• groceries in india

This is India! 148

Welcome back to This is India! I always have funny/weird stories about India to share with friends or family when I talk to them. This is just meant to be an honest portrayal of my life in India through short anecdotes. I also share here what I’ve been up to online outside Werkenntwen.

What I was up to other than here:

  • I was up in Rajasthan and recently got back to Goa so as usual after a trip, I’m catching up on work and getting my articles about Udaipur, Jodhpur, and Jaipur written. So much cool content coming up for you guys!
  • I read by Clare Mackintosh and it was great, kind of a mystery thriller. I also read by Jamie Ford. I loved the story which was about what it was like for the Japanese in Seattle during WWII and told true things that I never knew about (or forgot about) like the “work camps” they were all sent to in Washington state. The Kill Room by Jeffery Deaver – it’s part of a series and I didn’t like the characters or writing style AT ALL. I won’t read more of his books. He kept re-explaining things as if the reader is too dumb to have gotten it the first time. (a psychological thriller) was great, though even if you could guess the truth kind of early on. Reese Witherspoon is making this into a movie.
  • Now I’m reading a series called Dorothy Must Die – it’s about the Oz but a new story and I’m not that into it but basically, once I start reading something I can’t stop. Someone recommended it and I didn’t read the intro, lol so I didn’t even know it was about Oz until it was too late!
  • We’ve been cooking a lot – all kinds of muffins (did you know they are so easy to make?), American chili, Panera cheesy broccoli soup, steak tacos, roasted red pepper creamy chicken… it’s nice to stay in after a big trip.
  • Season is starting here in Goa so the rain has pretty much gone away, tourists are coming back into town, and we’ve been going to Vaayu and the beach a lot.
  • I’m here for the next 3 weeks then off somewhere I haven’t been in years… Mexico! Ben and I will be going to Merida, Progresso, Chelem, Tulum, who knows – I haven’t researched it at all. Any advice?

Now your story,

My last trip to the grocery store I decided to take some pictures and kind of show the differences in prices for what I pay for some things here and what we would pay in the USA. Also, the images will just show you what it looks like inside the store. This is Delfino’s in Porvorim and it’s one of the newer, nicest grocery stores in Goa.

This time of year though, the veg is not very nice! Check out the tomato selection:

groceries in india

This next image is of the grains and such you can buy by the kilo.

groceries in india

There is a dairy section and most of it is local but some are imported brands like Danone but you won’t find that everywhere. Something imported like Philadelphia is available at the big supermarkets for around $10 a block. Imported cheddar cheese is about the same price.

groceries in india

While you can get the tomato and most veg from the boxes as pictured above, this image is from the refrigerated organic section. You can get herbs as well as fresh local milk.groceries in india

I don’t drink the fresh milk, though – I think because I just feel like I don’t know if it’s clean? I drink the boxed milk seen below which has a shelf life of 180 days but only 2 once you open it.

groceries in india

I needed sour cream for a recipe, but man, it’s nothing like a dollop of Daisy! It’s very much like curd or raita and has a very strong taste. It’s not great for toppings but it’s okay if you have to cook with it.

groceries in india

There are the basic same dry goods, too like pasta, rice, etc. The imported pasta is really expensive like everything imported. groceries in india

Something like this bag of Hershey kisses will be imported but sometimes outdated and priced at 775 Rs. which is $11.82 USD.

groceries in india

This shopping trip was only for necessities and ended up being about $30 for the stuff we bought. I’ll break down how much stuff costs!
groceries in india

  • Twix .76
  • Two bundles of organic lettuce 1.40
  • 1-kilo rump steak 3.50
  • kilo chicken wings 2.70
  • processed milk .94
  • yogurt 38 cents per thing
  • icky sour cream 4.19
  • cheddar cheese 7.20

I won’t list it all, but you can see that some stuff is really cheap, like the meat but the cheese and sour cream is a lot. Other things that are REALLY expensive are paper products and plastic like cling wrap, plastic sandwich bags, toilet paper, and paper towels. Cleaning products as well like 409 which is nearly $10.

While veg and meat is cheap here and you could avoid imported things, if you want quality cheese and such, you’ll end up splurging on this stuff. In the end, it balances out, as this was just a trip for two dinners but in general, we spend around $100/week on groceries here including all our cleaning supplies and dog food/treats. I don’t think the USA would be too much different as when I lived in Charlotte, I only spent about $50 on myself per week (I ate pretty much only frozen food but still).

This is India!


About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Julie November 4, 2017 at 1:42 am - Reply

    Yes, hard cheese and imported cheese is difficult to come by, for sure, and when you find it – that price! I, too, don’t trust the fresh milk in India. It might be very well refrigerated when you purchase it but where was it before then? And sour cream is just a write-off for me, much like Best Foods/Hellman’s mayonnaise – I just go without. Then again, most of the time I’m living on the beach in a hut, so it’s a totally different lifestyle. I do eat a lot of paneer and raita and yogurt though. Not complaining!

    But what I’m most curious about is the BEEF. Was it actual beef or “beef” (buffalo)?

    I usually will shop at the Big Bazaar at the Mall de Goa (across the street and little farther north than Delfino’s) and they have pretty good prices (though a more limited selection, looks like). I’ll have to check out Delfino’s, for sure, next time I have a kitchen!

    • Rachel Jones November 6, 2017 at 12:26 pm - Reply

      Definitely real beef! Back when the beef ban was affecting Goa we did cook / eat water buffalo and it definitely is a little tougher and gamier. Delfinos has good fillet! Can make some tacos :) haha! Ajays in Mapusa used to the be the best for beef but the butcher recently left and most restaurants who got beef from AJays are now getting it from Delfinos!

      • Julie November 9, 2017 at 8:23 am - Reply

        Speaking of tacos – do you have any opinions on the best Mexican food in Goa (or anywhere else in India)? When the craving hits, it hits hard!

        • Rachel Jones November 9, 2017 at 11:05 am - Reply

          So, the best tacos in Goa are at Vaayu. A Reverie also has a good mini taco dish on their starters menu. If I am really wanting an enchilada or something I go to Habenero in Baga and they have like fried pickles and other American stuff. It’s not great Mexican, it’s not even good Mexican but it’s the best around :)

  2. Pradipta November 6, 2017 at 1:28 am - Reply

    I spend around Rs 6000 ($100) for monthly groceries. I only prefer to buy some specific items from departmental store and for rest I prefer local stores.

    Processed meat & other packaged non veg items, ready to eat foods etc actually cost more as compared to other grocery items. I normally avoid such items to buy from store. Rather I prefer to cook those at home. It helps me to reduce monthly grocery expenses.

  3. Tim Blight November 22, 2017 at 8:50 am - Reply

    Nice stuff! I used to visit Amma Nanna all the time when I lived in Chennai – the range was somewhat limited, but there was more international variety than the average store in Australia. I guess things are imported from all over the world for the multicultural expat community in India, whereas in Australia most of the stuff is homegrown for the local crowd.

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