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  • FIRST POST
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Dec 10, 1:15 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    Pink.
    • #1
    • 25th Dec 10, 1:15 AM
    25th Dec 10 at 1:15 AM
    Hi Everyone,

    Welcome to the first Grocery Challenge of 2011, a new decade and a new beginning!

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your December budget, then keep on posting in the December 2010 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 competition....it'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 and #7 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month and may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy New Year! Hope it's a good one for all of us.

    Pink
    Last edited by Pink.; 29-12-2010 at 9:09 AM.
Page 83
    • Pernicious
    • By Pernicious 16th Jan 11, 2:12 PM
    • 1,786 Posts
    • 8,895 Thanks
    Pernicious
    Ventured into town yesterday and spent 26.75 of the M&S voucher. Took advantage of their 3 for 10 deal on meat - 3 chickens, braising steak, 20 butcher's sausages and 4 quarterpounder Angus beefburgers. 'Saved' 7.76 here so I'm quite pleased with that.
    Originally posted by SilverBird
    When did M&S start doing a 3 for 10 deal on meat?

    Everytime I have been in M&S their meat prices are astronomical so I refuse to buy it & stick to Mr T's instead. I'm sure M&S probably is better quality but have never been able to afford their prices, I will have to check this out.
    Debt at July 2012: 12,862.57
    Current Debt: 0
    100% paid off!
    Savings Goal for November 2016: 5000
    Current Savings: 1176.24
    23.52% Saved!
  • Equilibrium
    Well done brodie1

    Wow i havent been on here for a few days and have just spent ages reading all the posts its great, i did the multi quote but i think i lost it 5 pages back somewhere but just wanted to say thankyou to everyone for the new recipes to try

    After reading about AF by some of you last week i decided to have a look as i had never heard of them, and i now have a delivery coming Im normally one of those people that worry about the dates, but im going to try real hard not to anymore, so thankyou everyone

    to everyone , a hug is one size fits all and nobody minds if you pass it on afterwards
    GC spend Jan so far 165.68/ 160 FEB 189 /170
    MARCH 0/170
    Beautiful pictures are formed from dark negatives , so when your having a dark day feel rest assured that a beautiful picture is being prepared for you
  • martafdz
    Congrats brodie for going under budget... again!

    Thansk rosieben for adding the recipe, you are a star!


    When did M&S start doing a 3 for 10 deal on meat?
    Originally posted by Pernicious
    I saw it a few days ago, some packets were a bit small for my liking though. Well, at least if I compared it to MrM! I went there a week ago and they had the same offer. I bought 25 meatballs packet, 1Kg mince meat packet and 4 pork chops for that 10. I made little individual packets to froze and now I will have plenty of food for over a week. 50% of January's week my OH had supper on his own and lunch at work (and I just have a quick sandwich with whatever), so I am not using that much for meals. Win!!
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • elly2
    • By elly2 16th Jan 11, 2:46 PM
    • 553 Posts
    • 5,227 Thanks
    elly2
    Have messed up my GC this week so far, i forgot i had my GC money in a different purse and have been using my every day purse to pay for shopping have no idea how i forgot but hey ho . I have not been to the shops since weds but my lovely DD has been to pick some things up for me mainly bread, milk, pasta. I have 70 left in my grocery purse (gave her 20 today for some shopping) so before that i had 90 left and i know i have spent more than 10 since weds (i'm confused ).
    Need to go shopping tomorrow for veg and spices (my takeaway secret book is here so going to do the curry sauce and also the donner sometime next week). I was going to make pork casserole tomorrow in the SC but the fruit shop was closed today so will do that tues so tomorrow we will have chicken and rice, am trying to meal plan using mostly what we have in apart from the stuff needed for the curry and donner meals.


  • LondonDreamer
    Not doing the challenge as trying to use up an overstocked freezer, but hoping to join next month so reading through for some inspiration.

    When did M&S start doing a 3 for 10 deal on meat?

    Everytime I have been in M&S their meat prices are astronomical so I refuse to buy it & stick to Mr T's instead. I'm sure M&S probably is better quality but have never been able to afford their prices, I will have to check this out.
    Originally posted by Pernicious
    I've seen this deal the last few times I've been in, so perhaps just before Christmas? As above poster said, it's not always that great a deal as some of the packs are quite small. I find most of M&S meat is packed to serve 2, rather than 4 as it usually is in the more family oriented supermarkets. It's good for splurges though, I use the deal to stockpile DH's favourite spicy chicken.
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 16th Jan 11, 3:01 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Spiggle
    ... Weekend make fish pie and batch cook bolognaise and tomato sauce alongside writing assignment of 1500 words and possible marmalade making if sevilles appear
    Originally posted by fedupandskint
    Hi fedupandskint,

    How do you make your marmalade please? We've got sevilles and tried a batch today in the bread maker but it didn't get to setting temp so OH has transferred it to a pan to try and get the set right.

    I had a look at the first page recipes and love the sound of the miser's marmalade but at the moment just need a straight orange one (or lemon or mixture ) Any recommendations/recipes very welcome please.

    Well done Brodie!

    Keep up the great work everyone is doing - it will make such a difference to all our lives.

    All the best,
    Spigs
    Mortgage Free October 2013
    • Pernicious
    • By Pernicious 16th Jan 11, 3:30 PM
    • 1,786 Posts
    • 8,895 Thanks
    Pernicious
    Hmm maybe I am better off sticking to Mr T's 3 for 10 deal then if the M&S packs are quite small.

    Anyway can any of you lovely people help me to complete this challenge successfully? I am down to my last 3 washing tablets...& will need more (or powder, or anything else that will work ) before payday comes around on the 28th, I really can't spend what I'd usually spend on them as we will still need to buy fresh fruit, milk & bread etc.

    Soooo, can anyone recommend which is cheapest first of all? Tablets, powder, etc? What brand? & where to get them?
    Debt at July 2012: 12,862.57
    Current Debt: 0
    100% paid off!
    Savings Goal for November 2016: 5000
    Current Savings: 1176.24
    23.52% Saved!
  • SilverCo
    Have messed up my GC this week so far, i forgot i had my GC money in a different purse and have been using my every day purse to pay for shopping have no idea how i forgot but hey ho . I have not been to the shops since weds but my lovely DD has been to pick some things up for me mainly bread, milk, pasta. I have 70 left in my grocery purse (gave her 20 today for some shopping) so before that i had 90 left and i know i have spent more than 10 since weds (i'm confused ).
    Need to go shopping tomorrow for veg and spices (my takeaway secret book is here so going to do the curry sauce and also the donner sometime next week). I was going to make pork casserole tomorrow in the SC but the fruit shop was closed today so will do that tues so tomorrow we will have chicken and rice, am trying to meal plan using mostly what we have in apart from the stuff needed for the curry and donner meals.
    Originally posted by elly2
    elly2 - I know exactly what you mean, I'm always doing the same thing! You wouldn't thunk it would be that difficult to get confused over two purses would you?!

    NSD for me today or yesterday, woohoo!!

    Roast chicken for dinner this evening, then will use the leftovers for curry and freeze the carcass so I can make a big batch of stock sometime.

    The M&S 3 for 10 has been on since beginning of Jan where we are. Think it's something they seem to do on and off all year through.

    I too make my own bolognese sauce - dead easy and yummy too:

    1. Brown mince in a pan and then drain excess fat.
    2. Meanwhile, soften onions and garlic in a pan with olive oil.
    3. Add mushrooms (and fresh chilli if you like a bit of a kick) and soften.
    4. Combine mince and onions/garlic /mushrooms.
    5. Add 400g tin chopped tomatoes and tomato puree.
    6. Stir in a level teaspoon of sugar (takes sharpness away from tomatoes) and season according to taste.
    7. Cook on low heat for 15-20 mins.
    8. Add fresh basil and stir in just before serving.

    Silver x

    PS. Well done brodie1!
    1st LBM 21.12.09 Total Debt - 21049.95.
    Final LBM 16.8.13 Total Debt - 16583
    DFW Nerd #1282 - Proud to be Dealing with My Debts!
    SPC Member #1182
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 16th Jan 11, 3:34 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    minnie2
    Disaster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! Argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    well i did not get cash out, i did not stick to my list, and i did not add up as i was going round!!!!!!!!!! but i did SPEND A BLOODY FORTUNE!!!!!!! Argh!!!

    Sainsburys - spent 6.92 saved 50p and spent a 2.50 nectar reward so end total 3.92

    Asda - spent 43.94 saved 4.06 end total 39.88

    Morrison - spent 39.61 saved 10.94 end total 28.77

    total spend - 72.57

    overall spent 86.27 this month so ive got 68.73 left till end of this month

    i suppose its ok as i have been spending 395 a month and have slashed the budget 155

    i did get a couple of things i was pleased with - cod reduced from 2.58 to 29p i got 2lots not that i eat it, but hubby does! plus a massive lump of gammon for 6 - other gammon was 4.55/ 5.19/ 5.49 a kg but the lump i got works out less than 1 a kg

    but now what to do with it!!!! i dont eat the stuff so itll be meals for 1 for hubby!!!
    Frugal living challenge - need to revisit its been.a while !! Need to reduce our debts!!
  • bella121984
    Anyway can any of you lovely people help me to complete this challenge successfully? I am down to my last 3 washing tablets...& will need more (or powder, or anything else that will work )

    Soooo, can anyone recommend which is cheapest first of all? Tablets, powder, etc? What brand? & where to get them?
    Originally posted by Pernicious
    We were spending a fortune on washing powder, I need to do a load every day sometimes 2 if I need to do towels/ bedding etc...anyway we switched to MrS basics washing powder, and it does the job just fine. I think its 1.50 something for one of the big boxes, the box says it does 30 washes and that probably works out about right for us. I dont like the smell of MrTs value washing powder- its really strong!!
    January grocery challenge- 338.09/350
    365 in 365 days- 25
    January NSDs- 9
    Money made on ebay- 16.89
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 16th Jan 11, 3:47 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    minnie2
    I make my bolognese sauces really simply...just cook some mince in a pan with whatever veg I fancy (or have left!) mushrooms, peppers, courgettes, onions etc, stick a can of chopped tomatoes in, and I usually put a bit of black pepper/ garlic/ mixed herbs in too, and thats it!
    Originally posted by bella121984
    I do the following:

    1. Put sunflower oil in a pan, enough to cover the base without making a pool lol. Put a middle heat.

    2. Add chopped onion (small chunks), it should go soft and yellow, not brown. If it goes brown, the heat was a bit too high.

    3. Add garlic. If you like garlic, chop it finely or use the dry minced one. If you do not like eating garlic, just put two dents without skin but whole, so you can remove them later on.

    4. Add chopped mushrooms (if you like them). They have water usually, so now it is time to put the heat up a bit. My kitchen goes from 1 to 10 and I put it at 7-8. Keep moving everything so nothing gets burn. If the mushrooms had too much water and now you have a pool you might want to either spoon out liquid and add a bit more of oil, or put the heat up for a bit until some water evaporates.
    At this point I put the other pan with water for the spaguetti to boil.

    5. When the mushrooms start to change colour and they do not look that raw, I add the mince meat. I spread it around making sure there are not big balls of mince meat. Mix everything, stir and leave it for a bit so the mince browns a bit. Then turn it and leave to brown the other side.

    6. I put the pasta to cook in boiling water in the other pan.

    7. I add a jar of tomato sauce and half a teaspoon of mixed herbs (optional) to the pan with the mince. I put down the heat to 3. Stir stir stir so everything gets mixed well. Tomato burns easily and stick to pans, so keep stirring until everything is mixed and everything has cooled a bit. If you see the tomato bubling really softly (not exploding lol), then you can leave it for a minute at low heat, then stir and leave for a bit again. I usually add the salt at this point because some tomato sauces make it sweet, so I prefer to check here how much I need. If I do not have a jar of tomato sauce, I use chopped tomato but then I start earlier because it is always really watery so I need to take all the water out and leave the tomato to fry for a bit, so I do not reduce to 3 but maybe 5 and stir most of the time until it changes colour from bright red to darkish red. I also have to add more salt. Sometimes also add tomato puree to make it thicker if I have used the chopped tomato tin.

    8. I then drain the spaguetti (after I tried and it is soft inside but firm outside) and add the mix from the pan. I stir everything and sometimes put it back to the heat for less than a minute, still stirring, just so the tomato sauce sticks even more to the spaguetti.

    9. Eaaaat! Lol

    I quite fancy doing spaguetti tomorrow now, lol. Or burritos!!! I kind of do the same but without mushrooms or tomato, adding fajita spices and draining well before adding to the tortilla and salad. Mmmmm, yummy!!
    Originally posted by martafdz
    Another 10.53 spent todat as I was passing a Sainsburys so went in for some of the o0ffers - Ariel liquid, sausages, muller lights plus some g/f wafers & Sainsbury's weetabix. Made a curry last night with one of Co Op's 1/2 price healthier option jar of sauce (64p?) & it was very nice so might get some more tomorrow if offer still on. It may be cheaper to completely make your own curry but I am happy using a sauce for an easy meal on Saturday nights & it's still way cheaper than getting a takeaway.

    Bolognaise - I fry onion, garlic, a stick or two of celery, a grated carrot or two, mushrooms if I have them, brown the mince, drain the fat, add tomato puree & oregano & mixed herbs & cook for another minute, add tinned tomatoes, s & p, a teaspoon of sugar (to take off the acidity of the tomotoes), a small cup of beef stock and sometimes a few squirts of ketchup. I keep tasting & adding to it until the taste is exactly as I like it!
    Originally posted by Long tall sally

    thanx everyone!!! i usually buy sauces to add but they are now 1.20 (were 98p) so wondering if making my own was cheaper!! will have an experiment!!
    Frugal living challenge - need to revisit its been.a while !! Need to reduce our debts!!
    • kippers
    • By kippers 16th Jan 11, 3:55 PM
    • 1,970 Posts
    • 6,035 Thanks
    kippers
    8 days left of my Jan GC (finishes on 24th Jan)
    Well done brodie 1

    NSD today as we have run out of money in my budget. I do still have 2.50 on my asda gift card to use-i'm saving this for woopsied fruit/veg this week.


    Today we had a roast chicken with roast pots, roast carrots, roast butternut squash, yorkshires, cabbage, swede and peas...gosh that sounds like loads doesn't it but we all love our veg and everything went except some chicken which i will make a pie or curry with tomorrow. It was the last butternut squash that was stored from my allotment so we are all sad as i refuse to pay 1 for one in the shops

    We have just all felt bit peckish so my DH & DD's have all finished the value jelly i made on Friday with icecream from my freezer and i had a couple of lavender cakes from the freezer that need eating up, served with custard...they were lovely and reminded me of long hot summer days...here's the link for the recipe if anyone would like to make them in the summer when you have fresh lavender (obviously they freeze well as it's January now and i'm eating them):

    http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/273129/Lavender-fairy-cakes

    I don't put the sprig of lavender on the top as the sprig of lavender tastes horrid on it's own (but lovely mixed in the cake).

    Well that's it from me for today. It's lovely to read all your posts.
    Last edited by kippers; 16-01-2011 at 4:00 PM.
  • martafdz
    Anyway can any of you lovely people help me to complete this challenge successfully? I am down to my last 3 washing tablets...& will need more (or powder, or anything else that will work ) before payday comes around on the 28th, I really can't spend what I'd usually spend on them as we will still need to buy fresh fruit, milk & bread etc.
    Originally posted by Pernicious
    a) cut them in half (if it is an option) I saw that in the threads for living with 1 a day and other saving threads. To be honest I never put two tablets for those that say 2 each washing. Never ever. I use only one. We do not get clothes dirty with stains (2 adults) and it is mainly the sweat of the day, so 1 tablet has been always fine. I have cut it in 2 sometimes in emergency. No difference in the wash, tbh.

    b) Buy something cheap in the meantime. I googled/looked around and found around 2:


    Daz Powder 680g, also said 10 washes, but is 120g less than Bold or Fairy (which you can have for 65p more) (Sains) 2.10


    Ecover Delicate Washing Detergent 500ml ( 11 Washes ) (Sains) 1.79

    Sainsbury's Biological Laundry Powder, Basics 2kg - 1.69

    Sainsbury's Biological Liquid, Basics 1L ( 8 Washes ) - 0.99p

    Sainsbury's Laundry Powder Bio 800g ( 10 Washes ) / or non-Bio/ or Colour / or 2 in 1- 1.84

    Asda Smartprice Bio powder 800g is at 0.76p (according to Mysupermarket)

    Sainsbury's Super Concentrated Liquid Bio 735ml / or Colour ( 21 Washes ) - 2.29

    Simply Sensitive Eco Smart Laundry Tablets Non Bio x30 ( 15 Washes ) -2.99, a bit more but I use these ones currently because my OH is sensitive to some ingredients of other brands. It says 15 washes but I use only 1 tablet each wash, and everything ok. I used 2 at some point and sometimes one of them was half dissolved, so back to one.

    Surf Lavender & Oriental Capsules x20 (50% offer, sains) - 2.84

    Worth going to Poundland and see what they have got there. Avoid looking around for too long though!!!
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
  • zebredy
    Just went to the shops with the OH and it wasn't a pleasant experience. We had to go to get some flake food for the fish as we had totally run out, while there I said to my OH 'why not have a look at the section with the reduced stuff in' he came back with two ham rolls reduced from 2 too 80p, and he said I looked and look these are reduced from xx too xxx.

    I stupidly had a go at him for getting them as I usually make him sarnies for work, and 1.60 for two rolls with ham in. I could buy a loaf of bread and some cheap ham for less then that (just about)

    He is right in saying he deserves a treat once in a while, and he does earn all the money, most the time at the mo, but its the principle of it all. I just wish I had not got so wound up about it. He said, at least I didn't get the chocolate cake I saw, but it wasn't what he bought but the fact he said (before we came out) do we have the money to go shopping. Grrrr lol

    I'm sure I will get over it soon enough, but was going to use some of the left over chicken from the roast we are having tonight, on some chicken sarnies for tomorrow, looks like that ideas gone down the pan.
    ___

    Happy face back on now lol, does anyone know what else I could do with some of the left over chicken from tonights dinner. Also how long do you think its ok to leave cold chicken in the fridge for before it has to be eaten?
    Matthew, Izzy, Suzie, Harry, Darwin. My husband my cats, the main things that matter in my life...
  • welshkaz
    Another weekly shop for me today so total now is 190.09 /280 quite pleased with that as had an horrendous start to the new year with illnesses and stuff, hope everyone is well ..
    may groc challenge 167/280...
    • kippers
    • By kippers 16th Jan 11, 4:18 PM
    • 1,970 Posts
    • 6,035 Thanks
    kippers
    , ___

    does anyone know what else I could do with some of the left over chicken from tonights dinner. Also how long do you think its ok to leave cold chicken in the fridge for before it has to be eaten?
    Originally posted by zebredy
    I leave it for a max if 3 days in the fridge. I use it for chicken pie or for curries...i freeze it in portions and just defrost and use in a curry when we fancy it. Hope that helps
  • TheBees
    Hi everyone - having trouble keeping up with all the posts.... well done everyone.

    Had my delivery from MrS on Friday evening which came to about 70 and shouldn't need to shop again until next Sunday. Also managed to get a stick hand blender for making soups from MrA for th bargain price of 15 and DD and I have already made our first batch of vegetable soup today ready for our lunch tomorrow.

    I'm going back to Weight Watchers tomorrow night as the stone I lost 4 years ago is creeping back on so wish me luck!

    Our month ends on 31st but fingers crossed things are going well.
    Mortgage Free in 3 part 2 challenge - pay off 9000
    Sealed Pot Challenge 416 - target 500
  • TheBees
    Zebredy - How about chicken rissotto?
    Mortgage Free in 3 part 2 challenge - pay off 9000
    Sealed Pot Challenge 416 - target 500
    • maman
    • By maman 16th Jan 11, 4:30 PM
    • 19,975 Posts
    • 119,389 Thanks
    maman
    I leave it for a max if 3 days in the fridge. I use it for chicken pie or for curries...i freeze it in portions and just defrost and use in a curry when we fancy it. Hope that helps
    Originally posted by kippers
    I freeze sandwich size portions of chicken for when DH wants a packed lunch.
    • Sue14
    • By Sue14 16th Jan 11, 4:33 PM
    • 899 Posts
    • 10,894 Thanks
    Sue14
    I saw some storage boxes in Mr M's the last time I went in there (4 for 10), but wanted a second opinion on size from OH before I bought them. Went to look at them yesterday and decided to get 4 of them, also got some flowers to take to mum's grave for her birthday, and spent another 6.07 on food.
    Weight loss challenge 3/10lbs
    Total weight loss 21lbs

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