I remember living in Seattle and bitching about the produce. It was too expensive, not fresh enough, the avocados aren't ripe/too ripe/there aren't enough of them. Oh, look at the lines!!! This is ridiculous!! How can I live under these conditions?? And then, I moved to Grand Cayman. Rotten food that you're just supposed to accept and eat. THE SLOWEST CHECKERS IN THE FREAKINNNNNNG WORLD. Seriously. They act like you're bothering them, especially when they have to finish texting and put their phones down. And the lines!!!! I'll never complain when I go to the States again!!! I've learned to bring a book with me when I go to the grocery store and the bank.
Here are my tips for shopping on Grand Cayman.
1. Always check for mold and expiration dates. EVERYTHING has to be shipped to the island, so unless you're buying local, just know that whatever you're buying has been stuck in a container that may or may not have been refrigerated. And it may or may not have already been old when it was put onto that container. So when possible, buy local.
2. Buy local. But also, be careful!!
There is a lovely Farmer's Market every Wednesday in Camana Bay. Go there for your produce!
3. Do NOT go shopping on a Saturday night in West Bay. Or in any district for that matter. Everything besides restaurants and bars are closed on Sunday, so make sure you stock up on whatever you need BEFORE the rush at 8:30pm on a Saturday night. It seems that everybody forgets and rushes to shop at the same time. And don't get me started with how sloooooow the checkers are. And you have to bag your own groceries. We really are spoiled in the US.
4. Stay away from Reduced Price Stickers.
5. Don't get your heart set on having a particular item. You may have to go to two and sometimes three and four stores to get what you need. Don't forget about the Cayman Lime Shortage, otherwise known as Limepocalypse, that made the news in 2013!!! There's also been weeks without bananas, chips, face wash, and let's not get started about the clothes here. (Check out my Tacky Tuesday section when you get a chance.)
6. If you have time, price check. One store may have an item that's much cheaper than another store. We have a Cost-U-Less, which sometimes is more of a Cost-U-More, but it's supposed to be like a Costco, minus the membership. If you want a lot of something, go here. Typically the prices are cheaper and you get more, but not always. And if you find something that you like at a good price, buy as many of them as you can. For instance, I just found a 27 oz jar of pure almond butter for $14.95 (that's $18.69 US). Look how much the 16 oz jars are!!!!
7. Choose your frozen food wisely. Refer to Shopping Tip Number 2.
8. Wear pants.
9. If you have a friend that lives on the island and you come to visit them, expect to be bringing an extra suitcase of stuff from home that they can't live without. You don't realize what you have until it's gone. And it's the little things that make you miss home. Certain candy, hair products, soda. Most of the time it's also just cheaper to get staples from Costco and have them brought over. My friend Brianna here with her score.