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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 twelth and final Grocery Challenge of 2011

    Don't forget we have the Christmas 2011 OS preparation thread. The first post is an excellent resrouce for links and threads, so please do use it


    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your November budget, then keep on posting in the November 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; 17-11-2011 at 9:18 AM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 26
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 11th Dec 11, 7:08 PM
    • 13,817 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    tigerfeet2006
    NSD food wise today but bought a pack of Wilko's basic pillows for £2.97 ( a bag smaller than 1 pillow of toy stuffing cost £5 in my local sewing shop.) and used one to stuff three Christmas trees. I also bought an acrylic snowman and Father Christmas figures that have a little light that changes colour for 75p each because the kids liked them, they look quite nice in my Christmas scene in the window. Oh! and some drawing pins to hang the paper chains. This all came out of my Christmas budget so not too bad.

    We had SC Spanish Chicken for dinner.

    I defrosted a bag of frozen chicken thighs and then seasoned them with salt and pepper. Fried them off for a few minutes to brown and seal them. Popped them in the SC. Bunged a chopped onion and couple of cloves of garlic in the pan and fried them off and them bunged them in the SC. Then added to the SC quatered mushrooms (probably around a dozen or so), a couple of handfuls of frozen peppers, a couple of sliced carrots, sweetcorn and peas, 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, a tblsp of tomato puree, couple of tsp of majoram and parsley (mixed herbs work just as well, I wanted to use these up) and about half pint of chicken stock. Served it with rice.

    We had enough left for a couple of meals to be boxed up.
    BSCno.87
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
  • rosieben
    tigerfeet, your SC Spanish Chicken is now in the recipe index
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • Flat Eric
    • By Flat Eric 11th Dec 11, 7:55 PM
    • 3,985 Posts
    • 24,039 Thanks
    Flat Eric
    I am still keeping track and thought I would crunch the numbers and share them.

    as at the 11 October 2011, I had spent: £356.27
    as at the 11 November 2011, I had spent: £153.23
    as at the end of today, I have spent: £88.74

    Things are moving in the right direction

    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 11th Dec 11, 8:13 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    PennyGrabber
    Did my weekly shop today, £19.96. Very pleased with that. Obviously, I have everything in to make about a million meals anyway, I just needed fresh bits, and some cat food. It was unsettling earlier, as I didn't know what I was going to feed the children for dinner tonight. I'm the kind of girl who needs to know in the morning what we're having for dinner, so I can get my head around what I have to prep, etc etc, but the ch had lunch at their dad's and were dropped back at 3. Now, sometimes on a sunday he'll give them a roast/big dinner at lunchtime, and other times it'll be a lunch, so i couldn't plan what to give them until they'd come back and told me what they'd eaten. As it turns out, they had had a lunch-type thing, so they asked for hedgehogs for dinner, one of their favourite meals.

    Hedgehogs

    Mashed potato
    Peas/tinned spaghetti
    carrot/cucumber/sausages in stick shapes


    Shove some mash in the middle of the plate in a body shape.
    Stick the carrot/cuc/sausage into it to look like the prickles.
    Shove spaghetti/peas around the outside to look like grass.
    Serve.

    Clean plates, veggies in!!

    Nice easy meal, and used up some lurking bits and pieces.

    PG x
    Grocery challenge for family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(11), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries. Jan £87.97/£100 Feb £0/£100
    Frugal 2018 needed! Saving and NOT spending
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 11th Dec 11, 8:48 PM
    • 3,348 Posts
    • 34,483 Thanks
    XSpender
    I am over budget with 7 days of the challenge left I went to Mr S on sat on my own and stuck ridgidly to my list. I only needed lunch stuff and that was all I bought. I told myself that I had loads of stuff in and would make meals out of what I had.

    Did mess up a bit this week as I found a pack of sausages in the fridge that I thought ran out today but ran out on the 3rd Minging!!! and also a half used jar of meat paste as well that had to be chucked.

    Not planning to spend more than £5 in the next 7 days, mainly on my teas and breakfast at work (not practical to take my own). That is if I don't run out of nappies!
    • meg72
    • By meg72 11th Dec 11, 9:32 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    Seem to have lost my post from this morning, although my signature did update.Anyway a spend of £15.07.Wanted to get something nice to take for tea at my Moms. Her favourite tea is crusty bread and butter ham, cheese coleslaw and crisps. Also included two packs of bacon bits one chunks and one that looks like streaky rashers and a pack of cocktail sausages for pigs in blankets for christmas day and also enough for quite a few meals with beans or tomatos.

    So pleased that everyone seems to be doing well and just think that we will do even better next year as we have learned so much. Lets all aim to give the supermarkets even less next year.
    Slimming World at target
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 11th Dec 11, 10:50 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    angelatgraceland
    Had a girls night in last night, so another £11 odd to add for the nibbles and booze. Everyone bought a bottle tho so it worked out quite cheap per person and I still have lots of half-drunk wine and fizz in the fridge!

    Up to £148 now. We'll be having a takeaway on Thurs night - do people include these in their budgets? I left out a cafe visit we had last weekend but now I think I should have included it. I need a more consistent method 'cos I'm getting confused!
    Originally posted by Brassic Park
    Well it's up to you ultimately and depends if you have a separate budget for eating out. Myself I coun these in my grocery spends as its takeaways and cafes, snacks on the go-that really add up in your weekly spend when you look in your purse and wonder wehre the money went! My philosophy is that if I eat it, I count it! Just makes things simple because, as you say, it gets complicated otherwise.
    so I would count the cafe, the girlie night and the takeaway. If you later decide not to add these in, at least you have a record of your spending and know what it is costing you on average.
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 11th Dec 11, 11:04 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    angelatgraceland
    Updated my siggy now. NSD today though I've spent a lot more than usual this week but as I have still got money over from last month I am still well in budget. Ive only spent £106 0n food inc 2 meals out since the 1st though so I am pleased with that. Bought a few pressies and wrapped them up today. I must now get on with the cards-at least I don't have to buy stamps for them as I get those free for doing some surveys.
    Had a lovely evening last night with lots of food free courtesy of some neighbours that one of my Avon customers invited me to. We all had a lovely evening with a cooking demonstration. I was very good on Saturday and took my lunch to work(App foods couscous)which was really cheap.I treated myself to a new blender but only had to pay £10 as I had a £15 voucher given to me when I left my last job-that is now my own little present and will be good for homemade soups. I made some bread tonight but I only put the BM on dough luckily. It was far too wet so I "saved" it by adding more flour before baking it. It has turned out ok. I may actually try making it by hand and buying fresh yeast as I know the results are worth it. Either that, or I get a nice panasonic but I am not sure I really need one! Picked up some free Xmas baubles and some more curtains from Freecycle folk and I gave away a nearly new bike which the lady was very grateful to recieve so it's all give and take on Freecycle! Now as well as worying about DH I am worrying about MIL who was admitted to hospital this morning-thankfully her neighbour called an ambulance-she is 2 hrs away from us and due to DH health we can't seem to get to visit her. Hopefully she will get better and my BIL/SIL is going to have her live with them and it will be so much better for her. I also have an aunt who is terminally ill so this Christmas is a difficult one and my DD is worrying as she is going to France for 2 weeks for Christmas and is fretting over what may happen to the people who are sick while she is away. I refuse to move from positive mode and take one day at a time!
    Last edited by angelatgraceland; 11-12-2011 at 11:07 PM.
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • recovering spendaholic
    • By recovering spendaholic 11th Dec 11, 11:15 PM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 15,426 Thanks
    recovering spendaholic
    NSD today - still not 100% after tummy bug, but at least I have a bit of an appetite back - can't say the same for DD2 though as she is a day behind me. I spent 4 hours cleaning DD1's room this afternoon - I can't begint o describe what a state it was in and I had been holding out to force her to do it but I couldn't leave it any longer as it was keeping me awake at night worrying. Both DD's sat downstairs watching friends when I was moving furniture, cleaning etc and I was so cross I thought I would just not cook any tea, but then I decided to do a freezer potluck tea and it was absolutely lovely - DD1 said it was nicer than a takeaway.

    I did two chicken thighs diced up and cooked with some frozen stir fry veg and some sharwoods plum sauce with a dash of soy, a small piece of sirloin steak sliced thin and stir fried with onions and a pork steak sliced and stir fried with barbecue sauce - I served it with plain boiled rice and it did all three of us (although DD2 only had a little bit) - DD1 ate enough to sink a ship though so there were no leftovers! For afters I made a bread and butter pudding with some h/m leftover raisin bread (made in the wonderful bm) but we were too full to eat it so it will do tomorrow.

    I will need to get shopping in this week as we need milk and fresh stuff.

    DD1 has asked for the stir fry with plum sauce again tomorrow night so that will be quite easy as I have pork fillet in the freezer and will use that.

    I have been making a list for my Christmas grocery shopping - I am DETERMINED not to overspend this year!!
    Jane

    ENDIS. Employed, no disposable income or savings!
    • mooomin
    • By mooomin 12th Dec 11, 6:02 AM
    • 13,655 Posts
    • 134,514 Thanks
    mooomin
    Haven't had time to read all the posts, but wanted to update my spends to:

    £194.82/£200
    for December. My month finishes on Friday when I get paid though
    Comping again


    Wins this year: - two night trip to Belgium, £100 Gett taxi credit, tickets to Newcastle game, FIFA 2016 for PS4, stitch markers, Cumberstitching book
    • meg72
    • By meg72 12th Dec 11, 7:29 AM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    NSD today - still not 100% after tummy bug, but at least I have a bit of an appetite back - can't say the same for DD2 though as she is a day behind me. I spent 4 hours cleaning DD1's room this afternoon - I can't begint o describe what a state it was in and I had been holding out to force her to do it but I couldn't leave it any longer as it was keeping me awake at night worrying. Both DD's sat downstairs watching friends when I was moving furniture, cleaning etc and I was so cross I thought I would just not cook any tea, but then I decided to do a freezer potluck tea and it was absolutely lovely - DD1 said it was nicer than a takeaway.

    I did two chicken thighs diced up and cooked with some frozen stir fry veg and some sharwoods plum sauce with a dash of soy, a small piece of sirloin steak sliced thin and stir fried with onions and a pork steak sliced and stir fried with barbecue sauce - I served it with plain boiled rice and it did all three of us (although DD2 only had a little bit) - DD1 ate enough to sink a ship though so there were no leftovers! For afters I made a bread and butter pudding with some h/m leftover raisin bread (made in the wonderful bm) but we were too full to eat it so it will do tomorrow.

    I will need to get shopping in this week as we need milk and fresh stuff.

    DD1 has asked for the stir fry with plum sauce again tomorrow night so that will be quite easy as I have pork fillet in the freezer and will use that.

    I have been making a list for my Christmas grocery shopping - I am DETERMINED not to overspend this year!!
    Originally posted by recovering spendaholic
    What a fabulous tea, I have never tried plum sauce must get some.

    I did discover ,by accident , that marmalade makes a lovely sauce for Pork.
    Slimming World at target
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 12th Dec 11, 8:32 AM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    quintwins
    £4 to the kids school today other than that not spending anything just had the last of the egg and cheese mayo in a sandwich, gonna do soup for lunch and spag bol for tea, which will then be chilli on wed aswell

    went to ikea yesterday for rolls of paper for the kids easel (santa has bought lots of painting stuff) and some fabric for xmas decorations, then i relised if i bought some fleeces instead of fabric it would be cheaper and i would acually get more for my money, but now i'm reluctant to cut them as there useful as throws lol i also bought a new toilet seat as ours is broken, the kids some straws and some of the clips for bags for the freezer as i've been stuggling to find any (think there all in my freezer) and a packet of whisks, i only spent £26 which is acually pretty good for me lol, then we had to stop for desil on the way home aswell weekends are never cheap here the next 2 should be (well acually 2 weeks from now will be shockingly expensive it's paid for)
    DFW £7632/£28996 26.3%
    • HelenPie
    • By HelenPie 12th Dec 11, 10:17 AM
    • 502 Posts
    • 5,205 Thanks
    HelenPie
    I've not been able to visit for a couple of days so have had to skim read to catch up...I hope everyone's doing ok

    I had a NSD on Friday (very proud as turned down an offer to go to lunch, went out for drinks in the eve but had only water, and when I'd missed the last bus home, I walked rather than getting a taxi - yay me!!! )

    Grocery shop on Saturday but NSD yesterday. Team lunch today cancelled so today should now be another

    Have a good day

    H x
    Debt Free By Xmas 2013 #010 £16,660.26/£16,660.26 100% paid, DFD 25/06/13!
  • wannabehermit
    Morning. I have a fair bit to declare from Fri & Sat. A combination of Iceland, Lidl & Mr T. I managed to spend almost £100 in Iceland, but £20.50 was party bits and the rest filled the freezer until it was overflowing, so pretty happy with that. Certainly won't have any frozen stuff to buy for some time (except veg as they don't do Birds Eye and I don't like veg at the best of times so I have to have Birds Eye veg. I thought veg was the same whatever, but own brand veg I find totally unedible, it just makes me want to be sick, so it has to be the expensive stuff).

    I ended up buying a gammon joint in Lidl (£3.99 as opposed to MrT £10) and it was blimming lovely! Cooked it in coke in the SC and it's just lovely. ANyway total grocery spend to add to my current total is £94.14 giving me a current total of£296.86 which I'm very happy with as that leaves me with over £220 for the next 2 weeks and with not a huge amount to get, maybe £80 each week. Result!
    Clean credit file:12 mths
    Car loan: FREE!
    THE PLAN: 1.Pay off debt £8808.42(£3254.45, £1570.32, £2698.33, £0, £1000, £285.32) 2.Save monthly for Christmas/insurance etc £150 per month 3.Save for emergencies /£1500 4.Save for our B&B £????depends which one takes our fancy
    • xxlouisexx56
    • By xxlouisexx56 12th Dec 11, 11:08 AM
    • 2,191 Posts
    • 30,133 Thanks
    xxlouisexx56
    I didnt spend a bean this weekend!!

    Had to go in the car with DP this morning to the station so he could park and run for the train. I had to walk the girls 1/2 mile out of the car park to the station to get the car park ticket and then back to the car to put the ticket in and then back out again to do the walk to school!

    I took 2 big bags to the charity shop, over 400 pounds worth of stuff. Old ugg boots and timberlands, nike trainers. I hope someone gets some use out of them

    Because we left early i didnt have time to get my biggest DD any breakfast so we popped into sainsburys local for a croissant. A pack of bacon and 2 tubes of pringles later....

    After school i popped into iceland for milk but they didnt have any. Just bought 1 pint of blue milk for the baby and a big box of biscuits for xmas.

    So thats 9.50 so far for me today
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 12th Dec 11, 12:18 PM
    • 4,328 Posts
    • 29,793 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...im as i have just ordered a turkey from the farm shop...im excited as i have something sorted for christmas....i think i might get my veg from aldi as i popped in this morning and they had some good offers that i think might carry on until friday before christmas which is when i want to buy my veg and fruit

    went to ds nativity play earlier so we are getting in the christmas spirit....i dont think i have anymore presents to buyjust food to concentrate on

    take care tess
    onwards and upwards
    • sproggi
    • By sproggi 12th Dec 11, 12:23 PM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 6,376 Thanks
    sproggi
    £55.54 spent today. We could well be living off of J2O and pringles over
    Christmas now
    Also, amongst the usual milk, coffee, toiletries etc, 2 boxes of Farleys rusks managed to jump into my trolley (my weaknes ) and some GU banoffee that had been reduced to 99p from £3.29 and also went through on the bogof offer

    Sproggi
    'We can get over being poor, but it takes longer to get over being ignorant'
    Jane Sequichie Hifler
    Beware of little expenses.A small leak will sink a great ship
    Benjamin Franklin
    • mummyjane
    • By mummyjane 12th Dec 11, 4:27 PM
    • 381 Posts
    • 3,684 Thanks
    mummyjane
    Oooh Farleys....nom nom nom!

    I am now realising that £300 was a silly budget to start off with

    It must be over a year since I took part in the GC last and either we eat massively more than we did or the prices have all jumped in a big way

    I have down-branded on most things so will be spending less than I normally would and I am still struggling with the budget. I was spending around £120 a week before if you include mid week shops too and I am definitely going to be under that. Hopefully over the next few months I can start getting our spending down more and more. It has shocked me though as I didn't realise how much we were spending.

    Another NSD today which is good, although I did pick up some Christmas presents, I was pleased as they cost less than I saw them online (DS game that dd desperately wanted was £25 instead of £30 - that's her main present so left enough for some stocking fillers too ).

    Hope everyone is having a good day
    Groceries Challenge 2019
    Jan £462.44/£400
    Feb £210.10/£450, 2/10 NSDs
    • dreamingofmoney
    • By dreamingofmoney 12th Dec 11, 5:33 PM
    • 419 Posts
    • 4,753 Thanks
    dreamingofmoney
    Oh-Oh

    Have completely lost it already, i have spent most of my money already and its only the 12th. Am gonna keep account of it as much as i can and look forward to Jan, Even if i don't post i will be reading and try to be accountable for my actions haha.

    Take Care
    Ali
    off to update sig, if i dare
    Paying back 1% at a time 79% of total debt paid off.
    No. 82 PAYDBX19 £5794.39/£13000 of debt paid from this years goal 44.6%
    Hfax loan, Bcard £438/£5852.07 7.5% Lloyd’s £250/£592.99 42.1%
    Debt free date Mar 2020.
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 12th Dec 11, 6:21 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    angelatgraceland
    Bought some silicone muffin trays in pounds£recher today as I get fedup with the paper one which are hard to remove the muffins from as well as being a bit expensive. Not in my budget though. Popped into A$da to use up my £7.50 reward voucher and spent another £4. Crisp and dry oil was on offer so I got 4 bottles. Defrosted my lentil pate to put on my HM bread and made some veggy soup in my new blender. It does a great job and the blades are nice and sharp/good height from the base. I may make some muffins now as I was going out but cannot face the wind and rain so will concentrate on DS lunch for tomorrow instead and try out my new bakeware!
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
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