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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Mar 10, 3:38 PM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    • #1
    • 25th Mar 10, 3:38 PM
    25th Mar 10 at 3:38 PM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the fourth Grocery Challenge of 2010.

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

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #4 and #5 on this thread.

    Wishing you all a great Moneysaving Month!
    Last edited by Pink.; 28-03-2010 at 2:29 PM.
Page 10
    • msgnomey
    • By msgnomey 2nd Apr 10, 12:21 PM
    • 1,605 Posts
    • 26,365 Thanks
    OMG OMG OMG spent £781.86 on food last month arghhhhhhh, right this has got to stop!!!!!!

    even more determined to stick to £75 pw now

    mind you some of that total will be clothes from sainsburys and tesco as I often pick up stuff when I am food shopping
    Go hopefully into each new day, enjoy something from every day no matter how small, you never know when it will be your last
    • slowandsteady
    • By slowandsteady 2nd Apr 10, 12:29 PM
    • 386 Posts
    • 3,289 Thanks
    Hi all,

    updating sig, had a small spend yesterday in Quality Save and Cool Trader (dunno if these shops are nationwide, but Quality Save bit like HB and Cool Trader is a discount freezer shop, can get some great bargains in there.

    However my GC and my money in general has been well and truly messed up. When i was checking the internet banking last night, there was money gone i didnt take out, or at least dont remember taking out, so rang the bank and after half an hour of being on hold, explained that i wanted some clarification of exactly when and where i had taken these sums of money out, and it turns out my account is the subject of a fraud investigation it appears my card has been cloned and the criminals have practically emptied my bank account. The bank has stopped my card, frozen my account etc and are investigating. Obviously with it being bank hols ive got no chance of an information untill Tuesday. The lady on the phone couldnt even tell me where the money was taken out. Im fascinated as to how they decide that a transaction is fraudulent but im glad they keep a check!

    Luckily (?) there is enough left to cover the last couple of bills as most of them had already come out, think its just British Gas and car insurance left. I was so glad i moved extra spending money into another account on pay day because we need to pay for two MOTs, so all that was left in the account was a lot less than could have been.

    They say i will get my money back if it is found to be fraud (if?) but dont know how long that will be

    Never mind, i already took my GC money out of the bank and put it in a different pot so i have that physically at home so at least we wont starve, i have my few savings and FIL has given us a bit of money as a gift, which is a coincidence it was certainly the right time for a little extra, not much but will see us through, am very grateful to him!

    Sorry to waffle, im just so upset, i feel so vulnerable, scary what people can do to you.

    Have agood Easter everyone xx
  • wssla00
    Hi Slow and Steady, I used to work in a bank and they are pretty good at stopping unusual transactions. The computer has an idea of where you spend your money, how much etc and will decline or investigate any fraudulant claims. They may even be able to put on an overdraft until the money is returned back to you. Give them a call on Tuesday and see what they can do. I remember once my card was cloned and someone kindly spent £500 in tifanys!!!!!!!! Luckily they declined it as they know the most extravagant place i shop is john lewis lol.
    It's so rubbish but it really pays to cover your pin wherever you are. I have heard of pin hole cameras on cash machines which record your pin and clone the card. Once they have that they are away. Usually they will try a few small transactions to see if they will work then go on a blow out until all the money is gone or the card is declined.... whichever comes first.

    Hugs! I know it is awful but it will be ok HUGS to you!
    Feb GC: £200 Spent: £190.79
  • Nakashima Miharu
    1st Spend in April...
    Found some tuna steaks in the freezer last night but didn't have any fresh veg to go with them so popped into SBs and bought:

    Mange tout & baby corn: £1.70
    Baby-leaf spinach: £1.50
    Fresh ginger: £0.26
    Mixed chillies: £0.53

    Bad thing was there were lots of nice looking puds on offer so bought 2x lemon sponge and a pot of custard : £1.00+£1.25. Worst thing for me was the offer on hot-cross buns on show as you walked in the door so fell for that one too: £1.00 (actually, 12 HC buns for £1 is quite a bargain on reflection )

    Won't go shopping hungry again though

    Anyway, whilst baking the tuna steak for 30mins, made up my own stir-fry sauce with honey, lime-juice, soy sauce and mixed seeds from the store cupboard, fresh ginger and chopped chillies. Fried all this with the mange tout & corn for 10mins and then mixed it with the baby spinach and egg-noodles (from the cupboard). Then popped the tuna steak on top. Was delicious!

    Also spent last night making soup to freeze for work lunches for the month. Didn't buy in anything for this as used left-over veg from last weekend and store cupboard extras Made two varieties of soup - Curried Parsnip and Sweet Potato & Coconut - had to stop OH polishing off the curried parsnip before I could get it in the freezer so must have been successful!!

    Need more soup pots as going to make a Watercress and a Carrot & Coriander later (my favourite). Obviously need ingredients for this also so will update on my hopefully successful shopping trip tomorrow.

    Shunsho ikkoku, atai senkin

    Half an hour in a spring evening is worth a thousand gold pieces
  • shell73
    Hey All

    This is my first month of the grocery challenge although have been a budget food shopper for a while.
    My first spend was today when i went to Mr T
    Heres my breakdown:
    total shopping after savings £75.79
    overbought £15.75 not included in my grocery challenge
    coupons £6.61
    weekly shopping total of £53.43

    I have stocked up though on tea bags (320 for £5), baked beans(branstons 2 pk4 for £2 so 8 tins in total) so shouldnt need these for a month.

    I joined tesco crimbo clubcard savers club last year and so far for 2010 i have nearly £20 to come back in November total £80 worth of clubcard deals. Which i am going to use to take my little one out in the school hols of 2011.
    For 2009 i got the same amount as im upto now and i managed to get a day trip to legoland, n 2 extra days out for me and little one but if we go out with dad it will cost us about £6 cash for the 3 of us!!

    Shell x
    • Welsh Poppy
    • By Welsh Poppy 2nd Apr 10, 2:44 PM
    • 980 Posts
    • 5,912 Thanks
    Welsh Poppy
    Slow and steady
    Big hugs it is horrid but at least you do have money and not wiped out completely but it does feel persona;l when it is not really hope they sort it out.

    Arggggggg went to mr M for fresh fish for hubby as good Friday and it is on offer half price.... so how come I ended up with
    36 charmin toilets rolls for 8.00...great offer
    bott;le of NZ wine , fresh bread and more sensations......then not in budget cake tins, pizza pan, baking sheet, mixing bowl all half price non stick with 5 years garantee.
    Need to work out what is out of grocery budget...hubby just did this 12.00 so not bad really.
    right NSD here I come......please Mr M and Mr S dont tempt me with your offers satan get behind me!!!
    Weight loss challenge 66lb to go /59lb's lost

    Grocery Budget January £150/£175
    Feb £150/
  • lizzyshep
    Slow and Steady, I'm sorry to hear of your troubles, it's horrible when things like that happen. A few years ago I got a call from my bank about my credit card, to ask if I'd been spending large sums of money in India! Luckily they refunded all the money that was taken.

    Anyway, I'm feeling pretty chuffed today. I got my delivery from Sainsburys and they were late, so I got a £10 voucher for my next shop, and they'd accidentally given me 2 bags of bread flour but only charged me for one The driver was a really nice bloke too, and brightened up my day with his friendly smile. The only problem was some of the things they substituted - I don't know who does these, but I'm not sure that they really think about it properly. They had cheese on offer, £3.65 each or any 2 for £4, they only had one type in stock and they substituted the other with something completely different so I couldn't take advantage of the discount. I would have thought it was obvious I was going for the special offer. They did a similar thing with the loo roll too. Oh well, it doesn't matter cos I sent it back with the driver and can always pop into the store when I'm passing to pick up some more.

    I've only got £28 left of this month's budget so things will be tight, but all being well I will only need to buy milk and fresh veg, so should just about manage.
    April Grocery Challenge: £80/£64.39
    March No Spend Days: 15/7
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 2nd Apr 10, 3:45 PM
    • 3,795 Posts
    • 13,029 Thanks
    My budget is going to be going from the 1st of April to the 30th of April £108.
    This is for my fiance and me and 2 old rats .

    We went shopping yesterday and spent £101.76 . However the fridge, the cupboards and the freezer are all full . So we have £6.24 to last us the rest of the month for fresh fruit and vegetables when needed (he has some milk in the freezer so that's not a worry). It is alot of money for two people BUT this was our first food shop for our new place so we decided to buy basics like pasta, rice, noodles, tea, coffee (500g!) etc that we won't be buying every month anyway.
    I hope I can get back into this as it's been a long time since I did this challenge.
    I am a vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
  • **sde**
    hi every1 back for my 2nd day, spent £23 in tesco yesterday, got a lot for my money though and im quite optimistic even though this is my 1st month. even if ive got my budget completely wrong at least im more aware of what im spending on!
    oops, ive spent to much!
  • Long tall sally
    Spent another tenner today on beer for tonight, some coke & some chocolate for OH, seeing as he presented me with a box of Ferraro Rocher last night!

    Slow & Steady - I had this problem a few months ago when somebody cloned my card & used it in Italy but have to say that my bank, HSBC were very quick to refund me the money. Hope yours will be!
    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
    • Winchelsea
    • By Winchelsea 2nd Apr 10, 4:49 PM
    • 691 Posts
    • 9,316 Thanks
    Been to S**nsb*ry this afternoon, and just bought the few things we needed. And, instead of buying a newspaper tomorrow I spent 40p on a cheap TV magazine - a load of rubbish basically, but I do like to be able to flip through to see what's coming. Some weekends the paper sits there virtually unread apart from the culture section, and we can always read that on line. Total spend was £7.90. Add the £2.09 I spent on the food budget yesterday, and £9.99 has gone so far.

    Just missed the bus home, so popped across the road to Boots and topped up my PAYG mobile. I think it was on here somewhere that I read the tip about using Boots and your Advantage card for top-ups. I put £10 on, enough for the month, and I see I received 40 points! It says on the slip "With this transaction you received 1 x Earn save 2 ss" - whatever that means!

    Am writing this while waiting for dough to rise - will make big pizza, enough for a couple of days.
    Keeping three cats, the car and myself on a small budget, and enjoying life while we're at it!
  • Botany
    Well, 2 days into the new month and I have already spent over 1/3 of my total budget

    Between yesterday in Mr T and a quick trip to Mr W today, I have spent a total of 84.72, leaving 125.28 in the pot
    • Kornishkat
    • By Kornishkat 2nd Apr 10, 6:07 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 1,561 Thanks
    slowandsteady - a similar thing happened to my brother a few months ago with someone withdrawing money with a cash card in Russia. The bank (Halifax) put the missing money back in his account within a couple of days the only pain was having to wait for a new card. I hope it gets sorted quickly for you.

    andrinaperry - well done wish I could do so well, I only managed to come just inside my budget in March.

    msgnomey - maybe you could take off the cost of any clothes you buy from your total bill and just keep your total for groceries. It might be easier to keep track of your spending this way. Best of luck for April anyway

    My first spend of the month today £4.45 on some mini cream eggs for easter egg hunt and some diced chicken on special offer. I have a delivery coming from Mr T tomorrow but won't know the total on that until it is delivered.
    Back on the money saving wagon again!
    • slowandsteady
    • By slowandsteady 2nd Apr 10, 6:48 PM
    • 386 Posts
    • 3,289 Thanks

    cant believe im back for the second time in a day to report spends-although my report earlier was spends from yesterday!

    Thankyou to everyone for the hugs, with my cloned card situation! After reading your posts i feel more confident about getting my pennies back! I went back on my internet banking earlier and it appears the money was taken out in Ireland according to the info on there, goodness they got there quick from when i think the information was stolen! They appear to have made four transactions, then my card must have been stopped by the bank. Im almost glad they took the money out overseas as i was very worried the bank would not believe me if the money was taken out locally, and would not refund me.

    However, im embarrassed to admit that it hasnt stopped me spending money because my GC money is still with me!

    Decided to go to Mr M to see if there Easter feast for £7 was worth it. They had no trifles and had stopped selling it as a deal but still worked out cheap, but decided against it.

    Instead i happened to get to the whoopsie fridge at the right time when she was reducing the reduced stuff, and got an Indian meal deal thing for four, which is originally priced at £10.99 for £2.99, mistakenly took dh with me and he insisted i got a second one (there were a few) so i did, also got a pack of chicken drumsticks down from £1.99 to 49p, and a pack of chicken thighs with bacon red onion and mushroom or similar for 99p down from £4, looks gorgous that does so i'll throw in the small packet of chicken drumsticks and make a hearty meal of them both. Also got the Walkers Sensations crisps which are buy one get two free (dh again!) and a box of PG down from £5.45 to £3 and a couple other bits.

    So total spend £14.22.

    Not too bad for what i got and the Indian meal deal for 4 will do us a few meals, as four different curries in each bag, plus rice, naan and onion bhajis, have frozen 6 of them, dh had one today and i'll have one later, they may save a big splurge on takeaway when i fancy something spicy.

    Have FIL coming tomorrow for an early lunch and to see dd, so i have taken the frozen leftover Xmas turkey out and will do a hot turkey meal, and my dad coming on Monday for which i shall defrost some meat and do a hot meal again at lunch.

    Definately shouldnt be going near a shop now except for milk as will have to stretch my GC money now as i really dont want to dip into the savings for every day stuff while my cloned card business is sorted out.

    Have a good weekend everyone x
  • rosieben
    Great to see so many new faces here Welcome to the GC - gin, 4kids4cats, mummy2jack, shopsalot, cookiemum, DanielleNic87, Winchelsea, Nakashima Miharu, Fluffy30, butdoineedit?, dreamywings1, missy dee, Billie-jo, **sde** - apologies if I've missed anyone. Mrs Mc will be along to add your names to the front page list shortly ; don't forget to check out the recipes on the front page. Good luck for your first challenge!

    Welcome to all our returners too!

    slowandsteady - what an awful thing to happen, hope you get your money back soon.

    I have a small mrt delivery coming next week, apart from that I'm eating out of the freezer and cupboards. I went through my inventory and listed all the meals I could make and it came to over 50 so this month's meal plan was sorted! I'll need to buy fresh fruit and veg, milk and bread although I have plenty of flour/yeast etc so may make my own.

    hex2 - thanks for the heads up re the caramel shortcake link I'm off to check it now I've checked it out and as the (external) page is not available any more, I've deleted it from the recipe list
    Last edited by rosieben; 03-04-2010 at 12:58 AM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 3rd Apr 10, 7:19 AM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,664 Thanks
    slow and steady thats terrible! and whats even more scary is how common it seems to be I hope everything is sorted out quickly for you

    went to mr T's yesterday ( you would have thought the shops were shut for a week over easter it was so busy ) and spent £79.51 apart from bread and fruit and veg should be ok till next friday

    hope everyone has a lovely easter xx
    • ragz
    • By ragz 3rd Apr 10, 8:42 AM
    • 3,153 Posts
    • 27,335 Thanks
    £5 spend yesterday on bits, need to do a big shop this weekend but car is out of action so not sure what we're doing about that yet, have food for a few dinners but will need pull ups for DS2...

    The only problem was some of the things they substituted - I don't know who does these, but I'm not sure that they really think about it properly. They had cheese on offer, £3.65 each or any 2 for £4, they only had one type in stock and they substituted the other with something completely different so I couldn't take advantage of the discount. I would have thought it was obvious I was going for the special offer.
    Whenever tesco do that to me I keep the stuff then call them later and complain, then they refund the difference to make it the same as the offer... as I point out that I only buy cheese when it's on offer! The tesco call centre people seem to hand out refunds without any trouble, I've got a lot of good deals that way!
    Last edited by ragz; 03-04-2010 at 9:00 AM.
    Ragz is busy studying
    Progress is easier to acheive than perfection.
    • dreamingofmoney
    • By dreamingofmoney 3rd Apr 10, 8:44 AM
    • 419 Posts
    • 4,753 Thanks
    Hiya All
    Well fab start to the month, i have the motivation this time to keep it going (i think).
    Love whoever started this way of thinking but i think it works so well 9% of month gone but only 6% of budget haha, love it. So motivating when you see it wrote down like that i think.
    Haven't had to spend any extra for easter as we are going to mums (faberoonies), and have also doing the months worth of meal planning so hope i can stick to that and i'll save a fortune,
    Also going for 15 NSD's

    Good Luck to all
    Paying back 1% at a time 79% of total debt paid off.
    No. 82 PAYDBX19 £5794.39/£13000 of debt paid from this years goal 44.6%
    Hfax loan, Bcard £438/£5852.07 7.5% Lloyd’s £250/£592.99 42.1%
    Debt free date Mar 2020.
    • earthmother
    • By earthmother 3rd Apr 10, 11:06 AM
    • 2,535 Posts
    • 5,460 Thanks
    Just checking in - picked up a bit of shopping yesterday - about £20 worth - mostly fruit and cheese for me and the boys, and new supplies for DH as those lovely ladies and gents of the NHS have decided they want to keep hold of him a bit longer

    Total spend is now £105.91, leaving just under £245 to finish the month. Should only need bread and milk, and maybe a bit more fruit, next week, so I don't see any problems so far.
    DFW Nerd no. 884 - Proud to be dealing with have dealt with my debts
  • loulou0327
    Day 3 and no spend so far also I've managed not to feed anyone who doesn't live here. Woohoo! Not sure how long that will last though because kids are trying to arrange sleepovers for this week with various friends all staying here of course, lol.
    off to sort out my cupboard/ freezers and do the Tesco shop online.
    Grocery challenge Jan 270.27/200

    Total debt 04/01/2011 £2671.23
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