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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Grocery Shopping

September's Grocery Shopping Plans

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September Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

September 2016 Garden Harvest

After a month of no shopping, I'm planning to continue to live mostly from our pantry, freezers, and garden, with a few purchases. Our income is still rather limited. In 2012 and 2013, we had a budget of $100 a month for food and $65 a month for non-food items. Our income is now even less than it each of those years; those years were also considerably less than we made in 2007, the year we had no income for 8 months and began living exclusively from our pantry for over a year. I am grateful for the increase that we had in income the second half of last year (and the savings it allowed us to have that helped us this year). For now, I will continue to take each month as it comes.

I'm budgeting $100 this month to buy things.

This month's budget is very unusual in that I have some gift cards and freebie coupons to use towards purchases in addition to the $100. 

 

Target:

I will redeem 2200 Swagbucks on September first to get a $25 Target gift card. You can redeem one $25 gift card a month for 2200 points; after that, they are 2500 points. It usually takes me 2-3 months to get 2200 points, but this month I spent some more time earning points so that I would have this.

Diapers (1 large box that will last the month)

Children's chewable multi-vitamins (150 count bottle)

 

Winco:

Potatoes. I'll buy 50 pounds; the russets are currently higher than I like to spend (at $2.98 for a ten-pound bag) but I will be going above my price point on them this month (normally $2.25 a bag)  and hope that when I make it over there, the price has come down.

Gold N'Soft Light spreadable margarine in a 3-pound tub, which is usually around $2.24. (I use this on baked potatoes, to cook with, and on toast; it has 0 trans-fats). I'll pick up 3.

Carrots (10 pounds for $3.88)

Milk

Apples. I'm hoping to see sales between $0.79 and $0.99 a pound when the new crop of apples comes in.

 

Smith's:

Corn on the cob: 6 ears for $1 (no limit; I'll buy 24).

Chicken (a reader sent me some manufacturer's coupons for free chicken for a certain brand of fresh chicken that she can't get in her area; I'll pick these up and add them to my freezer).

American Beauty pasta. It looks like the new sales price is $0.69 ($0.49 looks like a price I won't see anymore). I printed several coupons for $1 off 2 packages from coupons.com and I will pick up pasta. I'll only buy the 16-ounce bags (rather than the 12-ounce bags) so that I can get the most food for my money. I'll buy 50 pounds of pasta. (I also added the Smith's digital coupon to my card for another $1 off coupon).

Friday freebie. I loaded the Friday freebie to my card and I'll pick it up when I'm there; it's a candy bar and I can give it as a gift to a child.

 

Albertson's:

Sour cream 10 for $10; I'll have my husband pick up 10  (which will save on gas as there is a store in the shopping center where his office is) and we'll enjoy them on potatoes as well as rice and beans. 

 

Sam's Club:

I still have a $25 Sam's Club gift card that I got from Swagbucks earlier this year. I kept meaning to use it every time I went but I kept forgetting it was in my purse! I plan on using the gift card to get the following:

25 pounds of Long grain rice ($8.34)

Ketchup ($3.83 for 114 ounces; we use it to refill 3 large bottles)

Oxi-Clean powdered stain remover (10.1 pound box), on sale through the 17th for $12.48

Pears in Silver Bowl The Prudent Homemaker

From the garden this month, I will harvest Bartlett pears, Swiss chard, oregano, basil, a few handfuls of red noodle beans, a few Armenian cucumbers (several of my vines died and bugs got to the zucchini plants last month; a couple are left but I never harvested any zucchini last month as the heat caused the flowers to wither and die before they ever opened), a few tiny tomatoes, green onions, chives, rosemary, and some other herbs as I need them for meals.

 

What are you planning to stock up on this month?

 

 

 

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 Cucumbers and Basil The Prudent Homemaker

My freezers are packed full of frozen fruit from both our garden and from deals I found earlier this year. There's some meat in there, somewhere behind all the peaches, blackberries, figs, strawberries, and blueberries. There's lemon juice from our lemon trees too.

The garden has started producing Armenian cucumbers. I'm hoping for enough to can pickles this year. I planted loads of them in several places in the garden and the vines have reached the tops of my five-foot trellises and started producing female flowers.

We have Swiss chard, red noodle beans, and green onions in the garden.

Yellow Pear Tomatoes The Prudent Homemaker

The tomato plants are still producing (especially the Yellow Pear tomatoes), though they are winding down because of the heat (they are not longer producing flowers).

I've got butternut squash growing and will have a few to pick this month.

I have 5 zucchini plants. None are producing for me at the moment, but the overcast days in July led to cooler temperatures and I can see a combination of male and female flowers at the base of them. Hopefully, they'll be open on the same days to be pollinated and we'll have some zucchini too!

Bartlett Pears on Tree The Prudent Homemaker 

The Bartlett pears are ripe this month. There aren't many, as the trees have never grown very large in 10 years, but we'll still have a decent number.

The table grapes are ripe (the birds have gotten a number of them though). We'll have some to eat (they have seeds) and some to juice. When they're all done, I'll pick the leaves to cook. They have a lemony flavor and are delicious in all sorts of recipes. I'll stuff some this month too.

Bucket of Zinnias and Sunflowers

The zinnias I planted in the backyard are opening! I know they're late but I'm happy to have them! I have a few small sunflowers too (about the same size as the zinnias).

I've got a decently stocked pantry

And I'm not planning to go shopping at all during the month of August for food or toiletries.

We're having a lower income month along with increased expenses. We're adding life insurance to our bills this month and in September we hope to add some online college classes for my eldest, which will mean tuition and book expenses. These will mean increased expenses every month, so hopefully, our income will increase to cover the difference. 

With an irregular income, I never know what our income will be. I try to plan a month ahead for expenses whenever possible, but that isn't always possible. This month, I'm waiting to see what else will come in. Our first priorities are our mortgage, utilities, and insurance. Should anything come in past that, I'll save it to put toward's September's bills.

Whether or not I'll go shopping in September is yet to be seen. If I do, it is certainly to be a reduced amount. We were very blessed last year to make more money and be able to increase our grocery budget. This year, our income has been lower, and if it continues as it has been, we will make 1/3 of what we made last year (Last year was a blessing! We were able to repair several things and purchase some needed furniture. Before that, things had been much lower, like this year, for the 8 previous years). Consequently, it's possible that I'll go back to a $100 a month budget. I know we can do it, as we have in past years where we've made this amount, and we managed to build our food storage while doing so. It's been nice to have had the money to buy other things we like to eat, including more meat and cheese, but we can certainly eat more soups, oats, rice, and beans going forward. I'm collecting lettuce seeds from the garden this week and I look forward to planting them in my fall garden along with other seeds I have on hand. I'm feeling really grateful that when our income was higher last year, I bought a couple of years' worth of seeds, and that I'm growing almost all open-pollinated seeds, which allows me to collect seeds from my garden to plant every year.

Here's some of what I'll have on the menu this month:

 

Breakfasts:

 

Oatmeal with brown sugar, raisins, and almonds

Crepes (I still have some eggs and I'll use powdered milk)

Whole wheat waffles with fruit from the freezer

Smoothies and toast with cinnamon sugar 

Bread and jam (I've got homemade strawberry, apricot, and fig jams, plus apple butter on my pantry shelves)

 

Summer Pasta Salad The Prudent Homemaker

Lunches:

 

Black beans and rice with tomatoes and corn

White bean dip with pita bread, cucumbers, and tomatoes (produce from the garden)

Macaroni and cheese with sliced tomatoes (on the side!) and cucumbers in vinegar

Tomato Basil Sandwiches

Pasta Salad

Leftovers

Fig Tarts The Prudent Homemaker

 

Snacks:

 

Fig Tarts

Cookies

Peach Pie Popsicles

Popcorn

Grapes

Smoothies

 

Dinners:

 

Black Bean Burgers with Steak Sauce and tomatoes from the garden

Turkey Curry over basmati rice with peas and chapatis

Pork Roast with fig sauce and mashed potatoes, Swiss chard, and butternut squash

Baked Potatoes with a corn and tomato salad

Stir fry with pork or turkey and vegetables from the garden and bean sprouts

Pinto beans and rice with onions and tomatoes

Spaghetti with red noodle beans

Stuffed grape leaves with homemade pita bread

Ham with Rosemary potatoes and red noodle beans

Ham sandwiches with tomatoes from the garden and home-canned dill pickles

 

 

If you're living from your pantry this month, check out my two weeks' worth of pantry meals here.

If you need more bean recipes, check out my post on How to Eat Beans Every Night.

If you're looking for a frugal summer menu, check out a month's worth of summer meals here.

 

Are you planning to go shopping in August? What deals will you be looking to purchase?

 

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My Grocery Shopping Plans for June

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Mission Figs in basketThe Prudent Homemaker

This month in the garden, we're picking blackberries, Mission figs and Dorsett Golden apples. The blackberries and figs will finish up within a week and then the apples will be ready. 

I've amazingly still got lettuce, thanks to a much cooler than normal May, which I should be able to pick for at least a week or two before it has all bolted. 

The first cherry tomatoes (Sun Gold and Yellow Pear) are ripening, just a handful or two at a time. I shared pictures a few days ago of both lettuce and tomatoes over on Instagram). 

My red seedless grapes should be ready this month. I'll cover them with paper bags to keep the birds from eating them while they finish ripening.

I froze many peaches last month from the garden, so of which will come out for peach pie popsicles this month. I'll be making lots of popsicles for snacks, as temperatures in June will be well over 100º F.

I plan to make yogurt and granola several times for breakfast, so I'll buy milk for making yogurt as well as for drinking. I also plan to make crepes often, as well as breakfast burritos. I'll make a frittata at least once.

We're craving cold, light meals this month. Pasta salads, salads, and potato salad alongside sandwiches will be on our menu frequently, as well as bean burritos. I'll cook beans in the crockpot or the solar oven, depending on how windy the day is. I'll make white bean dip and pita bread to eat for lunches with figs or apples). I'll cook a turkey from the freezer (they've been in there since November 2015 ) and slice it to make sandwich meat with our meat slicer. I'll make rosemary olive oil bread and French bread for sandwiches.

I'll purchase some cucumbers and tomatoes as our garden is not yet producing cucumbers and is only making a few tomatoes.

I plan on making some herbal sun teas (which I'll then refrigerate) with peppermint, chamomile, and lemon verbena from the garden.

 

Winco:

Potatoes

Milk

Margarine

Cucumbers

Tomatoes

Celery 

Carrots

Limes

Salsa

 

Sam's Club:

Mozzarella cheese

Cheddar cheese

Flour tortillas

Corn tortillas

#10 cans of tomato sauce

 

I've been experimenting with homemade barbecue sauce recipes.  I am no longer able to find the sauce my family prefers anywhere, and it is much less money for me to make my own, so some of these cans of tomato sauce will be turned into batches of barbecue sauce.

Past these specific items, I'll look for sales throughout the month that fit within my budget. This week's ad for Smith's include eggs for $0.77 a dozen (limit 4) and boneless pork loin for $1.59 a pound (an amazing price!) I'll pick up both of these (several pork roasts to freeze and 4 dozen eggs). I'll look for sales on the large party pails of ice cream at Smith's later in the month.

I'll be watching Totally Target's page for any great sales on toiletries at Target.

My budget for this month is $300 for our family of 10 for food and toiletries.  

 

What are you planning to purchase this month? Do you have special celebratory meals planned for graduations or Father's Day? Is your garden producing anything that you can add to your meals?

 

 

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April's Grocery Shopping Plans

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Strawberries and artichokes The Prudent Homemakerjpg

This month we'll be adding one more teenaged boy to our home, as a dear friend's son from France will be coming to stay. That means I will have 11 to feed, with one being a baby and three being teenagers. My budget this month for food, cleaning supplies, and toiletries is $250.

From the garden, we'll harvest loads of Swiss chard, which will be steamed and served with lemon juice (from our lemons), sauteed with garlic, and put in soups. We'll have salads with lettuce and radishes from the garden, and I'll cut rosemary, parsley, garlic chives, green onions, thyme, and other herbs. I'll harvest turnips, snow peas, artichokes, and lemons.

Strawberry Jam The Prudent Homemaker

Strawberries go on sale this time of year, and I will buy them at $0.99 a pound to make strawberry shortcakes, to go on cheesecakes, to go on crepes, to can strawberry vanilla jam, and to freeze for smoothies and future strawberry shortcakes. I'll look for sales on these wherever they can be found throughout the month.

We have three birthdays to celebrate this month, so I'll make sure to pick up some ice cream too.

I'm also planning to make cheesecake, so I'll look for sales on cream cheese at $1 for an 8 ounce container.

 

Sam's Club:

Tomato sauce (in the #10 can)

Canned tomatoes (in a #10 can)

Mozzarella cheese

Whipping cream

Eggs

Aveeno baby lotion

 

Winco:

Milk

Sour cream

White chocolate chips

Potatoes

Gold N Soft Margarine (in a 3-pound tub)

Cream cheese (I'll look for it at $1  pound  an  8-ounce block or under for the holiday)

 

Vons:

Whole chicken and Leg Quarters ($0.67 a pound)

Colgate toothpaste ($1)

Strawberries ($0.99; limit of 2)

 

Smith's:

Ice cream

Mandarin oranges (on sale as part of the case-lot sale)

Strawberries (no limit)

Milk

 

What are you stocking up on this month?

 

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March's Grocery Shopping Plans

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Radish Bouquet The Prudent Homemaker 

We have radishes, lemons, Swiss chard, beets, a tiny bit of asparagus, arugula and several herbs ripe in the garden. We should have snow peas, lettuce, and spinach lettuce ready later in the month.

 

Here are my shopping plans for the month. We'll eat mostly from the pantry and freezers.

 

Sam's Club:

Sugar

Mozzarella cheese

Whipping cream

Flour tortillas

Corn tortillas

Milk

Lawry's Chicken and Poultry rub seasoning (on sale this month)

Best Foods mayonnaise (on sale this month)

Tomato sauce (in the #10 can)

 

Winco:

Kidney beans

Milk

Spreadable margarine

Potatoes

 

Target:

Trash bags

Oxi-Clean stain remover

I'll use a $15 off $50 coupon that was in Sunday's ad for these items (I don't get the paper but my mom gave me the ad; you can get it through Target Cartwheel as well I believe). The coupon is really specific about what items apply, but I normally buy the Target brand trash bags and oxi-clean, and both of these qualify.

 

Smith's:

Ice cream: on sale plus there is another $0.49 off digital coupon on their website that I will upload first

I'll also pick up last week's Friday Freebie (a Lindt chocolate) and this week's if it is one I like. Friday Freebie deals at Kroger affiliates need to loaded to your store card on Friday and are available to pick up for 2 weeks.

 

Albertson's:

Strawberries: $0.99 a pound this week; I imagine they'll go on sale again this month too.

Clementines: $2.99 for a 3-pound bag

Albertson's is having a Monopoly game right now. My mom and the woman she takes shopping are giving me all of their Monopoly pieces, plus I have a few of my own. The game pieces are attached to coupons. I have 2 instant win coupons that I will use to pick up a free 8-ounce container of sour cream and a free 26-ounce container of salt.

 

I'll look for sales on the following items. My target price is $0.99 a pound for each of these, except for the cabbage, which I hope to find for $0.39 or less a pound:

 

Asparagus

Cabbage

Frozen petite peas

 

What sales are you looking for this month? 

 

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February's Grocery Shopping Plans

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February Radish The Prudent Homemaker

I'm grateful for the opportunity last month of not shopping to empty the fridge and work on clearing out the freezers. The freezers still have quite a bit left in them and I always strive to keep the pantry full; there is plenty there still. 

This month we'll work on eating more of the fruit from the freezers and pantry (as well as meat from the freezer). This will give me some space to stock up on some meat sales. There's already a great one starting today (whole chickens for $0.57 a pound!) so I'm glad that we've been eating from the freezer.

The seedlings in the garden slowed down their growth quite a bit when we had a frost and a cold week just recently, but the weather is warming and by February 10th it should be in the low 70ºs ( 22ºC). I'm experimenting with planting more seeds earlier than usual, going by the soil temperature rather than dates, with the hopes of a good harvest before it gets too hot for plants to flower in the summer.

We still have lots of beet greens and Swiss chard that we're harvesting several times a week, lemons on the trees, and various herbs that are ready. By the end of the month, I hope to begin to harvest a lot more from the garden!

 

Here's what's on my list:

 

Sam's Club:

Mozzarella cheese

Flour tortillas

Corn tortillas

Pinto beans

Almonds

Chocolate chips

Toilet paper

Goat Cheese

Feta Cheese

Ketchup

Tomato sauce

Eggs

 

Winco:

Milk

Plain Greek Yogurt (to use as a starter to make more yogurt)

Spreadable Margarine

Sour cream

Garlic

Potatoes

Carrots

Broccoli

Onions

Possibly other produce depending on prices; they have sales but no ads, so I'll see what prices are when I get there.

 

Alberston's:

whole chickens ($0.57 a pound)

avocados (medium ones are the jaw-dropping price of 3 for $1, with a limit of 6)

frozen petite peas 

 

Vons:

Boneless pork loin $1.79/lb

Raspberries (on sale for 0.99 for 6 ounces, which is incredibly low; limit 4)

avocados (medium 3 for $1, limit 6)

 

Target:

Diapers (There is an in-ad coupon that will give you a $25 Target gift card if you spend $100 on baby items. I'll buy 4 boxes of diapers).

Oxi-clean spray refill

 

I love having a full enough pantry that I can wait for the amazing sales and only stock up at the lowest prices!

My budget for this month is $400.

Arugula The Prudent Homemaker

 Arugula (Rocket) 

 

 

 

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