Slide background


Slide background

Eat for

40 Cents

A Day

Header Typography
Inkwell and Pen

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

March's Shopping Plans

Snow Peas and Radishes The Prudent Homemaker

March has several sales. It's frozen foods month in the U.S., which usually means a number of frozen foods go on sale. St. Patrick's Day on the 17th means sales on corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes.

Easter Rabbits The Prudent Homemaker

With Easter falling on April 1st this year, we will see Easter sales in late March. I plan on making Easter Rabbits again this year using chocolate candy melts and molds I have already (you can see the how-to here).  

Here's how I plan to spend my $200 budget this month for our family of 10:


Sam's Club:


Rice 25-pound bag

Tomato Sauce #10 cans

Diced Tomatoes #10 cans

POM Toilet Paper



Washing Soda

Equate hand-washing dish soap



Store brand frozen sweet peas. I'll look for a sale on these at $1 a pound (usually when you buy 10). I would love to buy 20 or even 30 bags, but I often have trouble finding even 10 bags in the store. 






Spreadable Margarine

Parmesan Cheese

Store brand spicy brown mustard


I'll look for sales on strawberries in late March. If I can find them for $1 a pound or less, I'll purchase them. I'll also look for sales on potatoes, cabbage, corned beef, whole chickens, and Easter candy (Starburst jelly beans and peanut M&M's for Easter eggs).

 Strawberry Jam The Prudent Homemaker

From the garden, I will harvest Swiss chard, Meyer lemons, spinach, lettuce, snow peas, green onions, leeks, radishes, and several herbs this month. My large Swiss chard plants bolt in April when it gets hot, so we'll be harvesting lots before they need to be pulled from the garden. I have new plants already up and growing for this year so we won't have too long of a lull in picking. 

We'll continue to eat lots of frozen fruit from the freezer in anticipation of this year's fruit from the garden. We'll also enjoy more squash, pumpkins, and pomegranates from the garden that I have been storing.

A friend has offered me eggs from her hens, who are currently laying much more than she can eat, so I'll bring her some lemons in exchange for eggs.

What items are you looking to purchase this month?

Last modified on
Tagged in: Grocery Shopping


  • I've gone the first day of the sale (Wednesday) and ordered for a Friday shipment of bulk peaches and pears, but never have I thought to do these! I don't know why not! I should! They usually require that you buy 10 in order to get the sale price, so it's frustrating when they don't have 10 (some items don't require the 10 items for the sale but these always say "When you buy 10".) I should do that! We eat about a bag and a half at a meal so that would be fabulous!

  • Tammy March 01, 2018

    I am looking forward to payday tomorrow so I can go grocery shopping. We need everything but beans and tuna and pasta. I don't have a dishwasher so I got tired of making 3 meals a day from scratch plus snacks and doing all the dishes that today I actually bought a 6 dollar pizza and cookies on credit. Not wise, I know. I'm so behind on dishes. I'm going to try and catch up and keep on cooking from scratch at home because we want to pay off some bills. I also know if I stock the refrigerator and pantry with food, I can cook. Then we won't eat out. I had a cold and did a lot of sleeping between cooking meals. At least I am feeling better. I worked 40 hours on a week that should show up on this paycheck so we can buy extra groceries and pay down some bills. Hubby is working a day of overtime and that will help also. My menu plan didn't work out because we needed coupons for some of the things I had planned on buying. We actually left the grocery store without the items because we did not have the money to pay full price and we didn't want to add it to the credit card. So we did more bean meals and I made the meat we had spread by using as a flavoring in soups. Brandy is right, soups are filling and cheap. I'm sure I would have done better to buy some basic groceries rather than buy a pizza and cookies. But my resolve not to spend was better when I was feeling well and the kitchen wasn't piled with dishes.
    Brandy, I'm glad you are ok. I wondered what happened when I didn't see a post on Monday. Glad to see your post today
    Well, it is time for me to do more dishes!:). Then I can cook more tomorrow. Really I need to make a menu after I see what is on sale.

  • Pauline in Upstate NY March 02, 2018

    Tammy, I feel your pain... When you have been sick and then the house chores get behind because you’re trying to heal, it’s very hard to summon the energy to catch up. What works for me in these instances is to literally set my kitchen timer for 15 minutes, work that long on the messiest or most annoying chore, then stop and do other things for the next 45 (even it means you need to lie on the sofa again for that 45 minutes!). Then set the timer for another 15 minutes and start again. With dish washing, try using half the time to wash and the other half to dry/put away so that the drainer is empty when you go back to start washing again. Good luck and get well soon!

  • Tammy March 02, 2018

    Pauline, that is a good idea, thank-you.

  • Becky March 02, 2018

    It sounds like you are taking steps in the right direction. Just be patient with yourself as you build new habits. I agree with you that if you stock your pantry well, over time, you will have many more choices when you are tired, sick, etc. It's a great idea to see what's on sale, and make a menu from that! And, if you can, buy a few "extras" of what ever is the best sale to get your pantry stocked up. For instance, if tomato sauce is super cheap (or whatever is), buy several instead of the one or two you need for your menu plan. Or buy a bulk bag of something, like rice or flour or sugar, if you can. Another thing that I do that helps is to cook a few meals on the weekend, then just warm things up on the days I'm at work until late. It doesn't always work out, but a lot of the time it does. (I totally ruined something the other day, and had to leave for work, leaving NO dinner for my husband when he got home from work--I texted him that he would need to grab a burger or cook whatever he could find--and I was sorry! So rare, thankfully, but it happened. Because his work has been extra hard right now, he doesn't have the energy to cook much so I've been trying to leave food for him.)

    Hang in there. Just keep trying.

  • Tammy March 02, 2018

    Thanks Becky, good ideas! I appreciate it.

  • Marilyn in MD March 02, 2018


    I agree with Pauline. I don't have a dishwasher either so I need to do dishes every day (but for only 1 person so not nearly what you have) and when I don't want to do them/don't feel like doing them (pretty much every day), I set the timer to 20 minutes and try to beat it for washing, cleaning off counters, sweeping the floor, and generally putting the kitchen to rights. Even if I don't beat that time, I'm usually so close that I just finish.

    The other thing that might help you is advance food prep. I find it a lot easier to make a salad if I have peppers, cucumbers, celery, lettuce, and spinach already cut up and in canning jars that I have available. The same for soup and stir fry ingredients. I also shred half a pound of cheese at a time and store what I don't need, make a batch of meatballs and freeze them in single serving sizes, etc. It takes time to do this but it makes meal prep so much easier and quicker.

    I don't know if you have children but if you do, are they old enough to help? They may not want to help, but, hey, you don't want to do this either. If you set the time, you can make it a game with them.

    Finally, maybe paper plates just once a week to give yourself a break, especially if you are eating leftovers that don't require a lot of pans or dishes to cook. Not necessarily thrifty but there is a cost to your time and sanity as well...

  • Tammy March 02, 2018

    Marilyn in MD, thank-you for your ideas. My husband has mentioned paper plates. I need to break down and buy some. It certainly is cheaper than eating out. And yes it is a good idea to get everyone involved. I need to do that. Thanks.

  • Rhonda A. March 02, 2018

    I do a combination of meals from scratch and convenience foods for my family. First of all, the convenience foods are often what everyone doesn't complain about eating, and second they are useful for nights when we're too busy or tired to do "from scratch" meals. Some people may not agree with our food choices, but in my opinion it is still better than eating out both health and cost wise. Every family has to make choices that works for them.

    As for cutting costs, it is always best to meal plan around sales, coupons and seasonal foods until you can build up your pantry a bit. I assure you, it really does take time to build up a good pantry. So don't ever think you are falling short when you first start out. The best way to build your pantry is to shop the sales and buy a few extras of items you KNOW your family eats regularly (like pasta, rice, tomato sauce, veggies, etc.) or items that can be used in multiple recipes (like baking supplies, favourite herbs/spices, etc.). Once your pantry starts to build up, you can incorporate "pantry meals" into your weekly meal plan, freeing up more of your regular food budget to buy more varieties of foods that are on sale to further develop you pantry (see how this snowballs?).

    One thing I would suggest, to help you reclaim your kitchen and time, is to make extra when you prepare a meal and freeze half of it to use later if you can. I prefer to assemble the dish and freeze it uncooked, while others like to freeze leftovers in portioned container or pre-cook and freeze some of the ingredients to save time later...whatever works best for your family is fine. These "freezer meals" come in very handy on days when you are too exhausted to cook, you are not feeling well, you need something quick or you need something that makes less dishes to help you catch up. Don't be afraid to think ahead for meals that week as well. For instance, maybe you prepare a triple batch of pancakes on the weekend, then freeze the extras to use for breakfast that week (pancakes can be reheated in the toaster if you make then small enough to fit). Or maybe you make a big pot of chili on the weekend, then use leftovers later in the week for meals like chili macaroni and/or chili cheese dogs. Batch cooking will save time and hopefully produce less dishes later in the week.

    Another suggestion is to find some simple recipes or meals that don't take much preparation to make. For instance, I buy naan or pita bread (which FYI freezes well) so we can have "make-your-own" pizzas. Use canned tomato sauce, grate up some cheese, put out whatever topping you have on hand, then let everyone assemble their own pizza (while you sit back and smile). Bake them @ 350F for about 20-30 minutes on cookie sheets and voila...everyone is happy!

    So don't worry, Tammy. It sounds like you have the right idea and are headed the right direction. You just have to find your own path that works best for you and your family.

  • Tammy March 02, 2018

    Thank-you Rhonda, I really need to do Batch cooking and honestly, some convenience foods help too. It keeps us form eating out and just makes life easier sometimes. You are right I need to relax a bit and do what works best for us. I've really been trying to cook everything scratch and it just has worn me out, maybe because i have a cold. What a good idea to do self assembled pizzas!

  • Marilyn in MD March 03, 2018

    Tammy, from scratch is all well and good but not if you are worn out and have other priorities as well. We were told in the 1970ies that we can do it all AND do it perfectly. That's just a lie: no human can do everything and we all need to make choices and prioritize. Sometimes, that does include using convenience Foods. It's almost always still cheaper than going out or getting take out. You also retain your sanity which will help everyone in the family enjoy the meal much more.

  • Marcia R. March 02, 2018

    I do have a dishwasher now, but I didn't for many, many years. I always put my dishes to soak as I use them. Either fill the sink, or your dishpan, with hot soapy water, and put in as many dishes as it will hold. Run the others full of water to soak while they wait. It may use extra water and I don't know if that's super-expensive where you live, but it sure helps me to get my dishes done. Once they have soaked while you're cooking, it won't take long to wash and rinse them and set them to dry. I still do this with pots and pans that don't go in the dishwasher.

  • Tammy March 02, 2018

    Thanks Marcia, that is a good idea. I'm always leaving dishes until we have had dinner. Then I need to soak some of them before I can actually scrub them. I hadn't even thought of filling up the sink as I go.

  • Marcia R. March 01, 2018

    I don't have too many needs at the moment, but I do need chicken ("SALE" price this week $2.50 #--no thanks.) I could use more salmon and another fish--tried some frozen haddock which I really didn't care for, although that is the usual fish around these parts. My freezer is full of pork, beef, a few lamb chops, and all the ground beef I need for a while. All I foresee needing is fresh veggies, fruits, and dairy this month. It seems like I've bought every non-food need we use in the past two months, so hoping not too many of those to replace this month either. I do need honey for granola, and if I go to the Amish store, I will also get more oatmeal as well. I will get some walnuts when I go to Sam's Club again (and some new towels too, although they don't count as food.)

  • Jo March 02, 2018

    I am trying to clear out my freezer some, for the half-hog to be received soon. I ordered it from a young couple starting an organic farm. They have good prices (for organic) and work so hard, I'm happy to help support them. We'll be eating a lot of pork before long.
    We have about 8 heads of cabbage forming in our container garden, and we are looking forward to enjoying them. About half of them are red/purple cabbage, which can be so expensive in the stores! Now I need some brisket or corned beef -- last year I corned my own beef, but if it's on a really good sale, I may just buy it.
    Since I don't yet know if oats, rice, or beans will make it back on my diet, I'm not stocking up on those. I do need some cooking essentials, like salt, olive oil, honey, etc.
    My husband is sprouting tomatoes, eggplant, peppers (that I don't know yet if I can eat, but he will!) and squash, both summer and "winter." We are hoping to have success with them -- our weather can sure destroy a crop by getting way too hot and wet just as the fruits are coming on. I have a few onions trying to make it in this crazy weather -- I hope they do.

  • Becky March 02, 2018

    I've come to a realization that I actually have been funding my grocery budget mid month for the last several months. So, my "monthly" groceries are from the middle of one month to the middle of the next. So, in the 2 weeks of my "month" that has already passed, I found that I had around $100 of carry-over from the last month. I took that to Costco and spent it on the few items I could get for that amount. It doesn't take very many at Costco, but the large sizes make the purchase last a long time. I got parmesan cheese, 5 dozen eggs, 1/2 and 1/2, a 6-pack of romaine, the huge bag of tortilla chips, some hygiene supplies, and so forth. I also got one of those cooked chickens for $4.99, and ate some of that in the car for my lunch, brought home the rest and used it for meals, then cooked the bones and made soup. I've only bought 2 of them, ever, but my extremely frugal mom told me about can scarcely get a raw chicken for that price around here, so she started buying them occasionally. It was good. I will likely buy one another time, if I'm there for other reasons. It had never even occurred to me to look at them, as pre-cooked deli food isn't on my usual list.

    I got a lot of bargains and specials from 4 stores last weekend. I just took the ads, and coupons, and got the bargains. There is a little price war going on due to the opening of a new store near my sister and aunts' houses, and so I've picked up things like butter for $1.99/lb, pork loin for 99c/lb, 99c/10lb potatoes, canned tomatoes for 25c each, orange juice for 99c/carton, sugar for 99c/4-lb bag, and so on. I bought celery, carrots, milk, etc., as I ran out. Both my aunt and sister have given me some coupons they couldn't use, which helped. I ended up playing the Monopoly game at Safeway, mostly due to these bargains, and usually someone gives my children or myself their tickets. I have several free items, and we actually won $5. I need to take the tickets in and redeem them for the free items and the $5. I will put the $5 in a fund for when we go camping next summer. We save coins and use them to eat out on vacations, and $5 will help bump that amount up.

    I also did a Grocery Outlet run, and got some produce, and a few bargain items. I didn't get as much there as sometimes, as I didn't need as much. I did get gluten-free cookie mix for 99c/box.

    I realized that I could pay off the rest of my daughter's braces if I was extra frugal with groceries this month. However, I want to buy these bargains to keep the pantry stocked. So, I think I've struck a good balance and set a moderate amount aside for groceries, and will pay off that bill. We actually got hit with several larger-than-usual bills, one large one from a medical procedure months ago (that took forever to come) and a couple more, and so we've tightened up the belt so we can pay those.

    So, I will buy milk, the coupon and super bargain items, celery, chicken if I find a good deal, and whatever item I run out of as I'm cooking. I make a list when I'm down to my last package/can/etc. of each item, and restock it so my panty stays full. (For instance, if I take the last container of parmesan cheese off the pantry shelf, I write it down so I know to purchase it before we actually run out, or if I notice that I only have 2 cans of pineapple left, I start searching for a sale on that, and so on) Otherwise, I don't need a lot for the next 2 weeks, since I got all those other items. If I have money left over, I will use it for another Costco or Cash and Carry run to get any bulk items I find I'm running low on.

  • PJGT March 02, 2018

    We are still working hard to reduce our waistlines and our credit card debt after the past two very difficult years. I hate playing catch-up, so am going to double down. Not eating as much will also save money!

    For decades we fed our family on $100 a month (not as large as yours, Brandy) which included toiletries, laundry soap supplies and cleaning supplies. It is doable, but I really had to be on top if things all the time and keep the pantry supplied first as well. This is why I'm so happy to have found this blog...when I was raising my family on wholesome and organic foods so cheaply, I felt so alone. It's good to have a like minded group to share ideas with. Thanks Brandy and everyone!

    One of my greatest struggles was (and is) avoiding impulsive buys. I actually have to plan to stay out of the stores at times to stick to the plan. That said, here is what I plan to buy this month...

    Bananas to dehydrate if they are on sale
    Sundries at the dollar store
    Cottage cheese

  • Athanasia March 02, 2018

    I will buy at least 4 corned beef, make 1 and freeze the others. We like the leftovers for sandwiches and we also make our own corned beef hash.

    Our root cellar stays cold for another few months so I will restock with potatoes, carrots and cabbages.

    Yellow onions for cooking, sweet onions for raw and red onions for both.

    Canned tuna, Mandarin oranges, black olives

    Frozen peas, probably 25-30 lbs to last through to when we can harvest our own, frozen phyllo dough-2 boxes

    candy for Easter...jelly beans, Cadbury eggs, various chocolates with coupons/sales

    baby wipes and small size diapers with coupons/sales for upcoming new babies

    unbleached flour, powdered sugar, brown sugar, caraway seed, coffee beans, iodized salt, whole allspice

    all month...fresh vegetables as needed for salads, bananas (from gas station), oranges and or grapefruit, apples for fresh eating (we still have some in the root cellar for cooking/baking). milk, cottage cheese, cream cheese, unsalted butter, eggs (farm), corn tortillas, mozzarella cheese

  • Francie March 02, 2018

    I enjoy your posts and photography so much! You are truly and inspiration in all that you do.

  • momsav March 02, 2018

    Most years, I use a portion of our tax returns to jumpstart our stock. So, I had a fairly large shop this week (for us) as well as ordering a few things from the co-op. Since Jan./Feb. were no spend/low spend, it was time to fill in a few gaps. Of course, I couldn’t buy everything. I’m still hopeful that I may find butter for less than 2.99lb. Marivene mentioned dehydrating cabbage so i’d like to get a few of those. Fresh onions and potatoes would be nice. Yellow bananas would be nice, too. (I won’t buy green; they don’t always ripen.) I’m going to try to be good for the rest of the month. My husband is gearing up for a photography contest and to stock a store with some of his art so that will need to be addressed. Not to mention, he’s still not back to work full time and it looks like it may be awhile, yet. He applied for another job and goes in tomorrow to talk to someone about it. Fingers crossed that whatever happens, he has a good outcome.
    I wanted to mention to anyone with a Dollar Tree that I came across organic, fire roasted tomatoes for 2/1.00 per can. That is a great price for organic! I bought four cases. They are short dated for April. I know all DT stores stock differently but I never would have even thought about looking for such a thing there.

Leave your comment

Guest March 18, 2018

Spring Gardening



 Introduction Sidebar 2017

Start HereMy Story

                           FOLLOW ME

               FACEBOOK              PINTEREST

Good Things to Make This Month

Slide background




Slide background

White Bean



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