The second full week post-Sandy brought some good news to the area: gas rationing ends Tuesday; power is back in most parts of town; NJ Transit has begun running Midtown Direct trains.
However, life is far from normal days after the superstorm knocked out power for thousands in Essex County. Many residents and, surprisingly, in food stores.
"Every store I've seen has been packed," said Julia Stern of South Orange. "I think we all need to restock refrigerators and freezers. Add to that the disruption of all the travel; the food couldn't travel either."
And with many residents getting power back over the weekend, local grocery stores have been crowded.
"Not to mention," says shopper Amanda Gonzalez, "It's expensive to buy all that stuff again. I mean cheese, salad dressing and so on. It adds up."
Livingston-based coupon blogger Cindy Livesey, who lost power for 11 days, has advice for those refilling the fridge: " Take your time! Don’t feel the need to restock every single item that was in your fridge before the power outage."
Livesey also advises locals to use stockpiled dry goods and canned items, but that could be a harder sell.
"I have had enough tuna," says Gonzales, picking up Thai treats at Trader Joe's, "to last a lifetime. Thank you, Sandy."