Grocery Shopping

October’s Grocery Shopping Plans

Elsa and Armenian Cucumber The Prudent Homemaker

An Armenian cucumber from last year

I’ve been writing this series on my blog for a just over a year now. Here is last October’s post. As you may have noticed, I shop first to fill gaps in my pantry and secondly for fresh items that the garden cannot provide.

In October our temperatures start to drop into the 90’s and 80’s. It’s a busy month in the garden where I will be planting a lot for my fall garden. I have a lot of seeds to plant, both collected from the garden earlier this year as well as those leftover from spring planting.

We’ve already seen russet potatoes at .20 a pound at Winco (last month). That is as low as they went last year, so I’ll be buying potatoes this month if they go that low again and if they look good. My large purchase of potatoes is usually in November, when it is cooler and they will last longer. This year we want to try doing something different. We like to eat potatoes all year, but of course they are on sale at the lowest price in the fall. We are going to try drying some in our dehydrator to see how they turn out. I’ve read some tutorials on the process. Our November purchase of 300-400 pounds usually lasts until sometime in February. If I can find them for .20 a pound or less, I’ll buy more to dry during this month and next month to last us further into next year. If they’re .25 a pound, I may not buy as many this month (which is where they are currently priced). How many I purchase will also depend on the quality of the potatoes that I find. I won’t buy wet, green, or moldy potatoes (and sometimes that is what the stores have!)

I’ll be watching for sales on onions over the next three months as well. Last year I did this same thing with onions, buying a 50-pound bag for $8. We ate many fresh and then dried the rest in the dehydrator to last us when prices were higher. This year I’d like to get 100 pounds if I can get them for that price, so that we can dry more, as we can easily go through 100 pounds in a year. So far the lowest price I am seeing is .48 a pound, but if I can find them for .20 to .25 a pound, that’s when I’ll stock up.

Apples are a seasonal stock-up item for us, too. I can usually find them on sale for .98 a pound for Galas. If I can find a much lower price (.50 to .78 a pound) I’ll buy between 40 and 80 pounds and put them in the refrigerator, where they will last several months. Jonagolds are our favorites, but they are not a good storage apple, so if I find any on a good sale, we will eat them right away.

I’d like to buy some pumpkins and butternut squash this month as well. I’ll be looking for the lowest prices (under $1 a pound, and hopefully $0.68 to $0.78 a pound on sale for the squash). For the pumpkins, I’d like something to decorate the house for a while that can be eaten sometime next month. I think the lowest priced option may be to purchase a pumpkin that isn’t priced by the pound. If this proves too expensive, however, I’ll pass on the pumpkins.

Armenian Cucumbers The Prudent Homemaker

I’m hoping that as the temperatures start to fall, the Armenian cucumber vines will start to send forth female flowers in abundance. They are already starting to set some fruit as the temperatures have dropped below 100º (the ones in the shade; those in full sun are still only putting forth male flowers). I currently have 9 cucumbers growing, and I’m letting them get nice and big so that we will have more to eat (they can get as long as my arm and twice as wide without becoming bitter). I’m letting one grow big and yellow-orange so that I can collect seeds from it. Since Armenian cucmbers are technically melons, rather than turning bitter as they grow, they actually turn sweet when they turn colors, and they taste like a melon rather than a cucumber at that point.

The garden is full of herbs right now (the most prolific being basil and thyme). I will be collecting and drying them to use throughout the rest of the year. I will also be making pesto with the basil from the garden and freezing it.

As the weather cools, the beans should start to produce again.

Swiss Chard in Basket The Prudent Homemaker

The self-seeded Swiss chard (it is Swiss chard, after all, and not beets) is growing rather abundantly. Since Swiss chard is a cut-and-come-again vegetable, I can harvest it and have it grow back in 10 days.

I also have a few heads of lettuce that somehow managed to self-seed in the garden, despite the heat (they are growing in almost complete shade). I’ll be planting lots of lettuce seeds this month, but we may also have some ripe in the garden as well by the end of the month. 

I’m cutting grape leaves from the garden. They have a wonderful lemony flavor and are great in soups or on chicken. We are still eating chicken from the freezer and are working to eat down the meat in the freezer to make room for stocking up when the sales come.

On Labor Day, my mom served corn on the cob with a delicious chili-lime seasoning that we sprinkled on top. I love limes, and I was impressed with the way the powdered lime in the seasoning tasted like fresh lime juice. I decided to see if I could buy powdered lime juice in bulk.

Rice and Beans

Here’s how I use limes: Years ago, I first learned to eat rice and beans from a Brazilian woman who served it to me in Geneva, Switzerland. As a college student, I was making this recipe one day when my Mexican roommate’s mother was visiting. She was watching me cook, and then she piped up and said, “That would be even better if you added lime juice.” I bought limes the next time to try it and I loved it like that! Bottled lime juice does not taste the same, but the powdered lime juice does! Limes are not always on sale (and I lost my lime tree to frost last year), so having some lime juice powder on hand would be good. I looked and found that San Franciso Herb Company carries it, so I am ordering some. They have a $35 minimum order, so I will add some other things to my order as well.

For Halloween candy, I’ve already decided to purchase it from the lowest priced Winco bulk candy section. Last year this was the cheapest option, even after all coupon and sale combinations. Winco puts this candy on sale a week or two before Halloween just for this purpose, so I’ll purchase it then. I won’t need much; last year we only had 5 children come!  

I didn’t find any deals in the store at Target last month for children’s vitamins. I’m going to look again for sales this month, as well as on individual vitamins.

I increased our grocery budget from July to September from $300 to $400 a month. This month I return to our $300 a month budget.

 

Winco:

(I made one trip already for the first three items and will go back later in the month for the other items, as well as to check prices on apples and onions. Winco doesn’t send out ads.)

 Sour cream (currently marked on sale at $1.05 a pound)

Parmesan cheese (important in making pesto for the freezer)

Flour tortillas ( I normally get these at Sam’s Club but Winco is closer and I wanted some sooner)

Potatoes (unless I find a better deal elsewhere)

Spreadable margarine (I buy Gold N Soft lowfat in a 3 pound tub for under $3; we use this for toast and on potatoes)

Candy

Milk

Cumin

 

San Francisco Herb Company:

Lime Juice Powder

Ginger

Cinnamon

Cream of Tartar

 

Costco:

Tomato Sauce

Balsamic vinegar

 

Target:

Bleach

Washing Soda

Borax

Vitamins

Dental floss (Sam’s Club quit carrying this in bulk; if anyone knows a better price, please share!)

Antibiotic ointment (there is currently a 25% off Target Cartwheel offer on this)

 

Not sure where yet:

Apples

Onions

Pumpkins

Potatoes

 

 

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64 Comments

  1. Helpful hint
    Washing soda can be made by taking baking soda spreading it on a baking tray (I use parchment paper under it… helps to be able to pour into jar) bake at 400′ for 1 hour. Let it cool completely and pour into jar etc.

  2. When freezing pesto I never add parmesan.(Thus saving a lot of money.) I was told this was a no-no by a great italian friend. I have been growing basil and treezing into cubes for years with great success.
    Add parmesan to the dish when using the pesto, if necessary. Sometimes we find the fresh tasting basil and garlic is enough without parmesan.

  3. Hello Brandy & all :).

    This month’s shopping plans are to stock up on –
    – Baking powder
    – honey soy sauce
    – powdered eggs if we find them on special.
    – chocolate chips if we find them on special.
    – cashew nuts if we find them on special.
    – instant yeast
    – dried apples
    – banana chips

    For the garden –
    – A small hand held garden fork, surprisingly we found one in the garden from previous rental tenants whilst digging garden beds, but need another for my husband to use to help with weeding.

    For the home –
    – buy some summer bed sheets if we find them on special.

    Vegetables
    – Just found out about a farmers market close to us so will have a look to see if they have any fruits or vegetables that we don’t grow here. From what we have heard they sell huge boxes of tomatoes for $5 box, so will have to check this out.

    Have a fantastic week & month everyone :).

  4. I appreciate your sharing your stock up prices on produce, Brandy. Our onion patch was pitiful this year, so I’ll be purchasing those, & it will be helpful to have an idea of a price to look for (though I realize prices differ throughout the country). I agree that bottled lime juice is not the same as fresh, but sometimes I resort to that, if I don’t have any I’ve frozen. I’m happy to hear that lime powder tastes more like fresh, & will have to look for some. It seems that may be worth a try to dehydrate. Do you know if both peel and pulp are used? Apples have been on my mind too. I often buy a box from the local feed and seed, which come from the NC mountains. I seeded lettuce for the fall garden twice. Both times, something, I believe grasshoppers, ate the seedlings, so I’ll be going by the feed and seed for plants this week. Hope to have better luck with those. I posted yesterday about having a tooth abscess, and would love to hear if this fine group has any suggestions other than root canal or tooth extraction.

  5. Frugal Helpful hint

    Washing soda

    Bake at 400′ for 1 hour
    Spread baking soda onto a baking sheet (I use parchment paper under as it helps to pour into a jar) bake for 1 hour. Let it cool completely.

  6. So far the lowest price I have seen on onions is .48 a pound, and I don’t know if I’ll see lower. The store where I bought them for that price in years past closed last year. We are seeing a lot of changes in grocery stores and so prices may be different, I hope they get that low, but I will have to wait and see.

    The lime juice powder specifically says it is just that–lime juice powder. The company sells granulated peels of lemons and oranges, so they probably also sell the peel of limes, but I haven’t looked.

    Sorry about your seedlings; I have had that problem with seedlings being eaten.

  7. I don’t, but I have just been mixing basil, garlic, and olive oil. I found that I didn’t need to add the pine nuts for me to be happy with it, and I also don’t use the huge quantities of oil that I usually see in recipes (which is both expensive and heavy on the oil taste, rather than the basil taste to me). I will try to measure this year and put it up!

  8. The lime juice powder from SFHC is really good. I also bought their lemon juice powder and it’s good as well. Limes and lemons are very expensive here so the powder is a good substitute.

  9. To make frozen hash browns, I always bake my potatoes first and then shred them. They shred more easily and don’t turn into a starchy mess. I would imagine you could dehydrate them the same way. In fact, I’m going to try them that way once I buy my bulk potatoes this fall.

  10. I like to chop my onions. But most of my family doesn’t like onions, so I don’t need too many.

    I guess your grocery store doesn’t allow you to call ahead and order extra potatoes? Or is the risk that you will order them and they will all be green or icky?

    Are vitamins cheaper at Target than on Amazon? Sometimes I think subscribe and save is the best deal on vitamins, especially D. It’s such an expense, but worth it to not have sick kids all the time.

    For my stocking up, I’d like to find enough chicken to last us until the spring time when I can order more meat birds for our backyard.

  11. The Armenian cucumbers sound wonderful! We’re in AZ, and I’m guessing now is too late to plant them. When is the best time to plant them? Also, we have tomatoes that have made it through the summer and are flowering but not growing fruit. Should we keep them through the fall or pull them up and plant a fall crop in their place?

    Love your fall grocery list and garden. Do you ever shop from Azure Standard? They have good prices on seasonings and herbs.

  12. Have you thought about canning some of your potatoes? You do have to do them in the pressure cooker. But they are really good. When I was growing up in Alaska, my mom always bought canned potatoes to have on hand, they are great sliced and fried, in soups and most ways you would use potatoes.
    Do you ever get trucks coming thruough selling fresh tomatoes, it might be cheaper to can your own tomatoes and sauce.I got tomatoes for 8 a half bushel here in central Utah.
    I do enjoy your blog.

  13. I did the potato purchase Saturday. I was able to hitch a ride north to a produce/hardware/dollar store. The potatoes are from local fields and are fresh. I purchased a 50 pound bag which I will can into quarts to use throughout the year….American fries or even heated with gravy. (only two of us) The 50# bag of red skins was $12.50 Michigan prices. I’m sure they might go a bit cheaper around the holidays, but these are really fresh and can up better.

    I didn’t need to purchase carrots this year as I have enough canned yet. The carrots they sell at this store are seconds, large or odd sized. Typically purchased for deer bait. If you buy them now, they are perfectly fresh and wonderful to use. They probably run 10 cents a pound.

    I’m not sure how many square we have in the garden this year. If there aren’t many and I get past that store again, they had squash $3.99 for a half bushel, small size acorn or butternut. Seemed reasonable.

  14. We eat 5 to 7 pounds of potatoes in a meal, which would be several quarts! I also don’t have a working pressure canner. I want to slice them and dry them.

    Sometimes tomatoes are sold here from Utah but it would be very expensive to make sauce that way. The #10 can is under $3. A box of tomatoes is $20-$25 (over $1.25 a pound) and I might get the same amount of sauce as one #10 can. I’ve never seen them for $8. I suppose the transportation costs are the reason for the huge price difference for the same sized box.

  15. Our local nursery sells tomato plants now, so I would leave them. You should be able to harvest this fall; they may be green or you may even get red ones, depending on when the frost actually comes. It is a good sign that they are flowering again; it’s gotten cool enough and they should start setting fruit again. Just watch the weather and pick them all if it gets close to freezing. I don’t know about the cucumbers now but I have been wondering if I could plant more from seed right now. I’m considering trying it, because I’d like to can pickles and I don’t have many cucumbers in the garden to do that. I like to plant them from seed anytime after June, but as late as August.

    I don’t shop Azure Standard. So far I’ve been ale to get lower prices from other places, and I’ve looked at their price list often to double check. I grow as many herbs as possible and have eliminated buying several that way. I just compared the cumin price at Winco versus SFherb and Winco was lower on that one, so I’m going to get it from there.

  16. Wow–I envy the prices you find. I have not seen potatoes for less than .60 a pound so far. I did buy a 1/2 bushel of butternut squash from a farm stand for $11. The local and very popular produce market–open all year and usually a cheap source– wanted $12 a half. I only cooked and froze about half of them so far, but they are in the basement and will keep a while. My garden beets are too small to matter, and I bought a few pounds at $1.49 a lb “bulk beets–they cut off the tops right at the top of the beets and remove the tap root too. I don’t know how they will work as I always leave an inch of stems and the tap root so they don’t lose their color!! I intend to roast them along with my pot roast today, since the oven will be on anyhow, so I should know soon how they will be. I did get apples at 88 cents a pound last week and am in the mood for a pie if I get myself in gear early enough–was making phone calls this morning and tidying up this and that (especially junk mail and catalogs!) The list is long this time of year!!

  17. Brandy, which dehydrator do you have? I buy our limes @ 99 cents store or the Hispanic markets they usually have good deals on them.

  18. Where is that store in Michigan? I see big bags of “deer” carrots in front of gas stations around here in the fall. At one station, they looked delicious, fresher than the carrots usually are in the grocery store. But I wasn’t sure if they are safe for humans to eat after being cleaned and peeled.

    (Hungry Michigoose wants to know….)

  19. Laurie, I live in Ontario, Canada. This week we have a sale on 10lb bags of cooking onions, carrots, beets or potatoes for $1.44. That makes it $0.14/lb and this is the second or third week of sales like this. Ontario is know for these types of crops, which may be why we have such good prices. Definitely look at the prices for your area, because what the farmers grow in abundance near you will make a difference in what you pay. How good of crop they had this year will also have a major influence the prices as well.

  20. I love reading your grocery shopping plans. I just found that our Aldi started to carry butternut squash this year for $1.59 each, and when I spied the huge ones, I grabbed them. They were 5.5 and 4.5 lbs each, working out to be 10 lbs for $3.18. Squash is usually really expensive here, so I’m so excited to have some!

  21. My shopping goals for this month are long as we got our PFD’s on the first and I wanted to make sure to stock up the pantry when we had the money to do it.

    When it comes to fresh produce, normally this time of year I try to stock up on apples, but MAN prices have jumped on things and apples are no exception. I haven’t really found good prices on storage apples for below 1.99 lb and that’s a bit steep for my budget. I picked up a few apples on sale today for my daughter for snacks, but overall…it’s not shaping up to be a great apple season price-wise in Alaska so far.

    The rest of my list for this month can be found here…

    http://makedohomemaker.blogspot.com/2015/10/monthly-shopping-goals-october-2015.html

  22. My focus this month is on buying some more meat for our freezer. I’d like to buy some more chicken breasts and have my husband (a cook) make up some chicken souvlaki for the freezer again. It went over really well last time. I’m also on the lookout for sales on hams for Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving is this weekend coming up), but I may have to wait until closer to Christmas for the really good prices. My family like it when we buy the smoked hams and cut them into ham steaks for the freezer. We need more stewing beef as well, now that we’re into cooler weather. The more variety in the freezer, the easier it is to change up our meals. Sadly, beans are not a family favourite, so unfortunately that frugal staple is not on the menu at our house.

    As always, I will be watching the sales for pantry stock up items, like sugar, brown sugar, chocolate chips, etc. They will be going on sale over the next few months for holiday baking. I have made a list of things we need so I can buy them as they go on sale.

    As for the garden, I only have some carrots left, but they are not very big yet so I’m holding off. If the weather continues to drop in temp, I may be forces to pull them anyways. The joy’s of living in a northern climate.:p

  23. Brandy, with parmesan so frightfully expensive I have found that asiago is a very good subbstitute. I think it is better than the often-suggested romano cheese; the asiago has a much more assertive flavor. Check Sam’s for a good price.
    Thanks so much for all your good work and the joy you share with all of us. Peace.

  24. Hello Brandy,

    We’re coming into Spring here in Australia and it’s heading to be a very hot summer, with today reaching 33C (91F) and 35C (95F) forecast for tomorrow here in Melbourne! I’ve been planting out my spring/summer garden the last month or so and, in spite of this heatwave, it is looking good and I can’t wait to start eating fresh summer veg.

    I stocked up on oranges at 5c/kg (2c/lb), brown onions at 20c/kg (9c/lb) and potatoes for 20c/kg (9c/lb) during September. I only bought 100kg of potatoes as they won’t keep very long in our hot weather. I’ve read up on dehydrating them but haven’t had enough left over to try it (yet). I dried half the onions and diced and sliced half, bagged them and put them in the freezer. At the moment I am drying carrots bought for 20c/kg (regular price $1 so quite a saving). We were blessed with a gift of bananas, too many for us to eat so 5kg were sliced and dried, a tasty boost to our stockpile.

    This month I’ll be looking for baking supplies to start to come on sale for Christmas and begin stocking up on dried fruits, chocolate, nuts and spices and concentrating on filling in the gaps in our stockpile. I’ll be planting more cucumbers, tomatoes, beetroot, capsicums, egg plant, zucchini, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, spring onions, peas, beans and lettuce as well as rock melon and pumpkin too – some as seed and some as seedlings I’ve already started so we have a constant supply of veggies through the summer and into autumn.

  25. If you have a family dentist, they probably get loads of samples of floss that they can give away, if asked. At least the ones here do (also toothbrushes).

  26. Do you find the shipping rate on San Francisco herbs alot? Maybe because I live in Fl. I love their prices but the shipping gets me bummed.

  27. Butternut squash will keep for a year or more if they were properly cured and you keep them cool. Inspect them once a week and turn them; cook any that get soft spots. They last longer if kept in rows with good airflow, rather than in a basket or piled together. Keep them on a separate shelf from potatoes and onions, too.

  28. I’ve found name brand floss at the dollar tree in the past.
    Also, Costco has a good buy on chocolate chips this month.

  29. I had a root canal done on a tooth that was painful. Two dentists could not figure out why other than something might be below the gum line but not showing on xray. Wish I had never had it done. It cost me $1000 since I did not have dental insurance between the root canal and crown. Everything felt fine after the root canal but when they put the crown on it started aching again. This has now been several years and the problem conts. I even had a repeat root canal done on the tooth which helped for a few weeks but the pain came back. Does not hurt all the time, takes spells with no reason behind it. If I have another tooth with problems I will opt for extraction and then a partial plate if need be. The root canal did not help my issue and I cont. to have pain. Several dentists have looked at tooth with no suggestions.

  30. Brandy, I cook my potatoes partially before dehydrating (slices, shredded, etc.) If you don’t, they will turn gray black and you will have to toss them. Teri

  31. I also use the dry lime crystals and love them, but I buy mine on Amazon (my Amazon Prime membership pays for itself so many times over!). I usually will put it in my Subscribe and save bundle to get the full 15% discount by having 5 items when I order toilet paper on sale. Even if I order it on it’s own, with my Prime membership there’s no minimum order for free shipping and if I decide to ship it slowly (2-5 days instead of my guaranteed free 2 day shipping), they give me $1 credit towards an Amazon instant video or music rental!

    Definitely worth it to me!!

  32. So nice to know that you learned to eat rice and beans with a Brazilian woman! What I have to add: that is a great way to serve just a little bit of meat and make everybody think that is a full meat meal. Things like grounded meat with lots of herbs make a real good companion for rice and beans. Also greens are really nice with them, like sautée cale or swiss chards. Or scrambled eggs, the list goes on and on.

  33. Haha! Yes, in [i]Switzerland[/i], of all places! She made it like in the picture above–with onions cooked in and topped with fresh tomatoes. I think she was surprised when I asked her how to make it. However, growing up, the only beans I had ever had (not counting green beans) were baked beans. I still remember this meal, in her beautiful apartment with the light streaming in the windows.

    Thank you for your other suggestions Leticia!

  34. I have had this problem also. All I can suggest to use sensitive teeth toothpaste. I also got a mouth guard, made at the dental office, because I was grinding and clenching my teeth at night ( I had no idea that I did this). It fixed the pain.

  35. Brandy – I love the way you described your memory with the “light streaming in the windows”…blessings in so many places!
    As always I enjoy your posts and all of your followers…I have almost saved up enough money to buy a dehydrator so I can’t wait to hear how your potatoes turn out!

  36. Do you have that beans and rice recipe posted? I looked under your beans tab and meatless meals and did not see it. My kids have been finally eating more beans and I would love to try that recipe!

  37. This makes me feel that we all are one, despite diferent countries. I also loved the way you described her apartment. Hope you enjoy those other ways to eat rice and beans 🙂

  38. I second the suggestion of a mouth guard as I also had some inexplicable pains and this fixed them. My dentist said the grinding and clenching make the teeth sensitive. Hope you feel better soon!

  39. Heritage Essential Oils sells tooth suds (like toothpaste but different) with essential oils that cure cavities, and infected teeth my eldest daughter has autism and as a three year old chewed rocks breaking many of her bottom teeth. Dentist wanted to root canal baby teeth it would have been at least 10000 I said no and we used the tooth suds, their Plague Defense Oil blend and the diet Advice in the book [i]Cure Tooth Decay[/i] her teeth healed infection left and she is fine. It cost me about fifty dollars for the oils and tooth suds over the years. google Heritage Essential Oils Plague Defense Tooth Suds. Hope this helps.

  40. Brandy congrats on the self seeding lettuce sounds like your lettuce is starting to adapt to Vegas save some of the seeds from them and plant next year to keep building on the adaptation. I have been doing this for several years with the seeds from a pumpkin that came up volunteer and produced huge pumpkins high in the mountains of Idaho. I am hopeful that I am slowly breeding a very short season large pumpkin. Good luck on all your goals I admire how much you get done.

  41. Hi Faith,
    If you go to the front/main page of Brandy’s website you will find on the right hand side a post entitled How to Eat Beans Every Night. Click on it and then scroll down a bit and she tells how to make her beans and rice. Enjoy!

  42. Have you had you sinuses checked? I was having a problem with my sinuses and my ENT said it could cause tooth aches. Good luck

  43. My husband and daughter also have this problem. Dental guards are what they use Much cheaper to buy at Walmart or drugstore with coupon.

  44. I bought an 8 qt basket of onions for $2.99 when I bought the peppers for my hot pepper relish. I don’t know how many pounds that is but that was a real bargain for this area. I used to buy 50# in the fall when I had more people to cook for, but for 2 people, I’m afraid I wouldn’t use them all. I have been picking up the grocery store specials and my cupboards are literally overflowing now. I still need a trip to Sam’s Club but I have no room to keep anything at the moment. And choc chips are $1.99 for 12 oz this week–with a limit of 1. I still have some from last year so 1 will be enough for me. Sept-Oct-Nov is when we see the best prices of the year here–both on the farm stands and in the stores.

  45. I have always used sunflower seeds in place of the pine nuts. They have a nice toasty, nutty flavor, and make the texture very similar to the store bought pesto I love. I think I paid $2-3 for a 2 pound bag from walmart.

  46. Any thoughts about growing your own potatoes? I know the vines can take up a lot of room but each plant can produce a great deal of food. Plus you can save some back and repeat next fall with your own seed potatoes. (I just can’t imagine that a [i]grocery[/i] store would try and sell moldy or slime potatoes and expect to stay in business!)

  47. I have the Excalibur one that I have on the right-hand side of the blog. I LOVE it! I have borrowed other dehydrators in the past and I like this one so much more. The fan is in the back and it dries everything evenly, so I don’t have to switch out trays, and the food is very easy to remove (unlike all the others I have used in the past).

  48. I have often found grocery stores with wet bags of potatoes, or green ones, or ones that look nice but are awful when you cut them open and full of bad spots. I am always surprised that these made it out to be sold, but I see them a lot and I have seen this problem at every store.

    I have tried growing potatoes, but they are a hard here because of the heat. They need to be planted in January for a spring harvest, according to the extension service. I have a limited amount of space, and we go through about 1300 pound of potatoes in a year. I have found that I can still sometimes find them on sale for .10 a pound, so $130 for 1300 pounds of food is wonderful! Prices are closer to double that most of the time now, but it is still more cost effective for me to use the space I have to grow things that are more expensive to purchase.

  49. Elizabeth, potatoes don’t really vine, well at least the non-sweet potato ones don’t. Maybe sweet potatoes vine a lot. You can grow potatoes in a pot or burlap sack too if you have no garden space. I have also seen a tomato plant planted in the same pot as a potato, one grows up and the other grows down.

  50. Yes, you can bake or boil them, let them cool and then grate and dehydrate them. They dry well and store easily in glass jars in the pantry.
    We also buy 150-200 pounds of potatoes in the fall, store them in a cool, dark room and eat them fresh for a few weeks and then dehydrate some for hashed browns or as slices and then pressure can the rest as cubes (for soup, stews for fried potatoes) or whole or halved (for mashed potatoes). They store beautifully and will be good for years.

  51. Laurie, it really depends on the item and my budget. Some things I can buy once for the year and have enough. With seasonal sales, that’s often the best deal (for example, turkeys at Thanksgiving, or peaches in summer that you then can to last the year). The super low pasta sales I see come 2 to 3 times a year, so I buy 6 months worth when those go on sale. I can then stock my pantry when items are the lowest price.

  52. Yesterday our Costco had an in-store $2.50 discount on $8.99 bags of 72 ounce Nestle’s Toll house chocolate chips bringing the price down to $0.09 an ounce.

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