Monday, September 4, 2017

Shopping Goals: September 2017

Well when it came to shopping goals last month, I did pretty well, actually.  I managed to pick up vegetable oil at Three Bears (our local bulk store that doesn't require a yearly membership fee...but prices are higher than say Sam's Club or Costco...just kind of a give and take type of thing) and got two huge jugs of it for about 10.00.  That will hopefully last me a while, although I'd like to pick up a couple more this month or next just to make sure I have enough oil to last for quite a bit.  I still need to get toothpaste, though.

I've been worried watching and reading about what has been going on across the country when it comes to our food supply in the US right now.  The cost of pretty much everything shows signs of going up, in some cases (such as wheat) by a pretty big margin, so one of my goals in the next couple of months is to try, somehow, to squeeze more money out of the paycheck to get stocked up on foods, like pasta, for the next year to ride out the prices increases and things.  Some things, like meat, I just don't have enough money, or freezer space, to have much control over, but things like flour and pasta I can stock up on to hopefully see us through the next year and for not too much money (still going to be tough to find said money, but I'll figure it out).  So, those are on my list of things to get the next few months.

I've also been worried about things happening on a local level.  Our governor is calling a special session at the end of October to try and force the legislature to pass taxes, including an increase in our gas tax (which we already pay some of the highest prices in the country for gas) and an income tax, among others, so stocking up on things BEFORE the end of October when that special session happens is kind of necessary for me to make sure we don't get nailed with additional taxes after that date.  Moving is becoming more and more of a need at this point the way things are looking, which means somehow I need to be as smart of a steward with our funds as possible if we're EVER going to be able to find the funds to get out of the state. 

So, yeah, anxiety levels for me are high right now.   I just take deep breaths and tell myself that God will show a way if it is meant to be, so just keep your eyes and ears open and breathe woman, breathe!

Anyway, here's my tentative list for this month.  Some of this list is inevitably going to bleed over into next month and will probably be paid for with the small amount of dividends we'll have left after paying off a chunk of my husband's dental bills, but I'm hoping to pick up as much as I can just through normal pay periods so I can save as much of the small chunk of dividends we'll have left next month to put into savings just in case we need to do something like fix a car.

So, onto the list!

  • Potatoes (hoping to stock up and get about 40 lbs in the next couple of months to last us for quite a while)
  • Carrots (to supplement the carrots I got from the garden for this winter.  These will be bought to just blanch and freeze for later use)
  • Pasta (this is a maybe.  I'm going to comp shop a good price I got on pasta through Amazon and see which one will be cheaper, probably tomorrow)

Fred Meyer
  • Apples (Gala apples are on sale cheaper than anywhere I've seen so far this year, so I would like to buy 10 lbs to can some more applesauce)
  • Sugar (25 lb bags of sugar used to be cheaper here than at Three Bears so I plan to comp shop that again as canning is going to use up a lot of sugar in the next month or so) 
  • Lettuce (since my lettuce is done for now.  I have a few seedlings that survived the moose and am watching them but they're still a ways off of harvesting)

Three Bears
  • All Purpose Flour (50 lbs)
  • Bread Flour (25 lbs)
  • Freezer Bags (I found they have a brand for 1.00 and some change for 15 bags and mine are wearing out from rewashing them so much, so I need to replenish a bit)
  • Shelf stable milk (this is an "if" item as I got a good price on some on Amazon, so I want to see if Three Bears is cheaper.  I keep this around in case we can't get to the store as my son will NOT drink powdered milk)
  • Tortellini (I got a really great deal earlier in the month that I put on Subscribe and Save for 12 boxes for 15.00.  This beats store prices by a LOT!)
  • Angel Hair Pasta (this is a maybe depending what Carrs/Safeway has for sales.  We eat angel hair pasta regularly as it's my son's favorite shape, so I stock up for the year on angel hair when I can)
  • Curel Itch Defense Moisturizing Lotion (while it doesn't do as well as Puriya lotion for Alvah, it's 3.00 per tube versus 30.00 for a small tub, so I've been supplementing to make the expensive stuff last longer)
  • Toothpaste (I ordered two tubes for  2.00 and some change, which is cheaper than the stores.  I'm still waiting for a good sale on toothpaste before I buy at this point)
  • Puriya Mother of All Creams (moisturizing cream for Alvah.  Expensive, but getting REALLY low so I am trying to budget out for that too).
You Pick Farm:
  • Turnips (depending on price and when they become available.  I'd like to get ten pounds to see us through the winter months)

Feed Store:
  • Chicken Feed (I'm nearly out and I have no idea when my sister-in-law will be able to pick up chickens, so they need to eat)
  • Straw (the last broody hen has made the nesting boxes REALLLLYYYY gross and I just can't stand it anymore.  If my sister-in-law picks up the chickens soon I'll use the rest of the bale of straw to make a scare crow for the front yard for a fall decoration or something.  But I need to clean the nesting boxes.  I just need to!).
And there's my tentative list of things to get in the next little bit.  How about you?  Need to buy anything this month?


  1. I understand how costly medicine can be to purchase. We have a diabetic daughter and it costs us $450 a month for her supplies, and that's with insurance covering some of it.

    *I'm also on the lookout for stock-up items. I needed pasta as well. Here in Canada, our pasta prices are going up while the quantity they put in the bag is going down. We used to be able to purchase a 900 gram bag, (approximately 2 lbs), for a sale price of .99. I've noticed the manufacturers have reduced the amount to 750 grams, (so about 1 lb 10 oz.) and upped the sale price to $1.25 per bag. This weekend I managed to find some pasta that was still 900 grams and at a sale price of .88, so .44 per pound. I haven't seen the prices that low in a couple of years. Maybe that particular company's clearing out their 900 g stock to bring in the 750 g packages. Whatever the reason, I stocked up big time to top up 2 large tupperware containers where I store my pasta.
    *Potatoes were on sale for $1.75 a 10 lb bag, so I bought 5 bags. I don't have a large cold storage so storing more than that is a problem. They'd just sprout before we could eat them.
    *And other vegetables were a bargain as well - celery was .75 a bunch, so I picked up 8 of those, dehydrated the leaves and 2 bunches, then froze the remainder as slices, stir-fry slices and larger pieces to enrich my chicken stock. Purchased kale and froze it, as well as cauliflower ($1.50 per head). I'll continue to keep a watch out for other in-season produce as it's cheaper now to buy and stock up on.
    *I managed to can 61/2 bushels of tomatoes. Turned them into stewed tomatoes, salsa, taco sauce and pizza sauce. I may need to can a bit more but I'll have to figure out first if what I have will last us at least a year.
    *We eat many meatless meals as some of our meat prices are very high, so I have to stock up on the produce, various starches and grains to stretch our budget.

    And I'll also need to purchase flour and oil, baking supplies for Christmas etc., but they'll have to wait until I can free up some more money. I'll rest easier once my stocking up is done though.

  2. if you want it, we've got a few big bags of wheat in the garage.. I think it's winter red?? but not sure.. might be white.. it's older, but should be good.. if not for you, then for the chickens.. lol... it's up where i can't get at it easily but i can get Tom to get it down this weekend when he gets back home again.. some one may as well get use of it as I never will at this point..

  3. Wow, looks like you got some great grocery deals!

    I too try to stock up and get things for the lowest price, as we never know what is on the horizon. It's so easy to think things will stay the same and yet an health emergency, layoff, disaster, etc. can quickly change our finances and lives.

    May you have a productive week and great day!

  4. Just pray, and yes, BREATHE, GIRL, BREATHE.

  5. I always stock up on pasta when it's 50 cents a box at Kroger, but when it's not, I feel like the Bishop's Storehouse has it 5 lbs for $5. Now, it HAS been a year since I last ordered anything, but maybe that's a possibility.

    I'm needing to stock up some too on a few things, it's time to rotate the emergency water, and get a few other things ready for winter. I canned my frozen berries over the weekend, to my surprise it made 21 pint jars. I'll have tons for gifts and eating over the next year.

  6. I won't be buying meat for the next month or so as my freezer (just the top of my fridge) is stuffed - I took stock yesterday and figured that I have at least 50 meals worth of proteins in there! It's just me so I want to use up a good chunk before Turkey and Ham go on sale for Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving is Oct, 9th). I plan on having friends over for dinner a few times this month (cheaper than eating out) and I normally take a few meals each week to an elderly neighbour so regular purchases will be mostly fruit & veg. I hope to have room in the freezer for peppers - they can be $3.99 per pound during the winter but they will be at their cheapest over the next few weeks so I like to freeze as many as I can.
    I have a decent pantry and I have cut back on carbs so only a few pkgs. of pasta need to be kept in reserve. I do need new baking supplies and I plan on using loyalty points to pay for all that - I've been saving them up since the Spring.
    I'd love to be able to stock up on potatoes when they are so cheap but I live in a small apt. with no cold storage area so they would sprout in no time. I do buy pkgs. of instant potatoes when they go on sale (after Thanksgiving & Christmas) and this actually freezes really well when making things like Shepherd's pie. I am going to buy more UHT milk - I think this is what you call Shelf Stable Milk? I like to have it in reserve over the winter so that I don't have to go out if the weather is especially bad.
    We don't pay taxes on regular groceries but we do on "Convenience Foods" or Baked items if buying less than 6 or in a multi-pkg. - it can get very confusing. But our prices are always considerably higher than those in the US - I'm always shocked at how little Americans pay for certain items - and don't forget, your dollar is worth more than ours so it's even more of a difference.
    We are already feeling the effect of the floods in Houston - gas prices have jumped a LOT in the past week so not only have we taken a hit at the pumps but this will no doubt affect food prices as so much of our food - especially winter produce, arrives by truck.
    And last week the need for stored water was brought home when a water main burst in my neighbourhood and we suddenly lost water for the day! I picked up some more litres the next day and will be adding to that supply over the next few weeks. There's always something on the list isn't there!

  7. I'll be looking to stock up on meats. The Mr. Is the meat eater and the freezer is getting a bit low. I'm also looking into stocking up on baking supplies before the prices jump too much. We're out of cocoa powder, which we use all the time for brownies. The chocolate chips are down to the last few bags. And, like you, we'll need cooking oil sooner rather than later. Since I drink soy, rice or oat milk, whichever is cheapest, I'll be looking for that. The Dollar Tree has the shelf stable for one dollar, which I usually buy. I'd like to bring that cost down, though. I bought a container of powdered rice that I haven't tried, yet. I need to do a cost comparison before I buy anymore. (I should have done that first!) Apples would be nice, too.
    Do you have a Walmart? I just learned that they have a two day, free shipping, on 35.00 orders. I ordered cereal and fiber to see how it worked. It came in two days, as stated. I'll be ordering again. For us, they're an hour away so this saves a long trip. (Except when I need a prescription) It might be something to look into.
    It looks like you're right on top of things! You always amaze me.

  8. I forgot to mention that I make my own oat milk occasionally. It's super easy. (Gooooogle) Maybe you could add some to Alvah's milk, without him noticing, to stretch the budget. Just a thought.