Grocery Shopping

December’s Grocery Shopping Plans

Meyer Lemons in Basket The Prudent Homemaker

If you didn’t know I had a stocked pantry and freezers, my list this month would certainly seem like it isn’t enough food, and certainly not well-balanced!

I never did end up finding a good sale on frozen peas or on cream cheese last month. I ended up buying broccoli instead of peas last month, and as long as prices stay under $1 a pound, I’ll buy more this month (I’ve still got some in the fridge). If I find frozen sweet peas for $1 a pound or less, I’ll stock up. 

There are so many great sales this month on holiday baking items, citrus, and Christmas meal ingredients. I’ll only be picking up a few of them. My budget for this month is $200. I spent a little more last month than I had planned, stocking up on some great deals, including canned green beans at $0.33 can, potatoes, more acorn squash, and broccoli.

I don’t want to be in the stores much this month: I’d like to do many other things with my time!

 

I went to Sam’s Club yesterday and picked up the following:

clementines

powdered sugar

brown sugar

chocolate chips

balsamic vinegar

ketchup

mayonnaise

feta

goat cheese (I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had switched brands and are now carrying a store brand in a 2-pack for the same price as they used to have 1)

sharp cheddar cheese

mozzarella cheese

toilet paper

 

I’ll go to Winco later this month and with the remaining $50 I will buy:

 

clementines and/or mandarins and/or oranges

onions

broccoli

sweet peas if there is a good sale

milk

sour cream

canned pineapple

 

Swiss chard on bench The Prudent Homemaker 

Right now in the garden, my Meyer lemons are ripening. While I don’t have the bumper crop I did last year (where we had hundreds of lemons) there are lots of lemons in the garden!

I am harvesting Swiss chard, beet greens, and a good number of herbs. I still have Thai peppers ripening in the garden.

We picked all of the tomatoes from the garden, which are ripening inside. I also picked two more butternut squash, which I added to the squash I picked previously from the garden as well as the acorn squash I purchased.

The freeze I heard was coming to the valley did not come to us. I have lettuce seedlings growing outside under glass, and I plan to transplant them and then cover each individual plant with a glass jar to keep it growing all winter. We may get a freeze one day next week if the weather prediction is correct, but all other days are predicted to be above freezing at night, which is pretty typical here this time of year.

I’ve planted spinach and snow peas in the garden that we should be able to harvest in early February. February 15th is our last frost date for this area, and I usually plant more lettuce seeds in the garden the third week of January, as we rarely see a frost past then (I’ll cover my seedlings too, which will keep them safe and also increase their growth rate).

 

Some of the things I’m planning to make this month are:

 

pork roast with roasted rosemary potatoes and broccoli

chicken with Swiss chard and garlic chicken rice

French onion soup (using mozzarella as a much less-expensive topping than Gruyère, the traditional topping) with French bread

pizza with peppers, onions, and artichoke hearts

cranberry almond granola to go on homemade yogurt

butternut squash soup with rosemary olive oil bread

Tuscan tomato bread soup

crepes with lemon juice and powdered sugar (also with strawberry jam and Nutella)

taco soup

rosemary white bean soup

chili with cornbread

tomato basil soup with rosemary olive oil bread

fruit crumble using frozen fruit from our garden

lemon meringue pie

 

You can see more of my winter menu here.

 

What are you planning to buy this month?

 

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62 Comments

  1. Things are pretty tight around here with my husband being laid off because of seasonal work and my reduced hours while being in school. On the bright side he is looking to develop work that lines up with his passions, and I will be able to accrue OT on break from school…and potentially move up in the ranks as well *fingers crossed*. We are very blessed to have a well stocked cupboard so we have been eating out of that more. I still have turkey from last Saturday that I might turn into a pot pie and go on to freeze the rest. I managed to score some Wild Alaskan Salmon in pre cut and packaged form for $5.00 a bag. I bought two! With my health issues I need to eat lean meat and veggies, and rarely do I see that quality of salmon here at that price.
    I have some Christmas presents I need to get and a baby shower gift as well but I am keeping costs relatively low.
    Thank you for putting the work in to build up this frugal community, I appreciate it!
    Do you have a certain french onion soup recipe you enjoy?

  2. This month we will need milk, eggs, bread, vegetables and some fruit. For baking we need flour, sugar and brown sugar. Otherwise I think we are all set and I am very thankful!
    Meals this month will include spaghetti and meatballs, meatloaf and mashed potatoes and corn, Fettuccini Alfredo, garlic chicken stir fry and enchiladas.

  3. Brandy I really hope you get an Aldi soon. It seems like it should come to your part of the country soon. Hopefully it will be close when it does come. Frozen veggie under $1 a pound are an everyday price there.

    I need to stock up on more butter, I have 62 lbs but that is not a year’s supply for my family. I am in desperate need of sugar. Aldi is still hanging out at $1.45 for a 4 lb. bag. I would like to get a least 100 lbs of sugar. Chocolate chips is another thing. Aldi has them for $1.49 a bag but hopefully a store will loss leader at .99.

    I am also very low on chicken. i hate that feeling because it is such a staple for many dishes. I am actually pretty low on meat all around. I will buy 1 or 2 hams and a turkey. Never saw a price I liked over Thanksgiving. We don’t love turkey and we really hate turkey broth so 1 a year is fine by us. I can get chicken much cheaper and I love having pressure canned chicken broth in the pantry.

    I am done Christmas shopping so I can focus more money on food in preparation for our no Spend January that we always do. Have a blessed Christmas.

    P.S. I have a hard time when people ask me for recipes also because I never use them.

  4. Last month none of the items I normally buy went on sale. Canned corn never went below .79 a can. Last year as the years before I was able to get it for .39 a can. The only thing that went on sale that I stocked up on was canned pineapple for .99 for 20oz cans. I was a bit disappointed that they didn’t have the sales they normally have this time of the year. Even my mom was shocked that there were hardly any sales. I will be keeping my eye open this month on sales for baking goods and canned items and frozen veggies.
    Butter is finally on sale for 1.99 a pound a limit of 20lbs at food for less. Vons has brown sugar and powered sugar one pound packages for .69 each. Last year I was able to get brown sugar and powdered sugar for .99 for 2lb packages. I’m thinking of getting some for .69 since I doubt I will see that price again for the 2lbs.
    I left my job August 31st to stay home with my kiddo. Since my babysitters could no longer watch him. It has been a tough transition since I am trying to get the hang of being at home and sticking to a budget and learning how to make a tight budget work since we only have one income coming in now. So I can’t buy huge amounts of food to stock up on. I really appreciate all the posts that you have done on grocery shopping and it has helped me a tremendous amount. I look forward to every month seeing these lists and I also look forward any and all posts you make.

  5. I just harvested my carrots and am super excited. In our rocky soil in Pennsylvania they are hard to grow in the ground. I also transplanted four lettuce plants that has held on in the cold to bring inside and see if they will continue to grow.

  6. If you live near a Walmart super center, check out the 10 pound bags of sugar. I bought one yesterday, 12/2/16 for $4.90. That is the best price on cane sugar that I’ve found.

  7. We have a Sam’s club run tomorrow on the way home from church – it’s out of the way for us otherwise we’d do it another time. On the list: flour, toilet paper, vanilla, taco seasoning, chicken noodle soup and powdered milk. We do make chicken noodle soup from scratch but we like to have some that the children can make themselves easily. Other than that, we’re planning on getting a few Christmas goodies – ground pork and beef for Swedish meatballs, small packages of shrimp and scallops for our “traditional” seafood chowder, maybe more butter for baking (I was able to get some last month), and our normal milk, fresh fruit, eggs, yogurt and greens. I’ve tried making yogurt with no success many times and it’s too cold to grow greens or fruit here right now. I hope that’s it!

    Our budget is also $200 for the month – including toiletries and toilet paper – so we should be able to make it all work.

    Thanks for all your inspiration, Brandy! Thank you for sharing your plans with us!
    Lea

  8. This month I will be watching the sales closely to see what I can get at great prices. Some of the items that I’m really hoping to stock up on are smoked hams (I cut these into ham steaks and shave into ham slices for sandwiches then freeze in portions), snack crackers (they usually go on serious sale prices around this time of year, so I stock up enough to last for months), cheese, pickles, baking supplies, and seasonal fruit/veggies. We also need some personal hygiene items, some cleaning supplies and I’d like to stock up on more chicken, so hopefully I’ll catch them on sale, too.

    We still have some Christmas baking to do, though my mom has already started a bit. I’m still working on making a few Christmas gifts. I should be able to get them done by taking a whole day or two to just work on them. Other than that, we’re pretty much ready for Christmas!

  9. Rachel, do you have a Dollar General in your area? Twice now they have had Libby’s canned vegetables for 3/$1.00. I have also been able to pick up a couple of bottles of vegetable oil for $1 for the 48oz size using their digital coupon. Most of their items are higher than the grocery store but they do run a pretty good sale price on a few items each week.

  10. This has been a time to be flexible in our buying for our storage! We are blessed to have a fairly complete food storage so we are able to take advantage of “unexpected” opportunities as well as seasonal sales!

    We ran out of brown sugar recently, but I was able to replenish it by making our own, using our regular granulated sugar and a small bit of molasses- both in our food storage. We find that making our own has a fresher taste and has never become hard and brick like! And it only takes a couple minutes to make!

    Fresh pineapples were on sale for 99 cents each @ Fresh Thyme this week so I bought 8 big beautiful ones and canned 19 pints of pineapple chunks from them- making my OOP cost 41 cents/ jar! Since I pack my 16 oz pint jars with at least as many chunks as the 20 oz cans in the store, I am really pleased with my price point!!

    My car was in the shop this week and I needed cream cheese for my crockpot of potato soup. Realized that instead of relying on my Hubster or son to pick some up on their way home from work, that I could walk to the neighborhood Save-a-lot several blocks away! I got there and found that besides having cream cheese at 88 cents, that they had a manager’s special on 80/20 ground beef for $1/pound in 2 pound tubes! I bought 50 pounds for us and daughter had me pick up an additional 10 pounds for her!

    So, this is why I try to keep myself open to “unexpected” opportunities to build up my storage!

  11. You know, I need to come here more for inspiration. I feel like we are bleeding money on groceries. We eat, we run out, we eat more. And I’ve got only two kids! Both boys though.

    Not sure what I’ll be making this month. Chicken stew and dumplings. Rosemary bread and caponata. Probably soups and stews. Muffins. Shrimp dishes because my neighbor gave us a four pound bag.

  12. My shopping list for December is not too long. We are trying to eat more fruits and vegetables, which need to be purchased weekly to keep fresh so we continue to go shopping once a week. My tiny 1 cupboard pantry is fully stocked.
    We are traveling for the holidays so no need to be purchasing more than usual. Although I am hoping to get some good deals on baking supplies to use throughout the year.

  13. I’m open to whatever is cheapest around here. Like someone else mentioned, the sales are just not that great. I do need powdered sugar. Our local Family Fare had one pound boxes for 1.00 each. A dollar a pound is not such a great deal. I suppose i could blend my own and see how that works. I’m set for chocolate chips and walnuts; both bought on clearance about two months ago. I would like to stock up on frozen vegetables. I’m not seeing anything under the 99c. price. There were some organics for that price this Summer that i bought. With the seasonal job done, it’s back to reality with the budget, though. I would also like to get to the reduced bread store (an hour+ away) to get bread for my husband. He’s particular about his bread, and i can’t count on them having what he likes, so it’s always hit and miss. If it comes down to it, we could do without shopping at all except for his milk and just wait it out.

  14. I agree with the disappointing sales this year. Because of that I skipped a trip last week since I am well stocked. I too was disappointed with the Turkey prices, I couldn’t find anything under $.79/lb. This week Fry’s ( Kroger) has butter for $1.88 and ALL laundry soap for $1.99. I am hoping baking supplies go on sale ahead of Christmas.

  15. We make our own brown sugar also!!! I make it so it is dark brown which I prefer. But I’m sure it can be made light as well. Dollar tree has been stocking small bottles of molasses and I find I can make quite a bit more for less than if I were to purchase brown sugar..even in bulk. I have started making vanilla and hazelnut sugar cubes for friends and family the last few years. They go nuts over them and it is sooo cheap and fancy to gift handmade sugar cubes.

  16. I will be buying mostly milk, butter, (never found a good sale, $2.29 a pound was my best buy) and fruit. I have a freezer full of meats and are going to eat those down before we buy anything more.

    I have a new menu plan made that will use these items up.

  17. Heather- when I was doing a rotation and inventory of my food storage last year, I discovered that I had a gallon jug of blackstrap molasses that had been on sale for $2!!! So, when I combine that with the sugar in my storage that I bought for $1 for a 4 pound bag, my cost for brown sugar is incredibly low!!!

  18. I will be buying our Christmas ham. I see some good sales on frozen fish, avocados and citrus. I’ll buy more butter to put in the freezer while it is still $1.99 a pound — and powdered sugar is on sale for 99 cents for 2 pounds, so I’ll get a couple bags of that. Safeway has Cran-Pomegranite juice for 49 cents for a 64-oz bottle, so I will get a couple of those as well.

  19. My cupboards are quite full from picking up specials from Sept-Nov. This week I did get Green Giant whole kernel corn for 49 cents a can. I prefer their steam crisp (super sweet) corn, but I bought a couple of these to try–for that price it’s worth it! I usually get Steam Crisp @$1 a can once or twice a year, but I’m not turning these down without tasting them. I am all set for baking except possibly brown sugar. I do need some lasagna supplies for Christmas dinner–mostly the cheeses. There will only be 5 of us again, so that’s not a major expense. I will send leftovers home with DD and DGD however. DGD will only eat ground turkey but I have at least one package I picked up on sale last month, which will be enough for a pan for her. I try to keep a pound or two on hand for impromptu meals if she stops over. She does not eat red meat at all, but will eat poultry. I could also use some additional candy for stockings–but I have some coupons, just need to study sales to use them with. Coconut will also be on my list as I’ll need it for cookies. That is really all I am short of at this point. I literally could not get more canned and boxed items into my cupboards the last couple weeks. My spending for the past two weeks totalted $70, which pleases me greatly.

  20. Your menu options sound delicious Brandy. I haven’t been particularly thrifty this week. However, I did make soft cheese using whole milk and lemon juice so the milk wouldn’t go to waste. I enjoyed it on crackers and as part of a pasta dish. I also came across 10# bags of Michigan potatoes for $1 a bag at the Fenton, Michigan, Walmart this evening. I teased my mom that we’re going to be making potatoes everything, potato fudge, potato Swedish flat bread, perogies, Cracker Barrel’s potato casserole, potato soup, potato salad…. You get the idea. I am hoping they wiill keep for a while in the basement in a loosely topped Styrofoam chest. If not, I will be peeling a lot of.potatoes, dicing them, boiling them and the freezing them. We live in an area where a lot of hunting is done. The gas stations sell big bags of apples, corn, and carrots in the fall for feed. The corn never looks edible. But the carrots usually do-nice and fresh, just a bit bigger than usually sold in the grocery store. The apples, which were only in stock briefly this year, also looked pretty good and perfectly usable for cooking. I asked the guy behind the counter if people.buy the carrots and apples to eat themselves, not just as treats for horses and deer. He answered in the affirmative. He said one guy comes in every year.for a bag or two of carrots and that.others.come in for the apples. Next year, I might plan on canning a whole lot.of carrots and apples. Oh, one more thrifty thing I did was use some chicken thighs that had been in the freezer a bit too long (they were frosty) by baking them in a lidded casserole dish with a bottle of barbeque sauce until the meat fell apart. I hope to focus more on sorting, organizing, and utilizing what we have next week and spend very little money.

  21. I want to apologize for all of the extra punctuation symbols in my last posting. I type on a tablet with my thumbs and the period sneaks in way too often.

  22. Does anyone still do the free-turkey-with-purchase? When we lived in SoCal, we regularly got at least 2 free turkeys every year for a $50 purchase. In the 12 yrs we’ve lived in KS, we’ve never had that. I loved that freebie! We got to donate one to the food bank every year.

  23. We have basic turkeys at 59c a lb w a $25 (I think Kroger is a $30)purchase. Butterball is like $1.19 a lb. They had canned vegetables at Meijer 2/$1 last month. The 3/$1 at DG is for a couple varieties. They go fast here. Besides baking, I tend to watch potatoes and sweet potatoes.

  24. I live in Ohio. I was thinking about getting an aquarium(I have a cat. She took out my basil plant last winter.)and attempting lettuces in the winter.

  25. We had a baby this month! He is doing great and gaining weight so fast. This month we barely need a thing since I works hard on stocking the kitchen before our baby was born. Now that he’s here and I’ve recovered we are working to finish off the many meals that our friends and neighbors dropped off. We are so blessed to have so much but it’s a lot of food and hoping we eat through it before any goes bad. In the future when dropping meals for friends, I’m going to send freezer meals that they can eat at their convenience. I found a great sale on sunscreen at the 99cent store. It’s a name brand and doesn’t expire for two years so I bought 30 bottles. We will easily go though that in the next two summers and the lowest price
    I can find is closer to $7.50 a bottle. I haven’t been able to find butter or eggs for a good price so I’m hoping to find some soon.

  26. Im really thankful for your website and the frugal followers. I’m still learning to get my pantry together. This month I’ve ordered oats, cracked wheat for breakfast, tapioca for breakfast and wheat flour from a country life food co-op. I’m hoping the oats will hold us over until spring. I want to make granola and the prudent homemaker’s chicken fried steak. I’m so happy to say that I made the steaks. I loved them and my “I need meat” husband said that they were pretty good to him and that says a lot coming from him. Potatoes are 20 cents per pound right now at Bill’s so I bought 70 pounds. I’m hoping the sales pick up here in the Ozarks especially on Christmas baking and pantry staples. Until then I will keep following the ideas from the prudent homemaker. 🙂

  27. Yes, I do. Do you now if they have the sweet peas? The last time I looked there I only remember seeing regular peas (which have a very different taste) and 10 and 12-ounce packages, but no 16-ounce ones. I haven’t looked again in years though.

    Albertson’s has a particularly tasty sweet peas (their brand) in a 16-ounce bag that tends to go on sale at Thanksgiving for $1 when you buy multiples of 10, but I didn’t see any sales this year.

    Last year I saw some at Winco and they were $0.79 for a 16-ounce bag, and they were tasty. I’m hoping to see them again at that price.

  28. My local grocer does. Free up to 12lb turkey with $100 purchase. However, they are one of the most expensive stores in the area.

  29. Debby, I mix sugar and imitation vanilla(no need for the good stuff) in a large bowl. The texture should be like wet sand that you would make sand castles out of. The you can either use a tiny cookie scoop and scoop them out on wax paper or purchase a mini ice cube tray and fill them..let them harden for about 30 min the pop them out on wax paper. I let them dry out and harden for at least over night. We like the vanilla flavored ones, but you can use a small amount of just water and get the same effect. If you chose to do hazelnut, the cheapest route I have found is dollar tree flavored coffee syrup. Just pay close attention to the texture as it makes more of a wet mix. I’m sure Pinterest has tutorials on them as well. A five pound bag of sugar makes hundred of them. And if you don’t want to make cubes just vanilla flavored sugar is nice also. Experiment and see what works best for you. I’m in Louisiana where the humidity can play a role in the drying process.

  30. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    We have been picking from the gardens this week cucumbers, broccoli, strawberries, snow peas, onions and garlic. We have another huge patch of onions yet to pick and dry on the soil for a few days and then they will go on the veranda to cool.

    Groceries plans –
    – Milk, cheese, cream, sour cream, whole milk, butter, eggs, powdered milk, pasta, mayonnaise, cocoa powder, almonds, tinned corn, fresh oranges, citric acid, rolled oats, shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper.

    We are doing a large top up on meat this month too with lamb and buying a whole lamb cut up from local farm at much cheaper prices than the local butcher shop that we usually buy it off.

  31. Holly- here’s what we built and put in our basement last fall to hold potatoes over the winter here in Ohio.
    http://pin.it/f3etVP- (Just in case you can’t get this link to work, search on Pinterest for me- gardenpat11 and look for potato barrel under preparedness)
    Potatoes were good in it from October through March! We built another one for onions with good results too! The barrels were just $10 each (55 gallon) from Pepsi Bottling company!

  32. OHHHH good idea! I have 5 cats and 3 are total terrors! They are even chewing on my geranium (yuck….that has got to taste horrible) You can get plant bulbs for aquarium lights as well and the new LED lighting would cost very little to run. I am off to see what I can find on CL – a cracked one would work well for this as well and occasionally you can find them for free.

  33. one of our stores does the free with $100 purchase and another store does free with $400 in a months time. Where I live turkeys never went below $1.19lb. I’m hoping they mark them down in a few weeks.

  34. How do your dumplings turn out? Every time I make dumplings they are firm. Husband likes dumplings that are soft and bread like on the inside. I’ve never been able to make them that way. Gave up making dumplings which is a shame since it can be frugal to feed a family!

  35. Thank you for the suggestion. Your vegetable storage looks both tidy and effiicient. When I was a kid, my dad would buy at least two 50# bags of potatoes when we went north to the Thumb (Saginaw, MI) and they would keep for months in their original bags in the pantry area of the basement in his house that was finished just as World War II ramped up. If I put doors on the closet areas under mom’s front porch in her walkout basement, we’d have approximately the same environmemt. I think, for now, I will use a good-sized knitting needle to punch many ventilation holes in a recycled ice chest and store the extra potatoes in it in the coolest and darkest part of the basement and see how it goes.

  36. Tonight is fried bologna (special from G & R tavern OH) and French fries with pickles, hot cauliflower and carrots with dip

    Monday is 123 pasta(1 onion 2 cup of protein and 3 cups of veggies) with zucchini, yellow squash and mushroom medley for side

    Tuesday is Poultry(leftover from Tday) and rice with broccoli, cauliflower and carrot medley

    Wednesday is Pork (leftover and in freezer) kraut and mashed potatoes with pickled beets and applesauce

    Thursday is beef stew (potatoes, carrots, onions and peas) with possibly dumplings unless I want to make pot pie out of it for Friday then no dumplings

    Friday we are delivering gifts,candy and cookies to the kids and grandkids so it’s leftovers

    Saturday we have dinner with the SCARES HAM radio group Hubby belongs to.

    Dec groceries is here http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2016/12/dec-groceries.html

  37. Ahh, okay. We go through about a pound per month and I thought that was a lot! I have a dozen frozen and feeling rich!

  38. I love that picture of your lemons, Brandy! Oh the possibilities those lemons represent! 🙂 Also, pretty.

    I don’t have big shopping plans for December. I want to eat more from my pantry, and so it’s mostly fresh fruit and vegetables that we will buy, along with milk for yoghurt and drinking. I’m trying to eat more protein, so I’ll be eating lots of peas from the freezer, and beans from the pantry. I plan to make Brandy’s rosemary and white bean soup, which is super-delicious. I also plan to make lentil sprinkles to sprinkle on top of my lunch time salads, eat for snacks, and sprinkle on soups. Basically, on everything! Oh, I do need to buy some cheese and crackers for a party that I’m hosting, but that’s all. The DH and I are having his mentor/friend and his wife over to dinner next weekend, but we have all the food we need for that (almost all of it bought on sale), and I’ll be making it all from scratch, including the bread. So our grocery bill shouldn’t be too high this month — whoohoo!

  39. We use a lot of butter also and do try to build up a good supply. I have never bought or used margarine. I used 1 lb Saturday mixing up my first batch of Christmas cookie dough. Between baking, cooking, making popcorn, toast, buttering vegetables etc we probably use 1 1/2 lbs a week, more of less depending on how many at home at the moment and whether there is a holiday. I keep most in the freezer, about 5 lbs in the refrigerator. There are usually a couple sticks or a pound laying on the counter coming to room temperature because I have plans for it. We bought 20 lbs at Sam’s club last week when shopping with a relative. No Sam’s club in our town. It costs about 9.50 for 4 lbs there and the grocer has it
    2 lbs/5.00 so not a huge saving and would not have made a special trip for it.

  40. Rachel,
    I know it’s hard to get things built up when you are on a budget, and especially when you are just getting started up on it. It is also much harder to go “down” in budget then “up.” That being said, it is precious that you can spend all that time with your child.

    One idea that came to my mind, is for you to try to carve out $10, $20, or whatever each month for the specific purpose of buying in bulk. Then, take that money and go to a place like Cash and Carry (a place that supplies restaurants, but also sells to the public in large packages) or Costco, etc. and buy one huge bag of whatever you can afford. I recently bought brown sugar that way. I don’t remember exactly what I paid right now, but it was less than in the small packages at Winco. Best of all, I don’t have to buy any for months. I repackage into large tins, large plastic food-grade buckets, empty ice cream buckets, or ziplocks to keep fresh. Then, the next month, buy rice, or sugar, or flour, or oil, or whatever you can. In a few months, you will have so many of the staples that it will free up money for you. I’m sure you have lots of good ideas, too, but that’s one that works for me.

  41. Ok, you left me with a mental picture of you staggering home for several blocks, on foot, laden with 60 pounds of ground beef in your arms–in tubes–with cream cheese balanced on top!!! It is a funny mental picture, and I’m sure you had a car to carry it home in, but seriously, I’m very happy for you. That’s a smoking deal on the beef. I’m working on making sure my stockpile is rebuilt, but that it doesn’t get out of hand for our needs–a fine, fine line of balance.

  42. I spent quite a bit of money in November, stocking up on things that were low, or were a great price. That included 3 hams for $1.49/lb (spiral sliced) in addition to what we ate for the holidays. I did get one small turkey for 49c/lb with a $50 grocery purchase. Even though we still have 2 large turkeys from what my husband grew last spring, I got the smallest one available to make during the year at a time when I need some little baggies of cooked turkey for the freezer. I use those a lot for casseroles, soups, etc.

    For December, I got some veggies like carrots, celery, etc. and anticipate buying more. We are not hosting Christmas, so we don’t need much holiday food. We have decided to do fondue on Christmas Day as a family, so I will take cheese sauce and gluten-free tempura batter. Neither of those are expensive. I did stock up on some gluten-free flours, such as tapioca starch and potato starch. I may need a few more things if I get in a cookie baking mood, but am pretty well stocked for any recipe. So, I will watch for good sales, pick up any smoking bargains, and otherwise, just maintain with a pretty low budget. That’s a great feeling and it’s a great month to “cruise” on shopping for groceries.

  43. It’s not in the immediate future but March is National Frozen Food Month, when a lot of frozen foods go on sale. I read somewhere that the stores like to clear out their stock then to make room for the upcoming growing season of vegetables to be frozen. Last year in March Albertsons in Louisiana had the sweet peas for 88 cents and 99 cents, st different times.

  44. Libby, congratulations on the new baby. May you and your husband enjoy many special, wonderful times this upcoming Holy season.

  45. My list is pretty small. I need chocolate oranges, mini candy canes, mixed nuts in the shell, dried black beans ,dried kidney beans, water chestnuts, mini marshmallows, baking powder. A few boxes of crackers for use with cheese and sausage. Pickled herring. Clementines, radishes, romaine lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower for fresh eating, red bell peppers, white mushrooms, celery. We have Christmas gatherings, one each on Friday with Homemakers and one Saturday at church…I like to bring a relish tray for these with homemade ranch dip. I like to choose red, white and green vegetables for holiday trays.

    Since most staples are on sale now I will buy with the sakes and any coupons. I have room to store. Butter, flour, sugars, cookie sprinkles, evaporated milk, dates and figs, coconut.

  46. I guess most of my list is done…my husband was near the bulk store and picked up all those items…the beans, marshmallows (dried), I already have the candy and nuts and also used coupons doubled to get 2 bags of MMs and 2 bags of holiday mini chocolate bars. I have to visit a bigger grocery to get the baking powder I always use, Rumford, or go to the natural foods store. As far as the staples, as long as I keep buying more than I use while they are on sale, I can build up a good supply.

  47. Kroger in Louisiana has a 99-cent mix and match sale (in multiples of 3) of cream cheese, flour, granulated sugar, specialty sugars (confectioner’s and brown?), 18-count eggs and 16-oz peanut butter. These are all Kroger brands. They also fresh pineapples for 99 cents. I hope to add to my stock of these staples this week.

  48. What recipe do you use for your figs? I have a lot of figs from my late mother’s tree, that I have frozen in the freezer. I usually just use them to cook around the ham, when I baste it with a blackstrap molassses and honey combo, but I need other ideas because I have a lot of figs…lol

  49. Cindy, we like to eat them as is. Another way is to poach them in a light syrup and serve with sour cream on top. I always wanted a recipe for homemade fig newtons and never found one. Saw an episode of MARTHA BAKES on PBS and that was on there, fig bars. I will try them, probably after Christmas, as enough other cookies around now.

  50. Oh, I think the dried figs I buy are called calmyrna. They’re light brown and usually sold compressed into a wreath shape. We can only find them before Christmas.

  51. Hi Brandy..
    I love your monthly food grocery shopping plans for each month. I especially liked the menu’s plans you are planning for meals with what you have purchased for the month. I didn’t see this on other monthly grocery plans and it is so very helpful. Thank you for sharing~
    Patty from the NW

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