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  • FIRST POST
    • zippychick
    • By zippychick 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    • 9,343Posts
    • 17,889Thanks
    zippychick
    • #1
    • 4th Jun 11, 11:19 AM
    4th Jun 11 at 11:19 AM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the sixth Grocery Challenge of 2012

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your March budget, then keep on posting in the:
    May 2012 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.
    By request, here is Spiggles wonderful helpful post

    We all have different budgets that suit our households. The most important thing to remember is that you set yours according to your needs and finances. It can take time to get to where you want to be too so don't knock yourself out if you go over in the first few months. We are here to support each other and it is not a competition.

    I thought it might help to outline where we've come from and the top tips I've learned.

    When we started in March 2010 we had spent in excess of £600 in the previous month. This had to stop, (there's only me and him and our two beautiful black cats) something which thankfully my OH completely agreed with so I have been lucky that he has been on board from the start. He gave me his debit card voluntarily and I still keep hold of it until he needs to get something for the home. At the same time we set up a system of pocket money (pm) at £15 each per week which doesn't count towards the GC and which we can each spend as we wish with no comebacks or complaints. OH predominantly uses his pm on his beer and I ferret mine away mostly.

    The next step was to set up my own spreadsheet which is absolutely simple onto which I put all spends so that I have a continuous running total for the month and for the year. We initially set our budget at £280 per month and brought it down to £240 where it resides for most of the year it is occasionally increased to allow for extras e.g. Christmas to £260.

    The important 'tools' we found greatly helped and continue to do so now are:

    Stocktake cupboards, fridge, freezer - make lists and ensure that the older products get used up first. You'll be amazed at what you find squirrelled away and it will help with your shopping list as you'll realise that you don't actually need so much.

    Before you go shopping check staples - running out of milk, bread, butter, etc often leads to going into a shop for one thing and coming out £20 lighter. Always check these and if they'll run out tomorrow buy them the same time as getting other things.

    Always make a shopping list and stick to it - the supermarkets (sm) try every which way to get us to spend so having a list and strong resolve is the only way to beat them.

    Keep every receipt - and then note it down on your spreadsheet/spend diary so that you always know where you are.

    When tempted, ask yourself do you NEED it or just WANT it - now this advice goes with two things. Firstly, the things you see in store when shopping that APPEAR to be bargains - if you hadn't planned spending the money then its not a bargain. Secondly, the sm send us loads of vouchers for £X off a spend of £XX - if you had no NEED to spend £XX then have you SAVED anything???

    Use my supermarket to compare prices (limited to four of the biggies) - The site may be used to actually do an online shop at whichever of the big four offers the best value or, if you have the time and sm availability, to make up lists for visiting each of the stores so that you can purchase all you need at different stores thus getting the best possible value. (I'd add, do a 'shop' virtually on this site and take the list you create on it with you, whichever one you shop at, it will help keep target prices in your head and allow you to spot bargains. MrM is not included but you can do a virtual list on their website so you know what you're going to be spending.)

    Always have a list - this is just as important when shopping online as shopping on foot.

    Use Approved Foods online (with a list!) - if you don't mind out of date things (ood) or you can search for only in date items. The only drawback is storing the goods as far as I can tell. Oh, and watch the delivery as it's done on a scaled charge for weight so keep an eye on it. You can of course do an AF order with friends, family, colleagues or like minded neighbours. Other GCers use Big Br*nds 4 Less too.

    Invest in a breadmaker - we have saved so much by making our own bread. The prices in the shops are extortionate for bread these days. There's loads of advice on this thread and others in the forum on this.

    Use the recipe lists - always posted at the front of a new thread. There are fantastic, tasty, healthy and economical recipes to use on them and there are a number of other threads on the forum such as Weezl's that will help you to eat well on a budget.

    Shop locally - the local greengrocer (or preferably market but I don't have one ) is usually cheaper as an option for fruit and veg (f&v) than the sm. Often the prices may look the same but when you look at the quantity for the same price the greengrocer will be cheaper. The same goes for the local butcher. Often you will have far more variety of meat available, advice on how to cook a particular meat can be offered and there is (for me at least) no comparison in terms of quality. We buy our huge FR eggs there and I'm yet to find an equivalent FR egg in a sm at the same or lower price. Obvioulsy if you have your own chicks/know someone who has chicks you can get them even cheaper again.

    Grow your own - it's quite simple to grow some f&v at home even if it's only in pots on the patio. There are also supportive threads on the forum for this.

    Cook your own - making meals at home from ingredients is far more economical, often tastes better than shop bought and is probably far better healthwise.

    Meal Plan - this is something that others can advise on as we don't do it. I have a tremendous capacity for eating the same food over many days but presented in slightly different form. For example, we could buy £7 worth of brisket from the butchers and eat it as pot roast for a couple of days, sliced for sarnies, sliced with a salad, chucked into a casserole or shredded up and fried as crispy beef.

    Don't waste food - either only make what you need or use any leftovers for other meals/creations or freeze it for another day.

    Withdraw the cash you want to spend - and keep it in a separate purse. This can be particularly effective as you have the money in front of you reducing rather than spending with plastic which is so easy to lose track of. Very useful when you first start out.

    Don't go to the shops to browse - this can only lead to pain and hardship!!!

    Keep posting and reading the thread - there really is no better supportive, wise and inspirational place to be! I think I saw that somebody mentioned forgetting to read/post. I get around this by using the Advanced button to post, below the window where your text is displayed you will see Additional Options. In the Thread Subscription box use the dropdown to select either instant email notification (this is what I use) or daily email notification before you submit your latest post. Then you will get an email into your inbox from which you can click to the thread to see what others are saying.

    Always remember the sm is not your friend - it wants to profit from you and take as much of your money as it can coerce out of you!

    So, there you go as a starting point. Others on here will offer tremendous advice on meal planning. And don't forget, the only silly question is the one you didn't ask!

    See you all later,
    Spigs
    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!

    Zip
    Last edited by zippychick; 11-05-2012 at 6:59 PM.
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men
    Norn Iron club member #380

Page 41
    • craigywv
    • By craigywv 12th Jun 12, 9:33 AM
    • 1,976 Posts
    • 27,825 Thanks
    craigywv
    Not lazy - healthier to eat with skins on - loads of goodness just under skins which is lost when peeling.
    Originally posted by Florenceem

    FLO, your brilliant you just seem to "be there" when someone gives advice that could be "better" i have a vision of you standing in a long white toga looking into a pool of water like the Greek Gods and when someone writes a comment you just arch an eyebrow and mutter to Zeus or whoevers beside you " here we go again".well thats what i think lol YOUR FAB!!!!!!!!!
    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z #7 member N.I splinter-group co-ordinater I dont suffer from insanity....I enjoy every minute of it!!.
    • Kitchenbunny
    • By Kitchenbunny 12th Jun 12, 9:56 AM
    • 1,860 Posts
    • 20,252 Thanks
    Kitchenbunny
    Well, just been to Mr T and am a bit disappointed. I had meant to stick to my list but "stocked up" on a few snacky items which will be useful for packed lunches, I guess. Mind you, I normally shop at Mr M so I think I'm comparing to what I prefer. Spent £29.49 today - Mr Kitchenbunny does like his Tassimo! Oh well. I'll go update my sig now.

    K xx

    • TheThriftyScrumpers
    • By TheThriftyScrumpers 12th Jun 12, 9:57 AM
    • 272 Posts
    • 5,359 Thanks
    TheThriftyScrumpers
    Hi
    Hope everyone is well. I am up to £156.72/£330. Freezer clearing is going well, two pots of lo mash and some chipolata's did the kids dinner and we had a Mexican ys pot and chorizo dish with some ys chicken. I have just got some ys stir through pasta sauce out for dinner today.

    Made a choc chip and banana bread yesterday to se up 3 black bananas so snacks covered.

    Think I will do a freezer list Next.

    Have a good day xx
    GC Mar 11 £437.08Apr 11 £459.26 May 11 £485.52 June 11 £423.79July 11 £409.22 Aug 11 £250.10Sept 11 £396.14Oct 11 £382.37Nov 11 £372.55Dec 11 £332.29 Jan 12 £375.19:Feb 12 £349.58Mar 12 £279.66Apr 12 £249.12May 12 £337.66/Jun 12 £362.58/Jul 12 £317.03/Aug 12 £354.02/Sept £439.72/Oct 12 £210.16
    • xxlouisexx56
    • By xxlouisexx56 12th Jun 12, 10:29 AM
    • 2,191 Posts
    • 30,133 Thanks
    xxlouisexx56
    Spent another £20 yesterday

    Baby food, milk, meat, bread and rolls.

    Need to go out again today as we need cheese and ham for lunches
    • purplesheila
    • By purplesheila 12th Jun 12, 10:32 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 477 Thanks
    purplesheila
    Chilli con carnie for tea tonight. I have all the ingredients in so plan to have a NSD in the Purplesheila Household

    DS still off school and he wants a bike ride today, I think we will go the alternative way past the ice cream shop so he doesn’t ask “Can I have an Ice Cream?” – We have ice cream at home so he is not missing out. Sometimes you feel mean saying no – especially to a £1.05 ice cream. But I have tried to keep this ½ term spend really low as I have given up work for the time been.

    I did really well with spending this 1/2 term. We went to the Cinema one rainy morning to a Kids Club costing £5.00 we smuggled in our own goodies. And I purchases Ice cream from L!dl after a trip to the local park. We went to a Sailing Club for an evening out (free trial night) and it was our local fate day this last Saturday where a Fair comes to town. My Mum and Dad always give the kids a £5 each and my DS did extra jobs round the house for an extra £5. DD didn’t get any extra as she was a lazy mare and needs to learn.

    Anyhow the weather was very poor and the fair was only charging £2 aride. Usually £3.50 – so even the fair folk are seeing a pinch in people’spockets

    Both my children have Cub/Scout camp this Friday so that has cost me an extra £20. I don’t mind paying for Cubs/Scouts because they both get so much out of it. Last week DD came home after making fires and camp food – excellent life skills.

    That all for now

    Last edited by purplesheila; 12-06-2012 at 10:36 AM.
    April Grocery challenge £0/£160 (17th April-30th Apr)
    NSDs - 0/14
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 12th Jun 12, 10:36 AM
    • 3,984 Posts
    • 52,562 Thanks
    Florenceem

    FLO, your brilliant you just seem to "be there" when someone gives advice that could be "better" i have a vision of you standing in a long white toga looking into a pool of water like the Greek Gods and when someone writes a comment you just arch an eyebrow and mutter to Zeus or whoevers beside you " here we go again".well thats what i think lol YOUR FAB!!!!!!!!!
    Originally posted by craigywv
    15 in 2015 1/15
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 12th Jun 12, 10:46 AM
    • 3,984 Posts
    • 52,562 Thanks
    Florenceem
    Another spend.
    I had another £6.39 to add to my total - bought some bits in the mini market while away with my friend.
    Wet day here - pouring down.
    We have a young postman who buys a sausage roll at the nearby bakers - always eats it outside our house - first house of a long road. Mr F spoke to him yesterday - any crumbs left from your elevenses - please leave the paper bag in the porch with the post. Our labrador will enjoy the crumbs - plus ripping the paper bag to bits! Anyway - Bless him - he pulled up outside today - went in the porch to eat his elevenses - so wet outside.
    My craft room is at the front of the house - I am the official NOSY NEIGHBOUR!
    15 in 2015 1/15
    • craigywv
    • By craigywv 12th Jun 12, 10:52 AM
    • 1,976 Posts
    • 27,825 Thanks
    craigywv
    I had another £6.39 to add to my total - bought some bits in the mini market while away with my friend.
    Wet day here - pouring down.
    We have a young postman who buys a sausage roll at the nearby bakers - always eats it outside our house - first house of a long road. Mr F spoke to him yesterday - any crumbs left from your elevenses - please leave the paper bag in the porch with the post. Our labrador will enjoy the crumbs - plus ripping the paper bag to bits! Anyway - Bless him - he pulled up outside today - went in the porch to eat his elevenses - so wet outside.
    My craft room is at the front of the house - I am the official NOSY NEIGHBOUR!
    Originally posted by Florenceem
    just as i expect Mr Flo as bad as you, bet postman loves you honestly people like straightforward folk, well i do anyway. Thanks for the yp recipe on other thread will amke them maybe tomorrow as might make Goks rice , forgot cant already made apple and pork burgers. You must be the Dot Cotton of your area. love ya really
    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z #7 member N.I splinter-group co-ordinater I dont suffer from insanity....I enjoy every minute of it!!.
    • fozziebeartoo
    • By fozziebeartoo 12th Jun 12, 11:44 AM
    • 1,564 Posts
    • 12,675 Thanks
    fozziebeartoo
    I had to go out in the rain for a long overdue blood test, so came home via shops, since I was already so wet.

    £3.34 in co*p including tea bags

    £2.14 in Tesco Express including YS nectarines

    £9.13 in L*dl but that includes enough milk for a week, enough yog, 79p for funsize pears but they are lovely chunky ones, granol, fruit biccies for DD and WD40 (my one and only DIY skill is.....squirt it with WD40 ).

    There is lamb tagine to eat up.....accidently got left out of freezer so that has to be used up today.

    Might get HM gammon quiche out of freezer for tonight or tomorrow.

    Have a couple of expensive days coming up, hospital visits and city centre trip, so taxi fares and/or buses cannot be avoided but I will try and combine the trips with shop visits that I cannot usually get to, that way if I manage to find any bargains, I will feel the travel costs have been worthwhile.
    • bossymoo
    • By bossymoo 12th Jun 12, 11:57 AM
    • 6,817 Posts
    • 87,056 Thanks
    bossymoo
    Couple of NSD's here but I have been working. Just my £3.50 for parking today which I'm not classing as groceries, lol.

    Have brought my packed lunch and since the basic drinks are on freevend, I get get an icky plastic cuppa for nil...

    Do sometimes treat myself to a proper tea from the canteen, but bit too busy to leave my cubby hole today.

    So I'd better crack on, and not get crumbs on my desk ;-)
    Bossymoo

    Away with the fairies
  • sonastin
    Bought yeast and stocked up on coke for OH at MrT yesterday. Browsed past the YS cabinet on the way through and it was absolutely teeming. No spectacular bargains but a few items we would normally have in the freezer at half price so I added a few to the trolley. Defrosting the freezer can wait another week or so. I've been working on running down the freezer for months so another week won't hurt!

    Spent £15.03 in total so now I'm up to £107.94 / £200.

    Will need milk before the end of this week and veg next week but not doing too bad so far...
  • jumblejack
    Kids had a cookery lesson again. They were reminded of pastry ingredient ratios. They collected a handful of herbs for the quiche:sage, thyme, parsley and mint and then helped me to prep the ingredients.

    We made a herby bacon quiche with a throw together slaw and a bit of garlic bread as it was removed from the freezer yesterday to make room in the freezer.

    Nom

    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):£30.50/£40
    • craigywv
    • By craigywv 12th Jun 12, 12:17 PM
    • 1,976 Posts
    • 27,825 Thanks
    craigywv
    Kids had a cookery lesson again. They were reminded of pastry ingredient ratios. They collected a handful of herbs for the quiche:sage, thyme, parsley and mint and then helped me to prep the ingredients.

    We made a herby bacon quiche with a throw together slaw and a bit of garlic bread as it was removed from the freezer yesterday to make room in the freezer.

    Nom

    Originally posted by jumblejack
    oooooooooooooooh can i have some it all looks delish, love the slaw!!!
    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z #7 member N.I splinter-group co-ordinater I dont suffer from insanity....I enjoy every minute of it!!.
    • Aldahbra
    • By Aldahbra 12th Jun 12, 12:22 PM
    • 315 Posts
    • 3,684 Thanks
    Aldahbra
    excuse my ignorance but could someone pls tell me how to make my own oven chips , i read on one of the threads a woman casually saying she made her own oc but i didnt know you could do that i thought they went through a factory process or something, anyway i have just emtyied and cleaned my deep fat fryer in preparation on going on hols next week as it was needing oil change and washed out and dont really want to refill until we come home thanks
    Originally posted by craigywv
    I part boil first for about 5 mins. Shake them around in a sieve to rough them up, lay them out on a baking tray one chip thick. Spray with a one cal oil and bake in a hot oven(gas mark 8) for about 1/2 an hour. Half way through a flip them over with a slice and respray with oil. If they are still pale about 5 mins before the end, I may spray with oil again and wack oven up to max.

    You can do it with out part boiling first but they take longer in the oven and come out harder.

    My family like them more than shop bought oven chips, saying that they are more like real chips.

    I'm away from the 15th to the 22nd june - if any new people join and they don't post their budget in red and big could someone show them how to do it - I can then just skim through the posts when I get back - thank you lovely people
    Originally posted by helen jelly
    Hope you enjoy your holiday.
    "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."
    ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
    Weight loss challenge: week 1 ---------- target 8lbs in 4 weeks
    Grocery Challenge June: £100/£500 ------------left to spend £400
    Declutter June: 0/100
    NSD 6 June/6 July: 0/2
  • jumblejack
    oooooooooooooooh can i have some it all looks delish, love the slaw!!!
    Originally posted by craigywv
    Course you can!!

    I have loads of fridge stuff left to use up. I will probably do more slaw tomorrow with something else!

    Has anyone got a good radish recipe as I have 2 bags left (they were 5p a pack whoopsied!). I've just used one pack up and don't want to waste anything! I have 2 cucumbers in as well along with half a cabbage that need to be used up quickly.

    By the way, my youngest just told me that the slaw is 'a do again recipe'! Result!!!!
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):£30.50/£40
    • mrsplymdaz
    • By mrsplymdaz 12th Jun 12, 12:30 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 116 Thanks
    mrsplymdaz
    update for me
    Had a spend at T's yesterday - £23.84 - trying not to panic about this being nearly half the budget for the week as I've already got stuff for DS packed lunch and lunches for everyone else in the house, not to mention my stuffed freezer.

    Also DH wanted to put car through car was - I point blank refused "the works" at £8 and we compromised at a £5 version - predictably it poured down once the thing was dry.

    Today have just spent £5.44 in T's again. I'm not worried!
    xK
    My Family
    Me, DH, DS(5), DS(2), bump(due Sept 7th)
    -----------------------------------------------------
    June Grocery Challenge
    Wk 1:- 11/06-17/06 - £34.28/£50
    ---------------------------------------------------------
  • cleggie
    HelenJelly- have a wonderful holiday, and get on with that packing!!

    I spent £30 in Morries today, on total poop! The only useful stuff i got was 9 loo rolls (£4 andrex, on offer) and baking parchment. The rest was rubbish

    ARGH, someone stop me!
    And i'll have to do another shop (a proper shop this time), which means i will have to be really carefull for the rest of the month!
  • jumblejack
    HelenJelly- have a wonderful holiday, and get on with that packing!!

    I spent £30 in Morries today, on total poop! The only useful stuff i got was 9 loo rolls (£4 andrex, on offer) and baking parchment. The rest was rubbish

    ARGH, someone stop me!
    And i'll have to do another shop (a proper shop this time), which means i will have to be really carefull for the rest of the month!
    Originally posted by cleggie
    Oh no
    I don't go in a supermarket withOut a list. The only exceptions are when items are whoopsied, in which case I will change meals to use up what is cheap and available.

    Try to keep a list going on your phone or on the fridge of stuff you are running low on and then use it to arm yourself against the supermarket ploys next time you go in one.

    You can do it
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):£30.50/£40
  • cleggie
    Thanks JJ, i think i will from now on.
    I feel so disappointed, but trying to see getting through the rest of the month as a challenge.
    I am going to do my proper shop online, with @sd@, so that i only get what i need to.

    I think part of the reason i did it was because i had the car in the garage and had to get new brake pads fitted. I thought it was going to cost about £100, but only cost £36 ( ) but i think i may have mentally put that money aside and since i didnt have to spend more than £36, i decided i could spend that extra.
    D'oh.
    Not doing that again!!
    • mummyyof5
    • By mummyyof5 12th Jun 12, 1:01 PM
    • 1,839 Posts
    • 39,830 Thanks
    mummyyof5
    £3.00 in P**land yesterday..did remember sugar

    Had to go into town today to pay some bills so got what I needed from mrTs...trying to avoid it but only SM in our town and kids like the SP cereal..so £8.50 in there..£1.50 on bananas and apples from market and £4.00 in P***world...just opened so had to have a look

    Will update sig now xxx
    Feeding 6 Adults 1 Teen a 8 year old with hollow legs and a very fussy 5 year old. Also 3 cats and 3 fishies
    To include all Food,Toiletries and Petfood.
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