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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

  • Juls Owings April 05, 2018

    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry
    Mother always made a paste of cocoa and sugar with a little hot water and then added the cold milk. Cousin said it is equal hot water to cocoa and sugar and the add enough cold milk to make 8 oz. She makes hers the night before and refrigerates it.

  • Jeannie April 07, 2018

    Thank you Juls. I am thinking about buying one container of Nestle's and dumping my own mixture in it and seeing if they notice. At first I was thinking of having a taste testing, but now I am wondering if they will be able to tell the difference. I can't eat sugar so I am unable to experiment with the recipes.
    Jeannie@GetMeToTheCountry.blogspot.com

  • Samantha April 05, 2018

    Try adding just a touch of hot water to initially mix and melt the mix and then add super cold water (from a container kept in your fridge to save water). I got this tip from one of the comments from One Good Thing By Jillee. This link has a great recipe and the suggestion on using a tad of hot water: https://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/08/homemade-nesquik.html

  • Jeannie April 07, 2018

    Another good recipe! Thanks Samantha. Surely one of these recipes will work!
    Jeannie@GetMetoTheCountry.blogspot.com

  • Kim Heller April 03, 2018

    I am having to re-adjust my cooking routine quite a bit. As my husband gets older (64), he has no desire to cook anything. He used to fix dinner a couple times a week which was a huge help to me as I also work outside the home. Lately, I have been ill with severe spring time allergies and was hoping he would fix dinner as I didn't have the energy after working all day but all he was willing to do was to bring home take-out food. I realize now, I will have to have dinners ready to go in the freezers for these times. We all have to adjust as life goes along.
    I am in need of parchment paper and I purchase mine at Costco because I can get a huge roll that will last me a year. I don't belong to Costco but I will ask a family member to pick it up for me when they go.
    I will be focusing on meat, produce and cheese this month.
    I have been able to grow and dry enough parsley and garlic from my garden for us and our two children and their families. This year I am trying hard to grow enough basil as well.

  • Lilli April 03, 2018

    I am grateful to have a fully stocked pantry. My refrigerator and freezer as well as the chest freezer are packed. I actually need to put together another shelving unit to control all my over flowing goods. Not a bad problem to have. I am moving 100.00 of this month's cash to cover pet expenses as there is not much I could stock up on in the way of food. I will save 50.00 for any good deals and loss leaders I find. I plan on buying more eggs but they were 3.00 a dozen at Wal-Mart today. I don't understand how eggs could go so high so quickly. The only other thing I really want to stick back up on is toilet paper. Later in the month we will use sugar cookies SNAP to buy, rice, beans and oats. I plan on using Swagbucks to order a gift card to purchase Mylar bags for long term storage. I am focused on putting things away for really long term storage.

  • Cindy in the South April 04, 2018

    I love an egg for breakfast, but not at the prices we have around here now. I do not understand why chicken if 49 cents a lb, and eggs are so high. I have started eating beans on toast, or potatoes for breakfast.

  • C April 03, 2018

    I live in SoCal and my local Ralph's had a sale of 5 containers of strawberries for $4! Such a steal! Sadly, they were all sold out by the time I got there but I'll be keeping an eye out for more sales as strawberry season arrives.

  • Jenifer April 03, 2018

    I bumped our grocery budget from $60 to $80 this month.
    I am thankful for discount groceries since I can buy the basics like dried beans, pasta, vegetables and apples.
    I did need to restock my sugar, table salt (for baking and popcorn), and flour this month. I spent every dime and was not able to get potatoes or another dozen eggs. I have 8 eggs and 8 hard boiled eggs to get through the month with. So today when I made your Rosemary Olive Oil bread (to have with dinner and to make the most awesome toasted cheese sandwiches) I skipped the egg wash. I did miss that “crust” it makes. Bread is still delicious!
    A friend gave me very garlic sets to plant once the snow disappears, I can’t wait to get the salad greens and beans started.

  • Laurie April 03, 2018

    I have multiple things started in the greenhouse... Carrots, broccoli, lettuce, spinach and kale. It will like ly be May before any of it is ready.

    This month I am trying to make everything stretch. I hopefully won't go back shopping for another 3 weeks. I've been making soup from the pantry. When I do cook meat, I set a little aside to put in a soup.

    I've been baking more too. It's nice when you can just go to the pantry and everything you need is there. Considering I bake gluten free, that's not always easy. We've been making more of a point to stock up though.

  • Loyda April 03, 2018

    Fry's here in Arizona had their store brand one pound butter on sale for a 1.99 and you needed to buy 6, so I bought 12 to put in the freezer. Safeway had the challenge one pound butter for sale for the same price but you could only buy 2. So currently I have 14 that I bought at the beginning of the month and I only had 2 in there to begin with. Slow but sure stocking back up on things like this. I really need to stock up on some frozen and canned vegetables. I am anxious to see what tomorrows ads will bring. Strawberries down here have been running .88 a lb, we have been making smoothies with them. Need to add TP and PT to my purchases this month. I normally don't buy papertowels very often, they are only used if my cats get sick and of course this past week I had one that was. Teaching my newlywed Daughter how to inventory her pantry and freezer and make a 30 day menu out of it.

  • Jessica April 04, 2018

    I had never thought to put peanut butter in the freezer! Is the texture the same when it thaws?

  • Margie from Toronto April 03, 2018

    For the first two weeks of April I plan to buy as little as possible - just some milk and a very small amount of fresh fruit & veg. I'm trying to use up all items from the freezer (the bit of meat that is left needs to be used up before freezer burn sets in). This will clear the large bin that I use to store meat in my small freezer.
    I have a bit of money coming due in mid-April so I plan to restock with that. A small amount of beef & pork, along with chicken, turkey pieces and duck (for a change) as well as more fish - cod & salmon is what I'll be looking for.
    I also need canned fruit, beans (all different kinds) and canned salmon & tuna ( want to add about 10 cans of each). I'll also be looking for sales on peanut butter, jam, honey, maple syrup and tea. I didn't think I'd need much non-food items for the next 6 months but I will now have to look for some shampoo. I have a few bottles in stock but seem to have developed an allergy to a particular kind (I have a lot of allergies) so I need to give away that particular type and restock. I will also keep my eyes open for sales on TP, kleenex, paper towels (use about 1 roll per month) and parchment paper but not desperate for any of these items.
    I'm watching the calories so don't think I'll restock on baking goods until the Fall. It will be a busy shopping month and I will be watching the sale flyers closely!

  • Maxine April 04, 2018

    I've only bought one roll of parchment paper in my life and still have most of it, so I'm always surprised by how many people here use it. Just wanted to mention that I've seen it at Dollar Tree.

    I'm very careful about buying food at DT. The big cans of Hanover baked beans are the exception. They are made in the USA and taste like Bush's original recipe.

  • Holly April 05, 2018

    I have been pleased with much of the food we have purchased at Dollar Tree. We have only had problems with one package of potato chips. I think a funky potato messed up the taste of the oil. The local Dollar Tree store refused to do a store credit. Indignant me complained to corporate and they responded with a $5 coupon. We are a very small family so smaller-sized packages work out well. I try to restrict the source of our food to places that can get here the products by truck (European pastries, fish, and things that only grow in tropical places excepted) so label-reading is essential. We haven't opened the can of Hanover baked beans sitting in our pantry yet. I am so glad to know it tastes like Bush's original recipe because those are the only canned baked beans my mom likes.

  • Margie from Toronto April 05, 2018

    Thank you Maxine - not sure we have DT here in Canada - the big shop like that is Dollarama. I too am very careful about buying food and even toiletries as I have a lot of serious allergies. I tend to stick to wrapping paper, crafty suff and things like that. I don't think I've ever seen parchment paper there but will check it out next time I'm in there. I do need some foil containers for freezing so it should be in the same section if available.
    I didn't start using parchment paper until a few years ago but now I wouldn't be without it. It makes such a difference when baking cakes and while it can be pricey, has more than saved me money in protecting my cookie trays and baking pans.

  • Danielle April 03, 2018

    This month I'll have to be more careful as I have to wait a whole month between paydays whereas usually I get paid twice a month. It will work itself out, but means a tighter more planned budget for a couple of weeks. My husband started a new job and now works swing shift, so I've changed my meal plans to include a harder protein packed breakfast instead of dinner. This is great because I can teach my teens to take on more dinner time meals and stretch the more expensive meat.
    My plans are:
    -Meal plan from my pantry and freezer to stretch this month. Last month I found ground beef for 2.50 a lb (cheap for my area) and I also found chicken for under a dollar a lb. I froze them and they will be handy this month.
    -Take my fill in grocery list(items not in pantry) to grocery outlet and see what amazing deals I find before heading down the hill to Winco.
    -Last Friday I found butter for 1.99lb, bought 8 and froze it.
    -i will look for markdowns on ham
    -Make my own bread and muffins and freeze them.
    -try making my own laundry detergent again. My newer washer and drier didn't care for the previous formula, so I'm going to try watering it down more.
    -My eldest son needs new jeans(hello teenage unexpected growth spurt)so I'll checkout goodwill before heading to Marshalls for just a couple high quality pants that last longer than Walmart/Target jeans and are usually cheaper
    -Gather alllllllll the random toiletries floating around my linen closet, bathroom, and kids bathroom and use what I have on hand first, even if it's not my favorite.
    Thanks for the inspiration!
    -

  • Siiri April 04, 2018

    Dear Brandy, I pray that your last pregnancy weeks, delivery and time with your newest baby would be as smooth and easy on you as possible. I pray your family would support you and learn from this situation what they should so the difficulties which may occur would not be wasted. I pray for your good health. You have created a little universe for your family and you keep it together. You need your health for that. May you be blessed for your courage! I wish I lived closer to help somehow. We had a sister missionary from Vegas a couple years ago here in our country in Europe!
    Good luck with stocking and cooking!

  • Siiri April 04, 2018

    One more thing... me as a rather bad cook miss a post for cooks like me with little imagination: like that:
    parsley - I use for .... (names of dishes); ...
    (I mean the thing you buy and the recipes it can be used in!)

  • Juls Owings April 05, 2018

    Siiri April 04, 2018 That's a good idea to say, example...I am buying celery I use it in potato salad, pasta salad, stirfrys and when making broths. Especially when it's herbs and spices.

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