While electricity and toys are expensive, food and alcohol is not. Getting back to a U.S. grocery store with more familiar items will be nice but I am not looking forward to the sticker shock that I am sure to experience. (I hear gas is cheap in the US right now and I most definitely would have liked to see that; as I’m sure it will be high again when we return this summer).
At the fish market, I bought 4 kilos (8.6 pounds) of mussels for 12 euros. I bought two large trout for 5 euros. I can buy vodka or gin for 5 euros. The wine I buy is 1.76 euros. The photo of produce was purchased for 5.16 euros. I bought an entire chicken for 8 euros at the butcher last week. And with the dollar rising against the euro, the price difference from when we arrived to now is a big improvement. I am averaging a saving of $80 – $100 no longer lost in currency conversion from when we arrived in October.
Here’s a breakdown of the cost of items in the top picture:
3kg (6.6 lbs) of Potatoes – 2.00
Store-brand red-bull – .37
Cinnamon – .47
Butter – 1.31
Jam – 1.45
1 lb Chicken thin fillets – 2.75
I looked up my grocery receipts and here are some other items not pictured:
1kg Flour (2.2 lbs) – .45
1 Liter milk – .56
Special K cereal (large box) – 2.89 (with in store discount it was 1.87 each box)
1 Liter chicken stock – .85
1 lb lemons – .62
2 Liters Orange juice – 1.25
1 kg (2.2lbs) onions – .89
3 pack paper towels – 1.59
1 package of pizza cheese – 2.04
2 kg (4.4 pounds) of Golden Delicious apples – 1.99
It’s getting about that time. I keep seeing the facebook posts for black Friday ad’s and the calendar says it’s Thanksgiving next week. Which is not a holiday celebrated here in Spain. We won’t be having a Turkey. But we have already watched Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on YouTube. Jeff and the kids have school on Thursday although they have Friday off for some other holiday. I think our menu will be green bean casserole, scalloped potatoes with ham and maybe squash. We talked about a roast but maybe we’ll save that for Christmas. Or maybe we need to look up some more traditional Spanish meals.
We’ve talked to the kids about Christmas, in particularly about Christmas presents. We told them, of course, Santa will bring a present but that we will not be buying toys and stuff. And we should not expect packages from grandma’s either. We needed to think of things such as experiences, special treats, gift card downloads for eBooks, and things we can do together as a family. October and Scarlett really seemed to embrace the idea. Until, they found a toys r us catalog in the coffee shop yesterday and fights ensued over who could circle which toys and how many times one toy could be circled. Before this catalog, October has already made her Christmas list. It’s very sweet.
October’s Christmas List:
– It’s ok if this one is very late when we are back in amica. a pet that is not a fish.
– a fary that flys
– a gift card to toys r us or target
– homemade stuffy
– a movie with violet
– cookies with hot choclate
– dady to help me make critals [crystals]
– a gient story
– a white critmas
– horse back riding
– a cristmas shirt
– a pair of red and green pants and maching mittens
– a friend that speeks inglish
– s’mint color blue or red
– a run with mommy
When I went from working days to working in the evenings, I thought the hardest thing to get used to was always thinking about food. What I was going to make, when I was going to make it, who would be eating. Here, by far the language barrier is the hardest part of being in Spain but making food comes in a very close second. The packages are not in English. Most of the pictures I can decipher but not all. But the thing is, even if I knew what the food was, I am having a hard time figuring out what to DO with it. And when I DO figure out what to do with it, the kids don’t like it and are asking me several times a day for a snack. Usually, before the meal dishes are even cleaned up. Which, by the way, makes me come unglued!
During my first few visits to the stores I was surprised at how few healthy food options there were. And I’m not a health nut, not by any means, but I found a lot of doughnuts, chocolate covered graham crackers, cured meats, cold cereal, etc. I was looking for dried fruit, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, pasta. But what I’ve come to realize is that the food here doesn’t tell me what it could be. There is no box of pancake mix announcing “I am pancake mix!” Instead I need to buy the ingredients to make pancakes. There is no hummus – I need to buy the beans and try to make my own. There is not a can of Alfredo sauce announcing itself, I need to make it. I did find the pasta though! I still haven’t found any vanilla or baking soda to make chocolate chip cookies; which then I would need to figure out measurements and visit the China store for measuring cups/spoons anyways. The girls have tried nearly every kind of yogurt I have run across; a few have been well received. And I like the fresh fish market on our street — although the shop keepers have no interest in playing charades with me so making purchases is a bit frustrating. Maybe soon, when we get the internet I will have a better chance at making more diverse meal plans.
The “super” market that I frequent. And has a very nice wine priced at $1.66!