First package arrived yesterday…Second today with Tom’s laptop…Tonight’s superb dining experience!

This was the only grass fed ground beef I could find at the grocery store.  I purchased two one pound packages which I’ll use tonight to make taco salads.  See ingredient list below.

Its concerning that wherever we may live we may not receive a package of supplies we’ve ordered. Its happened a few times, once in Italy, another in South Africa. When packages have to go through customs shipping may be precarious.  This time in Hawaii, I’m less concerned.

Here’s a photo our friend Linda in South Africa posted in Facebook last week of the post office in Johannesburg, South Africa. with packages backed up to be delivered.  Is it any wonder one of our packages never arrived?

The first of two packages we were awaiting arrived yesterday with my two new pairs of shorts which I needed desperately in this warm weather and six tee shirts, a brand I love.

The unsweetened chocolate in this photo was for making low carb, sugar, grain and starch free chocolate fudge which I made on Monday.  Tom has a sweet tooth although I’ll also have a few pieces as an evening snack.   If you’re interested in the recipe please let me know and I’ll post it tomorrow. The blue and white packages of cream cheese are used in making the fudge. 

Yesterday, I threw away the six old worn tee shirts and one old pair of capri pants to offset the weight in my one large suitcase of clothing.  Now, I’m about a half pair of shorts overweight (the capris were longer than the shorts and weighed more).  I’ll find something else to toss to make up the difference before we pack again in a little over three weeks.

Zucchini is one of the most GMO, pesticide grown vegetables on the market.  As a result, I only purchase locally grown organic zucchini when available as shown here.  All prices for items are listed on receipt posted below.

Also, the box contained a few “girlie” items, cosmetics I just can’t find in any stores anywhere, a favorite “stay-put” lipstick that was discontinued long ago but I can still purchase from a remaining stock at and a few other items that would bore our male readers.

These two fillet mignon were priced at $23.36 at $18.99 a pound.  In Minnesota, over two years ago, these steaks were priced at $22 per pound.  We grilled last night and Tom had one of these steaks, freezing the other for a future meal. I had the mahi mahi listed below cooked perfectly on the grill on a piece of foil.

Another item we ordered was a ear bud splitter into which we can each plug  our own pair of ear buds since there’s only one port in my laptop in order to better hear downloaded shows which always seem to have low volume. We always watch shows together and often and the volume s just too low. 

Ear bud splitter we purchased online which arrived in the box of supplies.

With Tom’s 42-years-on-the-railroad hearing loss, we can both hear through our own set of ear buds.  Good idea, huh?  (Yes, we’ve done everything to increase the volume on the laptop to avoid this necessity).

Today’s arriving parcel will be Tom’s new laptop.  My job is to transfer all his data to the new laptop from the old, a job I don’t look forward to.  Never have.  Last time, we had it done professionally for around $50.  Here in Hawaii, it would be three times as much. 

This piece of mahi mahi was expensive at $15.49 per pound but would be no more expensive on the mainland.  My serving was a total of $10.07 and was delicious.  I could eat this every night for dinner! 

As I write here now at 8:00 am, Tom’s still sleeping, an oddity, and I have the AC off and both doors open to ensure we hear the UPS guy.  Yesterday, the first box was left outside the door when we were here and we didn’t hear a thing.  Surely, a laptop would require a signature.

Today, I mentioned posting these grocery items photos, prices and receipts for those who may be interested or curious as to the prices in Hawaii should they ever consider living here.  Honestly, food prices aren’t higher here than they were in Minnesota over two years ago.

The two 18 packs of eggs are free range, cage free, organic at $12.49 for both packs.  Not too bad, considering.  We use zero carb mayonnaise to make our salad dressing.  Although it has a few questionable ingredients, it doesn’t have an effect on how I feel.  Also shown are organic uncured hot dogs at $7.49 made without icky body parts and fillers.   Below are Kielbasa for Tom.  He won’t eat the “healthy” dogs.  The Italian sausages were on sale, one for $5.49, the other for $8.49.

As we’ve perused prices of commodities in Hawaii, we believe the cost of living is high due to high rental fees, utilities, fuel and transportation, not so much on groceries.  Plus, the way we eat, although we buy no processed or junk food, makes the cost of buying groceries higher in general.

Buying grass fed meat when possible and organic produce in the US is pricey. For many items I cannot choose grass fed and organic when neither are available or far surpass a price I’m willing to pay, such as $7.95 for one organic sweet red pepper.  Not worth the price.  Wash, wash and rewash, the non-organic peppers in the bag as shown, still knowing that evil may lurk therein.

These two packages of pork chops, unavailable in grass fed, were $6.53 and $6.79 enough for two meals for Tom.  On those nights I’ll have something else, most likely a huge dinner salad with chicken and avocado.

Tonight, with little prep time available for computer transfer-day, I’m making taco salads, minus the awful shell with a huge bed of lettuce for the base using the following ingredients:

1.  Grass fed ground meat, drained and cooked with sugar, wheat and starch free taco sauce I found at the store
2.  Organic romaine lettuce, shredded into bite sized pieces
3.  Organic tomatoes, diced
4.  Celery, diced
5.  Organic avocado, small chunks (me, only)
6.  Shredded cheese
7.  Sliced green olives

Notice the total for this week’s groceries at $271.08. Next week, I’ll get $22 back when I return to shop bringing this receipt using my Safeway shopper’s savings card which I’d forgotten to bring.  Next time I shop, I’ll be on my own and will bring my wallet. This receipt is wrapped around my Safeway card in my wallet ensuring I won’t forget to get the credit, especially when the cashier always asks for the savings card.  Essentially, the credit makes this total $249.08.

Does this ever make a great low carb, grain, starch and sugar free meal!  A dollop of sour cream on top for me and I’m in heaven.  Tom, plain food Tom, won’t do the sour cream. 

In all, we have enough meat from yesterday’s shopping for approximately 10 nights of dinners and we also had some steaks and lamb on hand from the last trip.  Eating fabulous homemade meals in Hawaii for under $25 per day is all we can expect.

I’d better hurry and wrap this up.  Before too long, according to the UPS tracking number, that laptop will be here soon and I need to go chop and dice for tonight’s dinner.

Tomorrow, we have a great wildlife video to share.  Please check back.

Photo from one year ago, November 5, 2013:

Jessica L. Grain Brain Success Story
A year ago today we posted this photo that appeared on Dr. David Perlmutter’s website, regarding his new book, Grain Brain.  To see the full story he had on his website, please click here.

Comments and responses First package arrived yesterday…Second today with Tom’s laptop…Tonight’s superb dining experience!

  1. Staci Finch Thompson Reply

    Hope the laptop arrives and the data transfer goes smoothly! I think that's pretty reasonable for the food, considering what you would pay if you had those dishes eating out – and could control the ingredients!

    I would love the fudge recipe, if you prefer not to post it you can e-mail it.

  2. liz Reply

    What a busy day Jess! What an asset you are- cook, food shopper, menu planner AND computer whizz! not that Tom doesn't have his important skills! Primarily to watch out for you and gently guide you through your travels and photo opportunities.
    I wouldn't know where to start re laptop but my wonderful hubby dave could do it with his eyes shut. Aren't we all blessed with different skills in this world.
    Yes please tto the fudge recipe.

  3. Jessica Reply

    Liz, you flatter me! I'm mediocre at many skills, absent in others and good in only a few, like the rest of us. But, I only do things I love. The rest I save for others.

    Yes, you are lucky to have your wonderful hubby to help with his advanced skills. Somehow, we loaded everything on to Tom's new laptop and he's busily clicking away today, content as a lamb. There are still a few minor additions necessary that we'll handle in time, when he's ready to hand it over to me. Right now, he's catching up on everything he missed over the past several days.

    I posted the recipe today, which is now uploaded so have at it and feel free to ask any questions. It's a delicious treat.

    Liz, thanks for stopping by once again. It's comforting knowing you are out there reading our posts.
    Warmest regards,

    Jess & Tom

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