One of the first things we needed to figure out once we moved here was (and one of the questions we get asked most is) – where do we shop for groceries? Are there grocery stores on the island? Is there a Costco or a Wal-mart? The easy answer is yes we have lots of stores, and we mean A LOT of grocery stores, on this island and nope – no big box stores (which is why we love it). The closest thing we have is a Super Buy which is about the size of a Walgreens or CVS.
Stop the cart! She has cucumbers!!!
For a small island the number of small grocery stores and fruit and vegetable stands is amazing. The key to a successful shopping day is to have your grocery list ready and a driver for your cart…..why? because we lovingly refer to shopping for fruits and vegetables a “scavenger hunt”. You won’t find all your fruits and vegetables, or even tortillas, in the same spot. Some stores may have great cucumbers, others fresh tomatoes and others coconuts.
Here is the play by play of our shopping day: We drive down the road in our golf cart – Ronnie at the wheel, Lisa with list in hand and eyes focused on the stands. When Lisa spots something on the list she yells “stop! They have tomatoes”…..Ronnie pulls over, Lisa hops off the cart, buys the tomatoes, and hops back in the cart. We start rolling again and now Lisa sees cucumbers and yes, you guessed it she yells “Stop! She has cucumbers and they look really good!”. This process continues as we drive around town gathering all the fresh fruits and vegetables on our list. If we have items on our list we haven’t found we can usually find them at a nice grocery store called the Greehouse.
Next it’s time buy some meat……we drive down to the Sausage Factory and purchase breakfast meats and spicy Italian sausage (the pork is soooo good here) and then it’s off to buy chicken breasts – sure you can find them in most stores, but where’s the fun in that? We love to get on the back road next to the lagoon and stop at Quality Chicken (“Dis da fi wi chicken” is their slogan) . Great deals on chicken there! (although the boneless chicken breasts have skin on them…..that was a first for Lisa and another story in itself as to figure out how to get the skin off a chicken breast)
Vegetables, check. Fruit, Check. Meat, Check. Now it’s time to finish up the shopping at a local corner store – black beans, coconut oil, eggs and whatever else we need.
All done? Oh no, wait, we still need to get tortillas. Off to the tortilleria we go! A giant stack of fresh corn tortillas for 2 bucks Belize – can’t beat that deal. And the tortillas? So good and fresh.
So we have all the food – but what about rum, wine and beer? (because wine, beer and rum are essential elements of the shopping list of course). Wine is easy – we have a wine lady. (Story to be told later) on the island that will actually deliver a case of wine to our door whenever we call. That’s right – did you catch that? She DELIVERS a CASE of WINE to our door! Buying beer is easy now that we figured out which Belikin distributor actually sells the beer and what time they actually sell it (It took us 3 different tries at the distribution center until we were actually there during a time they sold the beer, yet another story). Beer buying process: pull up in our golf cart, they take the plastic case of empty bottles, Ronnie hands them 50 bucks and they give us a brand new, full case of beer.
Rum? That’s a boring story – we just buy it from any store…..everyone sells the local rum!
Ok – so we have all our food, a case of beer (and in most cases Dooley bear) on the back of our golf cart….whew! That’s a lot of work – time for two ice cold Belikins to go to celebrate shopping complete and “hydrate” us for the fun golf cart ride home in the warm sun.
As anyone can probably guess ice cream is not something that makes our shopping list!