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September's Grocery Shopping Plans

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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 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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Blackberries and Strawberries The Prudent Homemaker

May is a wonderful month for harvesting from the garden.

Desert Gold Peaches The Prudent Homemaker

This month I'll be picking blackberries, Swiss chard, beets, strawberries, chamomile, hibiscus flowers, lettuce, spinach, beets, turnips, Katy apricots (they didn't ripen last month as I had expected, but should early this month),  Desert Gold peaches, artichokes, and even a few tomatoes. I also have leeks, oregano, parsley, mint, sage, rosemary and thyme fresh in the garden.

Chamomile The Prudent Homemaker

I've got a full pantry and some pretty full freezers.

Consequently, I don't need to buy much. I've decided to make our grocery budget for this month $200. I may or may not use all of that.


To prepare for meals when the baby comes, I've been cooking and freezing large batches of beans (pintos, black beans, and white beans). 


Here are my shopping plans for this month:


Milk (currently $2.31 a gallon at Sam's Club)

Eggs (Currently $4.98 for 5 dozen large eggs at Sam's Club)

Flour tortillas


I'll look at the ads for other great deals, and I may or not buy anything in addition to these items (in which case, I will end up spending much less for the month). In fact, I may not have to spend much of anything at all, since I redeemed some Swagbucks for a $25 Sam's Club gift card (which at the current prices would cover 10 dozen eggs, 3 gallons of milk, and 80 flour tortillas, or some other combination, such as  5 dozen eggs, 5 gallons of milk, and 80 tortillas). 

I also recently found out about strawberry picking at a local small community garden. They ask for a donation of time or money for picking. We're going to check it out this week (my children have already been there for a service project earlier this year) I've had little success with growing regular strawberries (the tiny white alpine ones do well for me, though) and I'm curious as to what I can do to see better results. I'm also looking forward to having some more strawberries, as I didn't get a chance to get many from the store last month.

Normally, this would make this a great month for to me to stock up on pantry staples, but since I am working to cut our expenses significantly right now to pay for some unexpected medical bills, keeping the list to a few short items while eating from the pantry, garden, and freezers is a great way for me to have more money to put towards bills. 

For my American readers, you may want to save a portion of May's budget for stocking up at the end of the month. Memorial Day sales will have barbeque savings, which usually includes sales on condiments as well as ground beef, hot dogs, watermelon, and corn on the cob. If you're planning to host a Memorial Day barbeque, check out my Patriotic Decorating board on Pinterest for some fun ideas and free printables.


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We've had an increase in income this year. While we don't know how long it will continue (due to the nature of a job in sales), we have decided that for now, we will be increasing our grocery budget to allow us to buy more of the things we love. For April, our budget will be $400. 

Strawberry Jam The Prudent Homemaker

Strawberries should be in season here this month. Last year I bought loads of berries on sale and made jam. I'd like to do that again this year, so I'll look for great sales on berries. I also want to freeze strawberries to use throughout the year. Last year I paid $1.25 a pound on sale for strawberries. While I have expanded our strawberry bed, I've never had more than a few to harvest, so buying them in season will have to do.

April is a month that usually sees lots of sales on toiletries and makeup, and lots of coupons and rebates on these items as well. I'll be looking for sales on these items.

The case-lot sale is also happening here this month. There aren't a lot of states where there are case-lot sales (nor stores who have them). We have one store that has them in our area, which is Smith's. I've decided to stock up on some items at the case-lot sale.

I'm seeing some great meat sales (this week has whole chickens for $0.79 a pound and boneless pork loin on sale for $1.89 a pound) if you need to stock up on meat. I will be using up meat from the freezer this month; I have several large items (like turkeys, hams, and pork roasts) that, once cooked, will last for several meals. 

I intend to cook several pots of beans (from the pantry) this month, to make burritos and soups.


Case-lot sale:

Canned green beans ($0.50 a can in a case of 12 cans for $6)

Canned tuna fish ($0.50 a can in a case of 48 cans for $24)

Canned mandarin oranges ($0.50 a can in a case of 24 for $12)


Fresh Produce:





Milk (the current best price in my area is $2.49 a gallon, on sale at Smith's this week)

Heavy whipping cream (to make strawberry shortcake)

Sour cream

Mozarella cheese (bought in a 5 pound bag at Sam's Club; the current price is $2.10 a pound)

Ice cream (I'll watch for a sale on the big buckets at Smith's)


Breakfast sausage links (I have a raincheck from a sale that I went to at Vons in February)


Other Fresh:

Flour tortillas



POM Toilet paper (from Sam's Club)

Oil of Olay Moisturizer (I usually stock up for the year with coupons, sales and a rebate deal in April)

Aveeno Baby Lotion (there should be coupons)

Mascara (I'll look for a deal with purchase)

Salon Graphix unscented hairspray (there's a $1 off coupon on




Chocolate chips (Sam's Club)

Craisins (Sam's Club)

Almonds (Sam's Club)

Snow Peas 2 The Prudent Homemaker 

We'll have lots of salads from the garden this month, as lettuce and radishes are both ripe. The 30-day snow peas that I planted are covered in flowers, so I will be harvesting snow peas this month and making museum pasta salad (which wil be rather refreshing to eat with our temperatures in the 80's!)

I'm still picking lemons from our trees. It's wonderful. I love that they can stay on the trees for a long time. They'll all need to be picked this month.

The Swiss chard in the garden is growing tremendously. We could eat it every day this month and still have tons left in the garden. It is going to bolt in a few weeks, so we'll be having it often. We've been eating it as a side dish, as well as in several soups.

The beets are ready to harvest, as are the beet greens.

The turnips are growing quite a bit, and I can harvest them sometime this month.

I'm also harvesting a few asparagus spears from the garden.

Red and White Strawberries The Prudent Homemaker

I am picking a few red strawberries now, and I'll have some tiny white alpine strawberries ripe later this month.

I have green onions and leeks ripe in the garden.

I have thyme, oregano, parsley, garlic chives, onion chives, dill, sage, lemongrass, and rosemary available to cut in the garden. 

My Katy apricot tree in the white garden will be ripe this month. I put in this tree three years ago. I harvest several apricots last year, and this year it will have a good number to eat fresh, though the tree is still small. 

Roses in Glass Bowl The Prudent Homemaker

I'll be cutting flowers from the garden this month, too: nasturiums, white Iceberg roses, iris, and at the end of the month, David Austin roses (yellow Graham Thomas [shown above from last April] and peachy-pink The Shepardess).


That's it, unless I've forgotten something. I'll certainly keep an eye out for great sales. I may buy eggs again towards the end of the month (5 dozen at Sam's Club, since they've been holding around $1.25 a dozen there) if we go through all of the others.


Happy April! I have lots of lovely posts and projects planned to share with you this month. (In fact, I have several sewing projects to finish in the next two days that you'll be seeing very soon!)



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