Still Floating - Galley Notes: Cooking for $15 a day...on a sailboat! Blog at - 255404

Galley Notes: Cooking for $15 a day...on a sailboat!

Still Floating 
Oct. 31, 2011 11:23 am 
Updated: Dec. 12, 2011 7:29 pm

Wow- a whole year has passed since my last blog post! No, we haven’t been off sailing around the world or swept away by a hurricane…still on a little island on our sailboat in the Caribbean.  As you may know, my husband and I live in the Virgin Islands on our sailboat. It is very expensive to live here,  so we give ourselves a menu challenge every week:  a budget of $15 a day for breakfast, dinner, food and drink. Lunches are usually leftovers, and if we go out to dinner or happy hour, that comes out of husband’s money and not the grocery budget.

In addition to groceries being very expensive ($9.99 for a quart of orange juice, for example), we have a few other cooking challenges living on a sailboat. We have a very small galley (kitchen) with little counter space or storage.  Unless we are out sailing, we have the boat on a dock, so we do get shore power for our refrigerator, which is a small dorm room size.  This means no stocking up on perishables, which perish very quickly here anyway! A head of lettuce bought on Monday is black and slimy by the end of the week. This is typical of all of our fruits and vegetables, as everything is shipped here from somewhere else and probably past-ripe when it gets to our stores.

Up until a few months ago, we didn’t have a freezer (and we’ve lived without for over 7 years!); we didn’t want to buy one from the states as the shipping would be very expensive, and we had never seen one small enough to fit in the galley. Amazingly, we found a used one in the newspaper that was the perfect price and the perfect size (dorm room size). While it’s small, it’s been great to be able to make and freeze a few mini lasagnes or soup stocks, and a drink with ice cubes is now an option!

I am sure the addition of the freezer has helped the grocery budget, but truthfully, in the last year I didn’t keep track at all. All of the sudden I just didn’t feel like planning, and tracking, and writing about it all- I don’t know why. So while I’m always careful, I do find that really keeping track helps to stay on budget. I shop every day, and it was becoming common to spend $30 in a day on random things and I’m sure we frequently went over the $115 weekly budget.

Of course, food prices have gone up in the last year, so I will see if it is still possible to keep to $115. If I spend less than that, the extra goes into vacation fund. Some weeks it has only been a few dollars, but it does really add up- since I started tracking the budget, vacation fund has paid for 2 trips to Europe and one to Mexico!

I will keep you posted next week on what we cooked and how much we spent, and with apologies to those getting snow, here’s a look at the view from our “backyard”.

Thanks for reading! You can follow me here too!<

Photo Detail
Oct. 31, 2011 12:27 pm
Aloha Barbara, Long time no see. So glad to see that you two are still bobbing around in the Caribbean. We moved to the mainland since I last "saw" you. Welcome back kid and warmest aloha.
Oct. 31, 2011 1:30 pm
I'm glad you're back to blogging. I agree with the grocery thing...they are expensive here so I can only imagine there where you are! Welcome back!
Oct. 31, 2011 3:11 pm
> "$9.99 for a quart of orange juice" dang
Oct. 31, 2011 6:14 pm
Whew! Things are expensive there! Glad to see your blog!
Oct. 31, 2011 6:36 pm
Hi Barbara! You are living the life you want to and in the process, making the best of a pricey situation, 10 bucks for OJ? Ouch! Happy you got the freezer, I would die w/o ice! So nice to see you again Barb. I see your the view from your Home is still Beautiful! Good for you!!
Oct. 31, 2011 8:52 pm
I have missed you! I keep checking each month....
Nov. 1, 2011 5:15 am
nice to see you back, I am glad you a still bopping along on the wave tops. The food prices have gone up everywhere but a freezer can help with buying just a little extra if you find something on sale.
Nov. 1, 2011 8:25 am
I'm so happy to see you back. I was following your blog and wondered how you were doing. Love all the great pictures, especially the one of your hubs with LOBSTERS!!
Nov. 1, 2011 8:56 am
Living without ice, oh no! When I went to Italy, I had to beg just to get two cubes, understand it is that way all over Europe. It was my only complaint about the entire trip, but I really, really need my "gyacho" (phoenetic spelling for ice in Italian).
Nov. 1, 2011 11:28 am
Good to see you back Barbara. I think it's ironic that you life in the Virgin Islands and you have a 'vacation fund'. It just made me chuckle. But I suppose that no matter how idyllic the setting, a change of scenery is nice too. I'll be interested to see what you cook up - keep in touch with us!
Nov. 1, 2011 1:01 pm
I never been to the virgin islands but I went to Granada with the 82nd that is a bit south of the virgin islands and I loved the Island life, the water was so nice and clear. I could live on a boat but there is no way I could drag my wife on to one. she wild be kicking and screaming.
Nov. 2, 2011 5:59 am
What an adventure! How often do you make it to the states? It must be challenging to find some alone time. Thanks for sharing the picture, it made me miss the ocean in a good way. As always, Live, Love, Laugh. Scott
Nov. 2, 2011 8:01 am
Thanks for all the great "welcome back" comments! I hope I can keep you entertained with meal ideas and photos!
Nov. 2, 2011 11:05 pm
Sounds like the same situation as in Alaska. Everything is ridiculously expensive- except barge shipping so there's that. But you can't barge something in if it's perishable, sadly. :(
Nov. 3, 2011 4:59 am
nice to see you again barbara! looking forward to reading your blog again! :-)
Dec. 12, 2011 7:29 pm
So glad to see you back!
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Barbara K

Home Town
South Bend, Indiana, USA

Member Since
Apr. 2007

Cooking Level

Cooking Interests
Baking, Slow Cooking, Asian, Mexican, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Quick & Easy, Gourmet

Camping, Boating, Walking, Photography, Reading Books, Music, Painting/Drawing, Wine Tasting

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About Me
I live on a sailboat in the Virgin Islands with a tiny fridge, so there is no room for leftovers. I love the ingredient search on this site...I never waste anything! It's very expensive to live here, so we do a menu challenge-trying to spend less than $15 a day on food.
My favorite things to cook
I am a jewelry designer and work for myself, so I have the flexibility to make time-consuming or complicated meals, but I usually end up making something quick and easy or using the slow cooker.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Oyster dressing is a must for Thanksgiving and Christmas! I keep Grandma's handwritten recipe and follow it exactly.
My cooking triumphs
My very first turkey for my husband! It's called a Black Turkey, and the best I've ever had!
My cooking tragedies
There was a Key Lime Pie that we do not talk about!
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