Monthly grocery shop: this is what $688 looks like

Well, the Costco shopping trip is over and done with.

Dear Lord, was it busy!

Things did go well, in general. It does make me shake my head when I’m lumbering around with my loaded flat cart, and people with near empty carts seem to think that cutting me off or whatever is a good idea. Like, Dude. I can’t stop on a dime, here. Or trying to make my way down an aisle with pallets of inventory all down the middle, leaving just narrow spaces on either side, and people with small carts seem to think I can steer around them, better than they can steer around me. Annoying.

There’s a reason I like being a hermit.

Still, I did have an excellent exchange. The first things I load up on are the bags of kibble. The 11kg bags were on sale, too, which was bonus! There was an older gentleman that was loading several into his cart when he saw me starting to add several bags to my flat cart (I ended up getting six altogether). He commented on having a lot of cats, and before we knew it we were having a grand conversation! It turns out that he and his wife have been caring for a colony as well, including providing warm shelters and heated water. They’ve currently got 12 indoors, including three kittens. Outdoors, they’ve had as many as 72!! When he found out we were caring for a colony, too, he started asking me questions, and I ended up telling him about using the stove pellets for litter, and about the help we’ve had from the Cat Lady. Turns out, they’re selling their house and moving to an apartment, and have to rehome their cats! He told me about his experiences with rescues and the humane society, which have been pretty touch and go. For the last few months, none of the places he’s left messages with have called him back, and the humane society won’t deal with people outside the city at all anymore, using the mandates restrictions of the past couple of years as their excuse. Some have told him they’re overwhelmed with dogs from the reservations up north, so they’re not accepting any cats at all. I ended up sending his contact information to the Cat Lady, and she recommended a rescue he hadn’t heard of yet. Hopefully, they will be at least more receptive. All in all, it was a great conversation, and he was the sweetest guy. I hope it works out for him and his wife!

Then I had to get back to shopping. *sigh*

This is what $688.62, after taxes, looks like.

That’s only 42 items.

This is one item I did NOT buy.

This wasn’t even the most expensive cut of meat, at $44.99/kg !!!! Good grief!

I got most of what was on my list, dropping a few non-essentials that can wait until next month.

This is what we did get:

Two bags of Basmati rice, in the brand my husband likes, for $17.99 each.
Large jar of regular Hellman’s mayonnaise: $10.99
Canned chicken, 6pk: $18.99
Peanut Butter, 2kg size: $10.49
Pasta, 6pk with 3 different types: $15.99
Goat cheese, 2pk: $10.99
Crimini mushrooms: $4.99
Strawberries: $8.99
Extra strength acetaminophen, Kirkland brand: $10.99
Extra strength ibuprofen, Kirkland brand: $9.99
Bacon, 4pk: $21.99
Polish sausage: $18.99
Whipping cream, two 1L cartons at $4.79 each
Cheese; both Mozzarella and Old Cheddar, at $14.99 each – they still don’t have the big blocks we used to get all the time
Cream cheese, 4pk Kirkland brand: $9.49
Sour cream, Kirkland brand: $5.49
Pork loin: $29.97 (I used to be able to get roughly the same size loin for under $20, not long ago!)
Top sirloin: $31.14 These were the cheap steaks! Four steaks in the package.
Pork chops: $22.64 At least this had a lot of chops in the package for the money!
Ground beef, lean: $29.41 (remember when ground beef was the cheap meat?)
Bathroom tissue: $22.99
Butter, five at $5.49 each. Costco’s butter is about the only butter I can find for under $6 a pound.
Cat food, 11kg bags, six at $29.99 each. Regular price is now $37.99, which is about what a 7kg bag size costs, locally.
Vinegar, box of two 5L jugs, $8.99
Rotisserie chicken, two at $7.99 each
eggs, 60 count, $17.29
wraps, 2 packs of 36 for $9.99 each
Ziploc freezer bags, size medium, 3pk, $17.99

Subtotal: $657.68. I paid $30.94 in taxes.

That was just painful.

But, between the three trips, we are well stocked for the month, plus a bit set aside to top up our stockpile that we always need for the winter months. After this, we’ll still need to make local trips for fresh produce, and of course for getting fresh eggs from the egg lady. We just started our last 18.9L jug of drinking water, so I’ll need to head into town with the two clean and dry ones for refilling. The siphon pump can’t quite get all the water out, so we’ve got a jug with a couple of inches of water still in it to finish off, then set aside to dry out.

One thing about all those bags of kibble; I think this is the heaviest I’ve ever loaded my mother’s car, which had me a bit concerned. I made sure to load the heaviest things more to the middle, and spread the weight out as evenly as I could.

When it comes to my mother’s car, there are a couple of things in particular that has always driven me nuts. One is how noisy it is. There are always things rattling around in the back, and I’ve never been able to find what’s making the noise. The other is that it’s a much lighter vehicle than our van, so it constantly feels like I’m bouncing all over the road, either from bumps on the highway, or gusts of wind.

All that weight in the back, however, sure made a difference! It was the quietest, smoothest ride I’ve ever had with this car! Not a rattle to be heard from the back, and even when I drove through a downpour briefly, that little thing stayed hugging the road. 😄

I had intended to tank up while at Costco, but the lines were so bad, I took the route to town to tank up, instead. Costco was at 156.9/L today, but in town, the gas station I go to is still 155.9/L Nice!

So all in all, it was a good and productive day. Just very draining, to be around all those people. I’m glad to be home, that’s for sure!

The Re-Farmer

Stocking up: this is what $282 and $110 looks like

First, the cuteness!

I only saw about a dozen cats this morning. It was quite lovely out there, with little hint of what was to come!

I knew we were supposed to eventually get rain. The high today is supposed to reach 7C/45F. This morning it was already quite windy, so I made sure to tend the smoldering burn ring so the cover lay flat over it. Normally, I set it so the slight gap faces the wind, to encourage the smolder, but this time I made sure it was facing away.

Turns out I didn’t really need to worry about it.

As I write this, we are at 3C/37F, with the wind chill at -1C/30F, and not only is it raining, but snowing, too!

I’m glad I have those carrots I planted yesterday under plastic! The cooler temperature and snow isn’t the problem. Though I covered the seed tape with soil, the wind would probably still have blown some of it away, and whatever didn’t get blown away would have been bashed about by the rain.

Today, my husband’s CPP Disability came in, so I was planning to go to Costco. By the time I headed out, shortly before 11am, the winds had increased to the point that I was thinking I would be changing plans. When I got to the town my mother lives in and gassed up (168.9 cents per liter, there!!!), Costco was off, but I decided to head to the smaller, closer city for the Walmart and Canadian Tire part of our regular shopping. Honestly, though, I seriously considered just getting a few things where I was and heading home. If the price difference wasn’t so dramatically different, I probably would have. Even while parked next to the gas pump, the car got buffeted by wind gusts, and I was facing into the wind!

The route from my mother’s town to the smaller city takes me on a several east/west stretches of road. The wind was coming almost directly from the south, and I was fighting it the whole way. It was better when I was driving into the wind, though the gas gauge sure was dropping faster! I took it slower at times, and wasn’t even getting passed, which is saying something!

Still, I got there safe and sound, and my first stop was at Canadian Tire.

This is what $110.67 looks like.

There were two things I went there for. The stove pellets for cat litter, which were $7.29 each, and another 4 fire bricks, which where also $7.29 each. The plan is to pick up a few fire bricks each month until we have enough for our outdoor kitchen, when we are ready to build it.

The cast iron frying pan was a serendipitous find. For starters, the 10″ size was 80% off! Cast iron anything has become extremely expensive, so getting this for $19.99 was something I did not want to pass up. Even so, I would not have bought it if it weren’t for one other thing: the bottom of the pan is flat. The cast iron pans we have all have a slightly raised ring around the bottom. Which isn’t an issue with a typical electric stove, but we’ve got a glass top stove now. It actually affects how the pan heats up. This one does still have a ring on the bottom, but it is indented, which solves that problem!

It says it’s pre-seasoned, but… we’ll probably season it a few times ourselves, first!

The other thing is that blue metal bar. There used to be a pencil tip bar like that here on the farm – I even remember it from when I was a kid – but it is among the things that disappeared before we moved here. These don’t tend to be in stock very often and, when they are in stock, they’re usually out of budget. This one is a 60″ chisel tip pry bar, which will meet our needs quite nicely. Best of all, it was 40% off, which brought it in budget!

I then made sure I left very quickly, before I found something else to spend money on!

Hardware stores are a very dangerous place for me to be, which money! 😄

That done, it was off to Walmart. This is what $283.38 looks like.


Part of that total was a donation to the Children’s Hospital, for which I was given a lanyard as a gift, which you can see sitting on the case of wet cat food. That case cost $28.77 The 10kg bags of dry kibble cost $29.97 each. I don’t usually get a 16 pack of facial tissue, but it was on sale at $17.97, instead of something like $23 regular price. There is also a 6pk of double roll paper towels at $18.97; another sale price. One extra, off list, thing that I got was a pair of sweats for myself, at $18. The other was a hanging scratch pad for $4.97. The cats in my room tend to ignore the small scratch post I have for them, in favour of the carpet, so I’m hoping a hanging scratch pad of similar texture will better appeal to them.

For my lactose intolerant daughters, there are two 2L cartons of soy milk at $4.78 each, as well as coffee, at $8.97, though that had a $1 off coupon attached to it. There is a bag of mixed frozen berries at $12.97 and four different cheeses at 2/$10. There’s a 4L jug of 3% milk for $5.88, a large jar of green olives for $8.97, and 4 things of liquid Crystal Light drink mix for my husband, at $3.37 each, which is more than a dollar cheaper than locally. There’s a giant pack of wieners for $5, but there was only one package of hot dog buns left, at $3.37. There’s a 5lb bag of yellow potatoes at $5.97, and a 5lb bag of red potatoes for $4.97. Finally, there are two bottles of distilled water for my husband’s CPAP humidifier, at $1.87 each, and bottle of a Coke Zero for the road at $2.27. Of course, all the bottles and jugs also had their 3 cent enviro fee which, in this province, we don’t get back when we recycle them.

The grand total, before taxes and donation, was actually $256.86 However, I see on the receipt that the quantity sales – the Crystal Light was 2 for $6, and the soy milk was 2 for $8 – got deducted at the end, so that brought the subtotal down to$253.82 before my donation. Taxes totalled $19.56

So this was a smaller – though heavier! – shopping trip than the Costco trip I intended to make. Between the 40 pound bags of pellets and the pry bar that weighed more than one of those 10kg bags of kibble, I wasn’t going to get too much more while using my mother’s car. We’re not using the van until I can get that noise in the engine checked, and we won’t have the budget for that until June.

Still, I was appreciating that weight on the drive home. By the time I finished shopping at Walmart, it had started to rain. Between the extra weight and having the wind at my back, the car was not being buffeted around anywhere near as much. I was still fighting the whole drive home, though, this time with all the rain accumulated on the highways that wasn’t draining off.

I took a different route home. Instead of going back the way I came, I took the highway to the town closer to us, which is a more sheltered route. It also runs through several small towns, so the speed limit is lower for most of it. When I got to town, I topped up the gas tank again – this time at 155.9 cents a litre! – before the final stretch home. I kept the family updated with where I was, every chance I got, and my daughter kept me updated on what the weather radar was showing. The last leg of my trip was driving east, which meant I was getting broadsided by the wind again, as well as the rain. For most of the drive, I was doing 80km in a 100km zone and, once again, no one was passing me! I did my shopping just in time, though. According to the weather radar, after I left the Walmart area they got hit with the brunt of the storm, and I was safely home before the worst of it hit our area.

And in the time it took me to finish writing this, the rain and snow has stopped! From the looks of the trees outside my window, the wind has died down dramatically, too! Even on the live feed from the garage cam, I’m not seeing the trees in the distance moving at all. Not even the tarp on the shed roof near the barn is flapping anymore, and that thing was billowing when I left!

Ah, weather. If you don’t like what you’ve got at the moment, just wait 5 minutes and it’ll change! Especially in April!

The Re-Farmer

This is $530; Costco shopping done

I had intended to do the Canadian Tire and Walmart trip next, but we were running out of too many things that we get at Costco, so I did that today, instead.

After my morning rounds, of course.

We are at 0C/32F as I write this, and it is quite gorgeous outside. I counted 23 cats this morning. They are spending far less time in the sun room with the warmer temperatures. I don’t know what they are doing, but so many of them are showing up with burrs stuck all over their fur! At least Pointy Baby (in the front) will let me pull them out of his fur with remarkable patience, but even he has his limits!

There is a rather interesting problem we have found that we get pretty much every spring. As the snow melts, a moat forms around the garage. At this point, there’s still a lot of snow, so no moat – but the path through the snow to the garage cuts through part of the low spot. Which means that any snow that melts pools in this one spot along the path. In the morning, it’s frozen, rough and very slippery. By afternoon, it’s melted and getting deep. There’s no way around it, since the water extends below the snow, too.

Thankfully, my boots are pretty waterproof, but when we have heavy loads in the wagon to bring to the house, the wheels sink into the water thawed inch or so of mud at the top, which makes it even rougher once it freezers overnight again. We really need to lay a whole lot of gravel down in this area!

Especially when we have loads like this to drag through it.

This is actually a small Costco shopping trip for us, but we do have four 11.6kg (about 25 pounds) bags of kibble, plus a case of 48 cans of wet cat food, weighing it down.

I didn’t want to do too large of a trip, since I was using my mother’s car, but it was sort of a moot point, anyhow. This came out to $530.28 ($27.59 of that was taxes). That’s quite a hit on the budget. Yes, it’s a monthly stock up trip, but we still need to keep part of the budget for buying fresh produce locally throughout the month. And we still need to do the Canadian Tire and Walmart trip. Not that we have a lot to get there (the main thing is to restock our stove pellet litter supply, which is inexpensive), but I also did a local shopping trip last night that ended up costing just over $200 – half of which got “reimbursed” by my husband, who asked me to pick some stuff up for him that we don’t normally get, but still. Ouch.

So what did I get for $500?

The four bags of kibble cost $37.99 each. They’ve gone up in price again, I think. Still better than elsewhere!
Canned cat food, case of 48: $38.99
Toilet paper: $22.99

Butter, 5 pounds at $4.89 each – the price has actually gone down!
Canned chicken for the pantry: $17.99 – I think that has gone down slightly, too
Peanut butter, 2kg size: $8.89
Nutella, 2pk: $13.69 We almost never buy Nutella, but my daughter has a recipe she wants to try with it, and it’s cheaper to buy it at Costco
Iced Tea mix: $7.99 sale price ($2 off)
Regular mayonnaise: $10.69
Kirkland cream cheese, 4pk: $9.49
Crimini mushrooms: $4.99 – the white button mushrooms are now the same price as the crimini, so there’s no reason not to get the tastier ones!
Strawberry jam: $9.99 – there were similar sized jars of slightly cheaper jam, but this brand comes in jars we like to reuse for other things
Fresh blackberries, 2 clamshells: $4.99 each – which is a really good price for blackberries in packs this size!
Basmati rice: $12.99 – not the brand we usually get, but they didn’t have what we normally get. I hope it’s good. The last time we tried a different brand, it was awful.
Goat cheese, 2pk: $10.69
Farmer sausages: $9.99
Pork Loin: $26.35 Even the pork is starting to get expensive. They’re sold by weight, which makes it easy to choose a smaller one by looking at the price. Getting the smallest one used to put the price at or near $20. Not anymore!
Tilapia fillets: $21.85 There was actually quite a lot of fillets in the package for that price. My daughters will get a few meals out of that.
Ground pork chub: $19.99
Lean ground beef chub: $32.78 sale price ($8 off) This thing was quite large. I haven’t seen ground beef sold this way at Costco for many years.
Rotisserie chicken: 2 at $7.99 each These are still cheaper than buying whole, uncooked chicken.
Tortillas: 2 packages at $9.99 each

And that’s it. I didn’t get any of the giant blocks of cheese we normally get at Costco because they didn’t have any in stock. There’s other stuff I might have picked up normally, but couldn’t justify the expense. There are getting to be too many months where I see things and think, “oh, we’re getting low on that, I could pick some up…” only to not do it because of the price. Things like garbage bags, freezer bags of different sizes, facial tissue, etc. Instead, we end up getting smaller sized packages elsewhere, or skipping it for another month.

Unfortunately, I don’t see that situation improving any time soon.

But, we have what we need.

Once at home, I took the pork lion and split it into three pieces to freeze individually. The ground beef got divided up into four large Ziplock freezer bags, while the ground pork got split into four medium Ziplock bags. With what we still have left from our beef freezer packs and our recent Superstore trip, our chest freezer and fridge freezer are both quite full.

We’re still good, for which I am grateful. There are many who aren’t.

The Re-Farmer

Costco haul: this is $692

Oh, my goodness, what a day! Costco was so very busy.

I got just about everything on my list (I could not find dryer sheets anywhere!), plus a few additions I’d forgotten to include on my list.

This is what $692.38, after taxes, looks like.

What’s funny is what happened after I took this picture and started the van – which did NOT want to start when I left for the city, so I wanted to make sure it was running. While taking the picture, I saw a notification for a message from my SIL, who has been out of province for some time. I was going to load up the van, then read and answer the message after I was done.

As I was opening up the back and getting my bags handy, I heard my name.

It was my SIL!

I had no idea she was back! She had messaged me earlier to say she was also going to the Costco – which means we were shopping at the same time and missed each other – then again to let me know she was leaving. Pure chance that she drove past where I was parked! So she pulled into the parking spot nose to nose with my van, helped me load the groceries, then we sat and chatted for a good while.

It was so fantastic to see her! She’d actually been back for a little while, but she and my brother have been terribly sick with colds for the past week, which is why I hadn’t been hearing much from either of them.

I love her so much, and I’m so happy she’s back!


Today’s Costco haul, as usual, included wet and dry cat food. I’ve got a bead on a farm supply store that I’m told I should be able to get large bags of kibble at a really good price, but I’m going to have to make a special trip to check it out. It’s just not working out to find the place while also doing other errands. Until then, I got four 9kg bags of the Kirkland kibble. They did have the brand name 11kg bags but, at $28.99 each, the Kirkland was a better price per kg. I also got their big case of canned cat food (42 cans, I think?) for $38.99

Also among the non-food items was the Kirkland toilet paper – their double roll TP is noticeably bigger than other brands – for $22.99.

One of the “treat” items I got was something new for us to try; a 24 pack of Bubly sparkling water in three flavours. I wanted something not-Coke Zero for a change. They are zero sugar, so I can drink them during my Lenten fast from sugar and high sugar/starchy foods. We haven’t found a sparkling water we actually like yet, but we’ll see how these are.

I did get two flats of eggs for $17.95 (yes, I’m still going to be buying flats of eggs from our egg lady! – we eat a LOT of eggs). While I was walking through Costco with them on my flat cart, a Native guy walking past me saw them and stopped to ask where he could find them. I told him, and he said that the same pack of 60 eggs costs $30 where he lives!! Prices at the northern reserves have always been insane, but yikes!

One of the things I got for the girls was a case of Kraft Dinner; Costco has larger cases than at the grocery store, while their $14.99 price would be a sale price for the usual 12 packs I find!

I got two packs of flour tortilla wraps at $9.99 each, as well as a two loaf package of rye bread at $5.99 – I’d be lucky to get one loaf at that price, locally.

I didn’t get much meat; we still have quite a bit in the freezer, plus I’ll soon be ordering a freezer BBQ pack of beef that includes two types of sausages, from where we get our annual quarter beef. I got a small pork blade at $19.83, some pickerel filets for the girls at $23.69 (only 3 filets, and they were the cheapest fish I could find!), a couple of hot rotisserie chickens at $7.99 each, a 3 pack of bacon for $21.99 and 6 pack of canned chicken for $18.49.

In dairy, I got 5 pounds of butter at $5.49 each AND!!!! they had ghee in stock! I got the big bucket for $39.99. They didn’t have the giant blocks of cheese, so I got smaller blocks of marble cheese, which was on sale for $11.99, and mozza at $14.99. There’s also a larger tub of sour cream at $5.49 and a 4 pk of Kirkland cream cheese at $9.49, plus a 2 pk of goat cheese at $10.69

I also got a 2kg size jar of peanut butter at $8.80, and two big jars of Hellman’s mayonnaise, which was on sale for $8.49 each. There’s avocado oil at $17.49 – a much better price, and a much bigger bottle, then anywhere else! – a 2 pk of butter chicken sauce at $9.99, a 2 pk of lemon juice at $4.99, and a jar of Saskatoon jam for my husband, at $7.39.

I don’t usually get much, if any, fresh produce at Costco, but this time I did get a container of mini portabella mushrooms for $4.99 – they where the same price as the buttons, when usually the buttons are at least a dollar cheaper for the same size container – and a bag of avocados at $7.99

I braved the pharmacy section this time and finally restocked myself on B12 ($21.99), Vitamin D3 (on sale for $8.99) and Zinc ($12.99).

Among the more “treat” things was a big bag of Kirkland chocolate chips at $16.99 – those have certainly gone up in price, but the bag usually lasts us several months – and 1 container of popcorn in the big plastic jugs that we always keep because they are so very useful. Those are now $10.89. There’s also a container of iced tea mix at $9.99. Usually that’s for my husband and I but, since I’m off sugar for 40 days, it’s just for my husband. The girls don’t care for it. For the girls I got a giant bag of Munchies Mix at $9.49 (it will easily last them the month) and for my husband and I, a couple of containers of pork rinds at $10.89. For me, they will be a sort of bread/cracker substitute during my fast. These are also containers that we keep, as they are a great size to turn into cloche covers over larger transplants, like squash, in the garden.

And there we have it. Almost $700 at Costco.

After I’ve spent the necessary 24 hours monitoring my mother after her scope is done, we’ll have to make probably two more trips to the city. We’ll need a Walmart trip, for sure, and the girls want to hit the International grocery store with their own shopping list. We will also need to finally do that Home Depot trip to get what we need to build the cat barrier to the living room, which we won’t be able to do with my mother’s car. We will need the van. Since I came home to a tire going flat, it will have to wait until we get that fixed or, pleasepleaseplease, our mechanic finds us an affordable replacement vehicle that the financing company will accept!

I think the most difficult part of all this fussing with the van and trying to get a replacement so much earlier than we’d thought we would, is being up in the air all the time, never quite sure what we can do next.

Ah, well. It’ll work out in the end.

I’m just glad we got this trip in, and I won’t have to do another one for a while, yet!

The Re-Farmer

Second stocking up trip: this is what $350 looks like

Well, I’m back from the city, with a mostly successful shopping trip to the Wholesale Club. I didn’t quite get everything on my list, while also getting a few things not specifically on my list, but that I either keep an eye our for, or get only while at this store.

The grand total, after taxes, was $350.17

I like that their receipt organizes everything by category, rather than the order they were scanned in.

Under “grocery”, I got a package of heavy duty scouring pads, having taken out the last one from our supply recently. We were also low on parchment paper, so I got a cheap no-name brand, as well as a package of paper towels.

There’s a 10kg (22lb) bag of white sugar. Icing sugar was on my list, too, but I didn’t find any. A bottle of lemon juice, a big thing of iced tea mix, and giant bags of Fusillli and Farfalle pasta.

In dairy, there’s a tub of sour cream, a big block of Old cheddar (more expensive than Costco, except they didn’t have any in that size at all), and a couple of pounds of butter. The no-name butter was $5.99 each, but the whipping cream was $4.89 each, so I got two of those and will be making more butter myself.

I got 4 big bags of pierogi in two flavours; the no-name brand, at $4.99 each, was about a third the price of the name brand variety in comparable sized bags. There’s also a gallon of vanilla ice cream my husband requested.

There’s a 2L of soy milk for my daughters in the “natural foods” category. They are lactose intolerant, and the soy milk is cheaper than lactose free real milk. That’s the main reason I want a milk goat!

Under “produce” there’s a bag of “imperfect” avocados, and Medjool dates.

Those dates are quite addictive! Excellent stuffed with a bit of goat cheese. Better still stuffed with a mixture of goat cheese and crushed nuts, rolled in salt and pan fried with honey – something we did when the girls were younger and we were recreating recipes from ancient Rome. Sublime!

Under meats, I splurged a bit. Oddly, the $10 bag of frozen vegetable samosas is listed under meats! I got a giant package of wieners (and buns) so we can have a cookout if we want. We still have meat in the freezer, but I wasn’t going to say no to the excellent price for pork butt. There was a lot of meat for just under $30. Unlike their chickens, where a three pack of small birds was almost $40! As a treat, I got one of their $20 boxes of chicken balls. I also got their $10 pack of sole filets for the girls, who like their seafood.

Under deli, we got a giant beating stick of summer sausage, Lyoner sausage and salami. I was planning to only get the big summer sausage, but these are handy for those days when we don’t have the energy for cooking. Plus, I want to experiment with something.

Last of all, I got a jug of windshield washer fluid, rated to -45C/-49F. With how warm it was today, I quickly ran out and pretty much emptied the jug I had in the van when I refilled the reservoir. I always try to keep a full jug in our van, and my mother’s car, just for times like this!

One thing I did not find was the bucket of Ghee. When I didn’t find it at Costco, I was sure I had to have found it here. I ended up asking an employee and as far as he knew, they never carried the bucket size! All they had were smallish tins. Maybe Costco was just out of stock? I do hope they get more, because buying it in that bucket size is SO much more affordable.

I went through the restaurant section and there were a few things that I’m eye balling for the future; especially for when we’re cooking outdoors more often. I also went through the pet food section, and there were none of the large bags of dry kibble I try to get. Not that I would have bought any. There’s no savings on kibble by buying it there.

I did decide to make one other stop before doing this shopping, checking out a liquidation store. We don’t go there often, but there’s something my daughter is wanting that I thought they might have. They didn’t, but while there, I did get a dozen packages of vegetable bouillon cubes at 4 for $1, or 29 cents each, restocking our supply from the last time I got a whole bunch of these! There wasn’t much else; mostly cheap Valentine’s day treats, though I did get a chisel tip paint brush that was on the list my daughters have for painting the basement. A long handled one would have been preferable, but no place I’ve looked seems to have them. Which is fine. We can always extend the handle ourselves, if necessary.

My younger daughter helped me bring everything to the house, and the poor thing really struggled with the heavier bags. She’s been working on the basement all day, so her back is killing her. I’ll have to make a point of hobbling down the stairs and see how it’s going, later on.

Speaking of hobbling…

The new medications my doctor is trying me on for my arthritis are… a thing. There is definite improvement in joint pain and reduced inflammation. The problem is, I seem to have just traded one pain for another. These medications are prescribed in tandem, with one of them pretty much there to protect the stomach from the other.

It’s not working very well.

Usually, it’s just a feeling of bloating, without the gas, but while driving and walking around today, it got really bad. At one point, as I was walking into the Wholesale Club, I suddenly wondered if I was going to throw up! I wasn’t feeling nauseous. It felt more like I really needed to burp, but was afraid to because it might be accompanied by something – and my stomach would have been pretty empty by then! According to the papers that came with the meds, side effects should subside within 2 weeks, and I only got 2 weeks of the medication. If this keeps up, I’m not going to request the prescription be continued, but will drop them completely. I’d rather deal with the pain from the OA than this abdominal pain and… insecurity, shall we say!

More motivation for me to try going carnivore, but if I do that now, we’ll go through the meat in our freezer way too quickly, and that’s supposed to be for all four of us, not just me! Very frustrating. But I can still work towards it.

Juggling what we can afford for the household can really conflict with what we’d like to do! Meanwhile, with the prices continuing to increase, we’re going to have to rely on food we grow ourselves a lot more, and that’s going to require more preparation if we’re going to start raising animals, too.

Ah, well. Self sufficiency was our goal from the beginning. I just hoped we’d have more time and resources to accomplish it!

The Re-Farmer

First stock-up shop: this is $737

I am so glad to be home.

The drive in wasn’t too bad. There was lots of blowing snow. It was bright and sunny, with hardly any clouds but at times, I could barely see the road. The snow being blown around was what fell last night. It wasn’t accumulating, though, and the road under it was dry. Road crews were out and keeping on top of clearing the shoulders, before things could drift over the roads. On the way out, I was driving with the wind mostly behind me, so that wasn’t too bad, either. On the trip home, however, with a loaded van, it was a bit of a fight the whole way. Not too, too bad, at least, but I could feel the van was having a hard time with both the weight in the back – all those cat food bags! – and being buffeted by the wind.

Not only has it been a long time since we’ve done a Costco trip, it’s been a long time since I’ve been there on a Friday! Gosh, it was busy. Things went smoothly, though, even when it was time to wait in line to pay. I wasn’t in any hurry, so that helped.

This is what $737.19 – after taxes – at Costco looks like.


I went to the post office before heading to the city. We have an executive membership, and today I got our renewal and rebate. The renewal was $120, and the rebate was $118.36, so a tiny bit extra went to the renewal.

There are only two “extras” on here, and quite a few things we didn’t get. One extra is the LED light. We now have three of those, for our plant starts. It was $10 off the regular price of $45. I think I’ll pick up one more next month, and then I think we should be good. The other extra, which you can’t even see in the photo, is a flat of Coke Zero, which was about $15. (I’m rounding the actual prices, since I don’t feel like typing .99 over and over)

When I started loading the flat cart, I reached about $200, just in cat food! (Thank you, M, for your donation!) I got two 9kg bags of the Kirkland brand, at $29 each, plus four 11.6kg bags of Whiskas at $35 each. It’s a better price per kg with the larger bag, but the cats do get tired of eating the same thing all the time after a while, so I like to change it up when I can. There is also a case of 48 cans of wet cat food, which now costs $39. The toilet paper now costs $23. The Kleenex was a good price, at $21 for a dozen big boxes.

Then it was time for some actual people food!

My daughter requested coconut oil, which was about $19. For cooking oil, I got Avocado oil this time – something we haven’t bought in a long time and were really missing – at almost $18 for a nice big bottle. Local stores have small bottles that cost even more, so it’s work waiting to get it at Costco.

There’s a couple of large tubs of mayonnaise, which now costs $11 each. A 2pk of butter chicken sauce was $10. There’s a large container of whole peppercorns, at $7, a 2pk of goat cheese for $11, a wheel of brie for another $11, and a 3 pk of cream cheese for under $10. I got only five pounds of butter, which is now $5.29 – higher than it was, but still much, much lower than at regular grocery stores.

They had the big blocks of marble cheese at $30, but nothing else in that size, so I got smaller blocks of old cheddar and mozza, at $15 each. A 10 lb bag of yellow potatoes was $7, a 2pk of rye bread was $6, two packs of wraps (36 count) for $10 each, and jumbo hot dog buns at under $6, to go with a 3pk of hot dog wieners at $21. For other meat, I only got a pork blade, at almost $29, and a pork loin, at $30.

There’s a 4L of milk at $5.69 – no savings there, since the prices for milk are government controlled. Two 1L of whipping cream, though, was only $4.79 each – quite a bit cheaper than elsewhere. A 5 count of avocados cost $8. The price of peanut butter hasn’t changed much, at under $9. A jar of raspberry jam cost only slightly less than the peanut butter – but was quite a bit cheaper than the strawberry jam I usually get! Usually, it’s the raspberry jam that is much more expensive.

Things on my list that I did NOT get included garbage bags (I was running out of space), ghee (I never found it), sour cream (I forgot), chocolate chips (running out of space), lemon juice (I forgot), pasta (the only ones I found were really expensive), pain killers, vitamins, shampoo and conditioner (I no longer had the energy to go through the pharmacy section) and sugar (I remembered, but didn’t want to add another big heavy bag to the cart).

One thing I almost got, but ended up putting back, was a package of really heavy duty, interlocking squares of floor mats. I want them for the kitchen. We had some regular ones that get sold as yoga mats, but the cats just tore them apart. The kitchen floor is in really bad shape, and it’d be nice to have something that not only covers it, but makes it easier on the back while standing there, doing dishes or whatever! In the end, I just couldn’t justify the cost, even though it was a really good price.

Later in the month, we should hit the Wholesale Club, where we can get pasta in giant bags, and I know I can find the big buckets of ghee. We still have some, but it’s getting low. There are other places we need to go to to pick up certain things, so we will have at least one more trip to the city after main pay comes in. Probably two, before we’re set for the month. Which reminds me: also in the mail, my husband got letters from Sun Life. One to confirm that yes, he’s still disabled, and the other to confirm, yes, he’s still getting disability payments! So we’re confirmed to have money for another year.

Thank God for private health insurance!!!

I also plan to pick up more meat and eggs from local homesteaders. We’ll have to see what the budget is like after the vet visit on Sunday, before we can decide how much we’re getting. Yes, we still have plenty of meat in the freezer, but if I’m going to be going more carnivore, I want to make sure to have more, so we don’t run out too quickly.

Tomorrow, I’m going into town to pick up my new prescriptions, including the new pain killer that I’ll be trying for 2 weeks, to see how it does for my OA. That will be a good time to swing by the local grocery store and refill a couple of water jugs, and one of my daughters will be coming along to do some of their own shopping, as well. I was hoping to pick up some seafood for them (my husband and I are not big on seafood at all), but it was so bloody expensive!!

You know, I think I saw some fishing rods in the pump shack, and there’s a net in the garage. The girls are interested in taking up fishing. It would be handy if these were in useable shape!

We shall see. 😁

So that’s one big, stocking up shopping trip done!

The Re-Farmer

The Costco shop – this is $580

More specifically, $579.06

I forgot to take a picture while it was still on the flat cart. Not visible, because they are on and under the seat that isn’t folded down, is a box with three rotisserie chickens – which are still cheaper than buying a three pack of whole, raw chicken – a case of 48 cans of wet cat food, and a double flat of 60 eggs.

There’s more toilet paper for stocking up, as well as an extra bag of rice. They did not have the larger bags of cat kibble, so I got four 9kg bags of Kirkland brand, which cost $28.99 each.

The two insulated bags are not completely full, but I wanted to distribute the weight between them more evenly. There’s a litre of whipping cream; something we don’t normally buy, but at $4.69, is quite a bit cheaper than elsewhere. It’s the same with the 10 pounds of butter at $4.99 each. Everywhere else, even the no-name or house brands are around $6.50 each. A big block of Old Cheddar now costs $29.99, and that’s cheaper than the few other places that carry that size. I got a pork loin and pork blade, both of which were small enough to cost under $20 each by weight. (I’m so glad we’re getting a quarter beef in December, because beef prices right now are really high.) There’s a pack of Kirkland brand cream cheese which, at $9.49, is much more affordable here.

I got a 6 pk of canned chicken, which was $21.99 – I think it actually stayed the same price as last month. I got a couple of big jars of mayonnaise that was on sale; regular $10.99, which is higher than last time, but the sale price was $8.49. Since my bee keeper cousin lost so many of his bees to our long, late winter, I bought a 3kg bottle of honey, which cost $24.99 I think that’s actually the same as what my cousin charges. I usually try to get his 5kg size, and the last time I got any from him, it was only a 1 kg jar, so I can’t quite remember. I also got more brown sugar for the pantry, as well as chocolate chips, peanut butter and popcorn. The package of AA batteries, which is mostly for the trail cams, now costs $25.99 – plus the eco fee. I don’t get the cheap brands of batteries, because the trail cams suck them dry in no time. If the new, solar powered trail cam handles winter well, I think we’ll get more to replace the old ones. The batteries on that are still 100%, while I’ve had to replace the batteries on the older ones at least twice, each, since we got the new one.

What else is in there? Oh, a case of bar soap, a stock up on feminine hygiene products, and a couple of packages of tortilla wraps. I did not get any other bread product, though I did look for hot dog buns. In fact, I’ve been trying to find hot dog buns since I got the giant package of wieners at the wholesale store. I haven’t found any! We’ll just have to start baking more bread again. We do less of that in the summer, partly because of the heat and partly because there’s just too many things outside that need to get done.

And that’s it.

I didn’t even fill the flat cart for the cost.


Bahahahahaha!!! Oh, this is too funny! While I was writing the above, there was a sudden noise at my window, and all the cats sleeping on my bed jumped. Now, they are all watching with great fascination, as my daughter cleans, then squeegies, my big window from outside, their heads following along in unison.

Anyhow… Where was I?

Oh, yes.


Like these guys.

When I back up to the house to unload the van, that gets the attention of a lot of cats. Princess even jumped into the back of the van while we were hauling things out. The smell of that rotisserie chicken was just too tempting! She never found it, though.

When we were done, there were about 5 or more kittens under the van. Slamming doors and kicking the sides was not enough to chase them away. I even turned the hose on and tried spraying under the van, which worked for some kittens. Other kittens started chasing the water! So my daughter distracted them with a bit of kibble, long enough for me to get the van started and out of the yard. Once it was parked, I topped up the kibble bin, then gave them their full evening feeding, with powdered lysine dusted over the kibble this time.

One thing we have not been doing of late is putting out feed for the birds. Normally, this time of year, we’d be switching to deer feed, but I’m not sure if we’ll be keeping that up. One reason is the racoons keep tearing apart the hanging feeder. We started just leaving seed on the ground, but not all birds like to eat from the ground – and the racoons still eat the feed meant for the birds. So when the black oil seed ran out, I just didn’t get more.

The deer, however, are still checking the feeding station out.

When I got home, drove through the gate and was back in the van after locking it again, I looked up to see a stag in our “parking lot” area near the garage. It had just come through the inner yard, and was standing there, staring at me! I started to drive very slowly, and it made its way into the overgrowth where there had been standing water during this spring’s flooding. The grass there is actually taller than the deer! It didn’t even run off, but just slowly made its way through the fence around the outer yard, and kept on going.

So beautiful.

We might not buy more seed for beside the house, but at some point I want to start getting a round hay bale and leave it out behind the barn for the deer, to draw them away from the house.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

After today’s trip, we should be done with stock up shopping for the month! It is less than we normally would have gotten, but it was what this month’s budget allowed for. We still saved enough by driving to the city to make it worth the cost of gas. Locally, gas prices dropped to 180.9 cents/L, but I filled my tank at Costco at 175.9 cents/L. It’s 3.79L to one US gallon, so that works out to 685.6/US gallon (US$5.03) locally, or 666.6/US gallon (US$4.89) at Costco.

Gas prices are still way too high, but I’ll take any break in price I can get.

And that’s it. Our monthly stock up shopping for November is done.

This turtle is more than ready to climb back into her shell.

The Re-Farmer

First monthly stock up trip: this is $421

This is also the first photo taken with my new phone!

I set the new phone up to the bare essentials, making sure I had Discord set up because that’s what we used to message each other with, then headed out. I stopped along the way to pick up some fuel and breakfast (it was about noon by then!), then sent a test message home. It wasn’t until I got to The Wholesale Club and connected with their free wifi that I saw my message never got sent. Not connection to data. My set up wasn’t complete. Which meant I couldn’t have made a call if I needed to. Ah, well.

This store caters more towards restaurants, especially take-out places, so while there is a lot of what we’d find in their regular retail grocery stores (Superstore/Loblaws), there’s a lot that they carry only at their wholesale locations, or things in sizes that are only here.

For this trip, I picked up their last two biggest bags (9kg) of dry cat food. They always seem to be low in stock on that. They had other sizes and their no-name brand, but these were the better deal per kg. I also picked up a 32 pack of canned cat food. When I get to Costco, I’ll be picking up more of both, of course. There’s no way this will last us long. The outside cats go through almost 2 bags of this size a week. The wet cat food is just for the inside cats. The dry cat food has gone up to $30.99 a bag in this size. The wet cat food in this size was $26.99 I used to be able to get them at Walmart for under $19 just a few months ago.

In the non-food items, I picked up a couple of packs of paper towels, because it was cheaper per package to get 2 of them than just one, by about 40%. I also picked up a 6 pack of facial tissues, which I usually get at Costco or Walmart. I found some biodegradable liners for our kitchen compost bucket. A spur of the moment purchase from the restaurant supply section was a wooden muddler. It’s designed for mixing drinks, but it will come in handy the next time we make sauerkraut. It’ll work better than what we made do with, before. There’s also a 4 pk of distilled water for my husband’s CPAP humidifier, and a jug of windshield water fluid rated to -45C/-49F for the van.

I picked up more peanut butter for the pantry. I was very tempted to pick up a big restaurant sized bucket, but that was just out of budget for this trip. There’s a box of Sweet and Salty peanut granola bars that was cheaper than even Costco. I picked up the giant bags of pasta, in penne and rotini, for the pantry, which will be repacked into more functional sized containers. We should be well stocked for pasta for a long time, and if we really need to, we can make our own from scratch, too.

There’s a giant container of stuffed olives – a favourite snack of my husband’s, as well as a cooking ingredient – and a restaurant sized tin of tomato paste. I had been planning to buy a case of tinned tomato paste at Costco, but after making our own and canning it in those little tiny jars, we’ve been spoiled at being able to use a spoonful and seal the container for later. I have another case of those jars, so we can open this giant can, transfer the paste into the little jars, and water bath can them like we did with or own. We’ve been going through those pretty steadily, so more will not go amiss!

I picked up some seasonal coffee creamer for my daughters – the Christmas flavours are out already!, and only 3 pounds of butter. The no-name brand was $5.99 each. I’m hoping Costco, where I usually get 10 pounds at once, will still have better prices. There’s a tub of sour cream, and smaller blocks of old cheddar, marble and mozzarella cheese that were ten bucks each. Usually, I get a giant block of old cheddar at Costco, and I still might do that. We’ll see. I also picked up a bag of AP flour, there’s a flat of 30 eggs, plus four big bags of frozen perogies, in two different flavours. They were only $4 each! I would have gotten more, but it’s a long drive to keep things frozen, even with the insulated bags. There’s a bulk package of wieners (I’ll get buns another time), a giant summer sausage, and a box of frozen chicken tenders that was only $20. I’ll get more “real” meat at Costco. The bunch of celery is for making bone broth, and I picked up more sweet potatoes, now that we’ve found we like them in certain soups. I like them in general, but I’m the only one.

I almost got a 50lb bag of potatoes, but after looking at them through the window in their paper bags, I found they were not really in good shape. They were the “irregulars”, which I don’t mind, but I do mind if I see what looks like scab, or bruising. The bulk sized boxes “table potatoes” cost almost double, so I just got an ordinary bag of russets. Oh, and there’s a big jug of olive oil in there, too.

So that trip is done for now. I won’t be able to make another trip into the city until next week. Tomorrow, I’m taking my mother’s car in to get the slow leaking tire fixed, so hopefully, I can use her car instead. We’re trying to use the van as little as possible, until we can finally replace it.

Once at home, and the girls helped me put everything away, I got to work on finishing setting up my phone. The phone came with a data transfer cable, so I could potentially hook my old phone to my new phone and transfer data that way. It never worked. It kept telling me the cable was connecting and disconnecting. Then an alarm started sounding from the new phone, telling me that it had detected moisture or debris in the connector. !! I tried cleaning out the old phone, but it made no difference. I finally gave up and tried transferring data through wifi. That too forever to get working! I kept getting messages saying that both phones had to be on the same wireless connection (they were), then the new one would tell me it needed to disconnect my internet so it could use the wifi alone. I even tried turning on the BlueTooth on both phones (it made no difference), then turning on the NFC on the old phone – there doesn’t seem to be that option on the new phone. Then it finally started working.

I wasn’t able to transfer all data, though. The new phone cannot support a micro SD card. On my old phone, that’s where my photos and video default to. When I tried to transfer everything, it told me there wasn’t enough room. So I switched to transferring internal storage data only, and it finally started working – only to have something turning on and interrupting the transfer!

Eventually I got it done, but the new phone’s storage is already at 63%. I took a look and found a backup from my old phone was in internal storage, which means that some things are duplicated. Before I’d looked at that, though, I’d removed the SD card from the old phone, and am currently transferring everything on it into my external hard drive.

There’s more than 20,000 files on there, and most of them are photos. It’s going to take a LONG time for that to transfer! Since I want to transfer the internal back up folder onto the external hard drive, too, that will likely have to wait until tomorrow. It’s been about an hour since I started, and it’s at only 4%.

I’m going to have to spend some time figuring out the new phone, resetting things and testing things out. While I did take the one picture, I have yet to look at the phone camera’s setting for quality and resolution.

One of the things my husband did while I was away was order a phone case and screen protectors for it. Smartphones always feel like they’re going to slide right out of my hands, if I don’t have a case on them! He found a style very much like the one I got for the old phone, so it will have a “wallet” cover for the touch screen that can fit a few cards and maybe some cash, and that’s it. I want something as flat as possible, since it’s going to spent most of its time in my pocket while I work outside.

When I turned on the old phone this morning, while starting to set up the new one, a couple of texts came in from the cat lady. She sent pictures of the bitty babies, and they are doing great! I told her that the missing bitty showed up in the cat shelter again. At this point, we will leave things as they are, but if there is any sign of distress or abandonment, she said to contact her and she’ll come get it, too. I was looking for it while we unloaded the van, but it wasn’t in the cat shelter anymore. Likely, it was underneath again, while there was a lot of to-do going on as we unloaded. I will check again before it gets dark and hopefully will see it inside again. I did check one last time after putting the van in the garage, and I saw Junk Pile looking back at me through the window, from inside the cat bed! I have the hardest time believing she’s the mama, since her second litter is still so young, but if she’s decided to mother the bitty baby along with her own, I don’t have a problem with that at all!

Now… time to play with my new phone and get it set up the way I like!

The Re-Farmer

One last shop and… ouch

I saw one good thing when heading into town with the cats this morning. The gas prices dropped 10 cents per litre, overnight. At 169.9 cents per liter, it’s still higher than it should be, but every little bit helps.

I was going to fill the jerry can after dropping off the cats, but the cats didn’t get dropped off. On deciding to head into the city, that will just have to wait again.

Before hitting the Costco, I went to a Canadian Tire to pick up a couple of bags of stove pellets for cat litter. I also picked up some ant traps. I would prefer not to kill off ant hills, since ants are also pollinators, but there are a couple of hills that are large enough to damage some garden plants, plus we’re seeing more of them in the house.

We’ve hardly used the van this month at all, and the gas tank was almost full when I left home. Costco gas prices were 159.9 cents per liter for regular. A considerable difference! So I topped up the tank, anyhow.

I had expected doing a Costco shop in the middle of the week would be quite, but nope. It was insanely busy! At least I wasn’t fighting a flat cart around crowds of people. With the other stock up shopping done already, I didn’t need to get more dry cat food. I was able to just just a regular cart for a change!

In the end, I didn’t get much at all.

With reason.

This is what Cdn$350 looks like. Plus change.

Under the cart is a package of Kirkland brand toilet paper, a package of 60 eggs, and a case of the cheaper canned cat food. 48 cans in that size.

I also got 10 pounds of butter (at $5 a pound, that’s at least a dollar cheaper than other no-name or house brand butters, but higher for Costco prices), a package with 3 whole chickens, a triple pack of all-beef wieners, and a pork tenderloin. There’s a 6 pack of canned chicken, mayonnaise, peanut butter, cooking oil, AAA batteries, 2 packages of tortilla wraps, and a 2 pack of hot dog buns. Oh, plus a package of white button mushrooms and a big block of marble cheese.

That’s it.

This is one of the smallest Costco shopping trips I’ve done, but it still came out to pennies over $350

That’s just painful! There aren’t even any fruits or vegetables in there, either.

I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if our own garden was producing, but it just barely is. Most things are, if not a complete loss, at least a month behind in growth and development.


The Re-Farmer

Monthly shop, changed plans, and soooo tired

It’s just past 5pm as I start this post, and I could go to bed right now! What a day it has turned out to be.

One of my husband’s disability payments came in today, so it would be our normal day to go into the city and to at least half of our monthly stocking up shopping in the city.

Except, I got a call from my Mom last night.

Her apartment is being sprayed for bed bugs again, today. She needs to be away from the spray for at least 12 hours. Last time, she stayed at my sisters, but she did not want to do that. There is a motel right next to her building, so she was going to book a room there. They did not have any vacancies, however.

After talking to her about it, I ended up calling another motel in town and booking a room for her, and arranging to be at my mother’s place before the exterminators showed up.

Which meant doing my morning rounds (and finishing off the outside kibble bin!) earlier than usual.

I had a sad find.

One of our highbush cranberry saplings had been chomped! It was doing so well, too. 😥 I doubt it can recover from this. I figure it was a deer. Nothing else seemed to be damaged, at least. Not that I stuck around to check too closely. Since I was going to be leaving soon, I didn’t use any bug spray. I got eaten alive! How aggressive and voracious they are this year!

A short version of my rounds done, I headed out with my mother’s car, since I was expecting to drive her to her motel room. Since the road closed sign was removed earlier this week, I drove up our road, through were it was washed out this spring.

What an excellent job done on the repairs! I can’t remember the road ever looking so good. 😁 They built it up a bit, too. Hopefully, that will prevent it from getting washed out again.

The motel I booked my mom at is with the gas station I usually go to. I had to fill her tank anyhow, so I went ahead and got her registered, got her key, and even went ahead and paid for it, so she wouldn’t have to bother. Not having a credit card threw them for a bit, as they don’t really have any alternative. They took my driver’s license number, instead. Then, just in case, I made sure to leave my contact information along with her information, in case of emergency.

Then it was off to my mother’s. Last time, they showed up right at 9 and they did her apartment first, so I was sort of expecting the same. I was about half an hour early, which gave us time to bag up her bedding, and I cleared her storage closet floor that she forgot about. She didn’t back up anywhere near as much as last time. She’s just so tired and frustrated. She kept saying she only saw two bed bugs this morning and she killed them, so it should be fine. She simply refuses to accept that there would be more of them that she can see, and that she would not be able to see the eggs at all. No amount of cleaning or running her fingers along the edging of her mattress to squish things will get rid of them. Not only does she refuse to believe me (or my siblings; we’ve all been trying to explain it to her), but she’s starting to get angry at being told this. She isn’t getting it, and not because she can’t understand our explanations. She simply refuses to accept it. This is only the second time her apartment is being spray. One of her neighbours was getting sprayed for the 6th time!

The exterminators, however, didn’t arrive at nine. By 10, we were wondering what was going on. I ended up phoning the provincial department that owns her building. It turned out they didn’t start with this town this time. They started in another town, about a half hour’s drive away. There was no way to know when they would arrive at my mother’s building.

In the end, I just had to leave. I needed to get to the city. My mother had a neighbour that would be able to drive her to her motel (I’m so glad I got the key already!), so I promised I would check on her on the way home, then went on to the city.

Since I was using my mother’s little car, a Costco trip was out of the question. There’s no way her car could fit our usual Costco trips. Instead of the usual 3 or 4 places I usually hit on these trips, I only did two. The first was a Walmart, where getting more cat food was a priority. I got only four 9 kg bags this time. Usually, I get six 7kg bags of their house brand, but the cats don’t like it as much, and I decided the bigger bags was worth it.

It’s a good thing those bags have waterproof linings on the inside, because while I was loading the back of my mother’s car, I got hit with a deluge of rain! At one point, I thought it might actually turn to hail.

Hatchbacks provide zero shelter! With our van, I could at least have had partial shelter under the lift gate, but a hatchback does nothing!

I spent just under $300 at the Walmart, and half of that was cat food, including a case of wet cat food. And that’s only about a third of what we need for the month.

Next, I went to the international grocery store we like, where I could also pick up some dim sum for breakfast… er… lunch! 😂 This is the store where we can get things like a big slab of uncut bacon, and a particular band of energy drinks no one else seems to carry anymore.

One thing I did NOT get here was butter.

Those brand name butters used to be just over $6 a pound. Now their regular price is almost $10! We’ve never bought these butters, and would just get the house brand. Those are almost $6 a pound, now. Not that long ago, they were in the $3.50 range.

I just checked out an exchange rate converter. As of today:

Cdn$9.79 = US$7.47

Cdn$9.99 + US$7.62

Sale price $8.49 = US$6.49

Cdn$5.99 = US$4.57

The last time we were at Costco, their house brand butter was just under $5/US$3.81 a pound. I hope they haven’t gone up much, since! We typically buy 10 pounds of butter for 1 month.

I didn’t buy butter, but I did end up buying some ghee. The sale price for the jar was almost $23/US$17.54 It’s shelf stable, though, and has a higher smoke point, to it may be worth it. We’ve never used ghee before. If we like it, we’ll learn how to make our own ghee.

The shopping done, I headed home, making sure to stop to see how my mother was doing along the way. I even remembered to pick up a little something for her to snack on along with her complimentary coffee. Only it turned out there was no en suite coffee set up. The complimentary coffee was at the gas station. This is the gas station that has the excellent fried chicken and wedges my mother likes so much, so when I got her her complimentary coffee, I also picked up enough chicken and wedges for a couple of meals. With the exterminators taking so long, I figured my mother hadn’t had lunch at all, and I think I was right. She was quite ready to have her “supper”, even though it was not even 3pm yet! 😁

Since I had stuff in the car that needed to be refrigerated, I couldn’t stay too long. She was well set up, though. My sister will be taking my mother home tomorrow, and helping her wash her bedding. I’ll be back again with the equipment for my mother’s sleep test, the day after. The equipment needs to be returned to the city on Tuesday, so that will be a good time to do the rest of our stock up shopping.

Once at home, Potato Beetle had to be put into a carrier in the sun room before the car could be unloaded. After everything was unloaded and I’d topped up the kibble trays outside, as well as his in the sun room, I made sure to give him some of the kitty treats I also picked up. I think he forgave me the indignity of being put into the carrier for that!

Exactly a week from now, he’ll be at the vet getting snipped, then it’s another 4 days in the sun room before we can let him out again.

As for me, I am practically falling asleep in my chair as I type this! These trips drain me at the best of times, but all the extra stuff with my mother just sucked the energy out of me.

I wonder how badly I’ll screw myself up if I got to bed at only 6pm? 😄

Oh, crud. I just remembered. My mother’s car is still in the front yard. I forgot to put it in the garage!

Guess I’d better put some pants on and take care of that.


The Re-Farmer