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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 35
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 7th Feb 12, 3:06 PM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    mrs-moneypenny
    updated my sig
    that did include spending a tenner on baked beans and coco pops that werent on the list but too good a bargain to miss
    sunday did a brocolli and pasta in blue cheese sauce followed by lemon meringue
    last night did a quorn roast with leeky mash and blueberry muffins
    tonight we are out so will have porrige for supper when we get back had jacket pots for dinner
    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
    • Barbeduk
    • By Barbeduk 7th Feb 12, 3:21 PM
    • 816 Posts
    • 7,150 Thanks
    Barbeduk
    Another spend day, but only 2.17 at Mr M (bouillon that they didn't have yesterday and some savers choc digestives as it was one of those days!) and 15.06 at Mr A on mainly frozen stuff and some bits and pieces to restock cupboards. Going to !id! and Mr T tomorrow to get the things that they have cheaper, really taking it seriously this week! Luckily they're right next to each other so I'm not wasting petrol.

    Had lovely risotto for tea last night, made with chicken stock from last week's roast, last couple of slices of bacon, a few mushrooms and the last of the peas. DH finds the bone boiling process of stock making quite disgusting but even he had to admit that it tastes much better than bought stuff. And I've got two more pots of it in the freezer!

    Tonight it's going to be lentil surprise cus I haven't yet decided whether to make spicy or plain!
    June GC 288.01/400
    • ixia
    • By ixia 7th Feb 12, 3:28 PM
    • 1,324 Posts
    • 5,413 Thanks
    ixia
    3.51 spent yesterday wil update total spend at weekend once I've been my grocery shop.
    • hex2
    • By hex2 7th Feb 12, 3:30 PM
    • 4,722 Posts
    • 80,174 Thanks
    hex2
    I called in at the co-op (sweets for the childrens snack boxes - the haribo BOGOF finishes tonight, and they have 4 pack softmints for 87p)

    The offers from tomorrow were being labelled up - weetos half price (DS2 loves these), PG Tips at 3 (same as MrS). Crunchy Nut Cornflakes at 2 They had wolf blass yellow label out but no price tag yet.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
  • Ninno820
    Hi all - into double digits with another NSD

    Dinner tonight is a freezer supplied one - defrosted chicken wing meat in 1/2 jar korma sauce on bed of frozen lemon pilau rice (one portion from Mr W was too large so I halved it and froze a portion). The korma sauce was cheap and a brand I hand't used before but I tried it yesterday and it was yummy. This week is show week at school so its a quick home, dinner, back to school. Tomorrow is sausage casserole in the slow cooker. I'm hanging on in there but half term is looming and I am still at the stage where shopping is a treat.
    44 day challenge


    1. Pay 650 off overdraft ( 288/ 650)
    2. Lose 12 lbs (4.5/ 12)
    3. Use YNAB everyday (6/44)
    • wuvvies
    • By wuvvies 7th Feb 12, 3:47 PM
    • 324 Posts
    • 3,685 Thanks
    wuvvies
    well i dont like to blow my own trumpet ... but im going to

    this is week one for me total newbie. i got out 90 pounds to do us for the week. 2 adults and 2 kids plus 1 that comes twice a week. i took it out on a wednesday and so im due to take out another 90 tomorrow. i have 70p left in my purse AND

    spend 30 of the money on petrol which was supposed to come out of a different budget
    and had 15 left this morning so i went and bought some snacky bits for the kids - some yogs and dessert tonight and some lunchbox bits

    if i can do this every week i will be really pleased. i know most of you do it for a lot less but this is my starting point.

    im defintaly going to go to al@i a bit more i reckon that i have saved at least 10 -20p on each item compared to A@da.

    one happy chick tonight. i can get more money tomorrow and i reckon i dont need to go shopping again til friday. so some of the change will be going in my xmas pot. if i didnt need petrol that would have gone in my xmas pot
    happy saving people
    • Kitchenbunny
    • By Kitchenbunny 7th Feb 12, 4:02 PM
    • 1,860 Posts
    • 20,252 Thanks
    Kitchenbunny
    Afternoon everyone. Popping on to report a spend of 12.74 today which actually covered the majority of everything we need this week. Thanks for that bit of research, cw18 - I've still not managed to find a pork joint on a decent enough offer to warrant going out of my way to get it so will probably end up paying full price. I now have an idea though for any left over ... homemade hog roast baps! I'll warm the meat up in a little saved stock, drain it and pull it into chunks. Then, into a lovely soft bap it'll go, with apple sauce and sage and onion stuffing. Bliss!

    Tonight's tea is shepherd's pie. I still need to visit Mr M to get the other perishable bits of food for later in the week, along with binbags, a TV book (really stuck here, as hate paying 1.40 for the one Mr Kitchenbunny prefers. He's aware of the situation though and willing to try a cheaper one ) and the pork joint. Will have to go on a whoopsie hunt!

    Have a good evening, everyone. I'm off to update my sig.

    KB xx

    • meg72
    • By meg72 7th Feb 12, 5:10 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    well i dont like to blow my own trumpet ... but im going to

    this is week one for me total newbie. i got out 90 pounds to do us for the week. 2 adults and 2 kids plus 1 that comes twice a week. i took it out on a wednesday and so im due to take out another 90 tomorrow. i have 70p left in my purse AND

    spend 30 of the money on petrol which was supposed to come out of a different budget
    and had 15 left this morning so i went and bought some snacky bits for the kids - some yogs and dessert tonight and some lunchbox bits

    if i can do this every week i will be really pleased. i know most of you do it for a lot less but this is my starting point.

    im defintaly going to go to al@i a bit more i reckon that i have saved at least 10 -20p on each item compared to A@da.

    one happy chick tonight. i can get more money tomorrow and i reckon i dont need to go shopping again til friday. so some of the change will be going in my xmas pot. if i didnt need petrol that would have gone in my xmas pot
    happy saving people
    Originally posted by wuvvies
    Nothing wrong with blowing your own trumpet, you have done so well, blow your trumpet and do a little jig as well.so pleased for you.
    Slimming World at target
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 7th Feb 12, 5:15 PM
    • 13,822 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    Small spend in MrT today of 20 on some lunch box bits.

    Tonight's dinner was a variation on a theme leek, cauli and bacon cheese
    Last edited by tigerfeet2006; 07-02-2012 at 5:18 PM.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 7th Feb 12, 5:26 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    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.
    Originally posted by seductivesmile
    Very impressed with your freezer list ..... think it manages to rival mine (another singleton) and I really must "get a grip" too! (Yup, my cupboards are the same).

    What this effectively means is I will need to pay for two months groceries in one month as my cc bill will need paying, as well as me buying my groceries cash.
    Originally posted by Coxy11
    Know how you feel Coxy - I'm currently trying to "get ahead" with all my budgets. Everything is paid for on cc & cleared in full each month - but it does mean that Jan's salary (which has to last until end Feb) pays for Jan's purchases so I'm always behind.

    I've got ahead with the cats, dog and car budgets but still struggling with fuel & groceries. I just can't afford to pay for 2 lots in one month so currently putting 20 aside to get the fuel one in advance (Feb & March to go) and will then probably have to do the same for several months for the groceries...... maybe I'll get there by the end of the year!
    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!
    • debbiedeejay
    • By debbiedeejay 7th Feb 12, 5:28 PM
    • 504 Posts
    • 5,182 Thanks
    debbiedeejay
    I'm guessing your store cupboard is equally well stocked... How about Pasticcio?

    Make a meat ragu/bolognaise sauce, you can use beef, lamb or pork mince. I use 250g beef mince to 1 onion, 2 cloves garlic, tin of chopped tomatoes, spoonful of tom puree dash of worcester sauce, dash of tabasco, oxo cube, sprinkle of herbs (basil, oregano, thyme and mint but mixed or provence just as good). I add a chopped carrot, some celery, if I have some, and maybe a handful of red lentils it it looks mean.
    Cook up some pasta shapes (shells or penne, bows or the like) until al-dente (2 minutes less than the packet says!).
    Layer it into an ovenproof dish about 3" (10cm) deep (start with the sauce) and leave room for some cheese sauce and a sprinkle of cheese on top then into the oven at around 200C for 20 minutes. Very like Lasagne but somehow the separate pasta shapes make it go further and it is infinitely easier to dish up. I make it for winter parties and used to do it meat free for hockey teas when we played mixed on Sundays. Yum
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Wow! I make this instead of ordinary spag bol or lasagne , I thought I just made it up, I didn't realise it was a true recipe with a name - thank you I can now tell my kids it is a real recipe not me just using stuff up ( but I am really!)
    Crazy Clothes Challenge 2012 57.20/100,CCC 2013 68.67/100 ,CCC 2014 94.32/100
    *Frugal Living Challenge 2012, 2013, 2014*
    GC 2014 Jan 154.14/180;Feb 103.49/180;Mar 117.63/160
    • mummyjane
    • By mummyjane 7th Feb 12, 5:44 PM
    • 381 Posts
    • 3,685 Thanks
    mummyjane
    DundeeDoll - so sorry for your loss, hugs and prayers x

    Had a good day today, spent 1.10 on whoopsied rolls for the children's snacks. Apart from that we haven't needed anything today.

    I hope everyone had a good day
    Groceries Challenge 2019
    Jan 462.44/400
    Feb 210.10/450, 2/10 NSDs
  • mumwithamission
    Have updated my signature - another NSD for me - got the cold weather to thank for that, I couldn't bear the thought of going out again after work! Bit overspent, as predicted, this first week, but stocks are a plenty. Haven't actually done any meal planning yet this month so tonight's task is to stock take and plan. Pretty certain that rest of month will only need fresh produce and supplies from my 'loft shop' (2nd purse).

    Hope everyone's feeling positive.


  • MunniMuncha
    well i dont like to blow my own trumpet ... but im going to

    this is week one for me total newbie. i got out 90 pounds to do us for the week. 2 adults and 2 kids plus 1 that comes twice a week. i took it out on a wednesday and so im due to take out another 90 tomorrow. i have 70p left in my purse AND

    spend 30 of the money on petrol which was supposed to come out of a different budget
    and had 15 left this morning so i went and bought some snacky bits for the kids - some yogs and dessert tonight and some lunchbox bits

    if i can do this every week i will be really pleased. i know most of you do it for a lot less but this is my starting point.

    im defintaly going to go to al@i a bit more i reckon that i have saved at least 10 -20p on each item compared to A@da.

    one happy chick tonight. i can get more money tomorrow and i reckon i dont need to go shopping again til friday. so some of the change will be going in my xmas pot. if i didnt need petrol that would have gone in my xmas pot
    happy saving people
    Originally posted by wuvvies
    You carry on blowing your own trumpet Wuvvies - can't wait till I will be joining you in the trumpet blowing, hopefully when I start a new month in March - well done you
    When you were born, you were crying and everyone around was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying!


    June GC - 352.04/350
    SP challenge 3P 171.28
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 7th Feb 12, 6:38 PM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,664 Thanks
    sistercas
    NSD today as i have been at work all day and same tomorrow .
    will start to look on my superm@rket so i can plan my shopping for thursday
  • MunniMuncha
    Know how you feel Coxy - I'm currently trying to "get ahead" with all my budgets. Everything is paid for on cc & cleared in full each month - but it does mean that Jan's salary (which has to last until end Feb) pays for Jan's purchases so I'm always behind
    Originally posted by rising from the ashes
    I am exactly in the same position as you rising, but think I will be up to date by the end of this month as have used my 'free' months from water and council tax to overpay my cc bill for groceries and so hopefully next month will have caught up and will convert to use cash only in future. Good luck with your mission
    When you were born, you were crying and everyone around was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying!


    June GC - 352.04/350
    SP challenge 3P 171.28
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 7th Feb 12, 7:25 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    I am exactly in the same position as you rising, but think I will be up to date by the end of this month as have used my 'free' months from water and council tax to overpay my cc bill for groceries and so hopefully next month will have caught up and will convert to use cash only in future. Good luck with your mission
    Originally posted by MunniMuncha
    And you ..... (having one of "those moments" when I wonder if changing to paying the CT over 12 months was such a good idea after all!)
    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!
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 7th Feb 12, 7:35 PM
    • 1,719 Posts
    • 12,659 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Baking!
    Hi again everyone,

    Right, have jigged meal plan and budgets around yet again - Week 2 budget now 25 as bought some bits for baking and still have a couple of fresh bits to get tomorrow night or Thursday. Updated weekly budgets below. Did spend a little extra today, but still looking to come in at the end of the month about 5 under budget.

    I got some real good whoopsied stuff today...

    Whoopsies:
    4x bags of sliced butter roasted turkey from deli counter (one seems to have not scanned but didn't notice till was home... oops... ) 1.18
    2x bags of mini vegetable spring rolls from deli counter 60p
    1x bag sliced ham from deli counter 25p
    1x bag of 6x multi grain triangle rolls... 16p!!!
    2x bunches daffodils for mum 50p (hadn't even opened yet and should have been 2!!! )

    Total spend today was 15.91.

    The meat and spring rolls are in the freezer (can't fit any more on my shelf now...will have to get using stuff!)

    I have done loads of baking today, I made my Hovis loaf with the bread mix for 67p, and do you know what, between me, mum and dad, there are only 3 slices left from the whole loaf!!! It was SOOO good, I can highly HIGHLY recommend! Lucky I have two more bags in the cupboard...!

    I also made blacksaturn's malt loaf for the first time, and I must say it does NOT smell good. Then I had a piece with butter on, and nearly died and went to heaven, it was SOOO delicious!

    Also made the Weetabix brownies, which I've only tried crumbs of but may have one later while watching 90210, however mum and dad said they were yummy. I used white and dark chocolate chips, twice as many white as dark.

    finally, for my tea (as I had my cous cous for lunch), I had my honeyed carrot soup! Glad I found that recipe, it was yummy! I reckon I halved the water though, as it would have been sooo thin otherwise! Here it is (originally from BBC Good Food):


    Honeyed Carrot Soup

    Ingredients
    2 tbsp butter(I used oil)
    2 small leeks , sliced (I used 1 big one)
    800g carrots , roughly chopped(I used about 1kg)
    2 tsp clear honey ( I used more like 2 tbsps...)
    small pinch dried chilli flakes (optional)(I think this is key actually)
    1 bay leaf
    1.25l vegetable stock (this is the halved amount, I used a Knorr Veg Stock Pot)
    soured cream or yogurt , to serve (I didn't bother)

    Method

    Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
    Add the leeks to the pan, then cook for 3 mins until starting to soften.
    Add the carrots, honey, chilli (if using) and bay leaf, then cook for 2 mins.
    Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 mins.
    Blend the soup in batches, return to a clean pan, then season to taste.
    When ready to serve, bring back to a simmer, then ladle into mugs.
    Add a swirl of soured cream or yogurt and serve with garlic bread or bacon butties.

    Updated amounts below

    LC

    Feb GC: 55.31/98
    Week 1: 13.38/14
    Week 2: 17.69/25
    Week 3: 0/9
    Week 4: 0/11
    Week 5: 0/14
    Stores: 24.24/25
    Last edited by elsiepac; 07-02-2012 at 7:53 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
  • LittleMissHappy
    Hello lovelies

    A couple of biggish spends at the beginning of the month which means all the dinner stuff is in for the month barring fresh things Need some fresh stuff now but had a little accident with a sledge so resting my feet/ankle/coccyx for a few days (not much walking, no driving etc). Hoping to get to Ald! on Thursday for fresh stuff and their jaffa cakes are absolutely lovely, so will need to stock up on those

    Hope you are all well, special thoughts to DundeeDoll and mummyjane but I think there are others who need a too
    Be the change you want to see in the world - Gandhi
    OU - DD100 (P ), DSE141 (D ), DSE212 (P ), ED209 (02/12), DXR222 (07/12) SD226 (02/13)
    • scotmumof3
    • By scotmumof3 7th Feb 12, 7:39 PM
    • 1,783 Posts
    • 13,910 Thanks
    scotmumof3
    hi everyone 28.89 spend for me today Nearly halfway through my month and I'm doing not too badly
    LHS #217 DFW#1421
    debt free day 29th October 2020
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