I just went to the grocery store this afternoon. We're always walking so I can't buy too much each time I go to the store. I tend to go there almost every day for a little something but it's two blocks away from us, so not a big deal. Today I wanted to have a "Te Completa" (tea or coffee with croissants, cakes and little sandwiches) at home and needed some little bakery goodies to do that. I thought I'd share my shopping list with you to give you an idea of some food costs here. Granted this was a trip of little items, including some frivolous items, but still should be worthwhile to see. Prices are based on an exchange rate of 24.5 UY pesos to $1 US and rounded up to the nearest cent. Price in pesos is listed first with no symbol (although they use both the $ and U$ here for pesos) and dollars listed second in parenthesis.
- Olives- pitted in a clear plastic pack 360 g - 44.50 ($1.82)
- Empanadas- Cheese and Onion, pack of 6 premade - 68.00 ($2.78)
- 12 medialunas (mini croissants)- from the bakery sold by weight - 46.96 ($1.92)
- Frozen Pizza- 3 cheese, onion and olive - 104.00 ($4.24)
- Whole Milk- premium baby formula (nearly double the price of regular milk), two one-liter bags - $72.80 ($2.97)
- Pilsen Stout Beer, large 960 mL size - 45.00 ($1.84)
- Beer bottle deposit - 9.90 ($0.40)
- Plastic food storage container, large 1.3 liter size - 69.90 ($2.83)
- Plastic food storage container, small 0.6 liter size - 41.90 ($1.71)
- Paper towels- 2 small rolls which are standard here, medium grade- 49.90 ($2.04)
- Pepper- whole peppercorns with bottle grinder- 134.00 ($5.47)
- Salt- 500 g box - 18.50 ($0.75)
- Wheat crackers 200 g bag - $26.50 ($1.08)
- Dozen Eggs - brown (side note: eggs are kept out on the shelf here. Really freaks me out.) - 42.50 ($1.74)
- Refund of 19.80 for return of 2 beer bottles (- $0.81)
Total UY pesos 754.56 (or $30.79)
You can live inexpensively here but that really depends on how and what you eat, among other things of course. I bought no fresh fruit or veggies from the grocery store today because we purchased a few things yesterday at the Villa Biarritz feria market (not sure if this is really what it's called) and we still have bananas, peppers, onions, sweet potatoes and tomatoes left from earlier in the week. I find the feria prices are less than the grocery stores and it's so much more fun to go to the big open air markets!
We bought a few small zucchini at the feria yesterday, along with a kilo and a half of both apples and oranges (3.3 lbs each) for a total of about 85.00 ($3.47). Fruits and vegetables are plentiful and can be quite inexpensive. Purchase locally produced and in season produce and it's even better. This is perfect since we are a strictly veggie family at home.
Now off to crack open that big bottle of beer!
One hint: Bring a few of your own reusable shopping bags. We have two that fold up when not in use and they are used every day. All of the grocery stores and markets use small plastic bags, and many multiple plastic bags for each trip there. We have tried to avoid plastic bags as much as possible ("Sin bolsa, por favor"), but still have them all over from when we forgot the reusable ones. Kudos to the Disco chain of grocery stores that has "Bio Bolsas" that are still plastic, but are supposed to decompose in 2-3 years.