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    • 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 24
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 12th May 11, 4:49 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    A little flurry of activity in the co-op, aldi and lidl yesterday. I had to take the boys so a few none essentials crept in, but I was quite impressed that thye had the sense to suggest that £1.99 on ten ice creams would only buy two ice creams in the newsagents - they are 6 and 8 .

    Co-op has PG Tips - 160, 2 for £5. We had very nearly run out so a timely offer.

    Working hard to use up stocks and make do as much as I can.
    Originally posted by hex2

    AF have pg tips (i noticed after i ordered so i'm gutted)
    80 pack £1.29
    or 2.5kg (1150) £7.49
    DFW £7632/£28996 26.3%
  • 123budget
    Did main shop today so have one more to go (payday is 26th) I have £48.48 left of my budget so I think I can stay within budget this month. Have loads in freezer, loads of baking stuff and standby sachets of angel delight, jellies to keep kids happy. I have certainly changed my way of thinkiing - I wanted to spend £50 in Mr T today so I could use my £7 off voucher but when I got to the till I was £10 under!! - Was determined to use it - the nearest aisle to the till was the cereal aisle so I dashed off and came back with an armful of cereal boxes -the person behind me at the till had to wait but at least I got the £7 off and my lot eat loads of cereal so shall put it by for the next 2 weeks.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 2011 / no. 1205 £110 made]Sealed Pot Challenge 2012/no 1205 target £300
    Jan g/c 355.83/£450
    g/c Feb487.66/£400
    March 411.03/£450
    To feed 5 adults and 2 dogs includes toiletries & cleanining
    • hex2
    • By hex2 12th May 11, 5:36 PM
    • 4,722 Posts
    • 80,174 Thanks
    AF have pg tips (i noticed after i ordered so i'm gutted)
    80 pack £1.29
    or 2.5kg (1150) £7.49
    Originally posted by quintwins

    Thanks - will have a look.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
    • Milly-Ann-Molly
    • By Milly-Ann-Molly 12th May 11, 6:52 PM
    • 517 Posts
    • 4,702 Thanks
    Hi all, bought even more today...I need to talk to myself!!! I went for things for work (I get re-imbursed a month later!) but then picked up a 'few bits'...Got a bit crazy on RTC offers in Mr T in the hope of finding 1p items...ended up spending a whopping £52.59 add that to the McDs tea for the kids and Deisel and I am now only 15p in credit at the bank!!!! MUST not buy ANY more this month...

    I now have spent a total of...£224.67/£360 but have to reduce my food limit even further to £250 so as to avoid going overdrawn. I am off to list the cupboard contents now...I seem to have a massive amount of cashew nuts and peanuts now as they are all massively reduced in mr T (some are dated 2012 so I will start my xmas food hamper off today, also got 3 xmas puddings for 25p each...) I do have a habit of buying weird stuff i do not need...

    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
    • Gracie_1827
    • By Gracie_1827 12th May 11, 7:07 PM
    • 290 Posts
    • 2,487 Thanks
    £11.22 spent at C0-0p today. They had an ofer on Wykes cheese, 2 for £5...hasn't cheese gone up in price recently!!!, Couple of R0binson's barley drink BOGOF and a bottle of vino for £3.99. Used half of this to make Delia's Ragu, used meatballs and chicken livers from freezer......absolutely delicious. Ended up with enough for 12 servings. Also made a couple of loaves of bread from flour stock.
    GC - Oct £36.17/£31
    GC - Sep £35.56/£30
    GC - Aug £30.73/£31
    GC - Jul £30.80/£31
  • Long tall sally
    nessie216 - I have one guinea & one rabbit (who live together) & I had no idea that they could eat things like grapes! Would this also be ok for the rabbit as I know rabbits shouldn't have lettuce & guineas can.

    I spent again today - quite a bit of fruit & veg from the market plus crisps & dips etc as we are having friends coming to stay Sat night.
    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
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 12th May 11, 8:42 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks

    am thinking maybe a two week meal planner would help a bit?anyone have any tips on how to do this? but also be a bit versatile as we may fancy something different on the day IYKWIM
    Originally posted by MumOf2Beasties

    I do a monthly meal planner, but it's really only a list!! At the end of one month, I go through my cupboards and freezer, and see what I've got to use/what's going out of date/what I fancy, etc. Then, I make a list of the right number of meals for the coming month. I also let my 2 children have a couple of choices each, so they feel they're joining in with the planning. Then, the night before, we look at the list and choose something to eat. If time will be limited, I choose something quick, if not, I let one of the children choose - as long as the other one gets to choose at another point!!

    I find this really works, as I don't like to be too structured. I used to plan breakfast, lunch and dinner on a calendar for a whole month, but would always fail on the first day! At least this way, failing doesn't happen!!

    Some months, I get a little creative, and other months, like this month, are using-up months.

    Hope that helps.
    PG x

    PS - NSD today! My £20something is still intact!
    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
  • katholicos
    Have spent about £30 so far this month, on groceries.Tonight we picked up a punnet of strawbs for 70p and a small plastic tray of raspberries for 49p. We really enjoyed them....but i can hardly wait for my own raspberry canes and strawberry plants to start producing this year.
    Grocery Challenge for October: £135/£200

    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
    • dibblersan
    • By dibblersan 12th May 11, 11:06 PM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,491 Thanks
    I was wondering if I posted up some of our fave meals whether anyone might be able to recommend how to cut costs?:
    -slow-cooked beef (basics stewing steak, beef stock cube, carrots, onions, red wine, basics tinned toms, served with rice.. does 2 dinners for us)
    chicken or pork tend to be cheaper than beef (I don't really like it myself) and still make a tasty casserole. If you do want beef then my local butcher will do me a bag of 'scraps' that's fine for slow cooking and's cheaper than the tesc* steaks unless they're very reduced. personally I'd buy a cheap joint of pork and 1. trim it to make 'scraps' for the slow cooker, 2. cut it into a roast, then 3. a couple of thick 'chops' to have grilled with either sticky sauce, apple and cheese, or mustard and cheese.
    -lemon pasta (penne, oil, juice of a lemon, parmesan, basics olives) a strong cheese can be much cheaper than parmesan but not as expensive. I also like to use fish when I can find it cheap (tin of tuna or mackeral is fine) and tarragon with lemon to make a light pasta.
    -parma chicken with mash (chicken breasts, parma ham, stuffed with basics mozzarella, served with mash potatoes and some sort of green veg)
    as said above, your answer might be in buying a whole chicken then taking the breasts off it - not hard to do. this would give you plenty of chicken for other meals and your breasts, for the cost of the breast alone (depending on breast and chicken). but again here, a good quality smoked bacon will suit this dish as well as parma and can work out cheaper.
    Originally posted by nikki1986
    it's a question, I think, of trying other ingredients, maybe one at a time, to see if you like the recipie as much with the cheaper subs.

    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
    Originally posted by quintwins
    There's just me and sometimes my oh.

    I have 2 roasts a month (normally 1 lamb and one gammon or pork, but sometimes chicken)

    Then 2 casserole with leftover meat alternate weeks made the week before and frozen.

    I have a sausage sarnie each weekend with 2 sausages (8 a month)

    4 fish meals (tuna, mackeral or salmon) a month

    I normally then have one other lot of meat - bacon, mince, burgers (something cheap but versitile) and have hash, scouse, lasagnie, whatever, which does about 4 meals.

    When my oh is about I also buy lunchen meat from the deli (he loves it) for lunchtime sarnies. It's recently gone up to 2.20/kg and I aways get £1 worth.

    It's not actually too bad in an omlette or calzone.

    I have to confess, after saying the above, I went into the local tesco's in the middle of the day (TOIL due to training over the next and last weeks) and it must have been at their sweet time.

    The lovely csa was putting out 8 (I tell you 8 full) of those green trays they use for delivery of reduced meat.

    I ended up being very very bad

    I spent £60.

    I'm in the fortunate position when I can do that if I want to, but I didn't want to.

    I bought:
    2 large joints of lamb (shoulder and breast)
    3 big packs of 10 chicken legs,
    A pack of steak,
    2 packs 12 sausage (cumberland and chilli)
    2 packs mince (one beef, one lamb)
    3 packs 14 lamb kababs
    4 chinese/indian ready meals and
    4 bags bits (samosas and the like)
    a big bag of indian (meal for 2)
    4 garlic breads
    big pack belly pork
    4 blocks cheese
    2 packs meat balls

    which, I think for £60 wasn't bad less than 2 pound a pack on average (33 packs)

    but still i shouldn't have.

    I've put the ready meals away for now as my oh is due this weekend and i don't see him often so don't want to be cooking lots, but the rest should do me for months!! I only tend to have meat twice or so a week.

    what I didn't buy - which was what i went in for - was milk...

    EDIT: I forgot my actual news in my shame. I got an emai out of the blue from tesco the other day refunding me an additional £3.05 for the gammon. The gentleman (not the lady that was 'disconected from me') appologised for my problems and said that their sub's system wasn't sophisticated enough to take into account price per weight and that the gammon I had been given was more expensive so here's a refund.

    NOTE: i didn't send of any email about this, it must be off the back of the conversation with the woman. I just chalked it up to experience, but it seems that it's something worth complaining about after all.

    Oh, and I get a free lunch tomorrow and most of next week - with as much free tea and coffee as I can drink. Wonder if I should take a doggy bag and a bottle for any leftover milk - I'm turning into my mother..
    Last edited by dibblersan; 12-05-2011 at 11:10 PM.
    One of the hardest of all life lessons is this:

    Just because I feel bad doesn’t necessarily mean someone else is doing something wrong.

    Just because I feel good doesn’t necessarily mean what I am doing is right.
  • scotsaver
    Morning everyone - should be another NSD today, plan to spend the day on the Allotment so will be far enough away from the Shops to avoid temptation.

    Dinner tonight our usual Friday, Fish, HM chips and mushy peas.

    Have a good day everyone.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

    • Pixie Fairydust
    • By Pixie Fairydust 13th May 11, 8:24 AM
    • 270 Posts
    • 3,797 Thanks
    Pixie Fairydust
    Not at all Pixie, lets face it where else could he stay and not have to contribute anything at all. I think it teaches them how to budget as well.
    When our now sil lived with us he paid us a little. We took into account his wages, his outgoings and also the fact that they were saving for a deposit on a house and came to an agreement that we were all fine with. It wasnt a huge amount but it certainly helped. He now says that it was something he would have never thought about himself but now they have their own house and budget etc he realises how expensive everything is.

    Thanks for the reply. We are having a 'chat' at the weekend, feel awkward but needs to be done. You are right it will be a life lesson and help them in the future.

    Mum gave me £20 yesterday when I dropped my dad's b'day pressie off, she made me cheese on toast too, so lunch thrown in, aren't mums brilliant

    Went to Mr T for some essentials, Lynx body wash is half price, so my son is very pleased with that. Spent £9.60.

    Must put £10 petrol in the car for the weekend, so that's the £20 gone!

    Have to order my food shop on-line from A$da today, I have the grand total of £36 now, plus a free delivery as I complained about the state some of my shopping was in last time they delivered, something had leaked, not too terrible but if you don't ask you don't get!

    Have a lovely day everyone.
    It's the most wonderful time of the year!
    Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica!
    I wish you were here.
    But you're not, you're there.
    And there doesn't know how lucky it is.

    • nessie216
    • By nessie216 13th May 11, 8:28 AM
    • 839 Posts
    • 5,176 Thanks
    nessie216 - I have one guinea & one rabbit (who live together) & I had no idea that they could eat things like grapes! Would this also be ok for the rabbit as I know rabbits shouldn't have lettuce & guineas can.
    Originally posted by Long tall sally
    I have heard of bad things about guineas & rabbits living together, and i personally do not agree with it (just like letting a dog & cat live in cage together!) but i won't go into that

    I don't believe in giving rabbits or guineas lettuce as it is a duretic (sp?) & has a mild sedative in it! (i believe romain lettuce is the best if you do give it to them - but NEVER iceburg lettuce)

    The only thing i would NOT feed both of them is tomatoes - i think they are poisionous to rabbits!

    Fruit should be given only occasionally - hence why i give them my leftovers so to speak

    Out of curiousity - how are you feeding them dry food? As guineas need additional vitamin C as they cannot produce it themselves, unlike rabbits!

    Sorry if sounds mean - don't mean to - i just think alot of my animals & would hate for anyone to have problems because they didn't know the risks!

    Spring greens, spinach, kale, celery (cut into 1cm pieces), pepper, parsley, corriander, carrots (especially the tops!) (and small amounts of bananas/apples/grapes/pears etc. occassionally) are in my opinion the best foods to feed both guineas & rabbits - Oh and of course letting them be the lawnmower & weed remover!


    • hannah:-)
    • By hannah:-) 13th May 11, 10:21 AM
    • 243 Posts
    • 1,596 Thanks
    After being very good and not spending all week, have had to go shopping to get some fresh veg. Got the lunch box stuff for next week while I was in there too to avoid the need to go back in and risk temptation. So am now at 94.75/100.

    It's feeling very tight, but only 10 more days to go as I'm on holiday for the last week of the month so have planned a smaller budget than usual to take into account the fact I'm only shopping for a shorter month iyswim
    Official DFW nerd 187 Highest debt Oct 06 £23,319 Cleared end 09.
    Student again now and trying to fight the debts that are creeping up again
    • slbhill
    • By slbhill 13th May 11, 10:34 AM
    • 5,208 Posts
    • 363,292 Thanks
    £36.12 at Mr T's last night, now added to my signature. There were lots of reductions in fruit & veg and the fridges but almost none worth buying! It was mainly reduced from "stupidly overpriced" down to "quite exensive" so I didn't bother except for a nice loaf of bread for 69p and some mushrooms which still had 3 days before the BBD.

    That included some extra baking ingredients because I need to make cake for 80 people to take next weekend and also £2.50 for some BBQ tongs which actually work, unlike our current ones Must remember to get rid of the old ones, they really are rubbish!

    Strawberries are finally down below £2 a punnet so I got some of those, hope they're nice.

    Stork is up to £1.90 for 1kg yesterday, it was £1.50 last I noticed.
    Sultanas up to 99p for a 500g bag (Value), from 64p
    Value butter is also up in the last week to £1.10 (was 98p)

    On the other hand eggs and noodles have both gone down so all is not lost!

    By the way - I didn't notice at the time but Value SR flour is now 79p although plain is 52p! Maybe I should buy baking powder or whatever it is that makes the difference...
    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 13th May 11, 12:33 PM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    Afternoon peeps

    i`ve updated my siggy again now that i`ve pried the missing receipt from DH`s mitts

    I shall be updating again after this weekends spends but hopefully only a small spend as we have quite a lot in and i`ve been eating virtually nil

    I`m feeling a lot better today - thanks Sistercas I`ve had a lot of headaches due to being dehydrated i think but the fluids are now starting to stay in my tum so i`m hoping to be 100% or near enough soon.

    I shall have some scrambled eggs in a while - my appetite is still none existent but i need to eat now so i shall force them down as they`re nice and light. I`m a bit out of touch with the offers atm but did see some kind soul mention the PG tips were on offer at the co-op so i shall maybe venture along tomorrow for a nosy. I like to stock up on decent teabags when i get the chance as we use so many.

    Think that i shall have a scout around the offers section of MrM`s site now.

    Planning on starting the GC again soon
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 13th May 11, 12:48 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    dibblersan you did very well i wouldn't feel bad about over spending because you will save in the longrun, i was thrilled so see they've extended our reducded fresh stuff into another cabinet however it was wasted on me because i have no freezer space night now anyway.

    i've had soem mega spends today
    £12 to the nursey £8 of wich comes out of my gc
    £5 in poundland
    17p to get DS3 a banana because he was screaming blue murder
    £19.15 in te$co this included a half price pork shoulder joint that will be 2 roasts and 2 casaroles and 4 blocks of cheese on offer neither of which will be used til next month but i'll take them out of this month anyway
    £1.50 in iceland on ornage juice
    90p on milk

    so i'm adding £34.72 to my sig

    i also spent £7 in the post office aswell, altho this was for stuff, and £6 on pants for DS3 from mothercare cause there the only place that does them small enough so today has cost me a small fortune
    DFW £7632/£28996 26.3%
  • Long tall sally
    I have heard of bad things about guineas & rabbits living together, and i personally do not agree with it (just like letting a dog & cat live in cage together!) but i won't go into that

    Out of curiousity - how are you feeding them dry food? As guineas need additional vitamin C as they cannot produce it themselves, unlike rabbits!

    Originally posted by nessie216

    Hi Nessie216 - I was a little worried initially about putting them together but they get on just great - the rabbit is always licking the guinea clean and they always sit together even though they have quite a big cage & run. I buy dry food for rabbits & also dry food for guineas but I do put it all mixed in in one bowl. Do you think that is ok? Re your comment about guineas not being able to produce vit c - surely no animal can "produce" it? It's just that guineas can not retain it in their bodies as long as rabbits - hence why they need it much more regularly.

    Just updated sig with a little spend today in the co op on reduced cobs & cakes but may also have to pop out again ina bit as I have realised that we don't have any carrots to go with our shepherds pie tonight.
    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
    • Mrs Money Penny
    • By Mrs Money Penny 13th May 11, 2:15 PM
    • 729 Posts
    • 6,332 Thanks
    Mrs Money Penny
    Good Afternoon everyone. Just got back from doing the weekly shop have updated my signature by £50.57. Have a good weekend.
    MFIT Challenge save £40k
    £48828.05/£46842.89/-£1985.16Mortgage neutral 03/19
    • Aril
    • By Aril 13th May 11, 2:24 PM
    • 1,880 Posts
    • 16,730 Thanks
    I've spent £35 this week- this is in part to having a lot in the freezer- I think it will be a different story once I start having to replenish my stocks sadly
    Aiming for a life of elegant frugality wearing a new-to-me silk shirt rather than one of hair!

    Not Buying It 2016
    • russetred
    • By russetred 13th May 11, 2:39 PM
    • 1,232 Posts
    • 9,385 Thanks
    Just on to update my sig. Managed to fill the freezer with RTC meat at 40p each so looking good for this month.I also stocked up on the mini red wines @ £2.49 each once the till takes off 25% and 4 for £5 they're 63p a bottle.So got 32 which is actually 8 bottles full size. Working this weekend but it looks like the weather is going to be pretty appalling so no loss there.
    "Sometimes life sucks....but the alternative is unacceptable."
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