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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 24th Feb 11, 9:52 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    March 2011 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 24th Feb 11, 9:52 AM
    March 2011 Grocery Challenge 24th Feb 11 at 9:52 AM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the third Grocery Challenge of 2011, it's almost spring so hopefully this will be a new beginning for all of us.

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your February budget, then keep on posting in the February 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 #3 and #4 on this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #5, #6, #7 and #8 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Last edited by Pink.; 27-02-2011 at 11:01 PM.
Page 5
  • katholicos
    Many thanks to MRSMC, Pink-winged and rosieben for all your hard work on the GC threads and recipe indexes etc.

    Today i spent £3 on frozen pizza...didn't want to but i needed to get something while on the run as i hadn't time to prepare anything due to one thing and another.

    Grocery Challenge for October: £135/£200

    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
    • esmer
    • By esmer 28th Feb 11, 7:46 PM
    • 1,440 Posts
    • 9,044 Thanks
    Thanks for starting up the March thread.......... This keeps me on track and its nice to still have money left in my bank account at the end of the month.............. Cant believe we are in March already........ Good Luck everyone.
    Saving 2.00 coins
    Grocerys set to 40.00 pw
    Being Thrifty
    • Sue14
    • By Sue14 28th Feb 11, 7:49 PM
    • 899 Posts
    • 10,894 Thanks
    Please can I be put down for £130.00 again this month.
    Weight loss challenge 3/10lbs
    Total weight loss 21lbs

    • perrywinkle
    • By perrywinkle 28th Feb 11, 7:51 PM
    • 224 Posts
    • 2,641 Thanks

    does anyone have any ice cream recipes that dont involve an ice cream maker?

    Thank you.
    Originally posted by cutiepieabf
    Hi cutiepieabf,

    I've made this one quite a few times and it couldn't be easier (although easier to freeze in a cling film lined loaf tin and then slice than to scoop from a tub) - have also used chopped chocolate or chopped crunchies instead of the honeycomb, and I think it would also be good with some raspberry puree or similar through it.

    • guccigoo
    • By guccigoo 28th Feb 11, 7:54 PM
    • 467 Posts
    • 5,112 Thanks
    thanks to pink, rosieben and mrs mcawber for all the hard work Good luck to all of us this month and big welcome to all the newbies
    I will lose 2 stone by this summer!!!!!!
    • Gorgeestwo
    • By Gorgeestwo 28th Feb 11, 7:58 PM
    • 364 Posts
    • 5,889 Thanks
    First spend of March, £2.50, just needed some milk
    Grocery challenge : January 2016 £65.86/£300
    For 2 adults, 2 children (10 & 9 yrs) 3 cats & 2 dogs.

    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 28th Feb 11, 8:06 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    My March starts tomorrow (already posted target). It's also my baby girl's 6th birthday tomorrow, but she'll be with her dad for the night, so I'll only see her in the morning before work. This means I may be tempted to go shopping for something to do so I don't think about it too much. I'm hoping that having recognised that, I won't do it - trying the old counselling techniques on myself! I have started stripping ds bedroom walls, so will try to carry on with that and not shop, but it depends how the mood takes me. Will try to be strong!

    Back to gc - I'm still in the middle of an asd@ order which I won't send off until I'm happy I haven't overspent anywhere. It's so much better for me to do it this way, otherwise I shove stuff in the trolley willynilly, and it's so much harder to take it out of the trolley when you've got it home!! I'm going to try to not set foot in a supermarket during March - just have to think of other tings to occupy myself - think the decorating will help...

    Get my AP order tomorrow, so looking forward to that, although not really sure where to put it all - may have to spend some time sorting out the cupboards tomorrow too! My trouble is that I bulk buy, afraid that one day I won't be able to afford to feed the children. That hasn't happened yet, and there are always people that could help me if it did happen, but still I can't get it out of my head that I need a year's worth of everything under my roof!

    Sorry for waffling on, going off now for a cuppa and to wrap dd presents. Got her some teeny family stuff from home b@rgains - WAY cheaper than tesc0!

    Night all
    PG x
    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
  • TheBees
    A new month - Yay!

    Thanks to the organisers for keeping this going every month.

    I'm trying something new this month - I am not going to step into a supermarket for shopping... I'm going to do it all online. I did our first online shop of the month which is getting delivered tomorrow then I plan to do another one 8 or 9 days later. Hopefully this will get us under budget for the first time ever!!! Yes I will miss out on the whoopsies but won't get carried away by picking up things we don't really need. Also, I actually enjoy wandering round supermarkets and will miss it too.

    We absolutely have to keep our monthly costs down so we can throw money at the mortgage. Using the overpayment calculator on here we've worked out our mortgage could be paid off in 5 years instead of 14 if we overpay regularly and use the proceeds of our terrible endowment!!
    Mortgage Free in 3 part 2 challenge - pay off £9000
    Sealed Pot Challenge 416 - target £500
  • TheBees
    Oh how weird is that - Pennygrabber and I have both posted that we are going to do all our food shopping online this month. We'll have to give each other moral support!
    Mortgage Free in 3 part 2 challenge - pay off £9000
    Sealed Pot Challenge 416 - target £500
    • CherryPie
    • By CherryPie 28th Feb 11, 8:33 PM
    • 427 Posts
    • 5,349 Thanks
    Declaring @ £68.55 for Feb GC

    Think I've found a more achievable target of £65 for March. Had a quiet word with myself. It's about cutting back, not cutting out. Still want to have treats etc.

    Without you guys on here supporting and sharing all your hints & tips, I'd still be spending about 4 times that!!

    CherryPie x
    My name is CherryPie and I'm addicted to grocery shopping!!

    Grocery Challenge

    Feb 2016 - £46.73 / £100.00
    • debtfreewannabe321
    • By debtfreewannabe321 28th Feb 11, 8:35 PM
    • 6,623 Posts
    • 22,333 Thanks
    I'd like to be put down for the same again please march- £250
    2015 Goals:-#1 419.26/1000 ( #1) 41.93% , #2- 14,010.70/15,000 (new house) 93.4% #3 395.07/1000 (Rental house fund target #1) 39.5% .
    Aim High!
    Debt-Free in 2013. Saving for a better future
  • Hippeechiq
    Coooeeee everyone

    Thanks so much to MrsM, Pink & Rosie for all the hard work involved in running the thread
    MRSMCAWBER if it's not too much trouble pretty please, could I ask you to Amend Hippeechiqs March figure to £230 - sorry

    Am going to try Motherships 2nd purse idea (or at least, as I understand it) and, unfortunately, the only place I can get the "starter" for my purse, is from my budget. £230 is gonna be damned tight, but it's the only way I can do it, so I'll try. And I intend to pay back the "full" price as and when I use my stock, so that I can make money. I know I said I couldn't afford to do that, but, I've had stern words with myself, and it's really time to stop whinging and just get on with it.

    Came in £6.86 under budget for Feb, not a lot, but I'm pleased.
    I reduced my budget from £275 to £250 so that I can save £25 a month towards Xm*s. I keep it in the bank until the end of the month (in case I can't manage my new budget) but it will mean, that each month I do, I have £25 to transfer to my Xm*s fund, so I'm quietly chuffed.

    It's a case of having to if I'm to afford Xm*s, but we all know that what we need to achieve, and what we're able to achieve are often two different things

    My March budget runs from the 1-31st, but I've already spent some of March budget as I was expecting a Hotpoint engineer tomorrow, so didn't think I could go out (so bought what I was going to need tomorrow, today) but as it happens, he can't come, cos he hasn't got the right "parts" to repair my cooker, despite my reporting exactly what was wrong with it 6 days ago

    So - quite a bit of spending today of £25.88. Got 3 packs of Diced Chicken Breast on offer at £idls, which works out at a very good price per kilo, some bacon, and 5 boxes of SS fav pizzas + a bottle of red wine for tonights Sausage Cassoulet & Wednesdays Coq Au Vin as I'd run out of frozen wine. That alone came to £15!

    Good Luck to everyone for March
    Last edited by Hippeechiq; 28-02-2011 at 9:24 PM.
    Aug11 £193.29/£240

    Oct10 £266.72 /£275 Nov10 £276.71/£275 Dec10 £311.33 / £275 Jan11 £242.25/ £250 Feb11 £243.14/ £250 Mar11 £221.99/ £230
    Apr11 £237.39 /£240 May11 £237.71/£240 Jun11 £244.03/ £240 July11 £244.89/ £240
    Xmas 2011 Fund £220
  • katholicos
    Got my days mixed up so in fact i haven't spent anything of my March Grocery budget yet. Hoorah! In fact i only ended up 49p over my Feb budget so i consider that a success
    Grocery Challenge for October: £135/£200

    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
  • adelight
    March already Best update my sig with the rest of feb!!!

    I did my first shop for march today- £8.49 at Lidl on lots of fruit, peppers, mushrooms, nutella, sweet potato(a huge 1.3kg one!), sardines and some tins of veg.

    Can I be down for £30 for this month please? Am mostly buying fresh f/v/dairy this month.

    I have ~3 months to clear my stocks before I move flat again and I have much more than I thought. Lots of rice and pulses dishes planned. I always buy tuna when it's on offer and overly ration myself as I fear running out, but now I have 10 tins of tuna, 2 tins of salmon, tin of pilchards & 5 tins of sardines/mackerel
    Living cheap in central London
    • Winchelsea
    • By Winchelsea 28th Feb 11, 9:10 PM
    • 691 Posts
    • 9,316 Thanks
    Rosieben, Pink and Mrs M - thanks as always for setting up the thread etc - much appreciated.

    Please can you put me down for £70 this month? Up a bit from before, but I did overspend a bit in February. If I come in at less then that's all for the good. Have put 7 x £10 notes in my housekeeping purse, and plan not to let the moths out too often!

    Hope to do my "big" shop of the month tomorrow (probably about £20 worth!), and may even treat myself to a trip to Bristol to do it - big day out!
    Keeping three cats, the car and myself on a small budget, and enjoying life while we're at it!
    • Tink_04
    • By Tink_04 28th Feb 11, 9:22 PM
    • 1,075 Posts
    • 5,587 Thanks
    Can i join? im aiming for £125 for me DH and DD - we have set this up as our budget for ages but keep buying odd things and going over so i want to see if its actually realistic to stick to - oh and we dont buy nappys or wipes etc out for this at all as i use my CB and stock pile so this is just food, toiletries and cleaning stuff!!

    Living the simple life
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 28th Feb 11, 9:27 PM
    • 10,759 Posts
    • 56,350 Thanks
    I have obviously not been reporting in enough! I am not on the list!

    Oh well, my budget for March is going to be a bit more sensible, and its going to be £230 please!
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
  • M0neysav3r
    Can I join in please? I have worked out last month I spent £320 for 2 Adults, 1 Child, and 3 pets

    I think relistically I can easily get this to £200 for March. (fingers crossed!)

    Good luck
    No Debts (Other than HUGE mortgage! )
    Generally trying to cut back where possible
    GC - March £143.82 / £200 Feb £156.03 / £150 Oops! Jan £180.78/£200
    • mothershipton
    • By mothershipton 28th Feb 11, 9:42 PM
    • 301 Posts
    • 2,692 Thanks
    please put me down for £300 havent counted up for last month but i think we should be under. We have had an expensive month this month so could really do with cutting down a bit more. Heres hoping
    Grocery Challenge Feb 16 £346 /400
    • jammy dodger
    • By jammy dodger 28th Feb 11, 9:45 PM
    • 1,112 Posts
    • 5,384 Thanks
    jammy dodger
    clerking in
    Wow what abusy thread for march GC ....have just declared on feb challenge and made it under budget so i am hoping for 3 in a row can the kind folk put me down for £120 for March ( going down a bit more but as I am minus my poor old !!!!! cat I guess i dont have to buy food for her now (sob sob )

    good luck everyone
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