Grocery Shopping In The Philippines

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Grocery Shopping In The Philippines


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Old 9th April 2010, 09:48 PM
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Angry Grocery Shopping In The Philippines

Shopping for groceries and other basic needs in the Philippines is an adventure in confusion and also overpricing for the newcomer. Often times, you will end up overpaying even after many years of living here if not careful.

At home in the States and most other countries, a grocery store is set up with every isle holding items classified by the type of products available including sub categories such as generic, diet, sale, and size etc.
If there is an item that you can not find just simply ask any store employee where to find the item you are looking for. Within seconds you have directions to that precious item and that’s that.

Ok, you just got off the plane in Manila a few days ago. And now you are a brand new expat in paradise. You have bought or rented a house or apartment and feel quite proud of yourself for all your efforts.
Now it’s time to head to the market to stock up on food and other needs.
After looking up and down a few streets you have managed to find what looks like a “real” grocery store. So far so good.



As you walk in the door you trip and almost fall over a cardboard box, a few small unattended kids, and a stray dog or two.

Now as you walk up and down the isles you notice a few things. Most all of the items for sale are unfamiliar in both type and brand name. Items are stacked on the shelf or possibly still in boxes. No particular order of items per isle as at home. You might find laundry soap pushed up against fresh fruits or catsup in between two different brands of diapers etc.

Unless you happen to be in a very large store you will also notice that no items for sale are marked with a price. There is no way to tell how much each item is! For the local shopper it’s no problem. They have committed to memory what should be the “right price” on every item in the store.
Not so for the brand new expat that just wants go get out of this nightmare of a store, get home and cook something to eat for what is by now going to be a late dinner.

So because of no prices on anything and the fact that you are a foreigner, at the check out stand (if you can find it) you will likely be grossly overcharged.

A P12.00 can of sandiness can cost you P30.00, P25.00 pack of smokes maybe P3500 etc. etc. etc.

After a time or two of this shopping “adventure” we learn that it’s much better to sit at home enjoying a cold beer and let the wife, girlfriend, or housekeeper deal with shopping, paying the bills, and most other dealings until we learn the ropes and are more price and local culture savvy. That way, dinner will be on time and we don’t end up overdosing on blood pressure medication from all the needless stress.

But that’s okay; we’ve learned our first lesson in foreign living as well as cultural differences. This IS what we wanted isn’t it?

After all, we have a nice, very affordable place to live, a beautiful Asian wife or girlfriend; all under a warm tropical sun and endless beaches that we have waited years to enjoy. And it does get better and easier as time goes by---I promise…

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Old 7th August 2010, 08:18 AM
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Maybe that's how they do business there. They maybe more profit oriented.

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Old 8th August 2010, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by devehrey View Post
Maybe that's how they do business there. They maybe more profit oriented.
Yes, that is exactly how most stores do business here. It's not for the sake of profit I assure you. There is not enough future planning or thinking for that to be the case. It's more like they just dont care and nothing really matters to them---including customer service and the like.
Extremely frustrating unless one wants to do most all shopping at the mall. There, service and the ability to find the needed products is easier...

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Old 18th September 2010, 11:29 AM
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Gene and Viol obviously live outside any major city. I would not be surprised if they live in some remote barangay in Arayat, Pampanga, as they seem to be describing a small grocery store right across a public market, not the usual haunt of a the usual expat family.

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Old 20th September 2010, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by abrahamvllera View Post
Gene and Viol obviously live outside any major city. I would not be surprised if they live in some remote barangay in Arayat, Pampanga, as they seem to be describing a small grocery store right across a public market, not the usual haunt of a the usual expat family.
Arayat is a nice little town out in the country. Close to the national park gate and a more quite place than Angeles proper. But nice as it is, it's too remote and not enough available to do there. Also shopping is limited there to pretty much sari sari stores.

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Old 25th September 2010, 02:34 AM
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As a Ramputee (white-stud) you will always pay a bit more...Get used to it you cheap hussy.

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Old 25th September 2010, 10:10 AM
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As a Ramputee (white-stud) you will always pay a bit more...Get used to it you cheap hussy.
Hahaha, yep, thats the way. But really does not matter who or what the color of the expat-it happens to all of us. Just takes getting use to and getting an idea of pricing.

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