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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Dec 10, 1:15 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    • #1
    • 25th Dec 10, 1:15 AM
    25th Dec 10 at 1:15 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 9:09 AM.
Page 46
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 7th Jan 11, 8:17 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    I was tidying up the freezer last night and I noticed a couple of packs of chicken had a little freezer burn, does anyone know if these will be safe to eat? Or are the wee strays that live in my garden going to have a feast.

    Made half quantity of Lemon Curd, I only had golden caster sugar, it was a different colour from the last batch I made using only egg yolks. Delicious all the same.
    I need some egg whites so I will make some more using just yolks this time, I will try using the same method as the whole egg recipe, as I remember the last batch I made took ages in a bowl over boiling water.

    Made a batch of Butternut squash soup, and stewed some apples. Don't know what I will do with them. Going to tackle a Mango Cake later I've never made one before , I have three mangoes the cake uses 1 1/2 so need to find something to do with the rest.

    I've made a shopping list going to Morrisons, this will be a real test for me as I usually just grab whatever takes my fancy. The plan is to only buy what's on my list. I'm only getting things to make the best of what I already have.

    My OH has just discovered I've stopped buying crisps lol, he moaned the face off me.
    Originally posted by Mothership
    How about mango chutney with the ones left over.

    I want to be at home cooking and doing things!! unfortunately I have to work but counting down the hours till I go home and crack on with my list of things I want to do.
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 7th Jan 11, 8:19 AM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    thanks for mentioning mango cake mothership i wouldnt have thought of that, ive got 2 that need using up so will go off and look for the recipie beofre i nip shops to see if i need anything for it, ive got a butternut squash lurking in the fridge but theres a recipie for a veggie cheesy bread pudding in the essentials mag i got yesterday so id earmarked that for using up in one of those for tonights tea.
    saturday night is always hm pizza via the breadmaker for sunday theres a quorn roast in the freezer that didnt get used at christmas and monday we are going out for a meal

    just googled and found a vegan (eggless) mango cake so going to try that one as vegan DD will be visiting manday so should hopefully be a slice left for her to try.
    Last edited by mrs-moneypenny; 07-01-2011 at 8:35 AM.
    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
    • slbhill
    • By slbhill 7th Jan 11, 8:27 AM
    • 5,208 Posts
    • 363,290 Thanks
    I was tidying up the freezer last night and I noticed a couple of packs of chicken had a little freezer burn, does anyone know if these will be safe to eat? Or are the wee strays that live in my garden going to have a feast.
    Originally posted by Mothership
    My experience is that freezer burn might mean the texture isn't as good (makes the food dry, usually), but I've never had any problem beyond that.

    First big shop of the year last night, I'm currently trying to work out how that cost so much! I think it's mainly from a lot of fresh fruit & veg, so at least it's only cash-guilt, not diet-guilt
  • itsybitsygoth
    Bit late in the game but I'd like to join, my monthly budget for 2 adults and a very hungry cat is £100
    Overdraft- £500 PAID! Computer Loan- £292.67 PAID! Credit Card- £369.00 PCDL Loan- £6664.80
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 7th Jan 11, 8:53 AM
    • 3,348 Posts
    • 34,483 Thanks
    theres a quorn roast in the freezer that didnt get used at christmas
    Originally posted by mrs-moneypenny
    Mine didn't get used either. I cooked the turkey and forgot to put my veggie roast in, only remembered 10 mins before everything was ready and it takes 45 mins

    We have had a bit of a change of plan. DH and I have decided to do a detox between now and his birthday on 5th Feb. We both need to lose a few pounds and need a break from Christmas and winter stodge. We are doing the Carol V0daphone one which we have used before but not taking the supplements as they cost a fortune and are not really necesary.

    I have done my meal plan for the week and will shop today and Wed/Thurs as I will need more fresh stuff. I will go over my weekly allowance this week but some of the items will last a week or 2 hopefully. I am really looking forward to gorging on lots of fresh fruit

    I have a £5 Mr M voucher so will go there first, then will probably need to go to Mr T to get some of the more specialised items, they have a big nutr1 centre too that sells all the health food stuff if I can't get it in the main store but I am not buying anything too weird so I should be ok in the main store.

    My veg box has arrived this morning with 12 eggs and 4pts skimmed cows milk. I will freeze the milk until after the detox and will bake with some of the eggs and freeze the results and eat a few over the next 2 weeks as they are not really allowed on the plan but I am not wasting them

    My veg box has gone up about 5% like everything else this year. More incentive to ensure that I use every last bit. Got chard and beetroot in it today so will be cooking those for the first time this weekend using a couple of recipes from my new HFW book

    Will report back with my spends this afternoon.
  • majjak
    I hadn't planned on spending much at Mr T this morning but ........ they had loads of 1/2 price offers on lots of things that we use so I decided to stock up a little bit

    Spent 78.79 but I think I've got enough food for the month now. It was helped by the fact that they were selling their Xmas frozen joints/salmon 1/2 price so I picked up a few (6) sides of salmon (£2.50 each) and 2 joints of pork (£5 each) and 2 gammon (£5 each). Added with what I've still got in the freezer I shouldn't have to do a big shop again this month and should come in under budget .
    Save £12K challenge 2015 # 173
  • cookiedough38
    I have done my bulk shop for the month and the cupboards are bursting, £94.73 spent out of £150 budget. Sorting my meal plan now!
  • ebayqueen
    Morning all.

    See from all the posts we are all trying our very best to keep doing well.

    Did remainder of weekly shop last night. Normally friday but as I was in town for SW(2 lb off) I decided to save diesel by getting it over with last night.
    Used MY SUPERMARKET Mr T was the cheapest for what I needed, printed the list.

    Had to go to Lidl to get muesli my hubby loves...compared and swapped some items saving me more money!!!!spent £29.90 but £18.90 for 10 bags cereal included so I am delighted with that.
    Am going to do this in future!

    So Tesco with lots of whoopsies...would have cost £33.38 actually cost £12.94....ORGANIC CARROTS SPROUTS AND PARSNIPS reduced from £1 to 25p....
    Pitta went to get 3/4 packs at 25p came out wih 10x we are well pitta d! for the for-see-able future!
    Lamb steaks ... £2 down from £4.

    Happy enough with signature this week. Have youngest sons 15th on sunday and have ordered a cake but that was saved for in a little glass jar plus lots of sweets etc left over from Christmas so thats me done spending until monday ... I hope

    Noticing some members use seperate purses for grocery shopping ... good idea.

    I start the week with £100 in a golden syrup tin and a seperate one with £30 for school meals etc... so I hope I will save some in the main tin this month.

    Take care all

    "You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" C. S. Lewis
    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 7th Jan 11, 10:01 AM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    Hi peeps

    wow - can`t believe how fast the thread is growing this month, i still have another ten pages or so to read before i`ve fully caught up. I shall sit down with a cuppa later and do just that

    I have three spends to report so far this month, the first was £13.89 in MrM and the second was £18.59 and that was also in MrM, not bad for two weeks shopping. Istill have lots of staples in from my pre winter stock up which i`m now starting to use up.

    I did this as we were expecting to be snowed in for a while and i was soo glad of it all as i didn`t have to worry about getting to the shops, we now have more snow today its falling at about and inch every 90 minutes and shows no sign of stopping so i walked to the Co-Op for the offers.

    I bought the 160 Typoo teabags that were £1.89 and two of the half price curry sauces and two packs of half price naan bread, i also bought a large bar of choccy for a cake that i`m planning on baking later so another spend of £5.01 today. I`m really pleased as i`m halfway through my month as it runs payday to payday and i`ve only spent £37.49 so far all the savings are going into the mortgage OP pot.

    I still have all the pet food budget left too and i could get by in theory without any this month but if there are any offers on then i shall probably spend the lot and stock back up. I had planned to pop to MrM today to see if the rumoured cat food offer was on at our local one but the snow has put paid to that, other than eggs i think we are sorted until Monday at least

    I`m off to update my siggy

    Planning on starting the GC again soon
    • nmlc
    • By nmlc 7th Jan 11, 10:13 AM
    • 3,444 Posts
    • 48,151 Thanks
    Morning all

    Been MIA but now need to get my act together, have still been watching the spends just not recording it on here! PLEASE SIGN ME UP FOR JAN GC FOR £375 I know it's a bit late but better late than never. Have done my first Jan shop today at MrA and spent £59.58. Was really quiet in the supermarket, possibly due to the rain absolutely bucketing down though. Will be trying to do some baking later to use up some of the bits in the fridge.

    Have a good weekend everyone, stay safe.
  • Jo4nne

    Could I join the challenge please? have been lurking around for a while and found loads of useful advice from this fab forum. Have already started keeping my food receipts when I found this thread, so could you put me down for £100 for January?

    Many thanks
  • Long tall sally
    Phew, finally caught up!

    Welcome to all newbies. You have come to the right place.

    Feeling a little cross with myself as I bought some Elmwood chicken breasts in the Co Op yesterday which were cheap but not mega cheap (£3.75 for 3) but really did not need them so why did I buy them? I also got some fruit & veg at the market &was really aware that I was just picking things that looked nice etc, ie. as I haven't done a meal plan I was just really picking things randomly rather than with any thought. One of the things I bought was a bag of sweet potatoes & now I am really not sure what to do with them!

    On a more positive note however, the gammon that I bought for £7 a few days ago has been eaten all week & was lovely. Fed 5 of us Wednesday as a roast, 2 adults Thursday as carbonnara & two of us yesterday as cauliflower cheese with gammon. There is also enough fo sandwiches today.

    I do do some things correctly such as buy milk & bread (now) from Farm Foods, use the market or Adi or Lidl for F & V, do a fair bit of home cooking but less so baking, never buy lunch at work, pad out some meals with beas or veg, try & use up or freeze leftovers, & buy whoopsies & offers etc & stock up when I can BUT I know that there is a lot more that I should be doing such as making pizza instead of buying them, more home baking, using what I have in the freezer & cupboards instead of buying more, actually concentrate properly on regarding the budget as a budget & not a record of spends & probably also reduce portion sizes!

    Sorry, I am rambling a little!
    Last edited by Long tall sally; 07-01-2011 at 10:41 AM.
    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
    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 7th Jan 11, 10:44 AM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    just spent £16.40
    nipped in MrS local had to get eggs wasnt happy as papershop didnt have them and wasnt walking to MrT so ended up paying £3.30 for a dozen thre was a birthday card and a mag in that total. bargain of the trip was 6 grab bags of walkers smokey bacon for 10p each nice treat for the kids over the weekend
    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
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 7th Jan 11, 11:04 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    Phew, finally caught up!

    Welcome to all newbies. You have come to the right place.

    Feeling a little cross with myself as I bought some Elmwood chicken breasts in the Co Op yesterday which were cheap but not mega cheap (£3.75 for 3) but really did not need them so why did I buy them? I also got some fruit & veg at the market &was really aware that I was just picking things that looked nice etc, ie. as I haven't done a meal plan I was just really picking things randomly rather than with any thought. One of the things I bought was a bag of sweet potatoes & now I am really not sure what to do with them!
    Originally posted by Long tall sally

    I use my sweet potatoes to make the following soup


    sweet potatoes
    red onion
    butternut squash
    harissa paste - quite spicy use as much or as little as you want

    chop up butternut squash and red onion and place in bowl add a little oil and the harissa paste,place in oven tray and roast until cooked in the oven.
    when cooked place in a saucepan with peeled and chopped sweet potato and add water or stock to cover, simmer until sweet potato is cooked. blend until smooth and serve.

    this is one of my favourite soups.
    • cookiemum
    • By cookiemum 7th Jan 11, 11:12 AM
    • 131 Posts
    • 2,119 Thanks
    Updated sig.- only £1.50 small spend on milk and a couple of nsd so buying everything with cash seems to be working so far!

    Had an industrious night in the kitchen last night - made Nigella's cookies, chicken and sweetcorn soup, a batch of bread buns and bacon chilli pasta for tea. HM Calzone pizzas requested for tea tonight and have a white cabbage lurking in the back of the fridge so may attempt hm coleslaw. I just hope i can continue with good work

    Enjoy the weekend everyone.

    February Grocery Challenge £301.46/300
    To feed - Me, DH, DD, DS and 1 dog

  • seasalt
    Went shopping on the way home from school last night in the end as it was snowing heavily and not sure what it would be like today - in fact it's nearly all melted - but saved fuel in any case (we were at 145.5p last time I filled up - between Christmas and New Year)although offset by buying the kids a pkt of crisps each. Not a lot on the shelves but still managed to spend £35.03 including a book of stamps as PO early closing. Stuck to my list like glue though and have also started a separate housekeeping/groceries purse with just the week's cash in it. No cards! Also keeping a spending diary - everything, not just groceries. Using an empty last year's diary for this - very ms!

    I was hoping not to buy bread anymore as have started making the artisan bread from a thread on here (very quick and easy) but although everyone wolfed it down very happily the first couple of loaves, they are now rebelling and complaining that it has too much of a sourdough taste to eat all the time and doesn't make good toast. Also I tend to bake it at tea time when the rayburn is at its hottest so by the morning it is not quite as nice as it was with soup the night before. Made my own wholemeal bread once a week for years when it was just DD1 and me but OH was brought up on white sliced and the youngest two have rather followed suit. Might try weezl's bread instead and see how they get on with that.

    Hope everyone else has made a good start to the New Year.
    Jan 2011 GC £300/£150.79 (2 adults, 2 teens, working dog, includes food/cleaning/toiletries)
    • franby64
    • By franby64 7th Jan 11, 11:18 AM
    • 894 Posts
    • 10,920 Thanks
    Morning to everybody, oldies, newbies and all I'm what you call an occasional poster but I love reading everybody's posts.

    Spent £4.87 today on cornflour, mushrooms, bananas, clementines and atora to try to make some dumplings for our veg stew tonight (no VAT except bag re-use).

    Th Co-*p also have ICBINButter for @67p at the moment. I managed to resist grabbing the lot though I'm not so shy about bulk-buying bargains as I used to be - needs must!

    Thank you for all the new recipes - dumplings as posted by Mothership is about as adventurous as I'm getting today but I'm also going to make some spag bol for the DD's and some flapjack for me for everybody.

    I'm only up to £125.11/ £433 for Jan which is miraculous considering I started Jan on 21/12 because I'd run out of Dec money!

    Have a good weekend!
    Starting weight on 22/6 14st 00lbs. Weight on 15/2 10st 11lbs. Lost 3st 3lbs.Target 9st 12lbs. 13lbs left.
  • SuziQ1962
    Equilibrium Going to pick up a Haggis today ready for Burns Night , Thanks everyone for prompting my memory . Does anyone have any favourite way of doing your Neeps and Tatties ?
    I have mine with mashed neeps-swede cooked until soft drained and mashed with butter salt pepper and a little cream,mashed tatties -again with butter salt pepper and a little cream,and a wee dram or some nice red wine to wash it all down,I have veggie haggis and microwave it in a covered dish-works fine for non veggie too and keeps it moist
    "Sealed Pot challenge" member No 1099 2011/£26.00
    Crazy clothes challenge 2012-Budget £28.90/£100
    January 2012 Grocery challenge £378.27/£240
    14/16 NSD in January
    2012 Weight loss challenge -5lbs
    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 7th Jan 11, 11:19 AM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    Hi Billie-Jo , Im intrigued by Lobby , what is it ?
    Originally posted by Equilibrium
    Lobby is local dish to Staffordshire. Its a stew/soup type dish that tastes better the next day, very warming and we often have a large pan of this ready for when we come in when the weather is cold and wet.. Its a dish that contains more meat when you can afford it and more veg when you cant. I remember my granny making it and if it was near pay day you would be lucky to find any meat in it

    11b - 1.5lb of stew beef (I use skirt beef) cut into bite sized chunks
    2 large onions - sliced
    handfull of pearl barley or rice
    some swede - diced small
    1-2 sticks celery, chopped
    4-5 carrots cut into thinish rounds
    4-5 potatoes cut into chunks.
    Stock or 2 beef stock cubes

    put the meat, onions and pearl barley/rice into a large saucepan, add the stock or stock cubes and enough cold water to cover, bring to the boil then turn heat down and cook slowly until meat is tender.
    Now add the veg and some seasoning and add more water to cover if necessary, cook again until the veg is cooked. Stir occasionally.
    Serve in bowls with thick crusty bread. It can be frozen as well.

    I cook this in a LARGE saucepan on the top of the cooker(usually last us 2-3 days) but it can be done in the pressure cooker or a slow cooker. (mum always did it in pressure cooker)
    We eat about half of the lobby and then add a tin of tomato soup to it for the rest.

    The recipe above is what I do but you can alter it to fit any veg you want using up and I suppose you can use lamb as well. Have done it with chicken but didnt like it as much but maybe thats just us.
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH £62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 7th Jan 11, 11:20 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    just had this through on an email:

    This year’s Change4Life activity – the Great Swapathon – will give mums and dads tips, help and advice to help them make 2011 the year they get their families healthy.

    Families are being urged to swap at least one unhealthy habit for a healthier one. The Government is aiming to deliver one million swaps from unhealthy to healthier lifestyle choices, among families and adults in England.

    Through the Great Swapathon, families can get access to:
    • a £50 book of vouchers for money off healthier foods and activities;
    • recipes for healthier alternatives to favourite snacks;
    • recipes for family options for each meal time; and
    • nutritional and activity advice.

    £50 voucher books will be available in the News of the World on Sunday 9 January and from selected Asda stores from Saturday 15 January, while stocks last.

    ASDA own brand includes lean meat cuts, king prawns, apples, clementines, grapes, baking potatoes, root vegetables.
    Birds Eye - packs of Sweetcorn, Country Mix, Select Mix or Green Beans
    Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
    Unilever / Flora Light & Hellman’s Light
    Nestle - Pure Life Water and Ski Yogurts - low fat varieties
    Britvic / Robinsons No Added Sugar Squash and 4x200ml My-5 Fruit Shoot
    Molson Coors / Cobra Zero Alcohol Free Lager
    Mars / Uncle Ben’s Wholegrain Rice
    Warburtons - Wholemeal Loaf
    Tumble Tots - play sessions
    JJB Sports - sports footwear
    Weight Watchers
    Haven Holidays
    Play Providers Association
    Fitness Industry Association

    going to buy the news of the world this weekend for the voucher for free make up kit to redeem at MrT

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