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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 95
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 20th Jan 11, 11:23 AM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    1.60 spent in Mr T today on a reduced sandwich filler to go with my last wrap, and I also got a reduced pasta ready meal. The sandwich filler was supposed to be just for today - but there is quite a lot of it! I've used up all the bread in the freezer and all my salad (apart from one tomato) as well. I'll have to buy a bagel or something to go with it tomorrow, and put the ready meal in the freezer for next week.

    Tonight I've defrosted some sausages in the freezer, and in the absence of potatoes, I'll will be making a swede and carrot mash with swede + carrot which needs using up, and a couple of roasted parsnips which need using up also.

    I'm quite surprised how well I'm doing at this stage of the month, especially since I've been out for a meal as well!

    I reiterate what others have said, NONE of us are failures!
    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

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

    DFD 1st March 2011
    • ifonlyitwaseasier
    • By ifonlyitwaseasier 20th Jan 11, 11:55 AM
    • 2,787 Posts
    • 20,347 Thanks
    if it goes mouldy thats a deal breaker for me, i chuck it then, tho i like to try and not let it get that far
    Nonny mouse and Proud!!
    Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience
    Amor et metus. Lac? Sugar? Quisque massa vel duo? (stolen from a lovely forumite!)

    • Sunnyday
    • By Sunnyday 20th Jan 11, 12:05 PM
    • 3,892 Posts
    • 34,008 Thanks
    Afternoon peeps

    i`m fresh back from the shops and i`m feeling really pleased with myself

    My February challenge starts tomorrow and DH would normally be doing the shop tomorrow night after work so to save him a job i`ve done it today and whacked most of it on the CC so that it does come out of the Feb budget as we don`t get paid until tomorrow, thought i`d kill two birds with one stone as i had to go to the dry cleaners which is next to Sainsbugs and the cheapest place for petrol atm around here is MrM`s filling station.

    I made a list of the offers that were on before i set off and have managed to get a huge amount of food for very little

    In Sainsbugs i spent 17.38 and i bought the meat offer so for 10 i got a gammon joint, 6 pork loin steaks and a chicken, the red leicester cheese that was 2x500g for 4, philly at 91p and 97p for the one with chives, and a tray of chicken thighs and drumstix for 1.50

    In MrM i bought some veg for this week which was potatoes on offer for 1, sprouts on offer for 50p, condensed soup for pasta sauces on offer for 37p each,dove deodourant for 95p,some of the 49p sugar (got 3 of those) and a piece of pork shoulder on offer which was 2.98. I also picked up a few random tins whilst i was there so i am a very happy bunny. I`ve managed to get all the meat into the fridge so will rearrange the freezer later so that it can all go in for use in Feb

    All in all 27.72 spent and i had 7.74 left from the January budget so i`ve taken that off and will take the remaining 19.98 from the February budget I now have enough food in to feed us for a couple of months as the freezer was almost full before.

    Thanks to whoever posted the linky to the half price pet food from Am@zon , i`ve ordered just over 50 of pet food from there saving me a fortune, the dog food was the same price as my local so i ordered it at the same time as it was free delivery and so it saved me the cost of the petrol to collect it. The cat food is stacked up in the spare room upstairs and i`d already got a decent stash in for winter in case we couldn`t get out.

    I`ve got enough pet food for at least two months so i shall only buy now if there is an offer on. It would be nice if i can save the pet food money for the coming months towards my mortgage overpayments. I`ve saved 60 this month by reducing the budget and i shall keep it at 100 for Feb too and see if i can stash that into the pot.

    Soooo on that happy note i would like to declare 100 for food and 40 for the pets for January please MrsM, i had a look at the linky that you posted for your trek and i must say it looks fab!

    Hope that everyone manages to pick up some decent bargains as there are loads on at the moment

    Planning on starting the GC again soon
    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 20th Jan 11, 12:06 PM
    • 3,326 Posts
    • 36,404 Thanks
    I've just done the price guarantee for yesterday's shopping. Even though it would have been 43p dearer in M's, I still have a voucher for 1.85 because of the 10% thing. Not to be sniffed at.
    July grocery challenge 152.03/300
  • martafdz
    if it goes mouldy thats a deal breaker for me, i chuck it then, tho i like to try and not let it get that far
    Originally posted by ifonlyitwaseasier
    I've just done the price guarantee for yesterday's shopping. Even though it would have been 43p dearer in M's, I still have a voucher for 1.85 because of the 10% thing. Not to be sniffed at.
    Originally posted by CRANKY40

    What's the price guaranteed and how do you get it/where?
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
    • Moniker
    • By Moniker 20th Jan 11, 1:09 PM
    • 626 Posts
    • 9,607 Thanks
    Sorry folks I have got really behind this week and only have a few minutes before I must leave for work. I have updated my sig and am fairly pleased with progress so far this month. I have rellies coming at the weekend so have had to buy extra as the chicken left in the freezer was only big enough for 2-3 and I also had to buy some more cheese and fruit. Although I am on a yearly budget I will post my month's total next week - as long as I don't go over 1/12th of the annual budget I shall be happy. Staying out of the shops works for me - 14 NSDs so far this month!

    Good luck all - will try and catch up at the weekend!

    • CRANKY40
    • By CRANKY40 20th Jan 11, 1:10 PM
    • 3,326 Posts
    • 36,404 Thanks
    What's the price guaranteed and how do you get it/where?
    Originally posted by martafdz
    You have to buy at least 8 items from A*da, then put your receipt details into the web site

    You will need a printer if you are given any vouchers, and you have to hand your original till receipt in with the voucher when you use it, but you get the receipt back to keep.

    I bought something on special offer yesterday and paid for it separately because I knew it would mean I had no hope of my shopping being cheaper anywhere else.
    July grocery challenge 152.03/300
  • martafdz
    Thanks cranky!

    I am waiting for my bread to finish raising so I can put it in the oven! Let's see if it is ok. Not sure. In the last bit I felt that some of the dough had like hard skin on one of the sides of my ball. Maybe it is just dry flour. No clue. I am looking forward to see if it is edible! Lol
    Quit smoking *1st January 2010*

    13/12/2012, baby girl!!!
  • david69
    Sorry i havent been on for a few days but just got back from mr al spent 25.67 I've had 4 nsd since saturdays visit to mr s .
    My total for the month so far is 144 I was hoping to try and keep it under 160 but i still think it will be nearer 200.
    But thats a big improvement on 100 every week at mr s.
    We are only going to visit mr s once every 3 weeks.
    • skilly
    • By skilly 20th Jan 11, 3:04 PM
    • 882 Posts
    • 10,225 Thanks
    Hi all,been to adsa's yet again !. I spent 45.00 so going to add to my sig in a bit :-)
    27 Sealed pot challenge 3496/4706.75/5 376.74/6 645.08/ 7 861.34 /8 786.90/9610.49/10 722.03 / 11? / gold star from sue
    • kezlou
    • By kezlou 20th Jan 11, 3:50 PM
    • 3,280 Posts
    • 43,067 Thanks
    HI all,

    Been a while since i've been on. So far we've been sticking to eating from the freezer and cupboards.
    Got no cheddar, plain flour and eggs left so will have to buy some.

    going to make these soon, never had them before, but they should be lush.

    feta and potato patties.
    500g potatoes
    115g feta cheese
    3tbsp chopped fresh dill (i'm using dried oregano)
    4 spring onions chopped (ordinary onions for me)
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    1 egg beaten
    flour for dredging
    3 tbsp olive oil
    salt / pepper

    boil potatoes in skins in water till soft. drain and peel them, while warm and mash.
    Crumble feta, seasoning, dill, lemon juice, onions, potatoes and egg and stir well.

    Cover the mixture and chill till firm.
    Divide mixture in small balls and flatten slightly.
    Dredge with flour and fry till golden brown.
    Serve at once.

    will let you know id they azny good, were having chilli and jacket pots for tea, warming and yummy!
  • missexcel
    Hi All,

    Fist months Grocery Challenge!! DONE!!
    I spent 159.08 this month on my food shops, this is 20th to 20th so includes Xmas - I am dead chuffed with myself

    I didn't use this tread much to give me ideas as this was my first month I just signed up and did my best with downgrading and planning as I could to see what I could achive. So now i'm going to take the next couple of days to read through the whole thread ready to set myself my Feb 11 target, If I can stay under 170 with no help, imagine how much I can save with a little bit of knowledge from you lovely lot!!

    See you all in Feb!!

    March GC 0/150 - March NSD 0/24- 2 Savers Club #34

    Loan ~ 673.42/9770.79 Credit Card @ 0% to Sep '11 ~ 487.18/4627.79
    Credit Card 2 ~ 270/270 Overdraft ~ 0/350

    --->Start date 19Dec10 Target date 1Jul12<---
    • MrsRogers
    • By MrsRogers 20th Jan 11, 4:31 PM
    • 598 Posts
    • 2,882 Thanks
    3 spend for us today have updated signature. Ran out of milk & bought bacon for lunch tomorrow for my day off

    One more shop before our Jan month budget is up.. . will see how we come in tomorrow.... running a little low on my stores
    Goal - We want to be mortgages free

    I Quit Smoking March 2010
  • rosieben
    kezlou, I've added your feta and potato patties recipe to the index, thank you
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 20th Jan 11, 6:02 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    minnie2 soory to hear you have a funeral to attend sending you condolences and i hope you find something suitable to wear.
    Originally posted by mrs-moneypenny
    Minnie2 sending you my thoughts- funerals are so difficult!
    Originally posted by wssla00

    thank you!! he will be greatly missed!! and only made it to his teenage years!!

    am going to tackle the outfit at weekend!! too much else to sort!!! had to do my car tax today!!! boo hoo!! only put 6months on usuaully do a year coz its cheaper - but havent got the money!!!
    Frugal living challenge - need to revisit its been.a while !! Need to reduce our debts!!
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 20th Jan 11, 6:05 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    minnie2 - sending you some virtual hugs.

    toddles* - enjoy your Holiday.

    Popped to MrM's earlier, only wanted a Joint of Pork that they have on offer and I've spent over 16 as I also bought a Gammon Hock, some more ICBINB that's still on offer, some salad, veg and sandwich fillers as I have a friend coming over for Lunch tomorrow. Anyway, I've added it to my total so just under 30 to last me another 6 days so should be ok.

    The Pork joint and the Hock have gone in the Freezer for next weeks meal plan.

    Dinner tonight is a new recipe I've not tried before, going to attempt to make some Veg Burgers and I thought I'd serve it with cheese & Potato bake everyone's been talking about and a HM tomato salsa. A meat free night tonight which I'm hoping to make more a regular thing.

    Have a good day everyone.
    Originally posted by scotsaver
    Oh dear, Minnie, please keep up with it, it WILL be worth it in the end. Concentrate on your long term goals, not your short term fix. Comfort spending is the same as comfort eating, you feel good as it goes down, but crap a few hours later. Keep your chin up.
    Originally posted by Ilona
    minnie2 sending you a big hug, i think you need one. praise yourself for your successes and dont knock yourself out for any slipups. you have done brilliantly with NSDs and you may have set your budget a little tight over a couple of months things can work themselves out January is always a rotten month.
    Originally posted by mrs-moneypenny

    thank you all!!!! sending you all hugs too!!! feel slightly better today - but not much! had a good cry while organising lifts to the funeral for people - lovely memories!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Frugal living challenge - need to revisit its been.a while !! Need to reduce our debts!!
    • minnie2
    • By minnie2 20th Jan 11, 6:07 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 8,701 Thanks
    Please please - we do not fail, we look at what we've done, we learn and we move on - everything we do is a "learn" for us - never ever a fail, this is a challenge - long term - we will never get it right the first, second or third time. Minnie2 - you are doing so well, you are looking at what you spend and learning about your shopping habits, it took a while to get it wrong so it will take a while to get it right, please be proud of what you have done so far, you are getting it right, right, right. Take a big breath and start again. I get it wrong nearly every month but always start again, so do lots of other people on here!! We are always here to listen and help, use us as your sounding board and keep on trying - lots of hugs, Helen x
    Originally posted by helen jelly

    thank you!! am feeling slightly better today!!! i felt so awful yesterday!!!!!!!!!!! hope i dont have many of those days!!!!
    Frugal living challenge - need to revisit its been.a while !! Need to reduce our debts!!
    • NickJW
    • By NickJW 20th Jan 11, 6:09 PM
    • 678 Posts
    • 13,646 Thanks
    Hi All

    I didn't realize how much carrots I had cut up until I looked at the pan!!! Is it possible to freeze swede and carrot mash? I'm thinking it will be possible, but will it end up really watery when defrosted?

    Grocery Challenge 14 Jan 14 46.05/130

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

    DFD 1st March 2011
  • redkids1972
    Final shop of the month (bread, milk, toilet roll and other personal toiletry bits and bobs ) total spend 16.41 so now over budget with ten days to go. I am happy with this amount as its my first month on the challenge and before I was spending 100 plus a week so 260 is a lot less for 4 and a bit weeks. I know I can do better and next month will be more of a challenge so I will be keeping tabs on this thread to keep me motivated. sig updated.
    New to comping 11/2/2013

    Feb wins to date: 0lympic messenger bag, 100
    • Ilona
    • By Ilona 20th Jan 11, 6:14 PM
    • 2,300 Posts
    • 8,084 Thanks
    Made up recipe
    No spend day today. I've been keeping busy, not been out of the village, best way for me to not spend.

    I made a strange kind of dip for lunch. Tin of chickpeas, spinach, dash of oil and vinegar, garlic powder. Whizz it all up in a jug. I thought it might taste better if it was warmed so I spread it on an oatcake rolled it up and microwaved it. Made two, tasted fine. Mind you, whatever it tasted like I would have eaten it, I don't throw food away.

    Dinner is steamed veg, cheap from Tes&co, with a couple of spoons of plain yogurt on top.
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