June is an abundant month in the garden. I will pick Royal apricots, Red Flame grapes, blackberries, Green Gage plums, Mission figs, Dorsett Gold Apples, white alpine strawberries, and Early Girl tomatoes. I will cut green onions, Swiss chard, oregano, chives, tarragon, and the first of the Genovese basil.
I’ll can apricot vanilla jam with my apricots, and freeze most of the blackberries, which will later go in smoothies and fruit salads. I’ll can plum sauce from many of the plums. I’ll dry most of the figs, to be used later in fig sauce. I’ll also make at least one batch of rosemary fig gelato. If we have more apples than we can eat fresh, I’ll can applesauce as well. I expect to make yogurt and granola, popsicles, and smoothies.
Despite that fact that I won’t need to buy a lot of fresh items in June, I have decided to increase our grocery budget by $100 for the next four months, to allow me to do some stocking up on pantry and toiletry items (making a $400 a month budget for my family of 9). I also want to increase our dairy purchases during the summer months this year, including cheese, milk, and ice cream (which should be on sale quite a bit). I am grateful for the increase in income at this time that is making this possible.
Sometime in the next month or two, I expect to see summer sales on women’s razors, sunscreen, and lotions. I’m low on all of these items. I’ll be looking for coupons and sales for these. I also expect to find sales on first aid supplies, and I will look for deals on those.
During the summer, I make certain to have insulated shopping bags in my vehicle (my grandmother always had a cooler with ice in her trunk to put all of the cold things in her car, allowing her to visit several stores in one trip during the summer–a pratice that I found inspiring as a child). Even with these, I tend to keep my summer shopping trips to early morning, or even better, after the sun has gone down.
My summer menu can be found here. I use my menus to plan meals based on what is currently ripe in the garden, what I have in the freezers and pantry, and of course, what I am in the mood to make!
Cheddar cheese (5 pound block)
Mozzerella cheese (5 pound block)
Mozzerella cheese (5 pound shredded)
POM Toliet paper
Equate dandruff shampoo
Zest soap (There is .50 coupon on Coupons.com)
Disposable razors (A reader just shared this deal for free razors at Walmart)
Coppertone sunscreen (There is a $1 off coupon and a $3 off 2 coupon on Coupons.com)
Aveeno baby lotion
Johnson’s baby wash
Feminine hygiene supplies on sale with coupons (Coupons.com has a $2 off coupon for Playtex right now)
Carrots (10 pound bag)
Ice cream (I buy the Kroger party pail when it goes on sale)
I’m glad that you’re able to increase you budget for the summer. 🙂
It sounds like a great plan to load up your pantry while you have a little extra income! I was very excited when I looked back on the last 2 weeks of May and realized I had only spent $23 at the grocery store for those 2 weeks, because I had so heavily re-stocked the pantry in March and April. I used a portion of our tax refund.
In June, I plan to keep the spending at a minimum as well. I will probably buy a few Bob’s Red Mill products the next time I’m up in that area. I use gluten free products from there and don’t like to keep a huge supply on hand so they stay fresh. I do freeze items if I get a good deal on a large portion. I will continue to use up my home-canned and frozen fruits and vegetables. Here in Oregon, I just got the garden planted, so I am a ways off from having much produce. I did get 1 lettuce plant harvested–the one and only one that survived the slug invasion that attacked the early plantings I did! I’m savoring every bite. My aunt was more fortunate and gave me some lettuce she grew:) I will buy milk and cheese, if I find a good deal. My husband picked up a 5 lb bag of shredded mozzarella at Cash and Carry yesterday for around $10, which is a very good price. I need shredded cheddar as well. We live on cheese around here!
I have been very purposeful in using the items I stocked up on and preserved. One of our fears the last time I did a large stock-up like this was that we would “feel” like eating other foods more than the dry beans, etc. and would not be happy with our choice, thereby causing us to buy our more preferred foods anyway. That did not happen, so I have more confidence this time around. I am trying to make 1-2 bean-based meals per week and I eased into it, choosing things like chili, homemade re-fried beans, etc. that people loved already, and just served them more often. We have always been very good at eating home-canned fruit, green beans, etc., but not so good at eating dried beans, lentils, etc. I’m proud to say we are on our second 25-lb bag of pinto beans since fall:) That’s a real change for our family.
Your garden is so awesome. It’s nice that you can increase your budget. That makes it equal to my budget! (For 4)
I finally made your cranberry almond granola. I always have oatmeal on hand, found almonds at the Dollar Tree , and I got a rather large bag of craisins on sale for $1.00. The granola was very tasty and my oldest son said he especially loved it with milk as a cold cereal. Thanks for the recipe.
My shopping plans this month are very simple ones as we have so much financial ground to cover and paychecks have been sporadic (one of the joys of my husband working in a family owned business). We at least were able to make our mortgage on time and I was eternally grateful to the good Lord for that blessing.
Anyway, my shopping goals for the month can be found here…
Oh, rosemary fig gelato sounds heavenly! I will put it on my must try list, assuming I get figs this year. I wonder what you do with the fig sauce? It seems as though it may be something to go with meat, but are there other uses? Thank you for sharing about the first aid sales in the summer. I am low on some things as well, and want to stock up, so will be on the lookout for sales.
There is a Band-Aid brand coupon on Coupons.com right now; it can be used on gauze, etc.
We put the fig sauce on Rosemary pork http://theprudenthomemaker.com/rosemary-pork-roast We usually serve that with mashed potatoes, and we put the sauce on that, too.
Just a suggestion about razors: the price of razor blades has climbed so high, it’s unbelievable. Some of the cheaper disposables are not even worth buying at all, they are so dull! A couple of years ago, I bought a ladies electric wet/dry razor and have been using it ever since. I bought my daughter-in-law one for her birthday, because she certainly can’t afford razor blades anymore. Here is the one I purchased for myself and for her: Panasonic ES2216PC Close Curves Wet/Dry Shaver for Ladies with Bikini Attachment $32.99 at Amazon. It paid for itself right away!
I am so excited about all the great deals at the stores this month. I have bought raspberries to freeze, strawberries for jam, and apples for applesauce. Plus, Aldi has milk recently for only $1.69 a gallon. I was so happy to stock up on milk!
I’m happy to read about your increased budget for stocking up, as well as your $ into savings on the frugal accomplishments post! We ended last month with about $5 left, and we’re well stocked. I’m reading and hearing a lot about the potential for a turkey shortage this year at Thanksgiving – have you heard anything? If that is the case, I’m betting the sales will be less exciting. I usually buy about half a dozen turkeys so I can use them year-round.
My June ‘plan’ is posted here: http://quietcountrylife.blogspot.com/2015/06/may-stock-up-review-plan-for-june.html
Thank you for letting us leave links to similar blogs – I have met some lovely people! 😀
Brandy, Just wanted to share my experience with you concerning razors. Having more than one female in the house, we would never use each other’s razors – our experience was if you shared razors – then they would dull faster. Also, always let your razor dry outside the tub – where it will dry faster (not inside with the shower doors closed with moisture). The razors would last around 5 to 6 months before they would be dull. 🙂 And these were disposable ones too. I too keep an insulated bag in my trunk – it really is handy. Thank you for your blog – I always enjoy reading it and learning. Cindy Norred
Brandy, congratulations on your expanded budget and income! Great news to be able to have a bit of breathing room to stock up. Thank you again for this blog and the time you spend on it. I have learned a lot.
My shopping goal is to only go to the grocery store once a week this month. I reduced the budget to adjust for some overspending this year…I have found that I was easily tempted to overspend on “great deals”. I re-read your section on spending less and I believe going to the store less often was your first comment. 😉
I was just looking over your summer menu plan and getting inspired. Do you have plans to share your gyro and macaroni and cheese recipes at some point? I’d love to try them. I didn’t even know one could make gyros at home.
Those figs! I’m in Zone 5b, so figs do not usually grow here save for a few types that can sometimes be nursed through winter only to die when we get a harsh storm. I decided to try growing some this year, though. Baker Creek Seeds had a sale back in December. A 3 pack variety for $18. I couldn’t resist! I’ll keep them in containers by pruning and bring them into the garage during winter.
I was a bit late getting things going in the garden this year due to an unexpected c-section in March. I’m slowly getting things in, though. I should have beets to eat in a couple of weeks. Not enough to can, but enough for a couple of meals for our family of 7.
Brandi (or anyone!) – a question about your swiss chard soup — I tried swiss chard in my garden this year for the first time and I’m getting ready to make your swiss chard soup. My swiss chard is the bright lights kind — was hoping to get the kids interested in gardening when I bought the seed a year ago. I’m afraid the red stems might make the soup an unappetizing brown color. What do you think? I have only had swiss chard raw. Thanks. Eileen
I would use the stems. The soup can turn brown anyway just from being cooked a couple of minutes longer, so I wouldn’t worry too much. Some cheese on top helps make it look a little prettier; you could also include a sprig of parsley on top with it as well.
Your garden sounds amazing!! What a great tip with the cooler or insulated bags in the car for grocery shopping during summertime, I should try that out!
Our pediatrician always has a basket of freezer gel packs free for the taking (I think they get them with some vaccines). I keep several in the freezer and have found that one in each insulated grocery bag really keeps things cold in the bag when it’s hot out. I also take a small cooler w/ a freezer pack) both grocery shopping and for my occasional trips to the farmers’ market.
The rosemary fig gelato sounds amazing! I wish I lived where figs could grow. I haved loved fresh figs ever since first eating them years ago on a trip to California. Also, I’m excited for you that you can increase your budget for a few months. It always feels nice to be able to stock up. For razors, this isn’t anywhere as good as the free razors that where shared. However, I’ve found it works. Last year I started buying razors at Dorco.com. I sign up for emails, wait for a sale and free shipping and then can buy enough to last for six months at a minimum. Because the razors are so high quality I don’t have to shave as often. I also ask my husband to bring home the little containers of hotel conditioner from work trips because it makes the best shave cream.
This all sounds so lovely. Fig ice cream – mm mm mm.
Positive about being in England is it doesn’t get too hot. Ever. Negative is that the coupons aren’t very good. As always – I love your photography xx
I discovered your website last summer and was inspired to try new recipes and scale back my grocery spending.
I recently returned to find new inspiration for summer cooking and try as I may, I couldn’t find your seasonal menu and recipe sections.
I understand changing and upgrading. I hope these elements are still part of your new site. If so, could you direct me to them.
If you look under “cook” you will see my recipes, as well as my menus. I also linked to my summer menu in the post above.
Not sure if you have a mixer or food processor, but if you do, save yourself the cost of brown sugar, and make your own.
The ratio is 1 cup white sugar to 1 tbsp of molasses. If you do a lot of baking, (which it seems you do), it can save you a lot, since brown sugar (at least in these parts) is far more expensive per ounce than white sugar.
Randi–was thinking the same thing. Been making my brown sugar for years and couldn’t be easier. Also, with those big cans of tomato sauce making ketchup and BBQ sauce is extremely easy as well. We’re a family of 8 and for whatever reason ketchup goes faster around here than any other food!
This is just a “fun” food but chocolate syrup on summer ice cream is tasty! 1/2 C cocoa, 1 C water, 2 C sugar boil for couple minutes and add a little salt and vanilla and you’ve got the yummiest chocolate syrup ever!
I bought those same figs from Baker Seeds. 2 of them are about 2 feet tall already. 1 of this is still only about 5-6 inches. It didn’t survive shipping and them the 1 week wait before I planted them as well. I hope that bringing them in for winter saves them I’m in 7b. I love figs but will never buy them at the store.