Grocery Update & What We Ate: Week 50, 2018

This was a big week, which balanced out the small one last week.

In fact, Monday was a big day.

Our Walden Local order arrived.  Because I changed our type of order, it was only $138.

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I also spent $147.99 at Wegman’s.

Then, on Wednesday I needed gas and was near BJ’s (which is almost always the cheapest).  So, happily for them, I decided to run in and pick up a few items at the same time.  I spent $57.29, which really isn’t much at BJ’s at all.  I also used all the coupons that expire before Christmas so it should be a while before I need to go back.

On Thursday I spent $23.86 at the farm stand (left) and $40.70 with Farmer’s to You (right).

Finally, I spent $18.81 yesterday at Wegman’s on what was predominately a bananas run.

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That brought the weekly total to $426.65.  And then folks got sick (hence the bananas) and we didn’t eat as much as usual.  Will that mean a lower bill this week.  Probably not because our holiday turkey will bump up the total, but maybe spread over a few weeks.

Monday:
Fajitas, corn

Tuesday:
Chicken pot pie, green beans

Wednesday:
Chicken noodle soup

Thursday:
Beef enchiladas, corn

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

Saturday:
Spaghetti & meatballs, spinach salad

Sunday:
I had a plan, but four people were sick.  So, the few of us who were healthy just grabbed some leftovers.

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The Third Walden Local Delivery

This post contains affiliate links.  However, I chose to try the meat share and paid for it myself after hearing about it from friends.  If you live in the greater (like an hour+) Boston or New York City area, you can give them a try and get $10 off your first order.

I wrote about our first and second meat deliveries from Walden Local and gave updates of what proteins (really meats/seafood) we had on hand.  They delivered again this week.  I did change things up a bit in that I asked for only grind, sausage, and roasts this time.  It’s their second to lowest option, vs the highest (or fourth) that we had done the first two months.

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So, first of all here’s what we got:

  • Four pounds of ground beef
  • Two pounds of ground pork
  • Four links of hot Italian sausage
  • Four links of Farmer’s blend sausage
  • Two uncured maple hams, about three pounds in total
  • One boneless pork shoulder roast
  • One beef chuck roast

I was particularly excited by the hot Italian sausage and pork shoulder roast as those were really good the first time around.

I think the jury is still out on them.  The roasts we’ve gotten have been good.  But, I’m having to think up uses for the sausages and ground meats.  So, I like all the meat, I’m just questioning whether it is the right mix of meats for us.  Also, with the holidays here I’m buying specific meats for specific meals so there are just fewer meals to eat with random selections.

We ate all of the breakfast meats.  I’ve bought some more, but since they’re very new, I’m going to take that category away.  I’ve also edited it down to just what we have left (in addition to the above).

Beef:

  • Two pounds of Walden Local ground beef
  • Six grocery store NY strip steaks
  • Four Walden Local NY strip steaks
  • Three filet mignons
  • 8-10 hamburgers worth of 80% ground beef (not shaped)

Pork:

  • Leftover pulled pork; enough for one meal for the kids
  • Four pounds of pork loin chunks
  • One pound of Walden Local ground pork
  • Eight sweet Italian sausages
  • Four each of two kinds of Walden Local sausage: bacon bratwurst and chorizo with bacon & cilantro
  • Two half pork loin roasts

Chicken/poultry:

  • Two packages of chicken thighs with bones and skin; one package = one meal for us
  • Two 1.33-lb packages of ground turkey; two packages = one meal for us
  • Six packs of thin-sliced chicken breast; 4-5 packs = one meal for us
  • Two chicken leg quarters (from Farmers to You); 7 = one meal for us

Seafood:

  • Some tilapia filets
  • One bag of shrimp; 1 bag = one kids meal

 

Apart from the buildup of sausage, I think the volume is holding fairly steady and we’re getting good turnover.  I clearly have to come up with some additional uses for sausage this month.

Grocery Update & What We Ate: Week 49, 2018

I acquired groceries five days in a row, but the total wasn’t horrible.

On Tuesday I went to Shaw’s for my monthly stock-up.  With two $5 off coupons and some sale items it came to $40.55.  (Apologies for the terrible lighting.)

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Wednesday was my biggest stop of the week, $48.45 at Stop & Shop.  We needed milk and cheese, among other things, was on sale.

On Thursday I picked up Farmer’s to You for $42.45.  The knobby things in the middle are sunchokes, which we had, and liked, yesterday.

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On Friday I went to the farm stand for green beans and eggnog.  I did come away with a few more items which brought my total there to $29.18.

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Finally, on Saturday I spent $16.32 on juice and granola bars at Target.  My primary goal there was a birthday present.  But, I found two Christmas presents and the groceries tipped my actual total over $50, which let me use my $10 off coupon.

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That brought my weekly total to $176.95.  We’ve mostly been eating proteins from the freezers, hence we have had some in most meals without actually buying much this week.

We had a few more split dinners than is preferable this time of year, but it is what it is.

Monday:
Tacos

Tuesday:
Early: Chicken nuggets, spinach salad
Late: Homemade pizza
We added ski fitting to our usual Tuesday swimming and baseball so we split up to catch those who could eat when they could eat.

Wednesday:
Beef stew, oatmeal bread

Thursday:
Chili, corn bread
We were short one adult, but I decided to go for chili anyway because the kids will all eat it.  Then I was told it was too similar to beef stew so let’s not have those back to back again.  Oh well!

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

Saturday:
Chicken nuggets, cut up carrots and peppers
The adults were off to the company party for dinner so only the kids ate here.

Sunday:
Marinated bavette steaks, sunchokes, and green beans
We’d never had bavette steaks or sunchokes before and liked both.  The bavette steak was like a somewhat more tender flank steak, and I had treated it like one with the marinade so that worked well.  The sunchokes were somewhere between a potato and a parsnip.  I roasted them.  The kids announced that they were fine, but not something they wanted all the time.

The Week in Review: Week 48, 2018

With December’s arrival I’ve started Christmas thinking/shopping in earnest.  So, I took one day last week to visit a number of stores where I’ve had stocking stuffer success in the past.  Some luck this year, but still some more to go.

The snow has mostly melted and we’re enjoying more mild weather.

Each of the children continued with their baseball, gymnastics, or swimming.  Before School Sports started for fifth grade; those same two went to Math Morning.

I changed the filters in the heating system, which will hopefully cut down on some of the dust in the house.  I still need to clean the ERV filter and replace the filter in the refrigerator; all of that gets done annually.

I sorted through some coupons and gift cards.  In that process I found a bunch of Amazon gift cards.  They were all small, but I loaded them to our account.  I updated the kids’ bank account information.

November 2018 Grocery Review

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There’s a full slate on tap today!

First, here’s a recap of the past week’s groceries.  I had planned to go to pick up our farm share and go to BJ’s this week.  It worked out that I made a few other small stops.

On Tuesday, I stopped at Wegman’s first.  My primary reason to be there was tissues.  They carry the brand and size we prefer; BJ’s has discontinued the size that fit in our bathroom drawers.  Tissues aren’t in this number, but I spent $34.92 on some food restocking.

Then I went over to BJ’s and spent another $156.65.  I’m not sure if this will be my only trip there before Christmas, but it might be.  Somehow I missed the perishables in the picture.

On Thursday, I spent $57.87 on my farm share.  The paper bags are fingerling potatoes.  I’d never cooked them before, but my oldest asked for them after eating them at a restaurant.  It turns out that I only needed one bag for a meal for us.  But, they went over well and so will probably be added to the regular rotation.  The cheese was on special this week, so I thought I’d give it a try.

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I also spent $17.68 on sale items at Stop & Shop.

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Finally, we made a milk stop at BJ’s on Satuday, spending $40.36.  Missing from the picture are five gallons of milk, 36 eggs, two cases of seltzer water.

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That brought me to $307.48 for the week, which is manageable given it included the trip to BJ’s.

So, that brought my November spending to:

October TOTAL: $1,509.82

  • Stop & Shop: $188.82
  • Wegman’s: $370.20
  • BJs: $264.71
  • Local: $652.08
    • Walden Local: $234.00
    • Farmers to You: $391.35
    • Other Local: $26.73
  • Other: $34.01
    • Star Market/Shaw’s: $34.01
    • Target: $0
    • Other: $0

That was a high month.  But, it did include Thanksgiving.

Finally, what did we eat this past week?  I got sick midweek so things tailed off a bit.  I’m still coming out of it, and everyone else has had this bad cold in one fashion or another, so I’m still catching up on what I planned to eat before getting sick.

Monday:
Meatball subs, tater tots, spinach salad
I planned a relatively easy meal for the first one back after the holiday.

Tuesday:
This was polish off the leftovers day.  The younger ones had turkey and brocolli.  Us older folks had turkey, stuffing, butternut squash, and Brussels sprouts.

Wednesday:
Coq au vin, mashed potatoes, carrots
This was my first day really feeling the effects of the cold.  But, it wasn’t too bad and this meal is fairly straightforward.

Thursday:
Early: Chicken nuggets, carrots
Late: Tuna noodle casserole
I was really feeling the effects today so my original plan went out the window.

Friday:
Early: Macaroni & cheese, spinach salad
Late: Homemade pizza
Standard Friday for us, though the cold was still having an effect.

Saturday:
Dunplings, broccoli, rice
This had been the plan for Wednesday, but its rather involved.

Sunday:
Roast chicken, fingerling potatoes, canned peas
The kids don’t like peas so we have them rarely.

The Week in Review: Weeks 46 & 47, 2018

Thanksgiving was clearly the big event in the past two weeks.  Everything else went fairly smoothly.

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For one, the dishwasher got fixed before Thanksgiving.  It turned out to be a broken washer in the overflow valve.  This is not good, Kitchenaid, since the dishwasher is only two years old.  On a separate note, unlike when our previous dishwasher leaked around the door gasket, the water from this leak never did appear in front of the dishwasher.  Instead, the floor warped.  And, not a little bit since each time it ran it leaked multiple cups of water.  Now that it’s fixed, the wood is drying out and will hopefully return to normal.  But, it caused me to wonder why there is no pan installed under dishwashers like there is under washing machines now.

  • Winter baseball practices, swimming, and gymnastics continued for the relevant kids.  Actually, each kid has one of those activities.
  • The fifth graders went to math mornings.
  • As a member of the winning Majors team, we were invited to the Little League awards dinner.  It was a nice night out and it was good to see all the kids together again.
  • I had my last round of parent-teacher conferences.  At the middle school level there are multiple conferences.
  • We had one dentist appointment.
  • We had one doctor appointment.
  • We attended one birthday party.

We had our first snowfall of the year.  They forecast was for two inches and we got more like nine which led to a two hour delayed opening.  This was on middle school conference day so my oldest was bummed that he lost two hours of home alone time.

  • I got the two travel soccer players registered for the spring.  We’d been debating what to do with our oldest as his baseball commitments grow.  But, with the end of Little League, they’re actually down again so we decided to go for it.
  • After Thanksgiving I made 10 quarts of turkey stock and a pecan pie (the dessert bringer didn’t provide one of those).  Since we cooked two turkeys I still have lots of bones left with which to make more stock.  I’m trying to decide whether it makes more sense to store broth or bones.  It’s rather nice to set up an assembly line to churn through the broth making.

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Grocery Update & What We Ate: Week 47, 2018

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I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving and a relaxing weekend.  We hosted a total of fourteen people, which went remarkably smoothly.  And, it left us with not a crazy amount of leftovers.

Because I had pre-shopped last week, I didn’t have to buy too much this week.  My only pre-Thanksgiving stop was to pick up our Farmers to You delivery on Wednesday.  That totaled $197.15 with two 16.5 lb turkeys (not pictured).  The pickup is usually on Thursday, but was moved for the holiday.

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So, why did I choose the above items?  The sage, cider, onions, and Brussels sprouts were for Thanksgiving.  The Asian pears were on special.  We enjoyed the first bag so I got another.  The tomatoes were also on special and we have many tomato eaters.  They turned out to be fine, but mine prefer the campari or heirloom varieties.  The bread and butter were nice splurges for the holiday weekend.

I had hoped this would get me through the weekend, but we ran out of milk very quickly with so many people here.  So, on Friday I spent another $95.21 at Wegman’s.  That brought the total for the week to $292.36.  Entirely tolerable with the holiday spread.

I can already tell that milk will dictate when I next go shopping.  I expect to be at BJ’s (monthly shop with coupons) and Stop & Shop (a few sale items) this week.  I may go to Wegman’s depending on what I decide to do for meals next weekend.  Apart from milk, we’re all set through Friday.

And, what did we eat this week?

Monday:
Pasta with Sunday sauce, spinach salad
I used the beef sausage from our meat delivery this time.  It worked ok, but folks preferred the spicy Italian in this recipe.

Tuesday:
Green tea poached salmon with soba noodles, cut peppers
I thought folks who wanted could put the peppers in their soup, which did work.  They also added some color interest.  Right now Tuesdays include swimming and baseball so while a split dinner is not required, a somewhat fast one is.

Wednesday:
I can’t remember.  I know it wasn’t snacky, but it also wasn’t complicated because Thanksgiving was coming up.

Thursday:
For Thanksgiving we had apple cider and herbs de provence turkeys.  We also had two types of stuffing, Brussels sprouts, green beans, mashed potatoes with gravy, butternut squash, braised leeks, prunes and apples, and cranberry sauce.

Friday:
Early: Macaroni & cheese, spinach salad
Late: Homemade pizza
I took a break.

Saturday:
Turkey soup

Sunday:
Roasted pork belly with sage & apples, mashed potatoes, and broccoli.

Grocery Update & What We Ate: Week 46, 2018

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This was a week of many stops, largely because I’d like to avoid the grocery stores next week.  I will have a Farmer’s to You pickup this Wednesday (moved from Thursday because of Thanksgiving), but hopefully I’ve planned well enough to get through to next weekend otherwise.

I started out on Tuesday with a trip to Stop & Shop.  I would have preferred to go to Wegman’s and save this for later in the week, but that window closed when my haircut took longer than expected in the morning.  But, I needed milk so I had to go somewhere.  Thus, I ended up at Stop & Shop during the boys’ swimming lesson.  Milk is a little cheaper at Wegman’s so I got three gallons (not pictured) and waited on the rest for my Wegman’s trip.  The trip totaled $64.23 and, apart from milk, was mostly sale items.

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So instead, I spent $87.85 at Wegman’s on Wednesday.  More milk and rather a lot of produce.  The apple crostata was my free item of the month and it was very well received.

As luck would have it, Wegman’s was out of hot dog buns.  And, I realized we were out of juice, so I went back to Stop & Shop on Thursday.  While there I did find the green beans we wanted for Thanksgiving and so checked off another item.  The total was $45.58.

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Also Thursday, I picked up my Farmer’s to You weekly order.  This week I spent $48.90 on day boat white fish so I didn’t take a picture.  We’re all pretty certain it was cod, but it wasn’t actually labeled.

On Saturday, I spent $34.01 at Shaw’s.  My primary reason for going was pizza cheese, but everything you see was on sale.

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Finally, we spent $85.71 at Wegman’s on Sunday morning.  It was definitely crowded, but not terrible for the weekend before a major food holiday.

That brought the weekly total to $366.28!  As I said at the top, ideally this will last us through the weekend.

Despite evening sports coming to a close, this was another week of many split dinners.

Monday:
Unfortunately our dishwasher started leaking over the weekend.  Equally unfortunately, the repair guy didn’t show up until just before 5:00 pm and it was just the evaluation to order parts.  Thus, I reverted to take-out pizza.

Tuesday:
Our oldest was invited to the Little League awards dinner since his team won last season.  Three of us went to that, while the younger kids stayed home with chicken nuggets and carrot sticks.

Wednesday:
Husband was late and two kids were at a play date.  So, the rest of us ate leftover pizza.

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

Friday:
Cod with braising greens and potatoes.  A riff on this because braising greens were in my box last week.

Saturday:
Two kids ate at a birthday party.  Therefore they youngest three had chicken nuggets and carrot sticks, while us oldest three had homemade pizza late.

Sunday:
Pork loin roast with broccoli soup and dauphinois potatoes.

Are We Accumulating Proteins?

This post contains affiliate links.  However, I chose to try the meat share and paid for it myself after hearing about it from friends.  If you live in the greater (like an hour+) Boston or New York City area, you can give them a try and get $10 off your first order.

Two weeks ago I wrote about our first delivery from Walden Local and gave an update of what proteins (really meats/seafood) we had on hand.  The “data” was from actually from a month ago so I thought it would be worth giving an update after our second Walden Local delivery.  They deliver monthly and that seems like a reasonable interval to update such things.

So, first of all here’s what we got:

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So, from left to right we have:

  • Four each of two kinds of sausage: bacon bratwurst and chorizo with bacon & cilantro
  • Four pounds of ground beef and two pounds of ground pork.
  • Six boneless/skinless chicken breasts
  • Three bavette steaks
  • Four NY strip steaks
  • One bottom round roast

The total weight this time was 20.7 lbs.  I had also changed up our settings a bit this month.  I kept the weight and number of people the same, but allowed chicken.  I was rather hoping for some chicken breasts to try to see if they’re better than the grocery store.  I was also hoping for some ground pork as I wanted it for a recipe so I set up my preferences to hopefully encourage both those things.  Bavette steaks are new to us, but apparently they’re like small flank steaks and make good fajitas so that’s my plan.

So, how were the items from the first delivery:

  • Boneless pork belly – Haven’t cooked this yet.
  • Two boneless pork shoulder roasts, about 1.5 lbs each – These were very good.  And, I used a recipe off their website which was excellent.
  • Three beef flat iron steaks – We made fajitas with these.  They were fine, but I wouldn’t choose them again.
  • Eight blueberry breakfast sausages – I know it sounds odd, but they were pretty good.  Would I go out of my way to by them, no.  Would I eat them if I get sent them again, yes.
  • Three hot Italian sausage – I don’t do spicy, but the folks who ate these said they were excellent.
  • Three “pastrami”-style beef sausage – Haven’t cooked this yet either.
  • Six pork chops – These were nice and moist.  We used one of the two recipes they sent and it came out well.
  • Two beef chuck roasts, about 3 pounds each – I used the other recipe they sent and the pot roast was excellent.

To summarize, we like most everything, most quite a bit.  We have pork belly and four beef sausage left.

I think we did pretty well eating the rest of the proteins also.  I did buy a few during the month, most of which we ate, and I’m not sure we have less than a month ago (which would actually be fine), but I don’t think we have more.  Green means we used some/all of that category up.  Black is no change.  Red is new.

Breakfast:

  • 21½ boxes of breakfast sausage
  • One ½ box of bacon = two one meals for us

Beef:

  • Two one 2-lb bags of browned 80% ground beef
  • Eight NY strip steaks
  • Beef bones; one stock set
  • 8-10 hamburgers worth of 80% ground beef (not shaped)
  • One package of bone-in beef shanks

Pork:

  • Leftover pulled pork; enough for one meal for the kids
  • Four pounds of pork loin chunks
  • Eight sweet Italian sausages
  • Three half pork loin roasts

Chicken/poultry:

  • Four three packages of chicken thighs with bones and skin; one package = one meal for us
  • Four 1.33-lb packages of ground turkey; two packages = one meal for us
  • Six packs of thin-sliced chicken breast; 4-5 packs = one meal for us
  • Four packs of boneless/skinless chicken thighs; 4 packs = one meal for us
  • Seven chicken leg quarters (from Farmers to You); 8 = one meal for us

Seafood:

  • Some salmon filets
  • Some tilapia filets
  • One bag of shrimp; 1 bag = one kids meal

The Week in Review: Week 45, 2018

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It was an interesting week with some school holidays and the end of the fall soccer season.

The public school kids didn’t have school on Tuesday, but preschool was open.  On Thursday though they were back at school and preschool was closed for conferences.  So, I had someone home every day.  There was also no school on Monday for Veteran’s Day.

We had the crossing of the seasons in sports:

  • The first week of baseball winter workouts thankfully didn’t conflict with the last week of soccer.
  • Our oldest had three baseball practices, one soccer practice, and two soccer games.
  • Between the next few we had two more soccer practices and three soccer games.  It was rainy and cold for the last Soccer Saturday.  The older ones finished out their seasons on Sunday which was colder, but not rainy.
  • Our youngest went to gymnastics class.
  • The middle four went to swimming lessons.

Most other things were standard events for us:

  • We had another math night (there is one per grade per year).
  • The twins went to math morning (weekly).

I’m slowly finishing up those things I postponed until preschool started.  This week it meant I got a haircut for the first time since March!

I also took some of the boys to use their birthday gift cards, which had the added bonus of giving me Christmas ideas.

I continued cleaning out. Look at all these WikiStix creations!

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On the downside, the dishwasher sprang a leak (photo at top).  They came out once to assess and are scheduled to be back today with the part to make the repair.  Hopefully now the wood floors underneath will dry out and re-flatten.