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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 February 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 January 2012 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 squeaky; 30-01-2012 at 6:27 AM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 29
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 5th Feb 12, 6:23 PM
    • 3,058 Posts
    • 28,187 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Just filled two of those collapsible crates with toiletries from the bathroom. Shocked at how much is in there; literally hundreds of pounds worth. I've seen people with signature references to toiletry spend - can someone point me at a thread please? (I have serious quantities and varieties to resolve).

    Good news is that the work starts on the bathroom to replace the shower tomorrow because the snow means the builders need an indoor job. Not so good; this means mess from ceiling coming down and no shower for probably a week plus - they want to take it out to investigate the false floor and waste pipes - we really need two inches more height in the shower as both DH and DS are 6'4" (and still growing in DS case) - plan B is to raise the ceiling by exposing the beams and plasterboarding in little panels.

    Prepared to work from home tomorrow if it doesn't improve tonight. Plenty I can do here.

    Have a good week everyone
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 78.13% 31,251.65 including July
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 46.03% spent so far, mid July
    My DFD is here
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 5th Feb 12, 6:32 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    Just filled two of those collapsible crates with toiletries from the bathroom. Shocked at how much is in there; literally hundreds of pounds worth. I've seen people with signature references to toiletry spend - can someone point me at a thread please? (I have serious quantities and varieties to resolve).
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Just very quickly as oven peeping that dinner's ready

    This may help http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3767181
    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!
  • mumwithamission
    Hi there! I think I've 'been done' in Mr M's - bought reduced Frylight on last visit, two different sorts. Just checked the receipt and I've been charged 1.30 for one and 2.39 for the other - both were on the sale display. Feel very cross - either with them for misleading me or myself for not checking (suppose someone might have left the expensive one there when they spotted the bargain). Will have to investigate....and report back later.


    • flyingmamma
    • By flyingmamma 5th Feb 12, 6:50 PM
    • 234 Posts
    • 1,990 Thanks
    flyingmamma
    Just logging in some spends for feb- 20 for this week- some amazing price reductions! Got a litre of fresh cream for 40p...wasn,t sure if I can freeze this but checked on here and it seems you can? Diner for 3....1.75. 6 steak sausages 79p! Came in under last week ...think I,m getting the hang of this moneysaving challenge.
    No more toys til Xmas 2019 Trying to not waste food , time or money and appreciate the moment more! Personal 50 clothes challenge for 2019 Debt free 1st Oct 2014 Mfw July 2022 - 2019 # 130 1380/12000
    Save 12k in 2019 400/2000
    • linz4383
    • By linz4383 5th Feb 12, 7:01 PM
    • 287 Posts
    • 4,276 Thanks
    linz4383
    well a NSD for me! cant go newhere coz of the snow so just been stuck in, in the warm all day!
    had a whoopsied turkey breast joint (50p) for dinner which was gorgeous theres plenty left tho! not sure wot to do with that tomorrow?! any ideas?! thinkin maybe curry?! think it may do 2 more meals! not bad for 50p
    hoping the snow is goin to be gone soon! hate havin to get about in it!
    House deposit 0/10000
    Loan 6,065.43- 5803.30
    credit card 3,932.25 - 4233.40
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 5th Feb 12, 7:18 PM
    • 3,348 Posts
    • 34,483 Thanks
    XSpender
    Not much snow here but it is very icy. Nearly broke my neck on the patio on my way to list the contents of the garage freezer

    I have finally listed the contents of both freezers and my big larder cupboard. And all I can say is at the amount of food we have in. Good thing really as I am so close to budget with 16 days left we will be eating the contents for the rest of the month and trying to spend no more than 50 on fresh stuff.

    We have arranged for a joiner to put shelving in my 2 big under stairs cupboards so I can organise my stores much better. (More room for bargains). I can't wait as I have so little storage space.

    After a trip to Mr S half an hour before closing for some beers for DH (it's his birrthday today) we left with a whoopsied hot chicken, roast potatoes, whoopsied hot cross buns, beer and a magazine for DS. We didn't need anything! 9 odd to add to the total.

    We were back from Mr S ten minutes when DH said he would have to take cakes into work on Tuesday as it was his birthday and could I make some as they all loved the ones I made for CIN. Wish he had said when we were in Mr S as I need icing sugar and normal sugar as I have to make some for my work too. That will be 3 victoria sandwiches and 2 batches of mufins for me to make tomorrow then!

    We went out for a meal last night and the food was lovely but the portions were massive. We got them to parcel up mre than half of my veggie lasagne, chunky chips and side salad and shared it for lunch today. The lasagne was so good I wasn't going to leave it behind

    I have written a meal plan and have also planned lunches for the next 2 weeks so we do not get stuck with nothing to eat and spending money unnecessarily.
  • redkids1972
    Done another big shop and my total is 182.82 so nearly at the top end of my budget already but all freezers cupboards fridge are all bursting and I'm working a lot this week and two of my kids are on hols away next week so hopefully will keep fairly close to target. Will Check in next week with updated total.
    New to comping 11/2/2013

    Feb wins to date: 0lympic messenger bag, 100
    • hex2
    • By hex2 5th Feb 12, 7:33 PM
    • 4,722 Posts
    • 80,174 Thanks
    hex2
    I don't use butter that much (hence having to chuck out the stuff I'd made from whoopsied double cream because it went rancid)
    Originally posted by bupster
    You can freeze it, the stuff I made at the start of Jan I wrapped in grease proof paper and froze in 2 and 4oz blocks. If I buy reduced butter (Makro sometimes do) then I cut that up and freeze it too.

    Got a litre of fresh cream for 40p...wasn,t sure if I can freeze this
    Originally posted by flyingmamma
    Yes you can but I think you need to whip it first. Or make it into butter and then freeze it.

    1 on milk in the co-op, plus some more RTC pork chops for the freezer.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • wear280902
    I am guessing some of you bulk buy or batch cook. I am new to this and TBH have rarely used my freezer. So can anyone make a recommendation on the containers they use and where they buy them from for batch cooking ( I do not have a microwave ) and have used all possible containers old takeaway ones/ soup ones possible and/or decent frezzer bags.
    Extra Payment a Week Challenge: (joined 15.01.12) This week 27.34 /Total so far 42.34
    Pay off as much as i can in 2012: 222.34 / 5000
    FEB GC 11/200.
    • JIL
    • By JIL 5th Feb 12, 8:11 PM
    • 4,431 Posts
    • 24,014 Thanks
    JIL
    I am guessing some of you bulk buy or batch cook. I am new to this and TBH have rarely used my freezer. So can anyone make a recommendation on the containers they use and where they buy them from for batch cooking ( I do not have a microwave ) and have used all possible containers old takeaway ones/ soup ones possible and/or decent frezzer bags.
    Originally posted by wear280902
    I get mine from Asda, and I write on them with a permanent marker, that comes off in the dishwasher. I use them for single portions, of casserole, lasagne, roast meat with gravy etc.
    I use these, they are the same ones takeaways use so can be microwaved, frozen etc and they do last well. The lids also fit on well which is a bit of a bugbear of mine.
    http://groceries.asda.com/asda-estore/search/searchcontainer.jsp?trailSize=1&searchString=food+ containers+with+lids&domainName=Products&headerVer sion=v1&_requestid=179868
    and also the foil containers. I use the foil containers for individual pie fillings. I take one out of the freezer pop a pre cut pastry lid on top and cook in the oven . very easy

    I have also reused margarine tubs, icecream tubs etc.
    Last edited by JIL; 05-02-2012 at 8:50 PM.
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 5th Feb 12, 8:18 PM
    • 1,719 Posts
    • 12,659 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Hi all

    I had Roasted Vegetable Cous Cous for tea as stated earlier - was nice - not the cheapest of recipes at around 90p a portion - may vary slightly next time though - will use more balsamic I think:



    Roasted Vegetable Cous Cous
    Ingredients

    1 red pepper, seeded and diced
    1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced
    2 courgettes, diced
    1 aubergine, diced
    1 red onion, chopped
    3 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped (I used dried!)
    3 tbsp olive oil
    200g cous cous (I use wholewheat but cous cous is cous cous at the end of the day!)
    1 vegetable stock cube (I use 1 Oxo cube)
    1 tin flageolet beans
    3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

    Method

    Preheat oven to 220.
    Place all the vegetables, garlic and rosemary in a large roasting tin and drizzle over the oil.
    Season and roast for 20 minutes, stirring after ten minutes.
    Make the cous cous with the stock cube.
    Add the beans and vinegar to the roasting tin, mix well and roast for further 10 minutes.
    Serve on top of the cous cous.

    I had mushrooms that needed using so added them, plus an extra 1.5 courgettes. Made 4 good portions.

    NSD today - first one of Feb

    Tomorrow will buy milk, bananas and honey. Don't need to do rest of Week 2 shop until Weds.

    wear280902 - I've read your other posts and well done on coming so far so fast. For a while Mr T were doing some cheapy rectangular ones, they're not great as the plastic edging tended to break when frozen/nuked, but mine have just survived about 9 months of heavy use so far...however I haven't seen them lately as wanted some more. The next best I would recommend are Tub-Its for cheaper ones - the Oval shape ones are brill for batch cooking - really good portions. If I'm transporting food though, I use Lock N Lock - i.e. for my lunches. Expensive, but lasts forever and ever and completely sealed so fine for soup etc. Recently have found cheapest place to buy is The Range - about 50% - 70% of the Amazon price, which is cheaper than in normal stores. In general though, if you do have the old takeaway containers then they are freezableand nuke-able so perfect! HTH!!!

    LC
    Last edited by elsiepac; 05-02-2012 at 8:40 PM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy & Going Out Deals boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    SPC No 074
    GC: Apr 19 59.94/200
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 5th Feb 12, 8:40 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    freakyogre
    90p spent on Friday on milk.
    6.17 in Morrisons today on shampoo, conditioner, handsoap, bananas, clementines, rice, cranberry juice and lime cordial.
    4.00 in Farmfoods on toilet rolls.
    Grocery challenge - Nov: 52/100
  • PolkaDotsAndLace
    Spent 58.29 in one big shop on Friday - this should see us through the next fortnight just topping up on bread, milk, and the odd bit of veg (so hopefully no more than 15 this weekend) Very pleased with that, cupboards are bursting and freezer is full - though the latter's a bit annoying since I want to batch cook but have no room!

    4 NSDs so far as well.
    February Grocery Challenge - 100.87/180
    February Don't Throw Food Away Challenge - 0.60/1.50
    • mummyjane
    • By mummyjane 5th Feb 12, 8:43 PM
    • 381 Posts
    • 3,685 Thanks
    mummyjane
    Although I was hoping for a NSD today, ended up popping to ASDA and buying lots of extra bits that would be easy for dh to eat. He awoke in the early hours with a scare, his right side of his face had dropped and he couldn't talk properly or move his face. After a visit to the doctor he has bells palsy (just what he needs when he is waiting for a second amputation ).

    What a horrible year so far, I know there are many people who have far worse things to worry about. It's just he's been through so much already (he's only late thirties).

    Have updated my signature, hope everyone has had a good weekend.
    Groceries Challenge 2019
    Jan 462.44/400
    Feb 210.10/450, 2/10 NSDs
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 5th Feb 12, 8:46 PM
    • 495 Posts
    • 6,305 Thanks
    carolinerunner
    Gulp, so many pages I've missed in the last couple of days, will have to go unread, boo! Frightening how easy it is to get distracted, have family staying and don't feel able to slope off to the pc as usual...
    Also gulp, how have I spent so much already? Did the Mr M Sun voucher (how come it's the only sm that doesn't do the 50p Sheba multibiuy??!! That was my main aim iin doing it but once I got in there, of course I found plenty of other things to make up the 40 with...) Also did the 20% off Ocado so am very well stocked up with certain things but hardly any actual food. And can't face the long snowy drive to pick up my new freezer yet so am not yet reaping the benefits of that... off to do some careful menu planning for the next week, gnight all!
    Erratically money saving
  • wear280902
    Thankyou LC or elsiepac for your advice I will try the Range this week before I have to give back the 6.5l Slow Cooker on Thursday seen a MR 6.5l for 18.99 so will get this when recieve chq in a few weeks time . WIll also try and not do an overspend in order to get some meals in freezer and try and upcycle some freezer items...no I have lots of differant pastries in freezer and will keep looking for those 'true bargains' to make some pies.
    Extra Payment a Week Challenge: (joined 15.01.12) This week 27.34 /Total so far 42.34
    Pay off as much as i can in 2012: 222.34 / 5000
    FEB GC 11/200.
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 5th Feb 12, 9:01 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    NSD today. However, a friend came round and reaaaallllly wanted a Toby carvery, so we went there for dinner instead of having the hm pizza I'd planned. Grrr... I'd mixed up the base and left it to rise by this point too! Still, won't go to waste, I've put it into the fridge, and we'll have pizza for dinner tom now. It'll be interesting to see if it tastes any better having had 24 hours to rise instead of the usual half hour!

    Not very happy with myself att he moment about my food spending - I can feel myself slowly going back to the old ways. Must try and plan to use up what's in, even more than before.

    This week's plan:

    Mon - hm pizza
    Tues - No ch, so prob tin of ood soup or similar
    Weds - again no ch, so same! (or may make BOF soup)
    Thurs - Fish pie
    Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon - co ch, so whatever is ood or ch don't like. Possibles are mussaman curry, carrot and coriander soup, or some salmon/chilli.

    Quite vague, but necessarily so as I want the freedom to choose what to use up out of my ridiculous stores.

    Then, I have the children from valentine's day until the following tuesday, so aiming to make some nice meals during the half term to use up stuff in the house, and not buy too much in except fruit.

    Hmm...
    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
  • wear280902
    Sorry to hear your news mummyjane I hope dh gets better soon. I don't know much about bells palsy but I am hoping it isn't anywhere near as bad as a stroke. You are in my thoughts. Vicky.
    Extra Payment a Week Challenge: (joined 15.01.12) This week 27.34 /Total so far 42.34
    Pay off as much as i can in 2012: 222.34 / 5000
    FEB GC 11/200.
    • mummyjane
    • By mummyjane 5th Feb 12, 9:18 PM
    • 381 Posts
    • 3,685 Thanks
    mummyjane
    Sorry to hear your news mummyjane I hope dh gets better soon. I don't know much about bells palsy but I am hoping it isn't anywhere near as bad as a stroke. You are in my thoughts. Vicky.
    Originally posted by wear280902
    Thank you Vicky, it isn't a serious condition although the doctor told dh it is likely to be caused by stress. It is just his right side of face that is affected but his speech is affected as is his sense of taste plus he has a terrible headache with it. Dh is so anxious about his op plus work is very stressful at the moment. He has been put on steroids so hopefully they will help. It never rains does it! I am very blessed to have such a wonderful husband I just wish he could be fit and well poor love xx
    Groceries Challenge 2019
    Jan 462.44/400
    Feb 210.10/450, 2/10 NSDs
    • DundeeDoll
    • By DundeeDoll 5th Feb 12, 9:26 PM
    • 3,508 Posts
    • 39,698 Thanks
    DundeeDoll
    Thinking of you and your dh mummyjane. hugs
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