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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 86
    • MissOrganised1972
    • By MissOrganised1972 24th Feb 12, 11:21 PM
    • 174 Posts
    • 3,644 Thanks
    My Mr S order arrived tonight! All lovely with no substitutions until I noticed they'd not taken off my £10 first time customer voucher! Told the driver but have also emailed. Am hoping that'll get me an extra voucher?? ;-)

    Also nipped into Mr T earlier to get the few things I wanted to choose myself (avocados, rocket, YS bread etc). Today us the start of my March budget. Will update my signature over the weekend, once Mr S get back to me.
    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

    • DundeeDoll
    • By DundeeDoll 24th Feb 12, 11:34 PM
    • 3,606 Posts
    • 40,640 Thanks
    Sucumbed to 2 x 2l milk (special offer) as worried milk wouldnt last till saturday. I was right to worry! But it meant my nsd didnt happen so strongly suspect wont make 8 this month as lidl tomoz, edinburgh sunday then friend coming sunday till friday. Still hopeful for gc challenge.
    Be like a postage stamp—stick to one thing until you get there.
    Plastic bottles picked up to recycle Oct 1 - 22: 46
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 24th Feb 12, 11:45 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    GF&DF Biscuits (Peanut Butter, Ginger and Plain.)
    thankyou ill have another look in the recipe collection see if i can see them! i couldnt when i look earlier
    Originally posted by linz4383
    Sorry this is so late but I have only just got back online.

    Peanut Butter Cookies.

    Preheat oven to 180degC. Put parchment on a baking tray. Mix together 6oz of caster sugar and 7oz peanut butter (I buy SM value range.) Add an egg and a tsp bicarb soda. Roll balls of mixture in the palm of your hand and flatten. Bake in the oven for 10-15 mins.

    Gingerbread Biscuits.

    Preheat oven to 190degC and put parchment on a baking tray. Sift 350g GF plain flour (I use Doves) into a bowl. Add 2tsp ginger and a tsp of bicarb. Put in 100g butter (for DF use something like Pure) and rub it in till it looks like breadcrumbs. Add 100g of dark brown sugar and 75g of caster sugar, 1 egg and 4tbsp honey. Mix it to a soft dough. If it is to wet then add some more flour, if to dry add a few drops of water. Knead dough on a floured surface, until smooth. Roll into balls in the palm of your hand and flatten. Bake for 10-15 mins until lightly brown.

    Plain Biscuits.

    Mix together 150g of GF flour, 100g ground almonds, 1 1/2 tsp GF baking powder, 1/2 tsp bicarb. In another bowl cream together 85g butter (for DF use something like Pure) and 200g caster sugar. Add an egg and 1tsp vanilla extract.. Gently add the flour to the other mixture untill you have a stiff dough, add more flour if needs be. Divide in two and wrap in clingfilm and chill for two hours.

    Preheat oven to 190 degC. Roll out dough on a floured surcae and cut out shapes using cutters and place on an ungreased baking tray. Leave plenty of space between them. If dough gets to soft bung in the freezer to firm up for a while. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden.

    I think these were from the Gluten Free Cookbook for kids. I do the PB cookies a lot for school things.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 24th Feb 12, 11:52 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    Its the last shop of the month for me this weekend and after writing a list I ripped it up again as I realised I was just buying what I always buy not what I actually need.
    I'm aiming for £10 for the week this time - the freezer is full and I only need some fresh bits (mostly fruit) and cheese and some breakfast bars for work.

    I'm going to try for £100 for March - its 4 shops for me and £25 a week. Its doable if I try hard!
    Originally posted by WelshWoofer
    I do the same as you - always buying the same stuff, even if I have it in already. TBH, I think that's half the reason why my house is so full of food! It's amazing how much your budget is impacted when you stop doing that. I'm spending less than half of what I was spending on a week's worth of food now.

    PennyGrabber, what is a nobbly bobbly and what is the te$co dtd thread please?!

    I can't remember spending anything today so that must mean a NSD - I'm pretty sure...
    Originally posted by carolinerunner
    A nobbly bobbly is an icecream, kind of like a fab, but much nicer! The tesco dtd thread is where they talk about ways to con mr T out of some money, basically! They offer double the difference on some overpriced stuff. The link is here:

    Just done my weekly shop, and spend the grand total of £22.29. Will put it into march's budget, and just have an extra-long march month, as I can't be doing with working it all out now. That therefore means I'm declaring Feb as £103.11/£100, and setting my March budget as £120. I don't really need to be on the front page list either, anything to save you some work. I'll keep updating in my sig, and in my dfd. Thanks to all who contribute here, and keep us all on the straight and narrow!
    Grocery challenge for family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(11), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries. Jan £87.97/£100 Feb £0/£100
    Frugal 2018 needed! Saving and NOT spending
  • Lovethenight
    PennyGrabber, what is a nobbly bobbly and what is the te$co dtd thread please?!.
    Originally posted by carolinerunner
    Ah- I haven't had a nobbly bobbly in years!! They are a lovely kind of ice lolly with ice cream, chocolate and covered in round 'hundreds and thousands' !!! (Sorry PennyGrabber - you can probably explain it a lot better!!

    (edited-you just beat me to it ha ha!!. )
    Last edited by Lovethenight; 25-02-2012 at 12:18 AM. Reason: Replied too late ha ha!!
    • Fiasco55
    • By Fiasco55 25th Feb 12, 1:37 AM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 15,364 Thanks
    Small spend for me tonight £3.80. Got an apple juice, chicken dinner for one meal, flapjacks and a big tub of m & $ crispy bars for uncles birthday visit.
    No buying toiletries Graduated May 2017

    Decluttered 2016 2469 items, 2017 1580 items
    2018 3060 items

    Sealed Pot Challenge No 038
    • Barbeduk
    • By Barbeduk 25th Feb 12, 7:11 AM
    • 819 Posts
    • 7,151 Thanks
    Lisakay, Honestly, sometimes it feels like But make sure you give yourself the credit for your achievement , then hide his credit cards!

    Am off to !id! this morning for the weekend offers, won't be able to get there til around 10.30 due to bloomin' dd's judo class. DH is working an extra day so we can pay a bit more off the dreaded cc so I will buy him a bottle of beer too! Just the one mind
    June GC £288.01/£400
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 25th Feb 12, 7:22 AM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    My Mr S order arrived tonight! All lovely with no substitutions until I noticed they'd not taken off my £10 first time customer voucher! Told the driver but have also emailed. Am hoping that'll get me an extra voucher?? ;-)
    Originally posted by MissOrganised1972
    They did that with me too (few months ago now) - I phoned & was offered a voucher or a refund (took the refund as not sure when I'd be getting another shop from them).

    Must say, I may do another when stocks run down in a couple of months - I was really impressed with their basic range

    Some people want the moon on a stick, lol! There's someone on our freecycle who is always asking for games consoles and games (mostly ps3/wii), and has also asked for iphone and blackberry phones and a laptop, only things she offers are things like vouchers she's got out of the newspaper!
    Originally posted by Sue14
    Ours is the same *sigh* - it's the ones wanting things like WM or fridge/freezers but then say "must be silver" etc when mine broke I'd have happily had anything as long as it worked!

    Even more reason to be shocked that the pet food cost more than the whole chicken!!
    Originally posted by carolinerunner
    Yup, and it's full of "horrible" stuff - I batch cooked Ben's meals and froze in portions - usually either turkey or beef mince or chicken pieces with veg. It worked out a lot cheaper and I'm sure was so much better for him.

    Well, had a major bargain find last night popped into Co*op on the way home and found a huge bit of beef which had been £12.80 reduced to £2 Did my 1st ever beef roast last night (usually too expensive for me & seems a lot when it's just me IYKWIM) and it was lovely.

    Have loads left so not quite sure what I'll be doing with it ...... any suggestions welcomed - at a push, I guess I'll try to slice (wishing I was nearer DM so I could pop round & use here fantastic meat slicer) and freeze in portions.

    Haven't updated sig yet - will do so after I've been to Mr T to use the vouchers ... could be tomorrow as need to have a shuffle in the freezers to see what I can get in.

    I was thinking about not using them, however, the big "R" has I think unfortunately moved a step closer this week so think I will stick to my "stocking up plan" so I don't need to worry about food/toiletries if it does happen.....

    Fingers crossed it doesn't but either way the budget will balance out over the next few months as I'll not need to buy as much.

    Trying to pluck up the courage to visit the local dog shelter today .... I've been looking at Gum*tree etc but no joy as yet and really feel for the poor dogs in the shelters and would love to help one so need to "get over" my fear of going. Wish me luck!
    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!
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 25th Feb 12, 7:30 AM
    • 4,369 Posts
    • 30,042 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...happy off to sort out a nice gift for dh birthday...not sure what and i need to plan a nice cake...also off to lidl to get some meat for the packups and have a look at the bargains

    got a chciken roasted for tea and then plan to make a pie for lunch tomorrow...i got a huge bowl of cherry toms for a quid off the market yesterday...thought id roast them and turn in to a tom sauce...oh and have some with a salad

    take care tess
    onwards and upwards
  • Ninno820
    Morning - my day is tied to the computer - finish off an essay for my course (due in mid march), listing on ebay for free listing weekend and finishing off some accounts for a local club. Inbetween I have treats such as a vist to the Post office to post some ebay items to look forward to - my life is just one big party!

    Aiming for another small spend today - just need some fresh fruit and veg and a small tin of evaporated milk for a chocolate fudge cake.

    Its a gorgeous morning here - hope that its the same with you all -you feel so much better when its like this!
    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 25th Feb 12, 8:45 AM
    • 1,776 Posts
    • 12,849 Thanks
    Peanut Butter Cookies.

    Preheat oven to 180degC. Put parchment on a baking tray. Mix together 6oz of caster sugar and 7oz peanut butter (I buy SM value range.) Add an egg and a tsp bicarb soda. Roll balls of mixture in the palm of your hand and flatten. Bake in the oven for 10-15 mins.
    Originally posted by tigerfeet2006
    I've had a lonely egg loitering in the fridge for a while with use by date of yesterday (!), and 3/4 jar peanut butter from a recipe a while ago in the cupboard.

    So have just made your cookies tigerfeet, and they are YUMMY! Thank you so much for the recipe! For anyone on WW, I used crunchy peanut butter, and they work out 5 ProPoints each, or 9 for two.

    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
    • forever saving
    • By forever saving 25th Feb 12, 8:46 AM
    • 565 Posts
    • 8,850 Thanks
    forever saving
    I have spent £27.53 this week. I have shopped as wisely as i could. I can't see that i am going to come under budget this month as i have next week to go as well. Well, new challenge will start Friday for me.
    I have some yeast dated Jan 2012, will it still be ok to use? Thankyou in advance.
    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
    • eveie189
    • By eveie189 25th Feb 12, 9:06 AM
    • 300 Posts
    • 2,896 Thanks
    Hi all,

    Done over budget by £3 odd this month, which is not much compared to how I usually do and I put quite a lot of money into my 2nd purse to start it up so I am happy with that.

    I am setting myself £450 again for this month as I think I can stay within this budget long term rather than setting it too low and not getting anywhere. Only problem is I have just spent £105 on half a pig. I am sure it will be worth it and if I can keep in budget after doing this I think I may get a lamb next month (apologies to any veggies) as DH is a serious meat eater.

    Helen - I don't mind not being on the list either if it's easier not to, it means I will have to actually remember to update my sig more often.

    Have a nice weekend

    April GC 9th-7th may £0/£320
  • M0neysav3r
    Hi All

    Oops gone over this month..... I think i've forgotten to add a couple of small spends to the amount too - Ah well, in theory i'm still much better off than i would be without any budget at all I popped in to Ada the other day and their bread had been reduced to 10p for lovely fruit loaves, granary loaves, cheese rings, etc so they've gone in the freezer - Dont you love a bargain!

    So i've decided for March i'll go back to £200

    My friends are still in shock that I can feed our family on so little
    No Debts (Other than HUGE mortgage! )
    Generally trying to cut back where possible
    GC - March £143.82 / £200 Feb £156.03 / £150 Oops! Jan £180.78/£200
  • helen jelly
    Morning all

    Budgets done to here
    Thank you for all the replies so far about wanting or not wanting to be on the list.

    My total so far for Feb is £231/£250, I'll be over but not by much as we need a few bits and I'm almost out of Marg

    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 25th Feb 12, 10:00 AM
    • 3,310 Posts
    • 29,414 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    I have some yeast dated Jan 2012, will it still be ok to use? Thankyou in advance.
    Originally posted by forever saving
    FS - It should be fine. When I started making bread again last month I used all the old sachets and they were ood in 2010!! Not a bad batch in there. I used the first sachet from the newly purchased pack yesterday but as I type I now think I've got a bigger old pack, lurking under the bags in the bread-bin. Off to check now...

    BTW I rinse out the opaque bags that cereal comes in to store part-used bread as it keeps it fresh - not sure why though but definitely works - does anyone know why please?

    Save £12k in 2019 - #68 target is £7k £8,766.30 after Sep
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target £3k - 57.28% spent after Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 108.23% £43,292.24 including Sep - reducing now to avoid fees
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (£59,998) Q2 £30,085 or 50.14% paid
    My DFD is here
  • WelshWoofer
    Just back from a trip to Aldi and managed to spend £12 - was hoping for £10 but I did buy a big block of cheese rather than a small one and toilet rolls that I forgot I needed.
    That will last me through to next week now and the new budget starts then.
    Well within budget this month
    Reducing the budget for next month so will be tougher
    January grocery spending - £82.73/ £120
    • FrugalLina
    • By FrugalLina 25th Feb 12, 11:36 AM
    • 367 Posts
    • 3,425 Thanks
    I did my last spend of February yesterday and my total is just scraping in at £79.79, I had thought I would be a bit more under than that, but I had a couple of more expensive items to buy such as coffee and tea (I like Earl Grey decaff). A lot of what I bought will provide meals well into March, so I am very pleased.

    BTW anyone else who likes Earl Grey tea - Asda have a great price on at the moment, one box of 100 teabags £2.13 or two for £2.50! Excellent and a huge saving on my previous Twinings indulgence. As I only use one tea bag (for two mugs) a day that lot will last me well over six months.

    No more shopping for me until next weekend - yay!

    Thanks everyone for your kind support as I started this challenge for the first time a month ago, I have learnt so much and you all have been such a huge help.
  • mh2361
    so far spent £430 for Feb against budget of £450 and still 4 days to go. I'm dead chuffed with myself. I'll keep budget at £450 for March, I don't want to make it so hard i fail then spend lots cheering myself up!! It includes toiletries, cleaners and small extras eg goggles for DD. and it's so much less than I have been spending on the CC. thanks for all the PMA, you're all so inspirational
    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/
  • mumwithamission
    Oh dear, haven't done as well as I hoped this month disappointed after a successful first attempt in Jan. Think, like some others have noted, that doing a biggish, and not quite as careful, shop at the beginning of the month, after a very tight last week of the month got me off to a bad start. Have got to get some more bits today, which will tip me over the edge. Will update after 29th. Think I will have to set budget at £450 for March, mindful that not only is it longer but we have family coming to stay for a few days.

    My DH has started buying his beer and peanuts out of his pocket money, hasn't even asked if I will take it out of my budget - think he knows better!

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