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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 111
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 16th Jan 12, 6:35 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    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
    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.
    Originally posted by Meadows
    Wher do you get your seeds from please
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • medsdemon
    • By medsdemon 16th Jan 12, 6:37 PM
    • 751 Posts
    • 6,133 Thanks
    Another NSD today..yay. My budget is looking okay with exactly 2 weeks to go of January I SHOULD make it under budget for the first time ever and in a reallly long month. I think this is due to us not buying or drinking as much alcohol and me not obsessing about having insanely full cupboards and also our joint more sensible shopping including managing to get most of our fruit as whoopsies.
    Will need to buy milk possibly tomorrow or try to eke out to wednesday, and also shampoo/conditioner for my DD as well but I will sit back and bask in the feeling of not spending any money in a supermarket.

    We ended up having lentil bolegnese with fusilli and salad for dinner and have enough left for OH's lunch tomorrow and freeze a dinner for 3 of us for next week. Tomorrow I am at my zumba class straight from work so I will get a pot of Split pea and veg soup on in the SC so everyone can help themselves when they get in. That reminds me I'd better get the split peas in to soak.
    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
    • SpagBol
    • By SpagBol 16th Jan 12, 6:49 PM
    • 1,370 Posts
    • 10,553 Thanks
    Oh no! I'm over 270 already!! This has been such a good exercise in seeing how much we spend on groceries I'm looking on the bright side in that it was my birthday so I included in my spend about 5 bottles of wine and nibbles for friends coming over...we are now detoxing for a LONG time until financially we are straight or maybe valentines day for a bottle of vino I have also included all toilet roll, bleach, washing powder etc so am determined that next month I can do 270!! Even including cleaning stuff!!

    Thank you so much to this thread!!
    DMP started Oct '17: 79,974
    • SpagBol
    • By SpagBol 16th Jan 12, 6:50 PM
    • 1,370 Posts
    • 10,553 Thanks
    Oh, and we have enough lunches and dinners for another week or so...
    DMP started Oct '17: 79,974
    • debbiedeejay
    • By debbiedeejay 16th Jan 12, 6:58 PM
    • 504 Posts
    • 5,182 Thanks
    Another couple of GC spends to declare.

    One tonight at local shop for breadmilk and painkillers - 2.74
    And one from Sat night when I helped out a family members pay for shopping (did have a couple of things of mine but mostly theirs) -18.56. Not sure when I will get the money back for their part so thought take into account in my budget and if and when I get it back- that's a bonus.

    Although that shopping did include use of coupons,2-4-1's,whoospsies etc- when we got back it would have cost over 45 so not bad going.

    Anyway of to update signature now
    Crazy Clothes Challenge 2012 57.20/100,CCC 2013 68.67/100 ,CCC 2014 94.32/100
    *Frugal Living Challenge 2012, 2013, 2014*
    GC 2014 Jan 154.14/180;Feb 103.49/180;Mar 117.63/160
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 16th Jan 12, 7:05 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    A quick question ....
    Meant to ask this earlier but forgot

    So, after another trip to the dentist and yet another clean / filling, I asked my dentist if an electric toothbrush would make a difference (it was a yes).

    Popped to B**ts and got one 1/2 price (and some extra heads which should last out the year) ..... which budget would you take it from?

    I include toiletries in my grocery one, and toothpaste a "normal" toothbrush would usually be taken out of here but ...... not sure if it should come out the "anything else" budget?

    Any thoughts appreciated!
    Grocery Challenge 211/455 (01/01-31/03)
    2016 Sell: 125/250
    1,000 Emergency Fund Challenge #78 3.96 / 1,000
    Vet Fund: 410.93 / 1,000
    Debt free & determined to stay that way!
    • blackandwhitebunny
    • By blackandwhitebunny 16th Jan 12, 7:06 PM
    • 489 Posts
    • 4,139 Thanks
    B&W bunny (I have one of those!), what kind of Dorset Cereal? Not listed on the B&M website... I have a weakness for it...
    Originally posted by carolinerunner
    Its the honey and pecan one, they've had it for a few weeks now.
    I was off to conquer the world but I got distracted by something sparkly

  • mumwithamission
    Was very nearly another NSD for me again, but just thought I'd check our local Mr T and Mr S for whoopsies when I collected DS1 from tennis tonight. Was very pleased to purchase 19.30 worth of food for 8.31! makes up for it not being a NSD. Worried I might get addicted to whoopsie hunting though. DH very impressed.

    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 16th Jan 12, 7:17 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    ... Does everyone have a seperate budget for toiletries? I don't but I'm wondering if 250 for toiletries and Groceries is realistic?

    Getting nervous about Job interview tomorrow ...
    Originally posted by minipenny
    Hi minipenny,

    I include all toiletries in our budget. The first challenge I joined on the site was the 'No Buying Toiletries Until My Stash is Used Up' where new joiners were advised (but didn't have to) to do a stocktake of all the stuff you had in. I'm ashamed to say I had two sides of A4 paper full of the stuff I had in! My friends and family had been ribbing me for a while before that but I was on holiday in Egypt - in denial. That was the spur I needed and stopped buying there and then. Now I only buy stuff when it's run out or got just one use left. You'd be amazed how much I've saved and I even now avoid buying BOGOF and other offers unless they really are very good prices. Oh and the storage space you regain is brilliant too.

    I hope the interview went well and you are celebrating.

    Thanks PennyGrabber and tigerfeet, ys makes total sense now!

    ClaireT look after that wrist, sounds painful.

    Bunbun2, I'm looking forward to you joining us for february. Glad you're enjoying the thread already.

    Thanks rosieben for adding the Milk Jelly to the recipe list.

    NeedtosavE, my spreadsheet already has each month set up in it. I have allocated out the monthly spend and have that as a total for the year. What I've done with my (shame faced ) loo roll stock up is allocated 6.99 the cost of a pack to each month to come. So for instance if I look at June now I have already spent 6.99 of that budget. By having the annual total in the chart that allows me a little flexibility to do stock ups when there is really good deal on. And there will be months where the whole budget won't be spent and that's when the stock ups get covered.

    I'm sure I've missed someone else I was going to reply to but getting heavy nagging from OH to have my supper so better be off. Oh, War Horse was brilliant by the way.

    See you tomorrow evening,
    Mortgage Free October 2013
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 16th Jan 12, 7:30 PM
    • 3,310 Posts
    • 29,414 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Meadows & Sproggi I never thought about freezing when u just CBA, and my mind is now ticking over with the stuffed cabbage, thanks very much.

    Ixia it doesn't matter if you don't come in on budget, you haven't lost, at least you bothered to try.

    Oh yes and also had a white cabbage, half of one has been made into weightwatchers friendly coleslaw, which was surprisingly quick to make and works out at about 2 points for a large container, using lighter than light mayonnaise
    Originally posted by Save Dosh
    I make coleslaw with pizza express light salad dressing instead of any mayonnaise and add one or two very finely chopped little red bast**d chillis for a bit of a zing
    Last edited by Suffolk lass; 16-01-2012 at 7:30 PM. Reason: typo - battery on wireless keyboard is failing
    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 16th Jan 12, 7:37 PM
    • 3,310 Posts
    • 29,414 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    I need to ask a question, do I include my second purse spend in this months grocery or do I start to include it when I use it?
    I bought 24 loo rolls for 6.99 today but I don't know which budget this goes towards. I'm assuming I deduct the 6.99 from the 2nd purse fund, then add 0.42 to my grocery spend everytime I use a loo roll? Is this correct?
    Originally posted by kerri_dfw
    Yes and the original guide is from Mothership in one of the really useful guide posts at the beginning - #6 - well worth reading for a truly inspirational set up.
    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
    • kersplatt
    • By kersplatt 16th Jan 12, 7:43 PM
    • 81 Posts
    • 1,133 Thanks
    Another NSD here. Cereal for breakfast, tomato soup and wholemeal bread for lunch followed by an apple and then a homemade HFW vegetable pasty with beans for dinner - hurrah managed to get 3 of my 5 a day in lol!

    So much to use up in my freezer though I daren't go to the shops. I need to get on and do some batch cooking as well but I fear I won't have adequate freezer space currently if I do. I am gradually filling my cupboards back up with a plethora of plastic tubs though!!!
    Separated 17/06/10, now dealing with the fallout

    House sold and debt cleared 23rd May 2014. Now saving to get married!
    Current savings 0
    • Millie321
    • By Millie321 16th Jan 12, 8:09 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 43 Thanks
    Hi all, i'm new here but just getting the hang of buying value products and drastically reducing my spend. Seeing your budgets i'm envious and hope to reduce mine all the more.

    We're a family of 6 and at a guess i'd say last year we were spending approx. 600 month on all groceries - inclu. cleaning products, catfood, nappies etc.

    I've successfully stuck to 100 per week for the first two weeks of this year. so please put me down with a monthly budget of 400.

    Looking forward to tips from the rest of you!

    Millie x
    mortgage 100,000
    • JIL
    • By JIL 16th Jan 12, 8:13 PM
    • 4,994 Posts
    • 25,172 Thanks
    Egg and lentil curry
    I thought I would share one of my favourite recipes with you all.
    Play about with the spices until you find your favourite blend.

    Add spinach, or peas for a bit of variety.

    this serves at least 4

    4 hard boiled eggs, peeled
    a tablespoon ish of oil.
    A mug full of red lentils.
    A chopped onion.
    A couple of chopped garlic cloves or a tsp of granules.
    1tsp chilli powder
    1tsp ground cumin
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1 tsp tumeric
    1 tsp ground ginger or fresh finely grated.
    a vege stock cube.
    1 tsp garam masala (optional)
    2 mugs of water (at least)

    Fry the onion very lightly for about 5 to 10 mins in the oil, the idea is to keep it white (you could use ghee)
    Add the garlic for a minute
    Add all the spices and fry gently for a minute or so.
    Add the lentils stir to combine then add the water and stock cube.
    Simmer gently for about 20 mins adding more water if required.
    When it looks like porridge, you are about there. At this point if I have coconut milk I add it and melt it in.
    Its up to you you can half the eggs and pour over them or put the eggs in the sauce for the last five mins of cooking (the turmeric and spices will flavour and colour the whites a little.

    Serve over rice or with chappatis or nann bread. mango chutney etc.

    If you have left over dahl, it firms up and makes a lovely sandwich filling.
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 16th Jan 12, 8:31 PM
    • 3,412 Posts
    • 34,917 Thanks
    54p on tea at work this morning. I have decided from next month that any spends on tea and carp at work can come out of my personal spends, it might encourage me to get up 15 mins earlier to have a second cup of tea and maybe a bite of breakfast.

    DH had a lovely curry for tea tonight using a jar of sauce with a top section of spices from Ald1. It was chicken so I couldn't have any but it smelt devine and DH said it was fantastic. He even saved half of it for lunch! I had odds and sods from the freezer.

    Thanks to the poster who listed the Costco offers. I am planning to go get 2 big boxes of nappies as DS is ready to move up to a size 5. Also going to send DH to Mr T for swim nappies as we are planning to take DS swimming on a regular basis and they are half price. These will be coming out of next month's budget (starts Friday), I am justgetting organised.

    DH and I have agreed to try and eat the contents of the freezer this month I have 2 There is quite a bit in there and we could do with keeping our food spends as low as possible, especially since yesterday we bought a new bed which needs to be paid for at the end of March and DH discovered that my car tax is due next month I really want to buy 12 months not 6 months this time.

    Jacket potato night tomorrow as I am at college until 8 and pasta bake and garlic bread Wednesday using a jar form Ald1

    I have spent 24.14 out of the 25 I allocated to my 2nd purse. Tonight I used some half price beans I bought so need to charge the GC 64p for them. I don't carry a lot of change as I stick it in my sealed pot so am trying to do this virtually by putting the money in an on line account. Not sure if this will work as well as real cash in a purse. Think I will read Mothership's instructions again.
    October Grocery Challenge - 277.74/220
    • EverTheOptimist
    • By EverTheOptimist 16th Jan 12, 8:39 PM
    • 2,679 Posts
    • 15,754 Thanks
    Evening all

    Havent posted for a while but have been TRYING to stick to my budget, which was going well until this evening.

    I went to Mr S with a shopping list, this comprised of ingredients for 3 meals, but would make approx 15 portions. so i could freeze some meals. I also looked online before i went so i knew what i would be spending. However a few extra bits made their way into my trolley.

    It was all stuff we use and on offer so have meals and snacks to get us through to the end of the month, although still need to get essentials and budget is currently at approx 149 /150.

    I know i didnt have the best start to the month so am planning on Feb being a better month.

    On the upside had a lovely Chicken and sweet potato hotpot this evening and couldn't even tell that i used almost all basics range items.

    Hope everyone is well.

    SPC 12 #005 Target 200 /
  • mummybearx
    Spent 16.66 in MrA's this afternoon. Picked up 2 packs of tuna for 5. Not bought that for months for DH, he was over the moon when I made him a batch of tuna pasta tonight

    Also made myself a batch of veg pasta, chopped onions peppers tomato cucumber with sweetcorn, mixed with cooled pasta, mayo and seasoning. Was delicious! Got 3 portions, that's lunch sorted for the next few days x
    Can't think of anything smart to put here...
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 16th Jan 12, 8:50 PM
    • 1,329 Posts
    • 15,828 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    Meant to ask this earlier but forgot

    So, after another trip to the dentist and yet another clean / filling, I asked my dentist if an electric toothbrush would make a difference (it was a yes).

    Popped to B**ts and got one 1/2 price (and some extra heads which should last out the year) ..... which budget would you take it from?

    I include toiletries in my grocery one, and toothpaste a "normal" toothbrush would usually be taken out of here but ...... not sure if it should come out the "anything else" budget?

    Any thoughts appreciated!
    Originally posted by rising from the ashes
    I buy all toiletries, cleaning stuff, toothpaste, toothbrush out of grocery budget, but something like an electric one, would come out of a general budget, but thats just my way, hth

    Sproggi thanks for the cabbage link - my cabbage pie was so nice, i will post recipe 2moz
    August GC - Food 55.56/80 Alcohol 17.24/20
    Bulk Funds - Food 19.73
    Save 12k in 2019 1,300/5,000 - #155
    • Kylieminoag
    • By Kylieminoag 16th Jan 12, 8:53 PM
    • 159 Posts
    • 2,649 Thanks
    Feeling proud!
    An NSD for me today - thats four this year....

    only just managed to keep driving past Mr T though! I must stop going out when I'm hungry!!

    DH is getting the hang of it too now.... he decided he would have left over onion gravy with a dash of tabasco as soup for his lunch! he even suggested turning the left over cabbage, kidneybean, tomato, cheese and rice dish we had for tea into a frittata for tea tomorrow. Will give it a go.... another NSD tomorrow I hope

    Keep up the good work everyone! Even if you go over budget a bit at least you've tried and helped others by sharing your experience. |You will also have learned a little more about yourself that will help next month.... dont give up !!
    DFWNerd 1417
    MFW by 2018 Jan 2012 186,000 Sept 2015 50,000
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 16th Jan 12, 9:08 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    Rising, I wouldn't include it in my grocery spends, as it's not something that will run out, IYSWIM. I might include the replacement bits, but I wouldn't count the actual toothbrush itself. I see my budget as a consumables thing, and you won't need to replace the toothbrush, just the heads.

    Not the NSD I planned for today. Thought I needed icing sugar, as we were decorating my first ever hm gingerbread house! Turns out I had enough, but you can never be too sure with icing sugar, I find! Had a swing by the whoopsie section, and a young lad was re-reducing everything. There was LOADS of meat there, and other bits and bobs. Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I spent another 10 and some pennies. Grrr! I didn't need any of that except the icing sugar, and I've got no space in my freezer to put it! Really cross with myself, as I'm now a touch too close to my limit for comfort. I must stay out of the shops! In my defense, I'm really sad today, as one of my very best friends in the whole wide world is moving to the other side of the whole wide world to live, and today was the last time we saw her in person. She and her children came round. and the six of us set off a sky lantern together (something we did a few new years' ago) with a lovely message on it. Sob sob!! Still, there's always skype, and now I have to save up for a holiday to Oz!!

    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
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