Bush Shopping

Tags: SEND North, Story

Living in the remote corners of the Far North makes grocery shopping interesting (and it has nothing to do with shrubbery).  It takes more work to live up here, but it is well worth it.  There is no reward greater than seeing a life changed when they encounter a real relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

This blog will give you a snapshot of a day in the life of one of our Alaskan team mates…shopping…

“Since the nearest Walmart is hundreds of miles away, my trip to Walmart looks like this:

Those of us in the bush have to get creative with our shopping. The main way we shop consists of doing a three month shopping spree when we happen to be in the city (around three to four times a year) and mailing all the groceries to ourselves in Rubbermaid bins. Anything fresh or frozen obviously can’t be mailed (although not unheard of) and becomes our luggage on the commercial airline. It is normal for me to check frozen chicken breasts, cheese, apples and yogurt as my luggage.

Or other ways we get food is when the barge comes into town in the spring. In this case, I bought a 50 lb bag of oatmeal on the barge that came in June and just yesterday separated it into ziplocks.

What would you do with a year’s supply of oatmeal? A lot of times, I see a new recipe that would be fun to try and put the items on my grocery list, knowing it will be a month or two until I buy those items in the city.

But when one gets desperate and the tiny, local grocery store doesn’t carry what you’re craving–you resort to making a lot of food from scratch…Yum!

But last week, something exciting happened! I found out that I can order from and get FREE SHIPPING! TO THE BUSH! I tried it out to make sure it works and my stuff arrived in just over a week! Walmart offers this deal where if you order $45 worth of items marked “Home Free”, then it ships for free. This is amazing, people! This is even better than Amazon! Even with, where we could sometimes get free shipping on food or household items, I would have to order a case of 6 to get the free shipping. But with Walmart, I can order ONE bottle of bodywash and one thing of scotch tape! I can order laundry detergent and other liquids. I can even order toilet paper! And Cheezits! This may not seem that exciting, but it is transforming my life here in remote Alaska! When we typically pay between $200-$400 just to ship food and toiletries to ourselves per shopping trip, this will be a great money saver.

Oh, the things we get excited about living in bush Alaska!