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June's Shopping Plans

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Summer Fruits

June is an abundant month in the garden. I will pick Royal apricots, Red Flame grapes, blackberries, Green Gage plums, Mission figs, Dorsett Gold Apples, white alpine strawberries, and Early Girl tomatoes.  I will cut green onions, Swiss chard, oregano, chives, tarragon, and the first of the Genovese basil.

Apricots in Wire Basket The Prudent Homemaker

I'll can apricot vanilla jam with my apricots, and freeze most of the blackberries, which will later go in smoothies and fruit salads. I'll can plum sauce from many of the plums. I'll dry most of the figs, to be used later in fig sauce.  I'll also make at least one batch of rosemary fig gelato. If we have more apples than we can eat fresh, I'll can applesauce as well. I expect to make yogurt and granola, popsicles, and smoothies.

Rosemary Fig Gelato 2 The Prudent Homemaker

Despite that fact that I won't need to buy a lot of fresh items in June, I have decided to increase our grocery budget by $100 for the next four months, to allow me to do some stocking up on pantry and toiletry items (making a $400 a month budget for my family of 9).  I also want to increase our dairy purchases during the summer months this year, including cheese, milk, and ice cream (which should be on sale quite a bit). I am grateful for the increase in income at this time that is making this possible. 

Sometime in the next month or two, I expect to see summer sales on women's razors, sunscreen, and lotions. I'm low on all of these items. I'll be looking for coupons and sales for these. I also expect to find sales on first aid supplies, and I will look for deals on those.

During the summer, I make certain to have insulated shopping bags in my vehicle (my grandmother always had a cooler with ice in her trunk to put all of the cold things in her car, allowing her to visit several stores in one trip during the summer--a pratice that I found inspiring as a child).  Even with these, I tend to keep my summer shopping trips to early morning, or even better, after the sun has gone down. 

My summer menu can be found here. I use my menus to plan meals based on what is currently ripe in the garden, what I have in the freezers and pantry, and of course, what I am in the mood to make! 


Sam's Club:

Flour tortillas


Cheddar cheese (5 pound block)

Mozzerella cheese (5 pound block)

Mozzerella cheese (5 pound shredded)


POM Toliet paper

Brown sugar

Powdered sugar





BBQ sauce


Chocolate chips



Vegetable oil

Dish soap

Equate dandruff shampoo



Zest soap (There is .50 coupon on Coupons.com)

Disposable razors (A reader just shared this deal for free razors at Walmart)

Coppertone sunscreen (There is a $1 off coupon  and a $3 off 2 coupon on Coupons.com)

Aveeno baby lotion

Johnson's baby wash

Feminine hygiene supplies on sale with coupons (Coupons.com has a $2 off coupon for Playtex right now)




Pinto beans


Carrots (10 pound bag)

Whipping cream



Ice cream (I buy the Kroger party pail when it goes on sale)


Yogurt Peaches and Granola The Prudent Homemaker

Flourish 1


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Blackberries in white bowl The Prudent Homemaker

May is an adundant month in my garden.

The Desert Gold peaches will be ready any day now, as will the Katy apricots (last year the apricots ripened in April, but this year they will be ripe in May).

Blackberries will be ripe this month. 

Artichokes in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I'll have a few artichokes to harvest the first couple weeks of the month.

My lettuce is still doing well, but with temperatures of 97ºF now it is starting to bolt. We'll have lettuce for at least the first two weeks of the month, harvesting some every day for salad. This week we've had soup and salad for lunch every day. When the lettuce is done, I'll let it finish bolting and collect seeds to plant again in fall. I'll also be collecting seeds from the bolted Swiss chard when they are ready, and I'll continue to collect seeds from the green onions. I let them reseed themselves, but I have also started collecting seeds and growing them in more places in the garden.

I'm picking white alpine strawberries and a few regular red ones every other day.

I have loads of Swiss chard in the garden, as well as thyme, tarragon, green onions, chives, parsley, and oregano. There is still chamomile to be cut and dried for herbal tea. My front yard smells like chamomile; it is wonderful.

The Iceberg roses will have another flush towards the end of the month. Right now the larkspur is opening in abundance and the poppies are blooming. 

Poppy The Prudent Homemaker

 The nasturiums and lavender are blooming, too.

Nasturiums and Lavender in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker


This month I'm doing less pantry stocking than in previous months, and I'm open to whatever great deals I find. Towards the end of the month, there will be lots of great sales for Memorial Day in the U.S., which means sales on items for a barbeque, including ground beef, hot dogs, ketchup, mayonnaise, relish, barbecue sauce, etc.  (I usually buy ketchup and mayonnaise in bulk at Sam's Club.)


Heres what I plan on buying:


Sam's Club:

Popcorn (it comes in a 50-pound bag)

Feta cheese

Mozzarella cheese



Barbeque sauce



Costco (I don't have a Costco card, but my mom does): 

Baby wipes (we still need these, as Ivory wears a diaper at night)

Tomato sauce

Balsamic vinegar



This week they have corn on the cob 6 for $1.



Spreadable margarine

Heavy cream 




Vegetable Oil


Because of Mother's Day, May is a great month to buy makeup (lots of sales). Ebates has double cash back right now for Mother's Day, and the more expensive brands of makeup usually have free gifts with purchase this month. If you go through Ebates you can get cash back on your purchase. If you've got an upcoming wedding to attend, you may be able to get cash back and a sale on a wedding gift this way as well this month.

It's also a great month to buy flowers for your garden. Look for local flower sales in time for Mother's Day (in the U.S., Mother's Day is the second Sunday of May). Roses will most likely be on sale, along with many other choices.

May is also a great month for yard sales. I'm still looking for some items on my list. Lately I've been finding out about yard sales from the local Facebook garage sale pages. I usually find a few more on my way to those sales as well. 




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April's Grocery Shopping Plans

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Easter Rabbits

This April brings Easter sales the first week of the month.  Eggs and ham will be on sale this week, as well as Easter candy, potatoes, strawberries, and butter.

This year for Easter I am planning to make chocolate rabbits again.

I am continuing to work on filling in the holes in my storage. I am also adding to my pantry by cutting and drying herbs from the garden.

Snow Peas 2 The Prudent Homemaker

The garden is full of wonderful things in April. This month I'll harvest lettuce, green onions, parsley, tarragon, thyme, sage, dill, chives, beets,  Swiss chard, radishes, snow peas, strawberries, and Katy apricots.  The apricot tree is still very young (this is the one I planted a year and a half ago in the front yard) so the harvest is still small.

Mulberries The Prudent Homemaker

Last year our neighbor let us pick the mulberries from her tree (she doesn't like mulberries, and our picking them saves her a lot of cleanup), and I am certain she'll have us pick them again this year (her tree was planted by birds, and she just let it grow in her garden). Since I have less freezer space this year (because our second fridge/freezer went out) I will freeze some, and dry some in my dehydrator. The frozen ones will be used in smoothies and muffins, and the dried ones in muffins.

March Flowers 2 The Prudent Homemaker

My garden yields lots of roses in April--enough to cut and bring several in to enjoy. The poppies and larkspur will also bloom this month. Larkspur usually blooms for me in May, but the weather has been very warm this year (91º yesterday) and the larkspur are already starting to bloom. 



LDS Cannery:

White beans

Black beans



Knorr Tomato Bullion

Knorr Chicken Bullion



Easter candy. I managed to get two 9 ounce bags of white chocolate M&M's last month for .33 out of pocket, by combining sales, coupons, Target Cartwheel, and $1 from a Target gift card. There is a Target sale and coupon stack for Starburst jelly beans that I will get this week.

Pastel sprinkles (on after-Easter clearance). I can't count on finding any of these on clearance, but right now they are in the dollar section. Update: I didn't find any clearance sprinkles in pink, so I skipped buying these.

Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner. I'm hoping for coupons and a sale; however, they are rare on this. Update: I found a $2 off coupon!

Oil of Olay Sensitive Skin Moisturizer with sunscreen. I have a couple of $1 off coupons for this, and two  $3 off 2 coupon as well. It's time for Winter to wear some too, so I expect to need more. In past years, I have seen rebates in April when you buy several bottles, and this year is no exception. The Proctor and Gamble rebate must have a total of $50 after coupons and sale prices, to get a $15 gift card back. I've done this in the past, getting enough for the year, and if I can do this again,  I will. Here is the rebate form.

Eggs. Target has these on sale here for .99 a dozen, plus a 5% off cartwheel, making them $0.94 a dozen.



The caselot sale is this month. I'll be buying the following items at this sale (which goes over 2 weeks, but includes different things, sold by the case, each week):

Mandarin oranges, on sale for $0.50 a can (11 ounce cans) in a case of 24 cans ($12). I'll buy 2 cases.

Peanut butter, store brand (Kroger) on sale for $1.25 for a 16 ounce jar in a 12 jar case for $14.99. I'll buy one case.

Strawberries. On sale this week for $0.97 a pound.

Russet Potatoes. On sale this week for $0.99 for a 10 pound bag. If they look good, I'll buy 10 bags.

Colgate toothpaste. A 4.6 ounce tube is on sale for $0.89. I'll get several tubes. I also have a $0.50 off coupon.

Barilla pasta. This is on sale for $0.50 a box! Boxes are 12 to 16 ounces, so I'll make sure to buy the 16 ounce ones. You have to buy 10 to get this price.



They have a shank half-ham for .99 a pound, limit 1. This is the lowest price around. Update: They were out when I went, so I didn't get a ham.


Sam's Club:


Feta cheese

Mozarella cheese

Corn tortillas

Olive Oil


Toilet paper.  I buy the POM brand. 



Other items that I'll buy where I can find the best sales: 

Heavy cream. I'd like to make strawberry shortcake this month; I'll whip this with a splash of vanilla extract and a bit of powdered sugar to put on top. I didn't see this on sale in the ads that start toda,y but I will look over them again to be certain.

Challenge cream cheese. There are two different $1.00 off coupons available to print right now on coupons.com. Last December I was able to combine these coupons and a sale to get 4 packages of cream cheese for .29 a package. I'm hoping to do the same this month. I thought I would see a sale on these for Easter, but I have not. If I find a way to get cream cheese for less than $1 a pound using these coupons or on another sale then I will get some.

Mustard. I like both Gulden's Spicy Brown and French's Spicy Brown mustard. I have two coupons for French's, so I'll look for a sale on these to combine with the coupons.

I will also keep an eye out for any other fantastic sales during April.


April is also the month that I attend a community garage sale. I've made a list of needed items. I will be looking for clothing and household goods at the sales. My list includes both sizes for each child (including larger sizes, to be prepared for growth spurts and next year) and the number of items needed in each size. I've been selling items via Facebook garage sale sites to have money to spend on this day, and I am listing several more items for sale in the next week, to add to the money I have to buy these needed items. 


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March Grocery Shopping Plans

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Chinese Snow Peas The Prudent Homemaker

As we start the month, the garden is yielding lettuce, Swiss chard, green onions, dill, cilantro, parsley, oregano, tarragon, lavender, nasturiums, thyme, celery (mainly leaves; these are from commercial celery where I planted the bottom in the ground), radishes, broccoli, sage, beet greens and beets. Some of my fall-planted snow peas are just starting to ripen, and the asparagus is just starting to come up.

This month lettuce will be able to be harvested more often, as plants grow larger; by the end of the month. The spinach will hopefully be big enough to harvest regularly, and the asparagus will be cut several times a week as spears are ready. (Aspargus goes on sale this month, for those looking to buy some.)

Dafodils in the garden The Prudent Homemaker

Another garden harvest is daffodils. Over a decade ago, I would buy daffodils in season when they went on sale in spring. These were a part of my grocery budget then, but now I get to enjoy my own every year, both in the garden and indoors.

March is frozen foods month in the United States. There are usually good sales this month on frozen items. I'll be looking for a sale on sweet peas (also called petite peas) and broccoli. I like Albertson's store brand and I will be looking for a sale on these.

St. Patrick's Day means sales on corned beef, potatoes, and cabbage. I usually buy several packages of corned beef and freeze them. I will have to see what price they are before I decide whether or not to purchase any.

If the price on potatoes is low enough (hopefully 20 cents a pound), I'll buy several 10 pound bags of russet potatoes.

Cabbage is a great keeper. In the refrigerator crisper drawer, it can last a month or more. If you like cabbage, this is a great time to stock up, as prices are incredibly low. This time of year, it is less expensive than lettuce, so you may want some to make Chinese chicken salads, coleslaw, stuffed and cooked cabbage. Another one is homemade sauerkraut. I will get some cabbage for this purpose. I made some last year using this recipe.

One of our grocery stores (Vons) has pork shoulder roast on sale for $1.49 a pound through the second. I will buy several roasts to put in the freezer.


Other items on my list:


Powdered milk


Hand-washing dish soap. I use this both for dish washing and hand-washing. 


Oats (I didn't get these last month)

sour cream (I didn't get any last month, so I'll keep looking for a sale at $1 a pound)


There is a possibility of whole chickens being on sale, so I'll keep an eye out for those.

If I find a fantastic deal on onions, I'll buy some, as the 50 pound bag I bought in fall is starting to get low (we haven't had any go bad yet!) I'd like to have some more to dehydrate, which we will use during the summer. I've increased the number of green onions in the garden, so that has helped me to have enough onions as well, and I am attempting to grow some red onions as well.

I'll also be watching for any toiletries that I buy to go on sale. I forgot to use my $5 Target gift card when I was at Target last month, so I still have that to use.

I'm also hoping for some ice cream on sale this month.

You may have noticed that there is no fruit on this list. I still have lots of home-canned and frozen fruit from last year in the pantry and freezer that we will be eating this month. 



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February's Grocery Shopping Plans

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Lettuce and Parsley The Prudent Homemaker

Lettuce: Four Seasons, aka Merveille de Quatre Seasons, with Italian Parsley


This month I plan to continue to restock items in the pantry that are low.

After discussing our food needs, we have decided to buy more beans. As meat prices have continued to climb, we are eating beans more often, and I will go through a 25 pound bag of beans much more quickly.

I looked at the new order form at the LDS Cannery, and it looks like they haven't discontinued the bulk black and white beans in bulk like I had heard they would! This is wonderful news, since a 25 pound bag is $15. I want to get more of both of these.

I won't be buying any Valentine's candy. I will make candy for the children using supplies I have in my pantry. I have a silicone heart-shaped mold that I bought at the Dollar Tree a few years ago. I'll make some chocolates in it. I also will make heart-shaped cookies. I'll put their treats in these free printable bags that I've had pinned on my Valentine's Day Pinterest Board for a while. (I used a couple of ideas from my board last year; you can see photos here). For Valentine's Day, my husband and I will either have a special meal from something in the freezer, and/or I'll make us a special dessert for just the two of us after thc children are in bed. We'll have an at-home date that evening.


On my list this month:




Gold n Soft spreadable margarine 

10 pound bag of carrots


LDS Cannery:

Black beans

White beans


Sam's Club:


Brown sugar

White vinegar

Mozarella cheese

Granulated garlic 



Albertson's or Smiths:

Asparagus (This is on sale for $1.28 a pound right now. I have a few spears just starting to poke out of the ground, but I still don't grow enough for our family, who loves asparagus. Even though this is the lowest in-season price, it's much higher than years past, where I could get it for .99 a pound. This means changing my price point on this item.  My mom picked up two pounds for me yesterday while she was at the store getting some for herself.)

Sour cream (I'll look for a sale price of $1 a pound if I can find it, or $1.25 if that is the lowest sales price. If there isn't a sale that low I won't get any; I generally find it on sale at this price every few months).




Washing soda

Blue Scotch Brite Pads

Great Value dishsoap

Powdered milk ( I don't remember if this is lower at Winco or Walmart, so I'll check. Walmart is $15.98 for the 64 ounce box, which makes 5 gallons. Powdered milk is about the same price as I pay for fresh milk right now, and sometimes a bit higher. However, I like having powdered milk in my storage for times when I need milk in baking and I'm not able to get to the store; I can just just a little bit in a recipe at a time. You can read more about powdered milk here.)



Oil of Olay bar soap (I'll look for a sale on these; I printed two $1 off coupons for these)

Up and Up trash bags (There is a Target coupon for these, plus a 5% off Target cartwheel offer. Hopefully there will be a sale sometime this month as well. This is the store brand. I buy the kitchen trash bags  in the largest box, and they sometimes go on sale for $1 off a box. )

I have a $5 gift card from Target that I got last month as part of a promotion to use as well.


Though that will take up most of my month's budget, I'll also keep an eye out for great deals and sales for both food and toiletries that are within what is left.

 urn crop

I will be making a trip to the nursery this month.  The nursery is my favorite place to shop--it's quiet, peaceful, and full of flowers! I'm limiting my trips there this spring (and it is very much spring here, with temperatures in the 60ºs and 70ºs!)  to reduce the tempation to buy things that I know aren't in my budget this year. My garden budget is not part of my grocery budget. I'll be buying some tomato plants and possibly a chocolate mint plant. I still haven't decided between the large or small tomato plants, and the comments I received last month gave me lots to ponder.

I'll also purchase some manure for both the garden and the lawn. I have a $10 off $50 coupon to use at the nursery. I'll keep it close to that amount. Most of it will go for manure on the grass (our nursery has a 2 cubic foot bag of manure for $1.99, which is much lower than elsewhere).  So far this year I have spent $79.90 on seeds. I bought extra large packets this year on seeds that have a 3 year shelf-life, to (hopefully) eliminate the need to buy more seeds next year (I also plan to collect seeds frm my open-pollinated plants this year). I am also still planting seeds that I purchased last year and the year before, as well as seeds that I gathered from my own garden last year

Swiss Chard in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

Swiss chard

I'm harvesting in the garden every day. The variety that I can pick will increase as the month continues and my plants get bigger.

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Lettuce The Prudent Homemaker

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I've decided to increase our budget $25 a month to $300. This amount includes non-food items like toilet paper, shampoo, etc.  We are a family of 9.

Several readers have asked me what I will do about rising food prices. I know that not everyone has an increase in income in order to cover food prices--in fact, I don't think most do.  I do not. Raising the budget $25 a month will not even come close to making up the difference in the increase in food prices that we have seen. In addition, as my children continue to grow, so do their appetites. While I would be really happy to raise the budget to $500 (ad buy the same things I used to buy with that amount), it just isn't feasible. I have made changes in the past to our menus to help us make the most of what we have, and I will continue to do so.

The extra $25 needs to come from somewhere. I am continuing to make cuts in my utility usage, which will help me come up with that $25 for a while (until rising utility rates eat up the difference). 

I expect that I will serve even more soups with homemade bread, and beans and rice (and less meat). I will serve more salads with lettuce from our garden during the seasons when lettuce grows, along with homemade dressings.

My garden plans for this year:

I've been saving money in my Paypal account from taking surveys to buy seeds. I still have many seeds left from last year, and I harvested many seeds of my own last year to plant this year (some, like lettuce and Swiss chard, are growing right now in my garden). I will be growing almost all open-pollinated seeds, so that I can collect seeds from my garden to plant again in years to come.  I am working to eliminate my need to buy seeds, but this year, I still need to buy them.  I expect to spend between $25 to $100 this year on vegetable seeds (including shipping).

This year, I want to do an even better job of making the most out of my garden. I plant to do more succession planting to have continous harvests thoughout the year.  I will focus on more looseleaf lettuces, which can be harvested 2 to 3 times each.  I will plant more parsley, as I use a lot of it and I want to have enough to not need to purchase it (I was successful in growing enough basil and oregano for our needs last year, both in the front yard. My parsley grew poorly last year, so I will plant it in some new places this year so that I will have enough).

I will grow more beans and peas this year. This will take some good planning, as I moved two grape vines last year, and they take up my main growing space for beans and peas. I need to practice better crop rotation, so I will be growing more beans and peas on trellises that I have formerly used for tomatoes.

I will not be adding any fruit trees or bushes this year to my garden. I will buy tomato plants at the local nursery in late February. Our last frost date in February 15th, and the nursery will have plants then. I will spend between $5 and $35 on tomato plants this year ($5 if I buy the small ones on sale and up to $35 if I decide to buy the larger plants this year; I may try a combination of both, but I haven't decided yet. Also, plant prices may come in higher this year, as they did last year, so that will also play a roll). I will buy seeds this month.

The garden is currently producing lettuce, parsley, sage, Swiss chard, green onions, radishes, beets, and a few other herbs. I harvested lemons last week and those will keep in my fridge for a while. I will also freeeze the zest and juice from my lemons.

Mid-January is when  I typically plant many of my cool-season vegetables (especially lots of lettuce). You can see my garden calendar here. I usually cloche these to keep them growing faster for a much earlier harvest (you can read more about that here).

I still have many fresh onions and potatoes, some apples and carrots in the fridge, a butternut squash in the pantry, and canned, dried, and frozen fruits and vegtables (I did not buy any oranges last month, as they were more expensive than I had hoped and not good looking). The freezers are full. 

This month I am focusing the bulk of my shopping on pantry essentials, for which I am either out completely (like canned tomatoes) or am very low (oats, ketchup, rice, oil). 

I'm hoping for a seasonal sale on broccoli below .99 a pound that will allow me to buy a bunch, which I can blanch and freeze. I don't now what price will be the lowest this year, so how much I buy will depend on what price I see. This is my family's favorite vegetable. (I have 5 broccoli plants that germinated in the garden that are growing right now, but they are not yet producing florets). If .99 is the lowest price, I will buy some, but not as much.

I also will be looking to restock my medicine cabinet with over the counter remedies, vitamins, and first aid products. These typically go on sale in January and have coupons as well.


I will buy multiples of several of the following items:


Sam's Club:

ketchup (I buy the refill Bakers and Chefs container and use it to fill several squeeze bottles that we have; $3.64 for 114 ounces).

white vinegar ($3.88 for 2 gallons)


brown sugar (we use this mostly on oatmeal and occasionally in baking; $2.63 for 4 pounds)

canned tomatoes (I buy these in a #10 can. I split the can into a couple of recipes for the week; $3.28 for 102 ounces)

tomato sauce (#10 can size; $2.98 for 105 ounce can)

rice (I will buy 75 pounds, which is $18. We go through at least that much in a year.)

popcorn (I buy this in a 50 pound bag for $23.98.)

feta cheese

iodized salt (I gave some away in November to a friend in need so I am low) $1.12 for 4 pounds



broccoli (unless I find it lower somewhere else)

oats (In the past, we have gone through 75 pounds a year. We seem to be eating much more than that now. This is the very least expensive breakfast we can have, as a 25 pound bag is $14.74.  I will buy 50 or 75 pounds this month ($44.22 for 75 pounds). A friend informed me that this is on sale for $13 and something, so that will save me a little on this--enough to buy at least a gallon of milk.

milk (this may be on sale for less elsewhere, so I will watch)

washing soda (to make laundry soap)



vegetable oil (I buy the Great Value brand in the gallon container; this is a zero trans-fat oil for those who are looking for one; $5.68 for a 1-gallon jug)

Oxi-clean stain remover refill

dish soap (Great Value brand is $4.64 for 60 ounces)

Knorr tomato bullion (Several readers have asked what this looks like so that they can find it. You can see it here). I love to cook rice with this and use it in bean and rice burritos, and also as a simple meal of black beans and rice (not having to use torillas makes for a less expensive meal. I add lime juice and onions to the the black beans when I make this and all of the children love it for lunch; I will be making it more often this year as it is a very inexpensive meal, and goes well with a simple lettuce salad from the garden).

Knorr chicken bullion





There are coupons for .75 off up and up brand (Target's brand) vitamins and allergy medicine on Target's site (limit one per transaction, expiring 1/31), plus a 5% off Cartwheel that you can stack for up and up adult vitamins and allergy relief (expiring 1/3). There is also a $1.50 off $7 coupon for pain relief  or first aid(exp 1/31) and a 5% off Cartwheel deal (exp 1/3). There are more details on this blogger's post here.


individual vitamins

over-the counter remedies

antibiotic ointment Update: I just did a price comparison online and it looks like Walmart's brand is cheaper if ordered online; the lowest price is $1.99 an ounce in a 2 pack for $3.98 (free shipping on orders over $50). I don't have $50 to spend right now, but if you are doing a big stock up order of first aid supplies and/or other things, this would save money.

Salon Graphix Unscented hairspray. Target has buy one get one 50% off on styling products this week that should include this.

Oil of Olay face lotion for sensitive skin. I use the kind that's around $8.94 a bottle. I have a coupon for $3 off 2 bottles, and I am hoping for a sale and a Target coupon, or a rebate offer to stack with this. (Walmart also carries this). 


I'll use a Swagbucks gift card to purchase a couple of 280 packs of Band-Aids . This amount won't come out of my budget, since they will come from Swagbucks. We went through about a package and a half of these last year.


Besides these items, I will look for other good sales during the month, but these items are my primary focus.



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