Sunday, January 24, 2016

Shopping on Beaver Island

Shopping on Beaver Island is unlike shopping in most places in the United States, unless you are factoring the Alaskan Bush into the equation. We have one grocery store on the island, and while I enjoy the things they sell, it is expensive and occasionally quite limited. There have been days where the milk is out, or the bread didn't make it over on the airplane.  That means that we tend to stock up when we head to the mainland.  Cody's parents did a great grocery run for us last time they came up to visit.

Here's what they brought:

3 whole chickens
2 large pork shoulders
1 box of veggie burgers
2 bags of veggie sausage
20lbs rice
5lbs black beans
5lbs kidney beans
5lbs garbanzo beans
5lbs pinto beans
5lbs lentils
3lbs split peas
20 cans of vegetables
5 cans of whole tomatoes
4 cans of buillion
3 boxes of Bisquick
10 boxes of mixed pasta
5 loaves of bread
2 bags of apples
1 bag of oranges
1 butternut squash
1 bag of onions
1 bag of potatoes
2 bottles of BBQ sauce
3 bottles of olive oil
various spices

On the mainland, they were able to score all of these goodies for just over $200.  Here on the island it would have cost us more than double that price.  For example, a (small) bag of rice here on the island can cost $4-$6, while they
were able to buy bags that were twice the size
for less than $3.  We still stick to buying most
of our fresh stuff on the island, things like dairy
and fruit. As much as I prefer supporting local
businesses (and I do love our little store) we
have to look at ways to cut costs in such
 an expensive place.

Your turn...Do you ever buy in bulk?
Currently listening to...Float On - Modest Mouse


  1. Wow, what a difference in prices! I buy bulk at Sam's Club.

    1. Definitely a price difference! Not quite as bad as when we lived in Alaska, but still pretty extreme.

  2. I see they went to Aldi for you--my favorite place ever! Their oranges are SO tasty. When I first had my twins, I shopped once a month, with weekly banana/dairy pickups. Now that I have more time on my hands, I go about once a week. I love shopping in bulk at Aldi and Costco, though! Saves so much money! PS-I love "float on" by Modest Mouse. It reminds me of college!

    1. Love Aldi! I wish we had one more accessible to us. It's so cheap and wonderful.

  3. I buy in bulk at's saves us a lot, but can also hurt us if food goes bad if we can't use it fast enough.

    1. That happens to us too! Groceries on the island are too expensive to not buy in bulk, but it takes planning to actually eat it all before it goes bad.

  4. Buying in bulk actually makes sense, much more if you are located far from the city or mainland. Those grocery items will last for how many weeks?

    1. Hmmm...I supposed I don't know that exact answer. We only go to the mainland a handful of times each year because it is expensive (about $300-$400 for our small family). The canned stuff can last a couple of months, the meat maybe one month, and the fresh stuff we used up within a week or two.

  5. Can you use services like Amazon Pantry? Are you in Michigan?

    1. Yes, Beaver Island is a remote island in the northern part of Lake Michigan. We are only accessible by airplane, or by boat in the summer. Amazon and other places to deliver to the island, but shipping times and prices are much different.


Leave me a comment :)