Saturday, May 2, 2015

April Grocery Stock-Ups and the Plan for May

The asparagus bed provides enough asparagus to eat it
1-2 times per week.
We started the month with $161.90, a little short of our $180 that we usually have for groceries, because we went over a bit in March.  We were fine, because we had all the things we'd stocked in March.  We did not do as much stocking up in April - there were fewer deals, and I think I even missed a few.  (I have been subbing at the library and scoring for Pearson, so I've been rather busy.)  I was going to get more of the dried figs we got several months ago from Costco, but they don't have them anymore, and one of the ladies at their service desk told me they have been 'deleted'.  I am sad about that - I really loved those figs!  Still, we are blessed with a variety of foods in our freezer and pantry.  Here are the items we added in April:

Crepes - made with eggs from our hens - peaches from our peach trees are in the sauce.

  7.92    8 lb. butter (Challenge and Land O' Lakes) from King Sooper
                     (between March and April, we have a lot of butter now!)
  2.25    3 (20 oz) cans Dole pineapple tidbits from King Sooper
  6.75    9 (15 oz) cans Dole mandarin oranges from King Sooper
             4 bottles of Kraft salad dressings from King Sooper, 3.96,
                                                                      but free with store credit
             2 pkg. Butterball turkey dinner sausage from King Sooper,
                                                               .98, but free with store credit
  4.99    1 lb. roasted almonds from Sprouts
  3.98    2 lb. mild cheddar cheese from Sprouts
  4.65    2+lb. monterey jack cheese from Sprouts
  2.12    1+ lb. colby jack cheese from Sprouts
  4.00    2 boxes Twinings tea from Safeway
  6.89    2 lb. Muenster cheese (sliced) from Costco
  8.89    two whole chickens from Walmart
  3.94    2 lb. bacon from Walmart

56.38    total spent stocking up in April

We ended April with $21.81 left, so we will start May with a little extra!  I did the math, and we spent approximately $19.50 a week on things like milk, produce, snacks and items that were planned for immediate use.

eggs, from our hens
For May, I can't say that I have a big 'plan'.  We have a lot of variety on hand when it comes to meat, plus I am trying to eat less meat and get more of my protein from plant sources.  Baked beans, pork & beans, bean w/bacon soup and canned fruit are all places where I will stock if there are good sales, though I expect better prices on some of those items when summer arrives.  I think we'll be buying nori (dried seaweed sheets) this month, and probably some shredded cheese toward the end of May.  Since we are in really good shape as far as the freezer and pantry are concerned, this may be a good month to stock up on popcorn from Sam's.  I know our Costco membership ends in a month or two, so there may be a couple of things we'll stock from there as well.  I am low on coconut oil, but my friend will get that for me when she goes back to the Midwest to visit family.  (The price she gets from the local Mennonite market is really good!)

We planted the tomato sets, and hope to harvest tomatoes beginning in June.
These pea plants will provide us with sugar snap peas...hopefully by the end of May.

What are you planning to replenish in your pantry?  What great deals have allowed you to stock up lately?


  1. I'm pretty sure the computer ate my first attempt at commenting:( So, here I go again.

    In April, I did a large stocking-up project with part of our tax refund. We got a nice one and wanted to put it to good use.

    I bought 25 pounds, each, of popcorn, pinto beans and green split peas. I bought 10 lbs rice fettucine, to add to what's left of the 10 lbs rice spaghetti I got a couple of months ago.

    I got some assorted rice mixtures. I got cleaning supplies, shampoo, soap, dishwasher soap, etc. for the summer. I still need laundry soap and hand washing dish soap--I don't have enough of those.

    I got a case each of tomato sauce, tomato paste, olives and ketchup. I also got enough mustard, mayo and Miracle Whip, I think, although I may need a little more mayo before the summer's over.

    I still have lots of beef, a small amount of pork, 10-15 chickens, 1 whole turkey, and a few bags of parts and pieces of both chicken and turkey. I have lots of turkey and chicken burger. I have some fish-- a little trout we caught last summer, and some tilapia and a couple bags of shrimp.

    I have many, many bags/cartons of frozen vegetables like zucchini, broccoli, corn, strawberries, blueberries, etc. in the freezer. I have been actively working on pulling out items and using them up.

    I also have lots of home-canned items, plus a shelf unit of store bought pantry items to use. I cleaned that entire unit in April, sorted, arranged, and hopefully made those items user friendly. I, also, would like more pork and beans--we love those on hot evenings in the summer with a tomato cut up on top.

    My husband stocked up on turkey, too--he bought 5 baby turkeys and is going to get a few more over the next few weeks/months, as well as some meat chickens and a pig during the summer. (We buy beef from a farmer each fall and buy seafood) He already has laying hens started in the barn, but I am buying eggs for now, since the coyotes have been stocking up on our chickens!

    I still need to get a lot of cheese--we eat so much of that around here. I also need more oil, I think, toilet paper and a few other things, but then, I'll be set until fall. I will rely on the garden once it begins to produce, but will buy milk, eggs and produce for a while more.

    2 or 3 summers ago, I did this project and it saved us a lot of money. I just didn't go to the store much at all that summer. It was by design, as I wasn't working much that summer. This summer, I will be working some, but not as much as last year, so we wanted to try this again. My fear had been that if people wanted a certain food, and it was not here, we would go buy what we wanted to eat, instead of what I had stocked up on. Much to my happiness, that did not happen. I didn't do it all right that time, and I expect to find that I have forgotten something entirely this time, but for the most part, we just planned our meals around what was here and we saved quite a bit of money. I expect this summer to be the same.

    1. It sounds like you have a lot of variety on hand, and a plan for what you need next! Have you tried the homemade laundry soap? I make the gel one (the one that you add water to) and it works really well here - I know that some people say it doesn't work where they live, perhaps because of differences in the water? I can add a link to the recipe - it's on my former blog. :)

      Our chickens have a veritable fortress, to protect from dogs and coyotes. I do let them out when we're out, and they forage then, but the rest of the time they have their run. It has railroad ties at the base, chicken wire up the sides and over the top, and then cattle panels around the outside to keep dogs from going through. We had some of the materials on hand, thank goodness!

      What breed/breeds of turkeys are you raising? I have raised a few varieties, and they are a lot of fun. :)

  2. Hello! I saw your comment on Brandy's blog. You have a lovely blog. Isn't it exciting when the asparagus first comes up? I'm going to harvest my first crop today. I don't really need to buy anything this month except for coconut and vinegar, which I'll buy at the bulk food store.

    1. Welcome, Jane, and thank you for your kind words. I agree - I'm so happy about asparagus! I love it in my eggs in the morning - yum! Thank you for visiting! :)

  3. I got restocked on everything I needed in April but other than that I did very little stocking up because the deals were just not there. I ended the month with $76 of my $250 budget leftover. This month we will be away from home for 16 days so I need to be careful about what I buy this month. I need boneless skinless chicken breasts and onions but that is it. The last five days of the month we will be eating every meal out so I am thinking that the grocery money with become eat out money at that point. Road trip here we come!

    1. Have a GREAT time! I know you will. :)

    2. :) Like a friend of mine said lately, ' On a road trip I get lots of hubby time since he is stuck in the car with me.' I love it. We are going to check off some bucket list things. A stop in Amish country in PA and Monticello and Stonewall Jackson's home in VA. My Mother in law was a cousin some removed of S Jackson's second wife who is the one in the movie 'Gods and Generals' and my MIL's father was actually named Stonewall Jackson Blackmon. We may also stop at the Natural Bridge. This all follows four days with our middle son and his wife in Boston. It is this years 'Big Adventure'!


  4. Hi Laura, New commenter here but have been following you for quite a while (Ten Things Farm). I was very late in reading an old The Prudent Homemaker post and noticed that she offered you some plants. Did you know? Here is the post: Enjoy! (by-the-way, I have enjoyed all your life writings (library, daughter, husband, working the land, cooking, you Sincerely, Cheeryshirley

  5. CheeryShirley, I did not see that. I subscribe to the posts, but it seems that the replies don't make their way to me. Thank you for the heads-up and for your kind words! :)


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