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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 109
    • Justamum
    • By Justamum 16th Jan 12, 11:01 AM
    • 4,685 Posts
    • 35,888 Thanks
    Justamum
    Only spent 72.72 this week - 51.72 of that was for food. Mind you there were a couple of things on my list which weren't in stock.

    • linz4383
    • By linz4383 16th Jan 12, 11:02 AM
    • 287 Posts
    • 4,276 Thanks
    linz4383
    just had a free recipe book through the post after registerin my codes on andrex toilet roll (i no its not cheap but i like it lol) quite impressed thought it was gonna b a cheapo recipe book but its quite good rrp on bk of it is 6.99 :O
    mite need to get sum ingredients in with this weeks money to try sum out hopefully will find sum nice ones out

    and they doubling points until the end of feb may b able to get sum other bargains off there :P
    Last edited by linz4383; 16-01-2012 at 12:06 PM.
    House deposit 0/10000
    Loan 6,065.43- 5803.30
    credit card 3,932.25 - 4233.40
  • needtosavE
    I need help!! Done our weekly shopping last night and we now have around 8 left until payday on the 27th. We only normally shop on a sunday so just really the shop on the 22nd to go. The thing is there is a really good deal on heinz tomato soup at morrisons. 4 tins for 1.59!! That is like the best deal ever. If i buy these then I will go over budget as we defo will need bread, milk and some fruit and veg.

    What would you guys do in this situation, would you go over budget in order to buy up a really good offer?? I can afford to buy it but am trying to be strict with my budget to avoid going nuts like i used to do!
    June GC 130.93/150
    Wedding Date Set 13th October 2012
  • mummybearx
    Been sitting here thinking I haven't spent any money for days, but Im a total liar lol!

    Been to the local shop yesterday and bought eggs to bake a banana loaf, and bought 3 packets of crisps and a scratchcard. Was at the shop on Saturday as well, don't even rememeber what I bought, sure I had crisps again though....

    And DH was at MrM's on Thursday, he 'popped in' to get lunch for himself, lovely bread, cold meat etc and spent over 13.

    So will update my sig, adding on another say....... 22? Ach, Ive no idea how much Ive spent. Honestly need to pull myself together, this is how I don't know what I spend on groceries, cos I dont keep track!!
    Can't think of anything smart to put here...
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 16th Jan 12, 11:33 AM
    • 491 Posts
    • 6,305 Thanks
    carolinerunner
    needtosave, if you take it out of next month's budget, that would seem reasonable then you would be cancelling out the 'overspend' straight away... just a thought, I can quite see what you mean!
    Erratically money saving
  • rosieben
    ... What would you guys do in this situation, would you go over budget in order to buy up a really good offer?? I can afford to buy it but am trying to be strict with my budget to avoid going nuts like i used to do!
    Originally posted by needtosavE
    if I could afford it, I'd do it for a good offer on something I know I'd use

    or as caroline says you could reduce next month's budget or spread it over the next 2 or 3 months?
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • needtosavE
    Thanks for the advice, ill take it out of next months budget. That way i wont be cheating! (too much)

    The one thing I want to avoid is putting my budget up as this is a challange for me without being unrealistic. This is a good comprimise :-)
    June GC 130.93/150
    Wedding Date Set 13th October 2012
    • Meadows
    • By Meadows 16th Jan 12, 11:56 AM
    • 4,074 Posts
    • 10,404 Thanks
    Meadows
    have around 8 left until payday on the 27th. The thing is there is a really good deal on heinz tomato soup at morrisons. 4 tins for 1.59!! That is like the best deal ever. If i buy these then I will go over budget as we defo will need bread, milk and some fruit and veg.
    What would you guys do in this situation, would you go over budget in order to buy up a really good offer?? I can afford to buy it but am trying to be strict with my budget to avoid going nuts like i used to do!
    Originally posted by needtosavE

    It is not such a hot deal if you really can not afford it or budgeted for overspends, you could take from next month but then you will always be playing catch up.
    If you can in future months set a small amount on to one side as a back up (can be include as part of the monthly budget) for the times you see offers, that way you stick to the amount you have budgeted for.

    Also you could have a go at making your own bread which is far cheaper than the shops and that way you might always have bread or the ingredients to make bread in the house so you never run out.


    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, don’t add too many or the loaf may not rise well and be too heavy, but I add more than the book says to add).

    Add ingredients to a bowl and mix well, then turn out and knead on a work surface fro about ten minutes. Form into a ball place back into the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel (best kept just for bread) and leave in a warm place to double in size (or overnight in the fridge covered with cling film - large bowl).
    When doubled in size, knock back and then shape or put in a greased and floured loaf tin.

    Leave again to double in size (or fill the tin 1lb tin). Set the oven to 220 then when hot enough put the dough into the oven and reduce the temperature to 200. Cook for 40 (depending on your oven) minutes until browned and when you tap the bottom with your knuckles until it sounds hollow.


    Remove from the tin or tray place on a wire rack and wrap until cold with a tea towel.
    Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
  • Long tall sally
    Umm, very, very close to budget target now & still have until the 26th to go. It feels like a long month this month as OH was paid a bit early last month for xmas & a lot of Christmas food costs have come out of this month's spends. Will still need milk & fruit and will still want coke & crisps!
    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
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 16th Jan 12, 12:18 PM
    • 16,752 Posts
    • 143,503 Thanks
    JackieO
    spent a whole quid this morning on a soya & seedy Burgen loaf.It lasts me a week, so well worth it.normally about 1.40 but Icelands are doing it for a pound.I portion it up into lots of four slice packs and freeze.I only ever eat a couple of slices of bread a day anyway so its not worth my while making my own ,plus only one of my arms works very well at all so kneading would be difficult.
    very pleased with my totals so far this month I am sticking to me 'stay out of shops if possible' mantra for January.Only 15 more days to go
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
    • Meadows
    • By Meadows 16th Jan 12, 12:25 PM
    • 4,074 Posts
    • 10,404 Thanks
    Meadows
    I made a 7 seed bread yesterday using the above recipe and added
    # 2168

    White Poppy seeds
    Black Poppy seeds
    White Sesame Seeds
    Black Sesame Seeds
    Linseeds
    Sunflower Seeds
    Pumpkin Seeds

    Yummy ☺

    Probably cost me about 40p or so, worth doing your own bread as it works out so much cheaper, if you are short on time the first rise can be done over night in the fridge, either add ingredients to the first mix or allow to rise, knock back and then add the nuts, seeds, fruit etc.
    Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
    • Byatt
    • By Byatt 16th Jan 12, 12:32 PM
    • 3,403 Posts
    • 46,835 Thanks
    Byatt
    Originally posted by raphanius

    Thanks so much; I was searching for ages on the forums! They look great and a fantastic way to use up my parsnips.
    • recovering spendaholic
    • By recovering spendaholic 16th Jan 12, 12:47 PM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 15,426 Thanks
    recovering spendaholic
    I apologize if you all know about this book already, but I got amazon vouchers for Christmas and have just bought a meal planning book - BBC Good Food - the family meal planner. It is really good and I would recommend it to (particularly new) all GC'ers - IT has loads of hints and tips about storecupboards, bulk cooking and so on and there are some lovely recipes, with alot of veggie ones too. It gives several 7 days plans and is divided into 6 chapters - Batch cooking and instant dinners, Weekday suppers and leftover ideas, Budget family dinners, Freezer and storecupboard meals, Weekend Feasts and the actual meal planners themselves. I have only made a few of the recipes but they have all been nice (Tuna wedges melt, veggie shephers pie with sweet potato mash, leek and butterbean gratin, Red flannel hash and tortilla and bean salad. It's 9 new on Amazon with free p&p but you can get it in Costco for 4.98 and there are loads of used ones on Amazon for 3 ish.

    Will be using up leftovers for tonight's meal as I made a big roast dinner yesterday and lunch will just be a sandwich. I am not going to the supermarket today as we really do not need anything! You all seem to be doing better than me!!!
    Jane

    ENDIS. Employed, no disposable income or savings!
    • SueP19
    • By SueP19 16th Jan 12, 12:49 PM
    • 1,706 Posts
    • 14,488 Thanks
    SueP19
    (stands up) MY NAME IS MEDUSASMUMMY AND I AM A SPEND/SHOPAHOLIC!! I PLEDGE BEFORE ALL OF YOU LOVELY SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE NOT TO SPEND A SINGLE PENNY (except on petrol) UNTIL AT LEAST FRIDAY(when we'll probably run out of bread)
    Originally posted by medusasmummy
    Love the pledge and noted

    Good Luck
    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]
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 16th Jan 12, 12:50 PM
    • 1,314 Posts
    • 15,703 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    need to save yes like suggested taking it out of next months budget is good, or you could do what some people do, operate a second purse. Basically, you have bought that sfuff with your second purse, when you go to use it, you put the money it would have cost full price back into the purse, basically you are buying it off yourself when you need it, thereby keeping on budget, but also adding to an extra purse, which can build up and in future buy further offers. Im sure someone can explain it better than me.

    Cabbage recipes please ok i have a couple of the very green cabbages to use up, i always buy them cause they are cheap, but don't use. I have got some savoury crumble topping, so i was going to cook with bacon, add a white pepper sauce and top with the crumble. Can you think of anything else, as they are quite cheap to buy at moment
    Last edited by Save Dosh; 16-01-2012 at 12:58 PM. Reason: typos again !!!
    April GC - Food 37.40/80 - Alcohol 14.50/20
    Bulk Funds - Food 0
    - Alcohol 0
    Save 12k in 2019 1,300/5,000 - #155
    • Meadows
    • By Meadows 16th Jan 12, 1:54 PM
    • 4,074 Posts
    • 10,404 Thanks
    Meadows
    Cabbage recipes please ok i have a couple of the very green cabbages to use up, i always buy them cause they are cheap, but don't use. I have got some savoury crumble topping, so i was going to cook with bacon, add a white pepper sauce and top with the crumble. Can you think of anything else, as they are quite cheap to buy at moment
    Originally posted by Save Dosh

    You could blanch chopped cabbage, squeeze out all the water and then freezer either in balls or flat and break up while freezing to use either with a meal or in a recipe later.

    Try Colcannon to use some cabbage.

    675g potatoes, peeled and quartered
    100g curly kale, chopped (or Spring cabbage if kale not available))
    1/2 cup scallions/spring onions, roughly chopped
    1/4 cup scallions/spring onions, finely chopped
    100g butter
    salt and pepper

    Simmer the potatoes in lightly salted water until cooked - when pierced with a sharp knife the potato is soft in the middle.
    Blanch the curly kale in boiling water for one minute. Drain and reserve.
    Chop half of the spring onions roughly and the other half finely. Add the roughly chopped scallions/ spring onions to the drained kale and pulse in a blender for 10 seconds.Drain the potatoes and add the butter. When the butter has melted, mash the potatoes until smooth and creamy. Add the kale mixture and mix.
    Finally, add the finely chopped scallions/spring onions and season to taste.
    Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
    • sproggi
    • By sproggi 16th Jan 12, 1:59 PM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 6,376 Thanks
    sproggi
    Needed to get some milk and bits, was going to try and hold out until tomorrow, but sis wanted me to get her a couple of things from Mr T, so did mine today too.

    Milk,apples, lettuce, body spray (on offer) and bread. So annoyed with myself because I was rushing around and didn't check my receipt, it was only when I had got home and was sorting my purse, that I realised I had been charged for 2 loaves of bread instead of 1 I have added the overcharge into my budget because at the end of the day, the money still came out of my groceries, but that negates half of the saving I made in the body spray So 13.69 added.
    After all that, they didn't have either of the things that my sister wanted anyway

    On the plus side, mum has given me a huge bag of home grown leeks,plus some carrots and a cabbage the size of a football! from the shed shop

    Sproggi
    'We can get over being poor, but it takes longer to get over being ignorant'
    Jane Sequichie Hifler
    Beware of little expenses.A small leak will sink a great ship
    Benjamin Franklin
    • sproggi
    • By sproggi 16th Jan 12, 2:05 PM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 6,376 Thanks
    sproggi
    Stuffed cabbage leaves:

    approx 16 cabbage leaves (depending on size)
    around half a cup of rice that has been very lightly cooked
    2tbsps oil (olive/sunflower)
    1 large chopped onion (or leeks work)
    1lb mince (beef,pork and lamb all work well)
    pinch of herbs
    1 pint stock (I sometimes substitute with tinned tomatoes)
    2 bay leaves
    2 tsps chopped parsley for garnish

    Place cabbage leaves into boiling water and simmer (covered) for 2-3 mins, drain and leave to cool

    Stir fry the onion in the oil until transparent.

    Mix the mince, onion, rice and herbs(not bay) together.

    Lay out cabbage leaves (if they are small overlap 2) put spoonful of filling into each leaf, then fold sides of leaf into middle and roll into small parcels.

    Place the parcels side by side into an ovenproof dish so that they are tight together, if the dish is too large, you can use things like carrots to fill in the gaps.

    Bring stock to boil and pour over the parcels, add bay leaves, cover and cook for approx 1 hour 350F/180C/mark 4.

    I serve them on a bed of rice or cous cous and cover with something like a mushroom or tomato sauce.

    Sproggi
    'We can get over being poor, but it takes longer to get over being ignorant'
    Jane Sequichie Hifler
    Beware of little expenses.A small leak will sink a great ship
    Benjamin Franklin
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 16th Jan 12, 2:13 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    quintwins
    hi all getting a cold (seem to be having a real run of it) so i spent 7.29 in boots, and 2 in poundland as a bribe for the kids, tonights dinner is chicken breasts, mash and sweetcorn with gravy and then i need an early night
    DFW 7632/28996 26.3%
  • Catwoman103
    hi all getting a cold (seem to be having a real run of it) so i spent 7.29 in boots, and 2 in poundland as a bribe for the kids, tonights dinner is chicken breasts, mash and sweetcorn with gravy and then i need an early night
    Originally posted by quintwins
    If you have a Wilkinsons near you I can recommend their own brand max strength cold and flu relief capsules. Less than 1 for 8 doses and they work. Their tissues are cheaper than Boots 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
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