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    • elsiepac
    • By elsiepac 28th Jul 18, 10:09 PM
    • 1,701Posts
    • 12,588Thanks
    June 2019 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 28th Jul 18, 10:09 PM
    June 2019 Grocery Challenge 28th Jul 18 at 10:09 PM
    Hi everyone,

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

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

    Last edited by elsiepac; 20-05-2019 at 6:58 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 (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
    • Scrimps
    • By Scrimps 24th May 19, 7:05 PM
    • 255 Posts
    • 1,130 Thanks
    I've spent £34.90 at Sainsbury's and £20 on a BBQ meat pack at the horrendously titled 'meat machine' that comes to town every friday. I don't plan a BBQ but this was a fairly economical way to buy a couple of months worth of meat for the freezer.

    Sainsbury's was mostly cat food but also bread, milk and toddler nappies.
    • Rachiedabbler70
    • By Rachiedabbler70 26th May 19, 10:50 AM
    • 262 Posts
    • 2,424 Thanks
    Thanks Elsiepac for the June challenge and for running the May one. It's helping me pay my mortgage off quicker.

    My new month starts 1st June to 30th June so please could you put me down for £140 - that's 12 days of just me then the rest of the month of me and youngest son, who is an adult :-) Eldest grown up son buys his own food and cooks his own meals

    I'm going to stay on May thread until 31st May
    Blitz that mortgage
    Jun 2016 £152,000
    Jul 2019 £113,630.35 (25.2% paid)
    MFW 2019 #81 £6,254.71/£8,000 (78%)
    Contingency pot savings £11,935.98 Jul 2019
    July GC £56.77/£140
    • purpleybat
    • By purpleybat 26th May 19, 11:06 AM
    • 368 Posts
    • 3,093 Thanks
    hello all, i've been out of sorts for a while and really need to get a grip on my 'out of control' spending.
    am now cooking for 3 adults, my sister i don't know where she puts it all, but as she doesn't eat much bread etc she tends to fill up on more expensive foods.
    i think i'd like to start with a target of £250 please, with views to lower this over the coming months.
    my month runs from 30th may to 27th of june.
    thankyou very muchly
    • thrifty-hayley
    • By thrifty-hayley 26th May 19, 1:06 PM
    • 100 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    Hello, its my first try and not sure where to start so please put me down for£100 My month will start on the 1st June. Its just me so this will hopefully also include stuff like toilet roll, kitchen roll, tin foil etc. Only one way to find out!

    Thank you =)
    • Scrimps
    • By Scrimps 26th May 19, 6:58 PM
    • 255 Posts
    • 1,130 Thanks
    weve done our menu plan and shopping for the week ahead. Ive broken it down into about £30 per week and using cash envelopes

    We spent 24.63 and then £2.72 as I forgot to put bananas and soup stew/mix on the list. I wanted to get a soup/stew mix to make use of the turnips growing in the garden that really needed harvesting.
    £6.64 left for the week
    £121.74 left till end june

    I have a lot of soup/stew mixes in the freezer now as my morning or afternoon snack to stop me just going for bread or nipping to the corner shop for a packet of biscuits! I have a good appetite anyway but nursing just sends me ravenous, Im hoping the healthier option will help me drop a dress size and get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes, and also help with the tiredness!
    • Smoosh
    • By Smoosh 27th May 19, 7:17 PM
    • 1,081 Posts
    • 12,626 Thanks
    We'll be sticking with £300 for June (our month starts on the 1st). As usual, 2 adults (1 who gets free lunches at work), a raw fed dog and a cat. Including household products and cleaning bits but we pay for our own toiletries. We'll likely do 5 weekly shops in June, averaging around £45 each, with the rest going on pet food.
    • squirrelgirl
    • By squirrelgirl 28th May 19, 8:06 AM
    • 446 Posts
    • 2,404 Thanks
    Well May went awol!!

    Back in for June...must do better!!
    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
    • MadamMim2013
    • By MadamMim2013 28th May 19, 3:01 PM
    • 804 Posts
    • 10,180 Thanks
    Oooh forgotted to say please put us down for £300 for June

    Thanks for the thread.. much appreciated
    "There's a little witch in all of us"
    2018 GC 93 2019 GC 3 2 JUNE GC £192.92/£300
    : DEBT FREE 06/2018
    • vintageteainmywardrobe
    • By vintageteainmywardrobe 30th May 19, 3:43 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 169 Thanks

    I've not done this before but I am wanting to cut back a lot on what we eat and turn back to a more simpler eating plan and think this will help! Can you please put me down for £250 for two adults and two dogs! Fingers crossed I can handle this!

    I'm also wanting to shop my cupboards and stop hoarding food items I'm never going to eat!
    • Scrimps
    • By Scrimps 30th May 19, 8:03 PM
    • 255 Posts
    • 1,130 Thanks
    I've lost 80p so I'm ending in his week with £1.55 to carry forward and add to £30 for the week and £116.65 for the month.

    I've done the meal plan for next week and will be going to Aldi for the shopping tomorrow.

    The week has gone ok, with repeat trips to the supermarkets due to missing stuff off the list. I'm sticking to the cash envelope system which is keeping me honest, I put some 'off list' items in the trolley and had to put them back because I didn't have enough money.
    • cuddlymarm
    • By cuddlymarm 31st May 19, 5:29 AM
    • 1,310 Posts
    • 7,672 Thanks
    Hi guys
    I thought Iíd start June on a positive note. I do my challenge yearly and so far Iím on £689.28/£2000. We eat well, this doesnít include eating out and any takeaways but does include keeping a good store cupboard that Iíve built up since the beginning of the year.
    My aim for June is to spend as little as possible again. Iím running my tins and packets down a bit because we move out soon for a month for renovations so that keeping costs low. Also we both do SW so that means lots of veg and we donít spend on biscuits, cake etc and very little booze ( weíre not big drinkers anyway and that tends to be just when we have visitors) Iím also sneaking more vegetarian meals in to our menu plan and OH hasnít started to winge yet so that keeps costs down.
    Obviously once Iíve got my new kitchen in Iíll have to restock and Christmas is a heavy food month so that will push costs up but so far so good.
    Have a good and frugal month guys
    2019 Grocery Spend £739.4.33/£2000
    June grocery spend £52.05/£150
    June NSDs 8/15
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 31st May 19, 8:02 AM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 28,087 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    I'm also on an annual budget (£3000) - mine divides up as an average £200 for regular groceries, £400 for stores and an extra £200 for December/contingencies. That feeds 2 adults all the time, one intermittently and our cat. It includes all our toiletries, cleaning products and pet related, but not the face cream I indulge in, once every 6 months. It does not include the very rare take away or meal out as these are entertainment.

    I have spent 36.16% or £1084.89 of the total but almost 56% of my stores budget (I have a tendency to hoard, that I have to watch out for). I buy my chosen brands only when they are on offer - most recently the dutch name coffee was £4.50 instead of £6.98 so we bought 5.

    I start this month in a positive frame of mind as I have garden produce forming (peas, salads) and my freezers and cupboards are stuffed.
    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
    • Saver.The.Taste
    • By Saver.The.Taste 31st May 19, 1:56 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 271 Thanks
    Hi I've been very absent recently from this thread but would like to pick up again please?

    I am budgeting from the 28/5 to 30/6 and aiming to spend £175 but would ideally like to come under that as £35 for one person per week still seems excessive to me, although this is to include all grocery and home goods shopping plus any eating out or takeaways.

    I do a very large shop at the beginning of the month and then do small £5-£10 top ups through the month. so far my spend is £89.48.
    • thriftwizard
    • By thriftwizard 31st May 19, 8:23 PM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 37,675 Thanks
    I'm off into June, having spent £45 at the market today on fish, cheese, fruit & veg and a small amount of meat. More will be spent; I'm feeding 4 adults full-time (2 omnivores, 1 pescatarian and 1 vegetarian) 3 cats, 2 cockatiels and (currently) 9 chickens.

    And I have a new toy to play with - a charity-shop bargain of an Italian ice-cream maker - which also needs feeding! But need to try to keep to healthy recipes using market-found bargain fruit etc....

    GC July 19 - £326/£400
    2019 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 39 coupons left out of 66

    (Money's just a substitute for time & talent...)
    • Puddleglum
    • By Puddleglum 31st May 19, 8:47 PM
    • 676 Posts
    • 5,149 Thanks
    I failed in May but the good news is that I have more money going in for June so would like to go for £140 for this month please.
    "A thousand candles can be lit from a single candle without shortening the life of that candle."

    April 2019 - pick myself up, dust myself down and give myself a stern talking to.
    Grocery spend £5814/£80
    • pamsdish
    • By pamsdish 1st Jun 19, 10:16 AM
    • 1,286 Posts
    • 8,031 Thanks
    £14.81 in Lidl, need to cut right back as still 7 months to go and nearly half gone.
    2018 £2285/£2149
    2019 £2000=£878-£53=£825-£20=£805-£25=£780
    • Soworried
    • By Soworried 1st Jun 19, 12:29 PM
    • 2,146 Posts
    • 19,960 Thanks
    Can I join in from the 10th please?

    A budget of £240 for 4 weeks for 3 adults for all food, toiletries and cleaning products
    One step must start each journey
    One word must start each prayer
    One hope will raise our spirits
    One touch can show you care
    • Smoosh
    • By Smoosh 1st Jun 19, 5:33 PM
    • 1,081 Posts
    • 12,626 Thanks
    First spend today - £4 on ice cream in my defence I have a gum infection due to pericoronitis and ice cream feels so nice!

    So £296/300 left. Doing a weekly shop tomorrow.
    • getmyacttogether2016
    • By getmyacttogether2016 1st Jun 19, 9:23 PM
    • 217 Posts
    • 1,223 Thanks
    Evening all

    In again for this month please.

    £200.00, this is for 2 adults, 3 cats and 5 chickens and includes all groceries, alcohol, toiletries and pet food.

    Lost my way for a while but now back on board

    Grocery challenge June £160.34/£200, May £234.30/£200
    2019 Fashion on the Ration 17/44
    No buying unnecessary toiletries - UU 8
    • t14cy t
    • By t14cy t 2nd Jun 19, 6:59 AM
    • 737 Posts
    • 6,878 Thanks
    t14cy t
    Im aiming for £280 for the month. This is for 2 adults, 3 large dogs, 25 chickens and 2 ducks! Alcohol budget is separate!!xx
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