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  • FIRST POST
    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    • 9,343Posts
    • 17,889Thanks
    zippychick
    • #1
    • 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    4th Jun 11 at 11:19 AM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the first Grocery Challenge of 2012

    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 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 the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #3, #4, #5 and #6 on this thread.

    For everyones totals, see post #7 on this thread

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Zip
    Last edited by zippychick; 27-12-2011 at 12:52 PM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 64
  • LondonDreamer
    Please help, can I freeze risotto? My oh has just announced he is going out and I already have defrosted the chicken for risotto and there's too much for just me!
    Originally posted by aberdeensaver
    I never have it myself, but you can buy it as a frozen ready meal so I don't see why not!

    Try this thread, should have more info: Can I freeze risotto?
    • Meadows
    • By Meadows 7th Jan 12, 11:43 AM
    • 4,074 Posts
    • 10,404 Thanks
    Meadows
    Please help, can I freeze risotto? My oh has just announced he is going out and I already have defrosted the chicken for risotto and there's too much for just me!
    Originally posted by aberdeensaver

    Yes but will not have the texture of risotto and will be mushy might be better to put in the fridge and eat tomorrow.

    http://www.risotto-recipe.com/recipes/risotto-faq.html
    Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 7th Jan 12, 11:46 AM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    Please help, can I freeze risotto? My oh has just announced he is going out and I already have defrosted the chicken for risotto and there's too much for just me!
    Originally posted by aberdeensaver
    You'll probably get lots of differing advice on this one as some people do it & never have problems while others have been very ill from reheated rice and would never consider it again!

    The main thing is to get the rice cooled as quickly as possible - when I do Risotto, one portion is plated up and the other is put into a big plate with sides (are these pasta dishes?) and popped into the washing up bowl (so it floats) filled with cold water.

    You will need to take the plate out / mix & respread the risotto a few times to get it cool ASAP.

    Once cooled, I put into the fridge (sealed container) straight away & would always use the next night. To reheat, I do on a medium setting for 5 mins at a time & stir, then another 5 mins etc until absolutely piping hot.

    TBH after receiving much advice on here, I decided not to risk freezing mine so have always just done this. HTH
    Grocery Challenge 211/455 (01/01-31/03)
    2016 Sell: 125/250
    1,000 Emergency Fund Challenge #78 3.96 / 1,000
    Vet Fund: 410.93 / 1,000
    Debt free & determined to stay that way!
    • cw18
    • By cw18 7th Jan 12, 11:50 AM
    • 8,073 Posts
    • 86,059 Thanks
    cw18
    I do almost exactly the same as Cheryl, except that I don't put the frozen block into a plastic bag.

    I've lots of margarine tubs so don't have a problem with running out of them and it means if I forget to take something out in the morning to defrost, I can take straight from the freezer, run the sides of the tub under hot water for a few seconds (literally) and the block then tips out into the pan. HTH
    Originally posted by rising from the ashes
    I also have lots of margarine tubs, but turning the contents into freezer bags frees up freezer space
    Cheryl
  • Redouble
    Just checked my online banking and realised that one of my grocery spends came out of a separate budget so i have put 10 back into my virtual pot.

    I am thrilled with how it is going. I have separated the cash in my purse into 'weeks' so I have a weekly grocery budget already sorted.

    Am grinning here, I feel so in control of my finances and that is a VERY new feeling for me! Now I am off to clean my house!! Wish me luck...
    NSDs 7/20
    Make 10 a day 403.74/310
    • rising from the ashes
    • By rising from the ashes 7th Jan 12, 11:56 AM
    • 12,321 Posts
    • 59,551 Thanks
    rising from the ashes
    I also have lots of margarine tubs, but turning the contents into freezer bags frees up freezer space
    Originally posted by cw18
    Ahhhhh - don't have that problem either as I've got 2!

    I find they stack well and they don't seem to take up much more room - I hate freezer bags for some reason - probably as I've suffered with the "wrinkling effect" in the past so just decided to get rid of them!
    Grocery Challenge 211/455 (01/01-31/03)
    2016 Sell: 125/250
    1,000 Emergency Fund Challenge #78 3.96 / 1,000
    Vet Fund: 410.93 / 1,000
    Debt free & determined to stay that way!
    • debbiedeejay
    • By debbiedeejay 7th Jan 12, 12:04 PM
    • 504 Posts
    • 5,182 Thanks
    debbiedeejay
    Afternoon all
    Just popping by to update weekly spends.

    Did the weekly drudge round mr M's yesterday to a cost of 26.78, I don't think I checked in with last weeks spends so am going to have to declare an extra 30 for last week too - I know I didn't go over it.

    I did buy some wine & beer&soft drinks for a party but am not going to declare it as that came out of entertainment budget - it's not used often at the moment , so not that worried and it was less than 15 for 5 of us that went anyway.

    I did though yesterday used some of theMr M's saving stamp card that my Dad gave me for part of my Christmas pressie(think its his way of thanking me taking him every week to Mr M's)

    I stocked up on s*rf that is on offer at 3 for 25 washes,so got 4 (which compares to Amaz8ns offer on the Psil) - I suppose it's just personal preference in the end- also bought the ae bleach at half price,cans of coconut milk (2 for 1) & bran*tons baked beans (pack of 4 for 1.25) and T-bags that were half price- that lot came to just under 27.

    Poor lad on checkout totally got baffled and had to get supervisor over to show how to put stamps through as wasn't sure. Anyway they gave me the 70 back from the stamp card in cash,so I went over to customer services and exchanged them for 70 in stamps and took 5 cards as well.

    Have divided them up into 2 lots of 15 and the 3 lots of 10 on the cards. So my idea is to make them work harder over the next few months so i can stock pile the bargains.

    I explained this to the woman whom I got the stamps off and all she said was "but you won't have got the extra 3 at Xmas"

    No but I had saved around 16 on that one shop if I had done it buying each one seperately and when the items were not at bargain prices so even taking off the 3 bonus I am still better off -plus the stamps were a gift in the first place,even better!

    I could see her mulling it all over as I left ...something for her to chat about at break time I suppose

    My Dad bless him is totally bemused but I think he is quie impressed that I am making the stamps work for me.
    Crazy Clothes Challenge 2012 57.20/100,CCC 2013 68.67/100 ,CCC 2014 94.32/100
    *Frugal Living Challenge 2012, 2013, 2014*
    GC 2014 Jan 154.14/180;Feb 103.49/180;Mar 117.63/160
    • cw18
    • By cw18 7th Jan 12, 12:11 PM
    • 8,073 Posts
    • 86,059 Thanks
    cw18
    Ahhhhh - don't have that problem either as I've got 2!
    Originally posted by rising from the ashes
    So do I - and I live on my own, but never have any space in them these days

    I used the last of my oven chips on Christmas Day, but don't have the space for a new bag of them - filled the gap with a tub of ice cream and several bags of sliced turkey (after I picked up a large Whoopsied crown on 27th)
    Cheryl
    • Outdoorlass
    • By Outdoorlass 7th Jan 12, 12:24 PM
    • 307 Posts
    • 1,127 Thanks
    Outdoorlass
    Went to A5da yesterday, armed with most of my coupons, spent 78 after the coupons were taken off
    grocery challenge Sept 2012 21/399
    • mumsiemum
    • By mumsiemum 7th Jan 12, 12:27 PM
    • 241 Posts
    • 2,608 Thanks
    mumsiemum
    Cheapest dried yeast?
    Can anyone recommend the best place (ie cheapest ) place to buy yeast for a bread machine?

    Coming to the end of my sachets but thinking there must be a cheaper alternative!

    MM
    Pay all your debts by Xmas 2013 #008
    Finally debt free!!!!!
  • minipenny
    I've just started going to C0stc0 recently and I now aim to go once a month to stock up on certain bits. They have toilet roll on offer atm, 10 4 roll packs for just over 10 which is good value as they seem to last (I don't just look at price as I've found some cheaper rolls get used much faster) and I got 12 packs of bacon for 9 last week that is still on offer. Lavazza coffee, Clipper tea bags and cans of tuna are other things I will now stock up on from there too.
    Originally posted by totallybored
    Thanks for this has convinced me its a good idea going to apply for a costco card out of the money we have saved on groceries at the end of this month

    we got the cheaper loo roll in tesco a while ago and was going through twice as much so thats something I like to know too. right off to clear cupboards ready for costco trip next month

    • Meadows
    • By Meadows 7th Jan 12, 12:34 PM
    • 4,074 Posts
    • 10,404 Thanks
    Meadows
    Can anyone recommend the best place (ie cheapest ) place to buy yeast for a bread machine?
    Coming to the end of my sachets but thinking there must be a cheaper alternative! MM
    Originally posted by mumsiemum

    You don't say how much you pay? You can get a pack of 8 for about 67p upwards, different supermarkets have different prices and their own brand is cheaper than the named brands.
    You can go to the Tesco bakery and ask if they have some yeast, they will give you a small amount of fresh yeast free.
    Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
    • carolinerunner
    • By carolinerunner 7th Jan 12, 12:46 PM
    • 495 Posts
    • 6,305 Thanks
    carolinerunner
    Just made pitta breads to eat with whoopsied M*S hummus, TOTALLY gorgeous if I say so myself and really easy. Not even similar to the things in packets. Yum!

    Mumsiemum, Dove's Farm orange packets are better value than the sachets, I reckon, about 1 when I last bought one and less fiddle than opening sachets and trying to save the tiny bit that wasn't used.
    Erratically money saving
    • ms_night_ryder
    • By ms_night_ryder 7th Jan 12, 12:47 PM
    • 3,001 Posts
    • 11,582 Thanks
    ms_night_ryder
    hey guys just 19p to add, did a little shop in a store yesterday, got some greens beans i really fancied them, was thinking about them for weeks 1 for the pack, a pack of tube yogurts, 2 mikado packs 2 for 1 a pack of lockets, 6 pack of apple juice cartons cost 5.19 but as i was doing it as part of a mystery shop, the brief said i will be reimbursed 5 so only 19p spent, should have thought it out more, but hey ho, free shopping is exactly that free shopping, nothing else spent, which i am happy about and loads to eat in fridges, freezer and cupboards, so it will be fruit and veg top up, maybe next week.

    I have apples, satsumas,lemons, green beans,carrots and broccoli,onions and potatoes, so not too bad,only me at home so this will last.
    Lose 28lb 3/28lb
    SPC Member 1522/2012-264/ new pot 2013
    • totallybored
    • By totallybored 7th Jan 12, 12:52 PM
    • 1,082 Posts
    • 2,506 Thanks
    totallybored
    Thanks for this has convinced me its a good idea going to apply for a costco card out of the money we have saved on groceries at the end of this month

    we got the cheaper loo roll in tesco a while ago and was going through twice as much so thats something I like to know too. right off to clear cupboards ready for costco trip next month
    Originally posted by minipenny
    It's the Velevt that's on offer atm but I think it ends around the 14th. However, their own brand rolls are about the same price and I always see people with them in their trolleys.

    If you are getting toilet roll you might need more than an empty cupboard, I now have a spare room full of them
    • Islandmaid
    • By Islandmaid 7th Jan 12, 1:01 PM
    • 3,133 Posts
    • 42,332 Thanks
    Islandmaid
    Hi all,

    46 this morning at Mr L,s mainly F&V but did buy 2 bottles of wine and 2 large bottles of larger for DS1,s birthday meal tonight - we,re off for an indian and its BYO for booze

    Hope Everyones okay and still being OS for the new year xx
    Last edited by Islandmaid; 07-01-2012 at 1:14 PM. Reason: Typo
    Note to self - STOP SPENDING MONEY !!
  • LondonDreamer
    Can anyone recommend the best place (ie cheapest ) place to buy yeast for a bread machine?

    Coming to the end of my sachets but thinking there must be a cheaper alternative!

    MM
    Originally posted by mumsiemum
    Get the tinned yeast instead of sachets, works out nearly half the price per loaf. If you have a Waitrose nearby, the cheapest is Dove's Farm Quick Yeast that's 99p for 125g. If you only have Mr A or Mr T nearby, Allinson Easy Bake Yeast is also 99p but for 100g, it's the one in the green tin.

    There's a cheaper yellow tin Allinson Dried Active Yeast for 64p available everywhere, but this needs to be activated in warm water prior to using. Not sure if you can use it in a breadmaker as I don't use one, but it doesn't mention it's suitable where the green tin definitely does.
    • clarkey1000
    • By clarkey1000 7th Jan 12, 1:27 PM
    • 172 Posts
    • 468 Thanks
    clarkey1000
    Was hoping for a NS day today but whilst I was at a kids birthday party DH nipped to the cafe next door & got a coffee & sandwich (I just ate my kids leftovers!!). Have been in a grump with him all morning so didn't dare ask him how much he'd spent but I'll assume it was 5.
    Feb 14 GC - 89.37/300
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 7th Jan 12, 1:39 PM
    • 1,318 Posts
    • 15,730 Thanks
    Save Dosh
    Well spent 6.29 more, so added to sig. Thought I would add my first ever recipe, not one i have done myself, but got from Nigella. I must add that Nigella uses nothing but the finest, organic, etc. but this is the cheapie MSE friendly version, feel free to upgrade if you wish.

    Digestives - Tesco value x 1/2 pack 25p
    2 x value cream cheese 1.00p
    Value lemon curd 22p
    Butter ????

    Ok, so you mix the digestives and butter (sorry don't know how much) together to form a base, this is either done by hand by melting the butter and adding to digestives, or in a food processer by adding solid butter, then line a dish, pressing the crumbs into place, put into fridge for a while to set somewhat. you then mix together the lemon curd and cream cheese and layer on top of the digestive base. At this stage, you may leave plain, or cover, if you so wish with fruits, etc, maybe meringue, or banana, Nigella did fruits, but let your mind go wild. I am gonna do this this next week when i get the ingredients.
    Originally posted by Save Dosh
    SueP19 Hi sue, here is the name, it sounds really easy, here is the link, somewhat different to how i described.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgGioBpe3SMthe
    July GC - Food 38.73/80 - Alcohol 16.53/20
    Bulk Funds - Food 0
    - Alcohol 0
    Save 12k in 2019 1,300/5,000 - #155
    • elly2
    • By elly2 7th Jan 12, 1:41 PM
    • 553 Posts
    • 5,227 Thanks
    elly2
    Afternoon all, NSD for me yesterday, but have given my dad a shopping list today and 20 asked him to get some of the toilet rolls that are on offer in T but it seems he doesnt like the look of them so didnt pick them up !!!!. Forgot to take the chicken out lastnight for dinner tomorrow so have had to add a fresh chicken to the list ggrrrrr have 2 whole chickens in the freezer. Have also asked him to find a couple of tins of corned beef that cost less than 2 that should keep him busy for a while (cant believe how expensive it is now), have been craving a hotpot for a couple of weeks now but didnt make one as the kids wont eat it now dads home he can share one with me. Am sorting a meal plan out for next week (slowly) chicken dinner tomorrow,chicken curry mon,hotpot tues ??????thats as far as i have got so far may do toad in the hole on thurs (not really good on the meal planning stage of my challange) as the kids will eat that as long as i serve it up with waffels/smilley faces . We have one baby degu left from our shock litter (we think it is a girl and has been named priscilla(sp) DD wanted a propper name for her she is a lovelly little thing but she is so small she keeps escaping her cage and crawling up DD's leg .


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