Slide background

Encouragement

Slide background

Eat for

40 Cents

A Day

Header Typography
Inkwell and Pen

The Prudent Homemaker Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.

Grocery Shopping

September's Grocery Shopping Plans

Posted by on

September Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

September 2016 Garden Harvest

After a month of no shopping, I'm planning to continue to live mostly from our pantry, freezers, and garden, with a few purchases. Our income is still rather limited. In 2012 and 2013, we had a budget of $100 a month for food and $65 a month for non-food items. Our income is now even less than it each of those years; those years were also considerably less than we made in 2007, the year we had no income for 8 months and began living exclusively from our pantry for over a year. I am grateful for the increase that we had in income the second half of last year (and the savings it allowed us to have that helped us this year). For now, I will continue to take each month as it comes.

I'm budgeting $100 this month to buy things.

This month's budget is very unusual in that I have some gift cards and freebie coupons to use towards purchases in addition to the $100. 

 

Target:

I will redeem 2200 Swagbucks on September first to get a $25 Target gift card. You can redeem one $25 gift card a month for 2200 points; after that, they are 2500 points. It usually takes me 2-3 months to get 2200 points, but this month I spent some more time earning points so that I would have this.

Diapers (1 large box that will last the month)

Children's chewable multi-vitamins (150 count bottle)

 

Winco:

Potatoes. I'll buy 50 pounds; the russets are currently higher than I like to spend (at $2.98 for a ten-pound bag) but I will be going above my price point on them this month (normally $2.25 a bag)  and hope that when I make it over there, the price has come down.

Gold N'Soft Light spreadable margarine in a 3-pound tub, which is usually around $2.24. (I use this on baked potatoes, to cook with, and on toast; it has 0 trans-fats). I'll pick up 3.

Carrots (10 pounds for $3.88)

Milk

Apples. I'm hoping to see sales between $0.79 and $0.99 a pound when the new crop of apples comes in.

 

Smith's:

Corn on the cob: 6 ears for $1 (no limit; I'll buy 24).

Chicken (a reader sent me some manufacturer's coupons for free chicken for a certain brand of fresh chicken that she can't get in her area; I'll pick these up and add them to my freezer).

American Beauty pasta. It looks like the new sales price is $0.69 ($0.49 looks like a price I won't see anymore). I printed several coupons for $1 off 2 packages from coupons.com and I will pick up pasta. I'll only buy the 16-ounce bags (rather than the 12-ounce bags) so that I can get the most food for my money. I'll buy 50 pounds of pasta. (I also added the Smith's digital coupon to my card for another $1 off coupon).

Friday freebie. I loaded the Friday freebie to my card and I'll pick it up when I'm there; it's a candy bar and I can give it as a gift to a child.

 

Albertson's:

Sour cream 10 for $10; I'll have my husband pick up 10  (which will save on gas as there is a store in the shopping center where his office is) and we'll enjoy them on potatoes as well as rice and beans. 

 

Sam's Club:

I still have a $25 Sam's Club gift card that I got from Swagbucks earlier this year. I kept meaning to use it every time I went but I kept forgetting it was in my purse! I plan on using the gift card to get the following:

25 pounds of Long grain rice ($8.34)

Ketchup ($3.83 for 114 ounces; we use it to refill 3 large bottles)

Oxi-Clean powdered stain remover (10.1 pound box), on sale through the 17th for $12.48

Pears in Silver Bowl The Prudent Homemaker

From the garden this month, I will harvest Bartlett pears, Swiss chard, oregano, basil, a few handfuls of red noodle beans, a few Armenian cucumbers (several of my vines died and bugs got to the zucchini plants last month; a couple are left but I never harvested any zucchini last month as the heat caused the flowers to wither and die before they ever opened), a few tiny tomatoes, green onions, chives, rosemary, and some other herbs as I need them for meals.

 

What are you planning to stock up on this month?

 

 

 

Tagged in: Grocery Shopping
Last modified on

 Cucumbers and Basil The Prudent Homemaker

My freezers are packed full of frozen fruit from both our garden and from deals I found earlier this year. There's some meat in there, somewhere behind all the peaches, blackberries, figs, strawberries, and blueberries. There's lemon juice from our lemon trees too.

The garden has started producing Armenian cucumbers. I'm hoping for enough to can pickles this year. I planted loads of them in several places in the garden and the vines have reached the tops of my five-foot trellises and started producing female flowers.

We have Swiss chard, red noodle beans, and green onions in the garden.

Yellow Pear Tomatoes The Prudent Homemaker

The tomato plants are still producing (especially the Yellow Pear tomatoes), though they are winding down because of the heat (they are not longer producing flowers).

I've got butternut squash growing and will have a few to pick this month.

I have 5 zucchini plants. None are producing for me at the moment, but the overcast days in July led to cooler temperatures and I can see a combination of male and female flowers at the base of them. Hopefully, they'll be open on the same days to be pollinated and we'll have some zucchini too!

Bartlett Pears on Tree The Prudent Homemaker 

The Bartlett pears are ripe this month. There aren't many, as the trees have never grown very large in 10 years, but we'll still have a decent number.

The table grapes are ripe (the birds have gotten a number of them though). We'll have some to eat (they have seeds) and some to juice. When they're all done, I'll pick the leaves to cook. They have a lemony flavor and are delicious in all sorts of recipes. I'll stuff some this month too.

Bucket of Zinnias and Sunflowers

The zinnias I planted in the backyard are opening! I know they're late but I'm happy to have them! I have a few small sunflowers too (about the same size as the zinnias).

I've got a decently stocked pantry

And I'm not planning to go shopping at all during the month of August for food or toiletries.

We're having a lower income month along with increased expenses. We're adding life insurance to our bills this month and in September we hope to add some online college classes for my eldest, which will mean tuition and book expenses. These will mean increased expenses every month, so hopefully, our income will increase to cover the difference. 

With an irregular income, I never know what our income will be. I try to plan a month ahead for expenses whenever possible, but that isn't always possible. This month, I'm waiting to see what else will come in. Our first priorities are our mortgage, utilities, and insurance. Should anything come in past that, I'll save it to put toward's September's bills.

Whether or not I'll go shopping in September is yet to be seen. If I do, it is certainly to be a reduced amount. We were very blessed last year to make more money and be able to increase our grocery budget. This year, our income has been lower, and if it continues as it has been, we will make 1/3 of what we made last year (Last year was a blessing! We were able to repair several things and purchase some needed furniture. Before that, things had been much lower, like this year, for the 8 previous years). Consequently, it's possible that I'll go back to a $100 a month budget. I know we can do it, as we have in past years where we've made this amount, and we managed to build our food storage while doing so. It's been nice to have had the money to buy other things we like to eat, including more meat and cheese, but we can certainly eat more soups, oats, rice, and beans going forward. I'm collecting lettuce seeds from the garden this week and I look forward to planting them in my fall garden along with other seeds I have on hand. I'm feeling really grateful that when our income was higher last year, I bought a couple of years' worth of seeds, and that I'm growing almost all open-pollinated seeds, which allows me to collect seeds from my garden to plant every year.

Here's some of what I'll have on the menu this month:

 

Breakfasts:

 

Oatmeal with brown sugar, raisins, and almonds

Crepes (I still have some eggs and I'll use powdered milk)

Whole wheat waffles with fruit from the freezer

Smoothies and toast with cinnamon sugar 

Bread and jam (I've got homemade strawberry, apricot, and fig jams, plus apple butter on my pantry shelves)

 

Summer Pasta Salad The Prudent Homemaker

Lunches:

 

Black beans and rice with tomatoes and corn

White bean dip with pita bread, cucumbers, and tomatoes (produce from the garden)

Macaroni and cheese with sliced tomatoes (on the side!) and cucumbers in vinegar

Tomato Basil Sandwiches

Pasta Salad

Leftovers

Fig Tarts The Prudent Homemaker

 

Snacks:

 

Fig Tarts

Cookies

Peach Pie Popsicles

Popcorn

Grapes

Smoothies

 

Dinners:

 

Black Bean Burgers with Steak Sauce and tomatoes from the garden

Turkey Curry over basmati rice with peas and chapatis

Pork Roast with fig sauce and mashed potatoes, Swiss chard, and butternut squash

Baked Potatoes with a corn and tomato salad

Stir fry with pork or turkey and vegetables from the garden and bean sprouts

Pinto beans and rice with onions and tomatoes

Spaghetti with red noodle beans

Stuffed grape leaves with homemade pita bread

Ham with Rosemary potatoes and red noodle beans

Ham sandwiches with tomatoes from the garden and home-canned dill pickles

 

 

If you're living from your pantry this month, check out my two weeks' worth of pantry meals here.

If you need more bean recipes, check out my post on How to Eat Beans Every Night.

If you're looking for a frugal summer menu, check out a month's worth of summer meals here.

 

Are you planning to go shopping in August? What deals will you be looking to purchase?

 

Tagged in: Grocery Shopping
Last modified on

Pavlova For the Fourth The Prudent Homemaker 

My budget for food and toiletries for our family of 10 for this month is $200.

July is one of our highest utility months, as we are using more water in the garden and using the air conditioners (our house has 2 units, plus a window unit in our pantry) and ceiling fans all the time, as our highs between 105 and 118ºF. Normally summer bills are matched by an increase in income (and lower utilities in the winter for us are matched with a lower income, as fewer people move during the winter), but not this year. Consequently, I'm lowering the budget this month. I am also considering keeping it at the same amount in future months, as we will have a new regular expense starting in August.

With an irregular income, I pay my bills in this order: mortgage, then utilities and other bills (like insurance; we have no consumer debt), then food, and lastly anything else (clothing, schoolbooks, etc.). If our income doesn't cover everything, then we can eat from the pantry, freezers, and garden. 

The grapes and peaches are ready in the garden. I'll be picking 3 kinds of grapes (Red Flame, Thompson's seedless and a non-named seeded grape) as well as Early Elberta peaches. We're also still picking apples from our Dorsett Golden tree.

Red and Yellow Tomatoes The Prudent Homemaker

There should be a few tomatoes ripe. Usually, once it heats up they stop flowering and don't flower again until mid-October, but for some reason, there are flowers on several of my plants right now. We love tomatoes, so I'm very grateful! We've been picking about two colanders full a week for the last 3 weeks.

I have some Swiss chard ready in the garden, as well as several herbs, including basil, oregano, chives, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

I am hoping for some zucchini--but will have to see if they flower much, due to the heat. One of my plants looks promising with plenty of female blooms ready to open in the next month, but there are no male flowers, so it may go unpollinated. Another plant has no flowers whatsoever. I had several other plants die, so I replanted and am currently waiting for them to get larger. Usually, they won't set flowers during the summer, though mid-July, should the monsoon season come upon us with a few overcast days and one day with a few hours of rain, the temperatures may drop enough for flowers. (Last year this mid-July rain never happened and the temperatures kept rising--and my garden burned worse than normal).

I'm hoping, too, to see some pollination on my Armenian cucumbers, which I haven't seen yet. I've not seen any female flowers yet. I have several more seedlings that are up but still small; hopefully, they will grow large enough to flower and produce in October when the temperatures drop (like the zucchini and tomatoes)  and if they decided to produce before that I will be delighted. I'm really hoping for some cucumbers now, but so far I haven't seen any. I've realized that in this heat about all I want to eat are cucumbers and tomatoes every day. With this in mind, I planted several more seeds for Armenian cucumbers during the month of June. It will be a few months before I see anything from those, but hopefully, we'll have enough to eat every day and also use to can pickles and relish.

I have a bit of lettuce in the garden still, surprisingly. It is bolted lettuce (it's gone to seed) and usually turns bitter, but in a sandwich, it is just fine. I also have a bit of arugula; mine bolted and self-seeded, and I'll be able to harvest it this month.

Ice cream is at the top of everyone's wish for just about every meal, but isn't exactly practical! Nevertheless, I will be looking for sales on the large gallon store-brand containers of ice cream at Smith's and Albertson's. At the lowest price, I can buy a full gallon for $3.99 on sale at Smith's (and Albertson's has in that size container, with sale prices at $4.49 a gallon; they carry mint chocolate chip in that size and Smith's does not; we usually buy fudge swirl and cookies & cream on sale at Smith's). 

I started having a date night at home with each child last month that included ice cream and three games of Sequence after their siblings were in bed. I haven't had a date with all of the children yet, so I'll make sure to get ice cream to continue that this month.

I'll look for sales on pasta. We've been eating ours down in an effort to rotate through all of it. I'm down to only angel hair pasta in the pantry. I'd ideally like to purchase fettucini, rotini, macaroni, and shells on sale. In the past, Smith's has had a $0.49 pasta sale on American Beauty pasta in the past (some areas of the country get the same sale on Ronzoni), but they have been slowly getting rid of that brand on the shelf and now mostly carry it only in a few shapes at the nearby stores (shells and rotini are no longer ones they carry for this brand). This means I'll have to pay more; I've seen sales for other brands (like Barilla) in these shapes at the lowest prices of $0.69 and $0.75 a pound. If I don't find a good sale on this, I'll wait. If I do, pasta salad with homemade Italian dressing and fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden is sure to be on the list. I can add green onions, New Zealand Spinach, basil, and tomatoes from the garden right now, and if I get cucumbers, I'll add those too. There is a coupon on coupons.com right now for $1.00 off two bags of American Beauty pasta. I printed two this week (the limit) and then the coupons reset and I printed two more. If the sale comes, I should be able to get 8 bags of pasta for free.

I'll cook some chicken (more of the legs I bought on sale for $0.44 a pound a few months back) and cook a turkey from the freezer to use in several meals, including some turkey salad (with grapes and apples from the garden), some enchiladas, in sandwiches, and to serve over rice with a lemon dill sauce.

July Fruit Salad The Prudent Homemaker

My meals will be simple this month.

I'll make Greek yogurt in the crockpot and granola for breakfasts (and we'll add homemade jam and/or fresh fruit and leave out the cranberries).  I'll make smoothies, eggs, and toast. Eggs have been wonderfully low-priced and I stocked up last month.

Lunches will be pasta salads, turkey salad, green salads (with tomatoes from the garden and sometimes hard-boiled eggs), sandwiches, quesadillas, tomato cheddar cracker sandwiches, and leftovers.

I'll make lots of smoothies and popsicles using frozen fruit and peaches from the garden for snacks.  We'll also enjoy fresh fruit from the garden and make a few batches of popcorn. 

Dinners will include at least bean burritos (I bought tortillas last month), barbecue chicken, beans and rice with tomatoes, homemade pizza, turkey enchiladas, lemon dill turkey, and some more ideas from my summer menu.

Desserts will be ice cream, tarts, fruit crumble, and individual pavlovas.

  

Here are the items that are for certain on my list this month:

 

Winco:

Potatoes ($0.25 a pound )

Milk

La Victoria Salsa (I have coupons)

La Victoria green enchilada sauce (I have coupons)

 

Albertson's:

Ice Cream (mint chocolate chip at $4.99)

Frozen Petite Peas (16-ounce bags are on sale for $1 each through Tuesday)

Corn on the Cob (on sale for 8 for $1, limit 8, through Tuesday)

Pasta (if on a good sale later this month)

 

Smith's :

Ice Cream (on sale through Tuesday for $3.99)

Blueberries (on sale through Tuesday for the unbelievably low price of $0.88 for a 6-ounce container--that's crazy low-priced for here. NO LIMIT. )

Whipping cream

Lettuce (Red leaf on sale for $0.99 a head)

Milk

Celery

Pasta (if on a good sale later this month)

 

Vons:

Sweet cherries (on sale for $1.47 a pound. This price is so low my jaw dropped when I saw the ad. Sale through Tuesday. Normal sales prices are $2.99 (lowest) or more usually $3.99 a pound. For this price, I am buying cherries!)

 

Target:

Salon Graphix Unscented Extra Super Hold hairspray

Playtex Sport Tampons (there are $1.50 off coupons on coupons.com right now and like the pasta, I printed 2 before and 2 after the month changed over, so I can buy 4 boxes for my eldest. This should last her quite some time as she normally uses these washable pads normally but wants to have something for when she is swimming).

 

Sam's Club:

Toilet paper

Milk

Mozzarella cheese

Cheddar cheese

 

I let my Sam's Club card expire last month. Rather than renewing it right away, I always try to put off renewing it by several weeks. The new membership starts from the time I pay, so this buys me a few weeks each year.  I'll wait until a bit later in the month to renew my card.

 

What are you planning on purchasing this month? What do you hope to harvest from your garden?

 

Last modified on

My Grocery Shopping Plans for June

Posted by on

Mission Figs in basketThe Prudent Homemaker

This month in the garden, we're picking blackberries, Mission figs and Dorsett Golden apples. The blackberries and figs will finish up within a week and then the apples will be ready. 

I've amazingly still got lettuce, thanks to a much cooler than normal May, which I should be able to pick for at least a week or two before it has all bolted. 

The first cherry tomatoes (Sun Gold and Yellow Pear) are ripening, just a handful or two at a time. I shared pictures a few days ago of both lettuce and tomatoes over on Instagram). 

My red seedless grapes should be ready this month. I'll cover them with paper bags to keep the birds from eating them while they finish ripening.

I froze many peaches last month from the garden, so of which will come out for peach pie popsicles this month. I'll be making lots of popsicles for snacks, as temperatures in June will be well over 100º F.

I plan to make yogurt and granola several times for breakfast, so I'll buy milk for making yogurt as well as for drinking. I also plan to make crepes often, as well as breakfast burritos. I'll make a frittata at least once.

We're craving cold, light meals this month. Pasta salads, salads, and potato salad alongside sandwiches will be on our menu frequently, as well as bean burritos. I'll cook beans in the crockpot or the solar oven, depending on how windy the day is. I'll make white bean dip and pita bread to eat for lunches with figs or apples). I'll cook a turkey from the freezer (they've been in there since November 2015 ) and slice it to make sandwich meat with our meat slicer. I'll make rosemary olive oil bread and French bread for sandwiches.

I'll purchase some cucumbers and tomatoes as our garden is not yet producing cucumbers and is only making a few tomatoes.

I plan on making some herbal sun teas (which I'll then refrigerate) with peppermint, chamomile, and lemon verbena from the garden.

 

Winco:

Potatoes

Milk

Margarine

Cucumbers

Tomatoes

Celery 

Carrots

Limes

Salsa

 

Sam's Club:

Mozzarella cheese

Cheddar cheese

Flour tortillas

Corn tortillas

#10 cans of tomato sauce

 

I've been experimenting with homemade barbecue sauce recipes.  I am no longer able to find the sauce my family prefers anywhere, and it is much less money for me to make my own, so some of these cans of tomato sauce will be turned into batches of barbecue sauce.

Past these specific items, I'll look for sales throughout the month that fit within my budget. This week's ad for Smith's include eggs for $0.77 a dozen (limit 4) and boneless pork loin for $1.59 a pound (an amazing price!) I'll pick up both of these (several pork roasts to freeze and 4 dozen eggs). I'll look for sales on the large party pails of ice cream at Smith's later in the month.

I'll be watching Totally Target's page for any great sales on toiletries at Target.

My budget for this month is $300 for our family of 10 for food and toiletries.  

 

What are you planning to purchase this month? Do you have special celebratory meals planned for graduations or Father's Day? Is your garden producing anything that you can add to your meals?

 

 

Tagged in: Grocery Shopping
Last modified on

April's Grocery Shopping Plans

Posted by on

Strawberries and artichokes The Prudent Homemakerjpg

This month we'll be adding one more teenaged boy to our home, as a dear friend's son from France will be coming to stay. That means I will have 11 to feed, with one being a baby and three being teenagers. My budget this month for food, cleaning supplies, and toiletries is $250.

From the garden, we'll harvest loads of Swiss chard, which will be steamed and served with lemon juice (from our lemons), sauteed with garlic, and put in soups. We'll have salads with lettuce and radishes from the garden, and I'll cut rosemary, parsley, garlic chives, green onions, thyme, and other herbs. I'll harvest turnips, snow peas, artichokes, and lemons.

Strawberry Jam The Prudent Homemaker

Strawberries go on sale this time of year, and I will buy them at $0.99 a pound to make strawberry shortcakes, to go on cheesecakes, to go on crepes, to can strawberry vanilla jam, and to freeze for smoothies and future strawberry shortcakes. I'll look for sales on these wherever they can be found throughout the month.

We have three birthdays to celebrate this month, so I'll make sure to pick up some ice cream too.

I'm also planning to make cheesecake, so I'll look for sales on cream cheese at $1 for an 8 ounce container.

 

Sam's Club:

Tomato sauce (in the #10 can)

Canned tomatoes (in a #10 can)

Mozzarella cheese

Whipping cream

Eggs

Aveeno baby lotion

 

Winco:

Milk

Sour cream

White chocolate chips

Potatoes

Gold N Soft Margarine (in a 3-pound tub)

Cream cheese (I'll look for it at $1  pound  an  8-ounce block or under for the holiday)

 

Vons:

Whole chicken and Leg Quarters ($0.67 a pound)

Colgate toothpaste ($1)

Strawberries ($0.99; limit of 2)

 

Smith's:

Ice cream

Mandarin oranges (on sale as part of the case-lot sale)

Strawberries (no limit)

Milk

 

What are you stocking up on this month?

 

Tagged in: Grocery Shopping
Last modified on

March's Grocery Shopping Plans

Posted by on

Radish Bouquet The Prudent Homemaker 

We have radishes, lemons, Swiss chard, beets, a tiny bit of asparagus, arugula and several herbs ripe in the garden. We should have snow peas, lettuce, and spinach lettuce ready later in the month.

 

Here are my shopping plans for the month. We'll eat mostly from the pantry and freezers.

 

Sam's Club:

Sugar

Mozzarella cheese

Whipping cream

Flour tortillas

Corn tortillas

Milk

Lawry's Chicken and Poultry rub seasoning (on sale this month)

Best Foods mayonnaise (on sale this month)

Tomato sauce (in the #10 can)

 

Winco:

Kidney beans

Milk

Spreadable margarine

Potatoes

 

Target:

Trash bags

Oxi-Clean stain remover

I'll use a $15 off $50 coupon that was in Sunday's ad for these items (I don't get the paper but my mom gave me the ad; you can get it through Target Cartwheel as well I believe). The coupon is really specific about what items apply, but I normally buy the Target brand trash bags and oxi-clean, and both of these qualify.

 

Smith's:

Ice cream: on sale plus there is another $0.49 off digital coupon on their website that I will upload first

I'll also pick up last week's Friday Freebie (a Lindt chocolate) and this week's if it is one I like. Friday Freebie deals at Kroger affiliates need to loaded to your store card on Friday and are available to pick up for 2 weeks.

 

Albertson's:

Strawberries: $0.99 a pound this week; I imagine they'll go on sale again this month too.

Clementines: $2.99 for a 3-pound bag

Albertson's is having a Monopoly game right now. My mom and the woman she takes shopping are giving me all of their Monopoly pieces, plus I have a few of my own. The game pieces are attached to coupons. I have 2 instant win coupons that I will use to pick up a free 8-ounce container of sour cream and a free 26-ounce container of salt.

 

I'll look for sales on the following items. My target price is $0.99 a pound for each of these, except for the cabbage, which I hope to find for $0.39 or less a pound:

 

Asparagus

Cabbage

Frozen petite peas

 

What sales are you looking for this month? 

 

Tagged in: Grocery Shopping
Last modified on

 Introduction Sidebar 2017

Start HereMy Story

                           FOLLOW ME

               FACEBOOK              PINTEREST

Good Things to Make This Month

Slide background

Apple

Tart

Slide background

Hot

Pepper

Jelly

Slide background

Caprese

Salad

Slide background

Tomato

Cheddar

Sandwiches

Slide background

Steak

Sauce

Slide background

Black

Bean

Burgers

Slide background
Slide background

Pasta

Salad

Slide background

Roasted

Tomato

Basil

Pasta

Slide background

Fruit Crumble

The Kitchen Garden Sidebar
Sewing Project Sidebar
Grow Your Own Herbal Tea Sidebar
Grocery Shopping Sidebar
Learn to Can Sidebar
Grow Flowers for Less Sidebar

White Garden Sidebar

Birthdays Sidebar

Frugal Accomplishments Sidebar

72 hour kit sidebar
How To Eat Beans Every Night
Writing a Garage Sale List