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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 105
    • pipersky
    • By pipersky 23rd Jan 11, 3:20 PM
    • 949 Posts
    • 15,015 Thanks
    So today, have made my mum's Spiced Marmalade cake ...soooo easy!..and each time, it comes out so well (except the sultanas always sink to the bottom). I think the recipe may have originally come from a Yorkshire WI recipe book, but not sure. As a result, I use the old-style 'big' tablespoon measure IYSWIM.
    Originally posted by Jolaaled
    OMG that looks DIVINE! Gonna make it next week nom nom nom!

    By the way, i'm thinking of buying an easiyo yoghurt maker as we love natural yoghurt...has anyone got one?
    Originally posted by kippers
    I have one Don't use the easi-yo sachets (as they are expensive but SUPER yummy!) but make my own with UHT milk, started yoghurt and milk powder... mmmmmmmm

    Spends today of £6.99 in MrM. Fruit, fromage frais (for the littlies) and a few other bits... Just under £25 for 8 days! Yikes!
    Part time GCer, NSDer, Comper and (Bad)Flylady

    A big shot is just a little shot that kept shooting ...
    • buddiebabe
    • By buddiebabe 23rd Jan 11, 3:39 PM
    • 1,407 Posts
    • 3,667 Thanks
    Well i have spent £3.00 today on milk, a pack of mini kievs and 2 bottles of diet irn bru.

    So only £26.70 left until the 31st January... its still possible... its actually amazing how much stuff i don't really need!

    I didn't get bread as there was none i really liked in the shop so i have came home and the bread maker is now on... there is a funny burning smell coming from it so not sure if its still working ok or if its just cause its not been used in a while... will wait and see what happens when its finished.

    The mince and beef olives that i had left out in the fridge haven't defrosted properly yet so i've now taken them out the packaging and have them in casserole dishes to see if that will help... really looking forward to the beef olives for dinner so fingers crossed that by 7 they will be ok to cook.

    Going to check and update my food list

    Buddiebabe x
    DEBT OUTSTANDING 23.04.17 £16802.97
  • prettypaula
    how many of you get a veg box delivery or have tried it?

    i get a seasonal veg box which has 8 items every fortnight, it costs me £12.95 and there are two of us.

    i honestly get so much in there its brilliant and it tastes amazing, you can tell such difference in organic stuff
    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

  • martafdz
    We had to have our 'shared drain' cleared twice last year. The cause 'FAT'. But not ours.I let him rant on for about half an hour, then held up my hand and said stop right there, "I DONT put ANY fat down the drain", I showed him the bowl of FAT I'd collected from our food since last Sunday. All 1.4 kilos of it, all from supermarket meat.[...]
    Originally posted by Mothership
    Mothership, wow, that is a lot! I put boiling water down the sink every now and then just to avoid that, a few months in winter my sink got completely block after draining down there the fat from some burgers... Now I know, I drain it in a newspaper and throw it. But I have to admit I do like fatty meats like bacon, cracklin from pork and so on... I know, I know, not good at all!

    Jolaaled, that cake looks so tasty!!
    scotsaver, I read you make bread. I have asked around in the bread threads but still no answer. My bread just does not cook properly, do you think it could be because I used plain flour, because I need to knead it more or because my oven is a fan assisted combi oven and cooks the outside but not the inside? I tried first to do bread and then pizza, both great disasters, grey and undercooked dough inside, all thick, dense and not fluffy. I tried cooking it for longer but still not result! I want to be a domestic goddess!!! LOL

    I went to HB today and bought some bedsheets for £15 both, also the yummy amazing Chocolate Sugar Puffs that I cannot find anywhere else, for 99p. Then I went to TKMaxx to get a refund in teh £17 bedsheets I bought yesterday. So good result!!!
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • lotti379
    • By lotti379 23rd Jan 11, 3:56 PM
    • 787 Posts
    • 6,181 Thanks
    Another spendy spend... £4.32 for a small beef roasting joint from M&S.. Extravagant I know, and more so since they have their 3 for £10 deal on meat (and it would be included) but we:
    a) don't need any more meat this week
    b) don't have any more money left
    c) only have an icebox, not a proper freezer, so I wouldn't like to chance meat in there, even for a week or so!
    d) there are only two of us, so the little joints do a good meal and a manageable amount of leftovers - I love using up my leftovers but I hate having to "eat up" the leftover roast all week!

    Anyway, this takes us over budget, at £202.24/£200. Ho hum! Good thing Feb is a shorter month eh?
    “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”

    NSD Challenge: August 2017 2/15
  • martafdz
    prettypaula, I thought about buying those vegetables or fruit boxes several times, are they really that good? I have received a leaflet from a local one and their medium box is £12.50 with 8 types od veg. They also have fish, meat, eggs, milk and bread. They have an offer now where you can get the 4th box free with a code if you put it now with the order. The delivery is 99p. Is this good value? The box has usually potatoes, carrots and lettuce as basics. Then also some other vegetables. Not sure if for me it would be better the fruit one. I have to admit I have always a few bags of frozen vegetables and I go with those. Friut box is £10.50 for 5 or £6.50 for 3. Mixed veg and fruit look good though, £16.75 for 7 vegetables and 3 fruits, and £11.50 for 4 veg and 3 fruits. I am just afraid of just having the box there and having to throw them away in a few days. I asume that these veg and fruit last longer than those from the supermarket, since they are naturally grown and they also ripe naturally... is this true? What are your experiences with these boxes?
    Last edited by martafdz; 23-01-2011 at 4:16 PM.
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • jovi20
    • By jovi20 23rd Jan 11, 4:08 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 862 Thanks
    Had NSD on saturday and today, helps that our village has no shop and I didn't go to town. Will have to go to local store with post-office, tomorrow to post parcel,( made my first sale £20-00 on eb*y, which will help for the purchases I have already made this month), but don't really need anything, except bottle of cough syrup, thanks to hubby passing on his man-flu! so will try and be strong willed and not buy any treats!
    2015 TARGETS

    Weight loss 12.5/112lb 18th feb -4.5lb, 25th feb -2.5lb, 4th mar -2.5, 11th Mar -3,

    Savings £100 per month £300 /£1200
    • Sue14
    • By Sue14 23rd Jan 11, 4:24 PM
    • 899 Posts
    • 10,894 Thanks
    I was very restrained yesterday, and only spent £9 between £land and I*eland. I was intending to go to A1di on Tuesday, to get bread and cereal, but I think I will try to make do until the end of the month as I can always make some bread if necessary, and we do have lots of cereal to use up. Will need more milk before the end of the month, and possibly some other bits, so I want to keep away from spending as much as I can so we don't go over budget.

    I am lucky in that I don't work near any shops, apart from a convenience store, a chemist and a newsagents, all of which I would only use if desperate as they're more expensive than shopping elsewhere, so I have to make an effort to go shopping and therefore have more NSD's than spend days, but of course if I do need to go shopping I am very likely to be tempted to spend more than I need to.
    Weight loss challenge 3/10lbs
    Total weight loss 21lbs

  • helen jelly
    Oh no - let DH out on his own this morning and he spent £24 - I ask ya - what am I gonna do wif him hehe

    Off to do my siggy now

    Helen x
    Projects made for craft fair - 40
    1st fair on 13/4/14
  • scotsaver
    scotsaver, I read you make bread. I have asked around in the bread threads but still no answer. My bread just does not cook properly, do you think it could be because I used plain flour, because I need to knead it more or because my oven is a fan assisted combi oven and cooks the outside but not the inside? I tried first to do bread and then pizza, both great disasters, grey and undercooked dough inside, all thick, dense and not fluffy. I tried cooking it for longer but still not result! I want to be a domestic goddess!!! LOL
    Originally posted by martafdz
    martafdz - I've always used a Breadmaker to make my bread/rolls/pizza dough etc but for the first time I made a loaf by hand a couple of weeks ago - I always use Strong bread flour and if making it by hand I know you have to Knead until your arms feel like they are going to drop off! Knead for at least 10 mins - it's perfect for de-stressing! It's also very important to leave the dough to prove and then knock back - I'm no expert so maybe some others on here will be able to give you some more help.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

  • martafdz

    I think the problem with the bread was that I did not knead enough and I might have let it rise too warm (it was near the oven), since I read that it could not be cold. I need to try again.

    The pizza, however, is still a mystery. I followed the Lazy pizza/scone dough recipe I found here, and it says it just goes straight into the oven, with no resting after kneading. Everybody said that it was a no brainer and dead easy, but it was still undercooked for me! I wonder whether I also have to knead that one for over 5 min (I think I did it for 3 or so) and whether my oven should have been even warmer (it was at 220C fan assisted). I hate my oven I just don't understand how it works!! I used to have a normal one and since we have this one I just overcook or undercook stuff. The fan seems to cook the outside really quick but then the inside is still not cooked

    I will keep trying, I need to find strong flour next time. I have a self raising plain flour now.

    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
  • rosieben
    Jolaaled, your spiced marmalade cake looks gorgeous! I've added the recipe to the index
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • Jolaaled
    • By Jolaaled 23rd Jan 11, 5:46 PM
    • 1,038 Posts
    • 2,504 Thanks
    Jolaaled, your spiced marmalade cake looks gorgeous! I've added the recipe to the index
    Originally posted by rosieben
    Thanks! ..It is a gorgeous recipe and pretty much fool-proof. Wish I could take the credit for inventing it, but I think it came from a 1960's Yorkshire WI book.
    • Sunflower1227
    • By Sunflower1227 23rd Jan 11, 5:56 PM
    • 1,680 Posts
    • 22,390 Thanks
    Hi everyone

    Hope you are all ok?

    Yesterday was the last day of my month came £5.35 under budget

    I am going to declare £294.65

    I would like to say a big THANKYOU to everyone on this thread for all the advice/help and encouagment you give to each other, and also to everyone that looks after the thread
    I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.

    Weight loss 3 stone
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 23rd Jan 11, 6:18 PM
    • 2,300 Posts
    • 8,084 Thanks
    No spend day today. I have been dog walking, chatting on the phone, and de cluttering. Another plate of veg for my dinner, getting towards the end of the veg now which I bought nearly a week ago for a much reduced price at Tes&co. I will do a few meals from my store cupboard and freezer for the next few days, as I'm trying to stretch my weekly shop to 9 or 10 days. My aim is to spend as little as possible, but still eat well.
    I love skip diving.
    • groatie queen
    • By groatie queen 23rd Jan 11, 6:41 PM
    • 903 Posts
    • 6,911 Thanks
    groatie queen
    Jack Frost saved me from a top-up spend yesterday evening. I fancied a wee pot of rasps in jelly from the M&S Food shop - 99p, but could not for the life of me get the car doors to unlock.

    Saved by the weather - I didn't leave the house and had a banana instead!

    (Next shop I will buy rasp jelly and I have rasps in the freezer - and have old yog pots = problem solved)


    If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don't hoard it. Don't dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke.

    -- Brendan Francis

    • mrs-moneypenny
    • By mrs-moneypenny 23rd Jan 11, 6:43 PM
    • 15,518 Posts
    • 198,189 Thanks
    updated sig after going to mrM on saturday
    been busy today baps made for pack ups and made two lots of muffins (jam and marzipan)
    dinner was mushroom puff pasty tart things with jacket pots and brocolli.
    SPC~12 ot 124

    In a world that has decided that it's going to lose its mind, be more kind my friend, try to Be More Kind
    • catslovelycats
    • By catslovelycats 23rd Jan 11, 6:53 PM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 11,207 Thanks
    Jack Frost saved me from a top-up spend yesterday evening.

    Originally posted by groatie queen
    I thought you meant that you'd chosen to stay in to watch an episode of 'Touch of Frost' instead of shopping
  • bertiebots
    I need to add the gc to my sig and in the meantime want to just update that I am well under budget this month
    Having had to clear my kitchen out in readyness for its revamp this week I have realised that not only had I fallen of the o/s food shopping wagon I could no longer even see the flippin thing (6 tins of tuna!?)...
    I have enough tinned food to keep me going for about 3 weeks not to mention the food in my freezer (why do I have 3 bags of potato wedges?).

    I am now the very proud owner of a new fully working cooker (and a working hot tap whoohooo) so can get back to baking..ooh hobnobs.. just need to get some flour.

    I have spent £115 out of a budget of £200 and have one last shop to do this month that should be no more than £30 to £40 and thats including the pet food.
    Happy days
    • happycrafter
    • By happycrafter 23rd Jan 11, 7:15 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 4,543 Thanks
    Hi everyone hope you all had a great weekend, been a busy one for me.

    started Friday night with a girls night in all nibbles made by me, made a cheese and onion braid and went down a storm. Just going to make another batch of the dough to use with the left over beef short ribs from todays lunch to make pasties for lunch tomorrow.

    had a few left overs from friday night which would have just been put in the bin so today from the left overs i made:

    sticky toffee pudding (left over dates)
    rocky road flapjacks (left over marshmallows)
    left over crisps will be eaten tonight with a dvd with left over HM hummous and dips.

    ate the leftover olives, polenta with tomato topping yesterday for lunch and OH had left over chicken kebabs last night.
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