Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Parisian Grocery Cart--Part 2

One interesting thing to note about Paris grocery stores is that they are around 4x smaller than the average ones in the US. I walk 4 to 11 isles in a grocery store depending on the store and how much they carry. That said, there are a few within the city limits that are only 1/2 as big as a Walmart or HyVee. That means they look giant to us! Occasionally, we will head outside of the city limits to shop at a "big" store much like a Walmart or Target super center. However, since we do not have a car, and we must take everything back by train we only shop at these once or twice a month for diapers and a few cheaper clothing items.

Also, I thought you might like to see how we buy our food...
The coins are 2 euros, 1 euro, 50 centimes, 20 centimes, 10 centimes, 5 centimes, 2 centimes, and 1 centime.

And now here are some more items in my grocery cart!

This is the most common type of cereal that we buy. Most cereals here are packed with sugar and chocolate. Cheerios are not sold here, or anything plan like them. This is the healthiest version I can find here. Making my own would be an option. However, time just doesn't permit for that right now.

Here you can see our baking flour next to the cereal. I purposely did this to show you how small the packages of flour come. They are around half the size of the flour packages in the US.

Now this is an interesting fact. When I buy potatoes in France they are almost always very clean. I remember having to scrub potatoes after buying them in the US. The same goes for carrots. The dirt is scrubbed away. We still wash them, but it's nice not having

This is the beef that we buy here. You can buy fresh beef in packages like in the States; however, buying frozen is a lot cheaper.

These are the oils I buy. We use sunflower oil for popcorn and olive oil for everything else, and yes olive oil is expensive here too.

And this lovely item is Bonne Maman jelly, and it is amazing. It is definitely the best jelly we have every had (not including my grandma's. Hers will never be replaced). There are so many different flavors, but we are people of classic taste in this family and usually enjoy the blueberry or strawberry. I have heard that you can buy this in the States, but I'm sure it is less expensive here.

This tube contains tomato paste.

And this is plain tomato sauce, which is what I use for my spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce bases.

Here is what a package of butter looks like. Not that it is that much different; however, I do find recipes that say "1 stick of butter" to be kind of annoying now. How I miss the packages of butter with the measuring labels on the side. Of course, instead of measuring out a half cup of butter, I just eye it. :)

Buying liquid vanilla is possible here. However, it is much cheaper to buy it in a sugar form. You use the same amount of the vanilla sugar in a recipe as you would with the liquid vanilla, and so far I have found no taste difference.

These are the baking powder packets. Usually, about 2 tablespoons are in a packet. One thing missing from the baking world over here is baking soda, so we have it shipped to us occasionally. Baking soda is like gold in our household!

Powdered sugar comes in containers like this one.

And although this is about my Parisian Grocery Cart, I always buy my cleaning supplies at the grocery. So here are some of the things I use. These two are my clothing "spray and wash" and carpet spray.

Here you see my glass cleaner (looks the same huh?) and multi purpose cleaner. I should also mention that they have Mr. Clean over here. It is called Monsieur Propre!

And finally, here is the laundry detergent.
Well, that's all for now! I'll post one more grocery cart post next week! Have a great rest of this week!


  1. Hey! Fun to see all this - I can relate! I do have to say, you CAN find baking soda, it's called bicarbonate alimentaire. I find it at LeaderPrice, but you can find it in Auchan and places like that too - usually in the baking aisle. You could get it from a pharmacy, but it's not "alimentaire" i.e. unwanted clumping! Also, you can find honey Cheerios, but not plain...these Frenchies like their sweet stuff in the morning! There is an expensive brand "Jordan's" that Vincent's parents buy on sale and then give us which has nuts etc. Look for things that say "muesli" which means granola! Take care - we'd love to see ya'll sometime...

  2. These are so interseting Sarah!! Thanks for sharing. I can't wait to read the next one!

  3. Thanks for the baking soda tip. No one on our team knows about that!!! So excited now! I know, it makes me sad that we can't find Cheerios without honey because that's always a great baby snack. Oh well!

  4. Seeing your Bonne Maman photo reminds me of our time in Germany, where I first discovered the jam. Yum! Now we're back in the States, and it's still available, but at twice the expense...

    Fun to look through your grocery cart! I miss the tasty French yogurt in coffee and citron flavors.