child's fist for the younger ones. I then make sure there is plenty of potatos/rice/veg etc.to fill them up.
    Last edited by tigerfeet2006; 10-01-2012 at 10:33 PM.
    BSCno.87
    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
    [/COLOR][/CENTER]
    • Fiasco55
    • By Fiasco55 10th Jan 12, 11:33 PM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 15,364 Thanks
    Fiasco55
    Another 15.27 spent today. Got loads of reduced items rolls, bread, some salad. Also bought a few ready meals for some of the nights I am on backshift and just don't get a chance to have a break.
    No buying toiletries Graduated May 2017

    Decluttered 2016 2469 items, 2017 1580 items
    2018 3060 items

    Sealed Pot Challenge No 038
    • kerri_dfw
    • By kerri_dfw 11th Jan 12, 12:17 AM
    • 4,556 Posts
    • 29,115 Thanks
    kerri_dfw
    re: portion sizes

    I was always told a portion is no bigger than your fist although I can't for the life of me think whether that's for portion of veg + meat or not.
    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
    • medsdemon
    • By medsdemon 11th Jan 12, 2:23 AM
    • 745 Posts
    • 6,098 Thanks
    medsdemon
    Woohoo a NSD for me. Planning one tomorrow too if I can keep OH out of the SM. I have yellow split peas soaked ready to stick in slow cooker with stock, onions, celery and carrots( out of the bottom of fridge to use up) for soup when we get in from work for dinner. I may defrost parcel of ham from freezer to add to it too, not sure yet. Hopefully there will be enough for lunch on Thursday for work for us all as well.

    I am really pleased how my budgets going this month and we seem to have loads in the freezer so I must get round to a proper meal plan to keep it under control. I am planning a big shop this weekend sometime though I am loath to use up my days off in a SM, we are low on fresh and storecupboard ingredients so must do it as am having problems making meals because we are missing so many basics like tinned toms. Could maybe fit it in on Thursday evening after work....we shall see!!

    Will try to keep the shop under 50. May take cash out to encourage that. Won't need much meat, but may get sausages, chorizo & mince ( or miss the mince and use lentils instead in the recipe). Am going to try and include plenty of veggie recipes from HFW's book as we're slipping a bit off our healthy veggie meals lifestyle. Then plan to get as many NSD next week as I can.
    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
    • kezlou
    • By kezlou 11th Jan 12, 6:04 AM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 43,067 Thanks
    kezlou
    Thanks for the info on the cat food rising from the ashes.

    I'll check it out. Normally i buy 24 tins for 10 from pets at home when i get the cat litter but OH went last time and they wasn't any large packs of wet food or cat litter.

    I'll have a look in aldi this week and check the price for you.
    Only got one tin left myself, DS1 eats it constantly.

    debbiedeejay - i'd complain that kid of service is shocking!

    Well better run and sort the shopping list out. The scary thing is we need loads but i'm not buying it!The freezer stuff will be eaten.
    • SueP19
    • By SueP19 11th Jan 12, 6:22 AM
    • 1,706 Posts
    • 14,488 Thanks
    SueP19
    Had a spend day yesterday

    Went to L*dl to get some of their 7.5kg pots, guess what they had none which made me angry, its why I stopped shopping there and A!di

    So had to go to Asd@ and they were dearer than Mr M's

    Checked out HB's and got a couple of things for next week

    So Asd@ 2 and HB's 74p

    I have to say I love this thread, a hidden benefit, having done a meal plan I am finding it quite liberating, no pondering, no loitering round those evil supers for ages, just calender then freezer fab
    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]
    • patentgirl
    • By patentgirl 11th Jan 12, 6:31 AM
    • 886 Posts
    • 12,312 Thanks
    patentgirl
    Morning all

    Still keeping on budget which really pleased about spending alot less now I am just buying daily what we need still using storecupboards and freezer from stocks before xmas havent done a big shop for ages plus added advantage of walking to town daily 3 mile round trip which is helping with my diet and exercise plan if I find another job will have to change around but at moment it suits me and my pocket!!
    well done everyone of their reductions
    Re portion size I still cook far too much but use leftovers for lunches next day or freeze somethings like mash or pasta I always coook over to start another meal off
    Tigerfeet that pie sounds yummy will pick up some soft cheese next time I am out as have all other ingredients in
    February grocery challenge 200
  • Beccatje
    Double purse?
    I read a few posts about keeping a double purse. May I ask what that is? And how it works?

    Thanks.
  • bupster
    Janiepops - weigh out your own portions of things like rice and spaghetti dry once or twice, like when you're making your own lunch - around 50g rice or 70g pasta is enough if it's not on its own - then you'll know what it looks like cooked.

    Another neat trick is to serve yourself on smaller plates. You can always have second helpings if you're still hungry. You could make this really nice by hunting down a really nice plate from a second hand shop or market stall and just having that for your own.

    Hope this helps!
    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
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 11th Jan 12, 7:13 AM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    mrs-moneypenny
    morning all

    yesterday was a no meal plan day as it was Dh birthday subway in the cinema carpark for dinner and all went out for a meal in the evening not really an MSE day but the restuarant was 2for 1 on main courses and last time we wen we got a 2for1 on puddings voucher so it halved the total price

    jacket pots for dinner and will look out a risotto recipie from here for tea
    got some reduced bacon bits from tesco Ds wants me to do him bacon and pasta with that

    BTW i made him some chicken nuggets monday using the instructions someone posted on here, he was really impressed and will have them again so thank you OP. i made my breadcrumbs by zapping a whlemeal crust and a couple of slightly dried wraps in the liquidizer and just adding a few herbs and pepper
    SPC~12 ot 124

    In a world that has decided that it's going to lose its mind, be more kind my friend, try to Be More Kind
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