Thursday, June 13, 2019

Sam's Club Trip

So late Tuesday morning my youngest son, David, showed up to take me and his brother to Sam's Club.  But before we left, he and Duane hauled in four of those square plastic milk crates full of canning jars.  Bonus!!  He didn't want the crates back, so I found space where I can stack them two high with the open tops facing outward and use them as shelf cubbies to hold more food storage, which is good because I have little space left on my regular shelves.  Thank you, son!

There were conditions connected to this outing.  If my boys were going to take me out in public, I had to behave myself.  There would be no popping wheelies with the electric cart I used to get around in the store, nor was I allowed to organize drag races with the same carts.  I reluctantly agreed and we were off to shop.

I needed hamburger to can, so I got two 10 lb. chubs along with a whole pork loin.  The hamburger will be canned in pint jars and the pork loin will be cut into a couple of small roasts to fit into my small crock pot with the rest sliced into boneless chops and frozen.  That's a whole lot of meals and I am sharing some of the chops with Duane.

I only have a couple pints of dill pickles left and these days, getting my hands on cucumbers for canning is difficult.  So I bought a gallon jar of dill spears, 2 half gallon jars of baby dills and 2 quarts of small, stuffed olives.  Sometimes it is necessary to find a way around a problem and this works for me.  The pickles will be re-canned into pint jars and the olives into half pint jars.  And when that is done, I will have several large jars to store other things.

I use a lot of butter.  I not only use it on bread and toast, but use it for frying some foods and in baking.  The price of butter in the grocery store has gone up considerably, so I was able to find butter in 4 lb. packs for considerably less per pound.  I got 20 lbs. of butter.  I put it all into the freezer.  I can always can up some of it later, but I figured I had enough food to process right now.

Days before this shopping trip I had gone through Sam's website and made a list of what I wanted along with the prices.  I got things like large containers of lemonade and iced tea mix along with huge containers of Nestle's Quick chocolate milk mix.  Because of the medication I take daily, staying hydrated is imperative and the flavored mixes make it more appetizing than drinking plain water.  The chocolate milk mix is just because.  :)

I picked up 8-packs of Rice-a-Roni, Spam and 4 jars of Miracle Whip along with 3 huge boxes of instant mashed potatoes.  An 18-pack of Mac & Cheese and 2 large boxes of Velveeta went into the cart.  Yes, I know.  The dreaded processed food.  But in times of crisis, especially when food is scarce, I doubt anyone would turn their nose up at food, processed or not.  And when you are an old lady with mobility issues, making up a box of Mac & Cheese is much easier than making the same dish from scratch.

I found trash bags and freezer bags at a good price, so I stocked up on those. And I saw a 24-pack of washcloths and a 12-pack of flour sack dishtowels.  They came home with me as well, to be set aside for future use.

David had another surprise for me.  He told me that because he and his family had not bought me anything for Mother's Day or my birthday, he was going to pay part of my Sam's bill.  I said that this shopping trip was my gift, but being slightly more stubborn than his mother, he won the argument.  So with a considerable amount of wiggle room above and beyond my budget, we added more to the cart.

David talked me into getting a rotisserie chicken.  He said he buys one every time he shops at Sam's and they are really good.  He was right.  I ate off it yesterday and there is still plenty left for a couple more days.

There were 2 quart containers of the best tasting strawberries I have had in years.  Three quarts went into the freezer and I have been slowly snacking on the rest.

I believe that in times of stress and crisis, a sweet treat now and then helps keep depression at bay.  With that in mind, I have been wanting to stock up on assorted candies to have on hand.  Plus, I have this sweet tooth that needs to be dealt with now and then.  So we headed to the candy aisles.  The boys were delighted to toss a tub o' peppermints, a tub o' M & M's and a huge bag of assorted mini Reecse's Peanut Butter Cups into my cart.  David added a box of single serve Pringles and Duane found a box of 30 microwave bags of popcorn.  Most of that went into storage.  I make no promises about the Reese's.  :)

My boys became pack mules when we arrived home, huffing all my purchases up the stairs.  There were several other items I haven't mentioned that I got to try out like a biscuit mix, big jars of chicken bouillon, etc., and by the time they were finished my kitchen table was covered as well as a considerable amount of floor space.  I spent the rest of the day and part of yesterday putting it all away.

The best part of all was spending time with my sons.  I so enjoy their company.  Duane came by later to bring me a different kind of kiwi he had bought (it was wonderful) and David called me yesterday to ask if I had found my kitchen table top yet.  He said he had fun taking us to Sam's and suggested we make it a semi-annual event with possibly another trip when the weather cools down in the fall.  I readily agreed.

I didn't write about this to brag about how much I bought.  It took me months of saving to be able to do this.  And hopefully, it will give others an idea of what is available for adding to their food storage.  Sam's charges a yearly fee for the privilege of shopping at their stores.  For David, it is worth it because his family shops there often.  For someone like me who goes only once or twice  year, the fee would likely eat up the savings.

So now that this post is written and I have had my second cup of coffee, it is time to head to the kitchen and start browning  hamburger to can.  I will be back when it is all in jars, processed and on the shelves.  And after that, of course, there will be nap.  :)


  1. Vicki~Bulk buying is cost effective. Have you thought of seeing if one of your sons can Rat Rod an electric cart for you. Maybe add some Ghost Flames...

    I was at Sam's the other day to buy 3lb bags of Quinoa for $8.88 each. That works out to $2.96 per pound or 18.5 cents per ounce. It's a lot more at other place.


    1. I think the Ghost Flames are out, Red. I couldn't even get the boys to add a cup holder and bicycle handle bar streamers to my walker. I wanted an "ooga" horn, too, (remember those?) but that didn't happen, either. :)

      I love being able to buy in bulk. It just makes sense to me. Now that my son wants to go twice a year with me, I will be able to add to my food storage more cheaply than using the regular grocery store. Win!

  2. Sounds more like an expedition than a trip! - lol

    1. It was just an ordinary side trip going out, Gorges. It was the coming back home that looked like an expedition!!

  3. Again, great post and shopping trip. Kudos to your sons, once again.
    My brain just kicked into gear - we have Costco here which has a membership fee just like your Sam's. However, if someone comes in to spend a Costco gift card, the customer does not have to be a member to purchase with the gift card. I wonder if Sam's Club works the same way?

    On a different topic - I met two golden retrievers today including one very PG girl. If there are enough puppies, I'm going to get one. Will know next week if the litter will be big enough. And if not this time, I just might wait until this breeder has another litter in 2021. Keep praying!!
    cheers, SJ

    1. SJ...I don't know if Sam's even has gift cards but it is worth looking into. I will check it out. Thanks.

      I am so happy for you that the meeting with the breeder and the Mama Retriever went well. If this is a really good breeder, it surely would be worth the wait, but I am still praying that you will get your puppy soon.

      It is 7:40 pm and the last load of hamburger is in the canner. Tomorrow the pickles get canned. I'm knackered, but want to finish and after a day to recoup, I'll be emailing again. I'm so excited for you!!

  4. Lord almighty can you find time to sleep??

  5. Rob...If I don't get done what I need to do now, then when? There is no guarantee that I will wake up tomorrow morning. Whatever I can accomplish today will help my family whether I am here or not. I get enough sleep. Sometimes it is in the form of two hour naps. :)

  6. Looks like we're both in canning mode, Vicki. Hope your shelves are stacking up with more and more jars of food. It's a great feeling!

    Look forward to the next installment, Fern.

    1. As I am sure you and Frank know, things in our world get more dicey every day. Having empty spaces on my shelves makes me nervous. I am much happier when they are filled. I have been reading lately about the times in recent history when there have been wars or collapse or oppression. The common denominator was the lack of food. My family will not go hungry if I can help it.

      I am so very glad you both are back blogging. You are a light in the darkness and you keep me on my toes. :)

    2. I keep you on your toes?? You concentrate on food for your family so much, it is an inspiration to many. Not to mention keeping that fire lit under us to keep preparing regardless of physical challenges or location. You, Vicki, are truly an inspiration.

      Besides that, I love your take on topics, you have a forth right way of expressing yourself that few do anymore. I don't know if it's because people are afraid to speak their mind, or just don't care. You have your morals, your unwavering compass of what is right and what is wrong, and I've read you long enough to know you don't deviate from that. And for that, I thank you.

      Blessings always, Fern

    3. I am humbled by your kind words, Fern. Thank you. Having recently stepped into my 73rd year, I think I have a different take on life than do those who haven't lived long enough to have learned much. Material goods don't matter. Family matters. We may not always see eye to eye, but God help anyone who tries to hurt one of us. History matters. For the lessons learned from the past may be the very thing that saves us in the future. And if I can inspire just one person to buy an extra can of beans or bag of rice, then I have accomplished what I am here to do.

      God bless you and Frank. For you inspire me more than you know.

  7. I do believe your Sam's Club adventure was a successful one! You really did a great job of selecting foods for your shelves. And I know it had to be a fun outing with your two very special sons. The work really began when you arrived back home with your loot and tackled the canning of foods and the storing of everything. What a great feeling of accomplishment knowing you will be able to have food for yourself and family. I am in complete agreement with Fern. You are a real inspiration for all of us. Take care and take the weekend off, CW :)

    1. It was a fun day, CW...I always enjoy time spent with any and all of my kids.

      The grocery delivery service I use is geared towards Seniors who mostly order in small amounts. So it was a real treat to be able to buy in quantity for my food storage. The hamburger is in jars and on the shelf. I planned to re-can the pickles yesterday, but my body said, "Nope. Not gonna happen today." So I rested then and this morning have the first batch of pickles in the canner. Pickles are easier. Just heat the brine, pour over the pickles and water bath can.

      I really wish more folks could understand how important it is to have extra food on hand. They insure their cars, their homes, their TV sets, their health. But they risk starvation because they think it is silly to buy an extra can of beans or tuna once in a while. Sigh.

      Thank you for your kind words. I know I am preaching to the choir, but if just one person reads here and makes the decision to stock up a little bit, then it is all worthwhile.

  8. So, when you recan the pickles, do you reuse the brine or make more?

    I scored 20# of rice yesterday for $9.99. I thought it was listed for $8.99 on line but the store price was different. I still bought a bag and may return later this week for another one. Also got 25# of sugar on Friday for $8 something- that's the once a year price here. My stock up method these days more resembles the turtle then the hare --slow and steady. LOL

    Off to the gardens soon. Still picking strawberries, yippee. Need to get the second sowing in for some things and that will be it for me today.
    Cheers, SJ

    1. SJ...I just drained the pickles and used the existing brine. There was plenty except for the olives. I didn't have enough brine for the last half-pint jar, so I just put that one jar in the fridge to eat first.

      Great score on the rice and sugar!! Aside from my Sam's excursion, my stocking up is done one or two items at a time in my twice a month grocery orders. And even at that, we re still way ahead of those who don't think they need to prep.

      I still envy you your berries, and remember those I grew long ago. Enjoy!!