Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Food Prices

In the past, I've alluded to how the BVI has much higher grocery prices than the United States, largely because nearly everything is imported, even new-world and tropical produce that could easily be grown on island, like bell peppers, tomatoes, and mangoes. Before moving, HB and I had expected our grocery budget to increase by about 20-30%, as we were prepared for the fact that cost of living was going to be higher in Road Town than in Punta Gorda. In point of fact, our grocery budget has increased by about 50-60%.

To give a more specific idea on the price of groceries, here are the prices of some common items from my most recent shopping trip:

Ground beef (unknown lean/fat ratio - estimate 80/20) - $5.85 per lb
Salmon filet, 12 oz - $16.89
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (original) - $3.05
Tostitos tortilla chips - $4.10
Kellogg's corn flakes (18 oz) - $7.25
Tropicana orange juice (64oz) - $7.09
MacArthur 2% Milk (1/2 gal) - $6.35
Yellow onions - $1.09 per lb
Green bell peppers - $2.75 per lb
Bananas - $0.89 per lb
Sliced Bread (Holsum brand white) - $4.09
Pedigree Dog Food (20 lb) - $23.59 (I know I paid $9.99 for this at Wal-mart)

Knowing where to buy which items can definitely save money over the long run.
I tend to shop almost exclusively at Riteway because I've always been a one-stop shopper, regardless of money saving opportunities, and Riteway has the best overall selection of any store in town. Plus, with their wholesale warehouse right next door, I can find better deals on things I buy in quantity.
Bobby's definitely offers some deals, especially on refrigerated items it seems, and usually has a good selection of produce.
I generally avoid OneMart because they tend to have the highest prices, especially on non-grocery items, and I rarely find what I'm looking for there anyway, but since they have a location in Huntum's Ghut, it's a convenient stop for last-minute items on the way home.
Supa Valu's location in town is pretty small, but they have excellent deals on frozen meat and seafood, along with good selection, so it's a good place to try if you're looking for protein variety.
I have yet to visit Ample Hamper because I have no idea where it is, but I hear that it's good for specialty products that you mightn't be able to find elsewhere.

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