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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 43
  • KatyReed+5
    Oh and how do you make one of those signiture things? X
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 12th Jun 12, 5:38 PM
    • 3,984 Posts
    • 52,562 Thanks
    Florenceem
    Very new to all this, only found this page today, would really like to join for June, is it too late? I have to shop for me, my other half and our 5 children.and it costs a fortune.

    Really looking to save where i can, have recently started to batch cook meals and freeze and currently have a drower full of enough meals to feed my family dinners for 12 days, i've just been to Sainsburys and done enough shopping to hopefully keep us going for another few weeks, spent £58.46. It was origionally £69.62 but i had £6.80 in coupons and £4.36 in offers so i saved £11.26, which is good. I think on average now we spead between £500-£600 per month, so to the end of June from today i would like to spend £300?

    Katy, X
    Originally posted by KatyReed+5
    Hi KatyReed+5, welcome to the GC. Are you a sahm? Your GC budget will come down if you stick with us on this thread.
    15 in 2015 1/15
  • MunniMuncha
    Oh and how do you make one of those signiture things? X
    Originally posted by KatyReed+5
    Hi Katy and welcome to this wonderful thread.

    To get your signature at the bottom go to the top where solid green line is and look for User CP, click on that and then on the RHS of the page you will see edit signature - click on that and, hey presto!

    HTH
    When you were born, you were crying and everyone around was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying!


    June GC - £352.04/£350
    SP challenge 3P £171.28
  • KatyReed+5
    Thanks.

    Hope my signature works.

    Yes i'm a stay ot home mum,. My partner works and between us we have 5 children. The oldest 2 are his from a previous relationship, thaey are both girls and aged 11 and 8. I have a daughter from a previous relationship who is 3. We also have 2 children together one girl who is 2 and a boy who is 1. So 4 girls and finally a boy

    I need to save money, as my partner is the only one who works as i look after the home and children, which is more than a full time job.

    We've never had a family holiday so would love to save enough to pay for a nice holiday.

    Katy, X
    June £0.00 GC / £200.00

    Family of 4 : 1 adult 3 kids ages 3,4 & 5.
  • jumblejack
    Hi KatyR

    A good start is by visiting your local Lidl every weekend and bulk buying in the weekend only offers

    I save loads this way.

    Also if you must visit the supermarket, try at different times from 6-8.30 sp that you get a feel for when they do reductions

    Sounds like you are off to a great start with batch cooking and freezing.

    You are gonna save loads with just a little restraint and focus!!!
    Every moment is a gift. That's why we call it the present.!
    Grocery Spend Weekly Challenge (Sat-Fri):£30.50/£40
    • Eyebright
    • By Eyebright 12th Jun 12, 6:26 PM
    • 860 Posts
    • 4,682 Thanks
    Eyebright
    Hi and welcome KatyR, wow you must be super organised running a household with 5 children in it. Hats off to you!

    With batch cooking and the help of the lovely GC'ers you will be making savings and delicious, nutritious food in no time. I know I am. This is my first time at the GC as well

    My online food shop just arrived. No substitutions yippee! Came to £57.73, so off now to add that to my siggy, and finish off dinner.

    EB x
    DFD Feb 2018 Total debt now £12672.13 £6919.63
    EFC #11 £150/£1000 = 15% achieved
    • craigywv
    • By craigywv 12th Jun 12, 6:30 PM
    • 1,976 Posts
    • 27,825 Thanks
    craigywv
    Hi Katy im new to this thread too and can honestly say your in the right place a pack of friendly folk i have met on here. Jumblejack makes fab dinners and im going to hers for tea! (only joking) she has a lot of sound advice and then theres the imfamous FLO sorry FLORENCEEM who seems to know EVERYTHING known to humanity!! she has a unique way of telling you off if you dont do something she agrees with so BEWARE but shes fun!! and she does have great dinners too. on a different note have you a garden why not try growing your own, i started off a few yrs back growing basics, carrots,onions,potatoes,and now grow everything myself i dont have a large garden but its amazing what you can fit in. fruit bushes are great too, and as jj says hunt out your local shop reduction times.....i CANT buy meat at full price it goes against my grain. Also try pound shops and bargain shop loads of food a lot cheaper than the supermarkets anyway enjoy the group i love it!!
    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!!.
  • KatyReed+5
    Never been to lidl, will have to try them, just looked and it's neary 20 miles to my nearest one, :s

    I'm good at getting reduced bargains at out local co-op but it's only small as we live in a little village, so not a great range.

    I'm excited about trying to save more.

    Is there any tips that can help, like saving receipts and things, listing what i buy, spreadsheets etc?

    Katy, X
    June £0.00 GC / £200.00

    Family of 4 : 1 adult 3 kids ages 3,4 & 5.
  • KatyReed+5
    We have a mssive garden, i currently have tomatoes growning and that's it, i'm not great at gardening but my grandparents are coming over in a few weeks to help me and see what else i can grow this lae in the season, Thanks Craigywv.

    Katy, X
    June £0.00 GC / £200.00

    Family of 4 : 1 adult 3 kids ages 3,4 & 5.
  • KatyReed+5
    Oh and one more thing, sorry, have looked but can't see it anywhere, does grocerys cover all shopping? Including things like shampoo, toilet roll, cheaning stuff, etc? Oh and my other half smokes, do i could his tobacco in my total?

    Thanks,

    Katy, X
    June £0.00 GC / £200.00

    Family of 4 : 1 adult 3 kids ages 3,4 & 5.
    • **purpleprincess**
    • By **purpleprincess** 12th Jun 12, 7:40 PM
    • 3,516 Posts
    • 3,845 Thanks
    **purpleprincess**
    Very new to all this, only found this page today, would really like to join for June, is it too late? I have to shop for me, my other half and our 5 children.and it costs a fortune.

    Really looking to save where i can, have recently started to batch cook meals and freeze and currently have a drower full of enough meals to feed my family dinners for 12 days, i've just been to Sainsburys and done enough shopping to hopefully keep us going for another few weeks, spent £58.46. It was origionally £69.62 but i had £6.80 in coupons and £4.36 in offers so i saved £11.26, which is good. I think on average now we spead between £500-£600 per month, so to the end of June from today i would like to spend £300?

    Katy, X
    Originally posted by KatyReed+5
    Welcome! You'll soon find yourself reducing your shopping spends if you hang around here!

    One major tip I would give is PLAN PLAN PLAN!!! If you look at what you have in the cupboards, fridge, freezer and plan around that and then shop armed with a list then you should be able to curb the unexpected spends.

    What you include in your grocery budget is up to you, some people include toiletries and cleaning things, others don't. See what works for you, trial and error.

    Good luck!!
    Official DFW Nerd no. 082!
    Debt @ 01/01/2014 £16,956 Debt now: £0.00
    Aims: clear debt, get married, buy a house ALL DONE!!
    • hattifattener
    • By hattifattener 12th Jun 12, 7:40 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 1,407 Thanks
    hattifattener
    Oh and one more thing, sorry, have looked but can't see it anywhere, does grocerys cover all shopping? Including things like shampoo, toilet roll, cheaning stuff, etc? Oh and my other half smokes, do i could his tobacco in my total?

    Thanks,

    Katy, X
    Originally posted by KatyReed+5
    Hiya, everyone else will have lots of tips on your other questions - but to me, this one's a personal choice. I include all food, toilet rolls, cleaning stuff - but it's up to you and what you save on. I find this challenge really motivating, but at the end of the day, the only person you have to prove it to is yourself, so you can make it what you want it to be.


    Well, I did much better today. Did spend at the charity shop ( ), but didn't do any food shopping. Porridge for brek with the baby, packed lunch at work (and no extras from the corner shop!!) and the in-laws provided tea of pizza and apple pie and we've got lots of leftovers in our kitchen. Scrummy! Hubby's packed his lunch for tomorrow, and I've got dinner lined up, so shouldn't have to spend.
  • sb88
    Just wanted to share some news! My fussy eater of an OH cleared his plate today! CousCous, Lentils, Turkey and diced bell peppers.

    This is from a man who last year wouldn't touch any type of vegetable, or pulses , or meat that wasn't beef or chicken!

    Dinner was good! Kept some turkey back for Turkey and Lentil curry. I may just make my shopping budget this month
    Weightloss: 18lbs/28lbs (Start weight: 11st, Current 9st 10)
    • meg72
    • By meg72 12th Jun 12, 8:01 PM
    • 5,082 Posts
    • 46,072 Thanks
    meg72
    Very new to all this, only found this page today, would really like to join for June, is it too late? I have to shop for me, my other half and our 5 children.and it costs a fortune.

    Really looking to save where i can, have recently started to batch cook meals and freeze and currently have a drower full of enough meals to feed my family dinners for 12 days, i've just been to Sainsburys and done enough shopping to hopefully keep us going for another few weeks, spent £58.46. It was origionally £69.62 but i had £6.80 in coupons and £4.36 in offers so i saved £11.26, which is good. I think on average now we spead between £500-£600 per month, so to the end of June from today i would like to spend £300?

    Katy, X
    Originally posted by KatyReed+5
    Welcome,its never to late to join this thread, I do beleive the friendliest ,nicest,peeps are on here, I would say that if youre spending 500-600 a month that 300 may be a drastic drop. try reducing by just 100 to start, that way you will not be discouraged. theres nothing like a success to motivate you to keep going, its not an easy fix, it will take time, and I promise, it gets to be a fun thing. I just love it when I can look at my stocks and think of the money the supermarkets havent had off me.
    Slimming World at target
    • ladymay
    • By ladymay 12th Jun 12, 8:08 PM
    • 1,079 Posts
    • 4,423 Thanks
    ladymay
    Evening!

    Stocked up on the weekly essentials at Mr T's this evening. Too early for the major whoopsies but managed to get a nice roasting joint reduced from £5 to £1.75. Which means I'll have to get the girls round and they'll have to bring wine and dessert

    Still need to do a little £land shop for the rest, but only spent £12.32 tonight, taking my total to £25.76 so far this month. I've also lost two pounds, possibly because I'm not sticking chocolate and sweet things in the basket just because I fancy it. Skinny me, fat wallet. That can be my new mantra
    2019 Aim: Save £10,000
    Don't sacrifice what you want most for what you want now
  • KatyReed+5
    Welcome,its never to late to join this thread, I do beleive the friendliest ,nicest,peeps are on here, I would say that if youre spending 500-600 a month that 300 may be a drastic drop. try reducing by just 100 to start, that way you will not be discouraged. theres nothing like a success to motivate you to keep going, its not an easy fix, it will take time, and I promise, it gets to be a fun thing. I just love it when I can look at my stocks and think of the money the supermarkets havent had off me.
    Originally posted by meg72

    I only put £300 as we're already half way through the month, and well we're poor till payday which is on he 28th.

    Katy, X
    June £0.00 GC / £200.00

    Family of 4 : 1 adult 3 kids ages 3,4 & 5.
    • Florenceem
    • By Florenceem 12th Jun 12, 8:17 PM
    • 3,984 Posts
    • 52,562 Thanks
    Florenceem
    Tuesday.
    We had roast potatoes, roast parsnips, chicken casserole with carrot, onion and swede for dinner. The tub Mr F got out of the freezer thinking it was casserole - was in fact chicken stir fry. I added some water and gravy granules to it.
    Mr F got some cooked sausages and bacon out of the freezer for tomorrow night's dinner. He also got out some HM pastry - will do a pie.


    15 in 2015 1/15
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 12th Jun 12, 8:22 PM
    • 3,049 Posts
    • 28,084 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Got some £2.79 quiches that are use by today for 10p each (when buying 2 together) so 1 tonight and 7 into the freezer. It happened because they'd been reduced to 89p, but at they were 2 for £4 the linksave kicked in and knocked a further 79p off each one at the checkout (I found this out by mistake then went back for 6 more). The linksave doesn't normally apply to reduced items in most stores and A**A usually have a note on their yellow stickers saying so, but it did in W******e. don't know if this is a one off blip or a loophole in their system but will try again on another reduced item when next in there and report back.
    Originally posted by Marts74
    It's not a mistake. Sometimes they get it a bit wrong and end up paying you to take it away - my example was rustic rolls; normally 59p each (!! joking!!) but reduced to 9p, then on the till they went through as 3 for £1.50, takkiing off 27p - the exact cost of three reduced rolls.

    On the other hand, last week they reduced the 6 packs of aberdeen angus quarter pounder burgers to £3.79 from £5.89 and as I knew they were a 2 for £8 offer (making them £1.90) so I picked up two and they had cancelled it off the till. However, as the stickers were still on the packs the top is coming shopping with me this week to ask for the refund - they cannot be serious about reducing it by 11p when it was going ood before the weekend. I will let you know...

    SL
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (£59,998) Q1 £26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 78.13% £31,251.65 including July
    Save £12k in 2019 - #68 target is £7k £4,998.99 or 71.41% after May
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is £3k - 46.03% spent so far, mid July
    My DFD is here
  • sonastin
    Skinny me, fat wallet. That can be my new mantra
    Originally posted by ladymay

    Be careful on this thread then - too many tasty dessert recipes get posted

    My OH is the one with the sweet tooth in our house. I used to spend a fortune buying him biscuits and cakes which I could happily ignore. I've picked up so many recipes on here that I've now got right into baking my own instead - which I inevitably have to sample. Sadly that means I'm swapping £s for lbs
  • chelseabun
    £9.18 spent in Mr T today - not too bad, but could be better! I couldn't resist the cherries, but they were nearly £4 for a bag!!

    I've updated my sig.

    Welcome KatyReed - this is a lovely thread, you'll get loads of support and help with your budgeting here!

    Have a good evening all! CBx
    GC2012 May £144.65 / £200, June £50.82 / £200
    2012 NSD
    May 12 / 31, June 3 / 30
    2nd Purse Challenge #58 Purse owed £35.90, Stockpile value £217.66

    BS
    C #210
    A slow cooker is a marvellous thing!

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