Time to rethink grocery shopping

I know, I know, enough about shopping! But I’m afraid it will be a preoccupation until I can finally get it sorted out. I still have yet to actually cook a meal in this house, and I know if we keep ordering take-out, we’ll quickly whittle away any extra savings we’re getting from no rent, utilities or car payments. My cook books are still on their way, but there’s one simple chicken recipe I know from heart, so I’ve decided to just start with that.

First of all, without a car, the supermarket is a huge pain in the ass. It’s too far, and it’s too much to carry. On my little walk about yesterday I spied a fresh fruit and vegetable market, and the produce looked excellent. Much better than at the supermarket. Plus, I don’t have to wait in a line to get it weighed, then pay for it at the cashier (I won’t be making THAT mistake again.) There was quite a selection — I was even able to buy eggs. I’m not sure if the prices are more than at the supermarket (probably they are), but they were comparable to what I was paying in the States, assuming my math is correct translating Euros to Dollars. The eggs were more, but not by a lot. And I’m willing to pay for the quality and convenience of walking down the block. Violet and I sampled an excellent avocado and some not-so-excellent tomatoes. It’s not tomato season, so I’ll cut them some slack. I also picked up kiwis and apples, and they had  ton of bananas, sort of a breakfast staple in our household.

After dropping off our produce at home, I went in search of the Meatropolis I’d seen yesterday. I retraced my steps from before…back to the graffitied pay phone, down  a wrong street, then back again to try another…and then I found it! A tiny little place, but the meat looked very good, and they also offered cold cuts, which I plan to get when we run out of the shnasty ones I got at the supermarket.

Today we had another flurry of visitors, one of which was the housing coordinator at the Embassy. She gave me loads of advice, and one of the things she recommended was doing exactly this — buying produce at the produce market and meat at the butchers. What can I say? This living abroad stuff comes naturally to me! She also said eating take out here is almost as cheap as buying groceries…I’m not so sure about that, but I like the sound of it!

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