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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 143
  • aberdeensaver
    Penny Grabber - thanks for the support :] Unfortunately I'm no good with cash, I'm better off not having any in my purse, that way I can't spend it - silly I know but I have no control if I have cash.

    DH is on board with things that I've implemented - poor DH, he got a right moan via text from me lol

    Helen x
    Originally posted by helen jelly

    I hear what your saying as I used to totally agree with you now. Have to admit now I leave my bank cards and CC at home when I go shopping and only take an amount for food shopping, our budget is 250/ 200 so I would aim to take 50 a week shopping with me, plus 10 in case there are any good deals on that I hadnt accounted for. As the embarrasement of not being able to pay for your shopping at the end makes you count up how much your spending and also makes you compare prices of similar items.

    This board is full of lots of helpful hints and very lovely members who will all help to support you on your journey.

    Also have to announce I am ending this month slightly early, had hoped to cope till Friday but the little furry four legged moggies have eaten all their dry food so must go to SM tonight for that, and as OH got paid today I will take him with me to stock up on tinned food and other heavy items that I dont like carrying when I am on my own. So I can officially report we have underspent by 7.62 this month. I would like to set the budget for February at 240.00 that is from the 25th January - 24th February.
    Jan GC 242.38/250
    Feb GC 147.57 /240
    2012 Clothes Challenge 97.50/500
    Repay 5K in 2012 254.17/5000
    2012 NSD 14/200 (Jan 14)
    • Barbeduk
    • By Barbeduk 25th Jan 12, 1:24 PM
    • 816 Posts
    • 7,150 Thanks
    Have been totally inspired by following this thread over the past couple of weeks. It has helped me to cut my weekly shop to 65 pw (all food, toiletries, cleaning products) for our family of 2 adults and 2 children. I am menu planning for the first time and what a difference that makes! Feel kind of ashamed at how much money we have wasted over the years. We hope to be (unsecured) debt free by xmas 2012 so must join that thread too.
    So if I could join Feb's challenge and put down a budget of 260, cheers!
    June GC 288.01/400
  • meplus6

    Can I join for Feb please? Think I run at about 50 per week atm, but will be interesting to see if this is right and see if I can get it down. Would like to do 200 for the month. This includes everything needed for the weekly running, toiletries, cleaning bits, nappies and food/litter for the 4 furry's. Does this sound reasonable? I am hoping that any extras left over (optimism??) can go towards the 'I need a freezer fund'!
    • ragz
    • By ragz 25th Jan 12, 1:39 PM
    • 3,153 Posts
    • 27,335 Thanks
    Pork Kofta Recipe
    Made lovely pork koftas last night from 69p whoopsied pork mince. Loving my Monday night trips to waitrose (best whoopsies!)...

    Recipe makes 4 big koftas but could make burgers, mini koftas etc...

    500g pork mince (use other meat and vary spices to taste)
    Spices ( I used tsp curry powder, tsp ground ginger, tsp cumin seeds, 2 tsp paprika and a sprinkle of chili flakes)
    Finely chopped/minced garlic clove
    Finely chopped spring onion
    Handful dried breadcrumbs/processed cream cracker crumbs
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    Ground pepper.

    Combine all, squish it up with your hands. Mould around soaked skewers, brush with a little oil and grill/BBQ until cooked (time depends on how big you make them, don't cook to quickly or the outside will burn before the middle cooks). We had them with salad and yogurt dressing in a wrap.

    Throw me off the Old Style Forum, I have run out of baked beans AND tea bags (I usually stock pile!). Any good offers on anywhere?
    Last edited by ragz; 25-01-2012 at 1:44 PM.
    Ragz is busy studying
    Progress is easier to acheive than perfection.
    • baroley
    • By baroley 25th Jan 12, 2:19 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 545 Thanks
    ragz, have just been to As@a, they have Branston baked beans 4 for 1. Couldn't find the toilet paper offer mentioned in todays MSE email though....

    Just stocked up. please put me down for 260 for Feb.

    Thank you!
    Grocery challenge month runs from 25th to 24th
    January 100. 96.20
    February 100. 1.64
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 25th Jan 12, 2:38 PM
    • 495 Posts
    • 6,305 Thanks
    Rags, Co-*p for beans - 2 of the 4 packs for 3. Tesc* I think for Tetley T bags or again Co-*p for BOGOF on Twinings Everyday, the yellow packs
    To all those beating themselves up - don't! At least you've had a LBM (I think it's called that - light bulb moment?) and are making changes. What works for one person won't necessarily work for you but someone on this forum will have a system that will help you so keep trying and asking.
    NB I'm in a fine position to talk as my target is relatively very high but I keep telling myself we are all different and it's about me, my family, my budget etc.
    hth, nearly into Feb, hurrah!
    Erratically money saving
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 25th Jan 12, 2:56 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    had an appointment at the hospital for ds1, well he had a wee hissy fir when we came out because i said we weren't going to tesco because i had taken his brother then we went to the hospital before, so i took him and bought him a punnet of reduced blueberries so he was happy enough, lots of whoopsies but no bread which is odd for that store, i got

    10 apples 31p
    blueberries 54p
    block of stilton 59p
    6 kiwi 21p
    2kg carrots 24p
    36 dennys sausages x2 1.52

    i bought a full price brocolli to make pasta sauce and a block of value cupa soup for 15p and paid with a giftard from xmas so was free, i love that tesco that reduce stuff by less than 50% from lunchtime, i have another appointment tomorrow so will pop in and hopefully get some bread

    mil sent us home an apple crumble and a tin of custard so thats pudding sorted aswell
    Last edited by quintwins; 25-01-2012 at 3:07 PM.
    DFW 7632/28996 26.3%
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 25th Jan 12, 3:00 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    I've been closing my eyes to what we are spending this month so decided to do the banking today - to say I feel sick is an understatement. I can't even type the figure down its so gross! I chose to do this GC to make DH and I aware of what we are spending. I upped the budget to include other things - big mistake - HUGE MISTAKE. I kidded myself that the new budget was just for food - gone over that and some.

    So for Feb I am going back to the food only budget, I'm doing the banking on a daily basis and DH is fully onboard with buying only what we absolutely have to - we'll be bankrupt within a few months if this continues. Kids are suffering too - they need new uniform etc and I haven't got the money [could feed them for a month of Sundays if needed] and I'm baking more
    Originally posted by helen jelly
    Awwww Helen ((((hugs)))) we've all done it and honestly I'm still hugely in awe at how little some people manage to spend.

    Dust yourself off and prepare to start afresh in Feb .... we're all with you.

    Not only that he added up the prices of the items we put in to the basket until they added up to 9.98. Do you think he might be converted to our GC/ways?
    Originally posted by XSpender
    Wow! That's great Spender!

    For me to have 40 left on a Wednesday is a total first as like so many here we live just above benefits limit so after paying bills not that much left
    Originally posted by prepareathome
    PAH huge congratulations and on the grocery spend for the month too. I know where you're coming from with being just over the benefits limit - mine is 96 / year .... wow

    If the internet does have to go then as someone else suggested (sorry, forgotten who really tired as didn't sleep at all last night) please do try your library. You can book sessions of an hour a time at ours ....

    NSD for me ..... No 4 in a row which is really good going for me.

    Really need petrol but can't face going out (18 mile round trip) as too tired so will have to hope there's enough to get to work & back tomorrow.

    Also getting really low on milk so will have to make another spend before the month end.
    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!
    • kerri_dfw
    • By kerri_dfw 25th Jan 12, 3:03 PM
    • 4,556 Posts
    • 29,115 Thanks
    3.50 spend on a yummy hallumi(sp?), spinach, and red pepper sarnie from prat. I know I shouldn't but it's my last day of Jan grocery budget and I felt I needed to treat myself for being under budget Although at 570 calories was more fattening than an iced bun
    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
    • cw18
    • By cw18 25th Jan 12, 3:34 PM
    • 8,077 Posts
    • 86,059 Thanks
    Did a shop at Mr M last night and have used a few more bits from my pre-2012 stocks.

    Getting rather to close to my budget now Not planning on getting anything today unless I pop out for milk (which is the one thing I know without a shadow of doubt I'll need), but just 9.12 left for the rest of this month

    I guess I'm going to have to resist pulling any more 'treats' out of my stocks
  • Ninno820
    Just popping in to report another NSD today. Tea is hm mushroom risotto (risotto is great for using up bits and bobs) followed by hm banana muffin. mmmm
    44 day challenge

    1. Pay 650 off overdraft ( 288/ 650)
    2. Lose 12 lbs (4.5/ 12)
    3. Use YNAB everyday (6/44)
  • sonastin
    I've got 16.61 left in my January budget and a growing list of things we've run out of. Wasn't feeling too bad about that because I reckoned we could last until the end of the month but OH has just phoned to ask if I can pick up teabags on the way home from work. Apparently we've gone through 160 in under 3 weeks - and I'm at work 5 days/week!

    So I've been canny- I've prioritised what we need first of the shopping list, been onto mysupermarket and figured I can get most of the urgent stuff for 16.60. If their pricing is right, I resist the urge to stock up on anything else and I don't need to visit the supermarket again until Feb, I should come in a whopping 1p under budget for January. Not bad seeing as 2011 averaged about 80 over budget

    Wish me luck - I'm off to Mr T to see if I can find everything on my printed list... and nothing else honest
    • scotmumof3
    • By scotmumof3 25th Jan 12, 4:32 PM
    • 1,783 Posts
    • 13,910 Thanks
    Hi can I join for FEb please going to go with280 this is for 27th jan til 23rd feb thanks
    Last edited by scotmumof3; 25-01-2012 at 4:35 PM.
    LHS #217 DFW#1421
    debt free day 29th October 2020
    • Cool Nanna
    • By Cool Nanna 25th Jan 12, 4:40 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 911 Thanks
    Cool Nanna
    Sorry I haven't got time to read back through all the posts as I have a lot of stuff going on at home at the moment.

    I have been to Mr T's today, the first time I have been in a supermarket since last Friday. I only went in to top up my phone and ended up splashing out on an impulse buy, wait for it.........22p.

    I popped into the local butchers yesterday for some eggs and a couple of slices of bacon, so that is all I have spent since last Friday.

    I am officially 4 under budget and that is without too much effort.
    I have put the 4 onto my club card ready for Christmas.

    I have found that doing the GC, meal planning, baking etc has helped me take my mind off the crap happening here.

    I am going to budget for 300 in February.
    • meg72
    • By meg72 25th Jan 12, 4:42 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    Some interesting recipes/menu planner on the potato council website:

    Leek and camembert risotto for dinner, a new to us recipe and rather nice.
    Originally posted by hex2
    Thank you for sharing this, some really nice,frugal recipes on here
    Slimming World at target
  • mi jardin
    I spent 3.20 today. I got a just over 3lb apples and 1.5lb lychees form the market for 3, and got a bone from the butchers for stock for 20p. Just 3.16 to last tomorrow! Still, there is nothing I need, so unless I find some cheap fruit or veggies at work tomorrow that will be it for January!

    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 25th Jan 12, 4:53 PM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    spent 15 in Te5c0 needed cooking oil and loo roll and got some cheap ready meals for rush teas for eldest DS when hes dashing off early
    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
  • moneysaver13
    Nearly achieved 3 NSD's in a row but came across some M&S muffins reduced to 50p. Had one at lunch and froze the rest. My trouble is that I work 7mins from the high street and if I stay in work at lunchtime people think its acceptable to still give me jobs so l always take my full hour, however when it's warmer I will sit in the park! Whilst its cold I walk around the shopping centre, but I am learning to be controlled and just look. Meeting a friend for lunch tomorrow so will just have a drink, and I might be able to have a free one if I can find my completed loyalty card. Have a good evening 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:
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 25th Jan 12, 5:17 PM
    • 3,984 Posts
    • 52,562 Thanks
    Another spending day here. I had to visit my Dentist and on the way home is Al.. I was good - only spent 3.85. Then I walked into town but stayed out of shops - just cancelled DDs for mag offers.
    15 in 2015 1/15
    • meg72
    • By meg72 25th Jan 12, 5:18 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    Afternoon everyone

    I've been closing my eyes to what we are spending this month so decided to do the banking today - to say I feel sick is an understatement. I can't even type the figure down its so gross! I chose to do this GC to make DH and I aware of what we are spending. I upped the budget to include other things - big mistake - HUGE MISTAKE. I kidded myself that the new budget was just for food - gone over that and some.

    So for Feb I am going back to the food only budget, I'm doing the banking on a daily basis and DH is fully onboard with buying only what we absolutely have to - we'll be bankrupt within a few months if this continues. Kids are suffering too - they need new uniform etc and I haven't got the money [could feed them for a month of Sundays if needed] and I'm baking more

    Ta ra for now - I need to sit down now - feeling rather faint, coffee needed to survive the shock of how glutinous [sp?] we've become

    Helen x
    Originally posted by helen jelly
    Awwww Helen dont feel bad,so you have invested in food, use it up now and release your cash.I am sure if you take note over the next month the stocks you have in have increased in value, i.e. prices
    are increasing so much that what you have in is a real bargain.

    Use it now and liberate some cash. I am still using corned beef bought god knows when at 50p and big tins of salmon that were a1 (now nearer 4).

    Good luck love,February is going to be a fab month for you.
    Slimming World at target
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