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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 27
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 12th Dec 11, 6:53 PM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    my kids prefer paper muffin cases, so we buy them from b&m there something like 200 for 89p so not too bad

    my mum just dropped in the nappies i asked her to get on thurs day (i've been running around looking for some and even had to pinch a few from mil) so thats 6 added, did a meal plan for the rest of the month with the food i have in, just need bread, milk, butter and spuds, then a few nibblys in m&s with my voucher
    DFW 7632/28996 26.3%
    • Fiasco55
    • By Fiasco55 12th Dec 11, 7:17 PM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 15,364 Thanks
    I had planned NSD for yesterday and today but that hasn't gone to plan. I caught the cold on Saturday and have been feeling rotten since. Even worse I had a surprise when I went to get some cold & flu tablets in the medicine drawer to find an empty box!! Cue flashback to my friend last month asking for something to help his cold when he was staying over. ARRGGGHHH! So had to stump up 5.99 for replacements. Managed a NSD today.
    No buying toiletries Graduated May 2017

    Decluttered 2016 2469 items, 2017 1580 items
    2018 3060 items

    Sealed Pot Challenge No 038
  • 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.
    Originally posted by angelatgraceland
    Thanks. I've added on everything that me and OH have eaten and drunk out of the house this month, including alcohol (well, estimated it as best I could). Total looks scarier now, and I have my work Xmas meal to add on! :S
    Future hopes, dreams & emergencies fund: 4,000
    No. Internet. Shopping.
    • mum26
    • By mum26 12th Dec 11, 7:42 PM
    • 1,475 Posts
    • 1,458 Thanks
    Hi, dp popped into tesco this morning for apples for lunchboxes and he got 2 danishes as well (total I would guess was 2.50), such a feeder!

    Three youngest have school christmas parties tommorow so i've made and iced gingerbread hearts and stars for them to take in, first time of using a new recipe and it was lovely, especially because I had converted it from american "cups" to oz,lol!

    Nice to be on the home straight now (dp gets paid on the 16th but I can do a little top up shop on wednesday when I get my tax credits) just determined to stick on the grocery challenge and not fritter money away.
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 12th Dec 11, 8:53 PM
    • 3,348 Posts
    • 34,483 Thanks
    Been a bit naughty tody and spent 2.92 in the work canteen and coffee shop on tea and cereal(planned) and a not very nice latte and mince pie (not planned).

    I have a feeling I may need a bit of full fat milk for DS before Monday, when my GC ends and I get my next bit of money, but should be ok for nappies I hope.

    Had a chat with 2 of my colleagues today about how much more we are all having to spend on food this year compared with previous years. It is comforting to know it is not just me who is struggling to spend anywhere near what I did on this challenge 12 months ago, but it is depressing to know there isn't a huge amount you can do about it when food just keeps going up in price
  • needtosavE
    added abother 16.5 to my spends last night in Sains! Only went in for milk and tuna. Did get some good bargains though. 1.04 for an indian meal with curry, rice, onion baji and naan. Fed the 2 of us for dinner tonight topped off with a blueberry muffin (34p for 4). Also managed to pick up a 10 pack of Quaker oats for 99p as the box was bashed. A few other goodies too so quite happy.

    Wanted to buy a ham hough to make soup but i was too late to boil it. Picked up a massive pack of cooking bacon and chopped that up and fried a bit before adding the veg ect. Wasnt as tasty as ham but didthe job. and at 99p rather than 2.19, and theres enough left for another pot.

    I really am struggling with the price of food too (says me who wasted money on muffins and 'lazy' porridge) but i feel we have cut back massively in the last few years but dont seem to be spending much less, if at all!

    Now at almost 100 of 150 for the month of December.Not even half way through and still to get wine for Christmas. I think i might callange myself to a NSW (no spend week) this week???
    June GC 130.93/150
    Wedding Date Set 13th October 2012
    • tigerfeet2006
    • By tigerfeet2006 12th Dec 11, 9:33 PM
    • 13,822 Posts
    • 29,889 Thanks
    Had a little spend today. DC3 hasn't been well and was off school today but I had to take him out with me to take the other two to school and to pop into town to pick up some milk, seems the more I get in in my home delivery the more DH drinks it Our consumption is just sky rocketing at the moment. Anyway on the way down to town DC3 was flagging and wanted a drink and something to eat and was cold and wanted the toilet etc. etc. so I popped into our lovely hotel we have in town, where the ladies wot lunch go and got a squash, packet of crisps, coffee and 2 crumpets for me After all I said the other day Though DC3 was most impressed when they presented his crisps to him in a bowl That was 5.50.

    I got the milk from Iceland and got 8pints for 2 (2x4pints for 1). I think that might be the cheapest milk there is so I might have to get DH to pop in there on a Weekend and stock up.

    Comfort food for dinner tonight. Cheesy Pasta, Brocolli and Bacon Bake.

    I put a panful of pasta on to cook (we get ours on prescription as 2 DC are GI but you can pick up value for around 25p) and 500g of brocolli that was a YS at 40p a while back and bunged in the freezer. When cooked I slung the brocolli in a big oval pyrex dish and put the pasta on top. A quick wash of the pans and fried off the bacon (MrT value cooking bacon 500g 75p. I used about half of it) in one pan and started the roux for the cheese sauce in the other. Bacon flung into the pasta/brocolli mix.

    To make the cheese sauce I melted 2 tblsp marg/spread in a saucepan and then added 2 tblsp plain flour (GF in our case.) when it came together I started adding milk slowly untill it was a thick white sauce. Added 2tsp english mustard and a grinding of salt and pepper and then put in 200g ish of mature chedder (MrT british mature white 1kg 5.59) Poured it on top of the pasta/broc/bacon. Scatter some extra cheese on top.

    Put under the grill for around 10 mins until bubbling. Wolfed down in no time flat and a very cheap, cold weather comfort food, rather than mega healthy.

    I have some left which I am going to use as the side bit for tomorrows dinner for the kids, I will do baked spuds for DH and I as the side bit. If all goes according to plan I am going to do a SC sausage and bacon thing.
    The only stupid question is an unasked one
    Loving life as a Kernow Hippy
    • recovering spendaholic
    • By recovering spendaholic 12th Dec 11, 9:40 PM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 15,426 Thanks
    recovering spendaholic
    2.40 today in Te$co on bread flour, milk and single cream. DD2 wanted to go to the chippie for her tea and reluctantly I agreed as her friends were going so that cost me 4.40 s0 6.80 total spend.

    I got a 25% off code for Ocado today and so went online and ordered some stuff to be delivered next Tuesday - ordered things like on offer Andrex and Always, plus stewing steak, chicken breasts, chicken thigh fillets, popping corn and lentils and loads and loads of the no-drain tuna which was on offer for 2.65 for 3 tins - in all I got 51 of shopping for 38 and I also had free delivery so felt like I had got a bargain.

    I have worked out that I need to spend 40 odd in Aldi and about the same in Tesco for all of my provisions to last from now until after Christmas so if that works out I should come in under budget.

    Decided to paint one wall of DD2's room with Blackboard paint when I was sorting it out today so that will be 7 for the tin of paint and as I don't have a budget for it I will take it out of the grocery budget.

    Thanks for the tip on the muffin cases in B&M Quintwins - I have never bought them there before but that is a great price!

    Dinner tonight was spaghetti and meatballs and there is loads left over as DD2 went to the chippie so I will have it tomorrow. We also ate the bread and butter pudding I made yesterday. I don't know if it is because I didn't eat anything for 48 hours at the weekend when I had that bug but I can't seem to fill myself up today!!

    ENDIS. Employed, no disposable income or savings!
  • ShrinkingSavingKaren
    another 63 for me for big shop on weekend x
    228/400 dec groc challenge...
    • debbiedeejay
    • By debbiedeejay 13th Dec 11, 8:16 AM
    • 504 Posts
    • 5,182 Thanks
    13.54 spend to declare in Mr M's - this is still due to me still not well and can't face cooking properly yet.
    But it does include a very nice toffee and pecan pie reduced from 3.99 to 89p now in freezer for Xmas and the whole vac pac chestnuts dad wanted but could not find the other day.

    Plus 4.18 is on snacks & drinks for DD2 who goes on a three day college trip tommorrow -cheaper than motorway services.
    The rest was on carp for teen DD's teas plus two pasties that can be frozen(oh and parcetamol and a bandage for DD3 who fell three times on school astro - after third time school realised kids weren't lying when they said it was icy during sport lesson)

    Off to update sig now. Realise that I will be over GC budget this month but at least it will give me a base line figure for next Dec
    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
    • dannie
    • By dannie 13th Dec 11, 8:16 AM
    • 1,891 Posts
    • 4,432 Thanks

    I had an errand yesterday so also spent another 1.80 to top up some storecupboard items. Not expecting to do much shopping this month so it will be interesting to see my total expenditure. Have been reading about how much debt people will have after Xmas and of course, the rising grocery prices.
    • quintwins
    • By quintwins 13th Dec 11, 8:31 AM
    • 5,003 Posts
    • 29,347 Thanks
    nsd today my kids are sick again!!! and hubbys sick but we don't need anything really so it doesn't matter that i'm house bound and it's just a wee cold so they should be ok with soem tlc, calpol and cough bottle for a few days, aslong as there better for santa coming, tonights dinner is chicken casarole if i can get them to eat anything that is
    DFW 7632/28996 26.3%
    • mummyjane
    • By mummyjane 13th Dec 11, 8:47 AM
    • 381 Posts
    • 3,685 Thanks
    Another NSD today for me, trying to hold out for as long as possible before doing another shop. I know that I will be over the budget this month but as it was a complete guess for my first month on GC I am ok with that. I will see what I've spent and shave a bit off for next month's budget and carry on like that.

    I still have the roast and veggies to buy for Christmas dinner but I'm going to get that next week.

    Hope everyone who's feeling under the weather is feeling better today
    Groceries Challenge 2019
    Jan 462.44/400
    Feb 210.10/450, 2/10 NSDs
    • sproggi
    • By sproggi 13th Dec 11, 9:00 AM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 6,376 Thanks
    Today will be a NSD for me.
    I am determined to tackle my freezer today, tidy and inventory, i'm still full
    of this annoying head cold which is making me tired, but the freezer really
    needs to be sorted, so plenty of cups of tea, some lively music and I
    should get it done.
    Also need to write cards and wrap some presents as I am behind with
    all that.

    Tea will be whatever turns up in the freezer.

    '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
  • rosieben
    tigerfeet, the Cheesy Pasta, Brocolli and Bacon Bake is in the index, sounds lush!
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • boultdj
    • By boultdj 13th Dec 11, 9:24 AM
    • 4,505 Posts
    • 33,129 Thanks
    Had delivery yesterday can't wait till I'm allowed to drive again so that's another 63.79 to add.
    • Kaloloke
    • By Kaloloke 13th Dec 11, 10:13 AM
    • 39 Posts
    • 505 Thanks
    Hi Everyone,

    I am just here to declare my first two weeks shopping.

    I am doing exceedingly well this month, even if I do say so myself.

    I have had two deliveries from Asda over the last two weeks. Week 1 was 39.88 and I have just had another delivery and after using my 5 EVoucher for price guarantee my spend came to 48.23 including delivery. These are both under my weekly budget of 50 so I am getting there

    We have a lot of freezer food still to use up and several Xmas dinners round other peoples houses so I don't think we will be spending too much over December.

    I am 56 years old with 3 cats and a beautiful view of the beach
    • spendaholic
    • By spendaholic 13th Dec 11, 10:28 AM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 7,664 Thanks
    A little bit disappointed because I went over budget at the weekend, spending 42 instead of 40, but so far with 119, I'm still 1 under budget for the month.

    Got the Christmas dinner shop to do this coming weekend, so I expect to go over again.

    I'm still doing quite well, though, and without the challenge I'd be spending 50 - 75 a week easy, and then chucking most of it away. I might drop my weekly spend down to 35 in the new year, however, and go back to batch-cooking more stuff from scratch again.
    Highest debt: 35k (2005); Current debt: 6k (2018)

    2 tickets to the Home Building & Renovation show; 50 to spend on chocolate; 2 tickets to see the Harlem Globetrotters; designer cat food caddy; 2,500 cash; 36 cash; Jesus Christ Superstar tickets + 2 t-shirts; Creative Craft Show tickets; Birmingham City v Barnsley FC tickets; Marillion tickets; Beyond the Pole DVD; 1,000 cash; Legend of the Guardians goody bag; Dancing on Ice tickets; Barnsley FC v Millwall tickets
    • xxlouisexx56
    • By xxlouisexx56 13th Dec 11, 10:45 AM
    • 2,191 Posts
    • 30,133 Thanks
    i spent 24 pounds yesterday on baby food and formula milk.

    Then this morning i spent 2 pounds on a pack of frosted fancies for DD1 (in the xmas food cupboard!) and a box of boursin
    • stephga23
    • By stephga23 13th Dec 11, 11:57 AM
    • 200 Posts
    • 318 Thanks
    Please can I join?
    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.
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