Thursday, July 14, 2022

Mid-Week Update: More Groceries, a Smog Check, and Lemons

It's A Whole Bouquet!

The newest sunflower is a bouquet of four individual sunflowers all flowering at the same time on one main stem!  

How can it be Wednesday, already?  The days are speeding by, I feel!

On Sunday, I relaxed, paid a couple of bills, watched a few videos, and ordered more groceries, which I picked up on Monday.  I wasn't planning to get groceries this week, after going grocery shopping on July 5.  But, there were some good deals being offered and I wanted to take advantage of them.  In addition, I'm afraid I watched too many "stock up your pantry NOW" type videos and I admit they got to me!   Plus, there is the ever increasing list of items the grocery store is specifying for delivery only.  For example,  I bought rice in 2 lb. packages for a higher price per pound because the 5 lb. or 10 lb. packages were available for delivery only.  It costs between $9.99 and $11:99 per delivery, depending on your area, according to the store website; eventually, I might have to consider getting a delivery once a month and then, doing pick up in between.   

Anyway, I picked up:

1 loaf French bread = $1.99

2 Mangos, $1@ = $2.00
2.35 lb. grapes, reg. price $3.49/lb., on sale @$1.99/lb. = $4.68

1 Frozen pizza, reg. price $5.49, on sale with coupon - $3.99

1 lb. Bacon, reg. price $8.99, on sale with coupon = $3.99

3 lb. ground turkey, reg. price $5.99, on sale for $2.99@ = $8.97

6 pk. canned chicken breast in water, 10 oz. @ = $14.99
(it was cheaper per 6 pk. than individually)

18 ct. large eggs, reg. price $5.99 on sale with coupon = $2.99

2 x 5lb. all purpose flour, $2.99@ = $5.98

1 cranberry juice, 64 fl. oz., reg. price $2.49, on sale with coupon = $1.69 + $0.10 bottle deposit

1 box cereal (corn flakes), reg. price $4.99, on sale with coupon = $1.69
(sale was on 19.2 oz. boxes, but, I received a 28.5 oz. box, instead; not complaining!)

2 boxed rice & wild rice mixes, 4 oz.@, reg. price $1.50, on sale for @$1 = $2.00

3 x 2lb. long grain white rice, $1.59@ = $4.77
(As mentioned earlier, the 2 lb. bags are more costly per lb., but, I bought it anyway as I don't want to run short of rice!)

2 containers, 26 oz@, iodized salt, $.99@ = $1.98

2 containers, 48 fl. oz. canola oil, reg. price $3.99 on sale for $3.49@ = $6.98 

8 cans condensed milk, 14 fl. oz. @$2.39 = $19.12

4 x 4 lb. sugar, $2.49@ = $9.96

Total spent on groceries = $99.58

Which meant I went over budget by $23.50!  

The grocery budget was $100 + $24.57 carried over from June = $124.57
Spent to date = $48.49 (on 7/5) + $99.58 = $148.07
Amount overspent = 124.57 - $148.07 = -$23.50

I will take this amount out of August's grocery budget.  Stocking up is expensive!  But, between rising prices and increasing unavailability of some items for curbside pick up, I felt it was better to stock up now.  

In addition to groceries, I stocked up on some other items:

Cat food = $9.99

2 Toothpaste tubes, @3.3 oz., reg. price $4.79, on sale for $2.99, with coupon  for $.99@ = $1.98
1 pkt. (8 bars) soap = $7.99 

Craft supplies:
5 pkts. glue sticks (3 glue sticks per pack), reg. price $2.49@, on sale for $1@ = $5.00
(I had opened the last packet of glue sticks that I had on hand when I made the baby shower card; it was time to stock up and the price was right!)

I budget separately for pet supplies and toiletries.  I no longer have a craft supplies line item in my budget, but, I do have a "miscellaneous" category which will cover the cost of the glue sticks!

My entire total, with groceries and other non-grocery items included, amounted to $124.54

So, on Monday, I picked up the groceries, put things away, did a load of laundry, took the trash cans to the curb for pick up on Tuesday, and watered the front garden.

Passionfruit Ripening on the Vine

On Tuesday, I took the car for a smog check, as it was required for renewing my vehicle registration.  The smog check and certificate cost $65.00.  Afterwards, I submitted the registration fee of $198.00, online; the Department of Motor Vehicles will mail me the renewed registration and the decal.  Later, I put away the washed laundry, brought the trash cans in, cleaned the litter box, and watched TV news programs!  There was a lot to watch!  At one point, I messaged the daughter of one of my cousins who is in Sri Lanka to ask how things were and she replied, "Total chaos".  Cousin V called and we chatted a little bit; apparently, she has Covid!  But, she says it feels like the flu and her doctor has prescribed a medication that she is taking.  I asked her if she needed anything and she said no.  

The Kent Mango Trio
Lois Lane in the middle is growing well
Clark Kent on right; Conner Kent on the left

Today, Wednesday, M tended to the garden and I asked him to pick the remaining lemons from the two trees on either side of the garage side door.  I think this could be another find for the SPSH prompt "Yellow and Blue Together":

SPSH No. 11: Yellow and Blue Together

80 lemons!  There were several more, but, they had been scorched by the sun and were past their prime; M put them in the compost heap.  I washed the rest of them and lay them out to dry, then, put them all in the fridge for now.  They filled the bottom drawer and half of one of the other drawers!  I offered some to my daughter's friend A, but, she said she still had some that I had given her earlier.  I'll take some to friend R, tomorrow.  We didn't pick the lemons from the third tree, yet.  

Today, I cooked one of the packets of ground turkey I had bought on Monday.  I added frozen zucchini, onion, tomato, bell pepper strips, grated carrot, some garlic, etc., and sauted the ground turkey.  Then, I put half of the mixture aside to freeze for another day.  I added a can of pasta sauce to the remaining ground turkey mixture and had some of it with spaghetti for a very late lunch (around 3:30 p.m.).  Afterwards, I froze some of the remaining ground turkey pasta sauce mixture and kept the rest in the fridge.  After such a late lunch, dinner was cheese toast!  

I had a text this evening from my other cousin's daughter (the one who had the baby shower); she had not been able to stop by to see me before she went back to Florida and apologized, saying the trip had been hectic.  I totally understood and said I feel bad about opting out of the baby shower.  But, I have her address and will be mailing the blanket off to her, eventually.

So far this week, I am grateful for:

- Being able to order groceries online and pick up curbside
- Being able to go over the budget to stock up
- The car passed the smog check
- M helping with the garden
- Lemon harvest!

This week's joyful activities included communicating with various family members, enjoying the garden flowers and produce, and some card making.

How is your week coming along?  What are your plans for the rest of the week?


  1. Your sunflowers are lovely against the blue sky and that is a plentiful supply of lemons and another photo for the challenge. There is much on the news here about the troubles in Sri Lanka, I hope your family are safe and well. It's strange how your supermarket will only make some items delivery only, I can't see the reasoning behind that. As I rely on home deliveries, I only visit supermarkets for an occasional item or two which works well for me. I hope your cousin recovers quickly from Covid.

    1. Thank you, Eileen. As far as I know, the family back in SL are safe and well; I emailed one of my nieces to ask about her father (my oldest half-brother) to see if he is doing OK, but, I haven't heard from her, yet.
      I think the supermarket is making various things available for delivery only because people receiving the deliveries are paying extra for the delivery, whereas store pick up is free with a purchase of $35. Or, maybe these items are stored in a warehouse somewhere and not in the store, itself. I have a friend who works for the grocery store; I should call her and ask why this is happening!

  2. Oh those lemons! How lovely. Have you ever made Moroccan preserved lemons (Google for recipe) I thought about you and your family in Sri Lanka when watching the BBC news. God keep them safe. "Smog check" is a good phrase (in UK they talk about "emission ratings") it is HOT here. I am as wilted as cooked spinach. 😉🔥☺️👍❤️

    1. Yes, lots of lemons! No, I haven't made Moroccan preserved lemons, but, we make a type of pickled lime/lemon in Sri Lanka, where the lemons are salted and dehydrated, then, pickled with vinegar. My mother used to make it, but, I don't because I don't like the taste of the pickled lemons!
      Thank you for the prayers for my family in Sri Lanka, Angela; the whole country needs prayers at this point, I think!
      I'm sorry it is so hot and you are wilting like cooked spinach! I hope it cools off soon. It is 85F (29C) here, today, and I'm feeling quite comfortable! :D We are supposed to warm up by another 10F or so, tomorrow and over the weekend. Still won't be considered hot - hot is over 100F. :)

  3. WOW - 4 flower heads on the sunflower - that is one happy plant. 80! lemons - another great example of the blue & yellow together :)

    1. It's the first time I've seen so many sunflowers on the one main stem! Plus, this plant has more buds forming all along the stem! As for the lemons, I will admit that I chose to put them on the blue kitchen towels with the prompt in mind! :D

  4. Look at those lemons. So pretty. A little bit of lemon goes a long way, so that seems like a lot. Do you freeze them?

    1. I've had a bumper crop of lemons, this year! I have cut up two lemons and frozen them and I will try to freeze some of the juice. I just don't have room in the freezer for all of them! I just have the one side by side fridge/freezer; my daughter keeps telling me to buy a 2nd freezer! I gave about 20 lemons to my friend, today, to share with one of her friends. I will probably give some away to my neighbors and maybe make lemon marmalade with the rest.

  5. That sunflower is amazing! I never saw more than one head on a stalk before. You did well to take advantage of the specials. I hear food prices are going to increase again soon, so good that you were able to buy now. I'm sorry to hear all the bad news from Sri Lanka. I hope your family and friends there will be okay.
    We are in Southern Ontario for a few days, first time in a hotel for over 2 years. It is such a treat to get away. We are seeing people we haven't seen in all that time and we are looking forward to seeing some maple syrup farms today.

    1. I've never seen a sunflower having more than one flower on the main stem before, either, Bushlady. There are some other types of sunflowers that branch out and have smaller flowers, but, this plant was not supposed to do that! There are more buds at some of the leaf nodes, as well!
      Food prices are supposed to have gone up by 9% since June of last year, according to the latest figures, released yesterday; they are supposed to continue increasing, so I thought it was better to stock up now.
      Yes, so far, family and friends in SL are doing OK; thank you.
      Sounds like you are enjoying your get away, seeing people you haven't seen since 2 years ago, and visiting places! I hope you continue to have a lovely holiday. :)

  6. Lovely sunflower bouquet! That's a lot of lemons. Have you thought of opening up a lemonade stand in front of your house? :)

    On serious note, the situation in Sri Lanka is dire, and I hope your family, and Nil's, stay safe and well. Please take care of yourself as well, the stress must be overwhelming. My thoughts are with you.

    1. The sunflowers are lovely, aren't they? I've never seen them form a bouquet, like that! Ha, ha, no lemonade stands! I might put some outside by the driveway with a "Free" sign, though!
      Thank you for your concern, Celie. I am worried about family and friends, although, they seem to be doing OK, so far. I've emailed Nil to see if she and her family are OK (she went back for a visit, earlier this summer), but, haven't heard back from her, yet. I keep hoping that the situation will resolve itself in a peaceful manner.

  7. I think it makes sense to stock up while you can. It's only going to get more expensive isn't it? I'll be doing the same when I have the new storage sorted out. The delivery charge is expensive so I'm not surprised you prefer to do pick up instead.

    That is a lot of lemons! What do you plan to do with all of them?

    1. Yes, it is continuing to get more expensive and I anticipate more shortages, too, due to various conditions impacting the production and distribution of food. I might eventually opt for the occasional delivery, just to stock up on those items that are not available for pick up; it's something to consider.
      Well, I already gave away a quarter of the lemons to R, to share with one of her friends. I'll probably give some away to another friend or a neighbor. I want to make some lemon marmalade with some, for holiday gifts, etc. :)

  8. I went to the bother of counting all those lemons, then read on and saw I needn't have bothered! Aagh! It's an impressive haul, and no mistake. And you haven't even finished yet! I've picked my first two courgettes, and enjoyed half of one of them in a pasta sauce. Don't think it matters in the slightest that you have already begun spending August's grocery budget. These are durable, everyday items that you know you are going to use eventually, and you have benefited from good offers. I don't really understand why some things are designated for delivery only. I know they charge for delivery but they also have to cover the fuel, drivers'/loaders' salaries, upkeep of the vans... Anyway if it means you can benefit from better offers despite paying for delivery, maybe a monthly delivery will work.

    1. Oops! Sorry you had to count all the lemons, Lady Ella! I should have said "80 Lemons" in the title! :D Glad you were able to harvest some courgettes. My plants are not doing too well, this year.
      Thank you; I will definitely use up the items I stocked up on! I'm grateful that I have the ability to borrow from next month's budget! I'll tighten the belt next month to make up for it!
      I don't understand the reasons behind the delivery only items, myself, unless they are stored in a big centrally located warehouse and it is easier to deliver directly from the warehouse than to stock all the items in all their stores to make them available for pick up. Anyway, I'll keep my options open and use the delivery services if I need to. :)

  9. Wow what a lemon harvest!
    I have been stocking up on sale items we use regularly just as a hedge against the costs of inflation. I see no sense paying more than I have to, and as long as we will use it I might as well buy it when the prices are lower.

    1. It's an abundant lemon harvest, isn't it?
      Yes, my thoughts, exactly; I'm stocking up against future price increases and shortages. I'm thinking that investing $100 in canned food will yield a higher return than putting it in the bank, these days! :D

  10. So many lovely lemons. 🍋
    Whatever will you do with them all? X

    1. I've already given away 20 of them to a friend. I'll probably freeze some of the juice and make lemon marmalade with some. There'll be more to give away, too, especially when the rest of the lemons are picked. :)

  11. I wish your supermarket wouldn't do those restrictive items! But you are right to consider a deliver if the charge will be offset by the items savings.
    You got some good deals - The cereal was a good price and so were your eggs just to mention a couple things that stood out to me.
    I am the same as far as being influenced by others stocking up.
    I guess there are worse things to be influenced by. lol

    Look at those lemons! My mouth is puckering as I type this :) Oh my goodness.

    1. I, too, wish they didn't restrict what you can pick up, but, I'm just grateful that there is food available and I can afford to pay the prices! As you said, I will consider a delivery if the charge will be offset by the savings and the convenience! There is also the option of going to a different store to pick up, but, all the other stores that offer pick up are further away.
      Yes, the cereal and eggs were good deals; I still had some eggs, but, I decided to take advantage of the deal! I've read that eggs can be frozen (you have to break up the yolk, first); I might try doing that! Or, just eat more eggs!
      I wish I could send you some lemons, Debra, but, I'm still not going to the post office!

  12. I think stocking up, especially when it's a good price, is now going to be part of life. Those lemons look amazing. I'm also in awe of the sunflower - what a wonderful pic!

    1. Thank you, Lyssa. Yes, it's good to stock up when possible as the prices will probably continue to rise and the next time things go on sale, it will probably be at a higher price!


Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. Your comments are much appreciated. Please comment in English. Thank you.