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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 24th Feb 11, 9:52 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    March 2011 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 24th Feb 11, 9:52 AM
    March 2011 Grocery Challenge 24th Feb 11 at 9:52 AM
    Hi everyone,

    Welcome to the third Grocery Challenge of 2011, it's almost spring so hopefully this will be a new beginning for all of us.

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your February budget, then keep on posting in the February 2011 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, #7 and #8 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Last edited by Pink.; 27-02-2011 at 11:01 PM.
Page 44
  • failinghappily
    Hi all
    Just checking in with my spending so far. Extra people keep turning up for meals so struggling to stay on track(due to having grown up children still living at home and bringing home their hungry friends). Saturdays tea was supposed to be for 3 and ended up feeding 8! Last week more of the same with parents coming to stay as well, so two nights with 8 people and the other nights had 6 to feed instead of the budgeted for 4 people.
    So I'm up to 112 of my 200 budget for March
    I'm enjoying this though, it makes shopping much more fun!
  • cat_smith
    failinghappily know what you mean. It's becoming a serious personal challenge. Wanting to hold off shopping trip until tomorrow. DH complained this morning that all he had left was salami or the dogs ham. Sorry - just because I feed the dog ham as a treat does not mean its not fit for human consumption!

    To save petrol, DH going to Mr T on way home tonight for fruit, cheese and OJ. Might have to go tomorrow if PIL come for dinner, but other than that should be good for a couple of days.
    GC Mar 13 47.36/150
    • kezlou
    • By kezlou 14th Mar 11, 1:47 PM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 43,067 Thanks
    Hope your all well. We ended up going shopping again, ran out of cat food, litter etc. Swear they cost more than us !

    Anyways here's a new recipe, just thought i'd post it here to share.

    Nonya Laksa

    1 1/2 tbsp veg oil
    2 tbsp chopped garlic
    1 tbsp chopped ginger
    2 fresh red chillies chopped (the seeds go in the pot too)
    225g onion finely sliced (i did about 3 small ones)
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1/2 tsp ground turmeric
    1 3/4 or 2 pints of veg or chicken stock (i used chicken)
    1 pack of rice noodles (think its about 300g, not sure though)
    400ml coconut milk (same as one tin)
    2 tsp madras curry powder (i used the extra hot one)
    2 tsps of chilli sauce
    a dash of soy sauce (optional)
    1 tsp sugar
    2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper

    Heat oil till hot , reduce heat and add chilli, onion, garlic and ginger and a few minutes softened. Add coriander and tumeric, stir then add stock . Simmer , covered for about 20 minutes ish.
    While this is doing cook the rice noodles, drain and set aside.
    Add coconut milk, rice noodles, spices, chilli etc to the simmering stock and cook for about 15 mins.
    then serve.

    I cooked the above with fish and it was lush, i just added the fish at the same time as the coconut milk. Its quite a sweet dish and quite mild. The boys loved it and polished the whole pan off.
    If you wish to add other meat and poultry , you need just to add a bit more stock and cook a little longer.

    • Billie-jo
    • By Billie-jo 14th Mar 11, 1:54 PM
    • 1,221 Posts
    • 15,892 Thanks
    On Saturday DH went and got the shopping as I was busy baking and he spent 6.24 then on Sunday on the way to pick mum up we got milk and 2 bottles of flavoured water so spent 7.30

    NSD today. For tea we are having jkt potatoes and some beef stew that was left from yesterday.

    Someone mentioned the t.bags on offer from Te$co, must have missed them so can anyone tell me what they are and will look when next go.

    Hope everyone is well and doing ok with their challenge this month.

    B.J. x
    [COLOR="Purple"][B] MARCH 62.38/250 [B][COLOR="Purple"]
  • rosieben
    Anyways here's a new recipe, just thought i'd post it here to share.

    Nonya Laksa
    Originally posted by kezlou
    Great recipe! its in the index now
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • mummyjane
    • By mummyjane 14th Mar 11, 3:24 PM
    • 381 Posts
    • 3,684 Thanks
    A NSD for me today, I have a Mr T's shop booked for tommorrow night, toying with the idea of cancelling it. The problem is I know I could get the bits I need this week from the local shop but they would cost 4 times the price of the value range from Mr T's. Might just have to try and wittle it down a bit. Whilst clearing out my paperwork pile I found an old clubcard voucher which just about covers the delivery fee and that just makes it even more tempting.
    Last edited by mummyjane; 14-03-2011 at 3:27 PM.
    Groceries Challenge 2019
    Jan 462.44/400
    Feb 210.10/450, 2/10 NSDs
    • By 14th Mar 11, 4:28 PM
    • 151 Posts
    • 1,452 Thanks
    Just updating for this week:

    Tonight Mr T's shop being delivered currently 24.48 (used 18 vouchers)
    BnM 4.95 on crisps and toothpaste
    Wednesday the veggie box is coming again so thats another 18.74 but this weeks comes with a free box of 6 organic free range eggs!

    Will update sig with these amounts and amend if Mr T have one of their *moments*!!

    Tried the Mr T price checker with last weeks shop but no luck for me but TBH I didn't know they were doing it so anything back would have just been a bonus for me
    Aiming to be debt free and saving money for once in my life!!
    • sistercas
    • By sistercas 14th Mar 11, 5:16 PM
    • 4,841 Posts
    • 58,664 Thanks
    spent 9.56 in T3sco


    wash powder 1.80
    6 easter eggs @1 each 6
    2 creme eggs 0.80
    mixed fruit jam 0.29
    basic pasta 0.18
    3 onions 0.39

    the easter eggs were extra but thought i wouldnt get a better deal so picked them up
    creme eggs are for the DD's

    i have loads of washpowder but DD1 is getting a rash so i am changing the powder in case its that

    will add to my sig in a mo
    • debtfreewannabe321
    • By debtfreewannabe321 14th Mar 11, 5:24 PM
    • 6,623 Posts
    • 22,333 Thanks
    well got another weekly shop and was 60.15 i didn't have much to show for it !! I think Mr S is definately more expensive than Mr T!!! I stuck to my list too so really not too impressed! This takes my monthly spend so far up to 213.57/250 and there is NO way in h*ll that i will make it in under budget this month as we still have 2 weeks left on our month to go oh dear! will just have to try and limit spends and not completely go overboard now that i know i have failed!!! Perhaps i should set myself another budget so that i still 'try' if you know what i mean. i think once i know i have failed i will just think s*d it and buy everything and anything! so i think i'm going to up it to 300 which if i had worked it out properly i should have done in the first place seein as though it's a 5 week month for us?!
    2015 Goals:-#1 419.26/1000 ( #1) 41.93% , #2- 14,010.70/15,000 (new house) 93.4% #3 395.07/1000 (Rental house fund target #1) 39.5% .
    Aim High!
    Debt-Free in 2013. Saving for a better future
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 14th Mar 11, 5:26 PM
    • 4,328 Posts
    • 29,793 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi...i have been buying easter eggs as iv been shopping...saves a rush at the end iykwim...i went to aldi today and got some of the super 6 39p this planning to get a few bags of the onions over the next couple of weeks as they seem cheap,,,also got some chicken which seemed warming to aldi it seems quite reasonable and has some good offers...oh wanders off and has a look at the non food offers which stops him moanig have we finished yet ?

    im going to make some battered fish tomorrow i got some haddock from sainsburys reduced so hopefully that will be nice

    have a nice evening
    onwards and upwards
  • MumOf2Beasties
    Evening everyoneanother NSD for me, that's three in a row now, feeling quite pleased with myself.
    And i'm over the moon that my missing moggy has come homehe's been gone a while and came home wearing a new collar and still as porky as ever so he's been well looked after, though i'm very annoyed someone else took him inand worried about his tum as he needs cat food for sensitive tums and there's no way the other person could have known this!!Vets for another check me thinks!!

    Anyway, i have spent 6.70 on tags for both cats (again!) with name, phone number and 'please do not feed me'. But i'm not including this in my GC budget.

    Had our lazy dinner night tonight, chips, fish fingers and spaghetti. Or we'll have just pasta with some sauce and garlic bread, so i don't feel like i'm cooking all the time!!

    Gosh that's a bit of a ramble lol keep up the penny pinching
    1 adult, 3 children-Newborn and ages 4 & 6, 1 rabbit
    budget of 250 is for food, toiletries, nappies, wipes, cleaning/washing products and pet supplies (litter, sawdust, food)
  • M0neysav3r
    Oh dear just needed a few things today before I do my main weekly shop tomorrow and still spent 12.28
    Not very good when there's another 2 weeks before the end of the month with a limited budget left

    Just off to update my shopping list - How many tins of beans for beans on toast lunches and dinners for two weeks

    On a positive I made those Jam thumb things today AND some rock cakes so my boys are very pleased - DS(3) ate his and said 'Mmm they're great thanks mum'
    No Debts (Other than HUGE mortgage! )
    Generally trying to cut back where possible
    GC - March 143.82 / 200 Feb 156.03 / 150 Oops! Jan 180.78/200
    • burge23
    • By burge23 14th Mar 11, 6:42 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 504 Thanks
    Well my aim for an NSD went out the window today. DS has been off school following yesterdays tummy bug and DH was off with him. DH then called to ask me to get some cakes to take to work tomorrow as a thanks for the department covering for him. Can't really argue with especially as he was dealing with a fairly pathetic wee man today. Managed to stick to 3 at Al*i . Tomorrow should be better but petrol light on on the car so we'll see!
  • cat_smith
    Lasagne for dinner tonight. Added some roasted peppers. Delicious! 3 portions left from 1lb mince
    Sausage Casserole tomorrow night. Tried the simmer for 15mins prep. Yuck. Even with DR sausages.
    GC Mar 13 47.36/150
    • CupOfChai
    • By CupOfChai 14th Mar 11, 7:16 PM
    • 1,319 Posts
    • 7,295 Thanks
    Hi everyone, hope you're all well! Just popping on to record my spends again. I spent 14.49 on my main shop, then on Saturday realised I didn't have enough tinned tomatoes for the dahl I wanted to make. So I nipped back in and spent 3.29 on those and a couple of other bits.

    Hoping I will be able to make it in well under budget this month, I have to save for my holidays in April!
  • Hippeechiq
    5.97 spent today - new total 89.19
    Aug11 193.29/240

    Oct10 266.72 /275 Nov10 276.71/275 Dec10 311.33 / 275 Jan11 242.25/ 250 Feb11 243.14/ 250 Mar11 221.99/ 230
    Apr11 237.39 /240 May11 237.71/240 Jun11 244.03/ 240 July11 244.89/ 240
    Xmas 2011 Fund 220
    • Sunflower1227
    • By Sunflower1227 14th Mar 11, 7:50 PM
    • 1,680 Posts
    • 22,390 Thanks
    Hi everyone

    ((hugs)) to everyone that needs one

    Back to it today after a week off work, a NSD for me today

    Left over roast chicken from sunday roast made into curry for tea tonite and bangers and mash for tea tomorrow, so looking at another NSD.

    Watching Hairy Bikers, love them.

    Signature up to date so about 30 left for 8 days, should be do able, only need fresh fruit and veg.
    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
    • Sue14
    • By Sue14 14th Mar 11, 8:30 PM
    • 899 Posts
    • 10,894 Thanks
    Spends since last update:-

    Mr S 1.50, A!di 28.78, Mr T 1.11, Wilkinson 2.88 and Mr A 27.13. Not doing too well considering there's still over half the month left, and I've used more than half the budget, lol!
    Weight loss challenge 3/10lbs
    Total weight loss 21lbs

    • nat21luv
    • By nat21luv 14th Mar 11, 8:40 PM
    • 3,365 Posts
    • 27,398 Thanks
    Bought that Banrock wine today, really nice!It'll be even nicer when i get my tesco voucher back for it!
    12k in 2019 #=
    30k by Jan 2020= % 10 a day = 366.23 / 500

  • elfen
    Stupid question time:
    Does anyone know a cheap, gluten and lactose free vinegarette/dressing I can use on salad that's not got a lot of calories in it but can jazz up salads? Due to my intolerances my healthy eating is mainly salads and veg and it's really boring on it's own!
    ** Total debt: 6950.82 May NSDs 1/10 **
    ** Fat Bum Shrinking: -7/56lbs **
    **SPC 2012 #1498 -152 and 1499 ***
    I do it all because I'm scared.
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