First monthly stock up shop: this is what $393 looks like

More specifically, $392,96, after taxes.

I was feeling well enough to finally get our first stock up shop for December done. I am no longer sick, but still feeling pretty weak. Honestly, I would have stayed home if I could. I didn’t want to be driving in that wind, when the roads are in that “is that melted snow, or is that ice?” stage! I had intended to take my mother’s car, because it needs an oil change, but our van has winter tires, so I took that, instead.

Even so, I wasn’t sure how far I was up to driving. I reserved judgement until I reached my mother’s town. She has a cold now, too, and was complaining about coughing badly at night, so I went to her pharmacy and got some cold medication for her, then swung by to drop it off. By then, I knew I was up to making the rest of the drive.

My mother looked quite miserable, and had had another rough night of coughing. One of the medications I got for her was some NeoCitrin so, before I left, I got the kettle going, cut apart all the pairs of packets for her, because I knew it would be harder for her to do herself, then got a cup ready for her before I left. We also went over the directions for how much to take of the cough syrup I got for her, which would be best for her to take before bed, since that’s when her coughing is the worst. When she found out where I was going, she asked me to pick up some milk for her to drop off on the way home.

Once I was done at her place, I got some fuel (local prices are now 158.9/L) then headed to a small Walmart at the nearer city.

There were two things I especially needed to get, and those made up most of the bill. I got four 10kg bags of kibble for the outside cats, at just under $26 each (a really good price for our area) and a case of 32 cans of wet cat food for the inside cats (we still have dry kibble for them). The canned cat food is now $28.47, which is about $10 more expensive than just a few months ago. Altogether, this is about half the cat food we’ll need for the month. When we do our Costco trip, I’ll get more kibble (how many depends on what size bags they have available at the time), and a 48 pack of canned cat food.

Then I got some cold medication. There are shortages of cold medications across Canada right now, and there was less of it at the Walmart than in my mother’s pharmacy! Still, I was able to get both day and night time NeoCitrin (at my mother’s pharmacy, they only had the day type), and a big bottle of liquid cough medicine. I also picked up some vitamins my doctor has me on, and at checkout, I grabbed 4 different flavours of cough candy.

Since our quarter beef should be ready for pick up this week, the only meat I got was some chicken breasts and, because none of us are up to cooking very much right now, a big box of Pizza Pops. There’s some Havarti, mozzarella and marble cheese in there, coffee for my daughters, some clementines, a couple of loaves of rye bread, a 4L of milk for us and a 2L milk for my mother. I also remembered to grab some popcorn seasonings, in three flavours. Oh, and a box of Vanilla Rooibos tea.

I also picked up a couple of t-shirts for my husband. The cats climb him a lot, and all his t-shirts are getting filled with holes from their claws! I went looking in the craft section for little things I could use with the Christmas ornaments I’m making this year, but there was absolutely no Christmas themed or coloured crafts items available. None. It’s like Christmas doesn’t exist in the Walmart craft department. It’s been like that for a few years now, I’ve noticed. I used to work in a craft store. Christmas craft materials started showing up in July, at the latest, because of the time it takes to make things in time for Christmas. I did find some replacement blades for my Xacto knife, though. I have some, but just can’t find them right now. Then, while waiting in line, I went ahead and bought some caramel filled chocolates, as a van snack.

My husband had suggested I pick up some McRaunchies burgers as a treat for the sickies, so after I finished paying for my stuff, I ordered 4 double quarter pounders with cheese and bacon. That came out to almost $44, after taxes! You know it’s bad when McDick’s burgers are $10 each. Ah, well. Beggars can’t be choosers! The girls really appreciated the treat when I got home. Even a barely warm, kinda soggy from being in an insulated bag, treat.

So there we have it. Thirty four items, and almost $400 later!

Of course, I did stop at my mother’s on the way home to deliver her milk. What a difference! That one dose of cold medicine I’d made for her earlier, and she was feeling – and looking! – so much better! She was so very happy at how well it worked, and how quickly. I’m really glad I did that on the way out, rather than getting the medication for her at the same time as ours, as I’d originally intended. She was breathing clearly, feeling stronger, and was in much, much better spirits.

Amazing what a bit of the right medication can do!

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

Finally did the Costco shop

Today, I finally made it into the city to do our Costco shopping for the month. Normally, we would have done it more than a week ago. Thankfully, we did get to do our stocking up at other stores, so we weren’t running out of things. I just prefer to get it over with, earlier.

I didn’t want to do it on the weekend, though. I had stuff to do that require a lot of time, so I did my morning rounds quickly and headed out as soon as I could.

This is $481 worth of stuff looks like, including the Pizza Pops for my daughter that she sent me funds to cover. I didn’t get everything I would have gotten, because that already put me over the grocery budget for this trip.

Just to be clear, our “grocery” budget covers food, household cleaners, paper products and cat food, and other miscellaneous items.

Everything has gone up in price.

There are two 11.6kg bags of dry cat food, which now costs $34.99 each, and two 9kg bags of their house brand cat food at $28.49 each. The case of wet cat food now costs $33.99

I meant to get our usual 10 pounds of butter for the month, even though we still have a couple of pounds in the freezer from last month, thanks to also picking up some ghee. I accidentally grabbed 11, and when they counted and found an extra, I just kept it. House brand butter at Costco is now $4.99 each. There’s a package of AA batteries in there, mostly for the trail cams, as well as a 60 pack of eggs, toilet paper, all purpose cleaner, a 2 pack of lemon juice, peanut butter, a couple of jars of mayonnaise, a 2pk of baking powder, a 3 pack of hot dogs, their big package of Old Cheddar cheese, 6 pack of pasta, and a can of pink lemonade powdered mix to try. One thing in there we don’t normally get is a 3 pk of cream cheese, for a recipe we want to try. Some of this is for the pantry, stocking up on the assumption we’ll be stuck for at least 2 months in the winter, but not much.

It’s a ridiculously small Costco shop for the money, but that was what the budget allowed for. I did make a quick stop at a nearby Superstore to pick up a couple of bags their $5 buns, and a non-Costco size of paper towels, a specific snack my husband requested, and a sandwich and drink for me to ingest on the trip home. With that one, I at least had enough loyalty points accumulated that I was able to get what would have been $38 for $8, instead.

The biggest item on the list is always the cat food. We really need to reduce the number of cats we’re feeding!

That done, my afternoon was spent working on making crab apple sauce. It took 2 hours to remove the stems and flower ends, as well as any damage, from the apples remaining in the one bin from the other day. We still have one more bin to do something with, as well as the bucket of apples I’d set aside for my mother. I called her about it, hoping to arrange a time to come over with them, but she declined them. Aside from the apples she picked here, apples had been left in the lobby of her building for the residents. She is all done with apples now. I was hoping she’d enjoy having apples from here that were fully ripe. Ah, well.

The apples took a long time to prep, but they sure cooked down fast! I’ll do a separate post about it later, as it’s not done yet. I’ve asked the girls to give it a taste and add as much sugar as they like, then cook the sauce down, and tomorrow morning I’ll can them while they’re still hot. I don’t actually like apple sauce all that much, but the girls requested it, so it’s on them to get it to their taste. 😊

I don’t know that I want to make more apple sauce with the rest. We shall see.

Unfortunately, my hands are now knackered again. My finger joints are really hurting. As least they’re not so stiff I can’t type, but … ouch.

Arthritis sucks.

Even my elbows and shoulders are giving me a hard time. I did go out and do some work around the yard this evening, but not enough to warrant that kind of pain.

Ah, well. I suppose I should just pain killer up and deal. 😕

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