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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 129
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 21st Jan 12, 4:41 PM
    • 2,887 Posts
    • 27,301 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Not GC but the car is back - it was £1270. They waived the credit card fee (2% - do they think they are Ryanair?) and reimbursed us for the fuel that went in the courtesy one they lent us last night when it wasn't finished. It's got its first MOT in four months but of course it gets hammered for mileage. Quite a shock as had allowed £450. Mercifully it went on the 0% cc so I've got 3 months (left) to spread it out over before that runs out.

    Went a bit mad in the SM today but picked up seville oranges for marmalade and many meat items I have managed to squeeze into freezer. Tetris - perfect description. Had to remove things from plastic and re-package in bags to get everything in and will be stewing/jam making with damsons that simply would not fit. Metaphorically expanded 2nd purse to pay for some of those purchases. Looking OK for the target so long as nothing else happens...

    Update on latest bread-making - tried the Dom God's recommendation of using the water the potatoes are boiled in and it really seems to work - stays fresher longer. Small collection of 330ml mineral water bottles containing potato water lurking about the house now... waiting for room in the Fzr (no chance) .

    Well done everyone, I don't know how you do it but it is amazing.
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (£59,998) Q1 £26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 £29,215.99 after May
    Save £12k in 2019 - #68 target is £7k £4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is £3k - 36.16% spent so far, after May
    My DFD is here
  • majjak
    Evening everyone

    I managed to get myself taken off in an ambulance last night - these blinkin palpitations and tachocardia are doing my head in ! No underlying heart problems showed up on an ecg, so off to docs (again) on Monday to see if they can sort it. I have a feeling it's blood pressure related but we shall see. I just hope I can go to bed tonight and not end up feeling like I did last night. (I fall asleep ok and it wakes me up).

    Anyway, I did my last shop of the month today and spent just under £50 so I should come in under budget, with only a few veggies/fruit to buy to keep me going later next week.

    A big welcome to all the new people . Best advice I could give is to keep popping on here every day if you can for inspiration/hints/tips and a friendly ear if you need one .

    Not sure if it was mentioned on here or another thread but Mr S have some Y0un9s salmon fillets (4 pack, frozen) on reduced to clear for £1 . I'm afraid I cleared out my local of the last 8 packets but it might be worth looking in your local store . There was no shelf edge label though, so you might want to get a price check first.

    Hope everyone has a good evening and a lovely rest of weekend xx
    Save £12K challenge 2015 # 173
    • mummyyof5
    • By mummyyof5 21st Jan 12, 4:46 PM
    • 1,839 Posts
    • 39,830 Thanks
    Small spend of £3.29 yesterday..shampoo,carton drinks for LOs lunchbox and bubble bath.
    Today £2.50 on veg from pots for tea and sprouts for Sunday dinner.
    MrTs..reduced parsnips and lemons..cereal,milk,bacon,ham,BOGOF cheesestrings for LO packup,..came to £16.75.
    So another £22.54 to add on ...tomorrow will be a NSD...will be baking a chocolate cake and a lemon cake as teens are moaning at the lack of sweet things lol xx
    Feeding 6 Adults 1 Teen a 8 year old with hollow legs and a very fussy 5 year old. Also 3 cats and 3 fishies
    To include all Food,Toiletries and Petfood.
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 21st Jan 12, 5:03 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    nsd today, used up a few bits from the freezer, will have no more spends now until monday
    DFW £7632/£28996 26.3%
    • SueP19
    • By SueP19 21st Jan 12, 5:13 PM
    • 1,706 Posts
    • 14,488 Thanks
    Just had another small spend at the C00p of £4.23 but it was the things that I couldn't get yesterday, apart from the woopsied G@l@xy

    Totally off topic but knew you guys would understand my bear is in a piccie in a national mag with Charlie Bear creator Charlotte Morris and soooooooooo thrilled, sorry just had to tell someone xxxxx
    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]
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 21st Jan 12, 5:16 PM
    • 491 Posts
    • 6,304 Thanks
    Just done the shop for next week's food at Mr A, used up the £2 gift card they gave me last time for mucking up the prices on the receipt, succumbed to a set of clip lid tupperw*re type boxes for £4 but otherwise pretty much stuck to the list.

    Decided as DH is away having fun that we will have a takeaway curry tonight, which means no washing up, hurrah!

    Trying to resist a Co-*p 10% off voucher tempting me to a blender at about £16 (cheapest elsewhere £20, down from about £35) which would be nice as DH moans when I use the magimix cos he hates washing it up... do I need it? NO! Thanks, that's sorted then ...
    Erratically money saving
  • destroyerofdebt2011
    OK step aside on the naughty step ive over spent Jans budget by £2.97 but on the fabulous note i have managed to actually keep my freezer stock levels up, my waist line shrinking by eating healthy and waisting less.. Thanks to the godsend that is WHOOPSIES especially now my local sm is having a major upgrade!

    This month i have worked out that i have got £54.21 worth of food for my £27.97 the guy on the checkout last night was speechless as the prepped veg, lamb chop, salad stuff, pies, bread and other stuff kept coming mostly at 9p a go i still had change from a £5 .

    Get paid Thursday so should be no more trips to the supermarket, in fact i know there wont be because i refuse to put any on the credit card. I think this is the lowest ive ever spent for a month to feed myself and also the healthiest its amazing what you can achieve sometimes when you have too! (thankfully the budget can increase to normal levels next month)

    HSBC £3223.20 £2060.00
    Cap1 £1724.91 £1782.00
    OD £939.78 £200.00
    No 49 of £2012 in 2012.. £645.10 so far & Crazy Clothes £14.09/£100.00 ReducingtheToiletryStash2012 UU12/IN 20 March Grocery 0.00/£65.00 & LbsNot£s Lost 14Lbs
    • kezlou
    • By kezlou 21st Jan 12, 5:44 PM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 43,067 Thanks
    Hi everyone,

    Well i ended up spending more money than i planned, but i have now got a sack of onions, potatoes, rice which will do us a fair while. Also bought 24 tins of catfood, 4kilo's of cat biscuit and huge bag of cat litter. So hopefully should last us till february.
    The store cupboard is pretty much empty though, so will need to stock up soon. Only got one tin of tomatoes which is completely unheard of.

    Anyway we had this yesterday, the boys loved it especially the prawns. I served it alongside leftover cous cous, tarka dhal, potato bhaji's and riata.

    Goan Prawn Curry

    1 tsp cayanne pepper (i used chilli)
    1 tbsp paprika
    1/4 tsp ground tumeric
    2 tbsp ground coriander
    1 tbsp lemon juice (or 1 tsp of amchur powder)
    1tsp ground cumin
    3/4 tsp salt
    100ml water
    3 tbsp oil (i used veg)
    1/2 tsp mustard seeds (i used cumin seeds)
    1 large onion sliced
    3 garlic cloves chopped
    400ml coconut milk
    450g cooked prawns


    place cayanne, paprika,turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt, lemon juice in a bowl stir and mix the 100ml water into it to form a kind of watery paste.Leave to rest .

    Place oil in a pan, when heated place cumin seeds in. When the seeds start to pop add the onions and garlic, stir till golden brown.
    Add the previously made curry paste , bring to simmer and cover over a med-low high for about 10 minutes.
    After 10 mins add the coconut milk and prawns and simmer over a medium-high heat for about 10 minutes.

    Serve immediately.

    I normally make this with 200g seafood mix and just before serving add a couple of hard boiled eggs to it.

    Its more like a soup as it has a lot of sauce with it.
    We've had it with cooked chicken or veg added to it and tastes quite nice.

    Hope you all like it.
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 21st Jan 12, 5:53 PM
    • 4,323 Posts
    • 29,755 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...went to lidl today and got a few of there special offers....£20 spent but seemed to get a lot

    we have had roast chicken today and am going to make the remainder into a pie tomorrow...havent got any money for groceries until friday but i think i might need a few bits from aldi on monday but i will see how i go

    i want to do a chinese meal on chinese new year so will need to sort that out
    have a great weekend tess
    onwards and upwards
    • kerri_dfw
    • By kerri_dfw 21st Jan 12, 6:05 PM
    • 4,556 Posts
    • 29,115 Thanks
    Another £10 as we've got guessed coming over so needed nibbles and cake ingredients. Plus 64p for a tin of beans from the stockpile.
    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: £9000£10000
    • Fiasco55
    • By Fiasco55 21st Jan 12, 6:16 PM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 15,364 Thanks
    I got some yellow stickered food at M & $ today.
    Veg pack 50p
    Gammon and pairsley joint 50p
    Herb pots 50p
    2 ready meals for the freezer/backshifts this week 80p each
    Lean mince £1

    Just had the roast, pots and veg with some chipolates left over from New Year and it was very tasty. My dinner guest was delighted.

    Total spend £4.10.

    I think that I will be over budget this month as I still haven't bought my flavoured water.
    No buying toiletries Graduated May 2017

    Decluttered 2016 2469 items, 2017 1580 items
    2018 3060 items

    Sealed Pot Challenge No 038
    • LisaJane
    • By LisaJane 21st Jan 12, 6:20 PM
    • 354 Posts
    • 2,800 Thanks
    i spent about £2.32 last night on crisps, a whoopsied pie and a big bag of whoopsied baking potatoes...took a mad notion tonight for smoked salmon which is so badly not mse!! must stop this as fridge/freezer is jam packed with stuff for dinners!! getting dinner tomorrow night in mum's. can't wait to start feb with a more realistic target!
    Save 12k in 2014 (my target: £10 000):
    My savings: £4878.54/£7000
    Joint account savings: £2685.57/£3000
    Total:£7564.11/£10 000 (as at 26/10/14)
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 21st Jan 12, 6:26 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    Ariel Gel is on offer in Waitflower at the moment for £5 for the big pack (£4.79 for the small one!!).
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Darn it! Not got one anywhere near.

    Does anyone know if Mr A still price match? The used to at our store if you had a flyer but never advertised the fact that they did & I usually had to get the manager to come over as the poor checkout person had no idea how to put it through the till.

    I managed to get myself taken off in an ambulance last night - these blinkin palpitations and tachocardia are doing my head in ! No underlying heart problems showed up on an ecg, so off to docs (again) on Monday to see if they can sort it. I have a feeling it's blood pressure related but we shall see. I just hope I can go to bed tonight and not end up feeling like I did last night. (I fall asleep ok and it wakes me up).
    Originally posted by majjak
    Oh my majjak, that must be so scarey hope you're OK and the Dr comes up with something to help. Wishing you a undisturbed sleep tonight.
    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!
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 21st Jan 12, 6:28 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    £6.07 in Morrisons yesterday on potatoes (reduced), carrots, cherry tomatoes, tiger rolls (reduced), risotto rice, crisps and some southern fried potato slices which appealed to me as they look like chunky crisps.
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
    • FlacosFloozie
    • By FlacosFloozie 21st Jan 12, 6:39 PM
    • 588 Posts
    • 2,538 Thanks
    Few spends in Mr T this week have raised the total to £184.30. Still a week to go. Mr FF is doing very well buying the cheaper brands but when shopping on his own the biscuits do creep back in... still it was a stressful week and I have to admit I was glad of my chocolate fix
    Save 12K in 2018 £1518.23/7500 20 % Emergency Fund £6533.21/6750 96%
    Mortgage £159,995 £154,480 Overpaid £0 in 2018 Holiday Fund £125

    Debt Fr
    ee 31.07.14

    • looie
    • By looie 21st Jan 12, 6:45 PM
    • 700 Posts
    • 5,740 Thanks
    So far so good this month just added £17.96 to sig from today's shopping.

    I bought another Kenco coffee whilst they are still on offer at t's and shape greek yohgurts are 3 for 2 so bought some of those aswell plus all the usual bits like milk, bread and pack up stuff
  • redkids1972
    Im just popping in to update total £228.91 which is coming close to my budget I am going to be over as I planning on spending £35 in Morsions with a voucher to morrow which will see me right till the end of this week and end of my jan challenge, I need bread/milk/cat food and a few other essentials. Im starting next months challenge next Sunday with a shop at m and s with the last of the mocs. Finding it tough to come in on budget prices deffo on the rise. Next month is just 4 weeks so hopefully will come in slightly under to balance the books. I have spent £18 on takeaway food this month also when out and about with work, im gunna include this in the budget as discouragement to doing it regular I need to make sure its pack lunches all the way. see u all next week with the total and good luck to all on the challenge
    New to comping 11/2/2013

    Feb wins to date: 0lympic messenger bag, £100
    • ms_night_ryder
    • By ms_night_ryder 21st Jan 12, 6:56 PM
    • 3,001 Posts
    • 11,582 Thanks
    £1.49 for a box of peppermint tea
    Lose 28lb 3/28lb
    SPC Member 1522/2012-£264/ new pot 2013
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 21st Jan 12, 7:05 PM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,661 Thanks
    NSD today and hopefully tomorrow as im not planning on going out .

    have taken part in the no waste challenge and it really helps to focus the mind , making meals out of stuff you would have thrown away or freezing stuff before it goes off .

    got some LO chicken for tomorrows lunch with mash , parsnips and peas , could do some yorkshires if it needs bulking out
    • p-pincher
    • By p-pincher 21st Jan 12, 7:38 PM
    • 725 Posts
    • 3,631 Thanks
    HI everyone

    Another NSD today, only got £4 odd to last til Wednesday night so im being extra careful. Hopefully will just need bread and milk but you never know. Decided to take up the 2nd purse challenge, to be honest I had to read through it a couple of times to make sure ive got it but im not 100 per cent so we shall see, ive earmarked £20 a month (starting february officially) and i made a start and bought 6 sachets of blue dragon sweet and sour sauce thats the kids love as it the perfect size for the 2 of them, normally 60p-70p each but they were on offer for 3 for a £1.

    Cant believe ive has three NSD in a row, not going anywhere tomorrow either so it will be 4. Usually fridays and saturdays are my worst days for buying bits and bobs that we dont need. I braved M & s and sainburys today but kept on talking myself out of things cos we didnt actually need anything. All of todays and tomorrows dinners, lunch and breakfast were from the freezer or storecupboard so im a very happy bunny x
    March 2014 Grocery challenge £250.00
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