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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 75
    • blackandwhitebunny
    • By blackandwhitebunny 20th Feb 12, 7:50 PM
    • 489 Posts
    • 4,139 Thanks
    blackandwhitebunny
    A good recipe for all you with excess BNS:
    Chilli, Tomato, BNS bake
    Remove the seeds from a BNS and peel and cut into inch sized chunks, boil, steam or microwave until just tender. Mix in a tin of chopped tomatoes and a tin of red kidney beans in chilli sauce (obviously you can use plain beans and add the chilli in some other way) Mix well and pour into an ovenproof dish, sprinkle some breadcrumbs and grated cheese over the top, bake at 180C until the topping is brown and its all hot and bubbly.
    You can add some chorizo or cut up cooked sausages for desperate carnivores.
    I was off to conquer the world but I got distracted by something sparkly

  • 123budget
    HelenJelly I don't need to be on the front either - will just update my signature
    Thanks for all your hard work
    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
    • Sue14
    • By Sue14 20th Feb 12, 7:59 PM
    • 899 Posts
    • 10,894 Thanks
    Sue14
    Went to A1di today and spent 20.30.
    Weight loss challenge 3/10lbs
    Total weight loss 21lbs

  • mumwithamission
    HelenJelly I'm fine about being just a number too, am obsessed with this new lifestyle so won't hamper me in any way

    Only got 24.72 left till the end of the month, but I've only got to get milk, bread, fruit and yogurts as required. Still have so much food and all the remaining meals are planned and bought for, so I should manage. Hope I'm not being too premature in being proud of myself - my spending would have been 2 or 3 times more than this last year . In fact, part of what drove me to this challenge was that in the WEEK before Christmas I spent 500 on groceries(and booze) and we WEREN'T entertaining anyone. I am so embarrassed about that now.


    • AlwaysHappy
    • By AlwaysHappy 20th Feb 12, 8:06 PM
    • 1,487 Posts
    • 11,732 Thanks
    AlwaysHappy
    I've put it on my Dropbox, HERE

    Shout if you have questions. If you're wondering where Jan is, at the end of each month I turn the tab black so I know it's finished and move it to the end so I still keep the record (i.e. scroll to the right).

    When planning ahead, I tend to leave a couple of blank days which will get moved around throughout the month, as unexpected events occur.

    *Freezer* on its own means some kind of sauce based meal from freezer, i.e. chilli, curry, lentil ragu etc. Something I would serve with pasta or rice etc - stuff I would have in the cupboard.

    Bear in mind that I'm trying to use up stocks at the mo.

    Also remember that the list at the front of "Items" is MANUALLY updated by me when I either find a new product I haven't yet bought since making the list, or if I notice the price has changed when I go shopping.

    Also, I've blocked off my SA trip at the end March/beginning April - suggest you don't!!!

    Knock yourself out (and bear in mind I'm OCD... )

    LC

    ETA: If you want to use this please feel free - only update the Items list tab, and then you can choose the item from the drop down list each month. for the prices, just select the top cell, and Fill Down to get the formula to replicate. LC
    Originally posted by elsiepac
    Oh my, I'm in a state of absolute awe!! That is one impressive spreadsheet. I am a complete computer no nowt but have now instructed my hubby that he needs to construct me something similar (if only!!). He did me a spreadsheet for my grocery spends a month ago and it has really ticked my box - I love it and fill it in religiously, I do a weekly meal plan and keep a shopping list but these are both paper based so far. Need to investigate this further as I love lists!!!! Thank you soooo much for sharing this - I can see what I am going to be poring over for the next few hours..........
    I'm not a failure if I don't make it, I'm a success because I :tried!
  • money saving hedgehog
    Baked Bean Lasagne
    Can anyone point me in the direction of a recipe for this, I can not find the one I have seen before, it was not the slimming world recipe. Thanks
    2015 in 2015 (Although actual goal is 10 a day)
    • JIL
    • By JIL 20th Feb 12, 8:25 PM
    • 4,266 Posts
    • 23,486 Thanks
    JIL
    Can anyone point me in the direction of a recipe for this, I can not find the one I have seen before, it was not the slimming world recipe. Thanks
    Originally posted by money saving hedgehog
    http://www.ciao.co.uk/Quick_and_Easy_Recipes__Review_5642944

    I have not made it, but when I did a vege cooking course we made a lovely pate with baked beans cheese and marmite.
  • lula_moneybaggins
    helenjelly I don't need to be on the list - I'm happy to just update my signature and blow whatever budget I set myself!
    Debt Jan 09 = 10,046 Debt-free since 16/12/2011
    Save 12,000 in 2012: 11,403.13/12,000
    Save 12,000 in 2013: 4000/12,000
    • EverTheOptimist
    • By EverTheOptimist 20th Feb 12, 9:41 PM
    • 2,655 Posts
    • 15,729 Thanks
    EverTheOptimist
    HelenJelly - I dont need to be on the list either, will just monitor and update spends in my signature.

    Thank you.
    DEBT: Loan 6000 Bank of mum and dad 13000
    SPC 12 #005 Target 200 /
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 20th Feb 12, 9:55 PM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,661 Thanks
    sistercas
    well i am super impressed with elsiepacs spreadsheet , if its easy i would love to learn how to do it , i may ask my DDs, they are whizzes on the computer

    helen jelly i am happy to keep my GC totals in my sig , i dont need to go on the front page if that helps x
    • JIL
    • By JIL 20th Feb 12, 10:05 PM
    • 4,266 Posts
    • 23,486 Thanks
    JIL
    Helen Jelley I dont need to go on the front page either. Thanks for all the effort and hard work you put in.
    • Fiasco55
    • By Fiasco55 20th Feb 12, 10:09 PM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 15,364 Thanks
    Fiasco55
    Another 2 spent today at m & 5 on a ready meal as I forgot that my work's kitchen was being ripped out. So I could only access a micro and I had planned to make rice.

    It is my mum's birthday tomorrow so I am treating us to a nice lunch out using my hi-life card (so 241).

    Edit I have just looked at my sig and think I made a slight error on updating last night. I definitely have not spent 1241 this month.....
    No buying toiletries Graduated May 2017

    Decluttered 2016 2469 items, 2017 1580 items
    2018 3060 items

    Sealed Pot Challenge No 038
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 20th Feb 12, 10:56 PM
    • 3,984 Posts
    • 52,562 Thanks
    Florenceem
    Monday.
    Another NSD for me. For dinner I made a quiche and we had roast potatoes/cauli/spinach and carrot.


    I used 10 ozs of plain flour for the pastry so I have enough left for another quiche. Mr F got a bag of lamb bones from the butcher the other day - I roasted them while the oven was on - our dog has had two of the three bones so far - they cost 50p for the bag. The fat from roasting the lamb bones was used to make today's pastry. I have frozen four slices of quiche for two more meals. I put 1 sliced tomato/1 chopped up bacon rasher/2 chopped spring onions/2 eggs/ some grated cheddar and half a pot of single cream in the quiche plus pepper/dried mixed herbs/garlic powder and dry mustard. It was yummy and cost about 1 for three day's dinners. More tasty and filling than a bought quiche plus no additives/preservatives or artificial flavourings.
    15 in 2015 1/15
    • ms_night_ryder
    • By ms_night_ryder 21st Feb 12, 12:23 AM
    • 3,001 Posts
    • 11,582 Thanks
    ms_night_ryder
    Just need to report that I spent exactly a river yest, junk, some clems and a mango, saw in my Mr s they have 2 big packs of stewing steak for 2 so I'm going to buy a pack for freezer tomorrow, I did go to sainsburys today as i was visiting my friend her husband fixed my laptop saving me a fortune, so I bought the kids some jelly TOT cupcakes and my friend a ttdchocolate cake, so about 41 in total saved in total the cakes won't be coming out my.gc budget so 7 left in my budget ,going to buy stewing steak and get whiopsies
    Lose 28lb 3/28lb
    SPC Member 1522/2012-264/ new pot 2013
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 21st Feb 12, 12:24 AM
    • 1,698 Posts
    • 12,516 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Oh my, I'm in a state of absolute awe!! That is one impressive spreadsheet. I am a complete computer no nowt but have now instructed my hubby that he needs to construct me something similar (if only!!). He did me a spreadsheet for my grocery spends a month ago and it has really ticked my box - I love it and fill it in religiously, I do a weekly meal plan and keep a shopping list but these are both paper based so far. Need to investigate this further as I love lists!!!! Thank you soooo much for sharing this - I can see what I am going to be poring over for the next few hours..........
    Originally posted by AlwaysHappy
    Aww, thanks, I'm flattered! To be fair, why don't you just use mine as a basic construct and just edit what you need? I've already made the "Items" tab a List, so if you change or add anything it will appear in the drop-downs in the monthly sheets. the main thing is the store and the price... seems a shame not to utilise the work I've already done - just edit till it suits you!!!

    well i am super impressed with elsiepacs spreadsheet , if its easy i would love to learn how to do it , i may ask my DDs, they are whizzes on the computer
    Originally posted by sistercas
    ?Hehe thanks sistercas once again, why not use mine as the basis and just edit what you will use? I do work in IT (although more telecoms than pc's!) but I taught myself how to make that s/sheet in about 7 minutes with internet resources. The main time-consumer was looking up prices!

    Anyway, good luck and have fun!

    LC 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
    • tjak
    • By tjak 21st Feb 12, 8:09 AM
    • 139 Posts
    • 1,213 Thanks
    tjak
    Declaring a NSD day today, and hopefully tomorrow too as DH is away for work until late Thursday so I can eat strange leftovers and please myself.
    Mr A order arrives Thursday, which should set me up for the month ahead. Determined to keep on track this month.
    Debt free and saving
    • 166million
    • By 166million 21st Feb 12, 8:10 AM
    • 1,212 Posts
    • 5,117 Thanks
    166million
    It took me a while when I 1st started and until I got the hang of it.

    I update the spreadsheet as soon (literally once anything chilled is put away) as I can so I can remember the offers (many things are reduced on the shelf so the savings don't show on the receipts IYKWIM)
    However, I don't (DON'T READ THIS BIT IF YOU'RE EASILY SHOCKED) check comparison sites before shopping BUT only as there's not any choice of SM where I live.

    Mr A is an 18 mile round trip in one direction, Mr T 18 miles in another, Li*dl 40 miles (yup, 3rd direction) with Home Bar*gains & Mr S a whoppnig 56 miles (others even further) - so it's really a case of getting what I can at the "local" ones depending on which town I'm in and doing a "stock up trip" to the further away ones now & then.



    I do this .... receipts are logged on the spreadsheet ASAP and then put into an envelope on my kitchen notice board - I mark these with the month so I can easily find one if needed.


    I did warn you I'd become a bit obsessive with keeping track of what I spend - but if it stops me getting back into debt again, I guess it's worth it.

    *runs away before anyone actually reads this and things I'm bonkers*
    Originally posted by rising from the ashes

    I don't use mysupermarket either because I don't have A*, W* nearby and I know everything I buy at T* is cheaper than S*. I do print off my list at T* website and check aldi lidl etc and I sometimes get a couple of things cheaper there. There is a M* nearby also but I find it a hassle because I don't know my way round very well
    **Debt Free as of 15:55 on Friday 23rd March 2012**And I am staying that way
    377 166million Sealed Pot Challenge 2018 No. 90: Emergency fund 637
    My debt free diary http://http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3630099
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 21st Feb 12, 8:51 AM
    • 4,324 Posts
    • 29,765 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...just made the batter for pancakes as i read its better if it sits for a bit...hope thats ok if it sits until tonight....done a bit of peeling i found some sliced roast beef in the reduced in the coop yesterday...i thought id go it in gravy with roast pots for dinner so thats easy

    aldi has carrots for 39p so i got an extra pack to make a carrot cake so will need to do that on the next couple of days
    have a great pancake day tess
    onwards and upwards
    • skilly
    • By skilly 21st Feb 12, 9:02 AM
    • 882 Posts
    • 10,225 Thanks
    skilly
    Morning all, well I am up to 186.69 and with a veg box coming tomorrow that I forgot to cancel yesterday I will be up too 199.69 was thinking of going to my local Market on Wednesday to buy bits and bobs I will be going over my budget :-(
    27 Sealed pot challenge 3496/4706.75/5 376.74/6 645.08/ 7 861.34 /8 786.90/9610.49/10 722.03 / 11? / gold star from sue
    • PaddyPaws
    • By PaddyPaws 21st Feb 12, 9:29 AM
    • 264 Posts
    • 3,019 Thanks
    PaddyPaws
    Hello everyone

    Just an update on last week's spends:

    Tesco 45.15 (included big pots of jnt supplements on 3-for-2 and some salmon fillets for the freezer)
    Aldi 18.80
    Mr S 12.88

    so weekly spend of 76.83 and month to date spend of 232.24, which leaves me the princely sum of 17.76 to last till 29th. All main meals already sorted, so probably just milk, bread, fruit and veg so should be do-able.

    HelenJelly please can I be a number on the first page to keep me accountable (and budget for March is 250)

    PP
    xx

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