Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    • 9,343Posts
    • 17,889Thanks
    • #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'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!

    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 28
    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 13th Dec 11, 12:14 PM
    • 1,187 Posts
    • 8,908 Thanks
    Question for the forum: do I count Tesco vouchers as money in my GC budget or as discounts? What is the general consensus? We've got about 60-worth.

    The last couple of days have been very "spendy". I went to Costco on Friday (62.79), then the kosher butcher's yesterday (88.46, which included a turkey), plus Lidl (14.66) and still have to do my big monthly supermarket shop as well as stock up with veg for Christmas. Some of this spend needs to come out of a different pot, "the bulk fund"), since I stocked up on castor sugar and tinned tomatoes at Costco and toilet paper at Lidl. I haven't analysed it yet to quarantine those items but if I leave them in then I'm bust without those vouchers.

    Oh, and the butcher confirmed he can get me a goose, so I've ordered one (price unknown but estimating 8/kg). That pushes my GC budget up to 250, as per my original post.
    "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
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 13th Dec 11, 12:40 PM
    • 13,822 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    Pipney, I personally use them as discounts. For example I spend 50 and have a 5 voucher so I have only spent 45 of my budget. I think most people do it like that on here but obviously it is up to you.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
  • wannabehermit
    Question for the forum: do I count Tesco vouchers as money in my GC budget or as discounts? What is the general consensus? We've got about 60-worth.
    Originally posted by PipneyJane
    It depends on how you're doing your budget I think. Most people would count that as discount but I'm doing my budget so that I can make an accurate budget up for next year, so I like to record everything I would have spent iyswim. For example, if I was going to spend 60 worth of vouchers I'd count them towards my budget so that I know how much food etc I have used this month. Does that make sense?

    I've been shopping today, MrT for shopping & a few Christmas/birthday bits, plus Lidl for veg & meat. Total GC spend of 60.41 giving me a current total of 357.27. So that leaves me with just over 160 for 1 weeks shopping plus this weeks top ups. It would be lovely to come in 60 under budget.
    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
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 13th Dec 11, 1:49 PM
    • 4,329 Posts
    • 29,794 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...cold today with talk of snow so i have been out and stocked up on milk....also got some nice croissants for christmas day breakfast (will put in freezer) stir fry for tea and going to make a pie for tea tomorrow....think i might do fajitas later in the week

    take care tess
    onwards and upwards
  • Dee500
    Hi everyone

    Can i join in? Have been tracking my spending from Dec 1st and total at moment is 109.70/250.00. Have been running down freezer and am at outlaws for Xmas dinner so hope to stay in budget. Am having few friends over for New Years Eve but am hoping by browsing thru previous threads I'll be able to not spend too much.

    Forgot to add just me and 5yr old daughter (with expensive taste)!!
    October GC: 97.83/250.00
    • Rainy-Days
    • By Rainy-Days 13th Dec 11, 2:45 PM
    • 1,420 Posts
    • 14,454 Thanks
    Spent in Sainsbobs 40.47. I had a 4.00 voucher come through so that brought it down to 36.47. Well chuffed for a weeks shop
  • tink1981
    ooopsy!... had hoped for a nsd yesterday but after yet another trip to the docs and her making some suggestions for changes to my diet needed to pop in for a few bits. Ended up spending 14.82 on various bits and bobs. Could have done with out it but figer that if eating differently helps make me better and saves my having to spend 14 a week on perscriptions it's not too bad.

    Have been and done our main shop today, spending 35.12 at A1di. They've got some really good offers on veg at the moment and hoping with a bit of careful planning should be able to make it stretch until we go to mum and dads for chrimbo

    Right off to wizz up some yummy soups from my bargin buys!!

    tink x

    Sealed Pot Challenge #1505

    'you wouldn't worry about what people think, if you realised how seldom they do'

    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 13th Dec 11, 4:09 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    Hi all

    After lurking for a very long time I have decided to come out of hiding and ask to join

    There is me, OH, 2 cats and a rabbit in my household and currently spending anywhere between 200 - 300 per month (the more being the more takeaways we have )

    I get paid on the 22nd of the month so can I take part in this months or do I need to wait to January to start?

    I will be aiming for everyone in the household to have been fed on 200.
    Originally posted by stephga23
    Well you can do it either way and of course you don't have to go from payday to payday either it its easier not to. I do mine from the 1st of each month and simply calculate my spends from my spending diary. It makes no difference-whatever is easiest for you. I would be inclined to suggest you could otherwise pick the day of the week you prefer to start it from and go from there for now. Maybe use Saturday as your start date? Thats why I use the first of the month til the end though-too confusing otherwise!
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is 1500 pa 125 calendar month 28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 13th Dec 11, 4:20 PM
    • 13,822 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    Tonight's dinner was SC Sausage and Bacon Casserole

    I browned 8 sausages off and then chopped them in to four and popped them into the SC. Then fried off two medium onions a two cloves of garlic, chopped. They went into the SC and I bunged around 250g bacon ( left over from yesterday's dinner ) into the pan and fried that off and into the SC. Then I bunged in frozen peppers, peas and sweetcorn and chopped carrots. Next a tin of kidney beans and two of chopped tomatoes went in. Around three tblsp mixed herbs and half pint of chicken stock.

    Can be served with potatoes, mash, jacket potatoes, crusty bread or as it is.

    Has fed us five and enough left over for a couple of HM freezer meals. I reckon that lot probably would cost around 7 to make and there is probably around 7/8 meals in there.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
  • cleggie
    Hi All. Spent 200 at Lidl the other day, so waaaay over my target, but that IS including my xmas shop!
    Will start again in Jan!
  • rosieben
    tigerfeet. your SC Sausage and Bacon Casserole is in the index, another good one
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 13th Dec 11, 5:15 PM
    • 13,822 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    tigerfeet. your SC Sausage and Bacon Casserole is in the index, another good one
    Originally posted by rosieben
    Cheers Rosie. I hope that they help some of the posters on the board as I know some want to get their bills down a bit more. Though I don't do many quantities for ingredients as I am a bung it in sort a gal but I hope that doesn't put some people off trying the recipes.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 13th Dec 11, 5:32 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Question for the forum: do I count Tesco vouchers as money in my GC budget or as discounts? What is the general consensus? We've got about 60-worth. ...
    Originally posted by PipneyJane
    Hi PipneyJane,

    I don't count vouchers in my total as I think I've already spent the money in the sm anyway.

    But if I wanted to have a record of what you've bought/consumed in a month like wannabehermit, then you could have a list of spends including vouchers but not count voucher spends against your monthly budget iyswim.

    Welcome stephga23, start when you prefer, it's really up to you. Some of us tracked spends for a month before joining (though it looks like you've already done that). It really is up to you if you want to do payday to payday then start your January challenge on 22nd December through to the January pay day. OR just start with us on the 1st January and record calendar months.

    I use the calendar months as OH gets paid mid month and mine's the last working day before the end of the month. So for us a calendar month works best.

    Hope that helps,
    Mortgage Free October 2013
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 13th Dec 11, 5:59 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    89p on milk today.
    Grocery challenge - Nov: 52/100
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 13th Dec 11, 6:30 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    i don't count vouchers as i want to know how much my food has cost me not how much it should have cost me

    i'm feeling awful and i'm regretting buying cheap loo roll my nose is killing me i might get some nice balsam tissues tomorrow for my poor nose but until then it's vasaline and horrible loo roll, i could nip to the filling station for some but there far too expensive i'd much rather get the 2 for 2 boxes from boots (i don;t know why they call it an offer i don't think i've ever paid anymore for these tissues they just wanna make it look good because there suppose to be 1.90 each)
    DFW 7632/28996 26.3%
    • Doom_and_Gloom
    • By Doom_and_Gloom 13th Dec 11, 7:41 PM
    • 3,798 Posts
    • 13,040 Thanks
    Budget - 110
    Spent - 82.88
    Left - 27.12 + 5.59 catalina (32.71)
    Originally posted by Doom_and_Gloom
    Co-op 9.45
    Mr S 1.09 (would have been 2.78 but used coupon for chips - price of newspaper the coupon was in already accounted for in budget . Usually only buy basic chips that are 80p for 1.5kg mind, as a treat, but it will be a nice change for Yule and at 30p/kg I'm not complaining as cheaper than basic )
    Total - 10.54

    Co-op 1.59

    Total - 12.13

    Budget - 110
    Spent - 95.01
    Left - 14.99. + 5.59 catalina (20.58)
    Last edited by Doom_and_Gloom; 13-12-2011 at 7:45 PM. Reason: typo
    I am a vegan woman. My OH is a lovely omni guy
    • skintmum2012
    • By skintmum2012 13th Dec 11, 9:07 PM
    • 458 Posts
    • 2,893 Thanks
    Hi can I join in please? I really need to get my Budget down pay day is next friday so that's when our budget starts can i join from then please?
    • meg72
    • By meg72 13th Dec 11, 9:36 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    7.00 spend today, got 30cans of coke for 6.00. cos box was bashed and 2.00 on Muller yogurt for my GS, he wont eat my homemade,will update sig in a while.
    Slimming World at target
    • medsdemon
    • By medsdemon 14th Dec 11, 2:46 AM
    • 749 Posts
    • 6,117 Thanks
    Spent 4.42 in MrS last night as needed xmas cards and they were reduced and B1G1F so glad I'm awfully late getting xmassy IYKWIM. Also got tampons, whoopsied whole trout-2 for 54p, tub of whoopsied olives for 14p & a loaf of bread for 10p.
    Sunday we did our big shop at MrS with our Nectar points that we'd saved for xmas. It came to 92. 33 but we had 89.00 of points so the shop came to 3.33 off the GC as the points were part of a comp win ages ago. We topped up on bits and bought our xmas free ranger and a huge gammon joint as well. We have a good bottle of red in and our favourite cheeses so next week hoping only to need veggies, a few naughty bits and the extras I need to make some nice meals as I will have time to cook properly for a change ( off to menu plan I think tomorrow evening as I have lots in to work from).

    Almost forgot OH popped into A$di and bought satsumas, bananas & potatoes so although he had no receipt it must have been approx 2.70.

    Hoping to be under budget because of the Nectar points spend so will maybe use the leftover GC money to top up on essentials for the stock cupboard.

    Monday was a NSD and I am planning one tomorrow too.
    Last edited by medsdemon; 14-12-2011 at 2:53 AM.
    Grocery challenge October: 228.28/250.00 NSD 4 ( not completed)
    Grocery challenge November : 291.65/300.00 NSD 10
    Grocery challenge December : 0/240.00 NSD
    • sproggi
    • By sproggi 14th Dec 11, 8:02 AM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 6,376 Thanks
    A NSD today for me which is just as well because OH having a bad day, so couldn't leave him to go to the shops anyway.
    Tea will be beef and veg that I had slowcooked and put in the freezer, along with some L/O mash that was in there.
    Why is it that I can take containers of food out of the freezer, tidy up freezer and then still end up with less room in there than before I started

    '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
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,810Posts Today

4,300Users online

Martin's Twitter