Saturday, November 24, 2012

Snow, New York City, Groceries

I went out to buy groceries today, and just the teensiest little bit of snow was falling.  I wonder if we will have more snow later today, or overnight?  The weather forecast calls for possible snow on Tuesday.  Hmmm....

We had our first snowfall of the year shortly after Hurricane Sandy.  Thankfully the lad and I live in an area that while hit by the hurricane and subsequent nor'easter, was not that badly impacted.  Unlike many others...some as close as a few blocks away...we were able to enjoy the snow. 
After that snow melted, JP and I had an afternoon in New York City.  Actually, he had a class in the city, and afterwards, we went down to Union Square for dinner.  The plan was to snack from the many food trucks that are usually in the area.  Unfortunately, Union Square was big used as a staging ground for hurricane disaster relief, and only a tiny handful of food trucks were around, and one looked very appetizing.  Instead, I got a vegan falafel salad thing at Maoz which was O....M....G.... yummy!  I am not a huge falafel fan, but this was downright amazing!  I will definitely go back there!  The bonus was the crazy wall tiles in Maoz.  I LOVED the tiles.  JP got a sampler platter from TGI Fridays.
We also made a stop at Mario Batali's Eataly which was...overwhelming.  I am sure it is a great place, but the layout was awful, there were TONS of people, and it is expensive!  We got sorbet, but it wasn't anything special...
But...back to my grocery shopping.  I'm trying to be extremely frugal about groceries while still eating well, but it is a bit hard when we don't have a car and I don't want to PAY to get TO the store!  We have a few small local shops around the corner, and a small but full-service grocery.  Beyond that, I would have to take a bus or train or cab to any chain grocery, farmers market, or other such place.  The full-service grocery takes coupons, but has high prices, and often lacks things I need/want (so, is it truly full-service???).  The other shops are a CVS (expensive if you are buying groceries!), a Korean run market, and a Turkish run market.  The Turkish and Korean markets have a mix of ethnic foods and typical American fare.

So, I spent $30.68 today at the Turkish place after considering the food already in the cupboards and fridge.  I am sure I could have saved more if I'd gone to a store outside of my neighborhood, but the cost of transportation and the time would have negated those savings.  Here's what I got:

  • celery...$1.15
  • bananas...$1.32 (2.7lbs)
  • butternut squash...$1.70 (1.72lbs)
  • Roma tomatoes x 2...$0.49 (0.49lbs...funny!)
  • bag of baby carrots...$1.19
  • pkg mushrooms...$1.25
  • Chobani yogurt x 3...$1.19 each
  • Chobani yogurt with mix ins x 3...$1.39 each
  • can of tuna...$1.79
  • small jar of dill pickles...$3.99***
  • zucchini x 1...$0.16
  • blueberries, small pkg fresh...$1.99***
  • corn meal...$2.29
  • Canadian bacon...$3.49***
  • onion...$0.63
  • eggs, 1dz...$1.50
***I did make a few "splurge" purchases.  The pickles are a gourmet brand, the blueberries are maybe a twice yearly purchase as JP won't eat them, and the Canadian bacon is also a twice yearly purchase.

All of the above is available at the regular grocery in our neighborhood except for the Chobani yogurt with mix-ins.  All of it costs less than the regular grocery in our neighborhood.  I know I could have saved on several items at a larger store outside of our neighborhood, but not enough to make up for the cost of transportation and time.  Next Friday, we will go into the city for one JP's classes, and there Trader Joe's and Whole Foods both have stores within a short distance of his class, so we'll fill up on a few other items organic apples.

How does my list and the prices compare to your area?
Now to make our groceries last!  JP is 14 and growing!  He is like a vacuum cleaner when it comes to food lately!


  1. Those pickles look so good! I think your prices look good. We shop at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods a lot these days. WF is pricey but it's so much easier to find things without sulfites (my allergy) and without some of the preservatives I like to avoid that I find myself going there frequently just for specific items than picking up other stuff as well. I do use their coupons and stock up on cereals and things that way. We get a weekly organic produce box which helps. I used to go to the Farmer's Market that was on Sunrise but haven't gone since it moved to it's new location by light rail. Too far now. Clara, at 13, is eating a whole lot these days, too. I made lentil soup yesterday and she devoured two huge bowls then went to the fridge to look for more food. Once upon a time we'd have leftovers but that's become less and less frequent!


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