An intro to grocery shopping on the German economy
Shopping on the economy can be very intimidating, especially if you have not been in Germany very long. After all, almost everything is in German, few brands will be familiar and some of the foods are just very different than what you find in the typical American supermarket. Once you get used to it, grocery shopping in German stores can be fun and trying new foods can open up a world of new tastes to tempt your taste buds. Here is a little guide to get you get started:
Take a look around. Just walk around the store. There is no law that states you have to buy something. Walking through the store without pressure to buy anything will help you feel comfortable. Become familiar with the layout. The great thing about grocery stores as opposed to other types of stores is usually no one will come up to you to see if you need anything, so you do not need to worry about speaking German.
A picture is worth a thousand words! Don’t know any German? This should not be a problem if the package has a picture on it. Soups, prepared food — they all have a picture on the label to entice you to buy the product.
Read the back label on a package. If a manufacturer makes a product that they plan to sell throughout the European Union, instructions and ingredient lists may be printed in several different languages (check out the frozen pizzas—nine different languages!!). English is one of the most common language to appear on package labels.
Many of the products are similar to what you buy at the commissary. Try the German versions. You may like it better than the American one!
Once you get comfortable shopping in a German grocery stores, try a different chain. There are many grocery chains including Lidl, Aldi, Tegut, Edeka, Rewe and Kaufland to name a few. Some are discount stores. Some have a bigger selection that others but they will all have different products and different brands.
So what are you waiting for? Get shopping!
Jenny Dietrich, Brend Dietrich and Sandra Erb contributed to this article.