Subscribe to SmallPlanet

We Need Your Help

Five stars on Amazon! Don't miss Talesmag's first book of essays, on cross-cultural food experiences from Mexico to Mongolia (plus recipes!)
Submit a Real Post Report

Tel Aviv



How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

One of the wonderful parts of Israel, and especially Tel Aviv, is the variety of fresh produce you can buy throughout the year. Few things will last even a week (maybe root vegetables) as everything seems organic and preservative-free. Almost everything is local. Sure, you can find imported apples and pears, but you'll soon be eating the cheaper, local varieties. You might rue bananas for going brown after two days, or strawberries for coming out only twice a year, but seriously - isn't that how it's supposed to be? All that said, it's expensive. Particularly if you shop at Tiv Taam or other smaller grocers. But people make do by shopping at the outdoor shuks or one of the huge supermarket chains in the suburbs where you can get deep discounts. Paper products are a problem. I mean, it's the desert, right? Consider the tree situation. Lots of people ship toilet paper and paper towels from the US through Amazon or Costco or what have you. But you can get bleach, soaps, detergent locally. American and international products - think peanut butter, cereal, oats, chocolate bars, etc. - are widely available, but again expensive, and most people ship these things from the States. - Aug 19, 2017
All available, but all expensive. Despite relatively low local wages, with relatively few exception goods and services are not that cheap. As a single officer I use a housekeeper sponsored by another family on a part time basis (twice a month) and pay for 5 hours at 250 shekels (that's about $75). Using the duty-free vendors for things like sodas and bottle waters (and definitely any liquor as that can be very expensive locally) saves me a lot, and like many, I also use the DPO to order off walmart.com, amazon and drugstore.com, etc, for some staples. - Oct 24, 2016
Produce is very fresh here, the best I have seen anywhere in the world and cheap. But everything is seasonal so at times hard to make dinner plans until you make it to the market or know what is available. Other than that meat and cheeses are expensive here. We order household supplies from Amazon. - Jul 25, 2016
Most consumer goods are imported and the VAT is generally 15%+. City grocery stores are tiny and a huge rip-off. Most people try to shop in cheaper suburban grocery stores. Carmel Market is a good stop for quality produces though prices are not much better than local supermarkets. - Apr 12, 2016
Everything is available but prices are ridiculously high. - Mar 23, 2016
Expensive but most everything is available. - Nov 18, 2014
Expensive: 2 times more then Europe. The only food item that I could not find has been canned soup. - Apr 10, 2013
Everything is probably double to quadruple the prices of the States. You will order most non-food items Amazon.com. - Aug 14, 2010
Vegetables and fruits aren't too expensive, and dairy and breads are subsidized by the government. Cleaning supplies and meat/fish are not as good as in the US and are very expensive. - Jul 26, 2010
Everything is available here, but be prepared that things cost 2-3x what they would in the states. There are a few grocery chains that specialize in international food choices. - Feb 27, 2009
Somewhat more expensive than in the U.S. - Sep 19, 2008
Expensive..but isn't it everywhere? - Jul 2, 2008