American Flag

Since I’ve lived here, September has always felt like the last month of summer, though we’ll continue to run the air conditioner well into next month. With 5 months of over 90º weather, running the air conditioner is normal here from April through October. It’s going to be 97º today.

The garden is not yet cool enough for me to direct sow seeds for lettuce (the soil temperature is 85º). We are getting pears, butternut squash, apples, a few cucumbers, a few tomatoes (very few) and some herbs. 

Smith’s is having their case-lot sale this month. I’ll pick up 24 cans of green beans ($0.50 a can when you buy 12), some shredded Tillamook cheddar cheese ($12.99 for 5 pounds), and brownie mix ($1 a box).  Pasta usually goes on sale this month for $0.49 a pound; if it does, I’ll  stock up.



Cheddar cheese

Mozzarella ($2 a pound on sale this week in 8 0unce blocks, when you buy in multiples of 3)

Green beans 

Cream of mushroom and Cream of chicken condensed canned soup (I’d stopped buying cream soups but my husband loves them for sauces and asked me to put them back on the shopping list; these are on case-lot sale in cases of 48 cans for $.0.90 a can).


Ice cream (the Kroger Party pail is on sale $3.99 for 1 quart)

Boneless pork roast (on sale for $1.59 a pound)

Eggs ($3.99 for 5 dozen large)

Brownie mix







sour cream






I’ve already been to Target and Smith’s (both last week). I’ll go to Winco later in the month.

At the very end of the month, it should be cool enough for me to start sowing seeds for lettuce. I’m looking forward to it!








Similar Posts


  1. We had volunteer tomato plants grow and I didn’t have the heart to pull them, so they are quite late for the east coast but I’m hoping we’ll have a warm fall and get a few. They are small. I’m quite curious to see what kind is growing,

    I’m reference book shopping this month, I want some more garden ones for my permanent library and one on general DIY. I’m watching for a butter sale and chocolate.

  2. And we think were hard done by in the UK because we get well into the 80s this week , but then again nobody much has air con its virtually unheard of except in the occasional hyper modern glass buildings , which are usually offices . We can grow lettuce till the frosts and then some if you cover them , its been a weird year in the garden , we lost the plums this year to gales , we have tons of decent apples and pears to come , our raspberries are just coming into their autumn flush , but the freezer is already flooded with the early summer ones , more jam to make ..Ive been out getting blackberries and done windfall jam with those , the little nut bushes are now big and look to be laden subject to the squirrels finding them , its a fiddling job shelling them and chopping them but i like cob nuts in my xmas cakes and they do keep forever . Im looking out for a few brassica plants just havent had time this year , if they go in now they give a spring harvest before anything else is ready , kale is always the quickest grower and chard is as tough as old boots . and i admit ive just found a tray of celery plants i had forgot about they can go in one of the cold frames , i may get lucky with them, the vagaries of the weather as usual i’m afraid

  3. Hi Brandy,
    Did you make the condensed soup mix before adding the cream of soup back on the list? We use canned too but I had been considering making my own for a cost savings. Also, same question about the brownie mix? I’m trying to figure out what products are more cost efficient to make versus buy right now?

  4. I did try, but my husband wasn’t a fan (on the cream soups). I only use them in a few recipes and I haven’t bought them for years, so for now I am buying them.

    I haven’t come up with a brownie recipe that I like that is less yet. I had hoped to, but it hasn’t happened. Most call for chocolate (not cocoa powder). I keep hoping to find one!

  5. If you are just using the cream soup for sauces Dollar General has cream of mushroom and cream of chicken for $.65 ea every day. Last year close to Thanksgiving they had Libby’s canned vegetables at 3/$1 and I bought 2 cases each of corn, peas, cut and french cut green beans. Sure hoping they do that again this year.

  6. Ha! We’re shopping buddies this month on the cream of chicken soup. My husband, like yours, wasn’t a fan of the SOS mix (well neither was my daughter, but she doesn’t like a lot of things at her age) and asked me to buy more canned. I just ordered 24 cans from Amazon for now because that was the cheapest price per can I could find, but I am hoping the cans still go on sale cheap around the holidays so I can get some cream of mushroom soup and more cream of chicken as well so I’m all stocked up.

    I need to start watching for sales on green beans as well as I think those are the one veggie I haven’t really stocked up on for winter yet.

    I envy your case lot sales. I believe the only ones that do it here are the military commissaries on base. Enjoy stocking up for cheap :).

    Anyway, my list for the month can be found here…

  7. Hi, Brandy.

    Years ago my mom gave me the [u]Hershey’s Chocolate Treasury[/u] cookbook (ISBN 0-307-49274-5). I just checked, and it has a few brownie recipes that call for cocoa powder rather than chocolate. You might see if you can get a copy of it through the library. If you can’t, just let me know and I can copy the recipes and send them to you.

    I’ve only tried the “Best Brownies.” They were tasty but much thinner than boxed mixes. We liked them, though. 🙂

    Since my diagnosis two years ago, I’ve had to avoid soy. That means virtually no packaged goods for me (soy is in just about everything–sigh). Fortunately, I have found some soy-free chocolate chips. Still, most of our chocolate treats must be made with cocoa power.

    Anyway, let me know if you’d like me to send you the recipes I have.

  8. Oh Brandy I wish we could ship you some green beans. They are in abundance here in Northwest PA. I had all that I wanted to pick for free from a church friend. It is awesome you can grow all year round. Our season is coming to an end. I am so blessed to have a daughter-in-law that coupons. She got me ranch dressing and starkist tuna fish in the bags by doubling coupons. I will help her in return by babysitting while she is doing a seasonal fall job on the weekends. Tomatoes are on here so my husband and I did a bushel of tomatoes into sauce. It is so yummy! Have a wonderful day.

  9. I grew up with my Mom making her version of frosted brownies but what we now know are supposed to be called Texas Sheet Cake. The recipe I use uses cocoa powder in both the cake and the frosting and my kids love them!

  10. Brandy, this came in “The Kid’s Cookbook” that my sister gave my kids years ago. I can testify that it’s really good, although it does call for a lot of butter.
    Disgustingly Rich Brownies

    2 sticks (1 cup) butter
    2 cups sugar
    ¾ cup cocoa
    4 eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
    ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 or 9 inch baking pan with shortening or butter.
    Melt the 2 sticks of butter over low heat.
    In mixing bowl, combine cocoa and sugar. Stir in melted butter. Add eggs and vanilla and stir. Add flour and salt and mix until just smooth, not too much. Add walnuts, if using, at this time.
    Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
    Bake in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes, until sides begin to pull away from the edge of the pan or an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before cutting.

  11. I am trying to stock up while sticking to my budget, and it’s complicated by the fact that we eat organic/non-gmo, so it’s harder to find plus usually costs more. I wish we had an Aldi, but in the meantime, I’m branching out as far as where I shop, and looking for more bargains. My daughter just joined Costco and will report on what she finds there.
    We are picking our hard “sand” pears and I’m putting them up as pear sauce and pear butter, because they aren’t that flavorful or tender until cooked down. I plan to blanch and try freezing my longevity “spinach”, since it’s producing well. Mostly we’ve been eating it fresh, but I need to try to save some. I hope to stock up on some more freezer meat soon, but I’m a little nervous; I had just stocked up some pork and chicken when the hurricane came. Our little generator saved the day, but that was close. I am putting off getting any more meat until the weather cools a little.

  12. I have one but I’m sure you would want to double it, at least, for your family.

    My Mom’s Brownies
    (the recipe calls them Miracle Brownies, so it must have come from a book or magazine but I don’t know where.)

    3/4 cup flour
    1 cup sugar
    7 tbsp baking cocoa
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    2/3 cup shortening (I use 1/2 cup canola oil)
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 tbsp corn syrup (Karo)
    1 cup nuts
    Sift 1st 5 ingredients into bowl. Add shortening, eggs, vanilla and corn syrup. Beat 200 strokes (or 2 min.)
    Stir in nuts, reserving a few for the top. Spread in greased 8x8x2 inch pan. Sprinkle remaining nuts over top.
    Bake at 350 degrees 40-45 minutes (original recipe) 30-35 min when I use a glass pan. They tend to get hard on the edges so I watch them carefully. I often sub about !/3 of a bag of chocolate chips for the nuts if I’m feeling chocolately.

    I have tried many recipes and came back to these as a good general brownie. I don’t like them too soft and “uncooked” tasting in the middle.

  13. I’ve been looking for a cheap brownie mix, too. (My husband eats brownies Or, my chocolate chips.) I’ve found that the mixes are the cheapest for us. Here, i could get Duncan Hines for 1.00. (Less oil than the others.) Now, it looks like the best price has jumped to 1.25.

  14. Our nearest Walmart (an hour away) has many more items that i buy than i’d seen previously. Since i have a Dr. appointment near there on Fri; i’ll stop in and see about getting a few things. Like mentioned above, i need brownie mixes, butter, (too expensive at Walmart), spices from the co-op. I also need to pick up a couple of Target gift cards. (Across the road from Walmart) Thankfully, nothing too drastic. I would like to buy a large jug of sunflower or olive oil. I use both in cooking and/or soap making. It all depends on funds. (Doesn’t it always? )

  15. Dear Brandy,
    I have found a brownie technique that makes fabulous brownies with cocoa powder. Hershey’s ultimate brownies and their special dark brownies recipie use this. these recipes mixe lthe cocoa powder with a half teaspoon of baking soda and half of the Butter together with boiling water first. it makes all the difference in taste! Both recipies are on their website.
    Thank you for all the recipies you share, my family loves your granola and English muffins!

  16. I use a similar recipe as this and they are limited by everyone. Brandy, I always just convert the recipe that calls for chocolate to cocoa. I believe it’s 3TBS cocoa plus 1TBS oil to one square of chocolate.

  17. I too use some canned soup in my cooking. I buy the store brand here at the local HEB store when it goes on sale about 3 times a year for 3 cans for $1.00. It is good soup for cooking. Not sure I would want to sit and eat a bowl of it, but for cooking it is just fine.

    Grandsons like soup with their grilled cheese sandwiches. Sometimes I do not have HOME made soup in my freezer. I will always have some ‘good’ canned soup in my pantry that I buy with coupons. I like the Pergo brand soup. The boys really like the beef vegetable soup with their sandwich. I try to keep a few cans of it in my pantry for those times I feel like being a lazy grandma and letting them fix their own ‘supper’ around here. Sometimes David and I will eat the left overs and they will make a sandwich and some soup.

    I also make pizza dough and keep it in the freezer. They can make their on pizza in about the same amount of time it takes for delivery. I will pull the dough out an hour or so before they are ready. Always have some pizza sauce in my freezer in small cups for them to make pizza. My grandsons are 14 and 16 now so cooking is not a big deal for them.

    I just got some wonderful things at Dollar Tree for Christmas gifts for family this year. Every year I kind of pick a theme for Christmas gifts I make. Last year it was the bedroom. Everyone got new hand made and embroidery pillow cases and some hand made bath soap. This year it is the KITCHEN. At Dollar Tree last Sat. there were some nice egg holders with lids, (at the container store these cost more than $15.00 and some nice organizers with handles made for the fridge. I got everyone 2 egg holders and 2 organizers for a total of $4.00 on each sister in law and sister. I have made with scraps some pot holders and hanging towel holders for each of them. The last item I am going to put into the gift is some hand made napkins. I have all the fabric in my quilting fabrics and will not have to buy anything else.

    I got eggs last week at the local Randall’s grocery. The eggs were .69 a dozen. I got 4 dozen. The sweet lady at church brings me eggs too, but for just .69 cents I knew we could use more. We had egg salad sandwiches on home made bread for lunch on Saturday and it was good. I made some corn chips to go with them buy baking corn tortillas in the oven. It was a quick and easy summer supper.

    This week David and I celebrate an anniversary. We had planned a nice trip, but he is having hip injections on Wed. so we are not going to travel far. I made a reservation at a nice hotel in San Antonio (140 miles from here) and we will eat at the place he took me on our wedding night and we will do some shopping at Market Square and the Outlet Mall on the way home. Hope to get Christmas shopping done before Oct. this year. These injections he is having are just to buy him some time before he has a 2nd hip replacement. He plans to have that done in Nov. but between now and then he is in so much pain he is eating hydroco/APAP pain pills like candy tablets and that is not good at all. But his hip hurts so much. There are things going on at his job that he just can not be out for 6 weeks right now. It will be over in Oct. so we are looking at getting it fixed before Christmas.

    I was shocked this week when I went to buy butter at Sam’s club. It has gone up here very much. I looked at the local grocery store and it is more than $3.50 a pound in the grocery store. Good gosh my baking is in trouble. I need to find a lower cost on that soon as my supply in the freezer is almost depleted.

  18. I love how far ahead you plan your shopping trips! We still do our shopping on a weekly basis. I’d love to get to the point where we grow most of our own produce and just buy meat and household goods as they’re on sale. In fact, we’re about to buy a gigantic reach-in freezer to improve our meal stockpiling game. All it takes is one weekend of cooking and bam–we have enough meals cooked for a few months.

  19. I have been making brownies forever.. at least since I got married at 26! For years people would ask me for my recipe, and it was boxed Betty Crocker, or whatever name brand was on sale. No one believed me, as I am known for cooking and backing from scratch. I used two boxes in a 9×13 pan, and add chocolate chips! I think a cup and the larger ones as I bought in bulk when Sams C came into being. I also line the pan with parchment, cool a bit, and lift out, then cut out of the pan. I am divorced now, but my ex H a corporate ex as he went on, and I often sent those brownies when he requested for a work event. His partner, co worker did him a huge favor with a work related problem and in return my well mannered H said I would like to take you out to eat etc. He said well, I would rather have a pan of your wife’s brownies! And the recipe! His partner who I knew well, I traveled with my ex for corporate, and often partner along. He was widowed at 39, and he had twin girls age 14, and a younger little boy. I had sent not only to work events, but brownies for him over the years. He now was doing all the cooking, and a few times would ask my advice! I was flattered, and truly I never get anyone that will not share a recipe! I always say, all the elaborate and complicated things I did make, all the entertaining over the years, and that is the recipe people ask about! And it is thrifty, and cheaper than making from scratch. I am alone now, and I still tempted when I see Pillsbury, or Betty box of mix for 1.00! You still add oil and eggs..

  20. If you have an Aldi near you, their everyday price on canned vegetables is under 50 cents a can and they are very good. Eggs have been selling for 65 cents a dozen and skim milk is about $2.10/gallon. (Actually, they would be worth a drive – they have so much that is well priced.)

    Also – I posted this when you were ill – have you heard of slownews? They do news in a foreign language, read slowly. Thought it might be a way to practice your French comprehension.

  21. Very nice sale on the pork loin. I just got a roast and had it sliced into chops–i paid $.1.79/lb and felt blessed at that price. We recently moved and I have found that if I go to the local Kroger right after the early service at church, I can find lots of mark down meat.
    I also have found eggs at Aldi for $0.69/dozen recently.[list]


  22. Thanks Linda, I saw the message about the site. I haven’t had a moment to check it out; my children are using my computer a lot more for school now that they are using Duolingo.

    We don’t have Aldi here; I think I would have to drive through several states before I would get to one 🙂

    The cheapest milk here is $2.59 a gallon. Eggs have gotten down to $1 but this current sale is even better. Canned vegetables seem to be high; they should go lower at Thanksgiving but I needed some now. I will get more then; we are up to 3 cans of green beans at a meal now.

  23. Add me to the list of those watching for cream of chicken soup, butter, and a canned veggie sale. I got some great deals at Dillon’s today. 18 8oz. bags of cheese, 2 four lb. bags of sugar, & 2 18ct. eggs. All were .99¢ ea. I only had $30 or I would have gotten more.

    Besides the items I mentioned earlier, it’s also time to get canned tomatoes, tomato soup, broth, dried beans, and stocking up on Christmas baking items.

  24. Hello Brandy and everyone 🙂 from Australia .

    Like Brandy we too are out of fresh green beans after eating all our freezer supplies from last year as it has been too cold to plant them here due to frosts over the winter months so we were relying on tinned from our pantries. They are around 0.92c per tin on special here at the moment. Good news is it is now warm enough to plant some more bean seeds today which we will be doing.

    We are really fortunate and blessed that we have a fantastic supply of spring onions in the freezer and gardens, sweet potato, pumpkin in the freezers, turnips in both the freezer and garden, strawberries growing and producing well, capsicum in both the freezer and in the garden ready to pick, beetroot currently growing in the garden and some ready to pick. We blanch and freeze all of our excess garden produce to extend our food storage times and also eat fresh from the gardens. We live on a 1/2 acre property with 188 square metres of vegetable, herb and berry gardens to feed the two of us.

    Here is our grocery shopping plans for the month of September –

    – Flour,
    – sugar
    – milk
    – cheese
    – cocoa powder
    – powdered milk
    – chips
    – sliced chicken and ham
    – 3 tins of pie apples
    – 1 or 2 x 24 pk of toilet paper.
    – Tinned corn if it is on special.

    So far this month we have topped up on whilst out of town 10 kg of lovely fresh oranges to make juices for the freezer and for fresh drinking on special, and 7 tins of mangos to top up our food storage to higher levels.

  25. Brownies and Angel food cakes are the two things I make from a mix. We always buy the family size brownie mix for a 9×13 pan and follow the fudgy directions rather than cakey. When the mixes are on sale I buy as many as I can. We like to add nuts to the brownies. I’ve made from scratch and my recipe does use cocoa powder but in these instances the boxes work for us.

  26. Hi Debby and you are absolutely correct they are known as bell peppers too 🙂 , we call them capsicums but as I have a lot of friends all over the world they are indeed the same. We love them.

    Waving from West of the Great Dividing Range on the gateway to the great Australian outback, we are in a small country town of around 6000 people.

  27. Look up “Brooks Bombshell Brownies”. The recipe calls for cocoa powder and the brownies are the best I have ever eaten!

  28. My freezers are looking really full right now so I’m trying to plan more meals around them and plan ahead. I found chicken breast for $1.99 which is not the lowest price but we needed it and I didn’t have time or energy to drive around so I bought enough for about 6 meals. I found cage free eggs which I really prefer for $.99 a dozen which is unheard of, I bought 9 dozen, all they had left. I made a trip to Winco which is a bit out of the way but I really needed to stock up on some basics like rice and cereal. I bought bagged cereal for the first time and my family didn’t notice at all, not that they would care really but the taste is the same and they are happy.

  29. I miss Dillon’s. I shopped in Joplin and it was destroyed in the tornado. They keep saying they are going to rebuild but so far nothing.

  30. I’m surprised they didn’t rebuild. Compared to where I lived in SoCal, there is little market competition here. Dillon’s, Target, Aldi, and Wal-Mart. I consider those to be pretty different. So without Dillon’s, what’s the market scene?

    DH had business in Joplin back in late 2007 and I went with him. We enjoyed our visit there and I was horrified to hear of the tornado.

  31. I was wondering if anyone shops Winco regularly (i’m in Wa state).

    Would love to hear how prices are and how there house brand items are.


  32. My 17 is scheduled for bunion surgery next Monday, so I will use the days home with her to inventory our freezers and cabinets. I have a feeling there may be a turkey or two in one of the chest freezers that needs to be used. So with the busy holiday season around the corner..batch freezer cooking it will be. I decorate around 70 trees in folks homes for Christmas and decorate around 20 homes for Thanksgiving. Having meals frozen and ready to put in the crockpot or oven is better than a drive through window anyday!!

    I will also inventory our venison. We need at least three deer in the freezer processed to make it each year. Unless it is a steak, we do not purchase beef. If an additional deer is harvested it is made into summer sausage. People comment how they do not like the game taste of venison, but my kiddos are so used to it that to them beef tastes bland, unless it is grass fed!!

    I will also inventory our jelly and jams. I have several gallons of mulberries and blueberries in the freezer from this year. I usually wait until the weather cools off to can. I think if we have enough jelly and preserves I will make syrup from the berries in the freezer. Same with the figs.

    I will also inventory pantry stock to see how much baking or hostess ingredient I may lack. I try to have a small collection of jarred goodies to throw together an impromptu antipasti platter if needed at the last minute. Dollar tree is a huge help with that!!

    So I guess basically our Sept. and Oct, plans are to know what we have and to eat down what we need to.

  33. Brandy, I was wondering if you meant you would buy 24 “cases” of green beans rather than 24 cans? I was thinking you would buy for the whole year, or does a case lot sale happen often? The only place I know of that sells cases by us is the Aldi or the Amish “2nd chance goods” stores.

    I need flour and sugar, all types of sugar. Salt. Baking powder. Celery. Tuna. Mandarin oranges canned. Canned black olives. MMs candies plain. Butter. Milk. Eggs. Black/orange pekoe tea. Cinnamon red hots. A lot of these things will have sales and coupons now through Christmas.

  34. I live in Okla but go to Joplin for my big shopping. Besides WM they have sam’s, aldi’s, price cutter, food4less and save-a-lot. They are too spread out and really don’t provide much competition, not like Calif.

  35. I have a few things I am looking to add to my pantry- butter, toilet paper and KA flour. I am down to 1 1/2 lbs. of butter so that will be gone within a week or two. It’s currently close to $3/ lb. at Aldi’s. I’m hoping to find it for $1.99 which is my stock up price. I bought 18 lbs. at Easter and am just now almost out.

    I also need to find a stock up sale for tp as I used up my stockpile and didn’t realize that we were out. One reason for this was when we took DS#2 back to college he is in an apartment this year so a large pack went with him. There was a $1 coupon for King Arthur flour that expires at the end of the month. There is one grocery store chain that will double 10 $1 coupons if you are buying $25 or more before coupons, limit of 4 like coupons. I tend to look for markdown meat for the freezer to get the needed $ amount. I was also able to pick up 3.5 lbs. of ground beef for $3 by combining a sale, store coupon and a meat tie-in promotion. I also got 3 free GE 3 way bulbs and dental floss with coupons. We needed both those items so I love that I could get them for free!

    Giant Food had Campbell’s soup 50¢ a can if you bought 12. Chicken Noodle, tomato, Cream of Chicken AND Cream of Mushroom only. I didn’t get there until last night and since it was the last day of the sale, they were total out. I got a rain check for a case of each. Now I have time to gather a few more coupons.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *