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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 86
  • Redouble
    Another no spend day for me, am amazed!
    Thank you for the inspiration xx
    NSDs 7/20
    Make 10 a day 403.74/310
  • Ninno820
    3 on ingredients for ds to make lemon cheesecake in food tech (grrrr - we could make a far nicer one at home I am sure)

    5 on reduced pork in Morrisons - 2 packs f leg steaks whcih will be split for 3 meals, 1 belly joint for a sunday roast (plus neough for a LO meal) and a rack of ribs as a treat for ds sometime - they are his fav but only had one pack plus a 2kg bag of seconds apples
    Originally posted by rachbc

    As a cookery teacher I understand how you feel but please be patient - they have to learn how to cook properly otherwise we will be raising a generation of fast food addicts - one of my 11 year olds did not recognise a saucepan - let alone know what it was used for!!! You would be doubly horrifed by how many parents pay for the ingredients and then throw the food in the bin without even tasting it - even though it leaves school looking really tasty. There's still two fully iced christmas cakes at school awaiting collection!!!!!

    sorry - rant over - just popping in to declare another NSD.
    Today was a milestone - I had a course next to Mr Wait*. Since the sm is an hours drive away I only go in as a treat when I am in the area but I drove past tonight thinking that I would spend more than the 14 I have to last until 23rd January so its better not to be tempted.

    Tea tonight is breaded fish (whoopsie from the freezer) and slimming world chips - keep going everyone!
    44 day challenge

    1. Pay 650 off overdraft ( 288/ 650)
    2. Lose 12 lbs (4.5/ 12)
    3. Use YNAB everyday (6/44)
  • zebbeddee
    Evening everyone,

    Hope everyone is ok and on track for this month. I am really surprised at how good I have been so far!

    Considering we were spending 400 a month before starting the challenge and have decided to spend no more than 250 for the month I think we are doing quite well.

    I am literally only buying what we actually need and am also looking much more closely at how much things are and choosing alternatives when I consider the prices to be too high.

    I am also doing lots more cooking than I used to and so far have not had any takeaways.

    I have made home made burgers tonight and its cost less than a fiver to feed 3 of us, takeaway version would be about 15 and wont taste anywhere near as good as fresh ingredients have been used...

  • adysmum
    Well went to Lid! today and spent 72.51. My GC includes everything that isn't a DD or SO, I take some cash out each week when I do my main shop and that gives me the little I need for extra bread and milk etc. So today I took out 20 and spent 52.51 on shopping.

    For me thats amazing as a year ago I was spending 120 on a weekly big shop and picking bits up during the week. Only my second month but aiming for 2/2 under budget, will eventually figure out my reasonable budget but its going down so thats all I care about

    Have updated sig, 2 shops down 2 to go for the month!
    • Rainy-Days
    • By Rainy-Days 11th Jan 12, 4:33 PM
    • 1,420 Posts
    • 14,454 Thanks
    Since last posting there have been NSD and yesterday I spent 29.43 at Sainsbury's - very pleased with that
    • BohemianCoast
    • By BohemianCoast 11th Jan 12, 4:34 PM
    • 262 Posts
    • 1,497 Thanks
    Just put 90 on Ocado for tomorrow night. It's all a bit haywire at the moment; there's still a fair amount of odds and sods in the house but it's stuff like chocolate biscuits and chutneys (we got three or four different jars of chutney for Christmas and apart from mango chutney with curry, nobody really eats the stuff); not actual things you can eat. Made v. nice twice-baked jackets yesterday, filling comprising celery, carrot, bacon, and several half pots of leftover dip from a party we went to Saturday. Off to cook banana bread and perhaps Bottom of the Fridge Soup.
    2016 Money saving target: declutter my house *and* my folks' house! Sell 1000 in 2016, minimise food waste, buy nothing new...
  • Brassic Park
    Spent 1.80 on lunch today. Have a whopper of a Mr T shop coming tomorrow (90ish, unless I add anymore tonight lol!). I'm trying to make it last two weeks though so stocking up on everything. Makes me feel better about the delivery charge...
    Future hopes, dreams & emergencies fund: 4,000
    No. Internet. Shopping.
    • BohemianCoast
    • By BohemianCoast 11th Jan 12, 4:45 PM
    • 262 Posts
    • 1,497 Thanks
    As a cookery teacher I understand how you feel but please be patient - they have to learn how to cook properly otherwise we will be raising a generation of fast food addicts - one of my 11 year olds did not recognise a saucepan - let alone know what it was used for!!! You would be doubly horrifed by how many parents pay for the ingredients and then throw the food in the bin without even tasting it - even though it leaves school looking really tasty. There's still two fully iced christmas cakes at school awaiting collection!!!!!
    Originally posted by Ninno820
    Sadly, I'm the mum of a year 10 who went through three years of this and came out the other side unable to cook anything at all. She just seems completely unable to transfer what she learnt at school to our home kitchen. Year 7 son is doing a bit better but still everything has been based on a cake dough rather than a bread dough, even the world's most expensive pizza. I know it's not the teachers' fault, and as I recall I learnt nothing useful of cookery in my school cooking classes. How then did I learn to cook? By becoming a *student* with no *money*. No teacher like necessity...
    2016 Money saving target: declutter my house *and* my folks' house! Sell 1000 in 2016, minimise food waste, buy nothing new...
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 11th Jan 12, 4:48 PM
    • 1,329 Posts
    • 15,828 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    have had a few spends, 6 in lidl for large carrier of veg, ham and cream cheese, plus money in pound store for freezer containers for batch cooking, could not really do the plastic bag way freezing, have updated sig.
    August GC - Food 55.56/80 Alcohol 17.24/20
    Bulk Funds - Food 19.73
    Save 12k in 2019 1,300/5,000 - #155
  • cheekychipmunk
    Just a box of eggs today (1 from the farm)! Was tempted to pop to the co-op in the village to get a pizza or something for tea, but in the end went and picked two cabbages fromm the allotment and we're having cheesy bubble and squeak with a fried egg on top!
    January 2012 GC 296.96/300
    • Gorgeestwo
    • By Gorgeestwo 11th Jan 12, 4:59 PM
    • 364 Posts
    • 5,889 Thanks
    Wow Gorgeestwo, an extra freezer will be fab, well done! Am after one myself but no luck so far. Sounds like you're making huge progress!

    Somewhat peeved last night after careful whoopsie buying to hear DS 'doesn't like' the school shoes I paid 50 for, and which he liked at the time, just before Christmas. Have said am not buying any more. Grrr!
    Originally posted by carolinerunner
    Thank you, was very surprised when he emailed to say we could have it if we still wanted Hope you get one soon
    Grocery challenge : January 2016 65.86/300
    For 2 adults, 2 children (10 & 9 yrs) 3 cats & 2 dogs.

  • 123budget
    Thought I had done really well on meal planning and shopping but completely forgot the dogs!!
    Had to rush to local tesco express as poor things had not food in the house - 3.73 spend on small box of dry dog food
    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
    • MissOrganised1972
    • By MissOrganised1972 11th Jan 12, 5:14 PM
    • 174 Posts
    • 3,644 Thanks
    Thank you everybody for your input. I love reading through the thread but have had to admit defeat today. I moved across to the January GC (from the December GC) when it was already over 20 pages! I just have not been able to catch up. It has meant I have not really posted or added any of my feedback / answered anyones questions. So, sorry, I am back! I am going to just keep up from today.

    I am pretty pleased with myself. Our budget is a case of necessity rather than just an aim for a figure and so there is not really any room for going over. However, I always do go over my budget & have to 'pinch' the money from another budget! However, I am pleased to report that we are doing quite well this month. I have 2 more weeks to shop for. I had budgeted 30 per week with a little leftover for small top ups, treats, missing items etc. I still have my last 2 week's budgets left! Have used up most of my top up money but will perhaps jiggle my meal plan so that I can use up things we may already have in.

    I averted a couple of culinary disasters earlier in the week. Sunday, I used the 'Belly Pork' recipe from the list of recipes at the start of the thread. I have to say it was naf! I followed the recipe exactly (except I replaced the pears with apples) & I was left with anaemic pork with mushy potatoes & apples! To rescue the dinner I drained all of the liquid & fat from the dish & left it in the oven for another 25 minutes & manage to crispy it up a bit!

    Then, on Monday I cooked a potato & cauliflower curry. I hadn't realised before hand that no liquid was to be added to the dish. It was basically potato & cauliflower mixed in with some spices & both vegetables were still hard when I got to the end of the cooking! I cook as much and as often as possible from scratch but I must admit that I am not very inventive, I always use recipe books! So, I was very impressed with myself! I added a tin of chopped tomatoes, a chopped onion & a can of coconut milk. It was lovely & my carnivore husband thought so too!

    Have topped up on fruit & bread today in M*rrisons. I can usually expect some good reductions on fruit and veg in M*rrisons but not today!

    I am now hoping for some NSDs until perhaps Saturday or even Sunday, whenever I can stretch it out until until I do my next shop.
    Last edited by MissOrganised1972; 11-01-2012 at 5:16 PM.
    2017 GC O-93.46/160; S-136.26/160; A-130.55/160; J-47.12/160;
    J-106.63/190; M-70.29/160; A-197.88/180; M-219.35/180; F-294.14/160; J-168.67/160
    2016 GC 2322.39/2285; GC-2012-2015 - 9789.91/7773!
    for 2 adults & 2 kids (13 & 11) for all food,toiletries,cleaners etc

    • looie
    • By looie 11th Jan 12, 5:19 PM
    • 701 Posts
    • 5,749 Thanks
    Popped in to a's after work tonight as I really fancied poached eggs on toast for tea. Spent 2 on bread and eggs - sig updated
    • FlacosFloozie
    • By FlacosFloozie 11th Jan 12, 5:31 PM
    • 588 Posts
    • 2,538 Thanks
    Spent another 46.11 in Mr T this week but did include printer ink. Brings Jan total to 130.86/250 so far. Its a lot less than I would have spent in the past so I'm happy although I know there's room for improvement still.
    Save 12K in 2018 1518.23/7500 20 % Emergency Fund 6533.21/6750 96%
    Mortgage 159,995 154,480 Overpaid 0 in 2018 Holiday Fund 125

    Debt Fr
    ee 31.07.14

    • mumofjusttwo
    • By mumofjusttwo 11th Jan 12, 5:36 PM
    • 2,602 Posts
    • 40,789 Thanks
    Spent 30 in Mr M yesterday. I am sure the pack lunches are more expensive than their school dinners as they have quite a lot of fruit. Think I will look at Mr A next week
    January Grocery 11/374
  • LondonDreamer
    1.15 spent today on a massive bloomer loaf. The Mr T on the way home from work (not my local, which is out of the way) never seems to have whoopsied bread and I needed it for dinner tonight. All of the loaves were around the same price so just picked the biggest one I could find.

    Running low on fresh stuff, but going to try and get to the weekend using up what we have. Might even dig out a tin of peaches for the lunchboxes tomorrow. The tinned pineapple I sent in DH's at the end of last week went down a treat.
    • mumsiemum
    • By mumsiemum 11th Jan 12, 5:56 PM
    • 241 Posts
    • 2,608 Thanks
    10.12 spent in Mr Ts - Sig updated
    Pay all your debts by Xmas 2013 #008
    Finally debt free!!!!!
    • linz4383
    • By linz4383 11th Jan 12, 6:01 PM
    • 287 Posts
    • 4,276 Thanks
    Managed to accumulated 40 in Sains's vouchers, just sent of for another 20 and should soon have enough points from a site to get another 10 so although I do not usually shop there I can get some nice shopping with the 70 I have, now if I can find loads of offers it will go even further
    Originally posted by Meadows

    can i ask wot site u use to collect points and get sainsburys vouchers from please thanks
    House deposit 0/10000
    Loan 6,065.43- 5803.30
    credit card 3,932.25 - 4233.40
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 11th Jan 12, 6:08 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    Tonight's dinner was SC Pork, mustard, honey and apple (GF and can be DF)

    Brown a pack of pork loin chops. I put some seseme oil in the wok and chucked the pork a few at a time in there, they don't take long at all in there. Whip them out and chop into pieces and bung in the SC. Then chop and bung a large onion in the wok and once done chuck it in the SC. This can all be done in a pan with normal oil but I thought I would try this for a change. Next add 2tblsp mustard seed, 2 tablsp or so of honey, 300ml apple juice. You can core, peel and quarter some apples to bung in as well or when you put the rice on you could caramilise the apples. Just before serving stir in 300ml of creme fraiche or serve a dollop on the side of plate. If you are DF then omit this stage. I served this with rice in which I had added peas and sweetcorn.

    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
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