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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 140
  • LittleMissHappy
    No spends to report here - nearly went to T's but decided to wait until Thursday when so can get the paper with 5 off 30 spend for Ald! (I think it's in the Mirror?). I have a 5 off a 40 spend from there so will stock up on some of the special offers to go in my garage 'shop'.
    Be the change you want to see in the world - Gandhi
    OU - DD100 (P ), DSE141 (D ), DSE212 (P ), ED209 (02/12), DXR222 (07/12) SD226 (02/13)
    • hazzie123
    • By hazzie123 24th Jan 12, 1:25 PM
    • 2,488 Posts
    • 3,319 Thanks
    Yay I can finally start,pay day was yesterday so I did the bulk of the shopping and spent a grand total of 170.02 out of the yearly budget of 3300. NSD today but will need milk,cereal,pasta tomorrow.
    Debt Free Date:10/09/2007
    • spendaholic
    • By spendaholic 24th Jan 12, 1:38 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 7,664 Thanks
    Just a 4 week month for February for me, at 35 a week. So that's 140 please. Ta.
    Highest debt: 35k (2005); Current debt: 6k (2018)

    2 tickets to the Home Building & Renovation show; 50 to spend on chocolate; 2 tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters; designer cat food caddy; 2,500 cash; 36 cash; Jesus Christ Superstar tickets + 2 t-shirts; Creative Craft Show tickets; Birmingham City v Barnsley FC tickets; Marillion tickets; Beyond the Pole DVD; 1,000 cash; Legend of the Guardians goody bag; Dancing on Ice tickets; Barnsley FC v Millwall tickets
  • lemmings1986
    hey guys hope every1 is well and hugs to those that need them
    just been to mr t's and spent 4.56 so 7.94 for rest of week.i bought mushrooms,a red pepper,milk 2x meatball pastabake mixes as they were half price and a dauphinose mix.didnt manage to do any batch cooking last night went to bed yesterday and slept for 17hrs didnt wake up once oh woke me up this morning was totally worn out.
    so am doing some cooking/baking today plan is meatball pasta bake,chicken madras,tomato and parmesan bread rolls-for packup.
    toffee cake for packup.chicken pastabake with mushroom soup.
    some buns/cookies for my staff at work tomorrow they've all been working sooo hard so thought id make them their tea were having vintage cheddar quiche with new potatoes and buns,cookies for pud so will cook the quiche and new potatoes tommorow and just warm them in the microwave at work unless the canteen lady lets me warm the quiche up in the oven .
    also for tea sausages with caramelised onions,mushrooms and mash.
    hope every1 has a good day.
    VSP#17 2.34
    debt free 26/10/2012
    • prophecy_grrl
    • By prophecy_grrl 24th Jan 12, 2:03 PM
    • 668 Posts
    • 3,379 Thanks
    Have spent 11.59 this week, taking total for January so far to 81.92 of 125 budget. I've done 2 weeks worth of meal plans that take me to the end of January budget and reckon I can come in at 110 or less

    Thanks to all posters

    p_grrl x
    *** PROPHECY_GRRL***
    *** DEBT FREE AS OF 17/10/11 - I DID IT!!! ***
    • Kylieminoag
    • By Kylieminoag 24th Jan 12, 2:14 PM
    • 159 Posts
    • 2,649 Thanks
    We have the winter vomiting bug so I am delighted to report 2 more NSDs and weight loss and a fridge still full so another one NSD expected at least

    Every cloud has a silver lining!
    DFWNerd 1417
    MFW by 2018 Jan 2012 186,000 Sept 2015 50,000
    • TheThriftyScrumpers
    • By TheThriftyScrumpers 24th Jan 12, 2:24 PM
    • 272 Posts
    • 5,359 Thanks
    another 27 to declare must stay out of the shops or at least stop buying stuff I dont actually need just coz i'm already over budget its not an excuse to think whats a few more

    thinking of trying a meat order with DR for feb maybe a nice steak for valentines day anyone know if they take paypal?? or any recommendations on whats worth buying?

    not decided on feb budget yet I know i'm well over this month but alot was bulk buys which will be brought back via 2nd purse system though gonna tweak it slightly and buy back at what I paid rather than full price as I'd never pay full price as a rule and think it would eat into the budget too much otherwise thus not saving me money in the long run. also need to budget for 1/2 term

    congrarts to all those who are coming in on budget and well done to the rest of us for at least making a start on getting the spending under control even if we're not doing as well as we hoped
    Originally posted by mandco
    I have had three orders now from Donald Russell and I am really pleased with the meat, the quality is excellent. I oly buy when there are sales though. This week I got 8 x 440g mince steak for 22 and the casserole pack which was down to 39. You can ask for free bones to be delivered too so you can make your own stock. HTH's.
    GC Mar 11 437.08Apr 11 459.26 May 11 485.52 June 11 423.79July 11 409.22 Aug 11 250.10Sept 11 396.14Oct 11 382.37Nov 11 372.55Dec 11 332.29 Jan 12 375.19:Feb 12 349.58Mar 12 279.66Apr 12 249.12May 12 337.66/Jun 12 362.58/Jul 12 317.03/Aug 12 354.02/Sept 439.72/Oct 12 210.16
    • TheThriftyScrumpers
    • By TheThriftyScrumpers 24th Jan 12, 2:41 PM
    • 272 Posts
    • 5,359 Thanks
    Morning all

    Will have to pop to Mr S today for some wraps for kids lunches. Also need some milk and tomato ketchup. Will update spends later on. Still looking good to come in under budget !

    I had my first weigh-in last night (I'm trying to do WW and eat cheaply, no mean feat I can tell you !) but I managed to stick to it, not spend too much more money and I lost 6lb !!!!!
    Originally posted by majjak
    Congratulations on your weight loss that is fantastic
    GC Mar 11 437.08Apr 11 459.26 May 11 485.52 June 11 423.79July 11 409.22 Aug 11 250.10Sept 11 396.14Oct 11 382.37Nov 11 372.55Dec 11 332.29 Jan 12 375.19:Feb 12 349.58Mar 12 279.66Apr 12 249.12May 12 337.66/Jun 12 362.58/Jul 12 317.03/Aug 12 354.02/Sept 439.72/Oct 12 210.16
    • p-pincher
    • By p-pincher 24th Jan 12, 3:10 PM
    • 725 Posts
    • 3,631 Thanks
    Hi everyone

    Well i'd like to declare January at 149.80, a whole 20p to spare. I officially finish Wednesday but im not a work tomorrow and will only be leaving the house to drop and pick up the kids from school so it will be a NSD. Not sure what the budget will be yet but ive already allocate 20 towards my second purse and ive got an Ocado order booked for Thursday(the start of my new month) as they sent me a spend 60 and save 20 voucher as I registered with them ages ago and never actually ordered.

    Its worked out ive spent just over 40 but got more than enough meet for the whole of Feb. Im so pleased ive managed it this month after the last 2 months where i didnt do that good and thats on top of me having a reduced budget, hope everyones having a good week x
    March 2014 Grocery challenge 250.00
    • ms_night_ryder
    • By ms_night_ryder 24th Jan 12, 3:35 PM
    • 3,001 Posts
    • 11,582 Thanks
    7.74 spent 5 in mr t's on ken hom meal 2 mains 2 sides, got the ribs, crispy beef, spring rolls and egg fried rice

    In marks and spencers 2.24 on 2 whoopsied sandwiches 50p each and 2 bags of prawn crackers 70p each
    Lose 28lb 3/28lb
    SPC Member 1522/2012-264/ new pot 2013
  • mi jardin
    Nearly up to the limit today, I spent 14 in the farm shop on a 25Kg sack of King Edwards and 5Kg of granary bread flour. Then moved on to A5da and spent 5.57 on 4 blocks of butter (50p each promotion on Clover light butter), bananas, cotton buds, tin of custard (not very OS but DH loves it), reduced ham and reduced mushrooms.
    I also bought a bunch of tulips reduced to 10p and a bunch of carnations for 1.92, but I am not including those as DH gave me some money to buy some flowers as a treat...I just wont tell him how much I spent or he'll want the change back!
    Oh, and there was a kilo of sugar in that spend too, for the marmalade I have cooking, using up the mountain of satsumas I had in fridge, plus a couple of lemons and a pink grapefruit.
    That means I only have 6.36 left until payday on Friday, but we have plenty of food in, I think the only thing I need is eggs for the weekend.

    • valerie57
    • By valerie57 24th Jan 12, 4:17 PM
    • 139 Posts
    • 1,899 Thanks
    Valerie 57 " Pudding on Saturday night will be toffee apple tart"

    Hi This sounds delicious have you got the recipe please.


    Jarus Xx
    Originally posted by JARUS
    Toffee apple tart - with thanks to the Pink Whisk blog

    Make or buy pastry to make a deep 8" flan. I use;
    150g plain flour
    65g cold butter
    25g caster sugar
    1tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
    enough water to combine (2-3 tbsps)

    Make pastry, wrap in cling film and pop in fridge for 30 mins to chill.
    Grease tart tin well. Roll out pastry thinly and line tin. Chill again until firm. Preheat oven to 180 fan, line tart case with baking paper and baking beans or dried rice. Bake in oven for 15 mins. Remove beans and pop back in oven for further 5 mins until cooked through on base.

    70g fresh breadcrumbs (about 2 slices of bread blitzed)
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    2-3 large apples (I use Bramleys but any will do including eating apples). Unpeeled about 550g.
    200g brown sugar (I use demerara)
    50ml water
    10g butter
    1tsp vinegar
    1 tbsp golden syrup

    Once the tart is cooked add the breadcrumbs completely covering the base.
    Peel and core apples and dice into fairly small chunks. Spread over breadcrumbs covering the top of the tart.
    Add sugar, water, butter, vinegar and golden syrup to pan and heat gently so butter melts.
    Turn heat up a little and cook mixture until sugar is disolved completely. You shouldn't feel any grainy crystals when you stir it.
    Slowly and carefully pour toffee sauce over the tart, trying to cover all diced apples.
    Bake in oven for 25-30 mins.
    Dust with icing sugar. Serve warm with cream or custard or ice cream. Cold is nice too.

    Hope you enjoy.
    • ClaireT13
    • By ClaireT13 24th Jan 12, 4:30 PM
    • 220 Posts
    • 3,462 Thanks
    Hi Everyone

    Just coming on to declare my January spends and February goals as it was payday today

    The January total came in at 388.85/300.00 .

    This is largely because I hadn't banked on 20 family members descending on us for dinner to celebrate my sons birthday. Until that point I would have JUST come in under budget.

    Anyway, thinking ahead to February. When I did our big meat shop this month it came in at 75.00 and we still have lots left over so I can get through the first 2 weeks using that up. However, we do have half term when DH is also off. Fortunately, he is with me and agrees we need to cut our grocery spend so we will be eating at home and having pack ups!

    Taking that into account, I would like to declare a budget of 260 for February. Given my budget of 300 would have been acheivable if not for my DS's birthday and we have some leftovers then hopefully this makes sense.

    I am also going to aim to have 10 NSD's in my February (24th-24th) - NSD's will not include bills unlike some of you hardcore NSDers but hopefully this will help to keep me on track.

    Thanks for all the support from this thread. Sorry for the long post.

  • Ninno820
    Evening everyone - just popping in to declare a spend of 3.10 on sugar, eggs and some toffees (oops).
    The sugar and eggs are already at work turning 4 black bananas into yummy muffins.
    44 day challenge

    1. Pay 650 off overdraft ( 288/ 650)
    2. Lose 12 lbs (4.5/ 12)
    3. Use YNAB everyday (6/44)
  • Brassic Park
    More spends today on S*bway lunch (3) and deodorant and chocolate (2.56). Think I will be going over budget by about 20 as don't get paid till 31st and another weekly shop to go before then.

    Am making a vegetable haloumi bake for dinner, was going to do it last night but OH got home from work at 9pm so just did chicken kievs and chips but I undercooked the chips a bit so wasn't great (I am the queen of undercooking stuff!)
    Future hopes, dreams & emergencies fund: 4,000
    No. Internet. Shopping.
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 24th Jan 12, 5:05 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    Sausage and Apple One Pot (GF & DF)
    Was meant to have SC Sweet Chilli Sausages but it looks like the kids have been guzzling the ketchup, so that's a no go.

    So I improvised I browned off the sausages (I used MrT Free From) nd took them out of the pan. Chopped up a leek and bunged it in the pan, whacked in a couple of handfuls of frozen peppers. Peeled, cored and sliced up 3 small apples and popped those in. Added a tblesp of flour ( I use Doves GF plain flour) and a tblsp of mustard seeds and a couple of tsp of thyme, plus salt and pepper. Then added half a pint of veg. stock (I use Bisto Best). I had a couple of tblsp of double cream that I needed to use up so bunged that in at the end, though you don't need this especially if you want DF.

    I served this with baked potatoes though mash, cheesy mash, new potatoes or bread and butter will go well with it.

    This served the five of us plus one for the freezer and it came in at less than 5. I am one happy bunny

    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • kittycatface
    • By kittycatface 24th Jan 12, 5:22 PM
    • 618 Posts
    • 3,505 Thanks
    Can I join the fun please?! Have been testing the waters this month and would like to aim for a budget of 100 for February bearing in mind there is only one of me and I'm off the sauce due to medication! looking forward to getting stuck into some of the lovely recipes on here. thanks.
    • coldcazzie
    • By coldcazzie 24th Jan 12, 5:38 PM
    • 856 Posts
    • 3,439 Thanks
    Hello all, I'm afraid I haven't been keeping up with the thread - it moves too fast! However, just wanted to update my current total after shopping today. I went to the market for my veg, meat and eggs and also went to Wilkos for toiletries instead of the supermarket, so my total was 43.48 which brings my running total so far to 282.39/500 with just over 2 weeks to go until our credit card statement date
    Last edited by coldcazzie; 24-01-2012 at 5:40 PM.
    Moving House Fund: 1775.87/1500 by March 2015 - 118.39%
    Emergency Fund: 2120.79/3000 by April 2016 - 70.69%
  • lula_moneybaggins
    Can you put me down for 110 for February budget please? That should make up for my 10 overspend for January.

    Also, thanks to everyone for all your help, motivation, hints and tips, and for welcoming us newbies into the fold.


    Debt Jan 09 = 10,046 Debt-free since 16/12/2011
    Save 12,000 in 2012: 11,403.13/12,000
    Save 12,000 in 2013: 4000/12,000
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 24th Jan 12, 5:48 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    Urrgh. 1.70 spent on 2 bottles of Lucozade Sport from Mr S. I went to the gym and needed a boost to wake me up a bit before I hit the treadmill!.

    At least I have a bottle spare for next time...
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

    Grocery Challenge 13 -spent 1453.06
    Grocery Challenge 12 -spent 1565.51

    DFD 1st March 2011
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