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    • 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 25
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 10th Dec 11, 7:25 PM
    • 13,817 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    Today we have started to clear the lounge of all the crap and detritus that has accumulated in there since I have been ill, which is a lot. It is about a third done. I have managed to get to the lounge window now and taken the voile and put it in the wash, cleaned the window, woodwork etc. The window is a floor to ceiling one with a low cill. I've put fluffy snow on the cill and then popped pine cones in amongst it, which we spent some time this morning decorating with glitter glue. The kids had such fun with it. They've also written their school Christmas cards, though I suspect they've forgotten people and will being more tomorrow. I have made a start with sewing Christmas trees today. Have done two and just need to pick up stuffing tomorrow. Will try and do sme more tomorrow and hopefully get them in the window. DC1 and I are going to make snowflakes tomorrow which will go in the top of the window. I also moved the plant pots out side from the front of the window and swept the front. Our house fronts straight onto the pavement with a two foot piece where I can put pots etc.

    I put the SC on this morning so I didn't have to worry about doing any cooking today. I browner off the 4 sausages I had left from yesterday and sliced them thinly, then bunged them in the slow cooker. Chopped up a couple of onions and fried them off with a couple of cloves of garlic and bunged it in the SC. Then I added a tin of drained chick peas, left over pumpkin that needed using, tin tomatoes, 2 tblsp tomato pur!e, 1tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp ground coriander, 2 tsp leaf coriander, 2 tsp cumin, salt and pepper and 3 or so blocks of frozen spinach. Served it with rice. Clean plates all round

    Tomorrow we have church in the morning, home for lunch, will do some more sewing and cleaning then the cubs and beavers have Christingle to do at 4 pm. Back for dinner from the SC which will probably be Chicken Cacciatore. Not sure what we are doing for the evening as yet probably sleep
    Last edited by tigerfeet2006; 10-12-2011 at 7:32 PM.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
  • needtosavE
    Just got one 24.89 spend to record so thats me about half way through my buget. Still got some more shopping to do tomorrow but thats not too bad. Did think 150 was a bit adventurous for December!

    Wow Doom_and_Gloom that sounds like a great shop you had at MrS! What coupons did you use?
    June GC 130.93/150
    Wedding Date Set 13th October 2012
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 10th Dec 11, 8:07 PM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 13,703 Thanks
    Well a NSD for me on groceries, but I did buy a snow shovel ( it snowed a bit last night and I dont want to get caught out this year) and a book for a Xmas present but they come out of different pots.

    Some of you seem to get great bargains, I only ever seem to get a few.
    Budgeting again, must try harder!!
    Sealed pot challenge no.31
    Frugal challenge 2019
    • 666paw
    • By 666paw 10th Dec 11, 8:58 PM
    • 330 Posts
    • 2,481 Thanks
    More spending has happened in the 666 household, total of 47.35
    L's - 15.67
    A's - 31.68

    Now have a stock of a few items, so next week should only be fruit, milk, cat food and booze. Hopefully will be able to stay in target this month.

    MFI3 T3 # 75
    • Fiasco55
    • By Fiasco55 10th Dec 11, 10:15 PM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 15,364 Thanks
    Another 15 today at Mr M's. Went in for the deal on Plenty some bread and ended up with a few other things as well. Did get some beetroot, tartar sauce and pickles for New Year.
    No buying toiletries Graduated May 2017

    Decluttered 2016 2469 items, 2017 1580 items
    2018 3060 items

    Sealed Pot Challenge No 038
  • rej-c
    I've just added 2 NSDs - Thursday and today - and a spend of 7.53 at Mr S on the way home on Friday night. That would've been a bit less, but two jars I picked up from a jumbled pile of herbs and spices on an apparently 'reduced' shelf turned out to be full price; but, as I have plans for them, I didn't put them back - I'm thinking of it as an 'idiot tax'. It'll remind me to double-check before grabbing RTC items next time.

    We're pushing our luck with the budget - almost at two-thirds of our max, and only 10 days into the month, even though freezer, fridge and cupboards are all in healthy state. Like for many others here, it's mostly just bread, milk, fruit and veg to top up with for the rest of the month [I have a couple of Clubcard vouchers earmarked for Christmas spirits].

    The spending is largely down to the fact that the SW Effect has been making its presence felt [it's never the healthiest stuff on special or in the whoopsie section, is it?]. Also, later shop opening hours in the run-up to Christmas has made it more difficult to nab decent reductions on fresh stuff, as they're going round with the stickers later, but my shopping times haven't changed. I need to hone my fresh fruit and veg bargain-hunting skills pre-closing on Sunday afternoon, or be more flexible about shopping times throughout the week.
    Haven't done the GC since February, but a glance at the Tower of Receipts tells me I really need to get back into it... and plenty of other Challenges besides.
    • dannie
    • By dannie 11th Dec 11, 9:32 AM
    • 1,889 Posts
    • 4,431 Thanks
    Good morning,

    Just another 1.39 spent for hot drinks and may need to do another ebay order to cover the Xmas period.
  • tracey12
    I spent another 20.02 this morning in Mr T, although only 7.63 will be added to grocery figure. I had to buy some cocktail pasties for my youngest dd nursery party which cost 3. I got some FR eggs, pitta bread, houmous, mandarins, cucumber and some mint thins.

    Not in grocery budget was printer paper, a top reduced from 6 to 3, TV magazine for xmas period (never buy them any other time of year) and a pack of xmas cards.

    Hope you are all staying within budget

    Officially debt free
    • prepareathome
    • By prepareathome 11th Dec 11, 11:30 AM
    • 1,822 Posts
    • 24,925 Thanks
    Some more bits from Newsagent/grocer today 19.68 so will go and add that to total.

    Opps nearly forgot hubby picked up milk at SM yesterday so another 4
    C.R.A.P R.O.L.L.Z # 1 prepareathome - baker, premium prepper (hence member #1), topic keeper
    Sealed Pot Member1433:2011 119.12/2012-? Save 12k in 2012 No 126
    Stopped Smoking Wed 25th Jan 2012
  • mummybearx
    Another 47 spent in MrT yesterday....... Really shouldn't go 'for a few things' when Im hungry
    Can't think of anything smart to put here...
  • Brassic Park
    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!
    Future hopes, dreams & emergencies fund: 4,000
    No. Internet. Shopping.
  • mummybearx
    I include anything I eat or use around the home.

    Including all toiletries and cleaning products, all food and drink inc lunches at work etc

    Can't think of anything smart to put here...
    • LavenderBees
    • By LavenderBees 11th Dec 11, 2:19 PM
    • 1,703 Posts
    • 17,718 Thanks
    Finally got in a couple of NSDs, thank goodness. Had begun to think I'd forgotten how to have a day without spending on food.

    Today, I went with my neighbour to a local farm shop, and couldn't resist some sausages, black pudding and white pudding for fab Xmas fry up (sampled them all first of course ).

    Spent 3.69, which is very restrained as conscious of romping towards the budget limit, and no room in the freezer.

    Siggy updated...

    • Living proof
    • By Living proof 11th Dec 11, 3:49 PM
    • 1,568 Posts
    • 10,219 Thanks
    Living proof
    Spent around 7 on Saturday including a bunch of lillies, and the only non-essential was a pack of Lidl bacon bits at 1.50 for a kilo. There are three great chunks of ham in the pack and I intend to take off the fat and free for use over the turkey with any other fattier bits I find. Then it looks like a slow-cooker job with the ham although heaven only knows where I will find the room to put it. Just couldn't resist a bargain! Lentil soup, mini quiche, bits to add to pasta or sandwiches - the list goes on and on. A few years ago I would have spent twice that just buying fat bacon for the top of the turkey. So even though food may have risen in price over the last while, if you plan ahead you get double the value!

    I hope you are all managing a relatively stress-free build up to Christmas. I don't remember a year when I was offered quite so many money-off coupons and as I am not spending much I won't get any use of them. I will maybe stock up on dishwasher tabs. or something exciting just to get the benefit of one of them, or wine perhaps. These food retailers are going to have to work very hard indeed in 2012 to get much of my business! I wonder whether we will still be in Europe this time next year?
    Solar Suntellite 250 x16 4kW Afore 3600TL dual 2KW E 2KW W no shade, DN15 March 14
    Mortgage and Debt Free. Unfortunately Pension Free too!
  • rej-c
    An NSD today; aiming for another tomorrow [but it will help keep me on track if I remember to set up the SC before going to work].

    Also helping me focus my mind: I'm clearing out a bit more from the now-formerly Almighty Food Stash to donate to the local Salvation Army - pasta, tins, jars etc.

    Seems strange to be doing it at this time of year, when the urge is to stock up as much as possible; but it also feels healthy [in mental health terms] to be thinning the stockpile down to a more realistic quantity, bearing in mind the fact that there are only the two of us [and it's great to be able to walk around your bed without stubbing your toes on cans of beans ]. And it's going where it can be used, so I'm not kicking myself for the original over-buying. Just trying to learn the lesson, adjust my mindset, and move on positively.

    Keep on keeping on, everyone
    Haven't done the GC since February, but a glance at the Tower of Receipts tells me I really need to get back into it... and plenty of other Challenges besides.
    • sproggi
    • By sproggi 11th Dec 11, 4:38 PM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 6,376 Thanks
    A NSD for me today.

    Went to put some l/o cauliflower in the freezer today and found that there
    was no way it was going to squeeze in. Going to have to go through it
    again and rearrainge it, I know that I have got a huge turkey in there plus
    the pork and beef for christmas, but I think things have got a bit jumbled
    in there.
    Started to come down with a cold last night (DGS came round full of it on Friday), so not felt up to doing much today, but hopefully can get my self in gear tomorrow as I don't want to waste the cauli.

    '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
    • debbiedeejay
    • By debbiedeejay 11th Dec 11, 5:42 PM
    • 504 Posts
    • 5,182 Thanks
    Extra 8.26 spent in Mr T's last night,due to the fact am still feeling under the weather and I really was not feeling up to cooking or eating but both DD's needed a good hot tea.

    Anyway amongst other things bought managed to buy a bolognaise pie(?) reduced from 3.49 to 85p -freezing this.

    Then as a massive treat 4 thin sirloin steaks reduced from 8 to 3.99. DD2 over moon as she loves steak and any meat but this cut is usually out of my price range and even 3.99 was pushing it but it was quick and easy and enjoyed by those who ate it.

    Me - hopefully getting better soon as being ill plays havoc with my GC budget
    Crazy Clothes Challenge 2012 57.20/100,CCC 2013 68.67/100 ,CCC 2014 94.32/100
    *Frugal Living Challenge 2012, 2013, 2014*
    GC 2014 Jan 154.14/180;Feb 103.49/180;Mar 117.63/160
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 11th Dec 11, 6:17 PM
    • 4,328 Posts
    • 29,793 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...had a nsd today and lunch and tea out whih cant be a chicken to roast tomorrow...left overs will be used with ham and white sauce in a pir the next thoughtsof a stir fry on tuesday but havent thought of much else...need to do a plan for next week.....i am hunting for a nice turkey for christmas am planning to go to the farm shop tomorrow and have a look and perhaps place an order

    take care tess
    onwards and upwards
    • nannygladys
    • By nannygladys 11th Dec 11, 6:21 PM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 13,703 Thanks
    Neary a NSD but I went to see the man in red and his reindeer and spent 2 on a cup of coffee. We all really enjoyed it and it makes a nice start to Xmas excitement!
    Budgeting again, must try harder!!
    Sealed pot challenge no.31
    Frugal challenge 2019
    • mum26
    • By mum26 11th Dec 11, 7:03 PM
    • 1,475 Posts
    • 1,458 Thanks
    Hi everyone we are doing ok here this weekend (although kids have been very naggy about the boring food all weekend which is really helpful of them) I made a banana loaf today and dp made some fairy cakes so they are sorted for lunchbox / home from school snacks until wednesday. Dp will get some apples tommorow morning along with diesel. Then that is us until wednesday which is tax credit day. I am GAGGING to go to the shops but i'm really desperate to keep myself in check this month as we have car tax (135 for 6 months!) due on new years day and 300 needs to be paid off very before the interest free runs out so it's essential to be sensible, restrain me people
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