Grocery Shopping in China

One thing you can’t bring with you from the United States to China is food.  Unless you have extra space in your luggage you plan on checking in you won’t be able to bring anything over.  When we first arrived we knew we would need to get some food so we had our driver take us to the supermarket which happens to be the largest supermarket I have ever seen.  It’s more like a mall with a grocery store in the center.

 ChineSUZHOU Kun shan Zhong yin shi mao Store

Most of the food looks foreign.  Oh wait, it is foreign to me… I’m in China!  I realize quickly that I won’t be able to communicate with an employee and I can’t read the labels so this might be difficult.

I can make out the produce only it’s different from what we find in the states.

 and you have to stand in line to have a barcode put on the produce before you go to the checkout stand.  This is something I didn’t know and it was quite an ordeal when I got to the checkout so lesson learned!

The meat department looks like this  I think that is chicken in the upper left corner of the photo.  If it’s not then my family will eat something new I guess.

 This could be hamburger I’m just not sure.

I don’t even WANT to know what this is…

There are isles and isles of noodle and rice options and the oil comes in gallon sizes.   I never found dairy other than some boxed milk, powdered milk, and peanut milk.   Really, I was just exhausted by the time I walked through the place so in the end this is what I got…

Next trip to the market I thought it would be nice to make some cookies for my kids when they get home from school but I wasn’t sure I would be able to find all the ingredients.  I did find the baking isle and everything is packaged in bags with chinese writing so I wasn’t sure what I was getting and the sizes are small so it might only make a small batch but it’s worth trying.

Somehow without butter, a mixer, a cookie sheet, or even oven mitts I made my family some cookies…YEAH!!

It’s a little like camping out still but I’ll learn where to shop for what my family calls “normal” food and I’ve already met some other expat wives in the neighborhood who have brought my family food and given me the 411 on where to buy imported food and the International Womens Group has even put together a cookbook with local ingredients together so I just need to get my hands on that and I’ll be good to go….I think.

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6 Comments on “Grocery Shopping in China”

  1. kari smith says:

    WOW i am impressed with the cookies. GO SHERAE 🙂 LOVE YOU

  2. Kimberly Rice says:

    Wow, what a shopping adventure. I don’t want to know what that stuff was either. Ugh! Looks like they eat every part of the animal, if you ask me!

    The house pictures were interesting and neat. Looks like you ended up with a pretty fancy “American” like home. Wow! Was it furnished for you alreadY?

    How is the commute panning out for Greg.

    The kids’ school looks neat. Bet you’re keeping busy.

    • chinachatter says:

      The food shopping is still a mystery. There is no freezer section so you actually get the meat cut how you like it (if you can communicate in Chinese) and we are trying the local snacks out one by one because it’s just too expensive to buy everything imported. The house is furnished and the furniture is pretty fancy for my taste but I think it’s beautiful. They have an IKEA here so I make weekly trips there for stuff I need for the house but even shopping there is challenging because everything is in chinese. I have to shop on-line using my google translater then go to the store and find the items I need. Greg’s commute is one hour on the express and they don’t follow any driving rules here it’s just anything goes so it’s quite scary riding in the car actually. The kids school is awesome and they ride a bus that looks like a touring bus to school every morning and then they have afterschool programs so Greg and Mckaela both get home at the same time on those days. Ethan comes home first, then Olivia an hour later and then Mckaela the next hour. Email me anytime you want. Email is the quickest and skyping is a lot of fun if your family ever wants to skype us just keep in mind we are 14 hours ahead. Miss you!

      • Liz Wheeler says:

        Sherae, This is so cool! Way to go – you are amazing to take on such an adventure. I love the house and food pics – so real of living in a totally foreign place. Take more pics, post more – it’s so fun to follow what you are up to!

  3. Dan Garrison says:

    You earn the “Dan Garrison Survival School Seal of Approval”! Hilarious, unless you have to eat.

  4. kathleen petersen says:

    That same thing with the produce happened to me when I was in Brazil. They actually have a person in the produce section that weighs your stuff and writes it down for you. When I brought my produce up with nothing written down, the cashier looked at me like I was a total idiot.


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