Receiving and Starting to Organize Our Big Grocery Order

After our big, biannual shopping trip in Anchorage (which you can read about in Part 1 and Part 2) we flew back to our little village. Most of our food we just leave with the grocery store because they’ll ship it out to us and it is easier to do that than to try to carry it on as checked baggage. We do pay shipping fees on the groceries ($3.10/lb), so it does get pricey, but it’s the only way to get groceries sent out to us. Typically, we wait up to a week for our groceries to arrive, so Cody and I do bring one large cooler with us and fill it with items at the grocery store that we want to carry out and not ship. The cooler usually contains: meal items to last us a couple of days, fresh produce, cheese (because it is light), and any other little miscellaneous items that we think are necessities. It can be hard to decide what to bring though, as made obvious by just how long our receipts are. Yikes!

As I mentioned, it can take up to a week for our boxes of food to ship out to the village. This time though we got very lucky! I got a call the very next day that our boxes were on the way and that they’d be arriving that same afternoon. We ended up receiving four large boxes that weighed about 100lbs. As soon as we picked the boxes up, Cody and I rushed them home and started unpacking. The airline does a great job of keeping our items frozen and in good shape (shoutout to Lake Clark Air!), but we are always anxious to get them unpacked quickly because we never know how long they’ve been on the plane.

Other than the grocery items we purchased in Anchorage, we also ordered a lot of items online via Target and Amazon Prime. In the first 24hrs of being home, we had a LOT of unpacking to do. At the moment, all of the frozen food is just kind of thrown in our deep freeze because we’ve been so busy and just wanted to get it in there. I did have to organize the non-freezer/fridge items right away though. We still had lots of canned and dried goods from last year, but I did have to order some essentials that we’d run out of.

The picture above is of the canned goods that I had to order. My current organizational plan is that I have some down low cupboards that I used to organize canned and dried goods. I try to put them into rows based on what they are and their expiration dates. Then, I have a top cupboard that contains a Lazy Susan that I put all of the canned goods that I want to use ASAP on. I try to put 2-3 items of each of my canned goods in neat rows in the Lazy Susan. This keeps me from having to hunt through the lower cupboards anytime I want to grab something quick. In a separate top cupboard, I put our dried goods (noodles, beans, soup mixes, etc), sauces, and other quick meal items. My extras of these are stored down in the lower cupboard with the canned goods, but I like to have some up top and accessible. Here is a general idea of what my top cupboard looks like:

It does get crazy trying to organize all of our items for the year, and it’s a process I am still working on. I wish we had one of those can racks (something like a bigger version of this), but for now just stacking everything on the shelves is working. Next up – organizing the deep freeze!


2 Responses to Receiving and Starting to Organize Our Big Grocery Order

    • Hi Miriam. Good question! The short answer is that I live in rural Alaska because it is where my job is located. I am the elementary teacher at the school. The longer answer is that I came to Alaska in 2010 originally and fell in love with it. Mu husband and I lived in Juneau for a few years and absolutely LOVED it there, but it was an expensive city for a young couple trying not to acquire debt. We decided to go to the Bush in order to stay in Alaska and save money. One day we will probably move back to a more urban part of Alaska, but at the moment that is on our 5+ year plan.

Tell me, tell me...