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October's Grocery Shopping Plans

Autumn Pears The Prudent Homemaker

Hooray for a sale! I'm happy to be able to do some stocking up this month. I've had a chance to organize what we have and really evaluate what we need, which is quite a lot. 

Consequently, I'll be spending a lot more this month than usual ($500) but many items I buy will last us for many months.

I have already gone to Winco, Target, and Sam's Club, and I'll make my online purchase this week as well. Then I won't head back to the store until the last week of the month for a second trip to Winco. Staying out of the store reduces the temptation to buy things that aren't on the list, and I'll have more time at home to get things accomplished.


Winco: ($82.39)


potatoes (20 pounds)

onions (50 pounds)

Great Northern beans 

brown sugar (only because I forgot to buy it at Sam's Club; it is 6 cents more per ounce at Winco; I bought 6.28 pounds)


spreadable margarine (2)

milk (3 gallons)


sour cream (10)

parmesan cheese (I plan on making and freezing a simple pesto with cheese, olive oil, and basil from the garden. I bought 5 containers of the shelf-stable store brand for this.)

La Victoria salsa (2)

corn tortillas



I'll go back the last week of the month for the following: (approx. $44)

Halloween Candy (their lowest-priced bulk candy, on sale the last week of the month, always ends up being lower than I can get on anything else even with a sale and a coupon. I'll buy extra of a few kinds to use for Christmas stockings.)


potatoes (30 pounds)




Sam's Club: ($159.57)


POM toilet paper  (3 boxes)

ketchup (1 114 oz. container)

vegetable oil (2 3-quart bottles)

vinegar (2-gallon package)

tomato sauce (3 #10 cans)

flour tortillas

mozzarella cheese (10 pounds)


1 box  (of 4 boxes) of gallon-sized  Ziploc freezer bags

1 box  (of 4 boxes) of quart-sized Ziploc freezer bags



Target: ( $166.93, and I got a $20 gift card and a $5 gift card to use next month. If you don't get the ads-and I don't--you can download the Target app, click the barcode symbol at the bottom, and there are two coupons for gift cards that come up. One is a $25 gift card when you spend $100 on baby items, and the second is a $5 gift card when you spend $20 on beauty items. Both are good through Saturday the 7th.)


Salon Graphix Unscented hairspray (4)

borax (4 boxes)

bleach (the store brand)

Neutrogena acne toner

Up and Up diapers ( I bought 5 boxes of size 4 diapers, which should last me 6 months.)


San Fransisco Herb Company: ($47.47 including shipping) 


red raspberry leaves

lemon verbena 

poppy seeds

cocoa powder


The garden is producing lots of basil, some oregano, a bit of chard, and I still have a few lingering pears that we are slowly harvesting.  There isn't much ripe now, but I hope that come December we'll have quite a bit to harvest. The weather is cooling a bit and the tomato plants have started to flower again. I'm planting my fall garden this month.


What are you stocking up on this month?

Canadian readers, please share your Thanksgiving deals!

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Tagged in: Grocery Shopping


  • Juls Owings October 09, 2017

    I drive 60 miles to Sam's and 90 miles to Jungle Jim's for specialty items. It helps if I know a friend is going down to see her son or if he is coming up as he lives 10 miles from Jungle Jim's. I just add the cost of wear and tear and gas on the grocery bill to make sure that the trip is worth it.

  • Jo October 05, 2017

    Sorry, I meant to add, how do you folks who buy huge bags of potatoes and onions keep them? It's all I can do to keep them from sprouting and molding before I go through five or ten pounds, even in the refrigerator. I live in a hot, humid area, so I may not be able to keep a large bag, but I'd like to hear ideas from those who can keep them, in case the ideas could work for me.

  • Juls Owings October 05, 2017

    potatoes store best in 45-60° with humidity at 85- 95 percent. Your potatoes might not be cured enough ( if the skins are thin this is part of the issue, if so store them so they are NOT touching for about 2 wks). They NEED dark, but not wet area and air flow so don't store in a huge pile. I use milk crates and wood crates for this , netting or paper bags with holes in it works good also. Do not store directly on floor especially concrete/brick. Keep sprouts broke off. If you get potatoes at the beginning of the growing season they will sprout sooner than those harvested at the end of the season.

    onions DO NOT STORE with potatoes with long term storage. DO NOT REFRIGERATE as they will become soft and do not keep in plastic bags or they sprout. I keep my onions at 32-40° with low humidity in panty hose that I cut in half . I tie a knot between each onion to keep them separate (just like apples one will rot the rest) and hang them in a cool dark place. Last year was a closet in an unheated room / Dad put his in the attic/friend keeps theirs in unheated garage hanging over their car LOL, that I put a fan to prop the door open a bit and circulate the air. BUT FIRST check what type of onion you are buying as they have to be long term storage type not regular type. A sweet onion won't last as long either though I have stored sweet onions for a couple months.

    I do a weekly check of my potatoes and onions.If something is getting soft or sprouting a lot I cook them or dehydrate them asap.
    Hope this helps.

  • Athanasia October 06, 2017

    Jo, everything Juls just stated above is correct. We have a root cellar in our house so that is where we keep our potatoes, squash, pumpkins, carrots, cabbage etc. We built this root cellar when we moved in using a plan from Mother Earth News, I think it was. Our old house had a natural root cellar in it. The onions we hang outside the cellar from the eaves in nylons and mesh bags. I tie off between the onions with a string so I can reuse the nylons. Yes, do not store onions with potatoes. Also like she said, pick off sprouts. That is a real thing...we used to get sent into the root cellar to do that as children. We buy unwashed potatoes and lay them out to cure on tables for a couple weeks, same as squash, onions and pumpkins. Then just brush the dirt off. Of course if you see any with imperfections use those first.

  • Juls Owings October 09, 2017

    I also wipe my pumpkins and winter squash down with bleach water (1/2 cup to 2 gal water) and let air dry...takes some time but they keep longer for me if I do that.

  • Cindy in the South October 05, 2017

    I live in South Central Alabama so it gets very hot and humid here also, although not anything like south Florida. I take them out of the bag and separate them so they are not touching, and put them on a sheet or old towel under the bed in the coolest room in my small house, as far away from the kitchen heat as possible. I usually only buy 5 or 10 lbs, because they do tend to sprout. I am usually ok if I do this November through February. I do not buy in the summer/early fall much because they will go bad very quickly in our heat and humidity.

  • Jo October 10, 2017

    Thanks, everyone for the ideas. While I would love to but can't build a root cellar -- the water table is too high and the fire ants would invade it -- and don't have a consistently cool area in the house, even in the winter, I can try spreading my potatoes out and seeing if that helps. When we grow onions, which has to be in the winter, I hang them so that they don't touch. When I buy bagged onions, I never think to separate them, and now I wonder why I don't. This should help, thanks! I'll try under the bed, Cindy, as you do, as well. I have one room that stays shut, because it has a white bedspread and I have cats, and it is a little cooler than the rest of the house during the A/C months.

  • Holly October 05, 2017

    Here in Michigan in the fall, the gas stations sell big bags of corn, beets, apples and carrots as deer feed. Last year, the carrots, while large, looked so incredibly fresh that I thought about buying a bag as an inexpensive carrot supply for the year. I wonder if they are safe for humans to eat after being washed, peeled and cooked.

  • Cindi October 05, 2017

    Holly, I believe they are the same carrots sold for humans -- maybe larger ones. I have eaten the ones sold to feed horses, no problem!

  • Athanasia October 06, 2017

    Holly, they would be just fine. They are probably seconds and might have some imperfections.

  • mdoe37 October 07, 2017

    I've bought them numerous times and canned them. They were perfectly fine! They are just are not perfect to slide in the little bags at the store.

  • Marie October 05, 2017

    Curious to see how you guys manage to keep your potatoes to last a long time without them either being eating by critters or sprouting or just rotting? Any words of wisdom? I am in Texas so the garage does not get cold until January it seems.

  • We can easily eat 40 to 50 pounds in a week. But Juls explained it real well above in her reply.

    I plan on dehydrating at least 25 pounds of onions.

  • Juhli October 05, 2017

    Thanks to several of you for the trip down memory lane about teenage boys and their ability to consume massive amounts of food! Just 2 retirees in our house now so I only stock up to a limited amount as emergency supplies. This month though I am stocking up for our car "bug out bag" and bought 5 year shelf life water and food bars plus there will be more first aid supplies to add.

  • T October 06, 2017

    Grateful that we are no longer worried about husband losing job. It is going to hold out! My car became dangerous to drive and would have cost over 2000 dollars to fix the current issues with more problems likely to arise and the need of tires. It was becoming a money pit. So, we traded it in for a new Car. I was expecting that. But my husband wanted me in something safe. Sweet man.
    We are still in our apartment and working on building our house on his off days. Taxes are coming due by Dec. And we have to buy tags for the car. So my plans this month are to watch sales very carefully and only buy what is necessary. Plus we have a new car payment and his repair bill on his truck. Lots of bills, but we are being careful.
    I was in the hospital twice this past month. So I know bills will be coming in for this also.
    Feeling blessed with lots of peppers,tomatoes and basil. I need to process what we won't eat in the next few days. We also have aronia berries to pick.

  • So glad your husband won't be losing his job! Especially now tha you have hospital bills, which are always thousands more than you ever imagine.

  • mdoe37 October 06, 2017

    Maple Syrup....

    I skipped in to the store for one item and walked past the tiniest end cap near the back stockroom entrance. Just for giggles, I looked it over. There were several quart bottles of 100% maple syrup. I couldn't get it to scan at the price check station, so I took it up to the register. I figured I'd pick up a couple if there was a markdown as they are usually $10-12 each.

    She said, "$2"
    Me..."$2 off?"
    She..."No, $2 for the bottle."

    I walked over, got a cart and cleaned the shelf. 12 bottles with an expiration date in 2019. $2 each.

    Now I like my maple syrup....mostly I use it to make granola, but that's a lot of maple syrup. I gifted a few bottles to folks and got the best dumbstruck grin and thank you.

    I relayed my find to one of those gals and that she should look at the similar stores near her. I knew she wouldn't ...so I did check and found no more in three other stores.

    But I did nab some boxes of pudding for 39 cents (I think they changed the package), neon frosting with sprinkles 59 cents (I'll give those to the neighbor with kids), and tuna packs normally $2.89 for $1.59. Toothpaste for 59 cents (and the same stores in the area were full price?).

    I think it was a very good week!

  • momsav October 06, 2017

    mdoe , I would’ve bought them all, too! Syrup lasts a long time. Good score!

  • Athanasia October 06, 2017

    mdoe, maple syrup does not expire, not the real 100% kind in a glass bottle. You could probably put it down in your basement pantry and keep it for 100 years as long as it is sealed and unopened. There is just an expiry date on it as there has to be. As long as it is glass bottle. My husband's family makes and sells maple syrup.

  • J October 06, 2017

    That is a great price. Just an FYI - if it is pure maple syrup it can also be frozen so you don't need to worry about the expiry date.

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