Grocery Shopping

April’s Grocery Shopping Plans

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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70 Comments

  1. Hi, Brandy.

    How will you use your turnips? We have some in our garden, but I don’t think I’ve ever cooked them before . . . . Also, you’ve mentioned in the past that you have beets/beet greens. How do you use your beet roots? (We have those growing as well.)

    Thanks!

  2. I am assuming the young man joining your family is the son of your friends with whom you have been skyping all these years 🙂 is he coming as an exchange student or just visiting? Are your children excited? What are they planning as far as ‘showing him around’? Just very curious 🙂
    I came to the USA 15 years ago as a part of a cultural exchange myself.

  3. I use turnips and parsnips in chicken and dumplings. The recipe comes from Mad Hungry – Lucinda Quinn. It is delicious.

  4. I roast beets that I grow in the garden–with skins on, washed well. Leave 1″ of stems attached. When done, I cool, slip off the skins and then slice or dice and freeze. Easiest way I have determined to do it so far.

    April’s shopping for me: should be pretty simple because I am downsizing what I keep on hand in the freezer and I’ve stocked up on specials as they have come along. I need [u]lentils[/u, and some Easter basket items. I bought some things already with coupons so [u]chocolate bunnies[/u] (BOGO this week) and [u]jelly beans[/u] will do it, I think. Talked my DD into making some chocolate covered pretzels for my husband’s birthday next week. I had a bag of Gearadelhi’s (sp?) left from Christmas stock up and I gave her $ for the pretzels because she was shopping today. [u]Walnuts[/u] are on coupon special this week for $5.99/#. I should have asked her if she was going to use her coupon, but I forgot to. One pound at that price will be a help–I like them in granola, and everything else I can think of! I am looking for a[u] ham[/u] at a good price but haven’t seen the price I want yet. I am down to one more package in the freezer. That is all I have in mind right now. I did find the 4 meals worth of Italian sausage that my husband couldn’t find in the freezer—I told him the wrong freezer to look in! I knew we had some because I just put it in there a couple weeks ago.

  5. I have never cooked with them either, however I have heard and read that they are a great addition to stews. I look forward to the responses because I will be growing them in my garden this year, hopefully 🙂

  6. We always grew up eating turnips mashed with butter and salt/pepper (like mashed potatoes). I always like to eat them peeled and raw as well. Raw they are peppery like a radish.

  7. This month, I need to really work on upgrading my food storage. Now that my youngest daughter is 3 and starting to eat more, I need to make sure I’ve got plenty stored. Ill be taking stock of everything and planning purchases over the next several months accordingly. I also need to rotate things that might be getting a bit old.

    Here are the things I know I need to buy:
    -Cold & flu medicines (we’ve gone through 2 rounds of flu this year!)
    -Herbal teas & tea bags
    -Ice cream
    -Milk/juice/fresh fruit & veggies (whatever is on sale)
    -Canned pineapple
    -Ingredients for dirt cake for Easter
    -Whole chicken
    -Chicken breasts
    -Pasta shapes (anything other than spaghetti)
    -Ground beef
    -Soft white pastry wheat
    -Spices – I am low on almost everything.
    -Natural charcoal & a bin to store it in
    -Miracle Grow garden soil to top off our raised beds. I see Lowe’s has it for $2/bag right now. We will mix it with bulk purchased compost and top soil to bring the soil level up. It settled a lot last year with all the rain we had.

  8. I plan to purchase eggs, ham and turkey because I am hoping they will be on sale for Easter. I prepare Easter dinner for approximately 30 people. I already have a turkey in the freezer for the dinner. I will cook the turkey, mashed potatoes, asparagus and pies and others will bring the fill-in dishes. I already have everything I need for the pies so just have to purchase 10 lbs of potatoes.

  9. Cream cheese has become so expensive lately. It used to be .88 for the store brand, but the cheapest it has been lately is 4/5.00. My backlog has pretty much run out so I did buy 8 for 10.00 a month or so ago. Hopefully there will be a sale on it soon so I can get more.

    The grocer had a coupon for 18 large eggs for .99 and a coupon for a free large 12 eggs. I put those in the extra fridge to use for coloring eggs for Easter. We’re going to a family birthday this weekend so will be close enough to the cheese factory that we will buy 5 lb block each of mild cheddar and aged cheddar and 2 of Swiss.

    Other than fresh vegetables for salads, milk and fresh fruit there are no other staples on the list.

  10. How fun for your boys to have a “French exchange student” living with them! I’m sure they will learn many things from each other, especially how to communicate when they don’t understand the words. We go through this every summer at our work with young students on exchange from Quebec. Some are very good at speaking English and others struggle more. I admire them all for their bravery. I am terrible at speaking French, despite taking it in school since grade 4!

    By the way, those strawberries look soooo gooooood!!!! We have to wait until June for ours.:p

  11. I was at Sam’s Club this morning and their Member’s Mark Cream Cheese 3 lb. package was $5.98.
    This is in Los Angeles county.

  12. OUCH! I never buy cream cheese at Sam’s Club. It’s always lower somewhere else. There are usually sales for $1 or $0.99 at the grocery store at Christmas and Easter, so I try to stock up then. If you’re looking for some, I hope you can find a better price.

  13. Lucky you to have three teenagers in the house. Most of my friends thought I had lost my mind, but I loved the teenage years. Our house was the one they seemed to congregate at. Who knew that living around the corner from a 7-11 could be such a good thing. They’d go there for their mid-afternoon snacks (with their own money) and then stay on for dinner. I have very fond memories of those years.

  14. Yes, he is. They homeschool too so he will have school at home with us while he is here.

    His parents just want him to live a normal, every day life with us. We’ve definitely planned a few more activities for fun :D, and the children have some fun things going on right now that he will also get to do, including a youth conference with a dance and a service project. He’ll be here for Easter and a few family birthdays. He will get to go to the LDS temple here too. We’re still working out a few activities (that depend on other people) that should be fun as well.

    What things did you enjoy the most when you came to the U.S.?

  15. Isn’t the 3 lbs equivalent to 6 8 oz packages? Around here $1 for an 8 oz block of cream cheese isn’t too bad. I don’t like to buy a 3 lb. block though because it spoils faster than the individual packages. I don’t go through it that fast.

  16. We use beets in borscht and to make a flourless chocolate cake. (There are a number of recipes on line). I also use them to dye my Easter eggs a deep red.

  17. I am with you, SJ. I love teens; babies and toddlers not so much. Luckily, my husband was the baby lover. It wasn’t that I didn’t love the babies, but I found them sort of boring compared to teens.

  18. I went to Sams Club over the weekend. Spent $300!!!! Ouch. I buy most of all of our groceries here. I can not beat their prices for canned fruit,cereal,bottled water,bags of Kraft Cheese,fresh fruit,OJ,butter,organic milk,fresh meat and snacks the kids love. O feed 1 adult and 2 kids. This haul will last us for approx 4 weeks.

  19. My shopping plans for April are basically to buy necessities and continue using the meat and frozen veggies in my freezers.
    We need potatoes, sweet potatoes, coffee, vinegar and apple cider vinegar. I have about an inch of vinegar and 2 inches of coffee in my canister and that is it.
    I will continue to buy milk, eggs, bread and fresh veggies and fruit as needed thru the month.
    For Easter I would like to get a spiral or honey baked ham and a turkey breast. Easter basket goodies come out of our holiday budget.

  20. For any Canadians (specifically Ontarians) reading this, No Frills has skinless (but not boneless) chicken breast for $1.99/lb this week. I think that’s the best price I generally see. Which is why I’ll be stocking up on that this month!

    Aside from that, I really just need milk, produce, and cheese. I’m happily trying to use up odds and ends from my pantry, and I’m well-stocked with pretty much all shelf-stable staples. Except for chocolate. I do need more chocolate. But doesn’t everyone? 😀

  21. April is another “under $100” food budget month. We’re continuing to eat from our pantry and freezer, so we’re really only buying perishables.

    Some recipe highlights for this month are roast chicken, chicken and dumpling soup, split pea soup, enchilada casserole, chili, and spaghetti. These should help use up a few ingredients from the pantry and freezer, so that we don’t have to move them with us in June.

  22. Turnips you can boil,mash, fry or roast them alone or with a roast.I use them just like white potatoes.
    Beetroots (AKA beets) can be boiled and skinned, roasted and skinned, pickled after you boil them. Peeled and sliced and fried or roasted…baby beets I don’t bother to peel…older beets the skin is tough. I make a salad with boiled beets sliced and horseradish cream dressing on a bed of lettuce (no lettuce if I don’t have any).
    I love beets, Hubby doesn’t but will eat them roasted or in a salad

  23. cut it in blocks and wrap in foil and put in frig or freezer. I use what comes out of freezer in sauces. I’ve kept cream cheese this way for several months. I do remind Hubby not to buy Greek cream cheese, it doesn’t last as long for us.

  24. It is not wise to go to the store and forget the grocery list….but I did remember the coupons. We BOTH forgot the apples for Hubby’s lunch so he said he would just use whatever we have in cans.We will be in town on Saturday so we can get apples then. No special trips.
    We are focusing on him retiring end of this year or beginning of next yr instead of 2019/2020. Changes in the budget to save up for buying a house or at least moving from here as we are only in this area because of the job. Not in a big hurry to move, landlord doesn’t want us to move LOL.
    I found canned veggies on sale buy 2 get 3 free at the store so got some of those for the emergency supplies because my veggies are either in canning jars or frozen.
    Pleasure for the week…my spring flowers have bloomed and my older dogs (almost 100 yrs in people yrs) walks through them and smells them each morning and each night… I am trying to learn the wisdom she is showing me.
    http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2017/04/buying-for-april.html

  25. On the few occasions I have frozen it, it thaws out separated and watery. So, it’s just not the same. I used it in cooking, and I remember it being fine, but certainly not for spreading on a bagel or anything. I, along with Brandy, have been very successful keeping it for months in the back of the fridge, or in the extra fridge when I had one.

  26. Wrll, we are having tornado watches, warnings, and severe thunderstorm warnings in the deep South today, and also last Monday. My power went out Monday and I had to fi,ish getting ready for work by flashlight. My ice cream had thawed out by the time I got off from work, and I had to toss it. I had collards and chicken in freezer partially thawed, as well as figs and mulbetries. I quickly cooked the collards with the chicken, instead of ham, and I baked the figs with the mulberries with a little sugar. These were foraged mulberries from my tree, and the figs were from the tree that was in my late mother’s yard. So, my grocery plans will now include ice cream, a ham, and sugar for April. Hopefully, we will not have any more bad storms this spring.

  27. When we had ice cream melt, we poured it into a jar and used it as coffee creamer until it ran out. Kept in the fridge for a week—and I have to say more multiple cups of coffee were requested than ever before!!

  28. Brandy, I’ve been curious for a very long time. It does not seem like you buy diapers often. How do you save on diapers? How many diapers do you use a day? I buy diapers every months and a lot!

  29. Thanks Margaret I saw hat in the flyer too. I did a run to No Frills yesterday to get the 2.88 peanut butter as well as frozen pie shells (this I the one cheat I slays allow myself!!). I laughed this week because my mother in law texted me to ask if I knew a good sale in butter. I am really hoping tomorrow I will look in the flyers and find a good sale on butter. Superstore had boneless skinless chicken breast for 3.77 last week so I picked up a package. I really recommend Sale Whale to track flyers here. I find its the easiest way to look at the flyers we don’t get in the mail.

  30. Right now I have 4 large boxes of size 4 diapers (144 diapers in a box for size 4). I bought 4 boxes a couple of months ago when they were on sale at Target. They had a sale plus get a gift card back deal but you had to spend enough to get the gift card ($100). You could combine it with some other baby things for the sale but I just bought diapers, so I needed to buy 4 boxes to meet the minimum. He was growing out of the size 3 so I just bought up this last time and they are fitting him perfectly (I just opened the size 4 box a couple of days ago). It’s the largest boxes that they have at Target. I try to always buy when there is a sale plus gift card/coupons or whatever deal they have. I buy the Target brand (Up and Up). I always want to have diapers in reserve and especially bought at a lower price 🙂 Usually, throughout the year they have a buy 2 boxes get a $10 gift card sale and often a sale price on top of that.

  31. I have finished my shopping for April. (I do my biggest shop at month-end, when my income comes in. This month, I did my shopping for the whole month, with a few things purchased on the 5th to get things I couldn’t get the week before.)

    Great sales on frozen fruit, large cans of salmon, small cans of turkey and chicken, so I stocked up a bit. Good price on toilet paper and frozen vegetables. Also got potatoes and a 3 lb ham for Easter. It took me a while to find a ham that wasn’t highly processed and that wasn’t gigantic, since I am only feeding one person. Still want to buy a chocolate bunny – there is still a 6 year old inside of me. This comes from my personal spending money, though, not my grocery money.

    I am well under my normal spending on food for the month and with the amount of food in the house now, I don’t expect that to change.

    I am still surprised by the low prices you see in the U.S. Even allowing for the exchange rate, the prices you see are unheard of in Canada. Except potatoes all year and winter squash in the fall, which we seem to get at better prices for some reason. Anyway, I just buy by the best available price here.

  32. I am prepping for after my surgery on the 27th. I will be limited in what I can eat immediately after so i am making soups and putting them in the freezer as well as multiple loaves of my gluten free bread. I have to reorganize the freezer to even see what is in there as well so hubby can find things easier.
    * butter – I am hoping one of our stores has it for less and $3 a pound!
    * cream cheese
    * chicken breast and ground beef (we’ll buy these in bulk and I’ll vac seal it in 1 pound packages.
    * gluten free crackers and pasta + rice
    * carrots, celery and potatoes – all of the potatoes left from our garden have REALLY sprouted so they will be planted some time in the next couple weeks.
    * canned coconut and evaporated milk, powdered milk, instant potatoes and rice (emergency prep – we are going into severe storm season)
    * bandages – our daughter works for a drug company (in the lab) so she was able to replenish all of our first aid kit items that are almost out of date for just pennies but they don’t make bandages – the old stuff went into the household med supply.
    * case of water – we are on a well so when we lose power there’s no water unless we hook up the generator which can’t power everything at once. i also need more of the flavored lemonade packets to add to it.
    * bleach and laundry soap – again, i just want to be prepared for after surgery.
    * Cat, dog and poultry food and cat litter and cedar shavings for my poultry coops. I will be on weight restrictions so I won’t be able to do any lifting so I want to make sure it is all stocked up.
    That is alot and I hope I can get it all but once I told work (I had already given them a heads up that this would be getting scheduled and I gave them a months notice to hire someone if they needed too) that I would be on weight restrictions for 6 weeks and wouldn’t be able to do my job, the manager cut my hours way back – he is kinda passive aggressive and I think it is his way of communicating he is ticked off even though he told me originally that it would be no problem…..

  33. I buy diapers this way too but with the twins we go thru at least 16 per day sometimes more ! It is expensive!

    I would supplement with cloth here and there but DIL does not wish to do that.

  34. I’ve been looking out for those strawberry sales! I recently snagged tangelos for 99 cents a pound (low for our area). I zested them and removed the inner quarters. I now have a huge bag of frozen tangelos, which I’ve already used for snacks and for baking. It’s been awesome!

    Our garden is starting to produce food, which is fantastic. We’ve gotten a handful of strawberries as well as a gaggle of radishes. We’ll have to pickle the radishes pretty soon, since I anticipate having a huuuuuge crop.

  35. We don’t freeze cream cheese, but we make casseroles and whole baked cheesecakes that freeze very well. Many years ago when I worked at a restaurant, we kept dessert slices of cheesecake in the freezer all the time. I let my slices thaw in the fridge. Delicious!

  36. I second Juls on her many ideas. My mom also did one other thing with beet roots (which we love best just roasted and peeled) which is Harvard beets, cooking boiled, sliced beets in a sweet yet tangy, slightly thickened sauce.
    My dad loved turnip roots peeled, cubed and boiled with the greens and a little seasoning meat, such as ham hock or a piece of bacon. My husband loves them almost any way, but his favorite way is peeled, sliced and raw with salt and pepper, which I hate, by the way :).

  37. I plan to stock up on beef this month, then that should be it for stocking up on meat for a while. I noticed my white and black beans are low, so I’ll need to get those. We just got onions and we were given sweet potatoes. I just stocked up on organic sugar (for kombucha and a few items we still use sugar in). So, we’ll be getting frozen veggies, some dried beans, vinegar, which I use all over the house, beef, and salt. I am low on salt and since it keeps well, I stock up if it goes on sale. If not, I’ll still get some. I use Himalayan salt for eating and sea salt for cooking, but I can just use sea salt if it goes on sale.

  38. Well, if you’re from the South, you dice up turnips roots and add them in right in with your turnip greens! Delicious.

  39. I am hoping not to grocery shop much, so we have more money to put into new house, graduation and college.
    I have a lot of eggs right now so I plan to use up those and continue to buy only sale items.
    I will be baking a lot – as I have a lot of things to use up.

  40. Thank you so much for the explanation. I also use Target diapers with my second son and I like them a lot, they do the job just fine. I only bought Pampers and Huggies (on sale plus coupons) for my first child even our income was so much lower them.

  41. just a note Athansia, here in B.C. Canada Philadelphia cream cheeses go on sale for $2.99 !! my favorite is the salmon flavored.
    ann lee s. eggs vary widely @ $2.69 doz up to $5.99 doz . there is a 30% difference in our dollar value though, $1.00 US is about $1.30 Canadian.

  42. Elizabeth, keep in mind that I am looking for the loss leaders that go on sale seasonally. I also have a number of grocery stores in our area, so there is competition. This week, the price on strawberries at one store is $2.99–three times what the price was last week at a different store. I know strawberries are going to go on sale here in April and so I look for the seasonal sale price, and I only buy then. I save a lot of money shopping this way. Strawberries have become available almost all year now, but still the best price comes in April. In another part of the country, strawberry sales are probably going to be seasonal in June.

    I’m really grateful to have Winco here now, with potato prices at $0.25 a pound year-round. At the same store that had strawberries for $0.99 last week, potatoes were $3.98 for a 10-pound bag. I never pay that much and used to stock up more in the fall because of it. Now I can buy potatoes more often at the same price as in fall. It definitely depends on the store; these two stores are right down the road from each other.

    That said, I do think prices are higher in Canada.

  43. I freeze it. It gets crumbly, but certainly fine for cooking. I like to keep boneless skinless chicken breasts in freezer. For a quick delicious meal : throw breasts, a jar of Picante sauce on low. Add a block of cream cheese about 1/2 before your ready to serve. Mix it in and shred chicken. Serve in tortillas or with rice or noodles. Relish!

  44. I will continue to stock up on anything we use that is free or almost free. This week I obtained some great coupons from Recycle bank that will give me 8.00 off of an order at my grocery store. I should get around 120.00 in free groceries by using store and competitor coupons on bogos. I will break this down into 4 separate trips. My income has dropped so low that this is necessary. I will be getting 20 items each of spaghetti sauce and Liptod’s tea bags .I will be rolling some high dollar Tena coupons to get another 100.00 worth of items at CVS. I love free tp and laundry soap. I am really loving all the extra ECB,s they send me. My car wreck injuries keep me from working but gives me plenty of time to figure out free or almost free deals. I imagine eggs will be on my list next week. My Aldis had them at 89. Yesterday but I expect them to drop close to half by Easter. For those of you who buy diapers the deals at Amazon using the Amazon mom discount can be massive when using their promotions. We have bought cases of Huggies for as little as 6 cents a diaper

  45. Just picked up my years supply of popcorn, rice, wheat to grind and rolled oats. I admit that finding storage room is taxing, but the gift of being set for the year is a relief. Much cheaper too! As an aside, we are again using a larger mini-fridge to cut electric costs. My son is going to commute to college from this point on and he brought it back home. We once used a mini-fridge for a five year stretch. We stopped when the house started to be overrun with tweens and teenagers. There have been some user errors, but nothing too daunting!

  46. Our very best prices wouldn’t reach the low prices that people talk about here. It is funny but sometimes the best time for us to buy is someone else’s season – tomatoes and red peppers were less expensive this winter than I ever saw last summer during our growing season.

    It is not just on produce, but on eggs ($1.99 would be an exceptional price), meat (you could find turkey at .99 a lb around the holidays, but not ham, and chicken is never below $1.49, I’m thrilled at $1.88), and milk products (butter never below 2.99 a lb, cheese and cream cheese twice the price too). In the city, I know one store where there is sometimes a loss leader on strawberries for 99 cents a lb, but a limit of one or two lb. In my rural location, eggs are available at 99 cents a dozen the day after boxing day, with a limit of one or two dozen.

    There are several good sales a year on potatoes, always the same weeks of the year, and spread out through the year. As with you, they are often on sale throughout the year at other times as well now, so there isn’t as much need to stock up in such large quantities. If I had a family like yours, I’d be able to buy them direct from a growers’ association, which sells them at 50 lb for $10. Too big a bag for me to manage, though. Winter squash are easy to find at 68 cents a lb in the fall, even 48 cents on a loss leader, and there are usually free squash available from friends and on “extra produce” tables (my library has one). Most varieties store well through the winter if you have a cool place to keep them. (Something we have no shortage of.)

    I’ve learned a lot from you, especially buying in larger amounts at sale prices, and holding out for the best sale price. Larger quantities on things like oil and flour have made the biggest difference to my budget, though I love the wins from sale prices!

  47. A turnip is a great addition to any vegetable soup. If I have them, I always like to add them as they add a great depth of flavor. Like Dara, I eat them raw and also mashed like potatoes. I add just a tad of sugar to mine when they are cooked, along with the butter.

  48. One more idea for beets: They are great just peeled, sliced thinly, then fried in a pan that you previously used to fry bacon in. Top with a bit of salt and pepper, crumble some bacon on top (or not)… Super good.

  49. Elizabeth M. I totally agree with your price analysis for Ontario. The idea of buying eggs for under a dollar just blows my mind! Rare is the day that we even see sales on eggs for $0.99! It does make you wonder why the huge price difference, that’s for sure. We do, however, have great sales for other things in our area, if you know what to to watch for and how to preserve them to use throughout the year.

    I buy 10lb bags of carrots on sale in the fall for around $1.50 to $2/bag. I buy 20-30lbs, then blanch and freeze them to use throughout the winter. Usually they also have 10lb bags of beets and onions around the same price. I don’t like beets or onions, but if I did, I’d find a way to preserve them as well for winter use. When fresh broccoli hits $1 or less per bunch, I grab up several to blanch for freezer, too. I sometimes buy large quantities of other veggies relatively cheaply at farmers markets or roadside stands, like green beans and corn, when they are in season to blanch and freeze for winter as well. Honestly though, sometimes it is just as cheap to buy frozen veggies by the bag.

    I like to buy a flat or two of peaches and a basket or two of pears when in season for canning. I even canned fresh pineapple when it was on sale for $1-2. This provides some variety to our diet during the long winter, when fresh fruit choices are limited. We always buy a bushel or two of apples in the fall to make apple pies, and apple crisp for the freezer. These are frozen unbaked and cooked as needed for holidays, when we have guests over or just for a treat once in a while. We’ve even sold pies to friends who don’t like to bake! I usually can applesauce (sometimes cooked with other fruit or berries for added flavour) and have experimented with making apple jelly from the peels and cores. Fresh apples are relatively cheap in the winter, but bushels are even cheaper in season.

    I usually watch for sales on smoked hams around Christmas and Easter. I often get them for around $5-7/800g. I then slice them up as shaved ham and/or ham steaks and freeze them in family sized portions. It may not be as cheap as the states, but it still beats paying over $1/100g for cold meat. Sometimes I buy an extra turkey or two when they go on super cheap around Thanksgiving. I then use the extra turkeys at Christmas and Easter, when the sales seem to be not low.

    So even though our prices are higher, some of the ideas presented here are still very useful. We just have to adjust it to fit for what is available for us!

  50. I agree. I buy cooking oil and vinegar now in gallons, which I wouldn’t have thought to do before. The oil goes surprisingly fast. We live in a high price area for groceries too–little competition is one reason. Only 2 major stores plus Aldi’s and Walmart. Target has a grocery dept but it is small. I pay $3.98 for FIVE pounds of potatoes although I do try to get them when they are BOGO. Apples, which grow all around us, never get below $1 a lb even in season–unless you buy large quantities, like a bushel–which is too much for the two of us.

  51. Hi Brandy, today’s paper ads show the first of the California strawberries arrival, selling for $4.99 per lb.
    your photo of the berries looked SO delicious! I’ll wait a while until the prices are lower. Ann Lee S Vancouver Island BC

  52. My family always boils turnips and carrots and then mashed them together coarsely for a thanksgiving side dish. It’s delicious especially with a little butter and salt. My mouth is watering thinking about it!

  53. Hi Dara – I have three suggestions for stocking up on good quality spices at good prices:
    1. Natural food store or anywhere with bulk bins. The price per pound on the spices/herbs is staggering, but the cost for refilling one of my “standard” spice jars worked out to be less than a dollar for each one I purchased recently.
    2. If the spices you need are traditionally used in Indian cooking, then an Indian ethnic food store will have them at fabulous prices.
    3. I learned from Brandy about San Francisco Herb Company. Most spices are sold in larger quantity bags but the prices are very good. I buy ground cinnamon, sea salt, cocoa powder, powdered coconut milk, and in the past poppy seeds.

  54. I have other water besides the bottles 🙂 Three 55 gallon rain barrels + a 15 gallon one in the house which would have to be treated to be drinkable for us (we do have a purifier too). I usually have a kid’s wading pool filled as well for our ducks which could be scooped for flushing toilets. We are also in Michigan – we are less than 2 miles from multiple sources of water. I am hoping to work the swagbucks better than I have been so I can use those gift cards for necessities since money is going to be really, really tight.

  55. Yes. However it needs to be vacuum sealed. Note though that it will have to be an ingredient and cooked. Freezing separates the cheese. I use it for a veggie dip, frostings and cheese cake.

  56. We continue to eat out of the freezer and pantry. Making progress but with only two of us, it takes a while. I had four turkeys in the freezer and two hams, now have about half of that left! The sales at the grocery stores haven’t been very intriguing so that is helping me avoid fabulous deals 🙂

  57. I will pick up 2 hams tomorrow – they should do us for a year. I picked up lettuce, carrots, and a couple of quarts of heavy cream for ham quiche, whipped cream, and cream sauces. Otherwise, no additional grocery shopping is planned this month. Although, if my colleague goes to Costco, I will ask her to pick up rubbing alcohol and vinegar for cleaning my laminate floors.

  58. Cream cheese at our Aldi is $.89 for an 8 oz block. Not sure if you have an Aldi nearby. It’s good cream cheese. I use it in my pumpkin rolls and on bagels. I love everything about your blog and am very thankful for all that you share.

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