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What goods are the most scarce / expensive?  

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basefilm
(@basefilm)
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March 1, 2012 6:52 pm  

Hi again,

What food/beverage/snacks/cookie/candy/bakery/fruits/vegetable goods are the most scarce or expensive in the VI? As some context, that is compared to in the mainland U.S, the kinds of items which could be used to fill in the blanks below.

You just can't get good ________________ here.
On the mainland I'd pay $ for _________________, but in the VI it is at least 3x that.

I just realized the above two fill-in-the-blanks are fair game for adult mad libs, but let's just stick to the aforementioned goods, please! 😮

Thanks,
Ted


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JulieKay
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March 1, 2012 6:57 pm  

There's a lot that's just locational. Like you can't get good cold water fresh seafood here. You can't get good iceberg lettuce here.

OH! And restaurants - so far I've found you can't get good Mexican food here. 🙂 I lived in Austin, TX for a long time and guess I got spoiled. I'd love for someone to steer me somewhere good!

Honestly the things that I see here that cost 3x what you pay on the mainland are primarily packaged foods. Yesterday I bought a package of tostada shells for $2.49 that are $.89 at home. But I don't generally buy many packaged foods, so it doesn't affect me too much. 🙂

"This is your world. Shape it or someone else will." ~Gary Lew


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loungestx
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March 1, 2012 7:07 pm  

Not a lot of choices for organic, gluten free, dairy free. things like that are avail. at basic supermkts in the states now.


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OldTart
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March 1, 2012 7:35 pm  

I've been here too long to make these kinds of comparisons but I do try and stay abreast of current stateside prices. I think you can generally still figure that, on average, a basket of typical groceries will cost you 30% more than stateside, As prices have jumped here in the last year, stateside prices have also increased concomitantly. The highest difference which has been a constant is breakfast cereals and similarly "fragile" chips and crackers.

The quality of fresh fruits and veggies has improved enormously over the years but, again, fragile produce can suffer enormously when the refrigerated containers are offloaded and left to sit even for a relatively short period in the high temps here after reaching their destination. Visiting stateside friends get double hugs and kisses if bringing me just a couple of REAL tomatoes or sweet corn in season. Doesn't take much to give me a real thrill!

You can't always get what you want here but if you try you might just find you can get what you need ... at a price. Adaptability is key.


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JulieKay
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March 1, 2012 7:42 pm  

Edited because I just realized it was off topic! 🙂

So I'll second what oldtart said - adaptibility is key. There are lots of yummy low-cost things here to eat, and some good local farms on STX, but not everything that you can get stateside.

I would also love to have more access to organic items, but it's not horrible. I have bought organic items at Plaza Extra.

"This is your world. Shape it or someone else will." ~Gary Lew


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poorthang
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March 2, 2012 12:56 am  

Little Debbies...5.99 here stx....states 1,29 ,,,,WTF


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Exit Zero
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March 2, 2012 4:06 am  

You can't get good DOUGHNUTS here.
On the mainland I pay $ for ICE CREAM - it is 3x that here.


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vicanuck
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March 2, 2012 12:02 pm  

Speaking of Doughnuts...you can't get decent bakery products here. No kaisers, no gourmet bagels, fresh croissants or cheese bread. All we have here is frozen par baked crap. Starfish does an okay job on pastry but their outrageous prices make it unaffordable for most. Please...open a Panera Bread or a good bakery.


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speee1dy
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March 2, 2012 12:08 pm  

cost u less has some good bread by the produce area.


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stxem
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March 2, 2012 12:41 pm  

The Bistro has some really good bagels and pastry type things--I'm not sure whether the bagels are homemade, but they are pretty good!!! Personally, I'm happy there are no dunkin donuts or other similar places. It removes a lot of temptation. I always had a weakness for donuts in the states...down here, the farther I am from a donut, the better.


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JulieKay
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March 2, 2012 1:11 pm  

Turtles in Frederiksted makes great bread. Also Blue Water Terrace.

I don't like chains like dunkin donuts or Panera - they use packaged mixes and often contain corn syrup, bleah. 🙂

"This is your world. Shape it or someone else will." ~Gary Lew


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trainwreck82
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March 2, 2012 1:31 pm  

Breads and Cakes on STT has the best bread I've ever had, stateside included.


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Exit Zero
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March 2, 2012 2:00 pm  

Where is 'Breads and Cakes' ??


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wenchtoo
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March 2, 2012 2:24 pm  

Isn't that in Wheatly Center?


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basefilm
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March 2, 2012 2:41 pm  

About breakfast cereals... Anyone have a price on Cheerios or Shredded Wheat?


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sheiba
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March 2, 2012 2:54 pm  

You will not suffer, I promise you. In fact, there are so many other items available that are not readily available in the staes. Fresh seasonal fruits and veggies, fresh seafood-caught and/or picked that morning....guava, passion fruit, star fruit, mango papya.......lobster, conch, fish,...fresh baked goods from local bakeries....and the best part I call blue therapy..the most beautiful blue water and beaches youwill ever see will take your breath away.


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BeachcomberStt
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March 2, 2012 3:29 pm  

Cheerios: 2 bags in 1 box $6.99 at PriceSmart on STT.
(2lbs 5oz)


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BeachcomberStt
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March 2, 2012 3:38 pm  

Isn't that in Wheatly Center?

Yes, in the Wheatley Center.


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JulieKay
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March 2, 2012 4:06 pm  

You will not suffer, I promise you. In fact, there are so many other items available that are not readily available in the staes. Fresh seasonal fruits and veggies, fresh seafood-caught and/or picked that morning....guava, passion fruit, star fruit, mango papya.......lobster, conch, fish,...fresh baked goods from local bakeries....and the best part I call blue therapy..the most beautiful blue water and beaches youwill ever see will take your breath away.

(tu)

Absolutely. I am eating better here then I ever ate in Texas. One of the reasons I moved here was to get away from fast food and quick service restaurants (removing temptation) and focus on eating real, quality, healthy foods. It's pretty awesome. And our food bill is very reasonable - I would say we spend about $300/month for two people, mostly vegetarian.

ETA - and thumbs up on the "blue therapy" too - I still get all tingly inside every time I come around the corner to our house and see that big beautiful blue bay in front of me.

"This is your world. Shape it or someone else will." ~Gary Lew


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STXBob
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March 2, 2012 5:26 pm  

About breakfast cereals... Anyone have a price on Cheerios or Shredded Wheat?

On STX:
General Mills Cheerios 37 oz. twin pack at CostULess: $7.59
Post Shredded Wheat spoon size 16.4 oz. at Plaza Extra: $4.99


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BeachcomberStt
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March 2, 2012 5:42 pm  

About breakfast cereals... Anyone have a price on Cheerios or Shredded Wheat?

On STX:
General Mills Cheerios 37 oz. twin pack at CostULess: $7.59
Post Shredded Wheat spoon size 16.4 oz. at Plaza Extra: $4.99

My quote was for General Mills Twin Pack also.

Ever since I renewed my membership at PriceSmart, I noticed the prices at PriceSmart are cheaper than CostULess, which adds up in savings in the long run.

I now shop at PriceSmart more. If they don't have what I need for some reason and I really need an item, I will get it at CostULess.

(Plain Corn Flakes seem to be the cheapest at both stores.)

BTW, does CostULess still give you an appreciation check at the end of the year for your points that you accurred during the shopping year(2011)?


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OldTart
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March 2, 2012 6:14 pm  

Ever since I renewed my membership at PriceSmart, I noticed the prices at PriceSmart are cheaper than CostULess, which adds up in savings in the long run.

I now shop at PriceSmart more. If they don't have what I need for some reason and I really need an item, I will get it at CostULess.

BTW, does CostULess still give you an appreciation check at the end of the year for your points that you accurred during the shopping year(2011)?

The rebate cheques are based on a percentage of how much you spend and they come out more than once a year but I can't remember when. PriceSmart may be a little less expensive than CUL but I love getting those $30 cheques in the mail as they always seem to come when I'm rather broke! I saved a BIG amount of money on a refrigerator I bought there which was already marked down in price. Got quite a wad of those $30 certificates for that purchase!


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BeachcomberStt
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March 2, 2012 6:33 pm  

OldTart

When I renewed my membership, I walked around the store and found the food items I buy at at a regular basis. PriceSmart is less expensive when it comes to my regular food items. (Ginger beer, Ginger Wine, eggs, Bimbo Cookies, Mac & Cheese to name a few.) Even some cleaning products like, Pine-Sol, Fabuloso.

I guess I didn't spend enough in 2011 to earn a check. Darn it! I could use a $25-30 check right now. I could use it to put some gas in my
car 🙂


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OldTart
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March 2, 2012 6:44 pm  

I guess I didn't spend enough in 2011 to earn a check. Darn it! I could use a $25-30 check right now. I could use it to put some gas in my car 🙂

You might want to check with CULess. Friends of mine recently got a huge bonanza of several hundred $$s. I think it came down to something about them having moved (on island) and CUL not having their address to send the certificates to. It didn't occur to them that they weren't getting anything back for obviously quite a while but, when they did, were rewarded very nicely! It's worth a try and you might end up with more than enough to put gas in the car!


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speee1dy
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March 2, 2012 7:46 pm  

i have not been able to find nestle choc bake on island. or taco flavored doritos


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