Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    • 9,343Posts
    • 17,889Thanks
    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'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; 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 49
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 20th Mar 12, 4:51 PM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    Sausage Bake (GF)
    Tonights offering is Sausage Bake.

    I bunged 8 sausages in a baking tin (I used Doherty's Free From Sausages 454g 1.68 from Asda. You can get away with 6 sausages if needs be.)and grilled them. Cooked 500g of Penne (Asda Free From 1.48) Cooked 300g of brocolli (50p from Asda). I then cut the sausages into 1/4's and put them back in the baking tin with the pasta, brocolli, 2xtins of chopped toms (2x39p (I am using the big tins from Approved Food so it equates to 50pish for me)). Sprinkle basil and oregano, a couple of cloves of crushed garlic and grind some pepper over and stir it all together. Then slice up some mozerella cheese and lay it on top (I used 3 balls at 44p each) Bake in an oven on 200deg C for 20mins.

    Served the 5 of us plus 2 extra meals for the freezer. So it worked out at about 80p a serving . If you can use Smart Price or similar pasta and get whoopsied sausages then it brings it down a darn sight more.

    Please remember to check all products as manufacturers can change ingredients
    Last edited by tigerfeet2006; 21-03-2012 at 7:44 AM.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • nicknack
    • By nicknack 20th Mar 12, 5:08 PM
    • 89 Posts
    • 1,861 Thanks
    Tonights offering is Sausage Bake.

    I bunged 8 sausages in a baking tin (I used Doherty's Free From Sausages 454g 1.68 from Asda. You can get away with 6 sausages if needs be.)and grilled them. Cooked 500g of Penne (Asda Free From 1.48) Cooked 300g of brocolli (50p from Asda). I then cut the sausages into 1/4's and put them back in the baking tin with the pasta, brocolli, 2xtins of chopped toms (2x39p (I am using the big tins from Approved Food so it equates to 50pish for me)). Sprinkle basil and oregano and grind some pepper over and stir it all together. Then slice up some mozerella cheese and lay it on top (I used 3 balls at 44p each) Bake in an oven on 200deg C for 20mins.
    Originally posted by tigerfeet2006
    That sounds really nice, I'm definitely going to try that soon!

    Latest spends are 11.68 in L!dl and 28.62 in Tesc0 so will go and add those to my signature. 1 week to go til the end of the month.......

    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 20th Mar 12, 5:47 PM
    • 4,842 Posts
    • 58,667 Thanks
    was supposed to be a NSD today , but as i wandered through the c00p on my way home there were some chicken breasts wrapped in bacon and cheese that were whoopsied , so i grabbed them

    plus some chicken roll for sandwiches tomorrow
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 20th Mar 12, 6:33 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    2.54 spent yesterday in Aldi on milk, tuna, sweetcorn and wraps.
    Grocery challenge - Nov: 52/100
    • Fiasco55
    • By Fiasco55 20th Mar 12, 6:36 PM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 15,364 Thanks
    I haven't updated my GC for a bit. I have 43.31 to add from 4 separate shops. I have used my mr t money card 20 comp too.
    No buying toiletries Graduated May 2017

    Decluttered 2016 2469 items, 2017 1580 items
    2018 3060 items

    Sealed Pot Challenge No 038
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 20th Mar 12, 7:43 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    Another NSD for me today. That's three in a row. Woop woop! That's day 2 of my fiscal fast done. A little bit worried about tomorrow, in that I'm going out to a mtg during the evening, then I know I'll be tempted to go to a sm afterwards. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to get out of that, other than use huge amounts of willpower, which I'm not sure I have at the moment!

    Dinner tonight was leftovers from yesterday, nice and cheap, and planned. I am now doing at least one meal a week that has enough for the next night, as I find this is a stress-reliever. If I thought I had to cook properly every night, I'd go mad! Having done this for the last few months, it's only now that I realise this! Funny how that works.

    Meal plan, although vague, is sorted for the week. Won't require me to buy anything further. Must take out the sauce from the freezer in a mo, to make sure it's defrosted by tomorrow. I'm impressing myself by being so organised.

    Right, must turn this thing off and get on with some jobs around the house.

    Night all,

    PG x
    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
  • mummybearx
    Catching up with all my spends, up to 223.20.... Might be a bit more but I can't find any more receipts.

    Not bad, got stuff in the fridge freezer and cupboards, just need to meal plan and make it last as long as possible x
    Can't think of anything smart to put here...
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 20th Mar 12, 8:40 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    I phoned up Mr T SC today and got my fiver back for the voucher which failed. Had a small spend tonight on whoopsied bread and few other food bits in Coop which came to just over 8. Have been doing menus this week but only 3 days at a time so that I am flexible. I started to do an Approved foods order today-then stopped myself and asked my what the heck I was thinking! Ive still got way to much in stock and I am really trying to run down the freezer. I find that filling it up with reduced bread is a good wy of doing it as it empties out quickly when I need it to!
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is 1500 pa 125 calendar month 28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • LavenderBees
    • By LavenderBees 20th Mar 12, 9:03 PM
    • 1,703 Posts
    • 17,718 Thanks
    Please dont be so hard on yourself, I think you are doing well
    and I personally dont think a 100 for one person is a lot. Its around 3 a day, which is not excessive at all. Plus you are providing for a cat.
    Originally posted by meg72
    It's nice of you to say so, but I know I can do better. I still know I'm buying things I don't need NOW rather than using what I do already have in. Stock control needs to be the name of the game from now on.

    I actually have 2 pusses, but honestly they eat minescule amounts and I can't blame them for anything budget-wise, though I might try to shift responsibility to them

  • Mrs Addicted to Spending
    I've spent 56.60 this week (I had a mini-challenge to see if I could keep it to 50 for the week for the 4 of us - something I'm now going to do once a month) so my total for the month so far is 298.47/450.00 . I'm very happy with that as I only have one more week's shopping to do for the month and there's no way I'll spend over 150.00. I can't believe I used to struggle to keep to the budget of 100 per week I used to have.

    It's thanks to all the suggestions, recipes and advice on this thread and others (2nd purse and grabbit) that I've managed to achieve this . I now regularly bake biscuits and flapjacks which I never used to before and we're eating much more interesting, varied and healthy meals, as I'm using veg to bulk out the meat in the dinners and doing very careful meal planning to minimise any waste/leftovers.
    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
  • kj*daisy
    Been hopeless at updating but finally totting it all up to 194!! So about 65 a week so far, not too bad, but can't go mad for the rest of the month if I want to stay in budget.
    Grocery challenge July 250

    45 asd*/
    • DundeeDoll
    • By DundeeDoll 20th Mar 12, 10:43 PM
    • 3,597 Posts
    • 40,555 Thanks
    OH has commented that i'm cooking lots more and asked if it's being OS. I think it is. We're eating really nice food, not wasting any, leftovers in the freezer. nearly 3months in and i'm really enjoying it. Also getting canny on taking leftovers from work (where ok on food safety obvs) which would otherwise be chucked. Today's haulwas 3very nice filled rolls and 2slices flapjack. I think actually my main reason now is to reduce the amount of food being chucked and i'm actually advertising leftovers to others more.
  • MunniMuncha
    Well my GC finishes today and have come in way over budget at (drum roll please)........ 406.81/250.

    Believe it or not I am quite happy with this for the following reasons:

    1) This is my first real month of GC and I was spending around 375 pm on 4 (3 adults and 1 teenager, who eats like an adult, so we'll say 4 adults and 2 cats), so only slightly over what I was spending

    2) Trying to work out how much I can actually do it for and thinking that going from 375 to 250 was slightly ambitious for the first month - so am going to reduce it next month by 25 and then again the following month

    3) Of that 406, I have put 135 into 2nd purse - thereby increasing my stocks somewhat and 55 into 3rd purse - so of that 406, 190 has been reinvestment into Munnimart and 55 pure profit. That means that before doing this and 2nd purse I actually only spent 275 of actual GB.

    Sorry for the long post - and seem to have got GC and SP thread all in one.

    Am going away this weekend, so hoping not to start spending next month's money until the beginning of next month
    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
    • debbiedeejay
    • By debbiedeejay 21st Mar 12, 7:01 AM
    • 504 Posts
    • 5,182 Thanks
    Dashing through to declare 2.15 on chicken and bread. Will try to catch up reading posts -feels like I have had no time for myself with what thing and another.

    Catch you all later.
    Crazy Clothes Challenge 2012 57.20/100,CCC 2013 68.67/100 ,CCC 2014 94.32/100
    *Frugal Living Challenge 2012, 2013, 2014*
    GC 2014 Jan 154.14/180;Feb 103.49/180;Mar 117.63/160
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 21st Mar 12, 7:39 AM
    • 4,361 Posts
    • 30,013 Thanks
    tessie bear to the shops in a bit...after i have put the washing out...going to make a fried rice for tea to use up some bits and pieces then we are having steak tomorrow and chicken the day after

    have a nice day yess
    onwards and upwards
  • sheselectric
    Finally sat down and added up all the receipts last night - up to 88.78 which was less than I thought
    GC March 88.78/150
  • Lovethenight
    Well (big sigh!)

    I've been having a good old think about this challenge over the weekend. I'm not happy with myself as, although, I am being more frugal and definitely am a lot better than I used to be, I still feel like I could and should be doing better than I am. Without a doubt, I'm very much looking at the budget limit as being something to aim towards instead of coming in under it. And once I've exceeded it, well, there's no point in worrying about it is there? Might as well exceed it a bit more!

    Ah, yes, I know myself so well.

    Also, some wise person on here over the last few days mentioned that 100 for a single person is rather a lot...(sorry I didn't make a note of who I can credit that comment to...but it's true

    My "food" budget usually includes things like cat litter and toilet rolls, and I think I'm coasting by on thinking "ah yes, but I didn't really spend 140 on FOOD for myself in March". Well, no I didn't, but it wouldn't be far from it...probably in the region of 100-110, which is still a lot, given that I still have a store cupboard full to the rafters, and a freezer that will go "pop" if I try to put anything else in

    1. I'm going to halve my budget for next month (which for me starts on Friday 23rd as that is payday). 50 budget for me, which should mean that only essentials get put on my shopping list instead of the usual..."I've finished it so I must restock again immediately".

    Sorry for the long post, folks, but I've been mulling all weekend and I know you'll understand, whereas friends and family just look at me like I've lost leave of my senses. Perhaps I have....

    Off to update my siggy now. Hope the sun is shining where you are

    LB xx
    Originally posted by LavenderBees
    Hey lavender bees,

    I'm feeling exactly the same! Been thinking about my GC fail this month too. It's only my first one so I've got lots to learn, but like you I feel I'm spending masses - You said that 100 is a lot for 1 person, and I've spent about 250 for 2 people and no pets or kids.!

    You are much braver than me at cutting it for next month. My payday is also 23rd, so will be starting the April challenge on Friday.

    Instead of cutting it, I'm going to keep it at 220 and try and mentally keep in mind that's 55 per week until the next pay day.!
    Hopefully having a smaller figure in mind will curb the 'big payday shop' habit I have, and I am sticking to online shopping to avoid all the unnecessary stuff I usually fling intoy trolley that sabotages my healthy eating and budget!! I'm sure that the cost of the delivery charge will work out as less that the petrol and extras in the trolley...

    Sorry for the essay! just feels good to get this out there to help me remember and stick to it.!!
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 21st Mar 12, 8:12 AM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    Just done the A$da price guarantee thingy and I have a MOC for the grand total of 2.42...wayhey!!

    Today I had a chat with a taxi firm to work out whether it would be cheaper for me to get to the big supermarket and back (no proper bus service) and would cost me 8+ each way. The smaller MrT Metro in town I can walk to but would need a taxi back and it would be around 5. So my conclusion is I will stick to deliveries from the comfort of my own armchair.
    Last edited by tigerfeet2006; 21-03-2012 at 8:26 AM.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • p-pincher
    • By p-pincher 21st Mar 12, 10:58 AM
    • 725 Posts
    • 3,631 Thanks
    Hi everyone
    Not doing to bad at the moment, i've got 52 pound left til last to the 30th and only need some bits and pieces to see me through to the end of the month, the usual suspects, bread milk fruit veg and yoghurts. Making in roads through the freezer as well, went through it again last night and still got salmon, chickens, pork joints, bacon, you name it I seem to have it.

    Already thinking about my budget fo next month, still going to stick to 7 a day and i definatley going to stick to weekly smaller shops as these seems to suit me better. I always seem to go crazy at the beginning of the month when i try a monthly budget and really struggle for the rest but this month when ive started the weeklies it seems much more relaxed.
    March 2014 Grocery challenge 250.00
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 21st Mar 12, 11:33 AM
    • 13,826 Posts
    • 29,891 Thanks
    I am thinking about my budget for next month at the moment. Doing really well this month at reducing my bill right down. I have one more shopping week to go until the end of the month and I have an Approved Food order due this week as well for around 50.

    We will need extra money as well for interviews, if DH gets any more, so I will need to really keep a handle on the budget and spend as little as possible. It also means we won't be able to get away during the Easter Holidays in the trailer tent which I am disapointed with. I hope he manages to get a new job soon as I am getting fed up already. DH has just spent 2 days filling in forms and writing the covering letter for one school and I have just spent 2 hours checking it over and I spotted while cross referencing something with the job description they sent out when I noticed that it said that applications had to be in by the 16th. On the TES website and their covering letter it said 23rd. DH emailed them and they emailed back that originally it was 16th and they extended it to 23rd but then changed their minds and appointed today How blardy unprofessional is that. Really pee'd off at the moment.

    So any way I am thinking of setting a budget of 380 next month and sorry for the rant.
    Last edited by tigerfeet2006; 21-03-2012 at 11:36 AM.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

718Posts Today

6,550Users online

Martin's Twitter