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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 44
    • sorting myself out
    • By sorting myself out 10th Feb 12, 7:38 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 583 Thanks
    sorting myself out
    Hiya everyone!
    4 nsd's to put down for this week!! Feel like i've caught up abit from my big spend last week....taken advice and meal planned for the rest of the month...Just need a few bits for lunches, got a few portions of hm carrot and coriander soup to get me throught the next week...and this cold weather!! At last a whole weekend off....!! Just going to chill out!! Enjoy everyone! Stay warm xx
    Debt free since July 2013 - Saving for a rainy day ☔️☔️☀️☀️
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 10th Feb 12, 11:30 PM
    • 13,812 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    Sat and done my meal plan for this week and am having it delivered tomorrow between 8pm and 10pm. Have put the ingredients for breakfast bars on by popular demand.

    The actual main meals aren't going to cost much this time but the bill is being bumped up by bread making and bakery stuff. My stocks have really been run down recently as I have been doing a fair bit. SHould be coming in around the 50 mark but I will update my sig. when I get the order.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    I now live in a country that is 4 hours ahead of the UK so you may now find I post at weird times
    [/COLOR][/CENTER]
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 10th Feb 12, 11:37 PM
    • 13,812 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    I have to admit that baby hasn't appealed to me at all, but I do own an Expression (which I won in a raffle ) as well as a Craft R0b0 - and a sidekick, and an original S!zzix, and a BIg Sh0t, and two QK handtools (an original and a squeeze)
    Originally posted by cw18
    Wow! I must admit I have been drooling over the Expression. I want to start doing more craft stuff in the next year but don't know that I could justify the expense of an Expression.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    I now live in a country that is 4 hours ahead of the UK so you may now find I post at weird times
    [/COLOR][/CENTER]
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 11th Feb 12, 12:04 AM
    • 13,812 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    Living Proof, I am sorry to hear your news. We are always here for a listening ear or a virtual hug if you need it.

    ((((hugs))))
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    I now live in a country that is 4 hours ahead of the UK so you may now find I post at weird times
    [/COLOR][/CENTER]
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 11th Feb 12, 6:56 AM
    • 4,324 Posts
    • 29,765 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi....off to lidl today...might get the meal deal and ds likes doritoes....they also have bacon which looks nice

    have a purge on the freezer until wednesday as that is when we go to costco so might be some strange combos for the next few days

    take care tess
    onwards and upwards
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 11th Feb 12, 7:12 AM
    • 2,918 Posts
    • 27,456 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Morning everyone,

    Happily making bread and brought the proving dough through to the warmer room when I heard an excited little chirrup from the kits. Thought they were chasing each other but just seen it's a mouse. Not sure I can rescue this one as I'm still in my nightie and there is too much snow still for me to venture outside and liberate it in the fields at the back of the garden. That's if I can even get a look in with two of them chasing it. It's the first one with these two as they've only been allowed out for a couple of weeks now. I was just sitting down to meal plan with a nice cup of tea...
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 29,215.99 after May
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 36.16% spent so far, after May
    My DFD is here
    • Need2bthrifty
    • By Need2bthrifty 11th Feb 12, 8:10 AM
    • 1,139 Posts
    • 9,697 Thanks
    Need2bthrifty
    Morning Everyone, just popped in to update my sig and declare a spend of 4.32 on fruits and veg this week. I am buying loads more fruit than before because of my dieting and replacing things like crisps, cakes, biscuits with fruit. Thank goodness for @ldi, got some of their 59p blueberries and froze some - only so many a gal can eat.

    I'm still eating from the freezer and store cupboard stocks, so counting today that makes 6 NSD's for this week

    Will probably have another spend at some point next week as my bread stock getting low - that will be my next challenge, how long can I make 2 ciabatta rolls and 4 slices of bread last

    I will go and catch up on all of the posts I have missed over the past week to see how everyone is doing.
    Grocery Challenge Annual Budget = 1000/808.07 left at end of Mar
    Jan - 56.26, Feb - 65.84, Mar - 69.83
    Apr - 14.76/70.00
    • Need2bthrifty
    • By Need2bthrifty 11th Feb 12, 8:37 AM
    • 1,139 Posts
    • 9,697 Thanks
    Need2bthrifty
    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
    Originally posted by Crowdpleaser
    I do sort of, because I make individual lasagne in ramekin dishes (just me eating them) and to make the sheets a bit more workable to fit in the dishes I lay a couple of sheets in a large dish pour over boiling water and leave them to soak in the water while I prepare the sauce. I them drain and pat dry with kitchen roll before cutting in half, which fits the dish nicely.
    Grocery Challenge Annual Budget = 1000/808.07 left at end of Mar
    Jan - 56.26, Feb - 65.84, Mar - 69.83
    Apr - 14.76/70.00
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 11th Feb 12, 8:48 AM
    • 1,698 Posts
    • 12,513 Thanks
    elsiepac
    I haven't been on the site for a while as OH and I have split after 12 years. I am devastated and still grieving so shopping has not been on my priority list at all.
    Originally posted by Living proof
    I'm really sorry to hear you're having such an awful time and just wanted to say my thoughts and virtual hugs are with you x
    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
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 11th Feb 12, 8:56 AM
    • 2,918 Posts
    • 27,456 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Morphy Richards Breadmaker
    Just caught up on my email and Ebuyer.com is advertising a Morphy Richards Breadmaker at 40% off (they say) at 49.95 for this weekend. I know some of you were considering getting one. I've no idea if this is a good model (last month there was a lot of discussion about the various models but I didn't note too much as I use a range). I did use Ebuyer once and they were fine and I do get their offer emails. HTH

    PS braved the cold, compromised and rescued the mouse, as far as the toolshed so slippers now drying on range

    Have a good weekend everyone
    SL
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 29,215.99 after May
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 36.16% spent so far, after May
    My DFD is here
    • linz4383
    • By linz4383 11th Feb 12, 9:06 AM
    • 287 Posts
    • 4,276 Thanks
    linz4383
    I haven't been on the site for a while as OH and I have split after 12 years. I am devastated and still grieving so shopping has not been on my priority list at all. We have always both had our own houses but normally eat together so I have ended up with tons of frozen cooked food, exact portions for two and none of which I can face eating.
    !
    Originally posted by Living proof

    thoughts r with u, it does get easier
    House deposit 0/10000
    Loan 6,065.43- 5803.30
    credit card 3,932.25 - 4233.40
    • xxlouisexx56
    • By xxlouisexx56 11th Feb 12, 9:27 AM
    • 2,191 Posts
    • 30,133 Thanks
    xxlouisexx56
    30 in tesco yesterday
    • forever saving
    • By forever saving 11th Feb 12, 9:40 AM
    • 565 Posts
    • 8,850 Thanks
    forever saving
    Have spent 74.21 this week. I'm having to stretch the pennies a bit as we have to pay out a fair bit this month. There will be alot of veg and to fill the plates up with less meat than usual.
    Living Proof, what awful news. Hugs to you x
    FS
    Jan GC 298.62/300 Feb 298.01/300 March 331.06/300 April 69.96/300
    Learning to accept the things i cannot change
    • elly2
    • By elly2 11th Feb 12, 9:42 AM
    • 553 Posts
    • 5,227 Thanks
    elly2
    Morning all epic fail at asda yesterday went about 20 over budget and am still needing more (half term here so need to sort lunches out for kids), will also need to update meal plan to include sat meals as ex is being a pain re contact with kids so sat visits will stop (he has stopped them again) till he realises he is being an idiot hasn't realised it yet and it's been 7 yrs so not holding out much hope. Am still trying to do the tesco online shop it's proving to be a big headache but the 17.50 off is so tempting i WILL get there . Have a night out planned tonight and i am not looking forwards to it (has been planned since mid Dec) so cant really get out of it, its freezing here today and imagine it will only get colder tonight. Hugs to everyone who needs them and hope you all manage to keep warm today. x


    • Living proof
    • By Living proof 11th Feb 12, 9:52 AM
    • 1,568 Posts
    • 10,217 Thanks
    Living proof
    Thank you for all your hugs and concern - it really does mean a huge amount to me and I will try and get stronger week by week.

    I ventured to Al*i and *idl this morning and stocked up on fresh fruit and veg, milk, etc. I normally make my own bread but have opted for a Hovis wholemeal for this week but I will have to use up my stocks of Wrights mixes soon. It just seems a bit pathetic cooking a small loaf and having to freeze half, somehow. I find buying a good variety of fruit and veg a real challenge now, as it is always cheaper to buy in bulk but then there's the dilemma of waste. I can see now why busy singles shop for convenience at M&S etc.

    I recall when my strapping 17 year old son went off to uni a few years back just how difficult it was to adjust to a smaller household and he still does eat twice as much as I do. This is another step down the scale but a bit more drastic somehow.

    I am now going to venture to the big freezer and bring in some home-cooked meals for the week. It will be a long time before I will be cooking anything from scratch and I have been used to batch cooking for years now. So a little rest is due!
    Solar Suntellite 250 x16 4kW Afore 3600TL dual 2KW E 2KW W no shade, DN15 March 14
    Mortgage and Debt Free. Unfortunately Pension Free too!
    • ixia
    • By ixia 11th Feb 12, 10:05 AM
    • 1,324 Posts
    • 5,413 Thanks
    ixia
    Livingproof- sorry to hear your news

    Update for the weekend went to Lid! and ALd!(used 5 off voucher), HB's and FF's so 50.60 spent in total add to other spends thru the week leaves me a total of 179.56 until the end of the month.

    Hopefully be ok freezer full just have to resist urge to go to shops.
  • Ninno820
    Hugs LivingProof - I have been on my own for several years now and you do have to force yourself to cook properly. I get round it by often having the same meal two days running and freezing any left overs into "lunch pots" to save money at work.

    Have ventured out in the big freeze (the local veg shop says that it was -17 here when they opened up this morning). Its risen to -4.5 according to the car and the back roads are still sheets of ice, in some places, from last weekend so I have bought fruit, veg and eggs for me and dog chews for the pooches who are missing their walks and having to make do with the garden for a while. Total spend - 6.31. I'm limping along to the 23rd (my end of month) and hoping to curb the overspend.
    Keep warm everyone.
    44 day challenge


    1. Pay 650 off overdraft ( 288/ 650)
    2. Lose 12 lbs (4.5/ 12)
    3. Use YNAB everyday (6/44)
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 11th Feb 12, 10:06 AM
    • 2,918 Posts
    • 27,456 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    HM Low calorie spicy coleslaw
    Hi Everyone, I used to run a restaurant and I have varied (and reduced) the recipe we had there to make some Low calorie spicy coleslaw - Just as nice with or without the chilli. Uses low calorie dressing instead of mayonnaise.

    One third of a white cabbage,
    One small onion,
    One large carrot, all chopped finely or shredded and mixed together (food processor is brilliant) - your preference how chunky or fine.
    One green chilli, chopped as small as you can and mixed through the other veg

    Add a fine drizzled zig zag of Pizza Expre** low calorie (original, not caesar) salad dressing, a little lemon juice (no more then half a lemon or 4 shakes of a bottle) and about half a dozen twists of freshly ground black pepper. Mix it all together. If it is too dry add a tiny bit more dressing (but it can always be added, it can't be removed).

    This is tangy with a bit of bite from the chilli (optional) and is plenty for 3-4 good veg portions and I love it with Jacket Potato and a little soured cream (not so slimming).

    Those of you doing SW will want to measure the dressing as this is the only part with syn count.
    Last edited by Suffolk lass; 11-02-2012 at 3:37 PM. Reason: typo
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 29,215.99 after May
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 36.16% spent so far, after May
    My DFD is here
    • Cool Nanna
    • By Cool Nanna 11th Feb 12, 10:26 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 911 Thanks
    Cool Nanna
    Just popping in for a quick visit. I went to Mr T's yesterday and I could tell that I didn't have enough in my trolley to be able to use my 5 voucher so I bought a jumper to bump my total up which I will take back next week.

    Sshh don't tell anyone.
    Jan GC 300/296 March GC 375/336
    Feb GC 300/290 April GC 300/270
    May GC 250/273
  • redkids1972
    Well I am over my target for the month of Feb and its only the 11th oops
    I have 3x 15 M and S vouchers to use which i got from living social and which has been included in the total so going to do my shopping there this week. I also purchased the boots mascara glitch products which cost 20 but got 15 worth of points which I will use throughout the year but the funds need to be accounted so have come from this budget.
    Two of my three kids are off on school trips so less to feed this week and my son will be spending most of his half term hols with his grandmother as both me and OH are working so he will be mostly fed there this week.
    I still have lots of meat in the freezer but need bits to go with them to make meals will also nip to Aldi for the fruit for the week. So all though over budget will be hoping to get to the 23rd (end of feb challenge for me) with not much more spends.
    New to comping 11/2/2013

    Feb wins to date: 0lympic messenger bag, 100
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