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Where To By Groceries....


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#1 La Bella

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 08:03 PM

We have been buying our groceries at La Mega....is there another store with cheaper prices??????

 

 

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#2 Carey

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Posted 29 September 2015 - 10:22 PM

Sam's Club, and next door Aurerra Bodega (sp?) are worth a shot as is the Chedraui.  But you really have to shop them all and look for the good deals as they come up.

 

It depends on what you're buying, of course, but I've always found the grocery prices on Cozumel to be waaaay lower than in the states on items that the locals use a lot.  Produce, pork, chicken in particular.  Tortillas, of course.  If you need Peter Pan peanut butter just to give one example, you'll pay through the snoze for it.  But try and get razor thin sliced chicken or beef milanesa or limes, avocados, papayas etc for remotely near to those prices in the US.

 

I'm spending a lot of time in Hawaii these days and if you think the Mega prices are high, you would have a heart attack in the grocery stores here.  As many people almost do from the sour looks on their faces as they roll their carts down the aisles.  Try $3.50 USD/lb for brocili on for size and over $3/lb for avocados!

 

Canned goods are more expensive in Mexico because not that many Mexican cooks use canned ingredients.  And imported goods, well, it's obvious why they are expensive.


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#3 Freezin' Canuck

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 04:13 AM

I find Sam's has some things the others do not, but it is not cheaper. They tend to sell stuff in bulk. Next door is more reasonable, but the produce tends to be less in the way of options and is quickly picked over (not so fresh as in Mega). They do have great fresh fish however, IF you go in the morning. For fresh produce (fruit and vegetables) at better prices, I like El Mararaj (on 65th). So for daily cooking, these two satisfy our needs (including cerveza). Otherwise, Mega and Chedraui is better for stocking up and the wine selection is better.


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#4 La Bella

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 12:42 PM

Sam's Club, and next door Aurerra Bodega (sp?) are worth a shot as is the Chedraui.  But you really have to shop them all and look for the good deals as they come up.

 

It depends on what you're buying, of course, but I've always found the grocery prices on Cozumel to be waaaay lower than in the states on items that the locals use a lot.  Produce, pork, chicken in particular.  Tortillas, of course.  If you need Peter Pan peanut butter just to give one example, you'll pay through the snoze for it.  But try and get razor thin sliced chicken or beef milanesa or limes, avocados, papayas etc for remotely near to those prices in the US.

 

I'm spending a lot of time in Hawaii these days and if you think the Mega prices are high, you would have a heart attack in the grocery stores here.  As many people almost do from the sour looks on their faces as they roll their carts down the aisles.  Try $3.50 USD/lb for brocili on for size and over $3/lb for avocados!

 

Canned goods are more expensive in Mexico because not that many Mexican cooks use canned ingredients.  And imported goods, well, it's obvious why they are expensive.

Yes, I have noticed that the food prices are cheaper here than in the States.  Will check out Sam's Club and Aurerr Bodega....there were no eggs in Mega yesterday so my husband walked over to Chedraui and bought some there.  He came back with really nice looking strawberries that he did not find in Mega. 

No complaints yet from living in Coz.

Have a wonderful Day!


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#5 Charles

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 02:05 PM

If you are not going to numerous places, never mind prices, you'd be missing out on a lot of quality. Shopping is a time consuming adventure. One, two, three stop shopping just doesn't make it. When I lived in Cozumel, I did most of the shopping that involved selection of fruit and vegetables.

Maharajah is the major wholesaler of fruits and vegetables. They supply many restaurants and hotels. Many mom and pop fruit stands buy product from them. There are dwindling numbers of family fruit stands, but what is important about them is they must be selective about buying the best quality that they will be able to sell before they spoil. They pay very close attention to what they are buying, they want to sell it, leftovers they can eat, but if they don't sell it or eat it, it is cash money out of their small pockets. My experience is that Maharajah has some things occasionally, but much of what they sell, the bushels have been picked over by wholesale buyers.

I had six or seven of these mom and pop family businesses that I would check at least weekly. They each would have certain items they more regularly had the best quality. I'd check the municipal mercado too. It takes a certain investment in time and energy to make the rounds and be confident you're getting the best available. Prices for produce are cheap enough to never worry about who/where is cheaper. If you're walking as I usually did, it is good exercise as a bonus.
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#6 Carey

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 07:30 PM

Well, the original question was where was the cheapest food and the family places including those in El Mercado on Salas simply cannot compete price-wise with the big chain stores.  Charles is right, however, these places have the nicest looking produce usually.  And it's also the best place to look for produce that is ripe and ready to use the same day or at most the next.  Whenever I need ripe avocados today, I always head for El Mercado.  Costs a little more but I'm helping small business people AND I can get right on with cooking instead of having to wait 3 days for what I buy at the Mega or the Ched to be ready to use.


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#7 cvchief

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 08:34 PM

6 or 7 to find some limes?  That is a lot of work.


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#8 La Bella

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Posted 30 September 2015 - 10:43 PM

Thanks for the info.....I have a few places to visit :mellow:


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#9 Charles

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 12:33 AM

6 or 7 to find some limes?  That is a lot of work.


Specific stores were good for certain produce. Tomatoes that are ripe or will ripen with actual taste, you'll never find those as good at the big corporate stores. One exception to the chain stores, I could occasionally get good produce at Soriana. One family place seemed to consistently have good broccoli. Another was good for grapefruit. Limes would be available at many places, even Mega. Mangos, papaya, assorted melons for quality, taste, I think you'll do better dealing directly with an owner. The Mercado was worth checking and as Carey mentioned, usually good for ripe same day avocados.

The chain stores offer produce that has been shipped from all over Mexico. It is common to see heat burned produce from sitting in an overheated trailer. Bananas as an example, they'll never ripen as they should. Another thing I like at the family stores is asking for assistance in selecting a fruit that I lack knowledge of making the best choice. They'll offer fruit good for today and pick out ones that require a few days to ripen. They want you to be satisfied with your purchase.

Back to the question of price, Mega would generally be the most costly, but not by much. Watch for sales and produce discount days. Looking for preferred brands often require visits to all of the chain stores in search of specific brands. When I find the brands that I want and with the price, I'll buy a month's supply or more.

For me, shopping tends to be both art and science. It's work I suppose, but if you are living there as opposed to a week vacation, most gringos don't have jobs and should have the time. I place a strong value on buying the best food that I can. We like cooking and we eat very well at home. If you are vacationing for a week or two, eating out at restaurants mostly, no need to shop around or bother looking for best prices.
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#10 Freezin' Canuck

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 06:27 AM

Of course Carey and Charles are right, and i stand corrected about my norte americano bias for the cheapest. Mom and Pop operations (e.g. the Mercado) should be the priority, when possible,and struggle to keep what is so unique about Cozumel. A couple of pesos more here and there is a small price to pay for living here...overall it really is a lot cheaper...and I feel privileged to be here.


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#11 cvchief

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 09:07 AM

During my 60+ days a year in Coz, I refuse to deny hard working restaurant employees some income!  However I do maintain my stove in perfect working order.  At least they tell me it works.  I have warmed some para llevar in the microwave, but felt guilty....

 

Truthfully, we have eaten at home.  That Room Service thing is nice!!  And I get to support ANOTHER business.   :P

 

I have to admit though that the mega limes have been poor recently.

 

And actually the last time I was at the Mercado, the produce was generally poor.  I had to really look to find some stuff worth buying.


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#12 crunch

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 11:39 AM

What is it about the bananas?  My husband always buys them and they seem to go from not ripe to way past their prime with nothing in between....


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#13 La Bella

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 01:43 PM

What is it about the bananas?  My husband always buys them and they seem to go from not ripe to way past their prime with nothing in between....

 

 if you want your bananas to last as long as possible, the real key is to separate them and then wrap each individual stem with plastic wrap.


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#14 Steve

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 06:45 PM

I find the food on Cozumel to be very high priced compared to where I live in the states. Especially chicken and pork. We have a very high Hispanic population and at least 5 Mexican grocery stores within a 1 mile radius of where I live. The regular grocery stores also cater to the Mexican population and I can usually find more food options here than on the island.

 

Shopping here is about the same as it is on Cozumel only I shop to find the best price here and shop on Cozumel to find the items I need or want.

 

A normal shopping day on Cozumel requires a stop at Mega, Chedraui, Sorainas, Maharajah, Aki, and Aurerra Bodega depending on what is needed. If you are looking for something unique I will also stop at Sams, Pascedelli's or the Mercado. There is also Fiesta (usually for baking supplies) along with a few local seafood shops. Maxi Carne is good for pork and the local fishermen are good for seafood. Europe carries a fairly good line of spices and has some decent steaks. If all else fails there is always Playa. Guido's deli is good for some sliced meats. I don't think that the other Guido's meat shop is open any more as I couldn't find it last time down. You can also purchase items from local restaurants as they usually purchase in larger quantities and are willing to sell a little a little of what they have. I don't know if Covi's still sells steaks.

 

As Charles says, "shopping is both art and science"

 

There is also that tomato place off the cross island road.


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#15 cvchief

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Posted 01 October 2015 - 08:36 PM

Yea, someone else is running guidos deli now.  Its called Diez por Quince.  Haven't been in.


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#16 Eileen

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 07:19 AM

I think that if I were to spend an extended period of time in Cozumel when I retire, the one thing I would miss is fresh milk.  As I drink it every day at home, I find that I do miss it, even being in Cozumel for two weeks.  Any chance that it will become a staple in the markets on the island any time soon?  Would I have better luck getting it in Playa?


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#17 crunch

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 11:25 AM

Gracias La Bella.  I am going to try to remember to tell mi esposo that method.


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#18 Steve

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Posted 02 October 2015 - 06:18 PM

Eileen...I have to have a cold fresh glass of milk everyday but suffer while on the island. You can find it once in a while at Cherdaui or Mega but it is usually not that fresh when you do find it. I now get along with a Bloody Mary or a beer. Can't get use to the box stuff. Some things you just have to do without. 


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#19 Eileen

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 04:27 AM

Unfortunate, but likely true, Steve.  I can't drink the boxed stuff either, altho' I'm sure it's fine for cooking. Beer on my corn flakes, however, are behind me from my university days!


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#20 Kandy

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Posted 03 October 2015 - 08:39 AM

The other thing about buying bananas, if you want them to last, is to buy them a little on the green side. You don't want them solid green, but about halfway ripened. I love them when they are still a little firm and they do last several days longer.


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