Garden Grapes 2 The Prudent Homemaker

Peaches and grapes are ripe in my garden, albeit a few weeks earlier than normal. This year, the mockingbirds have appeared in my garden, and they have figured out that my green grapes are ripe. I’ll be covering as many grape bunches as I can with paper bags to allow them to continue to ripen before they are all eaten.

My Concord grapes are ripening too (also earlier than usual). I’ve never harvested more than six individual Concord grapes in a year, so seeing so many bunches this year is exciting! They are small bunches, unlike my other varieties of grapes. I have several vines now, as I took cuttings from my vine several years ago to make new vines. These vines are now producing.

I’ve seen the ads for this week and though it is the season for peaches and grapes, the stores are listing them at $2.99 a pound! I did see one store that had peaches for less ($1.48 a pound). I have never seen prices so high for these. This month should bring better sales for these items; I have seen them in years past for $0.99 a pound. Usually grapes are on sale several times for that price, and peaches only one or two weeks of the summer at that price. I used to buy 80 pounds of peaches to can when I saw them at that price. Now I just pick them from my own trees to eat fresh, freeze and can.

I’ve got one Armenian cucumber  ripening in the front yard. The seeds I planted last week for more plants are up. I hope to have a fall harvest that allows me to can pickles this year.

I still have apricots on the trees, oddly enough. We’ll be picking the last of them this week.

I’m moving our budget back up this month as we are able to do so. My budget for this month is $400. This includes food and toiletries.

This week is a great time for American readers to stock up on holiday sales that are out for barbeque foods for the Fourth of July.

I’ve already been to Walmart this month; it was an unexpected trip while I waited to have a new battery put in and get a new key made (my key broke and my battery died on the first; batteries die often here in our high temperatures and replacing them is prorated under the length of your warranty).



Canning lids (I’m slowly building up my supply of reusable canning lids, but with fruit ripe and needing to be canned now, I picked up some lids).

Mrs. Wages dill pickle mix (in anticipation of cucumbers later in the year)

Oxi Clean stain remover spray (the refill bottles)


Washing soda


Sam’s Club:

Flour tortilllas



Mozarella cheese




Vegetable oil (it’s currently $4.98 for a gallon)

Potatoes (currently $0.25 a pound)

Oats (a 25 pound bag; I ended up not getting these last month)



Vons:   I was busy canning yesterday and missed these sales. I’l look for more this month on these items.

Whole chickens (on sale for $0.67 a pound)

Gulden’s spicy mustard (on sale for $.99 each when you buy 4)



Ice cream (I’ll look for a sale later in the month)

Pasta, if it goes on sale for $0.49. I see this price about 3 times a year and if it comes this month I want to have money earmarked for it. If not, I will look for a sale on it another month.



Sunscreen (there’s a good deal right now listed here)

Toothbrushes for my husband (his favorite kind is on sale buy one get one free)

Salon Graphix unscented hairspray. I have a couple of coupons for $1 off (thanks to a reader!)


I’ll also visit Target for back to school sales on school supplies later in the month. I’ll look for other good toiletry sales there this month too, as well as watch the grcoery ads for any other great sales this month.



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  1. It’s interesting to see how much prices fluctuate between different areas of the country! Peaches here in Columbus, Ohio are as low as 77 cents/pound at Fresh Thyme and 99 cents/pound at other stores! Grapes are 99 cents/pound all over .

    Eggs have come down in price- Sam’s Club for the 7-1/2 dozen work out to 77 cents a dozen, but I’ve been getting individual dozen cartons at Fresh Thyme for 55 – 69 cents/dozen lately. Meats have been going down too!

    This is prime time to be stocking up!!! Gives me a sense of urgency to preserve as much as possible for the coming winter!

    Good luck with your shopping!

  2. I’ve always wanted to try shopping at different stores like this, but time is prohibitive, as usual. I adore reading your blog! Mr. Picky Pincher and I are envious of your amazing garden.

    Have you considered making your own tortillas? I know you’ve got a lot of mouths to feed, but we’ve started making them at home for cheap. And they’re more delicious to boot!

  3. I am so looking forward to harvesting my own fruit trees in the next couple of years. We have planted 21 fruit and nut trees/vines/bushes in the last few months. I’ve taken inspiration from you! It always sounds so fresh when you are describing your bounty.
    I assume you have an LDS cannery near you in Utah. I noticed on our order form from ours nearby that they have a 25 lb. bag of spaghetti for $6.50. I know they can have different items at each location, but have you tried their spaghetti? I’m wondering if it gets really ‘gummy’ or anything weird.

  4. Amy,

    I’m in Las Vegas, Nevada. There is a cannery near me. I haven’t bought their spaghetti before, but I have seen it at the cannery and I think it would be fine. I need other shapes of pasta right now, but I will consider that when I need spaghetti again. Thanks for pointing out that price!

  5. How many shopping trips do you make in a month? Are stores close to you?

    I have the luxury of having all but one of these stores within 5 miles of my house, and all but 2 are within 2 miles of my house. Two are in the same parking lot. I usually combine trips.

    My cousin (in another state) has Walmart and one grocery store by her. One is 45 minutes away and the other is 35 minutes away–in opposite directions.

    So it depends on what you have for options where you live.

    I have made my own tortillas It was very time-prohbitive for me for the number of tortillas I needed to make for our family.

  6. I have two little bunches of grapes on one of my vines! I was so excited to see that the other day 😀 My armenian cucumbers still have not sprouted, I have resigned myself to the fact that I probably won’t get any this year. I have planted 3 times. Oh well. Your garden gives me hope that I can produce more food each year for my family.
    For those readers that have Piggly Wiggly: check their weekly ad! My store advertised whole chickens for .49 per pound, pasta for .49 per package (looks about a pound size)and peaches for .99 per pound.

  7. I was excited to see whole chickens on sale for 77 cents last month. I doubt it will get lower than that for me. I agree, grapes used to be on a much better sale than what I’ve seen lately. I’ve heard that grapes don’t necessarily do well around here, so I guess I won’t be growing any. You have such a great variety of fruits available to you! Our peach tree is producing peaches, but they haven’t ripened yet. We’ll see!

  8. I’ve planned my garden to have a variety, with things ripening at different times. Of course, as is happening this month, they don’t always come at different times! That is the goal, though. Having semi-dwarf trees makes it possible for me to plant more trees in my garden, and the grapes grow in front of the wall on one side of the property (the blackberries grow on the other side).

  9. I found apricots on sale when I went to one store’s monthly 10% off day. Today, I made your apricot vanilla jam. It smells wonderful and I ended up with a scant serving for the refrigerator! Yum. Tomorrow I’ll can blackberry jam from my first round of picking free berries. Picked over 2 pounds yesterday.
    I stocked up at this month’s 10% days on some needed toiletries, vinegar, canning lids, and sugar. The same store with the apricots will price match so I used a competitor’s sale on 10kg of sugar for $9.89 and got another 10% off. Love it when that happens. i don’t always go with a set list since this store also has a lot of ‘this store only’ unadvertised specials.
    Thanks as always for your blog. Your posts and the comments really help me stay focused on keeping to a budget.

  10. While the grapes are on sale and available from your garden, something you may want to consider: freeze them. Frozen grapes are WONDERFUL summer snacks, and are a great (healthy, cheap) popcicle replacement for kids. I loved them when my mom froze grapes when I was little, and my daughter loves them too. While they’re available in plentiful cheap quantities and while the weather is so hot, it might be worth testing with your kids!

  11. Hi Brandy,
    Interested to know if you use cloth or disposable nappies for bub. Our bub is a month old & I have fitted cloth nappies I’m using at home & disposables for when we are out. Hope all is going well xx.

  12. If you have a Sprouts near you, they have peaches on sale 4 lbs for $1 through next Wednesday (the 13th)

  13. Brandy,

    What has your experience been with the Tattler lids? I had to throw away 10 quarts of peaches last year because they came unsealed in my pantry. I decided not to use them again. I also found the fail rate to be higher even after following the directions for a loose ring. Just to depression. Throwing food away and getting 2-3 jars a batch that don’t seal. I have 12 dozen of them also don’t was an investment for sure.

  14. My Grandma made tortillas every morning when I was growing up. We’re Hispanic and didn’t eat bread at all. It was so ordinary to me then, but now I realize how much work it was. Interesting tidbit…she had to get her wedding ring refilled with gold every few years because the constant rolling motion on the pin wore it out. It would get thinner and thinner and then break.

  15. Hello Brandy and all from Australia 🙂 .

    This month in our home we have the following groceries in mind to purchase at the end of the month. We have done a big top up on meat for the freezer that we were low on so only a little grocery shop later this month will be needed.

    We keep anywhere from 3 – 12 months supply in advance of all our home needs in the house, so all of the following things on the maybe list can wait until they come on special which is fantastic 🙂 .

    – bacon.
    – full cream milk.
    – sour cream
    – cream.
    – 1kg cheese.
    – 1 tin of evaporated milk.
    – full cream milk powder.
    – 1 pkt of chips.
    – 2 x wheat biscuit breakfast cereal or make some granola.
    – Cold and flu tablets to top up the medicine cabinet.

    On the maybe list is if there is enough left in the budget and or on special, may include some of the following items –

    – Tinned green beans to top up our grocery storage stockpile.
    – Tinned carrots for further top up.
    – Tinned champignons.
    – Tinned sweet corn.
    – Shampoo x 3
    – Conditioner x 4
    – Deodorant x 2
    – toothpaste x 2.
    – mouthwash x 2.

    Household needs – currently no household items needed for the home for this month.

  16. I should add that I can do four stores in one trip (but since I’ve already done Walmart, thanks to having to hang out there while I had a new key made and a new car battery put in, that one is done), all being within 2 miles.

  17. Amie,

    I buy the store brand of disposables on sale/with coupons when they have them. I found it cost me $250 a year with my last child to do that (including wipes) and it was totally worth my time and water and electric to do that, for me. I already do 2-4 loads of laundry 6 days a week 🙂

    I don’t have to buy any this month as I already have some. I ended up buying some last month (and not doing my Winco trip) because they had a great deal on them.

  18. Thanks for sharing that deal Kathi. A friend called to tell me about it after I saw your message. They’re not close to me, but they are close to her. Hopefully some readers will see this and be able to benefit from it!

    I currently have 5 baskets of peaches on my counter, and there are more on my two trees 🙂 I’ve cut several quarts and put them in the freezer already this week.

  19. Heidi,

    I’ve been having that trouble with them, too, though not quite as high of a rate of problems as you had. With the regular lids I might find 1 jar in 300 on the shelf that isn’t sealed. With the reusuable lids it has been much higher. I am taking the rings off to check and storing them with the rings off as it says. But I have found several that weren’t sealed later that were sealed before.

  20. Thanks for posting! It is so interesting to see the prices vary across the country. Here in the Phoenix area Sprouts has peaches on sale for 2lbs for $1.

  21. Brandy, I was wondering if you have a 99cents only store near you? We have one nearby that has incredible deals on food. I asked why and they told me they buy in bulk from grocery stores when certain things get close to their expiration or sell by date or when things just don’t sell well. It’s very hit or miss but I find incredible deals. And sometimes I walk out empty handed. The other day they had 2lb packages of deli turkey for 99cents each. I bought 14 and froze them. They had huge packages of gogurt (Costco size). I bought 4 and froze them for summer treats. These things weren’t expired just a little closer than the grocery stores like I guess. They had small packages of natural peanut butter meant to be pre measured for baking that combined to be way larger than a medium jar. I got 6 lbs of turkey bacon for .33 cents a pound. I bought lots organic pasta sauce. I filled my cart to the brim with these deals and the total was less than $45. There are lots of things there that I’m wary of and will really only buy the regular brands I prefer to make sure the quality is okay but it is worth checking in if you have one of these nearby.

  22. If you use the ibotta app, there are currently rebates for Salon Grafix hair spray and Arm & Hammer washing soda.

  23. Jamie, I saw your goat posts or two. My oldest girl has Saanen goats to milk. The kids are so fun to watch. We have a “medium sized family” also.

  24. For Tattler tips check out the blog Thy Hand Hath Provided. She does a couple posts ,eleven I think, on using and getting the hang of them, with help direct from the company itself.

  25. Food:

    We need coffee beans and unbleached AP flour. Son and wife will pick up for me on trip to Trader Joe’s next week when they get together with a school group of friends.

    I need cottage cheese, Crisco, pecans, raisins, yeast, iceberg lettuce heads (lettuce for 7layer salad-our leaf lettuce doesn’t work for that), vitamin D, arthritis pain OTC. If the bakery has their hoagie buns we will get a big bag of those for sandwiches . We will get these at Sam’s club with my brother and his wife and we’ll tow our work trailer. They are buying some kind of tent/gazebo thing and patio furniture…They have TWO weddings, one in August, one in September AND a 50th wedding anniversary party for her parents.

    We have so much fresh things right now in the gardens but I need apples for eating, lemon juice for canning, tofu, liquid pectin (there have been coupons and sales for canning supplies at the grocer, but the farm store is often cheaper. ) I need more anti itch spray for mosquito bites. Chap stick and band aids. I will keep buying bell peppers on sale.

  26. Partly thanks to you Brandy, we do have a lot of staple in items in storage. I always keep bulk flour, sugar, beans, oats, dry milk etc. as well as some canned and boxed goods and #10 cans of freeze dried and dehydrated things. Keeping that in mind, my shopping this month is mostly fresh veggies and fruits, dairy items and meat. I shop for 99% of my groceries at Aldi and the rest at WalMart. My mother has a Sam’s Club membership so she will pick up a few things from there for me when I need them. I try to watch for sales to fill my pantry and then cook according to what I have on hand.

  27. I’m going to continue to stock up on eggs at 0.69/doz as the sale runs through 7/20/16 at the local convenience store chain.

    Hubby is still gathering the wild blackberries. Also have to start shopping the Back-to-School sales. My son enters 7th grade on Aug 23rd! Earlier start time too 😮

  28. I am planning on getting strawberries and blueberries if the prices go to 99 cents per package. To get these deals I need to go to areas further from the city. In the city, the prices never go lower than $2.99 a package. Last year I was able to get several pounds for 99 cents and make freezer jam. I hope to do same this year

  29. I am still figuring things out while living in our R.V. I have a lot of home-canned and frozen food, as well as my stockpile, but it is all in storage or in other people’s garages. We are trying to “shop” from our own storage before we go to the store, but frankly are having trouble finding things. They are just too spread out and buried too deep sometimes. That being said, we are making weekly trips to one storage unit, relative’s garage, etc. at least one time a week and gathering what we can. Meat is one thing that we can find easily, as the freezers are accessible, although in 2 different places. We are eating from the garden and orchards here at my sister’s as well.

    I had hoped to stay below $50 per week, but have gone a bit over a few times. It usually happened when essential items could not be found. We are also finding that eating off of paper products takes more money than we thought. So, we are going to try for $250 in July. I have $4 left over from the first week’s allotment, and just realized that I need toothpaste. So, that will take care of that. We bought watermelon, milk, sour cream, eggs, 4 ears of corn, tomatoes, salad dressing, buns for burgers, a knob of ginger, chips for the 4th, a box of cereal, and a few other things.

    In July, we have just finished a week at Champoeg State Park, will stay here at home base for the next week, 5 days at the beach, and then we are helping cook for a church camp during the last week of July. The schedule affects the shopping plans. Things tend to be quite expensive when we are shopping at small stores over on the coast. While here, I will load up on, and plan meals around garden produce and peaches, which are ripe now. We will get meals with our volunteer week at camp, although I will have to still provide gluten-free food for myself. I will load up the camper before we take off with more canned items, meat, and as much fresh produce as the tiny fridge will hold–I may even take a cooler with extra.

    I have new plantings of spinach and lettuce up nicely, and will plant more snow peas, green onions and lettuce this week while I’m here. I am trying to have a succession of veggies to last as long as possible. The green beans just ripened. I cooked them for dinner tonight for the first time. I will help my sister can next week; some for her, and some for our other sister. I’m not canning this year.That is the oddest feeling. It’s the first time in over 33 years. It will be nice to finish up the mountain of boxes of canned items I have left over, though. I will completely run out of some items, but others are in large supply. Still, it’s such a part of who I am and what I do that I’m glad I can help my sister can. I truly enjoy the process.

  30. Wow, the lowest I have seen peaches for (so far) is $1.49! I am really hoping to see .99 but that is likely the cheapest they will go 🙁

    Grapes on sale this week for $1.69/#

  31. We are getting low on some pantry items such as canned veggies but they will be coming ripe here in the next month or so and I plan on purchasing large amount from the farmers market instead of relying on store bought. I will need to buy yellow beans though – I finally caught the bugger that ate every bean plant in the garden and sampled half the lettuces – a tiny baby bunny! Old enough to be on it’s own but small enough to fit thru the chain-link! So, I am now lining the bottom part of the chain-link with chicken wire (which I already had) to keep it out and I’ll replant the beans and hope we can at least get some dry beans out of the season!
    My list:
    pickling spices
    lemon juice
    more canning jars & lids
    canning salt

    chicken breast
    cauliflower (since my plants are 3 feet tall with no signs of getting any heads on them)
    blackberries when they come into season
    top off the dry beans
    powdered milk
    tomato sauce and paste
    pasta is a good sale comes up

    Dog & puppy food – the pup is going thru 40 pounds of food in about 2 weeks or so (8 cups a day) so I am having trouble getting stocked ahead for her!
    dry cat food + canned if a really good sale comes up
    leashes and harnesses for the cats to put in the bug out bags
    flea and tick meds for all of them (which is gonna cost a small fortune :/) – this will only happen if I find another part time job quickly. Otherwise, baths and combing the fleas out is gonna have to do it.

    we are completely out in the closet I keep the back-ups in so hopefully some really good sales come up soon!
    hubby’s bar soap
    shampoo and conditioner
    feminine stuff
    toilet paper IF the price goes below .41 cents a roll

  32. I’m not sure if this is the best place to post this,but if Brandy thinks there’s a better one, maybe she can move it.:). I got the Dillon’s ad today- they’re part of Kroger- and between July14-17, they have select canned yvegetables for 3/.99. That’s a GREAT price for stocking up.

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