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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 seventh Grocery Challenge of 2012

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your March budget, then keep on posting in the:
    June 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.
    By request, here is Spiggles wonderful helpful post

    We all have different budgets that suit our households. The most important thing to remember is that you set yours according to your needs and finances. It can take time to get to where you want to be too so don't knock yourself out if you go over in the first few months. We are here to support each other and it is not a competition.

    I thought it might help to outline where we've come from and the top tips I've learned.

    When we started in March 2010 we had spent in excess of 600 in the previous month. This had to stop, (there's only me and him and our two beautiful black cats) something which thankfully my OH completely agreed with so I have been lucky that he has been on board from the start. He gave me his debit card voluntarily and I still keep hold of it until he needs to get something for the home. At the same time we set up a system of pocket money (pm) at 15 each per week which doesn't count towards the GC and which we can each spend as we wish with no comebacks or complaints. OH predominantly uses his pm on his beer and I ferret mine away mostly.

    The next step was to set up my own spreadsheet which is absolutely simple onto which I put all spends so that I have a continuous running total for the month and for the year. We initially set our budget at 280 per month and brought it down to 240 where it resides for most of the year it is occasionally increased to allow for extras e.g. Christmas to 260.

    The important 'tools' we found greatly helped and continue to do so now are:

    Stocktake cupboards, fridge, freezer - make lists and ensure that the older products get used up first. You'll be amazed at what you find squirrelled away and it will help with your shopping list as you'll realise that you don't actually need so much.

    Before you go shopping check staples - running out of milk, bread, butter, etc often leads to going into a shop for one thing and coming out 20 lighter. Always check these and if they'll run out tomorrow buy them the same time as getting other things.

    Always make a shopping list and stick to it - the supermarkets (sm) try every which way to get us to spend so having a list and strong resolve is the only way to beat them.

    Keep every receipt - and then note it down on your spreadsheet/spend diary so that you always know where you are.

    When tempted, ask yourself do you NEED it or just WANT it - now this advice goes with two things. Firstly, the things you see in store when shopping that APPEAR to be bargains - if you hadn't planned spending the money then its not a bargain. Secondly, the sm send us loads of vouchers for X off a spend of XX - if you had no NEED to spend XX then have you SAVED anything???

    Use my supermarket to compare prices (limited to four of the biggies) - The site may be used to actually do an online shop at whichever of the big four offers the best value or, if you have the time and sm availability, to make up lists for visiting each of the stores so that you can purchase all you need at different stores thus getting the best possible value. (I'd add, do a 'shop' virtually on this site and take the list you create on it with you, whichever one you shop at, it will help keep target prices in your head and allow you to spot bargains. MrM is not included but you can do a virtual list on their website so you know what you're going to be spending.)

    Always have a list - this is just as important when shopping online as shopping on foot.

    Use Approved Foods online (with a list!) - if you don't mind out of date things (ood) or you can search for only in date items. The only drawback is storing the goods as far as I can tell. Oh, and watch the delivery as it's done on a scaled charge for weight so keep an eye on it. You can of course do an AF order with friends, family, colleagues or like minded neighbours. Other GCers use Big Br*nds 4 Less too.

    Invest in a breadmaker - we have saved so much by making our own bread. The prices in the shops are extortionate for bread these days. There's loads of advice on this thread and others in the forum on this.

    Use the recipe lists - always posted at the front of a new thread. There are fantastic, tasty, healthy and economical recipes to use on them and there are a number of other threads on the forum such as Weezl's that will help you to eat well on a budget.

    Shop locally - the local greengrocer (or preferably market but I don't have one ) is usually cheaper as an option for fruit and veg (f&v) than the sm. Often the prices may look the same but when you look at the quantity for the same price the greengrocer will be cheaper. The same goes for the local butcher. Often you will have far more variety of meat available, advice on how to cook a particular meat can be offered and there is (for me at least) no comparison in terms of quality. We buy our huge FR eggs there and I'm yet to find an equivalent FR egg in a sm at the same or lower price. Obvioulsy if you have your own chicks/know someone who has chicks you can get them even cheaper again.

    Grow your own - it's quite simple to grow some f&v at home even if it's only in pots on the patio. There are also supportive threads on the forum for this.

    Cook your own - making meals at home from ingredients is far more economical, often tastes better than shop bought and is probably far better healthwise.

    Meal Plan - this is something that others can advise on as we don't do it. I have a tremendous capacity for eating the same food over many days but presented in slightly different form. For example, we could buy 7 worth of brisket from the butchers and eat it as pot roast for a couple of days, sliced for sarnies, sliced with a salad, chucked into a casserole or shredded up and fried as crispy beef.

    Don't waste food - either only make what you need or use any leftovers for other meals/creations or freeze it for another day.

    Withdraw the cash you want to spend - and keep it in a separate purse. This can be particularly effective as you have the money in front of you reducing rather than spending with plastic which is so easy to lose track of. Very useful when you first start out.

    Don't go to the shops to browse - this can only lead to pain and hardship!!!

    Keep posting and reading the thread - there really is no better supportive, wise and inspirational place to be! I think I saw that somebody mentioned forgetting to read/post. I get around this by using the Advanced button to post, below the window where your text is displayed you will see Additional Options. In the Thread Subscription box use the dropdown to select either instant email notification (this is what I use) or daily email notification before you submit your latest post. Then you will get an email into your inbox from which you can click to the thread to see what others are saying.

    Always remember the sm is not your friend - it wants to profit from you and take as much of your money as it can coerce out of you!

    So, there you go as a starting point. Others on here will offer tremendous advice on meal planning. And don't forget, the only silly question is the one you didn't ask!

    See you all later,
    Spigs
    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 zippychick; 04-06-2012 at 12:30 PM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 6
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 28th Jun 12, 8:48 PM
    • 3,984 Posts
    • 52,562 Thanks
    Florenceem
    Thursday.
    Had a spend of 9.05. Won't spend for next 4 days as off to stay with YDD. May spend out of some other money but not GC. Mr F is staying home to work and look after the dog. I have curtains to alter for DD.
    We had HM wedges, pizza, asparagus, cauliflower & baby sweetcorn for dinner.

    15 in 2015 1/15
    • LavenderBees
    • By LavenderBees 28th Jun 12, 8:51 PM
    • 1,703 Posts
    • 17,718 Thanks
    LavenderBees
    Oh Dear!
    Hmmm...battled through horrendous flooding to finally get to the shops on the way home from work, and am beginning to wish I hadn't and had just gone home....67+.

    Yes, I stocked up on rice and curry sauce, and got toilet rolls, cat litter, plant food and foil, and all stuff you can't eat....but 67!?!

    One problem is that after 1.5 hrs trying to go a normal 20 min journey, and being stressed by detour after detour on country roads, when I really didn't know where I was, I didn't have the time or energy to go to L1dl first, and get what I could there.

    A lesson for me then...

    So 30 to last 4 weeks... Easy!

    Oh, help!!!!

    LB xx
  • jumblejack
    Hi Flo,
    May I ask where you have your asparagus from?
    It always looks lovely but I find it too expensive to buy unless yellow stickered.
    Do you grow your own or know someone who does.

    I may look into growing some. Years ago, it used to grow under my fence (I'm talking 15 years ago in a different house) but I was suspicious of eating it so would rip our the spears as they appeared
    If only I'd known how nice it is!!!!!

    Lavenderbees, what an awful outing!!! I would have been so irritated by those detours.
    Regarding the shop total, all is not lost. The greatest lessons often come at the greatest cost so you are infinitely wiser and prepared for next time
    Last edited by jumblejack; 28-06-2012 at 9:05 PM.
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):30.50/40
  • Mrs Addicted to Spending
    I dont know if you can still buy it but I used tea tree oil conditioner on my childrens hair. (original source or holland and Barrett) Put the conditioner on and leave for a while, then use the nit comb to get the eggs and dead beasties out of the hair. Like you I got fed up of buying the nit lotions and i looked for a natural alternative and it seemed to work.
    The teachers at the school used it as well.
    Originally posted by JIL
    That's what my friend was told too - Tea Tree Oil Conditioner plus nit comb.

    Had a spend of 9.05. Won't spend for next 4 days as off to stay with YDD. May spend out of some other money but not GC. Mr F is staying home to work and look after the dog. I have curtains to alter for DD.
    We had HM wedges, pizza, asparagus, cauliflower & baby sweetcorn for dinner.

    Originally posted by Florenceem
    Good to see you back Flo. Have a great time at your DD's.
    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
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 28th Jun 12, 9:24 PM
    • 1,683 Posts
    • 12,461 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Ok, no time to catch up properly but HAVE to share this AMAZING veggie "burger" recipe...easy and SOOO yummy... had it last night with giant salad... here goes:

    1 pack halloumi
    1 aubergine (or 1/2 if a big one)
    2 onions (red preferable but white ok)
    1 tbsp soft brown sugar
    2 tsp harissa (I used more...half a jar so 45g as I like spicy!)
    roast peppers from a jar (I use the Mr T cheapo ones at 1.19 a jar, used about 1/2 jar)
    olive oiled
    houmous (4 tsbp ish)
    ciabatta rolls or other, lightly toasted

    1. Slice onions VERY finely
    2. Heat up about 1 tbsp oil in frying pan, add onions
    3. Cook on high for about 3-4 mins
    4. Turn heat down and let them cook slowly...
    5. Make 4 VERY thick slices aubergine
    6. Cook them in tiny bit oil in frying or preferably griddle pan
    7. Remove and set aside when cooked...check onions and stir!
    8. Get your halloumi sliced into 8 and fry in remains of oil from aubergines
    9. When done set aside
    10. Lightly toast 4 rolls (I used home bake ciabatta rolls...worth it!!!)
    11. Get some houmous
    12. Spread houmous on bottom of each roll
    13. Put slice of aubergine on each roll
    14. Top each with 2 slices halloumi
    15. To the onions, add 1 tbsp sugar, harissa and peppers
    16. Cook 3-4 mins until sugar melted and lovely sticky mix in pan
    17. Put on top of halloumi
    18. Place roll tops on top

    Serve with salad....


    AMAZING

    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
    • LavenderBees
    • By LavenderBees 28th Jun 12, 9:27 PM
    • 1,703 Posts
    • 17,718 Thanks
    LavenderBees

    Lavenderbees, what an awful outing!!! I would have been so irritated by those detours.
    Regarding the shop total, all is not lost. The greatest lessons often come at the greatest cost so you are infinitely wiser and prepared for next time
    Originally posted by jumblejack
    Aye, you're right - make a mistake once is acceptable, after that, definitely not.

    Have just seen the news about Newcastle flooding and it seems I got off lightly with my detours home north of Newcastle. Not irritated but actually very frightened. Horrendous weather!

    Hope all who have been affected by todays floods anywhere thay have occurred are ok.

    LB xx
    • little_miss_moneysaver
    • By little_miss_moneysaver 29th Jun 12, 4:46 AM
    • 1,229 Posts
    • 7,653 Thanks
    little_miss_moneysaver
    Morning all!

    Hope everyone is well and not too affected by all the flooding. It's still beautiful and sunny here so thankfully were yet to see any bad weather.

    Please can you put me down for 200 this month?

    It seems loads after last months, but I want to take into account the AF order I got. Also I start maternity leave next month so I want to finish stockpiling. I've had a list written months ago as a baseline of how much of things I want in (mainly toiletries whilst on offers, dried/tinned foods and house hold stuff where I can store them) to reduce outgoings once on SMP. I'm not doing too back, not too much left to get now. Although I've got my head around the second purse idea, I think with a new baby (our first) I'd probably forget to pay the second purse IYSWIM. Maybe once I've settle with bubba I'll give it a go properly.

    This includes food/drink for me and OH (for brekkie, lunch and dinners), household stuff and toiletries. This month I think I'll include cat food/litter and any treats we may get her. Although after this mornings performance there's no treats on the horizon lol!

    Just a quick question if I may? For those of you with little ones, how much do you think you spend on nappies, wipes etc a month? I've stockpiled 1096 nappies with lots of coupons, offers etc and loads of wipes. Plus every now and then buying some cotton wool or baby bath etc, but just trying to see ahead how much roughly for a future budget. I appreciate everyone uses different nappies etc, I do have reusable ones to try at some point too, but just how much do people "allow?"

    Hopefully a NSD here. I do need bananas, seem to being vanishing awfully quick these days, maybe the cat is eating them? But I'm hoping I can go to the market tomorrow and get my fruit/veg there rather than going to sm today and being tempted

    Hugs to all that need or want them. Hope everyone has a good day, happy Friday folks xxx
    Baby boy arrived 22nd August 2012
    Second menace arrived safely 13th February 2014
    Debt Free Wannabee 2015
    • Aldahbra
    • By Aldahbra 29th Jun 12, 5:08 AM
    • 315 Posts
    • 3,684 Thanks
    Aldahbra
    but also includes a 24.00 spend on 2 bottle of nit stuff for the kids
    Originally posted by KatyReed+5
    my DD got nits which I couldn't get rid of. I tried all the stuff in the pharmacy. Eventually I got rid of them by buying the cheapest conditioner I could find. I covered her hair with conditioner and then combed it through. Twice a day at first and then daily for some time. The conditioner worked as it stopped the little blighters running away from the comb.

    My DD couldn't stand the smell of any of the teatree products. Also some of the nit treatments smell vial. We tried one you use all night but we all woke up with really itchy heads and were showering about 3am.

    My elderflower and rose petal cordial results are in......

    Sorry about the weird sizing of the pics. I don't know what photobucket is playing at!

    If they are too big, I will happily remove them
    Originally posted by jumblejack
    The pictures are fine. But what is the cordial like? From your pictures I'm tempted to try making some. Does it taste OK?

    1 pack halloumi

    Originally posted by elsiepac
    I have no idea what this is.
    "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."
    ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
    Weight loss challenge: week 1 ---------- target 8lbs in 4 weeks
    Grocery Challenge June: 100/500 ------------left to spend 400
    Declutter June: 0/100
    NSD 6 June/6 July: 0/2
    • little_miss_moneysaver
    • By little_miss_moneysaver 29th Jun 12, 5:23 AM
    • 1,229 Posts
    • 7,653 Thanks
    little_miss_moneysaver

    I have no idea what this is.
    Originally posted by Aldahbra
    Hallumi is a Grrek cheese, it's quite salty and rubbery texture. Really nice grilled or BBQd
    Baby boy arrived 22nd August 2012
    Second menace arrived safely 13th February 2014
    Debt Free Wannabee 2015
  • jumblejack
    my DD got nits which I couldn't get rid of. I tried all the stuff in the pharmacy. Eventually I got rid of them by buying the cheapest conditioner I could find. I covered her hair with conditioner and then combed it through. Twice a day at first and then daily for some time. The conditioner worked as it stopped the little blighters running away from the comb.

    My DD couldn't stand the smell of any of the teatree products. Also some of the nit treatments smell vial. We tried one you use all night but we all woke up with really itchy heads and were showering about 3am.



    The pictures are fine. But what is the cordial like? From your pictures I'm tempted to try making some. Does it taste OK?

    I have no idea what this is.
    Originally posted by Aldahbra
    Cheers. The flavour is fantastic! Elderflower is very unique and distinctive, both the aroma and the flavour.
    It is soooooooo easy to make. Basically bung in a pot of sugar solution with the juice of a couple lemons (i use bottled lemon juice, 39p on offer at Ts for the equivalent if 8 lemons ) and steep for 24hrs then strain into bottles.

    Enjoy! The elderflowers won't be around for much longer as they are now beginning to die off for berry production (I am also gonna share some ways of using those up too when they are in full season ).

    I am so going to use up nature's larder this year around me. Foraging will be a regular feature of the kids education, a couple of afternoons a week or weekends as I think it's good to know which things are edible and which are not. We are all trying to stretch our budgets but you cant get better than free, fresh and organic (there is no trolley rage along the canal side/countryside either) I'm learning loads everytime I go out which is wonderful.

    A book I'd definitely recommend as an introduction is Richard Mabey 'Food for Free'. I keep a pocket sized version in my bag all the time. I even take it on holiday. I will very likely be looking for the edible seaweeds next time I go away too
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):30.50/40
    • prophecy_grrl
    • By prophecy_grrl 29th Jun 12, 7:23 AM
    • 668 Posts
    • 3,379 Thanks
    prophecy_grrl
    Hi all

    July GC is 150 - 5 week month for me, and 30 p/w is my aim. Came in at 70 odd under for June, and will be trying to use up all supplies in July too ready for house move - have been eating some v strange concoctions as a result, and freezer is now almost empty so anticipate a bigger spend in July.

    Thanks for inspiring me all!!

    p_grrl xx
    Last edited by prophecy_grrl; 29-06-2012 at 7:28 AM.
    *** PROPHECY_GRRL***
    *** DEBT FREE AS OF 17/10/11 - I DID IT!!! ***
  • happy chick
    24.45 for me so far this month on an impulse dinner from the local deli last night and an organic veggie box delviered this morning. I know its a bit pricey but the quality is really great and I got brilliant things I would never normally buy - chives, wet garlic and a massive punnet of apricots. yum! Think this idea is really going to work for me!

    Bit the bullet and finally went to Ikea yesterday (6 hour round trip!) but I do now have a large enough saucepan for batch cooking. A 5l saucepan cost 6.50. Not sure if this is usual but I thought it was a good deal. Also bought loads of other stuff that I have been putting off for a while but I've got to the point where I want my flat to start looking like mine, not a collection of hand me downs.

    Heading to the pound shop and then sainburys for some value tomatoes so I can batch cook soups and sauces for the freezer today. Other than that I'm putting my feet up! Have a good day everyone!
    GC: Jan 118.67/175

    Owed to Mum -
    1,487/6,400
    Overdraft -
    1,391
    Total -
    2,878/7,791

    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 29th Jun 12, 8:01 AM
    • 2,887 Posts
    • 27,284 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    A big meat order - 66.56 from our local butcher, but I did get a boned shoulder of lamb, 5 lb sausages, 5 lb minced beef, 20 chicken thighs, 24 1/4 pounders, 5 lb bacon. It will all be separated up and frozen and will last a while - longer than this month at least. In cases like this do people allocate some of the spend for another month?
    Originally posted by Possession
    Possession - yes I've wondered about that too. In accounting terms this is called the matching principle, but on here everyone seems to talk in terms of cash paid.

    I agree with you that a large order from a good butcher is worthwhile, exspecially in terms of quality. Would it be too time consuming to divide the items and cost them on freezing and including the cost of the used items in the GC spend? It would depend on whether the butcher itemized the cost.

    Oh - where is the cheapest place to get re-useable freezer boxes in bulk (need about 30)?

    Best regards to all,
    Originally posted by In_it_not_to_giveitaway
    Possession & In_it_not_to_giveitaway
    I can see others have brought the second purse system to your attention for spreading the cost. I use it primarily if I pick up store cupboard items like laundry goo or water filters, jars and cans as I also like to have one spare of lots of things I use regularly. I have resorted to sticking a coloured freezer label on stuff I have allocated to my stores, with the price on it, so when I get it our, it reminds me to pay for it but I'm not 100% efficient (would we be here if we were?)

    It comes down to what works for you and for me I have half a wire larder drawer empty at the moment because I realised I was paying the sm to store their stuff for them and had lost the stock-piling plot.

    I think the important thing with bulk buys is portion-size freezing it. BTW In_it_not_to_giveitaway I find the old fashioned student bag-for-life in the freezer is great for keeping stuff together, and infinitely easier for playing freezer tetris when trying to insert just one more item - I also use flat plastic boxes lined with a plastic bag to freeze batch cooking or leftovers and once frozen I take the bag out of the box and just store the bag. I tie tags on strings to the knotted neck otherwise it is freezer lucky-dip as the sticky labels don't work on plastic bags.

    I use my food processor to grate bendy veg, and dry with kitchen paper then freeze it in zip-lock plastic bags (loads of celery and carrots!) to add a lump to fridge sauces and bol, chillis, soups and stews.

    If I buy bogof cheese (parmesan especially) I also grate this and freeze it (in an ice-cream box as you need to tap/bash it to separate it and plastic bags do split (it was carrots on Tuesday, but it was one big lump) - it's easier and quicker to use and you don't have to worry about the defrosted crumbly slimy texture.

    I do the same with raw soft fruit (gooseberries, raspberries, rhubarb; not a fruit, I know)- apples, anything and also ready-made crumble or pastry dry mix - all in plastic bags in the freezer so a pudding can be mustered in the time it takes to cook plus about 30 seconds.

    Reading back I realise my Suffolk siege preparations have merely moved to 21st century and my freezer should be renamed the tardis.

    Some of these tips are things I've picked up on here over the last six months - and it took me two or three for the penny to really drop - when it does, you realise what you've been doing and either stop it or are conscious and keep an eye on it (me) - it depends on your financial circumstances.

    Good luck everyone
    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
    • Aldahbra
    • By Aldahbra 29th Jun 12, 8:52 AM
    • 315 Posts
    • 3,684 Thanks
    Aldahbra
    JumbleJack - thanks I'm going to order that book from Amazon


    Possession & In_it_not_to_giveitaway
    I can see others have brought the second purse system to your attention for spreading the cost. I use it primarily if I pick up store cupboard items like laundry goo or water filters, jars and cans as I also like to have one spare of lots of things I use regularly. I have resorted to sticking a coloured freezer label on stuff I have allocated to my stores, with the price on it, so when I get it our, it reminds me to pay for it but I'm not 100% efficient (would we be here if we were?)

    It comes down to what works for you and for me I have half a wire larder drawer empty at the moment because I realised I was paying the sm to store their stuff for them and had lost the stock-piling plot.

    I think the important thing with bulk buys is portion-size freezing it. BTW In_it_not_to_giveitaway I find the old fashioned student bag-for-life in the freezer is great for keeping stuff together, and infinitely easier for playing freezer tetris when trying to insert just one more item - I also use flat plastic boxes lined with a plastic bag to freeze batch cooking or leftovers and once frozen I take the bag out of the box and just store the bag. I tie tags on strings to the knotted neck otherwise it is freezer lucky-dip as the sticky labels don't work on plastic bags.

    I use my food processor to grate bendy veg, and dry with kitchen paper then freeze it in zip-lock plastic bags (loads of celery and carrots!) to add a lump to fridge sauces and bol, chillis, soups and stews.

    If I buy bogof cheese (parmesan especially) I also grate this and freeze it (in an ice-cream box as you need to tap/bash it to separate it and plastic bags do split (it was carrots on Tuesday, but it was one big lump) - it's easier and quicker to use and you don't have to worry about the defrosted crumbly slimy texture.

    I do the same with raw soft fruit (gooseberries, raspberries, rhubarb; not a fruit, I know)- apples, anything and also ready-made crumble or pastry dry mix - all in plastic bags in the freezer so a pudding can be mustered in the time it takes to cook plus about 30 seconds.

    Reading back I realise my Suffolk siege preparations have merely moved to 21st century and my freezer should be renamed the tardis.

    Some of these tips are things I've picked up on here over the last six months - and it took me two or three for the penny to really drop - when it does, you realise what you've been doing and either stop it or are conscious and keep an eye on it (me) - it depends on your financial circumstances.

    Good luck everyone
    SL
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Excellent post thanks, really useful advice
    "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."
    ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
    Weight loss challenge: week 1 ---------- target 8lbs in 4 weeks
    Grocery Challenge June: 100/500 ------------left to spend 400
    Declutter June: 0/100
    NSD 6 June/6 July: 0/2
  • sb88
    July starts this weekend for us! Again, I am going to aim for 130

    We also have just added a dog to the family, however her food will be paid for seperatley (16 for a big bag of dog food) she is also underweight (we got her from the animal shelter, so buying offal to help feed her up)

    I didn't do too badly last month, I did go over, so I'm going to really try and pull in the spending! New way of shopping : stop going shopping on sat/sunday, go during the week instead with mam and try and get as many reduced items as possible!

    We usually shop in asda, however we did our shop in tescos last week and the meat tastes sooo much nicer!!

    Good luck everyone


    Weightloss: 18lbs/28lbs (Start weight: 11st, Current 9st 10)
  • money saving hedgehog
    I have joined these challenges before but always give up half way through, as was working found it difficult to keep up. I am now no longer working so as I now have the extra time and the now really need to cut down on spending as budget is really tight, I am determined to succeed this month, record everything and spend no less than 250. This is to cover two adults, three older children (plus one boyfriend, that we seem to have adopted) and a dog. It is to cover food, drinks, cleaning and toiletries. I am going to run my month from 1st July. Wish me luck.x
    2015 in 2015 (Although actual goal is 10 a day)
    • Possession
    • By Possession 29th Jun 12, 10:03 AM
    • 3,140 Posts
    • 41,491 Thanks
    Possession
    Thanks Suffolk Lass that's really useful. I have to admit I have looked quickly at the 2nd Purse thread and can't get my head round it at all. But I have allocated a portion of the spend to my August budget which more or less boils down to the same thing I guess. All the meat was portioned out and frozen the day it was delivered so I'm hoping this will work.

    Possession & In_it_not_to_giveitaway
    I can see others have brought the second purse system to your attention for spreading the cost. I use it primarily if I pick up store cupboard items like laundry goo or water filters, jars and cans as I also like to have one spare of lots of things I use regularly. I have resorted to sticking a coloured freezer label on stuff I have allocated to my stores, with the price on it, so when I get it our, it reminds me to pay for it but I'm not 100% efficient (would we be here if we were?)

    It comes down to what works for you and for me I have half a wire larder drawer empty at the moment because I realised I was paying the sm to store their stuff for them and had lost the stock-piling plot.

    I think the important thing with bulk buys is portion-size freezing it. BTW In_it_not_to_giveitaway I find the old fashioned student bag-for-life in the freezer is great for keeping stuff together, and infinitely easier for playing freezer tetris when trying to insert just one more item - I also use flat plastic boxes lined with a plastic bag to freeze batch cooking or leftovers and once frozen I take the bag out of the box and just store the bag. I tie tags on strings to the knotted neck otherwise it is freezer lucky-dip as the sticky labels don't work on plastic bags.

    I use my food processor to grate bendy veg, and dry with kitchen paper then freeze it in zip-lock plastic bags (loads of celery and carrots!) to add a lump to fridge sauces and bol, chillis, soups and stews.

    If I buy bogof cheese (parmesan especially) I also grate this and freeze it (in an ice-cream box as you need to tap/bash it to separate it and plastic bags do split (it was carrots on Tuesday, but it was one big lump) - it's easier and quicker to use and you don't have to worry about the defrosted crumbly slimy texture.

    I do the same with raw soft fruit (gooseberries, raspberries, rhubarb; not a fruit, I know)- apples, anything and also ready-made crumble or pastry dry mix - all in plastic bags in the freezer so a pudding can be mustered in the time it takes to cook plus about 30 seconds.

    Reading back I realise my Suffolk siege preparations have merely moved to 21st century and my freezer should be renamed the tardis.

    Some of these tips are things I've picked up on here over the last six months - and it took me two or three for the penny to really drop - when it does, you realise what you've been doing and either stop it or are conscious and keep an eye on it (me) - it depends on your financial circumstances.

    Good luck everyone
    SL
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass

    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 29th Jun 12, 10:24 AM
    • 3,341 Posts
    • 34,423 Thanks
    XSpender
    I am so glad I wasn't at work yesterday as I would not have got home for hours due to the flooding. One end of the estate is 4 foot deep in water and is still closed off and there are abandoned cars everywhere. A lot of the shops, including Mr S, have been flooded and are still closed or have opened late and are still cleaning up.

    I have ventured out to do the weekly shop as DH was paid today. Spent:

    Asda - 17.30
    Aldi - 49.95
    Sains - 9.99
    M&S - 12.47
    Hobbycraft - 2.59 (dressmaking pins to take some curtains up)

    Total spent is 92.30 which is a lot better than my recent efforts and includes a big FR chicken and enough cheese and nappies for the month as well as tea bags and some cleaning items that will last a few months. Oh I also got 4 lagers and 2 bottles of wine.

    Stag chilli and Branst0n beans are on offer for a 1 in Mr As. DH loves this chilli so I got a couple of tins for when I have my lentil/bean chilli which is already in the freezer.

    I did treat myself to some GF maple cereal which is expensive but I had wanted to try for a while.....Oh my it's gorgeous. I will have to ration it or it will be gone by Monday. I love maple syrup.

    Still off work today so I am planning to make some GF double choc chip cookies and some GF cheese and olive scones. I am also going to attempt to list the contents of the freezer and cupboards as they are chocca block.

    I was pleased to see that my ALD1 has started selling 4 pinters of skimmed milk as this will save me having to go to another sm to buy milk and then end up spending more on other stuff.

    1/2 gammon steak with saute pots, peas and pineapple for my tea tonight and something sausage/burger/omlettey for DH who is travelling home tonight and will be very late in.
    • katiegirl
    • By katiegirl 29th Jun 12, 10:35 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 431 Thanks
    katiegirl
    Well I am two days in and yet to spend any money.

    However its an inset day and the sky is looking very dark so me and dd are going to stay in and make cake pops this afternoon! Need a basic sponge cake for that and we also need milk so going to pop to Aldi after lunch. Will meal plan for the next week and get what we need when we're there.

    ETA
    I sold my first item on ebay this morning, so I now have (or will when the buyer pays) 1.20 toward a 30 Approved Food shop!
    Last edited by katiegirl; 29-06-2012 at 10:38 AM.
    September Grocery Challenge 160 78.62

    Getting back in control
    Debt 8,978.85
    • Aldahbra
    • By Aldahbra 29th Jun 12, 10:37 AM
    • 315 Posts
    • 3,684 Thanks
    Aldahbra
    Bread maker + Gluten free bread
    I was thinking about asking for a new breadmaker for my birthday as the one I have I got of freecycle a few years ago and have never really liked the bread, it is a really old panasonic one. I used to have a breville one and loved the bread that made.

    Do you need a special glutin free program to make decent glutin free bread or will any old breadmaker do it?

    Can anyone recommend a budget priced one which makes nice bread?
    "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."
    ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
    Weight loss challenge: week 1 ---------- target 8lbs in 4 weeks
    Grocery Challenge June: 100/500 ------------left to spend 400
    Declutter June: 0/100
    NSD 6 June/6 July: 0/2
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