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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 41
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 9th Feb 12, 3:24 PM
    • 4,842 Posts
    • 58,667 Thanks
    sistercas
    I was wondering about Jackie0 too, she used to post regular and was great at giving advice. Think she had a problem with her arm not so long ago.So maybe cant post.
    Originally posted by meg72
    she has been posting regularly on th OS daily thread, its been her birthday recently , so may be busy
    • EverTheOptimist
    • By EverTheOptimist 9th Feb 12, 3:42 PM
    • 2,679 Posts
    • 15,754 Thanks
    EverTheOptimist
    Just back from Mr S.

    Spent £59.50, lots of fruit and veg for bunny and hubby, juice and some jars and tins. Only £7.50 on stuff not on the list but couple of little treats for me and some bits that we will need next week so bought early.

    Also picked up some chicken breasts as this appears to be a staple in our diet, this time though I actually remembered to split the pack before freezing. So have 6 portions of 2 this should make it last longer as we usually take a pack of 4 out and throw it all into our meal and then hubby eats it. So hopefully doing it this way will mean we get more meals, eat less and save the waist line too.

    Thinking of those of you that have been unwell or are struggling in any way. Sending you love and hugs.

    Off to update sig.

    ETO
    x
    SPC 12 #005 Target £200 /
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 9th Feb 12, 3:42 PM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    mrs-moneypenny
    just nipped shops wasted £3.03 on reduced apple juice chocy bars and dry roast peanuts for the kids.
    well not really wasted as they enjoyed them

    added to sig

    omlette for dinner
    quorn and leek pie for tea
    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
  • mi jardin
    Spent £3.03 on apple juice, crumpets, chicken breasts x 2 and some bananas.
    I need to make a list and get a few more bits tomorrow when I finish work. They will probably take me up to the half way figure, so right on track for my month.

  • moneysaver13
    So pleased with myself, have only spent £1.64 since monday, 3 out of 4 are NSD and the £1.64 was a boots spend of mouthwash reduced from £2.50 down to £1.00 and a reduced shower gel all for DS1's next uni food parcel. Have started now for when he returns in April, it pays me to buy toiletries when on offer then let him use the money I send him for food on them as he shops at sainsburys and I would hate to think what that might cost. I use Wilkos, £1 land and boots when the ACM gives me a voucher I can used with an item already on offer. 13 more sleeps till payday and so on budget and a £10 lottery win pays for my Dobbies renewal so I can have my monthly free drinks, as it's within walking distance! Hope no-one gets too snowed in and those pesky germs are dying!
    GC 2012 April £0/£150
    March: £176.71/£150
    (payday 22nd) NSD 3/10
    Feb: £138.93/£150 NSD:11/10
    Jan: £171.13/£150
    Nectar rewards: £18.55, Boots £13.82
    Sealed pot challenge 5 no 1602:
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 9th Feb 12, 4:19 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    Tonight's dinner was an old time favourite SC sweet chilli sausages (in the recipe collection) with cheesy mash and caramelised carrots. Children are licking the plates clean Pudding is banana bread with custard.

    DH absolutely loves the Breakfast Bars I made him, so I am flavour of the week.
    Last edited by tigerfeet2006; 09-02-2012 at 4:40 PM.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 9th Feb 12, 4:40 PM
    • 4,842 Posts
    • 58,667 Thanks
    sistercas
    Tonight's dinner was an old time favourite SC sweet chilli sausages with cheesy mash and caramelised carrots. Children are licking the plates clean Pudding is banana bread with custard.

    DH absolutely loves the Breakfast Bars I made him, so I am flavour of the week.
    Originally posted by tigerfeet2006
    ooh that sounds nice x
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 9th Feb 12, 4:44 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    ooh that sounds nice x
    Originally posted by sistercas
    Thanks It's one of the great ways of stretching 8 sausages among 5 of us. Plus plenty of mash and carrots to fill up. Then the banana bread just fills that last bit.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • raphanius
    • By raphanius 9th Feb 12, 5:15 PM
    • 1,269 Posts
    • 6,634 Thanks
    raphanius
    grrrrr spent £4.65 on 4 chicken breasts today from Mr A so DS could have one wrapped in bacon and he doesn't like it cos its tasteless. that'll teach me for not getting it from marks. (3 breasts in the freezer but i didn't need them for this months meal plan)
    Wins: 2008: £606.10 2009: £806.24 2010: £713.47 2011: 328.32

    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 9th Feb 12, 5:41 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    Dinner went down well - spag bol. Always a fave in this house. I've only got one or two left in the freezer now. There wasn't enough for me (I was supposed to be having lo potato bake anyway), but did a bit too much pasta. I normally weigh it out, but didn't today, and automatically did enough for all three of us, so I had pasta in butter with grated cheese. Yummy! Now got lo pot bake for dinner tom, and lunch and dinner on sat! Children go to their dad's tomorrow after school until tuesday morning, so just me and some weird food combos til then! Going to use up some stuff. May even try to not do my weekly shop on sat as normal, and do it on tues am just before the children get home. I can do without bread and milk for a few days, for the sake of saving money and using up what's here.

    Went onto rosspa site and did a virtual order to see what p and p is like. It felt expensive. Does anyone know the weight allowances for diff p&p costs?

    Thanks for ideas re creme fraiche. Think I'll freeze it, like quintwins said, and then use it when i'm not trying to use it up IYSWIM!

    Night all,

    PG x

    ps Bought myself a toy today, now need to save as much here as I can, as it cost me about £200!! Oops!
    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
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 9th Feb 12, 6:22 PM
    • 1,776 Posts
    • 12,848 Thanks
    elsiepac
    I just had to hop on and say I've just made the Fruity Pancakes from Cheap Family Recipes - sampled one as I'm not much of a cook, and oh my goodness, THUMBS UP! What a brilliant, yummy and cheap recipe! And apparently they freeze as well!

    In case you guys haven't seen them, this is the recipe (original here):

    CFR Fruity Pancakes
    Ingredients

    85g mixed dried fruit (packet slipped, I used 95g!! Perfect!!)
    200g self raising flour
    25g sugar
    Approx 220ml water
    Pinch of salt (I didn't bother)
    Half teaspoon mixed spice (I may have used a teensy bit more)


    Method

    - Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl, stirring well.
    - Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry dessertspoon sized dollops of the batter, until golden brown on both sides.
    - When little bubbles gradually start appearing in the top surface is a good indication of when to turn them.
    - Makes 3 pancakes per person (12 in total)

    LC
    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: Sep 19 £tbc/£250
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 9th Feb 12, 8:13 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    OMG! I just wrote that recipe down two days ago, ready to try over the half term!!! Great minds!

    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
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 9th Feb 12, 8:18 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    I just had to hop on and say I've just made the Fruity Pancakes from Cheap Family Recipes - sampled one as I'm not much of a cook, and oh my goodness, THUMBS UP! What a brilliant, yummy and cheap recipe! And apparently they freeze as well!

    In case you guys haven't seen them, this is the recipe (original here):

    CFR Fruity Pancakes
    Ingredients

    85g mixed dried fruit (packet slipped, I used 95g!! Perfect!!)
    200g self raising flour
    25g sugar
    Approx 220ml water
    Pinch of salt (I didn't bother)
    Half teaspoon mixed spice (I may have used a teensy bit more)


    Method

    - Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl, stirring well.
    - Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry dessertspoon sized dollops of the batter, until golden brown on both sides.
    - When little bubbles gradually start appearing in the top surface is a good indication of when to turn them.
    - Makes 3 pancakes per person (12 in total)

    LC
    Originally posted by elsiepac
    OMG! I just wrote that recipe down two days ago, ready to try over the half term!!! Great minds!

    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
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 9th Feb 12, 11:29 PM
    • 1,776 Posts
    • 12,848 Thanks
    elsiepac
    OMG! I just wrote that recipe down two days ago, ready to try over the half term!!! Great minds!

    PG x
    Originally posted by PennyGrabber
    Well, as I said, it's sooooooo worth doing and REALLY cheap as well! Although I used Tesco Value dried fruit and sr flour... don't know what people's thoughts are on those as I've never been much of a Value girl, but dried fruit is dried fruit so I don't care - it's more the flour. Although I've used it in 3 recipes now and seems fine, and LOADS cheaper!

    I've been checking out Rosspa too after seeing it on here, and I'm going to try and get my mum to do an order with me so we can pay for our own stuff and split delivery... I'll let you guys know if I do. I DEFINITELY wouldn't get meat from there, but after seeing good reviews for fruit/veg and seeing the BARGAINS on spices etc, I want to see what they're like!

    I also adapted the CFR Fruity Pancake recipe to try and make a snack treat (as I want to keep the fruit ones for breakfasts). So I did this:

    190g SR flour
    10g cocoa (proper Green and Blacks strong stuff that I keep for recipes)
    1/2 bag dark chocolate chips (45-50g ish)
    25g sugar
    220ml water
    1/4 tsp mixed spice (was worried would be bland)


    So the above is my recipe for CHOCOLATE PANCAKES, makes same amount as fruity pancakes.

    I did mine in the griddle and used NO OIL to cook, (2 WW points each) but on the first batch I made the mistake of squidging them down after I flipped them and some of the chocolate chips came out and burnt so not great. However, with a couple of tweaks (180g flour, 20g cocoa, less mixed spice etc) I think this idea could be a goer!!!

    Hehe, should be noted I'm NOT a good cook!

    LC
    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: Sep 19 £tbc/£250
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • cw18
    • By cw18 10th Feb 12, 12:02 AM
    • 8,083 Posts
    • 86,086 Thanks
    cw18
    Although I used Tesco Value dried fruit and sr flour... don't know what people's thoughts are on those as I've never been much of a Value girl, but dried fruit is dried fruit so I don't care - it's more the flour. Although I've used it in 3 recipes now and seems fine, and LOADS cheaper!
    Originally posted by elsiepac
    I use/have used both, but am actually the other way around to you. No problem whatsoever using the value flour, but have noticed a difference in the dried fruit - so it depends on what I'm using it for as to whether I use the value stuff or not.
    Cheryl
    • meg72
    • By meg72 10th Feb 12, 4:52 AM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72

    Went onto rosspa site and did a virtual order to see what p and p is like. It felt expensive. Does anyone know the weight allowances for diff p&p costs?

    Thanks for ideas re creme fraiche. Think I'll freeze it, like quintwins said, and then use it when i'm not trying to use it up IYSWIM!

    Night all,

    PG x

    ps Bought myself a toy today, now need to save as much here as I can, as it cost me about £200!! Oops!
    Originally posted by PennyGrabber
    Rosspa delivery is £5.50 for 25kgs. I found thatI easily saved that as the veg is such a bargian plus did not have to hump it home,
    Slimming World at target
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 10th Feb 12, 8:16 AM
    • 4,369 Posts
    • 30,042 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...light dusting of snow but not too bad here in our bit of the midlands.....got spag bol for tea and might do some garlic bread...not got much veg left so might just have to be sweetcorn with it

    i have planned a few meals for next week but i like it to be more fluid in half term in case we get a better offer food wise if that makes sense

    need to reach into the depths of the freezer to defrost a few bits which isnt a pleasant job in this weather

    take care today tess
    onwards and upwards
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 10th Feb 12, 8:31 AM
    • 504 Posts
    • 6,309 Thanks
    carolinerunner
    elsiepac, I think you might want to reconsider your cooking abilities, made your minestrone soup for DH who was very doubtful but LOVED it, so thanks again! Will try the pancakes later, just the thing for hungry kids after school.

    A Q (not very GC, but hope you won't mind):
    should I chuck cups, plates etc which are chipped? Are they unhygienic?

    Thanks all! And thank goodness the forum's back, not happy last night when it was down :-(
    Erratically money saving
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 10th Feb 12, 9:43 AM
    • 3,310 Posts
    • 29,414 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Hooray, we're back!!
    And thank goodness the forum's back, not happy last night when it was down :-(
    Originally posted by carolinerunner
    I agree! I definitely had withdrawl symptoms and was trying to catch up having not looked at all on Wed. I kept trying for about two hours, on and off! ed & ed!

    Tigerfeet - I love the links - been browsing rubber chicken and exploring my toiletry situation (feel slightly better, in that I am not the worst but determined to get a grip). Think I'll lurk there a while longer.

    In the meantime the plans for next week are on hold (when DH is on half term and I booked leave). We were to replace some fencing and the front flower beds edging (wood has rotted so the gravel path is becoming a gravel garden and the plants are spreading across the path) but the snow/cold makes this unattractive.

    Instead we are undergoing major plumbing incident and currently the damaged (and long-term leaky) shower is all in the front garden and the replacement bits have been delivered this morning. Hopefully will all be done in the next week (it's complicated). Our friend is doing all the plumbing as he is out of work at the moment and we were going to have to do it anyway so it helps both of us. I just hadn't realised that there was a manky smelly leak underneath where the water pipe connection had failed (at least it wasn't foul water). It is earlier and more expensive than I hoped but worth doing properly. GKHM it will be - electrician and builders also involved (snow ensures they were available too). Thank goodnes for the grocery challenge keeping this part of our spending under control.

    Take care everyone and don't forget hot water bottles are a wonderful way of getting/keeping warm (feet and hands first and then behind your back) not just a bed thing. I've been sitting in this unheated room (the radiator valve is broken) with a HWB on top of my feet under the desk (pretending it's a cosy fire warming my toes!) and a keeping my hands warm while catching up.

    NSDs all week except Monday when needed bread, £1.27 for more than we will use (DH).
    Last edited by Suffolk lass; 10-02-2012 at 9:44 AM. Reason: Apologise for long and rambling post! it was withdrawal symptom
    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
  • CompBunny
    Oooh PennyGrabber whats your new toy?

    All this talk of pancakes is making me hungry...think you guys have convinced me to do some for this evening, although I think they will be traditional crepes with sugar and lemon...I'm a bit of a purist when it comes to pancakes! Or maybe I should just "go wild" (hah!) and try something new

    Reporting a £8.96 spend for yesterday; bread, milk, eggs, bananas, penguins (sssh!), pasta, cous cous, chickpeas and a few other bits.

    SKIP IF YOU ARE SQUEEMISH
    I had a blood test yesterday - I have a massive phobia of them so took my Mum with me The first nurse was a young locum, she stuck me twice and couldn't get any blood to come out. She called a senior nurse, who managed to get about half the amount needed from another arm after three unusually painful attempts, and on removing the needle blood spurted up my arm all the way to my wrist! I very nearly fainted, everything started to go black. HORRIBLE!

    Ok you can read again now
    Has anyone had a big snow last night? We escaped it in suffolk thank goodness.

    Have a good day!
    GC2012: Nov £130.52/£125
    GC2011:Sept:£215
    Oct:£123.98Nov:£120Dec:£138Feb:£94.72

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

    Engaged to my best friend 08/2012

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