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    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 27th Oct 08, 8:48 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    November 2008 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 27th Oct 08, 8:48 AM
    November 2008 Grocery Challenge 27th Oct 08 at 8:48 AM
    Hello everyone,

    Welcome to the eleventh Grocery Challenge of 2008.

    If your new month starts early feel free to join this thread, or if you're still working on your October budget, then keep on posting in the October 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.
    by Galtizz
    For guidelines on posting in this thread please read the second post in this thread.

    For the Grocery challenge Recipe Index please see posts #3 and #4 on this thread.

    For everyone's targets and totals for the month please read posts #5 and 6 on this thread.

    I hope everyone has a great month!

    Last edited by Pink.; 28-10-2008 at 8:03 AM.
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  • JennyBee
    SFT - you really are quite inspiring! Very glad to hear that you're still going ahead with the big trip Is the picture of the toucan still on your fridge?

    Well we broke into our December budget last night with a massive shop which covers (I think!) every non perishable item/cleaning stuff/toiletries that we need for the next two months plus some extras. £133.50 in total so a trip to the butchers on Friday should see us sorted for the month. Having looked through the receipt last night I realised that we'd been overcharged on some ready meals. Not something that we would normally buy but may come in handy for something quick and simple during/after the baby is born to stop us getting a takeaway. Just went for the 5 for £4 deal in Mr A but noticed we'd been charged 98p for 4 of them and £2.28 for the fifth! Also was charged full price on some baby powder that had been reduced, so trotted back in with my receipt after work today to get a refund. I know it was only £3.20 in total but still, that was our money, not theirs!!! To cut a long story short, they basically told me that I'd picked up something completely different that wasn't included in the offer and when I protested that it was something that neither I nor my husband liked, I was told that it was an "easy mistake to make" in a very condescending manner. I was then escorted back to customer services to get my £1 refund from the baby powder whilst the nasty one made sure that I didn't still try to get my other £2.20!!! I went back out to the car and just cried!!! I don't like being called a liar so I have now penned a strongly worded letter to them to that effect. How ***** rude!! I was not amused.

    Anyway, other than that an uneventful day!! Hope you're all doing well and looking forward to the December challenge
    Jonathan Douglas born 20th January 2009 - 9lb 4oz
    Alexander William born 30th December 2012 - 10lb 2oz
    GC June 2014 £79.04/£150
  • savingfortravel
    Thanks Jenny, Yes and the toucan's got lots of company now..and the fridge has still got food in it! This GC challenge is a bit like a no diet diet in the sense that we are eating better than we did Pre Challenge and we're saving loads of money. SFT
    Frugal Living 2010 member MFW by 2014 Was 88,000 now £46,877.90 Grocery Budget for Dec-April=£173.72/£244 (Groc Budget 2010 from Ebay/Voucher savings/Quidco -If we can do it will save our £980 GC budget) Now living the dream -in our tiny country cottage-all thanks to MS forums. x 39 2 go
    Stockpile Savings: £89.72 Voucher savings £8
    • clowe1
    • By clowe1 25th Nov 08, 9:06 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 329 Thanks
    I have been absent for afew months but am pleased to have done well for those months.

    For Dec, Please put me down for £318.15

    Good luck everyone

    • milliejo
    • By milliejo 25th Nov 08, 9:35 PM
    • 317 Posts
    • 5,152 Thanks
    I am declaring at £363 for November.

    Please put me down for £350 for December.

    Was a but disappointed to go over budget until I realised it covered a 5 week month supermarket shop wise. as 1 shop just missed out being included in October figure.

    Sept - budget £300 -spend £400
    Oct - budget £375 - spend £325
    Nov - budget £350 -spend £363

    Figure includes all food eaten at home (except DH takeaway once a week)all my lunches & some DH lunches during the week, all food & household shopping & all alcohol - 2 adults & 1 chid
  • scotsaver
    Morning everyone - just logging on quickly to declare total for Nov £246.11. Really struggled to decide what to set it at for December as everyone coming here and still need to buy a Turkey, a Gammon, booze etc etc so setting target for December £350. I thought it sounded a lot but when I look back at what I was spending before I joined the GC I don't feel so bad so Big Thanks to everyone for all the support and GOOD LUCK to those still to declare. Have a good day everyone.
    GC for OH, myself, DD18 & DD16 includes Toiletries, cleaning stuff & Food.

  • JayJay14
    I'm doing really well this month - thanks to DS leaving home and no energy to go out to the shops.

    OH and I are eating out of the freezer and cupboards to make some space, we are not having much company for Xmas this year, all the kids live elsewhere and are working most of the time. I usually have tons of goodies stashed in the wardrobe by now but this year its a couple of 2 for £7 tins of chocs from Asda and a packet of biscuits!!

    The freezer is chocker with meat so I have nothing to buy on that score, though I will have to go out tonight to get stuff for DD's 21st party tomorrow (different budget).

    OH is getting a bit depressed at the job situation, his current temp contract finishes after Xmas and there is nothing on the horrizon - though the nature of temp work is it pops up suddenly, but a permanent job would be nice

    (((Hugs))) to all who need them
    • catznine
    • By catznine 26th Nov 08, 7:26 AM
    • 3,187 Posts
    • 24,544 Thanks
    We stayed within the £50 target (just) veg box delivery today has taken total up to £49.14 phew! could only do it by also joining the storecupboard challenge, think it might be worth doing that more often, just to keep a check on stores that need using up.

    Going to have to raise the budget for next month, we need some cheer as dd is being made redundant! - £250 for December Grocery Challenge. I've made the mincemeat and the cake but need to get the meat in and all the sundries.
    Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.

    Jan grocery challenge £35.77/£120
  • poffigirl
    Hi Everyone

    Can I join you for December??? I've been lurking for a couple of weeks and think that this board will really help me.

    Bascically i want to cut down my grocery bill, I had a shock when last month I checked my balance only to find that I was £1000 overdrawn. We looked into it to see why we were so overdrawn and apart from spending £500 on doing up our new kitchen, we had spent £860 in Tescos. This was for me and OH, a 2 year old and a 5 month old!!!!!!!!!! OMG!!!!! So the mission is to cut down our grocery bill to £450 for December, which I think should be comfortably do-able. We tried shopping in lidl which didn't work as we got too tempted by the special offers and ended up spending £177 which did last us around 2 weeks but was still ridiculous. So yesterday me, OH and the babies went Old Style shopping. We went to Iceland for frozen and cupboard stuff, the market for fruit and veg and to the butchers. It felt really Christmassy and really enjoyed ourselves, especially since we went to the Bakers and got ourselves a cake each for being so good! It did take about 3 hours but it did feel like a day out and the girls were happy in the pram all wrapped up. In all we spent £90 which included Nappies bought from Boots (to get the points), this is compared to a bill of at least £150 if i had gone to Tescos. I bought loads of fruit and veg which i have been busy purreeing for the little one, so I'm feeling really positive!! Ooooh I've also dug out the breadmaker but haven't got round to using it yet!

    I will work on my signitiure today once i can work it out!! Hope i can join in with you all this month. The mission is to be able to stay off work, I'm on mat leave at the moment and really don't want to go back. We should be able to survive comfortably on OH's wages but first i have to prove it to him - so thats my mission!!! Wish me luck!!!

  • Scenic Route
    Hello all,

    Have come in over budget (again!) at £151.70 so I'm only £1.70 over budget and I have "spare" meals from Nov that can be used in December and I've been using less mince and bulking out beyond belief with veggies I'd have previously "ignored" so some of those meals are lasagnes and chilli's. Some of the wine I bought for november is still in the fridge (it's the miracle season after all! ) so I won't need to get any of that either. Also we go away for two weeks over christmas which means the budget for December only has to stretch 3 weeks so may I please be included for December at £100 thank you!

    No outfit is complete without cat hair or baby vomit
    • russetred
    • By russetred 26th Nov 08, 9:40 AM
    • 1,232 Posts
    • 9,385 Thanks
    Hi everyone and welcome poffigirl.I've been MIA because we're getting the kitchen done.We're trying not to stress out with the fridge and the chest freezer in the living room and the constant mess.I'm still sticking to the challenge though and I reckon I'll do it,finishing on Friday,mainly down to not being able to find anything.We spent an hour looking for a cheese grater before we lost the will to live! It will be worth it I keep muttering to myself.
    "Sometimes life sucks....but the alternative is unacceptable."
  • rosieben
    Welcome blondy and poffigirl and any other newbies Pink-winged will be starting the December challenge thread within the next 2 or 3 days.

    Best advice I found on the GC (many moons ago!) is to list what's in the cupboards and freezer, using that list work out a meal plan for the next week/fortnight/month (whichever suits you); then write a shopping list and stick to it - although I always allow a few £ extra in case I see a really good offer.

    poffigirl, click on the blue 'User CP' on the top menu, then 'edit signature'

    russetred, hang in there, it will be worth it
    Last edited by rosieben; 26-11-2008 at 11:34 AM.
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 26th Nov 08, 12:10 PM
    • 4,328 Posts
    • 29,793 Thanks
    tessie bear
    hi....instead of having a drink in asdas cafe last night we purchased sp drinking chocolate some aerosol cream and a bar of 23p chococlate and came home and made our own which were actually lovely and a definate saving on the £ a cup they some nice innocent oj reduced which looked nice but havent tried yet.....its odd in asda we go same time every week while son is at kickboxing and sometimes it is awash with reduced stuff and its great oother days there is nowt......they must tinker with their order.....oh yes asda had cheap looking beer i think 3 packs for £20 different ones which someone might like for xmas.........have a nice day tess
    • turbo5019
    • By turbo5019 26th Nov 08, 12:11 PM
    • 330 Posts
    • 3,341 Thanks
    Mrs M can you put me down for £180 for december
    I will post my total for nov at end of week DH gets paid on friday but I be popping to MrA tomorrow. Not been posting much this month but have been reading finding it hard with DH off shore a new born and a 2 year old who had decided to be potty tranined more washing.
    I have done well so far this month only spent just over half the money I think it was all the NOW vouchers that I used and bulk buy cleaning and tinned stuff earler in the year. I keep trying to get the freezer down but everythime I take something out I end up putting more back just by bulking out the meals I cook. Can't remember the last time I bought any meat and still have 40 sasauges 20 burgers and 20pk of chicken from when MrM had 50p offers.
    Well i'm off to try and make some hobnobs and coconut buns.
    GC £7.79/£225 per month ~ wk1 £ 7.79/ £50
    • greent
    • By greent 26th Nov 08, 12:16 PM
    • 8,134 Posts
    • 82,588 Thanks
    Nearly there! Can't believe how little I have spent this month. Not declaring yet (month ends Sun) but there is no way I will go over! And I have included some Xmas pressies and foodstuffs in the figures too. I've just added up takeaways/ snacks on the go and they total a massive £37.55 too - eek!!

    Noticed yesterday that Cravendale is on offer in Mr T if you buy 2 - but not as good as Mr A where it was £1 a bottle (not sure if that's still on tho')

    DH is 99% likely to be made redundant 31st Dec from a job he's been in for 21 years - so we shall be aiming to keep food expenditure reasonably low (and have baby no 4 due in May) He has his letter confirming his leave date, it's just if the slim chance comes up there's a suitable alternative job at work before then.... Ah well!!

    cw18 - sorry to hear of your loss (hugs)

    welcome to newbies!

    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786 12/18 £54829 2019 OPs (#18) £2418.57/£5K
    Net sales 2019 £173.62/£500
  • pinknfluffy
    Can't quite believe it, November is nearly at an end and I still have 70 something pound left in the budget, result after last months disaster. I decided to take a leaf out of the os book and mealplan, I don't really like it, it seems too organised, but dh thinks its great as he knows what we are having for dinner and we are saving money. I did 4 weeks mealplans and still haven't emptied the freezer and cupboards so I will keep it up. Thanks for all the advice.
    Be kinder than necessary because we do not know the battles that someone else may face

    A103, A210, U211, EA300, Y163, AA316, DSE141, A300 = BA (Hons)
    A815 MA (current)
  • rosieben
    ... I decided to take a leaf out of the os book and mealplan, I don't really like it, it seems too organised, but dh thinks its great as he knows what we are having for dinner and we are saving money. I did 4 weeks mealplans and still haven't emptied the freezer and cupboards so I will keep it up. Thanks for all the advice.
    Originally posted by pinknfluffy
    Not everyone gets on with meal planning; I don't stick to a rigid meal plan, sometimes I make a list of possible meals for a week (that I have all ingredients in for) and then pick the one I fancy each day
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
    • sharronej
    • By sharronej 26th Nov 08, 12:43 PM
    • 563 Posts
    • 4,784 Thanks
    well i'm going to declare £166.00 for November £6.00 over but that was on reduced food last night, came home with six carrier bags of food which will last a couple of weeks so the fridge, freezer and the cupboards are growning under the weight of all the food in there! I've ordered my first food from December budget from approved foods which includes a lot of drinks for Christmas (j20's) etc so hopefully I will be okay with the target I have set.
    Afternoon all

    Well We are nearly in the last month of the year ..where did it go :confused:

    Anyhow.... I have checked and double checked and we have enough main meals, stuff for brekkies and lunches -ooh and baking to last through December -all I will need is the stuff for crimbo dinner... by Friday I will know if mum n DB are going to make it here for christmas ..then I can decide what I need...
    But I'm going to be able to stick to my normal monthly budget for extras etc ...meaning I can stash another €300 in the savings account

    I haven't drawn up a meal plan as such.. but know that the meals are in the house or the ingredients are...

    If we do have visitors they will be here for 3 weeks ... mum is making her usual "ooohhh I will pay for the groceries whilst we are there" noises that will be a battle ground.. we normally get to the checkout and then its a fight as to who can get their purse out first whilst the men dawdle trying NOT to get their wallets out

    Right enough waffle...can I just let you know that I will be missing in action from the 2nd until the If you post your targets then -don't think Im ignoring you -I will catch up as soon as I get back
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
  • bigsmoke
    hi everyone

    well, i have gone over my target . i have included things in my figures that aren't actually groceries at all, but are 'extras' so i thought this would be the best way to manage it. i don't think i'll spend anything before friday now (payday) so i'll declare at £75.13, 3.35 over budget.

    i will be away for the last week in december, and am going to try to budget more carefully so that not so many extras come out of my groceries. therefore, i think i'll try for £65 in December

    i'm disappointed to have gone a little over but actually quite pleased as it's my first month - now the challenge is to see how low i can go!! i also had some stuff in the storecupboard at the beginning of this month, so will have to be a little more careful from now on

    thanks MrsMcawber - enjoy your trip!!
    • candygirl
    • By candygirl 26th Nov 08, 2:23 PM
    • 27,397 Posts
    • 116,578 Thanks
    Spent £17 in lidl today, and £8 in farmfoods where they had a 32 box of wlakers crisps for £3, so had to get it LIDL was packed full of moaning old biddies, all arguing with each other, what A NIGHTMARE
    "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf"

    (Kabat-Zinn 2004)
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