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Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Welcome to the Can You Homestead Without A Homestead Summer Stock Up edition. Today you and I are going to take the idea of using your community, aka grocery store, to help you make the frugal mindset of homesteading your own. Let me explain!

Can not the frugal mindset of a homesteader be used by those who don’t have a homestead?

Can you, a person who doesn’t grow a garden or have a homestead, still use the homesteading principles of collecting your harvest at its peak and storing it for your family for later use?

I have heard it many times from my friends, “it must be nice to have all that land to be able to grow your family all of that healthy food, or I would love to provide healthy food for my family but I live in town and rent an apartment so I just can’t, or maybe someday when we move out into the country.”

And I am going to share with you the answer I give to my doubting friends and just maybe it might enlighten you.

Is not homesteading also a mindset or a point of view.

The principle of homesteading is to, yes, grow healthy food but is it not also the mindset of using what we are given and making the best out of it?

So what, if you can’t grow your food, in the extreme that I do. So what if you only have a yard the size of a postage stamp. The main point of homesteading is to provide healthy food for your family the best you can.

And if that is only growing a few pots of lettuce and one tomato plant on your counter then that is all it is.

But what about the idea of community? As a homesteader, there is no way that I can grow all the food my family needs. We don’t have the space to grow our beef but I do have a neighbor down the road who can. So we purchase or sometimes trade what I have grown to acquire healthy beef for our family. And what about apples? I am trying my darndest to grow an apple orchard but we are just not getting enough from our trees to last us through the whole year. So I have another neighbor that shares part of her harvest with me and I pay her by watching her livestock now and then.

Homesteading is a community. We like to say we are self-sufficient but in truth, a homestead is just resourceful when it comes to finding healthy food for our families.

So what about you?

What can you do to provide your family with healthy food year-round and who can be your community?

Well first off, just because you live in a city doesn’t mean you don’t have a community around you. There may be a local community garden or a local farm or ranch outside of town that you can glean a harvest from.

But is not your grocery store or farmer's market a part of your community? It is certainly part of mine. When I want to add healthy options to our plates, like say oranges or pineapple, that don’t grow well in our area. I go to my local grocery store and purchase that item when it is at its peak and when it is in season.

It may be hard to believe in a society of eating what you want when you want, but all fruits and vegetables have a season. This is when that said fruit or vegetable is picked and sold to you, not at your convenience but when it is grown in the best conditions possible. For example, have you ever noticed that when you go to buy strawberries in the fall and you find some but there are only a few packages and they just don’t look like the strawberries you purchased that spring?

The reason why is because we have fallen into the idea that we should be able to get any food item we want anytime we want. But the truth is that even though there are strawberries on the grocery store shelves in the middle of December, those strawberries were probably grown in a greenhouse and forced to grow in less ideal conditions.

Spring is when strawberries are naturally in season. So that is why they look better and even taste better in the spring compared to the fall or winter. And that is also usually why the price of those strawberries is cheaper in the spring.

The main concept of consuming healthy food is to pick that food at the appropriate time, or when it is in season, and storing that food to be eaten when it is out of season but without losing too much of its natural nutrition and flavor.

This is my main job as a homesteader, right? So why can’t you do the same but just from your grocery store?

And the answer is you can!

You can buy fruits and vegetables that are in season and usually on sale in bulk from your grocery store.

You can then preserve those same fruits and vegetables in some way so that your family can enjoy those delicious tidbits all year round.

And thus become an honorary homesteader!!

And I want to help you out! So below is a list of eight of my favorite spring stock-ups. I also share with you how you can use each of them, as well as a few recipe ideas. And be on the lookout because every season this year I am going to be sharing more stock-up ideas for Spring, Fall, and Winter!

Summer Stock Up Ideas


When choosing Blackberries be sure they are shiny and plumb. Blackberries can become bruised and rot very quickly in the fridge so be sure to get them stored quickly and only wash right before you plan to eat them. Blackberries are high in magnesium and can promote oral and brain health. They are best frozen and used in muffins, smoothies, and cobblers.

My advice here is to freeze in recipe amounts. If your muffin recipe makes 2 cups of berries then freeze them in this amount.


Blueberries are in season from late May to Mid-August. Blueberries have a long list of benefits from being high in antioxidants to helping repair DNA damage that helps with aging. They can be eaten as an amazing finger snack or baked into muffins.

Our favorite use for blueberries is to freeze them and use them for smoothies!


Peppers are best from July thru November. All varieties are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber. Plus, the spicy ones liven up bland food, making it more satisfying. To learn more about pepper and how to preserve them you can go to this Blog post, Planning Beyond the Harvest with Peppers!


Carrots are harvested year-round in Zone 6 or higher. The best-tasting carrots are harvested during the carrot's natural season, which is late summer and fall. True baby carrots, not the milled-down versions, are available in the spring and early summer. Carrots are high in fiber and a great source of Vit A and beta-keratin. They add to eye health, lower blood pressure, and boost skin health. They can be eaten raw, boiled, steamed, and roasted. To preserve them you can pressure-can them or freeze them.


Corn is best eaten minutes after picking. In fact, as corn sits on the grocery store shelf the sugar is slowly turning to starch. It is best to buy your corn at local farmer's markets or farms so that you can bite into the sweetest corn imaginable. Be on the lookout for tightly closed, fresh-looking husks, fresh-looking tassels, and fresh-cut stem-ends. Corn can be boiled, grilled, and roasted.

Our favorite way to store corn is to blanch the cobs for 3 minutes then using a knife to shave the kernels off of the cob and place 2 cups in a freezer bag. Then to serve we warm on the stovetop in a pot and add a little salt and butter. The boys love it!


Cucumbers are in season at the peak of summer. This works out amazingly as one benefit of cucumbers is their cooling quality. Yes, they will actually cool your body when consumed raw! This makes them great to add to cold water or teas. Cucumbers can be eaten raw in slices or in your favorite salad. Cucumbers are also the number one pickled veggie, aka the pickle!

Green Beans

Green Beans will be the sweetest and most tender during their natural season, from mid-summer into fall. One tip I can give you about green beans is that if you are hoping to find them at your farmer’s market be sure to be in line early as they will get sold out very quickly!


Peaches are one of the highlights of summer eating. Look for fruits that feel heavy for their size and that give just a bit when pushed. Avoid fruits that have green near the stem as they are not ripe enough for fresh eating. But if you are looking to preserve a large amount this is perfect as it will give you a buffer if you can’t get to them right away. They can be either canned or frozen. I like frozen peaches for pies and canned peaches for cobblers!


Pears are harvested from early to late summer. This is a very finicky fruit but they are delicious canned and eaten straight from the jar in January!


Raspberries are the most delicate of all berries. Look for plump berries and never buy a carton (or flat) with smashed, rotting, or moldy berries, that damage spreads incredibly fast. If they seem like they are starting to fade, freeze them! They'll be great in smoothies and muffins or bread.


Tomatoes are the number one reason many flock to farmer's markets as there is nothing better than a fresh locally grown tomato! To learn about tomatoes you can check out these two blog posts, Planning Beyond the Harvest with Tomatoes, Part 1 and Part 2. I share information about picking, preserving, and cooking!


Zucchini and Summer Squash are in season from Summer to Fall. I love using it in bread and stews. But there are so many different ways to eat and cook this prolific veggie. I promise you will be able to find them anywhere!

Now, this is just my top 12, there are many more fruits and vegetables that are in season in the Summer. The best way to find them out is to be watching the produce aisle in your favorite local grocery store and farmer’s market.

Be on the lookout for sales!

Be on the lookout for when your favorite produce looks and tastes the best!

Have a blessed day,


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