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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 131
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 22nd Jan 12, 12:04 AM
    • 3,984 Posts
    • 52,562 Thanks
    Florenceem
    Saturday.
    Another NSD here.
    15 in 2015 1/15
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 22nd Jan 12, 7:18 AM
    • 4,320 Posts
    • 29,747 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...up early today...not quite sure why but might do a cupboard inventory to use the time effectively....i currently have the upper hand with the freezer as it has gone down a lot...i want to do a biggish shop in costco in feb half term so i will have some where to put it all
    hm chicken pie today and ikea chrisymas ham tomorrow...might make some wedges with that

    take care tess
    onwards and upwards
    • SueP19
    • By SueP19 22nd Jan 12, 7:20 AM
    • 1,706 Posts
    • 14,488 Thanks
    SueP19
    I'm just back from Mr T with a stark reminder of why I never shop there anymore . Got my flavoured water - 4 bottles. There was an "offer" on buy 2 bottles for £1.80 or 99p each. The offer didn't go through and only noticed when checking my receipt on the way back to the car. I headed straight back in to cs to be told that it was closed and to go to a till.

    Get to the till and the assistant starts sounding off about her having to do the work of cs. She is annoyed that she has to get up and go and look at the SEL. She returns and scans through a refund for 36p. I then point out DTD to which I am told this does not exist. I argue that it is and it is current policy under "our promise". She then calls another assistant over who says that the DTD promotion finished last year. Again I state this is not to be confused with the huge DTD promotion last year this is just the wrongly charged policy. I hit a wall and ask to speak to a manager. Both assistants say that he won't help me as there is no such promotion.

    So I am now over at the CS desk again and after a wait the manager turns up. Denies the DTD policy exists - I point it out on the wall. He then says he can't access the tills. I highlight the amount again and he pulls a pound coin out of his pocket and says just take it from me as its just such a small amount . Talk about belittling the issue for me!

    I refused and stated that this is policy I am only claiming what I am entitled to as stated on the CS wall. I want this to go through the till and to train all staff that this is what should happen. He then oddly enough can access this till and refunds DTD. I was left feeling belittled and an inconvenient, time waster. I spent the drive home in a total rant to my long suffering friend (who witnessed all of this).
    Anyway total spend £5.38 in cash, total cost to my blood pressure ???
    Originally posted by Fiasco55
    That's terrible, what a twerp
    I would have thrown his pound at him
    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]
  • cheekychipmunk
    Morning. Had a NSD on Friday, but did a big shop yesterday at W******e. Not too bad. Have all my meals planned and will just need to top up on milk and bread. Think I will probably overspend a bit this month, but not too disheartened as I had a week off with flu and dh went mad buying ready meals! Need to make sure I have more of a back up in freezer for future months!
    January 2012 GC £296.96/£300
    • aprilshower
    • By aprilshower 22nd Jan 12, 7:38 AM
    • 486 Posts
    • 2,958 Thanks
    aprilshower
    Hi Everybody,

    I am still keeping my spreadsheet going and have spent £89.05 up to now this month. This is really good for me as I used to spend that in one week. I know the freezer was full from christmas and that has helped but I have also found the coupon thread and that has really really helped.

    I would complain to Tesco head office about the problem. I had a problem before christmas with the customer services and I sent an email. Last week I received a gift card for £10 as a gesture of goodwill.

    Take care

    Aprilshower
    .
    • franby64
    • By franby64 22nd Jan 12, 7:44 AM
    • 894 Posts
    • 10,920 Thanks
    franby64
    DD1 did some baking while I was out yesterday and nipped out to get some eggs.
    How did I never get round to telling her to always go to the C*op (10 for £1.90) instead of T*sco (10 for £2.89)!? How could I have slipped up like this?! Need to hammer home the 'shop around' message.

    Total is now £270.20/£380 with only one 'big' shop next Weds to go plus a few bits. Might even come in under...
    Starting weight on 22/6 14st 00lbs. Weight on 15/2 10st 11lbs. Lost 3st 3lbs.Target 9st 12lbs. 13lbs left.
  • Brassic Park
    Added £1.99 for some chocolate.

    It was mine and OH's anniversary yest and we went out for dinner and drinks.. £100! It was lovely though, and not in the GC. We even asked for a doggy bag and will have the rest for lunch today.

    Only have £75 for everything now till payday on 31st though, so things will be a bit tight but think we can do it.
    Future hopes, dreams & emergencies fund: £4,000
    No. Internet. Shopping.
  • cheekychipmunk
    I'm just back from Mr T with a stark reminder of why I never shop there anymore . Got my flavoured water - 4 bottles. There was an "offer" on buy 2 bottles for £1.80 or 99p each. The offer didn't go through and only noticed when checking my receipt on the way back to the car. I headed straight back in to cs to be told that it was closed and to go to a till.

    Get to the till and the assistant starts sounding off about her having to do the work of cs. She is annoyed that she has to get up and go and look at the SEL. She returns and scans through a refund for 36p. I then point out DTD to which I am told this does not exist. I argue that it is and it is current policy under "our promise". She then calls another assistant over who says that the DTD promotion finished last year. Again I state this is not to be confused with the huge DTD promotion last year this is just the wrongly charged policy. I hit a wall and ask to speak to a manager. Both assistants say that he won't help me as there is no such promotion.

    So I am now over at the CS desk again and after a wait the manager turns up. Denies the DTD policy exists - I point it out on the wall. He then says he can't access the tills. I highlight the amount again and he pulls a pound coin out of his pocket and says just take it from me as its just such a small amount . Talk about belittling the issue for me!

    I refused and stated that this is policy I am only claiming what I am entitled to as stated on the CS wall. I want this to go through the till and to train all staff that this is what should happen. He then oddly enough can access this till and refunds DTD. I was left feeling belittled and an inconvenient, time waster. I spent the drive home in a total rant to my long suffering friend (who witnessed all of this).
    Anyway total spend £5.38 in cash, total cost to my blood pressure ???
    Originally posted by Fiasco55
    This is why I refuse to go in T's - the CS desk staff are damned rude, as are head office. I had a problem a couple of years ago, where I made the fatal mistake of parking in their car park and quickly visiting another local shop before doing my food shop in their store. The reason they knew I had not been in the shop, is that my car door was not shut properly (but still locked) so they put a message out on tannoy. When I returned to car, I had a ticket on the window saying please visit CS desk. I went up and it was explained to me what had happened and they had put a tannoy message out for the car reg. When no-one responded to the message, they assumed I was not using the store. At this point, I was still thinking the best and thought they were trying to help out a customer, but alas no. I showed the CS assistant my receipt from 10 minutes previously, but she just shook her head and said I was not allowed to visit any other store in the complex whilst using their car park. I was gobsmacked. I politely pointed out that the signs in the car park state that it is for Tesco customers only (of which I would have included myself) and does not clearly state that users of the car park should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SET FOOT IN ANY OTHER SHOP. They refused to budge from their petty stance and when I wrote to the manager at the store to complain, I received no response.

    And they wonder why customers are going elsewhere?
    January 2012 GC £296.96/£300
    • Cool Nanna
    • By Cool Nanna 22nd Jan 12, 8:24 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 911 Thanks
    Cool Nanna
    This GC business is getting addictive. Take away last night but that was classed as a night out so not out of the food budget but there is lots of rice left over so I have put it in the freezer.
    Usually on Saturdays I get a couple of slices of nice ham from the butchers for a sandwich on Sunday, that costs around £2 but in Mr M's bacon joints were on offer so I got quite a large piece for just over £3 and put it in the slow cooker. We are having that tonight with oven chips, egg and mushrooms and there will be loads left over for DH lunch box.
    There are some of the cakes and biscuits that I made yesterday for my Children and Grandchildren left over so he can take those as well.
  • wannabee_in_credit
    I don't think I'll make my target this month.
    I'm at £224.29 already and there's still another weekend before Feb (which is when I do my grocery shopping). However, I bulk bought a load of loo roll and granola so should now have plenty of both to last me way into March/April time.
    Am certainly a lot more aware of what I'm buying and how much I'm throwing away, and I'm really pleased that I've managed to get the grocery bills down from £80 a week. Hopefully next month I'll get my £50 a week target.
    Hoping to be debt free in 2015
  • The Green Man
    Hi - can I join this challenge please.

    Reading this thread is inspiration for me to reduce my grocery spend.


    Just me to cover, so can I put £80 per month which runs from 6th to 5th. This will include any toiletries I buy at the supermarket such as toothpaste, personal hygiene, etc., but not alcohol as I have a separate budget for that.

    Iím a returner to forum after a year or so away. I do budget but not nearly as strict as I need to be.

    Thanks, B.
  • lifebeginsagain
    Sorry I'm late, can I join please?
    Hi folks,

    I too have been away for a while but this year am getting back on track in order to get some good savings behind me and also pay for a family holiday abroad.

    I am doing a couple of other challenges but I also really need to reduce my grocery bill (this includes cleaning and toiletries). I estimate that I probably spend £450 - £500 a month at the moment on 2 adults and 2 children (5 & 8yrs).

    I would like to reduce this to £400 a month or even less if possible. My month runs 24th - 24th so Jan budget will run from 24th Jan to 24th Feb.
    Last edited by lifebeginsagain; 22-01-2012 at 10:05 AM.
    Finally Debt Free - April 2009
    2012 Challenge £2012 +/ £2012 - Did it
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 22nd Jan 12, 10:51 AM
    • 13,812 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    SC Sausage and Bacon Casserole ( GF & DF)
    Lasts night dinner was a big success. It also makes a pack of sausage stretch further.

    I browned a pack of sausages in a pan ( I used Tesco own Free From). Whipped them out of the pan and put 250gm of chopped bacon in the pan, stirring occasionally ( I used MrT value cooking bacon at 99p for 500gm). Chopped the sausages into quarters and bunged them in the slow cooker. Bunged the bacon in the SC. Browned off a large chopped onion in the pan, with a couple of cloves of chopped garlic and popped it into the SC. Then I added 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (MrT value 38p) and a tin of kidney beans ( MrT value 48p). Half pint of veg stock ( I use Bisto Best or HM stock) and 2 tblsp of mixed herbs.

    This was done at midday and put on low and we ate at six o'clock. I served this with baked potatoes from my big sack (£7 for the sack) but
    have also done crusty bread with it or new potatoes and some extra veg.

    So depending on the cost of your sausages this can come in at under £5.

    PLEASE REMEMBER TO CHECK ALL LABELS AS WHAT IS GF OR DF AT THE MOMENT CAN CHANGE IN THE FUTURE.



    It served us five plus a portion for the freezer.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    I now live in a country that is 4 hours ahead of the UK so you may now find I post at weird times
    [/COLOR][/CENTER]
  • On an Avon Mission
    Anyone got any good ideas to share for weekend treats? Will share what we just had as our Sunday morning treat. Not very healthy but yummy!
    Pack of A*di sausages cooked in oven and split...95p
    Half pack of A*di cheese slices 35p
    Pack of A*ldi new toasting muffins 47p
    Bit of ketchup 10p ish
    = Just like a Mc D's breakfast for under £2 for 4 people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very bad for you but a lovely treat. I do quite enjoy "cloning" takeaway food. Does anyone else?
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 22nd Jan 12, 11:20 AM
    • 2,870 Posts
    • 27,207 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    I'm just back from Mr T with a stark reminder of why I never shop there anymore . Got my flavoured water - 4 bottles. There was an "offer" on buy 2 bottles for £1.80 or 99p each. The offer didn't go through and only noticed when checking my receipt on the way back to the car. I headed straight back in to cs to be told that it was closed and to go to a till.

    Get to the till and the assistant starts sounding off about her having to do the work of cs. She is annoyed that she has to get up and go and look at the SEL. She returns and scans through a refund for 36p. I then point out DTD to which I am told this does not exist. I argue that it is and it is current policy under "our promise". She then calls another assistant over who says that the DTD promotion finished last year. Again I state this is not to be confused with the huge DTD promotion last year this is just the wrongly charged policy. I hit a wall and ask to speak to a manager. Both assistants say that he won't help me as there is no such promotion.

    So I am now over at the CS desk again and after a wait the manager turns up. Denies the DTD policy exists - I point it out on the wall. He then says he can't access the tills. I highlight the amount again and he pulls a pound coin out of his pocket and says just take it from me as its just such a small amount . Talk about belittling the issue for me!

    I refused and stated that this is policy I am only claiming what I am entitled to as stated on the CS wall. I want this to go through the till and to train all staff that this is what should happen. He then oddly enough can access this till and refunds DTD. I was left feeling belittled and an inconvenient, time waster. I spent the drive home in a total rant to my long suffering friend (who witnessed all of this).
    Anyway total spend £5.38 in cash, total cost to my blood pressure ???
    Originally posted by Fiasco55
    The Mr T's Head Office should hear about this - it has nothing to do with Customer Service. If you want to write to them the address is T Stores Ltd,New T House, Delamare Road, Cheshunt, Herts, EN8 9SL and address it to the Director for Customer Service being specific about the store you used. They will take this feedback very seriously and after a massive share price fall due to reduced sales over Xmas I am sure you will get some form of formal apology. Maybe even some compensation (they used to). What a horrible experience.
    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
    • iwanttogoonholiday
    • By iwanttogoonholiday 22nd Jan 12, 11:24 AM
    • 343 Posts
    • 2,569 Thanks
    iwanttogoonholiday
    ive gone over again if im honest i know alot of it is on junk food - hopefully it will be easier when baby comes - im in limbo at the moment waiting for him to arrive
    Learning to keep within budgets !

  • On an Avon Mission
    T*sco are hilarious. Not long ago their director was being interviewed on tv about their falling profits and was saying he couldn't understand why there price drop campaign wasn't successful. Err try reducing the price of products people actually need! Times are hard. I live across the road from Tescos so have to use it for bread and milk etc but it drives me insane. An item can be a certain price one day and totally different the next and I'm not talking about goods on special offer. It makes deciding what to buy from where very difficult. At least A*di prices tend to be fairly consistant. Sorry rant over! My husband gets very bored with me talking about food shopping!
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 22nd Jan 12, 11:32 AM
    • 2,870 Posts
    • 27,207 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    French Toast
    Anyone got any good ideas to share for weekend treats? Will share what we just had as our Sunday morning treat. Not very healthy but yummy!
    Pack of A*di sausages cooked in oven and split...95p
    Half pack of A*di cheese slices 35p
    Pack of A*ldi new toasting muffins 47p
    Bit of ketchup 10p ish
    = Just like a Mc D's breakfast for under £2 for 4 people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Very bad for you but a lovely treat. I do quite enjoy "cloning" takeaway food. Does anyone else?
    Originally posted by On an Avon Mission
    French toast?
    beaten egg with dash of milk or cream - soak a slice of bread (both sides) and fry in a little butter - about 4-5 minutes per side so it starts to go brown. Serve sprinkled with (icing or caster) sugar or with some maple syrup or jam. Yum
    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
    • Fiasco55
    • By Fiasco55 22nd Jan 12, 11:59 AM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 15,364 Thanks
    Fiasco55
    Thanks for the advice on Mr T's. I am going to write to them and see what responce I get. Even after sleeping on it I am still about the £1 "offer".

    I am going to HB to pick up a few things for the store cupboard. Then I am off to the cinema .
    No buying toiletries Graduated May 2017

    Decluttered 2016 2469 items, 2017 1580 items
    2018 3060 items

    Sealed Pot Challenge No 038
    • mummyyof5
    • By mummyyof5 22nd Jan 12, 12:44 PM
    • 1,839 Posts
    • 39,830 Thanks
    mummyyof5
    Talking about cloning food ..does anyone have any idea how to make a cheaper version of Chocolate ready brek????...Its the only thing my 5 year old boy will eat for brekkie and supper...hes getting through almost 2 boxes a week and its £1.79 a box in MrMs
    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.
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