Day 5 of our stay and we have just made our 2nd trip into downtown Negril to pick up some everyday food essentials from the grocery. While this might not be necessary for everyone to do so, I would comfortably say that if you are staying longer than 5 or 7 nights, you will likely find yourself in the same boat.
If you are running on a budget or just not into going out for every meal, here a few things you need to know:
#1 Everyday essentials are costly
2 bags of water crackers, 1 loaf of hard dough bread, 2 cans of fruit punch juice, 1 jar of guava jam, 1 jar chocolate spread, 2 liters of milk, 1 kg sugar, 1 bottle of virgin coconut oil, 1 bar of big blue laundry soap, 1 bar of bath soap, several bottle of Coca-Cola regular and diet and a few miscellaneous packaged sweets cookies etc.
Not quite what you are used to? You’re not alone.
Basics foods we take for granted can be almost double or triple what we are used to in the United States. If you subtract the coconut oil from our bill (-$2089.00) you would still be left with $50.00 for just the few things you see on our shelves.
What are your best options?
•Stick only to what you will need and use completely
•Eat out one main meal a day; breakfast or lunch would be your best choice – Jamaican food is very hearty and filling to hold you most of the day
•Steer clear of American brands (they cost more)
•Pick up fresh fruit from local vendors
•Try something new
•Ask the locals
My few key must haves for the room when not eating out were:
Coffee, Milk, Sugar
Bread with Jam and/or Bun with Cheese
Water Crackers and a few treats for night time.
***Tips to keep in mind***
• Some hotels offer complementary breakfast or a discount for eating at their restaurant (this can be a valuable bonus) but not all offer this so be sure to check before booking.
• How your room is equipped will also determine what and if you can purchase certain items (you may quickly learn how to survive without a microwave, toaster or stove)
•Lunch & Dinner: Almost always we step out at lunch time to one of our favorite local spots. A good thing to keep in mind is that you can easily pick up dinner during the day when you go out for lunch. This can keep the hassle down of going back out at night. We pick Soup and salad as a favorite.