What we eat and the cost of groceries

So, what do you guys eat?

We live in a town that has many grocery stores. You can find a lot of things, but usually to get everything on your list it would consist of going to many stores in one day. For instance on this trip I had to forgo getting avocadoes, butter, good coffee, mozzarella cheese and bananas because the store I chose to go to was out of these items.

Our diet isn’t as exotic as you might think. Sure we’ve eaten oryx, zebra, pap, mopani worms, donkey, springbok and mutete, but those aren’t our daily staples. We can easily eat this food by ordering it at the market or at a friend’s house. We generally don’t cook these things at our house. If we lived with a host family the experience would likely be different and we would eat more traditional food on a weekly basis. We are grateful that we eat pretty healthy here and how we please.

Namibia is so close to South Africa and most of the food here is imported from SA. We can buy vegetables, fruit and fish and other items from vendors in the street, and we do sometimes. But just like back home, the grocery still offers the convenience of getting it all done in one shot. And when you don’t have a car and have to haul your groceries home or pay for a taxi, sometimes you opt for convenience.

This was a particularly large and indulgent shopping trip. Thanks readers for giving me an excuse to buy bacon and sugary drink mixes, just so I can show you how much they cost. 🙂

This is what spending $N520 (around $52 American dollars) in groceries will get you. The cheapest item I got on today’s trip was the ramen noodles and the most expensive was the cat food. A bag will last our cat about a month.

Roughly one American dollar yields 10 Namibian dollars. All these items are in the photo taken below. All prices are in Nam and were rounded up to the nearest dollar:

  •  Onions – $15 for a bag
  • Cat food – $38
  • Ramen noodles x2- $3.50 each
  • Cheese curls – the snacks here aren’t the kind of amazing variety we are used to. This big bag costs $12
  • 500g of salt – $5
  • Cake flour – I enjoy baking here J $15
  • Golden delicious apples – a staple of my diet here. $35 for a bag
  • Powerade beverage – $12
  • Canned chick peas – I make a lot of hummus with chick peas. Tahini is only found in the capital, but unsalted no sugar peanut butter works as a decent substitute- $13
  • Canned tomatoes with basil and oregano – We make spaghetti with tomato sauce at least once a week. $15 (x 2)
  • Shwepps lemonade – The days have been hot, and I drink a lot of water, but sometimes you just want a different beverage. $6 (x3)
  • Ground beef – we’ll make tacos or use the ground beef to eat with pasta. $30
  • Beans – $10
  • Coke can – $7
  • Small milk – $10
  • Dishwasher soap – With no dishwasher and making all 3 meals at home, we go through this fast. $18 (x2)
  • Bacon – yum. $14
  • Pork neck chops – $30
  • Small box of Cherry tomatoes – $20
  • Tomato paste – used to thicken our pasta sauce – $4
  • Small Cheddar cheese block – $16
  • Kalamata olives – small bag- $12
  • Can of tuna fish – $17
  • Coconut milk can – We found some green curry in Windhoek and so green curry has become a staple food of ours here. As well as dahl. $13
  • Passion fruit flavored beverage bottle – my favorite beverage here. Super sweet and mixes well with the Schepp’s lemonade. $34
  • Vanilla yogurt tub, large- $30
  • Guava juice – soooooooo good. Will miss this a lot. $14
  • Small lettuce bag – $20

You might be thinking! Wow! That’s pretty cheap! It is a lot for around $50 American. But, we make N$2,000 a month here. Yes, $200 American. 🙂 If you enjoy good quality food, you can go through your Peace Corps stipend pretty quickly.

Well, there you have it – an idea of what we eat and what it costs. We dream of Chipotle, Cheesecake Factory, Five Guys Burgers, excellent baked goods, Maggiano’s, Thai Food, Chickie and Pete’s crabs, good snacks, Mexican food, washing machines, dishwashers, noosa yogurt, flavorful beer, Indian Food, Sushi, blueberries, good thick, creamy ice cream, variety, variety, variety. But as you can see, you don’t have to feel THAT bad for us. We have it pretty good here. 🙂

-Lisa and Josh


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