Eating in Guam on a Budget

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($6.29 for Florida’s Natural orange juice)

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($5.99 yogurt)

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($5.49 Oreos)

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($5.79 lettuce & spinach)

To the person who searched “Eating in Guam On a Budget” and found my blog, this one’s for you!

My first experience with grocery shopping on this beautiful island definitely caused some sticker shock and heart attack feelings. I know that Guam is VERY far from the U.S. and shipping costs are added to imported items. I think stores go a little too far sometimes with prices and try to take advantage. If it’s not double what you pay in The States, then just add $2 to everything.

I vow to never take the prices and selection for granted when I go back home to Oregon! Things I thought were expensive in The States, are really ridiculously expensive here! For example strawberries, a  small carton costs $7.00! So, I passed, thinking they’d be cheaper in those frozen bags. Nope, they were the same price.  Up until a month or two ago I was saying things like, “In the real world cottage cheese isn’t $6 it’s $3!!!!!” and “Do Guamanians know how much they are being ripped off?!!?” Now, I have come to accept the way it is here. Bread is $4-5.00 and more if you want the good stuff. Orange juice is $6.00 and fruits are even worse!

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(“New Low Price! $5.99” — I think NOT!)
 

I even tried to see if eating out was cheaper than buying groceries and it was about the same. The only problem with eating out is that there aren’t many healthy options and I was beginning to feel unhealthy and gross.

I do my shopping at Payless, which is probably the most expensive place to shop. I have tried other places like American Grocery and 7 Day Mart, but they didn’t have everything I needed and some of their boxed foods had bugs in them. I haven’t had any bad experiences like that with Payless and I can usually find everything I’m looking for without having to shop at two or three stores.  If  it’s the first of the month, they also have good sales if you catch them on time. If you want American food, then Payless is the place to shop. Most other stores sell Filipino food (American Grocery) or Japanese food (California Mart). I find it funny that these stores have American names but sell foreign foods! I LOVE Filipino snacks from American Grocery.

If you’re coming here on vacation then you will most likely stay in Tumon, but I suggest you try to leave because everything gets cheaper once you’re out of that area. If you live in Guam, you should shop around in different villages.

Living on Guam means you will pay more for everything and that’s just something I’ve learned to accept. It’s better to come here with an open mind and try your best not to compare it to wherever you came from. Good luck!

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7 comments

  1. Good advice about not comparing! Even the prices on this side of Oregon are different than Eastern Oregon and Idaho.

    Are you able to have your own garden? How about container gardening? You could grow cilantro, lettuce and spinach inside? If you have a balcony, you could make a very nice container garden and grow tomatoes, beans, a lot of things. Anywhere nearby where you can pick fruit or veggies for a lower cost?

    I’m afraid to ask how much a jar of peanut butter cost. Eggs shouldn’t be too much, right? How about fish?

    Sorry for all the questions. I’m thinking about my struggles budgeting for food here, so your post just made me go uhhhhhh. Haha. But wages are higher, right? I hope?

    1. Wages are LOWER. I was so confused by how anyone can survive out here. Then I figured it out…everyone lives at home with their parents! I don’t have a balcony or any space outside of my apartment to grow a garden, which is unfortunate. I tried to grow basil in my kitchen and the plant died a week later. 😦

      1. I guess there’s a downside to everything. You live in paradise but barely have the money to eat. That makes no sense. Sorry about the dead basil. 😦 Do you think you’d be able to start a community garden in your neighborhood?

      2. don’t feel bad about your basil or any other plants for that matter. There is a problem with gardening due to lack of bees for pollination, as well as the heat index being way to high for most plants you are used to. I have had some success with tomatoes and basil, but that is it. I have been on Guam for 3 years, and I think the lack of quality food is the most frustrating thing about living here. You could try basil again, seeds are really cheap 🙂

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