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

Groceries are more expensive but a good variety is available at the local supermarkets. If you are with the US mission (and soon EU missions as well) the commissary makes up for most anything you can't find at the grocery. Produce is mostly good but not everything is available year round. There are no meat cold cuts. - Feb 2018

As so much is imported from South Africa with high tariffs, groceries can be quite expensive (certainly more expensive than the U.S. with lower quality). Better produce can be found at the smaller markets. - Nov 2017

Local produce is cheap and of good quality, but you have to know where to go to get it. There are a few markets that sell farm-fresh products, along with a couple grocery stores. The higher-end supermarkets cost a bit more, but even with added import costs from SA, often run a little lower than U.S. prices, given the Rand's continued poor performance. Actual American products are often expensive, as are sports equipment, building supplies, and finished/tech products. - Jan 2017

Groceries can be pretty expensive, and what you want is not always available when you want it. For instance, cream cheese is easy to find sometimes, and then it disappears for months. Our supermarket has quite a lot of items, so there is always a substitute. But it might taste a little different since they are mostly South African brands and are made differently. - Jun 2016

Local produce is good and cheap. Everything else is imported from South Africa and the cost varies based on the exchange rate. Most things are available, except black beans, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. - May 2016

I think groceries and supplies are expensive, but at least everything is available and of decent quality. - Mar 2015

Availability of groceries is relatively good - but pricey. US$4-$5 for a can of tuna, US$2-$2.50 for fetuccine, US$15 for a bottle of extra virgin olive oil. If a part a of the American community, you can buy from the commissary but that is expensive too for many things and there is mostly a stock of canned and boxed "staples." - Aug 2014

A little pricey if you order everything from one store. If you're willing to shop around and know the different stores to go to you can save a little money. - Jan 2014

Groceries and household supplies seem to be expensive here as so much is imported. Local fruits and vegetables are reasonably priced and of good quality. A trip to the grocery store always seems to cost a surprisingly high amount, but by being a better shopper the totals could be lower with care. Things like irons, coffee makers, TVs, outdoor furniture are very expensive and/or of poor quality. - Apr 2013

Nearly everything you can think of is now available through the various South African grocery chains in Lusaka. Outside Lusaka it's a different story, although Shop-rite and Spar can be found in the other large towns. Groceries and supplies are about 1/3 more costly on average than in the USA and some things - like cheese - are very expensive. There's limited seafood as we're landlocked - basically talapia and ever smaller nile perch. Not much variety of fruits but not as bad as some places - if you want strawberries you can get them one month of the year and they'll cost $10/pint. No blueberries! But you can get great nectarines and bananas year-round and pinapple and mango part of the year. - Jul 2010

Same--if not more--than groceries in the U.S. There are no developing world prices here! - Mar 2009

Groceries are very expensive. Meat and cheese especially are expensive. Sometimes the country will go through a several month spell where you cannot get certain items, and magically they reappear again. Everything, when available, is for a price. - Mar 2009

High. - Oct 2008

Expensive. you can buy ALMOST anything here now - but some stuff (like cheese) is ridiculously expensive, and there isn't much seafood available. Strangely there IS pretty good availability of vegetarian frozen foods like faux burgers etc. There is good veg, but not alot of fruit choices. You can also get a good array of chinese/japanese/thai ingredients, and some Lebanese stuff. limited brands though. Almost no diet soda available though - only occassionally coke lite. meat kind of pricey, and you won't find american styles of lunch meat and sausages. - Aug 2008

You can find most everything you need here. Prices tend to be higher than the U.S. (a liter of milk currently runs $2.50 -- roughly US$5 for 1/2 gallon) and the most common brands are produced in South Africa. - May 2008

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