Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grocery Shopping in Iceland

So I went to the grocery store today out in the big shopping mall. The store for huge for a New Yorker like me who is accustomed to smallish stores it was slightly overwhelming for the grocery store to basically be like a Super Target. I would say Super Wal-Mart but you know I haven’t ever been in one of them. Note for those exact sticklers, for prices I assumed an exchange rate of 1 USD to be 100 Iceland Kroner. The real rate I’ve been getting from the ATM is about 112, so if you want EXACT prices you can cut another 12% from what I’ve written here.. This is from the Hagkaup which i have no idea what the translates to and google doesn't give me anything good.

Orange Juice 1 liter $3 – Good deal considering how much a glass is at the café
Pretzel Sticks $2 – again decent, good for snacking when I go exploring the city
Icelandic Glacial Water 1 liter - $1.79 – I hope it’s better than Poland Springs, cause this was free from nature at some point
Cranberry Juice 1 liter - $5 – a bit pricey but always a good secondary hangover cure for me. Still at home I am getting 64oz (2 liters for my metric challenged folks) for $2.99 on sale, $4.50 normally.
PowerAde tiny bottle like 10oz probably - $2.69 – Damn I chug huge bottles at home for $1 each. But essential as my best hangover cure.
Pomi Tomato sauce $1 – great deal, I will be making some pasta for sure
Honey Ham $4 for a quarter pound, so that works out to $16 a pound – gotta make sandwiches for the 8hr Golden Circle Trip tomorrow.
Pepperoni - $3.50 for about 16 small round slices – probably works out to $15 a pound
Gouda Cheese - $4.50 for half a pound – not my favorite cheese but the only one I could easily translate
Pesto Ham - $2.75 for 5 thin slices, again probably in the $15-$20 pound range
Bacon $2.40 for 3.5 ounces(.1 kg), per pound this works out to $10. And it aint even oscar mayer
Potatoes - $1.45 for 2, the per pound price is $5.50. Come on Ireland is close even if you have to import them this is crazy.
Onions - $1.15 for a big one, per pound price is $5.50. Damn I’ve paid .99 cents a pound for sweet Vidalia onions at home before.
Box of 20 tea bags – $3.89 – not bad at all, I’m at Café paris right now and one tea bag, and a pot of boiling water is going to cost me $4.

Well despite spending $40 or so at the grocery store I will be saving money since the café I’m at now wants $18 bucks for a sandwich, and that is fairly normal for prices here when eating out. Since I have a great apartment with kitchen I’m staying at, and I’m not a big fan of eating at the most trendy expensive places in town I’m going to cook up a few breakfasts, and easy lunches. This way when I’m spending $8 or more for crappy draft beer I wont feel so bad since I’ve been able to save on the food portion of my trip. I did manage to check out beer prices at the state run liquor stores, the cheap stuff can be had for $1.50 a 330ml (12 ounces for my metric challenged friends), import stuff like Stella and Heineken about $3.50 for same 330ml, I bought a few “micro-brews” that are local for about $3.50 a bottle, they are in the fridge now I will report on them in a later post.

So the beer is a bit more expensive at the liquor store but still affordable, hard booze on the other hand is still downright crazy. I looked at what a 750ml of Jameson costs for a friend who will be here in June and love the stuff, that was $59, and a full liter was $80. I think in the states you can get a liter of Jameson for $25 bucks? No way the taxes make up the rest of that. I mean its farther to the USA from Ireland than to Iceland if my geography classes meant anything.

So overall I’m going to save a bit here, spend a bit there. I guess in the end it will wash out, but no doubt food at the grocery store is a sticker shock to this American. The beer prices of $8 for crappy draft also are a bit Norwegian/Swiss to my travels.. Oh to be back in Bulgaria where the good local beer at the bar is $1.50.


Anonymous said...

Well you did go to Hagkaup. Not the cheapest store. Concerning the booze, it´s outrageously expensive.

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