Hello everyone and happy Saturday! I wanted to write a post on my adventures with grocery shopping here in Budapest. I would say that out of everything so far, this is the only thing that will require some adapting for me, but worth the change for a healthier lifestyle.
For all of you who love grocery shopping as much as I do, here are some fun facts about shopping in Budapest:
- No publix or any mega grocery store here in Budapest; the large format grocery store is hard to come by; when you do, you are well outside the city centre; instead, you will find many mini markets at nearly every street corner
- Rarely will you find items like you find in the US (e.g., looking for a jar of peanut butter, I went to four spots and finally found one)
- Family size does not exist; you shop for a day or two, not a week
- Deli meats are different in many ways; lots of emphasis on ham (sonka) and salami (szalámi); turkey or roast beef are hard to come by; deli meats are extremely fresh though
- Cereal “aisles” do not exist; in fact, you might find 10 different kinds of cereal in a shop here, at a maximum, very different from the plethora of cereals in the US
- All the items with preservatives that we love so much in America (e.g., pillsbury cookies, croissants etc) are not found here
- Frozen foods? You don’t find the ready made meals like Boston Market, Lean Cuisine, etc. Everything is pretty fresh and outside of french fries, a few pizzas and some veggies and fruits, there is not much of a frozen aisle
- My personal favorite…breads are fresh and amazing! Selection is bountiful, all baked fresh daily and very, very cheap; so many varieties as well
- Large shopping carts do not come around often; since you shop for less days, you usually just use a basket
- Reusable bags are a must here, otherwise you pay for a plastic bag; quite different from the US where you can easily go home with 20 bags for a set of groceries
These are just a few fun facts and of course, so many more. The biggest challenge for me is not finding the items I would typically buy at home. For example, italian (salad) dressing is a favorite ingredient for a recipe I make back home. Well I have looked at every store and cannot find italian dressing! Instead, you learn to use different flavors or just make the dressing with real fresh ingredients. Makes a shopping list quite fun for me right now!
I had a few frustrating moments recently while shopping for Neil and I, but with a little patience and creativity, you learn to figure it out.
I hope you enjoyed my shopping update…more to come about my life abroad.
Thanks for tuning in,