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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


  • Jenna October 04, 2017


    Also if you don't have time to make soup from scratch try bear creek soups and just add . If you don't find time to make muffins from scratch try discounted cake mixes but make mini muffins and they go farther.

  • Shirley October 04, 2017

    It's so interesting to read your monthly shopping list, as I am just now trying to incorporate the stocking up method.
    Since there is no meat listed, is that already in your freezer? I have read your menus, but it would be very interesting to see a week's menus and point out the stockpile items and how long ago (roughly) you purchased them. Also, do you plan your meals a week in advance? Any advice is very appreciated. Love your blog!

  • Yes, I have some meat in the freezer. I don't remember when I bought all of it but you could find it by looking back at my shopping plans. I don't eat meat every day.

    I don't plan my meals a week in advance. I found that didn't work for me. I plan based on what I have on hand and how much time. I can plan something for dinner and it has to get changed because of how the day goes.
    This week we've had some black bean enchiladas, oatmeal, omelets, homemade pizza, homemade macaroni and cheese with peas on the side, and potato pancakes.

    I'm going to cook some white beans in the crockpot today (it's too windy to use the solar oven). That will be for tomorrow. I still need to figure out stuff for today. We'll have a soup for dinner with black beans and corn bread. I haven't decided on lunch

  • Shirley October 04, 2017

    Thank you for answering, Brandy. I can see how those meals could be made from storage. I'm going to try several of those plus your black bean burgers.

  • LynnDinKY October 06, 2017

    do you ever cook and put a meal in the freezer for later?

  • I don't. If I want to make a recipe for my family, it is already huge (making pancakes mean quadrupling the recipe, for instance). So it's a lot to do another meal for the family. I do try to plan for leftovers whenever possible. Usually, that means an extra-large pot of soup. We have leftovers quite often. When we baked potatoes earlier this week, we baked 20 pounds at once in order to have leftovers for another meal. My freezers have garden produce and meat.

  • tina October 04, 2017

    I'm going to try to stay out of the store as much as possible.

    I am buying about 25# of apples for .50/# next weekend (farmer group buy and an amazing deal for our area)

    I will need additional fresh produce as well. I may be making a trip to winco as they seem to have the best produce prices in our area

  • Maxine October 04, 2017

    Well, here is the big news: After 6-8 months of eating down the freezer and pantry, I will be able to move what is left in the freezer to the freezer on top of our fridge at the vacation home. We are living there until June, when our new house is finished. The exception is a whole turkey, which I will roast for Thanksgiving and will move later. I shouldn't be so happy about having to buy meat again, but I'm thrilled to empty out the freezer. I will probably have enough meat to last 3-4 more weeks (there are only 3 of us and we are not big meat-eaters). The pantry is already a hard-tack show, as the loggers used to say. Nothing much left there, either, and none of it interesting.

    I can't say what I will be buying in future weeks, but these are the specials I'll be picking up today or tomorrow at Super One: grapes, .98; Progresso clam chowder, .99; turkey pastrami, $3.98; deli turkey breast, $3.98; butternut squash, .68 lb.; Big Buy bacon, 2/$4. The deli meats are something I rarely buy, but $4 lb. is my price point and my dinners won't leave much for lunches the next day. Ditto the clam chowder. Big Buy is what my dad would have called "scrappy bacon"; I can usually pull out enough slices for a meal and dice the rest for cooking. Milk is under $2 gallon here and I will buy a gallon, as well as eggs. I have been topping up like this for $30-$40 a week for a couple of months now, and we eat well.

  • J October 04, 2017

    Glad that you are able to stock up at some good prices Brandy.

    This week I picked up butter for 2.88/lb which is as cheap as it gets here. Like all the other Canadian commenters, I will be watching flyers this week for sale prices on: butter (again), eggs, frozen vegetables, maybe Stove Top stuffing. It was. 77/box at Walmart last week but I couldn't get any.

    I am almost out of diapers as well.

    We are very tight for money for the next two months (my mat leave is ending) so I will be focusing on using up our well stocked freezer and pantry.

  • Mary October 04, 2017

    Hi all! We have a big college bill to pay the end of the month, which I have set aside so we do not spend it. Then the next payment is in Jan so I’m putting $ away for that - also I’m praying my daughter gets a scholarship she applied for.
    So, I’m only buying great price items on things we need. Butter is on sale 2.50, pears .99 lb & grapes .77 lb at Frys so I’ll be buying that in next few days.
    Our daughter will be home for fall break this weekend so I have some cvs extra bucks, gift card and coupons for her to get what she needs.
    Albertsons is having a good sale on things we need so I’ll go over with my husband since a lot is for him to take to work.
    I only need right now brown sugar, decaf coffee and yogurt.

  • Roxie October 04, 2017

    I know this may be a silly question, but what do you do with 'red raspberry leaves'

    Thanks for the answer

  • Roxie, see my response to Barbara. I answered there.

  • Juls Owings October 04, 2017

    October buy... I have my complete need to stock list but we highlighted what we felt we had to have and then AFTER we have that we will choose what else to get depending on time and money. 8 weeks and 1 day to retirement and no income for 4-8 wks.

    Sam's Club (? means sometimes they have it and sometimes they don't...depends on which club we go to)
    POM toilet paper at least 2
    large bottle of olive oil
    25 lbs of flour
    50 lbs of sugar
    ?dark brown sugar?
    facial tissue
    4 boxes of the clear frying oil (35 lbs each) ... used to deep fry turkeys at Tday and Christmas dinner and then be my oil supply for until next year. Used oil is given to a friend that uses it to heat his garage. He does metal work and in return of us giving him the oil he will fix things for us for materials only.
    Printer paper
    ?Bayer back and body ?
    ?? non stick foil, reg foil, long foil, press and seal wrap, toothpicks??
    rice wine vinegar
    soy sauce
    Reece peices
    almonds slice, slivered and whole
    Vanilla beans
    vanilla bean paste
    cream of tartar
    cream cheese
    peanut butter

    Krogers/Walmart/Dollar General/Aldi's
    Anything not got at Sam's
    kraut in a jar.
    dried beef in a jar (has to be stored in pantry)
    cranberry whole berry sauce (12 at least if not 24)
    Horseradish cream sauce

  • Marcia R. October 04, 2017

    My only needs for the month are fresh beets and butternut squash. I like to freeze some of each at harvest time as they are much more expensive later. ($3.50 for 3 beets??) The squash is $11 a half bushel, which will last me all winter. Beets have not been priced yet as the stand near us doesn't have them in quantity, and I'd want an 8 qt basket at least. Will check the fresh produce market next time I go past it. I planted some beets in my fall garden--according to the packet they should be ready now but they are not. I will cover them if necessary in the next month if the nights are too cold, and I will put more Miracle Gro on them also. It always takes all summer to grow 60 day beets here but I didn't plant in May or June because it was too wet. They are growing well but I don't see many making beets yet!

    I will pick up any bargains I see throughout the month but have no particular needs except as noted. Usually Sept-Dec are good sales in this area but have seen nothing great lately. Would like beef on sale especially but it isn't! Choc chips (Nestle's) are $1.88 with coupon this week (limit 1) but I promised those to my DD as I have several packages in the freezer already. She needs them. Scotties tissues (250 ct) on sale this week at 3/$5. That is 60 some cents per 100 and my best price. I will buy 3 or 6 depending on what else i see to spend on. 3# bags of apples are BOGO--I will buy even though I bought a bag last week at 99 cents/lb. We use a lot of apples.

  • Patty from the NW October 04, 2017

    Good Afternoon Brandy,
    So happy for you to be able to spend more for stocking up on supplies. This is such a blessing for you and the family. I have learned from you the savings when I buy in bulk and spending less on our meals. Last week I saved money from our garden harvest and was thankful to make minestrone soup ( about $1.50 and stir fry veggies/rice and salad for about $.50 each meal ) Now that I am retired from nursing, your frugal teaching has been such a blessing in so many ways.
    This month we are spending more as well for storage. We are preparing for the Winter Season here where it gets cold and rainy for days and days. With my arthritis, I try not to venture out too much (other than a couple of bible women's study's/week) and try to stay at home to keep my joints warm. With starting some sewing and knitting projects this will help and I do not like to grocery shop much during the rainy winter months. The cold and wet just affects my joints terribly.
    I usually buy in bulk about 3 times a year at about $250.00 for my husband and me. ~ which also gives extra food for when family come to visit for dinners. October I plan to spend about $350.00 for most bulk foods to last about 6 months. Items such as canned tomatoes , sauce, beans, corn, frozen vegetables ( which ususally lasts us about 3 months) , TP tortillas ( I freeze in 12/pkg ) freezer bags, cheeses, olive oil, vinegar. I then buy meats on sale in bulk at local stores and freeze in portions to try and last 6 months. This week I purchased organic fed chuck roast at 2.99/lb ( normally 5.99/lb) and I bought 4 very large roasts. Today I will section them for stew meats and pot roasts. For the two of us, we should have enough for 6 months at a couple of beef meals/month. I will buy whole chickens and chicken breasts and ground turkey when they go on sale. I do have to buy lettuce every other week for now. In November I will buy and store several turkeys, potatoes, acorn squash, cranberries, canned pumpkin which I learned from you :) . I did this last year with success in stretching our meals from holiday sales for about 9 months. Then my monthly budget will be $80.00/month for the 2 of us to replenish needs. My high cost months from last year have been October, November and April for storage needs.
    My tiny garden is still producing some veggies such as squash, tomatoes, green onions, green beans and lots of kale. I am thankful. I have planted seeds for turnips, chard, more green beans , beets and lettuce to see if they will grown for late Fall harvest~ it is my first time at trying this. I do have a baby hubbard squash and several flowers so I am excited and the bees are still here in my garden :)
    We enjoyed a weekend getaway camping on the Oregon Coast. The cost was minimal. We stayed at a KOA campground even though its was just the 2 of us and our children are grown. I love the family environment at KOA's. At the campground, ee enjoyed a game of miniature golf and a movie night, and we even played a game of pool ~ all for free. The next day we drove to Cannon beach ( so beautiful) and had a nice walk around the pretty shops and on the beach to see the ocean. We brought our sweet little rescue dog Tino with us for the weekend. I picked up some beautiful yarn at a store there for $5.00 called " Queensland Collection ULURU color UL-17. Beautiful multicolor. 1 skein will make a shawl to remember this fun trip. It's been many years since I have knitted ~ hope I can do it :) I have knitting instruction books here and a good friend that will help me if I need her. On our last day ( 3rd day) on our way home we stopped in Astoria and climbed the Astoria Column Tower ( 164 steps) The view was amazing from the top. We had a wonderful weekend and spent very little as I brought food from home for our meals to cook on our camp stove.
    The weather here has been great! We had some rain last week, and this week lows in the 40's and highs from 60-70 with sun for this week. This has been a very good year fot the sun here in the NW. We usually have so many overcast and drizzly days during the year. We will take advantage of the nice weather this weekend and finish clean up in our yard then attend a fun afternoon at a local Farm on Saturday. Our friend has bees and has fresh honey which I will buy. She also makes candles and soap as well. This is about it~
    Have a very blessed week
    Patty from the NW

  • Becky October 04, 2017

    Like a dog with a bone, I am still after butter at a $2/lb price. I'm not finding it right now. I think I will go to Costco and buy the 4-pack for around $11.50 (last time I checked), and keep looking. When a holiday price finally comes around, I will buy a lot.

    I was able to work extra in August, enabling me to really stock up in September after I got paid. We did a Costco run and got things like chocolate chips, toilet paper, and more. I went to several stores, getting the best deals and things on sale, such as 99c/4-lb sugars, lots of inexpensive dairy like milk for $2/gallon, 99c cottage cheese, and so on. I stocked up some gluten-free items, using coupons, ranging from $1/off the package/box to a free package of Schar, gf ciabatta buns. I went to Bob's Red Mill, getting 1-1 flour for much cheaper than around here ($1 lb off) (only a deal because I was in the area--too far to save money from my house on a special trip.) My income is small, since I work part time, but even a couple hundred dollars extra makes a significant difference to us. Since a lot of things ran out--everything from razors to dish soap to vitamins and much, much more---I was delighted to fill things up again.

    I was anticipating a very lean month in October, but we are going to be just fine, and not have to dip into savings. (I have an envelope with a small amount of saved money for months like this, as our income varies quite a bit. Many months, I put $ in, even if just a few dollars, and then it's there when I need it) Property taxes are due in November, so we need a little more for that and there are a couple of those extra bills, such as registering vehicles, to pay. There is even enough for a small Costco trip and $50/week in groceries. Because it took until November last year for the school district to process the fact that my husband gets the extra time each day for riding a bus with a student, we were expecting that he would not get paid for those hours until November, and that is what happened again. So, a smaller paycheck this month, and then we will get a larger paycheck in November, so that's something nice to look forward to. Then it will even out. What made the difference is the fact that we ended up doing about 15 extra hours this past weekend (we did it together, so that was nice) and so will get a bigger paycheck than anticipated in mid-October. Like I said, even that little bit makes a huge difference to us, hence the small Costco trip added to the $50/week we had first set as a good budget.

    I will get garbage bags, butter, parmesan cheese, pan spray for sure, and pistachios and yogurt if the money holds out. That will be determined after we actually pay all the bills including those accounts for taxes, etc.--we will then know exactly what we can afford to spend there as bills vary a bit from month to month. Of course, I can always find any amount of items there that sound good and we would love to eat.....:) A good plan is best, before I go in:) I will just go to the stores around me, such as Winco, Fred Meyers, and Grocery Outlet and get whatever they have on sale (that I am running low on) up to the $50/week. It will probably be milk, maybe eggs, and perhaps produce by the end of the month. It will for sure go for a great deal if I find it on something I like to stock up on (butter comes to mind). When I get to the last of an often-used item, I just write it down on a list--already I have gluten free sweet rice flour on the list--we got into the last bit today.

    I will use the bits and pieces from the garden first, but will probably start buying a bit of produce as it's getting less productive. I will also start really planning the canned and frozen fruits and veggies into the menu plans as the garden disappears. Also, my husband got slightly dented, non-labeled cans of pickled beets and corn and pumpkin for 10-20c/can, depending on the size, and we will start eating them.

    I find that being aware is one of the best ways to save money. It's easy to get busy and just let things drift a bit, and spend more than I wish. Planning it out ahead of time helps stop that bleed. Also, for me, putting it in an envelope and using cash helps me visualize what I've spent and what's left. I often can end up with money left over in those envelopes during months like this where I just stocked up, if I'm diligent. It is work, though, and takes lots of planning. I'm looking forward to not being in the stores so much. I spend less, and it takes less time. Still, it was worth the savings to me to go to multiple locations last month, to get the best deals on what I ran out of. I even remembered to get my Friday Freebies a few times, and set them aside for Christmas (the gum and coffee drink).

  • Debby in Kansas October 04, 2017

    Becky, I'm the same way with the butter. I have 4 lbs. left from last year so I have some time to hold out!! We went without roast for 2 yrs. because I was holding out for the $1.99 lb. price. I finally had to give up and switch my price point to $2.99. I found that price at Sprouts a couple of weeks ago and bought 3. I divided those into 4 pcs. each and they'll last a LONG time. I rarely make a meat-feast roast lol, but use it to dice up in soup, or some small pieces.

    My main watch now is for butter, canned vegetable deals, canned beans, pasta, canned tomatoes, & stuff to fill all my empty under-the-bed boxes!! As for regular stuff, we need fresh fruit the most. I saw in today's ad that Aldi has some good prices on bagged apples, and pears, I think. I l'l buy a few of those.

    I've also heard from online Australian friends that the flu was bad this year. That was echoed in a newspaper article I read yesterday about flu shots. My husband got his at work and I'll get mine in the next 2 weeks. I got the flu back in about 1990. I ended up losing part of the hearing in my left ear and ended up with pneumonia. I was off work for 2 wks. & had huge med bills. That was tough as I was on my own. My husband and I both ended up with pneumonia (not from the flu) in January of this year and I'm so grateful I was prepared at home. We had plenty of canned soup and freezer soup, applesauce, bread, & eggs!! That was about all we could handle, but it was easy. When I was alone, I wasn't prepared at all and boy, did I learn my lesson! So, I now spend Oct. & Nov. stocking up for colds and other respiratory beasties. I buy tissue, saline sprays, cough drops, VapoRub, Throat Coat tea, Nyquil, & stuff like that. I also make sure to have the stuff to make disinfectant sprays and wipes so I can take care of the germs.

  • Marybeth October 04, 2017

    I got 6 lbs of mozzarella at $1.49 a pound today. Also 4 bags of flour for the same price. I'll probably get another 50lbs of potatoes when we go apple picking again as well as apples. I also am looking for butter. Down to my last 2 pounds. I saw chicken breasts are on sale next week for $1.69 lb so I will stock up on those. I'm not desperate on anything but getting close with the butter.

  • PJGT October 04, 2017

    I am still on a low to no spend. I asked my MIL to pick up some items for us that we desperately need from Sam's club and have saved out some money to pay for it. Other than that, we continue to work to catch-up. I absolutely dislike living paycheck to paycheck, but the savings are gone as is the emergency fund. Fortunately, I now have a great job with benefits and we can start to rebuild! I still have a well stocked pantry, and, for that, I am so thankful!

    Realizing that being prudent has buffered the effects of this long financial dry spell and series of medical issues, I'm not about to head off spending wildly! Still have medical bills to pay and than some unfortunate student loans, but we have weathered the storm! Every penny counts!

    This community is such a blessing! Thanks everyone

  • Juls Owings October 05, 2017

    I feel for you PJGT..been there and done that to the point the kids even though they had their own families was helping with keeping food on the table and heat in the home. Until I started reading this blog and all of the comments I worried we would end back up there with retirement.
    Blessed Be

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