Why I love grocery shopping abroad

I’m in the crowd of people who love grocery shopping. I love walking through the aisles thinking about what I’m going to eat for the week and what I’m going to cook.

When I’m in a foreign country, I love it even more. Why? Since many western expats think in terms of home currency, we essentially get to eat the local foods for much cheaper than their home country. This means a completely different set of foods to explore on the same budget.

For example, tropical fruits are much cheaper and better in South East Asia. Instead of eating apples and oranges, I tend to eat fruit like jackfruit, mangoes and bananas. And better yet, they taste far better than the ones imported at home. (Yes, distance and fruit types do make a difference)

If you want cheap ugly vegetables, you can surely find those at NSK

If you want cheap (and ugly) vegetables, you can surely find those at NSK

Brands familiar to you may also have local variants of flavours that aren’t available in your home country. I love exploring these local varieties. Regional Fanta flavours? Hell yes!

There are some drawbacks with available foods in Malaysia though. Speaking in local currency, beef is expensive as it’s almost all imported. Pork is omitted from a huge portion of the population so it’s a premium item as well. Even more pricey than beef in some cases.

On a random note, grocery shopping and cooking for yourself also has health benefits. I always find it easier to cook cleaner than eating “healthy” outside. For that reason, it’s much easier to keep trim when I’m eating almost all my meals at home. You are what you eat afterall!

If you are ever grocery shopping in Malaysia, here are some things you can check out. You can find a lot of these in other parts of Asia as well.

  • kaya (for bread)
  • different flavours of instant noodles
  • interesting sodas
  • chilli sauce
  • different fruit/vegetables types
  • different seafood types
  • Asian snacks



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