Thursday, October 1, 2015

Monthly Shopping Goals: October 2015

Ah, October.  A month of Halloween preparation and enjoying the fall colors autumn presents.

Well, unless you are in Alaska.  Then you are working your tushie off preparing for winter (or in this case watching winter come early with snow falling yesterday).  And most importantly you are looking forward to PFD time (permanent fund dividend time).

We, as Alaskans get a chunk of change every year from the state of Alaska.  The amount is variable on how oil has done in the stock market over the last five years.  This year the amount of the PFD was a wonderful windfall for us as the monetary influx was desperately needed.  I quickly decided when I found out how much it was going to be that we were going to pump up savings as much as we could.  But, also equally important I was going to make a list of things to get on the shopping front to shore back up our pantry.  It has slowly been building over the last year, despite being so tight on money I felt like we were choking a lot of the time, but there was still so much left to do.  So, I decided that the PFD would be a good opportunity to make sure we shored up our pantry in a prudent manner.

So, in short, be prepared for one heck of a shopping list for this month.

I felt really blessed that I was able to check a bunch off of my shopping list before PFD's came in just by watching carefully and shopping sales.  I got green beans checked off of my list, for instance, in the last three weeks just by shopping sales at the stores.  I was able to get batteries on sale at Carrs (I got their generic brand which I'm hoping works okay...we shall see) and I was able to get some good  prices on things from to help get off cheaper for things than at the stores as well (such as Jello).

This shopping trip isn't to fill in the holes in my pantry, so much, but more like trying to plow some holes in for a while.  I'll still have some minor holes to fill later (such as I'd like to get more tomato bouillon and beef bouillon) but for the most part this should definitely help cut down my shopping bills from week to week as all I'll have to do is fill in holes created as we use things instead of trying to fill in huge gaps from living off the pantry from week to week (or in our case for nearly a year).  And I'll breath a sigh of relief that we have a decent amount of food in the pantry to last us for a while for when cash flow problems occur.

Shopping Goals for October 2015

Bulk Store:
  • AP flour (25 lb)
  • Sugar (25 lb)
  • Rice (50 lb)
  • Lemonade mix (1 big container)
  • Tang (1 big container)
  • Dehydrated Milk (1 box as I already have some cans sitting in the pantry)
  • Canned chicken (2 flats of six cans)
  • Canned Pork (1 flat of 4 cans, already got one in pantry)
  • Canned Beef (1 flat of 4 cans)
  • Corned Beef (1 flat of 3 cans)
  • Vienna Sausages (1 flat of 10 cans.  My husband loves these not so much, but it is meat if we need it).
  • Lemon Juice (2 large bottles)
  • Fruit Cocktail (2 flats)
  • Canned Pears (2 flats)
  • Canned Peaches (2 flats)
  • Evaporated milk (2 flats.  Already have two in pantry)
  • Shelf Stable Boxed milk (1 flat)
  • Diced Tomatoes (1 flat)
  • Tomato Paste (1 flat.  You can use tomato paste to make tomato sauce, so I figured it will save room in the pantry).
  • Black olives (2 flats)
  • Butter (1 package of 4 lbs)
  • Freezer Bags (1 bulk box of gallon freezer bags)
  • POM toilet paper (1 box)
  • Shortening (2 large tubs)
  • Hershey Bars (36 bars.  These help my husband's acid reflux, so I am going to buy in bulk for hopefully enough to last him most of the year).
  • Popcorn 
  • Honey
Regular Stores
  • Enchilada Sauce (4 cans, add four more later)
  • Chicken Bouillon (2 large containers) 
  • Beef bouillon (1 container.  One in pantry)
  • Tomato bouillon (1 container)
  • Potatoes (10 lbs)
  • Carrots (2 lbs)
  • Turnips (4 lbs.  Blanch and freeze.)
  • Deodorant (2 containers of husband's and my deodorant)
  • Benadryl (for both children and adults)
  • Shampoo (at least 1 container ahead)
  • Soap (40 bars of soap at least, planning mainly on getting Ivory as that's our day to day soap.  I am officially stockpiling soap after reading all the accounts of Britain in WWI and WWII and how hard soap was to come by.  In case of economic downturn bar soap can be shaved to make laundry soap and can be used to do dishes as well as washing you.  It's worth stockpiling.  It also doesn't go bad and the longer it sits the harder it gets.  Totally worth it).
  • Corn Starch (2 large containers.  Our bulk store hasn't carried this the last few times I've been there, so I'm planning on getting it at the regular store).
  • Mixed vegetables, canned (12 cans.  Wait for sale).
  • 4 value packs of chicken (5.00 Friday this week at Carrs) 
  • Paper towels (wait for sale)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Coffee
  • Canned Brown Bread
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Jello (Raspberry and Berry flavors)
  • Thyme (bulk container)
  • Christmas presents for kids from the "S" man (I love shopping online for my son as there are so many more sensory toys online than at like Target). 
Other Stores:
  • Parts for husband's truck.
  • Recharge cell phone minutes (I have like 30 left right now)
  • Service sewing machine (basic maintenance.  Taking it in and getting it cleaned and serviced by a professional.  Not cheap, but it's a necessary tool to keep in good working order, so it's worth the investment).


  1. Wow what a list! You will definitely breathe easier with all that for backup. Thanks for the heads up about the soap.
    Have you ever tried making enchilada sauce? I think I did awhile back. I don't know if it would be cost-effective for you or not.
    I forgot all about brown bread in a can. That's a New England thing, right? (I lived in Massachusetts for a few years...)

  2. Yeah, canned brown bread certainly seems to be a New England thing. I always liked it when my dad would pull out a can in the middle of winter and serve it with some cream cheese and I ran across it on Amazon and just had to get it as not only is it good, but it's also practical to have around if you lose power and well...want something to eat :).

    My dad pulled out a can of brown bread during Hurricane Gloria when I was a kid. It was the most devastating thing I can really remember from my childhood (and I got to go out in said devastation delivering newspapers the next day *laugh*). When we lost power, of course us kids got hungry, so my dad pulled out a couple of cans of brown bread and my mom mixed some, by now, room temperature cream cheese with some dried fruit from the cupboards and made up some dehydrated milk. It was the best meal and us kids thought it was so cool that we were "camping" while in the house.

    I don't think enchilada sauce would be cost effective to make up here. I can't grow hot peppers due to a lack of a green house (I so want one, though), so I'd have to buy them from the store and they are not cheap per pound...well really peppers in general are expensive up here (about 2.00 per pepper). And I can get the enchilada sauce in the can at the store for a little over 1.00 per can, so it's just worth it to get the cans that way.

  3. That is an ambitious list. It will feel good to be so prepared, although you have been doing a bang-up job so far. Good luck to you.