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    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    • 9,343Posts
    • 17,889Thanks
    • #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'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,
    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!

    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 29
    • gettingready
    • By gettingready 5th Sep 12, 8:43 PM
    • 10,938 Posts
    • 16,332 Thanks
    NO Herons in London.. nearest one in.. Cambridgeshire .. bit of a treck
    • Bluegreen143
    • By Bluegreen143 5th Sep 12, 9:12 PM
    • 1,101 Posts
    • 12,692 Thanks
    Small spend of 1.29 today - OH bought some naan breads from Mr T to go with dinner. I was at the gym but had preplanned and made veg and chickpea tagine at the weekend so we had that with couscous and the naan breads. Bit of an unnecessary expense but he's getting better, at least he only bought one thing!!
    Married 1 March 2014 DS born 06/12/15

    CC - 2,182.17/2,182.17
    Family loan 1 - 1,680/1,680
    Family loan 2 - 3,500/5,000
    • Make-it-3
    • By Make-it-3 5th Sep 12, 10:13 PM
    • 1,550 Posts
    • 7,040 Thanks
    Milk and potatoes needed today, so another 2.74 to add to my September tally - standing at 71.89/200 now.

    Should be able to make it to the weekend without any grocery spends. Need to reign in this week after last week's shop.
    We Made-it-3 on 28/01/11 with birth of our gorgeous DD.
    • Baileys Babe
    • By Baileys Babe 5th Sep 12, 11:43 PM
    • 2,495 Posts
    • 12,887 Thanks
    Baileys Babe
    Day 10 of our September GC and so far nothing spent. I visited a friend today who is going away Friday until Tuesday she gave me a pack of tomatoes, a pack of radishes & a tub of clotted cream all of which go out of date whilst she's away. I'm going to look into what I can do with radishes in addition to salad.
    • gettingready
    • By gettingready 5th Sep 12, 11:52 PM
    • 10,938 Posts
    • 16,332 Thanks
    testing.. signature.....
    • Nicki_Sue
    • By Nicki_Sue 6th Sep 12, 5:10 AM
    • 1,216 Posts
    • 7,405 Thanks
    A quiet week for me on here, we have celebrated my birthday and set the wheels in motion for moving house (fingers crossed!). That said my first week in September tallies up as having spent 85.01 / 100 so a cracking start!
    11 YEARS ON MSE!

    JANUARY 10 A DAY: 0/310
  • Mrs Addicted to Spending
    NickNack - thanks for that information on Persil - that does sound like a good deal . Never heard of Heron shop though - they obviously don't have those where I live!
    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
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 6th Sep 12, 8:39 AM
    • 5,213 Posts
    • 26,759 Thanks
    Morning all hope all is well?

    Shopping day today so will report in later with spends x
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 6th Sep 12, 9:20 AM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,661 Thanks
    DD1 went and did the weekly shop yesterday for the 1st time on her own , she did really well , she used mysup3rm@rket to price up the stuff and print a shopping list and she stuck to it i had a 14 off 70 shop voucher too , so the total for this week was 67
    • Soworried
    • By Soworried 6th Sep 12, 9:30 AM
    • 2,143 Posts
    • 19,921 Thanks
    Well done to your daughter sistercas. You must of taught her well.
    I am having a baking day today.
    Cheese cob loaf, sage bread buns, cheese and ham flan, and rhubard crumble.
    All made from things I have in.
    This is for lunches for the next few days.
    Today we are just having a fridge use up omlette for lunch and fish pie and mushy peas for dinner. Again all from the freezer. I am doing well at using it up and keeping my spends down.
    I need milk later though so I will go late to see if I can stock back up a little for cheap.
    One step must start each journey
    One word must start each prayer
    One hope will raise our spirits
    One touch can show you care
    • liz-paul
    • By liz-paul 6th Sep 12, 10:08 AM
    • 895 Posts
    • 4,806 Thanks
    Got to go to tesco tomorrow (I think - it costs a lot in fuel to get there but is def cheaper than shopping local for all the stuff I need), but think I can manage a NSD today (only my 2nd of the month but I include all spends for NSD not just GC...).

    Was thinking of using the 50% of dominos pizza voucher code this weekend as a treat but I looked at the menu today and a larg pizza is 15 Even with the voucher it will cost 10-15 to feed my family plus the fuel to get there (too far away for delivery). Doesn't seem such a bargain when for the same money I could get enough pizzas in lidl or tesco to do us for at least 3 dinners....
    1% at a time no. 40. 8000 (For dream family holiday) 94/100
    MFW 2013 no. 62 10,000/10,000
    MFW 2014 no 62 8000/7000
  • In_it_not_to_giveitaway
    I am having a baking day today.
    Cheese cob loaf, sage bread buns, cheese and ham flan, and rhubard crumble.
    Originally posted by Soworried
    Hi. May I trouble you for the recipe for the sage bread buns. I tried a small loaf and buns on Saturday. The loaf was ok, but the buns were a bit hard.

    I am still undecided about whether to buy a breadmaker. Several discussions on here have given me a good idea about which make/model to buy depending on budget, but some have warned about the bread being too good leading to weight gain.

    Anyway, it would be nice to be able to make good bread by hand before considering whether to buy a machine.

    Hoping for two more NSDs before an early morning shop on Saturday.

    Hope everyone has sharpens the shopping lists this week.

    • Soworried
    • By Soworried 6th Sep 12, 10:52 AM
    • 2,143 Posts
    • 19,921 Thanks
    I use a breadmaker but just for the dough and jam settings. I don't like the bread made in it.

    Sage bread buns
    500g of bread flour, I use Lidls
    300ml of warm water
    pinch of salt
    tsp of sugar
    7g of dried yeast
    tbsp oil
    tbsp of dried sage. It is also nice with mixed herbs.

    Mix everything together in a bowl and cover for 30 minutes, knock back then shape on to a baking tray then leave until doubled in size.
    Bake according to your oven, I do mine on 180 degrees for 16 minutes.
    If you want them softer wrap straight in cling film or even a carrier bag when they come out. If you like them crispy leave to cool on a rack.
    I make 10 with it.

    Enjoy them but they are so nice I eat too many of them like you said.
    Last edited by Soworried; 06-09-2012 at 10:59 AM. Reason: Alter method as other peoples kitchens might be cooler than mine
    One step must start each journey
    One word must start each prayer
    One hope will raise our spirits
    One touch can show you care
    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 6th Sep 12, 11:10 AM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    Ald! Today then Ice*and parted with 34.00 sending total spent so far this month to 41-54

    If anyone is interested Ice*and have 4 tins of Heinzzz beans for 2.00 plus 2 free tins in the pack so 6 tins for 2 - although the price ticket by them said 2-50 they go through at 2 so brought two lots. Sorry if you already know.

    Got given a few free tomatoes and also a few runner beans which will come in useful.
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH 62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
    • WantToBeSE
    • By WantToBeSE 6th Sep 12, 11:59 AM
    • 6,778 Posts
    • 30,548 Thanks
    Hi everyone.
    I am going to do an online shop with Asda today, for delivery tomorrow morning.
    Will they take the money from my bank account today or tomorrow, does anyone know?
    3/6 month emergency fund challenge #20
    PODBX17 #122

    Debt Free Diary

    Total debt:
    14/01/2017 6247.89
    24/02/17 5623.17

    Estimated DFD Jan 2018
  • rosieben
    Soworried, I've added your Sage bread buns to the recipe list
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 6th Sep 12, 12:20 PM
    • 16,733 Posts
    • 143,372 Thanks
    Should have gone to the shops today but did my ironing instead and a bit of sewing,shops can wait till tomorrow nothing too urgent needed as yet.
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
    • Lulabelle06
    • By Lulabelle06 6th Sep 12, 1:06 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 573 Thanks
    I tried the pork, mustard and cider recipe from the index last night. Had it with crushed new pots with spring onions, carrots and runner beans from the in laws garden.

    Quite lucky as they are on holiday and we are looking after the plants and cats so we can have any produce we like. Going to have to go and have a rummage as my partner is rubbish at that. Never mentions whats there! But as it takes him an hour just to water the 'outside plants' maybe it's too long to list!
    • Soworried
    • By Soworried 6th Sep 12, 1:19 PM
    • 2,143 Posts
    • 19,921 Thanks
    Hi everyone.
    I am going to do an online shop with Asda today, for delivery tomorrow morning.
    Will they take the money from my bank account today or tomorrow, does anyone know?
    Originally posted by WantToBeSE
    They should take it in the morning before delivery.

    Thankyou Rosieben. x
    One step must start each journey
    One word must start each prayer
    One hope will raise our spirits
    One touch can show you care
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 6th Sep 12, 1:30 PM
    • 4,320 Posts
    • 29,747 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hello i am back on the gc bandwagon after a lovely but expensive summer...really going to try and reign in the spends and have a good go at using up the contents of the freezer...i did go and buy some meat at costco last week as i read prices were going to go up

    thanks to all who get the thread up and running

    regards tessa
    Last edited by tessie bear; 06-09-2012 at 1:33 PM.
    onwards and upwards
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