October means there are pumpkins everywhere – from decorations to drinks. Are they popping up in your town?
Thanks to October, there are also great deals to be found everywhere. This is a big month for stores to replace summer items with fall decorations and preparations for winter. The main holidays in October are Columbus Day (8) and Halloween (31).
October deals on food
Many items on sale this month are perfect for starting or stocking up food storage. Canned fruits and vegetables, soups and broths and dried fruit will be on sale. These are great for food storage pantries.
LEARN MORE: New to the idea of food storage or just want more information? Here’s a page full of resources and tutorial videos for you!
Mushrooms and fair trade products should also be on sale this month. Mushrooms can easily be dehydrated and, then, powdered for your own, homemade mushroom powder. Instructions here.
Baking supplies go on sale and if you plan ahead to the fall and winter holidays, you could save some money on holiday baking ingredients. Look for deals on baking chips, cake and bread mixes, frosting, jello and pudding, canned pie mixes, pie crusts, baking pans and non-stick spray. October is National Seafood Month, so you’ll be able to find deals and coupons on fish, shellfish, sauces and breading mixes.
TIP: Baking ingredients can be stored long-term but each individual item has different storage requirements and shelf lives. Read this short article for full details.
With football season in full swing, you could see deals on pizza delivery from several companies. (Pizza freezes pretty well.)
Produce in season this month are:
Many of these items can be frozen, canned or dehydrated. For the Survival Mom’s tips on long-term food storage here are instructions for doing that.
If you like the idea of canning but are unsure how to get started or have questions, here’s a list of resources and supplies I use myself:
- All-American Pressure Canner (Ultra heavy duty, more expensive)
- DVD: At Home Canning for Beginners and Beyond
- Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving
- Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
- Ball Canning Utensil Set
- Presto Pressure Canner (budget-friendly)
- Simply Canning by Sharon Peterson
If you have a dog, you’ll be glad to know that October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and there will be sales on all types of dog-related products, including food and toys. It is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so you might find “pink” items either on sale or with part of the proceeds being donated to support and research organizations.
Getting closer to Halloween, you’ll find deals on candy, decorations, pumpkins, mums, and costumes. They will go on steep discount after the holiday, so watch for that in November. Some Halloween items can be used very creatively – read more here.
Large appliances should go on sale starting in October, but they may go on deeper discount for Black Friday, depending on how long you can wait. Air conditioners are now on sale if you need to buy a replacement. If you live in the Northwest or in Alaska where you don’t have home air conditioning, now is the time to get a portable air conditioner for those few hot summer days.
For clothing, jeans are on sale now that the back-to-school season is over. Winter coats may be on sale since the stores might be stocking them but they are not really in season yet (unless you live in Alaska).
In October, you will start seeing holiday items, such as toys and cookware, going on sale. If you take the time to start making a holiday gift list now, you can save money by taking your time to look for deals.
Outdoor items on sale
If you’re looking to update your deck or landscaping, now is the time to scout out what stores have on sale for patio furniture, gardening supplies, trees, shrubs, bulbs, lawn mowers, and grills. Fall is usually a good time to plant trees and shrubs, along with bulbs, as fall rain can help the roots get established. Gas and charcoal grills are a great way to cook if you lose power. Make sure to keep a propane tank full or have charcoal on hand if you do plan to use that in an emergency situation.
TIP: It’s more important to have alternative cooking methods than you might think. Check out my list here.
Camping gear should still be on sale in October. Camping gear is great for stocking up on bug-out supplies or even ways to live and cook in your own home if you have a long power outage. Setting up a tent in the living room is a good way to have a warm sleeping space during a winter-time power outage!
If you have children, now is the time to look for summer toys for next summer! – bubbles, bikes, hula hoops, sprinklers, and pools. Kiddie pools can be a very handy thing to have around. Read more in 15 Uses for Kiddie Pools.
If you have a boat, don’t forget to look for boating supplies and life jackets, especially if your children might need the next size next year. Pool shock is another item to look for on sale. (See The Survival Mom’s research on it here.)
New vehicle models, cars, trucks, and everything n between, are being released, which means older models get discounted. Tires and other car care supplies are also on sale. If you live anywhere near a possible volcanic eruption or wildfires, stock up on air filters for your vehicle.
CHECKLIST: Equip each vehicle with an emergency kit. Use this checklist to make sure you think of everything you might need!
Other basic car supplies that you know you’ll need are something you should look out for – windshield wipers and fluid, ice scrapers, vehicle organizers, emergency kits. Bicycles are a great way to bug out if your vehicle or the roads are disabled. They are on sale this month. See if you can find discounts on bike trailers to help hold supplies to take with you — the sturdier, the better.
A new iPhone was released September 25, so the older models are now on sale. Older iPhone accessories might also be on sale. Deals can be found on computers and digital cameras this month. A computer is a great way to store reference documents and have them be portable if you ever need to evacuate. A portable charger would be a good thing to try and find, too. Digital cameras can come in handy for documenting your household inventory for insurance purposes or damage to your house or vehicle. Make sure the time/date stamp is correct before taking pictures.
LEARN MORE: Here’s an amazing list of 50 emergency uses for your phone’s camera!
Events in October
Once September starts, there are only 8 Thursdays until Thanksgiving and 12 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. Deals can be found on vacations to typical summer destination, including cruises. If you are interested in a budget cruise, ask about repositioning cruises that take ships back to their home port (a 1-way cruise). You’ll need to fly home, but if those tickets are on sale, you could experience a cruise of a lifetime!
Weddings get cheaper in the fall and winter as most people try to have spring and summer weddings. We personally got a great deal for our honeymoon stay at a 5-star resort because it was a few days before Christmas and it was their slow season.
Fourth graders and their families can benefit from a free pass to any National Park by visiting www.everykidinapark.gov. The pass is good until Aug. 31, 2016.
Keep an eye out for local fall activities and festivals for some cheap family fun. Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, haunted houses and city and town festivals happen all over the country this month. Take advantage of cooler weather to visit city parks, hiking trails, and playgrounds.
Other October dates that might offer special deals
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, Cookie Month, Pizza Month and Seafood Month. The second week of October is also Fire Prevention Week, which is the perfect time to test your smoke alarms, replace batteries, and replace the alarms themselves if they aren’t functioning correctly.
Some stores and restaurants like to participate in specific special days, so keep an eye out for deals on the following days:
1 – World Vegetarian Day
9 – World Egg Day
10 – Angel Food Cake Day
14 – Dessert Day
25 – World Pasta Day
30 – Candy Corn 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 $946 saved if you’re following the 52 Weeks Savings Plan (43 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 October’s deals and enjoy summer. Come back next month to see what deals November offers to help you save AND prepare!
More resources for you
- 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.