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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


  • Sheri September 01, 2017

    We finally had a chance to visit a Winco this summer when on vacation in Oregon. Wow! We see why you like that grocery store!

  • Evelyn Edgett September 01, 2017

    I love Winco, but the closest store is over an hour away. We have to wait until we are going to be in that area for other things, then we hit Winco, Sams, Aldis, Kroger, Target, Sprouts, two other whole food grocery stores, and Mardels Christian Book Store. It becomes a major shopping adventure!

  • Darcy September 01, 2017

    October's income will be lower than usual so this month we will be stocking up as much as possible.

    I will be making sure that we have enough food to get us through October without doing any grocery shopping besides fresh items.


    Canned tomatoes. I will probably buy a case of the large 28-ounce cans for 79 cents each. We use these for our spaghetti sauce. I will also buy a few tomato sauces for 29 cents each and diced tomatoes for 59 cents each.

    Butter. I am hoping as we get closer to the holidays the cost of butter will go down. Right now it is $2.99 a pound which is what it has stayed at for a few months now. I will buy enough to get us through October.

    Coffee. The large can is $5.99 so I will buy two.

    Milk. I make my yogurt from it so I will need a least a gallon every two weeks.

    Toilet paper.

    Oats. These will be used for our breakfasts most mornings with ground flaxseed, fruit from the freezer, and stevia from my garden.

    One of our Aldi stores will be closed for remodeling so they have issued coupons for 5 dollars off a 30 dollar purchase for each week in the month of September. I will be taking advantage of that. Rarely does Aldi offer coupons. This will give me an opportunity to stretch my dollars.

    Food 4 Less:

    Brown Rice, natural peanut butter, and whole wheat flour. The prices on these items are the lowest in our area at this store.

    I will be on the look-out for seasonal items like apples. Our local Jewel store often has great prices on produce. We always check their marked-down section in the meat department too.

  • Holly September 01, 2017

    Darey, How do you use the Stevia from your garden?

  • Steph. September 01, 2017

    Holly, I pick the stevia leaves and cut them up and add to iced tea (along with mint that I grow). I make a concentrate by steeping 2 tea bags, then add water, ice, a frozen ice cube of lemon juice from our tree and the stevia and mint and let that sit. This has become my favorite summer drink!

  • Darcy September 01, 2017

    This is the first year I grew it. It is very sweet right off the plant. My granddaughters loved picking it and eating it. I, too, just pick the leaves and add them to my drinks. I also dried the leaves by leaving them out on the counter for a couple of days and when they were real crispy, I put them in my coffee grinder until it was a fine powder. I put the powder in my cupboard and use it for all kinds of things. All it took was 1/2 teaspoon this morning to sweeten a dozen muffins. I love adding it to my plain yogurt and fruit.

  • Jenny September 01, 2017

    Wow, I'm going to look at adding stevia to my garden. Super impressed

  • Jean September 04, 2017

    I cut mine in the fall after the first frost. I take the plants and hang them upside down and place them in a paper bag and leave them for several weeks till they are very crumbly. Then I take them and strip the leaves and blend them in my mixer till powdery. They will be a lovely green color. I have a dozen plants and want to have enough to last several years. The powdered mix lasts for years and is a good thing to have stocked up for long term insurance in case of emergencies.

  • Lisa September 04, 2017

    I always stock up on butter when it is on sale, too. I just looked in my garage refrigerator. I have 4 lbs left from my last stock up--that was during the holidays last year!

  • How Mama Saves September 01, 2017

    Since there will be some great Labor Day sales on meat in my area, I plan to buy the best deals I find within my budget! Having extra meat that I buy when it's at its cheapest, is one of the main ways I save on my grocery bill, outside of making our meals from scratch.

    I will also be on the lookout for summer clearance items, since it stays warm here in the South for most of the year, they will often clearance items that although they're considered summer items, they can still be used throughout the Fall and early Winter.

    ~Hope you and your family have a wonderful day and weekend!~

  • Rhonda A. September 01, 2017

    Your ability to feed your family healthy food on such a tight budget always impresses me, Brandy. That is not an easy feat with such a large family. I hope your income improves to a more comfortable level soon. By the way, that was so kind of someone to send you coupons for free chicken. What a blessing this month!

    This month I will be watching for fall produce to go on sale at rock bottom prices. Usually around September/October the stores have a huge sale on 10lb or 20lb bags of carrots for $2-$3 a bag. When this sale happens, I plan to buy around 20-40lbs to prepare, blanch and freeze for use in the winter. Along with the broccoli, green & yellow/waxed beans and corn we've already frozen, this should take us nicely through the winter for veggies.

    Apples are also coming on now. At some point, we will take a trip to get a bushel or two of "C"-grade apples from the farm stand near Brighton, ON (about a 45min trip for us, but we often stop at my grandparents graves to pick up the floral displays we put out in the spring). As per our tradition, we will process them into unbaked apple pies and apple crisp for the freezer and canned applesauce for the pantry. Depending on when we go, we may also pick up a pumpkin for Halloween and will look to see if there is anything else we might like to purchase while there (like some other squash if at a good price). Along with the pineapple, peaches and the sad looking plum mush I canned already, a few jars of canned pears from last year and the frozen berries that I will mostly process into jam, this should keep us going for fruit this winter. Of course, I often buy fresh seasonal fruit in the winter, like fresh apples, bananas, and oranges according to sales. The canned goods just allow us some variety to our diet.

    Now that the summer season is pretty much done, my plan is to work on restocking our meat supply as well. It's OK at the moment, but is slowly getting lower. So I will watch for sales on items we like to eat and replenish our freezer accordingly. Other than that, I will watch the flyers for great deals that would make good additions to our pantry. I'm feeling pretty good with where we are right now, though! :D

  • Cindy in the South September 01, 2017

    I am not sure if I will stock up much this month. I am trying to figure out what I need to do to retire seven months before I turn 62. Exactly four years from today (September 1st) is my retirement goal date. I am not really sure I can pull it off. I want to go on a mission after I retire also. However, it may end up being a local service mission, or a family history type service mission, that I can do from home. I just do not think I can have my house paid off by Sept 1, 2021, and money saved to go on a mission elsewhere. I think I could serve a mission in place, if I stayed at home. These long range goals affect how much I will spend on food and other things for the next four years. Also, the health of one of my children, and their medical bills will affect my retirement/mission/stocking up on food goals. I have started incorporating beans even more in my diet and I thank you kindly, Brandy, for your posts on 40 cents a day meals, and on the eating beans every day post. I have certainly incorporated soup more into my meals also. I do think I will go to Aldi, if I am up visiting my children this weekend, and perhaps pick up peanut butter for less than $2.00 a jar, mayo (for $1.69), and maybe chicken from our local Piggly Wiggly. I have used up all of my canned pumpkin, but will wait until it goes on sale, hopefully, after Thanksgiving.

  • Loyda September 01, 2017


    Join the FB page Retirement planning for women! Great place to share and learn !

  • Emily September 02, 2017

    Loyda, can you post the link? I can't find the page. Thanks!

  • Juls Owings September 02, 2017

    Cindy in the South , best advice I got from everyone when we started focusing on retirement was WRITE it out. It will help you stay focus and know what you need to adjust for as you go. Hubby had planned for 67, then 65 then 62 until this year when they cut his pension by $30000 (thank you IRS crap) so he is coming out in Dec. at 59 ...

  • Lisa September 04, 2017

    59 sounds even better! I hope to retire at 59 at the latest or perhaps at least work part time.

  • Lisa September 04, 2017

    Hi Cindy
    My husband I looked at our finances last night and we are formulating a plan for getting all of our debts paid off (including our home) well before retirement age. It doesn't seem possible to pay off our house as quickly as we hoped, but we will get intense and see how we do. Our house is really too large so we will likely down-size and move to a less-expensive house. In the meantime, we will continue to pay down the mortgage.

  • Cindy in the South September 01, 2017

    I forgot to add, that potatoes are very expensive here, at the moment, or at least they were last week. I am going to check the prices this weekend, and see if they have come down to a reasonable level around here, and are comparable to your prices.

  • TerriC September 01, 2017

    Yes, we never see those 10c a pound deals some mention in my section of the South but then we have awesome deals on Florida produce most of the year so that does help balance things out. We average between 40c-75c a pound here...

  • Brandy @ The Prudent Homemaker September 02, 2017

    Potatoes are more expensive east of the Mississippi, probably due to transportation costs. It's early to see good prices for fall deals, but maybe towards the end of the month they'll have some new harvests. November is usually when I see the best deals.

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