May 2018 Grocery Review


As I warned before the month started, May is busy around here.  I’m trying my best to stay in touch here, but obviously less than usual.  Things really start to wind down after this week so soon I should be more or less back!

May TOTAL: $1,196.75

  • Stop & Shop: $57.30
  • Wegman’s: $503.01
  • BJs: $286.79
  • Other: $349.65
    • Local: $155.53
    • Star Market/Shaw’s: $124.69
    • Trader Joe’s: $0
    • Target: $69.43
    • Other: $0

This was definitely not a low month.  Two trips to BJ’s and a Wegman’s total that almost equaled everything from April pushed it significantly higher.  But, its not horribly out of line and was bound to happen with such low months so far this year.

I made three grocery stops this past week, only the first of which is included in the May numbers above.

On Thursday, I spent $71.83 at Shaw’s for oatmeal and pizza supplies.  Not the nicest picture, I know!


Then on Friday I spent $23.91 at Stop & Shop.  Somehow I failed to get a picture, but there were ONLY two milks, some cheese, hot dog supplies, mushrooms, and spinach.

Finally, on Monday I spent $106.89 on a big produce and dairy restock at Wegman’s.

Food continues to be quick and not very interesting – chicken nuggets, hot dogs, homemade pizza, etc.  I didn’t note every day.


Grocery Update: Week 21, 2018


I failed to write down what we ate last week.  I’m sure there were chicken nuggets and pancakes and pizza.  I know we had chili on Sunday night.  Beyond that its a bit of a blur, which is also part of why this is the first post in eight days!

But, I did go to the grocery store.  I largely took pictures.  And I have the receipts to remind me of where I went when.

I had a small gift card to a local craft/gift store so on Monday I spent $10.80 (out of pocket, after gift card) there on some fancy cocoa and jam.  I would have been happy to buy earrings or pottery or any number of other things, but nothing really jumped out and fancy food is always nice.

I then spent $176.80 at BJ’s on Wednesday.  There is obviously some restocking here, but I also had a reasonable number of coupons.

On Friday I spent $115.62 at Wegman’s.  My primary purpose was to buy ground beef and a jalapeno for the chili, but I hoped to get enough shopping done to not have to go there again soon. (You’ll see Stop & Shop in a moment because I needed a few things Wegman’s does not carry.)  We ate a lot of eggs over the holiday weekend.


Finally, on Sunday I made a small trip to Stop & Shop.  The boys wanted sausages with their eggs Monday morning.  I would normally get these at BJ’s, but that’s rather far away.  So, I made a short trip and also picked up the hot dogs they had requested and a couple of other items I can only get at Stop & Shop.  This total was $23.43.


That brought my total for the week to $326.65, not bad for a week with a BJ’s trip.

Grocery Update & What We Ate: Week 20, 2018

I was able to keep to limited stops again this week, which contributes to keeping the dollars spent down.

I spent $32.90 at Shaw’s and $149.31 at Wegman’s on Thursday.  Shaw’s is the two bags on the right.  Wegman’s is the rest, though apparently I failed to take a picture of the rest!  There was cereal, granola bars, applesauce, diced pears, orange juice, bananas, and tomatoes among other things.


That meant the total for the week was $182.21.

Soccer and baseball continue to keep our meals simple and quick, as well as increase the number of take-out nights.

We had two baseball games and one child at soccer ratings between the hours of 5:30 & 7:30, so take-out pizza was it.

Early: Hot dogs, applesauce
Late: Leftover take out pizza

Early: Chicken nuggets, green beans
Late: Tuna noodle casserole

Early: Pancakes
Late: Take-out Chinese

Early: Macaroni & cheese, carrot sticks
Late: Homemade pizza

All baseball was rained out so we had a rare dinner together: chili with cornbread.

Spaghetti & meatballs, tossed/spinach salad

The Week in Review – Week 19, 2018

It was the usually busy week last week:

  • 9 baseball games
  • 2 baseball practices
  • 3 soccer games
  • 2 soccer practices
  • 1 soccer ratings (for next Fall)
  • 1 gymnastics class
  • 2 bike clubs
  • 2 math mornings
  • 1 playdate

That’s just the kids.  And even this was light as the first grader’s Saturday afternoon was rained out.

We also had two adult medical appointments.

But, we roll on having officially passed the midway point of the baseball/soccer season!

Grocery Update & What We Ate: Week 19, 2018


We didn’t get too off track this week, even with a trip to the fancy meat store for Mother’s Day steaks.

I spent $41.27 at Wegman’s on Wednesday, mostly basic restocking.

On Sunday, yes Mother’s Day, I went to Stop & Shop.  It was empty!  I spent $33.87 on things for the BBQ and to get us through the beginning part of the week.


DH also picked up $144.73 in steaks.


Thus we ended the week at $219.87, more than half of which was steak.

Our weeks of relatively boring, quick meals continue.

Early: Chicken nuggets, green beans
Late: Homemade pizza

Early: Scrambled eggs, bacon
Late: Take-out Indian

Pork tenderloin, pan fried potatoes, tossed salad

Early: Beef roast, rice, green beans
Late: Leftovers

Early: Chicken nuggets, applesauce
Late: Homemade pizza

Early: Pancakes
Late: Out

Steaks, baked potato, baked beans, tossed/spinach salad

Decluttering by the Day: April 2018, Days 25-30


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Sadly, there’s enough that I’m going for 465 more things this month and already have it in my head for the fall.  I know, not everyone would count every school worksheet, but some folks count pairs of shoes as 2 so I feel like there’s an element of what works for you involved.

Day 25:


Return: The black bag has nine items that will be returned.

Donate: The three shirts in the bottom row are too short.  The shirt in the middle left never really fit right.  There are two items under it plus one pack of hair clips.

Fabric Recycling: The blue shirt on the right has stains that won’t come out and doesn’t fit right anymore.  All the items in the top row have holes.

Trash: We don’t need the package of replacement toothbrush heads.  We have another set and, frankly, don’t replace the heads nearly often enough to need all of these.

Day 26:


Recycling:  This whole stack is going in the recycling.

Day 27:


Recycling: I know it doesn’t look like much, but there are twenty-seven items here and most are papers being recycled.

Trash: The two binders have seen better days and will hit the trash.

Day 28:


Recycle: I’m continuing to power through the school papers.  Everything here will be recycled.  Enjoy the artwork!

Day 29:


Recycle: Everything here will end up in the recycling.

Day 30:


Recycle: Enjoy the artwork!  Everything here will be recycled.


By the end of this post I will have finished the 2015-2016 school year papers, and started 2016-2017.  Given that, I decided to power on to get through that next school year.  I’ll save the current school year for the fall.  Plus, in both cases you’ll see that I have plenty of other things/rooms I didn’t get to in this first attempt.  And, I think taken in full there was a nice range of items parted with.

Links to the beginning of the challenge:
Days 1-6
Days 7-12
Days 13-18
Days 19-24

The Week in Review – Week 18, 2018

This was the first week of the spring where we had no sports rain-outs!  That gave us a fairly typical spring week of:

  • 8 baseball games
  • 4 baseball practices
  • 4 soccer practices
  • 2 soccer games
  • 1 gymnastics class
  • 2 at bike club
  • 2 at Before School Sports
  • 2 at Math Morning

My oldest was a tour guide for the 5th graders visiting Middle School.

I didn’t have any specific appointments, but I:

  • read and recycled a few back issues of a magazine.
  • mailed my last return from last week’s clean out.
  • continued work on this month’s clean out.
  • dropped off a pair of shoes to be repaired.
  • tried using the Instant Pot to hard boil eggs.  That worked really well.
  • Built one of two bags of the backlogged LEGO set.  As a result we have half a fire truck.


April 2018 Grocery Review


This felt like a light month, but one never really knows until one runs the numbers.

April TOTAL: $664.14

  • Stop & Shop: $227.89
  • Wegman’s: $244.91
  • BJs: $158.38
  • Other: $32.94
    • Local: $0
    • Star Market/Shaw’s: $32.94
    • Trader Joe’s: $0
    • Target: $0
    • Other: $0

And it was an exceptionally low month!

There were some bigger spends this week (which will go into next month’s total), but no so much as to totally throw off the month.

On Monday, I spent the $32.94 at Shaw’s that you saw in April’s spend.  Somehow I missed taking a picture.  I got four boxes of oatmeal, one can of corn (free with McDonald’s game coupon), two packages of shredded cheese, and six pizza dough balls.

On Wednesday, I stopped at both Target and BJ’s.  I spent $69.43 at Target.  Juice, almond butter bars, and Life cereal were all on sale.


Then I spent 109.99 at BJ’s.  It probably should have been more, but on the way in to Target I forgot my list (and coupons) for the day.  That didn’t cause me many issues at Target, but I definitely didn’t remember everything on the BJ’s list.


I spent $19.96 at a different Shaw’s on Thursday.  This stop would not have been necessary if the first one had had enough pizza supplies or the tomato sauce (free with coupon).  I didn’t get as many pizza dough balls as I intended here either as they were all completely thawed.  Plus, Kraft seems to have changed their cheese packaging so I bought one to see if it was still their previous “pizza cheese” mix; the description makes me think so.


Finally, on Saturday I did a big shop – $196.81 – at Wegman’s.  The weather was beautiful so we decided to grill.  I had been planning for a big shop there Sunday morning, but went Saturday afternoon instead.  This will cover most of our meals for the week and then some.

But, the “baseball season diet” continues.  It’s not so much that it’s terrible, but that it is boring.

Early: Chicken nuggets, carrot sticks
Late: Homemade pizza

Early: Hot dogs, applesauce
Late: Tuna noodle casserole

Take out pizza

Early: Leftovers
Late: Chinese take-out

Early: Pancakes
Late: Homemade pizza

Hamburgers, baked beans, chips, strawberries

Chicken & garlic with fresh herbs, wild rice with mushrooms, green beans

Decluttering by the Day: April 2018, Days 19-24


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This was vacation week so I mostly tackled the school paper pile from the 2016-2017 school year.  Fortunately or unfortunately, I get so much paper home from preschool and elementary school that most of it goes in a box that I hopefully process when I have time the following September.  Obviously I’ve taken a few Septembers off because I was behind.

Day 19:


Recycle: There’s actually not that much paper here – the two yellow notebooks at the bottom and the pinwheels (minus the push pins) are it.

Trash:  Because so much of this is laminated, many papers fell here.  I also wasn’t sure about recycling the yarn with the fabric so I tossed it.  The bag got recycled, but inside was another bag of moldy preschool play dough.  I better have found all of that now!  The folders and binders had all seen better days having spent an entire school year traveling back and forth.

Day 20:


We finally had a warm day and the kids were outside, so I was able to sneak back to the broken toy stash.

Recycle:  All hte paper stuff including unneeded old toy instructions and Happy Meal inserts.

Trash: There’s a shell, some ribbon, the Happy Meal frames, a sticky hand that is no longer sticky, some broken sports eggs, a broken RC car, two broken Tivo remotes, and a dagger toy that got stepped on and crushed so it no longer retracts (which is the actually fun aspect).

Day 21:


The boys did some more cleaning out and I continued going through the old school stuff.

Recycle:  The boys came up with a bag of scrap paper, a torn gift bag, and two LEGO boxes to get rid of.  Then there’s a whole pile of school papers.

Trash: Some laminated papers (including the Fraction Kit), an old balloon, two hamburger erasers, and some ribbon.

Day 22:


Recycle:  Again, lots of school papers.

Trash:  There are a few more interesting items here: two “reuseable” (but they’re super flimsy) bags signed with a bunch of kids names, one yarn head sculpture, many laminated papers, another Fraction Kit, and four Elementary School Field Day “medals.”

Day 23:


Sold: I had another burst of success, selling the bassinet, associated bedding, and baby carrier.

Recycle:  All the papers here went in the recycling.

Trash:  Two folders that have seen better days, a foam star from 5th grade graduation, a piece of yarn “cloth,” and a box of random pencils/crayons.  None of the pencils are in great shape and I don’t keep non-washable crayons in the house.

Day 24:


There were some nice examples here covering a year of preschool art.

Recycle:  Most of the papers around the perimeter will be be recycled.

Trash: A lot of these have random stuff glued to them that cannot be recycled.  The penguin is mislabeled 2014; these are all actually from the same school year.

Links to the beginning of the challenge:
Days 1-6
Days 7-12
Days 13-18

Accomplishments – April 2018

After some more cold rain over the weekend, today is sunny and the next few days will be truly warm.  We did lose a few more soccer/baseball practices/games, but hopefully the weather will continue to improve.  I discovered this lovely yarn head while cleaning out.


Over the past week I:

  • Got all our kitchen knives sharpened.  It was overdue and they work so much better now.
  • Put away another batch of winter clothes.  There’s one batch left.
  • Bought a bike helmet for one twin whose was too small.
  • Paid a field trip fee.
  • Scheduled a long overdue doctor appointment.
  • Got my garage door fixed.  We had a power outage that seemed to have fried the control board.
  • Finally got the new computer to talk to the printer
    • Getting the printer on the wireless network wasn’t too difficult. (Hadn’t set that up before because the previous computer would not talk wirelessly.)  But, the getting the driver set up was trickier because it is getting to be an old printer.  But, it works fine.

And the kids (as appropriate):

  • Went to Before School Sports.
  • Played three baseball games.
  • Went to three baseball practices.
  • Went to gymnastics class.
  • Went to bike club.
  • Went to the Little League Opening Day parade.
  • Played in one soccer game.
  • Went to one soccer practice.

Even though I didn’t quite get everything done, I did well in April.

  • Assemble one LEGO set that needs adult assistance. Sadly, still no.
  • Sort through my clothes and keep/donate/recycle.  The quantity is not terrible, but there are a few too many I have not worn in a very long time.  Made it through 75% of this.  Will finish off in May.
  • Inspired by others who have embarked on spring cleaning, I will try the method whereby you throw out the number of items as the day of the month, with a few caviats:
    • They have to have been our house for at least a month; same day junk mail doesn’t count.
    • Throwing out = trash/recycle/donate/sell as long as the task fully done by the end of the month.  I think obviously trash will be the easiest here, since no second step is required.
    • If I make it this will be 465 items, so any size counts.
  • Get all the kids to their respective activities.  This is no small feat in the spring and will get even worse in May when baseball is in full swing.  So, definitely not the easiest, but the highest priority.

May will largely be a repeat of April:

  • Assemble one LEGO set that needs adult assistance.
    • I have other things to assemble now too.
  • Finish sorting through my clothes and keep/donate/recycle.
  • Because I have momentum at the moment, and more things that still need cleaning out, I’m going for 465 items again.  Yes, one school paper does count.  And, yes, same rules otherwise.  Because I’m mid school papers and there are a lot of them, I’m going to count down from 30 this time.  (Yes, I know May has 31 days, but we’re going to stick with 465 things again.)
  • Get all the kids to their respective activities.  This is even trickier in May with baseball is in full swing.  So, definitely still not the easiest, but the highest priority.