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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


  • Tracy March 01, 2018

    Brandy, last month you mentioned how you focus on filling your pantry with staples first and foremost, and only then buy fresh foods. This has helped me reshape my approach to spreading my budget across my shopping needs. Thank you.

  • I'm so glad that helped!

  • Melissa V March 01, 2018

    We need to stock up on several bulk items namely sugar, oats and rice but I need another bucket 1st (I already have the gamma lid - found at a garage sale!). Do any of you have any tips of how to get the pickle or sauerkraut smell out of a bucket (I can get a free one from work - but the smell is going to ruin whatever I put in there unless I can get it out)
    We need to get ahead of the pet food supply again but at nearly $50 a bag, it is tough to do. The poultry feed is much easier to stock up on and since I supplement so much of their diet with scraps from work and home, it cuts down on the amount of commercial feed I need to purchase.
    We plan to stock up on pasta sauce, tomatoes and broth and toilet paper at Meijer this week yet.
    We really need to find a good sale on BLSL chicken breast but there are signs in the store about a short supply for some reason? Hopefully, one of the stores will have it for $1.69 a pound here soon.
    Our local Spartan store is also doing closeouts on some of their brand items - 10# sugar for $2.99, brown and powdered sugar 2# for .99 cents and water chestnuts for 3/$1 as well as fire roasted diced tomatoes for 2/$1 (which means I may skip the Meijer ones since these are cheaper)
    We also have decided to add some freeze dried meat items to our preparedness bags so we are checking all the company websites for sales this month.
    Part of the grocery budget this month will also include the purchase of a dehydrator unless I can figure out how to fix my current hand me down one that no longer heats (It's a very old Excalibur and I have emailed the company a couple times now with NO response)
    I have started broccoli, lettuce, bunching onions and peas in my greenhouse so hopefully we will at least have lettuce by the end of the month. I hope to start my peppers and tomatoes inside the house next week and then transplant them out into the greenhouse in April so they'll be producing sooner (I hope!)
    Otherwise, we are stocked decently (other than fresh produce and dairy) and are trying to eat down what's in the freezer before it all gets freezer burned!

  • Heidi Louise March 01, 2018

    For getting pickling smells out of the bucket:
    Newspaper absorbs odors, (such as from musty books), so if you have the bucket already, you might crumple some sheets of newspaper into it and cover it while you look for other remedies. Dry coffee grounds also absorb odors; I used that to get cigarette smell out of our new-to-us car, and I have read of people storing or moving refrigerators with an open can of coffee in it to take out smells.

  • Tina March 01, 2018

    Zaycon Fresh has BSCB for 99¢ a pound for new customers with the code FIRST40. You might be able to use this coupon code for $5 off your first order, Code: zf807877

  • Tina March 01, 2018

    Brandy, I didn't realize I was still logged into my account when I shared the link, can you replace the link with this one please? https://www.zayconfresh.com

  • Mable March 01, 2018

    Melissa: when a company has been unresponsive to emails, I go to their Facebook page and tell the world exactly what the problem is and how unresponsive the company is being. It has NEVER failed to generate a fast response from the company. I don't make extreme statements (as in, "I will never buy their peanut butter again.") or use nasty/sarcastic language. I am civil and usually put how much I like their product and how disappointed I am by their lack of responsiveness to a customer. Companies do not like to be publicly called out for their poor service and the big ones have folks hired just to scout social media sites and respond to complaints. After the company responds to my FB message, I always post again, telling people they did respond and are fixing the issue and I am thankful for their help. Try it, it might work. I am not a chronic complainer to companies but I have done this four times and it worked every time.

  • K March 01, 2018

    I picked up a dehydrator today at the goodwill for $4. I brought it home and tried it and it works. This one got excellent reviews online. Hope that helps.

  • Becky @ Becky's Place March 02, 2018

    I just did a quick search and found someone replaced the thermostat and fuse in their excalibur dehydrator, and there's video on youtube, too. Not sure if that's your issue, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to check out youtube prior to replacing it completely.

  • Rhonda A. March 01, 2018

    I was worried when you didn't post anything on Monday or Tuesday, Brandy. Then I happened to check your facebook page and saw your post about your computer crashing. Although I'm sorry you have to deal with that added expense, I'm glad your absence was not due to health reasons.

    Being able to feed 10 people on a budget of $200 for the month is really amazing. Not sure that would be possible in my area and with my family's food preferences, but I love learning and gleaning what I can to help keep our food budget lower. Thankfully I was able to stock up on some pantry items last month with really good sales. So far this month, I don't have a huge list, but it always seems to get added to on a regular basis. Here's what I know of so far:
    *Pearled Barley
    *Frozen Peas
    *Tomato Paste
    *BLSL Chicken Breasts
    *Possibly another large package of ground beef (just bought some, which will give us 8 meals but I wouldn't mind stocking a bit more)

    Things I'm waiting to buy when it goes on sale @ Costco (some have been on my list for months):
    *Sweet Potato Fries
    *Parchment Paper
    *Breaded fish

    Of course, I will watch sales closely and restock pantry item as I always do. It has occurred to me that I should make some efforts to prepare freezer meals for use this summer. My mother usually takes over cooking once I return to my seasonal job, and she likes to cook convenience meals only. I return to work April 30th, so I have time to decide what would work well as freezer meals in the summer and buy ingredients, when they are on sale, to make them up. Always planning ahead!

  • Samantha March 01, 2018

    Hi Brandy,
    I found a great (for here anyway) deal on grapes for $0.98/lb and wanted to make homemade grape juice. I remember awhile back that you mentioned you make your own grape juice, but I was wondering if you have any tips. Thank you so much!

  • That is a great price for fresh eating, but I would not can grape juice with grapes at that price because you need so many. I grow my own grapes so I can juice from those. I use the Ball Book for a canning recipe; they may also have it listed on their website.

  • Jennifer O March 01, 2018

    I don't expect to buy anything this month (other than a corned beef). Freezers are full. Pantry holes have been addressed and I will be away at least 2 weekends of the month.

  • Margie from Toronto March 01, 2018

    So glad to hear that it is a computer issue as I was a bit worried that your absence might have had something to do with the baby. Annoying, and an expense I'm sure you didn't need but hopefully fixed soon.
    My shopping for March actually started last Saturday as the Supermarket that I use most of the time had some great deals on to collect Loyalty Points. I had the money so bit the bullet. Saturday I bought two kinds of frozen fish and frozen shrimp and clams. I've given up red meat for Lent so these items plus the canned fish and the poultry that I have on hand means that the only protein I'll still have to buy will be dairy, eggs and cheese. I'm on Dr.'s orders to eat Low carb so that also has to be factored into meal planning.
    Sunday was the Drugstore (which is owned by the same grocery co.) to purchase items that were needed and on sale - shouldn't need to buy any of these for another 6 months.
    Monday it was produce so stocked up on enough to last until the end of next week.
    Tuesday it was butter, yogurt & cheese - all of which I needed so I did well.
    Today I picked up non-food items and bags of frozen veg for which I got a lot of points. I only have the freezer above my fridge so it takes some planning. I just finished batch cooking a combination of fresh & frozen veg and I'll do another lot on Monday. That way on Tuesday I can go to the store and stock up on enough frozen fruit to get through the month as there will be some space for them.
    By the time I finish Tuesday's shop I should have nearly $50 worth of Loyalty points to spend and I too am waiting for that $25 gift card due to the price fixing on bread so should pay for any odds and ends I might still need (milk & fresh fruit) and allow me to stock up on some canned fruit, veg and beans. I'm paying a lot more attention to Flyers these days and waiting for the best days to get all the deals & extras and it is certainly making a difference!

  • Marilyn in MD March 01, 2018

    You might want to skip fruit if you are on a low carb diet. Other than berries, fruit has a lot of carbs. This is a great resource for checking carb counts. http://www.carb-counter.org/

  • Margie from Toronto March 01, 2018

    I eat mostly berries and apples but I'm also supposed to eat bananas a few times a week for the potassium so it's all a balancing act. I eat maybe two servings of fruit a day and since it's low carb and not no carb (and I've cut out all cookies, cakes and desserts in general) I think the benefits of the vitamins in the fruit outweighs the few carbs. I've already lost a lot of weight so it seems to be working - but it's a good thing I love veggies! :-)

  • Loyda March 01, 2018

    Renewing my Costco membership this month and buying olive oil, flour and sugar there.....I am going to be buying bulk at my favorite produce/fruit stand this weekend.. Here are some prices 10lb bag of Russett potatoes .99, broccoli crowns 3lbs for .99 brussel sprouts 3 lbs for .99 a lb. strawberries one pound for .99 bartlett pears are .69 a lb. I could go on but thought those were just great and what I will be getting. Safeway has 1 lb butter stix for 1.99 so definitely will get some and throw in the freezer. Also Albertsons has a case of water for a 1.69 and gotta keep that on hand here in Mesa AZ ! There were some great sales in yesterdays ads.. And I haven't even hit Winco yet!

  • momsav March 02, 2018

    Awesome prices!

  • Lilli March 01, 2018

    Today is the first of March and I have spent most of my shopping allotment in one morning. I finally stabilized our finances and had 100.00 for the month to add to my stockpile. Sugar cookie has 60.00 in food stamps that we will also use. I hit the salvage stores this morning and found
    Red Salmon $3.00 a can. Bought 10
    93/7 ground turkey $1.00 lb. Bought 30 lbs
    No. 10 cans marinara sauce 2.00 . Bought 3
    I would love to find a substantial amount of tuna to add to my pantry. I had the most amazing blessing today. I have known the woman from the salvage store for about 15 years. While there today, her elderly husband showed up with a pickup truck full of produce. I asked how much his avocado s were? He told me that the food had been donated and on its way to a church pantry. He told me to take anything I wanted. I got a case of cauliflower, a case of avocados, a case of broccoli and a couple bags of grapes. He insisted he didn't want any money but I gave him 10 dollars and explained we were so grateful to have items we normally could not afford. I split the food up and shared with the family of sugar cookies special friend. Avocado s are 1.79 here so this is a huge treat. I will be freezing the other vegtables and sugar cookie is ecstatic to have so much cauliflower.

  • Rhonda A. March 01, 2018

    Lilli, I tried to comment last week, but there was a problem and it wouldn't let me. From your comments, I could tell you were doing very well despite your lack of finances. You made it through that tough month...way to go, girl! So glad you were able to get a bunch of fresh produce and more pantry supplies to help you through this month. Sounds like things are improving a bit already!

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