The fridge is empty. You need to cook dinner. What do you do? You head to the supermarket and stock up on everything you need. There’s no thought required on WHERE the food is really coming from or HOW it gets there. It’s one stop shopping, literally. How does this differ on and island? There’s a few ways eating on an island is different and more importantly, there’s a lot to learn from it.
While there is a grocery store on this island, the variety is limited. The store does an amazing job at filling the shelves with the staples, some fun items and some rotating inventory. Many of the items are organic and the meat is packaged on site.
The store is small in comparison to what most of us are are used to shopping in. Don’t let the size fool you though, there’s more than enough inside to meet your needs. And if you THINK you NEED more, you’ll quickly realize you’re wrong. Meal planning is actually easier when there are less options. I’m not talking about less options of items, I’m speaking of the number of options within a genre. For example, you’ll find tomato paste, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. However, you WON’T find 10 varieties of each. Stop and think about it…do you really need that many choices or does it just make your shopping take longer?There's a few ways eating on an island is different and more importantly, there's a lot to learn from it. Click To Tweet
On average, food travels 1500 miles before it gets to your plate. This not only increases cost, it decreases freshness and creates a huge environmental impact. On an island, your food travels a much smaller distance. All the food is brought over on a truck and the grocery store is stocked from there.
The one weekly farmers’ market offers fresh vegetables that are grown on the island and have traveled less than a few miles. They were picked just a day or even hours before you are buying them and consuming them. Most of them are grown organically with very little environmental impact at all. Therefore, costs are low.
Think about how wonderful it would be to feed your family fresh, nutritious and affordable food without having to travel far? On an island, that’s possible.
If you know there are items that you can’t buy on the island and you need to go to the mainland for them, that requires planning, time and of course, gas to get there. For non perishable items, you can buy in bulk at membership stores like Costco. Not only does buying in bulk help you save money, but it forces you to plan in advance.
Meal planning saves you time AND money
We often do what we need to do. If we were forced to buy everything in one trip, how careful would you plan? I guarantee you’d spend just a few more minutes before heading out. By doing this, you’d save countless last minute trips to the store during the week.
Another thing missing from island life….fast food. So while you can visit a restaurant and get a dinner for your family….no one is delivering take out to your doorstep and there is no drive through to hit on the way home from soccer practice. If you didn’t have this option, what would you do on those stressed out, running late nights? You’d improvise and either take something out of the freezer or make due with leftovers. Either choice would save you money and use up food you’d already purchased. If you take this concept back to the meal planning step, you can purchase quickly heated meals for busy nights (such as a frozen pizza or stir-fry). Learning to make due and be happy with what you have on hand is a way of thinking that you and I can avoid, because we have lots of choices. However, the choice of ease is not always the best for our waist line, budget, or environment.