Mission Figs in basketThe Prudent Homemaker

This month in the garden, we’re picking blackberries, Mission figs and Dorsett Golden apples. The blackberries and figs will finish up within a week and then the apples will be ready. 

I’ve amazingly still got lettuce, thanks to a much cooler than normal May, which I should be able to pick for at least a week or two before it has all bolted. 

The first cherry tomatoes (Sun Gold and Yellow Pear) are ripening, just a handful or two at a time. I shared pictures a few days ago of both lettuce and tomatoes over on Instagram). 

My red seedless grapes should be ready this month. I’ll cover them with paper bags to keep the birds from eating them while they finish ripening.

I froze many peaches last month from the garden, so of which will come out for peach pie popsicles this month. I’ll be making lots of popsicles for snacks, as temperatures in June will be well over 100º F.

I plan to make yogurt and granola several times for breakfast, so I’ll buy milk for making yogurt as well as for drinking. I also plan to make crepes often, as well as breakfast burritos. I’ll make a frittata at least once.

We’re craving cold, light meals this month. Pasta salads, salads, and potato salad alongside sandwiches will be on our menu frequently, as well as bean burritos. I’ll cook beans in the crockpot or the solar oven, depending on how windy the day is. I’ll make white bean dip and pita bread to eat for lunches with figs or apples). I’ll cook a turkey from the freezer (they’ve been in there since November 2015 ) and slice it to make sandwich meat with our meat slicer. I’ll make rosemary olive oil bread and French bread for sandwiches.

I’ll purchase some cucumbers and tomatoes as our garden is not yet producing cucumbers and is only making a few tomatoes.

I plan on making some herbal sun teas (which I’ll then refrigerate) with peppermint, chamomile, and lemon verbena from the garden.













Sam’s Club:

Mozzarella cheese

Cheddar cheese

Flour tortillas

Corn tortillas

#10 cans of tomato sauce


I’ve been experimenting with homemade barbecue sauce recipes.  I am no longer able to find the sauce my family prefers anywhere, and it is much less money for me to make my own, so some of these cans of tomato sauce will be turned into batches of barbecue sauce.

Past these specific items, I’ll look for sales throughout the month that fit within my budget. This week’s ad for Smith’s include eggs for $0.77 a dozen (limit 4) and boneless pork loin for $1.59 a pound (an amazing price!) I’ll pick up both of these (several pork roasts to freeze and 4 dozen eggs). I’ll look for sales on the large party pails of ice cream at Smith’s later in the month.

I’ll be watching Totally Target’s page for any great sales on toiletries at Target.

My budget for this month is $300 for our family of 10 for food and toiletries.  


What are you planning to purchase this month? Do you have special celebratory meals planned for graduations or Father’s Day? Is your garden producing anything that you can add to your meals?



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  1. I should have tomatoes, peppers, and blackberries this month – thankfully. It will keep our meals more interesting. My budget for groceries is $111 per month for a family of 8 though one is going on a mission soon so it will be 7. I need to figure out how best to spend this money. I had my girls do a comprehensive inventory of the canned food in our pantry. So now we know what we have and can plan from there. Fortunately we have a lot of basic food storage: oats, wheat, rice, cornmeal, beans, powdered milk, sugar, potato flakes, etc from which to start. I’m going to plant some things this week so we’ll have more veggies soon. Thanks for sharing your list!

  2. We don’t have any special celebrations coming up but with the warmer temps it becomes peak season for fruits and vegetables. This means all fresh produce is cheaper than ever!!!! YAY!

  3. No special celebrations in our household this month, but plenty in our family. Have already been to one graduation party and there will be more! One new baby born yesterday, on my sister’s birthday! Several more graduations to come but only one party close enough for me to attend.

    Gardening just beginning in our area–with a little luck, I may get some radishes planted by the time I use up the ones I bought today. I will also be looking for pork loins on sale–last time I passed them up at $1.69 a pound because I thought I had enough for a while, but we have eaten most of my supply already. I might go to Sam’s Club for more ground beef if I have time, as it’s 45 minutes away. I will also be looking for home grown strawberries, within a few more days I hope! They are my second most favorite fruit so I always look forward to their arrival. Fresh salad greens are already available, and corn on the cob will be showing up by the end of the month. Although our weather hasn’t been very warm yet, our “summer season” is nearly here.

  4. Hi Brandy, Love the harvest you have from your garden. It’s amazing! I am now planting and shaping up our garden finally so I will not be able to harvest until July. I will need to finish buying a few more starters at the nursery as seeds are not coming up yet. We went to a farmers market last weekend and picked up a few veggie starters for about $8.00 and I will only allow another $10.00 more to complete our needs. I decided that since we have such a long cold rainy season here in the NW, I will purchase a grow light for starting seeds. Don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this sooner and I have a perfect place in my laundry room to place this . Hopefully this will help to keep cost down for our garden in the future. Thankfully, now many farmers market’s in our area are in full swing so fruit and veggies are priced lower. This will help with our new $125.00 food and $25.00 toiletry/supply monthly budget.
    I have a question. Do you have an allowance for your meat category of your grocery budget? After shopping this week and carefully planning out our menus for the month I find I have used up our budget . Then, I find new sales on some meats which have not this low for months. I am very temped to go over budget and buy some in bulk meat to spread out for the full summer and then decrease this amount out of my food budget over the next couple of months to pay for it. Each month I try to stay at a $30.00 budget for meats ( we only eat chicken and ground turkey so we do not buy sales for pork and beef ) Carefully I plan our meals which includes some that are for freezer/ crock pot dinners. We eat meat about once or twice a week and veggies the rest of the week. Still I find myself very temped to buy more meat for this summer since they are at a low price. Just trying to find a way to make a better planning strategy 🙂

    Thank you for posting today~ have a blessed weekend.
    Patty from the NW

  5. I have three hydroponic towers and this week I harvested about 50 tomatoes. I just made 6 jars of spaghetti sauce with tomatoes, oregano and basil from my garden.
    For dinner today I made dill cucumbers from my fresh dill and just harvested cucumbers. I also picked 10 green beans this morning, enough for me.
    I planted in the hydroponic tower pepper plants, cranberry beans and more lettuce.

  6. Hello Brandy and friends, I’ve been absent from posting for months now but I try to read as regularly as I can. I always find inspiration from you and the other comments left by readers. Life has been changing rapidly here at my place, and I will be going from a single person to a family of 5 (full time for the summer, at least) within the month, so I am going to have to revamp and restock on a lot of things. I am planning on taking advantage of summer sales on condiments, hot dogs/brats, ground beef, etc to get us through the summer. Going from one mouth to feed to 5 is going to be an adjustment but I’m sure I’ll continue to be as thrifty as possible. Can’t wait to read what the other posters have been up to this month!!

  7. I have almost my entire garden planted but I won’t see any harvests from it until July (other than some lettuce). We are going to skip strawberries this year as we still have some in the freezer from last year + my own plants look like they may give me a small harvest. My raspberry bushes are huge – I planted them last spring and got a fall harvest from them so I am looking forward to seeing what they’ll do this year. Most veggies and fruits do not agree with my IBS picky stomach so I planted the veggies I know will work for me even if hubby won’t eat them (squash and pumpkin) + beans – wax, green and dry – and potatoes which never fail me. Next week I should get cleared to go back to work which will help buy toiletries and TP. My plan is to eat down the freezer over the summer and hopefully by fall we will have a better idea of what hubby can do as far as work. It’s been 11 months now without his income and it is getting scary. We are making the meat we have stretch farther all the time and getting creative with leftovers. My mom was over the other day and walked into my pantry and said “WOW! At least you won’t starve” 😀 It took her saying that to show me that we are so much better off than many others and I need to [b]breathe[/b].

  8. Just curious….. Do you plan out a month of menus before you shop or do you make meals from what you bring home. Great article ….thanks for sharing

  9. Hello Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    We are fortunate and blessed that through planting in microclimates in our vegetable gardens despite frosts we are picking butter beans, cherry tomatoes, peas, carrots, pumpkins, turnips, strawberries, silver beet and spinach and have a nice crop of sweet potatoes with the vines currently dying off that we can dig up for our vegetable supplies. In herbs we have growing rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme and basil.

    We haven’t purchased any vegetables in 2.5 years as we blanch and freeze what we produce for the seasons when certain crops don’t grow. In the freezer we have pumpkin, sweet corn, turnips, peas, snow peas, sweet potato, some cherry tomatoes, silver beet, spinach, strawberries and capsicums.

    Our shopping plans this month for household items that we have purchased already –

    – A new iron as our last one stopped working.
    – A triple layer steamer as our steamer bottom pot gave up the ghost so we took in our old steamer baskets and they fit the new set making a 5 layer steaming pot.
    – Tomorrow we are on the lookout for a 32cm frypan to replace another one that has buckled and is no longer working so we will be looking for a better quality one at a good price. All of the mid year sales are now on so it is a good time to purchase all of these things.

    Groceries we only go shopping every 6 weeks as we have substantial freezer and cupboard space along with a good 6 – 12 month stockpile on most things including toiletries. Meat we buy once a year in bulk and have a dedicated freezer for this and buy whole chickens throughout the year when we see them on a good special.
    – Powdered milk.
    – Cocoa powder.
    – Plain flour for bread making and cooking.
    – Vanilla extract.
    – Sugar.
    – Tinned chicken.
    – Tinned champignons.
    – Tinned corn.
    – Tinned diced tomatoes.
    – Tinned lychees.
    – Tinned mangos.
    – Vegemite.
    – Almonds.
    – Macadamia nuts.
    – Eggs.
    – Cheese.
    – Laundry liquid.
    – Dishwashing liquid.
    – Fresh oranges.

  10. I love seeing what get from your garden…very inspiring for my “someday”.
    I have some life changes taking place and will be focusing on filling my freezer for the most part. I started shopping at CVS for toiletries in May and have found that combining coupons, with CVS ExtraBucks deals, plus the % off coupons they email and the coupons out of the red coupon machine save a lot of money. My first trip there was just an okay deal but once the ExtraBucks were rolling I started getting amazing deals!

  11. I don’t have a specific budget for meats. I used to have a specific amount allotted for toiletries, but I don’t have that anymore either. I just look at what I for certain need (my main list) and then I decide meat based on what amazing sales I find that fit within the rest of the budget.

  12. I have a stocked pantry and freezers, so meals come from what we have on hand, as well as a few additions that I add from shopping. Some items I buy are to stock the freezer (such as the pork roasts). We may or may not eat any of those this month. I know we’ll have burritios since I have lettuce and tomatoes in the garden, so I’ll purchase tortillas and salsa. I already have beans and rice in the pantry to go inside the burritos.

    When I cook a turkey from the freezer, I’ll use some of that meat in enchiladas (hence the corn tortilla purchase). The flour for making bread was purchased last month, and I have yeast and salt on hand.

    I always plan from what I already have on hand, but if there’s a great sale,I can add something in (like strawberry shortcake when strawberries go on sale). What I have on hand also includes what is ripe in the garden.

    I have four months of seasonal menus on my site; click the summer menu (under Cook) to see some of the things I make in the summer. I don’t follow that exactly but use it to plan meals based on what we have in the pantry, freezers, and garden.

  13. I love how resourceful you are! We’re finally seeing fruits of our labor and our garden is coming up. We’re harvesting several varieties of tomatoes, purple hull peas, black-eyed peas, and cucumbers. Our tomatillo and peppers are struggling, but hopefully we can get some peppers for salsa in the next few months. I actually used our tomatoes to make an impromptu tomato bisque for dinner yesterday and it was delicious. 🙂

  14. Thank you Brandy~ I am going back over your 40 cents meal planning to see where I can cut back again. I just love your meal planning section that you posted on your web site . It’s a fun challenge to see where I am spending and where to cut back 🙂 As I tweak my grocery budget this next month, I see where I will need to keep out a few extra dollars/month for weekly sales I may want to buy. Have a great day ~Blessings

  15. Our freezers and pantry are full so I have started a self imposed challenge. I’m trying to allot $50 a week to round out our meals and force myself to use up items.

    Does your family like a hot barbecue sauce or a sweet one?

  16. I’ll be buying staples, including:
    brown sugar
    toilet paper
    laundry soap
    garbage bags
    light bulbs
    I don’t have extra cash to buy these in bulk, but I’ll try to buy enough for two months.

    I’ll also buy:
    ground pork, if it is reasonable
    hot dogs
    hot dog buns, which are on sale
    fish sticks
    grated cheese, which is on sale

    My CSA for produce doesn’t start until next month, but there are lots of vegetables and fruit coming into the stores that are in season further south, which are at better prices. My meal plan includes more vegetables to enjoy the season. There are very few good grocery prices on non-produce items, now that we are in summer. The stores here make good money from people at the lake for the weekend or on holidays or using the BBQ, so it isn’t the best time for deals. I have stocked up on some things I use a lot of, though, so my budget won’t be hit too hard.

    I’ll be buying whole milk, to try making cheese.

  17. I’ll be roasting a turkey that I bought at Target–a 12-pounder that was marked down to .79 cents a pound, which is a good price for where I live on the coast of Maine. We have higher grocery prices here. The turkey had a $4 off meat coupon attached so I got it for a song, really.

    I would love a recipe for homemade barbecue sauce if you’re able to perfect one.

  18. I don’t green in the dirt anymore since all I have is sand and I always have to amend the soil. So I gave up and started using the hydroponics towers. I wanted to post a pic but I don’t know how. So green beans usually take 56 days to harvest, in about 3 weeks I have ready to eat green beans. Because its hydrohydroponics it gets water every 15 minutes

  19. That is an amazing budget and that is wonderful!! Do you know where your child will be going on a mission? Blessings to him/her!

  20. Brandy, white bbq sauce is popular in North Alabama…similar to Big Bob Gibson’s bbq sauce. That is a very popular bbq restaurant in Decatur, Alabama. The white bbq sauce is especially good with chicken. There are several on line recipes. I like to use it because I usually have all of the ingredients on hand.

  21. I plan to make rhubarb bbq sauce again. I try not to make too many sweets, which is what is typically made with rhubarb. With the warm temps here now I will make a point of using it, too, ha ha!

    I’ve been trying to make a greater effort of using up what’s in our freezers and not visiting the stores as much. I hate having to throw out freezer burnt meats – that’s money thrown away, grr.

  22. About the homemade BBQ sauce….I can’t urge you experimenters enough to write it down when you make it!!! I made up a batch one day, using about 3 different recipes & tweeking them a little to my liking. It was DELICIOUS, but I made the huge mistake of thinking I’d remember. I didn’t. I have spent the last two years trying. I didn’t even mark the recipes so I can’t remember which I used for inspiration. The last batch I tried was so vinegary, I’m pretty sure my lips are still pinched together!!!

  23. My garden is only just beginning to produce. I should have green peas soon, and hope to get some strawberries in a few weeks. I also should have chard and radishes before too much longer. Everything else won’t be ready until July and August. Local fruit will start to come in then, too.

  24. This month, I plan on buying:
    6 litres of milk to make 2 batches of yoghurt with
    3-5 lbs. of oats at 85 cents/lb
    dried cranberries (am keeping an eye out for a sale)
    almonds (on sale or with a coupon)
    lots of fruit (whatever is on sale)
    a few vegetables (I have carrots and potatoes at home, as well as a bunch of lettuce
    onions, when on sale
    cheese, if I find a good sale. I plan to start freezing cheese more often. I find if I pre-grate it, it’s easy to just pull out a bunch from the freezer for whatever dish.
    chocolate chips, if I make it to Costco (best price to buy in bulk, for my area, anyway)
    3 containers tomato sauce, when there is a good sale
    2 cans condensed milk, when on sale
    if there is a sale on 10 lb bags of white flour, I will buy one. I bought 5 lbs of whole wheat flour for bread making and to be healthier, but the DH prefers white, so I’ll stock up on that for things like pie crusts, etc.

    I should be able to harvest some thyme from my balcony garden this month, so I’ll likely be roasting veggies with thyme, but I think that’s likely all I’ll be harvesting this month, unless my lettuce surprises me and my radishes grow fast. Early next month I should be able to have a salad from balcony grown produce (lettuce, radishes, green onions, maybe peas, maybe carrots, maybe nasturtium blossoms). That will be a very gratifying day, and one I look forward to!

  25. I plan to use up a lot of things I have on hand this month, as well as the garden produce. I have lettuce just starting to produce, snow peas that are about a week off, radishes that are bolting but have a few good ones left in there, green onions, and boc choi, which is also starting to bolt. I also have many things coming up, and some others that are nearing ripeness.

    I have a $10/off $50 from Safeway. I’m going to spend that today and buy milk, 1/2 and 1/2, cheese, a couple other food items, and lots of non food items like laundry soap, razors, deoderant, etc. It is very hard to hit the $50 on the head, exactly, but I will try to come close.

    3 of our children have birthdays this month. 2 of them still live at home. We will give a card and gift card to the grown one, and buy some presents and special food to celebrate the other 2. We will have some friends over to help celebrate. I already sent cards to the graduates we know and included gift cards with the 2 that we are the closest to.

    We have a lunch at a restaurant to support missions and youth camp. We will help, and buy food. The owner is donating 100% of the food and money taken in, and just is asking for help in serving, etc. We have a dance recital tonight, so will buy some flowers for the girls. At the end of the month, we will go camping for a few days. We also have the cousins for several days towards the end of the month. That takes some extra food, and some special food, since 2 of them are special needs and have limited diets. (My autistic niece literally was starving herself to death when she was young, so you buy what she will eat, and you let her have what she wants, and I’m happy to do it)

    So, clearly, I have a month full of extra expenses. For that reason, I’m going to be extra careful to stay within a small grocery budget. I also have not challenged myself very much in this area since January, so feel another big push to continue using frozen foods and home-canned foods is a good idea so there is room for fresh canning/freezing this summer.

  26. Mom always used plain spag. sauce, dark brown sugar and yellow mustard and then cooked it slowly until thick. Hubby doesn’t like it that sweet so I use light brown sugar and add more yellow mustard. I add the brown sugar at 1/3rd cup/qrt spag.sauce, then enough mustard to take the sweetness down. Mom never measured.

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