The store I typically shop at...
The produce department. Note that everything is still in the boxes they were shipped in.
Speaking of full price, I think there are times when our price is fuller than the stateside full price. Again, the shipping issue is a huge part of this, but I also think it has to do with availability vs. demand. Of course, shipping costs money and that trickles down to the consumer big time. I once paid $20.00 for a liter of olive oil. Okay, well maybe it was $19.99. That was at one of those ‘fancy’ St. Thomas grocery stores that I only go to when I can’t bear the thought of having to go to more than one store to get everything I need, since it is rare that one store will have all of the items on your list. Part of this lack of inventory is because stores aren’t going to pay to ship something down here that there isn't a huge demand for, and part of this is that if they do ship a rare item down here they certainly aren’t going to ship a lot of it. So, if you didn’t come on the first day or two when it was available, it’s sold out.
1) There is a substitute for everything. Google it if the store doesn’t have it.
2) Go to the store on Monday if you want the freshest food you can get.
3) Make pit stops throughout the week to stores that may have what you couldn’t get on Monday.
4) Inspect everything – touch, look and smell. Take a long, hard look at those onions, or tomatoes before you buy them.
5) Check and re-check the expiration date. The shelves are often still stocked with expired food.
6) If they have it now and you think you may need/want it in the near future, then buy 2 of them.
7) The check-out lady is still going to be rude to you even if you say ‘Good morning’ or ‘Good afternoon’. Try to get to know who the nicer ones are and get in their line, even if it’s longer.
Those boxes are for people that forget to bring their own bags in which to put their groceries. How environmentally savvy!
8) The wine selection at the store I routinely go to is never going to change, so I typically drink the same type of wine every week.
9) Bring instant hand sanitizer like Purell with you every time. The chicken will juice you. As a side, you will get a dirty look from the cashier when she sees that you have put the chicken in a bag from the produce department. She will resent you for having to do the extra work of taking the bag off slightly to scan the chicken.
10) If it doesn’t look good, don’t buy it even if you need it. Just go with what’s available and make do. You’ll just have to wait until next week.
I needed this ginger, but it was rotten when I got home. Yum!
I suppose these are all of the work-arounds that I’ve learned, but what I’ve truly learned is that somehow, someway, not having a micro-brew, or a coffee bar, or perfectly fresh food at the grocery store has still worked out for me. Sure. It’s not as pleasant of an experience – the store I go to has a distinct smell that I have grown to dread – but, life here has somehow worked out for me, regardless.