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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 46
    • pixiedust09
    • By pixiedust09 17th Sep 12, 11:30 AM
    • 259 Posts
    • 3,126 Thanks
    pixiedust09
    We bought a tin of roses last week, with the proviso that they were not to be opened until Christmas, and I hid them in the spare room as soon as we got home so we're not tempted, as once opened they will be gone!

    I'm going for 130 again this month, and so far have spent a total of 68.73.
    Originally posted by Sue14
    This was my cunning plan too, but OH knew I'd bought them and said we can always get some more for xmas why do I bother

    Congrats Little Miss

    Popped to sainsbugs today and had 52.20 extracted, have updated my signature. Made choccy brownies and hobnobs yesterday so would'nt have to buy cake for OH's lunch box. He's been begging me to make hobnobs for ages and even though I felt like poo yesterday I made some, to last the week . He must have eaten at least eight yesterday and they're not small .
    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
    • pixiedust09
    • By pixiedust09 17th Sep 12, 11:35 AM
    • 259 Posts
    • 3,126 Thanks
    pixiedust09
    Anyhoo, in other (kinda) GC-related news, my second purse profits have today purchased me my luxury item - a candy apple red K!tchenA!d -
    Originally posted by Coxy11
    Not jealous at all.

    Would love a kitchenaid, I've been lusting after the ice blue one which would match the duck egg blue accessories in my new kitchen.
    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
    • flubberyzing
    • By flubberyzing 17th Sep 12, 12:39 PM
    • 1,261 Posts
    • 8,492 Thanks
    flubberyzing
    A 14.02 for me in MrT's today, but reckon I can get 6 dinners, plus lunchtime sandwiches for the week out of it. The only guilty pleasure I got was my Nescafe Alta Rica. It had a bit of money off, so was cheaper than normal. I refuse to buy even Tesco Gold Blend, it's horrid!
    However, whilst stocking up on their tinned chicken curries (ever so tasty and great for quick dinners), I noticed they've introduced Value version. Anyone tried them? I got one to try...
    Also stocked up on a couple of bottles of the 32p value squash. Tastes like Robinsons to me!
    Because it's fun to have money!
    65.41/70 June GC
    January-May 2019 = 291.53/350

  • jumblejack
    Tried something new today with whoopsied bananas.

    Thought I'd share it with you all as another idea for using up overripe bananas:

    Banana Jam made by JJ juniors


    All credit goes to this website:
    http://www.food.com/recipe/jamaica-banana-jam-46287
    Ingredients
    1/4 cup fresh lime juice ( about one medium lime) (I used lemon juice though)
    3 1/2 cups bananas, diced ( firm, ripe ones work best)
    2 1/4 cups sugar
    1/2 cup water


    Place lime (or lemon )juice in a one quart measure.
    Peel bananas and dice directly into lime juice (or lemon ).
    Stir with a wooden spoon.
    Keep stirring as you dice each banana into the lime juice to prevent darkening.

    Measure sugar and water into a wide 2 quart saucepan, and stir to dissolve sugar as you bring syrup to a boil.

    Cover tightly for the first 2 minutes (so the steam will wash sugar crystals from side of saucepan) then uncover, add bananas (with lime) and boil over low heat for about 30 minutes or until thick.
    Stir often to prevent sticking, especially during last 10 minutes.
    Jam is done when a spoon scraped across bottom of pan leaves a track that closes slowly, or when jam mounds while stirring.
    Fill hot, sterilized jars quickly with the hot jelly or jam mixture, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
    Wipe the sealing surface of the jars with a clean paper towel, dampened with hot water, to remove any jam or sugar crystals.
    Place lids, screw on bands finger-tight and process jars for 10 minutes in boiling water bath.
    Cool jars upright for 12-24 hours while vacuum seal is drawn and jam or jelly sets up. Let the jars sit undisturbed while they cool.
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):30.50/40
    • jedi82
    • By jedi82 17th Sep 12, 1:22 PM
    • 406 Posts
    • 3,548 Thanks
    jedi82
    Hello everyone!

    Hope everyone is ok. Sorry I've been AWOL. My baby came just over three weeks early so have been a bit occupied! Bit dramatic but we're both doing well. Time for me to get back on track now. This month was a bit all over the place. Eagerly looking forward to the October challenge. Have 20 for this week (end of the month), but not really needing much so should be ok. Hoping my months of stockpiling will keep us going through the next year.

    Must do a meal plan for this week at a more human hour too!

    LMM
    Originally posted by little_miss_moneysaver
    Congratulations on the birth of your baby boy

    jedi x
    Finally getting my life on track. Onwards and upwards.
    BSC No 327
    GC Jan 336.91/450
    GC Feb 0/400
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 17th Sep 12, 1:51 PM
    • 4,324 Posts
    • 29,765 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi i am on day one of a ns week due to some over spending last week...i really need to try and even out the spends i am a real boom and bust sort of person....also need to start thinking about christmas food as that is quite a large expense for us

    we are having lamb for tea and i have just been in the garden and tracked down some mint to make mint sauce with it....it has been a productive afternoon here as i have been back to the pub carpark to pick some more blackberries....i am going to use some in a smoothie and make a pie with the rest

    tomorrow is spag bol and then wed i am going to make a sheps pie from the remains of the roast lamb...busy busy

    take care tessa
    onwards and upwards
  • rosieben
    Tried something new today with whoopsied bananas.

    Banana Jam made by JJ juniors
    Originally posted by jumblejack
    I've added it to the index, jj
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 17th Sep 12, 5:12 PM
    • 2,918 Posts
    • 27,456 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Congratulations Litlle Miss M
    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
    • Lulabelle06
    • By Lulabelle06 17th Sep 12, 5:22 PM
    • 39 Posts
    • 573 Thanks
    Lulabelle06
    Congratulations Little Miss M

    Coxy11 - so jealous they are beautiful!!

    I had a pretty good weekend - went to local shops for shopping to see if cheaper but dont think it is so unfortunately back to Asda. The fruit and veg seemed cheaper but then I needed a few bits like cereal and salmon etc. no fishmongers in my little town so had to go Co-op and I am sooo shocked at the prices. Spent 18ish(no receipt from greengrocers). But then I had missed call off OH asking for things ('why have a mobile phone if its always on silent...etc etc etc') so felt guilty and went to corner shop and spent further 3. Going out for tea on Friday but not out of this budget (thank goodness) I am getting taken on a 'date' haha!

    Hope everyone is ok!
    • MoonJelly
    • By MoonJelly 17th Sep 12, 6:16 PM
    • 324 Posts
    • 1,923 Thanks
    MoonJelly
    I would definitely complain MJ, value products should still be fit to eat and sounds like that wasn't
    Originally posted by rosieben

    Thank you for the suggestion. I have filled a customer form with Tesco complaining about the mince (2.38). Let's see if they reply to my query.
    Will keep the forum posted!
    .................................................. ............................
    NW: 5014.49/4000/745
    BC: 4308/2500
    Loan: Co-op: 3777.23 /
    3387.23
    2900/PAID
    Challenge: debt-free by Christmas 2017
  • she who can not cook
    Hello everyone!

    Hope everyone is ok. Sorry I've been AWOL. My baby came just over three weeks early so have been a bit occupied! Bit dramatic but we're both doing well. Time for me to get back on track now. This month was a bit all over the place. Eagerly looking forward to the October challenge. Have 20 for this week (end of the month), but not really needing much so should be ok. Hoping my months of stockpiling will keep us going through the next year.

    Must do a meal plan for this week at a more human hour too!

    LMM
    Originally posted by little_miss_moneysaver
    i was think "What does she mean" then i looked at your posting at that time this morning i was tossing and turning cos its first day back for me for me after being off for two weeks on holiday lol but congrats btw
    Last edited by she who can not cook; 17-09-2012 at 6:51 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
  • she who can not cook
    Uhmmmm.......A bit crossed with Tesco this week. I do my shoping online so I cannot see the veg and meat with my own eyes. I bought some minced lamb which was so greasy (yes, it is the value range but...) and plastic smelling that I could not serve it. I had to throw it away because there was no way I was going to serve it to my kid or even eat it myself. So far mince has been a way of getting read meat without having to opt for the pricier cuts. Should I complain to Tesco or chuck it to experience and no buy value range meat again?
    Originally posted by MoonJelly
    you should complain and get a refund
    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
  • she who can not cook
    Tried something new today with whoopsied bananas.

    Thought I'd share it with you all as another idea for using up overripe bananas:

    Banana Jam made by JJ juniors


    All credit goes to this website:
    http://www.food.com/recipe/jamaica-banana-jam-46287









    Originally posted by jumblejack
    wow delishhhhhhhhhh
    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
  • she who can not cook
    Iceland on the way home tonight
    six pack cherry coke 1.50 wow not like i like coke myself ...
    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
    • mossy
    • By mossy 17th Sep 12, 7:04 PM
    • 1,142 Posts
    • 8,199 Thanks
    mossy
    Been a good girl and tried to work out from my meal planner what food I need for the rest of the month and have written out a list so now aiming to stick at 200!!

    L1dl 4.65
    Mossy's Market 3.25

    Which leaves me 6.50 until the end of the month. But I have meat etc and batch cooked meals so it really is only milk, bread, veg etc.

    BTW Only 14 weeks until Christmas oh yeah, oh yeah!!

    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
    • Bluegreen143
    • By Bluegreen143 17th Sep 12, 7:10 PM
    • 1,101 Posts
    • 12,692 Thanks
    Bluegreen143
    little_miss_moneysaver Congrats on the birth of your baby! These forums are making me broody as everyone seems to be having babies

    Hello All, I have been reading your posts but things have been busy here with both 'Mums' being in different hospitals so I haven't had chance to think straight and post.
    Originally posted by peony40
    Hope they are OK.

    jumblejack - your jam looks fab!

    Small spend today in Mr M on the way home from work - savers tin foil, 2 pints of whole milk, a punnet of strawberries (couldn't resist as running low on fruit) and a jar of chilli powder. Didn't do a shopping at the weekend as we're on holiday early on Thursday so quite pleased at how little we needed. The chilli powder wasn't required for anything but we've run out, and the strawberries were a treat for me, so we could have got by with even less.

    Made a fridge clearer meal tonight - pasta with cheese sauce, salami, onion, tomato & peas. Don't normally eat pork as I only eat 'outdoor reared' or organic and Mr A doesn't seem to sell it, but I do buy ham etc for OH and he annoyingly opened the pack two days ago and hasn't finished it. He won't eat sandwich meat which has been open for more than two days so I knew if I didn't put it in the dinner it'd have to be binned and I figured it was more ethical not to let it go to waste. Was a bit salty for me but absolutely delicious I have to say
    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
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 17th Sep 12, 8:07 PM
    • 2,918 Posts
    • 27,456 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Someone (Butterfly Brain I think) posted this week's Audi super six on another forum and I thought it might help some of us -

    Aldi Super six this week...........Iceberg lettuce, carrots, savoy cabbage, white onions, broccoli and celery all 39p

    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
    • Tiglath
    • By Tiglath 17th Sep 12, 8:21 PM
    • 3,570 Posts
    • 11,681 Thanks
    Tiglath
    Made a fridge clearer meal tonight - pasta with cheese sauce, salami, onion, tomato & peas.
    Originally posted by Bluegreen143
    That sounds like perfection on a plate to me
    "Save 12k in 2019" #120 - 51.653.08/60k
  • katholicos
    Aldi spend. Can't recall why i even went and can't find receipt but it was a spend of about 24.00 or so.

    I got one of the cabbages and aim top make some bubble and squeek tomorrow, of which some will be drozen. I'm trying to build up my frozen homemade meals once again.
    • CupOfChai
    • By CupOfChai 17th Sep 12, 8:49 PM
    • 1,319 Posts
    • 7,295 Thanks
    CupOfChai
    I'm back from my holibobs, it feels like I've barely been away now. I want to go on holiday NOW! Went to the shops after work for the few bits needed for this week, didn't need much so only spent about 4 which brings my total to 133.44 out of 170 now. Hoping I will easily manage to get under budget this month.
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