How a Shopping Spree at the Bent & Dent Requires a Remodel of my Kitchen!

BB's Grocery in Newburg, PA

BB’s Grocery in Newburg, PA

I had no intention of going to BB’s Grocery in Newburg, PA today. After all, we didn’t really need much from the grocery store, just eggs and bread. But Dave thought this might be a good day to go since….1. We hadn’t been there for a few months, 2. Katie was at camp and wouldn’t complain about having to go through the freezer. 3. We could use the money we usually use for groceries to stock up on some things we use a lot and get a little ahead. -and- 4. We were babysitting for our in-laws and needed to find something to entertain a 3-year-old boy that just wants to be with “Uncle Dave.”

So, we headed to Newburg. I was sucked in the moment I walked through the door. Bell peppers were right inside the door in a huge bin marked at $0.49 each…yes, I think we could use some peppers. Next up, cauliflower $1 a head…why yes, I’ll take that. Roma tomatoes for $0.10 each…I think so! 3 lb bags of gala apples for $2.19…oh my, yes!  I was slightly disappointed that there wasn’t any zucchini, after all that has become a “staple” vegetable at our house. But, my disappointment soon turned into joy as I rounded the corner and found bottled water $2.00 for a 24 pack!

We got about a 1/3 of the way through the store and already our cart was over half full.

In the freezer at BB's Grocery

In the freezer at BB’s Grocery

It was time to head to the freezer. Aaahhh…that glorious frozen wonderland of bargains! We scored big in the freezer section today! There was Turkey Hill ice cream by the half-gallon for $1.50 each. We found Bronx Bombers Sundae (it has to be good…it has the Yankees logo on the box!) and Gertrude Hawk Box of Chocolates (which I have had before and loved!) We found Freschetta pizzas, Marie Calender’s meals, Hanover frozen veggies, Smart Ones frozen desserts (yum!), Mrs. Smith’s pies, Bob Evans breakfast sandwiches,  and Mama Lucia meatballs. We go through the freezer quickly, after all it is mighty cold in there! We end up going through about 3 times until we decide we’ve seen it all.

The refrigerator section was a palace of dairy goodness as well today! There we scored 3 bags of shredded cheese for $1.50 each, a stick of turkey ring bologna, Turkey Hill Diet Green tea in the gallon jugs for $1.89….a real steal!  We got a block of sliced American cheese, hot dogs, Hillshire Farm sliced turkey in the family sized pack, and then we saw it! (Insert the Hallelujah Chorus here!) A whole pork loin for $20!!! We brought that home and sliced it into our own pork chops. We ended up with 30 pork chops, which is the equivalent of 10 meals for us!!!

We made it through the rest of BB’s rather quickly after that, but not until our cart was overflowing! We found Delmonte canned veggies for $0.69 a can, canned mushrooms 2/$1 as well as canned sliced black olives for the same price, Campbell’s soups, enchilada sauce, bread and butter pickles (our family’s favorite) for $1 a jar, canned salmon, canned chicken, and Extra chewing gum in dessert flavors for 10 packs for $1! We usually have to pay $1 per pack for that!

The left side of the cupboard.

The left side of the cupboard.

As we went to the checkout, I began to worry what the total would be. At a regular grocery store, a cart this full would easily run around $350. (I feel pretty confident in that estimate as I monitor prices pretty closely and consider myself a bit of a coupon diva!) I watched the Amish girl who was checking us out enter in item after item. I was concerned because there was an awful lot of meat in the cart and some normally “big ticket” items like coffee and cheese. I watched, holding my breath until she hit the total button. “That will be $149.36 please.” Wow! What a savings!!!

As we traveled home, I began to formulate how I’d get all these items put away. Of course, the frozen and refrigerated items would go in….well…the freezer and the fridge…duh! I decided that this would be a good day to clean out my cupboards and get rid of some of those things we didn’t use any more (i.e. “Let’s get rid of mis-matched stuff.”)

When we arrived home, we heave-ho’d all our loot into the house, and I got to work. I started on the cupboard I thought  would give me the most room once cleaned out. I pulled out all the unwanted items and created a whopping 1 foot x 1 foot space. Oh boy….I needed way more space than that!

The right side of the cupboard.

The right side of the cupboard.

I started on my food cupboard next. I decided the best thing to do was to empty the entire cupboard and start from scratch. About a half hour later, I discovered I now had 10 cans of mushrooms! But, since we go through about 4 cans of mushrooms a week, that’s not such a bad thing! We also have enough soup to last quite a while! I have enough spaghetti sauce to have a charity spaghetti dinner and feed about 70 people! But none of it expires any time soon, so it’ll get used. It took a good half hour to get this cupboard looking good, but I realized that there was still so much more to find homes for!

We had found quite a few spices for a tiny price, so I decided to start on my spice cupboard next.Once again, all the contents were removed. Duplicate spices were combined if I was able. This cupboard also houses all my teas. Well….they needed organizing too! Another half hour later, and my spice/tea cupboard was gorgeous! But….there was still quite a few items that needed a space!

My teas and spices

My teas and spices

I called Dave to help me. The next cupboard was a bit out of my reach….(I’m vertically challenged). So, he agreed to help with this cupboard. It didn’t take nearly as long with 2 of us working at it! This cupboard now contains all of my pastas and mixes and is right above the stove. I discovered that we will soon need to return to BB’s because I have 3 canned icings and no cake mixes. (The icing wasn’t purchased today!)

My kitchen still looks like a mess, but only because I haven’t figured out what to do with those odds and ends I removed from the first cupboard I tackled. (Oh yeah, that 1 foot x 1 foot space is now full of sprinkles for icecream and cookies!)

Now, the refrigerator…..that’s another story. It looks like a disaster area! Everything is just shoved in where ever it’ll fit. Ugh! I’ve decided the best thing I could do is just remodel the kitchen! I’ve been wanting to strip the wallpaper and paint anyway. And while we’re at it, we may as well add a few cupboards and get a larger refrigerator/freezer. Perhaps an addition on the kitchen would be good….a walk-in pantry would be nice.  Hmmmm…..maybe I should go to BB’s more often. If I came home with this much stuff every week, Dave would have to agree to a remodel right? 🙂

Nah, I don’t need a remodel. (I would like to paint the kitchen though!) I do see that we are going to eat well for the next few weeks! I feel blessed that we have places like this in the community to help those of us on a tight budget to make ends meet and stock our pantries at the same time!  I doubt that I will need to go for groceries (other than milk, bread, eggs, fresh veggies and yogurt) for a few weeks!  I’m happy to know that my family will be well fed for just a little. Thank you, Lord, for giving me this day of plenty!

Mixes and pastas

Mixes and pastas