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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







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

Kidney Beans



Sour Cream (unless I find a lower sale elsewhere)

Spreadable margarine (3 lb container for $2.28)



Equate hand dishwashing soap

Dental floss



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


  • Jo April 04, 2018

    Forty pounds of bacon is a fantastic treat! I could eat bacon every day, I think, if I had that much in the house.

  • Juls Owings April 03, 2018

    Both here and 209 have rhubarb coming up but I doubt if it will be ready this month like it usually is due to snow (4 inches yesterday) and down pours (today) we are getting constantly the last week or so. Really don't plan to get anything out of the gardens this year since we are planning on moving to 209 in June. Milk and fresh produce to fill in what I pull from the pantry and some of that is iffy . I am starting to do bulk cooking to make getting meals on table easier as we end up having to run over to 209 or go get something for 209 for the contractors at the last minute.

  • Amy S. April 03, 2018

    I'm doing the same thing looking for strawberries at a good price. I want to buy as many as possible to freeze for smoothies and make some jam. I'm always on the lookout for cheaper meat prices to re stock my freezer. I need to go inventory again and see what I have.

    I'm checking out the Kroger case lot sale this week. I don't need much. I like being able to slowly buy what I need to fill in holes.

    I discovered I have about 8 jars of canned applesauce that were done fall of 2015. Do you think these are ok to use? Or toss?


  • Your applesauce should be fine; I am eating some from 2014 still here without trouble.

  • Amy S April 03, 2018

    Thank you

  • Juls Owings April 05, 2018

    Amy S April 3 2018
    I usually look at not eating my homecanned goods after 5 yrs as long as the seals are good.

  • Amy S April 08, 2018

    Thank you

  • momsav April 03, 2018

    This is the time I usually start emptying the freezers. (Breads/fruits/baking supplies and everything else) With my husband just getting back to work, since Christmas, i’ve been stocking up with my tiny, extra income from watching kids for a few weeks. Our small store has chicken thighs on sale for 99 cents so i’ll pick up several pounds of that. I had to drive to WallyWorld last night and walked around checking their prices. They had marked down chicken for 1.66 lb.! (Breasts) Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who walked away because they had a LOT of it! Eggs were 2.99 doz. A friend stopped into Aldi’s and noticed that their eggs had gone from 48cents doz. to 1.19. I’ve started lists on how much we might go through in a year and the stores where I buy it. If anything comes up on sale, from the list, i’ll go ahead and try to get a years worth. Otherwise, it’s mostly fresh fruits and milk for us. No gardening, either. We had a small blizzard several days ago. (8 inches) This is typical for April, although we (the whole town of 2200) were all hoping beyond hope that we were done for the year.

  • Danielle April 03, 2018

    Hello Brandy,
    I've admired your industrious management of your large family for years now and have gained a lot of inspiration. This is kinda off topic, but if you could do a short series on how you manage such a large family as successfully as you have and more specifically how you stay organized? As my family has grown I feel like I'm floundering quite a bit and disorganized. I would appreciate any tips!

  • Danielle,

    You can see my schedule in the links at the bottom of the site (in the black section).

    My children all have responsibilities to help; I have posted a few different chore posts in the past that you can also read. I've changed chores out several times since then but those will give you an idea. I can't do it all and I also believe that children need to learn how to work, to help in the family, and to maintain a home so that they can take care of their own home as adults.

    Not having too much stuff also makes a huge difference. If your children each have three weeks worth of clothing in closets and drawers everything can become too messy with laundry as well as bedrooms; I try to only have a week to ten days' worth of clothing in closets and drawers. This gets tricky in fall and spring when you need clothing for more temperatures, but in summer and winter it is easier to narrow it down. Likewise, having more toys than they use is another simple source of frustration. Limit things to what they really use and don't feel like you have to buy toys for every birthday and holiday.

    Reorganizing drawers and closets recently really helped. We didn't do every closet; just the linen closet, the game closet, and my closet, and the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen, but it made a huge difference in how organized I felt about things. Getting rid of things that were not being used helped a lot.

  • Danielle April 03, 2018

    Thank you, I'll take a peek around your blog and look at the schedule and chores. I think limiting clothing is a great idea, as hand me downs from older siblings have taken over.

  • Juls Owings April 05, 2018

    Danielle April 03, 2018
    Definitely limit clothes and hand me downs. ...here is the why....My daughter2 has 4 boys, her ex mother in law buys clothes at yard sales, discounts stores for the boys plus daughter2 hands me downs amongst the boys. She was complaining of the boys not putting their clothes away. Boys complained of dresser drawers broke and not enough hangers. I spent a week babysitting her dogs while they were on vacation and decided to fix the dressers...
    The oldest had 100 shirts and over 50 pants, the next one down had 200 shirts and 100 pants, the next one had 300 shirts and 150 pants and the last one had 400 shirts and 200 pants.No wonder the drawers were broke and there wasn't enough hangers. I immediately called the ex mother in law and she came in and lost it. The boys kept saying they needed clothes so she thought they were growing. Daughter2 is a clothes hog of her own so was not checking on the amount of clothes coming in. At this time I pointed out to ALL of them, if you are washing clothes daily, you don't need more than 10 outfits for every day wear and maybe 4 for church or other. Ex mother in law had a yardsale and made tons of money LOL

  • Holly April 03, 2018

    We got to Kroger yesterday and "saved" 33% compared to regular prices. We bought a whole chicken for 49 cents a pound and one container of sour cream for 79 cents. But eggs were far more expensive than what others have paid lately. This week's grocery store ads have a few prices low enough to make another shopping trip in a few days to stock up.

  • Jeannie April 03, 2018

    Finally, finally, finally, I am beginning to see signs of my pantry emptying out. I have actually had to start a grocery list! My freezer is half full or is it half empty? It seems strange to reach for something and not find it. This week it was apple cider vinegar that was gone. I have always kept a year's supply of every single item in my house because I have ample storage space. The money we have saved by buying everything at the cheapest price possible has been unbelievable.
    So my shopping list is:
    Apple Cider Vinger (one bottle to get me through until it goes on sale)
    Vanilla (one bottle left in the cabinet)
    Of course, I need fresh fruit, milk, eggs, and cheese but the pantry purge continues.

    QUESTION FOR EVERYONE: Does anyone have a recipe for instant chocolate milk drink powder, like Nestle's Quick? I have sugar and cocoa, but the cocoa does not blend in cold milk. We don't buy Nestle's quick because it is so expensive but my husband mentioned he would like some. Any suggestions?

    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry

  • Anne April 03, 2018

    Hi Jeannie
    Cocoa will blend with cold milk if you only add a tiny drop to the powder and make a paste before gradually thinning that paste. It doesn't ever seem to taste the same as the milkshake mixes though!

  • Jeannie April 03, 2018

    I have never heard of doing that before but will give it a try. I will try it first so I can show hubby. He can't cook and seems to become befuddled in the kitchen.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood April 03, 2018

    Jeannie, I do the same as Anne. When I make hot chocolate, I use 1 tsp. cocoa, two tsp. sugar, and add a v. small splash of milk to mix it up into a paste. Then I add hot milk. Works perfectly! I imagine that the same would work for chocolate milk. That said, for myself, I prefer to make chocolate milk from homemade chocolate syrup. (www.approachingfood.com/a-ton-o-hot-fudge-sauce/) I got this recipe from my mum -- not sure where she got it from. But 1 tbsp. of this hot fudge sauce to 2 cups of milk makes perfect chocolate milk!

  • Jeannie April 03, 2018

    Thank you Margaret! I should have searched your website first, duh. I am on my way now.

  • Kim in Florida April 04, 2018

    Jeannie, here is a copycat hershey syrup recipe I use. If you store it too long it will crystalize so only make 1 batch at a time.
    1 cup cocoa powder
    1 1⁄2 cups sugar
    1 dash salt
    1 1⁄2 cups water
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    stir together, keep stirring and boil till it thickens, about 5 minutes, keep stirring. When done store in refrigerator.

  • Jeannie April 07, 2018

    Thank you Kim. I am writing all of these ideas down and will be trying them all at a taste testing next week.
    The Nestle's syrup is just too expensive.

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