Millions of pounds of budget cuts have been approved by senior Nottinghamshire councillors.
The authority, run by the Conservatives since 2009, is aiming to save £29m over the next year.
Plans to sell off residential care homes, close recycling centres and cut hundreds of jobs have provoked fears for frontline services.
The proposals have been backed by the council's cabinet and will go to the full council later this month.
Council leader Kay Cutts said the cuts would allow for investment in other areas and a freeze in council tax.
She emphasised the 13 care homes would be sold as going concerns and money saved will be used for supported housing.
Ms Cutts said the sale would not be immediate.
She added: "We propose to sell them, hopefully to a charity or not-for-profit company, which is why we are going to take our time over this.
"Who we sell them to is very important to us because we wish to see them continue to be used as care homes but in the future there will be fewer people who wish to go into care homes as more people want to stay in their own homes."
The county council has received 28 petitions against its budget plans.