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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 149
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 26th Jan 12, 8:49 PM
    • 3,996 Posts
    • 52,590 Thanks
    How about putting a shopping list somewhere public in the house - stuck to the fridge or written on a blackboard in the kitchen or something. Anyone can add anything that you're running low on in the house. Tell him you'll pay for any "essentials" he picks up that are on the list but anything else he decides he wants to buy are his "treats" regardless of whether he thinks he's buying it for your benefit, his or everybodies.

    I have the opposite problem. OH might go to the shop to buy himself a treat but he rarely notices that while he's there he could pick up any or all of the things that we've run out of . And then he phones me at work to tell me that we're out of stuff and I need to pick it up on my way home
    Originally posted by sonastin
    When I married Mr F 14 years ago - he was a nightmare when out shopping. I would give him a list and he would come home and say - I got a few extras! He was so used to living on his own/buying stuff to make a quick meal - took me ages to train him!
    15 in 2015 1/15
    • Mrs Money Penny
    • By Mrs Money Penny 26th Jan 12, 8:49 PM
    • 732 Posts
    • 6,347 Thanks
    Mrs Money Penny
    Hi small shop in Mr A this afternoon so just updated my figures for this month.

    Please could I have a budget again of £200 for February.
    MFIT Challenge save £40k
    £48828.05/£46842.89/-£1985.16Mortgage neutral 03/19
    • Gorgeestwo
    • By Gorgeestwo 26th Jan 12, 8:51 PM
    • 364 Posts
    • 5,889 Thanks
    Dont be angry with yourself ypoi are doing amazing to put it all right now!!! We should all be very very proud of ourselves!!!

    Originally posted by Crowdpleaser
    Gorgeestwo I know JUST what you mean, right there with you, but progress is good, and you can only change things from now on. In the words of the cheesy quote:

    “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that's why we call it the present."

    see you on the Feb thread soon!
    Originally posted by carolinerunner
    Gorgeestwo ditto! Can't stop thinking how different our life would be if I'd cottoned on to MSE forum advice years ago. Never mind (big sigh) perhaps I can sort things out before we retire

    NSD for me - hope I can make at least another one before the end of Jan.
    Originally posted by mumwithamission
    Hoping the multi quote thingy works

    Thank you all very much you're all right I'm really surprised at how being organised with my shopping/cooking has made me more organised with other things too looking forward to getting stuck into February and saving some money

    (woohoo just previewed post and its worked )
    Grocery challenge : January 2016 £65.86/£300
    For 2 adults, 2 children (10 & 9 yrs) 3 cats & 2 dogs.

    • ms_night_ryder
    • By ms_night_ryder 26th Jan 12, 9:00 PM
    • 3,001 Posts
    • 11,582 Thanks
    £9.40 to add, so i'm now waaaaay over my target, got the ken hom meals 2 mains and 2 sides for £5 got 4 spring rolls,eggfried rice, crispy beef and ribs, was intending them to go in the freezer, but because i stocked up on another deal weight watchers meals £4 for 8, i cant fit anything else in my freezer, also got 2 packs of prawn crackers and 2 whoopsied sandwiches, this was yesterday, so i have been bad.

    Need to deffo tighten my belt, looks like there may be redundancies at my work.
    Lose 28lb 3/28lb
    SPC Member 1522/2012-£264/ new pot 2013
    All the washing powder etc there is fab. They've won quite a few Which awards. The non bio doesn't antagonise my kids' eczema either!
    Originally posted by On an Avon Mission
    Thank you for that I was wondering about their non bio. I always use Mr T's for that very reason, but will try the A*di version.

    Jarus 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
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 26th Jan 12, 9:10 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    NSD again today, that's 5 in a row!!! Hoping not to be tempted to go in tom; I drop the children off at their dad's for the weekend at 6pm, and I'm then alone til quarter to 4 on Sunday afternoon (when they go to a party and are fed their dinner!!). I'm so often tempted to go around the sms at these times, esp now I've started ww, but I'm also more tired than I think I've ever been, so I'm going to go and prep something nice for tom's dinner, maybe make a pizza base to just check some veggies on or something. If I have something half prepped, I'll be more likely to stay home than go and buy stuff.

    DD helped me to make a shopping list for me to get over the weekend, easy meals planned for next week; dd chose cottage pie, and ds chose sausage casserole. The sausage casserole will be for monday and I'll have any lo on tues, then the cottage pie will be for thurs, with lo for the children for friday after swimming lessons. I'll have any old random thing that falls out of the cupboard when I open it

    Night all,

    PG x
    Grocery challenge for family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(11), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries. Jan £87.97/£100 Feb £0/£100
    Frugal 2018 needed! Saving and NOT spending
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 26th Jan 12, 10:00 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    £8.65 spent since my last post.

    £3.70 on Sunday at Sainsbury's on bread and 3 x fruit juice.
    £2.57 yesterday at Sainsbury's on milk, cheesestrings (reduced) and a chinese ready meal (reduced). Handy for a 'can't be bothered night'.
    £2.38 today at Lidl on oats and crisps.

    I may go over as i'll need bread for lunches next week. I've just started a new job and I don't think there's any real kitchen facilities, so I can't take my usual soup/leftovers etc that i'd like to. Booo!
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
    • hamish222
    • By hamish222 26th Jan 12, 10:25 PM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,027 Thanks
    Went to A*di and used £5 off voucher. First time I have ever did a large shop in Aldi. Paper only cost me 23p as local shop had all newspapers half price. Total spend there with £5 off was £35.34.
    Then went to Mr M and got some meat for freezer. Large chicken was half price and got pork chops and diced pork on special. Total spend was £42.80 after my staff discount (MIL works there)
    Pleased as lots for freezer and got enough biscuts, crisps, cold meat, diet coke, yoghurts etc till at least middle of Feb. Will put in DR order tomorrow and then going to avoid supermarkets as much as possible. Just going to try go to A*ldi for bread, fruit & veg and milk.
    Only other spend was £4.24 in cafe, was out with mum and aunt and was my turn to buy. Hadnt been to bank and started snowing so me and Aunt went half's as didnt have enough cash on me.
    Yearly Grocery Budget - £100.77/ £3500. January Treats Budget - £11.80 / £100.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 26th Jan 12, 10:43 PM
    • 3,310 Posts
    • 29,414 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    DH will be popping to Ald1 or Mr T tomorrow for dog food and milk as we will need it that night and I am out with the girls
    Originally posted by XSpender
    Wow! Not sure my DH would be happy with dog food when I'm on a night out! Perhaps in a mystery pie...
    Save £12k in 2019 - #68 target is £7k £8,766.30 after Sep
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target £3k - 57.28% spent after Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 108.23% £43,292.24 including Sep - reducing now to avoid fees
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (£59,998) Q2 £30,085 or 50.14% paid
    My DFD is here
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 26th Jan 12, 10:48 PM
    • 3,996 Posts
    • 52,590 Thanks
    Yorkshire Egg And Bacon Pie.
    From a cookery book dated 1981.

    10 oz short crust pastry.
    2 tomatoes - sliced thinly. 1 Tbsp grated onion. Salt and pepper.
    6 - 8 ozs bacon. 4 eggs.

    Use half of pastry to line an 8 inch dish/pie plate. Arrange tomato in dish then add grated onion. Cut bacon into small pieces and put in pie in a cross shape - leaving four hollows for eggs. Break an egg into each hollow and season. Damp edges and put on pastry lid. I just go round the edges with a fork and then brush with milk. Cook 30 minutes - 190 then a further 25 - 30 minutes at 180. Lovely hot or cold.
    Makes 6 servings.
    Can freeze.
    I use bacon trimmings - Mr T - about £1.20 for 500g - I make this enough for 3 pies. In the past when I have been out of tomatoes - used mushrooms instead. A pie does us two for three dinners.
    15 in 2015 1/15
    • Ches
    • By Ches 26th Jan 12, 10:48 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 10,371 Thanks

    Every morning I rush around making packed lunch for me and DH and lunch and tea for DS to take to his grandmas when he is there 3 days a week. This morning she suggested that I pay her a bit more on top of what I pay her now for minding him and she will feed him. I feel a bit guilty really that I won't be 'feeding' him. Irrational I know
    Originally posted by XSpender
    She gets paid for looking after her grandchild ??? What did I do wrong Don't answer that I know its none of my business.
    Mortgage and Debt free but need to increase savings pot.
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 26th Jan 12, 10:58 PM
    • 3,996 Posts
    • 52,590 Thanks
    She gets paid for looking after her grandchild ??? What did I do wrong Don't answer that I know its none of my business.
    Originally posted by Ches
    Snap! I did it for free too.
    15 in 2015 1/15
    • cw18
    • By cw18 26th Jan 12, 11:01 PM
    • 8,083 Posts
    • 86,086 Thanks
    She gets paid for looking after her grandchild ??? What did I do wrong Don't answer that I know its none of my business.
    Originally posted by Ches
    Snap! I did it for free too.
    Originally posted by Florenceem
    Me three.....

    And my Mum four
    Good morning everyone.
    I haven`t been around here for a couple of weeks or so, but have kept an eye on the budget, I won`t know my total until the very beginning of February, when I pay the butcher (get 10% discount) and so far I have come under at £340.28.

    Pretty pleased so far, as I went abit mad with bulk buying washing powder, toilet rolls and we went out last weekend (came out of the GC budget), so there was no cooking for me.

    Not too sure how next month will go as my cupboards are nearly bear, as well as the freezer and fridge (kids with bottomless bellies). I don`t really get out at the right time for many whoopsies, so will proberly keep with the £400 for feb.
    Will go and update siggy now.
    Well done everyone.
    Grocery Challenge 2013: July week 1 £90/£87.41
    week 2 £90.00/£118.38 week 3 £90/£60.54week4 £90/£79.90 week5 £45/£00
    End of mortgage april 2030
    Mortgage overpayment from june 2013 aiming for £400 a month: £451
    Emergency fund 2013 from june £70
    • SueP19
    • By SueP19 27th Jan 12, 6:31 AM
    • 1,706 Posts
    • 14,488 Thanks
    I think I might just come in under
    My spends are so far this week are
    B**ts £3.05
    Mr C's £6.95
    Mr M's £3.90
    Mr A's £6.14
    Total £20.04

    Only got a small shop in Mr M's to go
    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]
    • meg72
    • By meg72 27th Jan 12, 7:47 AM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    Spent £30 yesterday using £5 off voucher in Aldi,this included 6 bottles of wine for pressies and 4 bottlesof washing gel which will last me a few months, so very well pleased.
    Slimming World at target
  • lizzywig
    Can you please add me to this challenge, budget of £200/month.
    Don't Throw Food Away Challenge January 2012 - £0.17 / £10
    Grocery Challenge 16th Jan - 19th Feb 2012 - £254.72/£200 (Ooops very bad start)
    Grocery Challenge 20th Feb - 8th March 2012 - £0/£200
  • Habibiboo
    Thanks Florenceem & Sonastin for suggestions!

    Sonastin, it's true, the list is very helpful We do have a wipe-board list in the kitchen that we all add to when we use the last of something, or can even add something we think of that we haven't had for ages, as a treat but OH's 'essentials' are never the things that are on it, so as far as I'm concerned it's all extras we haven't budgeted for!

    You're right Florenceem, at least I only get to pay half but it's still paying out on stuff that we don't really need - trying to work with the mantra: "if it's not on the list we don't need it". Never mind, will get him there in the end! I'm just eternally grateful that his SM of choice is the no-frills L**d and not the more-frills-than-frugal W***rose! Have a good day all!
    Last edited by Habibiboo; 27-01-2012 at 8:09 AM. Reason: typo!
    Stash busting 2014 45 / 60 (balls of yarn)!
    2014 Sealed Pot #2136 ?/£500
    House: Decluttering 322 / 365
    Original mortgage £149,000£117,750;£112,500 MFW 2014#69 GOAL 1: £109 K April GOAL 2: £103 K by Sept GOAL 3: < £100k by end of 2014 MF goal: Nov 2020 - 4 years early
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 27th Jan 12, 8:09 AM
    • 4,369 Posts
    • 30,042 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...icy here but no snow...yet...need to go and get some milk and some cash to pay for the potato delivery tomorrow...£5 for a huge sack

    got chinese hm for tea tonight i think i will wait and see if there are leftovers before i get anything out of the freezer for tomorrow

    im off to lidl tomorrow as i want to have a look at the special offers so may spend a bit

    have a nice weekend
    onwards and upwards
    • meg72
    • By meg72 27th Jan 12, 8:37 AM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    I'm finding it really hard on the eyes too...... have you switched to the "stretchy" option? It is a bit better - esp on a widescreen:

    For anyone that wants to try ......

    User CP
    Edit Options
    Miscellaneous Options
    Forum Skin - change to "new masthead - stretchy"

    Made my NSD (all spends, not just GC) target of 15 today & also 5 in a row which is great for me!

    1 carton of milk left so will def need to get more on Sat.....
    Originally posted by rising from the ashes
    Many thanks forthis Iwas really struggling to read as much to bright,
    OK now.
    Slimming World at target
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