|Here I am driving down the road on my way to the Safeway store in Kihei., totally at ease. By the way, for safety reasons, I didn’t focus the camera while driving. I simply held it up and clicked.|
Yes, driving a car is like riding a bike, one doesn’t forget. The moment I pulled out of the driveway, I instantly felt at ease behind the wheel. With the directions on my phone, I had no fear of getting lost. As it turned out, I remembered how to find my way from the last trip to the Safeway in Kihei almost a week ago. Although I kept the navigation on during the trip.
|As I entered the store, my eyes darted everywhere in awe of all of the “stuff” for sale.|
Twenty minutes later I walked into the Safeway market attempting to turn off the navigation on my phone when I realized that the grocery store has free WiFi! I’d never have imagined a grocery store having free WiFi. Only in the US!
Please keep in mind that using the navigation in many other countries is pointless when the directions are never correct. We’d tried on many occasions in many countries to no avail.
|Having not purchased any meat at this store on our visit almost a week ago, I was pleased to see the prices on meats was no more than we paid in our old lives.|
It was those past experiences when navigation wouldn’t be correct that intimidated me when Tom and I tried to find new locations and “she” sent us driving around in circles, “Turn right, turn right, turn right,” she’d say over and over again. We became sick of her monotone.
I guess I forget that we’re in the US where everything, literally everything, is accounted for, available, user friendly, and accessible. It’s hard to believe and above all, it’s more excessive than it was when we left almost two years ago.
|I needed one box of Ziploc freezer bags in the half gallon size that surprised me at only $4.49.|
The beautiful grocery store illustrated a perfect example of excesses. Every possible grocery item that I could imagine or want for even the most obscure of recipes was available, fresh, wrapped well, and priced accordingly.
I’m sorry. But those of you who believe grocery prices are so high in Hawaii are mistaken. They are no worse than the prices we paid in Minnesota over two years ago at the local Cub Foods where I shopped each week. None of the items I perused or purchased were more outrageously priced than prices in over half the countries in which we’ve lived.
|I purchased this 3.32-pound package of three New York Steaks for $26.93 at $8.98 a serving. That was an excellent price!|
To prove my point today, I’m sharing pricing and photos of some items I purchased yesterday including a copy of the receipt for the total bill. For those considering a move to Hawaii, unless you live in Africa, Belize, or Madeira, Portugal, our perception is that you’ll pay no more in Hawaii for groceries than in any other country we visited thus far. Although in some highly popular tourist locations, prices are higher.
I can’t speak for the cost of utilities and housing. Hopefully, while we’re here we’ll be able to explore these costs and share them. As far as fuel is concerned it maybe 20% more in Hawaii based on the prices we’ve seen at the pump, around $4.25 a gallon, certainly less than many other countries.
|Upon returning home, I used the Ziploc bags to individually wrap each of the three steaks which Tom will eat while I’ll have the rack of lamb.|
In Maui County, the sales tax on most items is 4%, not the 6.875% in Minnesota (as an example), 7.875% for the maximum local surtax, and a maximum of 10.775% on prepared foods. And yes, there’s a tax on items in Hawaii not taxed in Minnesota such a groceries and clothing. (We’ll discuss prices and taxes on both the Big Island and Kauai after we’ve shopped on each of those islands).
Of course, one must take into consideration the types of foods one purchases. We don’t buy pricey snacks (other than nuts) and processed food. I noticed the cost of numerous brands of cold cereal at no more than $4.50 for a large box, certainly no more than in other states in the US and other countries.
|I cut this free-range rack of lamb into three portions which I’ll have when Tom has the above steaks. At $20.15 for the entire package, it is $6.72 per serving. We’ll cook the lamb and the steaks on the outdoor grill that overlooks the ocean, which we’re anxious to use.|
I wish I’d been more diligent in taking photos with prices. I was so busy trying to find the items on my list, I was distracted. Figuring my way around a new market has always taken a few trips to get it under control. After yesterday’s second trip to Safeway in Kihei, I feel comfortable that I’m able to find most products.
Last week, when the cashier encouraged me to sign up for a Safeway Club Member card I shrugged it off. This time I decided to go for it when she explained I’d save quite a bit, which I did, saving a total of $15.16 as show on the receipt.
|This receipt is not easy to read resulting in my listing the items above for details and clarification.|
I didn’t feel comfortable holding up the line when I filled out the form. I offered to step aside to complete it but the cashier explained it was necessary to do it now in order to get the offered discount on my items. I apologized to the others in line as I hurriedly filled in the form with name, address, and email in my illegible handwriting.
When I realized how much I saved, I was thrilled, saving a total of 7% on my entire bill. Please keep in mind that I purchased several non-food items when I was excited to find a few items that hadn’t been available in any other grocery stores in our travels; a few cosmetic items at $22.67, Crest Whitening Mouthwash at $8.49, two small paring knives at $4.29 (last week I’d purchased a larger knife that disappointingly wasn’t sharp enough).
|Tom’s gluten-free, low carb, starch, and sugar-free pizza with fresh mushrooms, green olives, onions, and Italian sausage, topped with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese. This will last for three delicious nights. We never mind repeats three dinners in a row. The crust is made with cheese and egg.|
These non-edible items totaled $35.45 excluding tax. Taking this amount off the total bill of $215.58 leaves $180.13 for the remaining grocery items with tax.
When food shopping I tend to consider, “How many meals will we get out of a trip to the grocery store?” In this case, I purchased enough meat and produce to last for more than a week, in the following manner:
Protein Total Cost
3 New York Strip Steak $ 26.93
Rack of lamb $ 20.16
2 packages Italian Sausage $ 12.00 (for Tom’s LC, GF pizza)
1 4lb package ground beef $ 19.06
2 package nitrate free bacon $ 13.98
Chicken Sausage $ 6.00 (for my pizza – LC, GF)
Total $ 98.13
Of course, I purchased vegetables and other items to accompany the above meats including:
Zucchini $ 2.57
Eggplant $ 1.79
Tomatoes $ 5.50
Cabbage $ 6.85
Romaine lettuce $ 6.99
Bag Bell peppers $ 6.00
Total Cost $ 29.70
Black pepper $ 6.29
Anchovies $ 3.09
Enchilada sauce (GF, SF, LC) $ 3.69
Taco sauce (GF, SF, LC) $ 4.09
Pork rinds – 4 bags $ 9.56
LG. grated cheddar cheese $10.49
LG. Ziploc freezer bags (20 ct.) $ 4.49
Bleach $ 2.99
Total cost $44.69
Total of above $207.97
Grand Total $216.59
Based on the receipt, the total bill was actually $215.58. After carefully perusing the receipt I can only assume the $1.01 difference must have been an additional discount I couldn’t find on the receipt or a tax adjustment on a particular item. In any case, it’s close enough to illustrate the point.
We already had a few ingredients on hand to accompany the above items in making full meals but, overall this list is comprehensive. From the above products, we’ll be able to make the following meals (for two) which we began last night, starting with making with our LC, GF, SF pizza:
Pizza – 3 dinners
Steak – 3 dinners (for Tom while I’ll have the rack of lamb on those three evenings)
Ground Beef – 3 dinners (taco salad for two nights, Italian meatballs with pasta sauce and mozzarella for one night)
|My pizza made with free-range chicken sausage, anchovies, onions, olives, mushrooms, red and yellow bell peppers, organic zucchini, eggplant with mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. This crust is also made with cheese and egg and is low carb and gluten, sugar, and starch free. Love it!|
In the worst-case scenario, we’ll have nine dinners for the above $180.13 averaging at $20.01 per day (includes the cost of non-edible grocery items, not toiletries).
This amount is slightly less than our daily average in our old lives. Also, for us, we don’t eat starches, lunches, and desserts, although I’ve made breakfast every other day this past week since we arrived (thus, the bacon purchase) in Maui.
Gosh, I’d love to see how others manage their groceries and how much they spend. It’s not a topic that readily entered into the conversation as if what one spends on food is sacred or in some cases embarrassing and private.
For us, it’s all a part of the process of making our lives work with delicious homemade meals befitting our way of eating which Tom has joined with me during our time in Maui. Every item listed is low carb, gluten-free, sugar-free, and starch free. As much as possible the foods are organic. (Grass-fed meat wasn’t readily available all of the cuts we desired).
|The gorgeous Maui scenery on the return drive to Maalaea Beach.|
I hope this provides our readers with a perspective while dreaming of living in Hawaii at some point. We certainly understand the passion for this dream as we languish in Maui feeling relaxed and somewhat lazy, not yet up to getting out and about.
Although, at the moment the pool and two chaise lounges are calling us on this beautiful sunny day in paradise.
Photo from one year ago today, October 22, 2013:
|It was a year ago today that we posted the second house that we booked for Big Island for our family reunion upcoming in December. For more photos and details, please click here.|