Armenian Cucumbers on Scale The Prudent Homemaker

Last year’s Armenian cucumbers


It’s the 11th of August and I still haven’t been to the grocery store.

I have, however, finally written down my priorities for the month, which are all long-term pantry items. 

I never did make it to Walmart last month, instead choosing to buy multiples of some items at Sam’s Club while I was there, so all of last month’s Walmart items are on my list, plus a few more. I also didn’t make it to Winco, but my husband ran in to get margarine and potatoes, so I have the other Winco items on my list as well. I also somehow forgot to purchase some things on my Sam’s Club list! Those are back on my list for this month.

The garden is full of herbs (basil, mints, thyme, rosemary, oregano, chives).

My red noodle beans are coming in. I have more vines that are growing, too, which should increase my yield.

The first two of my Armenian cucumbers are starting to ripen on the vine, and I think we’ll get quite a few this month. If you recall from photos I’ve posted in the past, these can easily get two feet long without being bitter. Also, as they are technically a melon, they can be left on the vine longer to turn into a large, peach colored, sweet melon. I love that they serve a double duty in the garden. 

My Asian pears are ripe this month, and my Bartletts may be ripe this month as well.

My Jonagold apples are ripe this month.

We’re still cutting green onions (we harvest those all year long).

I plan on harvesting a good number of grape leaves this month.

I expect some other things will be ripe as well, including Thai peppers, and hopefully a few more tomatoes. 

We were also blessed this month with zucchini from friends’ gardens and peaches from my father-in-law’s tree. I’m hoping my own zucchini plants produce, but they are not flowering yet.



Brown lentils

Pink Beans

Old-Fashioned Oats

Non-iodized salt (for canning pickles)

Couscous (I haven’t bought this from here before, but I haven’t bought any in a long time and I know they sell it in bulk)




Knorr Tomato Bullion powder

Vegetable Oil

Powdered milk


Sam’s Club:

POM toilet paper


Knorr Chicken Bullion powder

White vinegar (I’ll need several gallons for the pickles I will can from our cucumbers this year)

Mozzarella cheese



All-Pupose flour




My mom has a card, so I’ll go with her for some things.


Balsamic vinegar

Tomato Sauce


.99 Store:

My mom usually goes to this store once a month, so I’ll either go with her or ask her to pick these up for me.

Cotton Swabs (1000 in a package)



I did run to Target earlier this month to purchase a couple of clothing items for my daughter that she needed for camp. I will be watcing Totally Target blog for any deals on items that we can use that are worth a trip. I am grateful for this blogger who helps me match up the coupons, Target Cartwheel, and sales at Target.

Eye drops (store brand)

Antibiotic ointment (store brand)

Zest soap


In addition, I’ll watch for great sales on items I need. In years past, I have purchased peaches and pears on sale to can in August.  I may or may not purchase either of these, depending on prices this year.


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  1. The Knorr tomato bullion can be brought at Sam’s for less than Walmart. I buy it at Sam’s here in TX. What Sam’s does not sell that I do not understand why not is vinegar. I went this past weekend to Sam’s and did a stock up. Our toilet paper supply had got low. I like the Pom brand because it comes wrapped up and will not get dirty or dusty sitting in my laundry room on a shelf waiting to be used.

  2. Hi Brandy and it seems you have another busy month planned as well as us.

    Our goals for this month grocery wise are to stock up on –

    – 9 tins of chicken (completes our 3 month supply)
    – 10 tins of tuna ( completes our 3 month supply)
    – Keep an eye out for specials on powdered milk ( we need around 17 more 1 kg packets to complete our 3 month storage on these), herbs and tinned vegetables aiming to get around 12 tins each of carrots, beans and corn), we currently have around 4 of each.
    – We managed to find a huge half price special on 4 bean mixes and baked beans so have stocked them to up to meet our 3 month food supply.
    – We have also stocked up on most of the herbs and spices we need and only need a couple more yeah.
    – We have also managed to stock up more on oats at recently reduced prices also, and don’t need any more at the moment.
    -Stocked up also on multi vitamins for my husband and iron tablets on special too, so don’t need any more of them either currently.
    -Will be looking for specials on vitamin c tablets that I have to take with my iron tablets and will stock up then.
    -Will also be looking for any meat specials we can find, especially whole chickens and will stock up then.

    We are so blessed that we are getting close to our 3 month food supply now, and it seems every time I am looking for something for our food storage that it comes on super special. So I do know that we are being watched, cared and looked out for.

    Have a great week and tell Ezrom to keep up his very talented leather work too.

  3. i continue to dry 23trays of apples a day i stirred up more pumpkin pie spice …i made another batch of salsa we are coming to the end of our apple tree apples. last week i was sealing the dry apples had 25qts sealed had two more to go and my sealer stopped i was so sad but when cooled did not work so i opened it up and found a part had come out we pushed it back in and i tested it on a jar of pasta so that was happy. I also was given a blouse too big for me it has lace at bottom and is some unusual pink i found a floss on clearance that had this color in a variegated form so for 49 cents i was able to match and used it to fix two holes in the lace and i had a piece of fabric that matched and i made a tie belt to help with it being too big. i have still worked on gifts and found more free patterns to use to make gifts. I dried three large zucchini in dices and saved the seed. My sis is coming to spend the nite and i made an angel food cake her fav and i will measure dry ingred for making pumpkin muffins in the morning i will do two times so down the road for another batch. so that has been my week now to empty the trays and reload with the last of the apples i have been ofered more from a friend..

  4. I have been reading your blog for years, it is my favorite. I love that you write about such practical, helpful ideas and yet it is almost like poetry because of the beauty of its simplicity. You are a great encouragement to me and so many others, thanks for all the hard work you do to share with your readers.

    Quick question. What do you do with your grape leaves?


  5. I’m curious as to what you use grape leaves for? I planted a grape vine a couple of years ago and it hasn’t produced grapes yet but I have plenty of leaves.

  6. I am so glad to see you have your shopping plans formulated. With your large family and all you do with the garden and canning, it’s a wonder that you can find time to make a list.

    I am trying to cut back on my reliance on things from the market. So I am going to make mayo for the first time this week. I was able to get peaches to can for a $ 1.18 a lb. Which is a good price for NY.

  7. I am a frequent reader of your blog, and I enjoy reading it very much. You are an inspiration to me and, I am sure, to many other homemakers whose daily aspirations are to make the most of their time and blessings. We live in the California Central Valley, so I think our climates are sort of similar, as far as planting times go. Right now, much of our summer garden is harvested and some pulled out, and our trees have given their bounties. The Armenian cucumbers look great, and I will note down to try those next year. I think they do well in very hot climates (?) I had a friend here tell me that they did well for her.

    This will be the first year that I will attempt to plant a fall/winter garden. Since you are a more experienced gardener, I am going to try to follow your timings a little bit, and also by my planting guide for the valley. We have so many seeds to plant for a fall/winter garden, so I am very excited to give it another try and have more variety coming out of the garden. I have one question pertaining to this: After you have pulled the old plants out and before you replant your next seeds, do you fertilize/add compost to your soil? If so, do you mix it in and let that sit for a while before you plant your next seeds?

    Thanks again for all that you do!

  8. As always, you amaze me. I am curious about tomato bouillon …does it make sauce or tomato broth,like the chicken bouillon does…how do you use it? As a soup starter? I am also stocking pantry for winter…flour.sugar chic chips .yeast…canned tomatoes …buying gr beef when it is in sale…I have a turkey and 3 roasting chickens in the freezer …8 pork tenderloin and 10 pork Loin roasts..thank you…you have been such a blessing to me and all of us

  9. Brandy, you have me hooked on tomato bouillon. I sprinkle it on my chicken when I grill it and add it to pasta and rice. The first time I purchased it, they only had the small bottle. This time they had both and I got the big one.
    I am curious. You have growing children. When you pick just a handful of strawberries or something, do you just allow them to eat those?
    I’m sure you don’t post many for privacy reasons, but I would love to see photos of your home and how it is decorated.

  10. You know, until I read your blog I never thought of doing a shopping goals list. Boy does it ever help to keep me motivated and on track about what to purchase! Thank you for that :).

    I’m really trying hard to stock the pantry as well as I can for winter (9 months here) and looking at the fireweed I’m worried we’re going to have an early winter, so that doesn’t help my anxiousness.

    My at home goals for the pantry are to get salsa canned this month, get some more jelly made and I found a bag of cranberries in my freezer, so some more cranberry sauce is probably going to get canned too.

    The rest of my list for the month can be found here…

  11. I have honey on my list, and salt. I need to get a big thing of cumin and chili powder. I need more vinegar. I have to look for shoes for my son and socks, amazingly I FOUND a huge trove of socks: my children have been pulling them off in the car and I found them all stuffed under the passenger seat. LOL. I would just sigh and scold them for taking their shoes off but never really thought “where are their socks?” hahaaa I have to pick up tea tree oil shampoo, my son starts kindergarten and during the Great Lice Escapade, my husband escaped unscalthed. It had to be the shampoo, so everyone is getting it now that school is starting. I’d like to never to that again, if you please God.

  12. My granddaughter was almost stricken by lice—a friend who teaches in Spain came home for a while this summer and spent a night with her just before discovering she had some hitchhikers!! She then banished herself to her Mother’s house fora week—I guess she had a bad case. Both my daughter and another of her teacher friends gave her and her house a good going over, without finding any! Then she tells me that she and her boyfriend were both walking around barefoot in her apartment, until she found out that he had athlete’s foot, and now she has picked that up!! She is using two different items to cure her feet and her house!! She can’t be mad at him, though, because he just moved to NYC and she misses him terribly, although she does not want to live there herself. It’s a dilemma!! She is learning a lot of things that she never had to deal with before since getting her own place, although she still hasn’t learned much about cooking. She visited last night and asked if Grandma would please make dinner while she was here. Of course I did, and gave her leftovers as well. I also talked her into going to The Taste of Home Cooking Show which will be in our area in October. Maybe she can pick up a couple cooking hints there. I’ve been before with my daughter but she doesn’t like cooking and didn’t care to go again!! Tickets have not gone on sale yet, but they’re advertising, so I hope I can get them when they do go on sale. And I hope it’s not during the next week when I’m away!! My dearest dream is to teach this granddaughter to cook and to budget –so far I haven’t done well with her, but it’s not for lack of trying.

  13. Hi Celia was so laughing about the missing sock monster I used to talk about when my children were young. I had a rule if it doesn’t go in the laundry basket I don’t wash it.

    It wasn’t until one of my sons was down to his last pair that I discovered the stash of dirty socks and underwear under his bed that I knew where they went. They were in charge of cleaning their rooms from an early age. It did however teach him a lesson as unbeknown to me he had been wearing the same pair of underwear also for 2 days rather than get the dirty clothes and put them in the laundry basket :D, from under the bed.

  14. Brandy, I like how you do your grocery plan. A lot of thought into what you might need in the future. How long has it been since you shopped? Do you have to make any quick runs to the store in between or do you only rely on what you have and go once a month? I have stopped my midweek stops for little things and I am amazed how much I save. And I also have a ton of food in my house but it seems like there is always something that we are out of. I am learning to come up with substitutions.

  15. I made a list this week estimating how much of the pantry items we use in a year, including TP, paper towel and laundry soap (no one here appreciates the homemade stuff so I match sales to coupons). Hubby’s job load has picked up again since we are headed to fall and cooler weather so we had the funds to rebuild our “stash” as I call it. We had eaten it down to bare shelves over the last 3 months. I spent 2 days this week doing huge stock up shopping trips and putting it all away in the pantry and closets. Most of what I bought was on sale as well. Some will have to wait for the fall case sales (veggies and some fruit) as well as the baking sales that will come up closer to Thanksgiving (butter, flour, sugars, cocoa/chocolate) Now I need to reorganize my chest freezer (an upright is on my wish list just due to ease of organizing it) so that I use up all those bits that have found there way to the bottom. I will make an unexpected $50 this week from judging the rabbit and cavy costume contests at the 4-H fair which I will also use to stock up on sale items (I need more vinegar, oil and pectin)

  16. Brandy, thank you for the inspiration! I re-read what you keep stocked in your pantry and using it as a guideline, came up with my own list. I definitely have a ways to go before I’ll be stocked up but you’ve got to start somewhere, right? 🙂

    Every week I get a local newspaper in the mail and normally discard the ads in there because I don’t shop at those stores. Last week I took the time to look through them and discovered that one store has perdue whole chickens on sale for only 66¢ lb! I haven’t seen that price in years! I’m going to go there today and find out if there are any limits to how many I can buy because there isn’t anything stated in the ad and I’m going to stock my freezer! 🙂

  17. Brandy, this is a bit off-topic, but your Armenian cucumber picture made me think to ask you specifically (those also grow well for us here in SW Oklahoma). We have a similar climate to yours, not quite as hot, but triple digit hot nonetheless, and fairly mild winters though we do get some snow and ice at times This leads to squash bugs being a HUGE issue here. In fact, last night I just pulled up the rest of my squashes, watermelons, and Armenian cucumbers which had been destroyed by them. I got to thinking that you may similar problems with them in your climate and wondered how you keep them under control? I have tried DE, handpicking (can’t keep up with them all), self-rising flour (an old timer suggested this), and last night resorted to spraying the perimeters of my garden beds with Sevin as much as I hate using anything like that. Any tips? Thanks for any suggestions.

  18. This month, I plan to use garden produce as much as I can for meals, as the garden is going strong! My husband recently stocked up with some unexpected money he received, and I need to package up the 50 lbs of sugar and the 50 lbs pinto beans. I put them into old ice cream buckets to use as needed. Since the 5 of us ate 50 lbs of pinto beans this past year, he got the big one for even more savings instead of the 2-25 bags we got last year. (I’m still amazed we ate that many–we weren’t sure we would)

    I plan to buy the ingredients the girls need for their cooking contests for 4H–over and over while they practice until they feel comfortable. Thankfully, they have chosen inexpensive, normal ingredients, so we have much of it and what we need is going to be reasonable. That is usually how we do it. Last summer, I allowed my oldest to use shrimp because it was her last year because of her age, but that is not the norm!

    I bought a few school clothes for my youngest, as she is the only one that attends public school. I will buy a few more, also. I don’t buy a lot. Instead, I get things during the year as needed instead of a huge amount at the beginning. I also have sewed 2 skirts and have a couple more in the works.

    Our biggest purchase this month will probably be replacing our camper. We have been looking/planning, etc. for the last year, when it became apparent that our old one was truly falling apart for good! It was inexpensive when we bought it, and we knew it had problems, and now it has bit the dust. So, if my husband finds what we want at a good price, he will get it. I’ve already told him exactly what I want and the rest is up to him. So, he shows me tons of pictures off the internet and his phone(he has been for a year) and we discuss the options, and he goes and shops when he wants a closer look. Today, he and the children will go look at a couple, but I have to work during the time he can go, so I won’t be along, again. I would like to have more time to shop with him, but that is not what my life looks like at this time–and I know I will enjoy whatever he gets, since he is communicating so well each step of the way!

  19. How do you know how much to store for a 90 day supply? Also, I have seen cartons of milk that can be kept on the shelf at the dollar store. Has anyone had experience with those?

  20. Good morning!
    It’s very motivating to find this post today as I just realized I need to do get my grocery list in order as well.
    I have been very pleased so far with going to the two-week grocery plan. These past two weeks I only spent $59 at the grocery store! Part of that had to do with having my kitchen torn apart as my husband tiled the floor after we had some water damage so I wasn’t able to cook in there. My stove was on the back patio and my fridge was in the dining room. I was using the gas grill outside for lunches and dinners. Thankfully, I found a sale on hamburgers that were already made into patties for $1.99/#. I was able to buy two packages at that price and they even threw in two packages of cheese for free! I think each package had 12 burgers so it helped a lot! I thought the kids might get tired of burgers, but they were good sports about it. Now that my kitchen is put back together I’ll be able to provide more variety, but I also need to take a look at the pantry and restock. My budget for the next two weeks is going to be meager because I need to “stop the bleeding” from the repairs on the kitchen. I plan to make a lot of rice/bean/tortilla recipes and probably pasta/sauce. I am hoping to stay within the $100 mark and if I can stay below $60 again, that would be fantastic! I plan to seek out the tomato bouillon, too. That sounds like a great way to add flavor to the rice for the onslaught of burritos that will make up our menu in the coming weeks. 😉 I have a good stock pile of lentils, black beans, pintos, and navy beans for variety at least! 😀 I made the kids waffles this morning using your whole wheat waffle recipe. It made a ton of waffles so I’ll be able to freeze them and not worry about breakfast food for a while (we mainly eat oatmeal for breakfast so the waffles will provide a little variety too). I also have a few bagels and doughnuts left (your recipes from this site) so I won’t even need to touch the breakfast category for the next two weeks (unless I find a great sale on eggs).
    Thank you for the timely reminder to check on the grocery list. I am hoping to report back with good news! God bless everyone’s week! 🙂

  21. I make a Mexican chicken and rice where you brown the chicken and then add the tomato boullion, garlic, salt and pepper and fresh cilantro and then add the rice and cook it all together. It is delicious!

  22. My middle son used to hide his socks all over the place because he couldn’t stand having them on his feet. We would find them shoved between the toilet tank and the wall, under and behind furniture, in the toy box, car, out in the street once, and everywhere else you could imagine. Luckily he outgrew that!

  23. Also, I meant to ask about the difference between Sam’s and Costco, if any. We have always had Sam’s since there have been more of them near to us. However, recently a Costco was built near one of our Sam’s Clubs and we were sent an invitation in the mail to check it out. If we signed on as members, we could receive a $10 or $20 gift card depending on our membership level. We haven’t done it yet as our Sam’s membership isn’t due for renewal until next month, but noticing that you have some items to pick up from Costco makes me curious about making the switch. Would you mind commenting on this please? Thank you so much!

  24. Does anyone have a recommendation for a dehydrator? My budget is between $50 and $75 right now. I know there are awesome dehydrators that cost more bit that simply isn’t in the budget right now. Appreciate any responses!

  25. Cathy – We had squash bugs here in upstate new york for a two years while we were in a community garden. We killed hundreds, but were unable to keep up. I would recommend row covers while the plants are young and good crop rotation between families. I would either take a break from growing those plants or use sevin if you want to plant right away. It is a tough choice – Good luck!

  26. The last time I went to the store (to buy food) was the 4th of July. My husband went to Winco once though last month and bought potatoes and margarine.

    Usually I make a few trips a month, but often they are combined; Walmart, Winco, and Target are easily one trip for me because they are very close. Sometimes i go to Target twice in a month if there is a great sale later in the month on things I need.

    I tend to rely on what is on hand. Even though the shops are close, it always takes an hour or so to run to the store, it seems (20 minutes are usually spent waiting in line) and in the summer; I avoid the heat as much as possible. My mom put a thermostat in her car to see how hot it go in the summer last year; it was 145º, and she parks in the garage. Our vehicle is parked in the driveway in full sun. Getting in the hot car for a 5 minute trip to the store is very, very hot!

    I agree that the fewer trips to the store, the less likely I am to spend more money.

  27. Sam’s quit carrying these items at my store (they do still have a different brand of tomato sauce, but it’s Hunt’s, and I don’t know why, but I think the taste of Hunt’s is horrible!) So, I need to get these items at Costco. (I’m really bummed about the vinegar, because Sam’s price was 40% lower!)

    Make a list of items you buy, go in, and compare prices on what YOU buy. That’s the best way to decide which store will be better for you.

  28. I am no expert like Brandy but you need a menu.

    Start with a one week menu breakfast lunch dinner snacks. Seven days worth.

    Keep track of your menu the very best you can. It will be your foundation for the future.

    Do this for four weeks. Keep track of all your info and ingredients. Scrupulously. This really counts. Make sure if you deviate from the menu, you record it accurately. You’re doing God’s work here so make every effort count and be as accurate that you can.

    The end result of this should be a shopping list for a month’s worth of menus. From this list you should be able to see where you can cut back without harm in order to save money or wisely shopping directly from the list in bulk purchases as Brandy has excellently shown us. See her articles on food storage plus recipe ideas and substitutions. She is definitely inspiring.

    However, I am a man. I do not have the inclination or time for such detailed work. I like to cook, sometimes. I waste a lot of money eating out. So this missive I am writing to you is a sort of do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do type suggestion. Your mileage may vary as we guys like to say.

    I would also add that from experience, if you stock up on emergency food that you never eat it will go to waste. So stock up food from your weekly menu that you CURRENTLY LIKE TO EAT. Muy Importante. Ben there, done that, got the tee shirt.

    If you are not a detailed type person regardless of your gender but you want to be more like Brandy in organizational details, then you’ve got some issues. I don’t know if Brandy has weekly menus laid out with associated shopping lists. You can email her and ask her. I think she could probably write a book on it and should do so and everybody could buy the book.

    Failing that, you could google Hillbilly Housewife. I hate to provide links to other sources on Brandy’s website. Hillbilly housewife has sample one week menus and associated shopping lists. It’s a start but hillbilly house wife doesn’t have the style and panache that Brandy does. Pobody’s nerfect. but Brandy is close.

    Just my thoughts.

    Survival food and long term storage is a whole another category but you really need to regularly eat from it in order to be properly prepared. In my humble opinion.

  29. Hi Rhonda and in answer to your question on how much to store for a 3 month supply of food, here is a link that may help you.

    I am a member of the Lds Church and tend to go by their recommendations for food supply. The following link is supplied on a blog from a lady who is a member of the same church in the United States.

    This is a recommendation only for 1 person for 3 month’s supply of food, and should be adjusted according to your own families numbers, preferences and according to the foods they like to eat and how much they eat. For example when I had teenage boys they literally vacuumed out the pantry with their mouth’s without opening the doors :D, and were definitely equivalent to 2 people in one body.

    I hope this helps.


  30. Thanks for replying. You’re right, the Sevin seems to have done nothing. These always get my plants AFTER the row cover stage. The zucchini, for instance, were about 4 feet in diameter and 3 feet tall. They do come off well with duct tape; there are just far too many to make a dent, and with some of the plants along the perimeter of the yard, I simply can’t reach every last one and some duck through the fence. I wish they had chosen to leave my Armenian cucumbers along as well, lol. They DID seem to leave them till last, anyway. 🙂

  31. Thank you for the input about Costco. I will do that when we take our preview tour so I can make the comparisons. I have noticed that Sam’s will stop carrying things without much notice. I was really bummed when they stopped carrying the big thing of Parmesan cheese. I think it was 3 pounds or something! It was a great value, but since I’ve found it at Winco, I can buy as much or as little as my budget allows.
    I had a good laugh about the waffles, too! As I was making them I couldn’t help but wonder if that was a serving for your family. Our family is half the size of yours which explains all the leftovers1 😉 I’m happy to have them, though.
    I always feel so blessed by this site and everyone’s input. The wonderful thing is, because you have readers all over the world, it’s such a great melting pot of ideas! There have been so many “a-ha” moments for me and it has helped me to think outside the box. I have also been encouraged to try making new things for my family (like bagels and doughnuts!) as well as making sure our pantry is well-stocked.
    Thank you so much!

  32. I thought I was the only one!!! My seven year old will hide socks everywhere!! I have to look in her backpack when she gets home from school cause she will take them off at school!

  33. I’ve used the Nesco dehydrator for years and love it! It’s not very big, but it dries things pretty darn fast overall and the trays for it to expand it are really cheap. I recommend getting the easy clean inserts for the trays as they’ll make your life SO much easier when it comes to drying anything small (like thyme and such) or anything sticky (like strawberries or lemon slices). I also bought a couple of the fruit leather making tray things for it and love those for home made fruit roll ups. One of the best investments I’ve made, honestly, and it only cost me like 60.00 once I bought all the additional trays with it.

  34. That was a good comment, thanks!

    I have 4 1/2 months of menus on my site, but not weekly shopping lists, because I don’t shop weekly.

    But you can definitely say, okay my family eats spaghetti x number of times per month. Take the amount of noodles and sauce times 3 and you’ll know what you need for 3 months. It’s simple that way, and less complicated (glad I give out that impression, but really, I’m not that organized!

    Shelf table, UHT milk: When I lived in France, this was the ONLY kind of buy you could buy. It needs to be refrigerated once opened. It’s fine; it tastes different but it works just fine, and of course is always better cold. The shelf life is shorter than with powdered milk, and it’s a lot more money, but still a great thing to have on hand. I have never seen UHT milk at the dollar store, but that is very interesting. Maybe I need to look harder. What I would love to have on hand is some canned La Crema–canned cream. I’ve heard wonderful things about it. You may be able to find that at your dollar store.

  35. At the Dollar Tree in Michigan it is available consistently. I just checked their site for a Las Vegas zip code. Gossner Foods Premium 2% Milk is $1 a quart. It is probably available on the shelves too. They also have Westsoy Organic Low-fat Soymilk drink for the same price. I buy those products rarely because my elderly mother looks suspiciously at foods preserved in boxes. Gotta keep mom happy and eating. My favorite, though expensive, powdered whole milk is Nido. It makes an excellent substitute for powdered coffee creamer. Unfortunately, Nido is not for sale at Dollar Tree.

  36. this is the same dehydrator i have i love it i think it is a good work horse of a machine i have apple slices in it even now i know there are others out there but this was the same budgeted amt but yes check your thrift stores i got the same one for my daughter ten dollars at goodwill. mine is working on apples every day right now the neat trick when you dry herbs is when they dry and it doesn’t take long i take a piece of paper fold it in half open it up and i take the tray with dry herb to paper on counter with it now over the paper i rub the herb on my tray and the herb falls thru and the stick part doesn’t i throw those stick parts out and since my paper has a fold in it i can pick it up and slide the dry herb in the jar the trays work well what else i like abt this dehydrator is it has temp control….
    the price was good for me the apples i am doing go thru the apple peeler corer slicer and then if you cut thru one side of the apple after it goes thru you get apple rings they go in water with a few tbsp lemon juice then into this dehydrator and i unload in the morning then reload again i don’t do this on sunday but all the other days it is working on apples the other one i have going is a cheaper nesco but no temp control but they get done the same time we go thru a lot of apples i use them in granola and oatmeal for the best ever apple crisp you would never know it was made from dried apples also use as snacks or to replace chips they are very versatile i have done three bushel off our own tree and yesterday picked four bushels from a friend’s tree i know it sounds like a lot and it is on the work end but it will be two years before the trees do good again i also do like brandy on the shredded carrots it is so easy to throw in soup i also dry spinach and put in jars to use in things as well my sos dries kale so i get a lot of use from my dehydraters Christmas gift to us is jerky yum the best and easiest thing i dehydrate is frozen mixed veggies the work part is done you just dump on trays and that is it really handy for soups and they often are on sale. good luck on finding one but what brandy said try first to look for a used one.

  37. Hi Rhonda and just another tip that might help is as you use [b]any[/b] food, beverage, cleaning product, personal hygiene or herbs and spices in your pantry or house write it on a piece of paper on your fridge for a fortnight or a month (this purely is for us as we shop fortnightly). As you do this you will see a regular pattern of what your household uses.

    With discipline and wonderful record keeping ( as both Ralphy and I agree) you will be surprised at what you will achieve in a short period of time.

    This is how we keep a track of what is used and then once we had a regular pattern to work from, we worked out our 3 month supply list and just started stocking. I might add that we are both on a pension, I on a carer’s pension and my husband on a TPI military pension and money is very tight.

    As such we started our supply when we saw things on our list on special only, and purchased small amounts that would suit our budget like 10 extra cans of tuna for .75c ea extra each fortnight. We have been building our stores now for around 18 months now and with our tax refund when it comes in we will finally order and finish our 3 month supply.

    As Ralphy has said make sure you will use what you store and rotate through it too so you have a variety of expiry dates. I can say too that Brandy’s recipes are a wonderful way to start and to give you a idea of menu planning and buying what you need to suit those recipes. The recipes provided are low cost, filling and provide us, for example the soup recipe’s for meals for 2 nights in a row. We are a family of 2 only.

  38. Hi Ralphy and commenting on your I am a man comment ( which I might say my husband regularly uses as a joke, I am only a man) ;).

    My husband also is not such a detailed person, but however I am. So in our infinite wisdom with contributions, ideas, using our individual skills and talents and discussions from both my wonderful husband and myself in 18mths we have dug and created over 100 sq metres of vegetable gardens that we pick fresh vegetables from for tea each night. We are putting in a drip irrigations system to water them whilst on severe water restrictions as well. Created a soon to be completed 3 month food supply that we use daily for all of our meals.

    So in short I am saying that your comments are very wise and worth following, and as a husband and wife team or as a single person with contributions, ideas, a bit of trial and error, and round table discussions. It is an absolute wonder and blessing what we can all achieve on a limited budget.

  39. Thank you, everyone for your help! One of my favorite things about this blog is the way everyone encourages one another. And Ralphy, I want to be more like Brandy in almost every detail – lol! I am in awe of her energy and focus. I am quite a lot older than she, but I greatly admire her and am so impressed with her wonderful family!

  40. Hi Andrea and a great idea on drying herbs on the dashboard of the car, just brilliant. As we have temperatures in summer here of up to 45oC in summer.

    I also follow and read mother earth news, and they have so much valuable information on there about everything including making your own items to use to make life easier and cheaper for self reliance purposes.

  41. Erika, I feel your pain. My family of 4 lived off of our food storage for 15 months. We had small amounts of money to “fill in”‘ shop which allowed me to buy fresh produce now and again. One reason we were so successful was because before I stocked up on food I wrote out a complete 2 week menu plan which I kept in a binder. Several years later when I needed the food I was very thankful to have had it.(both the food and menu plan). I think Brandi has something lke that on this website that could be used as a jumping off point for someone. Cindy

  42. Andrea, I’m in CT and Target has the Knorr tomato bouillon there, though if your store doesn’t carry it, you could also try amazon…

  43. Rhonda, at our Dollar Tree we have boxed milk that is produced by a local company called Gossner’s. It is quite good and worth storing if you’d rather store ready-to-drink milk instead of, or in addition to, powdered milk. It can settle so it’s best to shake the box before you drink it. They also have a boxed soy drink that we store for our child with dairy allergies. He is happy that he can have his milk and we are happy because it can last months on a shelf. Once you open it, though, it does need to be refrigerated.

  44. I was running out of oats (recently most of our breakfasts are old style oats loaded with fresh seasonal fruits and yogurt) so I put oats on my shopping list for Costco.
    They had them on clearance 75% off ! So I got 2 big boxes instead of one. I still paid less for two than what I would have paid for 1 if I were to pay full price. I was thrilled.

  45. The back windows are also an excellent place to dry tennis shoes! My neighbor, years ago, did this for her three girls. Thought it was great.

  46. Brandy,
    I noticed you haven’t added any meat (aside from pepperoni) to your list?
    Do you still have chicken or ham from your freezer?
    2wks ago I was able to buy a ham at 59¢/lb. Made me think of you!

  47. Here’s a method I use. I picked 9 breakfasts, 9 lunches, and 9 dinners. I wrote an ingredient list for each meal and multiplied each ingredient times ten. That will give you 90 of breakfasts, lunches and dinners which is a three month supply. Write down how much you need of each ingredient (the multiplied amount) and go shopping. This will give you exactly what you need for a three month supply. I hope this makes sense. I did this years ago and it simplified everything for me. I need to do it again. 🙂

  48. Brandy, this is slightly off the topic of this blog but your prior posts have inspired my husband and myself to watch Downton Abbey and we both love it! Thank you so much for the tip!

  49. I take popcorn and grind it in my Nutrimill on medium-fine. We use this to make cornbread, corn muffins, and a southern cornbread in cast iron pan that has no added flour……we serve this with some of our bean dishes and chilis. If I grind too much, it is stored in the fridge to maintain freshness of oils. This cornmeal is healthier and less expensive than shelf stable cornmeal.

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