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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Dec 10, 1:15 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    • #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'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.

    Last edited by Pink.; 29-12-2010 at 9:09 AM.
Page 102
  • prettypaula
    well well well, its took me lots of tea breaks to get through it but i have pretty much read this all the way through in the last few days!

    hubby and i fell off the wagon a bit last year and had a LBM this month scraping change to pay for milk/bread etc.

    its pretty ridiculous as we both earn good money, but i have fallen victim to the shameless commercialism of well, pretty much everything!

    i totalled up grocery spending and takeaways from 7th dec to 8th jan using my bank statement and it came to a HUGE estimated £608!!!! outrageous, god only knows how it was this much and christ knows what weve done with it all... we dont have kids, just 5 hungry kitties.

    so anyway, in Feb we will be sticking to £150 for the month, store cupboards are looking okay but think i may need to do a freezer re stock in Feb as we are skint and as such will be running it down until 31st when we get paid.

    im also trying to lose weight with weight watchers, but i may revert to OS weight loss thread instead, which will save another £11 pm.

    today i have:

    Used a whoopsie pack of free range chicken thighs/drumsticks to make a chicken chasseur which is in the oven, and the drumsticks are in a seperate pan covered in spices for pack ups.
    gonna have the chasseur tonight with mash and green beans.

    friends coming over later so will make some home made salsa and have some breadsticks in the cupboard to put out with it.

    crikey i aint 'alf missed you lot!
    DFW - Debt Free Date July 2013, LBM Oct 2011

    Total Debt Sept 2011 £23,708.39
    Paid so far £2,383.91
    Current Debt £21,560.56

  • katholicos
    Ate 3 slices of toast with butter and vegemite for brunch and then just ate a baked potato with grated cheese and garlic butter, for my tea. Another NSD today too, so that is good.

    Just wanted to say echo what others have written about there being no 'particular' way of participating in the GC challenge. Just as there is no one way of participating in the NSD challenge. It's only right that each individual should decide what they will record as 'spends'. Also, i find it is important to maintain a healthy attitude towards both challenges other words, if i have spend days i had hoped would have been NSD's or if i go over my GC monthly budget, that is not a bad thing. It is an experience i will try to learn from, but it really isn't worth beating myself up over. Any attempts at 'cutting one's cloth according to one's means' are attempts well made, at least in my book. Not that there has to be a financial motivation for all of us, some of us may want to participate in the GC so that we feed ourselves and our families healthier, home cooked food, eat better quality food but less of it, shop for food that is locally produced, 'live better on less' as the saying goes.

    There are no right ways and no wrong ways of approaching the GC.

    Speaking from my own experience participating in the GC has had a significant impact on reducing my spending, and as my financial situation is currently rather dire, i couldn't be more pleased that I joined in the challenge. This thread has been enormously helpful in influencing my personal approach to getting the most out of every penny spent on groceries, without compromising on the taste or quality, and even quantity of them (for the most part).

    Well done to EVERYONE who is/has participated in this months GC.

    I'm so glad to be back on board
    Grocery Challenge for October: £135/£200

    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
    • Jolaaled
    • By Jolaaled 22nd Jan 11, 5:26 PM
    • 1,038 Posts
    • 2,504 Thanks
    Jolaaled to you make the cheese and onion you fry the onion first...grate the cheese????

    Originally posted by Jolaaled
    yes I grate the cheese, chop the onions and mix them up, you could fry the onions to soften them a little if you wanted to

    D&DD's original posting of Apple braid is here in post #42; the thread is well worth a read and there are loads of good recipes
    Originally posted by rosieben
    Made the cheese and onion braid recipe today and it was lovely. I made my dough up into small dough balls, rolled out and sprinkled with grated cheese and slightly-cooked chopped onion. Re-rolled the dough, prooved for another 20 mins, then cooked in Remoska for 15 mins. Have gone down a treat!

    • lotti379
    • By lotti379 22nd Jan 11, 5:27 PM
    • 787 Posts
    • 6,181 Thanks
    So... took Mr Lotti to the supermarket yesterday, usually a dreadful mistake but he was very sensible actually! He only snuck in two things not on the list, one extra tin of refried beans and a packet of stuffing for tomorrow's roast (I wasn't of the opinion that beef requires sage and onion stuffing, but apparently he really can't live without it... he does love it so! ) I am very pleased with his progress to the MS ways (), normally he feels the need to "stock up" on brand-name chocolate and lots of biscuits, but not only did he not do that but a) he didn't get irn bru as it wasn't on offer, went for a supermarket own sugar-filled fizzy thing instead (over £1 cheaper each bottle), b) he accepted supermarket own crisps instead of walkers (first time ever!), supermarket own ketchup (ditto), and picked up a few things only to put them back saying "actually we don't need that this week". I'm not sure what transformation has happened to the man!

    Anyway, we still managed to spend £66.92, taking the total up to £197.92. We will almost definitely go over as still need to pick up a small beef joint tomorrow, and meals are only planned till Thursday. But, hopefully the damage shouldn't be too bad! Also, we'll probably both be away with TA Friday night-Sunday afternoon, ration packs woooo . But that just leaves Sunday night and Monday to cater for, before a new month starts!
    “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”

    NSD Challenge: August 2017 2/15
  • prettypaula
    also, has anyone got a carrot cake recipe i could have? its my DH birthday on Monday and would like to make him one.

    cannot stop thinking about cheese and potato pie. HAHA.

    DFW - Debt Free Date July 2013, LBM Oct 2011

    Total Debt Sept 2011 £23,708.39
    Paid so far £2,383.91
    Current Debt £21,560.56

    • maganan
    • By maganan 22nd Jan 11, 6:11 PM
    • 251 Posts
    • 935 Thanks
    Can I join please, to start on friday 28th payday at last - £400 I know its a lot compared to most of you and I dont want to fail first month
    Final no going back LBM 20/12/10
    Debt Jan 2011 £28217.65 DMP start 01/02/11 -
    Debt free26 September 2014

    £2 Savers Club - 2012 no 105 2012 Sealed pot challenge no 1282 DMP mutual support thread No 405
    Proud to HAVE dealt with my debts
  • Mothership
    Salmon Boccoli & Potato Pie
    1 pack of 2 salmon fillets, (fry in a little butter skin side down turn over and remove skin).

    Potatoes (mash with butter salt & pepper and a little milk/ cream/ creme fresh).

    Broccoli (Microwave for a 3 minutes in a bowl covered with cling film)

    Good Knob of butter
    1 Tablespoon Flour (heaped)
    Heat butter, stir in flour for a few seconds, then add a half pint of milk bit by bit to make white sauce.

    Break up salmon in pan, then add white sauce to it, to capture all the cooking juices, cook for a few minutes, season to taste, then place in a greased oven or gratin dish.
    Top with broccoli & mashed potatoes.

    2 slice of bread breadcrumbed or grated
    1 oz grated cheese ( I used Welsh one M+S has on offer now for £3.75 its really strong so is ideal for cooking as you need very little).
    Mix both together and put on top of the potatoes, pop it in the oven for about 20 minutes @ 200 or until the top is nicely browned.

    Just had this for dinner, it was so simple but absolutely yummy and soo filling. Nomnomnom!
    1st Purse £114.19 Monthly GB
    2nd Purse ££100
    Fridge Freezer £300 3rd Purse /£290.94
    • waltzingMathilda
    • By waltzingMathilda 22nd Jan 11, 6:58 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 847 Thanks
    really pleased with how it is going, amazing how just noting down what you spend makes you spend less.
    My hubby loves cooking and will easily blow £30-£40 cooking us a gouremet meal as he likes to at the weekend so this week I set him the challenge of cooking 3 courses for £10. He came in at £11.58 but pointed out he only used a bit of the parmesan and there is at least 3/4 left in the fridge. More importantly, he enjoyed the challenge. I am also doing slimming world and didn't want it to be too fattening, think he did ok for first week and it was very tasty.
    I've managed not to shop all week and just a top up today at aldi and butchers, have decidied to internet shop once a fortnight instead of weekly and top up at aldi the weeks between. See how it goes.
    2 adults 3 children
    Debt mar 17 £43,277
  • TheBees
    Hi everyone
    I'm finding it almost impossible to keep up with all the posts but I've just read the last few pages and am really inspired to carry on. Well done everyone.

    Surprisingly,we're on track to come in under budget this month after several months not even taking part in this challenge. We have £103 from our target of £380 still to spend (if necessary) but hopefully we won't need to spend all that. I'm planning a shop at MrT tomorrow so am about to go and check the freezers and cupboards to see what we've already got and what we actually need. MUST STICK TO THE SHOPPING LIST! This should be the final shop of the month apart from maybe some milk and fresh fruit later in the week. Got to keep the fruit stocked up as I'm doing Weight Watchers!
    Mortgage Free in 3 part 2 challenge - pay off £9000
    Sealed Pot Challenge 416 - target £500
  • supersally01
    Came on to update siggi. Spent £41 at M@S with 2 x vouchers, and £41 in Morri@ons, as they have good offers at the moment. Did not want to spend so much, but will not need to go shopping at all this week, so worth it.
    I was chuffed that I had done a shop week last friday, and did not enter another shop till today - over a week of NSD!!!! NEVER known that before, so pretty chuffed with myself. Now I know I can do it, hope for a repeat this week!
    Some good progress on the home improvements! Now getting the bathroom floor tiled first, and the plumber is coming to replace the bathroom taps and lift the toilet. The tiler cannot do the kitchen until a week on monday, at at least things are moving now.
    The plumber is also putting a quote together for fitting a new shower, so I MUST KEEP UP THE CHALLENGE!, to pay for that. I am so pleased that I started this, have not felt that I have skimped on food quantity or quality - just shopped smarter, and got out of the spending habit. Keep up the good work all, here's to Feb's GC!!!
    • freakyogre
    • By freakyogre 22nd Jan 11, 7:24 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 9,410 Thanks
    £5.10 spent today in Tesco today on milk, squash, mayonnaise, bagels, bread rolls and garlic bread!
    Grocery challenge - Nov: £52/£100
  • redkids1972
    Well done supersally home improvement sound fab. Im overbudget this month but have a freezer full of food to see me thru. Gunna set Febs budget at £220 for 2 adults 3 kids and 3 cats. Its GUNNA be tight but I love a challenge.
    New to comping 11/2/2013

    Feb wins to date: 0lympic messenger bag, £100
  • martafdz
    Today I am a bit disappointed with myself. I went to the city centre to but bedsheets and ended up buying far too many things

    I have spent £5.77 in Aldi (2 x green olives at 39p, found this price really good!!; basic honey puffs at 99p, bread at 99p, red pesto jar at 99p and white cheddar at £1.99 plus a carrier bad at 3p that I forgot they charged!). Anyway, that makes my total £168.90 / £250. Did I need any of that? Nop. Only bread for tomorrow. Grrr! Lol

    I also tried to make pizza today and bread two days ago, the result is that instead of saving money I have thrown away all of it since after cooking for ages the dough was still undercooked, grey and like a dense block of.. well, undercooked dough! Really frustrating. I cannot understand why either.
    Anyway, I am determined to master basic cooking skills in the next couple of years, so I bought myself a pretty pretty apron with pinky hearts (it's sooo lovely!!!), a chopping board (was chopping on plates), a casserole dish, a rolling pin and a painting brush. Plus double duvet set, £43.03 spent at TkM. Why did I leave the house!?? Oh, yes, to post the items I sold on eBay... which gave me a £20 profit I have already spent in cooking bits!! Not proud, not proud...

    At least I have £80-ish for the rest of the month, which I think it is maneagable.
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 22nd Jan 11, 8:19 PM
    • 1,575 Posts
    • 4,243 Thanks
    well, thought i'd pop on here and say hello.

    In January I have spent so far over £400 on food for 2 of us which is horrific. To be fair, I suppose, we've just moved in together and I've been stocking the freezer and the cupboards.

    We've moved somewhere well away from a supermarket and its been a real pain doing the weekly shop. So I've just spent 2.5 hours doing my first ever MrT online shop (with quidco £10 off and £7 cashback!!) I spent £120 but the plan is that that will last us for all of Feb for all the tins and dried goods etc. I also got lots of meat for the freezer and a fair bit of long lasting fresh stuff. So the plan is I can use our local farm shop that I stop at every day to get the paper for fresh stuff.

    Hopefully the online shop won't take as long next time - I'm more tired than if I actually go to the supermarket!
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 22nd Jan 11, 8:36 PM
    • 2,300 Posts
    • 8,084 Thanks
    Spent a little
    I walked to the small holding in the village to buy six free range eggs for £1.25. Later I went to my friends house and bought us an ice cream each from the shop as I was passing, £1.50. I think we deserve a treat. Opened my last bottle of Christmas wine tonight, I get three days out of a bottle. Steamed veg again for dinner, I don't eat meat.
    • catslovelycats
    • By catslovelycats 22nd Jan 11, 8:38 PM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 11,207 Thanks
    updated siggy to reflect £5.49 spend at Toby Carvery today
    Although not groceries, my food budget includes eating out
    hoping I can come within budget for next Monday
    • fingersxed
    • By fingersxed 22nd Jan 11, 8:42 PM
    • 265 Posts
    • 2,664 Thanks
    Hi All

    Been shopping 2day. Things are improving both me n hubby trying not to buy for the sake of it. Updated sig. going to have to be abit careful next weekend so the we come in on budget. Don't think we'll be under but we shouldn't go over by much

    Hope u all having a gd weekend
  • Missus Aka
    Thanks everyone for your replies......i was thinking because i stock up a lot some months & not others (next month i wont stock up) that i will give myself a yearly stocking up budget of £180 that i can decide to use whenever i want to stock up but reduce my grocery challenge per month from £150 to £135 so i still have the same target overall for the year....what does everyone think please?

    Its just because i have bought 6 months comfort softener, 3 months of bleach, 3 boxes of washing powder, 1 month of tuna, 4 cans of mr muscle oven cleaner, 6 months of shower gel, 6 months of shampoo/hair conditioner, 6 months tea bags dont worry all very very good prices....cant believe 85 wash comfort softener is only £3.10!!!!!! I just would like to even it out better, It will mainly be non food items
    Last edited by Missus Aka; 22-01-2011 at 9:43 PM.
    SPC Member#1096 Target £150 Feb Count £82.18
    Aug Make£5P.DayChal £0/£155
    My August £100 Grocery Challenge £49.90/£100
  • Tropicalmoments
    A couple of unplanned spends this week - £20 diesel into my car which I "borrowed" from dd last week for 2 days and which I discovered had no fuel in it Also succumbed to spending £10 on a takeaway last night. This leaves me with £26 left in my budget for next week - and I've got to buy a weekly train ticket on Tuesday for £19 so it's going to be tight.

    I might have to up my budget next month if I continue to include travel as well as groceries.
    • pepsi-kins
    • By pepsi-kins 22nd Jan 11, 9:56 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 1,984 Thanks
    Hi All,
    I've had to give myself a very stern talking to this week. I've been stocking up on things as i've seen them on offer, which is fine but when I tidied the cupboards in the week, I found 22 tins of beans, 24 tins of tuna and 18 tins of tomatoes seeing as there is only me and DH, thats a tad excessive I think.
    I'm re-jigging the menu plan for the rest of the month, to make use of what I have in, rather than buying more stuff. I'm really fancying the cheese and potato pie, thats been talked about on here, so much this week, i haven't had it for years.
    This weekend i'm busy finishing an essay for my FdA, once that is done I fancy making some jams, marmalade and chutneys, and trying some of the different recipes on here.

    Have a good week everyone x
    2018 G/C £2951.61/£2250
    Vouchers used £553.23
    Extra money £250
    2019 G/C £1784.18
    Vouchers: £143.90
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