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.


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.


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)?

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

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

Chili, cornbread, carrot sticks

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

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

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.


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.


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:

Veal Parmesan, salad

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


Early: Fried chicken, spinach salad
Late: Homemade pizza

Turkey soup, cut vegetables

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.


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.


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?

Hamburger soup

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

Ham with raisin sauce, pan fried red potatoes, brocolli

I completely forget!

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

Beef roast, potato & sage gratin, carrots

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.


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.


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.

Fajitas, corn

Chicken pot pie, green beans

Chicken noodle soup

Beef enchiladas, corn

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

Spaghetti & meatballs, spinach salad

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

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.


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).


  • 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)


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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.)


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.

Beef stew, oatmeal bread

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!

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

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

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


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.


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


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.


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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.


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.


Grocery Update & What We Ate: Week 47, 2018


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.


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?

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Turkey soup

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