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May's Shopping Plans

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 Apricots in White Garden The Prudent Homemaker

 

I awoke shortly after 4 a.m. to the sound of pouring rain.

Rain is very rare here, and when it does rain, it is usually so gentle and short as to only last 30 seconds. Pouring rain is unusual, and even more so in May!

I got up and closed the windows, went outside and into the garage and turned the drip irrigation and sprinklers off.

It's a beautiful May Day here, with cooler weather than usual thanks to the rain and clouds. We'll be back to 95° and even 98°(37°C) next week, but for four days this week, we are enjoying cooler temperatures.

The apricots will be ripe in my garden soon. I have two kinds of apricots: Katy and Royal (a.k.a. Royal Blenheim). Katy is generally ripe 3-4 weeks sooner than Royal, but wind and cold made it so only a few branches ripened on the tree, and then the rest of the Katy tree bloomed a month later. Whether they all ripen at once is yet to be seen. Katy usually ripens at the beginning of May and Royal towards the end of the month.

Blackberries 2 The Prudent Homemaker

Our blackberries will also be ripe in the garden this month.

In years past, we have also harvested peaches in May. As our tree was dying last year, we took it out. It will be a few years before we have peaches ripe in May again.

I am harvesting oregano, parsley, garlic chives, and green onions from the garden this month. I am also harvesting lettuce, spinach, and Swiss chard.

 

I plan on purchasing the following items this month:

 

Sam's Club:

Olive oil (3-liter bottle)

Mozzarella cheese (5-pound bag)

Powdered sugar (7-pound bag)

Brown sugar (7-pound bag)

Best Foods Mayonnaise (1-gallon)

Gatorade powder (We keep this on hand for when someone is sick, and as we had several people with flu earlier this year, it's time to replenish it).

Aveeno Body Lotion

 

Winco:

La Victoria salsa (using $1 off coupon) 

Flour tortillas

Sour cream

Potatoes

Vegetable Oil

 

Target:

Suave shampoo (using 2 $1 off coupons)

 

I'll spend the rest of our $200 monthly budget on fresh produce and meat that I find on sale this month. 

 

Here is a month of typical spring meals in our house.

 

What are your grocery shopping plans this month?

 

Tagged in: Grocery Shopping
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Iceberg Roses and Honeysuckle The Prudent Homemaker

Iceberg Roses, German Chamomile, and Hall's Honeysuckle

The weather was warm this week, in the low 90's. For some, this is a summer temperature, but here, we're just getting started with the heat, as we have over 5 months of temperatures above 90°. I opened windows and doors at night and in the morning to cool the house, ran fans only when needed during the day, and only turned on the air conditioner in the afternoons when we needed it most.

I cut flowers from the garden to enjoy in the house.

I mended two holes in a pair of shorts.

I harvested parsley, oregano, Swiss chard, lettuce, Meyer lemons, spinach, garlic chives, hibiscus flowers, snow peas, and green onions from the garden.

I dried lemon zest and parsley from the garden.

I froze lemon juice from our lemons to use throughout the year.

I watched an episode of "Call the Midwife" for free on Pbs.org.

I collected shower warm-up water and used it to water potted plants in the garden.

I used Zelle to pay my midwife. Zelle is a free way to pay other people through your bank. You just have to have their email address and their bank has to also use Zelle (and most do). You don't have to write a check or mail it. If your bank offers this service, you can see it on their website when you log in to your account; it should have a "Pay someone with Zelle" option. Unlike Paypal, the recipient is not charged anything to receive the money.

I studied French using free online sources.

David Austin Roses The Prudent Homemaker

Graham Thomas, Queen of Sweden, Claire Austin, and Earth Angel Roses 

What did you do to save money this past week?

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April arrangement 2 closeup The Prudent Homemaker

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I cut flowers from the garden to enjoy in the house several times during the week.

I harvested hibiscus flowers, Meyer lemons, snow peas, lettuce, spinach, parsley, Swiss chard, green onions, and garlic chives from my garden.

I dried a large batch of parsley to use throughout the year. After picking it, I simply wash it and leave it out to dry on a cooling rack on top of a rimmed cookie sheet. Once it's done drying, I crumble the leaves, remove the stems, and put the leaves in a container.

I dried lemon zests and froze lemon juice to use throughout the year.

Peonies and Rose The Prudent Homemaker

I watched an episode of "Call the Midwife" for free on Pbs.org.

I watched a free webinar, learning what I could from it. I didn't purchase the product after watching the class.

We went to the library.

Picnic in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I mended a hole in a pair of shorts.

We enjoyed having the windows open during the week to cool the house and air it out.

My son needed a new pair of glasses. I purchased them from Zenni Optical, going through Ebates first to earn cash back. Since I was logging in through my new computer, the site didn't recognize me as an existing customer and offered me a 10% off coupon. I wrote down the code and logged in to my account. When I went to place my order, I decided to see if the code would still work. It did. I chose the slowest shipping ($4.95) and still received his new glasses on Saturday (after ordering on Monday).  Total cost for a new pair of prescription glasses, including shipping, was $13.91. I'll also get a small percentage back from Ebates as well! I just checked, and Zenni has a refer a friend program; if you're new to the site you can use this link to get $5 off your order. Plus, you can refer a friend and they will give you $5 as well! 

My husband gave himself a haircut.

I stocked up on strawberries for $0.99 a pound and bone-in chicken at $0.77 a pound. These are rock-bottom prices here and were part of my grocery plans for the month. I froze the chicken and cut and froze strawberries to use throughout the year.

 April Arrangement Closeup The Prudent Homemaker

What did you do to save money this past week?

 

April 22nd is a special day for me as it is the day my husband (officially) proposed. I wrote about it in a post 6 years ago entitled: My Husband is So Frugal He Proposed With a Coupon

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I harvested parsley, rosemary, a bay leaf,  garlic chives, spinach, Meyer lemons, and lettuce from the garden.

I gave two daughters each a haircut.

I unsubscribed from several promotional email lists. I don't have any plans to buy anything from these companies any time soon, and deleting the constant emails (one sent three a week!) takes time that I could be using to do something productive.

I studied French using free online sources.

Peppa Pig Cupcake Cake The Prudent Homemaker

We had a simple and frugal Peppa Pig birthday party for my youngest daughter at home. I made a cupcake cake for her.

Saturday was the day for the semi-annual community garage sale for several communities in my area. I went with my list, looking for items we need and want. There were fewer sales than usual this year, but I still managed to find a few items on my list, including a dress for me ($3), some white onesies for the new baby ($0.25 each), some shorts and pants for my youngest son (7 for $5, plus she threw in a brand-new undershirt and some random diapers and pull-ups in his size), a basket that I'll use for organizing in a closet ($2), two shirts and two pairs of jeans for a daughter ($0.50 each), a lade for my eldest's college box ($0.50), a hand-chopper for the kitchen ($1), 6 ice-cube trays ($1), a skirt for my eldest ($2; I'm saving it to give her as a birthday gift), and some wooden cooking toys ($2) that I used as a gift for my daughter's birthday). 

I also found this vintage loveliness for $6.50; The lacquered tray was $0.50, and the other items were $1 each:

Vintage jewelry The Prudent Homemaker

The weather was extremely windy last week, but the strong winds brought some cooler temperatures. We had the windows open as often as possible to keep the house cool.

Our neighbor must have been cleaning out her freezer; she brought over several random items from her freezer and gave them to us, which we will definitely enjoy.

I watched an episode of "Call the Midwife" for free on Pbs.org.

My husband and I had a date night at home playing a game of Sequence I purchased at a garage sale last year for $2 (we had worn our old one out).

 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

 

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Easter Daffodil Bouquet The Prudent Homemaker

I cut daffodils and nasturtiums from the garden to enjoy in the house.

Lemons and Parsley The Prudent Homemaker

I harvested Meyer lemons, parsley, green onions, snow peas, rosemary, oregano, and Mandarin oranges from the garden.

Octavius Picking Peas The Prudent Homemaker

I froze lemon juice from our lemons to use later throughout the year, and I dried parsley to use throughout the year.

I sowed seeds in the garden for Armenian cucumbers and zucchini in the garden.

I watched three episodes of Call The Midwife on Pbs.org.

I enjoyed reading a book that someone dropped off on my doorstep (a reader, I believe!). 

My husband received a $25 gift card to a restaurant for his birthday from my parents. The restaurant also has a free burger the month of your birthday. We had water to drink, combined the gift card and free burger with an inexpensive sandwich, split them both, and paid for the remaining sandwich plus a tip (for both) on the gift card for a date, using just under $11 on the gift card. We can then use the gift card a second time when my birthday comes for a second date.

We combined the lunch out with our trip to Sam's Club to save time and gas.

My husband worked from home one day.

I gave one daughter a haircut.

I shared lemons and Swiss chard from the garden with a friend. She surprised me with homemade pasta that she made using some Swiss chard.

We gratefully accepted some pinwheel sandwiches, fruit, and cut veggies that were leftover from a funeral.

We sprayed the house for bugs using spray we already had, rather than hiring a company to come out as many people do here. We found 5 scorpions in the last month (my husband found one touching his hand while he was cutting potatoes!) Warm weather means it's time to spray again, and it was 92°F (33°C) here on Saturday.

I dug and divided some iris that had finished blooming and had multiplied. I will plant the bulbs in new places in the garden on Monday.

I dug a peony root that has never bloomed. I figured I must have planted it too deep on accident (I had). While digging it, I accidentally broke it in several places. It had grown quite large and so should be fine being divided. I replanted two parts and will replant the remaining parts in the garden in several new places on Monday.

 What did you do to save money this past week?

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April's Grocery Shopping Plans

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Lemons on Cutting Board The Prudent Homemaker 

This post contains affiliate links.

As usual, this month I'm concentrating on filling holes in my pantry. We've continued to eat down the freezers, which has been fantastic, as I've found things that really need to be used up. This has given me the chance to clean out a couple of freezers before I start juicing lemons and adding lemon juice from our lemons to use throughout the year. My Meyer lemons can stay fresh on the tree from late November through April, but after that, it's too warm here, so they really have to be picked. Anything that we haven't already harvested will be picked and juiced this month. We'll freeze the juice and some zest as well. I plan on drying some zest to make my own lemon pepper seasoning.

Swiss Chard in the Garden The Prudent Homemaker

The Swiss chard in the garden goes to seed this month, so we've been eating loads of Swiss chard every week for the past month and will continue to do so this month. When it bolts this month, it grows 6 feet tall (2 meters) in a week! I plan on harvesting it before it bolts and then pulling the plants, except for one or two which I'll let bolt for collecting seeds to plant later.

Salad Produce The Prudent Homemaker

April is the best month for lettuce in my garden, so we'll have lots of salads. In April we usually have salad either with or for (as the main course) lunch or dinner every day, served with homemade salad dressing. A simple and very inexpensive meal we often have in April is black beans (seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder, and lime juice), rice cooked with tomato bullion powder, and a salad. Bean burritos (made with pinto beans) are another favorite of ours in April. As the weather warms, homemade lemonade and salads with homemade bread are a meal we have often as well. Often, we'll have a homemade soup as well.

We'll harvest lots of snow peas and green onions this month. Most of them will be enjoyed in my Museum Pasta Salad.

Spinach, radishes, and leeks are ripe in the garden this month as well. 

I'll cut and dry parsley to add to my pantry. My parsley is starting to bolt in the garden, so it needs to be harvested before it all goes to seed. This is an item I no longer purchase dried, as I grow enough in my garden to use fresh and dried throughout the year.

 

I'm not sure when I'll be out and about shopping in May after our new baby is born, so for April, I am upping our budget from $200 to $400. May's shopping plans will depend on our income.

Here's how I plan to spend my $400 grocery budget for my family of 10 this month:

 

Sam's Club:

Raisins (60 oz.) $9.98

Chocolate chips (72 oz.) $9.98

Brown sugar (7lbs) $4.38

Granulated sugar (50 lbs) $23.88

Rice (25 lbs) $9.48

Tomato Sauce (5 #10 cans) $2.98 a can

Diced tomatoes (5 #10 cans) $2.98 a can

Feta cheese  (24 oz.) $7.38

Mozzarella cheese (5 lbs) $10.48

Ketchup (114 oz.) $3.83

POM toilet paper (4 boxes) $19.98 a box

Milk (4 gallons) $2.35 a gallon for whole milk

 

Winco:

Potatoes

Onions

Carrots

Limes

Great Northern Beans (25 lbs at $0.89 a pound)

Kidney Beans

Salsa

Milk

Sour Cream (unless I find a lower sale elsewhere)

Spreadable margarine (3 lb container for $2.28)

 

Walmart:

Equate hand dishwashing soap

Dental floss

 

Smith's:

I'll look for sales on strawberries for $1.00 a pound or less; I'll buy several to make jam and to freeze.

I'll look for sales on chicken under $0.99 a pound to put in the freezer. In years past, I have found whole chickens for $0.79 a pound in April, which is a rock bottom price where I live.

The case-lot sale takes place over two weeks this month. I'll look for case-lot sales on canned Mandarin oranges and canned green chiles. Chiles are not on the case-lot sale this time.

Update now that I have the ad:

Mandarin oranges case of 24 11-ounce cans $14.16 ($0.59 a can)

Tuna fish case of 48 5-ounce cans $28

Canned corn case of 12 $6 (2 cases)

 

 

Going through the grocery ads last month, I can see so many items that can quickly up one's budget--even on sale. For example, strawberries were on sale, but they were $2.50 a pound. I know that in April strawberries are at their lowest price for the year in April as they are in season here at that time, so that's when I stock up for the year. Many stores have a limit, so I'll look for a store that doesn't (usually Smith's--our Kroger affiliate--has them for under $1 a pound without a limit, though some years the lowest sales price has been $1.25 a pound). My goal is to always look for the lowest price and stock up then. I know that some items are only at that price once or twice a year, which is when I aim to stock up, and why the prices you see me paying are as low as they are. Regular prices and regular sales prices are not that low all the time on many items that I buy. By waiting to purchase items until they are at their lowest prices for the year and stocking up, I save a lot of money.

I'm cooking several pots of beans in my solar oven and freezing any we won't use right away. This gives me a head start to making several meals on other days, including after the baby is born.

 

What sales will you be looking for this month? Do you plan on harvesting anything from your garden?

 

Tagged in: Grocery Shopping
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