Just Another Day Grocery Shopping
How many stops does it take?
Shopping for groceries is no small task here in San Pedro, and anyone who lives here as an expat can attest to this! It is not like going to Super Target for a one stop shop. We have learned which places to get the best bang for our buck, along with the best products when shopping for all of our necessities.
Living north of the bridge, this excursion usually takes around 3 - 4 hours from start to finish, depending on if you hit “San Pedro” traffic in town, right when the kids get out for lunch at 11:30 and head back to school at 12:30. So you can either plan your grocery trip before or after, or if you don’t mind about a 5 min sidetrack due to “traffic”.
Even getting ready to leave the house is a process. First, make your list, based on the stops you have to take. Then don’t forget the “Yeti” cooler for your cold products, along with another big bag to load up the groceries. As well as any cases of returnable bottles, such as Landshark, Belkin, or sodas! Also, don’t forget to load up your empty 5 gallon water jugs. Time to put all the empties on the cart and get ready for your grocery extravaganza!
If you need gas, let’s make sure the tank is full, so Caribena, here we come. Then after the tank is full…
We head south to Bowen and Bowen to unload our empty cases and water jugs. Once at Bowen and Bowen it is a 3 step process…. Number 1, someone at B & B will grab your empties off of your cart, take it to the desk outside the front door. They will give you a receipt of “how many empties” you have to exchange. Number 2, take the receipt inside (usually wait in line) get your credit and determine what you would like to purchase. Pay for your purchase (cash only!) minus your credit and get your receipt. Take that receipt back to the outside desk, where someone will get you your order and load it onto your cart! Please also note their hours! They are closed at lunch time, and make sure you get there in plenty of time before they close for the day.
We like Wine de Vine, for a bottle of wine, or two and maybe some nummy olives. They have lovely meats and cheeses, if you want to spoil yourself, but if you want to save a little cash, we would shop for these at Super Buy.
If breads are your thing, then make a stop at the French Bakery, just across from the Tropic Airport for your nummy breads or baguette!
Now for some of you who like to shop in bulk, we suggest grabbing your paper products at the little corner just across from the Artisan Market. The local ladies sit curbside with product from Chetumal Sam’s Club. Your best bet is to arrive on Wednesday as their trip to Sam's happens every Tuesday, just sayin!
Grab your bag, your Yeti and your list and head into Super Buy! Here we purchase our hard goods, along with local rums, and any mixers we may need. You can find your cleaning and laundry supplies here as well. So if you are looking for cheeses, meats of any kind, spices, juices, condiments, this place is a great spot to get most of your list completed! If you are a local and paying cash, don’t forget to ask for your 10% discount!
Now if you are making something a little more unusual that may call for something special, the Green House, located on Middle street just across the street from Super Buy, so easy to run in, I am not going to add it as another stop, as I think these two can be a “one stop shop”.
Stop number Seven:
Load up your cart, now we are off to Premium Wine…. Why there you ask? We get our Guatemalan coffee here. They grind it for you with several different variety of flavors and the cost is 2/3 less than the local coffee with amazing flavors!
Eight and Counting:
Now I am a bit picky about my coffee creamer, and Circle K (and sometimes the Village Market over the bridge) has my creamer, they only get shipments 2 times a month, so when we stop, I grab at least 6 creamers at one time, ready to stock up!
PRODUCE and Eggs! We love GoTay’s Fruits and Veggies! Miss Gotay’s is always open. Her cheerful attitude and helpful staff are a big reason we love to head to Miss Gotay’s. Every Tuesday morning when the shipment comes in, she gets fully stocked with produce, I feel like I am a kid in a candy store. If you are looking for something in particular on a Monday, you just may not find it here as she does run out. What I love about Miss GoTay, she and her staff are always there to answer questions, find you the best product, and even change out your product if you have picked something that you shouldn’t have!
It truly is a great experience to shop at her market! And just by chance you may have missed something on your list at Super Buy, she does sell a few hard goods as well. Her prices are fair and we love supporting our local friends! Even if you have other places to purchase your produce, give her a try once, it is a fun adventure! When the music is playing, the market is hopping!
We want to be clear, these are places we have found that have become some of our favorites, you may have your own places! This is all about what it takes to shop living on a Caye! We love the time it takes to find just the right items! Seasons of food come and go, so as an expat, you learn what is in season at the moment and you just GO WITH IT!
Plus, I have never felt healthier than eating and living with so many fresh foods!