Grocery stores exist in the Florida Keys, why provision just to cruise the Keys for the winter? For us, it’s mostly about the budget. Coming from Charlotte Harbor (Southwest Florida coastline just north of Ft Myers), we’re planning to head to the Keys for the next several months. We can buy stuff there – easily, almost conveniently. However, we also know it’s pricier than here on the “mainland”.
There’s no Sam’s Club or Costco or even Aldi or WalMart. And heaven forbid we don’t stock up on all our Trader Joe favorites … nope, no Trader Joe’s in the Keys either. The closest TJ is either 118 miles to Naples or 120 miles to Miami.
So we’re stocking up. What are we stocking up on?
Top 10 Provisioning Tips for the Florida Keys
10. Extra Deodorant (hopefully it’ll be warmer!), toothpaste, soap, mouthwash, shampoo & lotion.
9. Drugs …. no no, not anything illegal, but prescription stuff. Anything we can get ahead of leaving, we have. David’s one prescription that we can’t get early, we’ll transfer the prescription to CVS or Walgreens in the Keys.
8. Snacks. OK, I’ll admit it, I’m a snack-o-holic. But since we started eating low fat eating, we consume a lot of pretzels – which are substantially less expensive at Sam’s or WalMart. Sweet tooth? Yes. My favorite snacky dessert has always been cereal, currently Frosted Mini-Wheats which I’ve convinced myself is healthier than eating an entire box of Lucky Charms.
7. OTC Drugs … vitamins, ibuprofen (necessary after spending hours being a contortionist to squish into some of the corners on this boat!) & benedryl.
6. Paper Goods. It’s much less expensive to stock up on TP, paper towels & kleenex while we’re in range of a warehouse store or WalMart. Same with baggies and trash bags.
5. Canned Goods. Especially canned chicken from Aldi. Why spend twice the price later when I have storage room now? We’ll add beans, diced
tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn – anything I use regularly in a recipe from a can.
4. Coke, Coffee, Berry Seltzer Water …. think anything consumed regularly and/or heavy to carry. We also stock up on sandwich rounds and stuff the freezer with as much stuff as we can keep frozen – if we overfill it, the stuff on top won’t stay frozen and that does us no good. 🙁
3. Trader Joe’s – “special” bottles of vino – Dark Apothic, Cline Zin and others. Also, my favorite rice mixture, crackers & whatever else strikes our fancy when we stroll through the store.
2. Sunscreen and Bug stuff. Both are expensive in any “regular” grocery store and even more expensive in a tourist mecca, so extra 15 & 30 SPF sunscreen, extra face sunscreen, extra bug spray and a few extra powerpad refills for my Off! Power Bug Lantern.
1. RUM! It just won’t do to be caught short. But we don’t drink much rum, so we filled our liquor locker with boxes of wine, some “special” wine bottles, honey whiskey and Tanquerey. Plus we didn’t forget the tonic & plastic squeeze limes. We’ll get the real limes when we get there.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things, but overall, we’ll save money by not having to buy these items in the Keys. How about you? What do you stock up on that I’ve forgotten? Please leave a comment and share! Cheers! Jan