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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 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 39
    • craigywv
    • By craigywv 11th Sep 12, 8:11 PM
    • 1,976 Posts
    • 27,825 Thanks
    craigywv
    Hi all just back from mr t will update sig later, not many whoopsies tonight just a bit of fruit. Can i freeze yogurt? always wanted to know that thanks. will have to go to asda in morn as mr t had hardly ANY of their own brand tins of anything...did notice that they have the 4p mushy peas in again...sold out. Getting very concerned at the alarming rate the own brand stuff is selling. Was talking to my niece who works in mr t she was telling me by 11 am the majority of soap, razors, toothpaste is sold out! By lunchtime no tinned potatos, sweetcorn,or creamed rice is left and they not allowed to put more out...want us to buy the dearer stuff. Also a lot of the own brand will be disappearing by December and it wont be coming back.oooohhhh its time to get on ebay and suss out next years seeds looks like i shall be growing A LOT MORE stuff so will maybe invest in a small greenhouse, i dont have a lot of room but will squeeze it in somewhere.
    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z #7 member N.I splinter-group co-ordinater I dont suffer from insanity....I enjoy every minute of it!!.
    • bossymoo
    • By bossymoo 11th Sep 12, 8:11 PM
    • 6,817 Posts
    • 87,056 Thanks
    bossymoo
    Third NSD in a row here. Don't really need anything. Maybe a birthday present as DS has a party invite. What do you get a 4yo girl?
    Bossymoo

    Away with the fairies
    • craigywv
    • By craigywv 11th Sep 12, 8:12 PM
    • 1,976 Posts
    • 27,825 Thanks
    craigywv
    I would like to share this here:

    These are 50p in Asda at the moment and they are incredibly tasty. Normally I HATE burgers, but I have tried them for tea and oh my, they are GOOD!!!
    Originally posted by jumblejack
    will deffo be getting those yum!!
    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z #7 member N.I splinter-group co-ordinater I dont suffer from insanity....I enjoy every minute of it!!.
    • Bluegreen143
    • By Bluegreen143 11th Sep 12, 8:32 PM
    • 1,101 Posts
    • 12,692 Thanks
    Bluegreen143
    SheWho[/B] - they are on the side with the recycle, i don't really bake, but i could, i have all the stuff in to and am trying to use things up, thanks for that, will see if they can squeeze into freezer - i know Jumblejack posted about the banana icecream, but they are too brown for that. p.s. i don't do the kilo thing either.
    by Save Dosh;55769745
    [B
    Honestly - bananas cant get too brown for ice cream - the browner he sweeter! I always make milkshake with brown bananas though, either fresh or when frozen, which makes your milkshake cold like an ice cream shake . Just two bananas and a half pint of milk blended up makes a pint of amazing deliciousness. Used to love it as a kid and it's super healthy.

    Me too and it saves a fortune . The only problem items we have are baked beans, coffee and ketchup - DH refuses cheap versions of these though my sons don't notice the difference so I can get away with it for them .
    Originally posted by Mrs Addicted to Spending
    My (otherwise fussy) OH is fine with the cheaper ketchup, through I got a glass bottle this time and decanted into last time's squeeze bottle as ha would be a step too far! He won't go for value shower gel or household cleaners which does my head in. Though I insist on expensive shampoo/conditioner and he uses Alberto Balsam, so he has his frugal areas too. My hair is so long and wavy that I need to wash it properly or it looks so terrible!

    I don't like value beans but we buy own brand rather than branded. I think the value frozen sweetcorn isn't as nice as the normal stuff but the value frozen peas are fine. Still buy the value sweetcorn as I'm trying to train my palate

    No grocery spends today. OH made nice veg curry with rice out of stuff we had in, using up half a tin of coconut milk on its last legs
    Married 1 March 2014 DS born 06/12/15

    Debts
    CC - 2,182.17/2,182.17
    Family loan 1 - 1,680/1,680
    Family loan 2 - 3,500/5,000
    • Popperwell
    • By Popperwell 11th Sep 12, 8:49 PM
    • 4,637 Posts
    • 48,466 Thanks
    Popperwell
    I bought my first cans of vegetable and chicken curry in ASDA yesterday I assume i do some rice with it, don't know if that's the end of it or I add anything else and if one can is too much, The same with the packet of Uncle Ben's rice(I'll either have tp eat a lot of throw some rice away.

    Suppose i could do some potatoes or chips with it...hope its not too strong spice wise...
    "A government afraid of its citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny!" ~Thomas Jefferson

    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in" ~ Alan Alda
  • rosieben
    I live alone and instead of throwing food out because there's too much in the packet, I just make two meals and eat the same tomorrow
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • katholicos
    Spent about 5 yesterday on groceries, can't recall where or even what was purchased. Doh!

    Today i spent 53.67 but got that reduced to 47.67 using a -6 off a 40 spend voucher.

    I had been thinking about purchasing some quite expensive nut-bean-burgers, but changed tack and decided to make them from scratch instead and they were very easy to make and tasty to eat.

    For anyone who wants to try some inexpensive but very filling vegetarian burgers, here is my recipe for them...

    Ingredients...

    - 3 or 4 slices of bread/250-350 g...turned into breadcrumbs (i bake my own bread so maybe it costs about 10p at most)

    - 200g of nuts (I intended buying peanuts but accidentally purchased cashews (1.32)

    - a small to medium sized onion (from a bag of onions costing 99p - so approx 6 or 8p)

    - tin of basic kidney beans (20p)

    - tin of cheapish butter beans (39p)

    - 4 eggs (56p)

    If i have done my maths correctly the total cost is about 2.75 and it made 12 very substantial burgers. Approx 23p per burger or thereabouts.

    Method...

    - mix together the breadcrumbs, chopped nuts and chopped onion.

    - in another bowl mix together the drained cans of kidney beans and butter beans. Mash the beans up a bit, keeping some beans whole.

    - add 4 eggs to the bean mixture.

    - add the breadcrumb and nut mixture to the bean mixture and combine well.

    - season as preferred.

    - Add any extra flavourings/herbs or spices, such as curry powder or paste, chillies etc.

    - wet your hands and then taking *handfuls of mixture, first make a ball shape and then flatten into burger shapes.

    - Fry the burgers in a sufficient amount of oil to prevent them sticking to the pan.

    - Turn the burgers ocassionally until heated through and lightly or moderately browned on each side.

    *this amount of ingredients made 12 x handfulls/burgers, but the size of ones hands will of course vary, and hence the amount of burgers made.
    • Popperwell
    • By Popperwell 11th Sep 12, 9:34 PM
    • 4,637 Posts
    • 48,466 Thanks
    Popperwell
    I live alone and instead of throwing food out because there's too much in the packet, I just make two meals and eat the same tomorrow
    Originally posted by rosieben
    I tend to do that but I understand rice cannot or should not be recooked...
    "A government afraid of its citizens is a Democracy. Citizens afraid of government is tyranny!" ~Thomas Jefferson

    "Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won't come in" ~ Alan Alda
  • katholicos
    Forgot to add...

    From the garden i harvested 3 smallish yellow courgettes, a fair amount of various french beans and borlotti beans,a massive squash and enough apples to make an apple crumble.
    • mossy
    • By mossy 11th Sep 12, 9:57 PM
    • 1,142 Posts
    • 8,199 Thanks
    mossy
    Had to spend another 69p at L!dls this evening, it turns out you need lettuce to make a salad...who knew!! At least it's just around the corner and I ONLY bought that, nothing else!!

    Also just fixed DH's jeans by cutting out a bit of an old pair, how very OS of me!!
    Saving for Disney again ...to big a target to face up to yet!
    Emergency Fund Savings - #148 - 10/1000 1%
    #083 SPC6 63 - SPC7 90 - SPC8 63 - SPC9 54 - SPC10 26 - SPC12
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 11th Sep 12, 10:02 PM
    • 1,314 Posts
    • 15,703 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    Popperwell there is something about rice where you have to be careful, but don't think its about freezing as you can buy frozen meals with rice, but obviously check it out. I would just fridge and stirfry with other bits the next day or as Rosieben said, have the same, im not too fussed and do that sometimes.
    April GC - Food 37.40/80 - Alcohol 14.50/20
    Bulk Funds - Food 0
    - Alcohol 0
    Save 12k in 2019 1,300/5,000 - #155
    • suzybloo
    • By suzybloo 12th Sep 12, 6:08 AM
    • 1,079 Posts
    • 8,715 Thanks
    suzybloo
    Morning folks, I am doing not too badly, as I have just about a hundred pounds left until midnight Thursday 27th, so should scrape through. This month I havent had to buy much veg as the allotment is providing such a boost, so that has helped. Sunday saw us making Rosehip syrup - I am quite impressed with the finished product, 5 bottles and only cost the price of the sugar, so no more vitamin c tablets to buy this winter. every little helps!
    Every days a School day!
  • jumblejack
    Jumblejack - those burgers look lush, but they are 1 online, wonder if that is just an instore thing.
    Mossy - yes they are herring or something, they look yuk, will see if i can find something to do with them, they are good 'till October something.
    SheWho - they are on the side with the recycle, i don't really bake, but i could, i have all the stuff in to and am trying to use things up, thanks for that, will see if they can squeeze into freezer - i know Jumblejack posted about the banana icecream, but they are too brown for that. p.s. i don't do the kilo thing either.
    Originally posted by Save Dosh
    It is a reduction instore nationwide. It was on hukd and confirmed.
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):30.50/40
    • Bluegreen143
    • By Bluegreen143 12th Sep 12, 8:34 AM
    • 1,101 Posts
    • 12,692 Thanks
    Bluegreen143
    I tend to do that but I understand rice cannot or should not be recooked...
    Originally posted by Popperwell
    You can eat leftover rice within 24 hours but it must be thoroughly reheated. Think about it: fried rice is recooked. You can also freeze rice. But as a single person you might find it easier to avoid leftovers by making a single portion of normal long grain/basmati rice than using a packet of ready cooked stuff. HTH.
    Married 1 March 2014 DS born 06/12/15

    Debts
    CC - 2,182.17/2,182.17
    Family loan 1 - 1,680/1,680
    Family loan 2 - 3,500/5,000
    • skilly
    • By skilly 12th Sep 12, 10:40 AM
    • 882 Posts
    • 10,225 Thanks
    skilly
    Spent about 5 yesterday on groceries, can't recall where or even what was purchased. Doh!

    Today i spent 53.67 but got that reduced to 47.67 using a -6 off a 40 spend voucher.

    I had been thinking about purchasing some quite expensive nut-bean-burgers, but changed tack and decided to make them from scratch instead and they were very easy to make and tasty to eat.

    For anyone who wants to try some inexpensive but very filling vegetarian burgers, here is my recipe for them...

    Ingredients...
    - 3 or 4 slices of bread/250-350 g...turned into breadcrumbs (i bake my own bread so maybe it costs about 10p at most)

    - 200g of nuts (I intended buying peanuts but accidentally purchased cashews (1.32)

    - a small to medium sized onion (from a bag of onions costing 99p - so approx 6 or 8p)

    - tin of basic kidney beans (20p)

    - tin of cheapish butter beans (39p)

    - 4 eggs (56p)

    If i have done my maths correctly the total cost is about 2.75 and it made 12 very substantial burgers. Approx 23p per burger or thereabouts.

    Method...

    - mix together the breadcrumbs, chopped nuts and chopped onion.

    - in another bowl mix together the drained cans of kidney beans and butter beans. Mash the beans up a bit, keeping some beans whole.

    - add 4 eggs to the bean mixture.

    - add the breadcrumb and nut mixture to the bean mixture and combine well.

    - season as preferred.

    - Add any extra flavourings/herbs or spices, such as curry powder or paste, chillies etc.

    - wet your hands and then taking *handfuls of mixture, first make a ball shape and then flatten into burger shapes.

    - Fry the burgers in a sufficient amount of oil to prevent them sticking to the pan.

    - Turn the burgers ocassionally until heated through and lightly or moderately browned on each side.

    *this amount of ingredients made 12 x handfulls/burgers, but the size of ones hands will of course vary, and hence the amount of burgers made.
    Originally posted by katholicos
    .
    Thankyou katholicos for the recipe I am going to have a go at making these this weekend have you ever tried freezing them before ?
    27 Sealed pot challenge 3496/4706.75/5 376.74/6 645.08/ 7 861.34 /8 786.90/9610.49/10 722.03 / 11? / gold star from sue
  • rosieben
    I tend to do that but I understand rice cannot or should not be recooked...
    Originally posted by Popperwell
    Like meat and lots of other foods, rice is perfectly ok reheated as long as its heated thoroughly. More dangerous is leaving cooked rice to sit around at room temp, it needs to be cooled quickly and in the fridge (obviously that also applies to meat etc)


    katholicos, I've added your Vegetarian Burger recipe to the index (also added to my recipe folder, they sound lush!
    Last edited by rosieben; 12-09-2012 at 10:49 AM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • Make-it-3
    • By Make-it-3 12th Sep 12, 11:07 AM
    • 1,550 Posts
    • 7,040 Thanks
    Make-it-3
    1.74 at MrS yesterday for milk. Really want to get back on track with spending, so putting off buying anything else till the weekend. (122.08/200)

    I thought rice had to be left to cool naturally before refrigerating. I always leave it in the pan overnight and then pack it. Often left it for up to a week before reusing (reheat in microwave) and never ever had a problem.
    We Made-it-3 on 28/01/11 with birth of our gorgeous DD.
  • rosieben
    I've added another recipe to the index - D&DD's Storecupboard Fishcakes recipe from the 'Who Doesn't have a stock cupboard?' thread
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 12th Sep 12, 11:54 AM
    • 4,320 Posts
    • 29,747 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...been bust today i went to shove some old shoes in the recycling bank in the local pub carpark and i noticed a lot of blackberries hanging over the fence....after uming and ahing i decided to go back and pick them i thought id ask if i saw anyone in the pub.....i didnt so i picked away and got 2lb....i have now cooked them and am going to eat a portion for pudding and freeze the rest

    i often make fried rice from cooked rice...i always put it straight in the fridge and reheat it well...never had any problems....we are having a roast dinner for tea and chicken or fried rice tomorrow

    hope everyone is doing well with their budgets

    tata tessa
    onwards and upwards
  • she who can not cook
    I live alone and instead of throwing food out because there's too much in the packet, I just make two meals and eat the same tomorrow
    Originally posted by rosieben
    not only that but when cooking i try and get more stuff in i am not aways organized but when cooking tea do some biscuits or cake ect i oven is on already iykwim
    Last edited by she who can not cook; 12-09-2012 at 6:25 PM.
    Gc 2013 +26 -5. -4 -7 -14 -15 -10.-8.20 +15p+30+5.80 Dec +9 GROCERY challenge 2014 Jan -2Feb -3 March -1.50 April +5.40 May +4.90 June -3.July 16.50/85

    God bless my sweet "old man" Goldie that died in the early hours of 27 th March please see him on my avatar
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