Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Sticker Shock

Mike had some groceries in the room when we arrived. Tuesday night we had to go buy some more. I was shocked. This is a Class 2 Commissary. So is Goodfellow's commissary. However, there is much less organic/natural options here.

I bought 8 potatoes (that didn't look good and weren't the baby reds I had on my list ::snort::) for $5.00. The watermelons were sold out. There were no bananas. The apples (Jonagold) were $1.49 EACH.....and I am used to buying apples in the case. The only lettuce on the shelf (though there are spots for various kinds) was $2 a head: iceberg.

The milk is sold by the 1/2 gal and was $3.50 in the Shoppette on Monday night but only $2 and change for 1/2 a gal in the commissary. MILK - get this the dates are good until late August/Sept. This can't be good. I'll look around off base and see what I can come up with.

I couldn't find whole grain penne or swirls or veganaise... As soon as our things arrive I'll be making all our bread, english muffins, bagels and tortillas...because I didn't find any really GREAT list of ingredients but the ones that are OK are EXPENSIVE.

I need to call Renee (chaplains wife) today. She had told me there are things here that I didn't find. I'm hoping I simply didn't look in the right place. I have been told that things are often out of stock. They DO have the ice cream that Zander can eat - though I'm looking forward to making our own. When talking with Connie (chaplain's wife) last night she mentioned that she's talked with the commissary about various organic items she would like to see....there is a chance they could order cases of things from Okinawa....and there is still the option of ordering quarterly from our old food co-op and paying to ship in a priority flat rate box. BUT how many boxes would that take?????

There were NONE of the convenience items that we stock so Zander has options at places like AWANAS, VBS etc....Cheddar bunnies, Sharkies, EnergG, Newman O's.....he loves POCKY but this is not a good option. ::snort:: I'll be baking a lot of cookies, brownies and such.....because there isn't a lot of fruit around just now either.

I DID find Delmonte Organic Pickles. These are the ones Krista and I discovered at a commissary in CO. They have no dyes and taste good. LOL The pineapple was only $3.67...but it's sorry looking and we'll need to eat it quick. LOL

I plan to check the fresh produce markets off base. I know that things will be seasonal and so we won't have the variety we are used to in TX....but they'll be fresh. I do wonder about the pesticides used in Japan and guess I should begin to do some research on that. I know that my brother says there are lots of "bad" ones used in China.

Thus ended our first shopping adventure in Japan.

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.

~ Coram Deo ~
Living all of life before the face of God...


Renee said...

Should have warned you that all milk bought at commissaries overseas only comes in 1/2 gallons at the largest... in Korea our milk was also ultra-pasteurized (I think that's what it's called) so it has a longer life... otherwise you'd not have any 'fresh' milk in the commissary.. it would be like the old days in Germany where all that was available was shelf stable milk.
My experience in Germany (can't remember Korea) is that produce off post was better. And don't forget that even though the prices are higher you probably have a COLA which will more than offset the difference.
If there's a specific item you want, talk to the commisary manager... if it's in the Pacific region warehouses, you can order it as long as you order a case of it....

Renee said...

Shoppette is run by AAFES and they need to make a profit so the exact same item is almost always more than the commissary where most items are sold at cost

Kim said...

I can't believe the comissary prices - not that I am or ever have been military. However, here, near Tokyo, where everything has to get shipped in, I find much cheaper produce! Get that van up and running!!! SMILE! Not to say cheap, but cheaper!

Romany said...

Hi DeEtta,

Don't you have the extra payment to offset those higher cost of living yet? Maybe it's just a mental adjustment you need to make?

I bet the markets are great in Japan. And I would have thought that the laws and standards on pesticides etc would MUCH different in Japan to China! China is still very much a developing country, Japan is not.

Hope you find some familiar, good quality foods soon. I know that will help you all to ease in to your new life. Is there anything light I can send you in the post?

all in the family said...

You are more than welcome to order with me when I order Walton Feed in Jan/Feb. They have lots of organics, including whole wheat pasta that I can ship to you, APO. I will let you know when it comes up. They will have beans, grains, oats, etc. Maybe with your new found friends there, and here, we can figure out something. The WF order IS only once a year, btw. But atleast it IS something. Also I order my milk (for emergencies and storage) in the powder. I get it from It is PURE dried milk, tastes like milk, etc etc. No smell either. HTH


Anonymous said...


Thank God for the local markets. Probably you can find a way to wash stuff with whatever that will take care of any pesticides. Dad/I found some sort of shelf milk that tasted real good in the PI's... think it was from Aust/New Zealand.. probably tho it is something Alexander can't have.

Praying good stuff soon shows itself to you so you will know where to get stuff. Think we will stick some stuff in the b-day box that will be a treat to Alexander and everyone else also. The weight limit is whatever.....
Think we will put it in our monthly budget to send the one size once a month..... So be looking..... will be fun to fill a box up each month. (11x8/5x5/5) not to big not to small.

love/prayers Mom T

Cynthia said...

I remember finding the milk expiration dates odd when we were in Europe years ago. I vaguely remember them being good for a couple of months as well unlike the 5-10 days you get around here. Must have something to do with how it's processed.

all in the family said...

I would like to remind your blog readers that APO addy's get a $2 discount from the PO. So the large Flat rate box, regardless of weight is, I think $11.95 (after the discount).

Mother R said...

Let me know next time you're going to the commissary and I'll help you find all the items I said they have (or at least the shelf where they're supposed to be-LOL). They rearranged a couple of weeks ago, so I'm still finding things myself!

And I'll be glad to show you a number of fresh markets and groceries off-base--much better produce and somewhat cheaper. Though I suspect it will only take you a short while to know more off-base resources than I do :)

Hope you had fun in Hachinohe today--isn't the fish market a trip? But I've never tasted better fish--and Rick says the scallops are the best he's ever had...

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Renee - MOTHER R - I want to get together this week. I kept asking Mike all week for your phone number and he kept forgetting it - remind me at chapel that we need to exchange numbers! I wondered if they'd rearranged things or something...and I didn't have a lot of time to look. LOL

I DID find Rudi's organic bread....but it is way cheaper to make my own. LOL

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Really, Beth? A $2 discount? That's good to know.

DeEtta @ Courageous Joy said...

Kim, our guide yesterday said that with the ETC it is only $10 for the tolls to Tokyo - still 8 hour drive but certainly cheaper and more probable. LOL

Janette said...

Go to the markets in town. Ship thinkgs like pasta (we shipped cases of Mac and Cheese-lol- Cheaper than the six dollars a box in Hong Kong.) We lived without a commersary- but had a naval commersary ship every two months. Look for the salted peas in the snack section. the snacks are not processed like American things- much better for children. We found NO huge bulk stuff. Chinese shop daily and do not store. I figure that is true in your area as well. In turn- you will find that the markets have wonderful produce year round.
And...the Chinese, in general, do not use pesticides. Too expensive. Weeding is hand done and veggies are grown smaller. Figuring- again- that the Japanese are much the same.

Mommy of two said...

I go to a store just a block or so outside the main gate every Tuesday for their 100 Yen produce and there is a great little shop down by the train station where you can get a crate of apples for about 1,000 Yen (about 40 apples). Also, there is a market on Saturdays where they have specials like 10 eggs for 20 Yen and a dozen frozen hot dog type things for 60 Yen.
I think it would be nice if there was a list of things like this they handed you at the airport when you arrive!