Try to experience food stores in the USA

a woman in front of a middle Eastern restaurant - food stores

When you come to the USA, you will have to get used to the new food. But you can probably find food from your home country, too. Learn about the different kinds of food stores in the USA. 

It is hard to get used to something new when it has been a certain way all of your life. Different food and food stores are something that newcomer Americans have to get used to.

Food stores are slightly different in the USA than in other countries because the USA has people from all around the world. The diversity in backgrounds, cultures, and religions is reflected in the diversity in the food stores. 

To me, shopping is fun in the United States because you get to know new cultures and food, which makes you more educated.

There are many big food stores, such as Walmart, ShopRite, Pathmark, Food Bazaar and many other wholesale markets such as Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ, and many others. A lot of these are in many states. There are also ethnic food stores, such as Chinese, Arabic, Indian, Italian, Pakistani, Haitian, Swedish markets, and so on. There are many farmers food stores and markets which sell fresh vegetables, fruits, dairy, fish, and meat. Farmers and ethnic markets are usually more affordable. Restaurant Depot is a big wholesale store that can found in many locations in each state. This food store is only for restaurant owners, food business owners, and their managers. There are online stores too, but I have never tried them.

When I came to the USA more than 6 years ago, I wasn’t 100% satisfied with my shopping experience.

Some of the products and the grocery seemed a little different to me. Also, the names were written in English, so I had to prepare a list from home before I go shopping. I kept comparing the prices in the first month also. The first year of arriving in the USA, I kept discovering new food stores. Sometimes when I was cooking with familiar ingredients, it didn’t give the same taste that I was used to in my country. I also felt that I was wasting my money because I was buying some products to try them but ended not using them because they were not what I wanted. I never returned them because I didn’t know the policy that I have the right to return or exchange.

When my husband got a car about 8 months after our arrival in the USA, we went to the city that is famous for its Arabic stores.

We started to buy basic stuff from there. It was a little far, so we shop there only once a month. We buy Halal meat, fresh veggies, fruits, spices, dairy products, rice, bread, date, sweets, olives, and many other products. Every time I go there it makes me happy, especially if I go to eat in a Middle Eastern restaurant. It really affects you by reminding you of something you are missing.

In addition to that, I shop at the farmers’ market, which has a variety of fresh vegetables, fruit, and dairy.

Their prices are more affordable than if I buy the fruits and vegetables from other markets like Food Bazar, ShopRite, or Pathmark. And for snacks, I don’t have a specific store. I buy some snacks from all the stores. Dollar tree has good snacks if I am in a hurry and don’t have time to search for a good price. All their products are $1 each.

Food stores have different products pricing depending on the city and state you are in. For example, in my state, ShopRite offers a discount on many products and offers Halal meat and food. It also offers a variety of Kosher products,  because the managers there are paying attention to the diversity of people in the city. I don’t see this in my current city. What I like in my state is the variety of food stores and restaurants.

So, just like me, you may start to compare the prices with the prices in your country. You will get used to it after a while.

Here you don’t need to ask about the price because all prices are written down.

It is important that you keep the receipt which has the name of your cashier, the time, the date, and the numbers, and the codes of the products you have bought. It protects your right if you need to exchange, return, or there is a mistake in accounting. It also helps you when you want to be on a budget so you can know how much you spend weekly or monthly. They don’t use the kilo system here, they use only a pound measurement system which is usually written as lb. Keep this in mind when you make sure not to confuse about the measurements and pricing.

Happy shopping!

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