How to save money on groceries on St. John

Starfish
Starfish Market has begun posting its weekly specials online. You can see them here. 

The Inquiring Iguana stumbled onto them while reading a thread about what vacationers should expect to pay for food on vacation.

The gist of comments was at least 15% to 30% more than stateside. Some folks think that's conservative.

"Perhaps if you are buying a bag of sugar, a bag of flour, staples may only have that kind of markup (15%), said Sharkinthewater. "But food? Like chips, salsa, bottled water, beer, meat, cheese, vegetables. I would budget 2x whatever you would spend at home."

Tinkerbelle, a frequent visitor, shops around. "I normally shop at STJ Market, Pine Peace or Dolphin and then only go to Starfish if I need something the others don't have."

Buying groceries at Cost u Less or a supermarket on St. Thomas will also yield some savings. Although more than one person suggested you carefully watch the prices rung up to make sure they're the same as those on the store shelves.

8 thoughts on “How to save money on groceries on St. John”

  1. 100% or more for a gallon of milk. Actually, 100% more seems to be the baseline for everything except beer and cigarettes. I always used a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup as a measuring stick. The other day in Food Center it was $1.69. Over double stateside. A can of Progresso soup approaches $5.00 in the V.I. where it’s half that Stateside. See a pattern? Captive audience always pays more. Why on earth doesn’t someone start a food co-op for the ENTIRE V.I. and ship everything in? I suppose it can’t happen, because it wouldn’t be “fair” to those that gouge us with high prices.

  2. You have to go to all of the stores! First Dolphin, then Pine Peace, and last but not least is Starfish! And then maybe, if you did your homework you might save some $! I have to say though, I trust Starfish with meat and chicken. Always have worried about the chicken at Dolphin. I know the $ of everything here and sometimes I get it right! Don’t you love it!

  3. It’s a comparison, not a purchase. Growing local would be a great idea, but its water intensive. Like I said, a co-op properly set up to buy in FL and container down for distribution to members would be a great idea, but someone would stop it to maintain the current level of gouge. One of my favorite things to do Stateside after 15 years in the V.I. is peruse a massive grocery store and open air markets. Beautiful. Haas avocados for $0.59 there, $2.69 minimum here.

  4. those prices aren’t bad at all! i live in florida, and i pay more at publix than for many of those items advertised. quite surprising.

  5. Hi from Miami Beach, where a can of Cambells soup is now $1.25 or if you buy 4 with a Publix coupon $1. To enjoy good seafood and produce go to mainland Belize. The exchange rate of 2BZ to 1US further excites you. Many people are retiring and buying property, there. They are serious about everything “green” and they have great dive sites, we’ve got better beaches in Florida and less humidity but St John’s got the best beaches and weather. I loved Caneel when Rockeresorts had it. You need to encourage area farming, the west end of St Croix has more rain and fishing in the VI to get the prices down!

  6. I just checked a can of Progresso Minestrone stateside. $1.95. Almost $5.00 at Food Center in Frydenhoj. Sorry, but V.I. residents are getting screwed, and STJ residents take it even harder “just because.” A friend had a bar in Belize that he worked hard to build up. It got “taken away” by a local “politician” that wanted it and he got driven out of Belize under threat of death, so, no. Many, many have gone to Dominica from the V.I., and as many more to Panama, which may be the closest thing to panacea.

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