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July's Garden Harvest and Shopping Plans

Fig Tarts The Prudent Homemaker

This month from my garden we'll harvest grapes, grape leaves, figs, Swiss chard, herbs, green onions, a few tomatoes, and a few peaches (from the tree in my white garden). 

I'm taking care of a friend's garden and chickens for two weeks this month, during which time we'll harvest cucumbers, tomatoes, and a few possible other items. We'll also 11-14 small eggs to bring home every day. 

I'm able to increase my budget for the month to $400, so I will stock up on some items.

I'm trying out Sprouts for the first time. They're a bit further than I normally drive to go shopping, as I usually stay within 1 to 2 miles of home to do my grocery shopping (except for one trip to Sam's Club, a whole 5 miles away).  They have cherries for the unbelievable price of $0.95 a pound; I've never seen cherries priced this low in my life, so I am definitely planning a trip.

Here are my planned sale purchases from the current ads, all of which are incredibly low prices right now:



Cherries $0.95 a pound

Corn 6 for $1



Whole chickens and chicken thighs $0.77 a pound

Boneless pork sirloin chops $1.47 a pound (I have never seen them this low)

Sour cream $1 a pound

Whipping cream $1 a half-pint



Diapers. There is a spend $100 on diapers get a $30 gift card deal this week. I buy the store brand in the bulk boxes. These will last me a few months.


And what I'm planning from Winco, Walmart, and Sam's Club:




Vegetable Oil

Ground Almonds (a small amount for a dessert)


Bell Peppers

Spreadable margarine (3-pound tub for $2.27)




Great Northern Beans



Mrs. Wages Dill Pickle Mix

Spray oil (I use my refillable sprayer for most cooking, but I found it doesn't work well in the waffle iron)

BBQ sauce


Sam's Club:

Tomato sauce in a #10 can

Popcorn 50-pound bag

All-purpose flour 25-pound bag (I will buy 100 pounds)

Mozzarella cheese 5-pound block

Mozzarella cheese 5-pound grated

Goat Cheese

Feta Cheese

Toilet paper

Pinto beans 50-pound bag


I'll also look for a sale at Smith's on ice cream in the gallon-sized buckets.


Pickles in Process The Prudent Homemaker

I plan to make dill pickles and sweet pickle relish with the cucumbers we're picking from my friend's garden.

I'll make pasta salads, Caprese salad, corn and tomato salad, grape juice, smoothies, popsicles, rice and beans, tomato pizza, BBQ chicken pizza, pork chops with fig sauce, stuffed grape leaves, tomato and cucumber salads with Italian dressing, grits with fried eggs, fried potatoes with fried eggs, BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, cherry clafoutis, Pavlova with cherries, brownies, and more this month.


What sales are you looking for this month? What do you hope to harvest from your garden? Do you have any favorite frugal summer meals?



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Tagged in: Grocery Shopping


  • ruthie July 09, 2018

    I have a question about my fig tree. I purchased one that is zoned for our area - SLC, Utah. It produced fruit the first year I planted it. For the winter I did wrap the trunk with burlap just in case it got too cold. In the spring the tree appeared to be dead - no green underneath the bark. Limbs snapped off easily. I dug it up and set it aside. The nursery gave me another one since it had been less than a year and I purchased the stuff to plant it. Anyway, the new tree produced beautifully the first year I planted it (last year). In the meantime, about a month later, the older tree that I had dug up and set aside started producing leaves at the base of the tree. I planted it in a pot and it continues to produce from the base - no fruit, however. And my newer tree did the same thing! This year the trunk is dry and dead, but leafing at the base! Did you have this issue with your fig tree?

  • Jo July 10, 2018

    It sounds like your fig trees are freezing back to the ground and sprouting from the roots when the weather warms. Fig trees "sucker" very readily from the roots, anyway. I live in Florida, so freezing to the ground is not a problem here, but even here, we tend to plant figs in sheltered areas, for some cold and frost protection. I'd say you need more cold protection -- your nursery could maybe assist you with that.
    That's my idea, anyway. Others certainly may have better ones.

  • Heidi Louise July 10, 2018

    Or if it is a good fig grafted onto a different root stock, it might be the root plant is coming up and the top tree died. Good food producers that have weak roots are often grafted onto trees that have strong roots but not such good fruit.
    I don't know if figs are often grafted? You can tell if there is a sort of sideways big bump near the base of the trunk, a few inches above ground level where the two trees were put together.

  • I agree with what Jo said. Fig trees are grown from cuttings (they are not grafted like apples or stone fruits). Your tree is definitely freezing to the ground. The roots are making it but then you are not going to get fruit unless you have a Mission fig and you get fruit from what would have been the second crop of the year.

    I live in a zone 9a and I don't worry about my fig freezing. I don't have any trouble with it freezing back like that. Mine will drop leaves and go dormant in winter. Fig trees are the last tree to leaf out in the garden; the Bible says that when the fig tree begins to produce leaves, you know that summer is near. Mine doesn't usually produce leaves until April, when it's in the 80's and 90's. This year and last year it surprised me and produced leaves in March, which it has never done before, and I have had the tree for 14 years (it used to be a potted tree at my old house). It was warm in March! My other fruit trees leaf out in February (our last frost date is mid-February).

    I think you may have to keep your fig as a potted tree that you bring indoors in winter. That said, it will be too small to get much fruit from it. I don't know if there are fig varieties that are more frost-hardy that would work better in your zone.

  • Kara July 11, 2018

    We have a fig tree and it does freeze here, but not for long, and not hard. Our tree does wonderfully. We have citrus trees and when we have prolonged freezes, we run an extension cord out to the tree and plug in a regular table lamp that we set on the ground by the trunk. That bit of heat keeps the tree from freezing. I have also heard of people putting Christmas lights in a tree to prevent it from freezing. They have to be regular Christmas lights, not LED which don’t give off as much heat.

  • Bobbie July 09, 2018

    We stock up on peaches in july- I recently got a half peck from a local orchard for $15. On another note, I stopped in to Walmart today for milk and noticed they had 10lb rolls of hamburger for $20.96!!! I wish I could have got them all (there were 4) but my budget didn't allow. I purchased 1 roll though! Woohoo! I have never seen hamburger for that cheap!

  • Janet July 16, 2018

    Bobbie might I ask how many peaches you got in a half peck. I picked up a basket that they said was a half peck at our local orchard (it did not look like a half peck but my grandson loves to count and when I got them home he counted 13 peaches) not very many if you ask me.

  • Cindy Brick July 09, 2018

    Brandy, you will LOVE Sprouts -- but be sure to shop on a Wednesday. That way, you can get sale prices for the past week, as well as the next. Saves time, money and energy.
    They generally have some incredible price loss leaders...but then will not be that reasonably-priced on other produce and fruit. So you still have to compare. Their cucumbers and peppers (a color at a time) are generally well-priced; so are their mushrooms-by-the-pound. (I only buy 4 or 5, but they make a real difference in cooking. Get the fancier type; they're usually the same price as white mushrooms, but have more flavor.)
    Our best cherry price was also Sprouts -- but $1.28/lb. That is a STEAL here. I got four large bags, and have been storing them in the fridge to keep them fresh. Husband finds that eating cherries helps keep his gout at bay. (He makes do with a little cherry juice the rest of the time.)
    You haven't mentioned hotdogs, but Oscar Mayer (more meaty taste) has been at $1.25/lb here. I make a short roll dough, then wrap and bake each 'dog' for pigs in the blanket. (Serve with barbecue sauce, veggies.) I would think your kids would love these. (Let me know if you'd like the dough recipe.)
    I also make Spaghetti Carbonara a lot: while the spaghetti is cooking, brown 1/4 pound bacon, chopped fine. (Ham works, too, or any kind of spicy sausage -- but bacon is best.) Add sliced mushrooms (I only use 1 or 2), chopped onion, zucchini, squash, beans, tomatoes...or any other garden vegetable. (Garlic is excellent here, too -- plus add a few teaspoons of Italian seasoning.) By the time the spaghetti is done, this mixture is usually browned and hissing, too. Quickly stir in one or two eggs into the meat mixture; then drain the spaghetti, mix all together, and add a tablespoon or two of parmesan. (Cubed or shredded mozzarella can also be added, but isn't critical.) Serve steaming -- one pound of spaghetti covers four hungry people, or 6-8 as an entree.

  • Jamie July 09, 2018

    I’ve just picked my first cucumber this season, getting lots of squash and zucchini, green tomatoes I’m waiting to ripen and herbs. Lots more in the garden but I started late, so it will be a bit. Tempted to go back to the blueberry farm, as they are still full and $2.30/lb. locally the fruit has not been cheap, so my canning supply is low. Hoping apples will be priced well in September!

  • Jo July 09, 2018

    That's an unheard of price for cherries! I'd drive for them at that price.
    My garden is not doing so well -- my husband promised to keep it tilled to keep weeds down, but he hasn't been up to it, and I'm not strong enough for this tiller, plus I work with a long commute -- I'm gone from the house over 11 hours each day and weekends are full of household tasks, leaving me little time for hoeing. The high heat and humidity haven't helped.
    Still, we are getting tomatoes and now some figs. I can still use my longevity spinach and the thornless blackberries surprised me with a handful of new berries after already producing what should have been the complete crop.
    I'm doing home repairs that I can do, which includes a long project of cleaning and re-lining the kitchen cabinets as I go through and pull out the old plastic supports and put metal ones in their places.
    I was happily surprised to find that a survey on Swagbucks made me eligible to do one at home, testing two kinds of cat litter. I'll get paid for this, plus, free litter!
    I definitely prefer lighter meals in summer. One of my favorites is one I grew up eating -- frying a little bacon in a skillet, crumbling the bacon and setting it aside, sauteeing fresh corn off the cob quickly in the bacon grease, remove from heat, add fresh chopped garden bell peppers, fresh chopped garden tomatoes, and the crumbled bacon. My husband became an instant fan when I cooked it for him.
    We sometimes just eat finger foods for a meal: chunks of melon, hard-boiled eggs, slices or cubes of cheese or cottage cheese, fresh cut up fruit, celery and carrot sticks, pickles, and sometimes, crackers.
    Chicken salad, egg salad, or tuna salad are good on a cut up tomato and lettuce.
    And yes, to Cindy in the South -- tomato sandwiches!

  • Marcia R July 12, 2018

    Something I used to see on menus and haven't lately was a tomato cut in about 6ths, but not all the way through the bottom, filled with tuna salad or chicken salad, served on a bed of lettuce with crackers. It was a favorite summer lunch for me, but I just don't see it anywhere any more. I have already had fresh tomatoes and corn on the cob here in Western New York state. Those are the best parts of summer--at least until peaches come in here, which will be soon for the early varieties. They had Georgia peaches in the store today but they were so underripe I had my doubts about them! I will wait until local ones come in.

  • Athanasia July 13, 2018

    I make tuna salad stuffed tomatoes in the summer into fall for a easy meal. I don't know about restaurants though, if they did or do serve them.

  • Lilli July 09, 2018

    With my home being empty of children, I plan on buying a few luxury type items for myself.
    A jar of salsa and a lb of small brown sugar sausages for breakfast.
    A bar of Dark chocolate to bake with.
    A couple small packs of cheese for egg dishes and snacks.
    A package of scallops from Aldi's.
    I will check vegtable prices in each ad. If I see something great , and I am nearby, I might pick it up.
    I have 2 high dollar coupons for digorno pizzas and will be getting six of them for the freezer. I think it is 14.00 total and sugar cookie will be thrilled.
    I envy all of the fresh fruits and vegetables you are able to grow. Ga red clay isn't too good for growing here.
    My sons best friend 10 houses down has 3 pear trees in his front yard. The trees must have thousands of pears and the trees look like they are going to split in half from the weight. They are not picked by anyone. Need to see what we might be able to do. Fruits raise my sugar to massive levels instantly. Maybe pear butter?

  • momsav July 09, 2018

    Lilli, I’ve made pear butter and it’s wonderful! Since pears are watery, you need a lot of pears to get a decent amount of butter. Check for crockpot recipes so you don’t have to stand at a hot stove all day. What a nice friend your son has!

  • mable July 09, 2018

    How about making dried pears and pear butter or jam for Christmas gifts?

  • Athanasia July 11, 2018

    Dried pears are delicious.

  • Rhonda A. July 14, 2018

    Lilli, you could make pear sauce, exactly the same as you would apple sauce and can or freeze it. This can be used in baking which gives the baked goods a little more nutritional substance to them. Just find recipes that call for apple sauce and use the pear suace instead! Also, you could freeze or can pear slices, to eat during the winter when fresh produce prices are high. I understand that fruit can spike your blood sugar, and is a valid reason to consume in moderation. However, if you are struggling with getting fruits and veggies due to money restraints, preserving free fruit will become be very valuable duing those times (not to mention a great option if you loose hydro and can't cook easily). I would encourage you to preserve as much as you can!

  • Nancy July 09, 2018

    Dear Brandy..I always look forward to reading your post.
    It's chocked full of good things. Last month I was able to make a beautiful gallery wall like yours of my grands.
    I was also able to make your pretty Pavola for dessert.
    This summer has been full of company. I love it but always calls for extra budget.
    . Garden started slow but now herbs and tomatoes
    Chives ..lettuce..are filling up.
    . Have used spray paint to paint benches..chairs..
    Desk to spruce up our home.
    . Hard work and detailing..viniger.soap and water have washed walls..cleaned floors..grout
    . Pillows have a fresh look with extra fabric
    . Free sofa n rug was found online . Washed up covers ..sun dried. Swept n clean. Fresh n new.
    . Was given another free sofa n desk. Already in perfect condition.
    . Meals at-home.
    . Use library for summer reading.
    . Took free flower course brandy recommend. Very good.
    . Free items at local grocery every other week. 1 per customer.
    . Strawberries .98 LG ..bought several froze
    . Enjoyed summer sunrises and sunsets.
    . Hope to enjoy free orchestra concert in park in August

  • Cindy Brick July 09, 2018

    I just came tearing back to include this link:


    Be sure to read the comments -- the 'roadkill bread' and 'the inmate' are hilarious!

  • Ellie's friend from Canada July 09, 2018

    I have been eating frozen mini cucumbers (my fridge accidentally froze them). It's almost like a popsicle! Certainly cooling in this heat. I am trying to write a talk on local history that I am to give. I am amazed at how many primary sources are now online. I have saved money by not going to the archives but by doing everything online.

    About what to do with pears, if they're thin skinned, I would cut them in half, leave the skins on, take seeds out and then put them in freezer bags. So good in the winter. We made pear sauce, just like apple sauce but with no sugar. Can use it instead of oil in baking. Am just enjoying each plant as it blooms in the garden. I've eaten down all of the food in my freezer. I bought mason jars to replace those that the person looking after my house when I was in the hospital threw out (or sent to recycling). I bought replacements (from my quarter collection) and they were on sale. Now all I have to do is buy a case of peaches and blueberries and start restocking my little freezer for the winter. I am trying to enjoy summer as it is all too short here!

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