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    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    • 9,343Posts
    • 17,889Thanks
    • #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'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!

    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 49
  • Lovethenight
    Yesterday's new word to me was fleabay, today is Horrorsons. Love 'em
    Originally posted by DundeeDoll
    Ha ha!! Glad no-one's offended by the term - it's just that my local one is a nightmare!!
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 12th Feb 12, 9:01 PM
    • 3,406 Posts
    • 34,882 Thanks
    2 small sends to report today, £1.40 on navy shoe polish for DS boots and £1.25 on 4 pts of skimmed milk at M&S.

    DH loved the £2.99 Merlot from Ald1 I bought on Saturday so I will be buying another one of those at the weekend.

    I made mince for the first time ever today. (I am a veggie of 23+ years). DH said it was the best mince he had ever tasted and ate the lot when I had made extra mash so he could take half of it to work for dinner tomorrow. (I've saved the mash). Thanks for the recipe Mum I can cook most meat but I have to say the smell of frying mince had me holding my nose in one hand and the spoon in the other

    I am now just over my £400 budget with 9 days to go, or 1 weekly shop on Friday. We have loads in still but will need dog food so I am expecting another £20-£25 spend then.

    This month's spends does include £36 on nappies that will last 3 months. I could split the cost across the months but I am trying to manage the whole of my monthly budget better so it is clearer for me if I count it in the month I have spent it even if it means I go over by £25 or so.

    I have a rare day off on Tuesday so I am planning to make a big veggie Quiche Lorraine and some blueberry and choc chip muffins for our lunch boxes.
    October Grocery Challenge - £122.00/£220
  • rosieben
    elsiepac, I've added your Falafel Burgers,Honeyed Carrot Soup, Tuna and Sweetcorn Lasagne and Chocolate Pancakes recipes to the list; I've linked to the original recipe for the Fruity Pancakes

    Suffolk lass, I've added your Low calorie spicy coleslaw to the recipe list
    I think I've caught up now but if you're posted a recipe and I've not listed it please shout!
    Last edited by rosieben; 12-02-2012 at 9:55 PM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • linz4383
    • By linz4383 12th Feb 12, 9:46 PM
    • 287 Posts
    • 4,276 Thanks
    had a nice NSD today got sum spends from the beginning of the week to report tho, they !!! to £29.69.. it is a little over for last week but hopin to not spend anything this comin week as im off work and DD is off nursery theres plenty in so should be fine
    House deposit £0/£10000
    Loan £6,065.43- £5803.30
    credit card £3,932.25 - £4233.40
  • LondonDreamer
    Flatmate had good luck in the whoopsie section today but can't tell you exactly how much it all cost. I know it was around £13 for lots of veg and some meat, including a lovely piece of pork belly. I picked up a few bits and pieces we can't get locally when I went in to London yesterday, that was £6.98. So going to add £20 to my sig.

    Slow roasted lamb for dinner today, gorgeous. Shredded the leftover meat, soaked it in the leftover gravy and tucked it away in the freezer to make shepherd's pie next week. Think I'll actually get two pies worth out if it once bulked up with veg.
    • 666paw
    • By 666paw 12th Feb 12, 10:25 PM
    • 330 Posts
    • 2,481 Thanks
    Another £2.50 spend for me today - 2.5 dz eggs.

    Will most probably have to get a pint or 2 of milk but that should hopefully be it until Sunday when I can give a sigh of relief as my new month starts.

    MFI3 T3 # 75
  • rej-c
    Added to my sig [now up to date to 12/2/12 inclusive]: one more NSD, and £8.95 spent on Saturday in Mr T - on cereals, bread, milk, tinned and frozen veg, fruit, cheese, oil, half-price pop... and forgot the eggs, my primary reason for going. When will I learn to take a list every time I do a shop?

    Ah well. Him Indoors can do without eggs for a few days, and he's going to be out and about visiting people until midweek anyway [so, hopefully, a few cheap one-woman dinners ahead]. He coped manfully with me sharing my scrambled tofu with him this morning...
    Haven't done the GC since February, but a glance at the Tower of Receipts tells me I really need to get back into it... and plenty of other Challenges besides.
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 12th Feb 12, 11:06 PM
    • 1,755 Posts
    • 12,802 Thanks
    Banana Bread
    Thanks for adding the recipes rosieben!

    And elizabunny, that sounds like quite a fun day!!!

    No GC spends today - I had the last of my Honeyed Carrot Soup for lunch and the 2nd portion of my Falafel Burgers for tea, also the last of my Fruity Pancakes for breakfast. Unfortunately had 3 bananas going the way of over-ripeness, so I ate one... then searched for reviews on Mock Goose (which I'm having later in the week from my new recipe book that came on Saturday, We'll Eat Again, ... I can't wait, it's a lovely book!) ... which weren't fruitful but randomly came across a yummy American recipe for banana bread... and for the first time ever in my life, I had all the ingredients in to make it! Here goes - this is my adapted version:

    Banana Bread

    Wet Ingredients:
    60 - 70g softened butter (I used 56g Trex)
    2 eggs
    2 very ripe bananas
    2/3 cup sugar (worked out 150g)

    Dry Ingredients:
    1 1/3 cup SR flour (worked out 190g)
    1/2 teaspoon mixed spice (worked out 2g)
    1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used 1x 100g pack Dr Oetker Dark Choc Chips)


    - Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
    - Combine the wet ingredients above in a bowl then squish the banana with a fork and mix them all.
    - Add the dry ingredients and combine well in figure of 8 (I used a fork as usual).
    (- You may mix in a handful (1/2 cup) of chopped walnuts, pecans, dried cherries or apricots at this point if you prefer.) I didn't!
    - Pour the mixture into a greased loaf tin and bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean (about 40-45 minutes I found - also, grease it WELL, maybe even GP paper at the bottom...mine fell in half but was yum!).

    You can freeze this according to the recipe, so I cut my "loaf" (ha! you'd have laughed if you saw it after I patched it back together... ) into 8 slices which are very generous but all I could manage given the state of it, and I've wrapped 4 individually and frozen... fingers crossed they'll be ok....



    Last edited by elsiepac; 12-02-2012 at 11:12 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 (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
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 12th Feb 12, 11:08 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    We had SC Chilli for dinner (recipe in the collection.) Pudding was the rather scrummy chocolate cake that I put up the recipe of the other day. Had to make it as the troops were baying for it.

    I used the tinned tomatoes we got from Costco. They were fantastic, when I opened the tin they were chopped but rather than a few bits in a lot of weak juice it was was absolutly rammed with tomatoes and the juice was really thick. I had said I was going to put a 1/3 of a 2.5kg tin in but put nearly a half. The chilli was fabulous and I have enough for another meal for all 5 of us. So that is a very bargainous meal and I am very happy indeed.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • Fiasco55
    • By Fiasco55 12th Feb 12, 11:38 PM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 15,364 Thanks
    Fiasco55 the chicken chorizo and butter bean stew sounds lovely. Do you have a link for the recipe please?

    I am sorry I have looked back through posts but I cant find who made the breakfast bars. Do you have a link please?

    I have been baking today blueberry muffins and the last of my Mary Berry Christmas cupcakes.

    I stewed some apples which previously would have thrown away and made a crumble. So that is progress!

    I also put the leftover veg in the freezer to save for a soup. This is possible now i have sorted out the frezer and there is room

    Huge thanks to everyone for your advice help and encouragement
    Originally posted by bunbun2
    No bother

    Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew

    4 chicken thighs (diced)
    120g Chorizo (diced)
    500mls Passata (or tinned toms will do)
    1/2 large white onion (you can add more - just my taste)
    2/3 gloves of garlic
    1 tsp Paprika
    1 tin (400g) butter beans
    Spray Oil

    Cook the chicken thighs and onion together in the spray oil for 5 mins then add the garlic and the chorizo. Next add the paprika, passata & beans to the pan. Then cover and simmer for 20 mins. If the stew still looks like it needs to be thicker, take the cover off and simmer for a few more mins.
    No buying toiletries Graduated May 2017

    Decluttered 2016 2469 items, 2017 1580 items
    2018 3060 items

    Sealed Pot Challenge No 038
  • Catwoman103
    This week's shopping came to a whopping £18.79 due to the fact that I was able to use my £8.50 Mr T vouchers. Will need a few extras next week such as rabbit food, fabric conditioner and kitchen towels but I'm well within budget with freezers still very full.

    On the diet front, the scales seem to be stuck in place but I am definitely toning up as my skirts feel much looser.
    Jan GC £96.95/£120; NSD 26/31
    Feb GC £113.19/£120: NSD 24/29
    Mar GC £54.22/£150 NSD 10/12

    2012 Aim - To clear credit cards in 2012
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 13th Feb 12, 7:37 AM
    • 4,633 Posts
    • 52,101 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    Just seen on HUKD (credit to ather7851) that Horrorsons 30p/pack fruit and veg deals start again tomorrow includes following

    4 pack apples

    4 pack pears

    1.5kg baking potatoes

    1kg carrots

    500g onion pack


    whole swede
    Originally posted by mumwithamission

    mumwithamission thanks for posting this - those prices are even cheaper than the ALD* 'Super6', so well worth investigating.

    Sorry for being MIA, but I do try to read all the posts, just never get time to post (must type quicker! )

    'Larger than the World's chaos, is it's miracles...' - Katherine Rundell, Author.

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Barbeduk
    • By Barbeduk 13th Feb 12, 7:57 AM
    • 819 Posts
    • 7,151 Thanks
    Happy Monday everyone, and good luck to all the other parents off for half term!
    Miracle happened here on sat, DH and DD went to horrorsons for garlic and chick peas and came back with . . . Garlic and chickpeas . Think they were too scared to buy anything not on the list! So that's another £1.58 spent (he even kept the receipt!).
    Made the browniesfrom the recipes on page 1 on sat, they were lovely! The lady who posted the recipe got it from Jackie magazine which brought back many memories!!
    I have put by £25 to spend on cinema trips, parking etc for this week. I would never have done that before, just kept getting money out, so am feeling really pleased with myself. Hoping not to spend it all (don't tell the kids!).
    June GC £288.01/£400
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 13th Feb 12, 7:57 AM
    • 4,361 Posts
    • 30,013 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...thats cheap veg...there isnt one of thoses shops close to us so will have to stick to aldi...using up a few leftovers today but am going to make a nice breakfast...might go out later but it looks cold
    going to costco on wed so looking forward to that but always buy their meat we have found it to be really nice quality

    have a nice day
    onwards and upwards
  • mh2361
    travelled back to see family yesterday and remembered to pack sandwiches and coffee flask so didn't spend anything in service stations. almost gave in when walking past Costlots but made it!!

    feeling very grumpy today though, so need to stay out of town or I'll end up spending a fortune. Shopping being delivered this am, thought it better to pay the delivery than risk taking the kids into the shops. first time using ocado so got £15 off and some cash back. i ordered it last week tho so hoping I've actually ordered stuff i can make a meal with. Really not in the mood to cook, will get SC out i think to avoid chip shop run tonight.

    woodland trust has free downloads for half term activities.
    MBNA£862/0 :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/
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 13th Feb 12, 9:09 AM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    morning all
    1/2 term here so meal planning goes a bit to pot but trying unsuccessfully to stay on budget
    just off to update sig after weekend shopping
    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
  • Ninno820
    [QUOTE=mh2361;51004397]travelled back to see family yesterday and remembered to pack sandwiches and coffee flask so didn't spend anything in service stations. almost gave in when walking past Costlots but made it!!

    Well done - I'm a sucker for their raspberry and almond slice!

    Was aiming for a NSD but popped out for a couple of lemmons to make the magic lemon pudding and spent £4.39 - when will I learn?
    44 day challenge

    1. Pay £650 off overdraft (£ 288/ £650)
    2. Lose 12 lbs (4.5/ 12)
    3. Use YNAB everyday (6/44)
  • rosieben
    elsiepac, I've added your Banana Bread recipe to the index

    Fiasco55, I've added your Chicken, Chorizo and Butter Bean Stew recipe too
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • meg72
    • By meg72 13th Feb 12, 10:20 AM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    Thanks for adding the recipes rosieben!

    And elizabunny, that sounds like quite a fun day!!!

    No GC spends today - I had the last of my Honeyed Carrot Soup for lunch and the 2nd portion of my Falafel Burgers for tea, also the last of my Fruity Pancakes for breakfast. Unfortunately had 3 bananas going the way of over-ripeness, so I ate one... then searched for reviews on Mock Goose (which I'm having later in the week from my new recipe book that came on Saturday, We'll Eat Again, ... I can't wait, it's a lovely book!) ...
    Originally posted by elsiepac
    Enjoy your book, itis very good, A friend gave me a copy sometime ago and I often have a read. and marvel at the ways they came up with to feed a family onvery little.
    Slimming World at target
    • Coxy11
    • By Coxy11 13th Feb 12, 10:28 AM
    • 2,322 Posts
    • 27,347 Thanks
    Hi everyone,

    Haven't posted lately as I went to Oxford for a couple of days, then the weekend got a bit busy. Managed to catch up on the thread last night. Everyone seems to be doing well, especially those who are buying just what they need instead of what takes their fancy (guilty as charged - I went to MrT this morning and bought 2 custard tarts rtc )

    I'm just on to update my sig. Just crept over my monthly target of £450 today, but should be okay for the rest of my month except for perhaps some milk later in the week. There were two birthday McD's treats included in my budget. Must try to budget seperately for those in future as it really messes with the figures - almost £50 just for that

    Have a good day all, and happy half-term everybody
    Cross-stitch WIP: Pretty Little London by Satsuma Street
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