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April's Grocery Shopping Plans

Lemons on Cutting Board The Prudent Homemaker 

This post contains affiliate links.

As usual, this month I'm concentrating on filling holes in my pantry. We've continued to eat down the freezers, which has been fantastic, as I've found things that really need to be used up. This has given me the chance to clean out a couple of freezers before I start juicing lemons and adding lemon juice from our lemons to use throughout the year. My Meyer lemons can stay fresh on the tree from late November through April, but after that, it's too warm here, so they really have to be picked. Anything that we haven't already harvested will be picked and juiced this month. We'll freeze the juice and some zest as well. I plan on drying some zest to make my own lemon pepper seasoning.

Swiss Chard in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

The Swiss chard in the garden goes to seed this month, so we've been eating loads of Swiss chard every week for the past month and will continue to do so this month. When it bolts this month, it grows 6 feet tall (2 meters) in a week! I plan on harvesting it before it bolts and then pulling the plants, except for one or two which I'll let bolt for collecting seeds to plant later.

Salad Produce The Prudent Homemaker

April is the best month for lettuce in my garden, so we'll have lots of salads. In April we usually have salad either with or for (as the main course) lunch or dinner every day, served with homemade salad dressing. A simple and very inexpensive meal we often have in April is black beans (seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder, and lime juice), rice cooked with tomato bullion powder, and a salad. Bean burritos (made with pinto beans) are another favorite of ours in April. As the weather warms, homemade lemonade and salads with homemade bread are a meal we have often as well. Often, we'll have a homemade soup as well.

We'll harvest lots of snow peas and green onions this month. Most of them will be enjoyed in my Museum Pasta Salad.

Spinach, radishes, and leeks are ripe in the garden this month as well. 

I'll cut and dry parsley to add to my pantry. My parsley is starting to bolt in the garden, so it needs to be harvested before it all goes to seed. This is an item I no longer purchase dried, as I grow enough in my garden to use fresh and dried throughout the year.

 

I'm not sure when I'll be out and about shopping in May after our new baby is born, so for April, I am upping our budget from $200 to $400. May's shopping plans will depend on our income.

Here's how I plan to spend my $400 grocery budget for my family of 10 this month:

 

Sam's Club:

Raisins (60 oz.) $9.98

Chocolate chips (72 oz.) $9.98

Brown sugar (7lbs) $4.38

Granulated sugar (50 lbs) $23.88

Rice (25 lbs) $9.48

Tomato Sauce (5 #10 cans) $2.98 a can

Diced tomatoes (5 #10 cans) $2.98 a can

Feta cheese  (24 oz.) $7.38

Mozzarella cheese (5 lbs) $10.48

Ketchup (114 oz.) $3.83

POM toilet paper (4 boxes) $19.98 a box

Milk (4 gallons) $2.35 a gallon for whole milk

 

Winco:

Potatoes

Onions

Carrots

Limes

Great Northern Beans (25 lbs at $0.89 a pound)

Kidney Beans

Salsa

Milk

Sour Cream (unless I find a lower sale elsewhere)

Spreadable margarine (3 lb container for $2.28)

 

Walmart:

Equate hand dishwashing soap

Dental floss

 

Smith's:

I'll look for sales on strawberries for $1.00 a pound or less; I'll buy several to make jam and to freeze.

I'll look for sales on chicken under $0.99 a pound to put in the freezer. In years past, I have found whole chickens for $0.79 a pound in April, which is a rock bottom price where I live.

The case-lot sale takes place over two weeks this month. I'll look for case-lot sales on canned Mandarin oranges and canned green chiles. Chiles are not on the case-lot sale this time.

Update now that I have the ad:

Mandarin oranges case of 24 11-ounce cans $14.16 ($0.59 a can)

Tuna fish case of 48 5-ounce cans $28

Canned corn case of 12 $6 (2 cases)

 

 

Going through the grocery ads last month, I can see so many items that can quickly up one's budget--even on sale. For example, strawberries were on sale, but they were $2.50 a pound. I know that in April strawberries are at their lowest price for the year in April as they are in season here at that time, so that's when I stock up for the year. Many stores have a limit, so I'll look for a store that doesn't (usually Smith's--our Kroger affiliate--has them for under $1 a pound without a limit, though some years the lowest sales price has been $1.25 a pound). My goal is to always look for the lowest price and stock up then. I know that some items are only at that price once or twice a year, which is when I aim to stock up, and why the prices you see me paying are as low as they are. Regular prices and regular sales prices are not that low all the time on many items that I buy. By waiting to purchase items until they are at their lowest prices for the year and stocking up, I save a lot of money.

I'm cooking several pots of beans in my solar oven and freezing any we won't use right away. This gives me a head start to making several meals on other days, including after the baby is born.

 

What sales will you be looking for this month? Do you plan on harvesting anything from your garden?

 

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Tagged in: Grocery Shopping

Comments

  • Patti April 07, 2018

    Lilli,
    Your attitude is amazingly inspirational. Thank you for sharing your perspective with us. It is as valuable as a sale on meat, lol.
    Love and good wishes to you and yours as you stretch your resources. I’m so glad the snap benefit is a blessing to you.

  • Lea April 07, 2018

    My husband is a Pastor and discovered that many who are low-income don't have adequate cooking facilities (at least in our area). They perhaps have only a microwave, only a hot plate, only a toaster oven, not a full-size anything and most don't have a full size refrigerator or access to a freezer. Or they're living in a shelter, motel or their car, and have neither cooking facilities or refrigerator/freezer.

    The backpack food program through the schools here (sends food home with low/no-income families so the children can have something to eat over the weekend) does not allow sending food that needs to be cooked for that reason - and the cost of the backpack goes way up! They send food such as granola bars, tuna pouches, jerky, dried fruits/veg, crackers. All of those things are quite pricey.

    I'm not sure how true this is in other areas, but it may be more common than we think.
    Just a thought,
    Lea

  • Andrea Q April 09, 2018

    In addition to what Lea mentioned, lack of transportation or the ability to drive is a huge issue for many people receiving SNAP benefits and for elderly folks with limited incomes. If you have to carry everything home on the bus or in a backpack, it is extremely difficult to buy in bulk. Regular access to a working vehicle is a huge advantage, as is the strength to carry things.

  • Marcia R. April 06, 2018

    I live in Western New York state, near Buffalo, and I cannot get prices anything like many of you can. Strawberries here are rarely under $3.99 a qt (which is close to a lb) and I haven't seen any for $1 a pound in decades. I don't even think you can pick your own that cheaply, although I have not picked my own for a few years. Our growing season hasn't begun yet as it is still snowing, but 99 cents a lb is cheapest I have seen for broccoli in a supermarket, and it will be months before we have other options. I will check on strawberry prices by the flat when they are locally grown (first part of June) but even at farm stands, we pay. One of my friends knows all the little farm stands in her area and can sometimes get a deal, usually from some 95 year old farmer who still keeps his hand in--but isn't up on current prices. I have been buying whole boneless pork loins for $1.67 a pound in recent months, but that is the best bargain around. One of our produce stores sells by the bushel and half bushel, but even then, the prices are not terribly low. I generally buy a half bushel of butternut squash in fall, and it's $11 for the last couple years. Last year I didn't need a half bushel because I had some leftover, so I bought a few at a sale price, which wasn't bad but I can't remember at this point what it was---less than $11 a half bushel would have been. I read the sale ads, I use coupons, I have a savers's card for my favorite store, and I know where Aldi's is. (temporarily closed for renovations at the moment.) A friend who always grew a large garden and let me glean when she finished canning has died, so that source is cut off now as well. I plant a few things but at 75 I don't have the energy I once did. I cook from scratch, making my own granola, salad dressings, bread, baked goods, and freeze bits and pieces so as not to waste. I make my own broths and freeze as well, and make soups from scratch. I will keep looking, but the prices some of you find are just not available in this area. I suppose our more limited growing season, and the need for "imports" the rest of the time, probably contribute to that. I use imports to mean from far flung parts of the US as well as other countries. I am jealous of the bargains you can get! Although, I must say, I do stretch my dollar as far as possible. I have downsized meat portions quite a bit, and do my best to use all leftovers without discarding edible food. On that score, I believe I am doing quite well.

  • Marcia, your prices for pork roast and butternut squash are much lower than we would find here! And I never did end up finding broccoli at $0.99 a pound in January, so I never bought any; it was much higher. It just depends where you live. As you pointed out, there are things you can do to save money no matter where you live.

  • Gaila in ME Washington April 06, 2018

    Hello Marcia , I have a suggestion on your local farm prices. Here in the NW my sister worked a strawberry and raspberry stand for a local grower and at the end of the day they marked their flats down by 40_50% !! You may want to see if your farmers do that as well. They called them "jam berries" delicious still for many desserts and of course jam ! Wishing you Happy times

  • TJ @ TJ's Sweet Home April 08, 2018

    Oh I wish I could push a "like" button next to all your comments as I read them! (I'm too lazy to comment on each and every one *embarrassed blush*) Just know that as I read them, I'm in a constant, fluctuating state of happy (for posts of good news), excited (to learn a new tip), camaraderie and many other positive thoughts and emotions. Thank you all for taking the time to share your individual journeys! Miss Brandy, as always, thank you for this meeting up place of like minded hearts

  • Jennifer O. April 09, 2018

    I picked up a small ham to restock the freezer for quiches and omelettes. Went to the Latin market while on vacation and picked up dried whole milk, jasmine rice, and bulk mint for tea. Otherwise, I"m still eating out of the freezer, and buying a few fresh produce items to supplement that.

  • Emily April 09, 2018

    I made my first garden harvest last week. My chives have come up and a little dusting of snow didn't prevent them from making a nice topping for pumpkin soup last week. Thank goodness for perennials. My main garden crops won't go into the ground until mid-May.

    Your nasturtiums are so lovely! How do you use them? (Whole, just the petals?)

    Thank you for sharing your inspiration and beautiful photos with us.

  • Michelle S. April 14, 2018

    Hi Brandy,
    I really want to make the Museum Salad for my family, but my husband has a life-threatening allergy to peas and lentils. Knowing the flavors of the salad as you do, what would you recommend as a substitute vegetable? I was thinking perhaps asparagus or green beans? Thank you.

  • Michelle, I think I would use spinach. It's 6 cups of vegetables, and spinach would be fairly mild. Asparagus and green beans have a much stronger flavor and would need to be cooked, plus they would be prohibitively expensive in those quantities.

  • Michelle S. April 15, 2018

    Excellent. I will try spinach, Brandy. Thank you!

  • Andrea May 16, 2018

    just finding this now - learning how to be more organized in my grocery shopping and meal planning :)

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