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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 2013

    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 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; 20-07-2013 at 1:29 PM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 33
    • Peggybabcot
    • By Peggybabcot 10th Sep 13, 2:45 PM
    • 231 Posts
    • 1,820 Thanks
    Peggybabcot
    Much appreciated. Do you think this would work in the slow cooker? I normally make little puds in there in old containers from previous puds.
    Originally posted by K9sandFelines
    I did this in my slow cooker for 5-6 hours on low and just put the mixture directly in the crockpot and didn't bother with a pudding basin. In fact the recipe I had was off a slow cooker fb page x
    Grocery challenge June 2016
    500/516.04
    Grocery challenge July 2016
    500/503.73
    • Bluegreen143
    • By Bluegreen143 10th Sep 13, 2:57 PM
    • 1,108 Posts
    • 12,739 Thanks
    Bluegreen143
    iammumtoone - can you repost the (delicious sounding) pudding recipe with the edit to cook until done if it's not in 15 mins, and I'll add it to the index. Just don't want to add in the original form as future GCers might click on the link but not read ahead to the rest of the convo between you and Flo
    Married 1 March 2014 DS born 06 Dec 2014 DD born 14 Dec 2018
    • WantToBeSE
    • By WantToBeSE 10th Sep 13, 3:04 PM
    • 6,795 Posts
    • 30,577 Thanks
    WantToBeSE
    spent 9.93 today on some fabric glue (to glue on my sons cub scouts badges) and lunch.
    10k of Debt

    Debt Free Diary https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=6026621
  • flyinggiraffe
    My meal planner is coming together for this week and looks something like this: -

    Tonight: Beef Madras curry (home made) chips
    Weds: Stir fry
    Thursday: beef madras curry +
    Friday: fajitas
    Saturday: Mexican burger and sweet potato wedges
    Sunday Beef Ghou lash
    Monday ?
    Tuesday: Beef Ghou lash

    As for the beef ghou lash, its a hairy bikers recipe which includes peppers. Would it be ok to use frozen peppers or would the dish taste better if I use fresh?

    Have a good day all x
    Originally posted by Flat Eric
    Is that the dieters new cook book recipe? I had that last weekend and it was delicious! I used fresh peppers, but I guess you could just put into the mix a bit later than the times suggest?
    • meg72
    • By meg72 10th Sep 13, 4:24 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    Sorry haven't updated this week but everything as gone t*ts up. Our house got flooded on Friday evening, lost most of down stairs, including carpets, sofa, washing machine etc.....

    just now trying to sort things out - hoping to get back to a little normality next week.

    Smokies
    Originally posted by smokies
    So sorry to hear this miust be a nightmare
    hope you are insured and that things will be sorted quickly for you
    Slimming World at target
    • meg72
    • By meg72 10th Sep 13, 4:28 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    Just 1.00 spend for me today, halfprice pack of 4 pizzas. These are a good size and I like to add some bacon bits and pop under the grill.
    Slimming World at target
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 10th Sep 13, 4:48 PM
    • 6,095 Posts
    • 12,122 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    iammumtoone - can you repost the (delicious sounding) pudding recipe with the edit to cook until done if it's not in 15 mins, and I'll add it to the index. Just don't want to add in the original form as future GCers might click on the link but not read ahead to the rest of the convo between you and Flo
    Originally posted by Bluegreen143
    Edited my original post
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 11 #017 - Open 1st Nov


    • xx_Jo_xx
    • By xx_Jo_xx 10th Sep 13, 4:49 PM
    • 2,854 Posts
    • 62,609 Thanks
    xx_Jo_xx


    Hope you are all well. That's my month started as of yesterday so have been all lonely by myself on the other board until now

    I finished my month just under by about 3!!

    Im in for 150 again for this month... LO is away the first week with school so can definitely put off having a shop until he comes back, but I want to start putting away some more non-perishables/YS items for xmas so just going to leave my budget the same and hope it evens up

    I treated myself to some fruit smoothie from Mr T today as I am a poorly girl... Hoping to boost my immune system before eating whatever is lurking in the back of my freezer

    I jest, its all good stuff really

    2 spent/148 left
    Sometimes lurking, sometimes posting, but always flying
    You are supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for God's sake! - The Holiday
    DFW August 2013... Debt total 15,475.56 - Jan 15 11,738.66 - DEBT FREE by 2015
    Feb GC 48.02/250 (201.98)
    I will declutter my house and debts
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 10th Sep 13, 4:50 PM
    • 6,095 Posts
    • 12,122 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    spent 9.93 today on some fabric glue (to glue on my sons cub scouts badges)
    Originally posted by WantToBeSE
    Thats a good idea I never though of using glue.
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 11 #017 - Open 1st Nov


    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 10th Sep 13, 5:01 PM
    • 6,095 Posts
    • 12,122 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    We had chicken and roast pots tonight. I cooked too many potatoes as usual but have put the extras in the freezer (will have with fridays tea). Also the potatoes were past their best today, normally I would have thrown the rest away and got some more but I have used them up by part cooking the wedges for thurs and put in freezer. The chicken has been stripped meat put in freezer, carcass in slow cooker ready to turn on later for stock.

    Chicken stock question I will leave stock to cook overnight in slow cooker then reduce on stove in the morning and put in an ice cube tray for freezing. My question is how do I then use the stock cubes? Do I just add boiling water like I would shop brought stock cubes? How much water will I need for one cube? Thanks

    Also can anyone recommend some good quality reasonable priced freezer bags? The cheap ones I have don't seem to be very strong.
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 11 #017 - Open 1st Nov


    • WantToBeSE
    • By WantToBeSE 10th Sep 13, 5:07 PM
    • 6,795 Posts
    • 30,577 Thanks
    WantToBeSE
    Thats a good idea I never though of using glue.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    Another of the cubs mums recommended it
    10k of Debt

    Debt Free Diary https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=6026621
    • kayester
    • By kayester 10th Sep 13, 5:26 PM
    • 1,800 Posts
    • 9,338 Thanks
    kayester
    thanks for the advice on cashback apps. i will take a look when i have some free time tomorrow.

    had a few bits and bobs to get today, tea bags, sugar foil ect, it all adds up!! have updated sig and going to try have a NSD tomorrow, im new to all this and im so happy i found this thread.

    I think i need to invest in a slow cooker, any recommendations are welcome!!
    216/2018 (make in 2018)

    Grocery challenge
    Jan 227/400
    swagbucks target 2018 1452/27375
    • K9sandFelines
    • By K9sandFelines 10th Sep 13, 5:26 PM
    • 2,127 Posts
    • 18,280 Thanks
    K9sandFelines
    So sorry to hear you have been flooded.
    Originally posted by Florenceem
    Ditto Smokies ... awful thing to happen
    GC 2017 3,434.09 GC 2018 2,250.95 GC 2019 Jan 268.24/200 Feb 158.01/200 Mar 220.05/200 April (moving) May (adjusting 270.73), Jun 291.01/280 Jul 344.31/300 Aug 232.48/300 Sep 320.91/300 Oct 92.97/300
    ~ Still learning the art of frugality ~
    • K9sandFelines
    • By K9sandFelines 10th Sep 13, 5:30 PM
    • 2,127 Posts
    • 18,280 Thanks
    K9sandFelines
    Sorry I'm not sure I've never done a dessert in mine.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    I'll have a bash once I can get hold of some reasonably priced cocoa, Mr T value (cheapest I know of) seems to be permanently out of stock. I've tried them before but not with added sauce.They are lovely and moist out of slow cooker.
    Last edited by K9sandFelines; 10-09-2013 at 5:53 PM.
    GC 2017 3,434.09 GC 2018 2,250.95 GC 2019 Jan 268.24/200 Feb 158.01/200 Mar 220.05/200 April (moving) May (adjusting 270.73), Jun 291.01/280 Jul 344.31/300 Aug 232.48/300 Sep 320.91/300 Oct 92.97/300
    ~ Still learning the art of frugality ~
    • K9sandFelines
    • By K9sandFelines 10th Sep 13, 5:48 PM
    • 2,127 Posts
    • 18,280 Thanks
    K9sandFelines
    I did this in my slow cooker for 5-6 hours on low and just put the mixture directly in the crockpot and didn't bother with a pudding basin. In fact the recipe I had was off a slow cooker fb page x
    Originally posted by Peggybabcot
    Excellent thaank you.

    Apologies for not knowing how to do more than one quote at a time, i am no doubt hogging the board.

    NSD for me again today
    GC 2017 3,434.09 GC 2018 2,250.95 GC 2019 Jan 268.24/200 Feb 158.01/200 Mar 220.05/200 April (moving) May (adjusting 270.73), Jun 291.01/280 Jul 344.31/300 Aug 232.48/300 Sep 320.91/300 Oct 92.97/300
    ~ Still learning the art of frugality ~
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 10th Sep 13, 6:08 PM
    • 6,095 Posts
    • 12,122 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    I'll have a bash once I can get hold of some reasonably priced cocoa, Mr T value (cheapest I know of) seems to be permanently out of stock. I've tried them before but not with added sauce.They are lovely and moist out of slow cooker.
    Originally posted by K9sandFelines
    Cocoa is expensive but I always have some in, I buy the value drinking chocolate and add a bit of cocoa to it as the only difference between the value and expensive drinking chocolate is the amount of cocoa added. I will try puddings myself in the slow cooker when I get hold of some of those plastic bowls which Im sure wont be long - bound to start see Christmas puds in the supermarkets soon
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 11 #017 - Open 1st Nov


    • K9sandFelines
    • By K9sandFelines 10th Sep 13, 6:12 PM
    • 2,127 Posts
    • 18,280 Thanks
    K9sandFelines
    Cocoa is expensive but I always have some in, I buy the value drinking chocolate and add a bit of cocoa to it as the only difference between the value and expensive drinking chocolate is the amount of cocoa added. I will try puddings myself in the slow cooker when I get hold of some of those plastic bowls which Im sure wont be long - bound to start see Christmas puds in the supermarkets soon
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    A ramekin might work. I stand my little pots on an upturned saucer, so i can't see it doing any harm.
    Do you normally just add one tablespoon of cocoa to one of drinking chocolate or a different ratio?
    GC 2017 3,434.09 GC 2018 2,250.95 GC 2019 Jan 268.24/200 Feb 158.01/200 Mar 220.05/200 April (moving) May (adjusting 270.73), Jun 291.01/280 Jul 344.31/300 Aug 232.48/300 Sep 320.91/300 Oct 92.97/300
    ~ Still learning the art of frugality ~
  • MummyBobble
    Smokies, that is truly awful

    Hope insurance and replacements are all sorted out quickly. In the meantime I think the odd treat and takeaway are definitely allowed x
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 10th Sep 13, 6:33 PM
    • 6,095 Posts
    • 12,122 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    A ramekin might work. I stand my little pots on an upturned saucer, so i can't see it doing any harm.
    Do you normally just add one tablespoon of cocoa to one of drinking chocolate or a different ratio?
    Originally posted by K9sandFelines
    Tablespoon how big is your mug lol I add about half heaped teaspoon cocoa to 3 heaped teaspoon drinking chocolate (I do this each time I make a drink) you can add more or less depending how chocolatey you like your drink. Mix thoroughly with a little bit (approx 2-3teaspoons) of milk before you add the water.
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 11 #017 - Open 1st Nov


    • sunset gold
    • By sunset gold 10th Sep 13, 6:47 PM
    • 208 Posts
    • 699 Thanks
    sunset gold
    Would you mind sharing this recipe I have some YS lambs liver in freezer than has been there yonks, I had never found anything I have wanted to do with it.

    Great tip about the celery.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    Yes of course, it's from The Dairy Book of Family Cookery 1983

    ITALIAN LIVER
    350g lambs liver
    25g flour
    Salt n pepper
    40g English mustard
    450g sliced onions
    150ml beef stock
    300ml milk
    30ml tomato pur!e
    1 clove garlic
    1/2 tsp mixed dried herbs
    30ml double cream
    Chopped fresh parsley

    Cut liver into small pieces, coat in seasoned flour. Melt butter, add liver, brown on all sides, remove and set aside. In same pan fry onions slowly until tender, gradually stir in stock, milk, tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Bring to boil, stirring continuously. Add liver, cover pan, cook gently 10-15 mins until liver tender. Season to taste. Place in serving dish, trickle cream over the sauce and top with parsley, serves 4.

    "The Italians are very fond of all types of offal. This classic dish, using small pieces of liver served in a tasty sauce, comes from the canal city of Venice."

    Hope it works out for you, I will be trying it with whoopsied lambs liver I bought last December!!!

    SG
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