Thursday, February 18, 2016

Food Costs Bahamas

...This is $125 of food with no meat!...
We usually do not re-provision in the Bahamas until we get to Abaco because the cost of food, especially as meats, crackers and paper products are very expensive in the Bahamas. You do not want to plan to buy meat or chicken or cheese or crackers here. If you do then be ready to spend 200% more than you are used to spending for these items back in the states. Every thing is shipped in usually once or twice a week via mail boats from the USA. We were in Nassau for 6 days and this provided us an opportunity to re-provision after happily having guests aboard for 13 days and eating most of our meals together on board.

Parmalat is $1.75 in the USA
Once you leave Nassau and head down island into the Exumas, there will be almost no supplies until you pull into Georgetown. There you will pay even more for food. As you sail north out of the Exumas, you can re-provision in Rock Sound, Eleuthera and Spanish Wells and then up in Abaco.

While we were shopping in Nassau last Sunday and Monday, I took photos of common items to show the prices. The yellow price is the price paid with the new government VAT tax added. Take a look at these items and you will have a very good idea WHY we loaded up in Miami at Costco, Walmart and Publix. Fortunately, we needed no paper products or meat or crackers.

One roll of toilet paper is $2.03. A box of Wheat Thins is $7.00, Lunch Meat is $15/lb+, Beef is $25/lb+, Cheese is $10/8oz, and Dove Chocolate is $20/lb!

Click on these photos to see the prices.

Shopping day 1 of 2 at Super Value Foods, south of Nassau

Surprisingly Coke was the best deal, only $12/case! Not a good deal for us, as we rarely drink it.
Lunch meat $13.69/lb
Modern store in suburban Nassau
Dove $9.99/ 8 oz bag!

A jar of peanuts, $7.69

A can of mixed nuts $9.50

Box of Wheat Thins $7.19

SPAM $7.73 OMG, yup, it is meat but we didn't buy it.

Baked Beans $3.54

Kraft Mac and Cheese $2.14 Bahamian mac and cheese is much better!

Small jar olive oil $11.28 This was shocking.

Scott Toilet Paper $2.03/roll (this is 1 individual roll)

Box of tissues $5.15

Roll of Paper Towels $3.99

Ice Cream $9.99

Salmon 4 oz $15.99

Salami $10.74

Box of cereal $7.19 for 23.5 oz.

Fresh Tuna $39/lb WHAT!!!!!?

Boneless Turkey Breast $11.59/lb.

Hamburger $6.99/lb...more affordable than other meats

Veal $24.99/lb NO WAY!!!

Chobani Yogurt $2.14 each, these are $1 on sale in the USA

Jumbo organic Hillandale eggs are $6.12 per dozen
We were glad to find our favorite Eggland eggs.
An 18 ct. carton was only $4.86.

Deli Lunch Meats, Roast Beef $14.99/lb, Ham $9.99

Laughing cow cheese $7.51

Feta Cheese 4 oz $10.74 OMG this is crazy!

Swiss Cheese $9.68 for 8 oz

Cabot Cheese $9.99 for 8 oz...OMG HELP!!!!

Milanos, for $5.36, are worth the price!
Chuck and Jeanne Berrington of IP40 Relationship
always stocked them on board.
They established a noble tradition
to which we happily adhere!
We left the neighborhood store (NOT the fancy Fresh Market downtown) wondering about the grocery bills of some local residents. Of course, Bahamian staples such as dried peas and rice and beans in bulk sizes were affordable. The store had plenty of upscale items that seemed to be selling. The cars in the parking lot and the surrounding homes were very nice and well-maintained. On Sunday afternoon, everyone was better dressed than we were! So, the residents of that neighborhood can apparently afford these items.

After a little research, we learned that the Bahamian federal government instituted the new VAT tax of 7.5%  on all goods effective January 1, 2015. On July 24, 2015, the government raised the minimum wage substantially, from $150 to $210 per week, or $5.25 per hour for a 40 hour week. Over the years, we have observed that many marina workers seem to work more than 8 hour days and more 40 hours per week and do not know if any over time wages are paid to them.

Welcome to the Bahamas, the weather is beautiful, the beaches are the best, the waters are clear and the food is expensive, so plan ahead!

4 comments:

Adios said...

How are the grocery costs and availability in the Abacos?

G Kerlin said...

With the groceries that we have packed in the Bus... we must be worth a $Million.

Desert Pirate said...

Sounds a lot like Mexico. Eat gringo food items, it costs you; eat the native rice, beans, and tortillas, and it's very cheap.

Kimberly said...

We, also, wondered how the locals can afford these prices. When we first arrived in the northern Abacos we thought we were being scammed because we are obviously tourists. We quickly learned that's not the case.