Grocery Geek: The Fridge is Full

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grocerygeek-gce So the fridge is a little full. A little too full. I’m not sure why. I need to work on that this week.

I think it’s because the produce is piling up. It’s not that the box has been superb in quality or quantity. Unfortunately, it’s been kinda sad looking these day. I just am not loving squash, eggplant, and peaches this summer. So, they pile up.

It’s on my list this weekend to clean the fridge, organize the pantry, and use up all the zucchini and eggplant. Booyah!

Here’s how I shopped this week for better or for worse:

Abundant Harvest Organics

produce box aug

I didn’t do a good job scheduling vacation weeks for the box this month, thus the aforementioned vegetable pileup. (You have to schedule a vacation week ten days in advance and I kept forgetting. It’s on break next month and several weeks in September, too.)

I’m also thinking about giving up the box.The price is $43.30 after the delivery fee. I’m wondering how much sale produce I could buy for that price. Maybe I’ll do some experiments on the upcoming vacation weeks and see what I can do.

As you can tell, Sprouts and Ralphs have some pretty good sales around here, especially on conventional produce. So, it’s a question of the organics. I suppose I can do an experiment with the stores’ organic prices, too. Hmmm….

Don’t get me wrong. I love getting the box. But, the quality has been sad this summer. And wasting things that I don’t like or can’t use fast enough depresses me. I’ll keep you posted, of course.

Total spent: $38 (that extra amount is for the delivery charge, not the food itself)

Trader Joe’s

trader joe's

After his eye appointment this week, FishBoy11 and I went to Trader Joe’s. Since I’ve got a lot on my plate in the next 45 days, I caved and bought some comfort/convenience foods, like chips and hummus, but it was generally the basics: nuts, fish, kiefer, salad greens, rice cakes, almond meal, bagels, sunbutter, bread, rice cakes, eggs, tuna, and crackers.

Total spent: $100


(not pictured)

At Sprouts I stocked up on the sale berries and yogurt.

Total spent: $20

Weekly expenditures: $158

Month-to-date expenses: $727

Yeah, we’ll probably go over this month. I need to pay for milk, produce, and all those chickens I want to buy at Ralphs.


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  1. Under $1000 when you are going mostly organic is great in my opinion. I’m still plugging along with my savings plan. Last month ended up expensive since it was Baby 4’s 14th birthday and we splurged on a tablet for him( Younger 3 got one last Christmas and the youngest loved it enough that it was worth the splurge.) Spouse is still away Monday through Friday- I need to remind myself I am feeding mainly 3 now, not 6(older 2 are out and about most times). It’s taking some getting used to. I’ve gone through the freezer again though and I’m pretty sure I can make the freeze- pantry challenge work until the end of the month. Next week is going to be a real challenge because hubby will take me to The Fresh Market -my big, big weakness. I definitely need a plan going in.

    • I wish we were mostly organic. I just can’t pull it off for meat or dairy. Or many other things. It’s only the box at the moment, at least usually.

  2. We did well in the pantry and I am trying to continue it into this month, but the sales have been good, so I have also been stocking up a bit. Yesterday I scored fresh blueberries for 99 cents a pint. I ended up buying 30 pints and I have been busy preparing them for the freezer for future smoothies and muffins. My husband just got a full time job after 2.5 years of occassional part time work. It has been two weeks and the adjustment has been huge. His average work week is 47 hours all evenings and weekends, and I work full time and commute 12-15 hours a week to and from work. It is going to be a challenge keeping everyone feed and the household running smoothly. We have been busy trying to work out a plan. I enjoy this blog so much especially Saturdays when you post your grocery shop.


  3. I did a CSA last summer. I love the idea in theory, but I got odd amounts of things (i.e. 3 corns for 4 people, 1 eggplant), things that my family refused to eat like collard greens and struggled trying to use certain items.
    This year, my farm offered a farm credit – I paid $300 and can select whatever I want, whenever I want.
    It has made the process of supporting local farmers and upping my fam’s veggie intake transformational.
    I am able to pick up extra items like eggplant for freezer cooking eggplant parm when I have the time to cook and pick up berries and stone fruit that I think we will use. I threw out about 1/3 of my box last year. This year I have virtually no waste and cooking has become fun again! Last year I spent $600 for my 20 week CSA. This year I am averaging about $25/week and I would gladly pay more not to ever deal with a dreaded box….

  4. Here’s a GREAT, savory recipe for all that zucchini and summer squash. AND it’s freezer friendly (It came from a Taste of Home Freezer Meals cookbook!)
    Zucchini Quiche
    4 cups zucchini, thinly sliced (if I have both, I use zucch and summer squash. I slice ’em with my mandolin)
    1 small onion, thinly sliced
    3 T butter
    2 eggs
    2 t dried parsley flakes
    1/2 t each: salt, garlic powder, dried basil, and oregano
    1/4 t pepper
    2 c shredded mozzarella or other mild cheese
    2 t prepared mustard
    1 9 inch pastry shell

    In a large skillet, sauté the squash and onion until tender, drain. Spread mustard over pastry shell. In a large bowl, whisk remaining ingredients. Stir in cheese and zucchini mixture. Pour into pastry shell. Bake, uncovered at 400* for 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting. To Freeze: cover quiche before baking and freeze for up to 2 months. To use frozen quiche: Thaw in fridge. Bake uncovered at 400* for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean.

    I often skip the pastry shell and make it crustless. Also, you can double it and put it in a 9×13 dish easily. Just increase baking time 5 or so minutes. Bon appetite!

    • I make a variation of this and use crescent rolls as the base crust. Yummy! It’s on my meal plan for this week 🙂

  5. I really considered getting a CSA share after you guys picked up yours, but while I love the idea of experimenting with whatever is in the box- it occurred to me I can still pick out produce I haven’t used before – and have a plan for it when I buy it :). I just have to decide to do it. I do love buying local though, so I try to shop our local farmers mkt when I can.

  6. Ordered a produce box for this coming week for the first time. It is through an organization here (not sure if I can post the name or not). The lady that heads it up put the box contents on FB and you chose if you want it or not. It is $15 for the starter box. This week, it contains everything that we will use. Hope that it works for us!
    We have not had any real good specials here in our corner of SC. Jealous of all the stock-ups I keep reading about. Hopefully soon.
    We did put up 13 quarts of tomatoes from our garden. Tomorrow we will be using up the 25 lbs of peaches on the kitchen counter.

  7. We get a CSA basket during the summer, and the savings is substantial. Still, I have also had to contend with eggplant the last 6 weeks, and frankly, I dread seeing them in the box. Plus, I’m homeschooling for the first time this year, and because I never know what will be in the box, I have to cook every night instead of freezing meals on one weekend and just pulling out a meal for the evening. I really miss having freezer meals free up my evenings.

    We’re contemplating a fall CSA box, but I’m not sure how I’ll manage to cook every night to use up the ingredients. It comes down to convenience vs. time savings, and right now I’m just not sure which one should win out for the fall.

  8. My struggle with a produce box is getting things my family doesn’t normally buy/eat and things we don’t like… such as eggplant or mushrooms. Or getting an excessive amount of one thing, like the week I got 3 heads of celery.

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