Last month I kept track of my receipts where I am currently living here in Fukuoka, Japan. I wanted to see how much I spent on groceries. I was thinking that I spent about the same or maybe a little less.
Well, it seemed like things cost about the same as they do in San Francisco where I was living before Japan.
So how much did I spend?
Well, I spent about 30,000 Yen which is about $270 USD. That's about the same amount that I would spend in Trader Joes in San Fran.
I think next month I can lower it. I might try to get it down to about $200. I think the most expensive things that I was buying was nuts. MMMM, I love nuts, but I will try to cut it down and see what happens.
Also I found a cheaper store for some things, so I could probably shave off a few more Yen.
What sort of food "can't" I find here?
No complaints, really, but I will try to compare this to Trader Joes where I used to shop mostly in San Fran. There is a slightly different selection of fruit and vegetables. The fruit selection is smaller and at the moment (winter) it's mostly apples, oranges, bananas, strawberries, cumquats, grapefruits, etc.
I think what you don't get is all the international foods stuff like: hummus, guacamole, Thai spices, salsa, Italian foods, a bunch of different chips, etc. I don't remember seeing anything like power bars and the like. I remember at Whole Foods there was nearly a whole aisle for power bars.
It's mostly just the basics. There are some organic foods too.
This is just based on where I have been shopping mostly at this place called AEON Max Value. Which is funny cause AEON is also a company in Japan for teaching English too. But anyways I think there are probably places out there where you can get more international foods probably, but I don't know where they are.
Cheaper than AEON Max Value is Sunny which I found out is actually owned by Walmart. I met a guy (American-Japanese) who works there.
And then cheaper than those are often the smaller local markets.
I have no problem eating the basics as that is what I usually do anyways. My diet didn't actually change much since I came to Japan.
I am mostly vegetarian and eat:
- vegetables: cabbage, spinach, sprouts, broccoli, etc.
- sweet potatoes
- nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds
- rice flour
- milk or occasionally yogurt
- rarely-occasionally chicken or seafood
I had no problem finding those things. Some other things I have been eating since I have been here are miso, soba noodles and daikon radish.
In the video above I give some prices. Here are some rough estimates of costs:
- Milk=$1.50 a pint
- Sweet potatoes=$2-3
- Soba noodles=$2
- Miso paste=$3
- Daikon radish=$1
- Sesame seed flour=$1
Lastly there is not much for cheese. I tried this one "cheddar cheese" but it didn't quite taste like cheese. There are a few options, but don't expect much.