I’d have to say that about 50% of our boat’s contents are tools and project supplies. That’s what it looks like when you live on a workaboard boat. So that would leave something like 25% to kids’ toys and all our clothes, and 25% for food.
Given that we bounce from island to island, our food supplies are what I would call normal. I have land friends that have more food stored away in their pantries than we do. We only have so much space, and the Armageddon is nowhere in sight, so we keep our stocks pretty low key.
When we first started out we had no idea what we were doing and provisioned like if we were headed out to sea, and probably had enough canned food for a return trip too. Sadly, most of those cans either expired while sitting at the back of the cupboard, or rusted out and had to get chucked. Who knows why we thought we would ever eat canned vegetables, or need that much canned chicken, neither of which we regularly consume. It was a waste of money and space to have done what we did. We know better now.
We have come to discover that pretty much every island has a grocery store (sure some only carry certain dried goods, that may or may not already be expired), but most have a very good selection of food and produce. And you pretty much always know in advance, thanks to the coconut telegraph (ie other sailors) what to expect of islands along the way. So you know whether you should buy a little extra to sustain you until your next decent market.
Now, if you are thinking with your wallet, you may say, “well it is cheaper to stock up on canned pasta sauce here”, and it very well may be. But do the math too, will you be able to eat all of what you purchase before it expires or the cans rust out? Because if not, then that money is wasted. Or will weevils be hiding in your stores of dried noodles and have eaten their way through them before you do? (That was a disgusting discovery of ours, I chucked it all.)
We regularly visit land to replenish on fresh vegetables and fruit, cheese, and eggs. If it weren't for that, we could probably go about a couple of weeks with the dry and canned goods we have on board. The Virgin Islands, where we are now, are very well set up when it comes to grocery stores. They even have Costco-type stores if there is anything you want to buy in bulk. So we stock up on certain things just so that we don’t have to do mega shops every time we go to land. If you were to open our “pantry” right now you would find lots of Milk (UHT), cereal, flour, pasta sauces, soups, tvp (meat replacement), and powdered milk (for making yogurt). Our freezer is full of frozen chicken breasts (we eat a lot of chicken). We buy big amounts of our favorite and most consumed items, and the other random things can be purchased on our regular weekly shopping trips.
If you are about to head out, and there are islands along the way, DON’T over think it. Buy what you like (especially if you are picky or hooked to a name brand) and everything else you can pick up along the way. And unless you are used to eating things like canned green beans and have a recipe for them, don’t think that because you are sailing you are going to be forced to eat them or become the Betty Crocker of the ocean and come up with some amazing green bean recipe that the whole family will love. You won’t. Leave that can on the supermarket shelf.
|This side is canned black & red beans, pasta sauces, and soups|
|Our biggest storage area, stand up bottles up front, milk packs laying down behind that. Kids' snacks on top shelf.|
|Cereals, powdered milk, canned tuna, canned chicken, noodles, and TVP|
|Dried goods in drop down storage space. Rice, Flour, Pasta, and cereals.|
|Regular kitchen use stuff, with fruit and veggies hanging, and home made bread|