That is the question!!!???
Moving to the midwest I have had to change the way I look at food. The fresh produce here is not as fabulous and readily available as it is in Southern California. Obviously there are not as many farmers and as much sunshine necessary to produce all year round. That means that prices are pretty much doubled or tripled to get to Missouri. Of course, being spoiled at Trader Joe's most of my life, and being used to their amazing prices, I've had to laugh at the prices of seven or eight dollars for a $3 box of cereal! (I mean for healthy cereal). I just don't buy it anymore because I have to focus on fruits, vegetables and meat now.
So I've tried out two of the local health food stores, Mama Jean's and Akins. Akins did not impress, except that they had a few things that MJ's had run out of, and they had very friendly and helpful people working there. Mama Jean's is reminiscent of Wild Oats Market back in the 80s...with a grunge feel from the staff, contemporary rock music blasting, and a coffee/juice bar on one end. Akins had classical music very lightly in the background, which is a bit easier to shop to. MJ's does carry a much larger selection of veggies, mostly brought in from California. They also have a nice selection of bulk grains, nuts etc. Their prices are insane, but being that there is no comparison around here, that is what people will pay. I will have to figure out the differences in cost of driving to St. Louis versus shopping at Mama Jean's. (St. Louis is the mecca of this area - gathering the best of Trader Joe's, Wholefoods, Homegoods, Cost Plus, and they might even have Costco???).
Today I will be venturing out to forage for fresh produce...(I miss fresh herbs the most!), for my new eating plan (NOT diet). I need salad supplies and asparagus, brocolli, and various squash. I am also craving some lamb chops! Yum yum!
I'm sure I'll spend $100 today. Hopefully I can get that to last until I leave for Los Angeles. I have my list for that trip growing daily too...I have to ship it back or carry it on the airplane.
Then I was researching my new favorite coconut milk on Amazon.com and am astounded at the prices compared to the local healthfood store. I can get 24 cans of coconut milk for $40 with free shipping! Whereas the milk at the store was about $4 a can. That is some big savings! I also looked up several different flours (such as arrowroot), and I can save a bundle if I buy in bulk from Amazon too. It's just storing it safely over the summer that worries me. I'd have to buy a freezer I think.
I'll let you know what I do.
I highly recommend coconut milk by the way! It's fabulous in my coffee and doesn't have any sugar in it. Try it and you'll be amazed. Nothing hydrogenated in it or any corn syrup solids.
Truly the non-dairy creamer from heaven!!!