Grocery Shopping

May’s Shopping Plans

 Apricots in White Garden The Prudent Homemaker

 

I awoke shortly after 4 a.m. to the sound of pouring rain.

Rain is very rare here, and when it does rain, it is usually so gentle and short as to only last 30 seconds. Pouring rain is unusual, and even more so in May!

I got up and closed the windows, went outside and into the garage and turned the drip irrigation and sprinklers off.

It’s a beautiful May Day here, with cooler weather than usual thanks to the rain and clouds. We’ll be back to 95° and even 98°(37°C) next week, but for four days this week, we are enjoying cooler temperatures.

The apricots will be ripe in my garden soon. I have two kinds of apricots: Katy and Royal (a.k.a. Royal Blenheim). Katy is generally ripe 3-4 weeks sooner than Royal, but wind and cold made it so only a few branches ripened on the tree, and then the rest of the Katy tree bloomed a month later. Whether they all ripen at once is yet to be seen. Katy usually ripens at the beginning of May and Royal towards the end of the month.

Blackberries 2 The Prudent Homemaker

Our blackberries will also be ripe in the garden this month.

In years past, we have also harvested peaches in May. As our tree was dying last year, we took it out. It will be a few years before we have peaches ripe in May again.

I am harvesting oregano, parsley, garlic chives, and green onions from the garden this month. I am also harvesting lettuce, spinach, and Swiss chard.

 

I plan on purchasing the following items this month:

 

Sam’s Club:

Olive oil (3-liter bottle)

Mozzarella cheese (5-pound bag)

Powdered sugar (7-pound bag)

Brown sugar (7-pound bag)

Best Foods Mayonnaise (1-gallon)

Gatorade powder (We keep this on hand for when someone is sick, and as we had several people with flu earlier this year, it’s time to replenish it).

Aveeno Body Lotion

 

Winco:

La Victoria salsa (using $1 off coupon) 

Flour tortillas

Sour cream

Potatoes

Vegetable Oil

 

Target:

Suave shampoo (using 2 $1 off coupons)

 

I’ll spend the rest of our $200 monthly budget on fresh produce and meat that I find on sale this month. 

 

Here is a month of typical spring meals in our house.

 

What are your grocery shopping plans this month?

 

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71 Comments

  1. Congratulations on your new little guy. I keep thinking of you with that new sweet baby. I love reading your monthly shopping list and always marvel at how little you spend. Your spring meal list is so helpful and I love the pictures too.

  2. First, Congratulations on your newest addition to the family!
    Rain is also very rare here and usually gentle and short. Our weather is cooler than normal, only until maybe Saturday- up to 100.
    May shopping plans is basically only what is needed. Both of us are leaving to take care of our parents, so we are using what we have.
    The end of the month, I’ll be home, and only need milk probably.

    I’m not sure when I will post again, as I understand that I will be pretty busy while away.

    Appreciating what we have and making things work out is making things possible!

    So enjoy today!

  3. I am so impressed that you have just had a baby, yet you are so organized that you have your May shopping plans together! I am really not sure what I am going to buy this month, it really depends on the sales. I do not need any potatoes, nor onions, I am eating fresh dandelion greens every day, I have lots of pinto beans, and I am trying to eat the last of my 49 cent lb chicken. I bought large eggs last week for a $1.00 a dozen at Walmart. I would like to get catfish grown locally, and maybe crawfish, if it is on sale, or if someone locally is selling it. If neither catfish nor crawfish are on sale, I will not get any. My mulberry tree has ripe berries, so I will be harvesting those. I just had one small bag left from last year’s crop, so the timing is good. It is not peanut season yet, nor are our Chilton County peaches ready (next county over). This is sorta the in between month.

  4. I should add that peanut and pecan season is October/November, and peaches are usually around June, July down here. I do get Vidalia onions in May.

  5. Hi everyone. Hope you’re all having a great week.

    I’m back to living alone (mostly!) as my SO had a sudden job transfer 3 hours north. So, my monthly grocery shopping will drastically decrease as he and his 3 children will not be here very often. I’ve just been able to plug in my chest freezer which was a Christmas gift, so I will definitely start stocking it as I run across sales.

    I will be looking for chicken pieces or whole chickens to freeze. Also, I need ground beef. If I find a good deal, I will buy enough to have on hand for 1-2 months. I like to leave some raw, but also brown some to have ready for quick dinners. I want more frozen veggies (or fresh that I can blanch and freeze) to stock the freezer. I eat a lot healthier when it’s just me, so I am looking forward to restocking on things I used to eat/make.

    I need a lot of basics: sugars (brown, granulated, powdered), condiments, canned veggies, pasta and sauce, olive oil, eggs, and butter. I am going to go through my pantry again and clean it out, reorganize, and make a thorough list that I’ll buy as I find things on sale.

  6. Our blackberries are just coming on and it will be awhile before we can eat them, but I can’t pay the high dollars for them at the store, knowing we have them at home if I’m patient.
    The last of our loquats are done. Most froze this year — again — but we got a few that survived, and they were as fat and juicy as we’ve seen. It will be summer before we see if we get figs, and grapes are several months away. So, I continue to buy small amounts of fruits at the stores, and hope to go blueberry picking in early June. Our own plants will have few berries, as the early warmth then late freeze caught a lot of buds.
    I need a good bargain on coconut oil, plus I’ll need more olive oil
    I will also look for sales on organic cane and coconut or date sugars.
    It’s time to purchase another quart of honey.
    I’ll be paying for the half-hog processing coming up.
    I’ve been trying to find an economical way to buy baking soda. I get four pound boxes fairly cheaply at Walmart, but I’d like to buy in bulk. The best prices I’ve found so far don’t beat the boxes from Walmart. I use it a lot in cleaning, and the boxes are awkward to pour and re-close. I’ll take suggestions!
    I’ll watch for sales on coffee, for my husband.
    Since I can’t eat wheat flour now, I found two stores with cassava flour on sale (Otto’s brand, which is the best, I understand) and have stocked up some on it.
    Mostly, I am just watching for good stocking up sales and best prices, to try to knock our food bill down. It’s hard to do when eating organic and pastured, but I do as much as I can.

  7. I agree its been WONDERFUL weather here ! at 6am it was 58 degrees! All doors are open! And poo on Sunday to 105! I just go the ads in this mornings paper so I need to go thru and see what is a good deal ! I need to take out 5 juniper trees that were planted as a fence to the other neighbor.. I want them gone and replaced with fruit trees ! Can’t wait to have something other than oranges and grapefruit.. Do you suggest a good time of the year to plant those here in the desert?

  8. I’m on the look-out for good prices on chuck roast. I love pot roast, but refuse to pay $5.99 a pound for it. Or even $3.99. I hope to see a BOGO deal on it soon.

  9. Congratulations on the new baby – you really are Wonder Woman!
    Spring has finally arrived up here – in fact this week we have skipped Spring and gone straight to Summer with the temperature up to 27C today (about 82F) – but we’re back down again to more normal temperatures next week – around 12 to 16C – which is nice Spring weather. Trees are in bud and finally the daffodils & tulips are beginning to appear! It has been a very long Winter.
    I went through my pantry and small freezer (top of fridge) this past weekend and cleaned and rearranged items and took note of what I’ll need. I want to add more things to add to salads like canned beets, water chestnuts, chickpeas and other beans (I’m trying to cut back on meat). Otherwise it will just be fresh fruit & veg plus any sale items or items that I can get loyalty points for – but only if I really need them. I won’t need any additional cleaning or laundry supplies until the end of the year and the only hygiene item I’m looking to add is a large box of Q-tips – which should last nearly two years with what I already have! The advantage of being on my own is that a 6 month to 1 year stock up of items doesn’t have to take up a ton of space if you are organized (and have some decent closet space).
    I intend to eat up a lot of items from the freezer – especially things that I’ve already prepared and then frozen. I hope to have emptied a lot from there by the end of May and then I can better plan my Summer menu.
    Looking forward to some baby photos on the blog. Take care.

  10. Grocery bill will be mostly fresh veggies, fruits and meat since we are trying to lose weight at our house. Hopefully can find good prices on all three to put up either by means of freezer or dehydrator. Last month I stocked up on baking needs so pantry is full. Plus some of the budget will go for getting garden in next week= seeds, potting soil and seedlings. Decided to only do green beans, several types of tomatoes, green peppers and herbs this year. Looking forward to a “double coupon” event at store over the weekend to get free stuff.

  11. I did most of my May shop on Monday – we added to the pantry veggies (just basics of corn, green beans, and sweet peas) and diced tomatoes/sauce/paste. Picked up some perishables. Ordered oatmeal in bulk for my husband and picked up a couple of pounds of couscous at the food co-op. Ordered a bag of dog food as I rotated a bag out of storage for her over the weekend. I’m thinking May is going to be a pantry challenge and no spend month for me. We are under a certain point on husband’s car note and I’m super excited – really wanting to get it paid off by the end of the year, so each chunk I can divert to it from other things makes me cheer! Hoping you all find great deals on the things on your lists! 🙂

  12. That was quite the winter, Margie. We also went from cold temperatures to 28°C for a couple of Days and finally the huge snow pile on my driveway have melted away. I am thrilled because several of my hepatica plants are in bloom as well as the Alpine plants in my scree garden are coming along quickly. Best of all, after such a brutal winter, my David Austin roses have survived. On my way outside to do some one handed gardening And will see how that goes! Glad to hear that spring/summer has returned to the Toronto area. Here we had the third largest snowfall or amount of snow from November to April that we have ever had. Happy gardening, happy Spring!

  13. I have been eating dandelion greens and lambs’s quarter sautéed, chickweed in my smoothies and realizing there are a lot of good things to forage here in the south this month. It definitely helps having so much green stuff available for free.

  14. We are mostly stocking up on produce, I am down to a carrot, a few potatoes and two old apples. I really am trying to have zero waste and am doing good on that, but it has been some slim pickings this last week. Strawberries will be at the top of my list, as they are coming in and my husband loves jam!

    May is a big month for getting things in the garden, here in NC. I have got lettuce, kale, radishes, beets, chard coming in, and beans, and cubes planted. Now to get tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and cantaloupe planted.

  15. Milk… maybe flour tortillas… Not much… I harvest enough asparagus for a meal for the 2 of us from 209..Rhubarb will be ready this weekend. Didn’t plant anything with the way we were getting snow and freezes.

    My aunt that my parents raised (she’s like an older sister to my brother as I’m 25 yrs younger than her and 10 yrs younger than my brother) died this morning so I know of at least 2 days of meals out.. Daddy turns 91 tomorrow and we will celebrate it at the nursing home with him, he doesn’t understand why his “daughter ” had to die while he is still here. This is one time I hope his dementia kicks in and he forgets it at least for tomorrow.

  16. Im always on the lookout for inexpensive meat and inexpensive fruits and vegetables. I need to buy a few number 10 cans of tomatoes, will probably get them at Sams, they are the same price as the food service outlet, so I might as well get them without the dents. I’d like to stock up on some cases of corn and green beans, but only if I find them at a good price. Its so convenient to open a can of them, when you dont have much else to put on the table. The price of eggs near me have skyrocketed. They went fro 3¢ each to 11¢. Walmart did have a box of 60 eggs, expiring this month for $4. I bought one. Hopefully the egg price goes back down. Eggs were a big goto for dinner.

  17. That’s a pretty small list this month for your family, Brandy. I expected to see diapers on the list, but I guess you prepared for baby months in advance. It is sad that your peach trees had to be replaced. I hope you still have a few peaches in your pantry to enjoy.

    I have officially started back to work, which means I have less time and energy to shop. For this reason, I usually switch to shopping every other week during the summer. This also means my mom takes over the majority of the cooking. Therefore, my focus for meals switches to convenience meals and replacing items my mom prefers to cook, as well as a few extra lunch items, since I now require them too. My list for our regular grocery store will vary accondingly to our need.

    Last month I was able to finally check off a few long standing items on my Costco list, as they went on sale. Here is my list so far for Costco this month:
    -sweet potato fries (watching for sale)
    -parchment paper (watching for sale)
    -shampoo/conditioner (watching for sale)
    -peanut butter (watching for sale)
    -hamburger patties (hoping for sale soon to stock up for BBQ season)
    -hot dogs (hoping for sale to stock up for BBQ season)
    -liquid hand soap (hoping for sale soon as we are getting low)

  18. I pour my baking soda into jars because, like you, I find the cartons awkward and I think the inevitable open spots near the tab let in air and hasten the demise of the rising agent.

  19. As is usual, we continue to buy as little as possible while paying off medical bills and building our food storage. I will be buying coffee in bulk. Other than that, we purchase the same things every week (meats, salad, apples, almond or peanutbutter and milk) during these super busy times. We just do not like change when we are stressed and overwhelmed. Keeping it simple and frugal here!

  20. I have pulled 140.00 cash for the month. I have a list of needed items.
    Dog food
    Cat food and cat litter
    1000 sheet toilet paper
    Bug spray
    Dish soap
    Trash bags
    Vidalia onions 49 cents a lb
    Puppy needs flea meds
    Shampoo
    I will check the salvage stores for anything I might be able to pick up there and after that , I will shop the lowest price points on my list.
    I will be using this month’s SNAP to buy long term storage items in bulk from the farmers market.
    Gasoline is up 70 cents since the winter. Eggs were 4 cents and now are 25 cents a piece. My surcharges on my water bill have increased by 5.00 a month. I will continue to adjust my budget to accommodate the increases. The funny thing is that the budget doesn’t actually increase. I am beginning to wonder how many more tricks we can actually find and use. I home that baby Simper is eating and sleeping like a champ. All is good here. Swagbucks make me smile. I used a few for various purchases this month.

  21. Hi Melissa, in the mountains loose gravel the rock is called scree. What I have done is taken a dark gray rock bigger than Pea gravel But not that big even so. The rock I used is not round but angular. So when one walks on it, the chips interlock and don’t roll down the slope into the grass. The rock are used is called Rundle rock after a mountain in the Canadian Rockies from which it comes. It is a rock garden without big rocks. It is on a sunny Boulevard where there was always problems growing grass, in part because of the neighborhood dogs. Also because of weeds . The plants I grow between the chips like heat and do not need a lot of water. Because they are Alpine plants, with a couple of exceptions, they are very hardy. The word scree is defined as a mass of small loose stones that form or cover a Slope on a mountain. It is also a slope covered with small loose stones. Hikers and mountain climbers do ‘scrambles’ Across scree. Another word or term for scree is talus. Scree originates from an old English word meaning to slip and before the old English word, an old Norse word. My Rundle rock chips are about the same size as the rocks that are used for the base of playgrounds. They would not hurt anybody where somebody to slip on them. I could not and did not want to use large rock garden rocks as it is a city Boulevard. I would have done it years ago because everyone now thinks of it as a flower bed And when they are passing they keep their dogs under control. Most of the Alpine plans I have are not liked by deer or snowshoe hares So that increases the chances of the plant survival. I myself would not really like to scramble over scree on a slope or in the mountains as I am sure I would lose my balance and probably get injured but some hikers do Scramble across. The word scree has a very obscene urban meaning which I won’t go into. I greatly appreciate the advice of one of my Rockgardener friends Who advised me to get the angular chips as Opposed to round ones because they do stay in place very well especially if after having been laid they are walked across. I hope that answers your question about what is a scree garden. I am especially happy because one of the plants, a type of red Penstemon, Found in Prairie Meadows has survived. We had a terrible winter so I wasn’t sure if it would survive but it is beloved by hummingbirds. I have really enjoyed seeing Brandys photo of the hummingbirds in the nest.

  22. I hope you are safe from flooding in your area – that now seems to be the worry further east! It has been nice to be outside without even needing a sweater these past two days. I hope that you are continuing to heal and that you are managing things at home.

  23. Hello, I was wondering how you prepare your dandelion greens I have always wanted to try them but …thank you for your insight

  24. Hello Brandi I too am so happy to hear about your new arrival! Children are such a blessing! I am going to continue to work on food waste. I have been doing a lot of reading on the subject and decided to be more proactive in this area. So for this month I will be purchasing just the essentials …milk , eggs, potatoes, flour, sugar if it is on sale, mayo, and tuna again if I find a sale, also some fresh fruit and vegetables. If I don’t find a good price on items I will just readjust the menu plan and use what I have. Thank you for all your inspiration and for all your readers ideas I learn so much every time I read your blog. I look forward to seeing what you name your new little one :0)

  25. My shopping plans for May include buying dental chews for the dog. This may not seem immediately frugal but the alternative is paying a $800.00 vet bill to extract teeth. I also brush my dog’s little teeth with a finger brush that costs $5.00.
    I will buy mince to make up a big batch of mince, with tomatos and onions that I got for free, and freezing portions with spaghetti or rice.
    I will buy chicken to make up sweet and sour chicken with ingredients I have, to freeze with rice.
    I also intend to make a batch of 36 cup cakes for church with ingredients I already have. The cup cakes will be iced with chocolate butter cream that I made a fortnight ago.
    I will cut kale and perennial leeks from the garden for salads. But I will purchase beetroot and asparagus and bread.
    I may also purchase some cup a soups for quick meals on the go. And they are shopping plans for May

  26. My budget is $400 for the month. I do have money still from January when I did our pantry challenge. I am hoping to get ground beef and steaks this month because of Memorial Day. Also cheap condiments. We always buy milk, cheese, fresh fruit and veggies. I didn’t get more toilet paper last month so I really want to get more in May. I will be shopping sales and looking at marked downs. Whatever I find at rock bottom prices I will get.

  27. Melissa,
    The word scree means a slope covered with small loose rocks. So my scree garden is a rock garden but without big rocks. Instead, I used angular rock chips. This was better than using gravel as gravel is round. The angular rock chips interlock and stay in place and do not roll off the garden into the lawn. I used a local Rock called Rundle rock which is a dark color. When wet it looks like loam. The Alpine flowers that I have planted there are hardy Perennials that do not need much if any water. I chose to design the garden this way because it is on a city Boulevard. I could not use large rocks and the chips are the same size as those used in playgrounds. Mine is on a gentle slope at the interlocking rocks in sure that they stay in place.

  28. I will try to eat down the deep freezer, so probably only some fresh vegetables and fruit to round things out. I probably won’t plant a garden this year, as I have some serious spackling, paint and trim work to do inside and with the roof getting replaced they will probably trample any garden I plant.

  29. I inventoried this week and was planning on spending only a certain amount each week for food but found out I am going to go watch my Gkids for 10 days this month so it changes what I will be buying. DH will stay behind and most likely he will pick things up along the way to eat. Never the healthiest but he does not like to cook for one. I am using more coupons for my nonfood items. Did really well at CVS yesterday my total was 77.04 but only spent 29.96 and got back 7.50 in rewards that I will roll over to next week. Purchasing Zyrtec is cheaper here in AZ than in OR and I bought some for my SIL and I’ll take up to him when we go for the new baby in August. My usual budget for food is 100 a week and 100 for the month for nonfood items. I can usually keep it under but try to keep stocked up so I usually hit those amounts. This week started our higher electric rates so I will try to be very careful how much electricity I use in the kitchen during the 3-6pm hours….

  30. Congrats on the little one! I had 12 brothers and sisters growing up and loved being part of a big family. I always wanted more than 3 children but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me.
    Looking back on April I realized that easily half of our dinners were of the quick soup and a sandwich variety. No one complained they weren’t satisfied and everyone seemed to be happy with the set up so that’s probably going to happen more often in May. I still have several types of soup in the freezer to choose from but will also pick up some canned soup if I see any on sale.
    Aldi has avocados on sale for my target price this week. I’d like to pick up about a dozen to add to sandwiches and salads. I don’t often buy them but most of my household loves avocados and it will be a nice treat. I’m hoping to find a good price on all beef hot dogs closer to the end of the month. If I find them for $1.50 or less I’ll get as many as the limit allows and stick them in the freezer to carry us through summer barbecues. Most of the sales I’m seeing for meat this month are for pork and half of my household is Jewish and won’t eat pork. It gets annoying because my kids and I love pork but DH and step kids won’t touch it.
    My SIL will be coming to live with us next month. She’s moving cross country and won’t yet have a job and as such will not be contributing to household expenses. This month I’m trying to cut costs wherever possible and keep that extra money for next month. An additional adult in the house using groceries, hot water, electricity and maybe even needing some financial assistance from us is sure to have an impact on our budget. Starting June with a cash cushion will be a relief until we can adjust to the new living situation and get a feel for how it will affect us all.
    Have a good month everyone!

  31. Hi Margie

    Cast just came off! Feeling a bit traumatized. Don’t know why! My Physio is coming in about 2 hours. Won’t be able to lift anything heavy for awhile. Calgary is ok re flooding so far but it all depends if there’s heavy rain when snowpack in mountains melts. A lot of overlanf flooding southern part of province. Sad about New Brunswick flooding.

    Am waiting to go home to enjoy the most beautiful day and watch butterflies. Rain tomorrow Ann

  32. We have $100 for the month for food and toiletries (2 people). I’m pretty well stocked except for fresh greens, fruit and TP.
    Eggs have gone up from 89 cents a dozen to almost $3. So I started subbing the chia seed and water for eggs in baking. Usually I can get the dozen to last the month that way. I can usually find ww bread for a $1 a loaf, when we have it – we can consume a loaf in a week. If I bake a small loaf of Budgetbytes honey ww bread that will also last us a week and costs about a quarter to make – so back to baking bread. 🙂
    I’ve finally started to listen to some studies/information/experts…about eating just 3 meals a day (I will have fruit as a snack if needed) vs grazing all day and have noticed food lasts/stretches longer and that has been helping me stay on task more with the grocery budget. The waistline is starting to slim down too. (so there is a silver lining to budgeting! HA!)

  33. I know it’s not your preferred way to cook–convenience items, but you clearly have figured out that family peace is worth something, and that it’s still cheaper than eating out every night or having the crew order pizza or something while you are at work! So, hang in there:). I think you are being wise by doing it that way, even though it’s a bit difficult, as it’s not your preference. It’s a great compromise.

  34. I did my major grocery shopping on May 1st. I bought 10lbs of oatmeal and a case of 45 applesauce cups that will last at least 3 months or more. I also got 40 small tortillas for $3 that should last a couple months. My big score was green beans. I got 25lbs for .88lb. Man that was alot of beans even after I shared with my adult children. We now have enough frozen veggies, except for carrots and cauliflower, for at least 6 months. I prefer frozen or over canned. I also bought salad stuff, mushrooms, zucchini, sweet potatoes and crackers. The only thing I need for the next 2 weeks is russet potatoes and they are on sale this week 10lbs for $1.88. I spent $69.59.

  35. We are also in the south learned a new trick the other day from the owner of a local huge catfish producing outfit. We went to purchase some CF fillets and he had a 1 gallon bag flash frozen of Catfish “nuggets” the price was 2.00 for a stuffed gallon bag about 4lbs! He was out of the particular CF that we usually buy so I purchased the cheap bag. He told me that they are the large pieces that didn’t slice quite perfectly etc. So we tried them and wow there were pieces that were like 1/2 of catfish in there de-boned and skinned just like the fillet. The sizes were perfect for us to fry in the fryer and tender…and so much cheaper. We are going to try them baked as well but we were dying for some in season fresh fried ones. So you may want to try these if you can find them we will prob be buying these from now on instead of full fillets.

  36. I am so sorry, I worked with Dementia patients for years and I was always touched by what their mind let them remember.
    I also was going to mention I used to buy flour tortillas, and I found a recipe on Pinterest and it was so easy and tasted so much better. When life slows down a little bit you may want to try it instead of buying them.

  37. I’m sitting pretty good. will watch the sales towards Memorial day for condiments and burger to take me thru the summer bbq season. I’m picking up cheese, taco sauce,etc that is on sale this week for cinco de mayo.

  38. Loyda, I buy the generic Zyrtec (“Allertec”) at Costco, it’s less than $20 for one bottle of 365 pills. I figure my Costco membership basically pays for itself just by buying these. I take them all year long.

  39. Stephanie, I hope you take advantage of the pork sales anyways, while they are availble. I would stock up and freeze it in small portion sizes. When your SIL arrives, the extra meat in the freezer will help you with your budget, especially if it was cheap. During the summer, you can just BBQ 2 different kinds of meat, to meet everyone’s preferences!

  40. Will shop this morning.
    2 pk romaine hearts $2.00
    pasta- $1 per box
    strawberries-$2 lb
    mushrooms-$1 for 200 grams
    mango-$1 each
    green onions-.67 each

    I also need to look for cheap bandaids, yogurt, bananas ceasar salad dressing( one of our favourite summer dinners is chicken ceasar salad) . I have $10 in grocery pts to spend so will not be too costly.

  41. THANK YOU! I love the idea of that type of garden for sloped areas. I don’t have any spot this would work here and the stone make-up is mostly gravel, followed by a layer of 6 to 12+ inch rocks followed by the beautiful, silky sand that is in demand for glass making. So my rock gardens are made with the rock I have available to work with – I got quite a pile going from digging out my garden areas.

  42. Brandi I have been reading your blog for many years now, and always look forward to it. May I add my congratulations on the newest member of your family, and best wishes that you are both doing well. Now at 76, I also still enjoy your following posts, their efforts to raise families, keep the home fires burning and all that entails. Keep all those good ideas coming, I always find inspiration here. 🙂
    ann lee s, Vancouver island, bc Canada.

  43. Gaila May 02, 2018
    I’m not Jean but I sautee my greens in either olive oil or olive oil with a pat of butter or to get Hubby to eat them bacon grease. Daddy just steams his with water or a bit of left over broth in a pan with a lid.

  44. Jo, if you are just using it for cleaning maybe dump it into one of those big coffee cans now that have handles on them…they are plastic. If it picks up coffee smell, that wouldn’t hurt. But for baking it should always be moved to an air tight container as it is absorbing whatever smells are in your kitchen and then you are transferring that to your baked goods. I put my “culinary” baking soda into a rectangular tupperware that has a flip cap on it large enough for the measuring spoons to fit. It holds one box of baking soda.

  45. I reload my grocery budget mid-month, when I get paid. My husband’s check at the first of the month pays for other bills, and I use mine, and his check from his second, very part-time, job for groceries and other bills mid-month.

    When I returned from my trip to Washington D.C., I really stocked up as I hadn’t shopped for a while before, and the crew left at home was really good about eating the pile of quick-to-cook foods I left on the end of the table, plus used food storage. So, it had been several weeks since I filled up produce, empty items, etc. That was 2 weeks ago, and just today I went and did another big shopping trip. What I bought last week was mostly for a brunch I was helping at, and wasn’t actually from my grocery budget, since I was donating the food I made. We did eat leftovers from that for a couple of days, but really were pleased at how the food and the people balanced out and there was not an excessive amount left over. The great news is that along with raising prayer support (that was the main target of the brunch, plus informing people about it so they could feel connected to the team that is going), some people felt led to donate money as well, and they made $1,400 for the mission trip. Wow!

    Today, I stocked up on all the free items I won from Safeway, and received yet another large stack of tickets, which the children will open tonight since they love doing that (I have my nephew all weekend and he’s really into it). The cashier told me they are “doubling up” because the game is almost over. I won some amazing things last time and redeemed them today, like a package of Dave’s Killer Bread Bagels, 2 cans of tuna, they substituted the 2 aspirin coupons for low-dose asprin as they were out of the other (I take that every single day so was delighted!!!), and a few more things. I also got my Fred Meyers Friday Freebies, which included measuring spoons. I will likely offer them to my 22 year-old daughter, as she is starting to accumulate things for moving out. (Probably will take a while–she’s a slow-mover, but still I thought is was nice that she was thinking ahead)

    After buying on-sale tortillas at Safeway, at Freddies I found them for 49c/package for Cinco de Mayo, something I had missed somehow on-line. So, I bought 5 more packages. They last a long time, and that is like 5c a tortilla. So, now I have like 100 tortillas, so I will be serving tacos:) and enchiladas. A lot:). I will make home-made refried beans soon, as they love, love, love them around here.

    For the rest of my shopping, I bought bread for $1/loaf (I can’t make my own since I am so sensitive to gluten/wheat, but the rest of them can eat it!) I got shredded cheese for $5/2-lbs, some lunchmeat and slices of cheese, produce as my garden has very little in it yet, salad dressing, salt, a ham for $1.29 lb., tea, corn chips for 99c/bag, and some other things that slip my mind. I simply bought whatever each store had for a good deal, and will make meals from that, paired with what is in my cupboards, freezers and canning shelves. My plan is for this food to last for the next 2 weeks, with only a quick trip to the store if I forgot anything or run out of something crucial.

    As I mentioned, I have my nephew, and his sister, my niece, this weekend, so I bought preferred foods for them. Because they are special needs, they have a small range of foods they eat. It’s very much worth it to me to keep them happy. We have much more fun when I keep them if they feel they can have some foods they like. My niece, who is autistic, actually will have anxiety if she feels she will be away from home without foods she wants to eat. So, 100% whole wheat bread, ciabatta bread, chunky peanut butter, red delicious apples, honey-nut cheerios and frosted mini-wheats, and so forth. My nephew wants bagels and home-made chicken rice soup, which I made yesterday. And, to be picked up from school, which is a big deal to him, which I will do today. Easy:). It was quite strange to have them stay over on a school night, but we managed. It was pretty crazy busy around here this morning, I’ll tell you.

    Since part of the money spent last time was leftover from March/April, there may be money left over this time in mid-May as well. We have several medical co-pays from my husband’s appointments we will need to take care of over the next month, so I probably will use some of it for that, if there is indeed any left. The great news is that although I was called back for a re-do to check out a suspicious place after my mammogram, I went back today for that re-check and am just fine! I really am grateful for that good news and am praising the Lord.

  46. Hi Melissa,

    You could of course combine a scree garden with a more traditional rock garden. Your sand sounds wonderful! What do you grow in your rock garden? Although scree implies a slope, you could do it on a flat area – then it might resemble your gravel bed. Sorry for the duplication but I thought the first reply did not go though. Ann

  47. Brandy,

    I’m wondering how the hummingbird babies are doing and what species they are? Hope things are going well with all 3 babies, yours and the h birds! Ann

  48. I don’t know what species they are as I normally see two different species in our yard, and I don’t know how to tell what species the females are.

    I went out just now and looked, and the babies are doing well. It looks like this spot is safe from the cats in the neighborhood (who have been in our yard EVERY night fighting :() . We think the cats got last year’s babies that were in the white garden 🙁

  49. My needs for May are few: will definitely be going to the Amish store–which is fun anyhow–for oatmeal and honey for granola. Aside from that, I ‘m hoping Pepsi and ice cream are on sale soon–husband gets the Pepsi when he works outside on the lawn and garden, a small price to pay for his help (especially if I get them on sale.) We both love ice cream and we’re nearly down to our last not-quite-half-gallon. That will be it for essentials—but I will pick up whatever great sales I see. This week the store had some short dated whole chickens for 50 cents per pound—but I only bought one because I knew there wasn’t a lot of extra room in the freezer. Another woman shopping next to me took about ten–and I didn’t blame her at all. A good bargain as we seldom see them under $1.29 a lb. I just stocked up on salad ingredients that will last another week or two and were on sale, but will be needing more lettuce this week. It does feel good to be on top of things.

  50. Jo I also use a lot of baking soda for cleaning. The cheapest way I have found to buy it is a local farm supply store in a 25 pound bag. I then put it into more manageable portions in repurposed plastic canisters.

  51. Brandy, I am glad you had the rain to bless your gardens. We, unfortunately, have had 3 days worth. After the last 21 inches of snow from last week’s storm melted, the rain started. The river is steadily rising. They said could go up 2 feet before it recedes.

    Need butter ( bought 8 lbs so far), cream cheese (Neufchatel),( for summer veggie pizzas and for taco dip) (bought 5 so far), rolls of crescent dough (for summer veggie pizzas), red salad potatoes, Angel food cake mixes (never make these from scratch) (use them for shortcake desserts).

    We need coffee beans but with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day coming up we are sure to receive those as presents. I need gallon size and pint size freezer Ziploc. I have plenty of quart. We need small mouth canning lids– we get these at the bulk store.

    For staples I need iodized salt, rye flour, catsup, molasses, navy beans, rice vinegar, mace, black peppercorns, popping corn, powder sugar.

    I am looking forward to seeing pictures and learning the name of the new baby boy. Congratulations to you and your husband.

  52. I got 4 huge London broils foe $1.99 a pound. I cut them all in half so I have 8 now. That was all they had. Hoping to get back for morning.

  53. My husband planted some veggies today-peas, beets, radishes and carrots-we also have some tomato seedlings we started and are now hardening up on the deck in planters( we still have danger of frost for another couple of weeks (Zone 4a). Will also plant beans when it is warmer. We have not had a garden the last couple of years, as we travelled in 2016 and I was ill in 2017 with my husband busy looking after me. As well we have a Saskatoon berry bush, apple tree, raspberries-the rhubarb died. So here’s hoping for a small harvest from our backyard! All of the seeds were bought with a free gift card- we just bought some potting soil-so not a huge cost if the garden does not thrive.

  54. Sams club has the same. I used to take Zyrtec and when I talked to my dr he said the generic is the same but a lot cheaper. I take mine all year also. CVS also has a generic and I have used that when I did not have a Costco or Sams club membership.

  55. Most of what I’ll be buying this month will be random items we will need to complete meals. We will keep trying to eat from our pantry. I will bake zucchini bread for breakfasts.

    We are harvesting asparagus, chives, and rhubarb from the garden right now. I made rhubarb dream bars today. I will pull some zucchini out of the freezer to make zucchini bread for breakfasts this month.

    I will be spending the majority of my grocery budget this month. Our local farm store had a sale on 4 packs of plants for 69 cents. I had bought all the plants I needed for my vegetable garden, but I decided to pick up some flower plants. I have a terrible time with squash bugs every year. They start with my zucchinis and work their way through all my squashes, pumpkins, and melons. I read the petunias, nasturtiums, marigolds, and mint are good for repelling the squash bugs in addition to other bugs. I picked up a ton of those, plus some flowers for my pots, some Preen, and some Basil for $63. I have budgeted $200 for my garden this year. I have spent about $120 of it. The rest I will save in case I need any pesticides or fertilizer.

  56. Juls, I am sorry to hear about your aunt. I pray your father is able to remember all the good and not dwell on the sad.

  57. Athanasia, I know you are not on Instagram. There is a hummingbird nest in my garden. I have been sharing photos of the nest and babies on my Instagram page. Because of the location of the nest, I can more easily take photos with my phone than I can with my camera (I have to take out a ladder and move leaves that hide the nest to use my camera; I can take my phone and stick it under the leaves and still take pictures).

    I am working on getting on Instagram feed on my website, and if so, then you will be able to see those photos here on my page as well.

  58. Thank you. We had to quick make syrup for the hummingbird feeder today. We saw one buzzing around it. I’ve not seen them here this early before. There is not much in bloom yet The leaves aren’t even out on most of the trees yet.

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