How Much Do Groceries Cost in Craig, Alaska

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franz bread How Much Do Groceries Cost in Craig, Alaska

Last week the HH was up in the tiny fishing village of Craig, Alaska for work and so I asked him to snap a few pictures at the local grocery store. He goes up there several times and year and is always telling me how crazy the prices are {this coming from a man who maybe buys groceries once a year and thinks $0.99 for a pound of pears is expensive} so I was genuinely shocked when I saw his snapshots.

Whoa Nellie is all I’ve got to say. Can you imagine paying $5.85 for a loaf of ordinary bread? It kind of makes you wonder how much the fancy stuff costs doesn’t it?

How Much Do eggs Cost in Craig, Alaska

I don’t think $3.19 for a dozen of eggs is that bad considering they have to be flown in. Expensive yes, but not super crazy. I would imagine the free range organic brown ones run about $10 though. How Much Does milk Cost in Craig, Alaska

Milk. Double what we pay here in Washington State.
How Much Do Groceries Cost in Craig, Alaska deodorant

Deodorant. Umm, if I was a guy living up in Alaska, I’d probably go without it because seriously, there is like a 10:1 male to female ratio up there. And it’s a fishing village, so c’mon.

How Much Does toilet paper Cost in Craig, Alaska

Does Alaska have a lot of trees? Because hello, paying $14.85 for 12 rolls of Charmin is kind of nuts. Especially when Amazon is selling it for $6.97.  And to answer your next question, no, Amazon Prime in not available in Alaska or Hawaii. :(

How Much Do Groceries Cost in Craig, Alaska toothpaste

Holy cannoli’s. $6.15 for a tube of toothpaste. And that’s on sale.

How Much Do Groceries Cost in Craig, Alaska ice cream

$7.55 for a gallon of Tillamook Ice Cream?

How Much Do Groceries Cost in Craig, Alaska fresh fruit

$2.69 a pound for Fuji apples and $2.19 a pound for Bartlett pears. Since I live in Washington State, I can usually find these for around $.99 a pound, but when I was in Virginia and Boston last year, these seems to be the going prices for apples and pears. How much does these items cost at YOUR store?

How Much Do Groceries Cost in Craig, Alaska doritos

Poor Monkey Boy would pass out if he saw how much they were charging for Doritos up in Alaska. $5.99 for a regular sized bag seems pretty darn high if you ask me.

How Much Do Groceries Cost in Craig, Alaska advil

So what do you think? Do these prices give you a headache too? Or are they inline with what your local market is charging?

~Mavis wants to know.

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Comments

  1. regarding the cost of food in AK, I guess if you ever wanted to start a diet, living in AK would give you the opportunity. No more Doritos or ice cream ever!!

  2. I think that shipping plays a role in the cost of goods in Alaska, but I also think its location. If it’s a fishing village where these were shot they may not have as many choices as far as competition goes for shopping, so they charge crazy prices like that because they can. The fruit seems high to me, but I’ve noticed that out of season apples can get pricey. I was back in Virginia 2 weeks ago and was shocked at their grocery prices, but I’m also unfamiliar with what was local to the area I was in. If I lived in a fishing villiage I think I would live off of fish and seaweed!

  3. I know that cities like Juneau can only be reached by land or air. There are NO roads that go farther than 40 miles out of the city. All groceries have to come by the grocery barge once a month. The cost of transporting items there is the reason for the high prices. When we were there in July of 2012 the price of gas was almost $5 a gallon. I know oil comes from there, but it has to be transported to the US to be refined and then shipped back. There are community farms in Juneau that supply produce to the families that contribute work to them. They have a lot of “seasonal people” that live there from April to September mostly to work the tourist seasons.

  4. I’ve lived in an even more remote village, where the Iditarod crosses the Yukon. Fly in only, about 175 people, had to haul drinking water, log cabin, outhouse, the whole thing. We had supplies flown in and our first grocery bill was, (Mavis, you should have a seat) $900, twenty five years ago! Had to order by the case- case of cereal, soup, etc. Hardly had any fresh anything, regardless of price, it just wasn’t there. I remember a six-pack of Coke was $5.15. Some if the expense was shipping, some was profit, which I don’t begrudge much because to keep a place open for only 175 people is expensive. Our big treat was to get frozen Banquet chicken and frozen fries. (No restaurants for hundreds of miles in any direction.) On the upside, I learned to bake and be creative with what I had. And moose meat is fantastic!

    • Madam Chow says:

      I have family in Alaska on a remote island. I was appointed cook during a visit about 10 years ago. Everything had to be flown in, and we paid $5 for a terrible greenhouse tomato in the summer.

      Milk in Hawaii, where I lived for about 15 years, is over $8 a gallon. In 1993, I paid $8 for a box of Corn Flakes. Around that time, one of the Oahu newspapers did an expose, trying to figure out exactly why everything was so expensive. Could it all be due to shipping? Some items were over 300% more expensive in Hawaii than in California. They determined that, even factoring in shipping costs, prices should be only about 15% higher. The rest was price gouging and collusion among the grocery stores.

  5. Groceries can be expensive in Canada too – Milk is sold in 4 liter bags. (1 US Gal = 3.78541 ltr) 3.89 to 6.00/bag. Eggs 1 doz large 2.64 on sale. Cheese – Velveeta – 1 lb – about $ 8.00 now – you can’t get store brand or the 3 lb bar here.(I stock up on it if I can get to the States to shop).

  6. Groceries and staples are expensive but check out the wages in Alaska you won’t feel so bad for its residents. They also have no sales tax and virtually no real estate tax, no state income tax PLUS they each get a nice check from the state every year* for oil royalties. So, don’t fret too much for those poor souls. *2008 they Recd. $3000, 2013 they each Recd. $900.

    • J, your statements aren’t exactly accurate with generalizations that don’t apply evenly over the state. Many people living in villages have little to no employment. Some local governments DO have sales taxes, although it is usually low. Natives rely heavily on subsistence harvest of caribou, fish, moose, marine mammals, etc. We DO have real estate tax where I live in rural Fairbanks…the mill rate is at minimum around 11 area wide and then an additional mill rate is levied depending on your service area. Please also consider that other costs are much higher. Health care is MUCH higher, even with insurance. Housing and utilities can be expensive, too, and sometimes in short supply. Even around Fairbanks many people live without running water because there’s no water utilities outside the city limits: I currently rent out a 300 sq. ft. “dry cabin” for $475/mo. Travel is also expensive, which adds to the medical costs sometimes if you have to travel to Anchorage or Seattle for treatment. So, with these high food costs, the higher salaries some people may earn (some do) is stretched pretty thin.

  7. Actually those prices aren’t that bad, not much different from Anchorage prices.

    • Yes, that is what I was going to say. I am surprised that they aren’t higher. They aren’t too different than Anchorage. I know some of the villages out in the bush are probably double this.

  8. Sarah in GA says:

    Thankfully it’s cold maybe they don’t need the deodorant too often lol. That’s so high compared to prices in my area too!

  9. Beth DeRoos says:

    Remote areas around the Yukon river have milk for $10 a gallon and a head of lettuce for $8 when they can get it. The further away from the coast or towns/cities the higher the price. Especially between the months of Oct-April when bush planes have to deal with snow and ice.

  10. Ellen in Clackamas says:

    In the late 60′s my Grandpa was a commercial fisherman who traveled from Port Angeles to Ketchican. I can remember him telling us they bought eggs for $2 a piece and 1 banana was a dollar. On the other hand we had all the salmon and halibut
    we could eat!

  11. That gallon milk isn’t much higher than what I’m paying in CA. We’re paying nearly $5 a gallon.

    • Where in CA are you? I’m in Southern California and I never pay more than $3.50/gallon of milk in the grocery store. It is $3.00 a gallon directly from our dairy.

  12. Aside from bread and deodorant those prices are pretty similar to what we pay here in Lakewood, Colorado (a suburb of Denver) The apples and milk are actually cheaper than my local King Soopers.

    • I was horrified by food prices when I moved to Westminster from the East coast. I will never forget my first $5.00 small box of Cheerios, and that was in 1999! Someone told me that is was the long haul truck cost to get things over I-70, but I never bought that, it wasn’t like we lived in Alaska.

  13. OMG……The frugal side of me is having a stroke! Here in SoCal, we eat like kings on a $300.00/month food budget. YES, in SoCal. I can’t imagine spending $8 for deodorant. OMG…..What would I do without the 99cent store, or our local WinCo? We make our budget work by refusing to pay $4 for a bag of chips! If I can’t find it on sale, I don’t buy it, ever. Plus we grow a big veggie garden and have chickens for free-range eggs, so that helps. I just can’t imagine $5 for a loaf of bread. My homemade bread costs about 46 cents a loaf. Poor Alaskans.

  14. Mavis, actually I do have Amazon prime in Alaska! I am not sure if they will deliver everywhere, but they do at least to Anchorage. Probably they will anywhere that the post office will deliver. We Alaskans love Amazon because it is one of the few websites that gives the same shipping costs to AK as the lower 48. For anything that fits into a priority mail box, it is the same price to ship to us as anywhere else in the US. For larger items, well, that is quite a different story!

  15. Jan Kuester says:

    Love your blog, Mavis. We in Hawaii, fortunately, have Amazon Prime now. I lived out on Adak, Alaska as well as in Bethel and shipping is a huge cost. In Hawaii, it is the same. To pay $20 for shipping of a 1 lb can of freeze dried tomatoes? Really! I

  16. OH MY! I live in Oklahoma so cost of living is fairly cheap. It is much lower costs than what you were showing there! For sure would have to save up to go on a vacation to AK! But then again that is the case in most places compared to OK!

  17. Wow, the price of bread and eggs, especially not farm fresh eggs, is very expensive. Milk here in PA is anywhere from $3.86 -$4.50/gallon of skim white milk, and the apples and pears are about what you would pay in a grocery store, but I’m a smarter shopper than that, and I buy in season pears and can them for m hubby and am able to find PA grown apples cheaper, so I’m lucky in that regard. Anything processed and shipping seems to be killer there. I imagine that’s why there are lots of resourceful people in AK, or is that just my impression of Alaskan’s? I’ve never been there…how lucky for your hubby to be able to go so often!! :)

  18. Jennifer says:

    I just read a very interesting book about a sheep ranch on a remote Alaskan island. I think it was called goodbye idaho, hello alaska. These people ordered their supplies only every 2 years. It was by an author named cora holmes, it was very interesting to read for this girl from Indiana.

  19. Hi Mavis. I discovered your blog a few days ago when googling gardening tips for square foot gardening. This post on Alaskan grocery prices inspired me to do some reconnaissance in my local supermarket. Here are fairly average prices in Adelaide, Australia as of today: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152287825884961&type=1&l=674aa98d7a

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