Provisioning in the Bahamas: 120 days, 27 beers, 1 roll of TP

Beer at Hoffman's Cay, Berry Islands
We left for the Bahamas with 27 cans of beer, 4 rolls of toilet paper, and 0 bags of chips. (The 19 bags I had bought had all been eaten by the time we left :-). Concern for our physical and mental health was high. And yet, against all odds, we survived. It's a miracle! 

We did find that provisioning was expensive, however, each settlement had some kind of groceries for sale. It may not be much, and we might not have gotten everything on our wish list, but we were never in danger of starvation. Some grocery stores were simply a 10x10 room with cereal and tins. Some had aisles and A/C. All the grocery stores we found were within easy walking distance from a dinghy dock. 

Prices did vary per store - sometimes a bag of chips was $4.50. Sometimes it was $8! 
Salt Pond, Long Island grocery store.
Alcohol: We drank the last beer 2 days before we left and decided to buy a case of Kalik (local beer) to remind us of the Bahamas...it was $50.  We also bought coconut rum at $20 for 1.5 liters. 

TP: Not sure. We came back with 3 rolls, so we didn't need to buy any. It probably was expensive, personal care items like body soap was as high as $12. We also used about 20 sheets of paper towels. 
  1. A bag of, say, Doritos was $5-$7. I have a potato chip problem, so going completely without wasn't an option. I would buy Lay's Stacks (ala Pringles) for $2.50 each and try and make them last. Sometimes I could make them last a whole 10 minutes. Impressive. I switched to popcorn as a backup salt delivery vehicle. 
  2. Onions and potatoes are easy to find and cheap. Other veggies are harder; we relied on our dehyrdated veggies. 
  3. Eggs are cheap / US prices.
  4. Cereal was expensive so we started buying bran flakes and oats and mixing our own Muesli. 
  5. Crackers and cookies are US prices or cheaper if you buy the British brands (Hill's, Jacobs, etc). We actually miss the cheap British foods!
  6. Foods are imported from random places. Eggs are often US, whereas butter is from Ireland and New Zealand. Seems like a long way for butter to travel! 
  7. Bahamians must bake all their sweet goods because they did not have a lot of chocolate or candies for sale.
  8. Biggest provisioning fail? We ran out of good dog food. Hastings loved Alpo, but he developed skin problems right away and started eating dinner with us. Ruff life. 
A typical haul from the grocery store
Definitely get propane when you can - the propane truck might be broken next week! We did manage to find propane and prices and wait times were OK - around $13 for 20 pounds and up to an hour. 

Because we stocked up on essentials before we left and reduced our consumption of chocolate and chips, we really didn't spend any more on food than we usually do. The Bahamas were actually super cheap since we were cut off from Amazon Prime. Don't worry, we're spending money like crazy now we are back in the US! 

What grocery item is on your list that you can't live without? 

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  1. We're down to seven cans of beer left. Will they last until we get back to the States? Doubtful. I didn't realize Lays Stacks were so relatively inexpensive. We don't have any snack foods left. Some chips would taste awfully good just now. Did you really only use one roll of toilet paper the entire time you were in the Bahamas?

    1. The Stacks were my go-to fix! TP just doesn't work the way other schemes do. Should we be talking about this?

  2. As a serial hoarder (when it comes to provisions), I'm amazed you survived. You poor souls! I'm with Ellen, though I get running out of chips (that happens to us despite all the super-large bags of Ruffles I buy from Costco at $5.50 a pop)but how did you manage on one roll of TP?

    1. . . . and only 20 sheets of paper towels -- we use that on any given day.

    2. Lol. 184 count box of clean wipes. Easier to store than rolls of TP, and it's going in the trash anyway. We use Trader Joe's Amazing Kitchen Wipes (from Trader Joes or Amazon) - one for the kitchen and one for other surfaces, and just use paper towels for engine checks. We find paper products take up a lot of space (almost as much space as potato chips).

  3. Our months of cruising in the Bahamas were among the cheapest ones, because of the stock-up in the US prior and barely buying anything except fresh stuff there. In expensive islands, we made popcorn as a snack. Fry the whole kernels in peanut oil for a much better taste and no need for butter! Dog food was the main required item to stock up on, since good quality stuff for pooches is hard to find outside the western world.

    We made our own granola from oats (locally purchased), honey (brought with us) and nuts and/or seeds, based on availability and price. Tasty and easy to do. We mixed them with a generic brand of bland corn flakes to make our breakfasts crispier and last longer. :-)

    1. We'll have to try and make granola; that sounds great! We need to make our own yogurt too, as that's even expensive in the US!

    2. If you ever want the granola recipe, let me know, Lucy. We did make our own yogurt as well (just for me, as Mark is allergic to cow milk), but I am not doing that anymore since being in the US. :-) I find that the organic milk suits me on cereal.


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