Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • Pink.
    • By Pink. 25th Aug 06, 11:49 AM
    • 17,431Posts
    • 40,365Thanks
    September 06 Grocery Challenge
    • #1
    • 25th Aug 06, 11:49 AM
    September 06 Grocery Challenge 25th Aug 06 at 11:49 AM
    Hello everyone

    Another new month is about to start, for most of us, while some of you are already well into things.

    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.

    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

    Last edited by Former MSE Natasha; 29-08-2006 at 5:47 PM.
Page 1
    • comping cat
    • By comping cat 25th Aug 06, 1:14 PM
    • 23,808 Posts
    • 3,165,181 Thanks
    comping cat
    • #2
    • 25th Aug 06, 1:14 PM
    • #2
    • 25th Aug 06, 1:14 PM
    Thanks Pink, ive been really slack with the challenge the last few months, so will be starting again this month. Going to attempt to spend under £150 for the 3 of us.
  • WelshWoofer
    • #3
    • 25th Aug 06, 1:16 PM
    • #3
    • 25th Aug 06, 1:16 PM
    I'm in - 100 squideroonies to spend on all food, cleaning bits, toiletries and dog stuff.
    I'll start on 1st September as I'm away working until August 31st and food is all paid for by work.
    Didn't do too badly last month - still have to tot it all up but I thinkit was around 90 (out of a budget of 100).
    Good luck to all!
    January grocery spending - 82.73/ 120
  • ems
    • #4
    • 25th Aug 06, 1:24 PM
    I've said it before but this time I mean it
    • #4
    • 25th Aug 06, 1:24 PM
    I've tried this before but somehow it's all gone pear shaped.
    Have majorly overspent this summer:rolleyes:
    But September is back to school and work.
    This month I WILL
    1) take my partner's credit card away and go back to shopping myself
    2) meal plan
    3) work out a realistic budget for food for 2 adults and 4 kids ( 1 vegi so have to cook separate meals for her)

    Haven't got a clue how much we spend on food at the mo - at least 400 so it's head out the sand time.
    Need to save up cos we're going away in October but at the mo have no money!! Holiday booked and paid for in Tesco vouchers

    Have also been living out the freezer and store cupboards for last couple of weeks so will need to stock up again

    Good luck every one
    • scaredy cat
    • By scaredy cat 25th Aug 06, 1:41 PM
    • 841 Posts
    • 3,772 Thanks
    scaredy cat
    • #5
    • 25th Aug 06, 1:41 PM
    • #5
    • 25th Aug 06, 1:41 PM
    hi, i am new to this but to give you an idea in july i spent over £800 at supermarkets , including all cleaning, toiletries and some cash back. Hence in debt and had my light bulb moment! I was buying huge amounts of organic and fair trade everything and living a dream. Last month, I spent £319, just by meal planning, being aware and no ridiculous trips to shop for luxuries. No cashback. WE are 2 adults and 2 children. I am attempting to keep to £300 again this month. It seems a lot but better then nearly £900!!

    Motivation needed so glad i found this forum!
    • shell2001
    • By shell2001 25th Aug 06, 1:53 PM
    • 1,795 Posts
    • 17,992 Thanks
    • #6
    • 25th Aug 06, 1:53 PM
    • #6
    • 25th Aug 06, 1:53 PM
    I am in on this one as its the last area we can really make cutbacks. My usual budget is 350 for the month includes food, cleaning stuff (now have discovered stardrops and white vinegar this should help), toiletries and nappies and wipes. Gonna crack on with potty training when we get back from hols. We are away for first 2 weeks of sept so gives me 175 for rest of month. Have done my meal plan just gonna pop on tesco site and price it up. Fingers crossed!!
  • Peem
    • #7
    • 25th Aug 06, 2:18 PM
    • #7
    • 25th Aug 06, 2:18 PM
    I'm on for this.

    300 for me, DH and 2 kids and any other waifs and strays who happen to be around at meal times.

    I'm hoping you lot will keep me in line.
    "You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." - C.S. Lewis
    • CAFCGirl
    • By CAFCGirl 25th Aug 06, 2:29 PM
    • 8,661 Posts
    • 19,124 Thanks
    • #8
    • 25th Aug 06, 2:29 PM
    • #8
    • 25th Aug 06, 2:29 PM
    Excellent to have this as a sticky.

    Jumping on for the very first time myself.
    Am hoping to go for £75 for just lil ol' me. Including food, household items, toiletries and food/sawdust for the rabbit! Although I'm sure its the housemates turn this month!

    Have a fair amount of items in cupboards but only small fridge and freezer so difficult to stock up and bulk buy.

    Biggest spend is on luxury food items so need to get that down, cut down on cakes, soft drinks, convenience foods!

    May need a lot of encouragement and tips, hope someone can help :S xx

    10 years and still don't have a clue what I'm doing

    Trying to get by on a single Emergency Services income
    Fashion On The Ration Coupons 14\66
    March Grocery Challenge 250\46.77
    • Nix143
    • By Nix143 25th Aug 06, 3:06 PM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 7,341 Thanks
    • #9
    • 25th Aug 06, 3:06 PM
    • #9
    • 25th Aug 06, 3:06 PM
    Hi guys

    Well, I have to do this - things have suddenly gone ker-plunk with my finances and everything is hitting home this month. I don't get paid until the 10th (but it will be the 8th as that's a Sunday) but want to start the September grocery challenge

    Couple of questions
    1. Does it make sense to start at the beginning of a calendar month or your salaried month? I'm planning on doing my major shop the weekend I get paid
    2. I have no idea what I have spent on groceries previously and no idea of what a reasonable figure would be - there is me and my 12 year old son (and an occasional visitor ) - what figure do you guys think is good for my first month? Unfortunately I cant afford to just spend as normal (I dread to think how much I normally spend on food etc)

    Thanks for the help, don't you just love us newbies!
    • scaredy cat
    • By scaredy cat 25th Aug 06, 4:25 PM
    • 841 Posts
    • 3,772 Thanks
    scaredy cat
    i'm new to and its great to be here dealing with it!!! good luck. Do you do a meal plan and a shopping list?
  • Sarahsaver
    LOL My back garden is quite waterlogged from all the rain. Paddy field anyone :rolleyes:
    Seriously, I am varying the weekly budget between £20 and £30, although this week I had £8 left from the £20 he he he! I think its bcos mum came up and shes a veggie, so the food we had was cheeeeeep!
    It is £30 every other week when we have an organic veg box.
    Egg and chips tonight
    Member no.1 of the 'I'm not in a clique' group
    I have done reading too!
    To avoid all evil, to do good,
    to purify the mind- that is the
    teaching of the Buddhas.
    • poppycracker
    • By poppycracker 26th Aug 06, 7:39 AM
    • 1,511 Posts
    • 4,494 Thanks
    I'm in again. Just scraped 160 lthis month. I'm not letting OH anywhere near the grocery money this month! We have to cut down as the car is in the garage and we have no money to pay the bill! The garage said they'll keep the car til we do get it paid but it's not nice owing people money :confused:

    So, for September, I'm going to try and get it down to 130. Sainsbury's is SO much CHEAPER than Somerfield, I think I'm going to switch allegiences (I used to work for Somerfield)

    We won't have our wages available til Tuesday 5th Sept so that's my start date.

    Wish me luck all!
    DFW Nerd no 239.....Last Personal Debt paid off Nov 2012!
    Donated 50 pints so far.... gold badge got 17/11/13! Blood Group O+
    mummy to 3 cats, 2 budgies and a cockatiel
  • HomeJames
    Hello again 3rd time lucky im going to stick with the 200 groceries budget last two months slightly over but im getting better!
    Going to use a different method this month as I think the monthly online shop at tesco is making me overspend so here goes good luck everyone
    Official DFW nerd 206 Proud to be dealing with my debt
    2 savers club joined 25/6/06 54 (0ver 1200 banked)
    LB moment June 06 Debt payed off so far 36000 DFD March 2010
    Reclaimed fees
    MBNA 302 RBOS 49.58 Mint 25.95
    PPI: A&L 2074 Freemans 770 MBNA 944
  • GardenMillie
    Count me in
    Hi guys

    I did the storecupboard/groceries challenge in July and did brilliantly 82 on food for the month plus using up lots of storecupboard and things from the freezer. In August I'm at 150 Don't know what's happened. The freezer is full again - got some great deals on king prawns and chicken fillets and cupboards looking pretty healthy.

    Does anyone else find they have alternate good and not so good months?

    I'm also planning to use up lots of my cleaning products, half used bottles etc.
  • wigginsmum
    I'm in £200 25th August to 25th September for 2 adults and 7 cats. Will have to really economise this month as we have 8 people coming to a barbecue tomorrow, but I've done most of the month's shopping (two freezers' full) and just need fruit/veg/milk/bread etc.
    The ability of skinny old ladies to carry huge loads is phenomenal. An ant can carry one hundred times its own weight, but there is no known limit to the lifting power of the average tiny eighty-year-old Spanish peasant grandmother.
  • nickj
    how much does the average weekly shop fora family of 2 adults 2 kids shopping bill be , on a good week it ranges from 45-50 , on a bad week it can range from 70-90 ( which it did today , made me wince ) , plus top ups during the week 10-20 it's not as tho we're eating caviar and steak every night , i've worked it out that we spend around £4500 per year on nosh , plus if we have fish and chips or takeaways or eat out .... it does bring tears to your eyes just thinking about it , which i hadn't until today ....
    so my target that i would be just to average it out to aound 65 per week and save around 1000 per year , can it be done .. and how ?
    • Amanda666
    • By Amanda666 27th Aug 06, 7:08 AM
    • 212 Posts
    • 1,856 Thanks
    Right I'm in this month too

    Will be away for 8 days in Sept so challenge will run from 28th Aug to 27th Sept. Just OH, me and the cat. Am planning a store cupboard challenge along side this as keep finding nearly out of date stuff in the cupboards.

    As its the first time am going to say £120 and see how it goes.

    I know that when it was just me and the cat £60 for the month was do-able ( OH's don't you just love 'em )

    Well fingers crossed and good luck everyone
  • wannabe moneysaver
    Can anyone give me some advise please?

    Have just purchased my first house with my partner - really exciting!

    Does anyone have any basic tips for keeping the food, toiletries and cleaning bills to a minimum?

    I'd like to start how I mean to go on!

    Thanks in anticipation!
  • abbecer
    I always mean to join the monthly challenge but never seem to get around to it. This month i'm definitely on board. Will start tommorow as my week 1. I'm going to aim for £150 for the 4 of us plus cat. I have lots of cleaning stuff and freezer stuff to use so hopefully this is realistic. Also have storecupboard stuff so will be needing all your help with this. Thanks in advance.

    Rebecca x
    • By COOLTRIKERCHICK 27th Aug 06, 4:58 PM
    • 10,419 Posts
    • 58,340 Thanks
    yep count me in... the kids are back in school tues .. and wed... so sept.. 1st friday will tie in with hubby's wages going into to bank..... so even though this a monthly challenge... i will be doing it on a wekly basis... to tally in with hubby's wages... so to start i am going to try 50.00 a week... for 2 adults 2 children age 10 & 11 a dog .. a few chickens and ducks... and a pending kitten....

    i must admit... my freezer is fairly full at mo... due to tescos r & r 's plus i have loads of toiletries.. and washing powder... so got a bit of a head start...

    but at least it's a start.... to get me planning ..and budgeting properly..

    will change my sig.... to let everyone know how i'm doing...
    Work to live= not live to work
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,056Posts Today

5,371Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Have a great Easter, or a chag sameach to those like me attending Passover seder tomorrow. I?m taking all of next?

  • RT @rowlyc1980: A whopping 18 days off work for only 9 days leave! I?ll have a bit of that please......thanks @MartinSLewis for your crafty?

  • RT @dinokyp: That feeling when you realise that you have 18 days of work and only used 9 days of your annual leave! Thanks @MartinSLewis h?

  • Follow Martin