Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Sep 10, 11:37 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    Pink.
    October 2010 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 25th Sep 10, 11:37 AM
    October 2010 Grocery Challenge 25th Sep 10 at 11:37 AM
    Hello everyone!

    Welcome to the tenth Grocery Challenge of 2010.

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

    For guidelines 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 and #6 on this thread.


    Wishing you all a great Moneysaving Month!

    Pink
    Last edited by Pink.; 27-09-2010 at 10:32 PM.
Page 40
  • ~moneysavingnovice~
    Spent £57 and that included 50 dishwasher tablets and stuff for a roast on Sunday and a curry for tonight. I'm so pleased with myself!
    Mortgage£148,725 Student loan£13,050 HSBC loan£12,221
    AprGC:£/£320
  • Diflower
    Re the budget, you just need to make sure that everything is allowed for somewhere.
    It doesn't much matter what you call it, but it does matter that you know you have to pay for it. So keeping some kind of record of absolutely everything is a good starting point, then at least you know what (if anything) you have to play with.
    And with any luck, by keeping track, you end up with a little bit more to play with

    • miss empty piggy
    • By miss empty piggy 15th Oct 10, 10:58 PM
    • 646 Posts
    • 6,678 Thanks
    miss empty piggy
    Have just managed to read through yesterday and today's threads (sorry I couldn't manage to get any further back than that.) really good to see how well everyone is doing. It is really inspiring. Spent £18.21 today so only have £32.66 left. Am a little worried but the freezer is full and I need to start cooking some of the food in it!!! Have also filled it with bread as realised that am massively overdrawn with the gas and electric company so bread maker (3 hours of electricity) has been ditched in favour or whoopsied bread (15p for a loaf). I will of course go back to it as we all love the bread it makes but I need to cut back where I can!!! Have a great weekend everyone. x
    DFW Nerd No: 600
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 15th Oct 10, 11:03 PM
    • 16,966 Posts
    • 145,287 Thanks
    JackieO
    I am very pleased with this weeks spending I bought my eggs and half a cucumber which was all I needed, and have only spent £1.34 in the past 6 days Have a little shopping to do in the morning but will not need to use it all.
    Just remembered that I have to buy a small scrubbing brushI have a wilkinsons bath mat that keeps getting black marks on it I don't know where from but I thought if I buy a stiff scrubbing brush for 54p its cheaper than buying a new bathmat for the bath at £3.00.On the list for tomorrow
    Last edited by JackieO; 16-10-2010 at 9:35 AM.
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
  • katholicos
    Had a good look in the cupboards and freezer and pantry and although i will need to buy some groceries still, i thought i would make a 30 day meal plan using up ingredients i mostly already have in...and then i'll choose one of the main meals to cook/make/bake each day. This is a veggie meal plan because i don't buy meat/poultry very often. Maybe it might help someone else too though so for that reason i'm sharing it. Click HERE to view it.
    Grocery Challenge for October: £135/£200


    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
  • Hippeechiq
    I thought I had it all worked out, how often and when £idls had special weekend offers on what meat...tomorrow (according to my notes) I thought (and hoped) that Chicken Thighs were going to be their weekend offer - instead it's 500g LEAN STEAK MINCE for £1.19, which I neither want nor need.

    It's the first time I've been wrong - Gutted

    Well done katholicos - it looks fab and you have some lovely sounding meals there
    Last edited by Hippeechiq; 15-10-2010 at 11:39 PM.
    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
    • jintyb
    • By jintyb 16th Oct 10, 6:55 AM
    • 1,737 Posts
    • 17,928 Thanks
    jintyb
    Spigs
    Thats a really good idea re piggy bank a/cs - this may be a daft question but are they actual banks that you put cash in or do you save on a card or something? I save every week on an Asda card for Christmas, and on a PO budget card for car tax. We seem to have loads of birthdays all between Aug and November and it would be good to have a plan for next year!
    re my budget - I was really helped this month by having Te$co vchrs for £10 off wys £30. I did a list from My supermkt before I wnet shoppingso I knew roughly what the prices were and tried v hard not to deviate from it!


    you will always be rich enough to be generous.
    • boultdj
    • By boultdj 16th Oct 10, 6:58 AM
    • 4,555 Posts
    • 33,569 Thanks
    boultdj
    Spent another $27.51 between SM's and market in town.
    Grocery Challenge Nov £300/£296.65
    G C Dec £300/£132.11
  • rosieben
    Thanks, LannyLee, your spiced apple chutney recipe is now added to my temporary recipe list


    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • kirsty822001
    • By kirsty822001 16th Oct 10, 8:57 AM
    • 400 Posts
    • 2,109 Thanks
    kirsty822001
    Hi all, I am struggling here, I am trying to make sure I find time to come on here and read the thread as It does inspire me and help me stop spiralling out of control with my food buying! I just faced adding up sept receipts and I am so annoyed with myself, I know after hardly working during summer hols when I finally got soem money in sept I went way overboard! The positive is we are still eating the stuff I bought.
    So this month I am planning,baking and back to using my leftovers :-)
    made more spiced apple chutney to use up last of our cooking apples and my toms,had already frozen chillis I grew so used couple them too.
    Parsnips in LIdl were only 39p a bag so made curried parsnip soup yesterday too and parboiled 3 parsnips and chucked in freezer for a future roast dinner.
    Made choc chip (well choc I bought reduced cut into pieces) cookies and twinks yesterday, am going to make slimming world choc chip cookies today as otherwise my weightloss will be an increase! I do want to use some of the baking ingredients I have but dont want to be tempted to scoff any goodies !
    I have a couple leeks in fridge so may chuck some soup in s/c today and add some pulses into it tomorrow once I have soaked them.

    Kids an hubby all busy with football and friends today so I am listing toys/games on ebay to prevent me from going shopping !!!
    Good luck to all
    Life happens when you are busy making other plans

    Sealed Pot Member #1149 (£340 saved 2011)
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 16th Oct 10, 9:15 AM
    • 3,464 Posts
    • 35,374 Thanks
    XSpender
    Morning All

    More spending to add to the total which means I am now over budget. £10.26 in Mr T on wine and the 3 for 1 sauces (I actually got charged less than the price of 1 so more £ saved), £4.19 on bottle teats, £16.30 on a takeaway as DH lost another 2lbs at W/Watchers, £20.98 on filters for the extractor fan and a feather duster and £20.01 on diesel. Oops nearly forgot, lunch with Mum £5.90.

    Total spent this week £77.64 which takes me to £302.89 against a budget of £240 and 10 days left. As mentioned previously I think my budget is unrealistic rather than my spending out of control. I will have a much better idea for the budget figure next month.

    I will be visiting the farmers market today if the weather improves and will also need to go to Mr M for fruit, bread, sweet and sour sauce, prawn crackers, SR flour milk and malt vinegar. We are having a ‘theme’ night each Saturday while watching X factor and tonight’s is Chinese. Last week it was Mexican. So far we have plans for Greek, Italian, American, Indian and Spanish nights but need more ideas. I cannot think what to cook for a French night; it doesn’t help that I am veggie and that DH is not and he likes very hot and spicy and I am a wimp.

    Will also need to visit C0stco at some point as they have 2 GIGA boxes of nappies with £14 off so I will stock up as DS is just about to move up to a size 4.

    LannyLee I will be making your chutney recipe this weekend as I have all the ingredients in, except the vinegar, and a glut of onions as I get them in my veg box every week. I am a bit short on cooking apples but will stick in a couple of granny smiths that are past their best and hope it turns out ok. Thanks for the recipe.
    A bit off topic but I am getting a new kitchen in 2 weeks’ time! You would think I had won the lottery I am that excited, probably because I spend so long in there and the existing one is the original one the builders put in when the house was built 15 years ago.
    • JulieGeorgiana
    • By JulieGeorgiana 16th Oct 10, 9:21 AM
    • 2,467 Posts
    • 12,987 Thanks
    JulieGeorgiana
    Well I have £2.43 left this month... I have worked out I only need Banana's in two weeks (50p) and Carrots for the Rabbits the next two weeks (£1 a week) so I am on track for a £0.07 overspend!!!! That's £0.02 less then last months overspend!!

    I cannot believe that by having 1 budget a month instead of a weekly amount could do so much... I can now buy things I NEED when I need them and just adjust as I go through the month... while before I spent it, went over that week and just had the same budget again the next week!!!

    Oh and I always meal planned... but now I do a month at a time it means 1 larger shop and smaller shops thoughout the month!!!

    Makes me much less tired! I find I enjoy shopping when it's just 1 or 2 bags worth!!
    We spend money we don't have, on things that we don't need, to impress people we don't like. I don't and I'm happy!

    Mortgage Free Wannabe
    Overpayments Made: £5400 - Interest Saved: £11,550 - Months Saved: 24
  • rosieben
    ...
    Makes me much less tired! I find I enjoy shopping when it's just 1 or 2 bags worth!!
    Originally posted by JulieGeorgiana
    I agree, I love my online shopping! I quite enjoy a little mooch around a shop when I only have to get a couple of things, I used to HATE that weekly scrum

    forgot to say I had 2 online shops (MrT and MrS) yesterday, normal shop plus a little more winter store cupboard stock plus stocking up on toiletries and laundry supplies, including soda crystals ..... I thought I was doing so well but I forgot stardrops!
    Last edited by rosieben; 16-10-2010 at 9:33 AM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • JulieGeorgiana
    • By JulieGeorgiana 16th Oct 10, 9:34 AM
    • 2,467 Posts
    • 12,987 Thanks
    JulieGeorgiana
    anyone know how to cook brisket so that it can be used as a roast meat and not a stew? thanks
    Originally posted by mrsbowie
    I cook mine in the slow cooker covered in beef stock, redwine, carroway seeds (this brings out the nutty flavour), worcestershire sauce, paprika and seasoning.

    When it's cooked I take it out and slice it like I would a roast beef!

    You can thicken the 'stock' to use as gravy (leftover can be frozen as icecubes and used as stock)!!

    My family love it over a traditional roast anyday of the week!
    We spend money we don't have, on things that we don't need, to impress people we don't like. I don't and I'm happy!

    Mortgage Free Wannabe
    Overpayments Made: £5400 - Interest Saved: £11,550 - Months Saved: 24
    • JackieO
    • By JackieO 16th Oct 10, 9:49 AM
    • 16,966 Posts
    • 145,287 Thanks
    JackieO
    I too love brisket and cook it overnight in the SC in fact I have my friend coming to dinner next Tuesday and that's just reminded me that I have some brisket in the freezer.Its delicious to eat and I 'rest' it after I have taken it out of my SC so it slices beautifully.Seems not to shink as much as ordinary joints, and the flavour is to die for.served with mash, swede and carrots I think it will make a nice dinner with a bit left over that I will use for something else mid week.
    Quot Libros,Quam Breve Tempus.
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 16th Oct 10, 11:47 AM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Spiggle
    Spigs
    Thats a really good idea re piggy bank a/cs - this may be a daft question but are they actual banks that you put cash in or do you save on a card or something? I save every week on an Asda card for Christmas, and on a PO budget card for car tax. We seem to have loads of birthdays all between Aug and November and it would be good to have a plan for next year!
    Originally posted by jintyb
    Hi jintyb,

    You can do piggybanking anyway you like really, physical piggy banks or bank/building society accounts. The way I do ours is using my IF account. I'm NOT recommending them as you can get slightly better interest rates with other providers. But for me the fact that within the account I can set up named 'jars' is really useful. So I have a Golden Virginia jar (we are smokers), a Car maintenance, Car Insurance, Car tax, Building & Contents Insurance jar, a birthdays jar, a Christmas jar, a clothes jar and an entertainment jar. Each has a a budgetted amount allocated to it per month which is transferred by direct debit. The first ones I set up months ago but the last ones are relatively new. So when the tax, insurance etc comes up in April next year I will have all the money ready and waiting. When I need to spend anything on these items I just transfer by BACS from the relevant jar to my bank account and voila my money is balanced. (I think there is a piggybanking thread somewhere on the money section of the forum.)

    I cannot believe that by having 1 budget a month instead of a weekly amount could do so much... I can now buy things I NEED when I need them and just adjust as I go through the month... while before I spent it, went over that week and just had the same budget again the next week!!!
    ... Makes me much less tired! I find I enjoy shopping when it's just 1 or 2 bags worth!!
    Originally posted by JulieGeorgiana
    JulieGeorgiana it's amazing isn't it? My constant mantra is do I need it or just want it. If it's the latter I try to put it back on the shelf. (Successful 90% of the time ). Can't say I ever enjoy shopping though!

    .. I used to HATE that weekly scrum
    Originally posted by rosieben
    I sooooo agree with you rosieben.

    To all who have been discussing it, brisket is the finest tasting beef you can buy provided you cook it right. And without doubt it's the best value.

    I'll need to update my siggy later as OH bought a few bits yesterday but I haven't put them on the spreadsheet yet. DD needs to do some printing though so I'll see you in a while.

    All the best,
    Spigs
    Mortgage Free October 2013
    • Chloris
    • By Chloris 16th Oct 10, 11:57 AM
    • 659 Posts
    • 9,479 Thanks
    Chloris
    Thanks Spigs for the info about chickens, I think I will try the covered market in town. We used to get the free range ones from a farm shop but it was costing about £14+. I can stretch a chicken but I didn't like paying that much .

    NSD yesterday and fingers crossed today.

    Regarding budgeting, I often wish that people would provide info in their signature eg how many people, food, toiltries, cleaning, alcohol etc. It isn't a competition but it would inspire me! For the record we are a house of 2 adults and 3 children, my GC includes all food including takeaways, cleaning and all toiltries. It doesn't include alcohol, that almost falls into guilt-free money and that is a capped budget. I put by money each month for gifts/christmas, clothes (you know the children will need shoes the month you have no cash!) and household emergencies. I transfer the money into a separate bank account and tap it when I need it. It has worked out nicely. Instead of stressing about a present heavy month I can enjoy buying a gift and thinking about the person instead of the bill. And no more grumpy mother in the shoe shop when we need to buy shoes! We have very little money and precious little luxuries but I feel I am living honestly.
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 16th Oct 10, 12:30 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Spiggle
    Thanks Spigs for the info about chickens, I think I will try the covered market in town. We used to get the free range ones from a farm shop but it was costing about £14+. I can stretch a chicken but I didn't like paying that much .

    NSD yesterday and fingers crossed today.

    Regarding budgeting, I often wish that people would provide info in their signature eg how many people, food, toiltries, cleaning, alcohol etc. It isn't a competition but it would inspire me! For the record we are a house of 2 adults and 3 children, my GC includes all food including takeaways, cleaning and all toiltries. It doesn't include alcohol, that almost falls into guilt-free money and that is a capped budget. I put by money each month for gifts/christmas, clothes (you know the children will need shoes the month you have no cash!) and household emergencies. I transfer the money into a separate bank account and tap it when I need it. It has worked out nicely. Instead of stressing about a present heavy month I can enjoy buying a gift and thinking about the person instead of the bill. And no more grumpy mother in the shoe shop when we need to buy shoes! We have very little money and precious little luxuries but I feel I am living honestly.
    Originally posted by Chloris
    Dear me Chloris,

    We never pay that much for a chicken!!! I think the most I've paid is about £8 but that was a huge bird.

    Totally agree about budgetting. It doesn't leave much for luxuries but does keep us honest. Oh, by the way there is only me, OH and two beautiful big black cats in our home. Our beautiful GD1 stays with us once a week. DD has her own home which she shares with her partner and GDs 1 & 2.

    Before we started the GC in March we were spending £600+ per month which didn't even provide proper meals. So our budget @ £240 is probably a little high for just the two of us but it is such an improvement on the start of the year, I'm happy with it for the moment. And in reality by bringing the kittens' special diet into the equation I have reduced 'our' (i.e. human) budget by £32 per month.

    I noticed that some of you include petrol/diesel in your spends. We don't include it in the GC but it is budgetted for separately at £120 per month though we don't normally spend that much.

    If anyone is interested and hasn't visited/used it, there is a fantastic annual budget planner on this site here. I did a mini makeover early in the year and then when on leave in August did a really thorough one which has really helped.

    Hope that helps,
    Spigs
    Mortgage Free October 2013
    • purplevamp
    • By purplevamp 16th Oct 10, 1:15 PM
    • 8,497 Posts
    • 404,263 Thanks
    purplevamp
    I'm waaayyyy behind with posting this week.

    I spent £56.23 in Mr S last week. DH is off there now to get this weeks. I'll update later. I did spend a few £s in A!di and Te$co this week, so will add those when I find my receipts. I'm so disorganised these days.
    Mortgage: Was: £154,495 Oct 2039
    Now: £119,730.28 Dec 2037

    Swagbucks ~ £340 (2018 ~ £350)
    Surveys ~ £262.95 (2018 ~ £287.85)
    PTC, etc ~ $164.25 ~ (2018 ~ $287.34)

    “I Love You" "I Know"
    • Chloris
    • By Chloris 16th Oct 10, 1:17 PM
    • 659 Posts
    • 9,479 Thanks
    Chloris
    Before the GC I was budgeting £100 per week and going over it by the odd tenner and then more if I was hosting a family party. I have for years cooked from scratch and kind of batch cooked. I was raised by a very health and food conscious mother and my main expense has always been fruit and veg. Its an aesthetic thing. I don't buy flowers to brighten the house but fruit and pumpkins! They look so pretty. I would take pride in the amount of fresh produce in my trolley. We also run an 'open access' to the fruit bowl in this house. I have a very fussy eating DS1 who will only eat veg in a soup or smooth sauce so I let him eat any fruit. Hence the big shopping bills. I'm re-writing the rules at present. We still have the fruit but trying to be clever. My NSD help me not buy fruit and veg to dispell the gloomy days!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,215Posts Today

6,652Users online

Martin's Twitter