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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 57
  • adelight
    Spent 3.24 on beetroot and purple broccoli from the organic bloke at market, 94p on rye and 30p on reductions in M&S. I never bothered checking M&S for reductions as everyone says it's rubbish but my local seems to just slap a 10p sticker on everything and sell it asap. I picked up two packs of reduced wraps when I walked in, got some milk, checked the meat and as I walked back past the bread all the reduced stuff had gone.

    cleggie is it just your local or in all stores? i will definitely have to have a look for it
    Living cheap in central London
  • cleggie
    Not sure Adelight.
    I cant see it on their onine leaflet, but not sure i am looking in the right place!
    • DundeeDoll
    • By DundeeDoll 26th Mar 12, 6:48 PM
    • 3,508 Posts
    • 39,695 Thanks
    DundeeDoll
    Definitely in our store. We bought the vanilla on saturday
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 26th Mar 12, 7:29 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    NickJW
    So sorry to hear of your loss Florenceem

    Got my Mr T delivery through today.
    It came in at 50.20, and then had a 4.50 delivery = 54.70. A 7.50 discount for ordering online + 7.50 worth of CC vouchers were deducted to give a total price of 39.70. There were NO substitutions so I'm pretty pleased with that!

    Tonight I'm cooking Stir fried chicken with a cashew and coriander rice.

    Also have a spend of 1.35 from yesterday on milk from the corner shop.

    Getting hungry now so going to check on dinner!
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

    Grocery Challenge 13 -spent 1453.06
    Grocery Challenge 12 -spent 1565.51

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • abitofhelp
    Evening all, havnt logged on for a couple of weeks. just updated sig to reflect spends at ald1 & asd@. should do us for a couple of weeks apart from milk & fruit.
    Florenceem - so sorry to hear about your loss, how awful for you and your family.
    Grocery Challenge 24th Feb-28 Dec 2012 2000/1404
    18th May- 15th June 2012 100/75
    Dont Throw Food Away 2012 May 5/0
    • Allypops
    • By Allypops 26th Mar 12, 8:01 PM
    • 243 Posts
    • 1,211 Thanks
    Allypops
    Oh dear, have gone way over and have really lost the plot in the last week or so. I wont need any more shopping this week (my month finshes on 29th). This was our first month and we have a long way to go but we are beginning to see where we are wasting money so hopefully next month will be better. I'll build in a bit of wriggle room next month and go for 450. I think 350 was a little optimistic for us at this stage - but hopefully we'll get there in a few months.
    Allypops
    Married with 2 children
    SPC5 # 1837- -
    DMP started April 2011 34.5% paid 78800
    DFD: June 2019 DFW Long hauler #286
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 26th Mar 12, 8:14 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    I haven't been on here for ages. I went away to the Midlands on 8 March then was back home for 2 days before going to stay with a friend. I had only been at my friends for a couple of hours when my Mil died suddenly. I will update my sig.
    Originally posted by Florenceem
    I'm sorry to hear that. I was just thinking about you today, and that you hadn't been on for a while...

    Morning all

    Rosieben - how exciting, hope the big day goes well for everyone

    I'm finally caugfht up with myself and the thread - had a hectic 2 weeks but its all settled now

    Quick reminder;
    If you want your budget put on the front page post your target in red
    If you are updating your siggy only post your target in black

    I'm way over this month - thats what visiting Costco does for you!!

    April will be the tightest month we've ever had, DH had practically no overtime this month, car tax and 2 MOT's due so rugal shopping will be the way forward and running down the freezers!

    Hope you are all enjoying some sunshine and happy no shopping

    Helen x
    Originally posted by helen jelly
    Isn't that the way - you need a bit more one month, and that's the month there's no overtime!! I now put a set amount of money into a car account every month, and that then pays for all the car bills (except petrol). Only done it for a while, but less stress worrying about car repairs!

    So .... currently sitting at 469.46 / 420 for the 1st quarter so a bit over but hoping to recoup some of that as a fair bit of that is stuff that will last for the rest of the year (but wasn't dividing into months at that point).

    I guess the only way to try to rectify would be to take some from Jan and add to April, July and October (stocking up months) ..... maybe 30 off Jan and 10 to each of the stocking up months? ohhhh not sure what to do!

    Not quite ready to declare March yet - still 5 days left (and a Saturday - but I may have to put my shop off until Sunday ) - shouldn't need a lot, probably just rolls for work ... fingers crossed!
    Originally posted by rising from the ashes
    I've overspent for the first quarter too... 436.42 against 420. Not too bad (although the last month was a complete guess as I have no idea - lots of food was party, but did gc shops on the same receipt...). I'm still well on course for the rest of the year, though, especially as I'm not doing Christmas dinner this year. My aim will be to claw back toe 16.42 overspend in the next three months!

    Did bolognese pasta bake tonight, with enough leftovers for tomorrow as well. Weds will be something easy, just for me as ch at their dad's. Then I have no idea about Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday!! It's not like me to be this unorganised, but the post-ofsted knackeredness has kicked in, and I cba! I shall sign off now to make myself a cuppa and plan those meals.

    Four more days til the Easter holidays!!

    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
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 26th Mar 12, 8:46 PM
    • 13,822 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    Florenceem. my heart goes out to you and your family. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • FrugalLina
    • By FrugalLina 26th Mar 12, 8:56 PM
    • 303 Posts
    • 2,973 Thanks
    FrugalLina
    I am worn out and it is only Monday. One of my team is off due to a bereavement, so I have been extra busy.

    Was intending to pop into the big Asd@ after a meeting tomorrow, but I won't be able to due to having to rush back to the office instead. No matter, I popped into Tossco this evening and spent the princely sum of 3.86 and think that may be enough for me until April. That included some cheapo Ibuprofen as all my joints are hurting like mad and I haven't got time to go to the dr for the hard stuff.

    Is it Friday yet?
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 26th Mar 12, 9:13 PM
    • 13,822 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    Hi
    Just popping in to say I hope you don't mind my lurking.
    I did the grocery challenge a while ago and it really helped!
    I am now gonna go for it again and start saving receipts as I fear I may have been slipping.
    Will be popping in now and then for some inspiration as in the good old days!!!
    Originally posted by jumblejack
    Hi! and welcome look forward to seeing you post.

    I know I was horrified when I was unpacking them at home. That's what I get for taking the OH with me. He's a biscuit fiend!
    Originally posted by OS QS
    LOL! there are some great and easy recipes in the recipe collection at the front of the thread.

    Morning all

    Rosieben - how exciting, hope the big day goes well for everyone

    I'm finally caugfht up with myself and the thread - had a hectic 2 weeks but its all settled now

    Quick reminder;
    If you want your budget put on the front page post your target in red
    If you are updating your siggy only post your target in black

    I'm way over this month - thats what visiting Costco does for you!!

    April will be the tightest month we've ever had, DH had practically no overtime this month, car tax and 2 MOT's due so rugal shopping will be the way forward and running down the freezers!

    Hope you are all enjoying some sunshine and happy no shopping

    Helen x
    Originally posted by helen jelly
    I've just started to put a little aside for the car each month. Not got enough yet for the MOT etc. this year but hopefully it will pay off next year.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • Coxy11
    • By Coxy11 26th Mar 12, 9:22 PM
    • 2,300 Posts
    • 27,322 Thanks
    Coxy11
    Hi everyone,

    Florenceem - so sorry to hear of your loss. Sending love to you all.

    Haven't posted in a while, but have been reading along. I'm still slogging away at my March GC and have come on to confess that I'm bust for this month

    I'm owed 8 by my DSis as I bought a few bits for DBIL's party. I should get this back tomorrow. However, I have had to 'borrow' 50 from April's budget to pay for the shopping this week. I went to MrT on Sunday and we just needed so many things - things I don't buy every month just seem to have run out in the last few weeks. So frustrating.

    We have everything we need for this week, barring some milk which I'll probably pick up tomorrow.

    Feeling a little despondant, but determined to stick with it, and adjust my figures for next month to swallow the overspend in March.

    I have to say, on a positive note, that I'm running a second purse and most of the children's pack up goodies come from there, as do teabags and coffee and loo roll. This has definately saved me money this month, as has shopping weekly, with a strict list. I manage to get round with just a little trolley now which is great.

    Sorry for the ramble
    Cross-stitch WIP #1: Collecting Shells by Nancy Cole
    Cross-stitch WIP #2: Pretty Little London by Satsuma Street
    • pipersky
    • By pipersky 26th Mar 12, 9:40 PM
    • 949 Posts
    • 15,015 Thanks
    pipersky
    Evening my lovely gc'ers,

    Well budget wise so far so good. Space is gradually appearing in the freezer as I am finally using up what I have in there already.

    It's all about milk consumption in our house at the moment as we are on a mission to secure a cr4vend4le kermit the frog backpack. In order to achieve this goal we have to drink our way through twenty 2 litre cartons by the middle of April!!! We are just over half way. I can see lots of cheese sauces and milkshakes being consumed in the scrumper household

    First veg box of the month came today. The best bits are some purple sprouting broccoli and mandarins or clementines which look lovely.

    Will say good night as getting sleepy now xxxx
    Originally posted by TheThriftyScrumpers
    Sorry if this has already been said but cravend4le have given out about 7 free codes - it's on their twitter feed and Facebook page. If you don't use either message me and I will find them for you
    Part time GCer, NSDer, Comper and (Bad)Flylady

    A big shot is just a little shot that kept shooting ...
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 26th Mar 12, 10:10 PM
    • 13,822 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    Tonights dinner was southern fried chicken from The Takeaway Secret with oven chips and corn on the cob. An absolute hit of massive proportions

    This weeks shop came to 20 plus I had an Approved Food order of 50.

    I can't believe how low I have managed to bring everything in this month. Though my cupboard is looking very bare and my freezer has not a lot in it
    Last edited by tigerfeet2006; 26-03-2012 at 10:20 PM.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • meg72
    • By meg72 27th Mar 12, 7:00 AM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    Morning all, heres hoping for another sunny day,spent most of yesterday
    in the garden, its lovely to see everything coming up,the Rhubarb was tempting but only a few sticks ready,so just picked one and dipped it in sugar it was lovely.Noticed loads of new Raspberry canes coming up,
    Picked enough lettuce and wild garlic leaves to make a salad for tea.

    I have really found that it pays off for me to not stock up the beginning of the month but to use up for a week or two and then use the money to stock up on offers at the end, if I can find anything that I need.

    Freezer seems to be as full now as the begining of the month, trouble is
    I take out say 250grms mince and put back three portions of whatever Ive made.
    Last edited by meg72; 27-03-2012 at 6:47 PM.
    Slimming World at target
    • ragz
    • By ragz 27th Mar 12, 10:58 AM
    • 3,153 Posts
    • 27,335 Thanks
    ragz
    Spent just under 9 last night on fruit (Waitrose do the cheapest and best loose bananas), yogurt and a few snacky things. Will only need eggs later and that should be me done spending for the rest of the month.
    Ragz is busy studying
    Progress is easier to acheive than perfection.
    • TheThriftyScrumpers
    • By TheThriftyScrumpers 27th Mar 12, 12:43 PM
    • 272 Posts
    • 5,359 Thanks
    TheThriftyScrumpers
    Sorry if this has already been said but cravend4le have given out about 7 free codes - it's on their twitter feed and Facebook page. If you don't use either message me and I will find them for you
    Originally posted by pipersky
    Thanks for this. I am pleased to report we have reached our goal
    GC Mar 11 437.08Apr 11 459.26 May 11 485.52 June 11 423.79July 11 409.22 Aug 11 250.10Sept 11 396.14Oct 11 382.37Nov 11 372.55Dec 11 332.29 Jan 12 375.19:Feb 12 349.58Mar 12 279.66Apr 12 249.12May 12 337.66/Jun 12 362.58/Jul 12 317.03/Aug 12 354.02/Sept 439.72/Oct 12 210.16
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 27th Mar 12, 2:37 PM
    • 13,822 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    Well I found out what happens if you put too much of the Costco Kingsland Washing Powder in the machine today It bubbles up and seeps out of the washing machine door oops!!
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 27th Mar 12, 2:58 PM
    • 1,719 Posts
    • 12,654 Thanks
    elsiepac
    LC's Vegan Mediterranean Lentil Pie
    Hi all,

    Just thought I'd post the dish I made last night. It was loosely based on a recipe I found online, and the rest I invented. I was really pleased with the result.

    Ingredients

    For the lentil layer:
    12oz/340g red lentils
    1 large or 2 small onions
    1 clove garlic
    1/2 tsp each of sage, thyme and oregano
    1 veggie stock cube
    optional - 1 tsp olive oil

    For the vegetable layer:
    1 jar arrabbiata pasta sauce (or homemade tomato sauce)
    1 tbsp oil
    2 large onions
    3 peppers, preferably different colours

    For the potato layer:
    2-4 potatoes, depending on size and how big your casserole dish is!
    2 cloves garlic

    Method:

    Preheat oven to 190 (GM 5)

    Lentil layer:
    Pop all the ingredients in a medium sauce pan and mix up a bit, cover with water to just above the mixture, and boil until the lentils are soft and mushy. You will need to top up the water maybe 5 minutes after it's boiling, and I advise you keep stirring every couple of minutes!

    Vegetable layer:
    Heat the oil in a pan, and saute the chopped onions and peppers until just cooked. Then mix through the tomato sauce.

    Potato layer:
    Boil the potato until soft, then add the 2 cloves of chopped garlic and mash it all up. If you want you can add whatever you normally would to mash here. I used 1 tsp of olive oil just to loosen it a bit and it was lovely.

    Put it together and cook!
    Get a casserole dish (I use the rectangle one I would use for lasagne) and spread the lentil mixture evenly over the bottom of it. Press it down a bit.
    Next spread over the vegetable layer evenly.
    Finally top with the potato mix.
    Bake for 30-40 mins until crispy/golden on top.
    Serve with green vegetables or salad. This makes 4 very generous portions!

    Enjoy!

    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
    • p-pincher
    • By p-pincher 27th Mar 12, 3:30 PM
    • 725 Posts
    • 3,631 Thanks
    p-pincher
    Hi Everyone,

    27.50 spent this week, this includes small trips to aldi, co op and 2 littlies in Sainburys, various bits and bobs to see us through til Friday. New budget to start on Saturday. Cannot believe ive still got 25 left with only 3 days to go, ive normally got about that much left with about 2 weeks to go so i definitely think that doing weekly shops as opposed to monthly shops suit me better. Shouldnt spend much in the next 3 days, planning a nsd tomorrow x
    March 2014 Grocery challenge 250.00
    • TheThriftyScrumpers
    • By TheThriftyScrumpers 27th Mar 12, 3:30 PM
    • 272 Posts
    • 5,359 Thanks
    TheThriftyScrumpers
    Hi

    I was lucky in waitros4 yesterday. A lovely lady was reducing bread and cakes. There were lots of items on a shelf. I looked at a packet of double choc cookies (5 for 2.50!!!!) and she offered to reduce them for me and promptly marked them down to 29p she then asked me if there was anything else I was looking for! That certainly doesn't happen in Mr T!
    GC Mar 11 437.08Apr 11 459.26 May 11 485.52 June 11 423.79July 11 409.22 Aug 11 250.10Sept 11 396.14Oct 11 382.37Nov 11 372.55Dec 11 332.29 Jan 12 375.19:Feb 12 349.58Mar 12 279.66Apr 12 249.12May 12 337.66/Jun 12 362.58/Jul 12 317.03/Aug 12 354.02/Sept 439.72/Oct 12 210.16
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