Nakumatt is our largest supermarket chain here. There are also a few other smaller chains as well as some individually owned stores.
BJ does most of our grocery shopping for several reasons. I don't drive here, so that means if I go, we all go. Then BJ shops faster without me (Imagine that!), and for some strange reason, he claims that we spend less money when he goes by himself! Ha Ha Sometimes I go just for the fun of it to get out of the house, but you know how it is taking two little ones shopping. Also, wherever we go as a family, we are sure to draw a lot of attention. We usually have trails of children following us all through the store trying to talk with Seth or get a good look at Brina!
These pictures are of a Nakumatt in Nairobi. Nakuru just recently got a Nakumatt store too, so now we do most of our shopping here in Nakuru, with the exception of meat which we still buy at a butcher shop in Nairobi.
Nakumatt has most of what we need. Some things that are not available are chocolate chips, grape jelly, cornmeal, poultry seasoning, cream of tartar, taco seasoning, pepperoni, and some sodas such as Root Beer and Cream Soda. I would not consider any of these needs though. They are definitely things you can live without. Many times, things go in and out of stock. We try to keep stocked up on different items that we like, but you can only stock so far ahead, and you never know what might not be available tomorrow. At one point, there was no sugar in the stores! And when it did come back on the shelves, the price had skyrocketed! They just got real brown sugar back in stock recently. I was so excited to see it! Right now, we are waiting on canned tomato sauce to come back in stock.
I hope to see cranberry sauce again before Thanksgiving. Sometimes the brand of mayonnaise we like goes out of stock, or Heinz ketchup cannot be found on the shelves. But in most cases, there are other brands to replace our favorites. Anything truly Cajun, we have shipped to us. It is simply not possible to go three to four years without our Louisiana food!
So now let's get down to prices. When we first got to Kenya, I was shocked at the prices. I had to get used to seeing everything in 100's and 1,000's, and it was difficult to wrap my mind around that. However, once I learned to convert all those shillings back to American dollars, it wasn't so bad. Right now, we get about 83 Kenyan shillings to 1 American dollar. I find that prices here are pretty comparable to prices in the States, maybe just a little higher. Certain things, however, are definitely higher in price. Here are few examples:
Pancake syrup--$8.61 for a 24 oz. bottle
Chipoltle Tobasco (when we can find it)--$7.65 for a 6 oz bottle. BJ loves this stuff!
Taco sauce/salsa--close to $5.00 a jar
Canned goods--$2.50 to $3.00 a can
Gas--$5.50 a gallon
Electricity is twice as expensive here as it is in the States.
Chicken and pork are definitely more expensive. Beef is about the same as in the States. Fresh vegetables are quite a bit cheaper here, and they taste SO good. The carrots here are so sweet. Bananas in the States have no flavor compared to the bananas here. Tea (and coffee I'm told) have way more flavor here too.
So that gives you an idea of what grocery shopping is like here in Kenya. I am glad to let BJ handle it for me. He brings home the food, and I cook it!
* Tonight, King Ranch Chicken