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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


  • TerriC September 01, 2017

    On the warnings list, Elaine of A Sunny Simple Life posted that we're likely to see a rise in sugar prices. No idea why as I haven't seen anything to back that up yet, but worth noting and watching. Also with the aftermath of Harvey, fuel costs are going to rise considerably. More importantly that will affect all of our food costs, so keep that in mind. On the plus side, reports from Georgia farm bureau is that peanuts and corn have produced all time record crops and it looks as though soy beans and cotton will do the same just from what I've personally seen of the fields. So look for peanut butter and nut costs to decrease. It is also looking at this time as though there will be good pecan crops, another bonus.

  • Linda Higgy September 10, 2017

    TerriC, thanks for the heads up! Smiths had their case sale, 10 bags of sugar $16.90. However, they have their buy 5 save 5 right now and sugar is part of the deal. I bought 10- 4 lb. bags for $9.90!! Just in time for Holiday baking!!

  • Lilllanna Pickles September 01, 2017

    I had planned on having a no spend month. My pantry and freezer can sustain us for awhile. My light bill came in and was 60.00 less than I had budgeted for. I hit up three of our salvage stores and bought some much desired items.
    2 bottles of Zantac for 1.99
    5 boxes Nilla wafers for 4.99. Will store in freezer to make in banana puddings
    27 ct Scott TP for half a penny per foot. I haven't bought any in 20 months, so this was well received.
    98 loads of Downy fabric softener for 4.00 found in the Hispanic grocery. I went looking for a product that Brandy had mentioned and was amazed at many name brand products with Spanish labels were so much cheaper.I
    I need cream of chicken soup. I am searching for a homemade version and plan on making this and homemade rice a roni. I am going to save the remainder of my funds for any good loss leaders. I am missing credit for about 75.00 worth of Swagbucks. I will keep mine for Amazon deals for Christmas.

  • Juls Owings September 02, 2017

    2 tablespoons of margarine/butter melted in sauce pan, blend in 2 tablespoons of flour , add 1/3 cup dried milk and 2/3rds cup chicken broth stir and cook until smooth, add 1 tsp chicken bouillon to flavor... small diced chicken optional ...
    adjusted from cream of celery soup pg 212 The Complete Tightwad Gazette...

    works well with diced mushrooms also.if you use dehydrated soak in water first and then use the water as the broth

  • Linda Higgy September 04, 2017

    Thanks, Juls! Love homemade.

  • Lisa September 04, 2017

    I just used the Tightwad Gazette today--made muffins using her Universal recipe. I enjoy looking back at those issues that I got for $12/yr. My husband and I were joking that her newsletters were the blog posts of today.

  • J September 01, 2017

    I will harvest our beet crop and any remaining tomatoes. We had a frost warning here last night (but no frost) so soon I will put our garden to rest for the winter.
    I will pick up pasta on sale for 0.88/lb at No Frills which is as cheap as it gets around here.
    The Canadian Thanksgiving is in early October, so I will be watching for sales at the end of this month on frozen turkey, frozen vegetables, and some pantry items.
    I picked up peanut butter on sale this week.
    Normally at this time of year I am canning pasta sauce like a maniac and getting ready to start apples. For various reasons I won't be doing that this year. Kind of sad, but next year should be more productive.
    I will also watch for sales in buttercup squash, my favourite.
    For all you Canadian canners- you can get Bernardin canning lids at Dollorama for the best price :)

  • Mable September 01, 2017

    We've had a huge unexpected medical bill come in, so in September I am planning to buy only milk and apples for canning applesauce (I mix it with dehydrated rhubarb to soak up excess fluid and also stretch the apples. I don't put in a lot, as rhubarb is pretty sour but it helps. And if the type of apple on sale is sweeter, I can put in more). I feel fortunate that our garden produced record amounts this year---over 100 pounds of potatoes, which I know would go in the blink of an eye in Brandy's house but will last all winter for us! The tomatoes and cukes and winter and summer squash also produced more than ever before, so I have preserved close to a year's supply of all of those as well. I have also traded some produce for moose meat. Really, we can live on what we have for quite a while. I'd forgo the milk but the uncomplaining husband, who eats whatever I make without complaint, loves milk so I consider it one of my little acts of love to indulge without comment his appetite for milk. His parents used to drink whole milk and make the kids drink powdered milk, and I remember him telling me that he would sit there as a kid vowing that there would never be any powdered milk in his house for anyone. (I use it for baking, though) I think I can make it through the month for $35 total.

    I read someone talking about being low on toilet paper. Years ago I convinced my family members to send me cases of toilet paper for birthday and Christmas gifts because they could never figure out what to give me. My parents are gone now but my siblings each still send me a case twice a year, once in December and once in my birthday month. I cannot remember the last time I bought toilet paper!

  • Terry September 01, 2017

    For the first time I found pasta at .49#. I also found jasmine rice on clearance at .37lb but was only able to buy 10lbs. I have been buying Fiora toilet paper when on sale for 3/$10 for 12 roll packs. I figure a per sheet cost and this is less than Pom. My freezer is full of chicken and pork so I would really like to find some good stock-up prices of beef.

  • Marcia R. September 01, 2017

    I also need beef for the freezer, but still have ground beef enough. I am looking for spaghetti sauce, corn (a case if it goes to its' semi-annual low) and I also need to go to the Amish store for oatmeal for granola. While in Ohio visiting the Amish area, I did buy some sliced almonds considerably cheaper than here. Actually most of their prices were considerably cheaper than here. I came home with some souvenirs (food related) and stashed some more for stocking stuffers for the holidays. I bought a couple pounds of Swiss cheese and some goat cheese packages (small) for my grand-daughter.) The Swiss is delicious--we ate cheese and crackers in the hotel in the evenings, along with some baked goods. I can use the Swiss in quiche also--my favorite use for it. I would like some pork spare ribs but only if on sale---just got another large boneless pork loin and cut it into small roasts for the two of us. SO spare ribs would be nice but not essential. The pork loin was $1.69 a lb as it was the last time I bought it. I'll keep eating it at that price--it's very good. Some inexpensive seafood would be great although there may be no such thing these days. If I get to Sam's Club, I will look for it there also. Those are my major needs at the moment. Our best stock up sales seem to come after the kids go back to school--which is next Wednesday. I'll be checking the ads every week.

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood September 01, 2017

    I hope things look up financially for you, Brandy. I hope your family appreciates just how hard you work to provide a beautiful, loving, and nurturing home. #inspirational #blessed r. I plan to buy:
    - 10 lbs of beets when they go on sale for a few dollars, and will make pickled beets and beet hummus (a touch of balsamic makes it heavenly)
    - 10 lbs of carrots when they go on sale for a few dollars, to blanch and freeze and also to use fresh
    - 10 lbs of onions when they go on sale for a few dollars (there's a theme here!), to chop up and freeze. I like to freeze them already chopped, as then I can just chip off the amount I need for a recipe whenever I need some over the next 6 months or so.
    - a box of tomatoes for $6 and change. I think I would like to try canning my own tomato sauce this year. I still need to do some research on canning tomatoes because of acidity levels and such, but worst case scenario, I'll just dehydrate tomato slices for healthy chips, or faux sundried tomatoes, or simply freeze the sauce. Plus lots on top of salads and such.
    - apples, when on sale. I want to can some applesauce this year. So easy and yummy. Plus, I want to make some more apple butter.
    - pears and peaches, when on sale, as I want to can some pears, as well as pear butter.
    - a few cases of canning jars, when on sale (I find Canadian tire or Walmart often has the cheapest) to can all this produce into.
    - lettuce, as I eat salad most days and I STILL have not been able to grow lettuce on my balcony. However, my swiss chard is growing, so I might just use some of that for salads.
    - potatoes, if they go on sale for super-cheap. If so, I'll make oven-baked fries often.
    - lactose-free milk for cereal. I have enough regular milk to make enough yoghurt for the next 4-8 weeks (as it becomes essentially lactose free the longer the yoghurt cultures), but will need lactose-free milk.
    - baking supplies like dried cranberries, pepitas/pumpkin seeds, and shredded coconut, when I see a sale at our local bulk store. Also ground psyllium husk. They'll go on sale at the end of September most likely, just in time for (Canadian) Thanksgiving. Well, not the psyllium, but I'll use a $3 off $10 coupon to reduce the price of that.
    - I plan to do A LOT of baking this month, and will likely go through most of my (still pretty big) supply, so if I see a sale on flour, I'll buy a 10 kg bag, so that I'll be set for a few months.
    - butter, if I see it on sale. I don't like to pay more than $3/brick (Canadian), but haven't seen that for a while. When I see it, I'll fill up my freezer and overflow into my fridge. I'm hoping to see it closer to Thanksgiving.
    - sugar and icing sugar, during the lead up to Thanksgiving
    - eggs. I never see sales on this as I only buy cage-free, so I just try to use them sparingly in my baking.

    I think that's it. I'm fully stocked on peanut butter, as I bought something like 6 jars when it was on sale recently, which brings my total stash up to 8 jars or so. I will eat that all over the next 6 months. The DH doesn't eat peanut butter unless it's baked into cookies. Speaking of which, some of that pb will be baked into cookies.

    I'll have to do some rearranging of my underbed storage to fit in all my planned canning, but I already have some underbed storage units that my mom gave me when she was cleaning out a couple of years ago, so it's just a matter of rearranging some things and convince the DH to toss some other things.

    It'll be a fun month!

  • J September 02, 2017

    Margaret - if you are looking to make a pasta sauce for canning I highly recommend this recipe:

    It is our favourite!!

    Canning tomatoes is not hard (especially if you have a food mill) - the only thing I have found is that I have sensitive skin so if I am doing huge amounts of tomatoes I start to get a rash from all the acidity.
    Good luck :)

  • Juls Owings September 02, 2017

    Mom used to rub petroleum jelly on her arms and hands before doing tomatoes...I don't know if this would help you .

  • J September 02, 2017

    Thanks for the tip!!

  • Margaret @ApproachingFood September 02, 2017

    That recipe looks FANTASTIC, J! Thanks! I think I have enough herbs in my herb garden to do that (perhaps a little low on, basil, but whatever, I've got a lot more of oregano, so it'll work out). This will be the perfect recipe to use the box of tomatoes and make use of my garden produce. Thanks, J!

  • Lisa in Georgia, USA September 02, 2017

    I wear disposable nonlatex gloves when I work for extended times with food that might stain or irritate my skin, such as grating zucchini, and cutting up pumpkin. I also use them when I remove skin from whole chickens and turkey breasts. I buy the HDX vinyl ones from Home Depot that come in a 100 count box.

  • J September 02, 2017

    That's a good idea. I actually have these on hand so I will try this for sure.

  • Mable September 02, 2017

    I make this recipe but I don't bother peeling or chopping. I cook it and then when the tomatoes get soft I use an immersion blender to break up the tomatoes. It is faster, easier and saves getting that acidic rash that sometimes comes with handling a lot of tomatoes.

  • Rhonda A. September 02, 2017

    Thanks for the recipe link, J. I've pinned it to my canning & preserving Pinterest board. Love how simple the recipe is. I'm sure dried herbs could also be substituted to taste as well.

  • Karen in NE Ohio September 01, 2017

    Our pantry and long term food storage is pretty well stocked. I have also been canning quite a bit of garden produce to add to it. We were also unexpectedly given a bushel basket of pears and some plums. It added a lot of work at a busy time but went to work preserving it and was very thankful for it.

    We are planning a trip to the Cannery to restock a few items.

    Watching for sales on butter, laundry soap and cane sugar and will purchase these if the price is right.

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