Grocery shopping…and the low cost of alcohol

17 12 2005

I spent hours shopping today at the Mall across the road. It took me so long because there are three shops I have to go to (Trader Joe’s, Safeway & The Milk Pail Market) and people were everywhere. Christmas is nearly here and the crowds have been whipped up into a frenzy.

It also doesn’t help that the Mall is spread out over about a square kilometre and there’s a lot of walking to be done – especially if you don’t know where any of the stores are located!

It took even longer than normal because I also went to more than three stores. I also visited Wal-Mart, Mervyn’s & Sears (all large department stores) in an vain attempt to find a door snake[1] and Christmas presents. It was pretty much chaos in each of the stores and I didn’t find any presents (there’s a lot of junky items at this mall) nor my damn door snake.

I know my Mum will be interested in the price of groceries here. Generally they’re pretty reasonable. [I’ll be speaking US dollars.] Bananas are 19c each (fruit is cheap). 1 Litre Gatorades are $2. A large (450g) punnet of strawberries is $2.49. 450g of roast cashews are $4. 300g can of soup was 60c. Large box of tissues $1.66. I buy expensive milk (otherwise the taste is weird!) at $2 for 1.9L.

The guys back home will definitely be interested to know the cost of alcohol here. It’s very cheap. I bought a six-pack of Hoegaarden’s for $8.99. That was about the most expensive beer I could buy. A six-pack of Asahi’s cost $5.50. Your standard American beers (Budweiser etc) were often under $5. For six. I saw Coopers Pale Ale, a favourite Aussie beer of mine, for $8.50 for six. That’s an import beer here!

A 2 litre bottle of Jaygermeister was just over $40. The most espensive bottle of butterscotch schnapps I could find cost US$8. Most were just over $5. Vodka was typically under $20 for a litre. Jim Beam is $10 for 750mL. A one litre bottle of Makers Mark was $22. Baileys is a bit of an exception at an expensive $18 for 750mL. Still cheaper than home.

I wonder if there’s a rampant alcoholism problem here? If so it’s not obvious. And just how much do we get taxed for alcohol in Australia?!

Anyway, now I’m in my apartment cooking lasagne with my newly purchase groceries. If it’s successful you’ll hear more about it. 😉

[1] You know, to stop drafts flowing under a door. There’s a very loud whooshing sound as air rushes beneath the front door to my apartment. I’m currently using a towel to block up the gap.

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4 responses

23 12 2005
Lamb

I’d almost forgotten the shock of discovering that alcohol is so cheap – I love rediscovering that each time I go there.
If you become an alcoholic, it’s actually AUSTRALIA’s fault for makin’ it so damn pricey.

You’re still wasting your time with bottom-shelf beer – and don’t even mention budweiser, miller, etc. That stuff is excrement.

25 12 2005
trentini

It’s hard to pick other beers – you can pretty much only buy beer by the six-pack and there’s a lot of crap out there. I don’t want to waste a purchase. You recommended Gulden Draak but I haven’t been able to find it yet – any other recommendations?

And Hoegaarden ain’t bottom shelf – it’s the best white beer I’ve been able to find. 🙂

I agree that the standard American beers (Millers, Bud etc) are awful – they’re even worse than the standard Aussie beers (VB, Carlton Cold etc).

23 01 2006
Kenneth

I seem to recall looking for a door snake once and also finding it to be a foreign concept.

23 01 2006
trentini

I *finally* found a door snake BTW. Except, typically American, it’s HUGE – about four inches (see I’m speaking US units already!) in diameter. Which means that it’s so big that it doesn’t plug up the gap properly. I need a smaller one that can be jammed into the bottom of the door. The search continues…

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