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 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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  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!~

  4. 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! 😀

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. After canning plum jelly I still had some plum juice left and made a pint of plum syrup, delicious on waffles. We are picking green beans everyday now, often a couple of quarts. The tomatoes have slowed down, but there are lots of green ones so there will be more tomatoes to can soon. There are several large butternut squash on my vines as well as lots of little babies. That means I will have lots of butternut squash for the pantry this fall. I picked a basket of Bartlett pears this week and it is ripening on the counter. There are still plenty of small ones on the tree so I should be able to can some a little later.
    In rearranging the freezer last week I decided to defrost a small turkey. There was a prediction for a temperature drop to 87 one day this week and I set that for my day to roast the turkey. As it turned out the temperature was actually 90 yesterday when I decided to roast the bird, but it was the coolest day we’ve had all week and it is going back up again. There will be many wonderful meals with this turkey, some will go into the freezer as soup and casseroles, others will include hot turkey sandwiches, turkey curry, turkey tetrazinni, and turkey salad stuffed tomatoes.
    We are in a no spend mode currently, mainly because we really don’t need anything. We will continue to eat out of the freezer, pantry, and garden. All meals and snacks will be made from scratch and if we go out we will carry containers of ice water or iced tea with us.
    I save my seasonal decorator items and reuse them every year. Today I will put away the summer decor and reset with fall colors, dry arrangements, and some fresh pumpkins from the garden. It is still in the 90’s here so the summer weight bedding will remain on the beds for at least another week or two.

  8. I have quite a few things I need to stock up on that I’ve been holding off in hopes of a decent sale. My grocery budget includes food plus household and pet items. My household is 8 people and a cat and more often then not a few of the kids friends.
    -Last February I found Tide at Target on sale and with an additional $10 gift card with purchase and I had a 25% cartwheel. I bought as many as they had on the shelf which has lasted me until this month. I have about two weeks worth left and then I’ll be out. I’m on the hunt for a really good stock up sale at which point I hope to buy enough to last the year. If I don’t find any good sales I’ll buy a single container to hopefully last until a sale comes up.
    -Costco has a coupon for Heinze Ketchup 44oz bottles 3 pack for I think $4.89? I’ll buy the limit on these as it is our preferred brand.
    -While at Costco I’ll also pick up the two pound bags of walnuts and pecans. I’ll also grab a jar of the Better than Buillon beef base.
    -Other things I need to stock up on are: mens body wash, basmati rice, vegetable oil, all purpose flour, panteen shampoo and conditioner, and multivitamins.

  9. Ground chuck for 1.99 a pound
    Gallons of oil for 3.99 a gallon
    Community Coffee for 3.99 a bag. (It’s our favorite kind, but I won’t pay 7.00 a bag. I wait until it goes on sale and when its gone, we use cheap coffee until another sale comes on)
    Chicken legs and thighs for .78 a pound.
    Flour: 5 lb. bags for 1.99. I usually buy around 50-75 pounds a year when it’s on sale and it lasts me all year. Last year a family in our church was in need so I took them 20 pounds of flour and some oil and other items and it put me short so I had to buy two bags at regular price. I almost fell over when I saw the regular price of flour!

    There were a few other things but I can’t remember them at the moment.

  10. In Estonia, we often get the information for “weekend sales” on Thursday. Hardly ever information for the whole month! And the system being different here, some prices, especially for fresh vegetables and fruit, are going constantly up and down.

    We are hoping for bigger income than in a long time this September because my husband has got a new job, but also because our building loan that we used for digging a well and getting a proper septic system (in 2001 when we bought The House, it was in terrible condition, no running water, no proper toilet etc) is finally paid off. I need to stock up, like, everything. There are many things that we have given up during the last year or used up till the very last drop or piece.
    Regularly there are blue plums on sale in September. I hope for plum cakes and maybe plum jam.
    I will look on the farmer’s market for cherry plums – when preserved in sugar water, they are absolutely delicious and our family’s favourite.
    On another market I hope to find a good deal for an onion braid – these are not cheap, but they are so beautiful in the kitchen and this will be my “September luxury item”.
    We need some toiletry things and I hope to find them on sale to stock up.
    This summer I have made less preserves than ever. I hope for great sales on fruit so that I can make some more, maybe something more exotic that we cannot buy in the supermarket.

  11. I need to stock up on:

    * bbq sauces and other condiments during this Labor Day weekend sale

    * meats. Chicken (whole, parts, whatever — I am not picky and can easily debone and cook thighs even when a recipe calls for boneless breasts, etc), ground beef, pork, bacon, sausages/hot dogs/brats

    * butter (though I may hold off until Aldi drops the prices back down to 1.99 as they usually do during autumn/winter)

    * pantry staples — flour, sugar(s), evap and condensed milk, cornmeal, grits, oats, canned beans, pastas, broths

    * paper products — paper towels, paper napkins

    * I will be taking advantage of the Labor Day sales at Lowe’s and Home Depot to grab bags of mulch. I went yesterday and raided their clearance carts for $1 perennials in quart size containers and plan to go back today (ran out of space in my SUV! lol) and buy more. I ripped out ugly, woody, 50 year old Azalea plants that lined the front of my house earlier this spring and have been wanting to do landscaping out there. No time like the present when the usual $5-10 perennials are on clearance for a buck. I’m glad I waited all summer. I just looked and mulch is on sale for $2/bag. I paid $3.33 earlier this summer. Yay!!!

  12. We will be eating a lot from the garden as we did last month. I have tomatoes to can, green beans and broccoli to freeze, and potatoes and onions to dig up. We have a lot of grape tomatoes, summer squash and zucchini to use up and have been trying as well as giving it to co-workers. We also have another crop of peppers, peas, and sweet corn to deal with. We also have apples to pick. We were trying to eat from the freezer last month and successfully did eat about half. We want to get a half of a hog in the freezer sometime this fall yet.

    We don’t need to stock up on a lot this month because I did a fair amount last month. The other half drinks Diet Coke so I will be on the lookout for a great sale on that. Usually it is 3/$8.00. Besides that, we will need milk, butter (if on sale), lettuce, lunch meat, and shredded cheese. We will also need shampoo for myself and possibly my son. There is also a chance I will need more canning lids!

  13. Always love these posts! They are very encouraging and helpful. I personally can never guess if our month will be good or not since my husband works in a job that pays in a point system and that can vary drastically daily. Like one day he can make $400 and the next day only make $60. Our budget for food is a lot lower this month since his checks were not good last month and we are behind in bills. Normally our food budget is $250 but this month it’s only going to be $100 or less. I’m going to try and make it on $80 for groceries.
    My grocery plans are as follows
    Milk $2.50 a gallon will buy 2 for this month. Eggs $1.69 a dozen and I will buy 4 dozen for this month. Apples if they are a good price and I will buy 10 pounds if they are. I will also buy potatoes if they are a good price and buy 20 pounds. I will also buy onions if they are a good price and I will buy 10 pounds of those. Meat I will see what the deals are and if they are good or not I’ll buy some of that as well. I am not worried about buying meat this month so I might not buy any. I will be also be using what is in my pantry, freezer, and fridge.

    I always revisit your old posts for inspiration and for tips on saving money any way we can.

    For life insurance are you buying whole life insurance or term life insurance?

  14. The sales flyers here are only for a week at a time. In some places in the U.S. they start on Sunday; in some places (including where I live) the sales run Wednesday through Tuesday. I don’t know what the sales prices will be for the rest of the month. I do know what is traditionally on sale in September.

    Smith’s and Albertson’s are regular grocery stores and those are sales prices from this week’s ads, so I’ll get those this week. I don’t know what prices they will have later this month, but I won’t have more to spend this month, so I’m not worried about those sales. Pork roast usually goes on sale this month, but it’s not in the budget, or else I would wait to see what sales there are on it.

    Sam’s Club has pretty normal prices all the time, but they sent out a flyer that included a few sales items, so I know about the oxi-clean sale that is through September 17th.

    Winco doesn’t have sales flyers; you just have to see what the prices are when you get there. I am hoping that if I go later in the month, the new crops of apples and potatoes will be in for the fall. My mom usually goes there every week and can check prices for me when she is there. Their prices on produce depend on what price they get from the growers, so it can vary from day to day; I even saw an amazing sale one morning and my mom went back the same day to get it, but they had apparently had that sale to clear out the old produce, and the new produce came in and was higher that afternoon.

    Target has weekly sales, but what I’m buying isn’t currently on sale. I would love a sale, but right now I need both diapers and vitamins and can’t wait for a sale.

    An onion braid sound very pretty! I love using seasonal produce to decorate the kitchen in fall. I hope you find some great prices on fruit! And I am happy to hear you have paid off your loan!

  15. We will continue to use the EBT “double up bucks” to purchase produce and duck and/or quail eggs at the farm market as long as we can. Last week we purchased sweet corn and put all but one meals worth in the freezer. I am also drying celery to use during the winter months in soups/stews. I have already dug one basket full of potatoes out of our garden and that was only half of one area – I still have another 15 foot row in another area that I am waiting for the plants to die back in. We also get an 8 pound bag at the food distribution we attend at a local church. Other things we need to stock up on are mostly toiletries and toilet paper. We are almost completely out of TP and my stock of toiletries is down to only one bar of soap :/ I have a couple small, paid sewing projects I will be using the money from to purchase these items. We will also be closely watching for sales on the dog and cats foods and the farm store should be having their yearly stock up sale shortly – I will use that sale to stock up on the poultry’s feed for the winter (We keep all their food in covered metal cans to keep the mice out). Hopefully, the harvest sales will come up here soon and we will use the EBT money to stock up on canned goods, my gluten free items and rice. I am jealous of those of you who can eat beans – they make both hubby and I quite ill so we can’t use them as cheap protein substitutes 🙁 I will also be closely watching for decent sales on pecans and almonds which are the only nuts I can eat and almond butter. These are all things that I won’t just be getting in September but will be working on over the next 3 months.

  16. just staring in horror at all the washing baskets of apples and pears weve picked this week from the garden ….guess i know how im spending my weekend .. and yes ive swapped with neighbours and given tons away

  17. I bought term life; whole is too expensive.

    I don’t know if our month will be good either; even if we count how many sales our agents have pending, there is no guarantee they will close. We watched one sale fall apart for one of our agents last month on the day it was supposed to close. We say nothing is certain until you have a check in your hand. I need to make sure I have enough money for the month before I can plan any shopping for the month, so I try to plan ahead. The hard part is when there isn’t enough for the month before for the next month, as you pointed out.

    I hope your husband has a great month and you can get caught up and ahead for next month!

  18. I shop at Winco also ! (Arizona here) what kind of apples do you buy? I love Gala’s and only buy enough for me for the week (3ish) and they have been running around .75 each……

  19. Brandy, I am growing butternut and delectica squash for the first time this summer. How do I tell when they are ready to pick? I am assuming that I shouldn’t wash any of the butternut if I want to store them – is that correct?

  20. Hi Brandy,
    Do you see real estate sales down, or a shortage of homes for sale, or something else affecting the real estate business in Las Vegas ? Here in Phoenix, I see lots of homes for sale, but no sold signs up in the past few months…so supply looks good…I only can see our neighborhood though so the entire city or region might be doing differently.

  21. I’ve been feeling the need right now to have 6 weeks of non-perishable food on hand for my family in case we were unable to leave our house for an extended period of time. So this month I’ll be stocking up on 25 lbs of rice (to make 75 lbs total in my storage), 25 lbs of freeze-dried vegetables, and 10 lbs of various dried beans. Those purchases, combined with what we already have, will bring my stock at home above what’s needed to get us through should we not be able to leave the house. I’m also bringing some of my garage food storage into the house and organizing it.

  22. Things are tight around here as well. Feeding 5 on one income in a high cost of living area

    this month I will be:
    Harvesting tomatoes from the garden
    Am growing some pumpkins but it’s not looking too promising
    My daughter is doing a seasonal job at a pumpkin patch so maybe discounted pumpkins???
    Harvesting blackberries from our yard (had some last night over waffles…yum!
    Planning to make a trip to winco to stock up on produce… they have such great prices, wish they were closer
    Hoping for our Fred Meyer to have some good labor day sales (ad not out yet)

  23. 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!

  24. We have just successfully finished August, where I set our budget at $100 for food for our daily meals. I have $7 left over. This did not include the 2-3 non-food items I needed to buy–like soap to wash dishes. I used the excess money to buy apples to make applesauce. I was expecting to need to buy pears, but I was given 2 huge boxes full, which turned into 35 quarts, more than enough. I was given enough peaches to do 35 quarts, as well. I was able to buy a 20-lb tuna off the docks over on the Oregon coast, and canned it up. So, I’m very excited at how the month turned out.

    I love your grocery list, Brandy. With a garden growing, you will be able to make so many good meals from those items, plus what you already have on hand. I was also very happy for you because someone sent you the chicken coupons. Any amount of free chicken is a great addition:)

    This month, my husband goes back to work at the school, so he will be paid again Oct. 1. We will still receive a paycheck in mid-September from his/my summer work, but it will be used for bills. So, since the garden is still is full force, I plan to keep the grocery budget very low again. However, there are a few non-food items, like tin foil, that got used last month, and will need to be replaced. I will need to get that foil, t.p., ziplock bags (I’m using a lot of them right now for freezing berries, etc.), and dish soap.

    I thought I would use up more dry goods than I did, but the shelves seem pretty full still in the area of the garage I use for a pantry. We ate so much garden produce and fruit. I would like to get gluten-free cornbread mix, as we used that up. I also will check my brown rice supply, as I used a package of that up, but I think there’s more. If not, I’ll get some.

    Of course, the home-canning shelf and freezers are now bulging with jars and containers and I still want to do frozen corn from my sister’s garden, canned tomatoes and tomato products, and pickled beets. There are raspberries coming on nicely and a handful of strawberries ever couple of days on the bushes. I will continue to freeze whatever I get, and the baggies are adding up. My peppers are pitiful this year, but I’ll cut up and freeze what there are. I may buy a few peppers from a farm stand if they are very inexpensive and freeze some of those. I’ll start with the amount of whole tomatoes I need, then move on to salsa, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, and tomato juice–depending on how many tomatoes I can get from my bushes and extras from my sister, once she gets what she needs.

    I’ve planted a fall garden and it’s coming up. I’ve been able to have lettuce all summer by succession planting, and there are 2 more plantings in various stages coming up. (I had very little lettuce in August as it was too hot, but a little) As it cools off, I will get a lot of lettuce–at least that’s the plan. For September, there should be snow peas, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, berries, potatoes, cilantro, basil, chard, beets, carrots (maybe), and purple beans. There might be spinich, boc choi, and kale, if all works out the way I hope it does.

    I’m super excited to be heading off for 3 days with my husband for our 35th anniversary. We rarely get to go anywhere with just the 2 of us, so I’m ecstatic! We’ve been raising kids for the past 32 years, and have gone for years at a time without getting away together. But, we’ve always tried to get away once in a while to work on our marriage. I guess it worked!! I am putting some food items in a cooler, we will eat out some, and can buy some ingredients if needed. It will be minimal, as it’s just the 2 of us. The kids are at their aunt and uncles’ house, and will eat there. So, this trip is coming out of another budget, and our home grocery budget will actually start on Monday night. My husband is taking his crab traps, and maybe we will enjoy fresh crab. If not, it’s still going to be a blast.

  25. 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!

  26. Living near the Gulf of Mexico, I am with you on the need to have nonperishable food on hand! With Harvey just coming through and our eyes watching Irma, people in my area are feeling antsy. We have made the decision to also purchase a generator. We lived through Katrina. It was horrible. We are in pretty good shape with our pantry, but I am stocking up on water. I hate buying bottled water, but living near the gulf, it’s pretty much a have to during hurricane season.

  27. I suggest everyone stock up on pasta and flour now; the midwest is in a major drought, there will be very little if any grain harvested this year. Over 80% of the nations wheat supply comes from North and South Dakota and Montana combined. This is the area that has been hit the hardest, so expect to see prices go up within a year. There will be some great deals on beef the next few months, as the herds are being sold off due to lack of feed ; but then it will get very expensive next year. I’m also adding more dry milk to my stores, fresh has been on extremely low priced sales recently, which leads me to think it will also be rising in price within a year.

  28. I’m in Baton Rouge, and am almost “swimming” in my water supply! It’s so necessary in hurricane season!

  29. I also love this post. It is such an encouragement to me.

    Our grocery store flyers seem to start on random days of the week. I really have to pay attention to the dates. I went today to pickup sale pasta ($1 for 454grams – best price I’ve seen in a long time). Picked up $5 worth. Also 2-Litre soft soap refill for $2.99. Bought two -also the best price on this in my area.

    Monday and Tuesday are the 10%off days at the two biggest grocery stores in the area. Monday’s store will price match. I am stocking up on peanut butter, toilet paper, 1 case each of canned peas and canned corn, and any ‘this store only’ sale items that I may need but that are not advertised. I’ll go to the nonprofit grocery store for $0.10 bread and hopefully english muffins.

    I am still harvesting strawberries, cherry tomatoes, chard, hot peppers and green beans. The fresh produce will mean that I won’t buy any for at least a few weeks.

    Thanks to all who comment. I’m always so encouraged to read about everyone’s efforts.

  30. Brandy – Where do you put 10 sour creams? Do you have two refrigerators? I have a large family as well, but with only one refrigerator, I find it hard to stock up on things like produce (that can’t be frozen) and dairy.

  31. Dollar General is running a good sale on Gain laundry products. I got several months worth of laundry soap, fabric softener for a little over $10.00

  32. Two stores have already started their case lot sales, so I’ve made my list of what I’ll be buying there: canned green beans, tuna, olives, pineapple, Mandarin oranges, tomato sauce and paste, macaroni noodles, sugar, and honey. The sugar is quite a deal, $.30/lb. I’ll probably spend at least $100 just on case lot sales, but I’ll be getting a year supply of those items. I’m hoping to reduce my regular weekly shopping so I can stay within my normal monthly grocery budget of $350.

  33. If you are going to be at Costco, why not try their Kirkland powdered detergent that comes in a square bucket? It works out to 7.5 cents per load and I like it as well as Tide. Definitely worth trying!

  34. 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…

  35. On the warnings list, Elaine of A Sunny Simple Life posted that we’re likely to see a rise in sugar prices. No idea why as I haven’t seen anything to back that up yet, but worth noting and watching. Also with the aftermath of Harvey, fuel costs are going to rise considerably. More importantly that will affect all of our food costs, so keep that in mind. On the plus side, reports from Georgia farm bureau is that peanuts and corn have produced all time record crops and it looks as though soy beans and cotton will do the same just from what I’ve personally seen of the fields. So look for peanut butter and nut costs to decrease. It is also looking at this time as though there will be good pecan crops, another bonus.

  36. I think having a stash of bottled water is important for everyone to have. Regardless of where you live, major emergencies can and do happen. It is not uncommon for drinking water to become contaminated or outright unavailable during any emergency situation. Having a back up plan is always a wise decision!

  37. My sil lives in Iowa and was telling me about the drought. She said most of the corn and soybean farmers will lose their crops there too. Thank you for the heads up on the beef and wheat.

  38. Oh my goodness, I feel the same way! They need my attention but I have been ill and unable to proceed. IIt seems insurmountable at this time.

  39. I had planned on having a no spend month. My pantry and freezer can sustain us for awhile. My light bill came in and was 60.00 less than I had budgeted for. I hit up three of our salvage stores and bought some much desired items.
    2 bottles of Zantac for 1.99
    5 boxes Nilla wafers for 4.99. Will store in freezer to make in banana puddings
    27 ct Scott TP for half a penny per foot. I haven’t bought any in 20 months, so this was well received.
    98 loads of Downy fabric softener for 4.00 found in the Hispanic grocery. I went looking for a product that Brandy had mentioned and was amazed at many name brand products with Spanish labels were so much cheaper.I
    I need cream of chicken soup. I am searching for a homemade version and plan on making this and homemade rice a roni. I am going to save the remainder of my funds for any good loss leaders. I am missing credit for about 75.00 worth of Swagbucks. I will keep mine for Amazon deals for Christmas.

  40. I think the Kirkland laundry detergent is Tide, white labeled, at least the free and clear liquid. I’m not 100pc certain though. I know a lot of Kirkland signature items are white labeled versions of the name brands Costco carries. For example, Kirkland coffee is Starbucks and Kirkland granola bars in Canada are Le clerc.

  41. 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.

  42. I wipe all of my winter squash/pumpkins down with a 10% bleach/90% water mixture. Not soaking them, but being sure to get in the crevices. I have not had one go bad since I started doing this a few years ago—and we grow enough to take us into May.

  43. I will harvest our beet crop and any remaining tomatoes. We had a frost warning here last night (but no frost) so soon I will put our garden to rest for the winter.
    I will pick up pasta on sale for 0.88/lb at No Frills which is as cheap as it gets around here.
    The Canadian Thanksgiving is in early October, so I will be watching for sales at the end of this month on frozen turkey, frozen vegetables, and some pantry items.
    I picked up peanut butter on sale this week.
    Normally at this time of year I am canning pasta sauce like a maniac and getting ready to start apples. For various reasons I won’t be doing that this year. Kind of sad, but next year should be more productive.
    I will also watch for sales in buttercup squash, my favourite.
    For all you Canadian canners- you can get Bernardin canning lids at Dollorama for the best price 🙂

  44. We’ve had a huge unexpected medical bill come in, so in September I am planning to buy only milk and apples for canning applesauce (I mix it with dehydrated rhubarb to soak up excess fluid and also stretch the apples. I don’t put in a lot, as rhubarb is pretty sour but it helps. And if the type of apple on sale is sweeter, I can put in more). I feel fortunate that our garden produced record amounts this year—over 100 pounds of potatoes, which I know would go in the blink of an eye in Brandy’s house but will last all winter for us! The tomatoes and cukes and winter and summer squash also produced more than ever before, so I have preserved close to a year’s supply of all of those as well. I have also traded some produce for moose meat. Really, we can live on what we have for quite a while. I’d forgo the milk but the uncomplaining husband, who eats whatever I make without complaint, loves milk so I consider it one of my little acts of love to indulge without comment his appetite for milk. His parents used to drink whole milk and make the kids drink powdered milk, and I remember him telling me that he would sit there as a kid vowing that there would never be any powdered milk in his house for anyone. (I use it for baking, though) I think I can make it through the month for $35 total.

    I read someone talking about being low on toilet paper. Years ago I convinced my family members to send me cases of toilet paper for birthday and Christmas gifts because they could never figure out what to give me. My parents are gone now but my siblings each still send me a case twice a year, once in December and once in my birthday month. I cannot remember the last time I bought toilet paper!

  45. For the first time I found pasta at .49#. I also found jasmine rice on clearance at .37lb but was only able to buy 10lbs. I have been buying Fiora toilet paper when on sale for 3/$10 for 12 roll packs. I figure a per sheet cost and this is less than Pom. My freezer is full of chicken and pork so I would really like to find some good stock-up prices of beef.

  46. My problem is forgetting to rotate the water out. I buy gallons at the regular supermarket but they only keep about 2 years—I save the older jugs if they aren’t leaking (sometimes they are) as I figure it could always be used for washing ourselves or flushing toilets. I just have to remember to buy more suitable for drinking!

  47. I also need beef for the freezer, but still have ground beef enough. I am looking for spaghetti sauce, corn (a case if it goes to its’ semi-annual low) and I also need to go to the Amish store for oatmeal for granola. While in Ohio visiting the Amish area, I did buy some sliced almonds considerably cheaper than here. Actually most of their prices were considerably cheaper than here. I came home with some souvenirs (food related) and stashed some more for stocking stuffers for the holidays. I bought a couple pounds of Swiss cheese and some goat cheese packages (small) for my grand-daughter.) The Swiss is delicious–we ate cheese and crackers in the hotel in the evenings, along with some baked goods. I can use the Swiss in quiche also–my favorite use for it. I would like some pork spare ribs but only if on sale—just got another large boneless pork loin and cut it into small roasts for the two of us. SO spare ribs would be nice but not essential. The pork loin was $1.69 a lb as it was the last time I bought it. I’ll keep eating it at that price–it’s very good. Some inexpensive seafood would be great although there may be no such thing these days. If I get to Sam’s Club, I will look for it there also. Those are my major needs at the moment. Our best stock up sales seem to come after the kids go back to school–which is next Wednesday. I’ll be checking the ads every week.

  48. The Kirkland laundry detergent is manufactured by a company called Huish. Tide, of course, is P&G. Regardless of who makes it, it’s about the best detergent I’ve ever used. Even my adult son, who is often brand sensitive, says it is the best.

  49. I hope things look up financially for you, Brandy. I hope your family appreciates just how hard you work to provide a beautiful, loving, and nurturing home. #inspirational #blessed r. I plan to buy:
    – 10 lbs of beets when they go on sale for a few dollars, and will make pickled beets and beet hummus (a touch of balsamic makes it heavenly)
    – 10 lbs of carrots when they go on sale for a few dollars, to blanch and freeze and also to use fresh
    – 10 lbs of onions when they go on sale for a few dollars (there’s a theme here!), to chop up and freeze. I like to freeze them already chopped, as then I can just chip off the amount I need for a recipe whenever I need some over the next 6 months or so.
    – a box of tomatoes for $6 and change. I think I would like to try canning my own tomato sauce this year. I still need to do some research on canning tomatoes because of acidity levels and such, but worst case scenario, I’ll just dehydrate tomato slices for healthy chips, or faux sundried tomatoes, or simply freeze the sauce. Plus lots on top of salads and such.
    – apples, when on sale. I want to can some applesauce this year. So easy and yummy. Plus, I want to make some more apple butter.
    – pears and peaches, when on sale, as I want to can some pears, as well as pear butter.
    – a few cases of canning jars, when on sale (I find Canadian tire or Walmart often has the cheapest) to can all this produce into.
    – lettuce, as I eat salad most days and I STILL have not been able to grow lettuce on my balcony. However, my swiss chard is growing, so I might just use some of that for salads.
    – potatoes, if they go on sale for super-cheap. If so, I’ll make oven-baked fries often.
    – lactose-free milk for cereal. I have enough regular milk to make enough yoghurt for the next 4-8 weeks (as it becomes essentially lactose free the longer the yoghurt cultures), but will need lactose-free milk.
    – baking supplies like dried cranberries, pepitas/pumpkin seeds, and shredded coconut, when I see a sale at our local bulk store. Also ground psyllium husk. They’ll go on sale at the end of September most likely, just in time for (Canadian) Thanksgiving. Well, not the psyllium, but I’ll use a $3 off $10 coupon to reduce the price of that.
    – I plan to do A LOT of baking this month, and will likely go through most of my (still pretty big) supply, so if I see a sale on flour, I’ll buy a 10 kg bag, so that I’ll be set for a few months.
    – butter, if I see it on sale. I don’t like to pay more than $3/brick (Canadian), but haven’t seen that for a while. When I see it, I’ll fill up my freezer and overflow into my fridge. I’m hoping to see it closer to Thanksgiving.
    – sugar and icing sugar, during the lead up to Thanksgiving
    – eggs. I never see sales on this as I only buy cage-free, so I just try to use them sparingly in my baking.

    I think that’s it. I’m fully stocked on peanut butter, as I bought something like 6 jars when it was on sale recently, which brings my total stash up to 8 jars or so. I will eat that all over the next 6 months. The DH doesn’t eat peanut butter unless it’s baked into cookies. Speaking of which, some of that pb will be baked into cookies.

    I’ll have to do some rearranging of my underbed storage to fit in all my planned canning, but I already have some underbed storage units that my mom gave me when she was cleaning out a couple of years ago, so it’s just a matter of rearranging some things and convince the DH to toss some other things.

    It’ll be a fun month!

  50. Our pantry and long term food storage is pretty well stocked. I have also been canning quite a bit of garden produce to add to it. We were also unexpectedly given a bushel basket of pears and some plums. It added a lot of work at a busy time but went to work preserving it and was very thankful for it.

    We are planning a trip to the Cannery to restock a few items.

    Watching for sales on butter, laundry soap and cane sugar and will purchase these if the price is right.

  51. Adding one more “thumbs up” for the Kirkland laundry detergent. The liquid in the orange/red bottle is the best!

  52. Hi Brandy and everyone from Australia 🙂 .

    We have been picking turnips, spinach, lots of capsicums both red and gold and early Massey peas from the gardens. It has been incredibly dry here so we have been conserving water where we can to water in the new seedlings that have sprouted.

    This month we are working on increasing our food storage on flour by one storage bucket, raw sugar x 1 10lt storage bucket and 5 extra butters for the freezer and I have worked out that I can do this within budget which is fantastic thanks to being able to get grocery gift cards from our roadside assist club.

    Other items we will get on our 6 weekly shop will be –
    – eggs.
    – powdered milk.
    – cocoa powder.
    – cheese.
    – butter
    – 2kg of bacon
    – tinned mangos
    – sultanas.
    – macadamia nuts.
    – almonds.
    – plain flour
    – raw sugar
    – 2 x lip balm
    – 2 x cooling cake racks.
    – 2 x biscuit trays.

    We are so happy we have been blessed and will be able to increase our food storage 🙂 .

  53. I buy the normal sized water bottles and use them when we do day trips or throughout the year when we have company. Since we are using it slowly on a regular basis, I restock my cases whenever there’s a good sale or as needed, if I notice we are getting lower than I’d like. I know this may not be ideal for the environment, but it works to keep the water rotated and I haven’t wasted money on buying something I never actually used before it expired out.

    I also have recycled jugs filled with tap water that don’t get rotated as often as it should. I would use these jugs for cleaning or even cooking if desperate. I’d just use undrinkable water to flush toilets (river water or collected rain water).

  54. 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 …

  55. better apples and pear than tomatoes and bell peppers that spoil faster…looks like the second crop of tomatoes is turning and I’m not done with the first crop. ..Blessed for the overflowing abundance keeps going through my head.

  56. 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.

  57. What we’re seeing here is very odd right now and we’ve never seen it before. There is a shortage of houses, but most houses are just sitting. Low-priced houses are going in a flash, but anything above the average is taking its sweet time. There is concern that as house prices have once again risen across the nation, they’re outpacing income. A market correction is happening with that, and it has already started (this time in Texas, and that was pre-hurricane), but we can see it happening here too.

    New home sales in the country were down 9% in July. That’s something telling, too. Home sales are usually highest in the summer. Having home sales go down in summer is interesting and we’ll see where this leads. Builders are still building (though they had stopped building here a while back because of the recession, after massive building going on for years as before that we had the second fastest and fourth fastest growing cities here in the valley).

    Interest rates have been predicted to go up several times over the last couple of years (and in fact were even announced that they would be raised) and then–they were not raised.

    Every area has its differences, but in general, in the U.S., wintertime means slower sales than summer. So a slow summer heading into winter is not real promising. We can just wait and see how things go.

  58. I can fit 12 on one shelf in the fridge. I have a freezer on top/fridge on bottom refrigerator and it is the largest capacity fridge out there. At the same time, I can also fit 12 dozen eggs on the shelf opposite the sour cream, plus I could fit 6 gallons of milk on the shelf below that, plus another shelf for leftovers/other things, the top shelves for jams and tortillas, and then the two large produce drawers. On the door I have an amazing amount of deep storage; I could technically fit 6 milks there plus condiments. I keep water on two shelves on the door (where I can fit 4 gallons of water) and a gallon of mayo, a large container of salsa, ketchup, and condiments on the rest of the door. I don’t have a water dispenser so that doesn’t take up any room.

    We also have a second fridge in the garage (that’s smaller) that we were given by someone who was moving out of state (the timing was wonderful, as we had one before that and it had gone out).

  59. 2 tablespoons of margarine/butter melted in sauce pan, blend in 2 tablespoons of flour , add 1/3 cup dried milk and 2/3rds cup chicken broth stir and cook until smooth, add 1 tsp chicken bouillon to flavor… small diced chicken optional …
    adjusted from cream of celery soup pg 212 The Complete Tightwad Gazette…

    works well with diced mushrooms also.if you use dehydrated soak in water first and then use the water as the broth

  60. That recipe looks FANTASTIC, J! Thanks! I think I have enough herbs in my herb garden to do that (perhaps a little low on, basil, but whatever, I’ve got a lot more of oregano, so it’ll work out). This will be the perfect recipe to use the box of tomatoes and make use of my garden produce. Thanks, J!

  61. Home Depot also does throw away plants they keep them in the back by like the lumber. I got two plants free from them. I also got 3 free from my grocery store a few years ago.

    I now have a small spruce tree growing from the near dead home depot plant the other thing they gave me did die. I have 3 rose bushes from the grocery store throw away. All free.

  62. This month I will limit my grocery budget to $250. This is for food/household items only. I already spent most of this yesterday and today buying staples from Sams (flour, beans, sugar etc) and WalMart. I hope not to do any shopping until the end of this month. We have a goal to reach and by staying out of the stores, I won’t spend anything extra!

    Thank you to everyone that shared what possibly will be higher priced this coming season. I deliberately added extra flour, beans and sugar to my list because of the comments here. I can’t do much about beef prices right now but I am able to buy extra staples. Hope everyone has a great month and reaches their goals.


  63. I find it so good what you are doing (or NOT doing) with your money. Lot of people are in debt these days, in the Netherlands also, but people do not want to cook from scratch or only drink water during the day or bake there own bread. They keep on buying confieniance (?)(sorry for my spelling) food and then moan about there money.
    I had a laugh about youre american beauty pasta, I thought it was some kind of facial cream or something….., so I googled it and it was pasta like spaghetti and stuff….lol, I wundered why you would buy so many.
    My freezer is almost filled with vegetables from my garden, we now eat most of the vegetables I harvest from the garden. Lots of beans this year, green beans that is and string beans all frozen. Lots of zucchinnis to, and beets and carrots. But there are also a lot of beets and carrots to harvest for eating right away. I have about 50 pots of jam/jelly each 500 ml. Lots of passata to.
    During the wintertime we can harvest kale and cabbage and sprouts and Red cabbage, so we will be oke.
    In the netherlands we don’t need to stock a pantry for bad weather conditions like in the USA, we don’t have hurricans and heavy floading and things like that. We hardly ever have power faillure, and when it does happen it never takes longer then a vieuw hours.
    And in the netherlands we don’t have to drive very far to go to a supermarket as we are a very small country ofcourse.
    But I love reading about your lives and it’s very inspiring.
    Goodbey everyone.

  64. I wear disposable nonlatex gloves when I work for extended times with food that might stain or irritate my skin, such as grating zucchini, and cutting up pumpkin. I also use them when I remove skin from whole chickens and turkey breasts. I buy the HDX vinyl ones from Home Depot that come in a 100 count box.

  65. I have taken out $150 for September’s groceries and I spent about a third of that yesterday. I will really only need milk, yogurt, eggs and fresh fruit & veg for the rest of the month so will concentrate on stocking up on sale items. I will pick up some more peanut butter tomorrow but wait until I see what next week’s sale flyers offer before purchasing much more. Normally, at this time of year I would expect to find canned soup (mushroom & tomato), along with pasta and canned veg on sale – so will concentrate on things like that.
    I will also use up meat from my freezer (just the top of the fridge) so I’ll be making meatloaf, shepherd’s pie and a few chicken dishes. I want to make room so that I can freeze some veg later in the month when onions, carrots & peppers go on sale.
    I currently have $60 worth of points saved up on my loyalty card and plan to restock my baking supplies with this money at the end of September. I also keep a coin jar which currently holds around $50 – I’ll keep adding to it over the next 3 months and then use that money at the end of November to stock up on Christmas extras.
    I’m anticipating a no spend January & February (except for dairy and fresh fruit & veg) so I will be working towards that goal.
    I already have about 6 months worth of non food items saved up so only buy these sorts of things when the sale price is just too good to pass up – it makes such a difference!

  66. I have lived most of my life on well water. I know all too well how quickly access to water can disappear. All it takes for us is loss of hydro or the pump to fail (like the time the foot valve broke and it took days to get it fixed) and we can’t even flush a toilet or get a drop of water from the tap. When this area had a major flood several years ago from a massive rain storm, all area residents were advised to boil their well water after power was restored, just in case of contamination. When the blackout of 2003 happened, my daughter was only a few months old and I couldn’t even mix her formula or warm her bottle. It’s a really big deal when you lose access to water, that’s for sure!

  67. I make this recipe but I don’t bother peeling or chopping. I cook it and then when the tomatoes get soft I use an immersion blender to break up the tomatoes. It is faster, easier and saves getting that acidic rash that sometimes comes with handling a lot of tomatoes.

  68. We had a few months where I tried to keep the majority of our meals from things on hand so we were actually out of some items starting this month. I like that because it lets me know I am rotating my storage. Things have changed here (medical dietary restrictions) and our food costs have gone up some because of that and the fact that my daughter is back to taking lunches with her now that university has taken back in.

    I’m thinking I’ll need dairy throughout the month, potatoes, and a few items. Anything else will be just because I find a good enough deal to justify not taking advantage of it.

  69. Thanks for the recipe link, J. I’ve pinned it to my canning & preserving Pinterest board. Love how simple the recipe is. I’m sure dried herbs could also be substituted to taste as well.

  70. I don’t know yet what will be on my non-routine shopping list but my plan is to make a comprehensive list of emergency supplies needed in case of an earthquake or other event that requires food, water and first aid supplies. We moved across the country 4 months ago and I have replace my backup water supply, bought extra canned foods and a battery powered lantern but not really studied what is needed. Also want to have minimum supplies in our car. Other than that I will be just doing the usual shopping for the 2 of us.

  71. The first week back to school has been pretty hectic but I stuck to my budget gratefully!

    1. Was able to get a free planner, a coupon book, and some coupons for buy one get one free smoothies during the Back To School Booths on campus.
    2. Got a free Iced Coffee at 7-11 and a free Ben and Jerry Ice Cream through the 7-11 app. Little treats like this have been so helpful in sticking to my budget.
    3. I got a free photo collage from CVS and free prints with free shipping from Snapfish! This is helpful towards a frugal Christmas.
    4. Carried all my lunch items and snacks to work/class. It is helpful as my Mondays are 14 hour days!
    5. Signed up for a free “Paint and Punch” class through my library. Looking forward to it.
    6. Sold a top I never wore on Ebay.
    7. Completed a small Mystery Shop at Sam’s Club. Only $2.00 but I was there anyway and I am up to 45 dollars in my paypal. Trying to cobble enough together to get a bike for my youngest for Christmas.
    8. Cooked a turkey we had gotten near Easter. It made many sandwiches, 2 nights of dinner and saved the rest for soup.
    9. Trying to find a book for a class assignment through the library.
    Frugal and Not so frugal. Our oven died yesterday. This would be the last un replaced appliance in the last 4 years. I even had to do the air conditioner this year :(.Lukcily a $40.00 part solved the problem. I graduate in 2019 so things will be lean till then as my husband doesn’t have a job currently and I am finishing my schooling as a psychologist. Sometimes its overwhelming but I just keep plugging away.

  72. They are more expensive east of the Mississippi except in the northern states that grow a lot of potatoes such as Maine or Michigan.

  73. our income took a down turn as well for grocery’s for the month we will only be able to get cheese i am figuring harder times ahead. This week worked on two bday gifts and a wed gift and a little towards Christmas. i had froze all raspberries to make jam later in fall we have peaches on the trees those are small here in iowa they will be jam too. i make all our bread items. we lost a part time job we have had for yrs some one under bid us and we got very little but enough to hurt so we push on we have storage and have always used it as a pantry so we won’t eat different but are now using without replacing which makes me nervous but when we get unexpected funds we use some to get needed replacements. but without this job things will be very hard.

  74. Brandy,
    How do you use or cook red noodle beans? We have some for the first time and I dont know what to do with them.

  75. we will manage we pay our tithing so we will be blessed we are 61 and not best of health feeling old you know that when you have no money you have to work extra hard at everything…but we did put in our storage as a big pantry and food wise we will eat the same. Thankful for warnings to be prepared and that we followed the Prophets encouragements to put up storage. I hope things improve for you as well

  76. My friend and her family went camping so she cleared out some of the items in her fridge and gave them to me (cooked beets, a lentil patty, carrots (I pointed out to her they would keep for her return but she gave them to me anyway), green beans, kale. She also gave me some frozen applesauce and some frozen tomato sauce she’d made.

    I went to the farmers’ market because I was close to it after a dentist visit. I bought a case of peaches for $20. Identical cases were being sold next to it for $30, the only difference being that the one I bought supposedly had to be used right away. In fact, I pointed out to them that they were still very unripe. I have been eating the tomatoes off of my plants almost everyday. Not enough to can but enough to eat fresh. I stocked up my freezer with 25 individual packages of cooked meat (turkey, ham, beef, etc.). I then only make one trip to the grocery store each month, saving on taxi fare. So I should be okay until the end of the month.

    Brandy, I admire how you make limited resources stretch. I hope things improve for you economically. We keep hearing how the economy is recovering in both countries but don’t experience it ourselves.

  77. My husband is a Real Estate Agent in San Diego. He has been busier than he has been in a long time. There is a shortage of homes here. His last three listing were bidding wars. I don’t think this wave will last long. Houses are so ridiculous in price and rentals are over the top. Family are living in RV parks in tents to try to save up first, last and security deposit. Even though our income has gone up I’m saving and doing repairs on our house that we put off. I know this bubble will burst and I think it will be worse than 2007.

  78. Butternut should be uniform in color (peachy beige) and the skin should feel firm. I never wash mine and they have stored well…up to one year.

  79. I purchased large 5 gallon jugs from Amazon (mostly with Swagbucks) and fill them from the tap. Every six months or so, we empty and refill them.

  80. becky in central iowa our family is thinking and praying for you and send you and your family reassuring hugs.

    I agree that if we follow the prophets words on our food storage we will be blessed and glad you have a good supply to tide you over. Hoping that you find some more work to even the family budget out for you.

    Lorna from Australia.

  81. If you can store in a cool dark place like a basement. Try not to place directly on a concrete floor. It pulls moisture and they spoil faster. If you need to place on a floor put on cardboard or even stacks of newspaper . Best if you can place on shelves, not touching each other,so air can circulate around.

  82. September is going to be a tight month in this house…I suspect the next several months will be as well. I am attempting a new menu planning style that will allow us some more frugal options and make it easier when I start school at the end of this month. I’m hoping to pick up extra shifts the next few weeks to help cover some expenses and save for a few things such as a stock up trip to Costco and some Christmas items. With my crop of cherry tomatoes I am going to dehydrate them and look into putting them in oil and making them into Christmas gifts.
    My parents are coming over tomorrow I believe and they will likely bring over some meat for our freezer (yay!) which will go a long ways for us.
    My son is also very determined to build a go cart (I love his ten year old ambition) and we are helping him raise money to put it together.
    May the odds be in everyone’s favor for the frugal life this month!

  83. 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.

  84. 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!

  85. 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.

  86. In September money has been set aside for PYO raspberries. These will be frozen and also made into jam. I need to buy bulk yeast and am planning to use a Swagbucks-earned Amazon gift card. I need to restock on bulk balsamic vinegar from the food coop. I use it to make homemade salad dressings. I’m hoping for a good sale on cranberry juice and toilet paper. Apple season!!

    Thank you for a head’s up about future flour and beef prices.

    Brandy – do you meal plan a month at a time? How do you determine what to purchase for a month when you have a limited budget? Would love to read a blog post on how you do this.

  87. Libby, I don’t meal plan for the month. I find I have to see what is ripe in the garden to determine what we are having, and I don’t always know what day I will have enough of something ripe to make a meal. I have a huge pantry (if you haven’t seen my pictures, they’re here: ) and I have freezers with food as well. I base purchases on what shortages I see in my pantry as well as what sales I know are going to be that month.

  88. I ordered my fall garlic to plant today along with my ground cover to plant in the north garden. That stocks my garlic for next year.

    A big thank you to Brandy for this post and to all those that comment. I gather the wisdom daily.

    Hubby came home and told me the company is changing the retirement package for next year so he is coming out in early Dec. Changes annual physical, medication orders etc along with December is when I restock after Thanksgiving because I do the Christmas/yule candies and cookies for transport the week before Thanksgiving while Hubby is off work. The part time seasonal work he was offered doesn’t start until April/May.Not sure what our income will be from Dec 1st to June planning for the worst. He has CDL license, is an EMT, does small repairs of all sorts, does wood working, farming, animal care, and volunteers for SCARES that runs the HAM radio group for Homeland security. Our landlord already said he could work the rent,electric and propane off working the landlord’s farm. Still, it’s been over 20 yrs for me and over 30 yrs for him to go back to not having a steady paycheck and paying our own health ins.

    December stock up has been split into Sept/Oct/Nov. Our local potatoes come out in Sept. I really try to get them then as they last longer than the ones I order. Winter squash including pumpkins are rolling in. The Amish produce auction for pumpkins is Sept 22.
    My stock up is going to be HUGE…I’m blessed in the fact I was able to earn and save enough to cover most of it plus the gardens are blessing me with tomatoes. I ran out of pasta sauce the last 2 yrs. I should (after looking at the tomatoes today and praying I get them dealt with asap so I don’t lose them) I should be canning tomatoes for the next 3-4 wks if not past the first frost (I will cover them if it frosts which is around Oct 9th my Hubby’s birthday)

  89. I need to stock up on everything. Havent had the funds and things went from bad to worse. We have found ourselves 45 miles from home at the childrens hospital. Food is not cheap here. They do have snacks available at the nurses station that they will give you when you ask, but its harrd to make a meal out of it. Any money that i would have spent will be going towards gas for my husband traveling back and to work. I dont know when we will be leaving here, or whats in store fir us next. I do know that when we do leave, i probably will be staying home with my daughter 24-7 and wont be able to run here because watermelon iis on sale and run there because potatoes are on sale. My plan is to stock the freezer with pans of meals so that when we wind up at the hospital again, we have something to eat. I have a 25lb bag of cornbread that i scored for $3 last Week but i cant very well ask my husband to make me a laf of cornbread before he comesback tomorrow night. Ii plan to get a 50lb bag of flor, oil, beans and rice. I also want to get some extra peanut butter and powdered milk. I had been buying regular milk because the per ounce price was the same as powdered. I dont want to be in a predicament wherei need milk during the day and not be able to get any. Dum question but is it cheaper to buy a roisserie chicken from sams or a pack of chickrn for $1.99 a lb…. which would get me more meals?

  90. Here in Louisiana potatoes are usually on sale for around .20 a pound except sweet potatoes which I can get from the farm for $25 a truck bed. They are the ugly ones, but I have found they taste the same

  91. I’m in Monroe, while we don’t usually get the full brunt of the Hurricanes, Rita took my parents roof right off. Peeled the metal like it was opening a can. With the flooding we experienced in 2016, we also keep food, water, a few cans of gas and any rx stocked up. Since Harvey we have seen gas prices jump almost .75 gallon in less than a week.

  92. I just used the Tightwad Gazette today–made muffins using her Universal recipe. I enjoy looking back at those issues that I got for $12/yr. My husband and I were joking that her newsletters were the blog posts of today.

  93. Kim,

    I don’t know your situation but I will be praying for blessings to be poured out on you and yours. I don’t know about your chicken question as I can’t remember last time I bought a rotisserie chicken. If I was in your shoes I would call around to places like the Ronald McDonald House or Salvation Army to ask for short term help. Explaining your situation may lead to them at least leading you to help. Salvation Army fed my family a lot when I was a child. They never turned their backs to us in time of need, which was often my first 12 years of life. Please keep us updated on how you are.

  94. Cheap local grown potatoes are plentiful here in the stores also unless you want to buy the Idaho grown ones. They are very pricey. We grow some potatoes but we buy most from road side stands for 9.50 to 10.50 a 100 pound bag for our keeper potatoes.

  95. I’ve been cleaning out my pantry and am low on canned goods like soups, tomato paste, some pasta, etc. A local store has case lot items of their label products very inexpensive this week. Soups are .59 and .79 a can, tomato paste at .59. It’s just my husband and me and we don’t eat a lot of canned good (metal cans, that is), but I am going to stock up on some items to have on hand. I should be able to restock what we would use over the course of a year for about $20 to $30.

  96. Mid and lower priced houses are going quickly here. My brother and his wife (she has multiple sclerosis, early) wanted to move out of their larger 2 story to a smaller ranch type house. Their house sold in a week for more than asking but to find the house they wanted they had to cross the county line and go from a suburb of the capitol city to a smaller town. They ended up buying an upper/lower duplex complete with the renter in the upper and with a larger lot and an outbuilding for less than what they sold their city lot house for.

  97. We never wash our squash either, though we lay them out of tables outside to cure for about a week. We brush off any dirt. We store them in the root cellar and they last through to late spring. We check often and use any quicker that look like they may need to be used first. However, Delicata is not a keeper if you were not aware of that. We always use those up before the others.

  98. I love Jonagolds, and they have a short window in early fall. Then we’ll buy Galas and later Fujis. It looks like they won’t be in until the end of September or early October, so I may end up waiting until October to buy any; right now most apples are $1.99 a pound everywhere!

  99. Kim, I am sorry to hear of illness in your family. I pray for speedy healing and reuniting your family at home as soon as possible.

  100. Becky, congratulations to you and Rob on your 35th anniversary. Will you be camping? I hope the weather cooperates with your outdoor activities.

  101. Hi all,
    Restocking the pantry here after a very busy summer of travel. We see all of our extended, far flung family during June, July and August and then, typically don’t leave home again until the following June! That may change this winter with a tentatively planned family vacation in Florida. This trip will replace all Christmas gifts. And spring birthdays as well. We have two of those. That remains to be seen, however. Money and weather permitting.
    The garden has so much bounty this year due to our rainy, rainy summer! Zucchini, basil, thyme, dill, onions, collards, kale, arugula, tomatoes, lettuce, swiss chard, beans, beets, carrots, apples, figs and more! It’s very exciting. Now, if it would stop raining so I can get out there and harvest it all!
    I was able to buy storage onions, pickling cukes, and peppers for pepper jelly, maple syrup and corn on the cob at very inexpensive prices from our Amish neighbors up north where we see family during the summer. I’ve also found fantastic buys on tinned fish and canned chicken for the pantry, some canned vegetables and very inexpensive noodles and rice. Potatoes seem to be higher than I like but I did get two bags of organic reds for the price of one since they were about to sprout. That’s okay – we’ll eat them right up! I continue to get my locally sourced meat and milk from our milkman at a pretty good price and my hens are still laying like crazy so we’ve got lots of eggs. I’m hoping to NOT grocery shop for another two weeks. That’s the plan anyway. We’ll see how it goes. I’m sourcing most of our homeschooling supplies from either the library or used bookstores but I did have to pony up some serious cash for new cleats for a fast growing teenage boy. I wasn’t happy about that but since I hadn’t purchased any NEW not on clearance shoes or clothes for this child in several years, I decided it was okay. 🙂 Hard to believe what they can get for a pair of cleats these days…
    Have a good weekend everyone.

  102. I noticed in Tuscaloosa it seems that the homes priced $150,00 and lower are being snapped up very quickly, especially new builds, a good bit of inventory sitting between $150,000 to $275,000 is moving slowly, but anything above that is just sitting there it seems for about six months or longer. One of my kids works in construction, and I always worry when the housing market is stagnant.

  103. TerriC, thanks for the heads up! Smiths had their case sale, 10 bags of sugar $16.90. However, they have their buy 5 save 5 right now and sugar is part of the deal. I bought 10- 4 lb. bags for $9.90!! Just in time for Holiday baking!!

  104. I’m just now beginning to try and catch up on my reading here.

    Oh how I miss having an Albertson’s store in our area!

    Brandy, I’m curious, are you brand loyal to the American Beauty pasta? I may be mistaken since I haven’t kept the best records over the years on sales & whatnot, but I thought pasta sales happened closer to the holidays. I have been holding out for them since I’m out of macaroni , shells & shorter pastas (I have plenty of fettucini, spaghetti and angel hair) so I hope I’m not mistaken and as I haven’t seen any good pasta sales lately. I don’t buy specific brands, only what goes on sale. Usually Skinner, judging by what’s in my pantry. I sure hope I haven’t missed the pasta sales thinking they haven’t happened yet.:(

  105. I am not brand loyal on pasta. I just switched to American Beauty years ago because it was the cheapest (it used to be $.49 a pound) and Barilla used to go on sale for $0.79 a pound. But the other day I checked out Walmart’s brand just to know and their store brand (Great Value) is $0.88 a pound, which would not be bad if you needed pasta and didn’t get any at a sale (or if you only had a Walmart in your area, as many people do).

    The lowest price I see on American Beauty pasta has been only 2 and sometimes 3 times a year, and one of those is always in September. One is in spring. IF there is a third one, it’s in summer, but I didn’t see it this year or last year, so I think it’s only going to continue twice a year this low. Otherwise, the sales prices are higher. By stocking up when the prices are lowest, I can make our money go further, so I try to hold out for those sales. Unfortunately, our stores have really limited their stock of American Beauty in the past two years in favor of the Kroger brand, which never goes on sale as low. One of the Smith’s near me has spaghetti noodles and angel hair pasta but the other only stocks fettucini. One stocks penne and the other does not (all in the American Beauty brand). They used to both have lots more choices.

  106. Thanks for the insight! Interesting. If I do see any pasta sales this fall/winter, I’ll let you know. I hope my memory isn’t that bad, lol. I keep thinking I loaded up at Kroger last year right around the time they were having all the holiday (Thanksgiving and Christmas) sales. Now this is going to bug me for a while…;)

  107. Also, in my area, Target’s Market Pantry pasta is 77¢/lb box, and it often be combined with a 5% off Cartwheel (limit 4.) This week they had 1 lb boxes of Barilla for $1 a box- I bought 8 edition and 2 of the bow tie shape.

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