Buying groceries on...
 
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Buying groceries on St Croix  

 

kayanne
(@kayanne)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 16
February 5, 2019 3:51 pm  

Hi everyone! This is my first post here. I just moved to St Croix 3 days ago; I joined my husband who started working at the refinery a few weeks ago (formerly Hovensa, now called Limetree Bay). 

I'm sure I'm not the first person to have sticker shock at the grocery store! Yikes!  Everything seems to be about triple what I'm used to. So I thought I'd ask for tips to save money. I've heard about a farmers market (in Frederiksted, I think); is that a good source? Are any of the grocery stores known for having better prices than others? I've already tried Walmart.com but apparently they don't ship any food items here anymore.

At this rate I may end up losing a lot of weight while we're here! ?

 

 


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islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1754
February 5, 2019 4:25 pm  

hi kayanne, welcome!!!

Ok first off, vitacost.com is the way to go for many, many things. They ship here for a flat rate $9.99 and you usually get your box in 3 or 4 days! If you place your order when they have a 10, 15 or 20% off promo, that covers your shipping costs.

Next - Plaza West and Cost U Less generally have the best prices these days. However you have to shop around to find the best price for what you like. For example, Horizon Organic milk is "only" $5.99 a half gallon at both stores I mentioned. But if you try to buy at Plaza East, you will pay something like $8.69! They just raised the price, too. 

So you see what I mean.

On Saturday mornings, check out ARTfarm for organic produce. Their lettuce lasts for 2 weeks, no lie! Sejah Farm also has organic produce. Each farm has their own mix of offerings. Also the farmers market Saturday morning in La Reine has great stuff, but you need to get there early.


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Kokonut
(@Kokonut)
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 39
February 5, 2019 4:31 pm  

Overall, after living here for 15 years, I've found groceries are about 50% more expensive than the mainland.

Some things are marked up more than others, like frozen foods.

You need to keep in mind that everything that is on the shelf was shipped here in a container.

Most grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations are owned by related families so pricing is not very competitive.

But, your husband is being paid a premium to work here and there is a reason for that.


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kayanne
(@kayanne)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 16
February 5, 2019 10:03 pm  
Posted by: islandjoan

hi kayanne, welcome!!!

Ok first off, vitacost.com is the way to go for many, many things. They ship here for a flat rate $9.99 and you usually get your box in 3 or 4 days! If you place your order when they have a 10, 15 or 20% off promo, that covers your shipping costs.

Next - Plaza West and Cost U Less generally have the best prices these days. However you have to shop around to find the best price for what you like. For example, Horizon Organic milk is "only" $5.99 a half gallon at both stores I mentioned. But if you try to buy at Plaza East, you will pay something like $8.69! They just raised the price, too. 

So you see what I mean.

On Saturday mornings, check out ARTfarm for organic produce. Their lettuce lasts for 2 weeks, no lie! Sejah Farm also has organic produce. Each farm has their own mix of offerings. Also the farmers market Saturday morning in La Reine has great stuff, but you need to get there early.

Thanks for all these great tips! I wasn't familiar with vitacost, but I looked through their website and will definitely order from them.


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kayanne
(@kayanne)
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Posts: 16
February 5, 2019 10:18 pm  
Posted by: Kokonut

Overall, after living here for 15 years, I've found groceries are about 50% more expensive than the mainland.

Some things are marked up more than others, like frozen foods.

You need to keep in mind that everything that is on the shelf was shipped here in a container.

Most grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations are owned by related families so pricing is not very competitive.

But, your husband is being paid a premium to work here and there is a reason for that.

Maybe I've lived in areas with particular low food prices, because I didn't buy anything here yet that was only 50% higher than what I'm used to.

Here are some examples of mainland / St Croix prices:

Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce 1.00 / 3.99

Bananas 39 cents / 99 cents

Chobani Flip yogurt 1.00 / 2.49

Progresso soup 1.65 / 3.99

Small Coffeemate creamer 1.50 / 3.99

Gallon milk 1.99 / 5.99

I guess I'll get over the sticker shock after a few more shopping trips, but I'd definitely welcome additional tips for saving. Too bad Amazon Prime Pantry and Walmart won't ship non-perishables here.

 

 


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Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
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Joined: 6 years ago
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February 6, 2019 1:08 am  

Those prices look a little lower than what I get in the states.

You can order non-perishable food from Target shipped to STX for free, I think.  Right now I'm getting mixed messages from their web site whether it will ship or not.  Items are showing shipping not available in the cart yet it's letting me checkout, showing everything shipping to VI.

 


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kayanne
(@kayanne)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 16
February 6, 2019 6:47 am  
Posted by: Scubadoo

Those prices look a little lower than what I get in the states.

You can order non-perishable food from Target shipped to STX for free, I think.  Right now I'm getting mixed messages from their web site whether it will ship or not.  Items are showing shipping not available in the cart yet it's letting me checkout, showing everything shipping to VI.

 

That is interesting about Target. I experimented by putting things in my Target cart, and as you said, it would say it couldn't ship here. I'll try it again and see what happens when I try to complete the order.


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stxsailor
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February 6, 2019 8:28 am  

I've been here 8 years and I eventually got used to the prices. The cost of living someplace you don't have to shovel snow. When shopping you will usually have three stops to get everything. Shop around you'll eventually figure out your day. Our tips consist of Plaza West for some things, Cost u less for some things, farmers market for others.  Seaside market and Food Town have items you can't find in the larger grocery stores but you pay for it. I avoid both Pueblo's those stores are nasty.


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sttanon
(@sttanon)
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Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 331
February 6, 2019 11:18 am  

Quality Foods has a grocery that is smaller but great prices and selection and is right across the street from the mancamp....


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islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
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February 6, 2019 12:20 pm  

Quality Foods website  http://www.qualityfoodvi.com

While they are technically across from the "man camps" they are not directly across the road, but a turn off from the main road before Gertrudes.   http://www.qualityfoodvi.com/find-us.html

They close at 4, so not convenient to those who work full time during the week. Saturday hours are 9am-1pm

Their website says cash and carry, so sounds like they don't take cards. 


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islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
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February 6, 2019 12:21 pm  

@stxsailor - I haven't gone into a Pueblo in over a year or more. I get depressed when I set foot in there. The smell, the dinginess, need I say more.


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bathiel
(@bathiel)
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February 6, 2019 1:53 pm  
Posted by: islandjoan

Quality Foods website  http://www.qualityfoodvi.com

While they are technically across from the "man camps" they are not directly across the road, but a turn off from the main road before Gertrudes.   http://www.qualityfoodvi.com/find-us.html

They close at 4, so not convenient to those who work full time during the week. Saturday hours are 9am-1pm

Their website says cash and carry, so sounds like they don't take cards. 

Maybe that's for their wholesale business.  I shop there every week and always pay via credit card.

To me, they're the best deal on island for groceries.  Great and growing selection, more-consistent quality than the other grocery stores, and really good prices.  Just last night, I cooked up two sashimi-grade tuna steaks--7 oz steaks for $4.60 each.  I doubt you'd find that anywhere else on island.

Bernie


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islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
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February 6, 2019 2:01 pm  

@bathiel - thanks, good to know that they take cards!


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speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
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Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 8775
February 6, 2019 4:40 pm  

you are going to have to eat, so you deal with it. cherries at one place are 10 a lb, the best cherries on island when they are in season. so i buy them. ice cream, an occasional indulgence ( maybe 2 times a year) at 6+ for a half gallon, im okay with. i started buying organic milk for the taste, i also like borden milk. its a few dollars cheaper than organic. quality food has nice prices on your meat products.  some people go to more than 1 grocery store a day, i generally dont , unless it is something for a recipe. one year i went to 5 places before i found blueberries. now i stock up when they are at a good price and freeze them.

we shop at quality, cost u less, seaside market-each for different reasons. once in a while we go to plaza. i like to see what new products they have.

 

its just something you have to live with. 


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Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 2333
February 6, 2019 10:20 pm  
Posted by: islandjoan

Their website says cash and carry, so sounds like they don't take cards. 

I'd guess that means no store credit.  Their commercial customers likely have credit accounts and pay by invoice, perhaps monthly.


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