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  • FIRST POST
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 24th Feb 11, 9:52 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    Pink.
    March 2011 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 24th Feb 11, 9:52 AM
    March 2011 Grocery Challenge 24th Feb 11 at 9:52 AM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the third Grocery Challenge of 2011, it's almost spring so hopefully this will be a new beginning for all of us.

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your February budget, then keep on posting in the February 2011 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.
    For quidelines on posting in this thread please read the second post in this thread.

    For everyone's targets and totals for the month please read posts #3 and #4 on this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #5, #6, #7 and #8 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Pink
    Last edited by Pink.; 27-02-2011 at 11:01 PM.
Page 10
  • rachbc
    running total is at 60.60 - my first month of not doing an online order - found I was buying stuff just to get up to the min amount and delivery codes seem few and far between atm. So split my start of month stock up between aldi and asda and pretty pleased. Came out of asda with just 2 things not on the list (bananas and bagged salad) and a few quid of 20p whoopsied fruit and veg. Total included a bottle of sherry (for chinese cooking), 3 months worth of cat food on offer and a mop which bumped it up a bit.
  • martafdz
    First shop of the month, 68.05 from MrM. I'll update shortly the sig.
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
  • rosieben
    ... I've a question for those who make their own bread - I got a morphy richards bread maker from freecycle which didn't come with instructions
    Originally posted by M0neysav3r
    I've had 2 breadmakers, prima and cookworks and they both needed ingredients putting in a particular order. I've borrowing my sons panasonic at the moment and that says yeast first, flour etc and then add the water last. The yeast needs to be kept dry until the machine starts mixing

    try here for a manual - you'll need your model no.

    and you might be interested in the Morphy Richards BM Club thread
    Last edited by rosieben; 01-03-2011 at 10:26 PM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • life in termoil
    woop woop NSD!!! 1/10
    Sealed Pot Challenge member #982
    In 2012 I pledge to:- Save 1 a day, meal plan, be more organised, have NSDs, set myself a budget AND STICK TO IT, throw all loose change into Sealed Pot and not open it till 29th November.
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 1st Mar 11, 10:54 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    NickJW
    Happy St Davids day to those who celebrate it...I did my bit my having lamb stew

    I paid off ALL of debt today - such a good feeling!
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

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

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • rosieben
    Oh dear, another failure on the bread front It smelt nice whilst baking but when I tipped it out the bottom of the loaf was an inch thick of flour!! I've found the instructions online and like you say the water should go in first - I will try again tomorrow
    Originally posted by M0neysav3r
    the prima and cookworks bm's I had wanted the water in first like yours, but the panasonic instructions say water last - I was a bit worried about having a pile of flour left like you did, but it mixed ok
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • lizziebabe
    • By lizziebabe 2nd Mar 11, 12:22 AM
    • 1,090 Posts
    • 4,388 Thanks
    lizziebabe
    Hi everyone

    A new month and a new challenge!

    Thanks to those who run the thread

    Please could you put me down for 180 please for March

    as did quite well last month = still need to plan better,

    Good Luck everyone

  • youngmummy
    hi all hope everyone is doing well. have updated my signature, cant remember how much i spent ... as i updated it early this morning but it is the correct total, we are hoping to move nearer family asap so need to tighten our belt as much as possible. i really hope i come under budget at the end of the year so i have got my MSE hat on and im ready for action . anyway im off too bed take care all xxx
    (#80 save 12k in 2015) aim 10,000
    make 10 a day in 2015 261/4000
    emergency fund aim 100/1000
    1 a day for xmas 2015 0/365
    NSD feb 0/16
    feb GC 0/120
    • pixie1
    • By pixie1 2nd Mar 11, 4:20 AM
    • 1,373 Posts
    • 2,665 Thanks
    pixie1
    I had to buy two bread rolls and a couple of slices of beef for sandwiches today.

    Rolls x 2 @ 50c, Beef $1.80

    Thats lunch for two people.

    I need to start trying to make my own bread but its all baby steps for me, dont want to try and do too much at once as I will fail at them all lol

    Pix
    Debt Free At Last!
    • Cheapskate
    • By Cheapskate 2nd Mar 11, 5:52 AM
    • 1,663 Posts
    • 20,518 Thanks
    Cheapskate
    Morning all
    Can you lovely people (who always succeed better than me!) please put me down for 380 for March?
    Everything seems to be getting out of control in this house, including the spending, & it's a real struggle to stay sane ATM! I know I hardly post, but I do lurk & must try harder when I see how much less than me others manage to spend!
    A xo
    Feb GC 0.00/300
    Decluttering 332/2019 items this year
    • fedupandskint
    • By fedupandskint 2nd Mar 11, 5:53 AM
    • 10,351 Posts
    • 97,525 Thanks
    fedupandskint
    Spent 13 something in Mr T's yesterday on bits and bobs - went in off list and paid for it!

    I did get some bargain cheese for 45p and 50p reduced from 1.90 and 1.80 and a piece of fish for 1, 6 creme eggs for 1.25 in a box when 3 cost 1.25 on offer and a half price easter egg for 1.25. What else did I get? Oh yes 4 pack of napolina toms for 2 (love those and always buy on offer), some jumbo scampi for easy quick teas and a pack of reduced sausages. Can't remember what else. Anyway I'm staying out of the shops for the next 2 days to get some NSDs in
    final unsecured debt to repay currently 8333
    Proud to be Dealing With my Debt
    DFW Nerd 1154 Long Haul 155
    • rosie383
    • By rosie383 2nd Mar 11, 8:02 AM
    • 4,762 Posts
    • 10,463 Thanks
    rosie383
    NickJW congrats on being debt free. How great does that feel?

    I'm sticking with 240 for this month again. I failed miserably last month, going 20 over. NOT happy with myself.

    This month I have done a complete meal plan including work lunches for dh and made a proper shopping list and stuck to it. Have already spent 130 but that is all my fish and meat for the month and includes stuff from AP and swinco that will do for more than the month. It feels great looking at the menu and knowing exactly what I am cooking for that day or the next, and knowing what to take out of the freezer in plenty of time.

    Does anyone else do like me? I made a really comprehensive shopping list according to my menu, and I already have 3 things that I need to go and buy, like salt. I should be ok though, as I have these wee bits to get and should just need fresh fruit and veg and milk the rest of the month.
    Father Ted: Now concentrate this time, Dougal. These
    (he points to some plastic cows on the table) are very small; those (pointing at some cows out of the window) are far away...
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 2nd Mar 11, 8:22 AM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    quintwins
    NickJW congrats on being debt free. How great does that feel?

    I'm sticking with 240 for this month again. I failed miserably last month, going 20 over. NOT happy with myself.

    This month I have done a complete meal plan including work lunches for dh and made a proper shopping list and stuck to it. Have already spent 130 but that is all my fish and meat for the month and includes stuff from AP and swinco that will do for more than the month. It feels great looking at the menu and knowing exactly what I am cooking for that day or the next, and knowing what to take out of the freezer in plenty of time.

    Does anyone else do like me? I made a really comprehensive shopping list according to my menu, and I already have 3 things that I need to go and buy, like salt. I should be ok though, as I have these wee bits to get and should just need fresh fruit and veg and milk the rest of the month.
    Originally posted by rosie383
    i'm trying this this month altho i havent been shopping yet and have most of my meat in already, at the end of last month i decided to go fortnightly to see how it went and it went really well, i did my meal plan for the month yesterday and will be going shopping on friday for the few extra bits we need then hopefully teh rest of the month will be in the farm shop

    congrates NickJW bet you feel great now it's time to jump on the savings wagon were lucky to never have been in any debt but were trying to save for a house (or plot of land it was orginally a plot of land but right now that seems very far fetched) i'm sure once we manage that we'll be saving again to build or be mortage free lol theres always some goal to push us foward and give us focus


    todays another NSD for me
    DFW 7632/28996 26.3%
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 2nd Mar 11, 8:33 AM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    mrs-moneypenny
    re breadmakers mines a hinari it wants the water in first but once youve put the flour in it seems to float and the other ingredients sit on top of it so the yeasts the last thing in and stays dry.
    glad the person who asked the question has now found their instructions inline. they are brill bits of kit once you suss them out, i wouldnt be without mine now.

    got to go out for eggs at some point today so will edit sig after ive shopped. i havnet had to start a march one yet
    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
  • Winged one
    I had a lunchtime seminar across the city yesterday, so I took an extra 20 minutes while there (from my actual lunchbreak time) to dash into Ald* and get some "super 6" veg. French beans, baby corn, mangetout, parsnips and courgettes. We use a lot of veg, I was already planning 3 stir fry dinners, and for €3.45 I was delighted to get a bagfull!

    I do get the S6 when I can (at least, whatever's on that we eat), but I am rarely near an Ald* so it's great to get them like that. Used a handful each of mangetout and french beans last night, and end of the previous courgette (macaroni cheese), and will use some of those 3 and the sweetcorn tomorrow night in Nasi Goreng.

    I was impressed too with the milk lasting this week. As we were without DD last week, I had dropped from 6l to 4l, but we still hadn't used it all. We had a rice pudding on Sunday to use some, I made mash potato on Mon, we all had extra milk to drink or cocoa the past few days, but it was officially out of date Mon. But it was still fine in cheese sauce last night (I tasted before using) and that used up the last of it. My other plan, if it was gone over, was to make a batch of scones (might do that at the weekend as I still only bought 4l this week, and we only started that last night so by use-by of 5th, we might not be finished).

    Leftover mac'n'cheese for lunch today, after 3 days of leftover roast beef sambos. Yum for all 3!
    GC 2010 6,000/ 5,897

    GC 2011:Overall Target: 6,000/
    5,442 by October

    Back on the wagon again in 2014
    Apr 587.82/550 May 453.31 /550
    • natzini
    • By natzini 2nd Mar 11, 8:43 AM
    • 560 Posts
    • 5,634 Thanks
    natzini
    Can you put me down for 130 for 2 please?

    Need to get back on budget!

    Thanks

    Un sou est un sou
    • cutiepieabf
    • By cutiepieabf 2nd Mar 11, 9:08 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 3,561 Thanks
    cutiepieabf
    rosie383[/B];41645988]NickJW congrats on being debt free. How great does that feel?

    I'm sticking with 240 for this month again. I failed miserably last month, going 20 over. NOT happy with myself.

    This month I have done a complete meal plan including work lunches for dh and made a proper shopping list and stuck to it. Have already spent 130 but that is all my fish and meat for the month and includes stuff from AP and swinco that will do for more than the month. It feels great looking at the menu and knowing exactly what I am cooking for that day or the next, and knowing what to take out of the freezer in plenty of time.

    Does anyone else do like me? I made a really comprehensive shopping list according to my menu, and I already have 3 things that I need to go and buy, like salt. I should be ok though, as I have these wee bits to get and should just need fresh fruit and veg and milk the rest of the month.
    by [B
    hello!
    This month i have done exactly as you have - i have written my 4wk meal plan, written the list of food needed for that plan, and then checked the cupboards and ordered what i needed. it worked out that my shop came to more than it usually would for a monthly shop but i look at it like this:
    - because last month my challenge was to not buy anything until the cupboards were empty it means they are now.... EMPTY... so i have had to restock on a lot of essentials.
    - i am cooking EVERYTHING from scratch which means we are all eating far healthier, i get to try new recipes, and it costs less than buying processed foods,
    - i am cooking in DOUBLE quantities. so when i make a pie for example, i am making two and freezing one - this means that yes it is costing me more this month, but next month i will have saved on those ingredients.

    so really, my big shop should last me for two months (except milk, fruit, eggs and marge). i am making my own bread, and have a couple of loaves and rolls in the freezer that were reduced on last day, and i have parcooked and blanched loads of veg so i have fresh veg all month. i have even made biscuits and cakes and frozen them so we have treats for lunches instead of buying penguins or whatever.

    so this is the trial month and i guess it will pay dividends next month when i have a freezer full of delicious home made ready made meals. lol. i agree with you - it makes you feel so much morre organised knowing you have all the ingredients in that you need, and you know what you're having for tea, and what meat to take out, and... eventually OH may get the hint, use his initiative, and put tea on before i get home... hahahahahahaaa wish there was a smiley of a pig flying. lol.

    hope this helps, and hope you are successful with your plan. you will have to keep us updated with how it is going.
    DFBX2016 #160 - 3550/8800

    DFBX2017 #160 - 0/11,378

    0/7807 CapOne (0% PAID) 0/2776 Tesco (0% PAID)
    820/820 HSBC OD (100% PAID) 0/795 HSBC M/C (0% PAID)
    • natzini
    • By natzini 2nd Mar 11, 9:38 AM
    • 560 Posts
    • 5,634 Thanks
    natzini
    I need to do this to stay on track!

    hello!
    This month i have done exactly as you have - i have written my 4wk meal plan, written the list of food needed for that plan, and then checked the cupboards and ordered what i needed. it worked out that my shop came to more than it usually would for a monthly shop but i look at it like this:
    - because last month my challenge was to not buy anything until the cupboards were empty it means they are now.... EMPTY... so i have had to restock on a lot of essentials.
    - i am cooking EVERYTHING from scratch which means we are all eating far healthier, i get to try new recipes, and it costs less than buying processed foods,
    - i am cooking in DOUBLE quantities. so when i make a pie for example, i am making two and freezing one - this means that yes it is costing me more this month, but next month i will have saved on those ingredients.

    so really, my big shop should last me for two months (except milk, fruit, eggs and marge). i am making my own bread, and have a couple of loaves and rolls in the freezer that were reduced on last day, and i have parcooked and blanched loads of veg so i have fresh veg all month. i have even made biscuits and cakes and frozen them so we have treats for lunches instead of buying penguins or whatever.

    so this is the trial month and i guess it will pay dividends next month when i have a freezer full of delicious home made ready made meals. lol. i agree with you - it makes you feel so much morre organised knowing you have all the ingredients in that you need, and you know what you're having for tea, and what meat to take out, and... eventually OH may get the hint, use his initiative, and put tea on before i get home... hahahahahahaaa wish there was a smiley of a pig flying. lol.

    hope this helps, and hope you are successful with your plan. you will have to keep us updated with how it is going.
    Originally posted by cutiepieabf

    Un sou est un sou
    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 2nd Mar 11, 9:54 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    Sunnyday
    Oh dear, another failure on the bread front It smelt nice whilst baking but when I tipped it out the bottom of the loaf was an inch thick of flour!! I've found the instructions online and like you say the water should go in first - I will try again tomorrow
    Originally posted by M0neysav3r
    Hi M0neysav3r - I always put the water in the bm first, add the salt and butter to the water and then put the flour on top, i level the flour off right up to the edges so that the water can`t be seen and then add the sugar and dried yeast on top in a little heap. This makes sure that the yeast doesn`t get wet before its supposed to, i always use the timer on mine and doing it this way has stopped me getting the occasional duff loaf.

    HTH

    SD
    Planning on starting the GC again soon
  • M0neysav3r
    hello!
    This month i have done exactly as you have - i have written my 4wk meal plan, written the list of food needed for that plan, and then checked the cupboards and ordered what i needed. it worked out that my shop came to more than it usually would for a monthly shop but i look at it like this:
    - because last month my challenge was to not buy anything until the cupboards were empty it means they are now.... EMPTY... so i have had to restock on a lot of essentials.
    - i am cooking EVERYTHING from scratch which means we are all eating far healthier, i get to try new recipes, and it costs less than buying processed foods,
    - i am cooking in DOUBLE quantities. so when i make a pie for example, i am making two and freezing one - this means that yes it is costing me more this month, but next month i will have saved on those ingredients.
    Originally posted by cutiepieabf
    Great Idea! I've never actually thought of doing a 4 week meal plan, although do a weekly one. Do you find you're eating the same things a few times that month though?

    Re the Breadmaker - 'touch wood' this mornings has gone according to plan! I just put the water in first etc and left the yeast on top, so far it looks good and has actually mixed well, yesterdays was a pile of yucky mush at this stage, but has about an hour left to bake yet.
    No Debts (Other than HUGE mortgage! )
    Generally trying to cut back where possible
    GC - March 143.82 / 200 Feb 156.03 / 150 Oops! Jan 180.78/200
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