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  • FIRST POST
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 28th Jul 18, 10:09 PM
    • 1,698Posts
    • 12,512Thanks
    elsiepac
    April 2019 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 28th Jul 18, 10:09 PM
    April 2019 Grocery Challenge 28th Jul 18 at 10:09 PM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the fourth Grocery Challenge of 2019 !!!!

    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 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.
    By request, here is Spiggles wonderful helpful post


    We all have different budgets that suit our households. The most important thing to remember is that you set yours according to your needs and finances. It can take time to get to where you want to be too so don't knock yourself out if you go over in the first few months. We are here to support each other and it is not a competition.

    I thought it might help to outline where we've come from and the top tips I've learned.

    When we started in March 2010 we had spent in excess of 600 in the previous month. This had to stop, (there's only me and him and our two beautiful black cats) something which thankfully my OH completely agreed with so I have been lucky that he has been on board from the start. He gave me his debit card voluntarily and I still keep hold of it until he needs to get something for the home. At the same time we set up a system of pocket money (pm) at 15 each per week which doesn't count towards the GC and which we can each spend as we wish with no comebacks or complaints. OH predominantly uses his pm on his beer and I ferret mine away mostly.

    The next step was to set up my own spreadsheet which is absolutely simple onto which I put all spends so that I have a continuous running total for the month and for the year. We initially set our budget at 280 per month and brought it down to 240 where it resides for most of the year it is occasionally increased to allow for extras e.g. Christmas to 260.

    The important 'tools' we found greatly helped and continue to do so now are:

    Stocktake cupboards, fridge, freezer - make lists and ensure that the older products get used up first. You'll be amazed at what you find squirrelled away and it will help with your shopping list as you'll realise that you don't actually need so much.

    Before you go shopping check staples - running out of milk, bread, butter, etc often leads to going into a shop for one thing and coming out 20 lighter. Always check these and if they'll run out tomorrow buy them the same time as getting other things.

    Always make a shopping list and stick to it - the supermarkets (sm) try every which way to get us to spend so having a list and strong resolve is the only way to beat them.

    Keep every receipt - and then note it down on your spreadsheet/spend diary so that you always know where you are.

    When tempted, ask yourself do you NEED it or just WANT it - now this advice goes with two things. Firstly, the things you see in store when shopping that APPEAR to be bargains - if you hadn't planned spending the money then its not a bargain. Secondly, the sm send us loads of vouchers for X off a spend of XX - if you had no NEED to spend XX then have you SAVED anything???

    Use my supermarket to compare prices (limited to four of the biggies) - The site may be used to actually do an online shop at whichever of the big four offers the best value or, if you have the time and sm availability, to make up lists for visiting each of the stores so that you can purchase all you need at different stores thus getting the best possible value. (I'd add, do a 'shop' virtually on this site and take the list you create on it with you, whichever one you shop at, it will help keep target prices in your head and allow you to spot bargains. Mr M is not included but you can do a virtual list on their website so you know what you're going to be spending.)

    Always have a list - this is just as important when shopping online as shopping on foot.

    Use Approved Foods online (with a list!) - if you don't mind out of date things (ood) or you can search for only in date items. The only drawback is storing the goods as far as I can tell. Oh, and watch the delivery as it's done on a scaled charge for weight so keep an eye on it. You can of course do an AF order with friends, family, colleagues or like minded neighbours. Other GCers use Big Br*nds 4 Less too.

    Invest in a bread maker - we have saved so much by making our own bread. The prices in the shops are extortionate for bread these days. There's loads of advice on this thread and others in the forum on this.

    Use the recipe lists - always posted at the front of a new thread. There are fantastic, tasty, healthy and economical recipes to use on them and there are a number of other threads on the forum such as Weezl's that will help you to eat well on a budget.

    Shop locally - the local greengrocer (or preferably market but I don't have one ) is usually cheaper as an option for fruit and veg (f&v) than the sm. Often the prices may look the same but when you look at the quantity for the same price the greengrocer will be cheaper. The same goes for the local butcher. Often you will have far more variety of meat available, advice on how to cook a particular meat can be offered and there is (for me at least) no comparison in terms of quality. We buy our huge FR eggs there and I'm yet to find an equivalent FR egg in a sm at the same or lower price. Obviously if you have your own chicks/know someone who has chicks you can get them even cheaper again.

    Grow your own - it's quite simple to grow some f&v at home even if it's only in pots on the patio. There are also supportive threads on the forum for this.

    Cook your own - making meals at home from ingredients is far more economical, often tastes better than shop bought and is probably far better health wise.

    Meal Plan - this is something that others can advise on as we don't do it. I have a tremendous capacity for eating the same food over many days but presented in slightly different form. For example, we could buy 7 worth of brisket from the butchers and eat it as pot roast for a couple of days, sliced for sarnies, sliced with a salad, chucked into a casserole or shredded up and fried as crispy beef.

    Don't waste food - either only make what you need or use any leftovers for other meals/creations or freeze it for another day.

    Withdraw the cash you want to spend - and keep it in a separate purse. This can be particularly effective as you have the money in front of you reducing rather than spending with plastic which is so easy to lose track of. Very useful when you first start out.

    Don't go to the shops to browse - this can only lead to pain and hardship!!!

    Keep posting and reading the thread - there really is no better supportive, wise and inspirational place to be! I think I saw that somebody mentioned forgetting to read/post. I get around this by using the Advanced button to post, below the window where your text is displayed you will see Additional Options. In the Thread Subscription box use the dropdown to select either instant email notification (this is what I use) or daily email notification before you submit your latest post. Then you will get an email into your inbox from which you can click to the thread to see what others are saying.

    Always remember the sm is not your friend - it wants to profit from you and take as much of your money as it can coerce out of you!

    So, there you go as a starting point. Others on here will offer tremendous advice on meal planning. And don't forget, the only silly question is the one you didn't ask!

    See you all later,
    Spigs
    For guidelines on posting in this thread please read the second post in this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #4 to #10 this thread (the list is growing!!!!!)

    For everyone's totals, see post #3 on this thread

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    elsiepac
    Last edited by elsiepac; 15-03-2019 at 11:57 AM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy & Going Out Deals boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    SPC No 074
    GC: Apr 19 59.94/200
    Vegan 27-8-13
Page 2
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 18th Mar 19, 4:42 PM
    • 2,918 Posts
    • 27,456 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Budgets updated to here

    Stickied the thread now, silly me forgot to do it the other day!

    I'm starting to think an annual budget may be a good way forward for me - 40 a week would work out to 2080, and if I use 200 a month that means 320 for stock/cleaning/bulk etc. I generally try and budget 200 a month but often go awry. Perhaps just changing my mindset to this annual amount (which would mean a weekly budget really), might help me to get a bit more of a handle on things!

    I'm also feeling REALLY uninspired when it comes to meal planning - I pretty much HAVE to meal prep, at least partially, on Sundays or else my weeks descend into chaos because I tend to have very little time on weekday evenings, and this is where I often fail both monetarily and regards to sl1mm1ng w0rld. I've put loads of weight back on that I had lost (over a stone) and I'm struggling!!

    Any insipiration for vegan meal prep welcome - I love seeing everyone's meal plans, vegan or not, as I do get ideas from them, so please all keep posting your meal plans!!!

    Originally posted by elsiepac
    I saw your March thread post about being deficient in Vitamin D (quite common in Vegans as the most rich sources are from meat, oily fish, dairy and eggs - none of which help you).

    Can I suggest you have a winter risotto with Portobello mushrooms or a stuffed mushroom with vitamin D fortified breadcrumbs, garlic, chopped (unsalted) cashew nuts and shallots - Raw Chanterelle mushrooms in your salad are good sources of D too, and both are easy for work lunches now that Spring is here!

    Otherwise you need to look out for almond or soy milk or orange juice, fortified with Vitamin D.

    You should also try and get out in the sun at lunchtime for between 5 and 30 minutes 2-3 days a week - a brisk walk, with bare arms and head will soon redress the winter deficiency of D3 and boost the weight loss.
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 29,215.99 after May
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 36.16% spent so far, after May
    My DFD is here
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 18th Mar 19, 9:24 PM
    • 445 Posts
    • 2,400 Thanks
    squirrelgirl
    Hi elsiepac heres the link to the vegan storecupboard challenge...lots of recipes on there

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3571159
    12 Month Challenge:[COLOR=]"Red"Mortgage - 5929/16000 ; MFW 2019 No. 58 GC 737.26/3600 Jan 270/Feb 50/ March 87.26/April 180/May 150
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 19th Mar 19, 7:41 AM
    • 1,698 Posts
    • 12,512 Thanks
    elsiepac
    I saw your March thread post about being deficient in Vitamin D (quite common in Vegans as the most rich sources are from meat, oily fish, dairy and eggs - none of which help you).

    Can I suggest you have a winter risotto with Portobello mushrooms or a stuffed mushroom with vitamin D fortified breadcrumbs, garlic, chopped (unsalted) cashew nuts and shallots - Raw Chanterelle mushrooms in your salad are good sources of D too, and both are easy for work lunches now that Spring is here!

    Otherwise you need to look out for almond or soy milk or orange juice, fortified with Vitamin D.

    You should also try and get out in the sun at lunchtime for between 5 and 30 minutes 2-3 days a week - a brisk walk, with bare arms and head will soon redress the winter deficiency of D3 and boost the weight loss.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Thanks for the ideas Suffolk lass! I get through about 2 punnets of the vit. D chestnut mushrooms a week on average and most days I have 500ml of fortified almond milk, which alone should give me 75% of the RDA - however I've only been doing this for a few months so was probably too late to sort the deficiency out. Love the ideas for mushroom use, I see a risotto coming my way!! I do walk at lunchtimes twice a week but currently I'm way too cold to show any skin!!
    I've now had a 15 day "loading dose" and have to take a daily supplement, but interestingly the Dr didn't say anything about a retest, so I'm going to book one in myself to make sure I'm back in normal levels. I'm definitely feeling a lot better overall so that's good!
    The sunlight part is interesting as apparently the sun in Britain is too weak to provide any of us with enough vit. D in winter even if we were to be outside, and as a whole the population would benefit from taking a supplement over winter!


    Hi elsiepac heres the link to the vegan storecupboard challenge...lots of recipes on there

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=3571159
    Originally posted by squirrelgirl
    Thanks so much squirrelgirl, I'd forgotten about that one! Will check it out today
    Last edited by elsiepac; 19-03-2019 at 7:43 AM.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy & Going Out Deals boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    SPC No 074
    GC: Apr 19 59.94/200
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • dollypeeps
    • By dollypeeps 21st Mar 19, 12:43 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 676 Thanks
    dollypeeps
    I'm following from March .....

    I may or may not post my targets as I'm still tracking and I've got Dd birthday and Easter in April ..... Is it a good time to start?!?! Who knows we shall see but what I do know is that these threads are helping me focus a lot more so that's got to be a good thing.... Right?!?!

    Hopefully with Easter holidays coming up I can take time to really got through all the links a the start of these threads .....

    Thank you elsiepac for taking the time to do this ......some times just remembering to post is time consuming..
    mortgage now 2260 as of Apr 2019
    and no other debts

    56B]items decluttered
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 22nd Mar 19, 7:39 AM
    • 1,698 Posts
    • 12,512 Thanks
    elsiepac
    I'm following from March .....

    I may or may not post my targets as I'm still tracking and I've got Dd birthday and Easter in April ..... Is it a good time to start?!?! Who knows we shall see but what I do know is that these threads are helping me focus a lot more so that's got to be a good thing.... Right?!?!

    Hopefully with Easter holidays coming up I can take time to really got through all the links a the start of these threads .....

    Thank you elsiepac for taking the time to do this ......some times just remembering to post is time consuming..
    Originally posted by dollypeeps
    Even if you don't set a budget this month, try and roughly track what you spend so that you have an idea of where your money went! It can only be a good thing

    My pleasure, I enjoy doing the threads and keeping up with what everyone is up to!!
    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy & Going Out Deals boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    SPC No 074
    GC: Apr 19 59.94/200
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • LauraWxx
    • By LauraWxx 22nd Mar 19, 7:37 PM
    • 565 Posts
    • 1,475 Thanks
    LauraWxx
    Id like to join if I can pls. 500 budget of which 50 is allocated to dog food.
    March was the first month I really focused on how much we spend and have so far done 550 so want to start reducing bit by bit. We waste so much - deffo need to plan better and ensure we stick to it.
    2019 Totals: Savings: 929.53 / Mortgage OP - 746.32

    Grocery challange April: 130.17of 500 target remaining
    • dollypeeps
    • By dollypeeps 23rd Mar 19, 9:25 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 676 Thanks
    dollypeeps
    Impetuous as it seem, I think I'll dive in .......

    280 for April .......
    60 for SM shop
    10 for local/top up shop

    Running from 1st April until 30th April as there are 4 Friday's and that's usually the day I do the main weekly shop....

    I did try put it in bold red letter but all I had was a lot of brackets and the like .....don't know if it's because I'm using as IPad or because I'm clueless where IT is concerned .....probably the latter ....
    mortgage now 2260 as of Apr 2019
    and no other debts

    56B]items decluttered
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 24th Mar 19, 10:03 PM
    • 1,698 Posts
    • 12,512 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Impetuous as it seem, I think I'll dive in .......

    280 for April .......
    60 for SM shop
    10 for local/top up shop

    Running from 1st April until 30th April as there are 4 Friday's and that's usually the day I do the main weekly shop....

    I did try put it in bold red letter but all I had was a lot of brackets and the like .....don't know if it's because I'm using as IPad or because I'm clueless where IT is concerned .....probably the latter ....
    Originally posted by dollypeeps
    Don't worry, I've added you The brackets are meant to be there, basically there is an opening tag and a closing tag - pretend where I'm putting the { it is a [

    {color=red}This text would appear red if I used square brackets{/color}

    {b}{color=red}this would also be bold{/color}{/b}

    Maybe that helps for future?


    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy & Going Out Deals boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    SPC No 074
    GC: Apr 19 59.94/200
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 24th Mar 19, 10:28 PM
    • 1,698 Posts
    • 12,512 Thanks
    elsiepac
    I'm provisionally saying I'm in for 202.50 for April (26th Mar - 25th Apr).

    Based on 200 for the month but I found 2.50 in my purse so adding that on!!

    The reason I'm not 100% on that budget is because I have a very tight month ahead anyway, but also there's a lot of changes to my salary starting this month (That I've only just found out about) - some up and some down, and I am a bit worried I may end up worse off!

    Anyway, assuming I have this budget, this is my planned breakdown:

    26th-30th: 32.50
    31st-6th: 40
    7th-13th: 40
    14th-20th: 40
    21st-25th: 30
    Toiletries etc 20 (biggest part of this this month is toothbrush heads but there's a few bits I've run out of)

    My weeks are starting on Sundays because that's now when I do my food shops before I prep for the week. Each week I am actually planning to break it down further - 30 for the main shop on the Sunday, then 10 for any extras or fresh stuff or treats for the weekend - this is where I tend to fall down so I figured planning in an amount there and allowing for it will help.

    I've actually already had my first spend of the month as I borrowed a tenner which I'll take back out of this weeks budget and had my 2.50 in my purse, and that has meant I have actually done my food up till Thursday... Which based on my budget leaves 20.38 for the rest of the week. I'll need a few things like almond milk anyway, but I'm expecting overall to have change from that which (if my pay allows it) I'll put into my sealed pot.


    ...............................202.50 Budget
    Date.......Shop......Amount....Remaining
    24 Mar.....A5da......12.12....190.38(WEEK 1)


    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy & Going Out Deals boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    SPC No 074
    GC: Apr 19 59.94/200
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 25th Mar 19, 9:32 AM
    • 3,013 Posts
    • 37,449 Thanks
    thriftwizard
    Okay... I don't have a clue now when I'm going to have my "reversal" operation. I've just spoken to the surgeon's secretary; there's nothing in the diary yet & he's on leave for most of April. Which leaves me hanging... I daren't book to do my stall at any of the summer shows - mostly you need to book the good ones within 24 hours of booking opening or there won't be any spaces left - because I don't know whether I'll be fit to drive & haul stuff around. Plus I haven't been able to work all winter, so the coffers are a bit on the empty side now, and the freezer supplies are dwindling. All a bit anxiety-provoking...

    So - I kind of need to have two budgets in mind; one for if I'm in the driving seat all month, which would be 380, and one for if I'm out of action for a week or two, which would be 420. That's for food, toiletries & cleaning supplies for 4 adults, 2 of whom are omnivores, one pescatarian and one vegetarian. Easter supplies will come out of the "entertainments" budget & I think I'm going to put the bulk-buy & pet/livestock supplies back into the main budget shortly, as I keep forgetting to update them & I need to think about cutting back quite hard if I'm not able to earn anything for a few more months.
    Angie

    GC June 19 - 414.75/400

    Money's just a substitute for time & talent...
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 25th Mar 19, 9:50 AM
    • 1,698 Posts
    • 12,512 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Okay... I don't have a clue now when I'm going to have my "reversal" operation. I've just spoken to the surgeon's secretary; there's nothing in the diary yet & he's on leave for most of April. Which leaves me hanging...
    Originally posted by thriftwizard
    Oh no, that's rubbish!! Assume there are no stalls this month coming you can get involved at to boost the coffers?
    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy & Going Out Deals boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    SPC No 074
    GC: Apr 19 59.94/200
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 25th Mar 19, 5:13 PM
    • 3,013 Posts
    • 37,449 Thanks
    thriftwizard
    Oh no, that's rubbish!! Assume there are no stalls this month coming you can get involved at to boost the coffers?
    Not a lot! General markets are up & running, but I usually do best at the specialist "vintage" & textile shows, which are very much summer things. Trouble is, we need to book our pitches now and I'm totally up in the air about when I'll be able to trade again; it'd be daft to spend hundreds booking pitches & then discover I won't be fit to go. I shall offload some stock online and at our local auction room; won't earn us as much, but I need the space back. I will also take some "dead" (i.e. previously unsold) stock to the local car boot sales, but the good ones don't start up again until May, alas!
    Angie

    GC June 19 - 414.75/400

    Money's just a substitute for time & talent...
    • wannalot
    • By wannalot 26th Mar 19, 7:35 AM
    • 137 Posts
    • 1,119 Thanks
    wannalot
    Hello all,

    Can I be part of this challenge please? I used to be part of this challenge, but last year I fell off the wagon in a big way!

    However, I have a huge bill to pay this month (much bigger than anticipated and I desperately need to make savings elsewhere! Id also like run down my freezer supplies!

    With that in mind, Id like to set a budget of 150 please, to run to 26/04.

    Good luck everyone!
    January GC: 0/110
    Aims for 2018:
    1. Stick to GC targets!
    2. No buying of books until I read what I have!
    4. Lose weight!
    5. Build up some savings!
    • cuddlymarm
    • By cuddlymarm 26th Mar 19, 8:16 AM
    • 1,308 Posts
    • 7,653 Thanks
    cuddlymarm
    Hi guys
    Im in again please. Im still plodding on with my 2000 for the year.
    My implementation of more veggie less meat is going well. As is the keeping my cupboards full and not wasting anything.
    Im hoping the price of veg doesnt go up too much when the dreaded B finally happens but in the meantime Im keeping the freezer full with frozen veg, and experimenting with new items, raspberries tend to be the only frozen fruit I really prefer to fresh, but I happily eat most frozen veg and by the time it happens we should be getting into the local foods time of year.
    It really focuses what I spend by keeping note.
    OH was surprised by how little we spend and eat healthily.

    Anyway I hope you guys are all well and ready for another month of sqeeeeezing every last penny.
    Cuddles
    2019 Grocery Spend 732.4.33/2000
    June grocery spend 45.05/150
    June NSDs 7/15
    • allie23
    • By allie23 26th Mar 19, 9:09 AM
    • 1,336 Posts
    • 14,594 Thanks
    allie23
    Hi folks, I know I don't often post but even knowing I am part of this challenge helps. Please sign me up for 200 for April.

    I am keeping to my budget but the truth is my meal planning isn't great and hasn't been for a while. It's like I have run out of steam with it after doing it for so many years. The number of takeaways we are having is increasing as I feel so tired when I get in from work I can't be bothered to cook. I'm feeling stuck in a rut and have been for a while. My weight is a big issue and it's getting worse with the takeaways and junk meals I have been having. Going to have a look around the recipe section for some inspiration.
    February 2019 Grocery Challenge
    Frugal Living Challenge 2019
    Save 12k in 2019 - Challenger No 69 - 13,310/40,000
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 26th Mar 19, 9:48 AM
    • 1,698 Posts
    • 12,512 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Budgets updated to here

    I'm provisionally saying I'm in for 202.50 for April (26th Mar - 25th Apr).

    Based on 200 for the month but I found 2.50 in my purse so adding that on!!

    The reason I'm not 100% on that budget is because I have a very tight month ahead anyway, but also there's a lot of changes to my salary starting this month (That I've only just found out about) - some up and some down, and I am a bit worried I may end up worse off!
    Happy days, my salary came in higher than expected!! So I was able to pay extra to my electric which was worrying me slightly!! Officially declaring my budget at 202.50 for April.

    Have bought my toothbrush heads! Found a pack of 4 genuine ones on eBay with good reviews (there seemed to be a lot of dodgy ones on there!) for 8 which is great as usually they'd be about 13, so I'm well happy with that!

    That's from my 20 "stock" budget, so I have 12 left in there for my toiletries from 5uperdrug, which should be plenty as I still have some bits.

    I have meals made up to Thursday lunchtime this week, but some fresh veg left which I can use with something for tea on Thursday, not sure what Friday lunch will be yet, ideally make double for tea Thursday and take the 2nd portion.

    For my Week 1 budget, which was 32.50, I still have 20.38 left. In theory this is to cover up till Saturday, then Sunday my Week 2 budget starts. I need a few basics like stock cubes, garlic, onions, oats, and chickpeas and quinoa, but should comfortably get all this in in the rest of the Week 1 budget. Feeling the most confident I have in months!


    ...............................202.50 Budget
    Date.......Shop......Amount....Remaining
    24 Mar.....A5da......12.12....190.38(WEEK 1)
    26 Mar.....eBay......08.00....182.38(STOCK)


    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy & Going Out Deals boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    SPC No 074
    GC: Apr 19 59.94/200
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • Merlin's Beard
    • By Merlin's Beard 26th Mar 19, 11:21 AM
    • 284 Posts
    • 2,370 Thanks
    Merlin's Beard
    For simplicity, I'm going to say that my budget is still 100, but I'm hoping to come significantly under that to make up for last month's overspend.
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 26th Mar 19, 2:35 PM
    • 1,122 Posts
    • 8,499 Thanks
    PipneyJane
    Okay... I don't have a clue now when I'm going to have my "reversal" operation. I've just spoken to the surgeon's secretary; there's nothing in the diary yet & he's on leave for most of April. Which leaves me hanging... I daren't book to do my stall at any of the summer shows - mostly you need to book the good ones within 24 hours of booking opening or there won't be any spaces left - because I don't know whether I'll be fit to drive & haul stuff around. Plus I haven't been able to work all winter, so the coffers are a bit on the empty side now, and the freezer supplies are dwindling. All a bit anxiety-provoking...

    So - I kind of need to have two budgets in mind; one for if I'm in the driving seat all month, which would be 380, and one for if I'm out of action for a week or two, which would be 420. That's for food, toiletries & cleaning supplies for 4 adults, 2 of whom are omnivores, one pescatarian and one vegetarian. Easter supplies will come out of the "entertainments" budget & I think I'm going to put the bulk-buy & pet/livestock supplies back into the main budget shortly, as I keep forgetting to update them & I need to think about cutting back quite hard if I'm not able to earn anything for a few more months.
    Originally posted by thriftwizard
    How frustrating for you, Thriftwizard. I will keep my fingers crossed that you get a date for the operation soon.

    - Pip
    "Be the type of woman that when you get out of bed in the morning, the devil says 'Oh crap. She's up.' "

    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z. #47 Official Brain Harvesting Body Counter
    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 28th Mar 19, 11:36 AM
    • 1,698 Posts
    • 12,512 Thanks
    elsiepac
    Updates! I did my toiletries shop last night - stocked up on hand soap, shower gels, make up remover, cotton wool pads, deodorant and hand cream. Spent 20.01 on all that - got a bit overenthusiastic. So I'm 8.01 OVER on my "Stock" budget.
    However, I'm deducting that from my "Week 1" budget, so it still works out.
    I bought some vegan marshmallows from H&B to last me for a bit, as I like to have them in a hot chocolate! That was 4.98. So I now have 7.39 left in my "Week 1" budget. This is to last me until I do my shop for Week 2 on Sunday. I have lunch for today and tomorrow already made. I have dinner for tonight as well (baked sweet potato topped with t3sco Taco beans, fresh coriander and lime juice, with a homemade red cabbage and sugar snap pea slaw! - sounds extravagant but really a fairly economical meal!).

    I haven't planned Friday or Saturday dinner, or Saturday lunch yet, but I have a bit of fresh veg left that should be ok, so it would only be supplementary bits to make it "treat" meals - it really is deeply ingrained in me that weekend dinners should be something special, I think it's from childhood. Whether it just means making myself some chips to bake, or having something more "exciting", it doesn't necessarily mean unhealthy or expensive, just something I wouldn't bother with in the week usually!! Anyone else do this?


    ...............................202.50 Budget
    Date.......Shop......Amount....Remaining
    24 Mar.....A5da......12.12....190.38(WEEK 1)
    26 Mar.....eBay......08.00....182.38(STOCK)
    27 Mar.....Sup3rdrug.20.01....162.37(STOCK)
    27 Mar.....H&B.......04.98....157.39(WEEK 1)


    I'm a Board Guide on the Old Style, Greenfingered, Energy & Going Out Deals boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly and I can move and merge threads there. Please remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this) Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    SPC No 074
    GC: Apr 19 59.94/200
    Vegan 27-8-13
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 28th Mar 19, 3:36 PM
    • 3,013 Posts
    • 37,449 Thanks
    thriftwizard
    How frustrating for you, Thriftwizard. I will keep my fingers crossed that you get a date for the operation soon.

    - Pip
    Got one, thank Heavens! I think my enquiry may have moved things along a bit. 23rd April, barring any sudden emergencies meaning I get postponed. Which is cutting it a bit fine for doing the fair on 12th May, but as that's an indoor event & OH could drive me down & help me set up, it should be do-able. And having been an emergency myself a couple of weeks ago, and very grateful to have been treated so fast, one way or another I will just swallow the disappointment (and the pitch fee!) if I can't do it after all.

    So I will aim for 420, please; one of the girls is now rather interested in my budgetary efforts & will try to keep spending down & improvise. The other, and their father, think it's all a bit of a faff & a fuss about nothing, really, especially as she currently works in a supermarket & gets a decent discount. So I'll just try to make sure that their favourites are well stocked-up at sensible prices so they don't "just run up the road (W8rose) for a pint of milk & a loaf of bread" which somehow always results in 30 vanishing!
    Angie

    GC June 19 - 414.75/400

    Money's just a substitute for time & talent...
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