I had a productive day of food shopping today. And yesterday I stocked up on six months’ worth of grape juice (thanks again, Debbie!), enough to hold me over until they run a good sale again (usually it’s about twice a year around here, a month before Purim and a month before Rosh Hashana). Two of my kids, when they saw how I bought ‘only’ 35 bottles (64 oz each), said, “That’s it? Don’t you think you should go buy some more?” They initially thought I had stopped only because I bought everything available on the shelf. Do you think they’re developing a skewed attitude of what a normal amount of food to buy is?? (But I agreed that they might be right, and maybe I’ll get another six to be sure I don’t run short – we do use a huge amount on Pesach.)
When I woke up and saw it was snowing (something I hadn’t expected when I went to sleep last night), I momentarily considered cancelling my planned monthly shopping trip. But I decided to stay with my original plans, and I’m glad I did – I don’t like pushing things off once everyone is expecting something. There was a good amount of snow and hail while I was driving, but the highways stayed clear, and we got there and back in a decent amount of time. While we were driving, we enjoyed listening to the first cassettes of the set we gave my dd8 and ds1o for Chanuka – Fellowship of the Rings. (It’s amazing how much value we’re getting out of that 20 cent gift – dh also started listening to it on Sundays when he drives in to work! At almost twenty hours of listening time for the entire set, with the two it was given to plus others in the family now enjoying it, we’re way below 1 cent per hour of entertainment!) They are much further along in the story, but willingly agreed to start at the beginning so everyone else would know what was happening. Since we were driving for over four hours, plus the kids wanted to stay in the van and eat lunch while I made a quick stop into one of the stores, they got plenty of listening in!
My two oldest kids were the only ones who went with me five weeks ago, and both of them felt like this was a puny shopping trip, lol. Last month, you may remember, I hadn’t been shopping for seven weeks and had two months of food money budgeted to spend instead of one. Besides buying only one month’s worth of food today, part of why I think this trip seemed so measly was that I bought fifty pounds of sucanat ($85). (I was so glad to find the supply has been resumed after months of not having any available from the wholesaler, and in the nick of time (ie, with just a few pounds of sucanat left in my house – I was already thinking I might be forced to buy brown sugar), I was able to order it again!) Between that and the grape juice, it used up a third of my monthly budget! Since a bag of sucanat doesn’t take up much room in the van, despite costing as much as two 50 lb bags of wheat and 25 lb of millet combined, the van didn’t impress them as being very full today.
But I still got a case of eggs (30 dozen), 50 lb potatoes, 40 lb yams, 5 cases of yogurt (6-32 oz containers per case, 30 containers total), 40 lb bananas, and a case of cherries. And 15 lb butter, 16 lb cottage cheese, 15 lb chevre, 25 lb flour (white – for Purim baking), 25 lb sugar (for Purim baking and Pesach), 4 lb walnuts, 10 lb carrots, a few lb polenta, 25 lb grits, 8 jars of almond butter with honey, 6 boxes herbal tea, and lots of miscellaneous stuff.
I also did all of my Purim shopping today, and the kids got all of their stuff for mishloach manos. I’m not sure what we’ll send from the adults in our family yet, but I’ll use what ingredients I have on hand and figure it out! I also got started on Pesach shopping, which was nice – four boxes of matza farfel ($1), five cans of matza cake meal (.79 each), several bags of sugar, a bunch of strawberry and raspberry jello (I don’t usually buy this, but at .33 each the price was right and it’s useful for some of the sorbet type desserts I like to serve on Pesach), cocoa, #10 can of pizza sauce (1.99) and a couple of chocolate chip cake mixes (because they were cheap – .89- Pesach cake mixes are so unbelievably expensive that I would never consider buying one otherwise). It’s not a lot, but it’s that much more I won’t have to buy when Pesach is a week or two away. I don’t buy many processed foods even for Pesach, so I shouldn’t need much more than lots of matza, oil, and potato starch (of the non perishables – obviously we’ll need a lot more food than that!) – I have to check what I put aside last year as far as spices and anything else I might have tucked away.
I’m planning to go shopping again in five more weeks, which will be a week before Pesach, and buy enough for six or seven weeks (for Pesach and the weeks afterwards). Then I won’t have to shop again until two or three weeks into May. I don’t usually think this far ahead as far as when to shop, but I’m trying to shedule my shopping trips now so I don’t feel any pressure of us running low on food supplies when I give birth (due very beginning of May, though the last two babies were two and three weeks early). Like this, I’ll have at least a few weeks after birth before going shopping again after Pesach.
When my husband called from work late today, he asked if I got what I wanted when I was shopping. I told him I never get what I want – I get what there is, and what I buy is what I want! But that’s by no means a complaint! I have such incredible gratitude every time I complete my monthly shopping trip. H-shem (G-d) is so good to me, because He always sends me the items that I most want, when I need them!