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September's Grocery Shopping Plans

September Harvest The Prudent Homemaker

September 2016 Garden Harvest

After a month of no shopping, I'm planning to continue to live mostly from our pantry, freezers, and garden, with a few purchases. Our income is still rather limited. In 2012 and 2013, we had a budget of $100 a month for food and $65 a month for non-food items. Our income is now even less than it each of those years; those years were also considerably less than we made in 2007, the year we had no income for 8 months and began living exclusively from our pantry for over a year. I am grateful for the increase that we had in income the second half of last year (and the savings it allowed us to have that helped us this year). For now, I will continue to take each month as it comes.

I'm budgeting $100 this month to buy things.

This month's budget is very unusual in that I have some gift cards and freebie coupons to use towards purchases in addition to the $100. 



I will redeem 2200 Swagbucks on September first to get a $25 Target gift card. You can redeem one $25 gift card a month for 2200 points; after that, they are 2500 points. It usually takes me 2-3 months to get 2200 points, but this month I spent some more time earning points so that I would have this.

Diapers (1 large box that will last the month)

Children's chewable multi-vitamins (150 count bottle)



Potatoes. I'll buy 50 pounds; the russets are currently higher than I like to spend (at $2.98 for a ten-pound bag) but I will be going above my price point on them this month (normally $2.25 a bag)  and hope that when I make it over there, the price has come down.

Gold N'Soft Light spreadable margarine in a 3-pound tub, which is usually around $2.24. (I use this on baked potatoes, to cook with, and on toast; it has 0 trans-fats). I'll pick up 3.

Carrots (10 pounds for $3.88)


Apples. I'm hoping to see sales between $0.79 and $0.99 a pound when the new crop of apples comes in.



Corn on the cob: 6 ears for $1 (no limit; I'll buy 24).

Chicken (a reader sent me some manufacturer's coupons for free chicken for a certain brand of fresh chicken that she can't get in her area; I'll pick these up and add them to my freezer).

American Beauty pasta. It looks like the new sales price is $0.69 ($0.49 looks like a price I won't see anymore). I printed several coupons for $1 off 2 packages from coupons.com and I will pick up pasta. I'll only buy the 16-ounce bags (rather than the 12-ounce bags) so that I can get the most food for my money. I'll buy 50 pounds of pasta. (I also added the Smith's digital coupon to my card for another $1 off coupon).

Friday freebie. I loaded the Friday freebie to my card and I'll pick it up when I'm there; it's a candy bar and I can give it as a gift to a child.



Sour cream 10 for $10; I'll have my husband pick up 10  (which will save on gas as there is a store in the shopping center where his office is) and we'll enjoy them on potatoes as well as rice and beans. 


Sam's Club:

I still have a $25 Sam's Club gift card that I got from Swagbucks earlier this year. I kept meaning to use it every time I went but I kept forgetting it was in my purse! I plan on using the gift card to get the following:

25 pounds of Long grain rice ($8.34)

Ketchup ($3.83 for 114 ounces; we use it to refill 3 large bottles)

Oxi-Clean powdered stain remover (10.1 pound box), on sale through the 17th for $12.48

Pears in Silver Bowl The Prudent Homemaker

From the garden this month, I will harvest Bartlett pears, Swiss chard, oregano, basil, a few handfuls of red noodle beans, a few Armenian cucumbers (several of my vines died and bugs got to the zucchini plants last month; a couple are left but I never harvested any zucchini last month as the heat caused the flowers to wither and die before they ever opened), a few tiny tomatoes, green onions, chives, rosemary, and some other herbs as I need them for meals.


What are you planning to stock up on this month?




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Tagged in: Grocery Shopping


  • Holly September 02, 2017

    They are more expensive east of the Mississippi except in the northern states that grow a lot of potatoes such as Maine or Michigan.

  • Heather in L.A. September 04, 2017

    Here in Louisiana potatoes are usually on sale for around .20 a pound except sweet potatoes which I can get from the farm for $25 a truck bed. They are the ugly ones, but I have found they taste the same

  • Athanasia September 06, 2017

    Cheap local grown potatoes are plentiful here in the stores also unless you want to buy the Idaho grown ones. They are very pricey. We grow some potatoes but we buy most from road side stands for 9.50 to 10.50 a 100 pound bag for our keeper potatoes.

  • Sandra September 01, 2017

    After canning plum jelly I still had some plum juice left and made a pint of plum syrup, delicious on waffles. We are picking green beans everyday now, often a couple of quarts. The tomatoes have slowed down, but there are lots of green ones so there will be more tomatoes to can soon. There are several large butternut squash on my vines as well as lots of little babies. That means I will have lots of butternut squash for the pantry this fall. I picked a basket of Bartlett pears this week and it is ripening on the counter. There are still plenty of small ones on the tree so I should be able to can some a little later.
    In rearranging the freezer last week I decided to defrost a small turkey. There was a prediction for a temperature drop to 87 one day this week and I set that for my day to roast the turkey. As it turned out the temperature was actually 90 yesterday when I decided to roast the bird, but it was the coolest day we've had all week and it is going back up again. There will be many wonderful meals with this turkey, some will go into the freezer as soup and casseroles, others will include hot turkey sandwiches, turkey curry, turkey tetrazinni, and turkey salad stuffed tomatoes.
    We are in a no spend mode currently, mainly because we really don't need anything. We will continue to eat out of the freezer, pantry, and garden. All meals and snacks will be made from scratch and if we go out we will carry containers of ice water or iced tea with us.
    I save my seasonal decorator items and reuse them every year. Today I will put away the summer decor and reset with fall colors, dry arrangements, and some fresh pumpkins from the garden. It is still in the 90's here so the summer weight bedding will remain on the beds for at least another week or two.

  • Stephanie N. September 01, 2017

    I have quite a few things I need to stock up on that I've been holding off in hopes of a decent sale. My grocery budget includes food plus household and pet items. My household is 8 people and a cat and more often then not a few of the kids friends.
    -Last February I found Tide at Target on sale and with an additional $10 gift card with purchase and I had a 25% cartwheel. I bought as many as they had on the shelf which has lasted me until this month. I have about two weeks worth left and then I'll be out. I'm on the hunt for a really good stock up sale at which point I hope to buy enough to last the year. If I don't find any good sales I'll buy a single container to hopefully last until a sale comes up.
    -Costco has a coupon for Heinze Ketchup 44oz bottles 3 pack for I think $4.89? I'll buy the limit on these as it is our preferred brand.
    -While at Costco I'll also pick up the two pound bags of walnuts and pecans. I'll also grab a jar of the Better than Buillon beef base.
    -Other things I need to stock up on are: mens body wash, basmati rice, vegetable oil, all purpose flour, panteen shampoo and conditioner, and multivitamins.

  • Alisa McNeely September 01, 2017

    Dollar General is running a good sale on Gain laundry products. I got several months worth of laundry soap, fabric softener for a little over $10.00

  • Maxine September 01, 2017

    If you are going to be at Costco, why not try their Kirkland powdered detergent that comes in a square bucket? It works out to 7.5 cents per load and I like it as well as Tide. Definitely worth trying!

  • J September 01, 2017

    I think the Kirkland laundry detergent is Tide, white labeled, at least the free and clear liquid. I'm not 100pc certain though. I know a lot of Kirkland signature items are white labeled versions of the name brands Costco carries. For example, Kirkland coffee is Starbucks and Kirkland granola bars in Canada are Le clerc.

  • Linda Higgy September 01, 2017

    Kirkland Mayo is Best Foods/Hellmans. Really good price, too!

  • Maxine September 01, 2017

    The Kirkland laundry detergent is manufactured by a company called Huish. Tide, of course, is P&G. Regardless of who makes it, it's about the best detergent I've ever used. Even my adult son, who is often brand sensitive, says it is the best.

  • Krissy in Sacramento September 02, 2017

    Adding one more "thumbs up" for the Kirkland laundry detergent. The liquid in the orange/red bottle is the best!

  • Myra September 01, 2017

    Ground chuck for 1.99 a pound
    Gallons of oil for 3.99 a gallon
    Community Coffee for 3.99 a bag. (It's our favorite kind, but I won't pay 7.00 a bag. I wait until it goes on sale and when its gone, we use cheap coffee until another sale comes on)
    Chicken legs and thighs for .78 a pound.
    Flour: 5 lb. bags for 1.99. I usually buy around 50-75 pounds a year when it's on sale and it lasts me all year. Last year a family in our church was in need so I took them 20 pounds of flour and some oil and other items and it put me short so I had to buy two bags at regular price. I almost fell over when I saw the regular price of flour!

    There were a few other things but I can't remember them at the moment.

  • reet September 01, 2017

    In Estonia, we often get the information for "weekend sales" on Thursday. Hardly ever information for the whole month! And the system being different here, some prices, especially for fresh vegetables and fruit, are going constantly up and down.

    We are hoping for bigger income than in a long time this September because my husband has got a new job, but also because our building loan that we used for digging a well and getting a proper septic system (in 2001 when we bought The House, it was in terrible condition, no running water, no proper toilet etc) is finally paid off. I need to stock up, like, everything. There are many things that we have given up during the last year or used up till the very last drop or piece.
    Regularly there are blue plums on sale in September. I hope for plum cakes and maybe plum jam.
    I will look on the farmer's market for cherry plums - when preserved in sugar water, they are absolutely delicious and our family's favourite.
    On another market I hope to find a good deal for an onion braid - these are not cheap, but they are so beautiful in the kitchen and this will be my "September luxury item".
    We need some toiletry things and I hope to find them on sale to stock up.
    This summer I have made less preserves than ever. I hope for great sales on fruit so that I can make some more, maybe something more exotic that we cannot buy in the supermarket.

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 01, 2017

    The sales flyers here are only for a week at a time. In some places in the U.S. they start on Sunday; in some places (including where I live) the sales run Wednesday through Tuesday. I don't know what the sales prices will be for the rest of the month. I do know what is traditionally on sale in September.

    Smith's and Albertson's are regular grocery stores and those are sales prices from this week's ads, so I'll get those this week. I don't know what prices they will have later this month, but I won't have more to spend this month, so I'm not worried about those sales. Pork roast usually goes on sale this month, but it's not in the budget, or else I would wait to see what sales there are on it.

    Sam's Club has pretty normal prices all the time, but they sent out a flyer that included a few sales items, so I know about the oxi-clean sale that is through September 17th.

    Winco doesn't have sales flyers; you just have to see what the prices are when you get there. I am hoping that if I go later in the month, the new crops of apples and potatoes will be in for the fall. My mom usually goes there every week and can check prices for me when she is there. Their prices on produce depend on what price they get from the growers, so it can vary from day to day; I even saw an amazing sale one morning and my mom went back the same day to get it, but they had apparently had that sale to clear out the old produce, and the new produce came in and was higher that afternoon.

    Target has weekly sales, but what I'm buying isn't currently on sale. I would love a sale, but right now I need both diapers and vitamins and can't wait for a sale.

    An onion braid sound very pretty! I love using seasonal produce to decorate the kitchen in fall. I hope you find some great prices on fruit! And I am happy to hear you have paid off your loan!

  • Miriam in Estonia September 02, 2017

    Greetings from Rakvere :-)

  • Lori @ MyVintageWhimsy September 01, 2017

    I need to stock up on:

    * bbq sauces and other condiments during this Labor Day weekend sale

    * meats. Chicken (whole, parts, whatever -- I am not picky and can easily debone and cook thighs even when a recipe calls for boneless breasts, etc), ground beef, pork, bacon, sausages/hot dogs/brats

    * butter (though I may hold off until Aldi drops the prices back down to 1.99 as they usually do during autumn/winter)

    * pantry staples -- flour, sugar(s), evap and condensed milk, cornmeal, grits, oats, canned beans, pastas, broths

    * paper products -- paper towels, paper napkins

    * I will be taking advantage of the Labor Day sales at Lowe's and Home Depot to grab bags of mulch. I went yesterday and raided their clearance carts for $1 perennials in quart size containers and plan to go back today (ran out of space in my SUV! lol) and buy more. I ripped out ugly, woody, 50 year old Azalea plants that lined the front of my house earlier this spring and have been wanting to do landscaping out there. No time like the present when the usual $5-10 perennials are on clearance for a buck. I'm glad I waited all summer. I just looked and mulch is on sale for $2/bag. I paid $3.33 earlier this summer. Yay!!!

  • Janet September 02, 2017

    Home Depot also does throw away plants they keep them in the back by like the lumber. I got two plants free from them. I also got 3 free from my grocery store a few years ago.

    I now have a small spruce tree growing from the near dead home depot plant the other thing they gave me did die. I have 3 rose bushes from the grocery store throw away. All free.

  • Beth Soelberg September 03, 2017

    Hi Janet!

    Do you call in advance, or just stop there when you are passing by and check the back?

    Thanks, Beth

  • Erica September 01, 2017

    We will be eating a lot from the garden as we did last month. I have tomatoes to can, green beans and broccoli to freeze, and potatoes and onions to dig up. We have a lot of grape tomatoes, summer squash and zucchini to use up and have been trying as well as giving it to co-workers. We also have another crop of peppers, peas, and sweet corn to deal with. We also have apples to pick. We were trying to eat from the freezer last month and successfully did eat about half. We want to get a half of a hog in the freezer sometime this fall yet.

    We don't need to stock up on a lot this month because I did a fair amount last month. The other half drinks Diet Coke so I will be on the lookout for a great sale on that. Usually it is 3/$8.00. Besides that, we will need milk, butter (if on sale), lettuce, lunch meat, and shredded cheese. We will also need shampoo for myself and possibly my son. There is also a chance I will need more canning lids!

  • Rachel C. September 01, 2017

    Always love these posts! They are very encouraging and helpful. I personally can never guess if our month will be good or not since my husband works in a job that pays in a point system and that can vary drastically daily. Like one day he can make $400 and the next day only make $60. Our budget for food is a lot lower this month since his checks were not good last month and we are behind in bills. Normally our food budget is $250 but this month it's only going to be $100 or less. I'm going to try and make it on $80 for groceries.
    My grocery plans are as follows
    Milk $2.50 a gallon will buy 2 for this month. Eggs $1.69 a dozen and I will buy 4 dozen for this month. Apples if they are a good price and I will buy 10 pounds if they are. I will also buy potatoes if they are a good price and buy 20 pounds. I will also buy onions if they are a good price and I will buy 10 pounds of those. Meat I will see what the deals are and if they are good or not I'll buy some of that as well. I am not worried about buying meat this month so I might not buy any. I will be also be using what is in my pantry, freezer, and fridge.

    I always revisit your old posts for inspiration and for tips on saving money any way we can.

    For life insurance are you buying whole life insurance or term life insurance?

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