The answer is simple:
Remove the packages you don't want using apt-get, synaptic package manager or the software center.
open apt's 01autoremove file by issuing the command sudo gedit /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/01autoremove
Navigate to the bottom of the section titled Never-MarkAuto-Sections
Add and entry to the section in my case to block grub I entered "grub*";. The contents of the modified file is at the bottom of this page.
You will enter the package name or portion of package names, including using * as a wildcard, in my case grub* blocks all packages that start with the word grub.
It is complete, when you next open the update utility it will not show the option to upgrade or update the software that you chose to block.
My /etc/apt/apt.conf.d/01autoremove file:
I hope you find this useful.