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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


  • I totally forgot to check when I was there! But I will check again when I go back at the end of the month. I only bought 1 package online so I may end up buying it from Winco in the future.

  • Meredith October 07, 2017

    Thanks :) I'm not sure I would have enough to make a $30 order, but I will look around their site via your link. I bought a big container of the Dutch Process at Costco - we have a local company called Rodelle that started with vanilla extract, but has moved on to offer other spices and spice-type items. I don't mind having both on hand, but I believe some recipes that call for baking powder or baking soda (can't remember which!) need the natural cocoa for the right chemical reaction to take place for rising... If I remember correctly anyways. It doesn't work with the Dutch Process I don't think - and I don't remember anything more than that sadly! The Nestle is in a little square yellow container, they have both it, and the Hershey's which is in that brown container, at our Walmarts here in Northern Colorado. King Soopers (Kroger) used to be in a round paper can (I don't know what else to call that kind of container!) but I don't think they offer that store brand one anymore.

  • Meredith, I'm not an affiliate for them, just so you know. I am an Amazon affiliate however. Thanks for worrying that I would get credit; that's sweet of you.

  • Melissa October 04, 2017

    What do you feed your teenagers for snacks throughout the day? I don't see snack foods on your purchases? My 3 teenage sons don't put the fork down all day and all night. I can't keep anything in the house for more than a few days max. There is no such things as left overs, they will get up at midnight and finish it off, and I make plenty of food.

  • I don't buy snack foods. That is a huge budget killer and is rarely a healthy choice.

    We do not eat all throughout the day. We have three meals and one afternoon snack. You can see some of the things I make on my 4 1/2 months of menus, under the cook tab.

    I would suggest larger portions at meals, particularly of proteins, which will stave off hunger. Try an afternoon snack of hummus or a bean dip, with homemade whole wheat pita bread (also has protein and real whole wheat is very filling) and vegetables (Carrots are inexpensive and celery should go on sale soon). I know a woman who does this every afternoon for her children; they eat lots of vegetables that way each day.

    Make sure that breakfast has protein; try eggs and potatoes (potatoes have 3 grams of protein per average russet and eggs have 6). Or have oatmeal with almonds. Cold cereal will always leave them hungry, so if you're serving that, I would change for a cooked breakfast. Bean burritos for lunch or dinner are filling, full of protein, and inexpensive. Make sure that you have a good amount of fiber in each meal as well to help them feel full.

  • Juls Owings October 04, 2017

    I forgot , I used to also make bean and cheese (very little cheese ) burritos and freeze them for the kids when they snacked. Also a slice of homemade bread with butter and cinn sugar or just sugar if I was out of cinn. was common. All my kids worked from the time they were 10 outside the home at manual jobs like lawn mowing with push mower, dog walker, newspaper delivery, snow removal, leaf raking, etc.

  • Marybeth October 04, 2017

    My daughter has stomach issues and can't eat 3 large meals a day. She grazes thru out the day. My son is an active 18 year old and he would eat me out of everything if I allowed. They are allowed fruit and veggies, hummus, and hard boiled eggs any time during the day. If there are muffins or granola bars they usually munch on those also. Otherwise its 3 meals and sometimes a sweet snack.

  • Frugal Lisa October 08, 2017

    This reminds me of when my five oldest were teens. I always kept big containers of cooked pasta with sauces and big containers of beans and rice in the fridge. When the kids came home after school, sports, etc., they (and many times their friends) ate like they had not eaten in days, although I always cooked them a hearty breakfast before school, and packed a good lunch and snack. They all knew they could eat the pasta, beans and rice, and whatever fruit was in a bowl on the table. Nothing fancy, but always apreciated by all, and it fit in my budget. I used to joke that if I didn't have those items at the ready, "the locusts" would descend upon the kitchen and I'd find nothing but the kitchen cabinet door hinges on the countertop!

  • Popcorn (50 pounds is under $24 at Sam's Club) and also baked potatoes make filling, inexpensive snacks. Just cook an oven full of potatoes or have them microwave them.

  • Juls Owings October 04, 2017

    Melissa you must have either my kids (6) or grandkids (22) because they all eat all day and night. I even had one kids leave a note of the frig"Mom, I ate the last of the beef and noodles and mashed potatoes when I got off work.Love you" I wondered which kid it was because a note wasn't something they did. Older daughter looked at the handwriting and told me it was her girlfriend that stopped by after I went to bed because her dad was late getting off work to pick her up from work so she had the manager take her to our house(She had a key because she lived there basically for 2 yr prior) and he picked her up about an hour late. Popcorn, cakes without frostings, brownies, fresh fruit in season was our common snacks.

  • Marybeth October 04, 2017

    That's so funny about your daughter's friend. My son's friend walks in the house looking for homemade bread. His mother buys it at the store. THE HORROR!

  • J October 04, 2017

    Melissa, my boys aren't teenagers yet, but I do teach high school and I see boys going through crazy growth spurts and burning loads of calories in sports. My school starts at 8am and by 9:30 I see boys pulling out their lunches to eat. And then again looking for food at 11. I have a friend who just had her last if 3 boys start his second year at uni. She told me when she had all 3 boys at home working 12hr+ days landscaping, she was spending $1500.00/month on groceries. Now, I think this was probably partly not efficient shopping - but I can see how this could happen. I can only offer a few ideas from observations in over a decade of working with teens - the kids who eat high protein breakfasts were the ones who fared better in the mornings. I've had boys who would have their parents buy them chicken Breasts or roast beef - and they would cook it and use it to make various lunches throughout the week. Lunch meat is not filling (no matter how much I love bologna or mock chicken). Fruit, nuts, nut butters, hummus, bean dip -all good snacks. And vegetables or cheese. I agree with Brandy - pre-made snacks are $$$ and often sugary and not filling. Her popcorn recommendation is also great. I have been surprised (sexism, I know) by the number of boys who take a genuine interest in preparing their own food - in particular athletes and those interested in law enforcement /military. Juls burrito idea is also good. Boys eat a lot. And they're not afraid to ask for food either. I see this all the time. Whenever I have a class with lots of boys I do a food day once every few months. Bagels or pizza or a sandwich bar. It is insane how much this calms them down. Last year a largely male class organized themselves so that a different kid brought Timbits every Tuesday. Good food has a magical calming power over teenage boys. As does nap time but they don't get that with me ;)

  • J October 04, 2017

    Sorry, one more thing. Oatmeal!! If they have access to hit water or a microwave at school this is a great snack. You can make your own flavoured oatmeal packs. That is the cheapest option, but even the instant packs are quite cheap on sale, although relatively high in sodium.

  • Andrea Q October 04, 2017

    Growing teenagers who play sports or work hard are often bottomless pits, even without growth spurts! Different people have different metabolisms and I think some of it depends on what a body gets used to. We have never done the three meals-two snack routine (which is how I grew up), so my kids are used to small snacks whenever they feel hungry. Three of my five (two boys, one girl) are very active and they eat pretty much non-stop because they burn so many calories. If they go too long without eating, they get grouchy/hangry. One of my other girls get hangry and starts to feel lightheaded/nauseous if she goes to long without eating. Neither option is a pleasant experience for any of us, so we roll with the system we have.

    I have started making a crockpot full of chili just for snacks. Sometimes it is vegetarian, but often I use 1/2 pound of ground beef or turkey. I will also cook a pound of pasta and leave it in the fridge, again, just for snacks. I also keep extra tortillas on hand and they toast those with cheese or make cheese tortilla pizzas. None of them prefers a lot of cheese ($), so it works well for us. I buy yogurt in quart containers and they eat it with granola and bananas or other fruit. This winter, we'll have home-canned applesauce made from gleaned apples available, too. Another thing I buy is peanuts in the shell. They take time to open, so they don't eat nearly as many as they would if they were pre-shelled, but seemed satisfied with the option. They air pop their own popcorn, too.

    My approach to budgeting allows me to keep a significant food budget while cutting every other budget category to save money. There are months when the grocery budget takes a hit, but not in ways that the kids will notice.

  • Nancy October 04, 2017

    Thank You for sharing these list. It really helps to see how you budget. Here are a few frugal accomplishments this past week.
    . Had some leftover pie crust I needed to use so made
    Butter tarts. Pretty and inexpensive.
    . Stocking up for winter with grass fed beef $1.98 lb sale
    Potatoes $2.00 20 lbs. ...herbs from garden..large bag of flour Costco.
    . Found a nice chair at rummage sale. My husband will fix a few things on it. Nice for room.
    . Use greenery n berries from outside for decor
    . Organizing what I have provided needs I had.

  • PJGT October 04, 2017

    That's a great price on the beef! With my son's liver problem, he can only have grass fed beef.

  • Jennifer O. October 06, 2017

    Where are you getting grass fed for that price? I can't even get conventional beef for less than $4.50 lb! Grass fed is $10lb easy - even straight from the rancher.

  • Jenna October 04, 2017


    If you have a Kroger or Harris Teeter near you then you can get eggs for .67 per dozen up to four for you and four for your husband and if any of the children have id then they can buy four as well.

  • We have Smith's, which is a Kroger affiliate. I didn't get the ads yesterday but just looked and they do have a sale here, but it's $0.99 a dozen. That's as low as they go here. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jenna October 04, 2017


    When all of mine where teens I would make large pots of soup , also mini muffins and lots of popcorn . These items are cheap so the midnight meal was soup and muffins. I would buy freezer pops the kind where you can get like 200 per pkg and make lots of popcorn they new that the above items were all they were allowed after we had dinner together unless they purchased other items with the money that they had made from jobs. They always ate the soup and muffins.

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