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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 89
  • katie j
    Newbie
    Thanks for your replies! This will be just the incentive we need to keep on track.

    Okay then - for Helen - £300 per month please.

    We had upped the supermarket shop to £320 in our budget as we now have a second child (all those nappies and wipes again) and have inherited a rabbit but I feel this is a bit much having read all the posts so we have decided to stick to £300, very sensible
    Last edited by katie j; 11-01-2012 at 9:57 PM.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 11th Jan 12, 10:14 PM
    • 3,300 Posts
    • 29,339 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Well, OUCH. I went and bought my cheap seeds and bits for muesli and granola and bread making and it came to 25 quid, which feels extremely painful. I bought some pecans and some chopped dates. Anyone got any ideas?
    Originally posted by bupster
    I make a (fatless) Tea Bread with dates and pecans
    To the basic 1 pound of mixed fruit I add a sprinkle of pine kernels, a small handful of pecans (chopped) and a few (6-8) dates or apricots (chopped a bit) then add a mug of hot black tea and leave until the fruit plumps up (at least an hour but overnight is fine too. Then add 2 mugs of flour filled to the same point as the tea is a good guide (I do 1 wholemeal and 1 white but anything works) and up to a mug of sugar - I use about 2/3 mug of soft brown or it is too sweet for my taste with dates as well. I also add a pinch of table salt but this is optional.
    Mix it all together with a wooden spoon and one beaten egg (add a dash of water if it is stiff - it should dollop off the spoon, if you know what I mean. Pop the mixture in a greased or lined loaf tin (I use the Lakel**d liners - don't even have to wash the tin if feeling slutty!- it will be rather full but won't rise much unless you've used self-raising flour. Bake in a moderate oven (350F or 190C) for an hour then cool and store. Stays moist for ages and gets better for keeping a few days. I love it with a smear of butter but I know this for a totally unnecessary indulgence but I still do it. Fab with a cup of tea!
    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
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 11th Jan 12, 10:22 PM
    • 3,300 Posts
    • 29,339 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    £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
    Sent you a PM that might help
    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
    • ModestyB
    • By ModestyB 11th Jan 12, 10:39 PM
    • 1,573 Posts
    • 15,283 Thanks
    ModestyB
    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!
    Originally posted by Florenceem
    SNAP! That's exactly what happened with me. One of the best bits was scraping the bowl! Anyone else remember doing this?
    Spent £13.67 at Mr M's today and £2.00 at chippies. . I blame DH for that (of course).

    Big hugs to all who need one.
    Be Well.
    S.P.C. 9 2016 No. 062 Banked £337.50
    My Gold Stars off Sue.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 11th Jan 12, 10:49 PM
    • 3,300 Posts
    • 29,339 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    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.
    Originally posted by Long tall sally
    When my TDS was at first school they spoke to us about his behaviour; sudden bursts of aggression and lashing out. I asked his form teacher what she had given him. After a moment's reflection she remembered the coloured sweets she rewarded him with, not long before the violence. I asked why she had elected to give him something we had already told the School he was alergic to; effectively poisoning him and making him feel totally sh**ty. Naturally, having asked for the information from us, they had treated it as confidential and not even told the poor woman. We agreed on chocolate buttons for any future rewards...

    Sad but true
    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
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 11th Jan 12, 11:01 PM
    • 504 Posts
    • 6,309 Thanks
    carolinerunner
    Why do my posts keep beiing rejected, something about a token having expired?
    Anyway, a whole £3.20 to report, including 29p for whoopsied parsnips, now in soup with cumin and lentils, yum!
    Erratically money saving
    • piggeh
    • By piggeh 12th Jan 12, 3:24 AM
    • 1,679 Posts
    • 1,300 Thanks
    piggeh
    Why do my posts keep beiing rejected, something about a token having expired?
    Anyway, a whole £3.20 to report, including 29p for whoopsied parsnips, now in soup with cumin and lentils, yum!
    Originally posted by carolinerunner
    are you using a USB dongle or mobile internet or similar? Sounds like a network connection problem

    soup sounds nice.
    matched betting: £879.63
    • janiepopps
    • By janiepopps 12th Jan 12, 5:47 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 1,335 Thanks
    janiepopps
    ...One of the best bits was scraping the bowl! Anyone else remember doing this?
    Originally posted by ModestyB
    Whaddayamean...? I still do
    Jan '12 GC; £74.66/£100
    £2 saver club member #107
    • SueP19
    • By SueP19 12th Jan 12, 6:06 AM
    • 1,706 Posts
    • 14,488 Thanks
    SueP19
    Whaddayamean...? I still do
    Originally posted by janiepopps
    DD and I fight for it, she's 20 and I'm 44
    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]
  • bupster
    Suffolk lass, that sounds gorgeous - I used to love tea bread. Nom nom nom.
    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
  • aberdeensaver
    Morning All,

    Had to pop to Mr T's last night for milk and cheese, came out £3.92 but that is pretty much the last shop of this week. Still got £132.93 £83.61 left of budget and a freezer full of odds and ends. Fingers crossed we will make it through to the 27th January in one piece!

    Made a pasta bake last night with the last of the LO turkey, gammon and some broccoli but didnt get to eat it as MIL in hospital so mad rush up to see her and by the time we got home we just couldnt face eating. So packed it up into my lunch box and will have it today instead.

    Wishing you all a good day, whilst i hope to have my 6th NSD of the year. Aiming for 200 NSD for the year!
    Last edited by aberdeensaver; 12-01-2012 at 7:03 AM. Reason: Just checked and had totally missed a big shop off my spending!
    Jan GC £242.38/£250
    Feb GC £147.57 /£240
    2012 Clothes Challenge £97.50/£500
    Repay £5K in 2012 £254.17/£5000
    2012 NSD 14/200 (Jan 14)
    • Meadows
    • By Meadows 12th Jan 12, 7:16 AM
    • 4,073 Posts
    • 10,404 Thanks
    Meadows
    I bought some pecans and some chopped dates. Anyone got any ideas?
    Originally posted by bupster
    How about using the fruit & nuts in a loaf.

    Basic Bread - 500g Loaf
    306g of warm water (can be fairly warm but to hot and it will kill the yeast)
    500g Strong White Bread Flour
    10g salt
    6g Dried Yeast
    (For a fruit loaf add sultans or raisins, nuts or any other dried fruit,
    donít add too many or the loaf may not rise well and be too heavy).

    Date and Pecan Brownies
    Date, Pecan & Ginger Cookies
    Sweet Date & Pecan Tart
    Date & (or) Pecan Muffins
    Date & Pecan Flap Jacks
    Sweet Mincemeat

    Date Pecan Balls
    2 cups of raw pecans
    1 and 1/2 cups of dates
    Spring or filtered water
    Soak pecans and dates for 1-2 hours in water.
    Drain well, blend together in a processor / blender until it turns into a coarse paste.
    Use your hands to form paste into bite-size balls.
    (keep for up to three days in the fridge).
    Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
  • Brassic Park
    £84.46 on a Mr T delivery this morn, arrived 1 min after the start of the delivery slot and no substitutions, really impressed.

    I've taken the £9.79 for OH's razor blades off my total though- I don't mind including normal toiletries, but these distort the total so much. I know that's probably just cheating myself but it makes me feel better
    Future hopes, dreams & emergencies fund: £4,000
    No. Internet. Shopping.
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 12th Jan 12, 8:48 AM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    NickJW
    Small spend of £1 in Mr S getting some noodles to report today. I'm having Prawns, Pak Choi, Spring Onions and noodles in a hoisin and oyster sauce tonight - a kind of Vietnamese 'soup'.

    Blo*dy bagels from the freezer (the last ones!) again for lunch....

    And yet again I forgot HANDWASH! I've been using shower gel as handwash in the bathroom for the last couple days since I've ran out!
    Last edited by NickJW; 12-01-2012 at 9:39 AM.
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 £46.05/£130

    Grocery Challenge 13 -spent £1453.06
    Grocery Challenge 12 -spent £1565.51

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • kit77
    Well didn't have the 3 NSD i wanted as needed to get things. Tuesday I got some things in FF at £4.10 then today needed bread £0.66.

    I have discovered that Lidils is the cheapest for hovis bread and we have one next to our FF. FF do the 3 hovis loaves for £2.00 but we weren't using all that bread and I don't have enough space in the freezer to freeze it. OH popped into lidil the other week and noticed they sold Hovis for £0.66 so now I nip in there to get it.

    Still got just over £100 to do till the 20th. will need to do a biggish shop tomorrow but still hoping to have some £ left at the end of the month.

    Off to check the freezer to see what I food I have left.
    Feb 2012 Grocery Challenge £200/£4.00

    Save 12K in 12 months - £12K/£250
  • lemmings1986
    morning guys hope every1 is well and hugs to those that need them
    just got home from work and stopped at mr t's on the way,had to get bread as i needed it for packup and am too tired to make any so bought bread and 2x t cornish pasties the frozen ones in a red box they are normally £1.00 but label said price cut 50p not sure if its store specific or all but thought id mention it,oh loves them so thought i would treat him so total spent £2.03 need to add to signature.
    and oh spent £1.20 i think last night on 2x bottles of coke so need to add that aswell.
    sorry cant remember who posted but am definatly going to try making scotch eggs sounds yummy.
    i think tea tonight will ever be egg on toast or soup-have about 30 tins i got for free so need to start using them up.
    my mams makes a lovely pastabake and uses a tin of chicken soup as the sauce i have mushroom,chicken and tomato a few of each so would save me buying, making a sauce.
    sounds daft but has any1 got any other ideas what i can use them for????
    thanks in advance hope evry1 has a good, am off to bed will be back later to see how every getting on
    VSP#17 £2.34
    debt free 26/10/2012
  • Catwoman103
    morning guys hope every1 is well and hugs to those that need them
    just got home from work and stopped at mr t's on the way,had to get bread as i needed it for packup and am too tired to make any so bought bread and 2x t cornish pasties the frozen ones in a red box they are normally £1.00 but label said price cut 50p not sure if its store specific or all but thought id mention it,oh loves them so thought i would treat him so total spent £2.03 need to add to signature.
    and oh spent £1.20 i think last night on 2x bottles of coke so need to add that aswell.
    sorry cant remember who posted but am definatly going to try making scotch eggs sounds yummy.
    i think tea tonight will ever be egg on toast or soup-have about 30 tins i got for free so need to start using them up.
    my mams makes a lovely pastabake and uses a tin of chicken soup as the sauce i have mushroom,chicken and tomato a few of each so would save me buying, making a sauce.
    sounds daft but has any1 got any other ideas what i can use them for????
    thanks in advance hope evry1 has a good, am off to bed will be back later to see how every getting on
    Originally posted by lemmings1986

    I make a quorn & mushroom stroganoff with mushroom soup, you could easily replace the quorn with chicken. Just fry an onion, add the quorn/cooked chicken pieces plus the soup and some mushrooms and let them simmer for while, add freshly ground pepper to flavour. (I normally add some peas too).
    Jan GC £96.95/£120; NSD 26/31
    Feb GC £113.19/£120: NSD 24/29
    Mar GC £54.22/£150 NSD 10/12

    2012 Aim - To clear credit cards in 2012
  • lemmings1986
    I make a quorn & mushroom stroganoff with mushroom soup, you could easily replace the quorn with chicken. Just fry an onion, add the quorn/cooked chicken pieces plus the soup and some mushrooms and let them simmer for while, add freshly ground pepper to flavour. (I normally add some peas too).
    Originally posted by Catwoman103
    hi catwomen mmm that sounds nice ive got lots of chicken in freezer so will have ago thanks
    VSP#17 £2.34
    debt free 26/10/2012
    • greent
    • By greent 12th Jan 12, 9:34 AM
    • 8,189 Posts
    • 83,195 Thanks
    greent
    EEK!! Have totted up latest spends and am £213.30 against my budget of £375!! ONly 1/3 of way through month, too....

    Made a huge turkey curry with the last of the meat stripped from the carcass - managed to include a going-manky butternut squash and a good handful of lentils, so there was loads. It also used up the going-manky mushrooms and a carton of yogurt from the freezer (and half a tub of turkey stock) - not that my freezer's getting any emptier, it would seem...

    Really need to minimise spends for the next week or so to catch up with myself. Off to make a banana and jam steamed sponge for pudding tonight - uses a couple of bananas from teh freezer


    ETA: almost forgot - as well as getting a Kenwood for Xmas (lovely DH) I've now got a brand new MR slow cooker - and it was free! I ahd to order some stuff from St@ples for DH for his business and it was a free gift with orders over £39 Not used it yet, though...
    Last edited by greent; 12-01-2012 at 10:00 AM.
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786 12/18 £54829 2019 OPs (#18) £3757/£5K
    Net sales 2019 £518.64/£500
  • cat_smith
    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.
    Originally posted by kezlou
    Is DS1 being fed cat food?
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
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