In Budgeting, Money, Stories, Travel, Travel Series

Travel: What it’s like to visit China – Food in Grocery Stores


These big supermarkets are a big thing in China along with Wal-Mart, and starting to take business from the local open air markets, and alleyways. Here’s a lineup (shocker!) and basically, a fight over eggs:



They were there, waiting at 7 a.m., lining up at the doors. We got shoved, pushed, poked and otherwise trampled over JUST SO they could line up (around the store) to buy eggs in the morning above.

Seniors were elbowing me in the face!


We couldn’t figure out what the rush was, until we saw this, inside. This guy bought 2 massive bags of eggs because he was first in line.


The haul for the day.

Then of course you have traditional Chinese things like dried whole birds split in half, and Chinese (sweet) sausages (which I absolutely hate because I find it strange to eat sweetened meats):


And more dried food — eels I think?


The escalators are lined with ways to spend more money:


Rice can come in bags, or you can buy it in bulk.

Beijing-China-Photograph-Carrefour-Grocery-Rice-Bins Here were some expensive delicacies. At 5280 yuan, it is $844.80 (each?) or per pound. Anyway, a lot of fricking money for a normal Chinese citizen.


I got a kick out of seeing the pop cans all in Chinese!



They also have a real thing about tea, cold drinks, and have a FABULOUS selection which I loved!


Everyone rushes for the freshest vegetables:


All around the store, you can hear constant yelling by the people manning each section: seafood, meat, and so on, calling people to come by and buy their wares.

Whole animals out in the open, butchered in front of you as you want:



Fresh chicken without any sanitary wrapping or packaging, out in a refrigerator that is NOWHERE near sanitary levels of refrigeration. No cover, no gloves, no tongs.


Seafood on ice out in the open for everyone to poke and prod.



Or fresher (live) seafood if you want it:


There were also live snakes, frogs and eels.

Shanghai-China-Travel-Photograph-Food-Live-Snakes Shanghai-China-Travel-Photograph-Food-Live-Toads Shanghai-China-Travel-Photograph-Food-Live-Turtles

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Am my own Sugar Daddy. Am a millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I have 11 side incomes that are on track in 2020 to make me $50K - $75K. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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  1. debt debs

    I can’t stand seeing all the meat and live things. My husband was in Shanghai with me when I was on one business trip. He went out and checked out the local Walmart and told me how disgusting it was. I should just become a vegetarian because I really don’t even like eating meat. 😉

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Live meat and live animals don’t bother me. At least I know they’re fresh. What bothers me is the way they’re killed or raised.. and how much we eat when we don’t really need to stuff our faces with meat 24/7.

      Yes! I am leaning towards becoming a vegetarian again. I’ve been eating a bit of meat every day since I became pregnant, but I could do without it.

  2. Matilda @Woman on Top

    Chinese are not very polite. We were pushed and shoved on a side so that they could get wherever they were going: in the airport and on the streets. We learned to navigate the crowds and I even shoved someone a couple of times. 🙂

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      It is true they are not polite by Western standards for shoving to get to where they want and so on but the entire culture is like that, where they beat Westerners for being polite is ALWAYS letting the elderly, pregnant and young sit down by offering their seat.

      No exceptions and it is mostly young men and women who offer (sometimes a whole bunch of them at once).

  3. Anne @ Money Propeller

    I LOVE going to grocery stores in other countries! It’s one of the things I always tell people to do, because it’s such a cultural experience.
    This is all fascinating. I’m sure you were totally revolted by those chicken bins, based on what I know about you!

    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Grocery stores are always a good place to see how locals live.

      I don’t mind live animals or whole dead ones. What I minded more was having food right beside sewage or garbage.


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