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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.
Page 45
    • eveie189
    • By eveie189 25th Nov 08, 5:11 AM
    • 300 Posts
    • 2,896 Thanks
    I suppose you could say I have failed spectacularly again this month. I have, however done a heck of a lot better than I did last month, so that's a plus. Gonna take a look at my spending diary over next couple of days and then set my target when I officially delare for this month. I need to see where we are going wrong.

    Well done to anyone who is anywhere near their target this month (escpecially as we are coming to crimbo).

    April GC 9th-7th may £0/£320
  • Shelly1977
    My total for November is £88.03. Can you pop me down for £120 for December please.
    Grocery Challenge - May £20/ £80
    2009 Sealed Pot Challenge #305 - £216 /£300
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 25th Nov 08, 8:33 AM
    • 10,664 Posts
    • 55,384 Thanks
    I have just updated my total to £235.54 for the month so far, but as we still have a few days to go, I will probably have to buy milk and bread and possible more bananas! Have used up all of the Healthy start vouchers now. So we will see. But the cupboards and fridge are pretty full. Must go and see whats in the freezer outside, I keep forgetting its out there!!
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • OrkneyStar
    • By OrkneyStar 25th Nov 08, 8:49 AM
    • 6,672 Posts
    • 42,974 Thanks
    Just to say well done everyone this month.
    From now on I plan to be a GC lurker :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: again, as I am not posting totals and tbh find I don't have that much to add anymore. Thanks all of you for your support over the last few months and good luck!
    I will style be on old style board though so no doubt see most of you somewhere around there!
    Last edited by OrkneyStar; 25-11-2008 at 9:41 AM.
  • Tashja
    Hi all !!!

    Hope we are all ok today - it is bl00dy freezing here. Hoping for a NSD though because it is just too cold to venture out.

    Also have had a huge load of free food from my grandads allotment sent to me yesterday and I need ideas though I think alot of it will need freezing.

    I have :-

    2.5 carrier bags of cooking apples
    1 carrier bag of leeks
    1 huge turnip/swede
    4 parsnips
    1 stringof onions
    1 carrier bag of potatoes

    It also means my meal plan for this week goes out the window - lol

    I was hoping tonight to do a leek and potato cobbler (with the scone & cheese topping) but could really do with some help on the scone recipe.

    I am going to follow that with apple pie and clotted cream (2 tubs were also sent up )

    We also recieved 5 cornish pasties (eaten for tea last night) and a saffron cake (also eaten for tea last night!!)

    Obviously this week should be a no spend week !!!

    So any suggestions for the above and also the scone recipe for the cobbler !!!

    T xx
    Comp wins from 2011

    11k in 2011 - £20.01
    Hi tash

    I concocted a chicken n leek cobbler.. my topping is:-
    1. 225g SR flour
    2. 1/2tsp salt
    3. 1/2tp mustard powder (optional)
    4. 40g butter
    5. approx 150ml milk
    just rub the fat into the flour and salt then add the milk and stir with a knife-then bring to a ball with your hands -
    Rather than rolling out and having to re-roll scraps -I weigh the dough then cut it into the number I want (that mix does 8) and shape into balls and flatten slightly -they go heavy if you try to re-heat them -so If you don;t want to eat all 8 with the meal stick the extras to bake seperately

    I also sprinkle some strong cheese over when it goes in the oven,
    and sometimes ad grated parmesan to the flour
    -6 -8 -3 -1.5 -2.5 -3 -1.5-3.5
    • tessie bear
    • By tessie bear 25th Nov 08, 11:12 AM
    • 4,328 Posts
    • 29,793 Thanks
    tessie bear
    arent tesco club vouchers lovely
    good afternoon.....i went to aldi today and got a butternut squash for 69p...i thought that was cheap...i also got reduced green beans for 39p....i then went to tesco and used up my tesco offers that come with the club card voucher.......the were great its scary how they know and manipulate what i buy essentially i got 3 for 2 on biscuits tinned veg and cheese.......also a £1 off surf......i also got a veg pack pack for a £ which i think worked out cheaper than the parsnips and swede i wanted to bill£1.14 not bad......we had £10 meal deal from m and s and it had roast vegwith it.....lovely im going to have a go at making my own....chop up pasnips potatoes swede carrot (or whatever u fancy) and mix together abit of oil and your choice of using thyme because i like it then roast the mand s took an hour but im going to see how i go time wise.... take care tess
  • Tashja
    Thanks MrsM !!

    The filling is done as st the apple pie so only he scone bits to do. I am sure with a starving DH and DS 8 will get eaten no problems !!! lol

    T xx
    Comp wins from 2011

    11k in 2011 - £20.01
    • prophecy_grrl
    • By prophecy_grrl 25th Nov 08, 2:32 PM
    • 668 Posts
    • 3,379 Thanks
    Current total is £83.19 ot of my November budget of £200

    Our first baby was born this month, and as such all our relatives keep turning up with free shopping for us - Result! The savings from this month's budget will come in handy for Christmas food shopping (and SMA!!!)

    Hoping to do a shop at Tesco on Thusrday this week - will update then x
    *** PROPHECY_GRRL***
    *** DEBT FREE AS OF 17/10/11 - I DID IT!!! ***
  • WelshWoofer
    Hello all!
    Just popping on to declare at £168.39 (from a total of £180).

    I'm very pleased with this as I still have almost a freezer full of meat, fish and veggie things and the cupboards are full of tins, jars and dried stuff.

    I'm hoping to stick to £150 for the 4 weeks of December excluding Xmas week which comes froma different budget.
    So Mrs M £150 for December please!

    This week's main shop will be on Sat/Sun and hopefully with a bit of planning I can get away with buying just F&V, dog food and toiletries. I really do need to get back to meal planning - I've been travelling a lot with work over the past 2 weeks (only been home for a day or two at a time) but that's hopefully all over with until after Xmas now so I have no excuse! So tonight when the footie is on the telly I'll go through and make up some concoctions for the next few weeks.

    It's HM leek and potato soup and dumplings for tea tonight with an extra portion for lunch on Thursday or another tea for later in the week. Yummy - proper line your belly winter food!

    Anyway, see you over on December's thread!
    January grocery spending - £82.73/ £120
    • sharronej
    • By sharronej 25th Nov 08, 4:18 PM
    • 563 Posts
    • 4,784 Thanks
    Current total is £83.19 ot of my November budget of £200

    Our first baby was born this month, and as such all our relatives keep turning up with free shopping for us - Result! The savings from this month's budget will come in handy for Christmas food shopping (and SMA!!!)

    Hoping to do a shop at Tesco on Thusrday this week - will update then x
    Originally posted by prophecy_grrl

    congratulations on the new baby, did you have a boy or girl? The savings on the budget are the icing on the cake!
  • Galaxy863
    Well I've completely blown the budget this month after spending £75.73 in Mr A on Saturday so have spent a whopping £213.52 this month

    £20 of the £75.73 was on beer for the OH and I managed to get some ys chicken breasts and chicken legs ( I'll only buy free range chicken and its been months since I've bought any cos it's just too damn expensive! ) so I can't wait to have chicken for a change ( how sad is that )

    So over budget again, this time by 63.52 Problem is I was buying things for the christmas hampers I'm doing and also bought birthday presents which I have a seperate budget for but I just put the total amount for the spends on my spreadsheet without taking this in to consideration and now can't find the receipts

    Part of the problem is my oven STILL isn't fixed ( It's been 7 weeks now! ) a friend keeps saying he'll get his mate to fix it which will save us £100 in repair costs but he's just always busy and I have no idea when it'll get sorted. I hope its soon or I'm just gonna have to bite the bullet and pay someone else to do it, I can't cope much longer without my oven!

    So I'm declaring at £213.52 for November, I definitely won't need anything else and want to set a budget of £250 for December please to include all the extra's I'll be buying over Christmas
    For petrol, food & toiletries for 2 adults and 2 guinea pigs!
    October £150/£158.61 November £150/£213.52 December £250/£230.92 January £250/£204.27
  • rosieben
    Congratulations, prophecy_grrl, another GC baby!!

    I went shopping today for the first time in weeks and I spent a lot of money ......... but in my defence, my cupboards were bare of basics, and I also bought a few chrimbo extras. I'm over budget by about £20 now but I'll declare my final total next week, as I have a feeling I may spend a bit more between now and then

    I've ordered my turkey crown for next week, and also stocked up with some meat for the next month or so, there'll only be f&v and milk to buy for the next few weeks. famous last words...........
    ... don't throw the string away. You always need string!

    C.R.A.P.R.O.L.L.Z Head Sharpener
  • SarahLou22
    Hi Blondy - just to say that I am in a similar situation as you too -no excuses about kids etc, just spending more money than necessary on food each week!!
    My main weakness is "popping in" to the supermarket accross the road...before i know it i've spend far too much!

    I keep meaning to spend saturday cooking etc etc, but end up making things that always need something else to go with it...or not being bothered at all...

    Things I have managed to do that are starting to make a dent into things include:-
  • SarahLou22
    oops, pressed the wrong button! lol!

    try again....

    1. Keep all reciepts for a week and take a look at it at the end - scary how much rubbish we bought wthout realising it (eg single bars of choc that slipped in!)

    2. Self exclusion from the supermarket during the week

    3. Enouraging the OH to help out with cooking (amazing how unfussy he becomes once he knows what is involved!)

    4. Buying a few "essentials" in bulk at a cash & carry/ bigger supermarket with value brands (eg pasta, soft drinks dog food etc)

    5. Internet shopping - the running total scares me!

    Hope these help,
    • wannabe sybil
    • By wannabe sybil 25th Nov 08, 7:01 PM
    • 2,726 Posts
    • 18,881 Thanks
    wannabe sybil
    I am also struggling to get the bills down - there is me, dear heart, my little boy and evil cat. I am at the moment getting towards @ £75 per week, but struggling.

    One thing that has really helped me is using and shopping on line. It really helps me to see the totals, and also I get suggestions about how to reduce the total with substitutes.

    Hope this helps.
    Ankh Morpork Sunshine Sanctuary for Sick Dragons - don't let my flame go out!
  • basmic
    One thing that has really helped me is using and shopping on line. It really helps me to see the totals, and also I get suggestions about how to reduce the total with substitutes.

    Hope this helps.
    Originally posted by wannabe sybil
    That's a good site that, just a shame Morrisons isn't on there.
  • savingfortravel
    We would like to declare at £40.61 out of £200.
    We have tried really hard this month and are really pleased as GC money has come out of money I saved in Scotland over Half Term, so we haven't really touched any of our £200 pot. All proceeds are going towards Central America Summer 2009..yes its back on..long story.
    Soon my birthday so I've asked for M and S vouchers so I can buy some delicious food for Christmas and hopefully save a bit more GC money for my trip.
    I know its strange that I keep to the total of £50 per week each month when our spending is so low but otherwise what we do save will end up in a ISA or something too sensisble and if we are going to meal plan, batch cook, bargain hunt, coupon use etc... our savings has to go on fun. I still dream of toucans.
    Mrs M, Please put us down for £200 for December please.
    Last edited by savingfortravel; 25-11-2008 at 7:28 PM.
    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
    • Penelope Penguin
    • By Penelope Penguin 25th Nov 08, 7:28 PM
    • 17,087 Posts
    • 132,754 Thanks
    Penelope Penguin

    Not sure if I have posted this on the correct section.

    Here is my situation I currently live with my OH and our two dogs. We are currently spending on average £100 a week on food for just us two and then about £15 for the dogs including a bone each per week. I think that this is a lot of money and at the mo we are struggling with paying bills. Has anyone got any good ideas to reduce our food costs, or any good recipes that are tasty but cheap and reasonably quick. I would love to spend less on food every week - we have reduced the cost of pet food as now buy them supermarket own dog tins, but we go through 4 a day as they are both large dogs. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks
    Originally posted by blondy24
    You've had some great suggestions here I'll add this thread to the Grocery Challenge, where you can get more information and support on keeping your grocery spending to limits you can afford.

    Penny. x
    Sheep, pigs, hens and bees on our Teesdale smallholding
    • brummiebabe
    • By brummiebabe 25th Nov 08, 7:29 PM
    • 1,868 Posts
    • 5,170 Thanks
    Well....have gone over again - and have also lost track of my exact total - think it's around £400 (target was £360)

    Never mind....December challenge starts tomorrow.....please put me down for £400
    20p Saver Club #33 60p/£100
    Christmas Saving £0/£1300

    Saving Target 2014 £25/£1000
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