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April's Grocery Shopping Plans

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


Aveeno baby lotion




Sour cream

White chocolate chips


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)



Whole chicken and Leg Quarters ($0.67 a pound)

Colgate toothpaste ($1)

Strawberries ($0.99; limit of 2)



Ice cream

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

Strawberries (no limit)



What are you stocking up on this month?


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Tagged in: Grocery Shopping


  • Pat April 04, 2017

    My shopping plans for April are basically to buy necessities and continue using the meat and frozen veggies in my freezers.
    We need potatoes, sweet potatoes, coffee, vinegar and apple cider vinegar. I have about an inch of vinegar and 2 inches of coffee in my canister and that is it.
    I will continue to buy milk, eggs, bread and fresh veggies and fruit as needed thru the month.
    For Easter I would like to get a spiral or honey baked ham and a turkey breast. Easter basket goodies come out of our holiday budget.

  • Margaret @approachingfood April 04, 2017

    For any Canadians (specifically Ontarians) reading this, No Frills has skinless (but not boneless) chicken breast for $1.99/lb this week. I think that's the best price I generally see. Which is why I'll be stocking up on that this month!

    Aside from that, I really just need milk, produce, and cheese. I'm happily trying to use up odds and ends from my pantry, and I'm well-stocked with pretty much all shelf-stable staples. Except for chocolate. I do need more chocolate. But doesn't everyone? :D

  • J April 05, 2017

    Thanks Margaret I saw hat in the flyer too. I did a run to No Frills yesterday to get the 2.88 peanut butter as well as frozen pie shells (this I the one cheat I slays allow myself!!). I laughed this week because my mother in law texted me to ask if I knew a good sale in butter. I am really hoping tomorrow I will look in the flyers and find a good sale on butter. Superstore had boneless skinless chicken breast for 3.77 last week so I picked up a package. I really recommend Sale Whale to track flyers here. I find its the easiest way to look at the flyers we don't get in the mail.

  • Margaret @approachingfood April 06, 2017

    Sale Whale? I am totally going to check that out! Thanks, J!

  • K April 04, 2017

    April is another "under $100" food budget month. We're continuing to eat from our pantry and freezer, so we're really only buying perishables.

    Some recipe highlights for this month are roast chicken, chicken and dumpling soup, split pea soup, enchilada casserole, chili, and spaghetti. These should help use up a few ingredients from the pantry and freezer, so that we don't have to move them with us in June.

  • Juls Owings April 05, 2017

    It is not wise to go to the store and forget the grocery list....but I did remember the coupons. We BOTH forgot the apples for Hubby's lunch so he said he would just use whatever we have in cans.We will be in town on Saturday so we can get apples then. No special trips.
    We are focusing on him retiring end of this year or beginning of next yr instead of 2019/2020. Changes in the budget to save up for buying a house or at least moving from here as we are only in this area because of the job. Not in a big hurry to move, landlord doesn't want us to move LOL.
    I found canned veggies on sale buy 2 get 3 free at the store so got some of those for the emergency supplies because my veggies are either in canning jars or frozen.
    Pleasure for the spring flowers have bloomed and my older dogs (almost 100 yrs in people yrs) walks through them and smells them each morning and each night... I am trying to learn the wisdom she is showing me.

  • Cindy in the South April 05, 2017

    Wrll, we are having tornado watches, warnings, and severe thunderstorm warnings in the deep South today, and also last Monday. My power went out Monday and I had to fi,ish getting ready for work by flashlight. My ice cream had thawed out by the time I got off from work, and I had to toss it. I had collards and chicken in freezer partially thawed, as well as figs and mulbetries. I quickly cooked the collards with the chicken, instead of ham, and I baked the figs with the mulberries with a little sugar. These were foraged mulberries from my tree, and the figs were from the tree that was in my late mother's yard. So, my grocery plans will now include ice cream, a ham, and sugar for April. Hopefully, we will not have any more bad storms this spring.

  • mable April 05, 2017

    When we had ice cream melt, we poured it into a jar and used it as coffee creamer until it ran out. Kept in the fridge for a week---and I have to say more multiple cups of coffee were requested than ever before!!

  • Alena April 05, 2017

    Brandy, I've been curious for a very long time. It does not seem like you buy diapers often. How do you save on diapers? How many diapers do you use a day? I buy diapers every months and a lot!

  • Right now I have 4 large boxes of size 4 diapers (144 diapers in a box for size 4). I bought 4 boxes a couple of months ago when they were on sale at Target. They had a sale plus get a gift card back deal but you had to spend enough to get the gift card ($100). You could combine it with some other baby things for the sale but I just bought diapers, so I needed to buy 4 boxes to meet the minimum. He was growing out of the size 3 so I just bought up this last time and they are fitting him perfectly (I just opened the size 4 box a couple of days ago). It's the largest boxes that they have at Target. I try to always buy when there is a sale plus gift card/coupons or whatever deal they have. I buy the Target brand (Up and Up). I always want to have diapers in reserve and especially bought at a lower price :) Usually, throughout the year they have a buy 2 boxes get a $10 gift card sale and often a sale price on top of that.

  • Janet April 06, 2017

    I buy diapers this way too but with the twins we go thru at least 16 per day sometimes more ! It is expensive!

    I would supplement with cloth here and there but DIL does not wish to do that.

  • Alena April 06, 2017

    Thank you so much for the explanation. I also use Target diapers with my second son and I like them a lot, they do the job just fine. I only bought Pampers and Huggies (on sale plus coupons) for my first child even our income was so much lower them.

  • Elizabeth M. April 06, 2017

    I have finished my shopping for April. (I do my biggest shop at month-end, when my income comes in. This month, I did my shopping for the whole month, with a few things purchased on the 5th to get things I couldn't get the week before.)

    Great sales on frozen fruit, large cans of salmon, small cans of turkey and chicken, so I stocked up a bit. Good price on toilet paper and frozen vegetables. Also got potatoes and a 3 lb ham for Easter. It took me a while to find a ham that wasn't highly processed and that wasn't gigantic, since I am only feeding one person. Still want to buy a chocolate bunny - there is still a 6 year old inside of me. This comes from my personal spending money, though, not my grocery money.

    I am well under my normal spending on food for the month and with the amount of food in the house now, I don't expect that to change.

    I am still surprised by the low prices you see in the U.S. Even allowing for the exchange rate, the prices you see are unheard of in Canada. Except potatoes all year and winter squash in the fall, which we seem to get at better prices for some reason. Anyway, I just buy by the best available price here.

  • Elizabeth, keep in mind that I am looking for the loss leaders that go on sale seasonally. I also have a number of grocery stores in our area, so there is competition. This week, the price on strawberries at one store is $2.99--three times what the price was last week at a different store. I know strawberries are going to go on sale here in April and so I look for the seasonal sale price, and I only buy then. I save a lot of money shopping this way. Strawberries have become available almost all year now, but still the best price comes in April. In another part of the country, strawberry sales are probably going to be seasonal in June.

    I'm really grateful to have Winco here now, with potato prices at $0.25 a pound year-round. At the same store that had strawberries for $0.99 last week, potatoes were $3.98 for a 10-pound bag. I never pay that much and used to stock up more in the fall because of it. Now I can buy potatoes more often at the same price as in fall. It definitely depends on the store; these two stores are right down the road from each other.

    That said, I do think prices are higher in Canada.

  • Elizabeth M. April 07, 2017

    Our very best prices wouldn't reach the low prices that people talk about here. It is funny but sometimes the best time for us to buy is someone else's season - tomatoes and red peppers were less expensive this winter than I ever saw last summer during our growing season.

    It is not just on produce, but on eggs ($1.99 would be an exceptional price), meat (you could find turkey at .99 a lb around the holidays, but not ham, and chicken is never below $1.49, I'm thrilled at $1.88), and milk products (butter never below 2.99 a lb, cheese and cream cheese twice the price too). In the city, I know one store where there is sometimes a loss leader on strawberries for 99 cents a lb, but a limit of one or two lb. In my rural location, eggs are available at 99 cents a dozen the day after boxing day, with a limit of one or two dozen.

    There are several good sales a year on potatoes, always the same weeks of the year, and spread out through the year. As with you, they are often on sale throughout the year at other times as well now, so there isn't as much need to stock up in such large quantities. If I had a family like yours, I'd be able to buy them direct from a growers' association, which sells them at 50 lb for $10. Too big a bag for me to manage, though. Winter squash are easy to find at 68 cents a lb in the fall, even 48 cents on a loss leader, and there are usually free squash available from friends and on "extra produce" tables (my library has one). Most varieties store well through the winter if you have a cool place to keep them. (Something we have no shortage of.)

    I've learned a lot from you, especially buying in larger amounts at sale prices, and holding out for the best sale price. Larger quantities on things like oil and flour have made the biggest difference to my budget, though I love the wins from sale prices!

  • Rhonda A. April 07, 2017

    Elizabeth M. I totally agree with your price analysis for Ontario. The idea of buying eggs for under a dollar just blows my mind! Rare is the day that we even see sales on eggs for $0.99! It does make you wonder why the huge price difference, that's for sure. We do, however, have great sales for other things in our area, if you know what to to watch for and how to preserve them to use throughout the year.

    I buy 10lb bags of carrots on sale in the fall for around $1.50 to $2/bag. I buy 20-30lbs, then blanch and freeze them to use throughout the winter. Usually they also have 10lb bags of beets and onions around the same price. I don't like beets or onions, but if I did, I'd find a way to preserve them as well for winter use. When fresh broccoli hits $1 or less per bunch, I grab up several to blanch for freezer, too. I sometimes buy large quantities of other veggies relatively cheaply at farmers markets or roadside stands, like green beans and corn, when they are in season to blanch and freeze for winter as well. Honestly though, sometimes it is just as cheap to buy frozen veggies by the bag.

    I like to buy a flat or two of peaches and a basket or two of pears when in season for canning. I even canned fresh pineapple when it was on sale for $1-2. This provides some variety to our diet during the long winter, when fresh fruit choices are limited. We always buy a bushel or two of apples in the fall to make apple pies, and apple crisp for the freezer. These are frozen unbaked and cooked as needed for holidays, when we have guests over or just for a treat once in a while. We've even sold pies to friends who don't like to bake! I usually can applesauce (sometimes cooked with other fruit or berries for added flavour) and have experimented with making apple jelly from the peels and cores. Fresh apples are relatively cheap in the winter, but bushels are even cheaper in season.

    I usually watch for sales on smoked hams around Christmas and Easter. I often get them for around $5-7/800g. I then slice them up as shaved ham and/or ham steaks and freeze them in family sized portions. It may not be as cheap as the states, but it still beats paying over $1/100g for cold meat. Sometimes I buy an extra turkey or two when they go on super cheap around Thanksgiving. I then use the extra turkeys at Christmas and Easter, when the sales seem to be not low.

    So even though our prices are higher, some of the ideas presented here are still very useful. We just have to adjust it to fit for what is available for us!

  • Marcia April 07, 2017

    I agree. I buy cooking oil and vinegar now in gallons, which I wouldn't have thought to do before. The oil goes surprisingly fast. We live in a high price area for groceries too--little competition is one reason. Only 2 major stores plus Aldi's and Walmart. Target has a grocery dept but it is small. I pay $3.98 for FIVE pounds of potatoes although I do try to get them when they are BOGO. Apples, which grow all around us, never get below $1 a lb even in season--unless you buy large quantities, like a bushel--which is too much for the two of us.

  • Ann Lee S April 07, 2017

    Hi Brandy, today's paper ads show the first of the California strawberries arrival, selling for $4.99 per lb.
    your photo of the berries looked SO delicious! I'll wait a while until the prices are lower. Ann Lee S Vancouver Island BC

  • Melissa V April 06, 2017

    I am prepping for after my surgery on the 27th. I will be limited in what I can eat immediately after so i am making soups and putting them in the freezer as well as multiple loaves of my gluten free bread. I have to reorganize the freezer to even see what is in there as well so hubby can find things easier.
    * butter - I am hoping one of our stores has it for less and $3 a pound!
    * cream cheese
    * chicken breast and ground beef (we'll buy these in bulk and I'll vac seal it in 1 pound packages.
    * gluten free crackers and pasta + rice
    * carrots, celery and potatoes - all of the potatoes left from our garden have REALLY sprouted so they will be planted some time in the next couple weeks.
    * canned coconut and evaporated milk, powdered milk, instant potatoes and rice (emergency prep - we are going into severe storm season)
    * bandages - our daughter works for a drug company (in the lab) so she was able to replenish all of our first aid kit items that are almost out of date for just pennies but they don't make bandages - the old stuff went into the household med supply.
    * case of water - we are on a well so when we lose power there's no water unless we hook up the generator which can't power everything at once. i also need more of the flavored lemonade packets to add to it.
    * bleach and laundry soap - again, i just want to be prepared for after surgery.
    * Cat, dog and poultry food and cat litter and cedar shavings for my poultry coops. I will be on weight restrictions so I won't be able to do any lifting so I want to make sure it is all stocked up.
    That is alot and I hope I can get it all but once I told work (I had already given them a heads up that this would be getting scheduled and I gave them a months notice to hire someone if they needed too) that I would be on weight restrictions for 6 weeks and wouldn't be able to do my job, the manager cut my hours way back - he is kinda passive aggressive and I think it is his way of communicating he is ticked off even though he told me originally that it would be no problem.....

  • Andrea Q April 07, 2017

    I used gift cards earned from Swagbucks to purchase 5-gallon jugs from Amazon to hold per person (link below). I paid $10 each. We also keep about 5 gallons in one-gallon containers.

    Best of luck with your surgery and recovery. I hope all goes according to plan!

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