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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 tenth Grocery Challenge of 2013

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your September budget, then keep on posting in the:
    September 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; 24-09-2013 at 7:51 AM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 27
    • kayester
    • By kayester 11th Oct 13, 11:25 AM
    • 1,800 Posts
    • 9,338 Thanks
    kayester
    This made me laugh but think I will pass on the Calpol soup I am dopey enough
    Originally posted by meg72
    lol ;P


    morrisons shop today 110 had some xmas bits on there though and got my first week for 40 off at xmas.
    not going shoping next week hoping this will last 2 weeks with a few little bread top ups ect. still not took the 40 off sig that was refunded by asda.
    im getting there....i would have spend a lot more than this before. watch out a lot of NSDs to come!
    216/2018 (make in 2018)

    Grocery challenge
    Jan 227/400
    swagbucks target 2018 1452/27375
    • sunset gold
    • By sunset gold 11th Oct 13, 11:41 AM
    • 207 Posts
    • 693 Thanks
    sunset gold
    updating signature to add another 50 exactly

    i am noticing a real difference now that i am shopping at Aldi.

    The aldi that i go to is just down the road from a morrisons. So i go to aldi and get the majority of stuff, then pop into morrisons to get the 3 for 10 meats.

    I am a real tea fiend and my fave is Twinings Everyday. This is something i have never gone down a brand on. I have tried lots of different cheaper tea brands but just nothing compares to twinings.

    Can anyone recommend one? I have an Aldi, morrisons, and Tesco close to me.
    Originally posted by WantToBeSE
    My OH always insisted on Twinnings, but I started getting ADI's version and putting it in the pot, he sort of did notice at first, seemed to put up with it...........recently I said did he want me to go back to Twinnings and his reply was that you can't really taste any difference!!! I did ask why he had been putting on a face about it and he said just to wind me up!!! Lol...go for ADI's HTH SG
    • sunset gold
    • By sunset gold 11th Oct 13, 12:16 PM
    • 207 Posts
    • 693 Thanks
    sunset gold
    ALI spend today 16.93, Allinson Strong White Bread Flour 1.5kg on offer 75p

    Chilli tonight, made yesterday so just the rice to do, easy Friday night!

    Will be making carrot and coriander soup and herby cheesey bread for lunch tomorrow.

    Got a whole salmon YS from Mr S a few weeks ago and made up 9 packs of 2 person fillets for the freezer, so it's salmon with jackets and HM coleslaw for Saturday night dinner.

    Going to try making brioche buns for Sunday breakfast from a recipe in a c0-0p magazine, appears you make the dough up and leave it overnight, then shape, glaze and bake in the morning, hope it is as easy as it sounds and they come out as nice as the picture!

    Then YS venison for Sunday lunch with roasties and yorkshires leftover from last week out of the freezer.

    Looking at the weather outside and the forecast for the weekend it's hearty meals for us to keep the heating bills down, have a good weekend y'all.
    • craigywv
    • By craigywv 11th Oct 13, 12:17 PM
    • 1,976 Posts
    • 27,825 Thanks
    craigywv
    ooohh brioche pls tell me the recipe
    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!!.
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 11th Oct 13, 1:11 PM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    mrs-moneypenny
    got given a bag of free cooking apples yesterday so apple pie and apple crumble a few times next week i think
    SPC~12 ot 124

    In a world that has decided that it's going to lose its mind, be more kind my friend, try to Be More Kind
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 11th Oct 13, 1:31 PM
    • 3,343 Posts
    • 34,430 Thanks
    XSpender
    I am for the first time in I can't remember when NOT doing a weekly shop today I don't need anything except some apples and bananas which I will get Sunday or Monday. DH may want beer and crisps but I will try and keep him reigned in as much as possible as I have 8.70 left. We will go over as we have 11 days left, including today but I do want to minimise the damage as much as possible.

    I would have been able to claim my 3rd NSD in a row but needed ibuprofen after having a crown fitted this morning, 25p spent in Mr S. The dentist did give me a mini branded toothpaste though

    I was very busy in the kitchen last night after the mince I had taken out of the freezer and left in the fridge all day was still 3/4 frozen when I got in. I am still a bit iffy about mince so didnt want to risk nuking it so cobbled something together with sausages for us both. I then made a loaf in the breadmaker and a batch of flapjack.

    My first attempt with the D0ve GF flour and the breadmaker was not a great success, a bit eggy and very dense like rye bread. I can see a lot of toast on the menu this weekend I need to improve my results if we are both going to eat GF bread next week The pizza base I made wasn't great either so I need to try some different recipes.

    Will make cottage pie tonight with frozen veg and gravy and may rustle up either a berry splodge or a chocolate orange puddle pudding to have with custard for me and the last bit of ice cream for DH.
    • WantToBeSE
    • By WantToBeSE 11th Oct 13, 2:43 PM
    • 6,778 Posts
    • 30,548 Thanks
    WantToBeSE
    Thanks for the tea advice. I have picked up some aldi gold tea bags. Much cheaper than twinings..we'll see how it tastes
    3/6 month emergency fund challenge #20
    PODBX17 #122

    Debt Free Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5501794

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

    Estimated DFD Jan 2018
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 11th Oct 13, 3:58 PM
    • 6,042 Posts
    • 12,051 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    Thanks for the tea advice. I have picked up some aldi gold tea bags. Much cheaper than twinings..we'll see how it tastes
    Originally posted by WantToBeSE
    Let us know your findings, I don't drink twinings but do stick to branded tea bags, I could do with finding a decent supermarket one.
    Sealed pot challenge ~ 11 #017 - Open 1st Nov


  • why not
    I'm back.

    Last week was a success, after realizing last month that we spend about 3/4 of our budget at the start of the month, I wanted to try to level it out more, so last week we spent only 5.00 in Tsc0 on milk and veg.

    Today we needed a bit more of a stock up from Ald1 - total was 59.99 but included a couple of Christmas bits and some cleaning stuff.

    Also needed to dive into Tesc0 for toothpaste and their version of Crav*ndale, came out 35 lighter, but the toothpaste was on bogof so we are stocked up well into the new year.

    Total spend so far 99.99/100

    And the good news, 1/3 of the way through the month and we are 1/3 of the way through the budget.
    December 2014 GC 71.59/300
    • Islandmaid
    • By Islandmaid 11th Oct 13, 4:21 PM
    • 3,103 Posts
    • 42,190 Thanks
    Islandmaid
    Hi all

    Spent 53.33 at Mr Ald today, this did include 2 bottles of wine and a bottle of coconut rum bad girl....

    Its the first Ald in our area and I must say I am very impressed with what I,ve had so far, their OB crisps taste just like the W brand and even my pampered puddy tats enjoyed their basic cat food, and they are very fussy.

    I did spend another 9.99 on a frozen turkey crown, but thats for Xmas and came out of my sistercas fund.

    Have a fab weekend all
    Note to self - STOP SPENDING MONEY !!
    • sunset gold
    • By sunset gold 11th Oct 13, 5:14 PM
    • 207 Posts
    • 693 Thanks
    sunset gold
    ooohh brioche pls tell me the recipe
    Originally posted by craigywv
    Overnight Brioche Buns

    150g unsalted butter, softened
    2 tbsp caster sugar
    4 medium eggs
    500g strong white bread flour
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp fast action yeast
    200mls semi skimmed milk
    12 tsp granulated sugar (optional)
    To serve, jam (optional)

    1. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until combined. Then beat in 3 of the eggs, one at a time. Add 1 tbsp of the flour and beat until smooth.

    2. Add the rest of the flour, salt, yeast and milk to the bowl and mix together. Cover with clingfilm and leave at room temperature for at least 7 hours, or preferable overnight.

    3. In th morning, preheat the oven to 190 /fan 170 /gas 5 and grease a 12 hole muffin tin.

    4. Four a work surface and your hands and turn the dough out onto the surface. Pull off lumps of dough about the size of a satsuma and roll into balls with your hands. Place in tin.

    5. Beat the remaining egg and brush over the tops of the brioche to glaze. If you like, you can sprinkle 1 tsp of caster sugar over the top of each bun to make them sweeter. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until risen and golden. Serve as soon as they've cooled slightly, either on their own or spread with your favourite jam.

    As I mentioned in my earlier post, I have not tried this recipe yet, but plan to make them on Saturday for Sunday breakfast. Would be interested in hearing how you get on with the recipe.
  • CH27
    I've spent 12 today so have 11 to last until Monday.
    Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
    • WantToBeSE
    • By WantToBeSE 11th Oct 13, 5:15 PM
    • 6,778 Posts
    • 30,548 Thanks
    WantToBeSE
    Let us know your findings, I don't drink twinings but do stick to branded tea bags, I could do with finding a decent supermarket one.
    Originally posted by iammumtoone
    Will do
    3/6 month emergency fund challenge #20
    PODBX17 #122

    Debt Free Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5501794

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

    Estimated DFD Jan 2018
    • K9sandFelines
    • By K9sandFelines 11th Oct 13, 5:46 PM
    • 2,113 Posts
    • 18,217 Thanks
    K9sandFelines
    6.51 spent on groceries today. Had an interview, so nipped into the large MrAs for a browse afterwards. Bought lots of school uniform for the girls, pj bottoms and some casual pants for me ..... as I got the job .

    I have to go for a little trial on Weds and then I will receive my hours. It's not the greatest of hours as it's late evenings, which means my eldest will have to watch over DD2 whilst I am there , and a taxi home as buses stop at 9.15pm; but after being out of work for such a long time, I don't want to pass by an opportunity. Possibly somebody might be going my way and offer me a lift ... who knows.

    Will have to be even more frugal now, as all my incomings and outgoings are going to be all over the place to start.

    Off to update sig.
    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 72.43/280
    ~ Still learning the art of frugality ~
    • CountingPennies
    • By CountingPennies 11th Oct 13, 5:55 PM
    • 1,882 Posts
    • 15,036 Thanks
    CountingPennies
    6.51 spent on groceries today. Had an interview, so nipped into the large MrAs for a browse afterwards. Bought lots of school uniform for the girls, pj bottoms and some casual pants for me ..... as I got the job .


    Off to update sig.
    Originally posted by K9sandFelines
    Congratulations!!!!
    Slimming World Challenge 2017 0/30.5lb

    Grocery challenge 2017 JAN: 5.56/350
  • CH27
    6.51 spent on groceries today. Had an interview, so nipped into the large MrAs for a browse afterwards. Bought lots of school uniform for the girls, pj bottoms and some casual pants for me ..... as I got the job .

    I have to go for a little trial on Weds and then I will receive my hours. It's not the greatest of hours as it's late evenings, which means my eldest will have to watch over DD2 whilst I am there , and a taxi home as buses stop at 9.15pm; but after being out of work for such a long time, I don't want to pass by an opportunity. Possibly somebody might be going my way and offer me a lift ... who knows.

    Will have to be even more frugal now, as all my incomings and outgoings are going to be all over the place to start.

    Off to update sig.
    Originally posted by K9sandFelines
    Congratulations
    Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.
    • WantToBeSE
    • By WantToBeSE 11th Oct 13, 5:58 PM
    • 6,778 Posts
    • 30,548 Thanks
    WantToBeSE
    I got the job .
    Originally posted by K9sandFelines
    Well done, K9! What is it doing?
    3/6 month emergency fund challenge #20
    PODBX17 #122

    Debt Free Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5501794

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

    Estimated DFD Jan 2018
  • flyinggiraffe
    congratulations K9


    I've spent 2.03 in lodl, eggs, a choccy bar and some crisps. I only went in for the eggs, but fancy a night in with a DVD, nibbles and glass of wine.
    • malamay
    • By malamay 11th Oct 13, 6:38 PM
    • 346 Posts
    • 4,698 Thanks
    malamay
    Congratulations K9! It's so exciting starting something new

    I've had 2 NSD today and yesterday. We are shopping this weekend for our Thanksgiving (Canadian) dinner on Sunday. We only need a chunk of turkey (or a chicken if it works out cheaper), a few veggies and the usual bread/milk/eggs, so shouldn't be too bad. I have an envelope of receipts which I should start adding up. I'm guessing we have 80 of our 150 budget used..
    Swagbucks Amazon gift vouchers 2014 125/250
    GC October 100.8/150 September 99.36/180 August 178.77/180 June 163.18/180 May 177.89/180 April 160.66/180 March 163.48/180 Feb 154.21/150 Jan 51.65/150
    • dramarama
    • By dramarama 11th Oct 13, 6:52 PM
    • 189 Posts
    • 1,350 Thanks
    dramarama
    Woo hoo!
    Well done K9 that is fab news!

    Spends today of 4.68 a lot of YS stuff...woo hoo! Home made veggie bolognaise and chicken casserole as dinners this weekend.

    Have a fab evening
    Married in 2016. Bought our first home in 2017. Expecting our first baby in November 2017

    Frugal & thrifty as much as possible.
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