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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 78
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 21st Feb 12, 10:50 PM
    • 491 Posts
    • 6,304 Thanks
    carolinerunner
    Beef bones (free!) coming VERY slowly to a simmer on hob and in SC to make stock. So big they won't fit completely, even in my huge pan, and some are sticking out of the top! Never made beef stock before, how OS is that?!

    Helenjelly, happy to just update my sig, thanks for all your work, much appreciated.

    Gnight all!
    Erratically money saving
    • MissOrganised1972
    • By MissOrganised1972 21st Feb 12, 11:50 PM
    • 174 Posts
    • 3,644 Thanks
    MissOrganised1972
    To those who've made Nigella's breakfast bars, I would like to make these but we don't like shredded coconut, could you suggest a substitute? Maybe just a bit more oats, or a different dried fruit? Also did you actually use cranberries? I've found they can be both sour and pricey!
    Originally posted by carolinerunner
    sorry for the delay in responding & I am sure as I slowly plod through the thread, I will realise someone has already replied! Anyhow, here goes........

    I would say you could just omit the coconut or add a bit extra onto your dried fruit. I think extra fruit like raisins would be nice & maybe some syrup to moisten it a little! Truely teeth rotting!!

    With regards the cranberries, I used Craisins (branded dried cranberries) which I found in Al*i for £1. I didn't use them all in the recipe, there were still some left which I mixed with other dried fruit for snacks for the kids. Before I became a good 'GCer', when money was no object, I used to buy these all the time for my kids from Mr T for about £1.75!
    2017 GC O-£93.46/£160; S-£136.26/£160; A-£130.55/£160; J-£47.12/£160;
    J-£106.63/£190; M-£70.29/£160; A-£197.88/£180; M-£219.35/£180; F-£294.14/£160; J-£168.67/£160
    2016 GC £2322.39/£2285; GC-2012-2015 - £9789.91/£7773!
    for 2 adults & 2 kids (13 & 11) for all food,toiletries,cleaners etc



    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 22nd Feb 12, 12:10 AM
    • 1,683 Posts
    • 12,461 Thanks
    elsiepac
    GC Update 22 Feb 12
    Hi all!

    I've had a very lazy day today, but with one exciting thing. I had to go to the town a few miles away to get my prescriptions, and there was a 20 minute wait, so I went to Ald1 which is opposite the chemist. Very exciting, MUCH better than L1dl!!!

    I've saved another 20p on this months food budget by buying 3 of the "Super 6" veggies - onions, swede and parsnips. And by changing around my meal plan to incorporate these as lunches (Cheap Family Recipes Lunchtime Rice coming up!) instead of the other couple of bits I was going to get in Mr T by me.

    So it was £1.17 for the veggies as 39p (by the way that makes the swede even cheaper than ROSSPA as they sell a whole one for 42p. In comparison, Mr T swede PORTION is 70p!). Then I was charged 3p for the privilege of a carrier bag. So a total of £1.20 spent. Next time I will take my own bags if I remember, stingy creature that I am (Although it was a very good quality carrier bag for 3p, I must say, much better than the carppy thin things in Mr T!)

    I was so impressed with them I'm thinking about how I can incorporate that store into my shopping (which is minimal atm to be fair). when I'm back at work it's a diversion of about 2-3 miles extra I believe, to drop in there on the way home (otherwise about 8 miles or so from my house). So I wouldn't want to make a special trip unless had spare petrol as I use so much anyway. However, my Dr is there, so I do occasionally have to go there (more recently admittedly!).

    One thing that stood out for me was 2 FR chicken breasts for £2.79! (I will NOT compromise and support cruelty by buying battery, I'd rather go without! ) Mr T is the best part of £6! I think they are smaller, but who cares! So I might be able to have chicken again in my meal plan, what a treat! eggs looked expensive though at £1.99 for 6 FR medium. Mr T is about £1.53 for the same, and I get mine from next door's happy chickens, for 6 for £1, so hard to beat anyway!

    Ready to eat mackerel was £1.49 for I think about 3 good sized fillets. Amazing looking frozen pizzas for 99p - had my eye on the vegetable one! King prawns £1.99 for a decent sized pack.

    I'm DEFINITELY going back there! I don't remember the last time I was so excited about shopping. I can feel some changes coming on to March's meal plan...

    But the best thing was that my favourite tipple (after white wine), Amaretto was there. When I discovered L1dl the other day, they had one for £9.99. Mr T has one £9.79 I think - just gone up from what used to be £8.51. The new love of my life Ald1, has one for £4.99! I'm DEFINITELY giving it a trial run next month!

    Anywho... sorry for long rambling post.

    Oh yes, for tea I slapped together a risotto using one portion of the roast chicken I got the other day and froze in little pieces. Was very delicious considering I improvised it! Here you go, quantities are based on what I did, they would vary easily:

    1 tbsp olive oil - heat in big pan
    1 big white onion, chopped - saute in the oil until nearly soft
    200-300g arborio (risotto) rice [depending on how much you want!] - stir until mixed with onion and oil
    200ml white wine - add to pan and stir until rice has absorbed
    1 Kn0rr chicken stock pot - dissolve in 500ml boiling water, add in batches to pan as rice absorbs it
    Use more water at the end as needed
    Stir in cooked chicken pieces (I used 117g for 3 portions - very stingey)
    Sprinkle black pepper through
    150-300g frozen peas - stir through until hot

    Serve, grate cheese over if wished. Was yummy

    LC

    Feb GC: £70.70/£98

    Week 1: £13.38/£14
    Week 2: £17.69/£18
    Week 3: £12.41/£13
    Week 4: £2.98/£14
    Week 5: £0/£14
    Stores: £24.24/£25
    Last edited by elsiepac; 26-02-2012 at 8:24 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: Apr 19 £59.94/£200
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 22nd Feb 12, 12:58 AM
    • 1,683 Posts
    • 12,461 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Sorry to butt in but I would LOVE to see this I <3 spreadsheets
    Originally posted by pipersky
    Hi pipersky

    This is the link to download it... my version changes constantly so is already different to that one!

    I originally posted it on Post 1449 of this thread.

    Have fun!

    LC
    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
    • JIL
    • By JIL 22nd Feb 12, 1:43 AM
    • 4,153 Posts
    • 23,199 Thanks
    JIL
    [FONT=Century Gothic][SIZE=2][COLOR=magenta][SIZE=3][COLOR=deepskyblue][SIZE=2][COLOR=Black]Hi all!

    I've had a very lazy day today, but with one exciting thing. I had to go to the town a few miles away to get my prescriptions, and there was a 20 minute wait, so I went to Ald1 which is opposite the chemist. Very exciting, MUCH better than L1dl!!!

    One thing that stood out for me was 2 FR chicken breasts for £2.79! (I will NOT compromise and support cruelty by buying battery, I'd rather go without! ) Mr T is the best part of £6! I think they are smaller, but who cares! So I might be able to have chicken again in my meal plan, what a treat! eggs looked expensive though at £1.99 for 6 FR medium.





    i]
    Originally posted by elsiepac
    You can get a whole fr chicken in Aldi for £4.99, often they reduce them, close to the sell by and take 30% off.

    Really shocked at the price of the free range eggs, I pay 89p for 6 in my Aldi. I bought some free range eggs in Morries the other day and the Aldi ones were a better taste.
    http://www.aldi.co.uk/uk/html/product_range/best_of_british_16291.htm

    I love Aldi, if I ever go to another SM I find myself really shocked at the prices in there, compared to their German cousins.

    NB Your spreadsheet is very impressive.
    Last edited by JIL; 22-02-2012 at 1:46 AM.
  • MunniMuncha
    LC, good job you don't live in over the bridge in Wales and it is now law that you have to pay 5p per carrier bag. Think it's great tho as you soon get into the stride of taking a bag in your bag wherever you go. Hope you have a good day today
    When you were born, you were crying and everyone around was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying!


    June GC - £352.04/£350
    SP challenge 3P £171.28
    • cw18
    • By cw18 22nd Feb 12, 6:53 AM
    • 8,050 Posts
    • 85,990 Thanks
    cw18
    Not been on here since 14th, when I came to declare a grocery spend on 11th

    Since then I've only spent on groceries once (on Friday 17th - fresh ingredients to make spag bol for when my chap arrived that evening), and have tried to use up some more pre-2012 stock the rest of the time

    Just updated my spreadsheet, and am surprised to find I still have some of my budget left
    It may only be £3.37, but that's better than being overspent already

    Don't expect it to take more than a few days to 'spend' that on stock items though (I'm trying to increase my f&V count, so am working my way through the tinned fruit that's been in my cupboards since heaven-only-knows-when - and I also need to make some more marmalade which will wipe out half of what's left), even if I also allow for the fact I had £5.90 left of last months budget which I could in theory use....

    Still one more weekend to get through with my chap before I can declare, but I'm going to have a look through what I've got in to see if I can stay out of the shops anyway (apart from the possibility of some fresh veg)
    Cheryl
    • freedom2011
    • By freedom2011 22nd Feb 12, 7:26 AM
    • 101 Posts
    • 1,108 Thanks
    freedom2011
    Tuna ideas
    I bought lots of tinned tuna when it was on offer from AP mainly as a lunch box filler. I am now thinking up frugal ways for main meals. Apart from with jacket spuds, fish cake or pasta bake I have drawn a blank. Anybody want to throw me some ideas? The store-cupboard is full of olive oil, herbs etc so I will have most things to add to any recipe.
    Frugal Challenge £9000
    Grocery Challenge £tba pm £
    • cw18
    • By cw18 22nd Feb 12, 7:30 AM
    • 8,050 Posts
    • 85,990 Thanks
    cw18
    We grew up on 'tuna fish pie' which I'm planning to make this weekend as my fella's never had it

    Basically it's just a white sauce to which you add tinned tuna, and then top with mashed potato before cooking in the oven like a cottage/shepherds pie.
    But (to save on the electric required to run the oven) I now let the sauce continue to cook for a while after adding the tuna to let the flavours merge, and then just pour it over the mash on the plates

    I always serve it with peas and sweetcorn (was peas and carrots when I was a kid) and tomato ketchup
    Cheryl
  • Lovethenight
    I bought lots of tinned tuna when it was on offer from AP mainly as a lunch box filler. I am now thinking up frugal ways for main meals. Apart from with jacket spuds, fish cake or pasta bake I have drawn a blank. Anybody want to throw me some ideas? The store-cupboard is full of olive oil, herbs etc so I will have most things to add to any recipe.
    Originally posted by freedom2011
    Hey freedom, not really a main meal, or season-appropriate, but I had a great tuna starter in an Italian restaurant - it was basically a large beef tomatoe that had been hollowed out ( top cut off), stuffed with tuna, black olives, garlic, herbs and the tomato seeds, then drizzled with olive oil. Not sure how much tuna you have to get through, but thought this might give you an idea or two....
    LTN
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 22nd Feb 12, 7:46 AM
    • 491 Posts
    • 6,304 Thanks
    carolinerunner
    I would say you could just omit the coconut or add a bit extra onto your dried fruit. I think extra fruit like raisins would be nice & maybe some syrup to moisten it a little! Truely teeth rotting!!

    With regards the cranberries, I used Craisins (branded dried cranberries) which I found in Al*i for £1. I didn't use them all in the recipe, there were still some left which I mixed with other dried fruit for snacks for the kids. Before I became a good 'GCer', when money was no object, I used to buy these all the time for my kids from Mr T for about £1.75!
    Originally posted by MissOrganised1972
    Thank you so much! I kknow what you mean, this thread moves soooo fast, I just can't keep up! Will hunt in Ald1 for Craisins and leave the current (!) batch to DH who has stronger teeth and can cope with them!

    Freedom, if you have the original Delia book, there's lovely brown rice salad with tuna in that, I adapt it to eat it hot and cook pieces of pepper and onion in with the rice for extra taste, can heartily recommend (could post rough recipe if you haven't got it)
    Last edited by carolinerunner; 22-02-2012 at 7:51 AM. Reason: extra comment
    Erratically money saving
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 22nd Feb 12, 7:53 AM
    • 2,994 Posts
    • 37,348 Thanks
    thriftwizard
    Dilemma - do I need to adjust March's target (£350) upwards a bit, or not?

    Just heard yesterday that our on-and-off lodger is coming back for a couple of months, starting Friday night, having got a temp job locally before the windsurfing season starts again in May - he's an instructor in summer, and an OU student in winter. He's an active, fit & healthy young man with a good appetite, but he's going to be working in a pub kitchen, where they'll probably feed him from time to time and he may also be able to bring home useful "leftovers" - i.e. unused raw materials, not stuff off people's plates! - when he & DS2 worked at a similar establishment before, they got to bring home some lovely stuff, which even included slightly-blunt chef's knives, which got sharpened up & are still doing great service daily. So part of me says of course I'll need to buy more, and he'll be contributing too, but another part says wait & see - he didn't cost us anything to speak of when he was living here before!

    I'll leave it as it is & see how we do...
    Angie

    GC June 19 - £307.68/£400

    Money's just a substitute for time & talent...
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 22nd Feb 12, 8:08 AM
    • 4,323 Posts
    • 29,752 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi....hope everyone is doing well...i have spent too much but have a lot in so hoping it will even out....we have stewing steak for tea might make some yorkshires to go with it

    need to do a bit of meal planning as mine has nearly run out...umm have to have a think about that and see what we have in first

    take care tess
    onwards and upwards
    • DundeeDoll
    • By DundeeDoll 22nd Feb 12, 8:15 AM
    • 3,477 Posts
    • 39,360 Thanks
    DundeeDoll
    Getting a tad excited about this challenge. Last month's budget (my first) now looks very large - what did i spend it all on ?!? So now £20 a day, to include food, eating out, pressies except within immediate family, and household. Loving that this month we got dualIt toaster and two underblankets. Now saving for matching coffee machine. Had to go down south sunday, back yesterday (fortunately petrol comes from defferent budget) and the five of us feasted like kings on picnic (courtesy of lidl on way down, coop YSs coming back). Must remember to do flasks next time! £2.20 for a cup of tea. Sig at the mo includes £24.12 still in purse. One more SM shop till March and still quite a bit in the store cupboard /freezer.
    Anything left at end of month will go into xmas fund yay.
    Be like a postage stamp—stick to one thing until you get there.
    • aneres
    • By aneres 22nd Feb 12, 8:20 AM
    • 417 Posts
    • 4,397 Thanks
    aneres
    My results for this month are £125 so I came in £47 under budget.
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 22nd Feb 12, 8:24 AM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    mrs-moneypenny
    havnet been in for about a week but still trying to keep in budget
    last night it was porrige for us as we were back to late to tea properly but kids eat tea earlier and had pancakes.
    am still trying to get the freezer down enough to defrost and working on the cupboards as we are having the kitchen floor retiled in the next month or so theory being if we eat it i havent got to box it up and find somewhere to store it.
    must dig out my reciepts and update my sig it looks way too healthy to be ture at the moment.

    out tonight for a firends birthday so just got to cook for the kids probally do jacket pots for our dinner and youngest will have pasta with brocolli and cheese sauce DS2 is out round a friends for tea and the DDs can sort themselves out not sure if DD2 is here to eat or out with friends anyway.
    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
  • abitofhelp
    morning all, elsiepac i went to ald1 last week and bought a tray of 15 free range eggs for 1.99, its possible the price ticket didnt match up to the display at the ald1 you visited. next time i go i will certainly have a look at the chicken, the prices do seem very reasonable for free range. i'm having a good study over the next couple of days to see which supermarket i will invest part of my budget in, more than likley it will be tesc0 as i have a £5 off £40 to spend & i'm going to print some of the coupon offers. i may also try my first app foods order had a look last night and therewere a few things i liked, wont be ordering until the 28th though so shall have to check back then.
    Grocery Challenge 24th Feb-28 Dec 2012 £2000/£1404
    18th May- 15th June 2012 £100/£75
    Dont Throw Food Away 2012 May £5/0
  • cleggie
    Morning all!

    Still not been to a SM, but by golly i REALLY blinkin want to!!! Really having a hard time of it today and feel utterly miserable.
    • p-pincher
    • By p-pincher 22nd Feb 12, 8:45 AM
    • 725 Posts
    • 3,631 Thanks
    p-pincher
    I bought lots of tinned tuna when it was on offer from AP mainly as a lunch box filler. I am now thinking up frugal ways for main meals. Apart from with jacket spuds, fish cake or pasta bake I have drawn a blank. Anybody want to throw me some ideas? The store-cupboard is full of olive oil, herbs etc so I will have most things to add to any recipe.
    Originally posted by freedom2011
    Hi, my lot love the scandinavian tuna pasta bake from the Economy Gastronomy cookbook, basically a tuna pasta bake made with a philli cream cheese sauce instead of a tomato one and topped with breadcrumbs. Its really nice.

    Another NSD today, making a sw veggie chilli and determined not to spend anything over the next 2 days as im bang on target.
    March 2014 Grocery challenge £250.00
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 22nd Feb 12, 8:55 AM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    mrs-moneypenny
    were veggie so cant really help you at present but before we 'turned' i used to make tuna Lasagnes which always went down well its just a basic lasagne but you use tuna instead of mince
    my DS who not veggie does a quick meal but adding a tin of drained tuna to cooked pasta and a jar of pasta sauce. he likes that with garlic bread.
    have updated the sig now so it looks more realistic
    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
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