First off, a very Happy Thanksgiving to my US friends! I hope you all have a wonderful day, with much to be grateful for. ❤
I must admit, your later Thanksgiving date makes it a touch disorienting for us. Especially since Canada has adopted the “Black Friday” sales tradition – but a lot of places started those sales on Wednesday! Our sales aren’t connected to anything but US Thanksgiving, since our own Thanksgiving is in October. We’re deep into the Christmas marketing right now, so all the Thanksgiving references always throw me! LOL
Not that I’m complaining. It’s cheap turkey season! 😀
Yesterday was our city shopping day.
If pay had come in on Black Friday this month, I would have skipped it! As it was, the crowds weren’t too bad, and we’re all stocked up again.
Our monthly shop routine has slowly gotten more extensive over time, as we’ve worked out the various places we need to get to, and sometimes managing a couple of more “fun” stops as well, if we can swing it, in between figuring out where and when to grab something to eat. Thankfully, most of the places are relatively close to each other, though there are some that we will willingly drive extra to get to.
This trip, I also finally got an oil change done on the van. I was about 2 months behind on that, so it was getting pretty bad! They did their checks and everything else was good, so our van is now ready for winter. I still need to take it in to see about the groaning noise it sometimes makes when I am reversing. Our mechanic thinks it’s a bearing, but there is nothing visible to explain the noise. That’s going to have to wait. We still haven’t replaced our defective hot water tank, yet, and now that the van is winterized, we can switch to the tank as a priority. At least we’ve got hot water.
One of the things we used to get regularly while living in the city “van water”; bottled water kept in a cooler in the van, because we were out and about so much and it was handy to have. We haven’t needed to do that as much anymore, since we don’t make anywhere near as many trips as we used to, but we’re starting to buy bottled water for home use, instead. Our well water has always had a taste to it, simply because our water is so heavy in minerals and iron, but the taste has been getting increasingly unpleasant. More and more, we’re drinking boiled water – usually as tea, but sometimes I’ll boil water, then later refrigerate it in water bottles for drinking. We really need to get our water tested, and for more than the basic e-coli test. The full testing will cost over $100, but we also have to go to the lab in the city to get a bottle, then drive the sample back to the lab within 3 days. So this is something that will require planning for both budget and driving.
I think what’s really convinced me, more than anything else, that there might be a problem with our well water, was the appearance of snails in our fish tank, after I’d done a water change.
Our city shopping routine now includes a stop at Walmart first, to pick up the dry cat food (they have more flavour selections than Costco), which gives us the opportunity to pick up other smaller quantity items. This time around, I remembered to pick up replacement bulbs for the chandelier in our living room. For 2 years now, we’ve put up with a buzzing noise it made because it had LED lights that aren’t suitable for dimming. We haven’t actually been using the dimmer switch, because it buzzes louder the dimmer the lights are, but it never goes away completely. We’re now switched to incandescent bulbs, and the buzzing it finally gone! I know there are dimmable LED bulbs, but the fixture holds 5 bulbs. A single dimmable LED bulb costs about as much as getting two 4-packs of incandescents.
At Costco, our focus is mostly on large, bulk sized stuff (like paper products), meats and foods with a longer shelf life, like pasta, tomato paste and baking supplies. We still buy eggs there, because they have the huge flats of them, but have learned we can only get one of the big flats at a time. We don’t have room in the fridge for two, so we top up locally later in the month. We aren’t buying as much bread there anymore; the prices may be better, but by the time we’re ready to pick up soft things like bread, we’re running out of room in the cart to carry it without damaging it. There are a few frozen and refrigerated things we get (like my 10 pounds of butter *L*), but these days, we save the fresh stuff for another grocery store.
So after we are done at Costco, we make the drive half way across the city to what has become my favourite grocery store. There are several of the franchise around the city, but this one is an “international” store, so there are things we can find there that we would have to go to specialty stores for, otherwise. This is where we pick up our fresh produce, too. Plus something that can be quickly heated up for supper, when we get home. Finally, because they have an excellent hot food area, we pick up some delicious dim sum for the ride home.
Because by then, it’s typically been more than 4 hours of running around, and we’re exhausted and hungry, and we still have over an hour to drive before we get home, followed by about another half hour, at least, to unload the van and put everything away.
If things went well, there might actually still be daylight by the time we get home, too!
No cheap turkeys this trip, though. Maybe closer to Christmas.
As glad as I am to be all stocked up again, the whole thing is just so draining. The more people there are in the stores, the more draining it is. We might have to make another trip in to the city before Christmas, but hopefully, we’ll be able to get what we need locally. For now, though, we are DONE!