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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 87
  • 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...
    Originally posted by BohemianCoast

    Hope I didnt cause offence - completely with you as to how the young peole dont practise the skill until they need to. I have a fifteen year old pupil who produces amazing yorkshire puddings but whose favourite meal is fish finger and hapy faces potatoe with spaghetti hoops - some times I have to admit defeat!!
    44 day challenge


    1. Pay 650 off overdraft ( 288/ 650)
    2. Lose 12 lbs (4.5/ 12)
    3. Use YNAB everyday (6/44)
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 11th Jan 12, 6:12 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    angelatgraceland
    NSD for me today. I had a very productive day cooking up the contents of the fridge. I had a packet of puff pastry which I turned into a pizza with half a tin of tomato putee, some sliced green peeper, chopped onion, tin of baked beans and a bit of cheese. I also made bread and butter pudding from the gluten free bread from App Foods which I didnt like as bread! I used up some out of date goats milk in it and out of date eggs and my eldest dd(26)who is a fussy eater said it was the best she has ever had! Oh I had mine with "out of date" cream(naturally)but I find double cream is always good even a week out of date!
    I then made my scotch eggs with the pork sausagemeat I bought a couple of days ago(so it was out of date but I rely on smell for meat).
    Recipe for this to follow! They were the best scotch eggs ever even if I do say so myself-I even toasted my own breadcrumbs! (from my out of date bread)
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is 1500 pa 125 calendar month 28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • Fiasco55
    • By Fiasco55 11th Jan 12, 6:18 PM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 15,364 Thanks
    Fiasco55
    Another NSD for me today - that now makes 5 for January . Lunch was a very boring ham sandwich and dinner tonight was fish and chips with loads of beetroot.

    I need to use up some eggs tomorrow so I think lunch will be egg mayo baguette.
    No buying toiletries Graduated May 2017

    Decluttered 2016 2469 items, 2017 1580 items
    2018 3060 items

    Sealed Pot Challenge No 038
    • raphanius
    • By raphanius 11th Jan 12, 6:20 PM
    • 1,269 Posts
    • 6,634 Thanks
    raphanius
    my first NSD of the year
    Wins: 2008: 606.10 2009: 806.24 2010: 713.47 2011: 328.32

    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 11th Jan 12, 6:25 PM
    • 3,310 Posts
    • 29,414 Thanks
    Suffolk lass


    It's a spreadsheet developed by Cheryl (CW18) on which you can record your monthly outgoings / spends on things like groceries / toiletries etc and very kindly shared with those of us (ie me!) who aren't able to produce anything nearly as sophisticated!

    Available here http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.php?p=39711066&postcount=360
    Originally posted by rising from the ashes
    This place is awesome and the spreadsheet makes my basic tracker appear somewhat feeble and pathetic by comparison! It still lets me total my spend and filters on the columns let me see how many times I buy things in a month so I know what my bulk buy totals should look like. Thanks for taking the trouble to upload the link - much appreciated. Makes me realise what a naive money saver I am at this stage... Oh well, it can only get better
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 8,766.30 after Sep
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target 3k - 57.28% spent after Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 108.23% 43,292.24 including Sep - reducing now to avoid fees
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q2 30,085 or 50.14% paid
    My DFD is here
  • SuzieY
    Another weekly shop on Monday. It only came to 17.49 including two saver stamps as i used a 5 Morrisons voucher that that i got from the Daily Mail for collecting weekly codes .
    Last edited by SuzieY; 11-01-2012 at 7:44 PM.
    Grocery Challenge
    Jan 129.83/130 - Feb 130.51/130
    - March 138.26/130 - April 150.16/130
    - May 196.78/130 - June 127.74/130 - July 133.51/130 - Aug 132.21/130- Sept - 78.89/130 - Oct 165.44/130 - Nov - 65.30/130
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 11th Jan 12, 6:32 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    angelatgraceland
    Scotch eggs

    Ingredients.
    6 eggs
    700g Waitrose essentials pork sausagemeat(outdoor piggies)
    1 egg for brushing
    4 slices of bread for crumbs
    1 litre veg oil for frying(this can then be strained and used again)

    A deep pan
    A slotted spoon
    some kitchen roll
    A big dish/basin for rolling eggs in breadcrumbs
    A cereal bowl

    Method

    Put eggs on to boil.
    In a foodprocessor crumb 4 slices of bread
    Put crumbs on a shallow tray in oven on gas 6 approx for a few mins until dry and slightly browned
    Divide the pack of pork into two pieces, then each piece, divide into 3 pieces-6 pieces total.

    Flatten each portion of pork into a burger shape
    Beat up an egg in a cereal dish
    Check your crumbs and when they are done, whizz them up in the food processor again.
    Transfer crumbs to the large dish/basin

    Now for the eggs
    Hardboil the eggs and allow to go cold-put them in cold water after they are cooked to speed things up.
    When cold, peel off the shels in a pan of cold water.
    Dry the eggs
    When the eggs are cold put the oil(or half a panfull)on to heat up very hot
    Roll each egg carefully in the burger shped pork in the palms of your hands until it resembles a tennis ball and is covered evenly.
    Dip it in the beaten egg(Only use a little egg-don't have it dripping-just enough to coat it.) then roll it in the breadcrumbs pressing the crumbs gently onto the sausagemeat.
    Set this aside until all of them are done.
    KEEP YOU EYES ON THE FAT BOILING
    Test the fat to see if its hot enough-I just dipped the slotted spoon in it and felt the oil on the spoon to see if it felt hot but I am used to doing this. You could drop a tiny blob of egg into the oil to see if it fries or sinks. You need it hot enough to fry!
    When you are happy that the fat is hot gently lower the eggs into it using the slotted spoon(so it doesnt splash)one at a time. I got 4 eggs in my first batch.
    When it is sizzling turn it down a bit-the oil should never bubble up more than 3/4 of the height of the pan!!!
    Keep turning the eggs avery minute or so and keep cooking them until they look the right colour(a bit darker than shop ones)
    Take the eggs out with the slotted spoon and drain on kitchen roll. Put in the rest of the eggs as you did before.
    Allow to cool(if you can resist)then they are ready.

    I hope I have written this in easy terms for novices-that is my intention!
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is 1500 pa 125 calendar month 28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 11th Jan 12, 6:36 PM
    • 3,310 Posts
    • 29,414 Thanks
    Suffolk lass


    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
    Hi Janiepopps, Haven't read 83-87 so not sure who else has replied but a few years ago I was given a copy of a British Heart Foundation Healthy Eating Guide and at that time there was a PDF version on-line. I just did a quick check and there is a portion plate available now, together with suggestion proportions between fruit and veg, protein, fats, carbs etc. You will need to increase to reflect OH physical job but for a woman it's excellent. I seem to recall 2 portions of protein a day was recommended for a woman with a portion being the equivalent to a pack of playing cards and veg being 2 tablespoons (or broccoli florets) to a portion. HTH
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 8,766.30 after Sep
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target 3k - 57.28% spent after Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 108.23% 43,292.24 including Sep - reducing now to avoid fees
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q2 30,085 or 50.14% paid
    My DFD is here
    • hex2
    • By hex2 11th Jan 12, 6:39 PM
    • 4,722 Posts
    • 80,174 Thanks
    hex2
    Ninno820 - sometimes it takes a long time to have an impact! A good 15 years in my case but going on maternity leave at 30 (after years of M&S ready meals) I remembered my home economics lessons and knew that things like sausage casserole, bread, soup and pizza were manageable in 80 minutes including writing out the method. From there I taught myself, and now am ok but that initial confidence to try went back to lessons at school. My mum is a good cook, but as the middle one of five chidren, limited funds and a small kitchen I never really got the chance to play. Both my sons love cooking, help me and very much look forward to cooking lessons at junior school.

    Some RTC steak from the co-op stashed away in the freezer, along with a huge pork shoulder joint on half price offer. I have ten to feed for Sunday lunch so this will be perfect slow roasted.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • bupster
    Am very proud of self. Went into Sainsbobs on the way home, had a look round for whoopsies, with a 2 voucher off a 20 shop burning a hole in my purse and about to run out tomorrow. Left the supermarket without buying anything! Now about to make a giant pasta bake from stuff in the fridge and freezer, in a very smug and self-satisfied manner
    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
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 11th Jan 12, 6:56 PM
    • 3,310 Posts
    • 29,414 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Thanks for the tips on second purse.. off to read now.. and I was planning on cleaning my house.. tsssss. oh well..

    lol!
    Originally posted by Beccatje
    More to life than housework, as I tell my lightbulb-polishing friend
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 8,766.30 after Sep
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target 3k - 57.28% spent after Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 108.23% 43,292.24 including Sep - reducing now to avoid fees
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q2 30,085 or 50.14% paid
    My DFD is here
  • 123budget
    Came in from sons parent eve at college to find switch on kettle totally broken - back out again to sainsbobs to buy a cheap kettle.....
    couldn't resist the bakery bargains 6 teacakes 24p (got 3 packs - still loads left on shelf!), med sliced white bread 38p (got 3) and ttd vivalid potatoes 2kg for 25p (they are a little soft but ok for soups or I might boil, mash and freezer for fishcakes later on) Have added the whoopsies to signature but am not including the kettle.
    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
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 11th Jan 12, 7:07 PM
    • 3,996 Posts
    • 52,590 Thanks
    Florenceem
    I cooked Scotch Eggs in the oven years ago when feeding my six hungry children. Then as each child left to go to university - I filled their bedroom with foreign students!
    15 in 2015 1/15
    • Living proof
    • By Living proof 11th Jan 12, 7:08 PM
    • 1,622 Posts
    • 10,577 Thanks
    Living proof
    The 21 year old Student Prince is back from uni for a week or so. The freezer is showing gaps already and I am struggling to meal plan, as he eats twice as much as I do and drinks milk by the pint. I would really struggle with a food budget if he were at home and I really admire any of you mums and dads out there who have two or three adolescent - twenty-something boys to feed. I hate to think what the boy would eat if he got up early and actually did anything!

    Somebody mentioned a good deal for bananas - I had to buy 8 this morning as they go very quickly just at the moment and they were 2 at the Nisa. I had to laugh at the fluorescent yellow sticker shouting 1! at me, as though there is some merit in that. Then I noticed Lidl's leaflet - all these items for under 2!!! Fancy. I think we have lost the plot as consumers.

    I look forward to everything getting back to normal towards the end of the month. I have a really busy time at work so we have to eat everything which has been cooked and frozen, with just a few fresh veg steamed to get our 5-a-day. But tomorrow I am doing the other half of the Christmas turkey breast in the slow cooker as I just can't keep up with the boy's appetite.

    I hope you are all managing to keep going and within budget. I saw on the BBC website yesterday how some Greek mothers are abandoning their young children to the clergy, etc. as they simply can't afford to keep them. This isn't drug abuse or alcohol - it is simply the atrocious economic situation Greece finds itself in, so it rather puts our own woes into perspective doesn't it?
    Solar Suntellite 250 x16 4kW Afore 3600TL dual 2KW E 2KW W no shade, DN15 March 14
    Mortgage and Debt Free. Unfortunately Pension Free too!
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 11th Jan 12, 7:11 PM
    • 3,996 Posts
    • 52,590 Thanks
    Florenceem
    Ninno820 - sometimes it takes a long time to have an impact! A good 15 years in my case but going on maternity leave at 30 (after years of M&S ready meals) I remembered my home economics lessons and knew that things like sausage casserole, bread, soup and pizza were manageable in 80 minutes including writing out the method. From there I taught myself, and now am ok but that initial confidence to try went back to lessons at school. My mum is a good cook, but as the middle one of five chidren, limited funds and a small kitchen I never really got the chance to play. Both my sons love cooking, help me and very much look forward to cooking lessons at junior school.

    Some RTC steak from the co-op stashed away in the freezer, along with a huge pork shoulder joint on half price offer. I have ten to feed for Sunday lunch so this will be perfect slow roasted.
    Originally posted by hex2
    I had cookery lessons at school - in my day - it was called domestic science. I didn't cook at home except for - the odd batch of fairy cakes - out of the Viota mix in a packet - oldies will remember them - you got green/red glace bits to put on your cakes. So I when I married at eighteen - had to learn quick!
    15 in 2015 1/15
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 11th Jan 12, 7:14 PM
    • 3,996 Posts
    • 52,590 Thanks
    Florenceem
    The 21 year old Student Prince is back from uni for a week or so. The freezer is showing gaps already and I am struggling to meal plan, as he eats twice as much as I do and drinks milk by the pint. I would really struggle with a food budget if he were at home and I really admire any of you mums and dads out there who have two or three adolescent - twenty-something boys to feed. I hate to think what the boy would eat if he got up early and actually did anything!

    Somebody mentioned a good deal for bananas - I had to buy 8 this morning as they go very quickly just at the moment and they were 2 at the Nisa. I had to laugh at the fluorescent yellow sticker shouting 1! at me, as though there is some merit in that. Then I noticed Lidl's leaflet - all these items for under 2!!! Fancy. I think we have lost the plot as consumers.

    I look forward to everything getting back to normal towards the end of the month. I have a really busy time at work so we have to eat everything which has been cooked and frozen, with just a few fresh veg steamed to get our 5-a-day. But tomorrow I am doing the other half of the Christmas turkey breast in the slow cooker as I just can't keep up with the boy's appetite.

    I hope you are all managing to keep going and within budget. I saw on the BBC website yesterday how some Greek mothers are abandoning their young children to the clergy, etc. as they simply can't afford to keep them. This isn't drug abuse or alcohol - it is simply the atrocious economic situation Greece finds itself in, so it rather puts our own woes into perspective doesn't it?
    Originally posted by Living proof
    One of my 3 Sons would look in the fridge - find all the leftovers - eg - bit of cooked cabbage/bowl of baked beans/odd yorkshire pudding - stick it all on a plate and heat it in the microwave - some of the concoctions were weird to say the least!
    15 in 2015 1/15
  • majjak
    I've been whoopsie shopping Couldn't resist

    Hit lucky again in Waitrose, did have to 'loiter' a bit but was chatting to the lovely lady making the reductions. No one else about so she was happy for me to take it - she said it would only get thrown away otherwise !

    Total cost before reductions - 84.04 ........ I paid 12.46 .

    Also got some reduced milk in sainsbobs - 69p down from 1.55.

    Have no room in the freezer now so I can't go shopping for another few days at least .

    Will update sig shortly.
    Save 12K challenge 2015 # 173
    0.00/10,000
    • Meadows
    • By Meadows 11th Jan 12, 7:23 PM
    • 4,073 Posts
    • 10,404 Thanks
    Meadows
    can i ask wot site u use to collect points and get sainsburys vouchers from please thanks
    Originally posted by linz4383
    One site I use is Maximiles (had quite a bit from them in the last year) you can shop via them and also view the videos (3 times each) for extra points.
    Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
  • Long tall sally
    NSD today but yesterday spent a bit in Sainsbobs & Home Bargains.

    On the subject of school cookery lessons, I wasn't pleased recently when I provided all of the ingredients on a provided list for chocolate truffles which for my son meant gluten free cereal only to be then told by the cookery teacher (at the school that I work at) that she had added oats to them! My son had even told her that he couldn't eat oats. The whole lot ended up going in the bin because he couldn't eat them & nobody else liked them, presumably because of the g/f cereal that was in them.
    Grocery aim 450pm.Spent 519 August, 584 July, 544 June, 541 May, 549 April, 517 March, 517 Feb,555 Jan, 573 Dec, 465Nov, 561Oct, 493Sept, 426Aug,496 Jul, 528Jun, 506May,498April, 558 March, 500Feb, 500 Jan, 490 Dec, 555 Nov,566 Oct, 505Sept, 450Aug, 410 July, 437 June, 491 May, 471 April, 440 March, 552Feb, 462Jan
    • linz4383
    • By linz4383 11th Jan 12, 7:40 PM
    • 287 Posts
    • 4,276 Thanks
    linz4383
    One site I use is Maximiles (had quite a bit from them in the last year) you can shop via them and also view the videos (3 times each) for extra points.
    Originally posted by Meadows
    thanks ill ave a look at that one

    another NSD for me although the meal plan isnt goin too well lol as im still eatin leftovers from previous days least im not wastin ne food
    House deposit 0/10000
    Loan 6,065.43- 5803.30
    credit card 3,932.25 - 4233.40
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