I went to make lemonade the last week of the year only to discover that I was out of sugar.

In general, I don’t run out of things–especially sugar! Staple items are things I always have on hand.

I’ll be remedying that problem right away. I have 7 or 8 baskets of lemons on the counter and lots of calls for lemonade!

This is also a good month to watch for sales on vitamins and cold and flu medicines. I’ll be looking for sales and coupons to combine to stock my medicine cabinet.


Sam’s Club:


Baking Soda

Baking Powder


Almond Extract



Chocolate Chips

Ghiradelli chocoalte melts (if these are on clearance–they usually are in January, as they are a seasonal item for the holidays)

Barbeque sauce

Ketchup ($3.68 for 114 ounces)




Vitamins (mutli-vitamins and invidual vitamins. I buy the store brand mens’, womens’, and children’s from Target. There should be sales and possibly coupons and a Target cartwheel to stack.)

Children’s Pain reliever/fever reducer (store brand plus sales/coupons)



Tomato Sauce in a #10 can

Balsamic vinegar

Crumbled feta cheese



La Victoria Salsa

Canned water chestnuts


Almond flour (for a specific recipe that I want to try this week)




Frozen petite peas. I have a raincheck from last month that I can use to get these for $1 a pound.



Hand-dishwashing soap (store brand)


I’ll watch for sales on:


Broccoli (in season this month)

Ice cream

Sour cream








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  1. Hello Brandy and all from Australia :).

    I admire how you keep your home running like an efficient business Brandy. The oversight in the sugar is completely natural since you have been injured and a lot of the time not able to get around due to mobility & pain issues. Incidentally good to hear that you are on the mend and able to do some grocery shopping now as well. Hope you are graduating to be able to sit a while without pain as well, that would be good for you to relax a bit as well.

    We have been stocking a little gradually over this month so far as we have had other errands to run in town and combined tasks and a few stores we had to buy from when we got fuel to stock up our fuel supplies we had used. We keep a stock of a few jerry cans of fuel for both the car and the gardening equipment, enough for around 6 months.

    So far this month have restocked –
    – sugar, cocoa powder, deodorant, bug spray, pain reliever medications, pie & baking dishes & biscuit trays.

    Groceries for January 12 will consist of –
    – cheese, butter & milk for a months supply.
    – tinned chicken & tuna.
    – top up powdered milk that we have used. We drink and make cocoa etc from a mix of half whole mix half powdered milk to save money.
    – peanut butter.
    – wheatbix and sultana bran cereals for added fibre. We also make Brandy’s wonderful granola as well with our own twist of ingredients.
    – sultanas. We use these for granolas and I eat them a lot for in between snacks when working hard in the garden weeding, planting or digging, along with of course any strawberries, peas or beans that jump out at me whilst weeding and ask to be eaten :p.
    – Small amount of sliced meat for sandwiches for a month as we don’t have a meat slicer yet. The price comes to under $10 a month.
    – Dishwashing liquid and body wash.

    Shall be also downloading some money from Paypal from money I have earned from selling handcrafts online to finish paying for the purchase of 2 sets of new cotton sheets for summer we needed to buy as our others were worn out, and diaries for ourselves for our callings and everyday use. I managed to squeeze in $70 of that purchase by frugal shopping of groceries and will download the remainder being just over $45 and put it in our house savings account to make up for the overs there.

    We have also this month been able to top up on new leather gardening gloves ,garden vegetable seeds and a new more efficient swivelling whipper snipper head that stops the cord breaking so often, out of money my husband has earned in odd gardening jobs he has picked up.

    Happy and frugal grocery shopping everyone !.

  2. Oh no, I would not want to run out of anything. I just read a book with a funny story in it…the mother’s 3 year old son liked to go down to the root cellar for her and get what she needed. So one night she had company and was making dinner and sent him down for potatoes. He came back up with just a couple….She said no dear I need more . He said no more…She had lost track of how much she had and run out.

    The only thing I need is lettuce and celery. I know some of you successfully regrow celery from the end but it doesn’t yield the quantiiy I need. It goes into so many cooked and fresh dishes. We probably use two whole bunches a week. Celery sticks is my husband’s favorite crunchy snack, too.

    I will buy the phyllo dough, skim and 2% milk, and I need a good sale on cottage cheese.

  3. I ran out of sugar this month too! I think I just kept waiting for a good sale and there was not one. I got great deals on lots of other baking items but just not sugar.

  4. I guess I lucked out with sugar- our Krogers had 4 lbs of Domino sugar for 99 cents but they were out so I got a rain check. But the, a day later, Meijers had 5 lb bags of sugar for 99 cents! I bought 100 pounds and that will last us for many months!
    Nothing on the “need to replenish” list right now since Dec was such a good month to stock up!

  5. I am going to be experimenting with a fifty percent lower grocery budget and am THANKFUL to be starting in a good place since I listened to your advice about stocking my pantry, I socked away sugar as I came across it, I am watching to see if BJS puts t on sale.i need salt, oatmeal, a special drink for my underweight child, and mozzarella. I need pinto beans.i can’t believe I ran out. I blame Christmas 😉 I need hot dogs, I REALLY need a chest freezer but we don’t have room. It’s frustrating, I could save so much time making double batches.

  6. I’m so sorry you ran out of sugar! What a sinking feeling. Our King Sooper’s had 4lb bags for $0.99. I went on two separate days and purchased over 300lbs so I won’t need sugar for a year; the amount I purchased will carry me through canning season. This was half the price of Sam’s Club sugar in the 25lb bags.

  7. Wanted to share how I was proactive to get a sale price on an item. A local store had 16oz. hunks of cheese for $2.99. I got two kinds, but wanted mozzarella for homemade pizza this week and they didn’t have any. The 8oz. size was 2 for $5, which is $2 more. I nicely asked if I could substitute 2 8oz. for a 16oz. of the same store brand and they said yes. Normally I would wait and try to find it somewhere else cheaper rather than speak up. I didn’t have a lot to spend on groceries this month, so I didn’t majorly stock up. It is difficult I think to switch from buying by the payperiod to bulk buying. I am canning up December harvested venison today though!

  8. (1) If you want to try a second almond-flour recipe, this recipe is WONDERFUL. I put berries and powdered sugar on top but you could even leave it plain. It’s gluten-free so I can make it for my dad but it’s a reliable hit with everyone, not just people who can’t digest regular flour.


    (2) I once had a bad experience once with buying rancid almond flour off the shelf. (The nut oils go bad over time.) Just be aware of that if your result tastes “off.” BTW, I could be confused, but I don’t think you have to buy packaged almond flour if you don’t want to. Just put a bunch of almond nutmeats in the food processor, and it’ll grind up in just a couple of minutes. I believe the exact ratio of nuts input to flour output must be online (somewhere).

    Thanks very much for all that you share with us. You are such an inspiration.

  9. I’ve been there with the sugar and I know that “Wait. What? How did that even HAPPEN???” feeling that comes over you when that happens. I am wondering if I’m nearly there with rice, but I swear I have a bag of it somewhere so here’s hoping I still do or off to the store I’ll be going, since rice is one of our staple foods around here.

    My list for the month, sans rice, can be found here…


  10. I love celery, too. Since I am the one who eats the most, we often use 1 bunch per week. My husband chuckles at me for liking it so much.

  11. I could do that, if I had almonds, but for some crazy reason we are also out of those! I will check prices, though, and see if whole almonds are cheaper, and if they are, I will do that. The recipe calls for puff pastry and powdered almonds, so it’s not gluten-free, but thanks for sharing your recipe for those who are.

  12. I trust that January is a national oatmeal month, meaning all oats and oats products shall be on sale super cheap. Be on a lookout! I love oatmeal for breakfast (slowly cooked with a chopped apple, banana and raisins). I am going to stock up for a year for me and T.

  13. Rob went to several stores to get the things we needed for January. He went to Cash and Carry, Costco, Fred Meyers, and is hitting Bob’s Red Mill this morning, as he had another area near there and it’s quite a distance.

    My goal for January is to pull an average of 1 item per day from the cupboards, pantry, basement and freezers that has been there for a long time, or is unusual, or otherwise needing to be used. I want to use them up.

  14. Just yesterday I was thinking about how you said you buy your vitamins at Target and thinking that I should look into that myself. We have all started taking vitamins, especially vitamin D. I really think it helps our immune systems and bodies overall to be on it. One of my sons in particular spends a lot of time outside, so when he was tested and found to be extremely low in vitamin D, I figured all of us probably need it!

  15. Brandy, I see you buy vitamins. We buy all our vitamins from a mail order source called Swansons, http://www.swansonvitamins.com/. They are a lot cheaper than any of the stores even if you include shipping and they are always having sales. They ship quickly too. We wait until we can make a big order to save on shipping.

  16. This month I plan on stocking up on oranges 🙂 they are less than $1/lb and last forever in the fridge. Plus everyone in my family eats at least one a day so they go fast. I did just buy the big flour bag from Costco as we were completely out, but I still need to get some wheat flour. I keep telling myself to just bite the bullet and buy the stuff to grind our own flour, but man, those suckers are pricey!

  17. Hi Brandy and so wonderful that you have a loving and supportive husband and children who help you when the going gets tough.

    Good to hear you can sit sideways even, I thought you may be getting to the stage of being able to partially sit. Just think positively like this, it was the fashion & etiquette of 1800’s where ladies used to sit side saddle on horses, so you are reviving an old fashion trend of days gone by :).

  18. I did a stock up shop a week ago. Sugar, brown sugar, and flour were on the list. I had made so many Christmas cookies and loafs of bread that I used up my 30 pound surplus. (well, not all of it, but more than half so I restocked) I also did a stock up on rice. I use the rice in my home made dog food. So I buy rice in 25 pound boxes at the local Asian store. There it is cheap. Just $6.00 for the 25 pound box. I also got chicken on sale for 39 cents a pound. I brought 8 chickens. My freezer is pretty full right now. We are blessed.

  19. Jane thank you for sharing this website. I went to check on some of the blood sugar control herbals that I take and they are ALL less expensive here than any place I’ve bought them yet. Thank you!

  20. I also need to get vitamins. I agree that Target has good prices on them. I also need to purchase antacid, itch cream for allergic reactions, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin. Some of these are items for my backup stash. In terms of food, I would like to replenish my supply of pasta, tomato sauce, chocolate chips, and perhaps some other grains like couscous. For the home I need laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, Oxi clean, and rinse aid. I just purchased some new shelving for my basement pantry area. If funds allow I would love new pillows for my bed, as well as 2 extra throw blankets from Sam’s. We love the thick fleece ones they sell for $15. They are good for snuggling on the sofa or an extra layer on the bed. Winter has finally arrived here in New England!

  21. I can never get my lemonade right. What is your ratio of water/sugar/lemon juice? We have Meyer lemons, may be sweeter? Thanks!

  22. If you have a Sprouts near you, they have a great price on oatmeal occasionally. You can buy in the bulk bins by the pound, or I just ask for 50# bags to be brought up for me. I think it was $0.59/lb last time I bought it

  23. Hi Brandy I do agree that would be a delicate balancing act on horseback indeed, but very talented if you could accomplish it. A totally new way of riding a horse for those with exceedingly good balance :p.

  24. Melissa,

    I looked at those blankets at Sam’s. My daughter was looking for a throw blanket. Then we saw a sale on throw blankets at Kmart in their ad. I don’t normally shop there, but my mom does, and my daughter went there with her went there to check it out. She didn’t get the one in the ad, but she got another one, on sale for $7, that is nicer than the ones at Sam’s. It is a plush fleece; it is super soft and pretty, in solid colors. The week before Christmas they went down even more. I think it was a Christmas special, so they are probably clearing them out. They were rolled up with a red ribbon on them with a to/from tag going through the ribbon. The colors I remember they had were dark grey, burgandy, and tan, plus another color–a forest green, I believe. I don’t know if they’ll still have them, but perhaps.

  25. Funny you said you ran out of sugar. I ran out of flour.

    I know you make your own laundry detergent, but have you ever tried to make your own dish washer detergent? I just look up a few recipes on line and most of the ingredients are the same as the homemade laundry soup. I am going to try it and see how it works.

  26. I’m ahead on sugar—has been on sale a few times recently—but not tremendously stocked because I lack space for it. I need to start looking for a good price on basmati rice, as I emptied the bag into the canister today, which is probably about 4 pounds left. I love basmati, but know that I have three or four pounds of brown rice that needs to be used up as well. It just takes about twice as long to cook, and I don’t like it quite as well, but use it I will.
    I don’t run out of things too often either, as my preferred store is 10 miles away–I’m in a very small town in the country. I have been buying milk twice a week, as I fear my refrigerator is not working well. Husband pulled it out and vacuumed all the underneath and behind parts yesterday while I was at the gym. Have a thermometer inside checking the temp and it seems to be barely keeping it at 40 degrees on maximum cold. We have had a run of expensive replacements and fixes lately, and I really am not looking forward to buying a new refrigerator. However, I shop once a week, and use about 1 1/2 gallons of milk per week. I have had it turn sour much earlier than it should have, hence my suspicions about the fridge. So I refuse to buy more than one at a time and have been picking up an extra ONLY as I need it. My poor bank account, but at least the money is there for emergencies. I’d just like the opportunity to build it up a bit instead of spending as frequently as we have been lately. Things are wearing out so quickly that we barely have time to shop for replacements before the next one breaks down.

  27. Brandy, have you tried to make your own vanilla extract? My friend makes her own and gives me a bottle a couple of times a year. It is always so good. I am thinking of trying to make some for myself.

  28. Thank you for letting me know. There is a Kmart not to far from me. I will try to stop by there this weekend as it is on the way to Sam’s. Having an extra throw helps keep the chill away here!

  29. I will be adding in things that are at my buy it price (chicken breast, grd beef) but the bulk of my stocking will be helping my daughter get a start on her own. She is planning on moving out in February if everything falls into place. We are meeting with a potential room mate Friday and will know more of what she will need after we meet her. The list of what I keep on hand is huge (write it all down once – including all the herbs, spices, vinegars and oils – it’s alot!) so my focus will be just the basics – no fancy oils or vinegars or spices – but everything she’ll need to scratch cook so she can stay on budget. I am in the process of putting her recipe book together with menu ideas, how to cut up whole chickens as well as my “buy it” prices so she’ll know when something is a good deal. She is excited and nervous at the same time (and so am I!!!!)

  30. I need sugar and rice this month, I am close to being out on the sugar and rice, I need cheese too, but have just been buying that at the store until I can make it to costco.

  31. My grand-daughter has a friend whose family is in the olive oil business. Every time he comes to her house he brings her either olive oil or balsamic vinegar. When she gets more than 2 on hand (one open, one in reserve) she has been giving the extras to her mother and to me. When we helped her clear away her Christmas decorations before she returned to NYC, I got a bottle of each, two open bottles of wine, and a few sweets that friends had brought to her Christmas get-together and that she had not eaten yet. She won’t be home for another few weeks. Puts me on the opposite side for a change–usually I am the one giving stuff to her. It’s nice to receive for a change! Currently have open a bottle of Mango balsamic which I personally think is WONDERFUL, and so does everyone else who has tried it–except my husband. He prefers French dressing, which I make myself. Good thing balsamic is all purpose–so many things to add it to beside salad dressing.

  32. Hi Roxie and relate to the so much baking over the Christmas New Year period and upon reading your restocking list, I too looked at our flour and realised I had used around 6kg of plain flour too. So shall be stocking up on that this month too.

    We have been baking loaves of bread to take to parties and to help needy families who are going in for operations and things that cannot shop due to health reasons, and we bake bread for ourselves as well. So the flour doesn’t last long when you use 500g on each loaf of bread, and extra use for white sauces, pastries etc.

  33. Yesterday at Meijer they were having an excellent sale on vitamins & calcium pills b1g1 1/2 off sale. After sale price, coupons & my savings star I paid $3.52 for 6 bottles of vitamins & 2 bottles of calcium. I ended up saving $50.18 & we’re stocked for a while!

  34. We have Aldi. The produce has been very scarce the last two weeks. They only have but a few items. I asked the clerk today. She said the trucks can’t get through due to the flooding. I am wondering if there are shortages due to the crazy weather we are having.

  35. Marcia, we grew up with homemade French dressing also. The stuff in a bottle seems to be just coloring and corn syrup! My mother always made it in a glass mayonnaise jar and you had to shake, open and pour quick before it separated and make sure not to pour the garlic clove out into your salad. I use a Good SEasons shaker now.

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