Grocery Update & What We Ate – Week 11, 2019

I had relatively big stops at Wegman’s at the start and end of this week.

I did my main shop of the week on Tuesday: $107.59 at Wegman’s.  I intended to buy Wegman’s Tater Puffs, but they were out of all sizes.  That’s been a real issue lately.  I can’t remember the last time I went when they actually had everything I wanted; there are always some things are out of stock.

I went to Stop & Shop on Thursday mostly for milk and sale items.  I spent $70.42 total including five gallons of milk that didn’t make the picture.  Cheese, Doritos, onions, and spinach were buy one, get one free.  Strawberries were buy one, get two free!

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Thursday afternoon I picked up my Farmer’s to You box for $43.40.

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On Sunday I was back at Wegman’s to pick up some items for an afternoon birthday party.  It was so busy!  I spent $91.64 on grocery items to use this coming week, including six gallons of milk and two baguettes that didn’t make the picture.  This time they were out of bulk limes so I ended up with organic limes because in bulk they were still less than loose limes.

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That brought my total for the week to $313.05.  Hopefully, though, I won’t be doing much shopping this coming week.

Monday:
Pan fried chicken, brown rice, salad

Tuesday:
Roast beef sandwiches, tater tots, carrots

Wednesday:
Tacos, corn

Thursday:
Hearty fish stew with chorizo

Friday:
Early: Macaroni & cheese, broccoli
Late: Homemade pizza

Saturday:
Take out BBQ (because summer can’t come fast enough)

Sunday:
Pizza at the birthday party.

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Grocery Update & What We Ate – Week 10, 2019

So, here we are with last week to get back on schedule.

I only made three stops this week.

First, I was at Target on Wednesday so I picked up a few grocery items for a total of $29.66.

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On Thursday I picked up my Farmer’s to You box for $44.95.

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Finally, on Thursday I spent $102.03 at Stop & Shop.  Admittedly, I had to purchase a few extra items to get this number.  But, I had coupons for $4.50 off $90 and triple gas points for a $100+ purchase.

We had a bit of a cobbled together set of meals because we weren’t always home for regular dinners.

Monday:
Chicken pot pie, broccoli

Tuesday:
One child had a concert (for which two more were stage hands) and another had baseball practice so take out pizza for all whenever they were available to eat.

Wednesday:
Lasagna, homemade white bread, salad

Thursday:
Early: Hot dogs, spinach salad
Late: Homemade pizza

Friday:
Husband was out of town so we had take out Chinese food.

Saturday:
Husband came home late.
Early: Chicken nuggets, spinach salad
Late: Homemade pizza

Sunday:
Pork roast, mashed potatoes, carrots

February 2019 Grocery Review

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This post should have gone up last week, but we had a snow day Monday, Tuesday’s are always busy, and then things got far enough astray that I decided just to wait for this week.  But, while I’m here I’ll post “today’s” weekly update for tomorrow.

The end of February resulted in a big shopping week, mostly because I went to BJ’s.  Only the second Wegman’s trip was actually in March so you’ll see most of this worked into the totals at the end.

Tuesday was another shop the local farm stand day.  I spent $28.10 this time.  I’ve got another one of these coming up at the end of the month (three schools total).

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I also spent $59.43 at Wegman’s on Tuesday.  And, yes, I knew the snow was a high probability event at this point.  You’ll see more eggs below; most all got eaten over the extended weekend.

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I spent $246.03 at BJ’s on Wednesday.

On Thursday I picked up my Farmer’s to You order; $43.25 this week.

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Finally, on Friday with the storm looming I made another trip to Wegman’s.  I spent $61.45 on groceries, but this was mostly driven by non-grocery items (ie, diapers) that we were lower on than would carry us through the weekend.

At the end of all this, our secondary fridge looked like this:

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I meant to take a picture after the weekend, but suffice it to say most of this was gone.  I did make it to the middle of the following week before having to buy milk again.

That brought my total for the week to $438.26, $192.23 excluding BJ’s (which can throw off the weekly numbers because its a large, irregular hit).

This time I remembered to write down what we ate! (Which ended up being particularly important given how late this post is going up.

Monday:
Roasted chicken, fingerling potatoes, carrots

Tuesday:
I was out.  Everyone else had take out pizza

Wednesday:
Chicken noodle soup, croissants

Thursday:
Hearty fish & chorizo sausage chowder, homemade French-style country bread

Friday:
Early: Chicken nuggets, broccoli
Late: Homemade pizza

Saturday:
Coq au vin, homemade French-style country bread (I made two, but only one loaf got eaten the first time.)

Sunday:
One child had pizza at a birthday party.  The other kids had chicken nuggets and broccoli.  The adults had homemade pizza late.

And, finally, what did all this mean for the monthly spending?

February TOTAL: $1,303.64

  • Stop & Shop: $92.81
  • Wegman’s: $355.25
  • BJs: $530.09
  • Local: $227.61
    • Farmers to You: $164.85
    • Other Local: $62.76
  • Other: $97.88
    • Star Market/Shaw’s: $81.30
    • Target: $16.58
    • Other: $0

Well, that was obviously a very low month for Stop & Shop!  Despite that, the two trips to BJ’s carried us a bit over the goal for the month.  But, added together with January, we’re still below target.

Grocery Update & What We Ate – Week 8, 2019

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I had another low grocery week!

My biggest spend was $88.45 at Wegman’s on Tuesday.

I made a small trip – $21.37 – to Stop & Shop on Wednesday.

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Finally, I picked up my Farmer’s to You box on Thursday.  It came to $35.85 this week.  Yes, we’re supposed to purchase at least $40 each week.  However, some items are charged by the pound.  So, when you order they estimate a price in the middle of the range, but the final price is based on the actual weight.  I ended up with two smaller than average packages of chicken which brought the total under the recommended $40.  Sometimes one ends up with larger packages so I think it all evens out eventually.

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That brought my total to $145.67.  Next week I’ll total up the month and we’ll see how the one really big week balanced (or not) the three small weeks.

Monday:
It was another week where not everyone was home every night.  Today husband so the kids and I had chicken and dumplings.

Tuesday:
I really don’t remember.  I know I thawed some meat for it.  And, I know we ate together.

Wednesday:
Early: Hot dogs, spinach salad
Late: The adults went out for a belated Valentines dinner.

Thursday:
Hearty vegetable & pork soup, oatmeal bread

Friday & Saturday:
We were staying with family so meals were covered.

Sunday:
Fajitas, corn

Grocery Update & What We Ate – Week 7, 2019

Well, a big week was thankfully followed by a very small week.

I made two stops.  First, on Thursday, I picked up my Farmers to You box for $43.55.  Yes, that is some pricey chicken.  But, it is oh so tasty.

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Then on Friday I spent $66.60 at Wegman’s.  Admittedly, this was not the most organized trip.  We were out of milk so I tried to think of what else we might need, but I didn’t do up a full meal plan before leaving.  If I had fully thought through things I would have gotten some bananas.

That gave me a total of $110.15!  Excellent, though I’m sure my two high weeks this month will be more than balanced out by last week’s big spend.

Now to remember what we ate.  Unfortunately I didn’t write it all down.

Monday:
I usually do the cleaning myself, but hired someone to deep clean the house on Tuesday.  We had take out pizza so I could focus on tidying up to maximize the use of their time.

Tuesday:
Husband was out.  Kids had hot dogs.  I had leftover pizza.

Wednesday:
Early: Macaroni & cheese, broccoli
Late: Homemade pizza

Thursday:
Pan fried chicken, 5-grain wild rice & mushroom stuffing, salad

Friday:
Early: Chicken nuggets, broccoli
Late: Homemade pizza

Saturday:
Pork roast, baked potato, canned peas, carrot sticks

Sunday:
Husband was out again.  Kids had chicken nuggets and broccoli.  I had ravioli.

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Grocery Update & What We Ate – Week 6, 2019

I knew this was going to be a big week.  I planned to go to BJ’s because it was the end of the coupon cycle.  I had a $6 off coupon at Star Market/Shaw’s and oatmeal was on sale.  It was the elementary school fundraiser day at the farm stand.  Plus, we hosted a birthday party yesterday so I needed to stop and two grocery stores late in the week for supplies.

There was also the issue of our milk/eggs/kitchen overflow fridge looking like this:

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Of course, I made a few other stops too!

On Monday I spent $66.84 on a restocking trip to Wegman’s.  This was my first grocery trip of February.

Then I tried to go to Shaw’s, but they were out of stock on oatmeal and other things I had intended to get to fully utilize my coupons.  So, I spent $32.50 on items basically for that night and called it quits.  And apparently I forgot to take a picture.  I bought strawberries, grapes, and bananas, all of which I had specific coupons for.  And, I bought three packages of (expensive, because they didn’t have the regular ones) hot dogs and three pizza dough balls.

On Tuesday, I used my coupon and did buy $54.63 at Star Market.  Apparently I should never go to Shaw’s (same company and same distance from our house) because Star more reliably has what I want.  I again failed in the picture department, but the big hitters were oatemal, pizza dough, and pizza cheese.

Wednesday was the school fundraiser day.  I really don’t need much from there this time of year so there were some splurges.  The jam was the only need.

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My total at BJ’s was $284.06.

That brought the backup fridge back to normal.

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On Thursday I picked up my Farmer’s to You box for $42.20.  The fruit & veggie pickings are quite slim this time of year so I took advantage of some Valentine’s Day chocolate specials to make the $40 minimum.  I can tell you both are quite tasty.

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On Saturday I made a small trip to Target while I was in the lot to pick up party supplies.  I spent $16.58 on one package of cheese sticks and lots of raisins.

Then I went over to Stop & Shop to get this week’s specials and bottled water (not pictured) for the party.  I spent $71.44 with a total savings of $44.17.

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Finally, I went to Wegman’s on Saturday to pick up the cake.  While I was there, I spend $73.93 on other groceries.

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That brought the total for the week to $642.18!  That’s quite big, but with the low week last week and the trip to BJ’s it should end up being in line for the month.  I also don’t anticipate doing any further shopping until at least Wednesday.  For one, it’s supposed to snow tomorrow.  And two, I have plenty in the house now.

Since there were only seven of us most nights this week, meals tended to be on the more kid-oriented side.

Monday:
Spaghetti & meatballs, salad

Tuesday:
Hot dogs, strawberries

Wednesday:
Early: Chicken nuggets, grapes
Late: Homemade pizza

Thursday:
Turkey soup with rice

Friday:
Early: Macaroni & cheese, spinach salad
Late: Homemade pizza
We do plan for split dinners on Friday just for a break before the weekend.

Saturday:
Shepard’s pie, spinach salad

Sunday:
Roast beef sandwiches, tater tots

January 2019 Grocery Review

So, we start the 2019 review on a Wednesday.  I don’t usually publish on Wednesdays, but clearly the “schedule” is a bit fluid at the moment.

I also only got groceries twice last week, which is less than usual.

On Tuesday, I had another big visit to Stop & Shop at $124.73.  Yes, ice cream was on sale.

Then on Thursday I picked up our Farmers to You box.  This week it came to $45.33.

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That brought the total for the week to $170.06!  And, both of these shops fell in the month of January so this is a cleaner break than usual.

January TOTAL: $1,150.93

  • Stop & Shop: $301.14
  • Wegman’s: $362.78
  • BJs: $159.36
  • Local: $256.24
    • Farmers to You: $242.16
    • Other Local: $14.08
  • Other: $71.41
    • Star Market/Shaw’s: $32.99
    • Target: $24.62
    • Other: $13.80

Since my target was $1,250/month, this starts us off quite well.

And yet, we continue to eat quite well:

Monday:
Spaghetti & meatballs, salad

Tuesday (New Year’s Day):
Early:  Chicken nuggets, spinach salad
Late: Homemade pizza

Wednesday:
Chili

Thursday:
I went out so we got take out pizza for everyone else.

Friday:
Early: Macaroni & cheese, spinach salad
Late: Homemade pizza
We do plan for split dinners on Friday just for a break before the weekend.

Saturday:
Roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, butternut squash, salad

Sunday:
Homemade pizza for the Super Bowl.

Grocery Update & What We Ate – Week 4, 2019

We started off the week with our first real snow of the winter.  It wasn’t too much, but it was followed by a full inch of sleet and then freezing (-20+ wind chill) cold so removing it was a priority.  And, even when things did return to normal on Tuesday the roads were still pretty terrible.

On that Tuesday, though, since I had to go out anyway for preschool drop off I made a small trip to Star Market.  I spent $17.85.  Like I said, small trip.  The eggs were free, the OJ was almost 50% off, and I should have saved a bit more but for their terribly implemented reward program.  More on that in a moment.

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Currently, there are a small number of things that I can only buy at Star Market/Shaw’s (same company/different names/I’m equally close to both).  Currently there is one – their store brand oatmeal.  They also more reliably stock pizza dough than Stop & Shop so I buy that.  And, until very recently it was the only place I could get the cheese we prefer for pizza; now Stop & Shop has the cheese more readily.

This was not always the case.  I used to to almost all my shopping at Star Market/Shaw’s.  It was the closest and best store to our house.  After we moved we had more choices so over the years I moved towards the options with lower prices, better selection, and nicer staff.  A number of years back Star Market/Shaw’s discontinued their relatively standard rewards card.  After a year or so they introduced a new program: U Grocery Rewards.  For a long while this was a real pain to sign up for.  And, I wasn’t shopping there enough to make that effort worthwhile.

I think they’ve improved it recently though, at least the signup part as I was able to get that done fairly easily a few months back.  That being said, it is still very poorly implemented in the programming department.  First, if the cashier totals the transaction before you’ve had a chance to enter your phone number, there’s no recourse except to void the entire transaction and start again.  Second, apparently the cashier has to select the item for $1 off anything in X department coupons.  That failed me on this visit as the cashier selected the $0.44 jalapeno instead of the $1.41 bananas to use my $1 off produce coupon.  So, I had to get the extra $0.54 sorted out.  Arguably that’s a training issue, but at other stores the computer just chooses correctly.  I’m trying to use their program – hence the free eggs – but they’re making it unnecessarily difficult.

Ok, I’m done with that rant.  On to other shopping.

I was very happy with my $103.69 trip to Stop & Shop on Thursday.  Yes, it was big.  But, I saved $57.32 on sale items and scored triple gas points.  I had to hit $100 spending after coupons to use all the deals so I think I did pretty well.  Below are the perishables; apparently I forgot to take a picture of the non-perishables.

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On Thursday, I also picked up my Farmer’s to You box for $57.65.  That included a block of herbed cheddar cheese, a pint of cranberry apple cider, one pound of beef stew meat, on pound of pork chops, and a three and a half pound turkey thigh.

Finally, on Saturday we took a trip to Wegman’s.  We spent $116.78, including using a few coupons which I don’t always have there.

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That brought the total for the week to $295.97.  We’re pretty good for this week.  I’ll make a trip to Stop & Shop before Thursday to grab their sale items.  And, I expect a trip to Wegman’s sometime around next weekend.

Monday:
Tacos, corn

Tuesday:
It was just the kids and I and we only had a limited amount of leftover Sunday Sauce, so we finished that off.

Wednesday:
Early: Chicken nuggets, green beans
Late: Homemade pizza

Thursday:
Pork chops in apple cider, pan fried potatoes, spinach salad

Friday:
Early: Macaroni & cheese, broccoli
Late: Homemade pizza

Saturday:
Roast beef sandwiches, tater tots, cut veggies

Sunday:
Beef bourguignon, mashed potatoes, roasted carrots

 

Grocery Update & What We Ate – Week 3, 2019

It was an odd week.

I spent a lot at Wegman’s on Tuesday – $111.45.  But, they were all relatively expensive things.

In contrast, I only spent $54.87 at Stop & Shop on Thursday.  Just about everything was on sale, and less expensive items in general.  Interestingly it was just about the same number of items but half the total, especially since the ice cream and three milks didn’t make the picture.

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Also on Thursday was the Farmer’s to You pickup, which totaled $58.33 this week.

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Finally on Friday, I spent $13.80 at Market Basket.  I never go there!  But, they’re close.  I needed Parmesan cheese in case we had lost power this weekend and I grabbed some Ritz crackers on sale also.  That brought the week’s total to $238.45.

You may have noticed a continued lack of meat as I work through our freezer backlog.  Based on the sale fliers, I expect that to change this week.

Monday:
Early:  Macaroni & cheese, broccoli
Late: Homemade pizza

Tuesday:
Early:  Chicken nuggets, spinach salad
Late: Veal tenderloin, parsnip puree, roasted carrots

Wednesday:
Shepard’s pie, green beans

Thursday:
Leftover carnitas, black beans, and Mexican rice

Friday:
Early: Hot dogs, blueberries
Late: It was just me, but I figured the kid’s didn’t want to eat the fancy ravioli.  So, I had roasted apple, almond, and camembert ravioli with brown butter, craisins, and fresh sage.

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Saturday:
Sausage, peppers, and onions; pan fried potatoes, spinach salad

Sunday:
Homemade pizza for the football game

Grocery Update & What We Ate: Week 2, 2019

A new year and much remains the same.  This year I aim to average $250 in groceries per week.  With an expected $250 trip to BJ’s this makes $1250 for the month.  Last year I was aiming for less, but this is more realistic.  And, its a target and an average.  I haven’t yet looked at the details, but I know that it was not specifically the result of adding Farmer’s to You or Walden Local in October.  The number was higher over the summer also.

With the exception of the turkey weeks, Farmer’s to You has been staying pretty close to $40/week, which fits within the grocery target.  We’re planning to discontinue Walden Local.  We got some very tasty things.  But, they’re sending too many things we’d prefer not to eat as much of and not everything has been tasty.  On balance we think we can achieve our meat purchases better by other means.  One may be to visit their butcher shop downtown and purchase exactly what we do like from them.  There are pros and cons to that approach so I’m not yet sure what we’ll do.

But, here we go with the first full week of 2019!

On Tuesday I spent $88.44, my biggest trip to Wegman’s of the week.  There were also six gallons of milk that didn’t make the picture.

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On Thursday, I spent $32.99 at Shaw’s on pizza dough ($24), oatmeal, and strawberries.  I also got my Farmer’s to You box for $42.73.

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On Friday, I spent another $45.71 at Wegman’s.  I laid these groceries out and then managed to not take a picture of them!

Finally, on Sunday we made unphotographed small stops at Target ($13.55) and BJ’s ($34.78).

That brought the weekly total to $258.20.

I only purchased one meat, which we’ll eat next week.  I’m working my way through what we already have in the freezer.

Monday:
Fajitas, corn

Tuesday:
Coq au vin, mashed potatoes, carrots

Wednesday:
Leftover fajitas with a new batch of corn

Thursday:
The schedule was an absolute mess at dinner; I should write about that sometime.  We went with take-out pizza

Friday:
Early: Chicken nuggets, broccoli
Late: Homemade pizza
We do plan for split dinners on Friday just for a break before the weekend.

Saturday:
Carnitas, black beans, corn, Mexican rice

Sunday:
Pasta with Sunday sauce, salad