Beets in Basket The Prudent Homemaker

The garden is less productive than it usually is this month, but I’m hoping to have more to harvest towards the end of the month. I’ve cloched several lettuce seedlings to get them to grow faster. 

I have a few green onions (fewer than previous years, but we’ve also been using them more, so I will be planting more seeds this month), lots of beet greens (and beets), some chard, lots of thyme, lemons still hanging from the trees (plus the baskets and baskets inside), and a few other herbs. 

We’re working on eating down the freezers, and I’m using up fruit we’ve frozen from the garden, and eating home-canned and dried produce as well.

I never did get to Target last month, so I’ll look for sales this month on items I usually purchase there.



(These sales end 2/02)

American Beauty Pasta $0.49 a pound when bought in multiples of 6

Oranges $0.39 a pound

Gala Apples $0.99 a pound


Sam’s Club:


Eggs (they had 5 dozen eggs at $6.24 last month; I’m hoping that price continues)

Flour Tortillas



Oil of Olay soap (there is currently a $1 off coupon on

Secret unscented deodorant (I’ll look for coupons; it’s also possible to find a good sale at Smith’s occasionally, so I’ll look at their ads as well)

Valentine’s peanut M&M’s ( has coupons, and Target usually has a Target coupon you can stack with this, plus a Target cartwheel offer to stack, plus a sale. I’ll watch for these.)

Vitamins (I probably missed a sale, but I’ve been a bit busy in the garden lately. . . .)

Salon Graphix unscented hairspray


Washing Soda



Hand dishwashing soap (they were out when I went last month)

Oxi-clean spray in the refill bottle



Feta cheese


Other items for which I’ll watch for sales:

Sour Cream




Almond extract (I found out last month that our Sam’s Club no longer carries this. Does anyone have a suggestion on where to find the best price? I am considering checking at Winco and Costco.)

Frozen petite peas (I’m hoping for a great sale at Albertson’s, since everyone loves them).



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  1. Maybe aldi if you have one in your area?? I picked up some cake mix there the other day.. it was boxed Christmas mix.. it said it was .40 each.. when they rung up it was .10.. my kids do not care if they are eating red and green sprinkles in June… LOL they had a bunch of “holiday baking ” items marked down, so maybe they have the extracts on sale.. ???

    Sue in NJ

  2. There are no Aldis here. I listed our local stores in my post last month on what I’ll spend for food. I usually buy the extract in bulk for the lowest price. I don’t use almond extract as often as I use vanilla, so I was surprised to see it was no longer available at Sam’s in bulk.

  3. Have you ever ordered from San Francisco Herb Company? I bought almond extract from them for less than I ever found it in stores. On a different subject, is it just Iowa or is butter more expensive than ever, and rarely on sale. (I still marvel that you found it that time for fifty cents a pound and bought forty pounds; that has never happened to me!)

  4. I buy Spice Time 2oz almond extract at dollar tree. They also have lemon extract there. I also look at their pasta. I like the no cook lasagna noodles as it saves me from having to boil the noodles. Elbow and spaghetti pasta is 24oz for $1.

  5. Butter has become a hot commodity going up to $4.50 or more around here. (Ohio area) I stocked up when Aldi has their four sticks for only $2.39. It has been that price since before Christmas so I have been trying to purchased four or more packages each time I am at the store. Sam’s Club normally has a decent price on butter (4lbs for $10.57).

  6. It is my plan to eat a lot from our freezer this month. I have stored many pounds of chicken and beef. I need to use some to make some room for summer veggies.

    I am blessed with eggs from a sweet lady at our church. She will not take pay from me. She is a widow, she lost her husband suddenly just over a year ago, and we know she has several dogs, horses, and chickens. As she will not take cash from us we buy feed for her dogs and chickens. She will take that in trade. Her husband was such a sweet person. He was born in Germany told many stories of his life in Germany. We miss him too.

    Butter and milk are about the only thing I will have to buy. I have fruit in my pantry and some frozen. I do plan to buy oranges and apples if I can get a sale.

    Found Yardly soap at the Dollar Tree a few weeks ago. I got 3 bars. I am going to use those for my baths. Got the ‘men folk’ in my family Dial, again at Dollar Tree.

  7. Brandy, Thanks for the tip about the pasta sale at Smiths. I was able to get some fettuccine (I don’t have that type of pasta) for my storage.

  8. Hi Brandy and all from Australia :).

    Shall be doing our grocery stock for the month on February 9th, we are still transitioning into monthly shopping gradually and still assessing the savings on this as we stocked up on a few specials to up our 12 month supply on a few things last month. We should see what the budget is doing this month but have a better idea in March.

    Meat & vegetables –
    – We shall be eating down the freezer here on meat and blanched vegetables & purchasing meat next month so will be keeping an eye out for specials then. Now that we have purchased another freezer we will have more room to stock bulk meats.
    – Purchase 1 tray of sliced chicken for sandwiches for me for $4.69 which lasts a month.
    – We were purchasing legs of lamb for meat, but after assessing how little meat we got off them for the price we have worked out this was an expensive way to buy meat, taking into account the bone makes up most of the weight you pay for.
    – We have decided next month to move more toward ground beef or mince, sausages and BBQ steaks along with any frozen whole chickens or other meats we see on special.

    Dairy –
    – Stock up on 8 full cream milks for the month for the freezer.
    – Purchase whipping cream from Aldi for desserts with freshly picked strawberries from the garden.
    – Top up butter for the month, we usually buy 6. We buy it at aldi in 500g blocks (equating to around 4.5 sticks) for $2.59 ea.
    – Top up on 8 3 lt containers of whole milk.
    – Buy 2 x 1kg blocks of cheese.
    – 2 dozen barn laid eggs.
    – Stock up on powdered milk used.

    Flours, cocoa –
    8 pkts of 1kg white flour for bread making and cooking.
    6 x 375g of cocoa powder. We use this for hot chocolate and lots of cooking each month.

    Tinned fruits –
    – 6 tins of lychees to replace those used – we have a rain check for these for $2 ea, they are normally $3.03 ea
    – Top up on 12 tins of mango used usually on special for $1.35 – $1.70 425g can, far cheaper than buying fresh @ $2 – $3.50 ea.
    – Any tinned pears & 2 fruits we have used from the pantry.

    Tinned meats –
    – Stock up on any tins of tuna and chicken we have used during the month.

    Toiletries & personal care items –
    – Stock up on 2 body wash. We are trying to get to a 12 month supply by buying 2 each month.
    – We did in January stock all our shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toilet paper and toothbrushes up to a 12 month supply with them all being on special at 50% off usual prices.

    Vitamins, medications & medical first aid kit top ups –
    – Top up on 2 pkts of iron tablets for me.
    – Look at buying a large bag of Epsom salts to relieve my husbands swelling and pain in his feet when his back is playing up. We found this works a treat and takes down the swelling and pain in around a day or less. He can’t take any heavy pain killers as it affects his kidneys due to being on years of heavy pain meds after they rebuilt him after his military accident. He does however take Panadol which doesn’t affect him to badly.
    – Out of craft money earned this month top up on 20 x each of #14 & #15 dressing pads or Israeli field bandages to increase our medical supplies to eventually 12 months supply for my husband & I and a few others if needed.

    Preparation items (which I view as groceries :), too) –
    – We are topping up on all our clothing and preparation items for a couple of years ahead before the import GST tax of 10 % for all overseas purchases hits in Australia along with rapidly increasing prices due to the drop in our dollar against the US $. I purchase the following items out of craft money I earn on the internet as it comes in.
    – Looking for boleros on special or low prices from overseas on the internet.
    – Looking for cotton skirts on special “.
    – Looking for knitted beanies on special “.
    – Bobble filtration bottles and sawyer mini filters or life straws.
    – Kitchen timer & another set of measuring spoons.
    – Tea towels & face washers.

    Have a wonderful frugal money saving February one and all 🙂

  9. Hi Roxie and so lovely you get eggs from a lady at church. We do similar with most people as she does and either give our excess produce away at church. Alternatively we trade our vegetables, saved vegetable seeds, dried herbs & things for eggs and fresh fruits from others who grow or produce them in the church. We trade when we know that the people who are producing are on limited incomes such as us, and it helps all concerned to gain products and groceries that they don’t have.

  10. Not sure if you saw the Target coupon for $1.00 off up & up vitamins on their website. Just noticed that a person can sort them by Target or Manufacturers coupon. Not sure if that’s new. Coupon expires 2/27/2016.

  11. The Aldi’s website states that they are coming to California, so maybe they will end up in Nevada next. You can hope!

  12. jealous on your oranges and apples… I buy oranges and only 4.. they are .50 EACH… As for galas they are my favorite.. 1.69 a lb. 🙁 Prices just keep going up and up and up…..

  13. Hi Brandy,
    I have a large bottle of First Street almond extract (16 oz) that we bought at Cash and Carry- I don’t see them as an option for you in the Las Vegas area but do you have access to other restaurant supply stores there? Cash and Carry will sell to regular customers as well so we shop there occasionally. This bottle of almond extract may last the rest of my life- it is quite large!

  14. This month is our no-spend month. I went shopping on January 31st and no more shopping until March 1st! We did stock up a bit on produce but for the most part we will just be eating down the pantry and freezer. Hopefully we will be able to put away quite a bit into savings after this month.

  15. Irene – would using almond pulp after making almond milk work instead of the whole almonds? Or has anyone else tried this? And, does the quality of the vodka matter? I had read elsewhere to buy the cheapest vodka available. Thanks

  16. Hi Brandy and so relate to the $1 each scenario here in Australia too. I would so love to get oranges at 0.39c lb or equating to $1.17 kg taking into account currency differences and weight conversions here :).

    Our oranges at the moment are $2.33 kg or approx. $1.05 lb.
    Lemons at the moment are $9.40 kg or $4.27 lb.

    I am seriously examining them considering the price to see if they included gold leaf decorations on them as well :p.

  17. Yes, I have given her veggies too when we have some from our garden. She is a nurse and works a lot of long hours and still tries to keep her husband’s dream alive. They lived out in the country here, they raise miniature horses, chickens, and dogs. She is no longer raising the dogs to sell, but just had another horse born and 1 will be born in May. I give her things from our garden for the animals. I see her every Sunday, she sits with us so she is not alone. She and her husband used to sit in front of us every Sunday. We got to be good friends. I miss him very much and know she does too. I hope that we are of a little help to her. They had been married just 6 years and have no children. He has a grown daughter from his first marriage who still lives in Germany. He was widowed before.

  18. First Street is the brand they carry at Smart & Final. I think there are a few Smart & Final’s in Las Vegas but I don’t know if they are close to you Brandy.

  19. That’s about the price of butter here if you don’t use the store coupon. Right now the store I use is 3.99 per pound but the store every week runs 2/5.00 with the coupon in the flyer and you can use as many coupons as you want as long as it is in a separate purchase. I just keep lining them up at the back of the freezer. I have to build the stock back up after Christmas baking and I am up to 29 pounds according to my chart.

  20. I need to stock back up on butter – down to only 1 pound. Hopefully Aldi will have a better price.
    I am out of honey so I also need to restock that – it’s just so darn expensive and I don’t have much to trade this time of year.
    I am looking for some really good deals on beef roasts just to have a little variety.
    I am VERY low on potatoes (we are going thru around 10 pounds a week right now).
    Pasta is just not coming down below 99 cents a pound so I am going to have to stock up at that price 🙁 although, since my hubby has been put on insulin and I am trying to cut way back on gluten, we aren’t eating as much.
    Since I am cutting down on wheat, I need to stock up on some nut flours which are much lower in carbs for hubby and gluten free for me so I don’t have to buy too many different types.
    My xanthum gum supply has gotten very low too.
    I am still storing wheat since if it came down to it, I would be using it for bread etc if we had to live on our storage. Plus, I still have to bake for the kids and I give goodies away too.
    Vet bills have cut way into my ability to get the animal food storage up to 3 months so I really need to buckle down and get that done as well.

  21. Hi Melissa and yes honey is expensive everywhere at the moment even in Australia :(.

    Our next door neighbour is an apiarist and we buy honey at wholesale price from him which is $6 kg or $2.72 lb in Australian money that is, which is super cheap here. We just recently purchased 15kg of honey to keep our stocks up.

    There is a shortage of honey here at the moment from what our neighbour has told us, due to drought and not enough flowers for them to get nectar from, a total kill off in some of the bee hives from an invasion of some sort of mite and another mite that attacks the bees and kills them. So all in all not a good situation for the beautiful bees and us who love their lovely honey.

    We have been told in some country areas that the bee keepers are charging and getting $30 kg or $13.63 a lb.

    So if you have had a lot of drought or adverse weather conditions in your area that could be the reason for the price jump as well. The apiarists are unable to rob the hives of honey in windy or rainy weather as the bees will attack. They know and get upset days before we even know that there are storms and winds coming too.

    If you know someone who has their own bee hives I would suggest buying it in bulk if possible to lower the price you pay and to keep your stocks up.

  22. Bee keepers in the area are charging at least (more often more) than what the stores are, regardless of amount. We do know a couple apiarist – they are losing about 50% of there hives EVERY winter due to the die offs that have hit the US hard. If only our EPA would actually DO something and ban the chemicals that make the bees more susceptible to the mites and diseases, maybe things would turn around. At this point, it is pretty bleak.

  23. Hi Melissa and thoroughly agree about the chemicals too and how they affect the bees natural habitats.

    There is one chemical that a lot of farmers use on their crops that interferes with the bees homing ability to get back to their hives as well. Our next door neighbour lost a whole hive as the bees went out foraging and never came back as a farmer near where he had one of his hives used this particular chemical to spray his crops with.

    If that chemical does that to the bees heaven knows what residual effects that could have in humans, because even when you wash the vegetables well there is still residue on them.

  24. Hi Brandy! I love your blog. It is the one blog that I can’t wait to see the next post. There are a lot of frugal blogs, but none that have your approach. Thank you for the useful information. I have been inspired by you and have started my own blog–just barely. I am having a “Low Spend Month” and we are using up things in our pantry and freezer. I think that is really a good idea to do a couple of times a year.

    Thanks again!

  25. So interesting to read about the different foods in Australia-lychees? A sweet Chinese fruit from what I could find online.
    How do you think the cost of living compares to the US?

  26. I use whole raw almonds. My flip top jar is probably 8 oz and I fill with a medium priced vodka and about 6-8 almonds. Put in a dark place. I have used this within about 2 weeks and was great. Of course the longer it sits the stronger the flavor.

  27. I have never used almond pulp after making our almond milk not sure it would provide a strong enough flavor but maybe. We use the pulp in homemade granola and typically make almond milk then granola same day. You sure could give the pulp a try in making almond extract. Why not… that’s how we learn- right?

  28. When we purchase a bottle of vodka, we mix up a bottle of vanilla extract, almond extract, mint extract and lemon extract. The larger amount of the vodka goes to vanilla because we use it the most and then my flip top jars for almond, mint and lemon extract are probably 8 ounces. Last year I made up a few extras and just let them do there thing then gave as gifts.

  29. Lisa, we have lychees available in Canada as well. They are imported in fresh at certain times of the year (like right now for Chinese New Year) or you can buy them canned in the Asian section of the grocery store.

  30. Due to us having some big bills due and our tax return being less than we expected, thus no adding to our savings that way, I’m doing a living off what we have lifestyle until we hopefully can pay off some things that need to be paid and hopefully put some more money into savings. I’m two weeks in so far and so far so good. I’m detailing the experience on my blog.

    I do have shopping goals for this month though that are working into a significantly reduced grocery budget (because I have to). So, my list for the month can be found here…

  31. Hi Lisa and yes we have fresh lychees available in Australia most of the year, they are usually imported from China and are in our usual grocery stores here for around $9.99 kg in season and a lot more expensive when they are out of season. I usually buy them tinned as it is much cheaper and it is something I like to eat for fruit, but my husband prefers pears, so easier for me to purchase them in tins as there is only the 2 of us.

    They are beautifully sweet fruits and are great when you make fruit salad to pop in there as well for a bit of a sweet flavour burst.

    Lychees are a good source of vitamin c, have a heap of antioxidants in them, improves blood flow to the organs, and has a natural compound in them that helps you fight viruses and protects the skin from UV rays. As I am anaemic I also need to eat a lot of foods that contain vitamin c to help my body absorb iron rich foods as well as the iron tablets I take as well. Being born a redhead I figure that the more UV protection I can get the better 🙂 .

  32. The ad that came in the mail today (2/9) has American Beauty pasta on sale for $0.49 per pkg, when bought in multiples of 6. The sale dates are from 7am Feb 10 thru midnight Tuesday, Feb 16th, good in in following locations in Utah County: Payson, Provo, Pleasant Grove, Saratoga Springs, Orem, & Lehi.

  33. I have friends that live in Arizona and right now oranges are in season.. You see them dropping off trees by the 100’s. She can’t give them away for nothing.. That also includes lemons and grapefruits.. Oh how I wish shipping weren’t so high to send to me in Arkansas… 🙁

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