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

December 2018 Grocery Review

Though this week was mostly in 2019, it started in 2018, hence the post label.

With everybody home and a trip to BJ’s to use the December coupons before they expired, it was not a low week.

I spent $97.18 at Wegman’s on Monday.  Look at all that vacation stocking up: smoothies, cheese, bananas, toast, eggs, french toast, and tea!  And, yes, its pretty much gone.

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On New Year’s Day I stopped at the farm stand (which I admit I was surprised was open) and spent $14.08 on cheese and green beans.

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On the last day of the coupon cycle I spent $124.58 at BJ’s.

Finally, on Thursday I spent $14.07 on grape juice at Target and $38.12 on my Farmer’s to You box.  The granola bars were delivered by Amazon for $41.97.

That brought my total for the week to the oddly round number of $327.00.

Realizing that only the trip to Wegman’s fell in 2018, let’s look at the totals from that year.

December TOTAL: $1,384.37

  • Stop & Shop: $310.16
  • Wegman’s: $457.37
  • BJs: $57.29
  • Local: $435.19
    • Walden Local: $138.00
    • Farmers to You: $192.66
    • Other Local: $104.53
  • Other: $124.36
    • Star Market/Shaw’s: $96.97
    • Target: $27.39
    • Other: $0

That was a large month, but down from November even though it still included some holiday meal purchases.

So, what was on the menu last week (besides the breakfasts mentioned above)?

Monday:
I pushed the easy button for New Year’s Eve.
Early: hot dogs, spinach salad
Late: homemade pizza

Tuesday (New Year’s Day):
Beef roast, fingerling potatoes, french onion soup, salad

Wednesday:
Eataly pasta & sauce (was a Christmas present), spinach salad

Thursday:
Chili, cornbread, carrot sticks

Friday:
Early: Pulled pork sandwiches, carrot sticks
Late: Homemade pizza
We do plan for split dinners on Friday just for a break before the weekend.

Saturday:
Pork roast, stuffing, butternut squash, green beans, prunes & apples

Sunday:
Fajitas, corn

 

Grocery Update & What We Ate: Week 52, 2018

Well, this is it.  Yes, published in 2019, but largely finishing out 2018 as this covers through December 30.  I didn’t shop on the 31st so it does finish out the year.

Three shopping trips this week.  On Christmas Eve I stopped at Target for gift tags and spent $28.25 on a handful of groceries.

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Then on Wednesday I needed gift cards for a birthday.  So, I went to Shaw’s to grab some of their sale items (4 Coke packs for $8!) and spent $56.42 on groceries.

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Finally, on Thursday I made a run to Stop & Shop for milk and sale items, spending a total of $101.45.

That brought the total for the week to $186.12.  In case anyone is keeping track, Farmer’s to You was closed this week so no box pickup.

Thus, the Christmas week menu was as follows:

Monday:
Veal Parmesan, salad

Tuesday (Christmas):
Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sausage stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, cookies

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Wednesday:
Early: Fried chicken, spinach salad
Late: Homemade pizza

Thursday:
Turkey soup, cut vegetables

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 & Sunday: Relatives did the cooking.

Grocery Update & What We Ate: Week 51, 2018

Hopefully everyone had a relaxing last week or so.  Ours didn’t quite go as smoothly as planned, but it was all sorted out in time to enjoy Christmas.

This post covers the week before Christmas; you’ll see Christmas week sometime next week, though I don’t promise it will be on its usual Monday.

We didn’t host a feast on Christmas; it was just us.  But, we still had a nice turkey dinner (at lunchtime) and therefore needed a number of groceries.  Plus, there were a lot of items on sale this week that we can make use of both now and in the future.  All in all, a big week.

I started the week on Tuesday at Stop & Shop where I spent $146.19, by far my biggest spend there recently.  The reason being that many things we will use were on good sales; I saved $115.18. (The upside egg noodles package in the picture will bother me every time I look at it, but obviously I’m not restaging this picture.

I realized I should have gotten hot dogs also, when I was driving home.  So the next day I went back to Stop & Shop and spent $14.07 on three packages of hot dogs and three bags of buns.

Thursday was our Farmers to You pickup – $109.51 that was mostly the Christmas turkey.

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I made a relatively large trip, at $51.49, to the farm stand.  Since I almost never buy meat there my totals are usually under $25.

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Finally, on Sunday I made a very large trip to Wegman’s ($153.03) with the intention that it carry us through until after New Year’s.  That goal is looking good so far.  The pizza was free.  We haven’t had it yet so I can’t say whether we’ll like it or not; we don’t usually get thin crust pizza.

That made for a large weekly total, at $474.29 for the week.  Now, clearly not all of that got eaten during the one week.

But, what did we eat?

Monday:
Hamburger soup

Tuesday:
Early: Macaroni & cheese, spinach salad
Late: Homemade pizza

Wednesday:
Ham with raisin sauce, pan fried red potatoes, brocolli

Thursday:
I completely forget!

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

Saturday:
Beef roast, potato & sage gratin, carrots

Sunday:
Nacho chicken, brown rice, spinach salad

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.