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Old 10-09-2011, 08:51   #16
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

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This is a great idea, but how did you pay the kid? Every time he brought stuff back, at the beginning or the end of the stop? Trying to figure out how to make this work.
Well, this was 30 years ago and to be honest, at this point in my life I sometimes have trouble remembering what happened 30 minutes ago.

As I recall the deal was pretty informal. We agreed on a rate (per day/week?) and paid him at the end of the day/week but occasionally paid a little ahead or paid extra for extra services. We also gave him money in advance when he went to the market since he had none of his own to cover.

My favorite story. First day he worked for us we mentioned we wanted mangoes and asked if he would go with us to the street market to help bargain. He advised he should go shopping alone since the vendors would raise the price a lot as soon as they saw a tourist, even if he was along. Asked us to give him a dollar and said he would get the mangoes. So here's the dollar, off he goes and hours later still not back. Since the market was about 3 blocks from the dock we figured he took us for the dollar and went on his way. Oh well, it was only a dollar and he certainly needed it a lot more than we did.

Finally after about 6 hours we see him coming around the beach road with another, even younger boy carrying a large bag on his head. Got to the boat and he had about 20 lbs of mangoes in the bag. From the dollar he paid the other boy for carrying the bag, kept a little for himself, AND gave us back the change. Found out he walked miles out of town and bought them from a farmer for pennies.

When we left the boat for a few days to see the country he slept in the cockpit to keep watch and we tipped him a little extra for that as well.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:16   #17
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

This is our experience about 5 years ago. I can break it down by month and exact island/location if you want because I keep detailed budget records. For 2 persons, eat on the boat most of the time and do not do fancy expensive restaurants.

May 06 - Apr 07 Eastern Caribbean starting in Virgin Islands to Trinidad to Bonaire and then repeated same route. Food provisioning average $590 per month. Entertainment (bars and restaurants and any little island day tours) averaged $235 per month.

May 07 - Apr 08 Grenada to ABCs, Cartagena, Panama. Transited Panama Canal 4/14/08. Food provisioning average $561 per month. Entertainment avg $344 per month. As you can see, we ate out a lot more once we reached the cheaper restaurant and street vendor places, but the grocery store prices of food was not significantly less and for some items was more expensive.

We did major provisioning in St. Martin, Trinidad, PLC and Porlamar (wouldn't go either place today), Cartagena and Panama.

We departed Panama with 2 freezers full of meats, 4 cases wine, 25 cases of beer and 5 cases of soda and this lasted us all the way to New Zealand. So the amount spent on food in Panama included very major provisioning.

As I said, I can break it down by island and month if you need it.

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Old 10-09-2011, 09:34   #18
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

When thinking of meat in Mexico, don't think of American cuts, they do exist in specialist butchers who cater to hotels, but in general they are very expensive.

Think you are a Mexican trying to house, clothe and feed a family on about USD 500 a month. A kilo of meat costs 12 of those dollars so you must make it last 2 or 3 days.

Also realize the meat is very fresh, aged beef is not a concept in Mexico, the people will throw it away if they know it is more than three or four days old. So it is tough tough tough.

The only way to A: make it feed a family of 4 for three days and also be sufficiently tender to eat is to cut it very thin....called "bif stik" there are various cuts from which bif stik is sliced but in my experience the cut called "dies millo" tends to be the cut most often reasonably tender.

Marinate the beef, quickly fry of grill on the BBQ, cut into strips serve with fried onions, frijoles refritos, pica de gallo, and any desired sauce, even the honey base BBQ sauces from the USA work, in fresh hot tortillas and the kilo will last a couple the same 3 or 4 days and is very economic.

This is going NATIVE.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:54   #19
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

Provisioning can be reasonable in Cartagena and Colon, and you can find decent meat in both places.

When I was last in Cartagena (2007) there was a good butcher shop where all the cruisers would go and stock up on fresh meat, which they would hard freeze for you overnight after you picked out what you wanted. It was comparable to USA quality.

The trick, which is the same in the USA, is to shop at the biggest supermarkets in the large cities in the middle class neighborhoods, and choose the one that is the busiest place. Sounds terribly snooty, but people with some financial means demand better quality in their food, and if you see a lot of people shopping there chances are the food and prices are better.

I did the local open-air market thing in Colombia and you could find some bargains, but you also found a lot of rotting produce and iffy meat.

We always find it is far better to spend a bit more and get really good produce than it is to get a bargain and buy a ton of stuff that goes bad quickly. I guess my point is that there is more to shopping for food than just price alone.
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Old 10-09-2011, 09:58   #20
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

Haven't seen bif stik, but res is common,,, and carne asada meat is common.

Very very thin cuts, and puerco is more common than is beef, with fresh ham slices thick and nice. the fresh ham is not cured, and is a good sized pork steak, usable for any recipe calling for pork.

Fish is king. everywhere has fish. the fishermen bring it in daily and is excellent.

I find a pescador and sometimes a 6 pack of beer will yield a decent dorado. even filleted.....sometimes, just my company as they clean the fish and conversation is what is called for--- many haven't really met any female boat sailors, so we are a novelty, even in this day and age of everyone owning and sailing. most only speak Spanish, so is good for language exchange, as each one picks up more of the others' language.

as far as meat ios concerned--if you smnell formaldehyde smell in a market, turn and run-- buy veggies but not the meat.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:08   #21
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

Carne de res is the Spanish for all beef: "Bif Stik" is the name for the very thin cuts. Carne para asar (carne asada) is usually the worst of these cuts. I never buy it. If you can afford to splash out a bit most supermarkets carry marinated Arrachera in vacuum packs....delicious and tender but better cooked medium to medium well than rare.
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When I was a boy my momma would send me down to the corner store with $1 and I would come back with 5 potatoes, 2 loaves of bread, 3 bottles of milk, a hunk of cheese, a box of tea and 6 eggs. Can't do that now, too many f**kn security cameras.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:31   #22
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

actually, my spanish is awesome. i have found in the local markets, the meat in packages with writing on them do not say anything but res, res for carne asada, res for ....etc....in mazatlan, most meat in the larger markets has packaging with plastic wrap and all that modern anti moscas(flies) protection. they even have ny steaks , albeit thin cut, and ribeye, both written in english on wrapping..LOL...tan muchos gringos aqui.
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Old 10-09-2011, 10:59   #23
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

In a local market ask for bif stik (pronounced bef stek) and ask for dies millo and make sure the butcher gives if a couple of whacks with his heavy spatula...this helps the tenderizing process.
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When I was a boy my momma would send me down to the corner store with $1 and I would come back with 5 potatoes, 2 loaves of bread, 3 bottles of milk, a hunk of cheese, a box of tea and 6 eggs. Can't do that now, too many f**kn security cameras.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:00   #24
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

Sorry forgot millo is pronounce "meeyo"
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When I was a boy my momma would send me down to the corner store with $1 and I would come back with 5 potatoes, 2 loaves of bread, 3 bottles of milk, a hunk of cheese, a box of tea and 6 eggs. Can't do that now, too many f**kn security cameras.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:26   #25
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

or meejyo...depending on dialectic differences....thankyou for the tip!
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Old 10-09-2011, 15:21   #26
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
... However, be it foodstuffs or boatstuffs, searching out where the locals get their "stuff" is difficult and can take some time - but you will find a whole different world of prices which are much lower than what is easily (relatively speaking) available to be sold to "yachties." ...
You may never know it, but in the Exumas (Bahamas), even the "local" store will have 3 prices for the same item.
Yachtie & Visitor
Local foreign property owner (expat')
Native

I doubt this is unique to the Bahamas.
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Old 10-09-2011, 15:46   #27
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

i find stuff in the local store in which i shop marked in 3 prices on the shelf....sounds like something similar is done here in mexico as well......
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Old 10-09-2011, 16:58   #28
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

If you want to buy any thing cheap, Or Native, as you say.

Just avoid the places where the tourists visit,

Half a mile down the road is where the tourists dont visit and you get the local prices,

Bali and even Japan are the same,

Tourist area's are very expensive, Tourists have plenty of money,
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Old 13-09-2011, 01:42   #29
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

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Carne de res is the Spanish for all beef: "Bif Stik" is the name for the very thin cuts. Carne para asar (carne asada) is usually the worst of these cuts. I never buy it. If you can afford to splash out a bit most supermarkets carry marinated Arrachera in vacuum packs....delicious and tender but better cooked medium to medium well than rare.
Carne asada can be made palatable with proper marinading. My favorite recipe for carne asada:


Marinade:
½ cup very strong black brewed coffee
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne (red pepper)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 - 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar

Combine all marinade ingredients in a flat, glass dish. Do not use a metal pan. I normally put the mixture in a large ziplock bag and lay that inside a flat dish since we don’t keep glass baking dishes on our boat. Set aside ½ cup of the marinade to use as a sauce when serving.

Trim the beef of excess fat. Place in the marinade, making certain that both sides are coated. Refrigerate overnight, up to 24 hours. Turn over several times to make certain all meat is marinated well. If you are preparing this at home to cook later on your boat grill, then marinate overnight, then place inside a second ziplock (double bag) and freeze. Makes for easy travel in a cooler.

To cook, place meat on a grill that is as close as possible to white-hot coals, or on highest setting if using a propane grill. Best taste is provided by a charcoal grill, but few of us have them on our boats anymore. Cook 3 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the second. Allow the meat to “rest” for 5 minutes. Cut into thin, diagonal slices, cutting across the grain of the meat.

While meat is resting, bring the reserved ½ cup marinade to a quick boil. Drizzle over sliced meat on serving platter.

Serve with flour tortillas, sliced avocadoes (or guacamole), grated cheese, sour cream and/or pico de gallo.
(pico de gallo is chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapenos & fresh cilantro with tiny bit of oil and fresh lime juice)

Judy
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Old 22-03-2013, 17:21   #30
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Re: Provisioning Costs by Regions

I did a forum search on Caribbean Food Prices and Provisioning. and this was the thread closest to what I wanted to raise. So,at the risk of getting shouted down for reviving such an old thread, here goes.

If you were starting from Grenada and heading for Horta, then Norway, where would you provision for the trip? I found Philipsburg Grande Marche quite reasonable last year, but then I started from Antigua. This year I have a bit more ground to cover. I probably won't stop at Bermuda, unless I have to. I definitely don't want to provision there. Far too pricey I found last year. I see Dominican Republic was mentioned. But I feel that's too far off track for me. Any and all help would be appreciated.
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