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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 47
  • Lovethenight
    Thanks for all the welcomes and good advice!

    Going to spend today cooking to stock up freezer for next month. DH can't eat ready meals or much processed food (tummy issues), so I tend to bulk cook and freezer for quick dinners on work nights.

    Today I'm making my own individual lasagne portions in those foil containers you get from the supermarket. That way I can take one out in the morning before work, they defrost by the time I get home and I can chuck them in the oven when I get in to heat through. Also doing quorn bolognese and DH is doing bean chilli, so we should be well stocked!

    Got a meal plan until payday when the new budget will kick in

    Spent over £100 between Horrorsons and Aldee yesterday
    Am determined not to waste any of it!

    One good thing though - Horrorsons have Philly cheese 300g tubs at half price - 99p each. I downloaded the "£1 off a 200g tub" voucher from the philly website and the checkout lady accepted it! Free philly and and extra 1p off the bill ha ha!!

    Right - time to cook. Have a great sunday all

    Love The Night
    • DundeeDoll
    • By DundeeDoll 12th Feb 12, 9:06 AM
    • 3,606 Posts
    • 40,640 Thanks
    DundeeDoll
    Thanks for reposting the advice tigerfeet. I think it's a really helpful list. We've moved to cash buying for most household stuff, but.... yesterday I was mesmerised by all the sixes when the Lidl bill came to £66.66 I took out CC and paid with that. D'oh. Still, all accounted for in spreadsheet, and cash is not burning a hole in my pocket - it'll just be used for next week Not buying any jams or condiments as found quite a few to use up ahem. Glad to report lemon curd finished, fair trade marmalade finished, squeezy marmalade (Best before Aug 2011) opened - tasted fine on toast this morning. Have found snug underblankets and nice toaster on line. I've set my GC at £20 a day so groceries savings are translated into treats for the house or eating out In one fell swoop I'm controlling the grocery shop AND the household extras. And with a daily update, I instantly know if I've any spare. Yay
    Last edited by DundeeDoll; 12-02-2012 at 9:33 AM.
    Be like a postage stamp—stick to one thing until you get there.
    Plastic bottles picked up to recycle Oct 1 - 22: 46
    • DundeeDoll
    • By DundeeDoll 12th Feb 12, 9:16 AM
    • 3,606 Posts
    • 40,640 Thanks
    DundeeDoll
    Yesterday's new word to me was fleabay, today is Horrorsons. Love 'em
    Last edited by DundeeDoll; 12-02-2012 at 9:32 AM.
    Be like a postage stamp—stick to one thing until you get there.
    Plastic bottles picked up to recycle Oct 1 - 22: 46
    • cattysmum
    • By cattysmum 12th Feb 12, 9:50 AM
    • 1,256 Posts
    • 21,417 Thanks
    cattysmum
    morning!!!
    Morning all sat here with grandson watching pepa pig still in pjs so having nice lazy sunday morning. iv got stew from last week defrosting in the kitchen and am going to make a couple of meat pies later going to do a spag bol and freeze for later in the week i have an op coming up on23rd feb so
    want to get organised and have lots of stuff ready in the freezer so hubby wont have much to do got a few spends to report but will update siggy jave a lovely day everyone!!!!
    [B]SPC No. 295 - SPC No10 target £350
    #1603/
    SPC 2014 £150/SPC 2015 £256SPC 2016 £324
    Saving for Florida 2018
    Matched betting toe dipper.
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 12th Feb 12, 10:17 AM
    • 1,776 Posts
    • 12,849 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Hi everyone

    Had a long and busy (but fun) day yesterday doing wedding stuff with my friends. Only 8 weeks as of yesterday that she'll be getting married! And I leave for South Africa 6 weeks on Friday! Getting very exciting and scary now!

    Just nipping on to report that ended up having lunch and tea at the bride-to-be's house yesterday, so have saved myself a day's worth of meals. Also, my parents started the Dukan diet yesterday so basically eating only protein for a week or so (I don't agree with any diet like this but they insisted!). Anyway, I've benefitted because mum gave me all the stuff she had that would go off this week when they can't eat it!

    So I've ended up with all this extra (bearing in mind I'd just done the majority of my Week 3 shop - luckily had left off a couple of fresh things for later in the week, thank goodness! ):

    - 6 medium potatoes
    - 2 small potatoes
    - 1/2 bag of leafy salad
    - 5 red and yellow peppers (result!)
    - 10 cherry vine tomatoes
    - 1/2 pack Value Brie (I'm trying to be good!!!)
    - a whole, unopened pot of Onken Mango, Papaya and Passionfruit yogurt, unfortunately full fat but I'm not uber fussy with yoghurt when it's as yummy as that!

    I reckon that's at least a tenner's worth!

    So I'm off to completely redo my meal plan AGAIN based on having to use up a lot of this stuff quite soon - already have a couple of good ideas so will report back later, also to post the Falafel Burger recipe which was delicious by the way!

    LC
    Last edited by elsiepac; 12-02-2012 at 11:12 AM.
    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
    • OS QS
    • By OS QS 12th Feb 12, 10:18 AM
    • 338 Posts
    • 2,124 Thanks
    OS QS
    Was lured into m&s on Friday after work and spent £8.34

    Went to mr M to spend the voucher, but was struggling to make the £40. So rather than waste money buying things I really didn't need, I bought the essentials (and got some lovely fresh fruit and veg!) and spent £16.90.

    This should do me the week and I'll go update my signature
    Mortgage debt : -£17,000
    2019 overpayments : £23,000
  • tracey12
    Welcome to the newbies

    I spent £25.38 in Mr T this morning on milk, frubes for kids, crackers, houmous, rice, curry paste, sausages, naan bread, coconut milk, turmeric, crisps, bananas and some treats for my 2 dd.

    Hope everyone is staying warm.

    I made some bird feeders with my girls yesterday, we cut a bagel in half, spread with peanut butter and then stuck some bird seed and raisins on and hung them on the trees with string. I hope the birds will like them

    Tracey
    Officially debt free
  • abitofhelp
    Morning, Ive been lurking for a while reading this thread. I'm going to join up for the March Challenge. It looks great fun. I ve decided on my budget by reading some of the posts, its more than i want to spend each month but i would rather over plan for the first challenge attempt ( my challenge will be over a 4 week period at a time as i get paid 4 weekly if thats ok). My plan should it work is to draw the cash out of the bank providing i can reduce the content in my freezers over the next couple of weeks. i'm going to do a £50 freezer shop at FarmF**** using a voucher to get £5 off. I'm going to look at the Ap Foods site and possibly do an order there providing they have what i'm looking for. possible spend £25. The remaining amount i'm going to use for yellow sticker items before i look for full priced food. Hope all this works out. Thanks to the people who run this thread it has helped me out all ready.
    • meg72
    • By meg72 12th Feb 12, 10:48 AM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    Was lured into m&s on Friday after work and spent £8.34

    Went to mr M to spend the voucher, but was struggling to make the £40. So rather than waste money buying things I really didn't need, I bought the essentials (and got some lovely fresh fruit and veg!) and spent £16.90.

    This should do me the week and I'll go update my signature
    Originally posted by OS QS
    Wellk doneforresisting the voucher. The tempertation would probabably have been too much for me. Silly really but have lost count of the times I have bought stuff I dont need to get
    a fewpound off.
    Slimming World at target
  • 123budget
    Used the recipe from the front page for carrot cake and weetabix brownies, Used the carrot cake recipe to make muffins and they were yummy - might just reduce the sugar content next time as I found them a little sweet but everyone else loved them.
    Wasn't too sure on the weetabix brownies tho - but had one this morning with a cup of tea (so a day after I made them) and they were better. Sometimes recipes are nicer the day after making them. (or just trying to eat them when they were just out of the oven and a bit gooey!! didn't work).
    Also used up more carrots in a soup - but bunged in a whole red chilli and my throat was on fire after a bowl of it. DH said it was tasteless - just spicy for the sake of it but I will finish it off today - don't want to throw it.
    Chicken in slow cooker for roast dinner later and leftovers will be used for a chicken pie tomorrow night.
    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
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 12th Feb 12, 11:33 AM
    • 504 Posts
    • 6,309 Thanks
    carolinerunner
    meg72, did it with the last Sun voucher, duh, trying to resist the next one which is in my purse...
    hex, thanks very much for the tip re A,azon cat food. Annoyingly the really cheap flavour is one my cats won't eat but the one they do eat is still cheaper than in the shops, and free delivery, so thanks!
    Erratically money saving
  • 123budget
    Oh forgot to add as well:-
    Sorry can't remember who posted it originally but I skimmed off 1 pint from a 4 pint to freeze too.
    So I bought two small 1 pint milks and 3 4 pints of milk, used the 1 pints first to give me the empty containers, then took 1 pint off the 4 pinters to refill them and topped the 4 pint up with water. No one has noticed and I have 2 spare pint milks in freezer!!

    Also thought the empty 1 pints would be great for freezing chicken stock as a lot of recipes ask for a pint of stock.
    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
    • p-pincher
    • By p-pincher 12th Feb 12, 12:12 PM
    • 725 Posts
    • 3,631 Thanks
    p-pincher
    Hi everyone, not posted for over a week and its taken me ages to catch up. Really not doing well at the minute. Just totted all the receipts so far and ive got £30 to last me til next friday (24th as its OH payday). To be honest I dont need a lot, the freezer is packed but its going to be a struggle. Ive come to the conclusion that I actually enjoy food shopping especially finding all the best deals/bargains/whoopsies. Based on this im going to try weekly shopping (£50 a week) instead of one big shop at the beginning of the month then struggling for the reminder.

    On the plus side ive had 5 NSD which is encouraging. Trying to do a meal plan to cover half term and also get in some baking with dd's as theyve decided the want to make daddy a heart shaped cake for valentines day.

    2nd purse is going well at the minute as well. Dh also treated us to the dine in for £20 meal from m and s for Tuesday so looking forward to that.
    March 2014 Grocery challenge £250.00
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 12th Feb 12, 12:19 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    freakyogre
    £12.44 spent at Sainsbury's today on spread, honey, mayonnaise, 2 x cheese, 2 x body spray, jelly, eggs, bananas, clementines and bread.

    I managed to defrost the small freezer section in my fridge this morning and listed everything in there. Some of it i've worked in to meals already, but there are 2 mystery items! One I suspect is mashed swede (but could be chicken stock), but I have no idea what the second one is.

    Also moved some bits round in my main freezer and have taken the buttermilk I made a few weeks ago out to make some scones later....which will no doubt find their way back into the freezer!
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 12th Feb 12, 12:20 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    Just back from a lovely walk sorry if it's horrid where you are but it's lovely here and not too cold - debating whether to put the washing out ....

    Picked the left overs from last nights' chicken and made some stock. About to make soup when I discovered I've no carrots and no "hard" potatoes ... popped into Mr C and the carrots were OK at 33p but £1.45 for 750g of new potatoes.

    Still it's handy and that was still cheaper than having to go to the sm and use 18 miles of fuel....

    Chicken & Leek Risotto for dinner (one of my favs) so that'll be all the stock gone!

    Now working my way through a really unhealthy lunch of mini-muffins - they were whoopsied & I just couldn't resist.
    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!
    • baroley
    • By baroley 12th Feb 12, 12:32 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 545 Thanks
    baroley
    Like you p-pincher, I have just had a tot up and have £60 to last 'til the end of my month (24th). The trouble is I have a week off work and a friend is coming to stay. This has prompted me to do a stock check, so will be using lots from the cupboard and the freezer. I must start to label leftovers, there could be a few surprises!

    I have not done nearly so well this month, but i have not been keeping up on here, maybe the two are connected? Just going to spend some lovely time catching up on posts, and then do some baking. What a lovely thing to do on such a cold Sunday!

    Keep warm everybody!
    Grocery challenge month runs from 25th to 24th
    January £100. £96.20
    February £100. £1.64
  • Ninno820
    Also used up more carrots in a soup - but bunged in a whole red chilli and my throat was on fire after a bowl of it. DH said it was tasteless - just spicy for the sake of it but I will finish it off today - don't want to throw it.
    Originally posted by 123budget
    Try adding some grated ginger to the carrot soup - it just lifts it and gives it the warmth you need in this weather.
    44 day challenge


    1. Pay £650 off overdraft (£ 288/ £650)
    2. Lose 12 lbs (4.5/ 12)
    3. Use YNAB everyday (6/44)
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 12th Feb 12, 12:36 PM
    • 1,776 Posts
    • 12,849 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Falafel Burgers
    Hi again

    Just quickly here is the falafel burger recipe I used on Friday. Rather than making 4 big burgers I made 8 smaller ones. It's actually more substantial than I thought it would be! I skipped the tomato salsa as didn't want to spend the money, so I had the burgers in pitta with Value crispy salad and tomato and cucumber slices. It was a right mess but very nice! Originally from Good Food:

    Falafel Burgers
    Ingredients

    2x 400g can chickpeas , rinsed and drained
    2 garlic cloves, chopped
    handful of flat-leaf parsley or curly parsley
    2 tsp ground cumin
    2 tsp ground coriander
    1 tsp harissa paste or chilli powder (I used harissa as had one open)
    4 tbsp plain flour
    4 tbsp sunflower oil ( I used 1 tbsp olive oil. Next time I would use 2)
    2 small or 1 large red onion , roughly chopped
    toasted pitta bread
    200g tub tomato salsa , to serve (didn't bother)
    green salad , to serve

    Method


    Pat the chickpeas dry with kitchen paper.
    Tip into a food processor along with the onion, garlic, parsley, spices, flour and a little salt.
    Blend until fairly smooth, then shape into four patties with your hands.
    Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan, add the burgers, then quickly fry for 3 mins on each side until lightly golden. (I thought they needed a fair bit more than this)
    Serve with toasted pittas, tomato salsa and a green salad.

    LC
    Last edited by elsiepac; 12-02-2012 at 12:38 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: Sep 19 £tbc/£250
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • russetred
    • By russetred 12th Feb 12, 12:38 PM
    • 1,235 Posts
    • 9,385 Thanks
    russetred
    I decided to use up all the vouchers and coupons that would be going out of date soon at Mrt. Total was £45.75 used 21 different coupons and got it down to £11.19. Should get a JTD for £11.38 back. It took a while to compare items with MrA and put together a list but definitely paid off. Nice lazy Sunday watching the rugby.
    "Sometimes life sucks....but the alternative is unacceptable."
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 12th Feb 12, 1:33 PM
    • 4,842 Posts
    • 58,667 Thanks
    sistercas
    afternoon

    NSD for me today

    made a beef casserole for lunch and filled it with bendy veg , it was delish, everyone enjoyed it and there is another meals worth that i am cooling and freezing , i also made double the amount of mash and will freeze that too , it will make a quick meal in the week . the good thing is i have another pack of the casserole steak in the freezer so i know i have another 2 meals there as well

    its half term next week and i find when they are all in (DD's and DH as he is a teacher ) they really hit the cupboards hard and i end up spending more as they snack more . i need to keep on top by making some cakes and biccies

    welcome to the newbies , its lovely on here and there is a wealth of help and advice
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