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  • FIRST POST
    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    • 9,343Posts
    • 17,889Thanks
    zippychick
    March 2012 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    March 2012 Grocery Challenge 4th Jun 11 at 11:19 AM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the March Grocery Challenge of 2012

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your February budget, then keep on posting in the:
    Grocery Challenge - February 2012

    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; 27-02-2012 at 8:58 AM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 45
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 17th Mar 12, 5:21 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    I'm here - real life is getting in the way at the moment but I'm just managing to keep up with your posts - reading and running.
    Originally posted by helen jelly
    Hooray Well done. I know I speak for all of us when I say thank you. I was worried we had driven you away for a while there!
    SL
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Ditto this Suffolk Lass!
    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!
  • Mrs Addicted to Spending
    Thanks Rumblytum for the casserole ideas - I will try it tomorrow.
    Pay debt in 2012 #278 £2347/£5364
    Sealed Pot 5 #1713 £78.57 //Crazy Clothes Challenge #97 £79.49/£100
    Grocery Challenge:
    Feb £359/£360 Mar £390/£450 Apr £335/£320
    May £330/£320 Jun £455/£400 Jul £321/£320
    Aug £399/£370 Sep £345/£300 Oct £421/£400 Nov £0/£320
    • DundeeDoll
    • By DundeeDoll 17th Mar 12, 5:57 PM
    • 3,477 Posts
    • 39,360 Thanks
    DundeeDoll
    Frugalina, those smokies look fab. Which farmers' market?
    Didn't go to Lidl today so £20 intact. Down to last 3 slices of brown bread but found some bread flour in the cupboard of requirements. Still have 8 pts milk left so would be nice to hold of SM till say Tuesday. Got MC bill today. If you take out DD2's accommodation (uni, we pay directly on our MC and get the points) was about £500 so very happy about that. Hoping for even lower next month (and no accommodation bill hooray)
    Be like a postage stamp—stick to one thing until you get there.
    • Barbeduk
    • By Barbeduk 17th Mar 12, 6:05 PM
    • 816 Posts
    • 7,150 Thanks
    Barbeduk
    Yey, Saturday evening and England and Wales have both won! Must be time for a drink!

    Second attempt at this post, just managed to delete it.

    Popped to 1id1 for their w/e offers and spent £20.54 but bought: 2 packs of pork, 3 packs of quorn, bacon, yogurt, 4 pints milk, 20 eggs, large sweet potato, cucumber, carrots, jam, choco rice, ice creams, 7up, 3 bars chocolate and tom ketchup. There may have been a small element of pester power there!

    Then dh wanted snacks and beer for watching rugby so big thanks to the person who posted a couple of pages back about making hummous. Got the jar of tahini out of back of fridge (last used dec), tin of chick peas, some garlic, and sun dried toms with some of their oil, whizzed it all up and it was yum. All washed down with some spiced cider also bought before xmas!

    Tea for kids was hotdogs and we're having quorn and spinach curry later.

    Have a lovely sunday everyone.
    June GC £288.01/£400
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 17th Mar 12, 6:43 PM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    Yey, Saturday evening and England and Wales have both won! Must be time for a drink!
    Originally posted by Barbeduk
    mmmmm least said about it the better ........ think there might be some drinking up here too but it's prob more of the "drowning our sorrows" type
    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!
    • meg72
    • By meg72 17th Mar 12, 7:34 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    hi...we are off to lidl in a bit to get some carots to make a cake with.....might get some meat if there is anything left...going to make some scones later for a mothers day cream tea...will try and get some clotted cream but im not sure if they sell it
    planning a hm kfc chicken lunch tomorrow so need to get the chicken out of the freezer....also need to buy something for puddings next week....quite fancy making a crumble so need to get some fruit probably apples

    have a nice weekend
    tess
    Originally posted by tessie bear
    Like the idea of your Mothers day cream tea,Tess.
    Re the crumble,I really fancied one last week, but I amusing up and didnt want to go and buy any fruit. I used an OD tin of rhubarb and OD tin of peaches and it was really nice.
    Slimming World at target
  • cat_smith
    mmmmm least said about it the better ........ think there might be some drinking up here too but it's prob more of the "drowning our sorrows" type
    Originally posted by rising from the ashes
    Yeah. Wish I could. Think I'll fly instead
    GC Mar 13 £47.36/£150
    • FrugalLina
    • By FrugalLina 17th Mar 12, 7:46 PM
    • 303 Posts
    • 2,973 Thanks
    FrugalLina
    Frugalina. Where is this market? All our 'Farmers Market' stuff is vacuum packed and not very inspiring.
    Originally posted by cat_smith
    and DundeeDoll

    It was here in Fife and only a very small market. To be honest, it was a bit like those Continental Fairs they have in the larger towns, I recognised some of the stalls. There was some lovely produce, but some of it was very expensive. Arran cheeses, flavoured oils (£7/£8 a bottle!) beautiful jams and chutneys, some lovely baking, huuuge olives, some sweets and a chocolates. All well outside my price range. There were some meat stalls, but I don't eat meat, so I didn't check prices. The vegetables were great though (and the smokies)!

    I do wonder it it was good value really because, in order to get a few vegetables (saving approx £2) I spent £3.35 on the bus, paid for a Big Issue £3.00 and the smokie was £2.80. Hmmmm.... not really good OS shopping!
    Last edited by FrugalLina; 17-03-2012 at 7:48 PM.
    • DundeeDoll
    • By DundeeDoll 17th Mar 12, 9:33 PM
    • 3,477 Posts
    • 39,360 Thanks
    DundeeDoll
    mmmmm least said about it the better ........ think there might be some drinking up here too but it's prob more of the "drowning our sorrows" type
    Originally posted by rising from the ashes
    Wooden spoon noooooooooooo
    • ModestyB
    • By ModestyB 17th Mar 12, 10:43 PM
    • 1,573 Posts
    • 15,283 Thanks
    ModestyB
    Spent £5.24 in HB, £16.90 in Mr S and £32.96 in Ald! Total spend of £55.10 added to budget. I never seem to see any bargains lately. Probably cos I'm not looking for stuff I don't need.
    S.P.C. 9 2016 No. 062 Banked £337.50
    My Gold Stars off Sue.
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 17th Mar 12, 11:39 PM
    • 1,683 Posts
    • 12,460 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Mar GC Update Week 4/5

    Hi everyone

    Not had any GC spends for a few days, however yesterday I STUPIDLY spent £6 in M&S on ready meal for tea for a treat and a couple of bits that I really could have done without. Gah.

    Today I bought 3x milk substitutes as they are on offer in Mr T for £1. I got one Kara, the coconut based one, and 2 Alpro, the almond based one. They are both MUCH nicer than real milk which I've never been a fan of anyway. I haven't bought as much because the coconut one is REALLY creamy and I don't like my coffer too creamy, so I'm still on the first carton I bought on the 11 March! So I think these 3 will see me through now hopefully. One of them is Week 4 budget and the other 2 are Week 5. The M&S spend was Week 4 so I only have a couple of squid left for this week. However, am trying to live from cupboards/freezer as much as poss.

    Lunch tomorrow for Mother's day - I'm cooking for her and dad. I have some nice M&S olives to nibble that were £1.99. I am making a pesto, pea and green bean risotto for lunch, all storecupboard, and I'll put in the last of my frozen whoopsied roast chicken which is 200g to bulk it out a but more. I bought a lovely bake at home olive ciabatta for £1 to go with it. And then for pudding I have a (bought, sorry!) pineapple updside down cake. OK, Just realised custard would have been good with that. Oh well, too late! That was expensive, £2.50 but I have nothing except a bit of flour in, so would have cost more for ingredients to make similar I reckon. I also got a bottle of Cava for £7. Most of this was from other budgets I had set aside, although also spent more than intended.

    Sigh, I have very littlemoney for the rest of the month till payday on 30th and that's the day I fly to SA anyway!

    Still, I have 4x HM meals in the freezer, beans galore, pasta galore, and rice galore and 5 cartons passata plus chopped toms in the cupboards and frozen veggies and 18 bread rolls in the freezer. So apart from a bit of fresh fruit and veg I will be fine grocery wise. Just have no spending money left!

    LC

    Mar GC: £61.30/£70
    Week 1: £14.47/£9 <-- over by £5.47
    Week 2:
    £8.40/£9
    Week 3: £
    6.60/£9
    Week 4:
    £7/£9
    Week 5:
    £2/£9
    Stores: £22.83/£25
    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
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 18th Mar 12, 6:36 AM
    • 2,886 Posts
    • 27,274 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Today I bought 3x milk substitutes as they are on offer in Mr T for £1. I got one Kara, the coconut based one, and 2 Alpro, the almond based one. They are both MUCH nicer than real milk which I've never been a fan of anyway.
    LC
    Originally posted by elsiepac
    Hi LC,
    Not sure if you've tried the rice based milk substitute; r*** dream? My friend who is lactose intolerant has it and I've had it in tea and it was OK (I like milk though so might not be best for recommending alternatives). My friend describes it as being the gentlest alternative. When she was looking I know she tried a coconut alternative but I'm not sure what else. Anyway, HTH

    Good luck with the meal
    You could make coconut ice-cream to go with the pineapple cake - there is an asian non-dairy recipe here:

    Ingredients:
    · 2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
    · 1/4 cup superfine sugar or granulated sugar, or to taste
    · 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract, optional
    · 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
    · 1/8 cup toasted coconut, optional
    Preparation:
    Combine the coconut milk and sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Stir in the extract and the coconut flakes. Chill in the freezer, stirring occasionally until hardened, or prepare in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Top with (optional) toasted coconut before serving
    SL
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (£59,998) Q1 £26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 £29,215.99 after May
    Save £12k in 2019 - #68 target is £7k £4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is £3k - 36.16% spent so far, after May
    My DFD is here
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 18th Mar 12, 6:58 AM
    • 4,320 Posts
    • 29,747 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...happy mothers day...off to lidl later ...as didnt get there yesterday..the fridge is empty so need to sort that out...need to get some yogurt and other bits for puddings as presently have nowt

    got chicken for lunch...so thats sorted....thinking of doing the frugal fast just need to pick my week

    meg your crumble sounds nice...i might try that
    take care tess
    Last edited by tessie bear; 18-03-2012 at 7:02 AM.
    onwards and upwards
    • meg72
    • By meg72 18th Mar 12, 7:37 AM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    and DundeeDoll

    It was here in Fife and only a very small market. To be honest, it was a bit like those Continental Fairs they have in the larger towns, I recognised some of the stalls. There was some lovely produce, but some of it was very expensive. Arran cheeses, flavoured oils (£7/£8 a bottle!) beautiful jams and chutneys, some lovely baking, huuuge olives, some sweets and a chocolates. All well outside my price range. There were some meat stalls, but I don't eat meat, so I didn't check prices. The vegetables were great though (and the smokies)!

    I do wonder it it was good value really because, in order to get a few vegetables (saving approx £2) I spent £3.35 on the bus, paid for a Big Issue £3.00 and the smokie was £2.80. Hmmmm.... not really good OS shopping!
    Originally posted by FrugalLina
    I think it was worth it if you enjoyed it,we must have treats sometimes.
    Bus fares seemto have gone up horrendously,I am very lucky in having a buspass as I am sure if I didnt I wouldnt be going anywhere different at all.
    Slimming World at target
  • MunniMuncha
    I have bought mine on line for the last 2-3 years as has hubby. I am pretty sure when it comes to the payment section it gave us a choice of how to pay and we ticked the debit card choice then entered our details, this was only the end of Jan that we did it.

    Have you tried paying over the phone by debit card?
    Originally posted by EverTheOptimist
    Ditto - I have just used my direct debit card as well - its also a visa. The site does say that you can use both.

    Grocery wise its a nsd here - just on the count down to payday next friday. I have some unidentifiable meat defrosting from the freezing with a view to slow cooking it tomorrow.
    Originally posted by Ninno820
    Hes tried every time to pay with his debit card coz, as you say, it gives that option, but every time it comes up and says card cannot be used on this occasion please pick another card (or something like that anyway) and even using other debit cards from other accounts it is only the credit card it accepts.

    Now I know it can be done, think I'll take a bit more interest and have a look and see what he is doing wrong. Unfortunately ETO, we normally forget until it's too late and it's some ungodly hour when there is no-one there to phone, but will try and be more organised next time it's due for payment! Having 2 cars and 2 motorbikes it won't be long until one of them is due for taxing!!

    Many thanks for your comments - so glad to know that other people can pay for their tax by debit card
    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
  • MunniMuncha
    I paid for my car tax last month with my debit card and had no problems

    Tracey
    Originally posted by tracey12
    Sorry didn't include in above post, but missed your one for some reason - anyway thanks for letting me know that you too have paid by debit card for your tax - am now on a mission
    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
  • MunniMuncha
    Wooden spoon noooooooooooo
    Originally posted by DundeeDoll
    Look at the positives, at least you won something
    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
  • MunniMuncha
    Glad to hear from you HelenJelly - was worried there for a bit (phew)
    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
    • DundeeDoll
    • By DundeeDoll 18th Mar 12, 11:05 AM
    • 3,477 Posts
    • 39,360 Thanks
    DundeeDoll
    You're right MunniMuncha, after all wooden spoons are very useful
    So didn't manage to stick to my £20 in Lidl but did £43.33 which was considerably less than last week. Have again analysed into Protein (P), Fruit and veg (V), Dairy (D), Groceries (G) and Munch (M)
    Date...Total.......P.........V.......D........G... ......M
    04/03..73.65...33.96....5.27....4.99...14.89...14.54
    11/03..65.77...22.68...12.13....4.00...15.45...11.51
    18/03..43.44...10.63...12.58....3.00...13.88....3.35

    Munch not quite so good as it looks cos we gave DS £7 to spend on munch for his w/e away with band camp. But am definitely getting much cleverer at YS and half price protein.
    Last edited by DundeeDoll; 18-03-2012 at 11:08 AM.
    Be like a postage stamp—stick to one thing until you get there.
  • Lovethenight
    Hi everyone, will try not to gloat too much after yesterday's fantastic result!!

    Spent another £20 in co0p today (i'm blaming it on feeling delicate after last night's celebrations!)

    £10 of that was on 2 enormous packs of steak mince (£4 each) and a whole chicken. Usually only buy FR chickens, but the meat was on 3 for £10 offer, so £2 seemed too good to pass up. Will use it up on curry, sandwiches, salads and soup so will keep us going for lunches most of the week and a few dinners too.

    Of to update sig and put some more washing on - it's a lovely sunny sunday afternoon here. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
    LTN
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