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Saturday, June 20, 2015


I enjoy shopping for housekeeping. The first time I went shopping, my carts were full and cost about $300! I was like, for ALL THESE!!! So imagine my surprise when I went to an African shop, with that same amount, I came out with few items! It is like back home, where imported products are more expensive than locally made products. I observed African immigrants shop more in large grocery stores than in African shops. An African store opened some months back, it's being a place of hangouts for many Africans, because apart from the usual food stuff, they sell cooked food also. { it was closed down for the second time for not meeting the hygiene standard!}

I find alternative products to Nigerian meals in grocery stores, except for palm oil, crayfish, stockfish and ogbono. For instance, I use Russet potato instead of yam, blend oat to make wheat-swallow, and buy frozen cut-spinach to prepare Efo. Hubby don't eat okro, if not, I will cook okro instead of ogbono ... nay, we don't like ewedu much. I tried their powdered milk, {I like creamer for Lipton} I didn't like it, so I stick to our type of powdered milk.

African shops are mostly owned by individuals and are doing their best to raise their heads above waters. I doff my hat for them, because it takes determination to stay afloat, in the competitive market, paying taxes and meeting the required standard. Some items perish quickly, like yams that gets rotten, and some items stay too long on the shelf, like ogbono, which will taste soapy when cooked, .... and YOU CANNOT SEND THEM BACK, TO GET REFUND! Unlike in the big stores. 

Hence, many like playing it safe and stick to big stores, because losing $21;00 for a tuber of yam, {the weight determines the price} is not cool, since, you can use this same $21:00 to get milk {$2:84},bread {$1:18}, eggs {1:72},cereal {$3:98}, hot dog {1:50}, noodles { $2:00}, Nesquick {$7:38}. This can feed an individual for about a week!

I prefer buying store brands because it is more affordable, and I take ample opportunity in any sales to make good purchases. African shops don't have store brands and no sales day. I buy my ogbono and palm oil from only one place because theirs is 100% original. I tried in two places before I discovered them. I buy the un-blended crayfish to avoid sand. I dislike the blended prawn heads, they sell as crayfish, it taste chaffy. I dry my fish instead, of buying, thanks to Flo, because apart from being cheaper, some taste burnt and too dry.

I shop at both ends because they meet my needs at different times, but I frequent the bigger stores more. I wish there are big African shops like their counterparts, maybe items will be cheaper and returns accepted. Yeah right! If wishes were horses, beggars would have ridden.  

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