Cape Town - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Wonderful. You can get everything here. Look online at Woolworths or Pick N Pay to see what’s available. - Apr 2021


In the past decade or so, Cape Town has become a serious foodie scene, and prices have adjusted upward as a result. Everything you could wish for is available, often much higher quality (fresher, less processed) than UK or USA, and generally about 60-75% of the price of UK/US or less. I guess if you are very picky about a certain branded item you could be disappointed, but that's about it. - Feb 2018


Most things are available, at prices lower than the U.S. Baking supplies are harder to find, and your choice in breakfast cereals is limited. We have cats, and although cat litter is available here, it's non-clumping. Other items we have trouble finding include peanut butter and graham crackers.

There are several different grocery store chains here -- Pick 'n' Pay, Woolworths, Food Lovers, Makro -- and you can generally find everything you need or acceptable substitutes, but you may need to visit multiple stores for some items. Lactose-free milk is available intermittently.

South Africans love to "braai" (grill), and red meats in particular are good quality and inexpensive. Cape Town is wine country, so there is a wide variety of excellent quality, locally produced, low-price wine. - Oct 2017


Groceries are cheaper than in the U.S. for most goods. Speciality goods, like taco shells, will cost far above what they should, but meat and produce are cheaper than in the U.S. For instance, lamb of good quality is roughly the same price as beef. - May 2014


As long as you are not buying all import brands, you will spend about what you would in the U.S. Toys and games are pricier and less sturdy, as are paper supplies and some cleaning stuff. Otherwise, this is the first place where we have been in 11 years where we are not paying twice as much for our weekly shopping. - Aug 2013


Everything is available, just not the brands or selections an American would be used to. Big chains are Pick n Pay, Checkers, and Spar, and Woolworth's has a great specialty/high-end food shop chain. Typical week of shopping for an ex-pat might be in the R700 (US$100) range for a week for a couple. You could easily get by on half. - Oct 2007


Subscribe to our newsletter


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

Read More