There probably isn't one of us who doesn't wince at a price or two when we visit our local grocery store. Wait, just how much is that olive oil? And that yogurt is wait, that much? Prices always seem to be on the rise, but if you live at the top of the Arctic Circle in extra-rural Alaska, even your highest grocery store prices would be a deep discount for the locals there. Just how much are you willing to pay for a bag of chips or a roll of toilet paper?
When I was 19 years old, I moved to Alaska for a crush on a boy. It was the middle of winter and everything seemed new and strange. Don't get me wrong — Alaska is one of the most beautiful locations I've ever spent time, but back in the day, it was not only difficult to gain access to the brands I'd come to love, but also the stores themselves were in short supply. Once you did find a store that carried the things you needed, they were usually more expensive than I had been used to after living in the Midwest most of my life.
This isn't surprising when you think about it. It takes more planes, trains, and automobiles to get things up there.
The nice folks over at the Him & Her YouTube Channel always have fun videos but recently they shared what it's like (prices, selection) at a store in extra-rural northern Alaska in the town of Barrow.
The good news is there are familiar items in the store! The bad news is they aren't easy on the pocketbook and are three times more expensive from my time spent in the state. Barrow is literally the northernmost point in Alaska and I'm pretty sure it takes sled dogs, planes, or possibly both, in conjunction with Santa and eight tiny reindeer, to get products to the shelves.
If you're thinking Barrow is a small town, well you'd be right. They only have 4,000-ish residents, which is still substantial in size as far as small towns are concerned. I'm not sure how much I love the idea of paying $2 and change for toilet paper, but heaven knows Amazon sells bidets! Problem solved!