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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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  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 01, 2017

    I bought term life; whole is too expensive.

    I don't know if our month will be good either; even if we count how many sales our agents have pending, there is no guarantee they will close. We watched one sale fall apart for one of our agents last month on the day it was supposed to close. We say nothing is certain until you have a check in your hand. I need to make sure I have enough money for the month before I can plan any shopping for the month, so I try to plan ahead. The hard part is when there isn't enough for the month before for the next month, as you pointed out.

    I hope your husband has a great month and you can get caught up and ahead for next month!

  • Hilogene in Az September 01, 2017

    Hi Brandy,
    Do you see real estate sales down, or a shortage of homes for sale, or something else affecting the real estate business in Las Vegas ? Here in Phoenix, I see lots of homes for sale, but no sold signs up in the past few months...so supply looks good...I only can see our neighborhood though so the entire city or region might be doing differently.

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 02, 2017

    What we're seeing here is very odd right now and we've never seen it before. There is a shortage of houses, but most houses are just sitting. Low-priced houses are going in a flash, but anything above the average is taking its sweet time. There is concern that as house prices have once again risen across the nation, they're outpacing income. A market correction is happening with that, and it has already started (this time in Texas, and that was pre-hurricane), but we can see it happening here too.

    New home sales in the country were down 9% in July. That's something telling, too. Home sales are usually highest in the summer. Having home sales go down in summer is interesting and we'll see where this leads. Builders are still building (though they had stopped building here a while back because of the recession, after massive building going on for years as before that we had the second fastest and fourth fastest growing cities here in the valley).

    Interest rates have been predicted to go up several times over the last couple of years (and in fact were even announced that they would be raised) and then--they were not raised.

    Every area has its differences, but in general, in the U.S., wintertime means slower sales than summer. So a slow summer heading into winter is not real promising. We can just wait and see how things go.

  • Lynn September 03, 2017

    My husband is a Real Estate Agent in San Diego. He has been busier than he has been in a long time. There is a shortage of homes here. His last three listing were bidding wars. I don't think this wave will last long. Houses are so ridiculous in price and rentals are over the top. Family are living in RV parks in tents to try to save up first, last and security deposit. Even though our income has gone up I'm saving and doing repairs on our house that we put off. I know this bubble will burst and I think it will be worse than 2007.

  • Athanasia September 06, 2017

    Mid and lower priced houses are going quickly here. My brother and his wife (she has multiple sclerosis, early) wanted to move out of their larger 2 story to a smaller ranch type house. Their house sold in a week for more than asking but to find the house they wanted they had to cross the county line and go from a suburb of the capitol city to a smaller town. They ended up buying an upper/lower duplex complete with the renter in the upper and with a larger lot and an outbuilding for less than what they sold their city lot house for.

  • Cindy in the South September 08, 2017

    I noticed in Tuscaloosa it seems that the homes priced $150,00 and lower are being snapped up very quickly, especially new builds, a good bit of inventory sitting between $150,000 to $275,000 is moving slowly, but anything above that is just sitting there it seems for about six months or longer. One of my kids works in construction, and I always worry when the housing market is stagnant.

  • Melissa V September 01, 2017

    We will continue to use the EBT "double up bucks" to purchase produce and duck and/or quail eggs at the farm market as long as we can. Last week we purchased sweet corn and put all but one meals worth in the freezer. I am also drying celery to use during the winter months in soups/stews. I have already dug one basket full of potatoes out of our garden and that was only half of one area - I still have another 15 foot row in another area that I am waiting for the plants to die back in. We also get an 8 pound bag at the food distribution we attend at a local church. Other things we need to stock up on are mostly toiletries and toilet paper. We are almost completely out of TP and my stock of toiletries is down to only one bar of soap :/ I have a couple small, paid sewing projects I will be using the money from to purchase these items. We will also be closely watching for sales on the dog and cats foods and the farm store should be having their yearly stock up sale shortly - I will use that sale to stock up on the poultry's feed for the winter (We keep all their food in covered metal cans to keep the mice out). Hopefully, the harvest sales will come up here soon and we will use the EBT money to stock up on canned goods, my gluten free items and rice. I am jealous of those of you who can eat beans - they make both hubby and I quite ill so we can't use them as cheap protein substitutes :( I will also be closely watching for decent sales on pecans and almonds which are the only nuts I can eat and almond butter. These are all things that I won't just be getting in September but will be working on over the next 3 months.

  • kaye steeper September 01, 2017

    just staring in horror at all the washing baskets of apples and pears weve picked this week from the garden ....guess i know how im spending my weekend ..lol .. and yes ive swapped with neighbours and given tons away

  • Mrs T September 01, 2017

    Oh my goodness, I feel the same way! They need my attention but I have been ill and unable to proceed. IIt seems insurmountable at this time.

  • Juls Owings September 02, 2017

    better apples and pear than tomatoes and bell peppers that spoil faster...looks like the second crop of tomatoes is turning and I'm not done with the first crop. ..Blessed for the overflowing abundance keeps going through my head.

  • Lisa September 04, 2017

    I wish I lived near you.....you aren't in North Georgia are you? :)

  • Loyda September 01, 2017

    I shop at Winco also ! (Arizona here) what kind of apples do you buy? I love Gala's and only buy enough for me for the week (3ish) and they have been running around .75 each......

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 06, 2017

    I love Jonagolds, and they have a short window in early fall. Then we'll buy Galas and later Fujis. It looks like they won't be in until the end of September or early October, so I may end up waiting until October to buy any; right now most apples are $1.99 a pound everywhere!

  • Holly September 01, 2017

    Brandy, I am growing butternut and delectica squash for the first time this summer. How do I tell when they are ready to pick? I am assuming that I shouldn't wash any of the butternut if I want to store them - is that correct?

  • Mable September 01, 2017

    I wipe all of my winter squash/pumpkins down with a 10% bleach/90% water mixture. Not soaking them, but being sure to get in the crevices. I have not had one go bad since I started doing this a few years ago---and we grow enough to take us into May.

  • Lynn September 03, 2017

    Thanks, that's good to know! Love this wealth of knowledge.

  • PollyWog September 03, 2017

    If you can store in a cool dark place like a basement. Try not to place directly on a concrete floor. It pulls moisture and they spoil faster. If you need to place on a floor put on cardboard or even stacks of newspaper . Best if you can place on shelves, not touching each other,so air can circulate around.

  • Andrea Q September 03, 2017

    Butternut should be uniform in color (peachy beige) and the skin should feel firm. I never wash mine and they have stored well...up to one year.

  • Athanasia September 06, 2017

    We never wash our squash either, though we lay them out of tables outside to cure for about a week. We brush off any dirt. We store them in the root cellar and they last through to late spring. We check often and use any quicker that look like they may need to be used first. However, Delicata is not a keeper if you were not aware of that. We always use those up before the others.

  • Dianne September 01, 2017

    I've been feeling the need right now to have 6 weeks of non-perishable food on hand for my family in case we were unable to leave our house for an extended period of time. So this month I'll be stocking up on 25 lbs of rice (to make 75 lbs total in my storage), 25 lbs of freeze-dried vegetables, and 10 lbs of various dried beans. Those purchases, combined with what we already have, will bring my stock at home above what's needed to get us through should we not be able to leave the house. I'm also bringing some of my garage food storage into the house and organizing it.

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