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December Grocery Shopping Plans

Christmas Stockings The Prudent Homemaker

December's shopping will focus on seasonal deals, including citrus and holiday specials. I also will be stocking up on a few staples.

For an idea of what we have to eat in December, you can check out my winter menu. I don't follow that menu exactly. I use it to plan meals based on what I have on hand and seasonal sales.


Here are my priorities for this month:


Fresh Food:

1. Clementines.  I love clementines! I first had them in Lyon, France, and I look forward to them every year. It's tempting to spend the entire month's budget on clementines, but of course, that won't do. I'll look for sales (the lowest they get is $1 a pound) and buy them only on sale. There are sometimes coupons, too, so I'll be looking for those as well.

2. Hams. These will be on sale for Christmas. How many I buy will depend on prices (I'm hoping under $1 a pound) how much room I have in my freezer, and how much I have left after buying clementines! Ha!

3. Oranges. These are my husband's favorite, and they are much less expensive than clementines. I'll look for sales of .20 to .33 a pound or less and buy 120 pounds. These will last for months in the fridge, and even for a while in the cold garage before I have room for them in the fridge. I'll buy 3 full boxes of them to get this many. Last year I found them for .20 a pound on sale right before Christmas and I stocked up then. If I find them at this price, 120 pounds is only $24.

4. Onions. I bought 50 pounds in November at .16 a pound. I expect to find another sale before Christmas as a similar or slightly higher price of .19 to .20 a pound. I'll buy another 40 pounds or more. I will slice a good number of them and put them in my dehydrator to use throughout the rest of the year.

5. Mozzarella cheese. I'll get this at Sam's Club.

6. Potatoes. I bought 190 pounds last month on sale, but I usually buy 300-400 pounds in November. I'm hoping to buy more this month for .10 to .20 a pound. How much I buy will depend on the price we see, but if I can get them for .10 a pound, I'll buy another 100 pounds. You can read about how I store potatoes here. If I don't see any good sales, I won't buy potatoes.

7. Apples. Apples will be on sale this month, Right now I see a sale at Albertson's for .88 a pound on several varities. Food 4 Less has Granny Smith for .50 a pound. I'd really like to get enough apples to make sauce, but Granny Smith isn't my favorite sauce apple (I've used them for sauce before). If I can find any other varities for .50 a pound, I will buy enough to make sauce. Otherwise, I'll buy Galas for fresh eating only. How much I buy will depend on price. Update: I may skip buying apples at all this month and just buy oranges, since they should be a lower price later in the month.

8. Milk. I will use at least one gallon to make yogurt.

9. Cream cheese. These should go on sale for $1 for an 8-ounce package. This is the time I buy them and stock up. Expiration dates are 6 months out, but unopened, they'll last a year in the refrigerator. Update: It looks like sale prices are $1.25 each this year, but there are 2 $1 off coupons for Challenge brand cream cheese on the coupons.com site, and each can be printed twice, plus a $1 off e-coupon on Kroger affiliate sites, and these are on sale right now for $1.29 each when you buy in multiples of 4 at Smith's right now.

10. Whipping cream (maybe, depending on sale prices).

11. Pork roast. This is a huge maybe, but I think I may find some sales on loin roast or shoulder roast. Right now Food 4 Less has shoulder roast for $1.49 a pound. That store is rather far from me, so I'll probably wait to see if anyone else has any other deals on either of those cuts this month.


1. Oats. We use around 75 pounds of oats a year. Winco carries a 25 pound bag for $14.75. Last year I had just bought some when I noticed a sale on them the next week for $9.80! Winco doesn't advertise their sales, so I'll have to keep checking to see if they have this deal this year. I plan to buy 50 pounds this month if they go on sale. If they don't, I may wait to buy these until next month. Update: These are not on sale right now but I will look again later this month.

2. Barbeque sauce. I'll buy this at Sam's Club.

3. Balsamic vinegar. Our Sam's Club is no longer carrying this. The next lowest price I've seen in Costco, but it's much higher than wheat I used to pay at Sam's Club. I don't have a Costco card, but my mom does, so I'll have her pick up a bottle for me.

4. Parmesan cheese. I used everything I bought in October to make pesto. Target has a great deal on this right now.

5. Corn syrup. This should go on sale this time of year for candy making and baking. I use some to make pecan pie, and I also want to try making some homemade marshmallows this year. I just want a little bit. 

6. Black beans and white beans. I'll buy a 25 pound bag of each for $15 a bag at the LDS Cannery.

7. Olives. I will buy a few cans of olives on sale with coupons that I printed last month for .50 a can. Update: Winco has these at .98 a can, so they are .48 a can after coupon.  I had 2 coupons and bought 4 cans. There is a good chance this coupon will be available again this month, and I'll pick up 4 more cans then.

8. Update: This is a new addition. I just found out that Winco has mandarin oranges for .58 a can. I may add some of these to my purchases  this month when I return there.


Non-Food Items:

1. Hairspray. I read that my hairspray might have an unadverstised sale this week at Target, so I'll check it out. I use Salon Graphix Unscented aerosal spray (I have to use an unscented spray because of my husband's fragance sensitivites). This rarely goes on sale and I've never seen coupons for it. Update: These are buy one get one 50% off through 12/6.

2. Diapers. Target has a gift card deal on these again this week. I buy the Target brand on sale, with coupons, and when they have gift card deals--and often they have all three. I'll buy 2 boxes this week and get a $15 gift card back. I'll use the $15 gift card towards some of the other purchases later in the month.

3. Paper Towels. I use rags for cleaning, but I do use a few paper towels to drain things when cooking--especially potatoes. I buy the Target brand on sale with a coupon when I buy them. There is a .75 off coupon right now on Target's website and an extra 5% off on Target cartwheel.

4. Borax. There's a $1 off coupon right now on coupons.com. I use this to make laundry soap.


Special Treats:

1. Peanut M&Ms. There will be sales and coupons on these, and both Cyrus and my husband requested some for Christmas. I have a Target coupon to stack with a manufacturer's coupon, plus a Target cartwheel deal. Now I'm just waiting for a sale.

2. Candy canes. I'll look for a box of 12 for .99 or a better deal, if I can find one. Update: One the 4th, I found two boxes that I had bought on clearance and hid! So, I will wait to buy candy canes until they are on after Christmas clearance.

3. Marshmallows. I'll look for .99 a bag for a 16 ounce bag and buy them then (some bags are only 10.5 ounces, so I'll look carefully when comparing sales). Winco had these for this price last year.

4. Hot chocolate. There should be some good coupons and sales for this this month. Target has a sale this week. Update: I don't get the newspaper, but coupons often come in the mail here. They are usually a smaller copy of the Smart Source. Unfortunately, mine didn't combine these. More may come this month.

5. Melting chocolate. Sam's Club carries white and dark melting chocolate as a holiday item. 


 Meyer Lemons Square The Prudent Homemaker


Right now in the garden I have meyer lemons ripening. I have a variety of herbs, green onions, and lots of Swiss chard. I have radishes and carrots. Later this month my lettuce will be big enough to have salads.


This post contains an affiliate link. You can read my disclosure policy here.

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Tagged in: Grocery Shopping


  • Ashley December 03, 2014

    I'm trying to picture how you store such a large quantity of potatoes and onions. I'm also very impressed by the price per pound you found for potatoes, the lowest I found was about .40 cents a lb. Food prices seem to keep going up!

  • Brandy@The Prudent Homemaker December 03, 2014

    Click on my pantry page for pictures. It's under Cook in the menu bar.

  • Ashley December 05, 2014

    Very impressive! Thank you

  • Andrea Q December 03, 2014

    Are you close to CVS? Every few months, they have a single roll of store-brand paper towels for free or close to it. They regularly have sales on the six-pack of Scott brand. With a coupon, those are usually cheaper than the Target brand.

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker December 03, 2014

    I am, but they are usually out of deals when I have gone there. There is a woman near here who shelf clears and marks her stuff up to sell at garage sales (I see her every year at the neighborhood sales). It makes it hard to get anything there :(

    We don't use a lot, so one package should last me all year.

  • Cathie December 03, 2014

    If you do get to cvs ask for a rain check if they don't have it. Mine always does this and they have no expiration. It is very helpful.

  • Diane C. December 03, 2014

    Check in with the manager to see if you can get a raincheck. Our CVS will raincheck deals - including freebies - with no expiration date on the redemption. Worth asking!

  • Brandy@The Prudent Homemaker December 03, 2014

    Good to know--thanks!

  • Angela Carpenter December 04, 2014

    I would speak with the CVS store manager and let him know that you miss out due to this shelf clearing lady. Ask for a raincheck for any deals that you miss. I teach a coupon class and always tell people to be kind to others and not do this type of activity. Actually reselling this stuff is against the law due to sales tax issues. She obviously is using several Extrabucks cards to get that many since most of the deals are one per customer/card. This is not fair and a very inconsiderate thing to do to others who would just like to play by the rules.

  • Ashley December 05, 2014

    .....I'm laughing at this a little because we have shelf clearers here too. When I really want something I go first thing Sunday morning, and yes rainchecks.....I remember seeing this lady one time at two stores on the same day, I was really trying to find the sale item....she had a cart full the first store, so I left went to the next one and she showed up and we were sizing each other up. It was hilarious!!

  • Patricia Watt December 03, 2014

    Thank you Brandy for posting the shopping plans. It is so helpful :)

  • Preppy Pink Crocodile December 03, 2014

    Depending on how you feel about Walmart, you could always price match the pork prices there. You mentioned that the Food for Less store is far from you. Just bring the ad with you to Wally World and price match.

    Also, not sure if others do this with onions but when I have a lot in my house, I will slice a bag in the food processor and then cook them (on the stove or all day in the crockpot) to either soft or caramelized point. I let them cool and then spoon them into those snack size baggies. Press flat to freeze. Then I have prepared onions ready to use taking up almost no space in my freezer. It's great when you don't want to worry about onions going bad. Plus it's nice to have on a night when I am tired but want to make a good meal.

    KK @ www.preppypinkcrocodile.com

  • judy December 05, 2014

    KK , this is a great idea.. Never thought about it.. thanks for sharing.:)

  • Cora December 03, 2014

    Those prices just Amaze me. Our cheapest potatoes I've found are in the big 50lb bags for $20 and sadly many have bad centers..... Apples don't drop below $1 a lb. Almost all meat is above $2lb.... It's Scary.

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker December 03, 2014

    Those are our usual sales prices, too. Apples have been .99 a pound; this is a more rare sale. Meat is above $2 a pound, too. What I do is look for the rare sales. Each comes seasonally. THAT is when I buy those items. It might only be that price for one week a year. I've come to expect that, so I buy a lot of those items when they are on sale that week. If I look carefully, I can find those prices when I know they should go that low. (I usually find apples for .50 a pound twice a year; the other time is April).

  • Preppy Pink Crocodile December 03, 2014

    Also, check your local Dollar Tree. I've bought light corn syrup there in the past (I make several batches of marshmallows each year too).

    KK @ Preppy Pink Crocodile

  • cherie December 03, 2014

    I never thought of dollar tree for corn syrup - thanks for the suggestion - I need some!

  • Jenifer December 03, 2014

    Yes, thanks for that suggestion. I make black and white cookies once a year. I only need a third of a cup of corn syrup. You just made my day!

  • Kelli M. December 06, 2014

    In case anyone is like me and is using up odd things in the cupboard... I've found that both cane syrup and beet syrup (I've found this at IKEA) work very well in place of corn syrup in many recipes. I'm not sure how well they would work in marshmallow recipes, but the cane syrup is a similar viscosity to corn syrup. Beet syrup is very nice in a caramel corn recipe -- it makes the caramel coating light and crisp!

    If you have no corn syrup at all, you can substitute 1 cup of corn syrup with 1 1/4 cups sugar dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water, using either white sugar or brown sugar depending on the preferred syrup color.

  • amanda December 03, 2014

    Thank you so much for mentioning the Hot Cocoa and Parmesan cheese deal @ Target. Those are good stock up prices for me with coupons.:D

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