Sunday, April 3, 2016

Shopping Goals: April 2016

April is kind of an odd month for me this year as Easter was last month this time around, the kids have no days off to speak of, so I'll actually have more time to get repair work and cleaning jobs done around the house.

When it comes to shopping this month, I plan to keep my goal of looking out for good deals on produce and maybe getting some preliminary canning done for the year.  I'm hoping to run into more cheap apples on mark down or otherwise to make applesauce and apple pie filling for the year as I have loved having both of those things in the freezer waiting for me over the last year.  We'll see how it goes, but I am hopeful.

I actually took store of my canning jars and have realized that I am low on quart jars from giving too many away as gifts over the years, so I'm going to be hitting the used stores (probably) over the next month and seeing if I can get a few here and there as I really don't want to have to buy a flat of one size of jar for 12.00 to 14.00 right now.

When it comes to the garden, for the most part I got early maturing date seeds that can go directly into the soil come planting season, so that will help to hopefully get more from the garden for decently cheap.  I am hoping to pull out a few smaller pots this month and buy some soil to plant some basil indoors by seed and see how it does.  After the fiasco I had it with it not growing at ALL well last year outside I'm going to just plan on growing the plants inside.

I also hope to buy some hanging baskets to hang on the front of my house this year where I will plant strawberries.  So, those and some other planters to place around different parts of the yard to grow a few things (like a few cabbages) are on my list.  So, I will be saving for those and watching the ads closely to see where I might be able to find some of those cheap.

I am also planning on buying more flowers this year to plant.  I'm kind of nervous as to how they will fare as the spider mites are always a worry in the back of my mind, but if nothing else I figure some planters and some safety measures might make the yard prettier and also keep the flowers from getting the life (literally) sucked out of them by the little buggers.

So, anyway, onto the shopping goals (such as they are) for this month.

Regular stores:
  • Strawberries (as they are in season right now)
  • Other produce if I can find it cheap.
  • Shampoo (I try to buy a year's worth at a time if I can find a really good sale, so we'll see how that works out)
  • Cameo Cleaner (stainless steel cleaner that I love)
  • Cat litter 
  • Canning Lids
  • Pectin (because I'm out)
Bulk Store:
  • Garbage Bags
  • Kitchen Sponges
  • Canned Shrimp (this is a "maybe" if I have a few weeks with some wiggle room for extras) 
Home Improvement Stores/Gardening types of stores:
  • Planters
  • Soil 
  • Manure 
And there you are folks.  My shopping goals for this month.  How about you?


  1. Erika, it may be worth your effort to put out a call for canning jars to friends and family. Send out an email or mention it on facebook (if you use it) asking if anyone has canning jars they don't want, you'd be happy to take them off their hands. You never know who might have a stash in their home that are just not being used. Also, sometimes people know other people who are trying to get rid of canning jars as they are no longer using them (such as parents or grandparents). Even a few free jars are a help!

    Also, I have found that in the winter, thrift stores often have an overabundance of canning jars on their shelves, but come canning season they are hard to find. It might be worth it to try and buy a couple each time you go thrift shopping over the winter season. It will spread out the cost and before long you will have a nice stash to use come spring!

    1. Well, luckily all I need is about four quart jars and I'm good. I always use pints to can pretty much everything (or half pints) as my kids just don't consume much of things I can at one time and I don't like the idea of them going bad. But, I've found that a quart of pie filling is the perfect size for a pie, so I like to can pie filling in the quart jars.

      Unfortunately, well kind of I guess *laugh*, my husband's entire family cans every year and while I've given them canning jars over the years it seems like they recycle them to use in their own canning or in home decor types of things. The worst loss, for me, was when I gave my sister-in-law all of my home canned goods when my kid's allergies hit (corn and garlic were the heavy hitters on the canned goods) and I didn't want the food to go to waste. The sheer amount of canning jars that woman ended up with still tears me up a bit. I asked her to return them when she was done with them, but life, as we know, gets in the way and it's been years now so I'm thinking that the jars are being used by her family now or are gone.

      I'll ask around to friends though. Most of my friends can a lot more than I do so their jars are like children to them *laugh*, but you're right. It's worth a try to see if any of them have some. Free is always the best price.

      I also, proudly, managed to dig up about four pint jars from around my house last night that I was using for other things (water glass by bedside table, holding pencils, etc). I tend to start to use overflowing canning jars during the winter for other things and just grab them when I need them :).

      Thanks for the advice. I hope it works. If not, at least the thrift stores only charge about .50 per jar, so it won't cost me an arm and a leg to get some jars :).

  2. I noticed you are wanting to grow cabbages. I love them and have grown all kinds. May I suggest you try Chinese cabbages since they grow so VERY fast. You can easily just harvest one leaf at a time. They can take cool weather but not freezing cold. The savoy cabbages grow slower and will last on into freezing weather. Some collards and kales can go on into deep freezing cold.
    I like using the following seed catalogs: Baker's Creek, Pinetree Gardens, and Sand Hill Preservation. You will notice I use catalogs with cheap prices and low shipping charges. I like saving my seeds so I can try something new every year. You will get the best deal with Sand Hill since they send you the most seeds in a package. They don't take internet orders so you have to mail them a check.
    Some of my favorites:
    Pinetree has Holland Greens Tyfon (it grows HUGE FAST), Komosatsuma and Tronchuda Cabbage.
    Sand Hill has Michihli, Tatsoi and Pac Choi. All great.

    1. Wow! Thanks for the information! I'm definitely copy and pasting this into my "gardening" category :).

    2. I have plenty of different kinds of seeds and would love to send you an envelope with some of my extras. That way you could try a variety and it would not cost you a fortune, if you are interested.

    3. I'd love some seeds! Could you e-mail me at makedohomemaker (at) and we'll work out details? Thanks so much for the offer!!!