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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 124
    • kerri_dfw
    • By kerri_dfw 20th Jan 12, 12:34 PM
    • 4,556 Posts
    • 29,115 Thanks
    After mothership suggested it yesterday I've setup a challenge for the 2nd/3rd purse system. If you'd like to join it's here
    Diary: Getting back on track for 2013 and beyond
    DEBT FREE 13-10-13
    Beautiful daughter born 11.1.14
    Mortgage: 399,435.91 377218.83
    Deposit loan from Dad: 900010000
    • MissOrganised1972
    • By MissOrganised1972 20th Jan 12, 1:00 PM
    • 174 Posts
    • 3,644 Thanks
    Hi all. Been MIA for a few days, just with the general 'hecticness' of family life!. Will catch up on thread this evening.

    I have just been to Aldi to buy a few things. Spent 9.89 on parsnips & Grana Padano (for the parsnip muffins), a bag of chicken breasts, apple juice, tissues, craisins & potatoes. Will nip to Tesco on way to collect kids from school JUST to buy apples & bananas (approx 1.50) & that will be it! I am so pleased that I will be at budget plus about 1.50! Thrilled

    New budget starts on Wednesday. Kids are school dinners on Tuesday & Wednesday & so just have to be inventive on Monday for the packed lunches as have no sandwich fillers in except jam! Hence the parsnip & Parmesan muffins! May have to change Monday's meal plan as well as had planned on salad and haven't got any lettuce/ leaves. I WILL not be entering a SM again before Wednesday!

    Just checked spend diary too & have managed 14 NSDs! This is first month of keeping shopping diary & so have nothing to compare that with. Am pretty chuffed with that start but I CAN improve on that!
    Last edited by MissOrganised1972; 20-01-2012 at 1:09 PM. Reason: Adding NSDs!
    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

    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 20th Jan 12, 1:25 PM
    • 3,058 Posts
    • 28,180 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Any idea how I stop the crust braking my teeth? I have tried adding some milk powder and wrapping in a tea towl out the oven but still very very very crusty!!! I am tempted to give up and buy bread machine but is not cost effective for us as not massive bread eaters.
    Originally posted by aberdeensaver
    Queen D*lia does a soft bap recipe where the top is brushed with milk and flour immediately before baking. She also cautions against cooling on a solid surface to stop the crust from softening - so you could try doing this to soften it a little (probably the same as the tea-towel).

    You said you are not great bread consumers - my basic recipe contains an ounce of unsalted butter (helps it keep soft a bit longer) and Nigella suggests using potato water for the same reason.

    BTW I don't use a breadmaker (got a range) but now I use the dough hook on a mixer to do most of the kneading (I just do a couple of minutes after the mixer has done 10 to make me feel I have contributed) and I think this is probably what helped with my housebrick tendencies (probably not doing it long enough by hand) - that and white flour, I think. As I say, I'm not very experienced at bread-making. Good luck and keep trying
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 78.13% 31,251.65 including July
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 46.03% spent so far, mid July
    My DFD is here
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 20th Jan 12, 1:32 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    well i decided to wait til monday to buy spuds so there fresher longer, i did get 3.50 worth of fruit in the market and 6 litres of milk for 2.70 to see us threw the weekend, have updated my sig
    DFW 7632/28996 26.3%
    • Need2bthrifty
    • By Need2bthrifty 20th Jan 12, 1:41 PM
    • 1,147 Posts
    • 9,744 Thanks
    Hi everyone, another spend to record. Went to @ldi, Lid! and MrT, picked up some chicken, pork belly, fresh fruit & veg along with a couple of tins/jars for the store cupboard. So a combined spend of 13.67 leaving me 17.47 for the rest of the month.

    But as I intend to stay away from the shops I'm keeping this money safe as there's a tin of paint for the bathroom that I have my eye on
  • SuziQ1962
    OMG- I have so failed this month-look at sig to see what I mean, but in my defence I have bought loads of veggie sausages,sausage rolls etc on offer at 1 a pack from AS*a to fill my emptied freezer and 24 tins of beans again 1 for 4 from Li*l so have enough probably to last me next month so hopefully will only buy basics-will have to do better in February! I may combine this months total with next months budget and work over the 2 months to see if I can breakeven-wish me luck!
    "Sealed Pot challenge" member No 1099 2011/26.00
    Crazy clothes challenge 2012-Budget 28.90/100
    January 2012 Grocery challenge 378.27/240
    14/16 NSD in January
    2012 Weight loss challenge -5lbs
  • kit77
    I have been lazy over the last week not updating my spend but yesterday my month ended and I have about 4 left over not very much but I am happy as it means we came in under budget.

    Just waiting on Feb challenge to post my spends for feb. Pay day for me so my new month starts today.
    Feb 2012 Grocery Challenge 200/4.00

    Save 12K in 12 months - 12K/250
  • mi jardin
    Another spend for me today 8.01 for a pork log joint, baking powder, stock cubes, mushrooms, OJ, beef & guiness pie, gammon steaks and bananas.
    That leaves me with 28.87 to last until Friday, but my budget is four weeks, and at 100, thats just over a quarter left so on target!
    I got a large joint that will feed us for at least 2 meals, probably sandwiches too, I find thats the most economical way to buy meat.

  • 123budget
    did my last 'main' shop of the month today so I know I will def be under budget this month - I haven't had to buy any meat this month (just some whoopsies when I have seen them) so I know that next month will be a little harder.

    Aldi wasn't too good today - NO big bags potatoes, NO milk, NO bananas and the celery had gone back up to 69p from 39p - was going to buy quite a bit to make soup, wish I had got it last week
    so finished off at Tesco where I was really annoyed to find that the pack of bacon I buy (24 rashers) has gone up from 4.25 to 5.00 What was worse was they had a lovely big red 5 sticker on them as if it was supposed to be a bargain!! I have all the sm within a short distance so think may give Tesc* a miss next week and try Asd* or Mr M instead
    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
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 20th Jan 12, 3:27 PM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    well done on coming in under budget kit77
    hoping my list tommorrow will be light enough to rein my total in a bit
    SPC~12 ot 124

    In a world that has decided that it's going to lose its mind, be more kind my friend, try to Be More Kind
    • Islandmaid
    • By Islandmaid 20th Jan 12, 3:27 PM
    • 3,135 Posts
    • 42,333 Thanks
    NSD today, will probablybuy a few basics tomorrow but don,t need anything more than rolls for lunches and a bit of fresh veg
    Note to self - STOP SPENDING MONEY !!
    • hex2
    • By hex2 20th Jan 12, 3:51 PM
    • 4,722 Posts
    • 80,174 Thanks
    Aberdeensaver, are you using a wet tea towel for the bread - the steam generated in theory softens the crust? I also have the oven on slightly lower for this reason as I hate crusty bread.

    I use the tinned yeast and make it up and let it stand for 15 mins before I make the dough so the extra salt doesn't matter that way. HTH

    10.80 spent on six refill packs of Milicano Coffee from Amazon - a regular offer from them
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • Ninno820
    NSD here - and the end of my month. With another 2 spent on carp yesterday I am just under my budget and have never spent so little on food etc. Congratulations to everyone else who has made it and thankyou to everyone who has helped.

    Next month I want to aim for a budget of 90 (f) with the remaining 10 going to a second purse.
    44 day challenge

    1. Pay 650 off overdraft ( 288/ 650)
    2. Lose 12 lbs (4.5/ 12)
    3. Use YNAB everyday (6/44)
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 20th Jan 12, 4:34 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    Checked my receipt just now though and the tortellini which I got because it was supposed to be half price was charged full price at 3.39! Maybe I picked up the wrong one
    Originally posted by NickJW
    One of my real gripes with many of the sm - they do an offer and nearly every "flavour" etc is incl except 1 or 2 so you end up buying something full price that you'd never have bought if you realised (recently Mr M did fresh soups that were a 1 each except the Minestrone which was 2 for 2.50) - you've got to watch every single little beeping thing.....

    Car in for service today and he has already had two calls - 2 new tyres, new brake pads and something else (might have been disks - probably - been nagging him to book the thing in for nearly 7000 miles) - anyway, looking at 1300 for that I might cry.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Ohhhhhh nooooo (((hugs))) that's a huge amount - have you got any money set aside for car maintenance / emergency fund that could be used towards it? Fingers crossed they take the card.

    Need to have a dig in teh freezer to find something for tea - bit unorganised this week and then going to chill in front of the TV. Will need to pop to Mr A tomorrow (milk, bread etc) but hoping for a low spend!
    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!
    • cw18
    • By cw18 20th Jan 12, 5:19 PM
    • 8,074 Posts
    • 86,059 Thanks
    Today has been a low spend day - nipped out to have a nosey around Mr M at reduction time and came home with a pack of mince and a bottle of vanilla milkshake (from reductions) and a garlic baguette and a tin of kidney beans (full price, but value labels)

    I've also used several more bits from stock over the last few days, signature now brought back up to date
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 20th Jan 12, 5:38 PM
    • 13,822 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    Tropical Pork and Peppers (GF & DF)
    Tonights dinner was an old favourite Tropical Pork and Peppers (GF&DF) This served the five of us plus some for a HM ready meal

    Dice a 600-700gm pack of pork loin chops and put it in a bowl. Put 2 tsps chili powder on (or to taste) and toss it to coat the pork.

    Put 500g of rice on to cook

    Heat some olive oil in a big pan over a medium heat. Add 1 large, finely sliced onion. Fry until soft. Add the pork and cook until it begins to brown.

    Put the juice of a large tin of pinapple chunks in the pan and a tsp of coriander leaves with the pork and simmer for 10mins.

    Add a 500gm pack of frozen peppers and the pineapple chunks to the pan and continue to cook for another 5-10 mins until the pork is cooked.

    Serve with the rice.

    This makes a very cheap meal. The pork was on MrT's 4 for 12 deal. The peppers were MrT's own frozen for 1. The pineapple was MrT value pieces in syrup 567g for 43p. The rice was half a bag of MrT value long grain, so 20p. The rest was store cupboard stuff. I reckon that I got 7 meals for 5.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
  • moneysaver13
    Have updated my signature for January. Pay day today so now on February budget. Had overspend but included my nice new electric toothbrush. I am sticking to 150 again with 10 of this for toiletries. Hoping that this will cover 4weeks as January was only for 3 weeks but did have son at home for two of those weeks, so should be possible. Anyway, really pleased with what I spent and money saved! Thank you everyone.
    GC 2012 April 0/150
    March: 176.71/150
    (payday 22nd) NSD 3/10
    Feb: 138.93/150 NSD:11/10
    Jan: 171.13/150
    Nectar rewards: 18.55, Boots 13.82
    Sealed pot challenge 5 no 1602:
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 20th Jan 12, 5:53 PM
    • 495 Posts
    • 6,305 Thanks
    Gnash! Just beaten to a freezer on ebay as our internet was oddly slow. I blame the DSs. As always.

    Small spend really today, 10.41 for milk, juice, bread and (rabbit) greens, plus 5 for 16 rolls of Nouvelle - at just over 30p a roll that's about the best I can get, and I do prefer it.

    Abereensaver, IKWYM about bread crusts, let me know when you find the answer! btw I was reading recently you don't actually need to knead much at all, so says Dan Lepard, baking guru, got a newspaper supplement by him with some great no=knead recipes, possible library trip to see if useful tips in any books of his there? Ot google dan lepard and look at the recipes on his website, the ones I've done have been really easy. Actually come to think of it, the white/milk bread recipe of his that I do hasn't got a crunchy crust. Can supply recipe if you like, it's really easy but takes a long time to prove. Have just seen your point about bread being like ciabatta, maybe knocking it down more brutally before the second rise will help with that? It's cos the bubbles are so big, could be that or rising the second time too fast, how about rising in a cooler place for a longer period? But most of all WELL DONE on kicking the cigs!!!

    Last edited by carolinerunner; 20-01-2012 at 6:09 PM.
    Erratically money saving
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 20th Jan 12, 6:06 PM
    • 3,984 Posts
    • 52,562 Thanks
    When Mr F goes out I say - no spending today!
    When he gets in - I ask - did you spend any money?
    15 in 2015 1/15
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 20th Jan 12, 6:13 PM
    • 3,984 Posts
    • 52,562 Thanks
    Oh thank you so much, I will try less salt this time see if that helps, I have possibly been a bit liberal with it as OH loves anything salty!

    Any idea how I stop the crust braking my teeth? I have tried adding some milk powder and wrapping in a tea towl out the oven but still very very very crusty!!! I am tempted to give up and buy bread machine but is not cost effective for us as not massive bread eaters.
    Originally posted by aberdeensaver
    There are only two of us but I have a bread maker - just the cheapest one from Ar... I wrap the bread in a tea towel to cool, then slice - freeze all but three slices which go in the fridge. Works for us.
    15 in 2015 1/15
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