Woman's Shopping Trip Shows How Crazy Expensive Things Are In Rural Alaska

Every now and then, we'll hear about a quirky part of the world in which local circumstances are such that most people there will live underground or in a single building.

But while it's interesting to hear about these places at all, it's especially hard to look away when we get some insight into what it's like to live there from the people who actually do.

And sure, it's easy to be curious about how a remote research station at the South Pole manages to get rid of its trash, but we can also find that the towns we may not have spared a thought for also hold their own bizarre facts of life when someone exposes them to us.

That goes a long way to explain why TikTok users suddenly had a lot of questions about rural Alaska after seeing one woman's staggering video.

A woman who goes by Emily In Alaska on TikTok largely dedicates her channel to showing off the natural beauty and unique facts of life that come from settling down in rural Alaska.

But on November 22, she uploaded a video that really captured the community's attention by revealing just how expensive it is to go grocery shopping where she lives.

You may have noticed that those blocks of cheese cost about $25 apiece, but they're hardly unique in their outrageous pricing.

Emily's video description expressed particular frustration at paying $18 for a carton of milk, but $9 bags of chips and $13 bottles of coffee creamer also didn't appear to be out of the ordinary.

With these prices in mind, it hardly comes as a surprise when Emily tells us that Alaska's cost of living is 24% higher than the national average.

And she also cited a surprisingly simple answer as to why that is.

Namely, that any products going to rural areas in the state have to take a difficult route by plane or barge, which in turn drives their costs up.

And that's also why the prices change so dramatically when you find yourself in one of Alaska's urban centers.

This was something Emily addressed in a follow-up video after she told users that McDonald's franchises in Anchorage tend to pay workers $12.50 an hour.

As you might expect, this led users to wonder how anyone living in Alaska can afford anything.

To that, she replied, "If you can travel to Anchorage or Fairbanks, prices are much more reasonable."

For instance, the cheese blocks she showed off in an Anchorage grocery store cost $10, while milk was going for $4 a jug.

Of course, going that far afield to do one's shopping leads to the same problem distributors are facing as making that kind of trip comes with its own prices.

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