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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?

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Tagged in: Grocery Shopping


  • terry March 01, 2018

    Not weird, I refuse too! Thankfully the regular grocery stores around here still carry 16oz bags.

  • Athanasia March 02, 2018

    Marcia, I saw some 10 oz bags the other day which is even worse.

  • Lynn from NC Outer Banks March 03, 2018

    Same here, Athanasia. I came home from the store still fussing about the rapidly shrinking sizes in frozen veggies (and everything else!) to my husband after my last trip.

  • Linda March 01, 2018

    I am looking forward to cornbeef and cabbage sales. Last year we were able to purchase several that we used during the year. We will also be planting potatoes this month. We have been working on emptying the freezers. Have tomato seeds started in trays with trays from previous years. We purchased onion transplants this year, next year we will start our own transplants.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood March 01, 2018

    I always love reading your shopping posts. All your posts, actually! It's so interesting to see what grows during different times of the year in different climates than my own. Where I am, we're expecting snow, despite several very temperate days recently, but I just might try planting a few carrot seeds in my balcony garden to see if they germinate. A single weed is currently growing, and I figure if a weed can grow, so can some hardy carrots! If anything grows, I'll cloche it asap.

    In terms of shopping, I don't expect to do a lot of shopping this month, except for fresh fruits and vegetables. I've recently switched to eating organic fruits and vegetables (at least the dirty dozen) for health reasons, so I'm keeping an eye out for them on sale, as they're definitely more expensive. All the more reason to grow as much as I can on my balcony as soon as possible!

    I have lots of canned and frozen veggies, as well as onions, potatoes, and carrots, so I expect to only have to buy lettuce. I will be buying a lot of fruit later on in the month, as I'm an inveterate fruit monster (think cookie monster, but fruit), but I have enough to last me for at least a week and a half. I'm actually going on vacation next week, so I will be cooking/freezing some of the current fruits and veggies I have, to make sure they don't go to waste before I get back (zesting and juicing lemons and oranges, probably, as well as blanching and freezing some green beans). Does anyone know a way to preserve arugula?

    So in general, my list for the next few weeks is quite short: cream cheese on sale, organic blueberries on sale(ish), and in two weeks, some bananas, lettuce, milk, and whatever organic fruit is cheapest.

    I plan to make granola this month, as well as chocolate sauce (so that I can make homemade chocolate milk -- cheaper and healthier than store-bought), and Brandy's balsamic orange dressing. And, I'll likely make a bunch of Parmesan Paprika Potato Wedges (http://approachingfood.com/budget-friendly-parmesan-paprika-potato-wedges/) for dinner, as they are great the next day or two for lunches.

  • Jennifer O March 01, 2018

    dehydrate the arugula? I dehydrate any leftover greens and then add them into stuff like baked ziti.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood March 01, 2018

    Ooooh, fantastic idea Jennifer! I can use them in smoothies! Thanks!

  • Becky March 01, 2018

    One idea that might work would be to put the cloche on the dirt to warm it so the seeds will come up. Carrots are a good choice for cool weather.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood March 01, 2018

    That's a great idea, Becky! I'll put some canning jars on top and hopefully that will help keep the soil warm enough. Thanks!

  • Jeannie March 02, 2018

    What about arugula chips like the kale chips suggestion you have on your website? Or put the greens in soup and then freeze the soup.
    Jeannie @ GetMetoTheCountry

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood March 02, 2018

    Arugula chips sounds yummy! Great idea, Jeannie!

  • Allyson March 03, 2018

    I make arugala (or spinach or fresh mixed herbs) pesto and freeze it quite often. I include garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. If I have dehydrated tomatoes or olives, those are a nice addition too. I rarely include nuts because they're expensive and we prefer them for snacking. The consistency doesn't seem to suffer for it.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood March 03, 2018

    Arugula pesto is a great idea - thanks, Allyson! That never occurred to me.

  • Elizabeth M. March 01, 2018

    I'm looking for lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, to improve the balance of food that I am eating. Broccoli and bananas and avocados are at good prices, so I am happy with those choices! As large a bag of potatoes as I can find locally (probably 15 lbs) and a bag of onions. I am using these more and more to add flavor to what I'm cooking.

    Baking powder, rolled oats and brown sugar.

    Potting soil so that I can plant some herbs. I have the seeds and the pots already. They'll be transplanted into a large container I have when it is warm enough for them outside.

    Whole milk, so that I can make fresh mozzarella and sour cream. I have all the other makings.

    I should receive a $25 gift card this month, because of price fixing on bread here in Canada. My plan is now to use it to buy regular groceries and then set aside the money I've saved towards my emergency fund.

  • Rhonda A. March 01, 2018

    I received my $25 gift card last week, so you should be getting yours soon.

  • ann lee s March 02, 2018

    I received my $25. onto my card from Save On Foods, but was disappointed to see I had to first buy $25. of groceries, Then the next $25 (that day) came off my card. well its better than nothing, but not what I had expected.
    ann lee s

  • Elizabeth M. March 03, 2018

    That is interesting. I don't remember any mention of that in the materials I read. Of course, I stopped reading when I found out I wasn't qualified, because my Save On membership wasn't active at the end of December. I only shopped there for dog food that my adopted senior dog was used to and the occasional pre-made meal. Now that I don't have a dog and don't stop to buy pre-made meals, the card wasn't active.

    The Loblaws card, you have to say to the cashier up front that you are planning to use the card, or else run it as a separate transaction.

  • annlees March 03, 2018

    Elizabeth: if you HAD a card last December you could probably still apply .... unless you stopped using your card long ago. ... no they never mentioned this rule until I went to use the $25. !!!! I only purchase the occasional item there as well, but could honestly answer their "quiz" when applying. ann lee s

  • Ellie March 04, 2018

    Here in the U.S., it seems as if bakeries have retooled their bread pans and shrunk them. Loaves are now visibly smaller in size, and the price is VERY high. $4.50 for a loaf of whole grain, oat, or nut bread. One would think it would cost them more to get new bread pans than it does in flour and other ingredients.
    There are only 2 people in my house hold and my home made bread seems to spoil so quick. I may have to rethink baking my own bread again due to price.
    I am glad you are getting a refund for bread price fixing.

  • Rhonda A. March 04, 2018

    It is definitely not a refund...just a sad apology for years of screwing us over. If I added up how much money I have overpaid for bread over these years, it would be more like hundreds of dollars and we're just 1 family. These companies have made an enormous amount of profit from this illegal price fixing. A $25 gift card is almost an insult. But in case they get away with this, I'm taking what is offered right now.

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