For some inexplicable reason, I was unusually worried about grocery shopping here. Not just that they wouldn’t have the food and brands I like, but that everything would be extraordinarily expensive. The way we stocked up on toiletries in our ocean freight you’d think we were moving somewhere without stores. But–surprise!–they do have stores here. We’ve been going to a Tesco Metro just down the street, which isn’t even a full-fledged supermarket. They seem to be geared towards people who live in the area and just need to pick up a few things, as there is no parking lot or shopping carts, only baskets. Everything is smaller too, like the laundry detergent bottle. That might be the store or just the UK in general–their paper towels are shorter than ours too. I was pleasantly surprised by how reasonably priced things were. We got a can of Pringles for 99 pence ($1.56), a six-pack of yogurt for 90 pence ($1.40) and a box of cookies for 44 pence (70 cents). But the best deal by far is the Tesco Meal Deal–you get a prepackaged sandwich, bag of chips–I mean crisps, and pop, water or juice for £2 ($3.16). You can’t beat that deal, even in the US! And the sandwiches aren’t bad either considered they are premade and packaged in a triangle box. So far I like the ham and cheese and chicken caesar. Some of them are a bit bizarre, like prawn and mayonnaise and chicken and bacon stuffing. While trying to find an image for this post, a Tesco lasagna sandwich kept coming up. I’d love to try that.
While you can get some American brands here (Heinz, Kellogg’s), there are some you can’t. I found the website of this store in St. John’s Wood that capitalizes on that fact and sells American products to rich American expats for ridiculous prices. A box of Kraft mac and cheese is £2 ($3.16), Oreos are £5 (close to $8) and–the kicker–Lucky Charms for £7 ($11). I love Lucky Charms, but not that much! Looks like I’ll be stocking up on them when I go back to the states for Christmas.