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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 81
    • catslovelycats
    • By catslovelycats 15th Jan 11, 7:52 PM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 11,207 Thanks
    keep going lolly
    you'll get there
    and it means next month should be easier with a bit of stock in tow!
    • PennyGrabber
    • By PennyGrabber 15th Jan 11, 8:01 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 22,438 Thanks
    Evening all.

    NSD for me today as planned (woop woop!). Quite impressed, as before when I've planned a NSD I go and wreck it! I did go to tesco, however, but didn't buy any bits from downstairs. I went straight upstairs to the clothes, got what I went for and nothing else, paid and then left. It felt really weird. Reason for going in the first place was that I needed some of those hold-you-in-and-smooth-you-out pants. Going to a RAF mess function in 2 weeks, and girls have to wear cocktail dresses or ball gowns. [The last time I wore a dress was in 2001 when I got married!!] Anyway, the reason I'm telling you all this is because the dress cost £150 - OH paid for it, but it struck me as he was typing his PIN, that that is my budget for a whole month's food, blown on 1 dress!! A very nice dress (and I don't like dresses!), but still, just a dress!


    PG x

    PS thanks peeps for the links to the other forums I asked for - off to investigate now!
    Grocery challenge for family of three - me, dd(12) and ds(11), feeding dp 2 or 3 x a week too. Only food, not toiletries. Jan £87.97/£100 Feb £0/£100
    Frugal 2018 needed! Saving and NOT spending
  • Emily87
    Hi everyone, did my weekly shop today. Went to three different shops to get the best deals! Got 1kg of brittish mince for £2.50 in al*i. Spent £47 but got a big shop including nappies etc.

    P.S Do we have to use code words for supermarkets and what are they??
    June Grocery Challenge - £???/£230
    Credit card debt - Start - £10,613 Now - £10613
    Personal loan - Start - £10,116 Now - £10116

    DFD - October 2015

  • Long tall sally
    Gracious me. Misread this as £561 !!
    Originally posted by catslovelycats
    Yes I had read it as that too!

    Forgot to say earlier that I used up half of my sweet potato last night that I bought a fortnight ago & it was fine. I cooked it the way that Hippeechiq suggested with red & yellow pepper & red onion, roasted in olive oil with sausages on top & it was lovely so thanks Hippeechiq! Will probably use the rest up tomorrow as we are having roast turkey - one of the £8 Morrisons turkey crowns they were selling before xmas. So no waste of that afterall!
    Grocery aim £450pm.Spent £519 August, £584 July, £544 June, £541 May, £549 April, £517 March, £517 Feb,£555 Jan, £573 Dec, £465Nov, £561Oct, £493Sept, £426Aug,£496 Jul, £528Jun, £506May,£498April, £558 March, £500Feb, £500 Jan, £490 Dec, £555 Nov,£566 Oct, £505Sept, £450Aug, £410 July, £437 June, £491 May, £471 April, £440 March, £552Feb, £462Jan
  • Lola76
    Hello Everyone!

    i would like to thank everyone for their posts they are great support and keep me on track.

    2 nd week is nearly over. updated my signature
    I have budgeted for 40 pounds a week and stuck to it so far, even managed a bunch of flowers this week . not easy but possible... around 4 pounds over at the moment but after auditing my receipt after today's shopping at Mr M i fund 3 items i have been overcharged for - 2 reduced things charged at full price and jonagold apples charged as Royal Gala . this comes to 4+ pounds!
    will get these refunded.
    Weekly menu planned ahead helps me to make my shopping list and STICK to it.

    Good luck everyone for the rest of the month
    January grocery challenge 300/278.57 declared
    February grocery challenge 300/7.75
  • rosieben
    ... P.S Do we have to use code words for supermarkets and what are they??
    Originally posted by Emily87
    the reason some of us don't use supermarkets proper names is that it would improve their search rating!

    you can call them what you like - I frequently call them things that I couldn't repeat on this thread but usually I call them MrT and sainsbugs, other people have their own specials, just use what you prefer
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • redkids1972
    LOL Should read £56 will edit now
    New to comping 11/2/2013

    Feb wins to date: 0lympic messenger bag, £100
    • catslovelycats
    • By catslovelycats 15th Jan 11, 8:33 PM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 11,207 Thanks
    the reason some of us don't use supermarkets proper names is that it would improve their search rating!
    Originally posted by rosieben
    I never knew that. Learn something new every day here...
    • catslovelycats
    • By catslovelycats 15th Jan 11, 8:34 PM
    • 1,684 Posts
    • 11,207 Thanks
    LOL Should read £56 will edit now
    Originally posted by redkids1972
    No don't. It'll give other readers a laugh too! Once they've picked themselves off the floor from the shock !
  • daydreamer2007
    big shop
    Hi just updated sig.
    Did a big shop today totally unprepared hadn't done a meal plan or list as I said I would,but visited a great market where i bought alot of meat and fish that should last me a month then picked up. F+V ,tinned stuff and flour etc at Mr T's so pleased with what I spent and hopefully will only have to pick up milk and bread now. I will defo do a meal plan and list for next month. I have always loved baking but let it slip but tonight I've made some bread (well the machine did) and plan to have a big bake and cook day tomorrow so I have meals ready for in the week and can do extra portions to send with OH and DS for their lunches.

    • Sparklyfairy
    • By Sparklyfairy 15th Jan 11, 9:18 PM
    • 751 Posts
    • 1,539 Thanks
    I never knew that. Learn something new every day here...
    Originally posted by catslovelycats
    I always wondered that as well - thanks for clearing that one up for me!
  • martafdz
    I always check and as fingersxed says it really does pay to check.. spotted a couple of errors now in total.
    Originally posted by MrsRogers
    Me too. It takes a while with the online shopping as the substitutes and the weights make it a bit difficult. But it gets easier. I usually do a copy and paste in Word of the items with the prices, then I just "search" (Ctrl+F) for the item in the order that appear in my receipt and check the amount. I had to call a few times, but Sainsb only refunded differences I used Sains because of their free delivery if over £100 and between Tues-Thurs.

    If I buy in the shop (which I do now) I go around with the calculator I have in my mobile and add all the exact prices, if the till tells me something different I double check what's wrong. It has made my shopping also easier. Before going I tell myself the limit I have for the whole shop (like £40 or £50) and the limit within that for treats that are not strictly needed (usually £5). Then if I go over whilst walking around I decide what I should take out of the trolley before taking anything else in. I am managing quite well with that system. It means I put back things in the shelves sometimes but it helps me to prioritize.

    I have started doing online shopping again which not only means that I can use As*A (the store that delivers to my area is out of the way so always use the local Tes*cs) but I also don't end up spending a huge amount on stuff I don't need.

    Not sure if anyone seen my post earlier but in it I mentioned doing a June box. Basically I will be putting bis away so come June I can have a virtually spend free month [...]
    Originally posted by kahunababy
    Oh, I do exactly the opposite lol If I buy online I buy loads of food just because I do not have to carry it, like loads of tins, soups, pasta sauce, milk and soft drinks. I know go myself on my own and use the tram. OH has car and has suggested to drive there but I turned it down because if I do that I will be stocking up again. This way I only take back what I can carry in the tram and the short walk home. And because I go on my own I do not rely on his strength either. OH thought it was funny and laughed lol. But it honestly helps. Every time I go and it's heavy I remind myself to buy less next time. I am not buying things in bulk but I am managing better the budget. Any other month at this time I would have spent £250 easily and I would be preparing another main shopping by the end of next week. I am aiming to have £5 meals for two, and I am being quite good atm. Today we had 2 rib racks from Morris' (£2.70 both) plus rice (£0.25 pro-rata lol), plus vegetables (frozen, £0.15 baby carrots and £0.10 peas), salt, pepper and sunflower oil (£0.10 I guess, 2 big spoons). Tap water to drink. Lol Total spent= £3.30 for two, which for me it is a success.
    Last edited by martafdz; 15-01-2011 at 10:07 PM.
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • pepsi-kins
    • By pepsi-kins 15th Jan 11, 10:08 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 1,984 Thanks
    Hi All,
    My shopping has been a little more restrained this week, managed a few more NSD's. I have stocked up on some more offers such as the ICBINB at MrMs. I'm going to tweak the meal plan a little for next week or else I'll have to get a few more things, which I really want to avoid. My freezer is still really full, although at least its not all jammed in there now! the fridge is now getting back to normal, following the Xmas period.
    This year I'm counting any takeaways in with the GC, we haven't had takeaway in ages, but this week we've had two. So, I've got to ensure that that doesn't become a regular occurence (i'm easily led, lol)
    Also, I really need to get back to using my remoska to its full potential, especially now the leccy has gone up in price!

    Have a good week everyone x
    2018 G/C £2951.61/£2250
    Vouchers used £553.23
    Extra money £250
    2019 G/C £2076.82
    Vouchers: £202.33
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 15th Jan 11, 11:31 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    Going by the number of posts, the forum board was back a lot earlier than I thought. I've only just checked now.

    Oh well - at least I've cleaned the house well - my flat was due for it's 3 month inspection by the agency, and it's now sparkling due to having no distractions. The contract is up for renewal and I've said I want to renew, so I hope the landlord agrees/doesn't want to up the price

    I spent 69p on some sour cream today in Costc*tter, because I used a green chilli instead of red chilli for my meal tonight and lets just say it had more than a kick than expected!!!

    Good to see so many new faces here. It helps when there are more people egging me on, because, even though I've not been as successful as I would like, I'm trying (and that counts right?), and would spend more if I didn't come here. I've nearly finished paying off my debt, and my aim was to stay until it had been paid off. Now, I can't imagine not being here, because it's about a long term change about how you think about money, and keeping track. Staying here will hopefully keep me out of debt and start saving.

    So...I'm afraid I'm with you all for the long haul!
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 £46.05/£130

    Grocery Challenge 13 -spent £1453.06
    Grocery Challenge 12 -spent £1565.51

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • rosieben
    Great post NickJK
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • Georgiegirl2012
    • By Georgiegirl2012 16th Jan 11, 12:33 AM
    • 538 Posts
    • 6,246 Thanks
    Foodwise - excellent
    Buying stuff with the money in my purse - diabolical

    Today I bought a yoghurt muesli thing for my breakfast - was out al day and running late so no time befor I left the house - it was £1 but part of a meal deal. As I didn't need the sandwiches or the drink I saved myself £2.

    On the way home, stopped off in the same shop again and got 4 chicken breasts for £3.75, reduced from £7.50, a korma sauce for 54p (maybe 57p I'll check tomorrow) and 3 bulbs of garlic for 50p coz I don't have any.

    Yesterday I discovered that there is a B&M in Newport "city" centre. I knew there was one, along with Home Bargains on a retail park outside the centre, but as I don't drive thought it was unlikely I'd be able to visit very often. So I had a bit of a wander and bought a tin of condensed mushroom soup for about 50p, it was either 49 or 59 (again I will check tomorrow) and then when I got home made a chicken pie with the remants of the chicken left in the fridge, some of the ready to roll pastry that I bought on offer before Christmas, and the soup.

    Just need to control my non-essential spending, but at least I'm in grocery challenge thread, not frugal living one at the moment.
  • Missus Aka
    Am adding a £4.00 grocery spend to my total for 3 bottles of coke. I also bought myself a new mobile when out at te$cos it something I wanted for a while so dont feel too guilty but its obv not included in grocery budget phone plus top up gave me 328 points for my feb statement
    SPC Member#1096 Target £150 Feb Count £82.18
    Aug Make£5P.DayChal £0/£155
    My August £100 Grocery Challenge £49.90/£100
    • MummyEm
    • By MummyEm 16th Jan 11, 7:22 AM
    • 573 Posts
    • 5,144 Thanks
    Spent quite a bit yesterday. Around £60 in Mr T and same again in L**L. Quite a lot but did buy a lot for stocks. We've also had a chest freezer delivered this week which I'm slowly trying to fill with whoopsies, milk etc.
    The plan is to fill freezer with months worth of milk at a time as this is one of the only things we still have to do top ups for. Will be growing more veg this year and will now have somewhere to store it for the year! I am going to investigate bulk buying meat from butchers. I don't mind if this is a little more expensive than SM as quality is just so much better.
    For us, the GC is not about spending the least amount possible but being controlled in our spending so that we get the best quality, healthy, balanced diet that we can afford.
    I am also going to investigate veg/fruit boxes but not sure whether I would use all the 'randomn' veg that we wouldn't normally buy! I am not fussy and would eat anything, DH is good about most things but only certain veg.

    Will update sig later once I've checked and added receipts, probably at around £330. Should be ok for rest fo the month if I'm careful as DH is away this week and we have quite a bit in freezer for the following week.

    P.s. sorry for the long post!
    MFW original end date £295000 Nov 2039 currently £224,824.58 Jul 2035 Dream end date Nov 2025
    2017 Target EF £20,000/ £20,000 OP £2390.10/£1900
    TOTAL OP 2014 £1042.60 OP 2015 £3357.75 OP 2016 £6480.98 Family Loan £17000.00
    • mongmoney
    • By mongmoney 16th Jan 11, 8:55 AM
    • 174 Posts
    • 1,009 Thanks
    Mongy's Update
    Morning All
    Just an update on progress. I managed to get Activia 8 pack yogs for lunches from Saino's yest at half price £1-47,so bought two lots. Should be ok with the long dates.
    Half way through the month and I've only spent £16-43 on food, can't believe it. It's amazing what a bit of forethought does. Doing a cook up today.
    Keep it up peeps.
    Jan GC £28-49/£120 NSD's 15/17
    Dec GC £90-90/£140 NSD's 17/18
    Storms make oaks take deeper root
  • Candy Belle
    Morning Everyone!

    Just a few spends to update on from yesterday

    Sainsbugs - Schwepps Lemonade £1.15
    BE Fishcakes 78p
    Clover £1.75
    9xAndrex Toliet Roll £4.58
    Bread 79p
    6 Pk Walkers £1.52
    6 Pk Kettle Crisps £1.79
    Pk Cheese & Proscutto Tortallini (sp?) 99p
    Organic Garlic 75p
    4 Peppers £1.51
    Box of Mushrooms £1.00
    Frsh Plum Tom's £1.49
    Large Pk Easy Cook Rice £1.24
    Large Pk 8 Chick Thighs £3.84
    Fresh Range Egss £1.59

    Total £24.77!!!! Think that the budget in minus's now!!!!!!!!!

    Thank goodness my month finishes on the 21st!

    Have a nice sunday everyone
    Grocery Challange for DH, Me & 2 Fussy Cats (inc Grocerys, Cleaning Products & Cat Food)
    G/C -May £177.04/£235.00 Apr £237.79/£235.00 Mar £226.16 /£235.00
    G/C - Jan £248.52/£235.00 - Feb£214.72/£235.00
    NSD -May 3/31 Apr 10/30 Mar 3/31 Feb 6/28 NSD Jan 3/31
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