There are quite a few chain super markets in the Netherlands and you will soon begin to figure out which one of your local stores will become the favourite! The grocery stores here are much smaller, size wise, than in South Africa – no Pick ‘n Pay sized shops here!
At the bottom of this page you'll see a list of supermarkets in the Netherlands. These supermarkets will have most items you are used to using in the kitchen. Also, most supermarkets do not accept credit cards or foreign debit cards. So be prepared by having cash on hand or once you have a Dutch debit card it won’t be a problem.
Self Service is big in these stores so when you pick out those apples you want and bag them, don’t wait around for someone to weigh them, as you have to do this yourself by putting the packet on the scale and pushing the relevant button. You will also wait a long time for someone to come and pack your groceries into a bag at the check out counter – the cashier does not do this – you do! There are also self service check out tills, which are pretty cool once you have them figured out, and we will be happy to show you how once you are here.
Keep your shopping bags handy as you will need them each time you shop for groceries. If you want to ask for shopping bags you ask: “Mag ik een tasje daarbij”. Tasje = shopping bag.
Where does all the food come from?
Each town has their own market day in which vendors arrive early in the morning and set up their stalls for most of the day. Products like cheese, breads, flowers/plants, fish, meat, chicken and sweets – as well as clothing and typical flea market type goods are on sale, normally at good prices. It’s a great way to get to know the faces in your neighbourhood and to get into the swing of things.