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

Again, two answers: if you want local food, it's super cheap. If you want international food (i.e. granola, peanut butter, etc.) it costs a lot more because of the cost of importing it here. Better to ship all of that stuff through the pouch. Household supplies are never as good as they are in the US, where the paper products are always of a higher quality - we shipped all of that stuff with our HHE, including laundry pods, toilet paper, paper towels, party cups, and napkins. Very glad we did - one Costco purchase lasted us the entire tour. Groceries were a let-down, to be honest. The produce was very unpredictable (yay! seasonal!), but to the point where staples were missing for a week or more, like salad greens, cheese, yogurt, bananas - always to be replaced with something unrecognizable. It's a lot of experimentation with lots of mixed results. The produce is JUST NOT TASTY and explains why Indians cook all of their food to death and add lots of spices. We were never impressed with the quality of raw foods in India with the exception of a few items: seasonal mango (6 weeks), strawberries (twice a year), and a few types of rare bananas (minis and red). Cereals, grains, pasta, canned goods - we tried, but ended up shipping all of those items. Wine is exorbitantly expensive ($30 for the cheapest international bottle of garbage wine) and the local product is terrible. - Jul 2019


Very reasonable, and if you are with a diplomatic mission you can also order from Amazon/Target/Walmart (wherever you get your staples) via pouch. And the commissary in Delhi does monthly or quarterly orders; you can get frozen items, wine or liquor (which is phenomenally expensive on the local market). There are big grocery stores here, which surprised us. There are great delivery services, so we order groceries for delivery from Big Basket, meats/eggs from Licious, and fresh milk from Kiaro. You could get everything from Big Basket also for delivery. You can find things like American and European cheeses at a grocery store that had a ton of international products (for a price:) - Jan 2019


You'll definitely spend more on groceries here for a few reasons. First, stuff spoils A LOT faster, so if you don't use right away it goes bad and you'll be buying again. Second, any Western-style stuff is imported, so it'll be higher cost. You'll need to go to multiple shops to get what you'd normally get in one grocery store in the US; manageable, but sometimes you just wish for the ease of a "one stop shop".

There are a few small Western-style grocery stores and prices will be a little high, but not obnoxious. You can get your produce, chicken, turkey, ham, breads and cheeses at any of the western hotels' deli counters. Beef is not available locally, but can be ordered monthly through the commissary in Delhi. Most of us order from Amazon for our non-perishables and it takes about 3 weeks to arrive. - Nov 2017


Shopping is basic and expensive at the 2 stores that cater to expats. "Q-Mart and Nature's Basket" import some products that Americans are used to; the quality of fresh fruits and vegetables can be disappointing. You can never find everything you need in one place. You can order food items from the commissary in New Delhi but you have to wait 2-6 weeks and pay charges for shipping. Alcohol can be bought from the commissary; Kingfisher beer can be bought locally. We supplement a lot with Amazon. Chicken and mutton are available at most supermarkets. You can find some pork bacon at Q-Mart. Beef is available if you can find a Muslim butcher, but it is very tough. Some cured meats such as ham and bologna, as well as fancy cheeses, can be bought at premium prices at the Living Room, which located in the lobby of the Park Hyatt in Banjara Hills. You can find pork, but again, it tastes rather different. - Sep 2016


You need to work around what you can't find, or bring a lot in your HHE. It depends on if you want Western name brand or go with an off, maybe different tasting Indian brand as to cost. You can find Doritos, but it will be US$10/bag. Or eat Indian biscuits for US$2/bag. You can find some vegetables, but not a lot of greens/salads/kale or the like. Household supplies are fine and easy - pretty cheap too. You can also order from the commissary. All alcohol should come from the commissary in Delhi. Salad items, lemons, and cheeses you'll have to get through the Park Hyatt, which will be a bit more expensive. - Mar 2015


We can get pretty much everything we need. The fruits and vegetables are tastier than what I remember in the U.S. We can find local equivalents, e.g. ketchup, mayo, etc., which are about one-sixth the cost. For example, locally-made tortillas and corn chips are pretty good. Beef is somewhat hard to come by. However, the Park Hyatt sells beef and cheese are reasonable prices. You can also order food from the commissary in New Delhi but you have to pay for shipping. We only buy alcohol from the commissary. Someone explained that Hyderabad is the farthest southern city that one can buy meat. Chicken and mutton are available at the most supermarkets. We've bought pork bacon and pork chops at Q-Mart. Beef is available if you can find a Muslim butcher. Cured meats such as ham and bologna, as well as fancy cheeses, can be bought at the Living Room, which located in the lobby of the Park Hyatt in Banjara Hills. - Jan 2015


There are some small supermarkets where pricey imported goods can be found. Good beef is understandably hard to find. The open air markets have fresher produce but leafy greens are very difficult to find. Many expats grow their own lettuce. Filling your grocery list can be a full-time job as you may have to hit up multiple grocery stores or markets to find everything. For those without access to the Embassy's commissary, alcohol is limited and incredibly expensive. For those with access to the commissary and the diplomatic pouch, you should be able to get almost anything you need. The quality will be questionable but it's better than nothing. - Nov 2014


Surprisingly expensive. Local products are cheap (onions, ghee, lentils, curd). But very expensive for anything western and fairly limited. You can find a bag of Doritos at one of the handful of western stores, but you'll pay $10 for it. Overall, you can find most things here. But not without a significant price hike. Post recently lost a huge chunk of its COLA and this really hurt. - Jul 2014


Local produce is dirt cheap. Anything imported is more expensive than it would be in the U.S. - Mar 2012


Most Western groceries and household supplies, or local equivalents, are widely available. Costs range from surprisingly cheap to about twice what you'd pay in the US. Supplies can be limited sometimes and will disappear for a few weeks at a time. - Feb 2012


Local groceries are dirt cheap (veggies, grains, milk/yogurt) but imported items are pretty pricey. Ship-in any staples or name-brand things you want. - Jan 2011


New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More