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Scouting trip #2 - GROCERIES

3/11/2023 Scouting trip #2

I know I haven’t written anything for some time, but I have been reading and planning. I decided a little late, I should have come in January or February because I wanted to get a better idea of winter here, but I didn’t think of it in time. March will have to suffice, at least for now.


This post is specifically about grocery shopping.


Back in Portugal! Arrived in Lisbon on 3/6/23. Had some fun adventures and then took the train to Faro then Uber to Tavira on 3/8/23. Valerie and Emily went back to Lisbon yesterday and DC today.


I’ve really lucked out with the weather in Tavira. SUNNY! Low 70’s for daytime temp! Yippee!!


Today I spent about 2 hours wandering up and down the aisles at Continente, one of the local supermarkets. This one happens to be in Tavira Mall. It’s about a 15-minute walk from this apartment.


Quite a few people in the FaceBook groups I follow about moving to and living in Portugal have expressed dismay over grocery shopping. Among the things they have written:


· They can’t find what they’re looking for

· If they do find it, it’s often extremely expensive

· And/or they believe the quality is lacking


I was becoming a bit alarmed and decided to start some sleuthing of my own. I made a small list of what I might want on any given day. I looked for those items in particular as well as scanning the shelves for what else was there. Of course, there were plenty of things I had never seen before. There were a few things there that surprised me, for example, Heinz Ketchup. I don’t know why I was surprised, but I was. There is Hellman’s mayo, also, but of course, that won’t do. It's possible that the price of staying with us in Portugal will be Duke’s Mayo!





I did NOT find:

· Coffee beans

· Mini Moo’s

· Pizza dough balls


I didn’t seek the pizza dough thoroughly at all. Scott may be able to find it once he does some shopping. I’m sure there will be something that will suffice.


Coffee bean. Hmm. There was an alarming amount of instant coffee. Really. I’m hopeful that beans can be found elsewhere. As for the mini moos, it seems likely that I’m SOL. But those are really just for emergencies. There is cream, probably half and half or similar, I just didn’t look very hard.


I did find:

  • Canned beans (for chili)

  • Canned/jarred tomato sauce

  • Pasta

  • Rice

  • Paper towels – I’ll still use my Norwex cloths, so quality of paper towels shouldn’t be a big concern.

  • Napkins (looked fine to me)

  • Toilet paper (people on FB complained about the quality. We’ll see.)

  • Dentastix for the dogs




  • Dog food – there was only Purina and Continente brand (which is probably also Purina). I’ll look around some more for what else is available.

  • Coke, even the mini cans we like

  • Fever Tree Tonic water!



  • Wine!! (of course. Lots and lots of wine.)

  • Spiced Rum (Captain Morgan!)

  • Gin (many recognizable brands)

  • Jack Daniels (Leslie, see photo)




  • Granola-like cereals that Scott eats



  • Philadelphia brand cream cheese

  • Lots of yogurt


  • Tortillas




I didn’t really look at the produce because I figure we’ll mostly get that at fresh markets. I also didn’t look at the meat, for obvious reasons. I didn’t look at the fish either, though I did see some that were looking at me! I expect Scott will have to do the vast majority of fish buying. This will probably also be at fresh markets.


PRICES. To me, most of what I saw appeared to cost less or pretty close to the same as what I buy now. Nothing made my eyebrows shoot up or my jaw drop. I don’t know what those other folks buy or were looking for, but I definitely don’t expect that we’ll spend more than we do now. As our knowledge grows, I believe we will be able to eat fresher, less processed, more nutritious food.


I saw Oreo’s from the first time I entered this store. However, no double stuft. So what’s the point? Finally found them!!



There were also a variety of different flavors of Oreos, though I saw no Lemon (Tar Heels know what I mean). Many flavors of potato chips that I’ve never seen before.


Oranges, oranges, oranges! I hope we can ultimately find a place with our own tree.


Oh yeah. And cheese! One of my staple foods. I saw a mind-boggling amount of different cheeses. Much to explore!


Tomorrow, I tour more of the Algarve. I’ll letcha know about it!





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