• kristenevelyn

SHOPPING 101

When moving abroad, sometimes the small comforts are things you miss the most.





GROCERY STORES

Below is a list of some of the main UK grocery stores.

Their options are pretty similar to the major grocery shops I have come across in the USA. Some branches (Tesco, Morrisons & Sainbury's) even have USA food item sections.

  1. Morissions These first three shops (Morrisons, Sainsburys & Tesco) are major chains and all roughly equal. Their prices may vary a little, but you will find what you would normally find in a major USA supermarket. I believe all three do home delivery as well, so if you don't have a car you can shop and have groceries delivered to your door, for a small fee.

  2. Sainbury's Of these top three, Sainsbury's has recently been our pick. We signed up online for their "Nectar Card" and each month for the past few months, we have received coupons. They send us the equivalent of one per week and as long as we spend over the limit (40-50GBP), we have saved 6-10GBP.

  3. Tesco

  4. CostCo YES. The UK has a COSTCO. I don't believe they recognise US membership, but it is worth asking.

  5. Aldi German-based grocery store that does have some US branches so you may have come across it. ALDI tends to do a more limited stock of items. from the little I know, it's good for cheeses, and products from Europe and on the cheaper side of the spectrum.

  6. ASDA UK owned grocery store with a similar feel and price range to ALDI and LIDL.

  7. LIDL Again, a German-based grocery store that has expanded into the USA. They have a lot of products from Europe and the prices also on the cheaper end. I am not a fan of how they stock the chain as it has a messier, more whole-sale market feel.

  8. Marks & Spencers A higher-end chain, Marks and Spencer offer good quality grocery and home items. As the basics are quite a bit more expensive than at Sainsburys or Tesco, we tend to use Marks and Spencers for the "extras".

  9. Spar A cross between a grocery store and 711

  10. Waitrose Considered the "posh" grocery store. It is run by John Lewis (posh department store) and the quality is a bit higher than the normal chains. We have not shopped here much as there is not one close by, but our friends that do use it love it.


RETAIL SHOPS

  1. Boots, Superdrug Both of these stores stock toiletries and are similar to RiteAid and Walgreens.

  2. B&Q, Homebase These shops are the equivalent of Home Depot. Of the two, we personally prefer Homebase as in our area their selection of plants is of better quality and their prices are more reasonable

  3. Holland & Barrett Roughly equivalent to GNC. You can buy vitamins, various whole food items, health mixtures, and protein powder here.

  4. JD Sports, Sports Direct At both shops, you can find an array of sneakers and workout clothing. At Sports Direct you will also find sports equipment and accessories.

  5. TK Maxx The UK version of TJ Maxx.

  6. Waterstones, Foyles They are the UK version of Barnes & Noble. You will find Waterstones more often than you will find Foyles.

  7. Wilko Similar to Walmart. It has a mix of home items (pots & pans, garden equipment, bedding) and toiletries. Their prices are really good and often better than Homebase and Ikea for home items.

DEPARTMENT STORES

  1. Debenhams I would equate this chain to JC Penny's or Macy's.

  2. Harvey Nichols, Harrods The UK version of Saks Fifth Avenue/Barneys

  3. John Lewis, Selfridges They are the UK versions of Nordstrom & Bloomingdales. John Lewis is my personal favorite.

About Me

I like to say that I was born in "NY and built in Asia" because at the age of 22 with two suitcases and a degree in Theater Arts I moved from NY to Bangkok.   There I made a niche for myself in the performing arts creating the brands Broadway Babe and Musical Theatre for KIDS. 

 

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