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November's Grocery Shopping Plans

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Lemon Juicing The Prudent Homemaker

November is the best month for grocery sales. Harvests are in and people are preparing for Thanksgiving feasts at the end of the month.

Sales rotate around items for the Thanksgiving meal, fall harvests, and meats.

I've already been to Winco this month, though I may return there again later in the month.

Potato sales in November have seemed to cease being an amazing $0.10 a pound deal; or, if they have it, there is a limit of one  10-pound bag. I've been seeing a pretty consistent year round price of $2.48 for a 10-pound bag at Winco, so I'm just buying potatoes as I go; I picked up 50 pounds yesterday and that will last us a couple of weeks.

I also took a trip to Costco with my mom yesterday and picked up a few things, including a 50-pound bag of rice. While I like the produce deals and some of the bulk deals at Winco, rice is not a good price there; it's over $24 for a 25-pound bag at Winco, but just over $7 at Costco and Sam's Club for the same sized bag. 

I am also not planning on stocking up on a ton of turkeys this year like I usually do. Chicken has been lower per pound the last few years (turkey used to go on sale for half the price of chicken). I'll get a few turkeys, depending on price.


I'll look for good sales on the following:



canned green beans (note: my Winco has these for $0.33 a can)

broccoli ($.99 a pound at Winco)


acorn squash ($.79 a pound at Winco)

potatoes ($0.248 cents a pound in a 10-pound bag for russets)

onions ($0.38 a pound for yellow onions at Winco)


bell peppers

frozen sweet peas

clementines (on sale at Winco and Smith's for $1 a pound)




pork roasts (currently on sale at Smith's  for $1.19 a pound for boneless pork loin).




milk ($2.49 at Winco)

cream cheese (should go on sale for $1 a package sometime this month)

butter (I'll look for a price under $2, if it is to be found; if not I will try again in December) . It's on sale through today for $1.99 a pound in multiples of 10 at Smith's.

feta cheese

cheddar cheese


Shelf-stable items:


white chocolate chips

bittersweet chocolate chips


pasta (currently on sale for $0.49 a pound in multiples of 10 at Smith's through today.)


My garden is producing Armenian cucumbers, Swiss chard, and several herbs, including chives, basil, sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano. My Meyer lemons will begin to be ripe at the end of the month.

The temperature dropped below 90º 2 weeks ago, and I'll be planting most of my fall garden seeds this week. It's later than I usually plant, and our official frost date is technically only a week away, but in my part of town, I don't usually see a frost until December, and with the warmer weather, it could be a lot later this year.  My earlier plantings in September were mostly unsuccessful, as it was still too hot for seeds to germinate (I only had 3 lettuce plants come up from that planting).


Are you looking for any great deals this month?


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October's Shopping Plans

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October Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

I took a trip to Sam's Club yesterday with the plan to buy toilet paper, and maybe something else.

I came out with 2 large boxes of toilet paper (on sale for $1.50 off per box, taken off at the register), a 5-pound bag of chocolate chips (I'll make cookies this month, and in the months to come), a lasagna (a splurge, definitely, but we love it and I am fitting it in the budget for the month), and six, yes, SIX, large jars of marinated artichoke hearts. They were priced at $5.01 each (normal price is around $8 or $9 a jar). I've heard that the "$0.01" ending means it's a closeout item at Sam's, and since my family loves them but I almost never, ever buy them as they're expensive, I decided to purchase a few for the pantry. I used some plus the marinade that they're in for a pasta salad today.

I bought some lettuce as well for salads, as I don't have lettuce yet in the garden to harvest. I planted some seeds today as our soil temperatures finally hit 75º, the top of where they should be for lettuce seed germination.

I also bought a 2-pound block of sharp cheddar cheese, a 7 pound 2 ounce container of ketchup ($3.83), and some cajun seasoning.

$127.10 later I walked out of the store, loaded everything in the car, and realized I should have bought milk to go with those cookies I'm planning to make.

So . . .

I'll buy milk at Winco, along with potatoes, apples, possibly squash, and pumpkins this month. I'd like to have some tiny pumpkins in the house if I can find some white ones at a price I'm willing to pay. If I'm lukcy enough to find a green one I may get it as well. I'll also pick up some candy from their bulk section for Halloween; it goes on sale the week before Halloween.

As the weather is starting to cool a bit, the Armenian cucumbers are starting to set fruit. I like the Mrs. Wages Dill pickle quick pickle mix. I'll pick some up to make pickles with my giant cucumbers; I have 5 on the vines right now and that is enough for around 10 points as the cucumbers get so long ; I don't have to brine the cucumbers with this mix and we've been really happy with the taste. I'll add a grape leaf from the garden into each jar; a reader mentioned this trick in a comment  years ago (thanks Marivene!) for making crisper pickles; it really does make a difference! 

1000 Bulbs The Prudent Homemaker

And . . . that's it! I really don't need anything else right now. We're working on eating down the pantry this month, and it's a busy time in the garden, weeding, planting, and tidying the garden. I ordered some flower bulbs in June that should arrive Friday (about the amount pictured above), so I'll be busy digging and planting bulbs for several days. It's supposed to be around 90º this weekend and into next week, so some of my bulbs will go in the refrigerator for prechilling for a few weeks (something needed when your winters don't get cold enough) and some will go into the ground, depending on variety. Update: It looks like I will be prechilling all of my bulbs as the ground should be around 55º, so I won't be planting this month.

Cucumber Pear Salads The Prudent Homemaker

It's also prime planting time for a fall garden here. I'm planting lots of seeds this month in the garden. I'm working on growing a larger number of green onions. They grow really well here and we've eaten quite a few from the garden, leaving me with almost none going into the winter. I'm looking forward to lettuce from the garden again; I have lots of lettuce seeds to plant as soon as I can get the beds weeded and tidied for planting. I'm also planting seeds for radishes (a quick turn around), turnips, Swiss chard, beets, leeks, and snow peas.

I'll harvest and dry oregano and basil from the garden this month, so I'll add both of those plus some pickles to the pantry. We also still have pears ripening in the garden, as well as Swiss chard and beet greens. I'll make some salad as pictured above, with lettuce, cucumbers, pears, feta cheese, and dried cranberries. I'll top it with some homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

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September's Grocery Shopping Plans

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American Flag

Since I've lived here, September has always felt like the last month of summer, though we'll continue to run the air conditioner well into next month. With 5 months of over 90º weather, running the air conditioner is normal here from April through October. It's going to be 97º today.

The garden is not yet cool enough for me to direct sow seeds for lettuce (the soil temperature is 85º). We are getting pears, butternut squash, apples, a few cucumbers, a few tomatoes (very few) and some herbs. 

Smith's is having their case-lot sale this month. I'll pick up 24 cans of green beans ($0.50 a can when you buy 12), some shredded Tillamook cheddar cheese ($12.99 for 5 pounds), and brownie mix ($1 a box).  Pasta usually goes on sale this month for $0.49 a pound; if it does, I'll  stock up.



Cheddar cheese

Mozzarella ($2 a pound on sale this week in 8 0unce blocks, when you buy in multiples of 3)

Green beans 

Cream of mushroom and Cream of chicken condensed canned soup (I'd stopped buying cream soups but my husband loves them for sauces and asked me to put them back on the shopping list; these are on case-lot sale in cases of 48 cans for $.0.90 a can).


Ice cream (the Kroger Party pail is on sale $3.99 for 1 quart)

Boneless pork roast (on sale for $1.59 a pound)

Eggs ($3.99 for 5 dozen large)

Brownie mix







sour cream






I've already been to Target and Smith's (both last week). I'll go to Winco later in the month.

At the very end of the month, it should be cool enough for me to start sowing seeds for lettuce. I'm looking forward to it!








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Grocery Shopping Plans for August

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Herb Arrangement The Prudent Homemaker

I've had a lot of questions about what we eat when it's hot. 

We have 5 months of above 90º (32ºC) temperatures. Hot is normal for here. Right now temperatures have cooled a bit, and weather.com predicts an average of 105º for the next 10 days.

We don't like to barbeque in the summer. That works well in cooler climates, but we're not a fan of standing outside in the sun, where it's 110º, just so that we don't heat up the kitchen. We find it better to stay in the kitchen, in the air conditioning, under the fan (I have a ceiling fan above the kitchen sink that my husband installed before we moved in).

Some of things we've been having a lot lately are pasta salad using whatever vegetables we have on hand, including cucumbers and New Zealand spinach, quesadillas, chicken cooked outside in the solar oven (just a quick walk in and out, no need to stand outside). I am also using the oven inside; putting something in the oven (like bean enchiladas) allows me to get some other things done while dinner is cooking. 

I've made lots of popsicles. We saw a few unusually low sales on strawberries, and I made a few batches of strawberry popsicles last month, as well as peach pie popsicles with peaches from our trees. We've been enjoying lots of smoothies with our garden fruit.

Ice cream has been on sale often, which is always refreshing, so I've been buying it more often (currently on sale here for $3.99 for a one-gallon (3.78 liter) pail. I think 114º calls for ice cream, don't you? (Yes, it was that hot here last week).

Already this month I've purchased ice cream ($3.99 a gallon) and strawberries ($0.75 a pound) on sale. I also bought milk ($2.49 a gallon) and some whipping cream (for making strawberry shortcake).

Bartlett Pears in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I've harvested 2 cucumbers and 1 zucchini so far this month. This time of year, the heat turns the zucchini skin hard like that of a winter squash. I peeled it off before cooking, as it is too hard to eat).  We still have a few figs. We're only getting a few tiny tomatoes from our tomato plants.  I have green onions, Swiss chard, basil, oregano, mint, parsley, and more herbs ripe in the garden. The Bartlett pears are ripe now, too. I'm cutting the last of the grapes to make grape juice as well.

I plan on making cucumbers in vinegar this week: paper-thin sliced cucumbers in vinegar and water, with a few slices of onion (I'll probably use green onions from the garden) left to soak in the fridge for a few hours. I love this refreshing side dish from my childhood.


I'll make a trip to Sam's Club this month to pick up a few things:


Mozzarella cheese

Cheddar cheese

POM toilet paper

Feta cheese



And Winco:


Potatoes (they've been holding all year around $0.25 a pound)





Vegetable Oil (they were out when I went last month)


Yes, I'll be buying lettuce and tomatoes this month. My tomatoes are not producing much in this heat (it's too hot for flowers), and it's too hot here for lettuce. I'd like to have some salads this month. I'll make some balsamic vinaigrette for our salads.


I have no plans other than that for anything specific. I'll watch the sales and see if there's anything great (perhaps some chicken) on sale. If not, we'll continue to eat from the pantry, freezer, and garden.

And I may just head back to Smith's for more ice cream on Tuesday for the last day of the sale. 


If you need some summer recipe ideas, check out my summer menu here.


What are you planning to buy this month? What's ripe in your garden? And what are your favorite meals to make in the summer?



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Grocery Shopping Plans for July

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Garden Grapes 2 The Prudent Homemaker

Peaches and grapes are ripe in my garden, albeit a few weeks earlier than normal. This year, the mockingbirds have appeared in my garden, and they have figured out that my green grapes are ripe. I'll be covering as many grape bunches as I can with paper bags to allow them to continue to ripen before they are all eaten.

My Concord grapes are ripening too (also earlier than usual). I've never harvested more than six individual Concord grapes in a year, so seeing so many bunches this year is exciting! They are small bunches, unlike my other varieties of grapes. I have several vines now, as I took cuttings from my vine several years ago to make new vines. These vines are now producing.

I've seen the ads for this week and though it is the season for peaches and grapes, the stores are listing them at $2.99 a pound! I did see one store that had peaches for less ($1.48 a pound). I have never seen prices so high for these. This month should bring better sales for these items; I have seen them in years past for $0.99 a pound. Usually grapes are on sale several times for that price, and peaches only one or two weeks of the summer at that price. I used to buy 80 pounds of peaches to can when I saw them at that price. Now I just pick them from my own trees to eat fresh, freeze and can.

I've got one Armenian cucumber  ripening in the front yard. The seeds I planted last week for more plants are up. I hope to have a fall harvest that allows me to can pickles this year.

I still have apricots on the trees, oddly enough. We'll be picking the last of them this week.

I'm moving our budget back up this month as we are able to do so. My budget for this month is $400. This includes food and toiletries.

This week is a great time for American readers to stock up on holiday sales that are out for barbeque foods for the Fourth of July.

I've already been to Walmart this month; it was an unexpected trip while I waited to have a new battery put in and get a new key made (my key broke and my battery died on the first; batteries die often here in our high temperatures and replacing them is prorated under the length of your warranty).



Canning lids (I'm slowly building up my supply of reusable canning lids, but with fruit ripe and needing to be canned now, I picked up some lids).

Mrs. Wages dill pickle mix (in anticipation of cucumbers later in the year)

Oxi Clean stain remover spray (the refill bottles)


Washing soda


Sam's Club:

Flour tortilllas



Mozarella cheese




Vegetable oil (it's currently $4.98 for a gallon)

Potatoes (currently $0.25 a pound)

Oats (a 25 pound bag; I ended up not getting these last month)



Vons:   I was busy canning yesterday and missed these sales. I'l look for more this month on these items.

Whole chickens (on sale for $0.67 a pound)

Gulden's spicy mustard (on sale for $.99 each when you buy 4)



Ice cream (I'll look for a sale later in the month)

Pasta, if it goes on sale for $0.49. I see this price about 3 times a year and if it comes this month I want to have money earmarked for it. If not, I will look for a sale on it another month.



Sunscreen (there's a good deal right now listed here)

Toothbrushes for my husband (his favorite kind is on sale buy one get one free)

Salon Graphix unscented hairspray. I have a couple of coupons for $1 off (thanks to a reader!)


I'll also visit Target for back to school sales on school supplies later in the month. I'll look for other good toiletry sales there this month too, as well as watch the grcoery ads for any other great sales this month.



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My Shopping Plans for June

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Mission Figs 2 The Prudent Homemaker

June is an abundant month for fruit in the garden. This month, we'll harvest Mission figs, Green Gage plums, Royal apricots, Dorsett Golden apples, white alpine (vesca) strawberries, and blackberries.

Blackberries The Prudent Homemaker

I'll pick tomatoes and cut herbs, green onions, and Swiss chard from the garden. If my zucchini plants decide to have open male and female flowers on the same day, I'll hand-pollinate them and hopefully, we'll have some zucchini too (so far I haven't harvested any).

I'll cut larkspur, lilies, and roses from the garden for arrangements.

I'm keeping the budget at $250 for the month, as we are continuing to pay off medical bills.

Mint Chocolate Frog Ice Cream 2 The Prudent Homemaker 

In the next couple of days, temperatures should reach 111ºF/43ºC.  We'll be wanting lots of cold meals. I've already been making popsicles and pasta salad several times a week, and I will continue to do so. I'll make lots of yogurt and granola. I'll make white bean dip and pita bread.  I'll make rosemary fig gelato and mint chocolate frog ice cream. I'll can some apricot vanilla jam with our apricots and plum sauce with our plums. l'll make more lemonade and hibiscus tea, and perhaps try some cold mint tea, all from produce from the garden. We'll enjoy fresh fruit from the garden. 

Apricot Popsicles The Prudent Homemaker


Sam's Club:

POM toilet paper



baking soda


feta cheese

mozzarella cheese



Ice cream (this should be on sale)



Balsamic vinegar

Tomato Sauce

Baby wipes



Great Northern Beans (a 25 pound bag)

Old-Fashioned Oats (a 25 pound bag)


Whipping Cream




Rosemary Fig Gelato 2 The Prudent Homemaker 

I've noticed that egg and milk prices have come down even more in our area; Winco just had a dozen eggs for $0.99, and Sam's Club is listing the 5 dozen box of eggs at $4.38. Milk is $2.31 at Sam's Club and $2.26 at Winco. I'll pick up milk at both places, depending on which store I'm at.

In addition to these items, I'll keep an eye out for good sales on toiletries.


Check out my summer menu for more ideas!




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