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@.

    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 27th Apr 11, 11:45 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    May 2011 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 27th Apr 11, 11:45 AM
    May 2011 Grocery Challenge 27th Apr 11 at 11:45 AM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the fifth Grocery Challenge of 2011,

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your April budget, then keep on posting in the April 2011 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 everyone's targets and totals for the month please read posts #7 and #8 on this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #3, #4, #5 and #6 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Last edited by Pink.; 29-04-2011 at 3:42 PM.
Page 21
  • Nimeth
    Just to update, I had 3 more NSDs this past weekend, and I'm looking to have 7 more for the rest of the week (including today) as I'm pretty set for things for a while.

    Also if anyone was looking for another good cheap batch recipe, jambalaya is perfect. I just made a batch on Sunday with some bratwurst and chicken from Aldi, it's certainly enough to make four meals for two people!

    I doubled everything, which is why it's so huge.
    Dec GC; 208.79/220
    Save a life - Give Blood
    • franby64
    • By franby64 10th May 11, 2:09 PM
    • 894 Posts
    • 10,920 Thanks

    Just posting to update my total - 146.98 and a third of the way through the month.
    I've only bought bread, milk and bananas this week and am trying not to spend much more before my A*da delivery on Friday night (B*n & J*rry's @ 2 a pot).
    Starting weight on 22/6 14st 00lbs. Weight on 15/2 10st 11lbs. Lost 3st 3lbs.Target 9st 12lbs. 13lbs left.
    • susan946
    • By susan946 10th May 11, 3:42 PM
    • 498 Posts
    • 5,169 Thanks
    Nikki - I up the amount of veg in casseroles. Not had any complaints to date!! Also sometimes shave bits off chicken breasts, freeze and store till I have enough for a casserole. I also buy mince (I get the 5% fat because we have to watch our cholesterol levels). I add lentils, oats, chopped onion, carrot, garlic, tin of value chopped tomatoes, herbs, red wine and stock. This makes 6 - 8 portions that I serve with rice or top with mashed pots or root veg, sometimes cheese and serve as cottage pie. Delicious and very economical.
  • helen jelly
    I've just updated my siggy - terrible - need to stop buying, should be ok now as AF has visited, I always spend money at "that time of the month", even when I'm aware I'm doing it I can't stop!!

    Winged One - have a hug[[[hug]]]

    Mothership - hope you are feeling better, earache is awful and can be very painful, a visit to the docs is maybe in order if its not getting better

    Hello to all the new people

    See you all soon

    Love and hugs to Spiggle, Hippeichiq - hope you are both ok

    Helen x
    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 10th May 11, 4:21 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    quintwins- thanks for your response

    I'll definitely look into cheaper cuts of meat. Not sure about the chicken as the breasts are stuffed with the cheese and it might just leak everywhere with bits of thigh? But I'll see what other beef I can get for the slow cooker. Do you get yours at a supermarket, or do you go to a butcher?
    Originally posted by nikki1986
    no it wouldn't work for the parma chicken but would for the curry or if you make casaroles, i get most of my meat in tesco because it's just as cheap as any local butcher and i'm there anyway and i don't mind the quality
    DFW 7632/28996 26.3%
    • boysma
    • By boysma 10th May 11, 4:35 PM
    • 827 Posts
    • 12,862 Thanks
    Hi all

    Updating with spends totalling 127.31 Thankfully I now have 2 full freezers and should only need top up shops until 25th.
    Payment A Day 15 (started 17/5/14)
    • cookiemum
    • By cookiemum 10th May 11, 5:05 PM
    • 131 Posts
    • 2,119 Thanks
    DH offered to go for milk to Mr M and spent 22.41

    Whiskas pouches are on offer at 3 boxes for 6 so at least he bought a few. Meal plan done until friday so hopefully no more spends until the weekend. It seems like a loooong month so far

    February Grocery Challenge 301.46/300
    To feed - Me, DH, DD, DS and 1 dog

  • espresso21
    I'm a bit behind but, Charlie, you said you don't know what to do with a whole chicken and you usually only use the breasts. I always buy a whole chicken (it's cheaper) and then joint it (which is easy to do if you have a sharp knife). The rest of it can be used easily in meals such as curries, stews and casseroles. The wings are lovely with a marinade - they make great finger food. I know lots of people also use the carcass for stock although I personally can't be bothered- however, I have been know to use it for soup.
    There are some great recipes for chicken on here but if you can't find them I might be able to dig out a few for you, if you give me a while as I am hectically busy at the moment.

    Mince is another good ingredient for stretching - again I could probably dig out some recipes if you wanted.

    I did well at Morrisons yesterday. Steak was on special (and I do love a good bit of steak); I bought a hefty slab for 7.15 and it did last night's dinner and I am going to have exactly the same thing again tonight. Boring, I know, but it was a great piece of rump!
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 10th May 11, 8:20 PM
    • 3,326 Posts
    • 36,405 Thanks
    Does anyone know how long home made chicken soup would be ok in the fridge for please. I made it on Sunday, had some yesterday and there's still a bit left. Will I poison myself if I eat it tomorrow?
    July grocery challenge 152.03/300
  • Long tall sally
    Cranky40 - I'm sure it will be fine. I've eaten soup up to 5 days old before & never had any trouble. I have just updated my signature with spends & deductions! I actualy took my lamb that didn't smell nice back to Mr T last night & got a refund so pleased about that. Really, really got to cut down on spends now as it is less than 10 weeks till we go on holiday & savings for holiday so far are zilch!
    Grocery aim 450pm.Spent 519 August, 584 July, 544 June, 541 May, 549 April, 517 March, 517 Feb,555 Jan, 573 Dec, 465Nov, 561Oct, 493Sept, 426Aug,496 Jul, 528Jun, 506May,498April, 558 March, 500Feb, 500 Jan, 490 Dec, 555 Nov,566 Oct, 505Sept, 450Aug, 410 July, 437 June, 491 May, 471 April, 440 March, 552Feb, 462Jan
    • Milly-Ann-Molly
    • By Milly-Ann-Molly 10th May 11, 9:07 PM
    • 517 Posts
    • 4,702 Thanks
    Evening all, I had to buy more today as my son brought home 5 people for tea (3 pizzas 3 garlic baguettes and a batch of cakes made...) and I ran out of bread and yeast in store cupboard so had to pay 1.55 for a loaf in village store... Tomorrow I hope for an NSD again...I am destined to be overdrawn by sunday (when my hubby needs a car full of deisel ... I have been running on fumes for weeks)
    Rant where is the cupcake I saved myself for tonights cuppa

    My balance so far this month is now 172.08

    Make /day October: 0 / 640
    Quidco 2,263.11 NSD Oct:
    SPC 2018#037 frugal 2018 #41
    2018 Road Kill 33.31
    Nectar 9.00 Tesco 10.50 Boots 10.18 Morrisons 15
    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 10th May 11, 9:32 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    7.00 spend for me today so that takes it to 67/280 so doing ok meal planning is getting easier as i have to do it with slimming world but god we are flying through fruit salad and veggies here !!! have a fab day all x
    Originally posted by welshkaz
    We are in a very similar position Welshkaz 63.58/240 and also just started slimming world - although not going to class doing it at home and with a bit of help from the sisters at local G.P.'s
    Also spending lots on fruit & veg but really enjoying it.

    Not been in a shop since Saturday but will want some fresh stuff tomorrow then get the rest on Thursday when take mum.
    Spaghetti bolognaise tomorrow with lots of veg in and served with a salad.
    Keep those pounds in your pockets every one for as long as you can.
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH 62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
  • Mothership
    Good shop.
    Went to A**A for a few bits and bobs

    4 Ristorante Pizzas @ 1 ea = 4
    Cucumber,lettuice @ 50p each 1
    2 Bottles double concentrate juice @ 1 ea =2
    4 Bottles fizzy juice for 1.50
    Total spend 8.50

    2nd Purse
    14 Butter @ 50p ea = 7
    Total spend 7

    Just found out my mothers funeral was on the 4th of May with only two people in attendance, how sad is that?

    Been working hard planting up all my pots and baskets, done about 50 over the last week halfway there. Love this time of year.

    OH had one of the 1 pizzas for dinner, I had the last of the Bowling green soup, it was lovely but I'm glad its finished. So will my tail LOL these whizpoppers almost had me taking off.

    My neighbours 4 year old told me today my tummy is taking a loooooong time to go away ROTFLMAO!
    So we agreed that he should have my special treats instead of me eating them. Mischief managed lol.

    Wait till you hear what happened to my DD2 and 9 month old baby yesterday. A neighbour along the street put his foot out to stop the pram as she was walking along the road, then stuck his head inside the pram inches from the baby's face and shreiked 'EEEEE' at the top of his voice, needless to say the baby was hysterical, so was my daughter as she had to hold back from scolding him as the baby was so upset. She is a really beautiful child with dark curls and big brown eyes, we rather suspect the attack was racially motivated, as she is mixed race, she is not black by any means, but the recent spate of sun has given her a golden tan to die for
    Anyway what kind of sicko would do that to a baby? I told my daughter to report it to the police. I've told EVERY person I spoke to on our Street what happened especially those with babies, so his name is MUD. Any suggestions how to handle this one?
    1st Purse 114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse 100
    Fridge Freezer 300 3rd Purse /290.94
  • scotsaver
    Morning everyone - last night's fajitas were a success and no-one seemed to notice that I bulked it out with plenty of peppers and only used 1 large chicken breast.

    Dinner tonight is Sausages (using the last of the DR sausages), mash, carrots, green beans, peas and sweetcorn. Still haven't placed another DR order as we still have another pack of Mince, sirloin steak, diced beef, meatballs, beefburgers etc to use up. Will probably hold out for another 2 weeks and then I can order and take the money out of next Month's GC.

    Going to try a new Pud tonight, a recipe I found on the back of my box of Ground Rice, they use Pineapple but I've got some peaches to use up so will try it with that - will let you all know how it goes and post the recipe if it's a success.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

  • sparkle76
    Scotsaver all those spices disguise the padding out!
    The peach pud sounds lush let us know how it goes, I love peaches...

    One purchase from Sainsburys yest... bad... Ben & Jerrys 'Fairly Nuts' ice cream... baby wanted it, not me
    Little Sweetpea born 12th July 2011

    • skilly
    • By skilly 11th May 11, 7:22 AM
    • 882 Posts
    • 10,225 Thanks
    Morning all, just updated my yearly budget and so far I have spent 1,404.58 ,been using stuff out of freezers but it is not always what you fancy to eat at the time lol.
    27 Sealed pot challenge 3496/4706.75/5 376.74/6 645.08/ 7 861.34 /8 786.90/9610.49/10 722.03 / 11? / gold star from sue
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 11th May 11, 8:54 AM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    another NSD for me thats 4 in a row now i made hash for breakfast again cause yesterdays was so yummy, tuna sandwichs for lunch again to use up the last of the tuna, then a sheperds pie for tea

    can i just ask how much you all spend on meat a month? i worked out spend just over 30 a month if i don't get any reductions this includes 9 portions of mince,3 gammon, 3 portions of chicken, 2 portions of fish, 2 portions of sausages,4 portions of bacon, and a roast big enough for 3 dinners
    DFW 7632/28996 26.3%
  • rosieben
    ... Anyway what kind of sicko would do that to a baby? I told my daughter to report it to the police. I've told EVERY person I spoke to on our Street what happened especially those with babies, so his name is MUD. Any suggestions how to handle this one?
    Originally posted by Mothership
    what a horrible thing to do! I think you've done the best thing which is to tell everyone what he did, unfortunately if its racially motivated there'll be no point in talking to him, but the police may warn him off?

    sending hugs to you and yours

    sorry to hear about the funeral too, very sad
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • nessie216
    • By nessie216 11th May 11, 9:28 AM
    • 839 Posts
    • 5,176 Thanks
    Just an update on progress so far

    Spent 172.45 out of my 180 (9 days left in month)

    NSD 11 out of 21 so far

    Don't think i will make it, but i am not too worried as i needed to sort out my Uni work & hve had a pay rise & i need to concentrate on weight loss for the time being - fruit is epensive!

    Anyone know the best place to get strawberries cheap atm?

    • gien
    • By gien 11th May 11, 11:33 AM
    • 1,645 Posts
    • 15,703 Thanks
    another 37.90 euros here -so that's 159.09 in total.

    Mmm, no way we'll get by on just 200 euros then but I'll see how well we can do in not going too far over.

    We're away this weekend, so I only need to buy some milk this afternoon for the next couple of days. Trouble is we'll probably spend a fortune in eating out whilst away.
    I am finding it good though to focus more on how much I am spending on food - it's already less than usual, just because I am being mindful and planning better
    Last edited by gien; 11-05-2011 at 11:42 AM.
    Trying to keep in budget.

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

3,788Posts Today

4,688Users online

Martin's Twitter