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Food Shopping In Bulgaria

Over the last few years an increase in the choice of larger supermarkets in the region we live of Bulgaria has made life a lot easier for me.

When we first came to Bulgaria 4 years ago,on a viewing trip - our main concentration was on house buying rather than food shopping, we thought  a rural village with 2 shops was at least o.k for essentials and the nearest town 12 km yes - plenty of food shops.


Until we came to live here and do the weekly chore that was not that much fun in the U.K! The nearest town was not what I expected -  mainly small shops and most  of the stock stacked on shelves behind the counters.

Visiting individual shops for food was slow, and many didn't have baskets so a case of juggling as much as I could hold and getting two reluctant teenagers to help. Many times we returned home with items forgotten, plus some of the food didn't last as long as food is packaged in small quantities and was not enough to cater for a family of four.

We did persevere and I guess learnt this side of the language quicker as so much of the stock was behind counters, we researched words from the phrase book before hitting the shops. Hand signals and impressions caused quite a stir in a queue of customers on occasions when we couldn't find what we wanted and pointing frustrating. It can be rather hard to become accustom to other cultures as much as you try.

As we became more familiar with our surroundings and got to know others expats we learnt of larger supermarkets in our vicinity which included CBA, Billa, Picadilly in the nearer cities which although further to travel did start to reduce shopping times and made life easier. What a relief to have a choice in front of you, to throw items in a trolley and able to buy larger quantities!

Since then other larger supermarkets have began to pop up - Kaufland, Penny market, Plus and recently Lidl which for this region alongside Metro which gives those who prefer to shop weekly a bigger choice.

This is where for me personally Bulgarian culture was hard to adjust to,I was so used to buying groceries in bulk each week and not used to the daily shop which is far more popular here with the  Bulgarians. The type of food available here I am quite happy with, sampling different food and recipes I enjoy.

I am also aware Bulgarian people budget and shop daily for food, and many buy bread snacks and coffee out. This often works out cheaper than cooking at home, I can certainly see their point but I guess this is where lifestyles differ.

I have put together a list of supermarkets that may be in cities local to where you live as you can see there is quite a big choice now here in Bulgaria for those who prefer shopping in bulk:
Billa, CBA, Kaufland, T-market, Mercator, Tempo, Lidl, Penny Market, Fantastico, Familia, Plus, Hit, Ena