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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 67
    • meg72
    • By meg72 7th Jan 12, 6:35 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    Was a bit bored earlier (oh dear, boredom normally results in spending for me!) so I went for a walk to the Turkish supermarket for some fresh bread and dips. Only spent £4.97 which wasn't bad as that included popping into L*dl too and getting 2 blocks of cheese. Total spend now up to £49.17 /£250.

    The Turkish supermarket did have big cans (at least the size of 2 regular tinned tomato cans) of tomato paste for 99p. I wasn't sure if this was cheap but I think it is? I also didnt know what I would do with that much paste once opened though as I only normally use a couple of squirts from a tube so I didn't buy any this time.
    Originally posted by totallybored
    Tomato paste freezes very well, when I buy a tin I freeze in ice cube trays its really easy just to pop a cube or two out when you want it.
    Slimming World at target
    • totallybored
    • By totallybored 7th Jan 12, 6:56 PM
    • 1,082 Posts
    • 2,506 Thanks
    totallybored
    Tomato paste freezes very well, when I buy a tin I freeze in ice cube trays its really easy just to pop a cube or two out when you want it.
    Originally posted by meg72
    That's a great idea, I would never have thought of doing that. Will buy tins in future as they seemed huge compared to a tube.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 7th Jan 12, 6:57 PM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 28,089 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    NSD today
    Made gammon with pineapple, rice and a white sauce for dinner tonight - only used a tiny bit of gammon, shredded up so went quite far - I loved it (even if the sauce was thinner than I planned ) think it's because we had this with chicken quite a lot when I was at home so reminded of my mum. However... I overcooked the rice - I have a problem with rice, for some reason I can NEVER get it right - usually leave it to OH who declared that dinner was basically rice pudding with bacon pmsl. he ate it all though so I'm not complaining!
    Off for a nice bath and then need to split the gammon and chicken I cooked yesterday and put into portions and in the freeer - must not forget to do this tonight!
    Originally posted by 98jdougl
    When I do rice I use a mug (for 2) of rice and the same of water in a large covered pan plus a splodge more water, pinch of salt (optional) and a dribble of oil (stops it sticking).
    Bring to the boil then lid on and simmer for 5 minutes - turn the heat off but don't take the lid off - the rice cooks in the steam and doesn't catch. After 15 minutes the rice is just cooked (I leave it 20 minutes so it is well and truly cooked) and fluff it up with a fork. Perfect long grain rice!
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (£59,998) Q1 £26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 78.13% £31,251.65 including July
    Save £12k in 2019 - #68 target is £7k £4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is £3k - 46.03% spent so far, mid July
    My DFD is here
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 7th Jan 12, 7:05 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    freakyogre
    £5.65 in Lidl on mince, cheese (both weekend offers), red cabbage, clementines, red onions, cucumber, biscuits and 2 x chocolate Domino cubes (I thought I was quite restrained only getting 2 as they're soooo yummy!)
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
  • lemmings1986
    £5.65 in Lidl on mince, cheese (both weekend offers), red cabbage, clementines, red onions, cucumber, biscuits and 2 x chocolate Domino cubes (I thought I was quite restrained only getting 2 as they're soooo yummy!)
    Originally posted by freakyogre
    hi freakyogre whats chocolate domino cubes please??never heard of them
    VSP#17 £2.34
    debt free 26/10/2012
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 7th Jan 12, 7:18 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    freakyogre
    hi freakyogre whats chocolate domino cubes please??never heard of them
    Originally posted by lemmings1986
    They are 'Layers of Lebkuchen, apple jelly and apricot kernel paste coated in dark/milk chocolate'.

    They're like little cubes of cakey/biscuit goodness! I've found a picture online - http://www.lidl.com.cy/static_content/lidl_cy/images/CY/CY_12811_01_b.jpg

    They only have them at Christmas, but they were reduced to 49p today.
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
  • lemmings1986
    They are 'Layers of Lebkuchen, apple jelly and apricot kernel paste coated in dark/milk chocolate'.

    They're like little cubes of cakey/biscuit goodness! I've found a picture online - http://www.lidl.com.cy/static_content/lidl_cy/images/CY/CY_12811_01_b.jpg

    They only have them at Christmas, but they were reduced to 49p today.
    Originally posted by freakyogre
    thanks have never heard of them but they do look interesting
    VSP#17 £2.34
    debt free 26/10/2012
  • bupster
    Had to dash out and get paper plates - while I was at As*a I picked up some plain flour (mine had weevils in - ew) and some frozen spinach. Have some puff pastry to use up so that might go in to make some interesting little tartlets or something.

    It's not much, but I still *have* to stop spending! Can someone lend me a ball and chain or something to keep me out of the shops?
    Grocery challenge - April £65.28/£80
    Entertainment - £79

    Grocery challenge March £106.55/£100
    Grocery challenge February £90.11/£100
    Grocery challenge January £84.65/£300
    • Gorgeestwo
    • By Gorgeestwo 7th Jan 12, 7:22 PM
    • 364 Posts
    • 5,889 Thanks
    Gorgeestwo
    Twas me

    Easy peasy to do, layer sausagemeat at the bottom of a glass baking dish (doesn't stick to the glass dishes), add a few herbs if you want to, our sausagemeat had them in already. Cook for 15 mins in oven. While that's cooking, make up some mashed potato. Take out sausagemeat from oven, pour over a couple of tins of baked beans, top with the mash and some grated cheese. Pop back in oven for another 10 mins or so. Voila ! Basically, sausages, mash and beans but in one pot - less washing up too .
    Originally posted by majjak
    Will give this a go, the kids would love it, thank you.

    Have been and done my weeks shop today, spent £41.86, went to M&S, used my £5 voucher, and two Mr T's, really pleased with that as I've stocked up on the kitchen roll offer in Mr T's and got a good amount of fruit and veg, so if it all goes to plan and I stick to my meal plan , then the only thing I might have to get in the week is more milk Going to make sure I read this thread every day to keep up as I'm finding it really motivates me to not give up so easily and if I can get anywhere near my target then we'll be spending over half of what we would normally spend on groceries a month
    So thanks again to everyone
    Grocery challenge : January 2016 £65.86/£300
    For 2 adults, 2 children (10 & 9 yrs) 3 cats & 2 dogs.


  • destroyerofdebt2011
    Hope everyone is keeping warm and well.

    2nd spend of the month, wasnt really urgent but i wanted a trip out mainly, got the dog food which i would have needed by the end of the week. Have looked at current stocks and at the rate i'm using up the loo roll and soap powder i actually think i will have enough till payday thankfully. I did manage to pick up £11 worth of food whoppsied down to £2.50ish, mainly ham and bread and also some yogurts i used to freeze the muller ones fine when doing SW so giving them a go again as got 16 yogurts for 70p so that and some fruit for my healthy eating drive brings me to a total Grocery spend today of £5.48, now off to update the signature.

    D.O.D
    HSBC £3223.20 £2060.00
    Cap1 £1724.91 £1782.00
    OD £939.78 £200.00
    No 49 of £2012 in 2012.. £645.10 so far & Crazy Clothes £14.09/£100.00 ReducingtheToiletryStash2012 UU12/IN 20 March Grocery 0.00/£65.00 & LbsNot£s Lost 14Lbs
    • ModestyB
    • By ModestyB 7th Jan 12, 8:34 PM
    • 1,573 Posts
    • 15,283 Thanks
    ModestyB
    Good evening all, just done my 2nd shop of the month. £16.00 for dog food at the pet shop and £12. 78 on people food at Mr. M's. Didn't really need anything except bread but found a few yellow stickers that will come in handy. Two packs of 2 chicken kievs £1.00 each, two small quiches 50p each. Pack of ham, 10 slices, £1.00.
    The strangest thing today was seeing every freezer in Mr.M's empty. Someone said that they had all gone off in the night and everything had defrosted. The freezer doors were warm to the touch. Imagine how much food was wasted.
    S.P.C. 9 2016 No. 062 Banked £337.50
    My Gold Stars off Sue.
    • moonflower
    • By moonflower 7th Jan 12, 8:50 PM
    • 294 Posts
    • 2,870 Thanks
    moonflower
    I went to Lidl today for the first time and bought milk £1 and sugar 89p (£1.25) in Tesco Local.

    Bought "T" own brand of coffee £1.60 tastes OK.However then surcumbed to a bottle of tonic and a lime!! (90p)

    Total spend £4.39

    First shop this year,should have enough meat and other stuff to last until weekend.

    £4.39/£150
    • Justamum
    • By Justamum 7th Jan 12, 8:53 PM
    • 4,685 Posts
    • 35,888 Thanks
    Justamum
    However... I overcooked the rice - I have a problem with rice, for some reason I can NEVER get it right
    Originally posted by 98jdougl
    It often depends on the type of rice you use - I only use basmati now because I can't cook normal long grain properly (I end up with a pan of stodge) and the value rice is the worst.

    I put the amount of rice I'm going to cook into a pan, add salt then cover with water (don't bother measuring the water). Bring it up to the boil, then boil it for 5 minutes. I then tip it into a steamer (the type which sits over a pan) then put it over a pan of boiling water and steam it - it takes about another 10 minutes. Run a fork through it then serve. Lovely separate grains of rice every time.

    • AlwaysHappy
    • By AlwaysHappy 7th Jan 12, 9:10 PM
    • 1,487 Posts
    • 11,732 Thanks
    AlwaysHappy
    Hello there - I'm a little late, but could I join please. Over the last couple of weeks I have been having a serious look at our finances and aims for the year and have decided to up our food budget to a realistic level (for us), so that I am not always beating myself up that I haven't achieved. We are a family of 3. My starting budget is therefore going to be £65 per week, so this month being 5 weeks will be £325 for this month. I hope that over the coming months this can be substantially improved upon, and I am starting from Monday going to withdraw the cash!!!! - This is a big thing for me - I usually only use my credit card, but having had it stolen just before christmas and being without it for a couple of weeks I began to see how empowering cash was - it really made me ask myself - do I need it? which can only be a good thing. Anyway, enough of a ramble - I will be following the thread closely and hope i can contribute as appropriate. I am usually more of a watcher but am hoping there's going to be lots of good changes this year. Good luck everyone.
    I'm not a failure if I don't make it, I'm a success because I :tried!
  • destroyerofdebt2011
    Cooking Rice
    For those with problem rice .... i was the same it was constant stuck togethor stodge in a saucepan on the hob, but i now do mine in a steamer (just place a bowl in the steamer with the rice in and a bit of water to cover) Comes out light and fluffy every time.

    HTH

    D.O.D
    HSBC £3223.20 £2060.00
    Cap1 £1724.91 £1782.00
    OD £939.78 £200.00
    No 49 of £2012 in 2012.. £645.10 so far & Crazy Clothes £14.09/£100.00 ReducingtheToiletryStash2012 UU12/IN 20 March Grocery 0.00/£65.00 & LbsNot£s Lost 14Lbs
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 7th Jan 12, 9:27 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    NickJW
    Hi All

    Today was a nice day - my auntie came to visit and insisted on treating me for lunch. This is because I managed to get free matinee theatre tickets (the joys of having a friend who works in theatre, who often needs to offload tickets, to fill the seats up, to make them look busier )

    Dinner when she went back home was just cheese and crackers. Was too full from lunch!

    Anyway - there were a few spends today in preparation for meals next week.

    Waitrose: £5.06
    M+S: £1.50
    Market: 50p
    Then an online Boots order: £73.22!!!! HOWEVER, most of this was stocking up on Nicotine patches for the next 3 months. Only £3.05 is included as grocery spends for mouthwash on BOGOF.

    Total: £10.11
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 £46.05/£130

    Grocery Challenge 13 -spent £1453.06
    Grocery Challenge 12 -spent £1565.51

    DFD 1st March 2011
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 7th Jan 12, 9:32 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    angelatgraceland
    Hi All,

    Just back from A**a to buy food for the week. Thought I was going to spend £30 ish, but ended up spending £50 so a bit annoyed however the silver lining is I found the dry food woopsie section of the supermarket and got a box of OvenPride cleaner for £1.50! My oven desperately needs cleaned, and I dont care that the box was dog eared!
    E x
    Originally posted by aberdeensaver
    When you have used up your oven pride-keep the big bag which you put your oven racks in and use it in the future with a Mr Muscle spray. Little difference!!! The bag will last half a dozen uses if used carefully and rinsed out. I put the racks in, give a good spray while in the bag and seal it. Half an hour or so later I turn it over to soak the other side a bit as the foam turns to liquid. You can get about 4 cleans from one spray so very cheap. You could of course use any good large bag/binliner to clean your oven racks this way.
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • hazzie123
    • By hazzie123 7th Jan 12, 9:38 PM
    • 2,488 Posts
    • 3,319 Thanks
    hazzie123
    I'm joining the challenge this year properly as I usually start out but drop off very quickly. My budget is £3300 for the whole of the year.We are a family of 5,2 adults,an 8 year old fuss pot,an 18 month old and a 4 month old.Both babies are in Nappies but only the littlest has formula milk.
    In the budget I'm including nappies,formula milk,alcohol,toiletries,cleaning products.

    At the moment my freezers and cupboards are pretty full so won't be starting until pay day which is in the last week of this month.
    Debt Free Date:10/09/2007
  • Vegbox
    Could I join please?

    My downfall is my husband who adores food shopping! If there is a new supermarket he always wants to visit. He's a good cook so buys tasty stuff.
    I had decided that my only New Year's resolution for 2012 was that I didn't want to shop at Tesco and preferably not at Sainsbury, Morrisons or Asda either. His response was that he was quite happy for me to do it but that he liked Tesco!
    So after a shopping trip on his own three days ago where he spent an eye watering £120 + on groceries when he only had a dozen things on the list but saw "interesting" extras, I think he is convinced.

    Today we went to explore Aldi and bought muesli and cheeses etc and spent £11 ish and I'm going to do the food shopping for a bit. This should be fine, I just have to make sure it's done before we "need" to do it, so it stops being a social occasion.

    So, £120 + £11, about £140 I think so far. I'm going to aim to spend no more than a further £140 this month. There are three adults in the house.

    Wish me luck.

    ETA That's £140 for everything, toiletries, loo rolls etc.
    Last edited by Vegbox; 07-01-2012 at 9:50 PM. Reason: See ETA
  • lula_moneybaggins
    Hello!

    I know, not only am I new (though I have been lurking around for a while), but I'm late too! Can I join, pretty please!

    Let me plead my case. We're just 7 days into the new year, and I've already spent:
    Tesco: £31.79
    Waitrose: £40.39

    I am out of control!!! Plus, I have a freezer full of food! Can you please put me down for £120 and I'll have to learn some self-control for the rest of the month... Honestly, there's no excuse, there's only me to feed, after all! But I'm such a foodie and I walk around the supermarkets and get seduced by all the things I could make...

    Be gentle...
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