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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 145
    • mummyyof5
    • By mummyyof5 25th Jan 12, 9:36 PM
    • 1,839 Posts
    • 39,830 Thanks
    mummyyof5
    Back from MrMs...shopping came in at £54.24

    Managed to get 4 loaves of 50/50 bread for 29p a loaf...was so pleased as kids love this and cant normally afford it.

    Did have reduced sandwiches and cake in cafe but OHs treat.

    Hoping for a NS day tomorrow as going to a friends for a playdate..taking lunch with us to save some money
    Last edited by mummyyof5; 25-01-2012 at 9:40 PM.
    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.
    • Kylieminoag
    • By Kylieminoag 25th Jan 12, 9:45 PM
    • 159 Posts
    • 2,649 Thanks
    Kylieminoag
    Must try harder....
    Menu plan this week: (Must make it a No spend week!)

    Breakfasts - cereals or porridge or egg 'n' soldiers

    Lunches - HM broccoli soup or cheese and chutney butties or freezer soups or fish finger butties (yum!)

    Thursday dinner : HM potato cakes with HM ratatouille and roasted goats cheese (whoopsied at christmas but still looks and tastes good)

    Friday dinner: Individual quiches made from remainder ratatouille and whoopsie spring roll pastry (like filo!) served with butternut squash risotto (no parmesan so will try goats cheese crumbled in instead)

    Saturday dinner: HM pasta bolognaise from freezer and HM garlic bread

    Sunday dinner: Roast chicken, stuffing and fridge veg followed by apple pielets (use left over spring roll pastry)

    Monday dinner: chunky chicken soup with pearl barley (made from yesterdays carcas and left over veg) and crusty (I hope) HM wholemeal bread


    Sorted!

    No excuses to go to shops.... we drink black tea anyway : rotfl:
    DFWNerd 1417
    MFW by 2018 Jan 2012 £186,000 Sept 2015 £50,000
    • Kylieminoag
    • By Kylieminoag 25th Jan 12, 9:50 PM
    • 159 Posts
    • 2,649 Thanks
    Kylieminoag
    I wondered whether people might be willing to mention the time they shopped when they post about getting good whoopsies? It might help those of us who are unsure when to go, or whether we're going at the right time. I find if I'm too early, the discounts aren't very big, but if I'm too late, everything's gone, it would really help me to suss out when's best and get my timing right. Just a thought, don't know if others would think it useful?
    Originally posted by carolinerunner

    Hi

    I just asked at my local Ald* - they smiled and told me that if they didnt have time to do it just before they closed then it was the first job of the morning before they opened- not sure if its the same everywhere.

    HTH
    DFWNerd 1417
    MFW by 2018 Jan 2012 £186,000 Sept 2015 £50,000
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 25th Jan 12, 9:55 PM
    • 491 Posts
    • 6,304 Thanks
    carolinerunner
    Thanks Kylie, that's surprisingly early compared to what I expected, and tbh I don't even think of whoopsies there, more at the big sm's, so that's a new one for me. Around here they seem to vary between about 3 or 4pm and about 6pm for first reductions, depending on the day of week, the time they will close and the individual shop, then there are second reductions which are they really good ones and they seem to come later... it's tricky!
    Erratically money saving
    • Byatt
    • By Byatt 25th Jan 12, 10:03 PM
    • 3,403 Posts
    • 46,835 Thanks
    Byatt
    Elizabunny, do complain, I got a £6.50 voucher from He1nz last week for a tin that smelt and tasted odd and they were really nice about it.

    Added yesterday and today's shops in, yesterday was top ups of milk plus a few whoopsies, and health food shop for porridge, wheatgerm and glucosamine tablets, trying to stave off the family arthritis. Then did a £40 Co-*p shop today to get the £4 off but it meant there wasn't time to go elsewhere as well and had to buy some things there that were dearer, probably ate up about half the £4... but all useful long term stuff and mostly at good prices to begin with so don't feel to bad about it. Until DH said, when I pointed out we were on target to hit our budget, that it was all pretty pointless as we have no income and hence everything we spend is out of our savings - ie he thinks its just rearranging the deckchairs - great!

    Thinking about whoopsies, I never seem to get such good ones as some people mention, and I wondered whether people might be willing to mention the time they shopped when they post about getting good whoopsies? It might help those of us who are unsure when to go, or whether we're going at the right time. I find if I'm too early, the discounts aren't very big, but if I'm too late, everything's gone, it would really help me to suss out when's best and get my timing right. Just a thought, don't know if others would think it useful?
    Originally posted by carolinerunner

    It can vary such a lot; I haven't totally got the hang of it, but now know certain Mr T's (I have to travel further for other stores) will reduce a lot of things whilst others will reduce but only by a small amount.

    Anyway, I went to Morries on Tuesday around 2.30ish, and picked up a few random whoopsies. Then went to Mr T's in a large town around 3.30ish and picked up loads of stuff for half price or less. (they were reducing them even more as I stood there). Meat and pizzas. Like you said, if it's late in the day you risk everything having gone. You need to get to know your shop(s) local to you. It's not easy and you do need to keep trying.

    I will try testing out Wa!trose in the next couple of weeks as I will be driving past a few times.

    The only time I got stuff for pence was Christmas Eve late, and that wasn't much, but I was happy enough. Got some fantastic belly pork pieces for a £1 (finest at £4) which were stunning!

    Good luck; hth a little.
    Last edited by Byatt; 25-01-2012 at 10:07 PM.
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 25th Jan 12, 10:04 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    NickJW
    Spend of £12.20 in Mr T today - few yellow sticker items - pork chops, steak and quiches, but mainly toiletries such as shampoo, mouthwash and toothpaste.

    Also £4.80 on a Chinese takeaway tonight! Getting a new boiler in the house along with new radiators etc. Its FREEZING in the house because there is no heating and also the gas connection is down, so I was lazy and opted for the takeaway rather than get back on the tube to the SM. I will be getting money back from the landlord because apparently it's a legal requirement to reimburse rent if there is no heating, but I will include this in GC and use any reimbursed money on a clothing treat for myself . It won't be fixed until Friday so I will have either a bigger meal at lunch tomorrow or micro meal for dinner tomorrow night. Bit annoying, but things happen.
    Last edited by NickJW; 25-01-2012 at 10:11 PM. Reason: missed something
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 £46.05/£130

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

    DFD 1st March 2011
    • Ches
    • By Ches 25th Jan 12, 10:14 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 10,371 Thanks
    Ches
    I only have £2.22p left from this weeks budget but as I am aiming for a NSD tomorrow it should be OK.

    Please put me down for £50 per week in February thank you.
    Mortgage and Debt free but need to increase savings pot.
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 25th Jan 12, 10:30 PM
    • 3,984 Posts
    • 52,562 Thanks
    Florenceem
    As a newbie to MSE I'm just starting out on here but so far have started the sealed pot challenge and have been saving my grocerie receipts since Jan 13th and I'm also noting down toiletry/cleaning stuff spends.
    I was just pondering this, there are just the 2 of us and we are foodies with healthy appetites and like to cook everything from scratch. Are there any others who are just buying for a couple and if so what is your average monthly spend? I'm trying to guage how cheaply a couple can live. TBH we are quite frugal anyway but I'm trying to make changes as I tend to shop little and often and this is the first time I've ever kept a track of what I'm spending, I was beginning to wonder if by shopping like I do I was overspending, and had no idea of what was going out on shopping and if I should just to a one shop a week?. Any insight appreciated.
    Originally posted by ostaragirl
    There are two of us and I cook from scratch. I make our own bread/make muffins and pastry. I have set £100 for this - my first GC month. I did have a good stock of food already though. We have a dog.
    15 in 2015 1/15
    • hamish222
    • By hamish222 25th Jan 12, 10:46 PM
    • 707 Posts
    • 3,004 Thanks
    hamish222
    Thanks for all the suggestions re treats. Will give muffins a go.
    Small spend today. This is start of my annual budget so signature updated. Going to go to Aldis tomorrow and do a big shop. Have never really used much before but going to give it a go.
    Yearly Grocery Budget - £100.77/ £3500. January Treats Budget - £11.80 / £100.
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 26th Jan 12, 12:03 AM
    • 3,984 Posts
    • 52,562 Thanks
    Florenceem
    Wednesday's dinner.
    Here is the Chicken Stir Fry I made this evening - it was really yummy.






    I used 1 white onion/1 red onion/3 shallots/7 cloves garlic/4 tomatoes/1 carrot/ 1 green pepper/1 stick celery/3 large mushrooms and some cooked chicken pieces. I added some black pepper/a dash of hot chilli sauce and rinsed out an apple vinegar jar into the wok. Cost - for two of us plus there is a portion left - about £1.50.
    15 in 2015 1/15
  • majjak
    Morning all

    NSD yesterday .

    Need to get a tiny bit of shopping today to see me through until the end of the month, but should come in on budget, or just over. I don't mind though as I've managed to keep stocking up on a few things within the amount I set at the beginning of January .

    Thinking ahead, me and DH are off to Edinburgh for a few days in Feb half term (kids are going to mums and then we're staying after we get back for a few days too) so I'll have about a week where I don't buy any food.

    However, I do think I'll keep my budget the same, as I started January off with quite a bit left over from Xmas and a full freezer and cupboards ! I plan to use the 'extra' to stock up a bit more to give me a head-start in March. Edinburgh spending etc is taken out of another budget.

    Still not declaring just yet
    Save £12K challenge 2015 # 173
    £0.00/£10,000
    • Coxy11
    • By Coxy11 26th Jan 12, 6:33 AM
    • 2,295 Posts
    • 27,317 Thanks
    Coxy11
    MMmmmmmm Floreenceem, that's looks yummy!

    Just on to update my spends. Started my Feb GC on Monday with a trip to MrA (near a friends house, not fortunate to have one near me) and MrT in the evening. Also have just paid final milk bill which was for the first 2 weeks of January (nearly £15!). Annoyed because they bill in arrears and I had forgotten about this

    Now here's a question: I have some diced pork (YS of course) in the freezer and was going to use it in a curry sauce I have bought. Now I don't want to offend anyone (feel bad just writing it down), and I know it's not authentic Indian cuisine as you wouldn't find pork on a menu, but DH says it is simply not on to have 'pork curry' and that I need to do something else like sweet and sour (which of course I don't have ingredients for....). He was even laughing about it to one of his friends yesterday - could've slapped him! What would you do? (about the food, not the DH, I can handle him). Answers on a postcard please......

    WW this morning - better have lost something this week!
    Cross-stitch WIP #1: Collecting Shells by Nancy Cole
    Cross-stitch WIP #2: Pretty Little London by Satsuma Street
    • ClaireT13
    • By ClaireT13 26th Jan 12, 6:47 AM
    • 220 Posts
    • 3,462 Thanks
    ClaireT13
    Just popping in to report first spends of February:

    £10.87 in Budg3ns for some sauces etc
    £0.55 greengrocers for 3 bananas - thought they would be cheaper than sm
    £10.29 on dog food as the order I placed on the internet failed to arrive in time - they have credited me £1.25 extra though so I will take that off this total.

    So declaring first spends of £23.46.

    We need milk so today will be another spend day. Hopefully Friday will be clear though!

    Have a good day everyone!
    • skilly
    • By skilly 26th Jan 12, 6:57 AM
    • 882 Posts
    • 10,225 Thanks
    skilly
    Hi all, was going shopping yesterday but thought I would empty two freezers first and make list of contents got so much stuff in there, i do this once a year . so In the end I did not go and saved myself some money !
    27 Sealed pot challenge 3£496/4£706.75/5 £376.74/6 £645.08/ 7 £861.34 /8 £786.90/9£610.49/10 £722.03 / 11? / gold star from sue
    • mandco
    • By mandco 26th Jan 12, 7:10 AM
    • 737 Posts
    • 9,601 Thanks
    mandco
    MMmmmmmm Floreenceem, that's looks yummy!

    Just on to update my spends. Started my Feb GC on Monday with a trip to MrA (near a friends house, not fortunate to have one near me) and MrT in the evening. Also have just paid final milk bill which was for the first 2 weeks of January (nearly £15!). Annoyed because they bill in arrears and I had forgotten about this

    Now here's a question: I have some diced pork (YS of course) in the freezer and was going to use it in a curry sauce I have bought. Now I don't want to offend anyone (feel bad just writing it down), and I know it's not authentic Indian cuisine as you wouldn't find pork on a menu, but DH says it is simply not on to have 'pork curry' and that I need to do something else like sweet and sour (which of course I don't have ingredients for....). He was even laughing about it to one of his friends yesterday - could've slapped him! What would you do? (about the food, not the DH, I can handle him). Answers on a postcard please......

    WW this morning - better have lost something this week!
    Originally posted by Coxy11
    i have used pork in a curry before though I find its more suited to a tomato based one balti/rogan josh rather then a creamy one korma/tikka edible but just not quite right.
    how about a stirfry just chuck in whatever veg you have and a bit of sauce?
    this year do something that scares you for courage is not the absence of fear just the knowledge that some things are worth the risk
    • meg72
    • By meg72 26th Jan 12, 7:57 AM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    Morning all,
    Just a quick post to remind everyone that the £5 off £30 is in the mirror today.Some vouchers for 30% off several things as well.Pork lion or gammon joints,normally 2.99 lookgood tome.
    Slimming World at target
    • meg72
    • By meg72 26th Jan 12, 8:26 AM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    MMmmmmmm Floreenceem, that's looks yummy!



    Now here's a question: I have some diced pork (YS of course) in the freezer and was going to use it in a curry sauce I have bought. Now I don't want to offend anyone (feel bad just writing it down), and I know it's not authentic Indian cuisine as you wouldn't find pork on a menu, but DH says it is simply not on to have 'pork curry' and that I need to do something else like sweet and sour (which of course I don't have ingredients for....). He was even laughing about it to one of his friends yesterday - could've slapped him! What would you do? (about the food, not the DH, I can handle him). Answers on a postcard please......

    WW this morning - better have lost something this week!
    Originally posted by Coxy11
    Indian pork curry is a regular feature in Indian menus.

    Season: All year
    Serves: 2
    This recipe is low-fat.
    Hits: 396

    Found this on net recipes sorry could not post link. Just google Indian Pork Curry.

    I may be wrong but I think it is only a certain religion that does not eat pork, but cant remember which one.
    Slimming World at target
  • JARUS
    Hi I am also a member of the Don't Throw Food away challenge and had posted this recipe on there, and thought people on this thread would like it as well.

    Cheesy Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe


    INGREDIENTS
    6 slices white bread (stale bread works really well)
    20g butter
    Marmite
    100g grated cheese
    3 eggs
    250mls semi skimmed milk
    Freshly ground pepper

    You will need a medium sized oven proof dish.
    Pre-heat oven to gas mark 4 or 180C

    METHOD
    1 Butter the bread and then spread on marmite. Cut slices of bread into 4.
    2 Lightly beat eggs.
    3 Whisk the mixture and season with pepper.
    4 Dip each piece of bread into the egg mixture and cover the base of the oven proof dish. Sprinkle this layer with some of the grated cheese and follow with another layer of bread and then cheese until both used up.
    5 Pour any remaining egg mixture over the top.
    6 Put in pre heated oven and let it bake for 30 minutes until it has turned golden on top.

    Serve with cherry tomatoes or baked beans.

    Hope you enjoy and it becomes a favourite.xx
    Last edited by JARUS; 26-01-2012 at 8:30 AM. Reason: wrote "hope" instead of "and"
    Cross stitch cards completed 2010 -1
    £2 savers club 2012 #174 £16 Jan (saving for Christmas 2012)
    Don't Throw Food Away Challenge 2012 January £9.35/£5 February£8.59/£10 Annual £13.89/£75
    Aim Stash down to 250 items (currently 450 items) UU5/IN1 Jan, UU0/IN1 Feb
    Grocery Challenge £165.55/£290 Feb Annual budget /£3660
  • JARUS
    Hi another one that I posted on Don't Throw Food Away Challenge, that I thought everyone on here might enjoy.

    Monday night rice
    SERVES 2-3
    PREP 15MINS
    COOK 15MINS

    INGREDIENTS
    2TBSP OIL
    1 EGG, BEATEN WITH 2TBSP WATER
    1 ONION, CHOPPED
    2 GARLIC CLOVES CHOPPED
    1 HEAPED TBSP CURRY POWDER
    2 TBSP TOMATO KETCHUP
    85G/30Z FROZEN PEAS
    250G/90Z LEFTOVER CHICKEN OR PORK SHREDDED INTO STRIPS
    GOOD SPLASH SOY SAUCE

    METHOD

    1 HEAT HALF THE OIL IN A PAN. POUR IN BEATEN EGG SWIRL AROUND THE PAN AND LEAVE TO SET FOR 1 MINUTE. FLIP LIKE A PANCAKE AND LET IT COOK ON OTHER SIDE. TIP ONTO PLATE.
    2 HEAT THE REMAINING OIL IN SAME PAN. TIP IN ONION AND COOK 3-4 MINUTES, THEN STIR IN GARLIC, CURRY POWDER AND KETCHUP. STIR IN PEAS FOR 2 MINS, THE TIP IN RICE, COOKED MEAT AND 100ML WATER. COOK FOR 5-6 MINUTES STIRRING UNTIL PIPING HOT.
    3 SHRED THE OMELETTE INTO STRIPS AND STIR INTO RICE WITH SOME SOY SAUCE.

    ENJOY

    I ACTUALLY BOUGHT A PACK OF COOKED VALUE TIKKA CHICKEN FROM MR T'S - this added to the spiciness and we ahad it with salad, yoghurt and mango chutney-yum yum

    bon appetit xx
    Cross stitch cards completed 2010 -1
    £2 savers club 2012 #174 £16 Jan (saving for Christmas 2012)
    Don't Throw Food Away Challenge 2012 January £9.35/£5 February£8.59/£10 Annual £13.89/£75
    Aim Stash down to 250 items (currently 450 items) UU5/IN1 Jan, UU0/IN1 Feb
    Grocery Challenge £165.55/£290 Feb Annual budget /£3660
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 26th Jan 12, 8:55 AM
    • 4,320 Posts
    • 29,747 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...another nsd today possibly.....i got some lamb steaks for tea...i think i might cube them up and serve in a pitta bread ...kids are having sausages as they arent very keen on lamb....also have a rice pudding i made yesterday

    i need to have a look at what is on offer at lidl this week...also need some fruit and veg

    take care tess
    onwards and upwards
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