52 Weeks Savings Plan: Fall into September savings

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September brings in a change of seasons, and boy is it a welcome one!

The air gets crisper, leaves change colors and many people will say goodbye to summer during Labor Day weekend (Sep. 3 this year). A few other holidays to watch for in September are Patriot Day on Sept. 11, and Constitution Day on Sept. 17. There are plenty of items on sale this month besides after-holiday sales.

Keep tucking away those extra coins and dollar bills. Remember that one of the reasons you started on this savings journey is so that you can become better prepared. The savings can be used as a buffer for tough times, to purchase food and other items for survival/preparedness purposes, or to just have cash on hand in case a power outage disrupts banking services. Cash is always king!

Read more: If your income has taken a hit this year, read “A Personal Financial Disaster.”

Sales in the food department

The themes of food sales in September run with back-to-school lunches and snacks and Labor Day weekend cookouts and camping. For back-to-school deals, look for lunch meat, peanut butter and jelly, chips, yogurt and snack items. For Labor Day deals, look for hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, condiments, and soda to be on sale. Other food items to look for on sale this month are cereal, salad dressing, soups, and canned fruits and vegetables. Many of these items can be used to stock up for food storage. Some of them may need to be repackaged for the longest shelf life. Here are instructions for doing that.

There will be wine sales this month as it is harvest time and new wines are released. September is also diabetes awareness month so there may be deals on low sugar and diabetic snacks and drinks.

Read more: Is there a diabetic in your family? Read “Prepping With Diabetes Type 1” and “Prepping with Type 1, Part 2“.

Seasonal produce to look for this month are apples, tomatoes, artichokes, fall squash, cucumbers, chili peppers, eggplant, bell peppers, grapes, pears, mushrooms, and onions. If you see any good deals on any produce items, think about whether you can dehydrate, freeze or can them for future use.

Household bargains to look for

There are less than four months left until the holiday season, so it’s a good time to make a gift list and start looking for bargains. September is a good month to look for jewelry deals since there is no real holiday push for anyone to buy jewelry. Socks, undershirts, underwear and the last of the summer clothing, including swimsuits, are also still on sale in September. Consider grabbing extra towels for your car or emergency room. Make sure clothes in any bug out bag are the correct sizes, especially for children, and if not, pick up some on sale.

Action step for today: Make a list of everyone for whom you will be buying gifts this coming holiday season. Start brainstorming gift ideas and make a short list of possible gifts for each person. Once you have this in mind, you’ll be ready to grab bargains when you see them because you already know they’ll be the perfect gift for the right person on your list!

Small electronics and digital cameras are on sale in September. There might be some discounts on TVs, but there will be better deals later this year. Large appliances may have some deals starting in September, too. When the new iPhone comes out on Sept. 18, so old models may go on sale around that time. There will still be some back-to-school sales on laptops and computers. Check for student discounts.

Dorm supplies, such as bedding, storage containers, small refrigerators, lamps, bookshelves and folding chairs should be on sale, too. Air conditioners and fans start going on sale, too, as the weather cools down. If you find battery powered fans on sale, those are terrific to have on hand during warm weather power outages.

Party supplies will go on sale after Labor Day, which will give you the opportunity to stock up on paper plates, cups, and silverware. Think of future holiday and birthday parties. School and office supplies are also still on sale for a while in September. If you have young kids, think of future crafts you might do together. I often stock up on craft items for snow days or a potential Shelter-In-Place scenario. It can also help to have something for young kids to do in a bug out bags and emergency shelters.

Stay on the 52 Weeks Savings Plan with these outdoor deals

After Labor Day, you can find some deals on charcoal and lighter fluid, which can be ideal to stock up on for an alternate cooking method. Outdoor furniture, gas grills, lawn mowers and snow blowers are on sale this month. Bikes are on sale, which can be great to have for each family member in case you need to bug out without a vehicle. Watch for small bike trailers, too.

If you want to add to landscaping, you can find deals on shrubs, trees, bulbs, and perennials this month. You might even find some of the last remnants of garden supplies on sale.

Pool supplies will be on sale in August, including “pool shock.” (See The Survival Mom’s research on it here.)

Travel

Once September starts, there are 12 Thursdays until Thanksgiving and 16 Fridays until Christmas. If you plan to travel over the holidays, now is the time to book airfare and hotels. Prices will only rise as the holidays get closer.

September events

September hosts Hispanic Heritage Month, Blueberry Popsicle Month, Chicken Month, Honey Month, Better Breakfast Month and Oktoberfest celebrations. These can lead to sales at stores or deals at restaurants. Watch for store ads with those themes.

Some stores and restaurants like to participate in specific special days, so keep an eye out for deals on the following days:

Sept. 5 – Cheese Pizza Day

Sept. 12 – Chocolate Milkshake day

Sept. 14 – Cream-filled Donut Day

Sept. 18 – Cheeseburger Day

Sept. 25 – Comic Book Day

Sept. 26 – Johnny Appleseed Day

Sept. 29 – Coffee Day

 

Fall is a key time to save money on heating and cooling expenses by opening the windows more. It’s also a good time to do small repairs around the house and make sure insulation and furnaces are in good shape for the upcoming winter. There are a few months left to make deposits in retirement accounts, decide how to spend health savings account money and make donations for a tax write-off.

 

By the end of September, you should have $741 saved if you’re following the 52 Weeks Savings Plan (38 weeks). Don’t get discouraged if you’re not there yet. Putting away anything you have extra is an accomplishment in itself. Compare what you have now to what you have when you got started and be proud! Keep focusing every day on the things you can do and enjoy while keeping your long-term goal in sight.

Take advantage of September’s deals and enjoy summer. Come back next month to see what deals October offers to help you save AND prepare!

Continue saving with these additional resources

  • Check out my monthly series of past articles, “52 Weeks Savings”, with discounts, bargains, and deals for each month of the year. Here’s a sample month for June’s best bargains.
  • Learn more about the 52 Weeks Savings Challenge here and customize it to your own income and circumstances with these tips.
  • Join Survival Mom’s 52 Weeks Savings Club on Facebook. We’re over 2500 members and going strong!
  • Dave Ramsey has solid advice for taking control of your finances. I recommend his basic book, The Total Money Makeover for an easy-to-follow plan and a quick, motivational read.
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Sarah Anne Carter is a writer and reader. She grew up all over the world as a military brat and is now putting down roots with her family in Ohio. Visit her at SarahAnneCarter.com

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