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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 32
    • linz4383
    • By linz4383 6th Feb 12, 5:40 PM
    • 287 Posts
    • 4,276 Thanks
    well another no spend day today will need to pop out sometime this week for some bits for next week with DD bein off nursery, theres not a prayer im taking her with me as shes costs far too much! but i am planning on doin sum pizzas with her so have to get the bits for that, may sit and do a meal plan for the rest of this week and next week so i no wot to get also want to get sum bits to try the weetabix brownies as everyone seems to be sayib how nice they
    House deposit £0/£10000
    Loan £6,065.43- £5803.30
    credit card £3,932.25 - £4233.40
    • nicknack
    • By nicknack 6th Feb 12, 5:54 PM
    • 89 Posts
    • 1,861 Thanks
    Thanks LondonDreamer - hopefully I've done it

    • meg72
    • By meg72 6th Feb 12, 6:05 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    Thanks LondonDreamer - hopefully I've done it
    Originally posted by nicknack
    Yes well done you have your signature. I remember trying for ages to figure it out.
    Slimming World at target
    • scotmumof3
    • By scotmumof3 6th Feb 12, 6:11 PM
    • 1,783 Posts
    • 13,910 Thanks
    After long illness, FIL died this morning in nursing home. OH had gone down again Thursday knowing death was imminent. Left me a bit numb. MIL not eating properly so OH buying food for her. Don't know when the funeral is. Will try to keep to budget this month.

    Going to Lidl later with mum as OH has car (getting perilously low on cat food and bread - will dust down bread maker maybe next month but I think cooking cat food would turn out more expensive!). Menu for week planned (lots of fish cos OH not so keen on fish), freezer audited, very last of the Christmas turkey to be finished this lunch time. At last am getting to the end of UFOs - unidentified frying objects - you know, those bits of meat in unlabeled plastic bags whose identity only becomes clear on defrosting (and sometimes not even then lol). Love you all, you're the best xxx
    Originally posted by DundeeDoll
    sorry to hear about your FIL our sympathies are with you and your family
    LHS #217 DFW#1421
    debt free day 29th October 2020
    • Coxy11
    • By Coxy11 6th Feb 12, 6:28 PM
    • 2,323 Posts
    • 27,347 Thanks
    Heading for an epic fail this month. Both DS's have had birthdays and although presents and bowling/swimming with their friends are from another budget, I have still included a trip to McD's for DS2 and buffet party food for DS1 in my GC.

    Have meal planned for this week and kind of for next week, although being half term and the fact that one day may involve going to a funeral, there's only so far I can plan. Will need another weekly shop for next week (probably Monday) and will hopefully only need to give DS1 another £10 for his school dinners to see him up to half term, so can claw the extra £10 I'd allocated for that to the GC.

    Sorry for the ramble
    Cross-stitch WIP: Pretty Maids in a Row
    • PaddyPaws
    • By PaddyPaws 6th Feb 12, 6:33 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 3,019 Thanks
    Really sorry to hear about all those of you suffering from losses or difficulties, I hope everyone is getting plenty of support from those around them. Sending hugs to all who need one

    Just a quick spendy update from me, £22.62 in A!di and £16.60 in Mr S this week, so £39.22.

    So £126.88 spent so far this month and it's only the 6th 50% of the budget spent and 20% of the month gone - double BUT in my defence, I've only got 7 meals not yet planned between now and the end of the month, and I'm pretty sure we've got enough 'stuff' in the freezer to cover those too (except I've got a fancy for some salmon so I may just indulge myself)

    ok, waffled enough, off to update my signature now


    • scotmumof3
    • By scotmumof3 6th Feb 12, 6:37 PM
    • 1,783 Posts
    • 13,910 Thanks
    A couple of spends on veg and meat £19.86 at Te$co and £16.99 at Asd@ Going off to do this weeks meal plan/ fridge check
    LHS #217 DFW#1421
    debt free day 29th October 2020
  • mumwithamission
    Life sounding a bit harsh for a few of you out there - wishing you strength and courage.

    NSD for me, will update sig. Tmrw I'll tot up this first week's spending....think I'll probably be a bit over budget
    Last edited by mumwithamission; 06-02-2012 at 6:51 PM.

  • elizabunny
    DundeeDoll So sorry to hear about your FIL. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

    Looking at my budget, I am a bit ahead of where I want to be for this month, but it's not too bad as I have been stocking up on some things.

    Had a baking day yesterday and made some fruitcake, flapjacks and dessert for yesterday and today's dinner.

    Toad-in-the-hole for dinner tonight, it's been ages since I made it and we love it. I cut the sausages in half, so made three look like alotbut it was plenty for us two -very filling.

    We have quite a bit of lying snow at the moment, so had to dispatch DH for some groceries tonight, he is getting quite good though and I know I can trust him to make wise choices.

    Keep warm everyone!
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
    • Cool Nanna
    • By Cool Nanna 6th Feb 12, 6:58 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 911 Thanks
    Cool Nanna
    Sorry can't keep up with all the posts but big hugs to everyone who needs one.
    The homemade cakes and biscuits are going down really will the family and I am now getting requests.
    I have made some potato croquets today using leftover mash dipped in egg and coated in breadcrumbs made out of cheese and onion bread, they were delicious.
    I have stopped buying expensive t bags as I always just bung a bag in a cup, I just buy the one cup ones now for £1. I have also started buying full cream milk and watering it down.

    I shouldn't need to go shopping now until Friday, I have a couple of hours spare on Wednesday so I will make some jam tarts for hubbys lunch box.

    £177.16 spent so far this month but a lot of that was store cupboard stuff so hopefully I am on track.
    Jan GC £300/£296 March GC £375/£336
    Feb GC £300290 April GC £300/£270
    May GC £250/£273
  • destroyerofdebt2011
    Just a little spend to update for me as i felt i seriously needed to up the fruit consumption to aid in the non snacking on rubbish so got some oranges and pears to add to the cheapie apples from the other day. Also picked up some cheapy rice pudding and tinned fruit as it does in a pinch for at work lunches. SO small spend of £5.02 in Mr Ts

    thankfully the snow is fast melting here hugs to those in need and i hope everyone is wrapped up warm.

    HSBC £3223.20 £2060.00
    Cap1 £1724.91 £1782.00
    OD £939.78 £200.00
    No 49 of £2012 in 2012.. £645.10 so far & Crazy Clothes £14.09/£100.00 ReducingtheToiletryStash2012 UU12/IN 20 March Grocery 0.00/£65.00 & LbsNot£s Lost 14Lbs
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 6th Feb 12, 7:21 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    Turkey Burgers (GF and DF)
    Thought I had put the recipe up for Turkey Burgers (GF and DF) but I haven't so for your delectation this is what we had for dinner yesterday.

    Chop 1 large onion up into small bits and fry it until lightly browned.

    Put 700-800gm of turkey mince in a bowl with the zest of one lemon, 1tsp dried thyme (or 2tsp fresh). 1 tblsp dried parsley (or 2 tblsp fresh), onion and season to taste. Mix it all up together.

    Take a piece of the mixture and roll and then flatten it between the palms of your hands in patties.

    Put a little oil in a griddle pan and heat up and then put the patties in and turn the heat down and cook slowly, turning after 4-5 minutes.

    Serve with chips or vegetable chips (Cut a seletion of carrots, parsnips & potatoes, depending what is in season, into large chips. No need to peel. Put in a baking tin and toss in a little olive oil, a good sprinkling of paprika and a little salt. Roast at 180deg C for 45-50 mins. Tossing frequently.)

    Another variation of the burgers is to shape them and wrap bacon round them. Put in a baking tin and bake at 180deg C for 20-25 mins. Then pan fry for a few minutes each side to crisp the bacon.

    All served with lashings of mayonaise or ketchup for dipping.

    Dinner tonight was SC Chilli with rice and nachos, which is in the recipe index.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • lisakay
    • By lisakay 6th Feb 12, 7:28 PM
    • 434 Posts
    • 6,131 Thanks
    Well, I thought I was doing well. fab started on 25th jan for us and have managed 10 NSD since then. unfortunately the 3 days I have spent, I spent too much. spent £61 in as*a on thurs and a whole £3 in the coop on reduced bread on sat. This leaves me with £73 to last until 25th. I'm hoping I can pull it off, as I'm fully stocked up on the expensive stuff and basics(washing powder, loo rolls, pet food, bread, meat, milk) and next week is half term, so I wont need all the butty box stuff for the squids until the following week.
    It should just be fresh fruit and veg, not even we can eat £73 worth of fruit and veg in 3 weeks!!

    sending love to everyone, but especially those who've had bereavements. big hugs everyone x
    freecycler and skip diver extraordinnaire
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 6th Feb 12, 7:28 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    I'm waiting for my children to go to sleep so I can go to bed myself, and while waiting i have just eaten three bakewell tarts!! Oops, supposed to be doing ww as well! Think I may need to sort out the fruit situation too, but not while I'm feeling like this - I do have a compulsion to eat carp when I'm ill, been known to have cheesy chips for breakfast, and also a roast once!

    So cold, even though the heating is on, so I'm off to bed now, and I'll have to read while i'm waiting for them to go to sleep (I always like to tuck them up and check on them before i go to bed). Hm, maybe a giant cuppa or hot choc too?...

    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
    • Flat Eric
    • By Flat Eric 6th Feb 12, 7:35 PM
    • 3,993 Posts
    • 24,049 Thanks
    Flat Eric
    Somehow its the 6th February and I haven't set a food budget for the month yet.

    Had a home delivery shop on Sat. and spent over £180 this did include a bottle of brandy at £27.99 (a belated xmas present) plus the usual delivery charge at £6

    Despite this, I still managed to go to m&$ on the way home from work today and spend nearly £30 on a curry ready meal for tea (£15) plus two packs of toffee popcorn (£1.80) - two chocolate sundaes (£2.60) and a three for £10 deal on breaded chicken/fish. Despite the MASSIVE shop from Mr T on Saturday, I didn't seem to have anything that could be thrown in the oven and cooked.

    In my defence, I have been ill and have had no appetite (which is most annoying), but I am determined to eat more healthily (including getting back on the slimming world wagon) and I must start meal planning and only shopping after I have meal planned which is something I never seem to do.

  • 123budget
    spend of £7.26 in co*p today
    Trying to keep myself busy as ds1 went travelling today. Know he has arrived in usa waiting for call to let me know he has found his connecting flight to Costa Rica - I hate not being there to help
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2011 / no. 1205 £110 made]Sealed Pot Challenge 2012/no 1205 target £300
    Jan g/c 355.83/£450
    g/c Feb487.66/£400
    March 411.03/£450
    To feed 5 adults and 2 dogs includes toiletries & cleanining
  • 123budget
    Did he manage to get away OK, I saw some flights were disrupted?
    Originally posted by FrugalLina
    Ahh, Thanks for asking.
    Yes his flight left Heathrow this morning and he has landed in usa - just waiting for message to let me know he has managed to find his next flight!- It's his first time flying alone and I'm sure he'll be fine but I do worry
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2011 / no. 1205 £110 made]Sealed Pot Challenge 2012/no 1205 target £300
    Jan g/c 355.83/£450
    g/c Feb487.66/£400
    March 411.03/£450
    To feed 5 adults and 2 dogs includes toiletries & cleanining
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 6th Feb 12, 7:53 PM
    • 3,310 Posts
    • 29,414 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Bells Palsy
    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
    Originally posted by mummyjane
    When I had it as a child, my Mum gave me a (not too) hot water bottle wrapped in muslin to put between my face and the pillow to sleep as this helped the affected nerve to relax. I remember having ear ache with it too.
    I know your DH has other health issues but two "old-fashioned" causes were a cold draught, causing the facial nerves to "catch a chill" and the good old cold-sore common herpes virus - so keeping up the cold-prevention remedies is good. Our very best wishes and hope it doesn't last too long
    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
  • seductivesmile
    Hi All. . .
    I feel as if i need to have someone to tell me off if i stray into the supermarket. . . below is a list of what is in the cupboards and freezer. . . and i live alone!
    So, slapped wrists if i go anywhre near a SM please! and also - ideas on meals i would love as i have gotten myself in to a rut.

    Freezer contents:
    250g Mince Beef x3
    400g Mince Lamb
    500g Mince Pork
    500g Mince Turkey
    Salmon Fillet x4
    4 Rashers Bacon x5
    Pork Chop x7
    Beef Steak x5
    2pk Sausages x10
    Gammon Steak x4
    Turkey Steak x2
    Chicken Fillet x5
    Beef Burger
    Cooked Beef x6 (sandwiches)
    Cooked Chicken
    Cooked Ham x7
    125g Smoked Salmon
    Meatballs (raw) x4

    ∑ HM chilli x4
    Peshwari Naan 4pk
    Chick & Mush Slicex2
    Sausage Roll 2pk x2
    Puff Pastry Block x2
    Beef & Onion Pie x3
    Chick & Mush Pie
    Bacon/Tom Quiche
    Rolled Puff Pastry x2
    Rolled Short Pastry x3
    Veggie Fingers 10pk x2
    Turkey Escalope x2
    Chicken Goujons x2
    Sliced Peppers
    Sliced Mushrooms
    Roasted Veg
    250g Grated Cheese
    Garlic Bread x2
    Savoury Eggs x2
    Pepperoni Pizza x2
    Mozzarella Pizza x2
    Meatballs x2
    Bubble & Squeak x2
    Hot Cross Buns
    Ham Quiche x2
    Chicken in Pastry x2
    Curly Fries
    Hash Browns

    Oops. . . may post the cupboards list soon, but its all rather embarresing!

    SS x
    Each day is a new beginning, look at what you have an be grateful for every tiny thing. You don't know when it may be taken away.
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 6th Feb 12, 7:58 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    Melt in the mouth (GF and DF) Chocolate cake.
    This is what I made my eldest for his birthday cake.

    Preheat oven to 180deg C. Grease and line a loose bottom cake tin.

    Put 150gm chocolate chunks (70% solids) and 110gms margarine (for DF use something like Pure or a lot of baking marg's are DF.) in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.

    When melted together add 125gms unrefined golden caster sugar and stir until melted in.

    Remove the bowl from heat and add 4 egg yolks, 50gms Dove's GF plain flour, 1tsp GF baking powder and 1tsp vanilla essence and mix together.

    Beat the 4 egg whites until stiff and slowly fold it into the chocolate mixture. Be very gentle.

    Pour into the cake tin and bake for 50mins. Use a skewer to check it is cooked through if not put it in for a further 5 mins or so.

    Leave to cool for 5mins or so before turning out.

    Serve warm with red berries (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries etc.) and cream. Or cold with a chocolate ganache (dark or white)

    This is absolutely scrummy and you wouldn't know it was GF and DF.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
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