We are discovering that we can live and eat fairly cheaply in Mexico. After a month here, we have settled into a routine, and have found the stores we like to shop in, including our favourite people at the market, like the lady who sells the sweet potatoes, and the man who supplies me with my semi-weekly bouquet of flowers.
Once a week or so, we head off to Mega, an appropriately named Super Store type outlet in the Golden Zone, to pick up the staples. This is where we buy the basics, like toilet paper, and deodorant - the really exciting but essential stuff. This is also where the wine is purchased, also essential. Mexicans are not big wine drinkers and wine simply cannot be found in Centro where we live, so we stock up at Mega. Ok, this is definitely not fine wine we are talking about here, about $16.00 for a 4 litre jug, but it's quite drinkable. They have a great meat department as well, so we usually buy most of our meat here, but never shrimp. That we get from the Shrimp Ladies.
As well as Mega, there are several other large grocery stores in town, Soryana's and Walmart. Yes, Wally World – it's everywhere. We're used to Mega, however, and the prices seem to be better.
We also shop at Ley's, a smaller, Mexican style grocery store, walking distance from home. Ley's actually has just about everything Mega has, except wine. Which can be a problem.
Usually we buy all our produce at the Central Market. The market is also great for spices, and the best tortilla shells in town. My opinion, of course. We bought chicken a few weeks ago and are still alive to tell about it, but buying meat is a judgement call. Some of the vendors have refrigerated display cases, some do not. The chicken was delicious, and very tender – I would definitely buy from him again. Mike has spent quite a bit of time checking out the fish (I'm being honest here – the fishy smell gets to me, so I usually go buy tomatoes or something while he's browsing. I don't feel too guilty as I've seen some Mexican women covering their noses in this area!) We plan to try a new fish recipe this week, and will pick up the main ingredient from the market. Beef is another story. Think we'll stick to Mega for red meat. Maybe next year we'll be a bit braver, but think we'll play it safe for now .
There are also Fruiteras everywhere if we run short of a veggie, and every street has a local corner store where you can often purchase a single egg, a quarter of a cabbage, or one tea bag.
This is a lot more fun than Safeway!