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December's Grocery Shopping Plans

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Meyer Lemons in Basket The Prudent Homemaker

If you didn't know I had a stocked pantry and freezers, my list this month would certainly seem like it isn't enough food, and certainly not well-balanced!

I never did end up finding a good sale on frozen peas or on cream cheese last month. I ended up buying broccoli instead of peas last month, and as long as prices stay under $1 a pound, I'll buy more this month (I've still got some in the fridge). If I find frozen sweet peas for $1 a pound or less, I'll stock up. 

There are so many great sales this month on holiday baking items, citrus, and Christmas meal ingredients. I'll only be picking up a few of them. My budget for this month is $200. I spent a little more last month than I had planned, stocking up on some great deals, including canned green beans at $0.33 can, potatoes, more acorn squash, and broccoli.

I don't want to be in the stores much this month: I'd like to do many other things with my time!


I went to Sam's Club yesterday and picked up the following:


powdered sugar

brown sugar

chocolate chips

balsamic vinegar




goat cheese (I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had switched brands and are now carrying a store brand in a 2-pack for the same price as they used to have 1)

sharp cheddar cheese

mozzarella cheese

toilet paper


I'll go to Winco later this month and with the remaining $50 I will buy:


clementines and/or mandarins and/or oranges



sweet peas if there is a good sale


sour cream

canned pineapple


Swiss chard on bench The Prudent Homemaker 

Right now in the garden, my Meyer lemons are ripening. While I don't have the bumper crop I did last year (where we had hundreds of lemons) there are lots of lemons in the garden!

I am harvesting Swiss chard, beet greens, and a good number of herbs. I still have Thai peppers ripening in the garden.

We picked all of the tomatoes from the garden, which are ripening inside. I also picked two more butternut squash, which I added to the squash I picked previously from the garden as well as the acorn squash I purchased.

The freeze I heard was coming to the valley did not come to us. I have lettuce seedlings growing outside under glass, and I plan to transplant them and then cover each individual plant with a glass jar to keep it growing all winter. We may get a freeze one day next week if the weather prediction is correct, but all other days are predicted to be above freezing at night, which is pretty typical here this time of year.

I've planted spinach and snow peas in the garden that we should be able to harvest in early February. February 15th is our last frost date for this area, and I usually plant more lettuce seeds in the garden the third week of January, as we rarely see a frost past then (I'll cover my seedlings too, which will keep them safe and also increase their growth rate).


Some of the things I'm planning to make this month are:


pork roast with roasted rosemary potatoes and broccoli

chicken with Swiss chard and garlic chicken rice

French onion soup (using mozzarella as a much less-expensive topping than Gruyère, the traditional topping) with French bread

pizza with peppers, onions, and artichoke hearts

cranberry almond granola to go on homemade yogurt

butternut squash soup with rosemary olive oil bread

Tuscan tomato bread soup

crepes with lemon juice and powdered sugar (also with strawberry jam and Nutella)

taco soup

rosemary white bean soup

chili with cornbread

tomato basil soup with rosemary olive oil bread

fruit crumble using frozen fruit from our garden

lemon meringue pie


You can see more of my winter menu here.


What are you planning to buy this month?


Tagged in: Grocery Shopping
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Thankful: November 30th

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It's the last day of the month. There are so many things I had hoped to accomplish this month:  sew presents, work in the garden, and organize things in the house. A few are done; most are not yet.

Tomorrow starts a new month, and I will continue to work to accomplish my goals. I'm grateful for the reasons I had to be interrupted: a hungry baby, a child who needed to talk, a child who needed extra help with schoolwork.

I think often of this quote from C. S. Lewis:

C.S. Lewis Quote The Prudent Homemaker

That sums up motherhood pretty well, doesn't it? Our children need us constantly.

While I was searching for that quote, I came across this one, and it struck me even more powerfully this morning:

Interrruptions The Prudent Homemaker

A couple of weeks ago in Sunday School, we were talking about Jesus, and about the woman with an issue of blood for 12 years who needed to be healed. She had faith that if she could just touch Jesus' clothes, she would be healed. As the Savior passed by, He felt virtue go from Him and asked who touched his clothes. He stopped and spoke to the woman. The woman was healed.

After that, people were constantly trying to touch Christ wherever He went. 

Can you imagine that every time you went somewhere, people were reaching out to touch you? How hard it would be to accomplish your daily tasks, and how difficult it would be to find peace.

I thought about this, and then I thought about my daily life.

As a mother, there are little hands reaching for me all day--baby hands that tug and pull and pinch--and little voices (and some big ones!) that call, "Mom" all day when I try to go to the bathroom, get dressed, put laundry on to wash, step outside to water a plant, or stand in the kitchen to make a meal.

As we seek to find peace this busy time of year, let us remember that the reason for Christmas is the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. As we strive to be more Christ-like, let us seek to have the charity that He has, to give of ourselves where we are needed. Let us speak with patience when we are interrupted, for it is those very interruptions that are truly important. In so doing, may we truly find peace within ourselves to help those around us.

May we love as He loves.


What are you thankful for today?



Tagged in: Thankful
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Thankful: November 29th

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September Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I'm thankful to be able to physically work in the garden today.


What are you thankful for today?

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Thankful: November 28th

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Green Tomatoes The Prudent Homemaker

Today I am thankful for tomatoes!

It looks like we'll get a frost tonight. The tomatoes started flowering in October (once the temperatures dropped) and I've been picking tomatoes today with 4 of my girls. I'm grateful to have tomatoes. We'll ripen some of these inside, fry some, and use some to make salsa verde! 

I'm off to pick the rest of them now!


What are you grateful for today?

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Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

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I picked the first lemon from our trees. 

We harvested tomatoes, basil, thyme, sage, rosemary, and Swiss chard from the garden.

I planted nasturtium seeds (collected from my garden) in pots on the patio under my fruit trees.

I saved shower warm up water and the water from washing potatoes for Thanksgiving to water my potted fruit trees. 

Thanksgiving Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker 

I cut roses, Thai basil, and Genovese basil from the garden to make arrangements for Thanksgiving.

I decided to do a little Black Friday shopping. I bought some flannel at 70% off for $2.06 a yard (a yard is .9144 meters). I also picked up some iron-on interfacing for $2.99 for 8 yards (I bought 3 packages; it comes by the 8-yard bolt). I picked up a few other small bits of fabric for some small projects on sale, plus used an additional 25% off coupon on top of that; I have fabric to make a blouse for myself for $4.38, fabric to line the sleeves for a $1 garage sale dress ($2.44, and there's enough left to use for some other small projects) and fabric for the front of a couple of bibs (which will be gifts) for $2.25.

I also picked up candy melts (on sale 3 bags for $5) to use for making Christmas candies, candies for the baby shower I'm hosting in December, and some Valentine's treats.

I bought some beads to make a few bracelets for gifts for my daughters, on sale for 70% off.

I used a coupon code to order a free 8 x 10 print that I will give as a gift.

We were offered a pair of shoes for my girls. A friend had ordered them and they did not fit any of her children. The shoes were marked "Girls 7" on both the shoes and the box. They were very large and I thought perhaps they would fit me (I wear a women's 7). They were even too big for me! I had Winter try them on (she wears a size 10) and they fit her perfectly! 

I refrained from buying several items and decided to make do with what we have.

Thanksgiving table The Prudent Homemaker


What did you do last week to save money?


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Thankful: November 27th

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I am thankful for food in the pantry and freezer.

What are you thankful for today?

Tagged in: Thankful
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