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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Dec 10, 2:15 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    • #1
    • 25th Dec 10, 2:15 AM
    25th Dec 10 at 2:15 AM
    Hi Everyone,

    Welcome to the first Grocery Challenge of 2011, a new decade and a new beginning!

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your December budget, then keep on posting in the December 2010 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.
    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 and #7 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month and may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year! Hope it's a good one for all of us.

    Last edited by Pink.; 29-12-2010 at 10:09 AM.
Page 77
  • Long tall sally
    Hello everyone. Sorry I haven't been on in a while. The hours & days just seem to whizz by at the moment & I have beena bitbusy reading the Up your Income thread plus others.

    Everyone seems to be doing well. I am doing ok. I've had quite a few no spend days but I have also had days where I have had to spend unexpectantly due to either getting locked out of my house & having to buy lunch or taking the wrongthing out of the freezer by mistake & only realising just before I started cooking it. I have managed to get quite a few whoopsies & the freezer is still full but annoyingly a bit of food has gone to waste. I haven't for example eaten any of those sweet potatoes that I bought 2 weeks ago & now not sure whether they will still be edible!

    I think my signature however is up to date although it may possibly be £7 short for a receipt from one day last week that I can't remember if I added or not.

    I haven't really done any major shops but have done various bits here & there. Tomorrow for me when the site will be down will hopefully be spent e-baying & perhaps a bit of baking or looking through my recipe folders.

    I'm sorry. I did try to read through all the pages since I last posted but only managed about ten & then also just read the last couple to catch up a bit more.

    Rosieben - nice to see you still posting
    Grocery aim £450pm.Spent £519 August, £584 July, £544 June, £541 May, £549 April, £517 March, £517 Feb,£555 Jan, £573 Dec, £465Nov, £561Oct, £493Sept, £426Aug,£496 Jul, £528Jun, £506May,£498April, £558 March, £500Feb, £500 Jan, £490 Dec, £555 Nov,£566 Oct, £505Sept, £450Aug, £410 July, £437 June, £491 May, £471 April, £440 March, £552Feb, £462Jan
    • freedom2011
    • By freedom2011 14th Jan 11, 1:51 PM
    • 101 Posts
    • 1,108 Thanks

    I just wanted to ask, I have 3 young children (and a dh) and was wondering if any of you in similar circumstances could give any advice about making the budget go further...I know there is loads on here and I regularly have a long reading session for tips etc. but even when I am trying to be really good I know I could do a lot better..

    I estimate at the moment I am spending around £400 a month on groceries and I tend to buy most things when they are on offer or if not from the basics range...

    Originally posted by 69chick
    Hi 69chick, yes I am in a similar position. I have 3 children, mine are older, in fact 2 have close to adult portions. And 5 lunch boxes plus dog.I have only joined this month but have been lurking for years. I just wanted to give you some encouragement as I was spending approx £600 per month and have set myself £200. I will have gone over slightly but that is because I have done 2 bulk shops with approved foods as I am also doing the frugal challenge. But taking that all into account even with the overspend I will have cut what I have previously been spending in half!Unbelievable. And what is more the cupboards are stuffed, we have been eating much more healthily and the waste has stopped. I looked in the fridge the other day and instead of seeing bit and bobs and thinking I must go shopping my first thought was wow I could make so much from this lot. My top tips have been;
    • Just try to do one thing a day
    • Spend a couple of hours to scout the local shops to start you off to compare prices
    • Plan, plan and when you don't stick to the plan don't beat yourself up just looked at how much you did do in the plan.
    • Bulk buy 1 item every shop to make a stockpile, loo rolls, pasta, whatever is on offer
    • And my latest tip go shopping one day later than planned making use on the extra day of anything you have in the store-cupboard
    Just to give an idea on what we have been eating;
    • Risotto
    • Baked Pots
    • Couscous & HM savoury scones
    • Salmon carbonara
    • HM Pizza
    • Lamb tangine
    • Tuna pasta bake
    • HM soups
    • And plenty HM baking
    I really can't begin to thank everyone on this board for their generous tips & help. It looks to me that my dream of being debt Freedom2011 might just be a realityand achievable.

    Send me a message anytime we can help each other.
    Frugal Challenge £9000
    Grocery Challenge £tba pm £
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 14th Jan 11, 2:03 PM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,926 Thanks
    I'm thinking it might be an opportunity to catch up on chores that I should do but don't do because I'm glued to some thread or other
    Originally posted by rosieben

    Hello, I'm Jintyb and I'm a forumaholic. Tomorrow is going to be well weird, but maybe I'll get on with other things,like finishing my book
    (nothing too strenuous LOL)

    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
  • bella121984
    Hi 69chick, yes I am in a similar position. I have 3 children, mine are older,
    Originally posted by freedom2011
    Im in the same position as you guys! I also have a dh and 3 small children, and have never really budgeted before last week lol I have been spending probably about £500ish maybe more on the shopping each month and things must change for us, we somehow are spending more than we get in each month and im not really sure how its happening! I have deliberately set my budget for this month low, I am sure I will go over it but if I set it just slightly less than what we usually spend I would be trying to make sure it was all spent if that makes sense and wouldnt think about what I was spending, at the moment I feel so accountable to everyone on here and having to update my signature lol that I have bought no where near as much as I would have done and I have shopped so differently. My budget is for everything I buy in Sainsburys, so it includes nappies, formula, etc, which I think is where we might come unstuck, although I did stock up on nappies a while ago when they were on offer, so it might be alright. Ill be interested though come the end of the month to see how I have done, as this is a 5 week month for us too, and hopefully I will be able to maybe make an even lower budget for next month. But we will see! I do like a challenge though
    January grocery challenge- £338.09/£350
    £365 in 365 days- £25
    January NSDs- 9
    Money made on ebay- £16.89
  • zebredy
    Wow so many posts to catch up on, but they were all worth reading

    Not spent anything on shopping this week so thats 5 NSD which really happy about as already over budget not to upset about that as one of my main problems (which I'm trying to get over) is that I'm always afraid we will run out and not have enough money to buy stuff later in the month, and I don't want us to starve (not that we would I know my mother would kindly bail us out, with me paying her back) I want to go a year where we don't borrow money from others and just pay back what we already owe (so clearing all our debts this year)

    Also as said before it was my first month on GC, plus after such a successful trip to the farmers market this month, may have to up next months budget as want to go there again, and buy more meat there then we did this month, as the quality is so so so much better.

    My hubby eats any old c*** but after we had some of the meat from the farmers market even he noticed the difference. Finally something we agree on where the extra cost is worth it.

    Note to self, leave hubby at home in future and budgeting may be a little easier in February lol

    Enough of my ramblings, GC budget screwed for this month but am becoming ok with that (really wanted to be under to prove I could do it) but at least I know where I went wrong, plus have action plan for other debts even have in writing in my small book, who we owe what too, and how to best clear them in the quickest time possible, so all is looking up for us at mo..
    Last edited by zebredy; 14-01-2011 at 2:32 PM.
    Matthew, Izzy, Suzie, Harry, Darwin. My husband my cats, the main things that matter in my life...
  • elfen
    Spent £9.62 on bits in Aldi which leaves me just under £80 for the rest of the month. Not bad for halfway
    ** Total debt: £6950.82 ± May NSDs 1/10 **
    ** Fat Bum Shrinking: -7/56lbs **
    **SPC 2012 #1498 -£152 and 1499 ***
    I do it all because I'm scared.
    • kippers
    • By kippers 14th Jan 11, 2:47 PM
    • 1,971 Posts
    • 6,041 Thanks
    Only 10 days left of my Jan GC (only £15.15 left in my budget)
    Hi all, hope everyone is well.

    Today i bought the ingredients to make a special 'carbonara' for my DH as he loves this and served it with some nice H/M garlic bread. Every so often he comes home for lunch and i cook something special for him and we have time to chat without the kids....far cheaper than going out for a meal.

    The carbonara isn't runny (like carbonara recipes normally are), but we like it that way and it tasted lovely. Here's how i make it:


    6-8 slice of bacon cut into small pieces
    1-2 garlic cloves crushed/chopped small
    2 eggs
    3 tablespoons double cream
    salt, pepper, mixed herbs
    4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
    1 onion chopped
    olive oil to fry
    • Cook Pasta separately.
    • Fry onion and garlic in a little olive oil until nearly soft.
    • Add mushrooms and bacon and fry until bacon is cooked.
    • Meanwhile mix eggs, cream, cheese and herbs and salt and pepper
    • Add cooked pasta to pan and pour over the egg mixture and toss about until cooked
    Serve with a nice h/m garlic bread and/or salad

    Tonight i am giving my DD's jacket potatoes for tea with tinned spaghetti and a sausage for DD2 and a whoopsied gammon steak for DD1.

    I'm hoping to visit Mr T's tonight as they have kelloggs co co pops 600g on offer at £1.45 and my DD2 loves these, so i may be spending quite a bit to stock up on them.

    Anyway, hope my recipe helps someone
    Last edited by kippers; 14-01-2011 at 2:53 PM.
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 14th Jan 11, 3:32 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    69p spent on a bag of porridge oats. More than usual as had to go to Coop (the only real shop here) but I have some eggs to use so will make two lots of these later to freeze.

    Any suggestions for using up some Doritos? I usually love them, but these are the fajita and tikka flavour and are SO strong to just eat as they are. I don't really want to chuck them out, so am hoping for some good ideas!
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
    • boysma
    • By boysma 14th Jan 11, 3:47 PM
    • 827 Posts
    • 12,862 Thanks
    Hi all

    Another 28.42 to butchers and Mr T today. Will have some things to get tomorrow but as site is down will update Sunday. Signature updated.
    Payment A Day £15 (started 17/5/14)
  • wssla00
    Hello, I'm Jintyb and I'm a forumaholic. Tomorrow is going to be well weird, but maybe I'll get on with other things,like finishing my book
    (nothing too strenuous LOL)
    Originally posted by jintyb
    Is it the whole day WHAT AM I GOING TO DO???

    My house is going to be spotless............

    Any suggestions for using up some Doritos? I usually love them, but these are the fajita and tikka flavour and are SO strong to just eat as they are. I don't really want to chuck them out, so am hoping for some good ideas!
    What about nachos? Use the fajita ones with perhaps some chicken onion and peppers and then add some cheese and pop it under the grill

    £8.45 spend in Lidl for tonight's belated birthday celebrations. Two big pizzas, drinks, garlic bread, potato wedges and the likes to feed and water four people!

    That's even less than the cost of a taxi home from town so dvd's wine (they are bringing that) and food will be brill for a cheap night!

    Anyway have a good night all
    Last edited by wssla00; 14-01-2011 at 4:27 PM.
    Feb GC: £200 Spent: £190.79
  • martafdz
    I went shopping today and spent £37 in Morrisons. I could not resist some of the offers in meat, I bought a beef for two joint and a pork leg joint for around £3.20 each! Also 2 packets of ribs for £2.70. The pork is so much that it will last for two days + soup probably I bought a few things I did not need though: 2 resistant bags (I had to walk a bit with them), Kenko decaff 200g (was at £4, it is usually £3.20 for the 100g, so I thought it was a bargain), weight watchers slices (£1 each), 6 waffles (99p) and a few other bits. At least I am still within target! However, I again spent too much on transport.

    My new total is £ 115.74

    I think tomorrow I will put more things on eBay, since this is going to be down! And chores too!
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 14th Jan 11, 5:36 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    What about nachos? Use the fajita ones with perhaps some chicken onion and peppers and then add some cheese and pop it under the grill
    Originally posted by wssla00
    Thanks! I thought of nachos, but couldn't seem to get past only using cheese! I'll do this in the next couple of weeks as have everything needed.

    Thanks again
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
    • mandco
    • By mandco 14th Jan 11, 6:09 PM
    • 770 Posts
    • 9,999 Thanks
    couldnt get the quotes to work
    anyway I cook my fruit cake at about 180 near the middle of the oven
    the while the measurments are in cups but I just use the mug I do for tea/coffee quick & easy

    Nsd here today 1 day closer to making the budget

    gonna have browse of the recipe index and see what I can make with all the random stuff I seem to have and always put off using
    this year do something that scares you for courage is not the absence of fear just the knowledge that some things are worth the risk
  • helen jelly
    Hi everyone
    Had a few spends this week - been a very hectic and traumatic week here - Dad is very ill in hospital so routine has gone out of the window big time and DH came with me to do some shopping [big mistake] lol

    Off to update my siggy now and I really really need to do a new inventory of the Freezers
    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
    • waltzingMathilda
    • By waltzingMathilda 14th Jan 11, 6:35 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 847 Thanks
    Just done my first shop of the month (got paid today). £90.60 with Mr t and 4.83 at the butchers. I did the shop online and kept revising my trolley until it got to £90 something. Fairly stocked up now, think I will try and analyse what we are spending on - I suspect alot is on fresh fruit.
    I know it is expensive but i really like the kids to eat plenty and when they ask for snacks, I try and get them to alternate fruit and biscuits/toast. Also we have always had the rule, fruit after every meal. My husband thinks I am a bit OTT about it but they don't complain.
    Will need a bit more meat from butchers but that should be it till next week.
    2 adults 3 children
    Debt mar 17 £43,277
  • Candy Belle
    Evening All!

    Again a few ikkle spends (not doing to well with the old NSDS!)

    Anyhoo this is what I've spent today - feels like a confession
    Market - Bunch of Bananas - 80p
    Box of White Seedless Grapes - £1.00

    Total £1.80

    A**a - Bag of Oranges - £1.00
    Vine Tomatoes - £1.20

    Total £2.20

    W****s - 4 x Cat Food - £2.72

    Off to update siggy and prepare myself for not being able to go on the forum for a whole day! Arghhhhhhhh!!!!

    Have a good evening everyone and a great Saturday x

    See you all on the other side! (or sunday - am such a drama queen!)
    Grocery Challange for DH, Me & 2 Fussy Cats (inc Grocerys, Cleaning Products & Cat Food)
    G/C -May £177.04/£235.00 Apr £237.79/£235.00 Mar £226.16 /£235.00
    G/C - Jan £248.52/£235.00 - Feb£214.72/£235.00
    NSD -May 3/31 Apr 10/30 Mar 3/31 Feb 6/28 NSD Jan 3/31
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 14th Jan 11, 6:54 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    ... been a very hectic and traumatic week here - Dad is very ill in hospital so routine has gone out of the window big time ...
    Originally posted by helen jelly
    Hope things improve soon for you helen jelly.

    Well I did it, I went to that awful place and it cost over two hours of my time. It's a huge place, I don't know where anything is and they seemed to be out of stock of a lot of stuff too. Anyway, I did do a huge shop which was made up of a lot of dairy and freezer things. The bill before discounts/multisave was £82.55, savings were £11.47 and after all my vouchers were deducted there was £15.58 left to pay.

    But I need to deduct £8 from that as I bought an annual for GD1 birthday at the end of the month and a stupid stupid impulse purchase of a desk vaccuum. We've just put it together and I can suck air in more strongly than this thing! That'll teach me. A friend told me about them the other day and as this thing was reduced from over a tenner to a fiver I thought "why not?".

    OK, so I have £7.58 to add to siggy for MrT and I went to town and found St*kes had seville oranges. I've been after them for the past couple of weeks as I really fancy making marmalade. So I got a couple of kilo for £3.40. Now I have to find a recipe! Anyone got an easy one please? Or even one for making in the BM?

    Also can anyone advise if we can freeze them please? Heard a rumour that you can for a couple or three months? (Truth is OH said St*kes didn't have any sevilles two days ago so I bought a couple of jars of marmalade in MrT before I went to town and discovered the sevilles were in stock and had been for more than a week.)

    ETA: Still have to go to the butchers tomorrow so won't have the NSWeekend I was hoping for either.

    Right off to update my siggy and have a board browse in preparation for going forum cold turkey tomorrow!

    Take care all and have a great weekend,
    Last edited by Spiggle; 14-01-2011 at 7:09 PM.
    Mortgage Free October 2013
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 14th Jan 11, 7:12 PM
    • 3,433 Posts
    • 35,098 Thanks
    Done the shopping today for next week and had my veg/fruit boxes delivered.

    £30.08 for a medium veg box, a fruit box, 2 peppers and a box of cherry tomatoes
    £44.60 in morries for everything else including a tub of formula

    I have added up how much we have spent since last Friday on F&V and it comes to over 80 quid for 2 adults and one weaning baby! No wonder my budget is so tough to achieve. We are avoiding wheat at the moment and I am finding rye crackers and oat cakes more expensive than my home made sourdough. We will probably go back to HM bread once this batch of crackers has run out.

    No celeriac in my box so I can't make the celeriac, potato and apple curry I had on the meal plan I was really looking forward to that

    Does anyone have a veggie curry recipe using apples and sultanas or something similar? I like a sweetish, mild curry.

    Our friends who live next door are coming around tonight and they have offered to treat us to a D0minos pizza as they have some vouchers to use. So much for our detox diet

    I have bought some pots of full fat plain natural yogurt for DS to have with fruit as the baby yogs as so expensive. Let's hope he likes it

    No forum tomorrow I will have to take DS swimming for the first time, help DH paint the kitchen and then I am off out for a night on the town with the girls
  • alicemskinner
    Hi there.....totally new to this. Could you put me down for £110 this month. Have spent about £25 so far this month so think I might come in at way under. This is for all food (except meals out which come under entertainment), doesn't include any household items and is just for me.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on how low one person can go for the month - I'm aiming to get down to about £78 in a few months, so thats about £2.60 per day.


    • fedupandskint
    • By fedupandskint 14th Jan 11, 7:29 PM
    • 10,351 Posts
    • 97,525 Thanks
    £12 today in M+S on the Dine in for £10 meal with a £7.50 chicken included so pleased about that and should get a few meals out of that combination of chicken, apple pie, ultimate mash and 2 fresh orange pack also a box of clementimes

    Better update total now
    final unsecured debt to repay currently £8333
    Proud to be Dealing With my Debt
    DFW Nerd 1154 Long Haul 155
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