Grocery Geek Goes Wild

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I didn’t realize that when I was placing different co-op orders that they would all converge on the same day. The same day as double ad day at Sprouts, even. It makes me sound like a hard-core shopper!

I told you I was reforming my ways.

But those stops were all on my list Wednesday. So, I was one wiped out woman by the time we made our rounds, meeting big semi trucks to unload big bulk packages and herding five kids through the grocery store. And that didn’t even count putting the food away or cooking it up!

I spent $100 on our Azure Standard order. Enough flour, sugar cane juice crystals, and rice cakes to last through…. well, awhile, anyway. I also thought we’d try out a whole grain cracker (note: one box) and that I’d experiment making my own vanilla extract, so I bought some vanilla beans. It won’t be ready until Spring and by then what I have will be gone.

Here’s how things come packaged from Azure Standard:

I confess to being a little overwhelmed by the ginormous bags. It’s only the second time in a year that I’ve ordered. The jury is still out on whether or not this will be a regular gig.

Our box from Abundant Harvest Organics was particularly fun as they added a surprise load of plums. Yum! I never knew I liked plums until we tried the plums from the AHO. They are a whole other creation than what I’ve been getting at the grocery store. I’ll never be able to go back.

The box has mostly normal stuff this week, though I do have a traffic jam of squash and eggplant. My freezer can only hold so much ratatouille!

This week’s box held: tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, apples, grapes, plums, melons, garlic, hot and bell peppers, squash, mint, lettuce, potatoes, radishes, and carrots. The subscription is $38.80 per week.

I made mint syrup right away to add to hot cocoa and coffee drinks. Yum!

I also bought 20 pounds of granny smith apples ($16.00). I figure 80 cents a pound for organics is reasonable. Not the cheapest I’ve ever seen, but definitely good.

As if that wasn’t enough, five children and I rolled through Sprouts-the-store-formerly-known-as-Henry’s-that-I-wish-still-were. I don’t even remember what we bought. Eggs? Protein powder? limes and cilantro? Some chicken? I think I’ve blocked it out. All I remember is that the bill was under 50 bucks, which wasn’t bad considering the whey protein was like $16.

So, all that totaled up? I think we spent a little over $200. I’m not sure what I’ve spent all month, but there’s still some money in the envelope to get milk and cheese and whatever else we need this coming week.

I’m ready to stop shopping. But, I’m not sure anyone is ready to stop eating.


About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. I have enough hot peppers and jalapenos and green peppers to feed a small army. I found a recipe for homemade hot sauce. Any other suggestions other than just chopping and freezing?

    • Jessica Fisher says

      I’ve been roasting them and freezing them to use later on pizza, sandwiches, and burgers.

    • Angela Shrader says

      We make Jalapeno jelly. Serve with cream cheese and ritz crackers….super yummy appetizer for the holidays!

  2. We often have traffic jams of fall produce from our organics box, try baking and scooping out your squash and freezing in 1cup baggies for use in muffins, pancakes, breads, cakes, soups. Eggplant at our house is for easy eggplant parmesean. mmmm, so yummy! Enjoy your bounty!

  3. Crazy day!
    I make eggplant parm for the freezer Jessica – you can slice and bread it and then flash freeze at that point – then pop the breaded circles in a pan and top with sauce and cheese later – or do the whole thing ahead if you have freezer room.

  4. danie smith says

    I’m exhausted just reading this. Your CSA box looks like a great deal, the ones around here are so pricey. I was happy with my $1.50 organic apples at the Farmer’s Market yesterday – 80 cents is a steal!

  5. Phew that’s a lot of shopping! I love the last line! I feel that way sometimes yet my family always seems to want to continue eating also. 🙂 I love your blog!!

  6. I too am mourning the old Henry’s. *Sigh*

  7. My back hurts just looking at that bag of flour you had to carry – ugh! I’ve looked at Azure and I’m not sure about it. I am interested in getting my own grain grinder and grinding my own flour, we’ll have to see about that too.

    Right now I have tomatoes coming out of my ears. A friend of mine at work (a farmer’s wife) gives me whatever her family doesn’t need and they plant A LOT of tomatoes. I’ll be freezing them this week, it looks like I’ll have more than enough to get me through winter.

  8. Danielle B says

    Good for you!

    I wouldn’t even know what to do with all that produce, as we’re just now starting to learn how to eat our vegetables!

    Don’t let those huge bags scare you. Purchase a few food grade 5 gallon buckets, seperate it all out, label it, and stick it somewhere cool. A 5 gallon bucket is much less intimidating at a time then a huge bag. Just use one bucket at time, scooping from it into the smaller container you use for your flour or sugar. Then tuck that bucket away again and no worries! I used to get intimidated over things like that too. It’s laughable the things that used to hold us back once we’ve conquered them! 😉

    • You can get free 5 gallon buckets from the bakery department at Albertsons. They’ve been used for frosting and our local store has tons of them. They were happy to give me as many as I wanted as long as I cleaned them up. Maybe other grocery stores do this too.

  9. Ashley F says

    Ok, I have a ton of mint and I just found a recipe on eHow for the mint syrup, but it doesn’t say how long it is good for. How long will it keep?

    • Jessica Fisher says

      I used a recipe from epicurious and it said 2 weeks. Another recipe said you could freeze the syrup. 😉

  10. I’ve never thought about mint syrup. I’m going to go find it now so I can make some too.
    Mint seems to be the only thing I can grow in abundance this year.

    Good reading, as always.

  11. eggplant is great to add to casseroles and lasagna. We disguise it all the time as my daughter despises it!

  12. A fun way to use up eggplant is to make french bread pizzas on them or use them as lasagna noodles. For the pizzas I cut them length wise so they mimick french bread. Add a little salt, pepper, and olive oil to both sides and grill or roast for a few. Then add sauce, toppings, and cheese either re grill or continue baking till cheese is bubbly : )

  13. I’ve been making eggplant parm. Yum!

    You must be tired after all that. The kids in my house keep wanting to eat too, and it’s a lot of work for me because after they eat they grow. 🙂

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