Grocery Shopping in the Netherlands
Remember that one meal you used to make, just a few simple ingredients, then you move country and oh no, finding that one ingredient is impossible...Believe me, I feel your pain…. After looking in several supermarkets and speciality stores, you find out that the product just doesn’t exist here or maybe it does, but it’s now super expensive.
I remember that when I was living in Germany, I brought home 4 loaves of bread when I was visiting the Netherlands. I’ve had many weird looks from customs.
My top 4 tips on grocery shopping in the Netherlands:
1. Translate your grocery list
You know what an apple looks like, so there is no need to translate that. But it is very easy to get your soy sauce and balsamic vinegar mixed up and how are you going to recognize your canned chickpeas (kikkererwten)? It might be a little hassle, but better google translate before than while you are shopping.
2. Bring your own bag
We all want to be a little environmentally conscious nowadays right? Bring your own bag... Or you have to pay for it!!
3. Go outside peak-hours
Maybe it wasn’t ever possible (if you work in a 9-5 job) and maybe it is just me. But, lots of people in a small space just drive me crazy. If possible mind the hours just before dinner time.
4. Visit your local market & speciality shops
A good way to get to know your area and the local shopkeepers(also a good way to learn Dutch, they unlike most supermarkets will keep to speaking Dutch with you). The local market will provide fresh food for very good value. Check on Google to find out when and where your local market is.
In the bigger cities especially there will be several independent grocery stores in your area. Obviously, the bigger supermarkets will have a larger variety and stock compared to the smaller ones.
There are several supermarket chains in the Netherlands like Dirk van den Broek, Coop, Deen, Plus, Spar, Vomar, Jumbo and Albert Heijn. The last two are my favourite. Jumbo; At the Jumbo they have a lot of fresh food. Fresh meats, bread everything, the staff is nice and especially if you go to the larger ones you can taste new products. In my opinion shopping at the Jumbo is convenient and I really like that you can try some new things as well. If you are in a rush they also have fresh and healthy options (lots of choice for vegetarian/vegan) for takeaway food.
Albert Heijn; The AH (as the Dutch call it) has a lot of stores, varying from small stores ‘To-Go’ to ‘XL’ stores. You know what you get and with your ‘Bonus-card’ you can save a little too.
Marqt and Ekoplaza are two well known organic supermarket chains. They sell organic (bio) products. In the last couple of years, they’ve increased their number of stores. Obviously, these supermarkets are more expensive.
More budget friendly Supermarkets
Lidl and Aldi are the two major discounters that you will see around. Although they have a website, online grocery shopping is not possible.
Recipes and groceries delivered
No time to go shopping and to think of recipes to make? On Marley Spoon you can select what you would like to cook from a menu of 20 recipes every week. You can select on health & diet, Vegetarian and Vegan Under 30 Minutes and many more. The ingredients together with the recipes are delivered to your door.
Eet smakelijk! (Enjoy!)