Sunday, February 23, 2014

My first Day Grocery Shopping.

So I found out quickly that taking a taxi, even though one trip is cheap about $3, it adds up quickly. So my friend, Sheryl, took me shopping around town where we live. In about a 5-7 minute walking distance from our house. She goes shopping for 2 weeks at a time and I didn't think I was up for that. My goal was to go shopping for just a few days worth of food. I had a little list of things to buy.

Before I met up with Sheryl I took a walk to the kitchen store and was able to buy a ladle, small plates, and a stool. After walking back up the hill to my house, I thought to myself, "How in the world does she shop for two weeks? I'm already tired from carrying 5 items."

When I arrived at her house she had a large suitcase on wheels. Very clever indeed! I brought some large bags from the states about the size of reusable shopping bags.

Shopping around town is very different than the States where you can go to one store for everything. They do have a "Walmart" like store down the road but you have to take a taxi, and you don't really get interaction with the local people like you do if you shop right here.

So we left about 11am. First we stopped at the meat store and told them what we wanted and that we would be back later to pick it up. I ordered some Buffalo--which is sort of like ground beef. (Turned out great and no one knew the difference.) We then headed to the Small grocery store. Seems easy enough until you realize that you have quite a decision to make when staring at the toilet paper. In the states you can see how many sheets are on a roll and figure out how much it is and what you want. Here it's mostly in Nepali and I had no idea what to buy.

I stood looking at all the soaps wondering what hand soap do I get, what dish soap to get, where is the laundry soap, then which one should I buy? All of the cookies are in weird packages so even picking out a simple snack is difficult because you don't want to buy something that isn't going to taste good, yet how do you know what to buy. Growing up in the States you eat Keebler cookies or Oreos or the knock-off brand because that's what your mom bought, and her mom, and her mom before that. You don't usually have to think about things like that.

You stare at the cereal and see Special K cereal but with slightly different packaging and "in puree sauce" on the front and wonder do I want to spend $3 on that? How do you even have dry "puree sauce" in a cereal.

I wound up asking Sheryl what to buy for everything I needed and taking her advice without question since she has been here and "tried" all these things already. I can't say how grateful I am to have her here to learn from.

I walked down the flour, sugar, spice aisle and picked up every bag to find the one that might be flour. I finally found the bag that was flour, I think, Under manufacture information it said flour mill, so I figured that must be what it was. After finally making some purchases we moved on to the rice store where I also bought garlic, then back to the meat shop, then to another produce stand to finish my produce purchases.

I was pleased to find the produce was super cheap. I purchased a pound of green beans, broccoli, and grape tomatoes and paid under $2 for all of it.

After we dropped off our groceries at home we went out to our "Walmart" to buy the rest of the items that I needed. All in all with another stop to try and find a french press for coffee our shopping trip took 6 hours! And that was just to get things I needed for just a few days.

This week, I have made my shopping list and meal plan and am going to try to shop for a weeks worth of groceries. Hopefully I can at least do it in half the time this time around!


  1. it gets easier; but I am not going to lie- the weird cereal ends up with loads of half boxes! I have ended up baking a strange tray bake with 'banana' cornflakes in the past, just to use it up. If you can try going out for breakfast in a local cafe… the Puri Tarkari is pretty good, and my kids love the Puri ( like fried roti- sounds gross but a bit more like pancake!) it will cost you about 20 rupees each! x

  2. Have you been to Bhat Bateni yet? It is the closest thing to a Walmart here and it is MUCH more convenient than shopping at all the little shops in my opinion. I haven't been to the one up there on Bhouda(we shop at the one in Polchowk), but most of them are pretty similar I think.

  3. Thanks. I have gone to Bhat Bateni. Went today actually, all by myself. I was pretty proud of that. I still haven't decided which I like better, the little shops or the big store. I do know I spend more money at BB. haha

  4. I'm glad you are finding your way around. Hope you get settled in quickly :-)