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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 131
    • lotti379
    • By lotti379 1st Feb 11, 6:17 PM
    • 787 Posts
    • 6,181 Thanks
    Declaring at £230ish/£200

    To be honest, can't really remember! Some of that was from Mr Lotti's account, and some from mine, and mostly from the joint account... Bit worrying considering very little alcohol and we ate out a bit... ho hum, off to the February thread!
    “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”

    NSD Challenge: August 2017 2/15
    • buddiebabe
    • By buddiebabe 1st Feb 11, 6:26 PM
    • 1,407 Posts
    • 3,667 Thanks

    Not been posting much but will really need to start as its the only thing that stops me shopping so much!!

    Declaring £122.76/£120 so only an overspend of £2.76 which isn't too bad for my first month of doing this!

    Didn't include money for eating out or lunches if we didn't take something from the house so this month i'll be including everything that i spend anyway but keeping the budget the same. Off to find Februarys thread

    Well done to everyone that came in under budget... here's hoping its me next month

    Buddiebabe x
    DEBT OUTSTANDING 23.04.17 £16802.97
    • Spiggle
    • By Spiggle 1st Feb 11, 6:45 PM
    • 1,751 Posts
    • 14,202 Thanks
    Thanks Spiggle and well done you too on your even better underspend. You have done well this month.
    Originally posted by Billie-jo

    Thanks Billie-jo but I feel it's a bit of a fraudulent total this month as I used my vouchers and points for big stock shops.

    Well done everyone! Wow the under budgets are fantastic and especially for our newbies. Some declarations are so close as to be regarded as on budget. And really, if you've gone over it is absolutley true that you won't have spent as much as if you weren't doing the challenge. As AlwaysHappy's brilliant signature (which should be a mantra for all of us) says: I'm not a failure if I don't make it, I'm a success because I tried!

    I'm with you NickJW, don't be so hard on yourself adelight. Congratulations on such a small spend.

    Mooloo I think you can excuse yourself when you're doing one of the three most stressful things, moving house! Well done for even keeping a log of it in the middle of moving!

    Unhappy_shopper conditional spend vouchers can be our worst enemy. If we only need to buy £20 worth of stuff why should we spend £60 to get a bit off? That's not saving and no bargain in my book. (But I am a bit strict! )

    Take care all,
    Mortgage Free October 2013
  • katholicos
    Can't be sure but i don;t think i spent any more than about £60 in January, on groceries.
    Grocery Challenge for October: £135/£200

    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
    • larmy16
    • By larmy16 1st Feb 11, 10:17 PM
    • 4,218 Posts
    • 8,039 Thanks
    Ooops not quite got there yet................
    Just reporting in my January results. I aimed to spend £260 but came in at £310.29! An overspend of £50.89.

    I'm not thrilled with this, but when you work out that it is over 31 days, it works out at £10 per day for three people which is £3.33 per person per day. So put like that, it sounds very reasonable!

    Added to that, we all started diets (healthy eating plans) so are buying more expensive quality foods and very little cheaper junky stuff. Plus there is the 20% VAT to factor in, so all in all I am not too disheartened!

    I have written down every single penny each day too.

    Well done everyone. Looking forward to the February challenge now.
    Grocery Challenge £139/240 until 31/01
    Taking part in Sealed Pot No.819/2011
    Only essentials on Ebay/Amazon

    • mummyroysof3
    • By mummyroysof3 2nd Feb 11, 1:51 PM
    • 4,318 Posts
    • 25,275 Thanks
    Have got a glut of newly made marmalade the mo'!..thanks to all the Seville recipes and helpful tips I found on here.

    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.

    Heres the instructions:

    6 oz SR flour
    1 tsp mixed spice
    3 oz margerine
    3 oz sugar
    3 oz sultanas
    3 tbs hot water
    1 egg
    2 tbs marmalade
    2 tbs golden syrup.

    Heat marg, sugar, marmalade and golden syrup in microwave.
    Add sieved flour and mixed spice and stir well.
    Add the hot water.
    Stir in floured sultanas
    Lastly, add the beaten egg.

    Put in well-greased tin and cook for about 20-30 mins 160 degrees C.

    Originally posted by Jolaaled
    would this work without the mixed spice? looks lovely
    Have a Bsc Hons open degree from the Open University 2015
  • EllieA
    I'd like to declare £227.40 for jan please nicely within budget
    • prophecy_grrl
    • By prophecy_grrl 2nd Feb 11, 6:08 PM
    • 668 Posts
    • 3,379 Thanks
    Hi I'm declaring £228.37 for Jan - £28.37 over budget but not too bad for my first attempt in GC in quite a while! See you on the Feb thread!
    *** PROPHECY_GRRL***
    *** DEBT FREE AS OF 17/10/11 - I DID IT!!! ***
    • angelatgraceland
    • By angelatgraceland 2nd Feb 11, 7:53 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 23,074 Thanks
    Declaring at £399 on 31st January. £1.64 under! Whooppee!!
    Annual Grocery budget 2018 is £1500 pa £125 calendar month £28.84 pw for 3 adults
    • waltzingMathilda
    • By waltzingMathilda 2nd Feb 11, 8:00 PM
    • 32 Posts
    • 847 Thanks
    Declaring at £434.66 for Jan. Pretty pleased and hope I can maintain. We have had no visitors in Jan which is unusual.
    2 adults 3 children
    Debt mar 17 £43,277
    • nmlc
    • By nmlc 3rd Feb 11, 8:35 AM
    • 3,445 Posts
    • 48,162 Thanks
    Morning all

    End of my JANUARY GC SO WANT TO DECLARE AT £402.17 - £27.17 OVER BUDGET! PLEASE SIGN ME UP FOR FEBRUARY FOR £375 Need to keep trying!!

    • goodlife wannabes
    • By goodlife wannabes 3rd Feb 11, 11:34 AM
    • 51 Posts
    • 458 Thanks
    goodlife wannabes
    Hi Please can I declare £139.06 for Jan
    Please can you put me down for £200 for Feb
    MAR GC /£346
    The great, good and not so good bits about growing your dinner 2017
  • katholicos
    Hiya folks, today is my first NSD of the month and my tea and supper were generously sent over to me by Mum. So we had baked potatoes with a pork chop for tea and i've just had a lovely beef and onion casserole she cooked too. Feed a cold starve a fever, that's how the saying goes innit?

    I haven't updated siggy yet but yesterday i spent about £8 in Home Bargains.
    Grocery Challenge for October: £135/£200

    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
  • katholicos
    Oh, forgot to mention that today i received 4 tescum vouchers for £6 off a £30 spend. This means that i will probably go over budget this month because i want to take advantage of this significant saving. I may not use them all but then again i may :-)
    Grocery Challenge for October: £135/£200

    NSD Challenge: October 0/14
    • JustKeepSwimming
    • By JustKeepSwimming 4th Feb 11, 1:34 PM
    • 801 Posts
    • 3,605 Thanks
    Declaring at 127.31 which is just 7.31 over budget - but still over . However I have just done a large shop which will see me well into feb as I had a friend give me a lift to stock up (no car). I'm sure it will all even out over the year
    & as for some happy ending I'd rather stay single & thin

  • janie-h

    Evening all

    Bit late declaring - but total for the month £239.50

    See you all on the Feb thread & good luck everyone x
  • WelshDreamer
    I thought this might be a good time to tell you all about my OTHER Purse. I'd have told you before but I didn't have time to sit down and explain how it works.

    About 30 years ago I started putting £10 per month in a separate purse in my handbag , that I keep JUST for special offers and bargains.

    Its saved me many a time when funds have been low especially when the children were small (4 of them).

    The purse works like a BANK, if you do it like I do and build up a good stock, that stock effectively becomes your own STORE, for eg; if you buy three bags of sugar that are usually £1 each and you get them for 50p each, you've saved £1.50. What I do is when I use one of the bags of sugar £1 goes in the purse along with any other money I owe it.

    If anyone would like to know more about the PURSE/BANK and would like to start doing it, and need any help I'm happy to help.

    At first I kept a list of all the stock I had and ticked off as I used one, then I knew what was running low. Once a week I would pay the PURSE/BANK what I owed, once a month the £10 was paid to the purse.
    So for example if I had used £5 worth of my stock, the following month there was £15 in the PURSE/BANK.

    I buy as many as I can of what's on offer, usually in multiples of three.
    This month sugar was only 50p a bag so I bought 12 = £6. A years supply (check items will be in date by the time you use them.
    Last month it was teabags on B!!!F I use 1 a month, but had 3 in stock , so I bought nine of those, think they were £3 each full price.
    The month before that, coffee was on offer I use 1 jar every two months so a years stock is 6 Jars, if it has a LONG date I would buy more maybe another 3, so I would have 1 1/2 years worth of coffee.
    The month before that it was the pasta we use all the time it was 3 for 2 normal price £1 per pack. I use about 1 bag per month. I only had one pack in stock so I bought 6. 7 months pasta all dated Aug 2012, so will be well used before then.

    When I first started doing this I just bought 3-6 of everything. Up to the value of what I had in the PURSE/BANK.

    After about a year of doing this I had a great stock. There was about £150 in the purse. At the time that was about what I spent to feed the whole family for 2-3 months. And the things I needed on a weekly basis became less and less. Until all I had to buy on a weekly basis was meat fresh fruit and veg and perishables.
    Occasionally if an unexpected bill came in or one of the kids needed shoes in a hurry, I took the money from the purse, I didn't ever pay this back .
    At one time I had around £1000 in the PURSE/BANK I put £900 of that in a safe place, leaving only £100 in the PURSE.

    Heres the good bit.

    After my shopping lists, I have a wish list, and a never in my wildest dreams list.
    It meant if I saw something I would like I could buy it for eg: I LOVE Le Creuset, so I'd maybe buy myself something from the range. That was on my wish list.
    My TV ariel got struck by lightning and blew up my TV, I got £500 from my insurance to replace it. I took £500 from The PURSE/BANK. And purchased a TV that I would NEVER have been able to buy so that was classed as being on my Never in my wildest dreams list.
    This was my REWARD for being thrifty. And I'm still ENJOYING the TV

    When I joined MSE I had £900 in the PURSE/BANK. I was able to take advantage of any GRABBITS or GLITCHES I found. I had a grand old time LOL. It took my STOCKPILING to a whole new level, as before I only really used the PURSE/BANK for groceries/ household /supplies etc.
    I now have a great stock of toiletries/ makeup/gifts, all things that will be used within a year.

    I've never spent so little and got so much. Or had so much fun doing it.

    I used to visit the old style threads and read the posts, I LOVE the idea of the grocery challenge. I had been taught all the basic survival skills, all the old school ways, and stopped using them. I had become what the BIG boys had made me, the rebel in me played them at their own game and my family got the benefit of any profits.
    But I hated what I'd become, there was a time when you couldn't buy convenience meals, and I would never have dreamt of buying them. But little by little I ended up buying what they wanted to sell me.

    I hope you will all forgive me for not telling you all about the PURSE/BANK from the outset, I mentioned in an earlier post that there was a great sadness hanging over my family, I cant talk about it to anyone just yet as we are LIVING it at the moment, and I'm having to be strong for my family, even though I'm just about to bawl my head off.

    I found something totally unexpected when I joined this challenge, and it isn't on ANY other thread 'human kindness' and like minded people.
    In spite of my PURSE/BANK cushion I was still not doing it right, but I'm getting there, with all your help and support, thank you for that. All of you.
    Originally posted by Mothership
    - what a fab post and makes so much sense, a must for me to try this year x
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