Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Harris Meats and Groceries

We were recently introduced to Harris Meats & Groceries, a company based out of Winnipeg that flies in fresh and frozen foods to Nunavut a couple times a week. Depending on where your community is, the shipping charges vary – but the cost is also subsidized through the Nutrition North Program (healthier foods and necessities get charged very little in freight vs. processed/junk food). They have some things listed on their website, but you can also contact them and ask for anything you want and they will send a shopper out to get it (ie. I wanted "specialty" vegetables and they weren’t on the site, but they got them for me).
I tried placing an order last Tuesday; I emailed them a spreadsheet of the items I was looking for and they sent back an estimate of what the total cost would be before finalizing it. I actually ended up calling them directly and they were incredibly patient/helpful with all the questions I had. My order went on the plane Wednesday afternoon, and by Friday, I was picking it up from the airport!

You’re probably wondering if it’s worth the hassle. Well, I have been averaging about $150/week on groceries for the two of us and that usually includes a limited amount of decent produce and meat to last us between 5 and 7 days. My order with Harris Meats came to $240 and that included almost 30 pounds of meat (should be enough to last us 3+ weeks if I calculated correctly), and dairy and produce that I couldn’t get here in town. For a price comparison:

4L Milk
Northern: $8.09
Harris: $5.09

Bacon, 500g package
Northern: $8.95
Harris: $4.79

Strawberries, frozen 600g package
Northern: $9.99
Harris: $3.99

Cheddar, 500g brick
Northern: $15.99
Harris: $10.99

Lean Ground Beef
Northern: $7+ for 2 pounds
Harris: $3.60 for 2 pounds

The list goes on, but you get the point. I’m saving money even after you factor in the freight because it’s still less than what I’m paying at the Northern. The best part is that I can ask for items that aren't available here. I asked for bean sprouts and kale, and both weren't a problem. 

The quality of the produce we received were fresh and in good condition when they arrived (even though the boxes were a little dented). The meat was frozen in manageable portion sizes, so once I took everything out of the boxes, I loaded up our freezer and we are as full as we can possibly get. The crispers are overflowing, and it makes me so happy to look into our fridge and see it full as opposed to the limited quantities we were dealing with for the past few weeks.

It's definitely a good/great alternative for groceries, but I'd be hesitant to order things like eggs or bread because I think they'd get smushed during travel. I only ordered a small quantity of fresh produce, but I think this is something that I'm going to start doing bi-weekly and going to the Northern for the more delicate items/last minute runs. 

So happy to have found them. If you're coming/are in the North and haven't checked them out yet, I highly recommend them.


1 comment:

  1. Try ordering eggs/bread once and find out if they get smushed. How cool would that be to have eggs flown in like that.