Snow Peas and Radishes The Prudent Homemaker

March has several sales. It’s frozen foods month in the U.S., which usually means a number of frozen foods go on sale. St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th means sales on corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes.

Easter Rabbits The Prudent Homemaker

With Easter falling on April 1st this year, we will see Easter sales in late March. I plan on making Easter Rabbits again this year using chocolate candy melts and molds I have already (you can see the how-to here).  

Here’s how I plan to spend my $200 budget this month for our family of 10:


Sam’s Club:


Rice 25-pound bag

Tomato Sauce #10 cans

Diced Tomatoes #10 cans

POM Toilet Paper



Washing Soda

Equate hand-washing dish soap



Store brand frozen sweet peas. I’ll look for a sale on these at $1 a pound (usually when you buy 10). I would love to buy 20 or even 30 bags, but I often have trouble finding even 10 bags in the store. 






Spreadable Margarine

Parmesan Cheese

Store brand spicy brown mustard


I’ll look for sales on strawberries in late March. If I can find them for $1 a pound or less, I’ll purchase them. I’ll also look for sales on potatoes, cabbage, corned beef, whole chickens, and Easter candy (Starburst jelly beans and peanut M&M’s for Easter eggs).

 Strawberry Jam The Prudent Homemaker

From the garden, I will harvest Swiss chard, Meyer lemons, spinach, lettuce, snow peas, green onions, leeks, radishes, and several herbs this month. My large Swiss chard plants bolt in April when it gets hot, so we’ll be harvesting lots before they need to be pulled from the garden. I have new plants already up and growing for this year so we won’t have too long of a lull in picking. 

We’ll continue to eat lots of frozen fruit from the freezer in anticipation of this year’s fruit from the garden. We’ll also enjoy more squash, pumpkins, and pomegranates from the garden that I have been storing.

A friend has offered me eggs from her hens, who are currently laying much more than she can eat, so I’ll bring her some lemons in exchange for eggs.

What items are you looking to purchase this month?

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  1. $200.00 to feed a family of 10 for an entire month. That’s just super impressive. I live fairly frugally, but nothing like that. It makes me realise I should be spending more time in the garden and looking for bulk non perishables. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. It’s interesting how different our climates are! After 25 years here in the Midwest, I have never had my Swiss chard bolt and some milder winters (not this year!), it has even overwintered where I didn’t need to replant!!
    We will continue to eat down our freezers right now in anticipation of foods we will be adding to them this month!

    We will be getting: 50 pounds of BLSL chicken breast (that we already paid for 6 weeks ago @ 99 cents/pound)

    I am hoping for potatoes because they are the last ingredient that I need to dehydrate to make up some soup and stew mixes to add to my pantry shelves.

    Frozen peas or mixed vegetables will be on my list as well as tater tots (all other potato products, I DIY from fresh potatoes.)

    I am running lower on yeast, coconut and vinegar so I will keep my eyes open.

    Other than those things, our storage is well supplied and even if I don’t find these items at the price point I am willing to pay, I don’t have to go to the store! That’s a good feeling!

  3. Welcome back…missed you. Hope your pregnancy is going well. How do you store winter squash and large quantities of potatoes in such a warm climate?

  4. My goals for this month are two-fold:

    First, buy items that fit in with a low-carb diet, which mostly means fresh vegetables, berries, meat, poultry, and dairy products. I shop mostly at Aldi’s and some at Wegman’s, neither of which does many sales but both of which have better everyday prices on everyday products than many of the sales at the other store chains. I COULD buy the Wegman’s truffles for $999.99 per pound but I’ll stick to the everyday products. 🙂

    My second goal is to stock up on organic meat and poultry since those are the two most expensive items I buy and I want to have them on hand if I end going to 30 hours/75% of my salary at the end of May, which is looking more and more likely. I won’t have trouble paying the bills and even saving some money but while I have my full salary, it’s a great time to prepare even more for leaner days.

    If I do the 30 hours thing, having a three day weekend every week will be great and I’m going to use some of that time in my gardens to grow more food at home. To that end, I planted seeds I already had in seed starter I already had in containers with lids that I saved from buying spinach for my salads. The seeds are from 2009, 2013, and 2015 so who knows what might germinate but since I had everything, it didn’t cost me anything. If I don’t get any results in the next two weeks, I might buy more seeds but will likely just wait and buy plants.

    I hope you get your computer fixed soon, Brandy. I missed the Frugal Accomplishments this week!

  5. March is a really tight financial month for me, so I am not sure. I have also been helping out my son, who has been ill, with groceries, since he cannot work nor go to school at the moment. He is on kind of a restrictive diet (read expensive) for his illness, so most purchases are for him. Thank goodness for food storage! He is also enjoying my food storage. I am eating down my frozen fig and mulberry supply, so I definitely do not need to make any fruit purchases, and to be real, I seldom buy fruit because I seem to have a year’s supply of the above fruit. So far, a crop has never failed every year, and I am grateful. I am out of flour. However, I have lots of cornmeal and rice, so I have been using that instead. I tend to see what I have, and what can I use to substitute. Dandelions are blooming, so I have plenty of dandelion greens I can put on a cookie sheet, with a little oil and salt and make crispy in the oven. I then use them in egg salad, scrambled eggs, rice and chicken dishes, etc. It adds flavor and vitamins. I usually use hot sauce in lieu of jalapeno peppers, since I am trying not to buy anything I do not have to buy. If I see some 49 cent chicken, potatoes or chocolate on sale, I will buy that. Cabbage is usually very cheap here and I will probably buy some of that. I always buy eggs every month. I hope to keep the grocery budget under $30 for me, if that high, and use my usual budget for my son. I have a lot of canned vegetables, chicken, rice, beans, etc. I will probably do a lot of stir fried dishes, and bean dishes.

  6. I’d love to find a great deal on organic potatoes. We have some to plant as soon as we prepare a spot, and it would be lovely if these lasted until we can begin harvesting. I’ve been planting seeds indoors, and have kale sprouting so far. Lettuce volunteers are coming up in the garden, but a low of 31 is forecast for tomorrow, so we’ll see how they fare. I plan to purchase several containers of vegetable shortening, which I use for bird suet and soap making. If I can find lady fingers close to Easter, there’s a dessert I like to make using them. Other than whatever fresh produce looks good, there are not any other plans for the month. I hope you found a wonderful deal on a computer, letting you share your beautiful and encouraging posts again soon.

  7. Cindy, I hope your son gets better soon. It’s so hard to have a sick child, no matter what their age, but a blessing for him that you are able to help him.

  8. Our Krogers just had frozen veggies for 89¢ and strawberries were 99¢
    We will be eating the last of the potatoes, sweet potatoes,and winter squash from the root cellar and working on eating the onions that are sprouting due to it turning warm and staying warm which is wrong for Feb/March here in northwest OH.
    When we close on the house (March 6th fingers crossed) we will be looking to see where and what to plant.

    I had my to buy list all wrote up for my blog…then the main frig took a crap and ended up restocking SIGH…at least I had the money put back and still am not over budget much.
    Blessed Be Brandy, would love to hear about what computer you got to replace the one that broke down.

  9. I’m sure you need ZERO PERCENT more cooking and work but mustard is Dead Easy to make from scratch: some combo of mustard powder, mustard seeds, vinegar and white wine and voila, mustard. If you could get the powder/seeds cheap in bulk it might make sense mathematically too

  10. In case you didn’t know, Brandy mentioned on Facebook that her computer died so she will be unable to post more blogs until she can replace it-hopefully soon.

  11. My February surgery will result in medical bills in March so I’ve reduced March’s grocery budget by $200 for our family of 8. In the past I’ve grouped household expenses for things like toiletries, OTC medications, and paper products into the grocery budget. Last month I started budgeting them separately and hope to continue keeping those expenses in their own category. My budget for household items is $60. I have plenty of meats and even a few quick meal options in our freezer right now and will be preparing most meals from what we currently have on hand. My pantry holes mostly revolve around lunch options for SO who works from home and now my oldest step daughter who has started home schooling.

    Some of the main things that I’ll by this month are:
    Canned tuna
    frozen chopped spinach
    clementines (Wegmans has these for $3.99 right now)
    cottage cheese
    sliced American cheese
    tall kitchen trash bags
    Easter candies

    Have a good month everyone!

  12. I don’t have any particular shopping plans BUT – our Albertson’s/ Vons just had a 3 day sale on frozen veg – 1 pound bags for $0.49, limit 4.

    So I bought 4 – a mix.

    I’ll also keep my eye out for oats on sale at Sprouts again. They pretty regularly go on sale for 0.69/lb or 0.79/ lb. I only eat oatmeal once or twice a week, but I do love making granola. Now I just need to get back into making yogurt instead of buying it. To go with the granola!

  13. Diana, I’m not Brandy but if you go to her home page and check under Pantry you can see, and read, how this works.

  14. I am looking forward to cornbeef and cabbage sales. Last year we were able to purchase several that we used during the year. We will also be planting potatoes this month. We have been working on emptying the freezers. Have tomato seeds started in trays with trays from previous years. We purchased onion transplants this year, next year we will start our own transplants.

  15. I always love reading your shopping posts. All your posts, actually! It’s so interesting to see what grows during different times of the year in different climates than my own. Where I am, we’re expecting snow, despite several very temperate days recently, but I just might try planting a few carrot seeds in my balcony garden to see if they germinate. A single weed is currently growing, and I figure if a weed can grow, so can some hardy carrots! If anything grows, I’ll cloche it asap.

    In terms of shopping, I don’t expect to do a lot of shopping this month, except for fresh fruits and vegetables. I’ve recently switched to eating organic fruits and vegetables (at least the dirty dozen) for health reasons, so I’m keeping an eye out for them on sale, as they’re definitely more expensive. All the more reason to grow as much as I can on my balcony as soon as possible!

    I have lots of canned and frozen veggies, as well as onions, potatoes, and carrots, so I expect to only have to buy lettuce. I will be buying a lot of fruit later on in the month, as I’m an inveterate fruit monster (think cookie monster, but fruit), but I have enough to last me for at least a week and a half. I’m actually going on vacation next week, so I will be cooking/freezing some of the current fruits and veggies I have, to make sure they don’t go to waste before I get back (zesting and juicing lemons and oranges, probably, as well as blanching and freezing some green beans). Does anyone know a way to preserve arugula?

    So in general, my list for the next few weeks is quite short: cream cheese on sale, organic blueberries on sale(ish), and in two weeks, some bananas, lettuce, milk, and whatever organic fruit is cheapest.

    I plan to make granola this month, as well as chocolate sauce (so that I can make homemade chocolate milk — cheaper and healthier than store-bought), and Brandy’s balsamic orange dressing. And, I’ll likely make a bunch of Parmesan Paprika Potato Wedges ( for dinner, as they are great the next day or two for lunches.

  16. Hi Jen! We don’t like regular yellow mustard. Spicy brown means grinding whole seeds, and then the recipe is made the same way (though I don’t use wine in mine and the ones I buy don’t have it either). I have bought seeds in bulk before but I usually use them to make pickles. I had been thinking to try making my own spicy brown mustard with them and had totally forgotten about that. I may have to try! Winco’s brand is $0.89, so I have to do the math to see if it is worth making with my bulk seeds.

  17. What a deal on frozen vegetables! So often the sales are on 12-ounce bags, and even then they are usually no lower than $0.79 here. I have to really look for the places that have 16-ounce bags and compare prices to get the lowest deal.

  18. In April it will be 90º or hotter. My chard can grow 6 feet tall in a week and then it goes to seed. It will be chard that was planted last year. Chard that is tiny and planted this year doesn’t usually bolt on me, but sometimes it does.

  19. I’m looking for lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, to improve the balance of food that I am eating. Broccoli and bananas and avocados are at good prices, so I am happy with those choices! As large a bag of potatoes as I can find locally (probably 15 lbs) and a bag of onions. I am using these more and more to add flavor to what I’m cooking.

    Baking powder, rolled oats and brown sugar.

    Potting soil so that I can plant some herbs. I have the seeds and the pots already. They’ll be transplanted into a large container I have when it is warm enough for them outside.

    Whole milk, so that I can make fresh mozzarella and sour cream. I have all the other makings.

    I should receive a $25 gift card this month, because of price fixing on bread here in Canada. My plan is now to use it to buy regular groceries and then set aside the money I’ve saved towards my emergency fund.

  20. Cindy, I really admire your ability and tenasity to use what you have available to you, especially your willingness to forage for healthy greens to add to your diet. You work so hard and are so supportive of all your family, even with such a limited budget. I hope they appreciate what a wonderful, amazing person you are. I wish I lived close to you, so I could share some flour and other food supplies from my pantry.

  21. Brandy, last month you mentioned how you focus on filling your pantry with staples first and foremost, and only then buy fresh foods. This has helped me reshape my approach to spreading my budget across my shopping needs. Thank you.

  22. We need to stock up on several bulk items namely sugar, oats and rice but I need another bucket 1st (I already have the gamma lid – found at a garage sale!). Do any of you have any tips of how to get the pickle or sauerkraut smell out of a bucket (I can get a free one from work – but the smell is going to ruin whatever I put in there unless I can get it out)
    We need to get ahead of the pet food supply again but at nearly $50 a bag, it is tough to do. The poultry feed is much easier to stock up on and since I supplement so much of their diet with scraps from work and home, it cuts down on the amount of commercial feed I need to purchase.
    We plan to stock up on pasta sauce, tomatoes and broth and toilet paper at Meijer this week yet.
    We really need to find a good sale on BLSL chicken breast but there are signs in the store about a short supply for some reason? Hopefully, one of the stores will have it for $1.69 a pound here soon.
    Our local Spartan store is also doing closeouts on some of their brand items – 10# sugar for $2.99, brown and powdered sugar 2# for .99 cents and water chestnuts for 3/$1 as well as fire roasted diced tomatoes for 2/$1 (which means I may skip the Meijer ones since these are cheaper)
    We also have decided to add some freeze dried meat items to our preparedness bags so we are checking all the company websites for sales this month.
    Part of the grocery budget this month will also include the purchase of a dehydrator unless I can figure out how to fix my current hand me down one that no longer heats (It’s a very old Excalibur and I have emailed the company a couple times now with NO response)
    I have started broccoli, lettuce, bunching onions and peas in my greenhouse so hopefully we will at least have lettuce by the end of the month. I hope to start my peppers and tomatoes inside the house next week and then transplant them out into the greenhouse in April so they’ll be producing sooner (I hope!)
    Otherwise, we are stocked decently (other than fresh produce and dairy) and are trying to eat down what’s in the freezer before it all gets freezer burned!

  23. Brandy, I can’t even imagine chard growing 6 feet tall, let alone in a week! LOL I live in zone 5/6 and have been spending a lot of time looking at seed and plant catalogs, since we are building a house and starting from scratch this summer. I am reminded once again what a harsh climate you live in. Very, very few plants will grow in your zone. It makes gardening in Vegas look like an exercise in futility…which doubly impresses me for what you accomplish. BTW, I have “nursery envy.” None of the nurseries here, including the seasonal, have prices and selection that you get at your Star Nursery.

    I have been spending $35-$45 week at Winco for our family of 3. The register tape kind of depends on whether I find meat in my price range. I am learning to use the Fred Meyer (Kroger) app.

  24. I was worried when you didn’t post anything on Monday or Tuesday, Brandy. Then I happened to check your facebook page and saw your post about your computer crashing. Although I’m sorry you have to deal with that added expense, I’m glad your absence was not due to health reasons.

    Being able to feed 10 people on a budget of $200 for the month is really amazing. Not sure that would be possible in my area and with my family’s food preferences, but I love learning and gleaning what I can to help keep our food budget lower. Thankfully I was able to stock up on some pantry items last month with really good sales. So far this month, I don’t have a huge list, but it always seems to get added to on a regular basis. Here’s what I know of so far:
    *Pearled Barley
    *Frozen Peas
    *Tomato Paste
    *BLSL Chicken Breasts
    *Possibly another large package of ground beef (just bought some, which will give us 8 meals but I wouldn’t mind stocking a bit more)

    Things I’m waiting to buy when it goes on sale @ Costco (some have been on my list for months):
    *Sweet Potato Fries
    *Parchment Paper
    *Breaded fish

    Of course, I will watch sales closely and restock pantry item as I always do. It has occurred to me that I should make some efforts to prepare freezer meals for use this summer. My mother usually takes over cooking once I return to my seasonal job, and she likes to cook convenience meals only. I return to work April 30th, so I have time to decide what would work well as freezer meals in the summer and buy ingredients, when they are on sale, to make them up. Always planning ahead!

  25. Hi Brandy,
    I found a great (for here anyway) deal on grapes for $0.98/lb and wanted to make homemade grape juice. I remember awhile back that you mentioned you make your own grape juice, but I was wondering if you have any tips. Thank you so much!

  26. dehydrate the arugula? I dehydrate any leftover greens and then add them into stuff like baked ziti.

  27. I don’t expect to buy anything this month (other than a corned beef). Freezers are full. Pantry holes have been addressed and I will be away at least 2 weekends of the month.

  28. That is a great price for fresh eating, but I would not can grape juice with grapes at that price because you need so many. I grow my own grapes so I can juice from those. I use the Ball Book for a canning recipe; they may also have it listed on their website.

  29. So glad to hear that it is a computer issue as I was a bit worried that your absence might have had something to do with the baby. Annoying, and an expense I’m sure you didn’t need but hopefully fixed soon.
    My shopping for March actually started last Saturday as the Supermarket that I use most of the time had some great deals on to collect Loyalty Points. I had the money so bit the bullet. Saturday I bought two kinds of frozen fish and frozen shrimp and clams. I’ve given up red meat for Lent so these items plus the canned fish and the poultry that I have on hand means that the only protein I’ll still have to buy will be dairy, eggs and cheese. I’m on Dr.’s orders to eat Low carb so that also has to be factored into meal planning.
    Sunday was the Drugstore (which is owned by the same grocery co.) to purchase items that were needed and on sale – shouldn’t need to buy any of these for another 6 months.
    Monday it was produce so stocked up on enough to last until the end of next week.
    Tuesday it was butter, yogurt & cheese – all of which I needed so I did well.
    Today I picked up non-food items and bags of frozen veg for which I got a lot of points. I only have the freezer above my fridge so it takes some planning. I just finished batch cooking a combination of fresh & frozen veg and I’ll do another lot on Monday. That way on Tuesday I can go to the store and stock up on enough frozen fruit to get through the month as there will be some space for them.
    By the time I finish Tuesday’s shop I should have nearly $50 worth of Loyalty points to spend and I too am waiting for that $25 gift card due to the price fixing on bread so should pay for any odds and ends I might still need (milk & fresh fruit) and allow me to stock up on some canned fruit, veg and beans. I’m paying a lot more attention to Flyers these days and waiting for the best days to get all the deals & extras and it is certainly making a difference!

  30. There are many things that won’t grow here, but there are also lots of things that WILL grow in a zone 9a! We also have very alkaline soil and water (8.2 ph). The harsh sun and heat in summer makes summer growing a challenge, but fall through early spring is a great time to grow things. I can grow things that won’t grow for you, too, so I grow more of those, such as pomegranates, lemons, and apricots 🙂

  31. Renewing my Costco membership this month and buying olive oil, flour and sugar there…..I am going to be buying bulk at my favorite produce/fruit stand this weekend.. Here are some prices 10lb bag of Russett potatoes .99, broccoli crowns 3lbs for .99 brussel sprouts 3 lbs for .99 a lb. strawberries one pound for .99 bartlett pears are .69 a lb. I could go on but thought those were just great and what I will be getting. Safeway has 1 lb butter stix for 1.99 so definitely will get some and throw in the freezer. Also Albertsons has a case of water for a 1.69 and gotta keep that on hand here in Mesa AZ ! There were some great sales in yesterdays ads.. And I haven’t even hit Winco yet!

  32. For getting pickling smells out of the bucket:
    Newspaper absorbs odors, (such as from musty books), so if you have the bucket already, you might crumple some sheets of newspaper into it and cover it while you look for other remedies. Dry coffee grounds also absorb odors; I used that to get cigarette smell out of our new-to-us car, and I have read of people storing or moving refrigerators with an open can of coffee in it to take out smells.

  33. One idea that might work would be to put the cloche on the dirt to warm it so the seeds will come up. Carrots are a good choice for cool weather.

  34. I was so shocked to see that price on the flyer, that I drove the mile up to the store just to buy them! I never ever see that price.

    May seem weird, but I REFUSE to buy 12 oz bags of vegetables. I’m still mad at the stores/ manufacturers for making that change a few years ago, as if people wouldn’t figure it out!

  35. Thanks so much Rhonda! I could buy flour and other foods but I am trying to hold off and see what unfolds this month with his illness. He really is doing better.

  36. Today is the first of March and I have spent most of my shopping allotment in one morning. I finally stabilized our finances and had 100.00 for the month to add to my stockpile. Sugar cookie has 60.00 in food stamps that we will also use. I hit the salvage stores this morning and found
    Red Salmon $3.00 a can. Bought 10
    93/7 ground turkey $1.00 lb. Bought 30 lbs
    No. 10 cans marinara sauce 2.00 . Bought 3
    I would love to find a substantial amount of tuna to add to my pantry. I had the most amazing blessing today. I have known the woman from the salvage store for about 15 years. While there today, her elderly husband showed up with a pickup truck full of produce. I asked how much his avocado s were? He told me that the food had been donated and on its way to a church pantry. He told me to take anything I wanted. I got a case of cauliflower, a case of avocados, a case of broccoli and a couple bags of grapes. He insisted he didn’t want any money but I gave him 10 dollars and explained we were so grateful to have items we normally could not afford. I split the food up and shared with the family of sugar cookies special friend. Avocado s are 1.79 here so this is a huge treat. I will be freezing the other vegtables and sugar cookie is ecstatic to have so much cauliflower.

  37. This month is tight for us- despite having larger than normal income this month, my husband needed a new pair of work shoes desperately, new razors, and a few new shirts work shirts. We are potty training a toddler so he got new superhero undies, and I needed new glasses. Quite an expensive month, and it’s only the 1st! Eek!

    We are stocking up on chicken breasts and pork loins at Sam’s for the freezer. Pork loins were 1.68 a pound so I bought 20lbs. Also purchased 25 lbs of flour for $6, as well as a large bag of sugar, and what seems like will be a lifetime supply of baking soda. :p

    Aside from those items, my weekly food budget will be $40 for a family of four. We are doing a lot of meatless meals this month, including pastas, soups, and black bean and rice burritos. My weekly shopping will consist of milk, butter, fresh fruit and veggies, and a few other small staple items. My first week I spent $42, so not too bad so far!

  38. I’ll be on the lookout for potatoes this month. The cheapest I can find them for is 34¢ a pound, but I’m not sure I want to spend that much. I need to buy some meat. I just cooked the last pork chop. If I dont stumble upon an awesome deal, I will pick up a package of pork loin or boneless chicken from Sams. $1.98 & $1.99 a pound. That will get us through the week for dinner and dh’s lunches. I need to be on the lookout for a good deal on dishwasher pods. If I dont find something buy the time I run out, I will get the cascade at Sams. I think I am going to pick up a watermelon at Sams. That will last us a few days. In the previous few years, I had always been trying to find the best deal on seedless watermelons. Well the problem with that is you find one for $3.99 and it has no taste!!!! I’ve never had a bad watermelon from Sams even though they are like $6.99. I do need to get to the Neighborhood walmart for some eggs before the price goes up. It is $1.30 for 3 dozen. If I can get another 9 dozen, then we will be set for the month. Thats all I can think of for now, hope your computer comes fast Brandy!!!

  39. Lilli, I tried to comment last week, but there was a problem and it wouldn’t let me. From your comments, I could tell you were doing very well despite your lack of finances. You made it through that tough month…way to go, girl! So glad you were able to get a bunch of fresh produce and more pantry supplies to help you through this month. Sounds like things are improving a bit already!

  40. No Aldi’s here.

    We specifically like the sweet peas. Regular frozen peas have a different taste (and we don’t like them!) Only some places near us seem to carry the sweet peas. Albertson’s store brand ones have a great taste and everyone in my family likes them. They have them on sale a few times a year, but unlike other items, I haven’t quite nailed down when all of those sales are.

  41. I would buy all the peas they had and then ask for a raincheck. If there is no limit on the item, they should give it to you. You can go back and get more at that price when they restock.

  42. Cindy so glad he is doing better. I was sorry to read that he was ill again and had to leave school. Hope he will continue to improve and can return to his typical life soon! You are being very creative in sticking with your budget, all the while helping him. Sending good wishes for you both across the miles.

  43. We had some very warm days in late February and now are under a winter storm warning. What a difference a day can make. Because of the snow, I won’t be taking mom out tomorrow. If I make some muffins to take with us when we venture out Saturday, we will have stuck to our food budget of $43 a week for each of the last four weeks. I know that is much more per person than some of you budget for food, but it has been just about right for us (until I get better at stretching a buck). Our cupboards are about as full as they were four weeks ago. But I want to restock decaf coffee, butter, dried cheese (for spaghetti), canned meat and fish, tomatoes (if the Spartan-branded cans are still available at the clearance price), graham crackers, saltines, onions, canned fruit and leafy greens soon (like Sunday). In our town, greens are always so expensive. I think I am going to try growing microgreens in the house to supplement what we buy. Because of the abundance of wildlife outside, I am not keen about growing things that are eaten raw on the ground in the yard. Dollar General is offering an electronic coupon for $15 off a $50 purchase. So we will be buying some of the food there. Our nearest Aldi is about fifteen miles away. I just can’t justify driving so far for their prices unless I consolidate shopping for at least two weeks. I am looking forward to Brandy’s future posts.

  44. This month I plan to buy cabbage when it is dirt cheap on sale for St. Patrick’s Day, then slice & dehydrate it. I love vegetable soup, & adding a small handful of dehydrated cabbage to the soup we make from the bottled chicken, broth, carrots, mixed summer squash, tomato sauce, green beans & dried onions for our pantry makes it just that more tasty. Plus, adding anything dehydrated helps thicken the soup, when adding 6 pints of home-canned goodness. I usually dehydrate at least 2-3 heads, just for adding to soup, in 3-4 quart jars, depending on the size of the cabbage heads.

  45. That was a great find on the fresh produce. I believe God always makes sure that we have what we need. He put you there just at the right moment. So happy for you that your finances are working out better this month. I know you will get so much out of the $60 for your daughter.

  46. I went shopping at BJs today. I got olive oil, 2 packs of boneless chicken, milk, 2 8pks of tuna, and a 3 pack of bacon. There was a $3 off coupon for the package of chicken breast. My sister gave me hers too. I picked out the 2 smallest packs they had to bring down the price per pound. A friend said she would give me hers but I haven’t seen her. The coupon is good all month so I will go back when I get the extra coupon. The tuna had an instant coupon to bring the price down. Its good to have with Lent right now. I will be buying loss leaders for the month. Just trying to build up my food storage.

  47. Lilli you can freeze avocados, I worked in a restaurant that bought them frozen then defrosted them to use on salads, as sides, etc. I don’t know how they kept them from turning but they came vacuum sealed. You can vacuum seal in a Ziploc bag by sealing the top almost completely across except for a hole just large enough for a straw. Insert the straw in the corner and stuck all the air out of the bag, as quick as possible while still inhaling, pull the straw out as you deal the corner. My son taught me to do this. You can do this with any fruits, veggies or cooked meats to save space and keep food fresher for longer. Hope this helps someone.

  48. You can make a soup with one cup of rice, several cups of water, chicken bullion, any greens you have, powdered ginger, powdered onion if you don’t have dried or fresh), a little fish sauce or soy sauce, and if you have it, leftover poultry (but it can be left out too). I made a soup like this earlier this week, using Swiss chard and green onions from the garden. I started with a recipe I saw but varied it a lot to use what I had; the recipe said one cup of rice for 8 people, which works because as with rice pudding, the rice will continue to absorb liquid.

  49. Melissa: when a company has been unresponsive to emails, I go to their Facebook page and tell the world exactly what the problem is and how unresponsive the company is being. It has NEVER failed to generate a fast response from the company. I don’t make extreme statements (as in, “I will never buy their peanut butter again.”) or use nasty/sarcastic language. I am civil and usually put how much I like their product and how disappointed I am by their lack of responsiveness to a customer. Companies do not like to be publicly called out for their poor service and the big ones have folks hired just to scout social media sites and respond to complaints. After the company responds to my FB message, I always post again, telling people they did respond and are fixing the issue and I am thankful for their help. Try it, it might work. I am not a chronic complainer to companies but I have done this four times and it worked every time.

  50. We’re eating down our freezers so I can defrost them before filling them back up over the summer. I’m just starting to work on building my pantry, so I’m glad to have your guidance. I have a terrible memory so I wish I could find a spreadsheet of all the cheapest prices in food and when it’s available in my area! Anyone have this for Indiana?!

  51. Have you tried talking to anyone to pre-order 30 bags of peas when you know the sale is coming? Many managers will do this.

  52. I’ve gone the first day of the sale (Wednesday) and ordered for a Friday shipment of bulk peaches and pears, but never have I thought to do these! I don’t know why not! I should! They usually require that you buy 10 in order to get the sale price, so it’s frustrating when they don’t have 10 (some items don’t require the 10 items for the sale but these always say “When you buy 10”.) I should do that! We eat about a bag and a half at a meal so that would be fabulous!

  53. I eat mostly berries and apples but I’m also supposed to eat bananas a few times a week for the potassium so it’s all a balancing act. I eat maybe two servings of fruit a day and since it’s low carb and not no carb (and I’ve cut out all cookies, cakes and desserts in general) I think the benefits of the vitamins in the fruit outweighs the few carbs. I’ve already lost a lot of weight so it seems to be working – but it’s a good thing I love veggies! 🙂

  54. I buy 5 lb. bags of organic frozen vegetables at Costco for $5-7 a bag. They are wonderful. I have a large dehydrator and I do cherry tomatoes, squash, peppers, apples, strawberries and as many others that I can. I use them throughout the year.

  55. I picked up a dehydrator today at the goodwill for $4. I brought it home and tried it and it works. This one got excellent reviews online. Hope that helps.

  56. I am looking forward to payday tomorrow so I can go grocery shopping. We need everything but beans and tuna and pasta. I don’t have a dishwasher so I got tired of making 3 meals a day from scratch plus snacks and doing all the dishes that today I actually bought a 6 dollar pizza and cookies on credit. Not wise, I know. I’m so behind on dishes. I’m going to try and catch up and keep on cooking from scratch at home because we want to pay off some bills. I also know if I stock the refrigerator and pantry with food, I can cook. Then we won’t eat out. I had a cold and did a lot of sleeping between cooking meals. At least I am feeling better. I worked 40 hours on a week that should show up on this paycheck so we can buy extra groceries and pay down some bills. Hubby is working a day of overtime and that will help also. My menu plan didn’t work out because we needed coupons for some of the things I had planned on buying. We actually left the grocery store without the items because we did not have the money to pay full price and we didn’t want to add it to the credit card. So we did more bean meals and I made the meat we had spread by using as a flavoring in soups. Brandy is right, soups are filling and cheap. I’m sure I would have done better to buy some basic groceries rather than buy a pizza and cookies. But my resolve not to spend was better when I was feeling well and the kitchen wasn’t piled with dishes.
    Brandy, I’m glad you are ok. I wondered what happened when I didn’t see a post on Monday. Glad to see your post today
    Well, it is time for me to do more dishes!:). Then I can cook more tomorrow. Really I need to make a menu after I see what is on sale.

  57. I don’t have too many needs at the moment, but I do need chicken (“SALE” price this week $2.50 #–no thanks.) I could use more salmon and another fish–tried some frozen haddock which I really didn’t care for, although that is the usual fish around these parts. My freezer is full of pork, beef, a few lamb chops, and all the ground beef I need for a while. All I foresee needing is fresh veggies, fruits, and dairy this month. It seems like I’ve bought every non-food need we use in the past two months, so hoping not too many of those to replace this month either. I do need honey for granola, and if I go to the Amish store, I will also get more oatmeal as well. I will get some walnuts when I go to Sam’s Club again (and some new towels too, although they don’t count as food.)

  58. An old Southern secret (from an old Southerner), put in a dash or so of sugar in the pot when boiling your peas or carrots. Sweetens them up every time. This also helps the flavor of green beans.

  59. Tammy, I feel your pain… When you have been sick and then the house chores get behind because you’re trying to heal, it’s very hard to summon the energy to catch up. What works for me in these instances is to literally set my kitchen timer for 15 minutes, work that long on the messiest or most annoying chore, then stop and do other things for the next 45 (even it means you need to lie on the sofa again for that 45 minutes!). Then set the timer for another 15 minutes and start again. With dish washing, try using half the time to wash and the other half to dry/put away so that the drainer is empty when you go back to start washing again. Good luck and get well soon!

  60. It sounds like you are taking steps in the right direction. Just be patient with yourself as you build new habits. I agree with you that if you stock your pantry well, over time, you will have many more choices when you are tired, sick, etc. It’s a great idea to see what’s on sale, and make a menu from that! And, if you can, buy a few “extras” of what ever is the best sale to get your pantry stocked up. For instance, if tomato sauce is super cheap (or whatever is), buy several instead of the one or two you need for your menu plan. Or buy a bulk bag of something, like rice or flour or sugar, if you can. Another thing that I do that helps is to cook a few meals on the weekend, then just warm things up on the days I’m at work until late. It doesn’t always work out, but a lot of the time it does. (I totally ruined something the other day, and had to leave for work, leaving NO dinner for my husband when he got home from work–I texted him that he would need to grab a burger or cook whatever he could find–and I was sorry! So rare, thankfully, but it happened. Because his work has been extra hard right now, he doesn’t have the energy to cook much so I’ve been trying to leave food for him.)

    Hang in there. Just keep trying.

  61. I am trying to clear out my freezer some, for the half-hog to be received soon. I ordered it from a young couple starting an organic farm. They have good prices (for organic) and work so hard, I’m happy to help support them. We’ll be eating a lot of pork before long.
    We have about 8 heads of cabbage forming in our container garden, and we are looking forward to enjoying them. About half of them are red/purple cabbage, which can be so expensive in the stores! Now I need some brisket or corned beef — last year I corned my own beef, but if it’s on a really good sale, I may just buy it.
    Since I don’t yet know if oats, rice, or beans will make it back on my diet, I’m not stocking up on those. I do need some cooking essentials, like salt, olive oil, honey, etc.
    My husband is sprouting tomatoes, eggplant, peppers (that I don’t know yet if I can eat, but he will!) and squash, both summer and “winter.” We are hoping to have success with them — our weather can sure destroy a crop by getting way too hot and wet just as the fruits are coming on. I have a few onions trying to make it in this crazy weather — I hope they do.

  62. I’ve come to a realization that I actually have been funding my grocery budget mid month for the last several months. So, my “monthly” groceries are from the middle of one month to the middle of the next. So, in the 2 weeks of my “month” that has already passed, I found that I had around $100 of carry-over from the last month. I took that to Costco and spent it on the few items I could get for that amount. It doesn’t take very many at Costco, but the large sizes make the purchase last a long time. I got parmesan cheese, 5 dozen eggs, 1/2 and 1/2, a 6-pack of romaine, the huge bag of tortilla chips, some hygiene supplies, and so forth. I also got one of those cooked chickens for $4.99, and ate some of that in the car for my lunch, brought home the rest and used it for meals, then cooked the bones and made soup. I’ve only bought 2 of them, ever, but my extremely frugal mom told me about them…you can scarcely get a raw chicken for that price around here, so she started buying them occasionally. It was good. I will likely buy one another time, if I’m there for other reasons. It had never even occurred to me to look at them, as pre-cooked deli food isn’t on my usual list.

    I got a lot of bargains and specials from 4 stores last weekend. I just took the ads, and coupons, and got the bargains. There is a little price war going on due to the opening of a new store near my sister and aunts’ houses, and so I’ve picked up things like butter for $1.99/lb, pork loin for 99c/lb, 99c/10lb potatoes, canned tomatoes for 25c each, orange juice for 99c/carton, sugar for 99c/4-lb bag, and so on. I bought celery, carrots, milk, etc., as I ran out. Both my aunt and sister have given me some coupons they couldn’t use, which helped. I ended up playing the Monopoly game at Safeway, mostly due to these bargains, and usually someone gives my children or myself their tickets. I have several free items, and we actually won $5. I need to take the tickets in and redeem them for the free items and the $5. I will put the $5 in a fund for when we go camping next summer. We save coins and use them to eat out on vacations, and $5 will help bump that amount up.

    I also did a Grocery Outlet run, and got some produce, and a few bargain items. I didn’t get as much there as sometimes, as I didn’t need as much. I did get gluten-free cookie mix for 99c/box.

    I realized that I could pay off the rest of my daughter’s braces if I was extra frugal with groceries this month. However, I want to buy these bargains to keep the pantry stocked. So, I think I’ve struck a good balance and set a moderate amount aside for groceries, and will pay off that bill. We actually got hit with several larger-than-usual bills, one large one from a medical procedure months ago (that took forever to come) and a couple more, and so we’ve tightened up the belt so we can pay those.

    So, I will buy milk, the coupon and super bargain items, celery, chicken if I find a good deal, and whatever item I run out of as I’m cooking. I make a list when I’m down to my last package/can/etc. of each item, and restock it so my panty stays full. (For instance, if I take the last container of parmesan cheese off the pantry shelf, I write it down so I know to purchase it before we actually run out, or if I notice that I only have 2 cans of pineapple left, I start searching for a sale on that, and so on) Otherwise, I don’t need a lot for the next 2 weeks, since I got all those other items. If I have money left over, I will use it for another Costco or Cash and Carry run to get any bulk items I find I’m running low on.

  63. We are still working hard to reduce our waistlines and our credit card debt after the past two very difficult years. I hate playing catch-up, so am going to double down. Not eating as much will also save money!

    For decades we fed our family on $100 a month (not as large as yours, Brandy) which included toiletries, laundry soap supplies and cleaning supplies. It is doable, but I really had to be on top if things all the time and keep the pantry supplied first as well. This is why I’m so happy to have found this blog…when I was raising my family on wholesome and organic foods so cheaply, I felt so alone. It’s good to have a like minded group to share ideas with. Thanks Brandy and everyone!

    One of my greatest struggles was (and is) avoiding impulsive buys. I actually have to plan to stay out of the stores at times to stick to the plan. That said, here is what I plan to buy this month…

    Bananas to dehydrate if they are on sale
    Sundries at the dollar store
    Cottage cheese

  64. What about arugula chips like the kale chips suggestion you have on your website? Or put the greens in soup and then freeze the soup.
    Jeannie @ GetMetoTheCountry

  65. Tammy,

    I agree with Pauline. I don’t have a dishwasher either so I need to do dishes every day (but for only 1 person so not nearly what you have) and when I don’t want to do them/don’t feel like doing them (pretty much every day), I set the timer to 20 minutes and try to beat it for washing, cleaning off counters, sweeping the floor, and generally putting the kitchen to rights. Even if I don’t beat that time, I’m usually so close that I just finish.

    The other thing that might help you is advance food prep. I find it a lot easier to make a salad if I have peppers, cucumbers, celery, lettuce, and spinach already cut up and in canning jars that I have available. The same for soup and stir fry ingredients. I also shred half a pound of cheese at a time and store what I don’t need, make a batch of meatballs and freeze them in single serving sizes, etc. It takes time to do this but it makes meal prep so much easier and quicker.

    I don’t know if you have children but if you do, are they old enough to help? They may not want to help, but, hey, you don’t want to do this either. If you set the time, you can make it a game with them.

    Finally, maybe paper plates just once a week to give yourself a break, especially if you are eating leftovers that don’t require a lot of pans or dishes to cook. Not necessarily thrifty but there is a cost to your time and sanity as well…

  66. Laurie, they seem to often make ladyfingers on the Great British Baking show and it looks like they are easy enough to do. Just eggs, flour, sugar and a flavoring. They probably taste good, too.

  67. I will buy at least 4 corned beef, make 1 and freeze the others. We like the leftovers for sandwiches and we also make our own corned beef hash.

    Our root cellar stays cold for another few months so I will restock with potatoes, carrots and cabbages.

    Yellow onions for cooking, sweet onions for raw and red onions for both.

    Canned tuna, Mandarin oranges, black olives

    Frozen peas, probably 25-30 lbs to last through to when we can harvest our own, frozen phyllo dough-2 boxes

    candy for Easter…jelly beans, Cadbury eggs, various chocolates with coupons/sales

    baby wipes and small size diapers with coupons/sales for upcoming new babies

    unbleached flour, powdered sugar, brown sugar, caraway seed, coffee beans, iodized salt, whole allspice

    all month…fresh vegetables as needed for salads, bananas (from gas station), oranges and or grapefruit, apples for fresh eating (we still have some in the root cellar for cooking/baking). milk, cottage cheese, cream cheese, unsalted butter, eggs (farm), corn tortillas, mozzarella cheese

  68. I received my $25. onto my card from Save On Foods, but was disappointed to see I had to first buy $25. of groceries, Then the next $25 (that day) came off my card. well its better than nothing, but not what I had expected.
    ann lee s

  69. I do a combination of meals from scratch and convenience foods for my family. First of all, the convenience foods are often what everyone doesn’t complain about eating, and second they are useful for nights when we’re too busy or tired to do “from scratch” meals. Some people may not agree with our food choices, but in my opinion it is still better than eating out both health and cost wise. Every family has to make choices that works for them.

    As for cutting costs, it is always best to meal plan around sales, coupons and seasonal foods until you can build up your pantry a bit. I assure you, it really does take time to build up a good pantry. So don’t ever think you are falling short when you first start out. The best way to build your pantry is to shop the sales and buy a few extras of items you KNOW your family eats regularly (like pasta, rice, tomato sauce, veggies, etc.) or items that can be used in multiple recipes (like baking supplies, favourite herbs/spices, etc.). Once your pantry starts to build up, you can incorporate “pantry meals” into your weekly meal plan, freeing up more of your regular food budget to buy more varieties of foods that are on sale to further develop you pantry (see how this snowballs?).

    One thing I would suggest, to help you reclaim your kitchen and time, is to make extra when you prepare a meal and freeze half of it to use later if you can. I prefer to assemble the dish and freeze it uncooked, while others like to freeze leftovers in portioned container or pre-cook and freeze some of the ingredients to save time later…whatever works best for your family is fine. These “freezer meals” come in very handy on days when you are too exhausted to cook, you are not feeling well, you need something quick or you need something that makes less dishes to help you catch up. Don’t be afraid to think ahead for meals that week as well. For instance, maybe you prepare a triple batch of pancakes on the weekend, then freeze the extras to use for breakfast that week (pancakes can be reheated in the toaster if you make then small enough to fit). Or maybe you make a big pot of chili on the weekend, then use leftovers later in the week for meals like chili macaroni and/or chili cheese dogs. Batch cooking will save time and hopefully produce less dishes later in the week.

    Another suggestion is to find some simple recipes or meals that don’t take much preparation to make. For instance, I buy naan or pita bread (which FYI freezes well) so we can have “make-your-own” pizzas. Use canned tomato sauce, grate up some cheese, put out whatever topping you have on hand, then let everyone assemble their own pizza (while you sit back and smile). Bake them @ 350F for about 20-30 minutes on cookie sheets and voila…everyone is happy!

    So don’t worry, Tammy. It sounds like you have the right idea and are headed the right direction. You just have to find your own path that works best for you and your family.

  70. I just did a quick search and found someone replaced the thermostat and fuse in their excalibur dehydrator, and there’s video on youtube, too. Not sure if that’s your issue, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to check out youtube prior to replacing it completely.

  71. I did that last week at the supermarket here–they had frozen crab cakes BOGO but only one package was left. I got a rain check for 4 boxes and bought them the following shopping day. They sell for $7.99 but with the BOGO and coupons on each box, I only paid $5.98 for 2 boxes. They are not something I buy often but we do like them so that’s a couple special meals for us. (Two boxes is one meal for us.) I wasn’t going to miss that deal if I could help it!

  72. I do have a dishwasher now, but I didn’t for many, many years. I always put my dishes to soak as I use them. Either fill the sink, or your dishpan, with hot soapy water, and put in as many dishes as it will hold. Run the others full of water to soak while they wait. It may use extra water and I don’t know if that’s super-expensive where you live, but it sure helps me to get my dishes done. Once they have soaked while you’re cooking, it won’t take long to wash and rinse them and set them to dry. I still do this with pots and pans that don’t go in the dishwasher.

  73. I live in Phoenix, an area similar to Nevada, and I can tell you:LOTS of great veggies and fruits grow here, and we have TWO LONG GROWING SEASONS! NOT a lesson in futility! We grew veggies Back East in N.J. And one short growing season was so sad… we enjoyed it but it was over before you even started!! You’d be surprised at how many fruits and veggies and herbs we can grow here YEAR ROUND in the desert!!!!

  74. I’ve never thought of dehydrating cabbage! That’s why I love this site; so many smart people with great ideas! I will buy extra cabbage if I find a decent price, just to dehydrate. Thanks!

  75. Most years, I use a portion of our tax returns to jumpstart our stock. So, I had a fairly large shop this week (for us) as well as ordering a few things from the co-op. Since Jan./Feb. were no spend/low spend, it was time to fill in a few gaps. Of course, I couldn’t buy everything. I’m still hopeful that I may find butter for less than 2.99lb. Marivene mentioned dehydrating cabbage so i’d like to get a few of those. Fresh onions and potatoes would be nice. Yellow bananas would be nice, too. (I won’t buy green; they don’t always ripen.) I’m going to try to be good for the rest of the month. My husband is gearing up for a photography contest and to stock a store with some of his art so that will need to be addressed. Not to mention, he’s still not back to work full time and it looks like it may be awhile, yet. He applied for another job and goes in tomorrow to talk to someone about it. Fingers crossed that whatever happens, he has a good outcome.
    I wanted to mention to anyone with a Dollar Tree that I came across organic, fire roasted tomatoes for 2/1.00 per can. That is a great price for organic! I bought four cases. They are short dated for April. I know all DT stores stock differently but I never would have even thought about looking for such a thing there.

  76. Marilyn in MD, thank-you for your ideas. My husband has mentioned paper plates. I need to break down and buy some. It certainly is cheaper than eating out. And yes it is a good idea to get everyone involved. I need to do that. Thanks.

  77. Thank-you Rhonda, I really need to do Batch cooking and honestly, some convenience foods help too. It keeps us form eating out and just makes life easier sometimes. You are right I need to relax a bit and do what works best for us. I’ve really been trying to cook everything scratch and it just has worn me out, maybe because i have a cold. What a good idea to do self assembled pizzas!

  78. Thanks Marcia, that is a good idea. I’m always leaving dishes until we have had dinner. Then I need to soak some of them before I can actually scrub them. I hadn’t even thought of filling up the sink as I go.

  79. For the past 6 months, I have been buying 1lb bags of frozen peas at Aldi for $0.98. This is quiet wonderful for us as I can’t seem to grow enough peas for our year long consumption. My Nana could but I didn’t get that talent. I do miss my grandmother.

  80. That is interesting. I don’t remember any mention of that in the materials I read. Of course, I stopped reading when I found out I wasn’t qualified, because my Save On membership wasn’t active at the end of December. I only shopped there for dog food that my adopted senior dog was used to and the occasional pre-made meal. Now that I don’t have a dog and don’t stop to buy pre-made meals, the card wasn’t active.

    The Loblaws card, you have to say to the cashier up front that you are planning to use the card, or else run it as a separate transaction.

  81. I would like to get out and buy some groceries today-once DH digs us out from 10 inches of snow and still coming down. Need some cheese, t. paper and I see butter is on sale for $2.99 per pound which never happens. On the other hand I think I should wait for Tuesday as they have 15% off if you spend $50 or more.

  82. Hi! I live in Indiana. I found a spreadsheet online a few months ago comparing Aldi and Walmart, and for almost every item Aldi was the cheapest.

  83. I purchased chicken breasts from Zaycon for $0.99/lb. I got 40 lbs. I am anxious to see how it is–this is our first purchase.

  84. I make arugala (or spinach or fresh mixed herbs) pesto and freeze it quite often. I include garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. If I have dehydrated tomatoes or olives, those are a nice addition too. I rarely include nuts because they’re expensive and we prefer them for snacking. The consistency doesn’t seem to suffer for it.

  85. Same here, Athanasia. I came home from the store still fussing about the rapidly shrinking sizes in frozen veggies (and everything else!) to my husband after my last trip.

  86. First time responding, great blog! Just wanted to say warmed peas, some cottage cheese and piece of bread is a great fav. meal we enjoy.

  87. Rhonda, you are just too sweet. Thank you for your post, the struggle mentally was hard the last two months. Thankfully all the living expenses were covered and it was just a matter of being patient until the tax refund came. I immediately took care of the problem and made sure the problem won’t happen again. This issue cost me about 2000.00 in interest which devastated me. I am back on track, have a little in my emergency fund and am finally smiling. It is highly unusual for me to make mistakes. Thankfully , couponing has allowed me to pack my pantry to overflowing. So blessed to have been given the tools to provide for me and sugar cookie. Hope all is well over your way.

  88. Elizabeth: if you HAD a card last December you could probably still apply …. unless you stopped using your card long ago. … no they never mentioned this rule until I went to use the $25. !!!! I only purchase the occasional item there as well, but could honestly answer their “quiz” when applying. ann lee s

  89. You can also use the crab cakes to stuff mushrooms, if you are so inclined. Chop the mushroom stems, add shredded cheese and crab cakes, mix up, stuff mushrooms, top with more shredded cheese, bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or so, then broil to lightly brown the cheese. That’s what I do.

  90. Tammy, from scratch is all well and good but not if you are worn out and have other priorities as well. We were told in the 1970ies that we can do it all AND do it perfectly. That’s just a lie: no human can do everything and we all need to make choices and prioritize. Sometimes, that does include using convenience Foods. It’s almost always still cheaper than going out or getting take out. You also retain your sanity which will help everyone in the family enjoy the meal much more.

  91. Hi, Cathy!
    I’m in the U.P. of Michigan. The DT is in Escanaba, a little more then an hour from us. There were double rows of the tomatoes stacked about 12 high. These were in the main aisle near the food. Once in awhile, i’ll do a walk-through in the food aisle just to see what’s what. If you ever need soy milk, DT sells Westsoy which has organic ingredients. I’ve found a few other organic s over the years.

  92. Here in the U.S., it seems as if bakeries have retooled their bread pans and shrunk them. Loaves are now visibly smaller in size, and the price is VERY high. $4.50 for a loaf of whole grain, oat, or nut bread. One would think it would cost them more to get new bread pans than it does in flour and other ingredients.
    There are only 2 people in my house hold and my home made bread seems to spoil so quick. I may have to rethink baking my own bread again due to price.
    I am glad you are getting a refund for bread price fixing.

  93. Here in South Louisiana, I went to our local Albertson’s after reading on here (thank you!) about the 1 dollar lb/ sweet peas, but here – as part of the sale – they are $1.49 for 12 oz! Oh well, not for me! Laura

  94. Laura,

    They don’t have the sale going yet. I am HOPING that they will this month because of frozen foods month and I am watching the ads for the sale (our sales here from Wednesdays through Tuesdays). They have a store brand of sweet peas that comes in a 16-ounce size. I only see this sale sometimes and one of those times is usually in November. It’s always part of a buy 10 deal to get the price. I won’t pay $1.49 for a 12-ounce bag, either 😀 Keep watching your ads through the month and hopefully, their frozen vegetables will go on sale for lower.

  95. It is definitely not a refund…just a sad apology for years of screwing us over. If I added up how much money I have overpaid for bread over these years, it would be more like hundreds of dollars and we’re just 1 family. These companies have made an enormous amount of profit from this illegal price fixing. A $25 gift card is almost an insult. But in case they get away with this, I’m taking what is offered right now.

  96. I make my own washing soda from baking soda. All you have to do is bake the BS in the oven on a cookie sheet and viola, washing soda. Making your own washing soda is much less expensive than buying it.

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