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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Feb 09, 12:12 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    • #1
    • 25th Feb 09, 12:12 PM
    25th Feb 09 at 12:12 PM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the February 2009 Grocery Challenge.

    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 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'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 Galtizz
    For guidelines 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 and #6 on this thread.

    Good luck everyone!

    Last edited by Pink.; 28-02-2009 at 10:43 AM.
Page 3
    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 28th Feb 09, 5:49 PM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    OrkneyStar you are quite right of course. When mine were babies I cooked most of their food. The difference is I am working fulltime now, and seven month twins are a handful even for an experienced Grandma I think I shall try cooking some of our veg without salt and putting some aside for them, would baby food jars (glass) work in the freezer do you think?
    Originally posted by S_Wales_Saver
    Oh I hope you didn't think me cheeky , twins sound.......erm,!!
    I struggle with one DS lol!
    I have never frozen glass jars so not sure, I used to use little plastic tubs.
    I think you can freeze glass but the advantage of plastic was it could be defrosted in m/wave if need be (I preferred not to do this but sometimes my baby brain meant I forgot to get the stuff out in time!...o/n defrosting and hot water heating is best I think).
    My DS used to love mince, carrot and sweet tatties or steamed chicken, mango and parsnip (mushed up of course!) at that age.
    Good luck with the babies .
    (PS Sorry folks to have posted 2 times today already ).
    Last edited by OrkneyStar; 28-02-2009 at 6:25 PM.
    • CurlyTop
    • By CurlyTop 28th Feb 09, 6:06 PM
    • 374 Posts
    • 2,081 Thanks

    Can I go for 250.00 for March please. I'm away for a couple of days and am back at work full time now, so need to get my head around packed lunches. Thanks once again everyone for your help, support and fab tips. Onwards and upwards.
    I got there - I'm debt free and intend to stay that way. If I haven't got the cash, it doesn't get bought. It's as simple as that.
    • JillD
    • By JillD 28th Feb 09, 6:12 PM
    • 1,768 Posts
    • 26,385 Thanks
    I'm in for the first time in AGES (and the bank account is proof of this )
    Will post budgets etc in a minute.

    Wanted to say to S_Wales_saver - I successfully froze baby portions in glass jars, once they got past ice cube size portions. Glass jars were handier than yoghurt type pots as obv you have the lids too. I didnt ever defrost in the microwave, always set out the night before and allowed to defrost overnight.
    Jan GC: 202.65/450 (as of 4-1-12)
    NSDs: 3
    Walk to school: 2/47
    Bloater challenge: 0/0lbs

    • Radish72
    • By Radish72 28th Feb 09, 6:21 PM
    • 1,867 Posts
    • 11,640 Thanks
    Can you please put me down for 200 for March please
    Mortgage Aug 12 165K, Apr 19 4000
    OP's in 2019 14000
    ISA challenge start 2019 3000/1500 (50%)
    • JillD
    • By JillD 28th Feb 09, 6:30 PM
    • 1,768 Posts
    • 26,385 Thanks
    Please could you add me, my budget for this month is 100.

    I want to try and get mt grocery spending back under control, its gone haywire in the last 2 years. Long story but basically due to horrible pregnancy and then general chaos at home as my children are all small - 5, 4 and 18 months. Until Christmas I was working 3 days a week however I have stopped now so have lots more time to plan, budget, shop around, cook etc.(although of course have less money :rolleyes

    I am going to aim for 200 for a typical month.
    But at the moment we have tons and tons in the cupboard and freezer, and have had a crippling gas bill this month so this month's target is 100.

    I've read mbaz's thread (its amazing, I thoroughly recommend reading it from start to finish), Following reading that thread I have:
    - done an inventory and an appropriate meal plan.for the month
    - dug the BM out and started using it again
    - bought a couple of different Smart Price things to try
    - discovered the reduced section for fruit/veg in my Asda
    - am going to take a look at Lidl's fruit / veg (we only got a Lidl a couple of years back, I never went because I always had a child who was potty training and they have no toilet but now the older two are in school and the baby still in nappies)

    I'm hoping to only have to buy nappies, milk, fruit and a few other fresh items eg ham, eggs for the rest of the month.
    Tomorrow I am doing a mystery shop in a nice department store that does not just ordinary food :rolleyes:- I have to spend a tenner in the food department, so I will spend that on milk, apple juice, bread, fruit. So effectively that is free.

    My month runs from the 23rd which is payday but I only realised how skint we would be on about the 26th. So I have already spent a bit more than I would have done (IYSWIM) but hopefully I can build that in and recover from it.

    I need to dig out the receipts and asses the damage so far.

    Thanks Pink_winged for starting the thread
    Jan GC: 202.65/450 (as of 4-1-12)
    NSDs: 3
    Walk to school: 2/47
    Bloater challenge: 0/0lbs

    • S_Wales_Saver
    • By S_Wales_Saver 28th Feb 09, 6:36 PM
    • 240 Posts
    • 2,596 Thanks
    Oh I hope you didn't think me cheeky , twins sound.......erm,!!
    Originally posted by OrkneyStar
    No absolutely not OrkneyStar you've reminded me of something I'd forgotten LOL. Yes the twins are fun and gorgeous. And don't be sorry for posting, us OS newbies need your help. OHHH I just realized I've been converted from a newbie, got my first star .

    Thanks JillD for the advice re jars.
    • Miss Liquorice
    • By Miss Liquorice 28th Feb 09, 6:37 PM
    • 238 Posts
    • 834 Thanks
    Miss Liquorice
    I've just declaed under budget for January (by 5p, hurrah!) and I do seem to have plenty in at the moment as far as frozen/canned/jars goes, just seriously lacking in fresh fruit and veg and could do with some more meat I think. I missed out on the farmers market I have just discovered nearby this week due to a driving lesson, but when it's here in a fortnight I plan on stocking up. I'm trying to only do food shopping at the weekend, and hopefully get myself down eventually to about 80 a month. I have taken a big step this month down by 15 to 105, so fingers crossed this works out ok and I can reduce again for april.
    • seabright
    • By seabright 28th Feb 09, 6:40 PM
    • 621 Posts
    • 1,662 Thanks
    Please put me down for 225
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 28th Feb 09, 6:52 PM
    • 1,226 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    OrkneyStar you are quite right of course. When mine were babies I cooked most of their food. The difference is I am working fulltime now, and seven month twins are a handful even for an experienced Grandma I think I shall try cooking some of our veg without salt and putting some aside for them, would baby food jars (glass) work in the freezer do you think?
    Originally posted by S_Wales_Saver
    I would set veg aside mush up and freeze in ice cube trays then transfer into food bags when frozen. That way you can have a whole batch of veg in baby portion sizes.

    Hello everyone,

    Well after doing one weekly shop last month then deciding to swap to monthly I came in with a saving of 48 so this month I'd like to set my target for 180 please.


    Naomi x
    CC's Nov16 18,609.97 / Jun17 21032.03 Overdraft 06/17 4577.44 07/17 4505.35
    Aiming for a debt free date: April 2024
    2 savings club #26 lost count but still collecting!
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • empy
    • By empy 28th Feb 09, 7:12 PM
    • 322 Posts
    • 1,672 Thanks
    Hi all, can I please join, could you please put me down for 250, thank you. I hope to spend alot less than this as I have two freezers and full cuboards etc. I desperatley want to get my spending back under control. I am great during school holidays but when I go back to school it all goes haywire lol.

    Good luck all

    OS Grocery Challenge
    August 250/ [COLOR="Red"]103.44 left
    • searching_me
    • By searching_me 28th Feb 09, 7:20 PM
    • 18,406 Posts
    • 63,340 Thanks
    hello everyone just did my first little shop today ... im refusing to buy any freezer food til everything is used up and i have loads of chicken bag of lamb meatballs and mince and other things but as you can see plenty ... its cost me 13.09p which im off to update my sig hope your all well and wishing you all a good march x
    Still searching .....
    • Aril
    • By Aril 28th Feb 09, 8:05 PM
    • 1,882 Posts
    • 16,749 Thanks
    Can you put me down for 160 please.
    Good luck everyone!
    Aiming for a life of elegant frugality wearing a new-to-me silk shirt rather than one of hair!
  • toottifrootti
    I'm in again!
    Mrs M could you put me down for 100 again - managed it in feb but this is a longer month so we will see!
    Peace will be mine
    could do better - must try harder
    Live each day as if its your last
    DFW Nerd #1000 Proud to be dealing with my debts

    • meanmarie
    • By meanmarie 28th Feb 09, 10:00 PM
    • 5,117 Posts
    • 49,772 Thanks
    Spent 25.64 on my first spend of March...need more shopping to-morrow but will go to Lidl.

    Weight 08 February 86kg
    • reb
    • By reb 28th Feb 09, 10:10 PM
    • 315 Posts
    • 2,018 Thanks
    Sent hubby for some spring onions as I was working. He managed to spend 22.68. Not going to bother sending him again.
    Originally posted by hamish222

    I got one of them....I think it is their way of getting out of ever having to go shopping again!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!

    You just have to tell him his little trick is not going to work!
    I don't get to come on here too often.
    Too buzy money saving!
    • reb
    • By reb 28th Feb 09, 10:13 PM
    • 315 Posts
    • 2,018 Thanks
    Forgot to say....STARDROPS half price at ASDA....50p
    I don't get to come on here too often.
    Too buzy money saving!
  • elizabunny
    Evening all!
    Thank you everyone for all the hard work that gets this thread up and running every month

    Dipped into my March Budget a little early because my Feb. budget got blown away. However, I am remaining optimistic although its a difficult month food wise. We had two extra for dinner today and we've got DS2 and OH coming to spend 3 days with us from tomorrow. Also we have DMs birthday this month and our Wedding Anniversary as well as Mothers Day, so it's going to be challenging.

    The cupboards are well stocked though and the Freezer is not looking too bad. The trouble is as fast as I'm making HM meals we're either eating them or giving them away to one or the other of our DSs My HM Sausages are disappearing fast.

    I shopped at the Farmers Market today and the local Butcher. Also got a sack of Potatoes from a local farm and had a small shop in MrS. While in MrS I noticed they were selling one Cauliflower for 2.59 What is going on :confused: Luckily had bought a nice large Cauli at the Farmers Market for 70p.

    Also today I made two large Lasagnes, one for our dinner today with DS1 and his OH and one for some other time.

    Sealed Pot Challenge 7 Member 022
    5:2 Diet started 28/1/2013 only 13lbs lost due to Xmas 2013 blip.
    • 1HANNAH
    • By 1HANNAH 28th Feb 09, 10:47 PM
    • 854 Posts
    • 3,673 Thanks
    Hello can I join in please?? This is my first month so can you please put me down for 400/month. This is for 4 (sometimes 5)adults and 2 (or 3 kids) inc baby. I am hoping that after seeing what I spend in this first month I will see what I can do to reduce this amount month by month.
    sorry I am waffling on now!
    Following to keep us debt free
  • Winky, The House Elf
    Hi Mrs M can you put me down for 200 please?

    I was really busy in February, and went missing from the thread, but wish I kept my reciepts as I mostly only went 'proper' shopping twice (Once at ASDA, once at Lidl where I poped in to Tescos to get a couple of bits that I couldn't get there)and spent less than 50 each time! I bought some milk,fresh salad &fruit but that was all my spending for the month.

    I did start to use quite a lot of my store cupboard bits up, so 200 will be quite a stretch.

    Goodluck everyone!

    Winky x x x
    Right now I'm having amnesia and deja- vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before
    • lil_me
    • By lil_me 28th Feb 09, 11:08 PM
    • 13,142 Posts
    • 115,691 Thanks
    Sick of falling off wagon, 300 for me please, 5 weeks month which started last Monday, good luck everyone!!!!
    One day I might be more organised...........:confused:
    GC: 200
    Slinkies target 2018 - another 70lb off (half way to what the NHS says) so far 25lb
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