When my husband and I relocated from Dallas to Honolulu, we had to adjust to a much higher cost of living. One of the ways we adjusted was by learning to shop like a local. In Texas, we would typically go to our local supermarket and buy everything we needed in one place. On Oahu, we quickly learned that we had to be a little more resourceful.
Hawaii offers a wide selection of locally grown fruits and vegetables
1. Split Purchases
Every local grocery chain seems to have their specialty categories and loss leaders. Meat and canned goods are cheap at one store, but then their dairy and baked goods are overpriced compared to a competing store down the street. Many stores didn’t carry the brands we wanted, or if they did, they didn’t offer a variety of sizes to pick from. By splitting our shopping we now buy only the items we know are within each store’s specialty category.
2. Support Local Brands
We all have our favorite foods from “back home” but shipping perishable food products from the mainland is expensive and all the costs get passed on to you, the consumer. With a little trial and error, I’ve now found several local brands that I like even better than their mainland counterparts. Local food typically stays fresher, longer, and I feel good knowing that I’m supporting the local economy.
3. Join a Club
Not only will you save on groceries, but Costco and Sam’s Club offer some of the cheapest gas on the islands.
4. Farmers Markets
You’ll always find a wide selection of affordable locally grown fruits and vegetables, but at the larger markets you’ll also get the chance to sample a variety of great food prepared by Hawaii’s up and coming chefs. If you haven’t spotted one during your everyday travels around town, this list of markets is a great place to start. Each market is a little different, so try a couple.
5. Grow Your Own
Though our first crop hasn’t come in yet, we’re anxious to cut out the middle man and enjoy our own avocados, mangos, bananas, onions, peppers, and tomatoes. The avocado and mango trees were already on the property when we moved in, but we’ve started a small garden in the backyard to grow a few of the items we use the most. Over time, and with a little sweat equity, we’ll have a renewable source of produce grown without pesticides under the warm Hawaiian sun.
Ready to Start Your Hawaii Life?
If you’re ready to make the transition from the mainland, and start your new Hawaii Life, I can help. Call or email today and I’ll help you start the search for your new home and provide referrals for selling any property on the mainland.