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Greek yogurt, Costco like stores and a Whole Foods alternative  

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ChanelCinq
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March 5, 2012 2:29 am  

I love Greek yogurt. I eat about 2 or 3 a day. My favorite is Chobani and there are at least 8 to 10 flavors sold here. There is also a lot of 0% fat Fage in various flavors. There is a Dannon brand that makes a Greek yogurt but it is not as healthy as they sweeten it with artificial sugar. They sell these 3 kinds at my local SuperMax in Condado.

While I don't have 2 dozen brand to choose from like in CA I am just very happy it is here. They even sell Greek yogurt in Costco and either have Chobani or Fage but not both.

So can I buy Greek yogurt in the USVI and what is the cost. At Costco it is about 13 USD for 12 containers. At SuperMax Chobani is 1.59 and Fage is 1.89 a container.

And I know you guys don't have Costco but you have something kind of similar. How are the prices compared to Costco? And what is the name of the store?

Also do the islands have something similar to Whole Foods? We don't have one in PR but I go to a place called Freshmart and there are a few on the island. They are a smaller more expensive version of Whole Foods and will do in a pinch. A lot of stuff I order online. But does you guys have health food grocery stores similar to Whole Foods?

At this point I am probably going to move to STT but will be visiting both islands next month.


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JulieKay
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March 5, 2012 2:35 am  

I make my own yogurt. 🙂 I think I've seen the greek yogurts at CostULess. They also have them at Schooner Bay - I'll have to check the price for you the next time I'm there.

We don't have Whole Foods, but have a lot of local produce, and I have found organic products that I used to buy at Whole Foods in Austin at all the food stores on island. I can send you a list, if you like - I use organic as much as possible. I thought I would have to order a lot more online then it's turned out - I'm buying everything we need here.

CostULess is the store similar to Costco in that it's a bulk/warehouse store. It doesn't have near the prepared items that Costco has. I do find some of the Costco brands there sometimes. But for the most part it's just a place to buy in bulk and save some cashola.


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stxem
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March 5, 2012 2:38 am  

Plaza Extra just started stocking all the different chobani flavors in the last few months. They are 2.49 per 6oz container...I love them too, but I'll only get a couple a week because of the price. No whole foods--some small (very small) health food stores, but probably not with the selection you are used to. On STX, several organic farms sell local produce at farmers markets or farmstands. Lots of specialty stuff either doesn't exist here or is ridiculously expensive. You either adapt to this or you don't.

There is a cost-u-less that sells bulk products and produce. I usually shop there for cheese and some bulk stuff like soups, but shop at plaza for basically everything else.


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ChanelCinq
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March 5, 2012 2:54 am  

Thank you to both of you. Wow 2.49! Eeeks that is a lot. I have a feeling the cost of living is going to more than I realized. And I thought PR was bad when I moved here.

I am good at adapting though. I have lived all sorts of places and had really nothing familiar in some of these places.

I can eat regular yogurt but Greek yogurt is like a meal with the amount of protein in the little container compared to regular yogurt. At 2.49 I'll definitely switch to regular.

I guess what I meant by asking about an alternative to Whole Foods is so I can buy things like Stevia or maté tea or other things I know a regular grocery store probably will not have.

Oh and the Cost-U-Less is on both islands?


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JulieKay
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March 5, 2012 3:07 am  

You can find stevia here. I'm not sure about mate, I haven't looked for it.

You'd be surprised what is at Plaza Extra. Sometimes you have to look but you can find quite a lot there.

I make my own Greek yogurt. It's not hard to do at all, and it's super yummy and much cheaper!


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bathiel
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March 5, 2012 3:36 am  

Plaza also has Fage. And it's also very expensive.


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ChanelCinq
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March 5, 2012 3:51 am  

You can find stevia here. I'm not sure about mate, I haven't looked for it.

You'd be surprised what is at Plaza Extra. Sometimes you have to look but you can find quite a lot there.

I make my own Greek yogurt. It's not hard to do at all, and it's super yummy and much cheaper!

Julie I don't really do too much stuff like that but I just looked up a recipe and it seems easy. And considering that milk is probably the one thing that I will actually be a lot cheaper in the USVI I may try it. We pay 6 USD a gallon in PR for milk. It is cheaper for me to buy almond milk at Costco, no joke. Once you make it how long does it last? Can you PM me your recipe?


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Exit Zero
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March 5, 2012 4:38 am  

There is a Costuless on both STT and STX - ---------- STT also has a Pricesmart - ----------- There are Plaza Extra on both Islands


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East Ender
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March 5, 2012 12:04 pm  

Also, Fruit Bowl on St Thomas has options for the organically inclined.


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stxem
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March 5, 2012 12:11 pm  

Organic milk is 6.50 a carton (1/2 gallon). Similar price for a gallon of regular, non organic milk.


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ChanelCinq
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March 5, 2012 12:23 pm  

There is a Costuless on both STT and STX - ---------- STT also has a Pricesmart - ----------- There are Plaza Extra on both Islands

I am asuming Plaza Extra is a small local version of Whole Foods?

Organic milk is 6.50 a carton (1/2 gallon). Similar price for a gallon of regular, non organic milk.

Oh I thought I read milk was cheaper. Well right now the only thing I use milk for is coffee. I love almond milk and use it for everything else especially since it is cheaper than regular milk (if I buy it at Coscto). But I'll probably have to give up almond milk when I move.


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JulieKay
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March 5, 2012 12:33 pm  

Plaza Extra is the very large grocery store. There are two of them on STX. They do have a lot more then just your typical grocery store items - again, you have to look. 🙂

We don't have a dairy on island so our milk is brought on a ship. I only use it for yogurt, and I get the Horizon organic milk at CostULess.

There is almond milk, soy milk, and rice milk available at just about every store. Lots of vegans/vegetarians on island.


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blu4u
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March 5, 2012 4:27 pm  

There are no food markets comparable to "Whole Foods" or even "Trader Joe's" (Whole Foods disadvantaged little sister). Cost-u-less is a smaller less organized version of Costco. You can't always get what you want. But if you try {most times} you get what you need.


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JulieKay
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March 5, 2012 4:44 pm  

Ooooh, blu4u opened the "Whole Foods vs. Trader Joe's" pandora box. *laughs* 🙂 For me they're entirely different stores.

But - either way - we have nothing like them on island. Some stores have sections like them - at Food Town and Schooner Bay I'm often pleasantly surprised to find organic and speciality foods. And then for other organic foods I have to find some at Plaza Extra, some at Cost-u-less, etc.

I got over Trader Joe's store-brand packaged foods a long time ago. I like some of their chocolates and that's about it...so I don't miss Trader Joe's on island. And I don't miss the prices at Whole Foods ("Whole Paycheck")! I am happy with the farmstands and Farmers' markets we have here on STX. It evens out, with a bit more effort.

I'm a bit of a foodie so this thread is near and dear to me. 🙂


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blu4u
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March 5, 2012 5:01 pm  

For the record, I don't shop at Whole Paycheck. Frankly, I wonder who can afford those prices!! I am a big fan of T.J.'s prices on staple items like in season produce, milk, cheese, eggs, breads, pasta etc.. While in the VI, my family eats "cleaner" than state side. Basically local produce, imported quality produce when available, chicken, fish, rice, eggs. Believe it or not, we spend less on groceries in the VI. I purchase less, because the selection is slim and less goes to waste. Many benefits to living simply...

From my experience, PR gocercy availability, quality and prices are far superior to the VI. The two don't compare.


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JulieKay
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March 5, 2012 5:11 pm  

For the record, I don't shop at Whole Paycheck. Frankly, I wonder who can afford those prices!! I am a big fan of T.J.'s prices on staple items like in season produce, milk, cheese, eggs, breads, pasta etc.. While in the VI, my family eats "cleaner" than state side. Basically local produce, imported quality produce when available, chicken, fish, rice, eggs. Believe it or not, we spend less on groceries in the VI. I purchase less, because the selection is slim and less goes to waste. Many benefits to living simply...

From my experience, PR gocercy availability, quality and prices are far superior to the VI. The two don't compare.

We are speaking the same language on the living simply.

I don't have PR comparisons, haven't shopped there yet, but I am confident I totally agree.

I sometimes feel on St. Croix like I'm living in the country (in a way I am) and going to the farmers to find my produce and fresh goods, vs. having it delivered to me. That is part of the joy of shopping for me - I never know what I'm going to find, and sometimes there are lots of local items too (i.e. sorrel, soursop, breadfruit, etc). And I'm finding new joy in cooking from scratch, and the clean flavors of a simple dish with fresh ingredients and spices.

My one wish is that we had a dairy on island again. I've been told we just don't have a large enough population to support the cost of one at this point - I can see that. I'm fine getting the Horizon milk (we don't drink it, just to make yogurt and cheese) at Cost-u-less, but it would be nice to have other options.


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ChanelCinq
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March 6, 2012 2:04 am  

... For the record, I don't shop at Whole Paycheck. Frankly, I wonder who can afford those prices!! ...

blu just so you know I did a lot of comparisons when I lived in CA. I would bring a list of 15 brand named items and compare the price at Whole Foods and at Safeway (the major grocery store in the greater Bay Area). 100% of the time WHole Foods would be the same price or cheaper then Safeway.

However Whole Foods did carry other more expensive brands and that is why you can walk out spending a lot more money. I always had to point this out to others that also avoided WF.


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JulieKay
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March 6, 2012 2:16 am  

Whole Foods in Austin and New York were consistently across the board almost double the price of grocery stores like HEB and Central Market - even for the same items, or similar organic produce items. Perhaps it's because they started in Austin, who knows. But I only shopped there when I had no other choice. 🙁


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ChanelCinq
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March 6, 2012 2:31 am  

Whole Foods in Austin and New York were consistently across the board almost double the price of grocery stores like HEB and Central Market - even for the same items, or similar organic produce items. Perhaps it's because they started in Austin, who knows. But I only shopped there when I had no other choice. 🙁

Maybe it was just in CA then. I mean the Bay Area is a pretty expensive place to live. I did that price comparison thing at least 1/2 a dozen times and like I said Whole Foods came out cheeper or the same price on EVERY single item. No joke.


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blu4u
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March 6, 2012 4:45 am  

All the yummy prepared food at Whole Paycheck is just too tempting. My habit is to food shop after work, when I'm starved and pressed for time. So easy to just pick-up dinner, rather then find the ingredients and cook for an hour. That's why i stay out of Whole Payceck. Had an "am I stupid?" moment when curring one $75 bag of groceries across the crowded lot filled with German SUV's. Quit whole paycheck cold turkey. Been clean for about ten years. I should get coin or a key chain or something....

Also the main reason why our VI food bill is less than stateside. Less temptation. Less stress. Better living all around.


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Exit Zero
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March 6, 2012 5:46 am  

Pueblo had quite a few varietys of Silk / Almond Milk today at $5.19 for a 1/2 gal.


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JulieKay
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March 6, 2012 12:22 pm  

All the yummy prepared food at Whole Paycheck is just too tempting. My habit is to food shop after work, when I'm starved and pressed for time. So easy to just pick-up dinner, rather then find the ingredients and cook for an hour. That's why i stay out of Whole Payceck. Had an "am I stupid?" moment when curring one $75 bag of groceries across the crowded lot filled with German SUV's. Quit whole paycheck cold turkey. Been clean for about ten years. I should get coin or a key chain or something....

Also the main reason why our VI food bill is less than stateside. Less temptation. Less stress. Better living all around.

(tu)

Same here. You guys have heard me say it several times now, but I am truly thrilled at how much better the quality of our diet is now that I'm preparing all the meals again - from scratch ingredients. And we've now made the decision to be fully vegetarian again!


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lily1025
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March 6, 2012 4:18 pm  

julie i also sent you a pm asking for your greek yogurt recipe,thanks!


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Gerie
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March 6, 2012 5:35 pm  

If you're sharing that recipe, Julie, I'd also love to have it. I'll send a pm as well.


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JulieKay
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March 6, 2012 10:09 pm  

Chobani $1.99 a container at Schooner Bay this afternoon. They had four flavors but heck if I can remember them (blushing)!


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