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 Post subject: Cheapskate
PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 4:44 pm 
Malihini
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We understand that groceries are more expensive on the island than here, but last time we were visiting, we spent what seemed like a lot more on the basics at the grocery store. I'm thinking about shipping a box of food to arrive at the post office before we get there. Things like condiments, cereal, pasta, rice, snacks, etc. Has anyone done this? Is it worth it? Or will I just end up spending the same amount on shipping costs?



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 Post subject: Re: Cheapskate
PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:34 pm 
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Kekepania wrote:
We understand that groceries are more expensive on the island than here, but last time we were visiting, we spent what seemed like a lot more on the basics at the grocery store. I'm thinking about shipping a box of food to arrive at the post office before we get there. Things like condiments, cereal, pasta, rice, snacks, etc. Has anyone done this? Is it worth it? Or will I just end up spending the same amount on shipping costs?

We did this once. First thing is to shop at a discount place like Costco. The key is to repackage everything so it fits in a smaller space. For instance cereal can go in a resealable baggie with the air squeezed out. We put a lot of food in a large flat rate box and shipped it. The problem I see now is that postage went up so much it may no longer be worth it financially.

If you have a Costco card you can shop here and save the postage. Prices are about the same as mainland. Same for Wally World. If you cannot shop at either of these two places while you are here then it may be worth it to ship everything. Otherwise shop where us poor locals do.



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 Post subject: Re: Cheapskate
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:04 am 
Malihini
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I must admit this one confused me.

The things that are really expensive can't be shipped. Eggs, Milk and such. The other items that can be shipped are just a few cents more expensive and wouldn't justify the extra effort. We do most of our shopping at costco and KTA and really haven't seen a large spending in our food. I will admit we eat different foods. Papaya in Washington cost $3.29 per pound and lack flavor. (Kona Farmers market had them at 6 for $2.) Rice is about the same and Meat at costco cost about $.50 per pound more. and I know that Marlin, Tuna and such are much cheaper in Hawaii.

Cereal isn't a real good thing so we don't eat it in either location.

Yes we seem to spend more when we are there but then we always have to buy the staples (condiments and such) and because we are only there two or three weeks we don't buy the larger containers. Honestly we eat better food when we are there. Smaller containers always cost more per ounce but that is how it works.



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 Post subject: Re: Cheapskate
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 1:26 pm 
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I'm a little confused by this thread. I thought it was going to be about me........



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 Post subject: Re: Cheapskate
PostPosted: Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:25 pm 
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New Daddy wrote:
I'm a little confused by this thread. I thought it was going to be about me........

Hey John,

I think I found which account Kona Bob is using here!!! :D :D :D



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 Post subject: Re: Cheapskate
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 6:59 am 
Malihini
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We do have a Costco membership and we bought some things when we were there last time. I also remember going into Walmart toward the end of our vacation when we were staying in Kona and thinking that the food was a lot less expensive there. Maybe we'll just plan a shopping day in Kona for our first full day on the island.



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 Post subject: Re: Cheapskate
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:31 am 
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Kekepania wrote:
We do have a Costco membership and we bought some things when we were there last time. I also remember going into Walmart toward the end of our vacation when we were staying in Kona and thinking that the food was a lot less expensive there. Maybe we'll just plan a shopping day in Kona for our first full day on the island.

The real issue is to avoid Safeway, Foodland, KTA like the plague. Just as one example a gallon of milk is $7.00 for mainland dairy and $10.00 for Meadow Gold our local dairy. Not on sale of course at the local grocery stores. I think Costco is $4.00 per gallon. Your best bets for cheap food are Costco and Wally World. Buy gas at Costco as well. If you have the time and enbjoy farmers markets also buy produce and whatever else there. You'll get much better quality food at a better price.



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 Post subject: Re: Cheapskate
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:17 pm 
Malihini
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Methinks you are thinking too much! You are on vacation, just relax and enjoy!

Here are my thoughts as a female shopper in Kona. Costco obviously has the best prices so if there are things that make sense to buy there then do it, but for other things you will need to go to one of the supermarkets. KTA in Kona is a filthy, disgusting place (JMHO), Keauhou is slightly better but expensive because of the location. Sak n Save is also expensive and I don't like the assortment. They can have good wine prices though. Walmart will have the best prices by far on cereal (about 1/2 of Safeway), condiments and packaged goods.

For everything else that I can't get at Costco I go to Safeway. Milk is always on sale at about $6 gallon, meats are not great but least are fresh, and pretty much the same selection that you will find in their stores on the mainland. Packaged bread is really expensive. Vegetables are OK, but check for freshness, and mainland fruits are a total waste of money. Taste like they were picked green and sat in storage for 6 months (oh wait! they did). Check expiration dates on everything here, because they don't!

Best market on the island is Foodland, either the big one in Waimea or the smaller one at Mauna Lani, Boars Head meats, nice cheeses, lots of imported foods, same shitty fruits and vegetables but oh well. Except for their meats which are much better but much more expensive, they are priced about the same as Safeway.

Have fun!


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 Post subject: Re: Cheapskate
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:26 pm 
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We generally go to our condo, drop bags and then make the effort to go to Costco and Walmart and get EVERYTHING we think we need for the trip. After that we just pick up whatever we need whenever or do without because it's not worth the time to go back to Kona (we're generally in Waikoloa, so it's a solid 30 minutes of driving each way minimum. If we happen to be in Kona, or passing through, we'll stop again if need be.

And I always try to time it so I can fill the rental car up a Costco on the way to the airport. Last time gas there was a full $.60/gal cheaper than at the Shell in Waikoloa.



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 Post subject: Re: Cheapskate
PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:35 am 
Malihini
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Joyce wrote:
Sak n Save is also expensive and I don't like the assortment. They can have good wine prices though. Walmart will have the best prices by far on cereal (about 1/2 of Safeway), condiments and packaged goods.

For everything else that I can't get at Costco I go to Safeway. Milk is always on sale at about $6 gallon, meats are not great but least are fresh, and pretty much the same selection that you will find in their stores on the mainland. Packaged bread is really expensive. Vegetables are OK, but check for freshness, and mainland fruits are a total waste of money. Taste like they were picked green and sat in storage for 6 months (oh wait! they did). Check expiration dates on everything here, because they don't!



I'm surprised you find Sack and Save more expensive than Safeway. I agree their selection is not too good, but I have always found their prices Way better than Safeway, which seems to me has the highest prices of all the grocery stores in Kona. Especially on any produce.

I can't believe it would ever be worth it to ship groceries from the mainland though.



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 Post subject: Re: Cheapskate
PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:02 am 
Keiki
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Aloha Kekepania,

I’ll add a few additional things to what the others have already posted….

First of all, if anyone in your party is 60 or over, you get a 5% discount on food items (not alcohol) at Foodland (and Sack n Save as it is a subsidiary) on Thursdays.

It all depends on your situation. Do you have anyone with special food needs/restrictions where there may be a difficulty finding particular ingredients? Then you may want to bring them with you.

Do you have kids? They can be pickier and want a familiar meal more often than adults. And it is way less expensive to eat in with kids than out every night…

How many meals are you planning to cook versus eat out? Try to be realistic as it is not a savings if you end up not using all the stuff you shipped/bought because you found this great place to eat with a wonderful view, great servers, etc so you went there often. Also be aware of leftovers. You may be out and about the next day during lunchtime so you will grab a quick bite rather than eating them as you planned. Distances are farther apart than on the other Hawaiian islands – we are the BIG Island for a reason!

What I do when we go to stay on other islands and stay in a timeshare with a kitchen is first of all be realistic about dinners. If we really want to eat out most of the time I only bring breakfast stuff. We luckily can bring more items inter-island than you can bring into Hawaii (you cannot bring fresh meats/produce). Coming from the mainland, you can still pack dry goods like bread for toast, portioned out cereal and sugar/sweetener for coffee (assuming you want to pick up some 100% Kona coffee here). Otherwise add coffee/teabags, etc to your list. These consumables will take the place in your checked baggage where those impulse tourist trinkets have to fit somewhere for the trip back. Just count your days and if you run out, go out to breakfast on the last day.

Note – I do it for convenience, not so much for price. If I don’t have to run around and get the items for easy meals then I am happy and have more time to enjoy the visit.

As far as cooking meals, have something in mind that is EASY for the cook and your family likes. Bring a single meal’s spices in a ziplock bag. Then have your list ready to purchase the rest of the liquid/perishable ingredients here. Planning meals to a certain degree makes a vacation a lot more pleasant experience.

Enjoy your trip!



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 Post subject: Re: Cheapskate
PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:59 am 
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I agree with Rick. All the supermarkets have coupon booklets in the newspaper on Wednesdays. Safeway has a loyalty web site. Sending food here makes no sense.



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