$12.28 for bread an...
 
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Juanita
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December 20, 2010 6:46 pm  

I just left Food Town (granted....higher than some groceries), and a pound of butter was $7.49 and an 8-pack of Pepperidge Farm hamburger buns was $4.79 (previously frozen). Holsum brand was considerably less, but grocery prices are really getting out of control. Maybe it's because I have been in the states recently, but it sure seems like we have had a hugh hike in prices.


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beachguyvi
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December 20, 2010 6:54 pm  

Isn't it just amazing? Somethings here are just ridiculous...especially on St. John. The gourmet store in the Marketplace (granted it is a gourmet store, but still) has frozen Mac and Cheese dinners that are I think 14 ounces for $25. Really? Last time I went to the States, I went to the big market there and bought all the usual sauces, spices, dry goods that I would normally buy here. I packed them all well and checked them on my return flight. Upon my return back to the islands, I figured out that checking that bag for $25 saved me a bit over a thousand dollars on the same items I would normally buy here. On STJ many prices have come down, but now that season is starting we can see them creeping back up.


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chefnoah
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December 20, 2010 7:04 pm  

I bet you could get some "cheese an bread!" for cheaper 😀


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Juanita
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December 20, 2010 7:06 pm  

:@) I'm sure I could, Noah!


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DixieChick
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December 20, 2010 7:18 pm  

i agree juanita. i just left plaza x and i am positive the prices are alot higher then they were this time last year. hardly anything under 3.00.

yes it is out of control. dont know how a family can feed themselves. i am getting so tired of the prices. but what can we do???


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chefnoah
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December 20, 2010 7:37 pm  

Well produce prices are swinging wildly because of the last 2 weeks of freezing weather in Florida and in California. Green beans, tomatoes, zucchini, squash, eggplant, pepper, etc etc are all being effected in quality and quantity. If the demand stays the same and supplies decrease....well you know the rest.

Also, Mexico halted 95% of shipments of limes due to increased scrutiny by the CBP at US entry points. They're watching out for sweet orange scab, which has the same symptoms of normal scabbing or blemishes. Basically, Mexican farmers don't want their shipments rejected, so they just stopped sending them. Time to invest in local lime trees.

Butter and coffee markets have crept up on the global market. Commodities are becoming more and more expensive which affects "food products" like pre-done entrees that are packed full of corn, soy, and corn syrup.

Maybe grocery stores know that they can push their margins higher during the season and get away with it....maybe not.


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ms411
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December 20, 2010 8:07 pm  

You really have to shop around because prices vary widely from store to store. I bought Quaker Instant Grits at KMart the other day, and that same box is at least $2 more expensive at Pueblo. Didn't check Plaza or CUL . I generally buy my butter at Puerto, because at one time it was cheaper than most other places I checked. I mostly quit buying bread because of the ridiculous prices. You're better off substituting olive oil (Cost U Less) for that butter anyway! I usually mix them. You really have to be flexible when you go to the store. Gourmet Gallery is starting to look cheap!


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Juanita
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December 20, 2010 8:27 pm  

I'm a total olive oil fan, but somehow, that rum cake just wouldn't be the same. lol


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Exit Zero
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December 21, 2010 12:04 am  

Butter at Costuless is commonly $3.29 LB - when I see that I buy it in bulk.


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stiphy
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December 21, 2010 2:08 am  

It's out of control and really does make living here tough.. Some of it is probably inflation due to macroeconomic factors (the US government way overspending), a lot of it is WAPA, and some of it is probably due to food stamps (people don't shop as carefully when its not their money. But I suspect a lot of it has to do with lack of competition. As Giant/Pathmark/Safeway/Super Walmart would do very well down here, they could charge 180% of their stateside price and still be cheaper than anyone else by a good amount. Maybe when we get a Home Depot 🙂

Sean


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ms411
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December 21, 2010 8:45 am  

Junta, I just may try to make a "rum cake" with a vegetable oil and see how it turns out.. I used to make banana bread with butter, but when I tried a recipe with vegetable oil, I never looked back. Will let you know how it tastes if I try it.


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Linda J
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December 21, 2010 8:59 am  

I would disagree about people using food stamps. They are usually VERY careful about spending. Not a lot to last a family for a month.


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roadrunner
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December 21, 2010 9:10 am  

Have you seen the phenomenal homes in which the grocery store owners live? I don't know if it's the same in the states, and I do believe that hard work deserves to be rewarded, but it certainly appears that they could afford to decrease prices.


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DixieChick
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December 21, 2010 10:52 am  

i am making a rum cake also. think i will sub. the butter-oil and just add more RUM!!!!

will let you know how it turns out when i sober up.:D


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STXoldie
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December 21, 2010 11:58 am  

Butter at Costuless is commonly $3.29 LB - when I see that I buy it in bulk.

We do the same and put a few lbs. in the freezer.


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Bombi
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December 21, 2010 12:00 pm  

Pueblo has the best prices on fruits and veggies and beer
CUL butter, coffee, pasta, canned goods, frozen chicken, some of the produce and fruit, fruit juices, paper products
Plaza has all the stuff you could,t find at Pueblo or CUL, but it's hard to find.
When you see a good deal buy extra if you have a place to keep it
CVS.com for shampoo, razors, soap, sunscreen, first aid and all that. free shipping over $50

Potato chips are crazy $2 more than the marked price.


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stiphy
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December 21, 2010 12:29 pm  

I would disagree about people using food stamps. They are usually VERY careful about spending. Not a lot to last a family for a month.

I will admit, I don't know much about how food stamps work.

I only said that because for my entire life I've seemed to live in areas where many people are on them and I've observed interesting purchasing decisions at the register. For example, I've seen quite a few people buying non-generic items with their food stamps (while I was of course buying generics with cash) which I always found to be a bit interesting. I sort of assumed that if the money was "free" I'd probably not care so much about how I spent it. Granted this is totally anecdotal on my part.

I also suspect (with no proof, just total wanton speculation by me I'll admit) that there is quite a bit of fraud involving WIC/foodstamps here. I have a feeling that there are a lot of people working off the books in order to keep "their benefits" who use foodstamps and other government programs to supplement their income. While I think this happens everywhere I think its probably more common in the VI, as it seems like in the VI being on welfare is often looked at as "getting mine" rather than something to feel ashamed of in any way shape or form. If this is true it would have some effect on grocery prices, the more people can pay for groceries (aka demand) the higher the prices grocers can command.

Total speculative talk by me though, just thoughts that I admit have little to no data to back them up. I'm not trying to stir up a debate on welfare although I would be interested in learning more about how it works (and affects our grocery prices).

Sean


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Juanita
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December 21, 2010 1:16 pm  

i am making a rum cake also. think i will sub. the butter-oil and just add more RUM!!!!

will let you know how it turns out when i sober up.:D

Good idea Dixie...after all, the rum is cheaper than the butter, and the cake will be a lot more fun!


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stcmike
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December 21, 2010 1:46 pm  

That is a great idea regarding packing some specialty goods and paying to send them here. The cost savings could pay for the whole trip. Maybe take 5 or 6 trips a year to Miami or NYC and come back with the specialty food items


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billd
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December 21, 2010 6:16 pm  

I have a theory on food prices as well as all prices on the VI.

The islanders are so used to getting screwed that these people will charge anything. It costs more to ship it down, so we are told. And since there is no competition than they will do what they can. Also, food prices in the main land are going up also. Little Debbie cakes are now 1.29. Here they are 4.89. How is it that the Home Depot is one of the best profit producing stores in the US? The same for KMART.

Like getting screwed. We welcome aboard folks.

Billd


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DUN
 DUN
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December 21, 2010 11:25 pm  

In PR, I encountered almost stateside prices, I guess that Extra 35 miles makes a BIG difference!

Yup those little Debbie snacks...
Let's see, they don't need refrigeration, don't weigh much & are small, OK I can see the 300% markup for 35 miles!
Can't be greed, and,so how Do those Arab supermarket owners get such huge houses on those paltry markups??


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NugBlazer
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December 22, 2010 3:17 am  

Honestly, I don't think food prices are surprising or out of control. We live on tiny, far-flung islands. It's only natural that goods are going to be quite a bit more expensive. Comparing our prices to the states is, frankly, ridiculous. You can't have your cake and eat it, too.

Also, remember that just about ALL goods are tied to the price of oil, which is now much higher than it was just five years ago, and will continue to rise as demand increases due to our exponential population growth. Couple that with falling supply, and the results are ovbvious.

Food prices have risen quite a bit in the states, too.


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glynnswife
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December 22, 2010 11:16 am  

I just went shopping yesterday in Minnesota and I got butter for $1.89 on sale (a pound) and a loaf of bread was $1.79. Food prices are dramatically lower here than on the island. A gallon of milk here is $1.99 on sale and one can almost always find it on sale.


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Neil
 Neil
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December 22, 2010 12:16 pm  

Butter for $7? That's not island pricing, that's island gouging.

Of course, they were OUT of butter at Plaza yesterday. Go figure.


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billd
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December 22, 2010 12:34 pm  

There are two thinks working here. The first is the is NO COMPETITION. The fact that you can buy stuff cheap in the states and it is high here should not be a big issue. BUT IT IS SO HIGH HERE THAT SOMETHING IS GOING ON! The second is there are no real sales. You can go to various food markets and buy what is on sale. Not here! There are token sales but nothing of any real value.

I did a little survey of food prices between the states and here as I go back about three times a year to NJ, not the cheapest state to live in. I discovered that on the AVERAGE that prices were about 60% higher here. There are things that are the same price here, but very few. When did you see soda 5 12 can packs for 10.00 here! What about toilet paper? About 90C a roll. In the states about 50C a roll. And it goes on and on.

But you pay to live in the VI. But you are still getting crewed. And gas! The biggest refinery in the southern hemisphire is in St. Croix. Yet it cost about 60c a gallon to bring it to STT. Yet in the states we move gas and it costs about 5C a gallon.

Yes we are being screwed!

Billd


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