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

Monrovia



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

Very poor availability of fresh fruit and vegetables that are not locally grown, very high prices for very very poor quality. Locally available fruit is good and cheap but seasonal, think mangoes, pineapple, pawpaw, bananas, passion fruit, citrus. Vegetables are more limited due to difficult growing conditions, sweet potatoes are available but not great, cabbage, cucumber, some small tomatoes and onions, potato greens, squash are the staples and available most of the time. Oh and lots of very hot peppers.

All other non-fresh items are available, usually, at high prices. This includes lots of US brand goods; canned foodstuff, jams, sauces, etc etc. Cleaning supplies also available but not the selection of brands and not everything all the time, pet food also available. - Nov 17, 2017


Western groceries are a bit expensive, but COLA more than makes up for the difference. I was VERY pleasantly surprised by the variety of grocery items available here compared to other places I've lived. Produce is disappointing in the grocery stores but one can find good items in local markets, the embassy Friday market, or Grain Coast Farms, a local CSA. - Jun 23, 2016
Everything is imported, so most things are very expensive. A pint of Haagen Dasz ice cream was $15 while I was there. Bleach is made locally and not very expensive, but most other cleaners, soaps, pre-packaged foods, etc. are very expensive. Brand selection is limited, and quality is not always the best. - Aug 20, 2015
You can find anything if you look hard enough. Might have to go to two or three stores. Add 50% to usual U.S. prices, more for electronics and appliances. - Dec 19, 2013
You can get most anything here if you look. There are a few decent grocery stores here, and you can get just about everything you want if you make a morning of stopping by a couple of them. As for prices, it can be quite expensive. Everything here is much more expensive than the States. Cereal costs upwards of $10 a box, ground beef is around $6 a pound, and a box of detergent can be $30. Make use of that consumables shipment you get, diplomats! What kinds of organic, vegetarian and allergy-friendly foods are available, such as organic produce, meat from animals raised naturally, gluten-free products, meat substitutes for vegetarians, etc? You can get tons of naturally-grown fruits and vegetables here on the local market. That's the only way they come. Thr best pineapples and mangos I've ever had, bar none. As for gluten free, meat substitutes, or anything special like that, you will probably only get blank stares if you ask. - Dec 24, 2012
Local foods can be cheap - but quality is inconsistent. But I've never had such delicious pineapples or mangoes in my life! Grocery stores import almost everything, though, and the cost is typically twice what it would be in the US. - Aug 3, 2010
Very expensive. All grocery items, including produce, is all imported and brought in through the dysfunctional Monrovia Freeport. Use your consumables shipment to send an abundance of the food items and household supplies you use. Many of us use amazon.com or netgrocer.com to send ourselves dry grocery items (no glass, liquid or aerosol can be sent through the pouch).For example, a box of cereal is $8, a small bottle of olive oil can be $15, cheese is $21/pound, etc. - Jul 13, 2009