Slide background


Slide background

Eat for

40 Cents

A Day

Header Typography

April Flowers The Prudent Homemaker Blog

The Prudent Homemaker Blog

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
Posted by on
  • Font size: Larger Smaller

January's Shopping Plans and Meal Plans

Meyer Lemons On Tree The Prudent Homemaker

For January, my grocery shopping budget is $0. We'll be eating from what we have on hand.

There are lots of reasons for choosing to eat from what you have on hand for the month. January is a great month to do it: You can rotate through food you've put aside all year (break out the home-canned summer goodness!), eat the meat you've bought on sale, and enjoy warm soups from the pantry with homemade bread (and for my southern hemisphere readers, it can be a great month to enjoy the bounties of your summer garden!)

For those who have seasonal work,  January can be a low-income month. 

For many, it's a high utility month, driven by the cost of keeping one's house warm during the winter.

Winter weather may have you wishing to stay home more and make fewer trips out in the snow and ice.

You may want to start a garden this year, and cutting the food budget in January can be a place to find the money for seeds and plants.

Eating from the pantry may give you a chance to start or work to replenish an emergency fund.

If you're having a tighter than usual month financially, consider making  January an eat from the pantry month.


In my garden, I have a few fresh additions to the pantry, fridge, and freezer's offerings. I have a bevy of lemons hanging from the trees.

Swiss Chard in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I have giant Swiss chard.

I have a few herbs that will make it through our short winter, including rosemary and parsley. Many herbs die back to the ground during winter and return in spring, including chives, oregano, and tarragon (tarragon only comes back if it is cloched all winter). 

I have seedlings coming up of snow peas, lettuce, and radishes. I should have radishes and lettuce ready to harvest by the end of the month.


Some of our meals this month will be:





Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

Crepes with lemon juice and powdered sugar/homemade strawberry jam

Whole wheat waffles

Citrus fruit salad

Fruit smoothies with canned and frozen fruit from the garden

Homemade yogurt, granola, and frozen fruit with honey and/or home-canned jam

Cubed potatoes with onions

Eggs with toast 


Swiss chard soup The Prudent Homemaker



Swiss chard soup

Tomato Basil Soup

Rosemary White Bean Soup

Pasta e Fagioli

Taco Soup

Alphabet soup

Minestrone soup

Butternut squash soup

Black beans and rice with salad from the garden (lettuce, radishes, and the indoor-ripening tomatoes I picked in December from the garden)

White Bean Fettucini Alfredo sauce over pasta with garlic green beans


I'll make Rosemary Olive Oil bread and French bread to go with our soups.


Afternoon Snacks:



French bread and/or biscuits with strawberry jam, fig jam, apple butter and apricot vanilla jam

Hot chocolate

Fruit Crumble

White bean dip with homemade pitas


Oatmeal cookies

Fruit Salad with home canned fruit

Banana bread




Black bean burgers with steak fries (we have a good number of potatoes in the pantry) and corn and tomato salad

Pork loin roast with fig sauce, mashed potatoes, applesauce, and Swiss chard

Tuscan Tomato bread soup with salad from the garden

Herb roasted chicken with Swiss chard and lemon parmesan pasta

Fish (that we were gifted last year) with roasted rosemary potatoes and Swiss chard

Chili with cornbread

Spaghetti with garlic green beans

Barbecue chicken with corn, baked potatoes,  and lemonade

Lemon chicken with garlic chicken rice, beets, petite peas, and lemonade


What are your meal plans for this month? Are you planing to stock up on any great sales this month, or will you be eating from what you have on hand?





Last modified on
Tagged in: Grocery Shopping


  • Cindi January 02, 2017

    We're aiming to eat out of our pantry and freezer this month, too. I will probably have to buy eggs and maybe a few other things thsi month, but I am aiming to spend less than $50 all told. We have no garden at this time of year, but I have a lot of canned goods and stuff in the freezer. I will be trying some new recipes.

  • Kim January 02, 2017

    Like everyone else, I will be actively using our food storage this month and supplement with a few things here and there from the grocery store (hopefully, on sale, too!). I have ordered 40 pounds of chicken which will be here in late February so I also need to make room in the freezer.

  • Rhonda A. January 02, 2017

    I'm not convinced a no spend month will work for our family. There are too many "picky eaters" that wouldn't make it through without some favourite ingredience. But I will be focusing on using our pantry for our meals as much as possible, as I always do. I also find that there are often some really great sales in January at the grocery stores. The stores know that people have less money to spend in January, so they temp them with great deals. I always shop the sales carefully, but enjoy seeing what they have to offer.

    I do have a plan to try some new main course recipes in January. My family is getting tired of the same old meals. So it's time to look for new ones to add. I even have my daughter on the lookout for ones she would like to try (she just started a Pinterest account;)). We'll see what we come up with! Thank you for posting your meal list, Brandy. I love reading what others are eating as I never know when inspiration will strike me.

  • K January 02, 2017

    If you haven't been there before, you should check out Budget Bytes! Beth has a bunch of different recipes- between Beth and Brandy, 85% of my favorite cheap and delicious recipes are covered :p

  • Rhonda A. January 02, 2017

    Thanks for the suggestion, K. I took a peak at the website, and it looks great! I'm going to spend more time looking through it for some recipe ideas I'd like to try.

  • Athanasia January 02, 2017

    Budget bytes is good. I've been using her naan recipe, thin crust pizza recipe, red enchilada sauce, among others.

    As Rhonda said there are some good sales in January. Here the Asian foods always go on sale so I stock up on cans of water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, baby corn, rice paper to make fresh rolls, seaweed for sushi, chow mein noodles, tamari for example. I like to buy enough for the year. Also frozen food goes on sale and I replenish my supply of frozen peas. It's one vegetable that no matter how much I put up we always need more.

  • LB January 02, 2017

    We do not have the stockpile/pantry space to do a no spending challenge, but we do need to spend as little as possible the month due to lose of most of dh's income (major medical issues). Waiting on the V.A. to approve his new disability and his long term disability to kick in. So the challenge is healthy eating on a budget for the next several months.

    Breakfasts - since I work and dh is still in bed when I leave, he fixes his own
    breakfast sandwiches
    bacon on occasion


    Dinners (cleaning out the freezer)
    Last month we purchased groupons for a local butcher so will use those for our meat for the next month or 2.
    We also received a gift of an Omaha steak package, so will enjoy that as well, we also received several restaurant gift cards which will come in handy on the all day hospital/dr visits.
    On chemo weeks, dh isn't very hungry so simple meals those days.

    Chili and rice
    Beef Stew
    Potato soup
    Creamy chicken soup
    Another "cream" (pureed) soup?
    Steak, potatoes and greens
    chicken, rice and green beans
    Beans and Rice/ Pumpkin black bean soup?
    fortified pasta sauce/pasta (hidden veggies)
    burgers/hot dogs (Omaha Steak treat)
    fish (using butcher shop groupon)
    fortified mac and cheese (with hidden veggies etc)

    Sides: collard greens, green beans, potatoes, rice, spinach, fruit (anything I can get dh to eat...)

    I am also making some freezer soups for dd as she is having her wisdom teeth out at the end of the month.

  • Patty from the NW January 02, 2017

    Good Morning Brandy~
    I love your picture of lemons and I will also be spending very little of groceries this month as well. I plan to take inventory of our freezer and pantry to make a list of what we have for the month. I am sure we have enough for all meals except fresh lettuce and tomatoes for salads. It has been very frosty here in the NW so my garden is "sleeping" :) I plant to put the food money aside to save as we will be going on a family vacation with my grown children .
    I was gifted with a Belgian waffle maker from friends and am so delighted since I did not have one. I found a FB you tube recipe on how to make quesadillas and pizza's in a waffle maker as well so this will be fun to try.
    I love the list of meals that you plan to have this no spend month.. thank you for the ideas.
    Have a wonderful week~
    blessings~Patty from the NW

  • SJ in Vancouver BC Canada January 02, 2017

    Thanks for the post! I especially enjoy your menu ideas. Thinking of things to cook is always a challenge for me.

    My garden is put to bed. Unlike many winters, we have abundant snow on the ground this year. I, too, need to watch my grocery budget this month since my utility bill will be the highest of the year. My ground floor apartment only has electric heat. So January and February are my highest bills of the year.
    I'm planning to mostly eat from the pantry. I will be buying milk and eggs as needed. I will, however, keep an eye out for any great sales for my pantry.
    And to the person living in an apartment - that's me too. I re-purposed what should have been my coat closet by the front door into a pantry. I found some over the door hooks for my day to day jackets and outerwear. It doesn't look too bad - but I'm more into function then having a 'magazine pretty' house. The closet space had just enough room for a bookshelf that I already had. I have to work at keeping it tidy but that's ok. It forces me to rotate and use my storage.

  • Jlynn January 03, 2017

    Apartment dweller here too! Part of a dresser drawer, - deep basket on a book shelf, even a copy paper box with a cover and a sheet or towel thrown over the top can be used for pantry purposes. Currently I am using an old wooden toy box with hinged lid that I got for $5 star yard sale and painted out with paint I had leftover from a project.

  • SJ i nVancouver BC January 03, 2017

    I also have a little stash between the wall and my sofa-recliner. And a wicker basket under an armchair with some canned goods. The pantry doesn't have to be in the kitchen.

  • Rhonda A. January 03, 2017

    This is too funny! Sounds like your hiding illegal substances. Please, don't stop're on a roll!!!:D

  • Juls Owings January 03, 2017

    under furniture and bed, behind doors, cover and use as end tables and nightstands...been there and done that.IN fact I used 5 gal buckets to hold the twin matteress up when the kids were little instead of a bed frame.

  • Lachellie January 04, 2017

    I live in a small (paid for) :) mobile home, have a decent-sized pantry but I also store bags of flour, sugar, rice, etc in under bed storage boxes. This frees up my pantry for canned goods, etc. I also have one sliding basket in my chest freezer with zipper bags of bits and dabs of things like tomato paste, green chiles, chipotle chilies, canned mushrooms, basically any can or jar I open and don't use all of the contents. I label and date and go there for these type ingredients when I'm cooking.

  • Melissa L. January 02, 2017

    I won't be doing a no spend month although I would like to. There have been lots of household items we've been putting off purchasing for sometime and I will be working down that list a bit at a time. I do plan to reduce my grocery budget as much as I can this year. My goal is to shave about $125 a month from our current monthly budget. I hope to allocate that money towards paying off a credit card instead.

  • Carin January 02, 2017

    Brandy, Your budget is $0 this month and I am wondering what you do about buying milk for the month? I noticed you have homemade yogurt on your menu plan and wondered how you make it if you aren't buying any milk this month. Do you make your yogurt out of powdered milk?

  • I bought milk at the end of December and will use that to make yogurt this week.

    We drink water here for meals and occasionally milk. I LOVE milk (I can easily go through a gallon on my own in a couple of days, but that's a lot of calories!) but we cut back our milk spending long ago. I haven't bought cold cereal for over 10 years so we don't use any for that.

    For baking, I use powdered milk. It's a great way to rotate it.

    A quick Google search yielded me a great list of non-dairy foods high in calcium, and several of these are also on our menu this month:,,20845429,00.html/view-all

  • Dianna January 02, 2017

    Thanks so much for inspiring me! I just planned a menu from the pantry. I will still be grocery shopping to pick up some basics (we're a little low on some things, as we've been eating mainly from the pantry for the past two weeks). But I shopped my freezer and pantry first, and I'll need very little from the store! It will be good to use up some garden produce from the summer.

  • gabrielle January 02, 2017

    Hi Brandy:

    Thank you for this post. I'm grateful for the meal plan ideas...I've been in a slump for the last couple of months and need to recover and get inspired. You have done that for me. Those lemons on your tree look absolutely lovely. I've never lived in a climate where you can grow citrus so I'm envious.

  • Amie January 02, 2017

    An easy walk away method for making apple butter is using a crockpot. I've made applesauce in the crockpot and left to long. Oops ...and that's how you get apple butter.

Leave your comment

Guest June 22, 2018

Spring Gardening



 Introduction Sidebar 2017

Start HereMy Story

                           FOLLOW ME

               FACEBOOK              PINTEREST

Good Things to Make This Month

Slide background




Slide background




Slide background


Slide background



The Kitchen Garden Sidebar
Sewing Project Sidebar
Grow Your Own Herbal Tea Sidebar
Grocery Shopping Sidebar
Learn to Can Sidebar
Grow Flowers for Less Sidebar

Spring Gardening



White Garden Sidebar

Birthdays Sidebar

Frugal Accomplishments Sidebar

72 hour kit sidebar
How To Eat Beans Every Night
Writing a Garage Sale List