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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 eleventh Grocery Challenge of 2013

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your October budget, then keep on posting in the:
    October 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; 21-10-2013 at 6:22 PM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 20
    • Soworried
    • By Soworried 7th Nov 13, 2:44 PM
    • 2,144 Posts
    • 19,942 Thanks
    Soworried
    ABSOLUTELY! I refuse to pay more than 50-60p per kilo for potatoes and often find it that small local shops/ garages have better deals on potatoes than the big supermarkets?!?

    I sometimes manage to get YS potatoes (not that often) and if I'm in luck I just stock up on it because it keeps well for weeks in a cold place. I'm just about to finish up the last lot of YS potatoes and already searching for cheap ones.
    Originally posted by cocoloco
    They will be on the Lidl weekend specials next weekend if you can last until then? It is 2.5kg for £1.09 I think it is. I'll be getting 5kg
    £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
    • downshifted
    • By downshifted 7th Nov 13, 2:57 PM
    • 953 Posts
    • 1,993 Thanks
    downshifted
    New spends of £17.15 in Aldi (mainly veg, cheese and those lovely sausages on offer) and £26 at the butchers (2 kilos of chicken breast and 2 kilos of barnsley lamb chops) make the current total £110.39. Next spend planned for the 10th when it is a trip to Lidl for some Xmas things, using the leaflet voucher for £5 off £35
    Downshifted

    September GC £251.21/£250 October £248.82/£250 January £159.53/£200
    • cocoloco
    • By cocoloco 7th Nov 13, 2:58 PM
    • 584 Posts
    • 2,632 Thanks
    cocoloco
    ABSOLUTELY! I refuse to pay more than 50-60p per kilo for potatoes and often find it that small local shops/ garages have better deals on potatoes than the big supermarkets?!?

    .
    Originally posted by cocoloco
    Just back from the garage/shop (SPAR) from accross my work- I got 2kg of Morris Piper (nice!) potatoes on offer for £1!!! Well happy! May go back at the weekend and get 2-3 more bags in.
    "NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS FREE FOOD"
    'They can have my money but not my life!'
    Debt & mortgage free in 18 years
    *
    • First_Trouble
    • By First_Trouble 7th Nov 13, 3:08 PM
    • 974 Posts
    • 3,141 Thanks
    First_Trouble
    I thought I would share a famous family recipe to say thank you for the advice and recipes I have received.
    My Grandad's Cheese and Potato Pie.
    It's not really a pie but it is cheap and most importantly satisfying. A definite winter warmer.
    I have listed the base ingredients, no measurements, as in my family recipes just get ingredients thrown at them till they taste right.

    Mashed potato
    Tinned toms
    Bacon - can also you leftover gammon or boiled bacon
    Onions
    Mushrooms
    Strong Cheddar Cheese
    Stilton Cheese
    Mustard powder (generally around 1/4tsp - 1tsp)

    Fry the bacon, mushrooms & onions in a little oil and butter
    Then mix into mash with cheese and mustard powder. When fully mixed put in the oven (medium to hot) until brown on top.

    Lovely! Also good using the leftover pie as a toast topper!
    That voice in your head that says you canít do this is a LIAR!

    Debt Free - January 2021
    • meg72
    • By meg72 7th Nov 13, 3:15 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    ABSOLUTELY! I refuse to pay more than 50-60p per kilo for potatoes and often find it that small local shops/ garages have better deals on potatoes than the big supermarkets?!?

    I sometimes manage to get YS potatoes (not that often) and if I'm in luck I just stock up on it because it keeps well for weeks in a cold place. I'm just about to finish up the last lot of YS potatoes and already searching for cheap ones.
    Originally posted by cocoloco
    I haven`t bought potatoes in the sm for weeks now, bought quite a few 2.1/5 bags for 50p, they are still good as I keep all my fruit and veg in an outside meter cupboard, cool and dark. Also stocked up on 11p tins sometime ago.

    I don't think there is any excuse this year for the high supermarket price, my local market has 5lb for 1.00 and if they can do it why not the supermarkets
    Slimming World at target
    • CountingPennies
    • By CountingPennies 7th Nov 13, 3:30 PM
    • 1,882 Posts
    • 15,036 Thanks
    CountingPennies
    They will be on the Lidl weekend specials next weekend if you can last until then? It is 2.5kg for £1.09 I think it is. I'll be getting 5kg
    Originally posted by Soworried
    Thanks for that. Bough some today from I*eland but will buy more at the weekend when that offer comes up! Is that Saturday coming or Saturday after??

    Just back from the garage/shop (SPAR) from accross my work- I got 2kg of Morris Piper (nice!) potatoes on offer for £1!!! Well happy! May go back at the weekend and get 2-3 more bags in.
    Originally posted by cocoloco
    We have a spar about a mile away, but don't sell potatoes

    I haven`t bought potatoes in the sm for weeks now, bought quite a few 2.1/5 bags for 50p, they are still good as I keep all my fruit and veg in an outside meter cupboard, cool and dark. Also stocked up on 11p tins sometime ago.

    I don't think there is any excuse this year for the high supermarket price, my local market has 5lb for 1.00 and if they can do it why not the supermarkets
    Originally posted by meg72
    Pleased i'm not alone on this potato complaint

    Meg our market charges a FORTUNE!

    Anyway, been BACK to the shops! Had to go buy a baby gift (different budget) but popped into Mr I*eland and spent anther £5 But got milk, pop and 4kg potatoes which i needed. Just means tomorrow will maybe mean a NSD, fingers crossed.

    CP xx
    Slimming World Challenge 2017 0/30.5lb

    Grocery challenge 2017 JAN: £5.56/£350
    • First_Trouble
    • By First_Trouble 7th Nov 13, 3:37 PM
    • 974 Posts
    • 3,141 Thanks
    First_Trouble
    ABSOLUTELY! I refuse to pay more than 50-60p per kilo for potatoes and often find it that small local shops/ garages have better deals on potatoes than the big supermarkets?!?

    I sometimes manage to get YS potatoes (not that often) and if I'm in luck I just stock up on it because it keeps well for weeks in a cold place. I'm just about to finish up the last lot of YS potatoes and already searching for cheap ones.
    Originally posted by cocoloco
    I don't understand how they can sell Tesco value chips 1.5kg for 82p but raw potatoes are more expensive in comparision. £2.25 for 2.5kg
    That voice in your head that says you canít do this is a LIAR!

    Debt Free - January 2021
    • cocoloco
    • By cocoloco 7th Nov 13, 3:46 PM
    • 584 Posts
    • 2,632 Thanks
    cocoloco
    I don't understand how they can sell Tesco value chips 1.5kg for 82p but raw potatoes are more expensive in comparision. £2.25 for 2.5kg
    Originally posted by First_Trouble
    Because thet are gready b******s!
    The supermarkets probably only paying pennies to the suppliers...
    "NOTHING TASTES AS GOOD AS FREE FOOD"
    'They can have my money but not my life!'
    Debt & mortgage free in 18 years
    *
    • First_Trouble
    • By First_Trouble 7th Nov 13, 3:52 PM
    • 974 Posts
    • 3,141 Thanks
    First_Trouble
    Didn't buy any groceries today but did put £5 in the British Legion bucket for my poppy pin does this still count as an NSD?

    Lunch today - HM Leek and potato soup with HM bread
    Found a single salmon fillet lurking in the freezer (hubby is working tonight so just me to worry about).
    Dinner - Salmon with Charlotte potatoes and cabbage
    May even cut the fillet in half so can stretch it out for lunch tomorrow
    That voice in your head that says you canít do this is a LIAR!

    Debt Free - January 2021
    • laura_hoggle
    • By laura_hoggle 7th Nov 13, 4:17 PM
    • 465 Posts
    • 1,729 Thanks
    laura_hoggle
    Been quite bad with the spends this week, hoping to pull it back next week...

    Did a little shop in the local T express on Sunday to get lunch bits, DH ended up getting a couple of pre-packaged sandwiches because he couldn't be bothered to make anything. I went so Sainsbobs on Tuesday evening, mostly because I was bored! Stocked up on tins that were on an offer ending that night. Then went to Li*l today and bought fresh veg and a couple of other bits.

    Total spends this week of £65.54, but will be making soup with that at the weekend for lunches next week, so hopefully won't spend as much next week! Will update sig now.
    MFW 2016 #32 £1574.66/£1500
    • meg72
    • By meg72 7th Nov 13, 4:28 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    Thanks for that. Bough some today from I*eland but will buy more at the weekend when that offer comes up! Is that Saturday coming or Saturday after??



    We have a spar about a mile away, but don't sell potatoes



    Pleased i'm not alone on this potato complaint

    Meg our market charges a FORTUNE!

    Anyway, been BACK to the shops! Had to go buy a baby gift (different budget) but popped into Mr I*eland and spent anther £5 But got milk, pop and 4kg potatoes which i needed. Just means tomorrow will maybe mean a NSD, fingers crossed.

    CP xx
    Originally posted by CountingPennies
    I do think its a matter of luck with markets, ours is just the local run of the mill, if its a farmers market prices always seem sky high and I don't shop there.

    How about we all refuse to pay the high price and start our own hunt the spud at reasonable price.
    Slimming World at target
    • poppycracker
    • By poppycracker 7th Nov 13, 4:30 PM
    • 1,511 Posts
    • 4,494 Thanks
    poppycracker
    I thought I would share a famous family recipe to say thank you for the advice and recipes I have received.
    My Grandad's Cheese and Potato Pie.
    It's not really a pie but it is cheap and most importantly satisfying. A definite winter warmer.
    I have listed the base ingredients, no measurements, as in my family recipes just get ingredients thrown at them till they taste right.

    Mashed potato
    Tinned toms
    Bacon - can also you leftover gammon or boiled bacon
    Onions
    Mushrooms
    Strong Cheddar Cheese
    Stilton Cheese
    Mustard powder (generally around 1/4tsp - 1tsp)

    Fry the bacon, mushrooms & onions in a little oil and butter
    Then mix into mash with cheese and mustard powder. When fully mixed put in the oven (medium to hot) until brown on top.

    Lovely! Also good using the leftover pie as a toast topper!
    Originally posted by First_Trouble
    Thankyou for posting this, it looks delicious and I think I might try and make it this week. My recipes also have no amounts on them , its 'some of this' and 'shake this in until it looks like its enough'......
    DFW Nerd no 239.....Last Personal Debt paid off Nov 2012!
    Donated 50 pints so far.... gold badge got 17/11/13! Blood Group O+
    mummy to 3 cats, 2 budgies and a cockatiel
    • First_Trouble
    • By First_Trouble 7th Nov 13, 4:35 PM
    • 974 Posts
    • 3,141 Thanks
    First_Trouble
    Been quite bad with the spends this week, hoping to pull it back next week...

    Did a little shop in the local T express on Sunday to get lunch bits, DH ended up getting a couple of pre-packaged sandwiches because he couldn't be bothered to make anything. I went so Sainsbobs on Tuesday evening, mostly because I was bored! Stocked up on tins that were on an offer ending that night. Then went to Li*l today and bought fresh veg and a couple of other bits.

    Total spends this week of £65.54, but will be making soup with that at the weekend for lunches next week, so hopefully won't spend as much next week! Will update sig now.
    Originally posted by laura_hoggle
    May help but Tesco express stores tend to put extra money on top of each product sometimes up to 50p more than their bigger stores. At least I have noticed this in my local tesco express.
    That voice in your head that says you canít do this is a LIAR!

    Debt Free - January 2021
    • Faete
    • By Faete 7th Nov 13, 4:38 PM
    • 171 Posts
    • 2,760 Thanks
    Faete
    Just a 99p spend today on a Hovis from Lidl - a damn sight cheaper than £1.35 from Asda!

    I can see no need to buy anything tomorrow so my weekly shop will have come in at £76.46 - that's jolly good considering it includes BF's unplanned takeaway of £18!

    Fae xx
    ďAnyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." Oscar Wilde
    January Grocery Challenge - £189.44/£300.00
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    • meg72
    • By meg72 7th Nov 13, 4:39 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    Didn't buy any groceries today but did put £5 in the British Legion bucket for my poppy pin does this still count as an NSD?

    Lunch today - HM Leek and potato soup with HM bread
    Found a single salmon fillet lurking in the freezer (hubby is working tonight so just me to worry about).
    Dinner - Salmon with Charlotte potatoes and cabbage
    May even cut the fillet in half so can stretch it out for lunch tomorrow
    Originally posted by First_Trouble

    If it wasn't on groceries then I would count as a No spend, I keep my grocery budget very low so I can afford to give to charity or treat the grandkids as this is my pleasure.
    Slimming World at target
    • zafiro1984
    • By zafiro1984 7th Nov 13, 4:49 PM
    • 1,464 Posts
    • 11,302 Thanks
    zafiro1984
    Went into town today, a rare visit. Went into the bank and it had all changed. Mentioned this to the bank teller and she said yes it changed in August 2012 - oops shows how often I go into town.

    Didn't buy any food but got 5 teaspoons at the cook shop. Can anyone explain where all the teaspoons go, it's a bit like socks - now you see them, now you don't. I'm sure they have a secret life of their own!!!
    November 2018 42.83/100
  • flyinggiraffe
    £47.07 spent today.

    I'm hoping it will last 2 weeks, as there was a fair bit of meat in there.

    Planning on using my new to me slow cooker this weekend to make casserole
    • shiningfaery
    • By shiningfaery 7th Nov 13, 6:04 PM
    • 217 Posts
    • 1,759 Thanks
    shiningfaery
    used a recipe I found in here for potatoe cakes tonight for tea and they were lovely but so messy to make, has anyone made them without everything myself included becoming covered in mashed potatoes..Also made bread and butter pudding with a fruit loaf I was gonna throw out was yummy....shame it wouldnt freeze
    • craigywv
    • By craigywv 7th Nov 13, 6:16 PM
    • 1,976 Posts
    • 27,825 Thanks
    craigywv
    used a recipe I found in here for potatoe cakes tonight for tea and they were lovely but so messy to make, has anyone made them without everything myself included becoming covered in mashed potatoes..Also made bread and butter pudding with a fruit loaf I was gonna throw out was yummy....shame it wouldnt freeze
    Originally posted by shiningfaery
    if potato cakes are what we call potato bread over here......mash spud ,flour salt etc we use a potato scoop/ice cream scoop ,plop it in pan and press down with a mug!!!! yes hold handle of mug as normal and press down on potato mixture. I pat flour on bottom of mug , makes round bread but darn siaht cleaner and less fiddly hth.
    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!!.
    • allie23
    • By allie23 7th Nov 13, 6:17 PM
    • 1,336 Posts
    • 14,594 Thanks
    allie23
    Thanks for the advice re: risotto. OH bought the Arborio risotto rice today. Going to try and make this for dinner on Sunday and then use leftovers for lunch on Monday.
    February 2019 Grocery Challenge
    Frugal Living Challenge 2019
    Save £12k in 2019 - Challenger No 69 - £13,310/£40,000
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