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@.

Search
  • 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 ninth Grocery Challenge of 2012 EEEEEKKKKK!!!!, where has the year gone?!?!?!?!!?

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

    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 #6 #7 #8 & #9 on this thread (the list is growing!!!!!)

    For everyones totals, see post #10 on this thread

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Zip
    Last edited by zippychick; 22-08-2012 at 12:00 PM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 26
  • jumblejack
    Jumblejack, they look gorgeous. Do you have a tried and tested blackberry jam recipe, ive never made jame before and how do you seal them - i know i can google this - just thought id ask.Spent 9.26 in Morrisons - they had pork shoulder joints for 1.50kg, not YS, which i thought was good, so got some of that and some other bits. Also, very chuffed with 2 large wicker baskets i bought in charity shop 5 for the pair.
    Originally posted by Save Dosh
    The method I use for jam can be adapted for any fruit.

    Put your fruit in a large pan, BARELY cover with water and simmer until softened.
    I usually strain my fruit for jelly (to make sure no critters pass my notice).
    Then I add a pound of sugar for every pint of fruit/juice. Add lemon juice or use crab apples for the pectin needed to give a set (or just use preserving sugar).

    Boil rapidly until it reaches setting point. I don't have a thermometer so I use the push test.

    I put a saucer in the fridge to chill.

    I add a couple of drops to the saucer and leave a few seconds. The jam should wrinkle when you push it. If it is at setting point it will not run on a cold plate after cooling for a few seconds.

    Bottle whilst hot into hot sterile jars. You can use wax discs if you wish from wilkos (very cheap). Some folk put a wee bit of alcohol onto the surface of the jam which they swear by. I just lid them.

    Keep in the fridge once opened.
    Last edited by jumblejack; 04-09-2012 at 7:33 AM.
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):30.50/40
    • MissOrganised1972
    • By MissOrganised1972 4th Sep 12, 8:17 AM
    • 174 Posts
    • 3,644 Thanks
    MissOrganised1972
    Starting a 0 to 5km app today. Have never been a runner so wish me luck Nice knowing you.......
    Originally posted by Coxy11
    Ooh thanks for this. May have a little look at this. I ran for the county as a child but have lost all confidence as an adult.
    2017 GC O-93.46/160; S-136.26/160; A-130.55/160; J-47.12/160;
    J-106.63/190; M-70.29/160; A-197.88/180; M-219.35/180; F-294.14/160; J-168.67/160
    2016 GC 2322.39/2285; GC-2012-2015 - 9789.91/7773!
    for 2 adults & 2 kids (13 & 11) for all food,toiletries,cleaners etc



    • Soworried
    • By Soworried 4th Sep 12, 8:58 AM
    • 2,150 Posts
    • 19,990 Thanks
    Soworried
    Morning
    I have dish maids hands. I have been up for hours and bleached the house to within an inch of it's life. Now I can't get rid of the smell of bleach off my hands and they look like dry wrinkled cabbage.
    Hand cream and a coffee in order as a reward.
    Today we are having cereal for breakfast. Ribs and coleslaw for lunch and dinner will be salad for us girls and the boys will have home made pizza.
    I need to sort the fridgeout and get some things used or frozen as well.
    Nothing should go in as I am not shopping as I am getting the kids sorted to go back tomorrow. They were not happy when I woke them up at 9am this morning.
    It looks like another lovely day here, I will wash and wax the car today as well I think. I Can't ruin the kids street cred when I drop them of tomorrow can I.
    Good luck with your running coxy. I love it and I am just starting to get well enough to run again.
    36/240
    5522
    One step must start each journey
    One word must start each prayer
    One hope will raise our spirits
    One touch can show you care
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 4th Sep 12, 9:03 AM
    • 5,208 Posts
    • 26,759 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    Morning all hope all is well

    Hoping today to be another NSD (Grocery) I will be ordering a fridge freezer lol.

    Meal plan today is
    Breakfast: Cereal, fruit & yog
    Lunch: Boiled egg on toast, fruit
    Dinner: Lasagne, garlic bread and salad

    Have a nice day all
  • In_it_not_to_giveitaway
    If you need to alkalise the body then this blog might give you some recipe ideas: http://www.alkalinesisters.com/sample-recipes/

    I've got no idea if it's the right type of thing so just ignore me if not!!
    Originally posted by happy chick
    Thanks very much. I am building up a list of alternative recipies. It seems that when I moved to a diet of only one meat/fish meal per day my uric acid levels dropped too quickly and existing crystals dissolved and this triggered a gout attack.

    Notwithstanding, I maintain that this is the best diet, with some modifications. Beef/lamb/pork/game once a week (Sunday), chicken three times a week, fish twice a week, one vegetarian main day.

    Plenty of local and seasonal fruit and vegetables. Most important of all; restrict alcohol to once a week (more realistic than attempting to go without alcohol completely) on a Friday night/Saturday afternoon (weekly target 8 units) when I am not having beef/lamb etc.

    From now on I am going to include alcohol, wherever consumed, in my monthly budget so that it acts as an additional motivation. I only drink at home at eg Xmas so it effectively means that my monthly target includes entertainment.

    For September, I am going to attempt 260 (60 per week).
    ____________________________________________

    179/200
    ___________________________________________
  • rosieben
    jumblejack, I've added your jam making recipe to the index
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • Lulabelle06
    • By Lulabelle06 4th Sep 12, 9:29 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 573 Thanks
    Lulabelle06
    Well, I have had a bit of an expensive weekend. It was my auntie's birthday meal out on Saturday so we spent around 50. And I did the shopping for the week on 20! Lowest bill I've had in months by far! I have alot of pork loin steak in as this was the meat that was best value. So if anyone has any ideas on different things to do with this it would be greatly appreciated! Get a little sick of constantly making pork casseroles and my other half flatly refuses pork stirfry - he only likes it with salmon!
  • In_it_not_to_giveitaway
    Yes it is. In the last two weeks I have had free range duck legs, organic falafal, organic mushrooms, organic kiwi fruits. Corn fed poussins.
    It is very rare that the YS are the basic ranges. I have had guinea fowls and all sorts.
    The chicken legs we are having today where 6.20 orignal price.
    I paid 55p.
    Originally posted by Soworried

    Smashing!

    I might try my hand at making falafal this weekend.

    NSD yesterday. Need to buy noodles this evening from the local Chinese store.

    Hope everyone is on the fiscal straight and narrow.
    ____________________________________________

    179/200
    ___________________________________________
  • Mrs Addicted to Spending
    Lulabelle06 - there's a nice pork loin steak with mushrooms, cider, cream recipe at the front of this thread which I tried last time Lid1 had special offer on pork .

    NickNack - hope you don't mind me asking but what is the special washing liquid offer at Sainsbugs? TIA
    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
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 4th Sep 12, 11:43 AM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    NickJW
    Quickly popping in to report 2 spends:

    5 in Mr T on lunch items today
    8.66 in Mr W on toiletries on offer (deodrant, toothpaste, shower gel) yesterday

    Too hot today for me! Hope everyone enjoys the sun!
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

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

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • pimpom
    Hi all,
    I would like to join in for the remainder of our month (4th-21st September) with a budget of 100 this is for 2 adults so is perfectly doable.
    So far have spent 2.97 at 99p store on cereal bars
    and 2.89 in WHSmith on a card for a friends wedding.

    Total so far - 5.89/100
    Last edited by pimpom; 04-09-2012 at 11:55 AM.
    • flubberyzing
    • By flubberyzing 4th Sep 12, 12:17 PM
    • 1,270 Posts
    • 8,573 Thanks
    flubberyzing
    I've been taking part for the first time in years since the first, but forgot to register! I'd like to try 50 please!
    Because it's fun to have money!
    0/70 August GC
    68.35/70 July GC
    January-June 2019 = 356.94/420

    • Possession
    • By Possession 4th Sep 12, 12:25 PM
    • 3,140 Posts
    • 41,491 Thanks
    Possession
    NSD today and yesterday, although I am tempted by the Morrisons pork shoulder. Does anyone know when the offer ends?

    • Lulabelle06
    • By Lulabelle06 4th Sep 12, 12:44 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 573 Thanks
    Lulabelle06
    Thank you very much Mrs Addicted to Spending! Just the sort of thing I was looking for, and its always nice to have a recommendation as there are so many recipes it's hard to decide! That will be tea tomorrow...but also make it not a NSD as will go and get some cider (not something i tend to drink so never have in) Well worth it for a yummy tea and can use up my new potatoes which are starting to look a little sad . Having Spinach Gnocchi for tea which is a pretty nice cheapish recipe. a pack of dried gnocchi (about 80p)and a bag of baby spinach (could use frozen though but freezer space is minimal in my house so I tend to use it for meat) a tin of tomatoes and an onion. fry onion and wilt spinach. add tomatoes and simmer for a couple of minutes (can also add mushrooms or any other veg you like) in a seperate pan boil gnocchi and then remove and place in an ovenproof casserole. add tomato mixture and then chop up some mozzarella and mix well so ingredients are evenly distributed. Nice with a bit of parmesan on top if you have any knocking around. pop in oven (fan 180) for 15-20 mins. Feeds 3 reasonable portions or 2 hungry people!
  • jumblejack
    Thank you very much Mrs Addicted to Spending! Just the sort of thing I was looking for, and its always nice to have a recommendation as there are so many recipes it's hard to decide! That will be tea tomorrow...but also make it not a NSD as will go and get some cider (not something i tend to drink so never have in) Well worth it for a yummy tea and can use up my new potatoes which are starting to look a little sad . Having Spinach Gnocchi for tea which is a pretty nice cheapish recipe. a pack of dried gnocchi (about 80p)and a bag of baby spinach (could use frozen though but freezer space is minimal in my house so I tend to use it for meat) a tin of tomatoes and an onion. fry onion and wilt spinach. add tomatoes and simmer for a couple of minutes (can also add mushrooms or any other veg you like) in a seperate pan boil gnocchi and then remove and place in an ovenproof casserole. add tomato mixture and then chop up some mozzarella and mix well so ingredients are evenly distributed. Nice with a bit of parmesan on top if you have any knocking around. pop in oven (fan 180) for 15-20 mins. Feeds 3 reasonable portions or 2 hungry people!
    Originally posted by Lulabelle06
    Nice idea

    I think I will do this tomorrow but with home made celeriac gnocci instead as I have a couple of YS celeriac that are in dire need of using up. I was low on ideas. You are a star!
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):30.50/40
    • pixiedust09
    • By pixiedust09 4th Sep 12, 1:59 PM
    • 260 Posts
    • 3,126 Thanks
    pixiedust09
    Afternoon, folks, I can declare sunday and monday as NSD's, but spent 6 in Ic**and today

    And being a little naughty as it was supposed to be cottage pie for dinner tonight, but going to the chip shop instead

    Have a good day peeps.
    MFW 142- Oct 1999 55,0000, Jul 2013 27,593.17 Oct 2013 26,531, Dec 2014 22,600, Dec 2015 20,190, Jan 2016 19,944.19 Mar 2017 16,944.76 Decluttered 207/2018
    Smile it confuses people
  • budget babe
    Well guys I have been to Asda today and I have hopefully done my first elite glitch shop.

    My normal shopping was: 52.30 and I stuck to my list and didn't even go down some isles. Very pleased with that so I was.

    I then did a wine glitch shop which came to 11.71 but I am hoping for an apg back on this one?

    I will add to my total but all in all not a bad shop and I have meal planned for a whole week.

    Hope everyone else is ok?
    Budgie xxx
    Cherish the ones you love and travel back on the road that brings you home
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us" Ralph Waldo Emerson
    • tentickles666
    • By tentickles666 4th Sep 12, 2:31 PM
    • 820 Posts
    • 1,157 Thanks
    tentickles666
    Today would have been a NSD but I've forgotten my drinks bottle for the gym so I will have to buy a bottle of water :/
  • tracey12
    36.96 on Tescos home delivery for once as I had to wait in for another delivery man. On the back of the statement is a leaflet for Tescos Deliverysaver - pay delivery upfront for 3 months (36) or 6 months (60) and have no further delivery charges - off to get the calculator to see if this would be cheaper than me spending the diesel to get there (22 mile round trip)

    Diesel costs me about 22p per mile if I have to pay full price - 4.82 per trip.
    In a 4 week month this could be a cost of 19.36 for a once a week shop for 3 months that is 58.08 so a potential saving of 22 hmm interesting....
    Originally posted by debbym
    I have paid for 6 months as I thought it was a good deal. I had an e-mail which offered 1000 clubcard points as well, so even better
    Officially debt free
  • budget babe
    Well good news my 11.71 glitch buy has produced a 7,27 apg voucher.

    My normal 50+ shopping not a sausage.

    Still thank you to the Elite thread for all of their help.

    I tell you its hard getting your head around it at first, but its well worth it. Though I do feel totally pooped.

    Take Care
    Budgie xxx
    Cherish the ones you love and travel back on the road that brings you home
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us" Ralph Waldo Emerson
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

550Posts Today

5,718Users online

Martin's Twitter