Well! Thanks again, everyone, for your advice. We made our FIRST major provisioning
trip. A few lessons learned, for others who might be making such a run.
We rented a full-sized car, which was big but not big enough for everything (like cat food, 200 pounds of kitty litter, bulky plastic bins, etc.) . We were thinking about renting
a big mini-van or SUV, but they were WAY more expensive. We can rent a full-size car TWICE for cheaper than it would have cost to rent a mini-van or SUV once. This worked for us, because we can spend time inventorying and storing the first load, figuring out what else we need and what else we have room for, and then we can make another run up for the rest of what we've decided to buy. Also, since we're in the middle of a messy refit
- it's nice to have an excuse to get away for a couple more days. We used "reward points" for free nights in motels - awesome, when the boat has no refrigeration
, no hot water
, no propane
hooked up, main salon
ripped up, fiberglass
We combined our provisioning run with a family
visit, and my uncle had a Sam's card, so that's where we went. Wow - really saved a TON of money
, compared to regular supermarkets. No experience before, with warehouse shopping
. Helps to be flexible about brands. Didn't get everything on our list, so next time, maybe we'll try BJ's or Costco. Then, back to Publix for last minute fresh foods.
Went to Whole Foods for beans. Hope there is enough turnover in a very big busy store that the beans have not been sitting in the bins forever.
We had to keep reminding ourselves, as Cheechako noted in a previous post, that there will indeed be food wherever we're going! Still new at this, so still working on balancing competing priorities: stock up to save money
; eat local to save money; eat local because that's part of the joy of traveling; stock up because sometimes, you really do want the "right" brand of peanut butter; eat local so you don't weigh down the boat. We spent three months in the Bahamas
, having not done ANY provisioning at all. VERY expensive. Now we are probably going too far in the other direction. Any thoughts on how more experienced cruisers handle this would be appreciated.
Aunt and uncle recommended we stock up on booze at a place called Total Wine in Port St. Lucie. Oh. My. God. An awesome place, and the prices were better than we'd seen anywhere else. I think they have other locations.
Went to Sailorman -what a dump! We loved it, and spent hours wandering around. We found almost all the courtesy flags
we needed, gently used and only five bucks per. Then we went to the West Marine
too, of course - wow! Very proud of ourselves: we only bought things that were on our list, that we'd already looked for at Sailorman's and Boat Owner's Warehouse.
One more trip up north, then Key West. And we've started collecting mayo packets from Circle K's. I think we're about set!!