Whenever I travel abroad, I can’t help but notice all of the small differences between the good ole USA and wherever I am. When I live abroad, those differences can take some getting used to. Here are some of the things I have noticed about Chilean supermarkets.
*Supermarkets are tightly packed with people at all times of the day…. like always…. so you may need to plan to spend a little extra time there.
*You can find Great Value products at the Lider supermarkets here. Lider is a supermarket chain owned by Walmart. So if you feel homesick, you can grab a Great Value frozen pizza and feel like you’re back home. 😉
*Eggs and milk are not refrigerated, but do not fear! Apparently the boxed milk keeps for a long time on the shelves, and eggs are super fresh here. You refrigerate them at home though.
*You MUST weigh most of your fruit and veggies on the scale, then put a little sticker on them with a price tag before going to the register. Otherwise you risk the embarrassment of having to go back and do it later, holding up the line.
*Some veggies are sold by weight, and some individually. (Quick anecdote: I quickly noticed that putting a price tag on produce was a thing at the supermarket. Like a pro, I started weighing and stickering my colorful array of fresh fruit. There’s a touchscreen computer that helps you with the process. All was well, until…. I couldn’t find the icon for the cucumber. A large line was forming behind me, and I was desperately searching through all of the pictures. Finally, a woman who looked helpful approached. I said, “Donde esta el pepino!?” and she couldn’t find it either. Many agonizing moments later, she realized that pepinos are sold individually, not be weight. So no sticker for my pepino. Whew.)
*At the register, you will be asked at least two questions:
-“Acumulas puntos?” (Do you have a rewards card?) and “Quieres donar suchnsuch pesos?” (Do you want to donate suchnsuch pesos) Of course, my reply was “Uhhhmmpphh…. lo siento….. hablo ingles.” Apparently they ask for donations every time you go to the store. Your spare change is supposedly donated to charities, but people have mixed feelings about it because they think the supermarket is doing this for selfish reasons (tax benefits and good PR). I think she also asked me something about my ID number or passport number, but for the life of me I just don’t know.
*Produce is relatively cheap here! Except for avocados!