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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 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'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 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 30
  • rosieben
    elsiepac, I've added your Roasted Vegetable Cous Cous recipe to the index

    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • Thrifty Mummy
    Hello, thank you to everyone for this thread.

    Please could I join in? This will be my first month of the challenge, I saved up my receipts last month and have a better idea of my spending now.
    Please can I put myself down for £100 for February. That is for 2 adults and one child. Will see how I do. Thanks
    £2 Savers Club #170 -£26
    Feb GC -£104.96/£100
    March GC -£49.55/£100
    • LisaJane
    • By LisaJane 5th Feb 12, 9:34 PM
    • 354 Posts
    • 2,800 Thanks
    79p on least no spends on crisps and smoked salmon like yesterday. had a lovely roast chicken dinner at mum's mmmmm!
    Save 12k in 2014 (my target: £10 000):
    My savings: £4878.54/£7000
    Joint account savings: £2685.57/£3000
    Total:£7564.11/£10 000 (as at 26/10/14)
    • bunbun2
    • By bunbun2 5th Feb 12, 9:36 PM
    • 3,503 Posts
    • 28,838 Thanks
    Thinking of you and your dh

    Dd sorry to hear of your loss

    Hada smallspend today on milk

    Tea tomorrow was supposed to be lo chicken. Oh put all the chicken in a bowl opened the fridge and dropped the bowl will have to besomething outof the freezer. What a waste
    saving for ds2's summer international scout camp - £200
    £60 deposit paid £100 paid £40 paid
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 5th Feb 12, 11:18 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    Thinking of you and your DH Mummyjane.

    Bun bun, if that had been me I would have picked it up, popped it into a sieve or colander and washed it under running water and then bunged it back in the fridge again though I do lots of things lots of people wouldn't.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
  • Catwoman103
    This week's shop came to £29.62 so I'm still ahead of schedule. Off to update my signature now.
    Jan GC £96.95/£120; NSD 26/31
    Feb GC £113.19/£120: NSD 24/29
    Mar GC £54.22/£150 NSD 10/12

    2012 Aim - To clear credit cards in 2012
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 6th Feb 12, 7:51 AM
    • 1,776 Posts
    • 12,848 Thanks
    elsiepac, I've added your Roasted Vegetable Cous Cous recipe to the index
    Originally posted by rosieben
    Thanks rosieben!

    Sorry to hear everyone's recent bad news - my thoughts are with each of you as I know times must be hard.

    For lunch today I have LO Minestrone Soup from last week, no pic but here's the recipe. This is one I make at least twice a month, as it's really easy, quick, healthy and yummy. Makes 4 good portions. No bread needed!

    Minestrone Soup

    Makes 4 servings


    400g tin chopped tomatoes (43p)
    1 vegetable Oxo cube (7p)
    2.5 - 3 tomato tins of water
    100g thin spaghetti, broken into short lengths (I just use normal wholewheat) (20p)
    500g frozen mixed vegetables (50p)
    1 tin white beans (haricot or cannelini - but I prefer haricot as cannelini make it too filling IMHO) (65p)
    ¼ jar green pesto (25p)
    parmesan, to serve


    Bring the stock to the boil with the tomatoes, then add the spaghetti and cook for 6 mins or until done.
    A few minutes before the pasta is ready, add the vegetables and bring back to the boil.
    Simmer for 2 mins until everything is cooked.
    Mix through the pesto.
    Sprinkle with parmesan if desired - personally I don't bother.

    I make it about £2.10 to make, so 52.5p per portion.

    Last edited by elsiepac; 06-02-2012 at 7:53 AM.
    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 (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: Sep 19 £tbc/£250
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • DundeeDoll
    • By DundeeDoll 6th Feb 12, 8:14 AM
    • 3,606 Posts
    • 40,640 Thanks
    Thanks elsiepac. Have a friend coming round tonight for pizza and was wondering whether to do a starter. That soup sounds ideal :-) for pizzas I got 4 magheritas from lidl for £2.49. I'm going to do bowls of toppings including extra cheese, bacon, pineapple, peppers, salami and mushrooms and we can have fun making our own
    • elly2
    • By elly2 6th Feb 12, 8:19 AM
    • 553 Posts
    • 5,227 Thanks
    Morning all I have not been shopping since last Weds but need milk today for mac cheese for tea (will send DS to the shop for a couple of cartons and have taken another ood block of cheese from the freezer), added another £35 to my pot as i was going to go out sat night but then thought i must be mad for even considering it when the snow/rain/hail hit. I have a couple of ££ in change to pay for the milk so will add the other £20 to my bb purse as i have tea sorted for tomorrow (sausage and stuffing plait) and my new week starts on Weds.
    I have been no-where over the last few days (am becoming very anti-social but i know that if i venture out i will spend) I recieved a very special phone call on Fri from my sister who i have not seen/spoken to for 20 years (family problems) it was so good to hear her voice and i hope things will move forwards for us now we have an awful lot to catch up on.
    Mummy Jane hope your dh health improves
    Dd sorry to hear of your loss

  • zebbeddee
    Good Morning everyone,

    Hope that the snow is not causing too many problems for you all.

    There is one good thing about not being able to get out though, I can't spend any money!!!

    I have been sorting out the cupboards this morning and have found loads of cooking ingredients so think an afternoon of baking beckons.

    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 6th Feb 12, 8:34 AM
    • 4,369 Posts
    • 30,042 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...foggy here...not very nice so take care if u are out and about

    shepherds pie for tea and might make a crumble....need to decide on tomorrows tea and get summat out of the freezer...might roast a chicken dont need much shopping so hopefully the budget wont be blown

    take care tess
    onwards and upwards
  • rosieben
    elsiepac, I've added your Minestrone Soup to the index too

    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • greent
    • By greent 6th Feb 12, 10:08 AM
    • 8,196 Posts
    • 83,272 Thanks

    Few more small spends to add - we went to IKEA yesterday - we were good and didn't have breakfast, but did get a big bag of meatballs, some sweets and crisps in the food shop. Also SUnday paper to add on and a bottle of milk.

    £50.22 spent so far - and an NSD today Will need to hit T or S tomorrow for more milk, bread, apple & orange juices and sandwich items for DD & DH (didn't realise so low on both)

    2 pans of stock made today (huuuuge chicken roasted yesterday and 1st stock was very rich, so made another pot Also in oven currently is a tray of double choc chip cakes, banana cakes and 2 tins of lemon cake (ready for drizzling later) Should have made flapjck, too, but was being assisted by DS3 (2 1/2) so was time consuming and messy enough as it was!! Flapjacks can go in with dinner
    Last edited by greent; 06-02-2012 at 12:37 PM.
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786 12/18 £54829 2019 OPs (#18) £3757/£5K
    Net sales 2019 £532.58/£500
  • CompBunny
    mummyjane I'm so sorry to hear about your husband's bells palsy and coming up amputation. It must be so tough on you both. You are blessed with each others love and support to help you through it, and I hope that you can continue to grow together through this difficult time. xxx

    elly2 how lovely to hear about your phone call Sounds like the start of something beautiful

    Today will be another NSD for me today..number 5 for February. Will probably need some more milk tomorrow though, this cold weather calls for lots of hot chocolate!

    OH will be coming home for lunch today, its been so lovely since we have moved house he comes home most days as its only a 7minute walk. Having lunch together is such a treat, and I think he is enjoying having sandwiches on a plate at the table instead of wolfed down in a freezing cold car! Chicken and cream cheese with onion and tomato sarnie for him, onion tomato and hummus for me, crisps on the side and some sugar free jelly yummy!

    Hope everyone with ice is being careful today, the roads look pretty scary!
    GC2012: Nov £130.52/£125

    Quit smoking 10am 17/02/11 - £4315 saved as of Nov'12

    Engaged to my best friend 08/2012

  • mi jardin
    I didn't go into work yesterday due to the snow, which definitely saved me a few pounds.

    Using some of the stores we have is such a nice feeling. Pea and ham soup for lunch, then ham and chicken pie for dinner. All from one packet of dried peas, one gammon hock, a cheapie chicken breast and
    a bit of HM pastry, and veggies of course. A very OS day!

    • HelenPie
    • By HelenPie 6th Feb 12, 10:54 AM
    • 502 Posts
    • 5,205 Thanks
    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.
    Originally posted by mummyjane
    I hope he's on the mend. If it helps put you mind at ease, I had it when I was younger and it's almost impossible to tell now. I can't wink with my left eye and have a simple when I smile on one side only, but that's all
    I'm sorry he's having such a terrible time though and you, too. My thoughts are with you both x

    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!
    Originally posted by carolinerunner
    That's odd, I nearly always see that offer at my local one. Must have just been unfortunate
    Debt Free By Xmas 2013 #010 £16,660.26/£16,660.26 100% paid, DFD 25/06/13!
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 6th Feb 12, 10:55 AM
    • 504 Posts
    • 6,309 Thanks
    Just made elsiepac's minestrone soup, well something rather like it, thanks for the idea! Used some tiny soup pasta with a use by date about 7 years ago. You can tell I don't make much minestrone soup! Still alive....

    Helenpie, darn! Just my luck! May look again another time, think the S*n voucher's expired now tho... thanks for the info tho!
    Erratically money saving
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 6th Feb 12, 10:59 AM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    so sorry to hear everyones sad news my thoughts and strong wishes are with you during these dissicult times
    i hope the bad weather is not affecting everyone too much and you are managing to stay warm

    will update my sig this afternoon i overspent at the weekend the veg stall we use wasnt there so after going to mrM in the morning we then had to go mrA for veg spotted branston beans on offer at a 4pack for £1 so bought 6 packs as was almost out and a couple of boxes of coco pops as they were cheaper than morrys. dreading adding my spends up.
    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
    • Meadows
    • By Meadows 6th Feb 12, 11:16 AM
    • 4,073 Posts
    • 10,404 Thanks
    I was very good today nipped into my local Co-op to post a letter did not buy one thing (must be a first for me), actually since reading these threads I have made a real effort to eat what is in the bulging freezer and not keep picking up stuff that is (TOO GOOD TO MISS) when I am in the shops.

    The bad news however is that my local doctors have cut back on prescriptions and will only issue one month's worth on each prescription, went to pick up some tablets for hubby and we have to pay that means the cost will now go from £44.40 a year to £88.80
    Bad enough we have to pay for prescriptions in England with other UK countries getting them for free, but not only that, they will not now issue two months at a time for fear patients waste tablets (that they need, so how can you be wasting them).
    Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 6th Feb 12, 11:35 AM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    Get yourself a pre pay certificate. Works out a lot cheaper for the month. You can do it by DD.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
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