My family and I went grocery shopping this weekend. Nothing out of the ordinary. We just went to one of the local malls, which happens to have a large “Walmart-type” store – it has home goods, cleaning supplies, some toys, and food. We spent 300 manat. That sounds like a lot, but it is equivalent to about $85.74 US. Considering everything we purchased… it’s pretty darn cheap, by just-arrived-from-DC standards anyways.

So, what does 300 manat get you?

One large glass mixing bowl,
just over 2 kilos of apples,
a bunch of carrots and cucumbers,
dishwasher soap,
2 liters of Fuse Tea (with a glass),
2 sticks of butter,
a medium jar of honey,
2 small cans of Pringles-type chips,
a package of noodles,
a loaf of bread,
dish soap,
3 trays of cookies,
a package of rolls,
4 boxes of cereal,
bathroom cleaner,
4 liters of milk,
a package of mushrooms,
a kilo of chicken,
a kilo of ground beef,
a block of cheese,
2 season packets,
3 bags of interesting-flavored Lay’s chips,
3 pieces of pizza,
1 pida,
2 large bottles of water,
and 10 packs of instant coffee…
plus a free taxi ride home and a free “surprise” hair dryer

Of course, this is from the expensive grocery store – just imagine the prices at local bazaars!

What $85 US buys in the expensive Turkmen grocery stores - the hair dryer was a free gift!

What $85 US buys in the expensive Turkmen grocery stores – the hair dryer was a free gift!

Bakery, produce, and pizza section of the grocery store.

Bakery, produce, and pizza section of the grocery store.


2 thoughts on “Groceries

  1. I love the label on the hair dryer. 🙂

    Groceries have been really inexpensive here, too! And services are super inexpensive. It throws me off on knowing how much to tip, because I don’t want to tip more than the service was, but I don’t want to look ungrateful for what they’ve done, but I also don’t want to throw money around and stand out from how much locals might tip. I should ask my neighbors. And look up how to say “tip” or “gratuity” in Spanish.

    • What amazes me is that this was from the expensive store, and we purchased a lot of imported (and therefore even more expensive) items. If you were to buy all of your groceries from a market or bazaar here… wow! you would save so much.

      As for tips, they aren’t customary here. We have actually had people refuse to take the “extra” money when we offer it. At restaurants, though, they generally will accept a small tip, and we tend to leave the normal “American standard” of 15%. We figure they deserve a bit extra for dealing with our lack of local language skills. 😉

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