Grocery Shopping

November’s Grocery Shopping Plans

Thanksgiving The Prudent Homemaker

November is the month of Thanksgiving in the U.S., and a lot of food sales revolve around this, starting at the beginning of the month and increasing as we get closer to the fourth Thursday of the month.

Sales tend to revolve around holiday items: turkey; stuffing (and all ingredients, including canned creamed soups, chicken broth,  mushrooms, celery, etc.); cranberry sauce (both canned as well as fresh cranberries), potatoes; yams; sweet potatoes; marshmallows; pie ingredients and toppings (canned pumpkin, pecans, brown sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk, spices, pie crusts, flour, butter, whipping cream, cream cheese); green beans (canned, frozen, and fresh) and toppings; canned corn; and frozen vegetables.

Butternut Squash Soup ingredients

Seasonal items tend to go on sale as well, including squash and apples (as well as the above-mentioned vegetables).

Sales on meat are plentiful: chicken, pork roasts, and beef roasts are usually on sale this month.

Meyer Lemons 2014 

In my garden this month, I have lemons ripening. These are about 6 weeks early this year, so I’ll be making lots of things with them, as well as putting a lot of them in the refrigerator drawers, where they will last for months. I have fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, basil, Thai basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, and several mints), Swiss chard, beet greens, grape leaves, long beans, Thai peppers, pomegranates, and green onions. I should have some alpine strawberries later this month; the cooler weather has them flowering again.

White Alpine Strawberries The Prudent Homemaker 

My lettuce is coming up. The lettuce that self-seeded earlier didn’t like our return to temperatures in the 90’s and decided to bolt. I’ve planted some 29-day varities as well as 52 days types, so I’ll be harvesting next month.

 

Unlike other months, I don’t have a plan on where I’ll be shopping. I’ll be following the sales flyers to decide the best deals.

We’ve had a change in stores in our area (a few have closed down and others have opened) in the last few years, and some have dramatically changed their policies on minimum purchases required for a discounted price on turkey. How many turkeys I buy will depend on minimum purchase requirements and the price per pound. I am also limited on freezer space this year, as we lost our garage fridge/freezer earlier this year. This will mean that I will be buying fewer turkeys.

 

Turkeys

Cranberries (I will look for sales and freeze them to can cranberry juice in December)

Whipping cream

Cream cheese

Sour cream

Eggs

Frozen sweet peas

Canned green beans (there should be coupons to combine with sales on canned goods; in years past I have been able to buy them for as low as $0.20 a can).

Canned corn

Pork roasts

Milk

Evaporated Milk (if I find a good sale and coupons on this)

Potatoes (several hundred pounds worth, if I can find a good deal and good quality; you can read how I store and use potatoes here)

Apples

Squash

Onions (I’ll be looking to buy 50 pounds if I find a great price. I’m hoping for $0.20 to $0.25 a pound. So far the lowest price I have seen is $.49 a pound).

Canned olives (these usually start going on sale in November and stay on sale for the next couple of months. I expect to see a few coupons as well) On another note: I was unable to find more than a handful of olives to pick this year, unfortunately, so I will have to wait until next year to post how I make olives.

Canned pineapple (last year these were on sale for two months)

Hot cocoa mix (sales and coupons are to be expected over the next two months)

Marshmallows

Clementines

Oranges 

Shampoo 

Orchids. You can read more in my post about orchids. My mom buys orchids for $8 each at Trader Joe’s. I’ll have her pick some up for me if she goes this month.

 

Since I’m not able to physically go to the store this month, I’ll be making lists and printing coupons, and sending my husband to pick up items.

 

 

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53 Comments

  1. I always love how detailed you are. You give so much information. It always helps me when I’m stuck at my starting point.

    Are you feeling any better? Hope so, if not feel better soon. We have missed you this week.

  2. Brandy, are you ok? Did something happen to you?

    Our sales started last week already. Everything you mentioned. The manufacturer coupons should be in the newspapers soon, maybe this Sunday.

  3. I fell on my tailbone (I posted about it on Facebook) and I cannot sit. I have to lay down. If it’s bruised, recovery is supposed to take 4 weeks, and broken, 8 to 12 weeks. The treatment for both is the same–rest, ice and not sitting. I am having to lie down. I can get up and walk a bit but I cannot sit.

  4. Hi Brandy and all from Australia :D.

    Next month will be a frugal one for us as we have just put in and received a large bulk order for dried apples, baking powder, bicarb soda, walnuts and chocolate buttons saving 50% off regular supermarket prices with another 10% off from a loyalty reward voucher that was sent to us from our previous order this month. We also stocked up our freezer with chickens and legs of lamb that were on sale so that should bring us well into the new year for meat.

    What we will be looking for on special is –

    – powdered eggs.
    – tinned champignons.
    – tinned peas.
    – large zip lock bags for freezing our garden vegetables in.
    – lemons (which I have already done a trade with a friend with seeds collected & saved from our garden that they didn’t have).

    For vegetables we are fine as we were able to blanch and freeze quite a few kilos of broad beans, silver beet, spinach beet, greenfeast peas and snow peas from the garden. What a blessing to have done this just before they all bolted and went to seed with the recent higher than usual temperature rises here. We also have a well stocked garden growing carrots, greenfeast peas, lettuce, radishes, corn, tomatoes, spring onions, basil, sage and garlic.

    Next month is an expensive month for us with our electricity, car insurance and car registrations to pay.

    Wishing everyone a frugal month ahead.

  5. Best wishes for a speedy recovery! I don’t check Facebook so was beginning to be concerned about you. Glad to hear you are mostly okay, if a bit bruised. ;(

  6. Bless your heart. So sorry to hear this. Please try to enjoy and may you have a restful and speedy recovery. I enjoy and learn from every post.

  7. Hi Brandy and so sorry to hear about your fall, I knew something had happened to you though, but unfortunately I am not on facebook so did not know :-(.

    As an ex nurse I can say that that is an extremely painful injury to have and hope you have some strong pain medications on hand to help you as you may need them.

    Years ago they used to use inflatable donuts or round cushions with holes in the centre so you could sit but not have your tail bone touching chairs etc, this may help but of course consult your doctor for his advice on this as it may be very old technology by now.

    Rest up and get better soon.

  8. I tried some inner tubes (I received some suggestions about that on Facebook as well) but it was too painful to sit that way still, so I am alternating between laying on one side and then the other. Hopefully I can progress to being able to use them when I’ve healed a bit more.

  9. Hi, Brandy. Sorry to hear about your injury! Hope you’ll be better soon!

    I’m interested in how you store potatoes in our climate as I’d love to buy some in bulk. However, I can’t seem to find the link. When I hover where you say the link is in the post, there is nothing there. Can you post in the comments? Thanks!

  10. ow, Ow, OW!!! That is a very painful injury I have learned from experience!! Rest up and feel better soon!!

    We had our turkeys butchered 2 weeks early and I had a coworker smoke one for us so we have 3 in the freezer and the smoked one is in the frig deboned and will be used for sandwiches and a meal this week. That saved us 2 more weeks of feeding them and it’s a good thing we didn’t wait as they weigh in at 16, 17 and 18 pounds!
    My hubby stopped in at the “out in the middle of nowhere” butcher shop (he had a job right near it) and took advantage of the good beef prices 2.10 a pound ground beef, 3.59 a pound roasts and he also grabbed 4 pounds of their bacon and some 1.59 smoky links. Earlier in the week he was near another store and grabbed smoked sausage links for buy 2 get 3 free (I forgot to check what the price was individually but he did the math and it was a very good deal) Since we already took advantage of the case price on chicken breast a couple weeks ago (1.25 a lb – boneless/skinless) we are now set on meat well into the new year 🙂
    I bought a 1/2 bushel of Gala apples for $8 and will be making applesauce this week.
    Pumpkins will be cheap after tonight (Halloween) so I will pick up multiples of those to cook and freeze + some will be saved whole for the poultry this winter.
    The baking items are coming up on sale at our main store next week but the prices aren’t good enough for me to buy them yet. I keep a price book so I know at which price to buy. On my list is canned milks, powdered milk, choco. chips, cocoa, nuts, oil, flour & sugars.
    Canned veggies are also on my list – green beans usually go quite low just before Thanksgiving (green bean casserole) so those are usually the best buy but I need to stock up on others as well.
    Cream soups are going to be taken off my list since I have started making my own. I will need bouillon though so hopefully I can find a good sale on the kind I buy (no msg – gives me headaches and an upset stomach)
    We are also in need of more pasta but the sales have all been at $1 a pound and I like to get it closer to .79 cents a pound so we will wait.
    Spices – I am out of some and very low on others so will have hubby stop at the Indian store to stock up on those (MUCH cheaper than the grocery store or even the restaurant supply store) -curry, turmeric, fennel, mustard seed, peppers, cinnamon sticks, cardamom and coriander. If the happen to have some of the others we use – I’ll have him get those as well.
    I also will be stocking up on real butter, margarine and whipped cream – I freeze it all. I have one more whipped cream box from last year in the freezer so I guessed pretty well on the amount I needed for a year. Butter I was off on by a long ways (we only made it 2 months!) so I am going to quadruple what I bought and see where that gets us. Margarine is new to my list – I don’t particularly like it due to how chemical laden it is, but it’s cheaper and still good for baking.

    Hope everyone has a safe and frugal Hallowed Evening!!

  11. Hope you are feeling better soon! I love the look of your plump, fresh lemons!

    This is definitely the time of year to stock up on baked good items. I need to remember to start looking out for good sales and holding back some of my grocery budget for those items.

  12. Hi Brandy. I sure hope you are better soon. That has to be so painful and you are always so busy that I am sure you just hate laying around.

    Your list always helps me to remember the things that are at rock bottom prices that I may have forgotten to put on mine. Thanks!

    I am in the same boat as you with no real freezer space left this year. So I will get some turkeys ( if they are a good price) and roast them, take the meat off, and use my Food saver to bag them in portions for meals.

    Thanks for all of your tips! Please get well soon.

  13. Sorry to hear about your fall. I hope you have a speedy recovery! It’s wonderful your children are so helpful. I wonder if I came up with a catchy name and made it more like fun if I wouldn’t enjoy cleaning more!! :p
    Have you ever tried growing Malabar spinach? it’s a vining spinach, so it can take up a very small footprint in the garden. And it thrives in hot sunny weather. I grew it for the first time this year, and with just 2 plants that I planted near a 4 foot section of fencing that I used as a trellis (4 foot wide x 4 foot high), it completely covered both sides after a few months. It’s also a very pretty plant, with little berries and flowers. Some of the information about it says it requires consistent moisture to prevent flowering, which causes bitterness in leaves, but I didn’t really notice that. I only used it in salads, along with other lettuces.

  14. I was worried something had happened when you didn’t post for a while. Although I am sorry to hear about your injury, I am pleased it wasn’t something worse! I hope your pain subsides quickly and you feel better soon.

    As for my purchasing goals this month, many of the things you listed have come and gone with our Thanksgiving last month. However, Christmas sales will be starting soon with the onset of baking season. I have been informed by my husband that my MIL is hoping we will make treat trays for a bunch of upcoming Christmas parties at her work (she works at a bowling alley and there are several leagues that have a Christmas party). We will be paid for the treat trays, of course. However, we do have to buy all the supplies plus what I need for our family baking, so I will be watching for sales very closely this month and next!

    I am also watching for meat sales, since our meat stock is still somewhat low. I have purchased some last month, but it takes a bit to get a nice stockpile with prices of meat higher on the average than other pantry items. I like having variety too, which gives more options to our meals. All in good time as patience with this often pays off in the end.

    So glad your back to writing posts, Brandy. I always look forward to reading and learning from everything you offer!

  15. Our grocery stores have been ahead of the norm this past month–I have stocked up pantry and freezer with special deals but am still wondering what the price on turkeys is going to be! With the bird illness situation, I am not expecting rock bottom prices. One thing our store does is cut up a few remaining turkeys after the holiday, and sell portions—like 1/4 turkey–for excellent prices. The last couple years I have taken advantage of buying an extra piece or two–which takes up much less room and works well for 2 people. We share our leftover turkey with my DD and SIL, as my husband is not all that fond of turkey leftovers, and also because DD likes leftovers too (especially if she doesn’t do the actual cooking.) I generally get about 14-16 of turkey and 1/2 the leftovers don’t leave either of our families with an excess. I was able to get 15 oz canned tomatoes (without added salt even) for 50 cents a can. I had to expand some basement storage shelves so I had room for them, but I wasn’t about to pass them up at those prices. My tomatoes were excellent this summer from the garden, but they only got ahead of me once, so only one container of puree went into the freezer. I have some additional left from last year but will be depending on the canned before long. I have been eating down the pantry and freezer as much as possible too, to relieve the overcrowding. Strangely, I had more tomatoes last year from fewer plants. Gardening is different every year!! I do need to go back to Sam’s Club as I forgot about buying flour last time I was there—possibly this week I can work that in. Flour supply is LOW, but my other baking supplies are topped up so I should be in good shape for holiday baking. It is not MY turn to entertain this year, so I won’t be cooking quite as much as last year. I love the feeling of having supplies on hand and being organized before the truly bad weather hits. We had 2 days of 50-60 MPH winds this week, with 3.5 inches of rain in one 24 hour period, but the coming week is going to be warm and sunny. I hope to get some cleaning up done in the garden while it lasts. We have had a taste of snow already, but nothing that stuck! It could happen any time after early October here, bur we are NOT looking forward to it at all.

  16. Sorry to hear about your fall and I hope that you are much better quickly!

    I also needed to restock our supply of canned corn and green beans since I missed the “Can-Can Sale” in the summer and the next one isn’t until January. We had just a couple cans of each left at this point. A small locally owned grocery moved into a closed store in our area and opened this week. They had canned veggies for 50¢ a can. I bought a case of each and will go back for 2 more cases of each before the sale goes off on Tuesday.

    I was also able to restock toilet paper as they had Charmin Basic 12 packs for $3.99 and I printed 50¢ coupons that they doubled, so the 12 pk. double rolls were $2.99. This was also something we were almost out of so glad to find it at a low price. They have Turkey Hill ice cream 2/$4 and I have 3 75¢/1 and a $1/1 coupon. The store will double the 75¢ coupons so I will get 4 cartons for $2.50!

    My list for November includes-
    ~baking products- chocolate chips, flour, Crisco bars for a specific recipe, sugars- white and brown
    ~turkeys
    ~looking for a deal on butter and cheese both of which I freeze and am out of at this time.

  17. I always love to read your shopping plans. I have learned so much from you. I hope you are getting better. You are in my daily prayers .

  18. Oh I am so sorry to hear about your fall/injury. I do not use the Facebook. We will pray for a speedy recovery.
    I am glad your mother is right next door and that your husband and older children will be able to help too.

  19. I hope we can all find good deals on turkeys this year. I’ve heard that they may not be as cheap as in years previous due to bird flu.

  20. I sympathize with your situation. I had an injury and had to have foot surgery so I also cannot physically go to the sales this month. Frustrating since I look forward to these sales all year. Hope everything works out well for you.

  21. Sorry to hear about your accident. Hopefully it’s bruised and not broken. Praying for you. Your website is a blessing to so many.

  22. Thanks for the inspiration in watching holiday sales.
    Sorry to hear about your fall. Praying for a speedy recovery.

    Blessings,
    Leslie

  23. I knew something was wrong when you did not post last week. I am so very sorry and hope you recover quickly. Being down when you are used to being an active person is not easy. You are in my prayers.

    I made my no spend week last week. We did not spend a dime except on gasoline. I have enough in my pantry and freezer for another no spend week, but we are going to hit some sales. Got some grandchildren and day care children to get Christmas gifts for. I like to buy marked down Halloween costumes to use as dress up clothes. I found 2 princess dresses today at HEB (local grocery store) marked down to $4.00. So they are done.

    While at the grocery store today husband got his flu shot and I got a whooping cough shot for FREE. They offer the shots given by the pharmacy person. They do not charge for them either. Our insurance covers the cost of the medication and we do not have to pay a co-pay like going to a doctor’s office. So it is a win win for us. I got my flu shot 2 weeks ago. Now I am waiting 2 weeks to get my shingles shot. I have had shingles and never want to get it again.

    I am watching for turkeys to go on sale. A local butcher had chicken breasts on sale for 99 cents. I got 15 pounds. I got thighs for 77 cents a pound.

    I got 10 cans of pumpkin for $1.00 each. I will make pies with it for both Christmas and Thanksgiving. I also use it to make dog food treats.

  24. Hi Brandy, I have a question about lemon trees and thought you might know. Last year I was able to get several lemons from my very young/small Meyer lemon tree but this year there aren’t even any blossoms. Do you know what might be the issue? I believe you and I have the same zone even though I’m in a coastal Texas region (the humidity! Oh my! It’s like living in a swamp!!!). I just don’t know what to think. I’d appreciate your input.

    With your injury…did you see a doctor? Just to be sure that’s all that’s wrong? Not being able to get up and move around sounds BAD. Even when I had both of my bunion and toe shortening surgeries I hobbled around enough to take care of (some) chores and I’m no spring chicken like you, lol! It must be driving you mad to be out of the game like that. Take care of yourself!!!

  25. Did your trees grow much the year before? They need new branches to give you fruit. Also, if your branches are all going upwards (and not sideways) then they will not produce fruit. Those are called waterspouts, and citrus trees tend to make even more of these than other types of trees. Make sure your tree is well-fertilized.

    I only fell a few days ago and this type of injury can take 4 weeks to heal if it is just bruised, and 8 to 12 if there is a fracture. Treatment for both is the same–no sitting, ice, and lying down. They don’t do more than that even if it is broken (they can’t exactly cast your butt!) I can stand for about 10 minutes at a time but not much more than that. It’s an injury that takes a long time for recovery and is quite painful. The more rest you get, the faster your recovery can be. I have lots of helpers here, thankfully!

  26. Brandy,

    I hope you feel better soon! I fell about 10 feet hiking down a mountain in Phx a few years back and horribly bruised my tailbone. What I found helped the most was Epsom salt baths which are very inexpensive. Just wanted to share. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  27. Hi Brandy and so chuckled at the “cast my butt” comment, good to hear that you are keeping up your sense of humour that does help as well. A positive attitude and making life fun no matter what life throws at you is the way to go.

    Being an ex nurse and of course developing such a warped sense of humour because of all the tragedies I saw in my everyday work, that comment so gave me funny visuals and chuckles for a good few minutes :D.

  28. Hi Brandy and hopefully with a bit more healing time the bruising and swelling should go down and you may be able to use one to give you some relief.

    In the meantime just do whatever works to give you some pain relief and rest and relaxation.

  29. A reader suggested on Facebook that I try a cloth with some on it. I cannot sit in the tub and getting up and down is impossible at the moment. I actually had just bought some Epsom salt, but the plan had been to use it in the garden! I might have to do a bit of both.

  30. Hi Marcia,
    I found 25 pound bags of flour at smart and final for $5.99 In San Diego . Not sure if you have a smart and final. If you do t would be worth a call to check prices.
    Patti

  31. Hi Brandy:
    I am so sorry to hear about your tailbone. I broke mine as a teenager. It took some months to be able to sit square on, but it does heal. It probably doesn’t feel that way at the moment. I am always inspired by you. Look at these lovely photos, the lightness of your prose and your organization. Thank you for elevating my thinking all the time.

    Praying for swift healing and manageable pain.
    Maggie

  32. Sorry to hear about your broken butt, Brandy. That sound incredibly painful. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. I’m sure it’s driving you crazy not to be up and about taking care of your family and gardens. 2 years ago I broke my right ankle; it wasn’t that painful but I almost went nuts sitting around. We also found out I am a crabby patient. Lol
    I’m hoping to stock up on canned goods, butter, flour and sugar. I am also hoping the egg price come down. Here in Mn the are $2 a dozen on sale. We had a lot of farms hit with the bird flu.

  33. Years ago, I was trying to break up a fight in my classroom and fractured my tailbone when I was pushed down on the top of a desk. It was extremely painful. Due to it being a work injury, I had to go to the doctor. You are right; there is not much they can do. I do not even remember being given an x-ray. Enjoy the rest; surf the net and homeschool from bed. The children will be ahead by the time you are feeling better and you could get lots done later. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  34. Oh Brandy, I did the same thing, and it hurt for a long time. I’m so sorry, I know how painful it is.
    Hang in there, and I am so glad you have some older helpers. You will get through it. It does go away, it won’t be so painful forever.

  35. Oh Brandy, I don’t have Facebook so I didn’t know! 16 years ago I fell down a short flight of stairs at home and broke my tailbone. I am so sorry! I can empathize! I could only lie down for some time as well. I will be praying for a quicker than expected recovery for you! Bless your heart.

  36. Brandy,

    Merci pour le rire et les recettes del la bonne bouffe.

    I learned French at school many years ago, but I think I may do a refresher read every now and again and see if I can get back to being reasonably fluent as I used to be.

  37. I’m sorry to hear about your tailbone. As someone who has a naturally protruding tail bone, I’ve had a few of those injuries myself. Nothing as bad as yours though…I could still sit just with a LOT of cushioning involved stacked strategically so that my tail bone wasn’t hitting anything. I hope you feel better soon!

    My shopping goals for the month can be found here…

    http://makedohomemaker.blogspot.com/2015/11/shopping-goals-november-2015.html

  38. Brandy, I broke my tailbone years ago and the donut pillow you can find at the drug store or medical supply store for hemorrhoids (most are inflatable) was a god send. I don’t think an inner tube would sit right. I still use it at times when I have to sit for long spells.

    Have your husband pick you up one — if you don’t like it you can always return it and get your money back.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  39. BJs is having some great baking sales by me, so I will be picking up flour and chocolate chips, etc. I made a list of toys for my husband to find the best price for/watch for on ebay.
    We are planning on getting some things to spiff up the house, like a doormat and a new shower curtain liner, shower curtain rings, like that, so I am watching for a sale at Kohls.
    I am watching meat prices as we are not having turkey at Thanksgiving this year, we are having ribs and the sides that go with them, like corn and coleslaw and spoonbread. We just do not care for turkey and it seems silly to keep making it. Maybe we’ll regret it and change out minds for next year, but this year it’s Ribsgving.

  40. I forgot, I am SO SORRY about your fall. My son jumped on my back last December and I could barely walk. It was horrible. THE WORST. Having all the things to do and not being able to do them, or having it take forever. You have all my sympathy as well as a gentle pat.

  41. I am often able to circumvent the minimum purchase amount by purchasing a store giftcard to meet the minimum purchase amount. Sometimes our kroger requires a $10 minimum, so I buy a $10 Kroger giftcard, the discounted item, then use that giftcard in another transaction where it is applied toward the purchase of another Kroger giftcard and discounted item. In the end I do end up with a little money tied up in that store’s giftcard, but they never expire and can be used on other loss leaders.

  42. I’m so sorry about your injury and hope you have a speedy recovery. I’m sure that it is difficult to be unable to do the things you are accustomed to doing daily.

    I am officially without a job as of today (my choice) and therefore my purchases will be more carefully thought out. We will begin to eat from our freezer and pantry after this week’s groceries are gone.

    I’m looking forward to hot pots of cheap and yummy soup and homemade bread as soon as the weather cools a bit. I also want to try my hand at cooking dried beans but my last attempt was not successful. I’ve purchased a new bag and will try again later in the week.

  43. Thanks for your response, lol!
    As far as the tree, it didn’t have a lot of growth but it also doesn’t have those upward branches. No buds, no flowers. What do you know to be the best time of the year to fertilize and how often? I’m stumped on this. Citrus trees grow prolifically in this area but mine hasn’t seemed to get this memo. )o:

  44. Our grocer exempts their own cards from reaching minimum purchase requirements but they allow every other gift card. They yearly have promotions where if you buy designated amount in gift cards (like Starbucks, BP, Sears etc etc) they give you a bonus card good for the grocer(themselves) . It will be coming up soon. I like to buy gift cards for the adult children/spouses for presents.

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