Grocery Shopping

February’s Grocery Shopping Plans

February Radish The Prudent Homemaker

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

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

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

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

 

Here’s what’s on my list:

 

Sam’s Club:

Mozzarella cheese

Flour tortillas

Corn tortillas

Pinto beans

Almonds

Chocolate chips

Toilet paper

Goat Cheese

Feta Cheese

Ketchup

Tomato sauce

Eggs

 

Winco:

Milk

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

Spreadable Margarine

Sour cream

Garlic

Potatoes

Carrots

Broccoli

Onions

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

 

Alberston’s:

whole chickens ($0.57 a pound)

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

frozen petite peas 

 

Vons:

Boneless pork loin $1.79/lb

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

avocados (medium 3 for $1, limit 6)

 

Target:

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

Oxi-clean spray refill

 

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

My budget for this month is $400.

Arugula The Prudent Homemaker

 Arugula (Rocket) 

 

 

 

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79 Comments

  1. Thanks for the Albertsons tip! I don’t usually shop there, but will grab some of the whole chickens and petite peas to put in the freezer.

  2. I don’t think the peas are on sale though; I’m just hoping they are! I feel like I never see sales in the ad for them but then I get to the store and they’re on sale. I’m going for the chicken and avocados and I’m going to see about the peas, because they are SO good, and my family loves them! I was only able to get 9 pounds the last time I went there when they were on sale because they didn’t have any more. That’s only 9 meals for us and we just ate the last bag last night.

  3. Our budget for the month is $500. Since we’ve been working to extend and bed-down the gardens till Spring we cannot plant until then, and that’s because we’re getting our Alabama Growers Permit (tomorrow). The state is particular about these things.
    We started using a new-to-us budgeting method this month and it has me scratching my head. I’m dead set on staying under budget.
    I can’t figure out if we’ll be over budget if I shop for a few items at Sam’s and do the rest at our local grocery store. I don’t grocery shop enough to know the stores prices by heart and they’re so away, I’d hate to waste gas. I just started buying produce at the grocery store because we finished off the last of this past summers goods. I’m very frugal, so between the gardens being down and learning a new system, I’m stressed. Can ya tell? Lol
    Do you ever go over budget or forget to add an item to the budget? What do you cook on the days when you just don’t feel like it? Quick meal ideas?

  4. Quick meals are a whole post in themselves, but let me answer the other questionsL
    Do I go over budget: Not usually, but if I do I lower the budget for the following month. Do I ever forget things? Yep, all the time. In that case I will just leave something off the list. Or maybe I’ll decide that something is such a good deal that I’ll hold off on buying something else. For example, last year I had oats on my list, and then I ended up not getting them but getting some other great sales, and so I just put oats on the list the net month instead. I try to buy BEFORE I’m out of something, so I’m usually fine, but once in a while I totally miss something (like today, when I realized we are completely out of pinto beans, unless I’m missing a 25-pound bag around here. . . which is totally possible! I just thought of one more place to double check as I am typing this . . . )

  5. Had to giggle about the pinto beans…what is that silly saying “I’ve lost many things but I miss my mind the most”…Needless to say I am still looking for my free box of check refills that I put in a safe place…lol

  6. Hello Brandy and all from Australia 🙂 .

    We are concentrating on eating a lot of things in the pantries that need to be cycled through.

    In the gardens we have growing watermelon, rockmelon, pumpkins, spinach, silver beet, cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, cucumber, strawberries, snow peas and beans. We have been picking cherry tomatoes, strawberries, capsicums and shortly our watermelons will be ready 🙂 . We are experiencing heat of 38 – 42oC here at the moment so a few things are struggling in the gardens but we do have a good supply of blanched and frozen vegetables to eat down.

    We are working on staying under our $280 grocery budget this month so we can put $100 or more into our home cash stash that we keep for bulk raw ingredients orders/meat and general emergencies in the home.

    Here is our grocery shopping plans for the month –

    Medical – Not expecting any expenses this month on this as we purchased bulk supplies last month.

    Groceries – Powdered milk, whole milk, cheese, sour cream, cream, eggs, plain flour, cocoa powder, tinned lychees & mangoes , citric acid, oranges, ammonia, dishwashing liquid.

    Clothing – Do need some cushioned socks for working in the garden but will get them on special if I find them. A new pair of leather work boots for DH we may have to save a few months for these.

    Household – New aa batteries as I have noticed we have run out of these, again we will wait and look for specials.

    Gardening – trailer load of cow manure and horse manure. I am yet to go through our vegetable seeds but know we are low on a few such as turnip seeds.

  7. I would love to see a post on your suggestions on quick meals. We struggle with this and seem to always rely on our fallback of breakfast (eggs and toast), grilled cheese/ soup if available or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

  8. I wish I was harvesting radishes, we love the greens of them and I fry the radishes when they get too hot to raw.I’m going to try carrot greens this year if I can get the carrots to grow. I put off the Sam’s club shopping UNLESS we happen to already be in that area.The money is in the savings and the store is an hour away from us but if we stop at our son’s house it’s only 15 min from him.
    Our grocery budget is $180 not including Sam’s club. We separated eating out money, anything not used goes into the savings acct.We decided to eat from the pantry this month also…over 720 sq ft of pantry with 56 cubic ft of deep freezers full and 2 frigs that is well stocked. The only reason I went $180 is because my diet (doc ordered) calls for fresh veggies that I will be trying to grow through the winter this coming year. Ohio weather means low tunnel or hoop house.

    When I go over I cut the amt the next month or I take something off the list in the store that we can do without.
    Here are my quick meals that I keep a menu of and posted near my kitchen menu calendar. Doesn’t take much to want to not cook and go out to eat instead.

    http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2017/02/quick-meals.html

    http://chefowings.blogspot.com/2017/01/february-goals.html

  9. Out of curiosity, do you typically prefer disposable diapers? I know they tend to be pricier, so I was just wondering. 🙂 Sounds like a very frugal February is to come! It looks like you’ll need to purchase more things at the store (silly winter), but coupons soothe the pain. We’ve been much better about our food costs lately, and I’m hoping to carry that trend throughout the year. We’re focusing on freezer meals and creating dishes based on cheap staples that are already in our pantry. It works!

  10. Hi Brandy: the price on avocados is fantastic. Wanted to mention – if you don’t already know – that you can make guacamole and it freezes beautifully.

  11. I don’t have my shopping plans ready yet! I’m still looking at what I have.
    I ran into Sam’s to buy toilet paper and the butter price was $9.87 for 4 lbs and the egg price was #1.59 for the 18 count.

  12. I was working on my shopping list last night and am excited about some good deals I’ve seen too. Reams has medium avocados 3/$1, leaf lettuce for 88 cents, and a dozen large eggs for 88 cents. Sprouts has Roma tomatoes for 48 cents a pound (you wonder where the produce is coming from when we are in the dead of winter here in Utah). A well stocked pantry is always a blessing. I hope you find those pinto beans!

  13. Our grocery budget goal for this month is $60!! We had some unexpected expenses pop up and it’s taken away from our grocery budget for this month. I am hoping to get some chicken breast with bones for .99 a pound to be able to put it in our freezer for future meals. I’m planning on only buying a few produce and a few gallons of milk. My mom is taking me to Costco to help us out a little bit. Those items I plan on getting if she wants to buy are:
    -goldfish
    -vanilla puffs
    -hotdogs
    -lunch meat
    -bread
    -corn tortillas
    -kielbasa
    -ground beef
    -pork (this is a maybe)
    -stew meat
    -belvitas for the hubby
    – bacon
    -tortilla chips
    -pinto beans
    -cheese
    I think that is it for the grocery budget for this month. We plan on eating from our freezers, fridge and pantry this month.

  14. What will I do with the avocados? Try not to just eat them all myself and share with my family 😀 We’ll eat them in sandwiches, or with beans and rice, or in burritos; it just depends what I make first!

    I have bought broccoli and froze it before. If the price is great, I will do that this time; if not, I will just buy some (but still a lot, because it is everyone’s favorite vegetable here).

  15. It is so fascinating to read the range of budgets and meal plans in the comments. Love it!

    We recently moved and I have had the fun of showing our new “project house” to friends. Almost every time I show them the basement area, someone will comment on my food storage area. They will ask me “Why do you have all this food?” as they look at my simple stocked shelves. I really don’t have that much food, but I find it interesting that most of my friends buy food once a week, based off a meal plan. Nothing extra for the pantry/storage. Different approaches to meal planning and emergencies I suppose.

    Working thru lots of ground beef and rice this week. So far, we have had beef fried rice with veggies, and tonight we will have a tomato based beef/rice casserole. Big fan of cooking early in the week and trying new combo’s with my basic ingredients.

    Happy February to all!

  16. We’ve been eating down the freezer a good bit, too. I’ve got to be so careful, with just two of us, not to let things stay in there too long until they are inedible. I keep a list of freezer contents, but I notice I’ve missed updating it sometimes. In March or April, the chicken harvesting will begin, and we’ll buy several farm fresh chickens to cut up and freeze. We’ll be purchasing pork and beef this spring, too, as the processing is getting done and the cuts are becoming available for sale at the farms where we get most of our meat. With any luck, we might get some free fish or scallops this summer, from the fisherman in our family.
    I just stocked up on beans, nuts, wheat berries, oats, sugar, and salt at a bulk sale. I refreshed my spices for Christmas baking, so I should be good on them. We are growing garlic — we hope it will make so we’ll have enough of that. We normally grow onions, but this year we missed the deadline — we can’t grow bulbing onions except through winter here in North Fla. I think we’ll be purchasing mostly produce and dairy until the meat purchases. I’ll have to budget for those big meat purchases as a separate item. And of course, we always need to purchase toilet paper, dish detergent, pet food, that sort of thing now and then. I make my own laundry detergent and cleaners, so I just have to keep the ingredients for those in stock; I have plenty of that on hand.

  17. Lorna,

    Once it gets to be about 35ºC I always have trouble with my snow peas; they get powdery mildew and succumb within a couple of days. I am always amazed that you get yours to produce all summer. Don’t the pods get tough for you when it is that hot? Mine get hard and the peas get huge right away inside the pods, instead of growing long and flat, once the heat goes up.

    It will be 35ºC here by mid-April, so I am working hard in the garden to make sure everything is planted early enough.

  18. Just yesterday I moved some boxes and found FIVE quart jars filled with scallions I grew and dehydrated—not last summer, but the summer before! At least they last forever but I wish they were leeks instead because I have several great recipes for leeks.

  19. Such wonderful prices. Our sale on Avocados this week is 88 cents each. They are quite large, and usually sell for $1.50, so I will definitely be buying some, but I would be in heaven with 3/$1. Of course, I would probably just eat that many more of them. Safeway has their big bags of shredded cheese for $4.99, so I will get one of mozzarella to use on homemade pizza. We are headed to the city where Costco is located (5 hours from here, so we only shop a few times a year) and will stock up on a few things while there — flour, coffee, nuts, dog treats, vinegar and a few other items. I also will get organic chicken at Costco. We received a $25 gift card from Camping World, so while we are in the city we will use it. We don’t really need anything, but I can always buy $25 worth of toilet paper.

  20. I’m still working out the details. My husband’s company changed the pay schedule so instead of his checks always being the same amount each pay period, they now differ. It’s taking me some time to adjust. I much preferred the predictability, even though it’s the same amount overall. I hope that I’ll be able to start predicting it accurately.

    Our budget is usually $250, but I’m hoping to get what I need for $150.

  21. Eating carrot tops?? I have tasted them fresh in the garden (I do those type things) and the flavor is exactly like a carrot only REAL strong. How will you cook them?

  22. I’m curious. How will you use your frozen fruit?

    We have quite a bit of frozen fruit as well. I need some more ideas for using it up. 🙂

  23. Should note that some folks can eat carrots but are allergic to the tops, so before you serve up a mess of them you might want to have people taste small amounts.

  24. Brandy you didn’t mention guacamole but if you take the avocados, half them, remove the seed then vacuum seal them, you can freeze them for future guacamole. Because you are removing the air, they won’t turn dark and they taste pretty good coming from the freezer.

  25. I am still working through the freezer this month. I saw the sale on whole chickens at $0.59/lb but still have turkeys in the freezer, and two whole chickens…time to use that up since there are only two of us to feed. Went to Sams Club for some basics and was astonished they didn’t have any 25 or 50 lb. bags of flour for sale! So I went to Costco and they had a great selection. Very odd, I guess each store is switching their selections around. I buy flour just once a year since 25 pounds of bread flour will last us a year. Thank you Brandy for the information on your site about the white buckets with the spin on (Gamma?) lids, they are magical 🙂 Keeps everything sealed up and looking organized.

  26. We are on food stamps right now since hubby still isn’t working and I am on disability – we use it to buy the staples we are low on and the cheapest meat we can find:
    We are about out of cheese – again – it is one of the proteins I seem to able to tolerate when my stomach is in a flare.
    Lactose free milk and cottage cheese for me, regular milk for the guys
    Gluten free bread machine mix
    Tomato puree (it is the only type that doesn’t contain onion and garlic!) and diced and/or whole peeled tomatoes
    Blueberries (one of the few fruits I seem to tolerate right now) – I will either dry them and add it as a powder to recipes or freeze them
    Ground turkey and pork to make breakfast sausage (if I find pork butt cheaper I will grind it myself)
    Chicken – we are low on all cuts
    maybe some beef but lately it is out of our price range.
    Eggs – my girls are on strike LOL
    gluten free crackers and pasta
    Canned meats for our emergency supplies (I just checked dates and need to rotate some stock!)
    white rice
    Chickpeas (garbanzo) beans (canned are easier to tolerate than cooking from dry – something in the canning process reduces the FODMAPs)

    We usually hit a discount grocer called “Daily Deals” first, then the restaurant supply place (chicken breast is often 1.49 a pound), then Meijers or Aldi depending on prices. If we get up North to our little piece of land, we will hit the really cheap butcher up there.

  27. I agree Brandy. I do the same thing. I have found so many markdowns and clearance items. I couldn’t pass them up. I got black beans for .29 a pound. I got about 10 items of personal products all marked down 50-75%. I saw one store had inventory being done, so I assume that they are marking down a lot. I too, put things on my list and try to wait for a sale. It is hard to pay full price. I have a running list so that I keep looking for that on sale. I started doing that when my kids were small. Money was tight and I had to be so careful. It was the only way I could stay home with the kids. Thanks to all, your wisdom is appreciated.

  28. I grew leeks last summer. I had a 5 gallon bucket full. I never thought to dehydrate them. I have a dehydrator. I am still using them. I left alot of the dirt on the roots and my garage is cool. They are still good.

  29. Today was a stock up day for me–although I shop weekly and jump on specials, it still seems like everything I need is on sale the same week. My best buy was the Green Giant corn niblets which only go on sale about twice a year. Normally $1.99 a can, on sale for $1 a can. I bought 12–was down to my last three. It was also double your $1 coupon week–up to 4 coupons, but I only used 3. My list was so long that if I walked past something I had to really NEED it to double back. Most of my other purchases were in smaller quantities, but added up to a respectable amount of food. I did manage a couple t-bone steaks (on sale) for our anniversary dinner tomorrow night, along with the cherry pie I also intend to make. 55 years married–seems impossible, but here we are. 31% savings over all today.

  30. Because of the Pantry Challenge I did in January there are several things that need to be restocked for February.
    I went to Sam’s and bought ketchup, sliced cheese, butter and gravy mix. These items should last all month or longer. At Aldi I bought milk, eggs, tortillas, cauliflower, tomatoes, avacados, lettuce and stir fry vegetables. I spent $60.
    I should only have to buy milk and bread and a few fruits and veggies for the rest of the month.

  31. I was going to ask about radish greens. I’ve tried to use them in salads and sometimes saute them with other greens. Have you used them specifically in something? I, too, have used radishes in stir fry. I also like to slice a few radishes into potato salad.

  32. February will be an unusual month for us. My husband and I are very concerned over the unrest in the country right now, so we are planning to shop just for deep pantry items and meat (if we can find some good deals). We have 3 young adult children, and we are trying to plan our purchases to be able to incorporate them moving home, if necessary. As I did no grocery shopping in January, we will have $550 to spend this month (monthly grocery budget is normally $275).

    Sams:
    All purpose flour
    Bread flour
    Vegetable oil
    White Rice
    Spices – I am low on Montreal Chicken, Basil, Onion Powder and Chili Powder
    Tortillas
    Kitchen trash bags – using Sam’s coupon
    Q-tips – using Sam’s coupon
    Instant Potatoes – Maybe
    Butter – if budget allows

    Costco:
    Organic Canned tomatoes – I won’t have enough canned from the garden to last until this year’s garden produces.
    Riced Cauliflower
    Coffee – if budget allows

    Grocery Store:
    Boston Butts –.99/lb with a limit of two at our local store this month
    Ginger Root – on sale this week for $2/lb. I will buy a couple of pounds and freeze it.
    Frozen veggies – we are really low on these, so I will be looking to stock the freezer. If there are no great deals I will wait until March (National Frozen foods month), when prices should be very good.
    Additional meats, if prices are good.

    Garden:
    Just finished building two additional raised beds, so I will be buying soil for these. Purchased all my seeds in December, but will be putting a bit of money in my garden envelope for buying my seed potatoes and tomato plants.

    My other need is toilet paper. I never know what is a good deal. For those who buy their tp at Sam’s, which brand do you buy?

    I hope everyone has a frugal February shopping month!

  33. Thank you Brandy. I just checked Sam’s website and the POM brand is listed at 19.98 per case. Is that what you pay in your area?

    What is your take on instant potatoes? We have used them occasionally to add as a thickener for potato soup and also to top shephard’s pie. The lowest we ever find regular potatoes is .39/lb. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough garden space to grow a full year supply for us. Do you ever use them?

  34. I cannot believe you can pick up 3 avocados for $1!!!!! I’d go everyday to stock up, I love thme but they are so expensive… usually around £1 each in the UK xx

  35. Roberta, I always buy loads of blueberries & blackberries when they’re in season/sale and then freeze them on cookie sheets, & put them in baggies in the freezer. I put 1/2 cup of them in my oatmeal every morning with walnuts. I’ve also used it to make jam. It’s much cooler to make jam in winter than in summer!!

  36. I’m with you, Katie! When I lived in Southern Cal, my friend had 2 trees that I LOVED. Avocado & apricot. I was so spoiled when those had fruit. She’d bring me bags of them. I have never tasted a more delicious apricot than her tree had. I had lemon & lime trees so I shared. Iced limeade in summer was yummy. The other thing I had regular freebies of was pomegranates.

  37. Yes, that is what I pay, except for once in a while when they have a sale for $2 off a box.

    I can now buy potatoes year-round for $0.25 a pound (russets). We do have some instant potatoes in our storage and I use them on occasion (as a thickener is wonderful) to rotate through them, but they’re not something I buy all the time, as we eat a lot of potatoes. We can easily go through 30-50 pounds of potatoes in a week in the winter.

  38. March is national Frozen Food Month and lots of things go on sale , including veggies, often at the lowest price point of the year. Last year Albertsons had their veggies at 88¢ here in Louisiana, even the petite peas. One of the reasons for promoting frozen foods in March is to clear out stocks for the coming harvest.

  39. I need to replenish my stock of the following:

    Whole pork loins
    Chicken
    Dried pinto, black and navy beans
    Granulated sugar
    Oil
    Yeast
    Cheddar cheese
    Mozzarella cheese
    Ricotta cheese (I want to make large batch of lasagna for freezer)
    Lasagna noodles
    Thin spaghetti
    Powdered milk
    Evaporated milk
    Sweetened condensed milk
    Ketchup
    Cornmeal

    I like to cherry pick the grocery sales but since I live an hour away from the city I have to balance gas expense and time spent versus the sale prices.

    I’m curious about the timing of the best grocery sales in other places. Here in Louisiana it seems the best sale prices are in the latter half of the month.

    Have a nice weekend everyone!

  40. The only beans I can tolerate are the chickpeas/garbanzos – the others all cause such extreme GI symptoms that it is not worth the days of recovery from eating them. I also cannot tolerate quinoa and I have to test lentils yet – it is on my list of recipes to try AFTER my next GI test this coming week. I have cut back SIGNIFICANTLY on how much meat I am using in meals and am adding more fillers like rice and potatoes.

  41. I bought groceries at the end of the month to last until mid-February, but when I put things away, I realized there was plenty to go to the end of the month, so there won’t be any more bought until then.

    There were sales on whole chickens and toilet paper. Other than that, I replaced basics like ground pork, eggs, coffee, cinnamon, lentils, black beans, popcorn and crackers. I don’t always stock these things in bulk, but try to keep them in the pantry/fridge/freezer. Some are on a 25 item one-extra list I keep, where I try to have one more package than the one I am using. I was only able to buy the first package, not the second this time.

    This month, I am checking direct farm purchases locally for the coming summer. They are not the cheapest way to buy food, but I can get organic and local food. I have just committed to a CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) share, after negotiating an every two weeks pick-up at the farm, instead of weekly. This will save a lot on gas. I like the variety of produce they grow. I am also checking out pork and lamb, but haven’t made any decisions yet. I have enough to do looking after the yard and house myself though, and some fixing up that the house needs, so I don’t want to commit much time to a garden.

  42. Hi Brandy ours are sheltered under the canopy of a 15mt tall eucalypt tree in the heat of the midday heat 🙂 . The secret is to pick them early and they will remain flat, even the ones I don’t get to in time that turn a bit bulgy we still eat as with being under the shade they are still crispy and tender.

    If you have say fruit trees or other bushes that you could plant underneath then give it a try, I am hoping you will have the same success.

  43. This past 2 weeks, I have been cooking up a storm with the ingredients in my pantry, freezers and home-canning cupboard. I was also given some food that was leftover from a retreat. It included leftover breakfast casserole, leftover twice-baked potato casserole, flour tortillas, pinto beans (actually about 1/2 of a 25 lb-bag–they just bought a large bag, used what they needed, and gave me the rest–I guess that’s the size the store had where they were shopping), and a ham bone with a little meat left on it. So, I’ve made refried beans (a crock pot full), had burritos several times-my kids love, love, love homemade refried beans, made ham broth-then split pea soup, scrambled eggs with ham bits, chicken and dumplings, pizza, spaghetti sauce (a crock pot full for eating now and later), cheesy broccoli soup, and more. Because I’d like to use up some of my things to make more room for summer produce, I’ll continue cooking whatever I can find in the freezers and cupboards.

    I bought shampoo, soap, red lentils, bbq sauce, mustard, ketchup, and a couple of other things so far in February.

    I will need to get: milk, butter, eggs, cheese, lunch meat and other things for lunches if I run out but my husband mostly takes leftovers in his lunches so I’m not sure if I need any yet, whole-wheat bread (I’m so sensitive to gluten that I don’t keep any regular all-purpose flour in the house so never make bread anymore, except gluten-free bread, but the family eats it). I will try to make a Costco run this month and pick up the ziplocks, corn chips, shredded cheese and hopefully some nuts, t.p., and maybe butter. I also will buy any items I find at stores that are an exceptional deal that will round out the pantry. I won’t know until I see the ads.

    I will also get my garden seeds this month. I won’t be starting tomatoes or peppers from seed, as I usually do, because I do not have a little greenhouse anymore. So, I will buy starts when the time comes. I used most of what I had last year when my sister and I did a garden together, so will be needing quite a few packets for this year. I’m not sure exactly how many I can fit in this new, smaller garden, but I’m excited to see and plan to cram in as much as I can. I plan to buy some strawberry plants as well. I will need to buy some dirt for the place where I want them. I have never had to buy dirt before, but I guess when you don’t live in the country anymore……you do what you’ve got to do. It actually should be quite convenient to just open a bag and pour it out where I want it.

  44. Roberta you can also do brown bettys cobblers and crisps…or stew them on the on the stove and just serve them with a dollop of ice cream or yogurt or cool whip or a splash of milk.

  45. Melissa V, best wishes for your husband’s job situation! To get your hens to start laying this time of year, you might try putting a light in their henhouse to shine for a few hours either at dusk or to come on before dawn. My husband set ours on a timer, but it can be done manually also. I’m getting 4 to 6 eggs each day from my 6 girls! The winter temps don’t affect their laying as much as the darkness does.

  46. Nothing makes me happier than clean laundry and a full fridge 🙂
    Instead of stocking up this month, I will be trying to eat out what we have in the fridge and our small kitchen cupboard. I did stock up a bit in January though, I purchased a 10 pound bag of quinoa from Costco, 5 pounds of rice, pancake mix, some flour. I need to be very aware not to overbuy since we literally have zero room to store basically anything.

  47. I don’t keep a light on them – I have done it in the past on a timer but it didn’t make that big of a difference. These girls are coming up on 2 years and I was expecting them to take a month or two off. I should start seeing eggs again in a couple weeks. I have had chickens for so many years that I kinda know how they respond in our particular area to the lighting thru out the year. I will add some young ones this spring to keep us in eggs 🙂 I have had hens lay up to 8 years old – granted it wasn’t near as many as when they were young but they still laid em!

  48. I’ve got a partial bag of frozen cherries that are starting to get a bit too “icy” since we haven’t eaten them fast enough by adding a couple to a serving of yogurt now and then. So I intend to use those up making a cobbler. Seems a good way to use up lots of fruit.

  49. We are in the opposite situation with a pending cross country move so I have been trying to use things up and only buy what we can eat short term. That led me to making delicious chocolate almond muffins to use up cocoa and slice almonds. I can’t even imagine what the first few shops in our new location will involve.

  50. Hey there!! I’m a Louisiana reader also.. just wanted to say hey. I’m in the north part of the state. Duck dynasty country

  51. probably because their state doesn’t require a growing permit for a garden and Alabama does if you are going to sale any of your produce even if it’s just an apple one time RO BARTER.I have several friends in Alabama that have gardens for their own use that do not have the permit because they aren’t selling or bartering their produce. Though a few did get it because they didn’t want to barter or sell not thinking and get nailed with taxes and fines. Better safe than sorry.

  52. After so discussion during the car ride to and from my Dad’s (he is an hr away), I decided to wait at least a couple weeks if not to March before going to the store and buying perishables.We bought the milk I needed while at Menards getting distilled water for the humidifier. Ours does have milk and it was $2.50 a bit higher than Aldi’s which was right down the street less than 1/2 mile. Hubby asked why I was will to pay the higher price. He and the people that heard my answer cracked up laughing. Saved me over $10 because I would have bought cube steak as I a CRAVING it.If I could have waited until today I could have had him stop on the way home from work at the little store in town ($2.50 also) but I was completely out of milk. Need to restock the shelf stable milk etc.

  53. Brandi I just love how amongst all the staples you are sure to include ‘chocolate chips’. They are of course a staple in our home too, with six kids (although should I admit they are more for me?) ! Love your blog. 🙂

  54. I don’t know if it would help, but I have read that if you add beans in small amounts, sometimes you can build up a tolerance.
    Potatoes are a great idea too.

  55. I feel the same about the country. I to have been trying to stock up. My freezers are full. I keep finding staples at great markdown prices so I am buying. I bought some staples for my son’s birthday. He always asks for them so I grab them when they are at low prices. I can bless him with more things he can’t afford to buy. I cook for my dog too. She is so much healthier. It is hard to find meat on sale but I try. I make a lot of soups, stews, and meatless meals.

  56. I was at Walmart yesterday and they were selling their frozen turkeys for $.48/lb!

    A local favorite independent grocery store had a one day meat sale. I stocked up!
    -Boneless skinless chicken breast $1.29/lb
    – chicken leg quarters $.29/lb
    -ground chuck $1.49/lb
    -pot roast $2.49/lb
    – baby back ribs !1.79/lb
    -pork sirloin roast $1.19/lb
    -pork shoulder $.79/lb (I grind this)

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