In Barrow, AK, the largest grocery/department store (the ONLY one in this town of 4,200 people on the North Slope) is the AC store. It is the descendent of the Artic Circle supply company. It sells everything from groceries to clothing, from furniture and appliances to ATVs and snow machines, plus it has a small eat-in restaurant.
Everything is flown in during the winter, as are fresh fruits and vegetables year round. In the summer time some things come by barge via the Arctic Ocean from Seattle—like furniture, appliances, and motorcycles.
Most items that are available in the lower 48 states are available above the Arctic Circle if you are willing to pay the price. Most things cost about double or triple what they do in Charles City, Iowa.
Pears are $3.59 lb. Several varieties of apples are available from $3.69 to $3.79 per pound.
Red cabbage=$3.29 lb; Baby carrots=$3.89 lb; Baby bok choy=$3.49 lb; Bok choy=$3.99 lb; Lemongrass=$8.99 lb; Japanese eggplant=$9.69 lb; Snow peas=$8.49 lb; Napa Chinese cabbage=$3.89 lb; Carrots=$2.79 lb; Fresh peas=$3.99 lb; Celery=$2.38 lb. Also shown but prices not visible are corn-on-the-cob, leeks, artichokes, yucca root, red and green bell peppers.
Hass Avocados=$4.79 each; Tomatoes on the vine=$5.59 lb; Tomatoes=$4.99 lb; Avocados=$2.79 each; Hot house tomatoes=$4.99 lb; Cherry tomatoes=$6.59 pint. Also shown but prices not visible are ginger root and garlic bulbs.
AC store brand bread (on the right) is $2.95 per loaf. A package of bagels is $5.55 and Multi-Grain Sandwich Thins are $5.05 per package.
Lean ground beef is $4.79 lb.
Rib eye steaks are $13.79 lb (that’s 20¢ off per pound for buying a 2.24 lb. value pack) for a total of $30.89.
Fresh Express coleslaw=$3.59; Fresh Express Italian or American salad greens=$6.49; Fresh Express Fancy greens=$6.49; Fresh Express with double carrots=$5.49; Fresh Express Veggie Lovers=$4.99.
Cut up frying chicken=$3.59 lb or $17.81 for 4.69 lbs. A whole chicken is $3.49 lb or $19.16 for 5.49 lbs.
Five lbs. of flour for $10.55.
We were in Barrow at Thanksgiving time, so I was interested in the price of turkey. One of the teachers said that her 20-pound turkey cost her $50. Yes, it was $2.18 per pound. This frozen turkey is $48.61 for 22.3 lbs.
Sparboe eggs are $6.55 per dozen...
...or $20.99 for 5 dozen.
A half gallon of milk is $6.99.
Syrup is normally $6.89, on sale for $6.70.
Cheerios are $6.29.
We can’t buy ATVs in the grocery store in Iowa but maybe at a Wal-Mart Superstore in a big city. This Honda at the Barrow AC Store costs $9,299.
A 12-pack of Coca-Cola=$11.99.
Children’s and adults’ clothing plus shoes, coats, underwear, and outer wear are available at the AC Store.
5 lbs. of Tootsie Rolls=$16.99 an a little over 3 lbs. of M&Ms=$17.49.
Steve Culbertson stands by a snow machine (also known as a snowmobile in the lower 48) for sale at $15, 599. Carl’s Army buddy in Wainwright bought one in Barrow and rode it home 60 miles over the tundra. At bottom is a small child-size ATV for $4,048.
This was a surprise because we just paid $9.99 for the SAME brand at Cabella’s in Medford, MN. This is only $10.19.