Monday, May 6, 2013

La Bella Vita- Grocery shopping in Italy

Ciao Ciao!
I'm going to start a series called La Bella Vita. The good life.
(fun fact-after Husband and I said I DO the Good Life by OneRepublic played as we walked down the aisle as Husband and Wife!)  So Naturally anything with this man is THE GOOD LIFE. :)



When you're happy like a fool, let it take you over
When everything is out you gotta take it in.

La Bella Vita will be a series where I will document our lives as expats and will hopefully be a helpful tool of the do's & dont's living abroad. follow along!

Living in Florence (for a little over a month) has really been a life changer. I mean sure it's fun to travel and see places and then end up back "home". Husband and I have fought so hard and so long for this life and we are managing to make our house in Florence home. It has it's ups&downs. Don't be fooled by the beautiful scenery or the most incredible food...or be fooled, it's dreamy. But, it's been an adjustment settling in to a new place, missing our friends and family, making friends, getting used to the city noise, dealing with toursits (ha!) and even finding a grocery store...

On that topic...We have shopped at 3 different markets since we have been here; each one getting cheaper and cheaper. The first place we went to (((can't think of the name--shame on me))) was like shopping at Gelsons in the US times 5! It was so pricey but we as expats thought it was "normal". Then we found a store around the corner from our house called Meta and this was even cheaper and bigger than the first! We were in heaven...or so we thought. We shopped there for about 4 weeks and then happened to stumble on Conad yesterday! Holy bajeeebus were we fooled. Oh Firenze, you fooled us. This was an actual grocery store. Like the ones back home. (((side note-I have always wanted to say that and wow...weird.))) We were shopping as if it was a first trip to Costco. Not nearly as big at all but it felt like that to us. And it was so much cheaper than Meta! We bought so much stuff and it was 55 Euro! What? How? Did the lady ring us up wrong? nope...good o'le grocery store took care of us. And we will for sure be regular customers.

The produce in Italy is so strange when you are ringing it up. Each item has a number next to it and you go up to a machine, put the produce on it, punch in the number and it prints out a sticker. You put the sticker on the bag and the cashier scans it up front. following? You could only imagine our first time not speaking an ounce of Italian and trying to figure out what the hell to do with this machine.

Me-"Babe why does everything have a number?"
B-"I don't know...maybe so they keep track?"
Me-"Why is everyone printing out stickers"?
B-"ohhhhhhhhh...."

Thank god he got.it.

It was a little difficult to navigate around. Sure chicken is chicken but what type of cookies are those and why can't I find marshmallows? It took me two weeks to find mustard. two.weeks. Still looking for marshmallows. How many calories are those nutella snacks? I can't figure out which milk is fat free and it's literally a debate every time we walk in the store. every time.
Brandon thought he bought orange juice one day and came home with grapefruit juice. "But babe, it looked like an orange". Yes, I know what you are thinking...we really need to learn Italian. and we will! We are working on it.
arancia=orange. check.
work.in.progress.

This is my 'grocery shopping' in Italy advice...
Go with a list of things you need. Bring bags. They charge 20 cents per bag and of course we manage to forget ours every time. We have a nice collection going on. Don't shop after work because everything will be gone. Mornings, lunch or weekends are best! Know what things are called in Italian so you don't stand there trying to convince yourself that the bottle clearly says shampoo. Don't over pay! Many expats don't research or have a clue what things cost. And maybe Conad is not a great store either but it was recommended buy a coworker and we are so happy with it! and it's close by!  If you guys could see our faces as we walked in you would think we walked in to a Chanel fashion show on a racetrack... :)


We are in love with Florence and all she has to offer! I mean...this.....



ciao ciao!
xx
b

12 comments:

Mouthwash said...

Oh man, I have had experiences like yours in Italy! The most embarrassing thing for me was getting to the register and not having known or figured out the sticker thing....and unloading my basket completely. So embarrassing!

Then there was also that time that my mother, friend and I tried to have a picnic...in what turned out to be a prison yard.

I love hearing about your adventures!

Couture Carrie said...

Such a fun adventure you are having, darling!
Love hearing all about it :)

xoxox,
CC

Dancing Branflake said...

Oh! I love that you have this new group! I bet it makes a world of a difference.

Pegster said...

Ooooh, this could be such a fun series. I am excited to follow you along this new journey.

I was an expat for 3 years in Germany and man was it fun and exciting, and tiring and crazy. Can't wait to hear about your experience.

Elle Sees said...

Loving the tips! I totally forgot about the fruit thing!

Mary Kapsi said...

Love italy too
MaryFashionLove
MaryFashionLove on Bloglovin

Krystal said...

i'm so behind on blogs and so i can't believe you are already there!! so exciting!!! i love florence.....
btw, they have that produce number in switzerland too and when i first got here i was like, hiding behind the lettuce peeking at how people did it so i didn't look dumb, haha!!

Mrs. Pancakes said...

ooh i can't wait to continue along with this series...it sounds amazing!!

Corinne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Corinne said...

I'd love to live in Italy!

I used to live in France and the supermarket I shopped in had a similar thing with the fruit and veg!

It can be difficult living in a different country when you are not very confident in the language.

Corinne x
www.skinnedcartree.com

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Anonymous said...

I don't know what area you guys live in, but the Coop and Esselunga are both eons cheaper than Conad (which for me is like a 7-11 in terms of prices, but they sometimes have good sales) Just a tip, or maybe you found them by now!

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