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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 second Grocery Challenge of 2013

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your January budget, then keep on posting in the:
    January 2013 Grocery Challenge

    As always this challenge is to reduce your own grocery budget to levels that you will be pleased with, not forgetting that we always recommend that you stay inside your own comfort levels and take things gently one step at a time. Remember that this is not a competition....it's designed to take you and your grocery spending to a level you are happy with.

    If you are new to the challenge I have quoted the advice from Galtizz below which will help you get started.

    Please post into this thread for help and advice and support at any time. Good luck to everyone taking part!

    I have said this before, but for all the newbies to the challenge;

    For the first month I took a guess at the budget but I really had no idea how much I was spending.

    I found the best thing is to have a guess the first month but SAVE ALL OF YOUR RECEIPTS (and yes, that does include the ones from the local shop when you run out of milk ), then at the end of the month add them all up and have a look if you were on budget, if not, it doesn't matter because your budget was a guess. For the next month you can use the total of your receipts and take a bit off to get a realistic budget, just shave off as much as you think you can, it could be 1 a week or 20 a week.

    If you are currently spending 200 a month don't suddenly drop it to 100 - you'll never do it but if you cut 20 a month off for a few months you'll get there eventually without feeling you're missing out on anything.

    You might think you've done everything you can in the first month but someone always comes up with a new idea and, if you try it you often find you save a bit more (unless you are SarahSaver who is an expert at this and could only save more if she turned her back garden into a paddy field and lived on rice ) In the first month I thought, I'm planning meals, I couldn't possibly save any more, but then I started double cooking and freezing, and making soup instead of buying it in tins.

    I've been doing this since Feb but only saved ALL of my receipts last month, it has given me a much better idea of where it is all going. Budget for next month is 80 for 2 of us, I'll start on 30/4. I could probably save more, by eating different foods but I can afford to live on 80, I have saved a lot of money since Feb. and I don't waste food or money any more. So I'm happy with my budget.
    By request, here is Spiggles wonderful helpful post

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    See you all later,
    Spigs
    For quidelines on posting in this thread please read the second post in this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #3, #4, #5 #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; 05-01-2013 at 1:22 PM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 23
  • dizzy lizzie
    First grocery shops of the month were done yesterday - spent 21.73, which shocked me when I added it up this morning a I don't seem to have got very much for it
    Originally posted by cw18
    It never ceases to amaze me that 20/30 odd pound can fill a carrier bag these days. I remember when ours were little ones we did a lot of our shopping at kwik save and could get a full trolley for 40 pound! And they were all brand names. Happy days...
    x
    Official DFW Nerd Club Member no:219
    In the Court Of The Crimson King
    I don't believe in the concept of hell, but if I did I would think of it as filled with people who were cruel to animals.
    Gary Larson
  • KatyReed+5
    22 pages? Oh lordy, i will catch up later tonight.

    Just here to say hey, i would like to take part in the Feb challenge.

    I would like an all in budget of 350.00, this is for anything spent apart from bills and diesel which are seperate budgets.

    X
    June 0.00 GC / 200.00

    Family of 4 : 1 adult 3 kids ages 3,4 & 5.
    • pinkypig
    • By pinkypig 2nd Feb 13, 5:16 PM
    • 1,519 Posts
    • 11,773 Thanks
    pinkypig
    Just had my first proper go at batch cooking. I always do this when I bake but never really got it together for main meals. However, I'm converted now

    Used 2 800g packs of essential mince (drained off excess fat), 8 cans on tomatoes, a bag of bread crumbs out of the freezer , 6 onions, a dollop of easy garlic, a couple of stock cubes and the dregs of a bottle of red and voila, 5 batches of bolognaise sauce for four
    Nice easy meals and about 1.60 ish for a batch to feed four. Quite a productive afternoon

    Going to have the first lot tonight with a pack of 24p spaghetti and a YS garlic bread that was 13p
    PP xx
    MFW 2018 #157 Target 15,000

    23,095.71/15,000
    • Milly-Ann-Molly
    • By Milly-Ann-Molly 2nd Feb 13, 5:17 PM
    • 517 Posts
    • 4,702 Thanks
    Milly-Ann-Molly
    I did my first shop of the month at just over 150...hopefully it will last two weeks! Then I may be on budget...going to MIL soon so she can pay for the food for a few days x

    I stock checked too and even had to bin some meat that was very out of date in the freezer!

    Make /day October: 0 / 640
    Quidco 2,263.11 NSD Oct:
    SPC 2018#037 frugal 2018 #41
    2018 Road Kill 33.31
    Nectar 9.00 Tesco 10.50 Boots 10.18 Morrisons 15
  • kobrakai
    First mini-shop of the month so far, bits from Tesco & Morrisons - total spend of 20.27.
    2 Savers Club 2014 #38 | 20p Savers Club 2014 #37 | 50p Savers Club 2014 #29
    365 in 365 days #89 9/365 | DFBX2014 challenge #023 70/6500
    Weekly Saving Challenge 2014 #30 6/1378
    Save 12k in 2014 #159 80.62/2000
  • Dizzymcf
    Dizzymcf - is this what you are after ?



    Thanks... I will it a try but the one I read yesterday was on one of the money saving threads..... It's soooo frustrating ! Thanks for your help.
    • minicooper272
    • By minicooper272 2nd Feb 13, 6:02 PM
    • 2,127 Posts
    • 16,678 Thanks
    minicooper272
    Help. Tried to make lemon curd in slow cooker but its very runny....so I had a quick look on mse and found a recipe for making ice cream using mascarpone.....my iPad died and now I can't find the recipe again. I've been looking for ages and am about to cry ... Can anyone point me in the right direction please !
    Originally posted by Dizzymcf
    Can you not look at your browsing history? This website will tell you how to look it up:

    http://browsers.about.com/od/howtousemobilebrowser1/ss/safari-ipad-manage-browsing-history.htm

    I had my first spend of the month - 11.81 in A1di today for a bit of a top-up shop, and 1.70 yesterday when I stopped off for a cash machine to get out my food budget.

    Is it just me, or are all the supermarkets abnormally busy just now? Every time I've been near the supermarket for the last 3 weeks, it's been jam-packed with people, and at least a 10 min queue at the tills.
  • she who can not cook
    First grocery shops of the month were done yesterday - spent 21.73, which shocked me when I added it up this morning a I don't seem to have got very much for it

    I don't actually have space in my freezers for anything else, so shouldn't be tempted by any meat offers/whoopsies - and I think that may be what keeps me under budget this month
    Originally posted by cw18
    My problem is I see a reduction and then think what do I have to regig in the freezer to get THAT In
    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
    It never ceases to amaze me that 20/30 odd pound can fill a carrier bag these days. I remember when ours were little ones we did a lot of our shopping at kwik save and could get a full trolley for 40 pound! And they were all brand names. Happy days...
    x
    Originally posted by dizzy lizzie
    I worked for kwikies in the 90s them were the days
    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
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 2nd Feb 13, 7:00 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    NickJW
    Hello all.

    A spend of 2 on spring onions, green beans and chewing gum (really noticing how often I buy this non edible 'food stuff' - just can't seem to stop buying them!).

    Anyway - not much more to add today. Had to go into work to finish work off which I couldn't finish in the week. Just me in the office which is always a bit strange. It's slightly annoying that I'm chocka with work because my boss 'trusts' me, yet my colleague sitting next gets nothing because - in my bosses words - 'isn't as dedicated as you' (ie - she's on shopping websites nearly all day ) - gets no extra responsibilities. I got a pay rise this month (but she didn't) so it kind of makes up for it, but I'm certainly making up for it with the overtime!

    Hope everyone is good.
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

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

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • she who can not cook
    Just had my first proper go at batch cooking. I always do this when I bake but never really got it together for main meals. However, I'm converted now

    Used 2 800g packs of essential mince (drained off excess fat), 8 cans on tomatoes, a bag of bread crumbs out of the freezer , 6 onions, a dollop of easy garlic, a couple of stock cubes and the dregs of a bottle of red and voila, 5 batches of bolognaise sauce for four
    Nice easy meals and about 1.60 ish for a batch to feed four. Quite a productive afternoon

    Going to have the first lot tonight with a pack of 24p spaghetti and a YS garlic bread that was 13p
    PP xx
    Originally posted by pinkypig
    What about padding the mince out with tvp,and or carrots,lentils my other half never knew he was eating fake mince so speak
    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
    • ImDoingItForMe
    • By ImDoingItForMe 2nd Feb 13, 7:01 PM
    • 870 Posts
    • 4,795 Thanks
    ImDoingItForMe
    My problem is I see a reduction and then think what do I have to regig in the freezer to get THAT In
    Originally posted by she who can not cook
    Same here, i cant pass the reductions by. Ive jigged and rejigged my freezer and taken out 2 drawers to get it all in and now ive started on veg reductions!! I must stop, although this week ive only spent 11 and have more than enough to last me more than a few months (freezer contents that is). I look at it as long as i dont throw it away, its not a waste. Ive had some rare concoctions (SP?) for meals though
  • Verityemilia
    Still snowing on and off here, but not settling. Baking done with my five year old, lovely times. His sister is out for the afternoon so just me and him. I have cleared up and hoovered (don't ask!). Trying to use up ingredients so we made prune (chopped up small) scones and white chocolate and glac! cherry muffins. Fridge bread begun too.

    I have some mixed peel left from Christmas, what can I do with it? A bit stumped.
    Originally posted by lbnblbnb
    Whats Fridge bread and do you have a recipe?
    Seal pot challenge no 7- # 331 Saved 140 SPC - Target 30
    Grocery challenge - 100 a week
    Weekly Spend Challenge - 40
    • Coxy11
    • By Coxy11 2nd Feb 13, 7:16 PM
    • 2,295 Posts
    • 27,317 Thanks
    Coxy11
    Hi all,

    4 in T's just now on 2 bags Har!bo, prepped and diced carrot, swede and potato, 6 pk wm rolls and 2 ys BoB Hov!s reduced to 20p each.

    Strange tonight as DH is on a stag night in Leeds, DD and DS2 are both on sleepovers arranged lastminute yesterday, so just DS1 and his friend playing on the console in the other room plus me!

    I did all the ironing earlier and have had 3 wm loads on today - I really know how to live!

    Off to watch some wallpaper TV - love the trashy stuff and never get to watch it usually

    Coxy
    Cross-stitch WIP #1: Collecting Shells by Nancy Cole
    Cross-stitch WIP #2: Pretty Little London by Satsuma Street
  • katholicos
    Help. Tried to make lemon curd in slow cooker but its very runny....so I had a quick look on mse and found a recipe for making ice cream using mascarpone.....my iPad died and now I can't find the recipe again. I've been looking for ages and am about to cry ... Can anyone point me in the right direction please !
    Originally posted by Dizzymcf
    Mine turned out quite runny and despite refridgerating for a couple of days only thicken up very slightly. I used a recipe from here too. The recipe i used was THIS ONE.

    I used the lemon curd up today by using some to fill a sponge cake and mixed some with icing sugar to make a really yummy icing for the top of the cake.
    Last edited by katholicos; 02-02-2013 at 7:20 PM.
    Grocery Challenge for October: 135/200


    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
    • lbnblbnb
    • By lbnblbnb 2nd Feb 13, 7:19 PM
    • 564 Posts
    • 5,881 Thanks
    lbnblbnb
    Whats Fridge bread and do you have a recipe?
    Originally posted by Verityemilia
    http://mortgagefreeinthree.com/2013/01/the-most-expensive-loaf-of-bread-in-the-world/
    It is dough that you start (very simple recipe) and then keep in the fridge. You can use it for bread, pizza dough, wraps... She explains it all in her blog post. I was a little sceptical, but we made it and it was great. It has a sour dough taste, but if you like that I would really recommend it. As she says, if it keeps you from nipping to the shops because you have run out of bread and coming home 20 lighter....!
    Grocery Challenge (2 adults 2 kids)
    19th June -18th July 91:15/150 61%

    Save 12,000 in 2013 No. 188 7382/12,000 62%
    2013 Frugal Living Challenge
    Debt free October 2012
    • Soworried
    • By Soworried 2nd Feb 13, 7:32 PM
    • 2,143 Posts
    • 19,920 Thanks
    Soworried
    Our first shop of the month came to 5.57, not bad for 2 300g packs of lamb mince, 2 packs of smoked salmon and toilet rolls.
    212.51/240
    5380
    One step must start each journey
    One word must start each prayer
    One hope will raise our spirits
    One touch can show you care
  • katholicos
    Made a 'squidgy lemon curd cake x 2.

    150 grams plain flour
    3 x tsp baking powder
    4 x eggs
    150 grams sugar

    Whisk eggs. Add sugar, whisk together. Add flour and baking powder and mix well. Pour in to 2 cake tins/sillicone cake 'tins'.

    Microwave each for between 3 and 5 minutes. Remove from bakeware and cool on a cooling rack.

    For the topping and filling....

    1 or 2 cups icing sugar

    Lemon curd

    Slice open/sandwich and together with lemon curd.

    Mix icing sugar and lemon curd to make a thickish icing for the topping.

    Within ten minutes 2 x cakes. Yum.

    .....

    Made root veg curry in slow cooker which we had for tea and there are 3 large portions for the freezer.
    Last edited by katholicos; 02-02-2013 at 7:40 PM.
    Grocery Challenge for October: 135/200


    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
    • wuvvies
    • By wuvvies 2nd Feb 13, 7:40 PM
    • 324 Posts
    • 3,685 Thanks
    wuvvies
    adding my first spend of 53.08 for week 1 out of 250 pounds for the month. really pleased with this altough have got 7 pounds in my purse for any extras i may need in the week.
  • maximus_leeds
    Just popping on to report my disgraceful 68 shopping spend total for yesterday & Thursday!
    Originally posted by elizabunny
    Equally disgraceful 70.22 spent this morning at Sainsbugs

    That said, I spent 20 on booze and chocolates for tomorrow's visit by inlaws who celebrated 40 years married this week; 24 on 8 x salmon fillets (honey and soy glazed salmon tomorrow for lunch, followed by cheesecake - shop bought, couldn't be bothered making my own!), 5 chicken breasts, pork joint, and 20 rashers of bacon. And the rest, really, just on stuff (fruit, bread, veg...am genuinely not sure ). Will need to do a fuller shop come the week really but don't intend to spend on any meat (despite needing mince really). Will sort meal planner and see. I'm more than a little disappointed to be honest - after doing so well last month, I really thought I'd cracked it. Back to basics this week - I promise!
    ************************************************** **********
    GC 2014: Jan 24.68/400
    ************************************************** **********
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