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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


  • Myra September 01, 2017

    Living near the Gulf of Mexico, I am with you on the need to have nonperishable food on hand! With Harvey just coming through and our eyes watching Irma, people in my area are feeling antsy. We have made the decision to also purchase a generator. We lived through Katrina. It was horrible. We are in pretty good shape with our pantry, but I am stocking up on water. I hate buying bottled water, but living near the gulf, it's pretty much a have to during hurricane season.

  • ld capouya September 01, 2017

    I'm in Baton Rouge, and am almost "swimming" in my water supply! It's so necessary in hurricane season!

  • Heather in L.A. September 04, 2017

    I'm in Monroe, while we don't usually get the full brunt of the Hurricanes, Rita took my parents roof right off. Peeled the metal like it was opening a can. With the flooding we experienced in 2016, we also keep food, water, a few cans of gas and any rx stocked up. Since Harvey we have seen gas prices jump almost .75 gallon in less than a week.

  • Rhonda A. September 01, 2017

    I think having a stash of bottled water is important for everyone to have. Regardless of where you live, major emergencies can and do happen. It is not uncommon for drinking water to become contaminated or outright unavailable during any emergency situation. Having a back up plan is always a wise decision!

  • Marcia R September 01, 2017

    My problem is forgetting to rotate the water out. I buy gallons at the regular supermarket but they only keep about 2 years---I save the older jugs if they aren't leaking (sometimes they are) as I figure it could always be used for washing ourselves or flushing toilets. I just have to remember to buy more suitable for drinking!

  • Rhonda A. September 02, 2017

    I buy the normal sized water bottles and use them when we do day trips or throughout the year when we have company. Since we are using it slowly on a regular basis, I restock my cases whenever there's a good sale or as needed, if I notice we are getting lower than I'd like. I know this may not be ideal for the environment, but it works to keep the water rotated and I haven't wasted money on buying something I never actually used before it expired out.

    I also have recycled jugs filled with tap water that don't get rotated as often as it should. I would use these jugs for cleaning or even cooking if desperate. I'd just use undrinkable water to flush toilets (river water or collected rain water).

  • Juls Owings September 02, 2017

    or have your well fail as we had a friend's do.

  • Rhonda A, September 02, 2017

    I have lived most of my life on well water. I know all too well how quickly access to water can disappear. All it takes for us is loss of hydro or the pump to fail (like the time the foot valve broke and it took days to get it fixed) and we can't even flush a toilet or get a drop of water from the tap. When this area had a major flood several years ago from a massive rain storm, all area residents were advised to boil their well water after power was restored, just in case of contamination. When the blackout of 2003 happened, my daughter was only a few months old and I couldn't even mix her formula or warm her bottle. It's a really big deal when you lose access to water, that's for sure!

  • Andrea Q September 03, 2017

    I purchased large 5 gallon jugs from Amazon (mostly with Swagbucks) and fill them from the tap. Every six months or so, we empty and refill them.

  • tina September 01, 2017

    Things are tight around here as well. Feeding 5 on one income in a high cost of living area

    this month I will be:
    Harvesting tomatoes from the garden
    Am growing some pumpkins but it's not looking too promising
    My daughter is doing a seasonal job at a pumpkin patch so maybe discounted pumpkins???
    Harvesting blackberries from our yard (had some last night over waffles...yum!
    Planning to make a trip to winco to stock up on produce... they have such great prices, wish they were closer
    Hoping for our Fred Meyer to have some good labor day sales (ad not out yet)

  • Becky September 01, 2017

    We have just successfully finished August, where I set our budget at $100 for food for our daily meals. I have $7 left over. This did not include the 2-3 non-food items I needed to buy--like soap to wash dishes. I used the excess money to buy apples to make applesauce. I was expecting to need to buy pears, but I was given 2 huge boxes full, which turned into 35 quarts, more than enough. I was given enough peaches to do 35 quarts, as well. I was able to buy a 20-lb tuna off the docks over on the Oregon coast, and canned it up. So, I'm very excited at how the month turned out.

    I love your grocery list, Brandy. With a garden growing, you will be able to make so many good meals from those items, plus what you already have on hand. I was also very happy for you because someone sent you the chicken coupons. Any amount of free chicken is a great addition:)

    This month, my husband goes back to work at the school, so he will be paid again Oct. 1. We will still receive a paycheck in mid-September from his/my summer work, but it will be used for bills. So, since the garden is still is full force, I plan to keep the grocery budget very low again. However, there are a few non-food items, like tin foil, that got used last month, and will need to be replaced. I will need to get that foil, t.p., ziplock bags (I'm using a lot of them right now for freezing berries, etc.), and dish soap.

    I thought I would use up more dry goods than I did, but the shelves seem pretty full still in the area of the garage I use for a pantry. We ate so much garden produce and fruit. I would like to get gluten-free cornbread mix, as we used that up. I also will check my brown rice supply, as I used a package of that up, but I think there's more. If not, I'll get some.

    Of course, the home-canning shelf and freezers are now bulging with jars and containers and I still want to do frozen corn from my sister's garden, canned tomatoes and tomato products, and pickled beets. There are raspberries coming on nicely and a handful of strawberries ever couple of days on the bushes. I will continue to freeze whatever I get, and the baggies are adding up. My peppers are pitiful this year, but I'll cut up and freeze what there are. I may buy a few peppers from a farm stand if they are very inexpensive and freeze some of those. I'll start with the amount of whole tomatoes I need, then move on to salsa, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and tomato juice--depending on how many tomatoes I can get from my bushes and extras from my sister, once she gets what she needs.

    I've planted a fall garden and it's coming up. I've been able to have lettuce all summer by succession planting, and there are 2 more plantings in various stages coming up. (I had very little lettuce in August as it was too hot, but a little) As it cools off, I will get a lot of lettuce--at least that's the plan. For September, there should be snow peas, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, berries, potatoes, cilantro, basil, chard, beets, carrots (maybe), and purple beans. There might be spinich, boc choi, and kale, if all works out the way I hope it does.

    I'm super excited to be heading off for 3 days with my husband for our 35th anniversary. We rarely get to go anywhere with just the 2 of us, so I'm ecstatic! We've been raising kids for the past 32 years, and have gone for years at a time without getting away together. But, we've always tried to get away once in a while to work on our marriage. I guess it worked!! I am putting some food items in a cooler, we will eat out some, and can buy some ingredients if needed. It will be minimal, as it's just the 2 of us. The kids are at their aunt and uncles' house, and will eat there. So, this trip is coming out of another budget, and our home grocery budget will actually start on Monday night. My husband is taking his crab traps, and maybe we will enjoy fresh crab. If not, it's still going to be a blast.

  • Athanasia September 06, 2017

    Becky, congratulations to you and Rob on your 35th anniversary. Will you be camping? I hope the weather cooperates with your outdoor activities.

  • Bethany September 01, 2017

    I suggest everyone stock up on pasta and flour now; the midwest is in a major drought, there will be very little if any grain harvested this year. Over 80% of the nations wheat supply comes from North and South Dakota and Montana combined. This is the area that has been hit the hardest, so expect to see prices go up within a year. There will be some great deals on beef the next few months, as the herds are being sold off due to lack of feed ; but then it will get very expensive next year. I'm also adding more dry milk to my stores, fresh has been on extremely low priced sales recently, which leads me to think it will also be rising in price within a year.

  • LynnDinKY September 01, 2017

    My sil lives in Iowa and was telling me about the drought. She said most of the corn and soybean farmers will lose their crops there too. Thank you for the heads up on the beef and wheat.

  • Mrs T September 01, 2017

    I ageee. I'm awfully suspicious of the low milk/beef prices here. Thanks for the heads up.

  • .Michelle September 02, 2017

    My brother lives in North Dakota. He said the same thing.

  • SJ in Vancouver BC September 01, 2017

    I also love this post. It is such an encouragement to me.

    Our grocery store flyers seem to start on random days of the week. I really have to pay attention to the dates. I went today to pickup sale pasta ($1 for 454grams - best price I've seen in a long time). Picked up $5 worth. Also 2-Litre soft soap refill for $2.99. Bought two -also the best price on this in my area.

    Monday and Tuesday are the 10%off days at the two biggest grocery stores in the area. Monday's store will price match. I am stocking up on peanut butter, toilet paper, 1 case each of canned peas and canned corn, and any 'this store only' sale items that I may need but that are not advertised. I'll go to the nonprofit grocery store for $0.10 bread and hopefully english muffins.

    I am still harvesting strawberries, cherry tomatoes, chard, hot peppers and green beans. The fresh produce will mean that I won't buy any for at least a few weeks.

    Thanks to all who comment. I'm always so encouraged to read about everyone's efforts.

  • Shelly September 01, 2017

    Brandy - Where do you put 10 sour creams? Do you have two refrigerators? I have a large family as well, but with only one refrigerator, I find it hard to stock up on things like produce (that can't be frozen) and dairy.

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 02, 2017

    I can fit 12 on one shelf in the fridge. I have a freezer on top/fridge on bottom refrigerator and it is the largest capacity fridge out there. At the same time, I can also fit 12 dozen eggs on the shelf opposite the sour cream, plus I could fit 6 gallons of milk on the shelf below that, plus another shelf for leftovers/other things, the top shelves for jams and tortillas, and then the two large produce drawers. On the door I have an amazing amount of deep storage; I could technically fit 6 milks there plus condiments. I keep water on two shelves on the door (where I can fit 4 gallons of water) and a gallon of mayo, a large container of salsa, ketchup, and condiments on the rest of the door. I don't have a water dispenser so that doesn't take up any room.

    We also have a second fridge in the garage (that's smaller) that we were given by someone who was moving out of state (the timing was wonderful, as we had one before that and it had gone out).

  • Stephanie September 01, 2017

    Two stores have already started their case lot sales, so I've made my list of what I'll be buying there: canned green beans, tuna, olives, pineapple, Mandarin oranges, tomato sauce and paste, macaroni noodles, sugar, and honey. The sugar is quite a deal, $.30/lb. I'll probably spend at least $100 just on case lot sales, but I'll be getting a year supply of those items. I'm hoping to reduce my regular weekly shopping so I can stay within my normal monthly grocery budget of $350.

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