Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Confessions of a Grocery Store Addict

Grocery Stores are on the top of my to-go list when I am in a new place. I love going through rows and rows of goodies and reading through labels of snacks, cookies, and what-have-you's hoping to stumble upon discounts and promo packs. There is something soothing about walking through the aisles, comparing price points, imagining the food that one can make from these items. Or if you're like me, walking off the day's stress at the grocery shop and finally settling on a bag of one's favorite snack and a yummy fizzy drink called Ambasa. For me, the bigger the grocery store, the better.

In UK, I lived in a building with a giant ASDA shop on the ground floor. ASDA is Britain's Walmart. It is owned by Walmart Corporation, same cheap everyday prices, only a different name :-). After work, I often dropped by ASDA and walked through the aisles, checking out items, thinking of meals to make out of the produce on sale. Back then, I still cooked and baked regularly and brought packed lunches to work, so I
had an excuse to splurge on groceries.

I now live in Seoul where it is far more cheaper to buy lunches than cook for one. Most of the time, we eat dinner at the office canteen (it's free :-)) so I have no reason to stock up on food. The only staples in my ref are yoghurt, eggs, celery (I love munching on celery sticks!), butter and a variety of juices.

It still hasn't stopped me from passing by the grocery stores daily :-) There are two small groceries within walking distance from my flat. Another, bigger grocery, Homeplus, is a train station away. A few days a week, I go down at the station near Homeplus and roam around the endless rows of products. Homeplus has a handful of British/European goodies because of its tie-up with Tesco (a British grocery chain like ASDA) and has a wider selection of goodies than the two groceries that are nearer my place, so more often than not, this is where I buy my groceries.

I guess you're wondering, if I don't buy food for my meals at all since I eat at the office most days what do I get from trawling through these groceries' aisles?

I don't really know :-). I suppose the sale hunter in me is always on the lookout for product sales. I bought cans of caramel-flavored coffee even when I don't personally drink coffee because they were 50% off! I buy Choco Pies when they are on sale even when I don't really like them. Plus I love checking the spices and seasonings area. Looking for hard to find spices ~ perilla seeds, thyme, coriander.Amd yes, if I see some new spice I like, I buy them. Thankfully, my younger brother is more passionate in cooking (and eating!) than I am, so I send my purchases out to him and my mother in Pinas in the hope that he'll be able to use them in his cooking.

I am happiest though when I am able to score goodies, usually snacks and chocs, that are new to me. Mostly, I get them from the periodic Snack Sales at Shinsegae or Lotte, two chi-chi stores with a lot of foreign, premium goodies. These goodies are often overpriced but during the snack sales, the prices are often slashed with 20-60% discounts, so this is the time I pounce :-)

Here are a few of my latest snack buys from my trips through grocery aisles. Most of the goodies here, I sent to Pinas for my mom and brother since I can't really tolerate too much sugar intake or wheat products. Still, the fun of scoring these good buys was more than enough for the deal hunter in me :-)

Good Finds: Uncle Al's Peanut Butter Cremes~ yummy! Also the Muesli Cookies! Trolli's Chocolate -filled Banana candies were too sweet for me. The rest, I have sent to Pinas for the family :-)

Ambasa: my favorite carbonated drink. It is described as a milk-based soft drink. If you ask me how to describe it, it's like Yakult in softdrink form.

Hello Kitty Cream Sandwiches: bought them for my nieces :-)

Fan Cookies from Spain, aptly (and uncreatively) named as Fan&Choc ;-)

Hawaiian Host's Macadamia Nut Crunch Singles Pack~this is my favorite from Hawaiian Host. Reminds me of Nestle Crunch:-)

Chocolate Chip Cookies from Poland: Good but a bit too sweet for me. The slight tartness of the dried fruits balances the creamy sweetness of the chocs a bit. But I like my cookies more buttery than sweet.

Blueberry and Banana-flavored Milk: yummy but a bit expensive at 1,200 won (about 50 pesos) for a small bottle.

Popcorners ~ these are basically made from popcorn and nothing else. Just popcorn in chips form.
Great for someone like me who wants chips but can't eat too much wheat-based snacks.

These are the most buttery, yummiest chocolate chip cookies I've tried to date. Unlike most chocochip cookies that are either chewy or crispy, these ones are shortbread based, so they're very buttery and flaky. And yep, they're made in France.


  1. sis, yummy post! i love chocolate chip cookies. thanks for sharing

  2. i love the chocolate chip cookies, parang Chips Ahoy Chewy ba yan? or better? I hope to get them when I get to Seoul by February. mas madami ako vacation days this time (12 days) so a day will be spent on grocery shopping. Nung 1st trip namin, nakuntento kami sa Lotte Mart sa Seoul Station. my friends had 15kg excess baggage coz of the banana milk & stuff endorsed by kpop stars! XDDD

  3. i love the banana and coffee milk in korea <33


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