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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 42
    • PaddyPaws
    • By PaddyPaws 10th Feb 12, 10:16 AM
    • 264 Posts
    • 3,019 Thanks
    PaddyPaws
    Just popping on with a quick update, did my weekly shop yesterday and spent 23.93 in A!di and 4.60 in Mr S, so 28.53 which brings me to 155.41 so far this month.

    Only 2 more weekly shops left, although technically I've spent 62% of the budget and we're only 34% of the way through the month I'm viewing it as I've spent 62% and we're half way through the shops for the month. Quite pleased with that as I do a biggish shop at the beginning of the month, and as we didn't need much yesterday I did buy some treats (which we could've done without)

    All this talk of fruity pancakes I think I might have to make those for DH for brekkie tomorrow - I'm sure he'll appreciate them.

    take care in the cold/snow everyone
    PP
    xx

    • Barbeduk
    • By Barbeduk 10th Feb 12, 10:17 AM
    • 816 Posts
    • 7,150 Thanks
    Barbeduk
    Hi all, NSD yesterday but today I had to pop to Mr M for mushrooms and rolls for the weekend, so spent 2.04. Also bought the kids some sweets for trying so hard in their spellings but that's coming out of my pocket money (10 a week and I usually don't spend it all!!)

    Have just made some flapjacks 'for the weekend' but they'll be gone by the end of the day!

    Elsiepac, I always used the very best flour until I did a stint waitressing in a local tearoom. All the cakes, scones etc were home made using mr t's value flour and I've used the value ranges ever since. I've even seen one of our local cafes unloading their !id! shop!
    June GC 288.01/400
  • CompBunny
    Hi all, NSD yesterday but today I had to pop to Mr M for mushrooms and rolls for the weekend, so spent 2.04. Also bought the kids some sweets for trying so hard in their spellings but that's coming out of my pocket money (10 a week and I usually don't spend it all!!)

    Have just made some flapjacks 'for the weekend' but they'll be gone by the end of the day!

    Elsiepac, I always used the very best flour until I did a stint waitressing in a local tearoom. All the cakes, scones etc were home made using mr t's value flour and I've used the value ranges ever since. I've even seen one of our local cafes unloading their !id! shop!
    Originally posted by Barbeduk
    Flapjacks? Thats sooooo 2011 Old Style...dontchya know fruity pancakes are all the rage now?j/k

    Interesting to hear about tearooms also using Mr T's value flour, it just goes to show that its what you do with ingredients that matters, not what you spend on them!
    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

    • Crowdpleaser
    • By Crowdpleaser 10th Feb 12, 10:28 AM
    • 1,031 Posts
    • 11,202 Thanks
    Crowdpleaser
    Updated my siggy with the mr t deleivery which came on Monday. I know the budget isn't looking pretty but am hoping to eek out as much as possible!

    Can anyone advise me?
    When I make lasagne, the lasagne sheets get really hard and burgnt, they dont go lovely and pasta-ry like they should. Mainly round the sides of the dish. Am I putting them too close to the edge? Sorry for the thicko question, DP loves lasagne but I dont make it due to disasterville!

    xxx
    Save 500 for christmas 2016 161/500
    GC March 16 252.91/300
    • Crowdpleaser
    • By Crowdpleaser 10th Feb 12, 10:30 AM
    • 1,031 Posts
    • 11,202 Thanks
    Crowdpleaser

    Interesting to hear about tearooms also using Mr T's value flour, it just goes to show that its what you do with ingredients that matters, not what you spend on them!
    Originally posted by CompBunny
    I only ever buy value flour as does an aquaintance of mine who is a baker and makes wedding cakes etc LOL

    xxx
    Save 500 for christmas 2016 161/500
    GC March 16 252.91/300
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 10th Feb 12, 11:25 AM
    • 4,328 Posts
    • 29,793 Thanks
    tessie bear
    crowd pleaser....are u putting enough white sauce on the top and spreading it to the edge...maybe the oven is too hot
    i use the cheapest flour...once saw a pallett load of sainsburys basic in the oatcake shop in stoke on trent....i thought if it is good enough for them it will do me.....on the cafe owners shopping when we were on a self catering holiday in minehead a few years back i was having a look in the somerfield reduced fridge and a man in chefs whites who i recognised fron the cafe we had been in the day before was buying loads....makes u think
    onwards and upwards
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 10th Feb 12, 11:25 AM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 28,093 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Can anyone advise me?
    When I make lasagne, the lasagne sheets get really hard and burgnt, they dont go lovely and pasta-ry like they should. Mainly round the sides of the dish. Am I putting them too close to the edge? Sorry for the thicko question, DP loves lasagne but I dont make it due to disasterville!

    xxx
    Originally posted by Crowdpleaser
    I think this could be one of a number of things:
    • make sure the pasta is quick cook ie doesn't need to be pre-cooked - traditional lasagne is supposed to be pre-cooked
    • is the pasta exposed (make sure there are not bits poking out, not covered by whatever filling or sauce you are using)?
    • don't cook it quite so hot - this is my usual trick and results in burnt edges - your oven might be a bit fierce (fan ovens are famous for this)
    HTH SL
    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
    • raphanius
    • By raphanius 10th Feb 12, 11:29 AM
    • 1,269 Posts
    • 6,633 Thanks
    raphanius
    just a dusting of snow here in chesterfield and a 1 spend to declare for milk
    Wins: 2008: 606.10 2009: 806.24 2010: 713.47 2011: 328.32

    • OS QS
    • By OS QS 10th Feb 12, 12:06 PM
    • 333 Posts
    • 2,097 Thanks
    OS QS
    a little bit of luck - someone left yesterdays sun on the train seat this morning - I've scored a 5 off voucher for morrisons, I was going to go to sainsburys tonight, but I think someones telling me to go to mo's!!

    Hopefully wont spend more than the 40 so I can maximise the saving
    Mortgage debt : -20,300
    2019 overpayments : 19,500
    • Crowdpleaser
    • By Crowdpleaser 10th Feb 12, 12:15 PM
    • 1,031 Posts
    • 11,202 Thanks
    Crowdpleaser
    Right have just done online order for Monday delivery and am going to make a final attempt at Lasagne as already have the meat and the sheets so will have a go.

    Does anybody par boil the no pre cooking sheets anyway so they are soft when they go in? Another site recommened it but I dont wanna waste my time if just more sauce needed! LOL

    xxx
    Save 500 for christmas 2016 161/500
    GC March 16 252.91/300
    • jedi82
    • By jedi82 10th Feb 12, 12:16 PM
    • 406 Posts
    • 3,548 Thanks
    jedi82
    Hi, haven't been on for a bit, i seem to spend all my time reading the posts and then never get time to post (as i speak dd2 is trying to close the laptop lol). went to mr m today as got my 5 voucher yesterday and got one of those valentines meal deals for a tenner. i don't normally buy these but as i was getting wine anyway, the food only cost a fiver. Also got a reduced co-op large chicken for 3 yesterday rather than 6.60 so bunged that in the freeer.

    I got a few more stockpile bits with my second purse but am now in deficit by 1.11 - not sure that is supposed to happen but won't stockpile anymore until use some bits

    Am going back to L!dl tomorrow as into town anyway and it is on the way back. Got to get some more of their jam - it is lovely! So spend will go up again but have a lot of stuff in.

    Hope everyone has a nice day, it is grey and raining here and do not want to go out and do the school run in a bit!

    jedi x
    Finally getting my life on track. Onwards and upwards.
    BSC No 327
    GC Jan 336.91/450
    GC Feb 0/400
    • jedi82
    • By jedi82 10th Feb 12, 12:18 PM
    • 406 Posts
    • 3,548 Thanks
    jedi82
    oh, and meant to mention that MrM has their own frubes on offer of BOGOF for 1 so effectively 50p a pack (I got 6 and bunged them in the freezer!)
    Finally getting my life on track. Onwards and upwards.
    BSC No 327
    GC Jan 336.91/450
    GC Feb 0/400
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 10th Feb 12, 12:32 PM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,664 Thanks
    sistercas
    just a dusting of snow here in chesterfield and a 1 spend to declare for milk
    Originally posted by raphanius

    no snow here thank goodness , i am surprised though i think they had forecast a fair amount

    NSD today , although been to meadowhell and had a drink and DD1 and DH had a kr1spy kreme doughnut too but that came out of a different budget ( those doughnuts are amazing - brought one home for DD2 and i could snaffle it right here and now) but im trying to be good
    • FrugalLina
    • By FrugalLina 10th Feb 12, 12:58 PM
    • 303 Posts
    • 2,973 Thanks
    FrugalLina
    Hello everyone, I was totally unable to come online last night and missed my GC news

    I had an appointment to attend today near a big Asd@ SM so decided to shop for some of the ingredients that are expensive or impossible to find locally, just basics like cheap pasta, milk powder and a restock of my vegetables until next week's market. My total now looks scarily close to my target and it is only the 10th! Although, I have several HM soups and pasta dishes in the freezer, many of today's ingredients are going to make a HUGE pot of lentil curry that will sustain me over several days and also add to the stock in the freezer. My shopping total also includes some screw-in eco lightbulbs that I can't get locally, but I am including that 4 also as it is out of the same (limited) budget.

    No snow here in Fife, in fact temperatures have lifted considerably. How strange to see England so much colder than Scotland!
  • elizabunny
    More snow for us last night about 3 inches (sorry never got to grips with metric) That on top of what we already had, makes quite a nice snowy scene. The sun is shining now.

    Althought the roads are pretty good I shouldn't need to shop today so it will be another NSD for me today, 2 in a row -there must be something wrong with me.

    Quiche and HM chippies for tea tonight. Have great day everyone!
    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
  • 123budget
    Heating broke down wed eve, but bgas came out yesterday to fix - so glad as we had another couple of inches of snow last nigh although sun out now.
    Have had cough/cold/aches for nearly a week now and caught up with me so we had fish n chips last night and then I was in bed by 8.30. Went to work this morning (don't work fri afternoons) and am now just about to type up shopping list). Need someone to push me out the door now though I just feel really tired with no energy. Still at least its half term n I can lie in a little in the mornings.
    Think I have a couple more shops to come out of Feb budget - freezer is getting quite low now so I will have to stock up next month.
    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
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 10th Feb 12, 1:48 PM
    • 1,702 Posts
    • 12,592 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Oooh PennyGrabber whats your new toy?
    Originally posted by CompBunny
    Ditto!!! You were very mysterious PennyGrabber...!

    CompBunny
    that's vile about the blood test...have you bruised after all that trauma? How hideous, you poor thing. I had snow last night, not loads but enough to cover everything in a blanket of white. Mostly melted now though Although we keep having little flurries...

    Haha, the fruity pancakes are taking over the world! I will say CompBunny, that if I'm having normal pancakes then I like lemon and sugar, but because these are "American style" little thick ones, I see them as a different thing Beginning to think they need a sauce though...

    Interesting stuff about the cafes etc guys! I'll keep on using it then - as I said, I haven't noticed anything wrong with it, or any difference to other flours so must be okay! Thanks for all the responses!

    Crowdpleaser I would agree with the others about the sauce and the oven being too hot. However, you could try fresh lasagne sheets and see if it made a difference? I know they are slightly more expensive but not hideously so and they do go lovely

    Also, I found a recipe for lasagne the other day which I haven't tried yet, maybe you'll be interested? ( really sorry but I don't seem to have the site saved where I got it from, so apologies to the owner of said recipe! )

    Tuna and Sweetcorn Lasagne
    Ingredients

    2 tins tuna, mashed
    3-4 spring onions, chopped
    200g sweetcorn
    Seasoning to taste
    Lasgane sheets
    500ml passata
    Grated parmesan to top

    Method

    - Preheat oven to 200.
    - Mix tuna, spring onions and sweetcorn in a bowl, and season to taste.
    - Add a layer of half the tuna mash to bottom of lasagne dish.
    - Cover with lasagne sheets and top with a layer of half the passata.
    - Continue this process once more, ending with the other half of passata.
    - Top with the cheese.
    - Bake for 40 minutes.

    As I said, I've not tried this yet, but looks like a brill mostly store cupboard recipe, so it's definitely going on my list to do soon!

    Had more honeyed carrot soup for lunch today, with the last of my brill whoopsied bread rolls from the other day (and butter, naughty!). Tea is going to be falafel burgers ... will post recipe later if it's any good, it's another new one.

    Oh, and after my comments the other day, I am now focussing on using up stores, it just makes sense! So new rule is that every recipe must use at least one thing from the cupboard!

    LC
    Last edited by elsiepac; 10-02-2012 at 1:52 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
    • LavenderBees
    • By LavenderBees 10th Feb 12, 2:43 PM
    • 1,703 Posts
    • 17,718 Thanks
    LavenderBees
    Hi, Everyone,

    Hope you are all well. No chance of keeping up with the posts, but have read the last half a dozen. Thank you for the tips on not burning lasagne sheets - I'm making lasagne for the parents on Sunday, so very timely advice, thank you! Lots of sauce will be used here on Sunday

    Confession time - I've been poorly all week, and today is the first day out. Went to replenish supplies, but was too tired to do my usual of going round L1dl first and then Mr M's...also I felt I deserved a wee treat...I'm sure I'll enjoy my whisky & coke later....Anyway, despite using as many of the savers range as possible (it'll be interesting to see what they taste like), I've still overspent...total 41.63 (unfortunately no 5 off voucher here ) , which means I now have less than 3 to last the next couple of weeks...as I'll need veges, eggs and Tbags (not to mention cat litter), I know I'm going to be bust. BUT, the challenge is still definitely focusing my mind, and I'll see how close I can get.

    I'm just wubbish, I am

    Hope you all are managing to stay warm and safe. Take care this weekend.

    xx
  • mh2361
    pleased with myself
    took my 30 cash out for the week and have only spent 10 so have 20 left for the week, Usually i spend 20 on the first Friday on nothing. but i spent it on shampoo ( herbal essences are half price in superdrug) and postage. and only 1 on "luxuries" (am a coca cola addict!!). AND we've lasted the week with no takeaways. crumbs
    MBNA862/0 :Santant 115/0 :Barc 5002/4602 Tesco 1500/0 :G 5000/5000 :L 5000/5000 : OD 1231/565
    Debt Tot 18711/15167(feb pd off 3544)
    GC feb budget 450/ spend 470
    march budget 450/
  • Ninno820
    Afternoon all - we had around 4 inches of snow here last night - to cover the embedded ice rink that the last fall left us. The sun has shifted most of it today so we are back to the ice rink!

    A NSD for me today but must admit to a 4.29 spend yesterday on carp! That officially takes me over budget for the month with 13 days left - 9 of which is half term - and I need veg tomorrow. I am consoling myself with the thought that my budget for this month was a weekly shopping bill before christmas and on a regular basis so there has been improvement.

    Thanks for all your posts - they are keeping me sane.
    44 day challenge


    1. Pay 650 off overdraft ( 288/ 650)
    2. Lose 12 lbs (4.5/ 12)
    3. Use YNAB everyday (6/44)
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