August 2019 Grocery Review


I’m not sure how the numbers for the month will bear out since we spent a chunk of time on vacation (during which food goes in the vacation numbers).

First, the spending and eating from last week.  I had two trips to Wegman’s and our Farmer’s to You box.

The first trip to Wegman’s was a bit of a whopper at $201.88!  There were a lot of proteins, and not particularly inexpensive ones.

On Thursday, I picked up our Farmer’s to You box for $39.10.


Finally, on Sunday I made a more typical trip of $67.18 at Wegman’s.

That brought the weekly total to $308.16.

Bonus: this week I remembered to write down what we ate!

Meatball subs, tater tots, veggies

Shepard’s pie, green & wax beans

Early (3): Macaroni & cheese, spinach salad
Late (3): Tuna noodle casserole

In (6): Chicken nuggets, veggies
Out (2): Ballpark food

Early (3): Take out pizza at an event
Late (5): Homemade pizza

Salmon in puff pastry, green beans, oatmeal bread

Pulled pork, veggies, deviled eggs

And now a look back at August.

August TOTAL: $493.37

  • Stop & Shop: $66.62
  • Wegman’s: $163.71
  • BJs: $0
  • Local: $89.24
    • Farmers to You: $82.65
    • Other Local: $6.59
  • Other:  $173.80
    • Star Market/Shaw’s: $56.32
    • Target: $30.90
    • Other: $86.58

Even with the understanding that it accounted for only half the month, that’s a nice low total.

Garden: When Things Don’t go to Plan

As you saw last time, the pumpkin vines were starting to grow over the wall.


Well, the cucumber did too.  This resulted in a cucumber trying to grow into the wall.  I pried it out gently and it tasted fine; it just didn’t look quite right.

Then the bunnies found us.  They liked the carrot tops (though I don’t think this affected how many carrots we got).  Something ate many strawberries and tomatoes; I’ll need to protect those better next year.  They also liked the green bean plants, but we got plenty of green beans still so that wasn’t a problem.  The picture shows the damage to the parsley.


I had thought it was chipmunks, but obviously bunnies were contributing. I’m not sure how we’re going to protect the garden better next year.  Chipmunks can get pretty much anywhere.  I may put a wire fence and the end of the ledge to stave off the bunnies.  I don’t think they’ll jump down.

Another option would be to move the cucumbers to the end.  Their spines seemed to make them rather un-passable once they grew in.  That said, I’d prefer to grown them up the trellis next year; that didn’t quite work out this year because the trellises weren’t strong enough.  Stronger trellises would also help keep the tomatoes farther from the ground.  Lessons learned and improvements to come.

Grocery Update – Week 33, 2019

The restocking continued.  On the other hand, we were gone for some of Labor Day weekend and went to a BBQ for yet another meal.

Monday I bought peaches and an Athena melon at the farm stand.  I’m not usually a huge fan of cantaloupe, but this variety is quite good so I seek it out for the few weeks its available.  Same for local peaches.  Apparently I forgot to take a picture.  But, I spent $6.59.

On Tuesday, I went to Shaw’s primarily for pizza dough.  I spent a total of $56.32.


I spent $30.90 at Target on Wednesday for juice and craisins.  Again, I failed to take a picture of this.

I picked up our Farmer’s to You box on Thursday at $40.80.


Then I took a few days off from shopping before making two stops on Sunday.  I spent $15.74 at the farm stand and $80.55 at Stop & Shop.  (There were actually four boxes of lemonade, but one didn’t make it to the picture.)

That brought my total for the week to $230.90.  This will get split between August and September when those numbers get calculated.


Grocery Update – Week 32, 2019

Only one significant stop this week.  We were mostly on vacation and I count all groceries purchased on vacation towards the vacation budget.

Because we had been on vacation and because its turnover season to winter/school groceries, there was a fair amount of restocking to do.  This is only the start.

First thing when we got back, we purchased two gallons of milk for $11.96.  That is clearly not cost effective, but quick and close were the priority.

My one and only trip was to Wegman’s where I spent $163.71.

I also harvest the garden first thing.  I had done this right before we left, but of course it was still going to grow.  I had put the water on a timer so I didn’t have to worry about rain.


That’s 25 cucumbers!  And, three of them are three pounds – whoppers!  I had made as many pickles as I could before we left.  I also thought the green beans were done when we left, but they revived in our absence.  I’m still picking a couple of pounds per week.  I’ll get back to the garden updates the end of this week.

July 2019 Grocery Review


Things finished on a bit of a whimper, but I doubt that meant a small month.

That starts to change in August.  Last week was smaller than normal.  This week is tiny.

On Tuesday, I spent $29.11 at Stop & Shop.


On Thursday, I spent $37.51 at Stop & Shop.


Inefficient yes.  Expensive no.  I had thought I’d make that second stop elsewhere, but this ended up being the best choice.  No Farmer’s to You this week because we have a bit of a fruit backlog.  So, the grand total was 66.62.

July TOTAL: $1,832.79

  • Stop & Shop: $160.95
  • Wegman’s: $779.45
  • BJs: $484.98
  • Local: $263.41
    • Farmers to You: $220.85
    • Other Local: $42.56
  • Other:  $144.00
    • Star Market/Shaw’s: $109.93
    • Target: $0
    • Other: $34.07

Not small.

Grocery Update – Week 31, 2019

Let the small weeks begin!  Relatively, of course.

It seemed time to start eating down what we have.  We always transition from summer foods to winter ones.  Plus, the garden was producing enough to matter.

The big stop was to Wegman’s on Wednesday for $92.13.

On Thursday we went blueberry picking.  We picked 7.12 lbs of blueberries plus four peaches for $35.70.


That afternoon I picked up our Farmer’s to You box for $41.85.  I didn’t know we’d be going blueberry picking when I submitted my order.


Finally, on Sunday we spent $38.92 at Costco.  Yes, this is new for us.  Yes, we’re trying it out.  I’ll let you know how it goes though I admit our initial impressions were not favorable.


Plus, we still have plenty being harvested!

Garden: Everything is Coming in Nicely


By the beginning of July things had come in impressively.  Just about all of the seeds had taken.  And, the pumpkin that came home from kindergarten had outgrown its box.  Since when do school plants actually grow!?

We missed the June strawberry season.  There weren’t many berries and I think those that did form got eaten by chipmunks.


We had a steady supply of green beans.


I also set up a sprinkler because our amazingly wet, but not too wet, and cool, but not cold, spring had given way to summer heat.

The peas grew nicely up their trellis.  The carrots and pumpkin competed for space.  The pumpkin began its takeover down the wall.  And, the corn came in shockingly well.  It’s not Field of Dreams, but it’s an orderly square of corn stalks.

Grocery Update – Week 30, 2019

I made a somewhat unexpected trip to BJ’s this week.  I had been hoping to put this off until the kids were back to school, but we were short charcoal which is better purchased there (especially in late summer).

So, on Wednesday I spent $179.90 there.

Then, on Thursday, I spent $53.82 at Shaw’s and $39.50 with Farmer’s to You.

I made a $114.73 stop at Wegman’s on Friday.  Somehow I only got a picture of the stuff that goes in the garage fridges; clearly there was more.


Finally, on Sunday I spent $59.80 at Stop & Shop.


This also was the height of garden produce.  Below is one day’s haul.  For the cucumbers, in particular, this was a daily affair.  We also still have plenty of carrots left.  This did represent the end of the lettuce though.


Discounting the garden to free (This is not entirely true.  The lettuce, carrots, and beans were from seed but the cucumber plants were purchased.  There’s also the necessary watering.), the total came to $487.32.  That’s a big week, but a small one is to come.


Garden: And we’re off …


By late May there were sprouts everywhere.

In the near box corn is sprouting from seed.  In the far box the strawberry plants took well.  We didn’t get very many strawberries though.  I don’t know if that’s because its the first year or because the chipmunks got them first.


Apologies for the shadows; the glare wasn’t letting me take decent pictures away from the house in the other direction.

The near box has carrots sprouting.  The trellis is up for tomatoes to be added later.  It will later become clear that this trellis needs to be better supported or we need a different support plan altogether next year.

The far box shows a great deal of arugula, spinach,

and broccoli.  Peas are sprouting behind the broccoli and will eventually grow up that trellis.  While the trellis is strong enough to support peas, putting them behind the broccoli proved to be a poor decision.  Plantings will be moved around next year.


Finally, the last two boxes have a similar look.


The near box has a healthy dose of broccoli and parsley.  The swiss chard and lettuce are just getting started.  In the far box, beans are sprouting from seeds and there are some open spaces for peppers once it warms up.

Next year I think I’ll plan to put peppers in to replace the broccoli.  That will free up additional squares for greater productivity.  And, it turned out everything went on sale at the nursery at the start of June so there really wasn’t any benefit to buying warm weather plants earlier.  But, by then its too hot for broccoli.