Kampala - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Cost of groceries is astronomical if you have any special needs. Good quality meat is expensive. Fish is expensive if you buy imported. Fish from the lake is polluted. Household goods are expensive, we order most everything through Amazon. Local detergents cannot be trusted if you have allergies. Local produce is cheap but must be bought from trusted sources. I don't do my own grocery shopping as it takes too long- a whole day - to go around and get everything needed. - Jan 2024

Fresh fruit and vegetables are widely available but variety does not change as there are no real seasons here, just one long season. Pineapple, mango, many types of bananas, watermelon, passion fruit and local oranges are available very cheaply roadside and delicious year round. The grocery stores carry standard vegetables but nothing exotic. There is an excellent Belgian grocery with imported cheese and deli meats/salamis and a good meat counter as well as other European products. Most household supplies are available and price varies widely. We get most of what we need at a very affordable price and order some things from Amazon like toiletries and unscented laundry detergent. - Jun 2022

Groceries: basic fresh produce are inexpensive if you shop at the roadside, wet market (I do not recommend going to large ones during pandemics), and even in some supermarkets. You can grow your own and it is quite easy. During the pandemic time, prices did go up so much. If you live in a suburb, you may need to go to more than one store in town. There are delivery services of groceries which quality could be hit and miss and could be expensive. Household supplies - you can find most of the products here, but liquid dishwashing detergent sold locally is not good quality. Sanitizing wipes were hard to find once the pandemic hit. There is a store called Verity which carries Costco and Walmart goods (not cheap). You can request them to import. - Dec 2021

Cost of groceries is not as cheap as I expected. Not outrageous, but not cheap. Household supplies are OK if you aren't picky. - Aug 2020

Well, you have Amazon, so there’s that. There are a couple of other import stores where you can get good cheese, imported US breakfast cereals, spaghetti sauce, etc. The US Embassy has a Friday market where you can get fresh veggies, coffee. - Nov 2019

Local produce (bananas, pineapples, tomatoes, potatoes, and onions) was plentiful and cheap. The pineapples were incredibly delicious. Imports like salad greens, cheeses, and ice cream were available from specialty grocery stores at a premium price. I did not like the taste of local milk, so I ended up buying imported (more expensive) dairy products. - Oct 2019

We can get pretty much anything we want. Many convenience food options (mostly from South Africa, but some from US) are available but expensive. We love the variety of fresh fruits and veggies. Cleaning supplies are all readily available. As mentioned above, we use a couple of the local, smaller grocery stores rather than making the long drive and paying higher prices for the stores with imported goods. The coffee here is great, but know that it is quite finely ground so does best in European-style stove top coffee makers or French-press style. - Mar 2019

What is available is generally always available, but the supply of what is available is limited. So, fresh vegetables and fruit are always available, but the varieties are limited. Imported goods are of limited availability, though one can find decent quality Chinese ingredients in the Chinese grocery stores. Local goods vary widely in quality control. Aflatoxin contamination in peanuts, corn, milk, and cheese are a real concern. - Feb 2019

Relative to USA there is not much selection and the prices are moderate to high. Relative to other African posts, there's quite a bit here and it's very reasonably-priced. A tiny bit of looking reveals locally made/produced cheeses, organic meats and produce, jams, etc. Uganda even makes its own aluminum foil and plastic wrap. It has great local coffee and chocolate, too. You just can't expect everything you want to be nicely on the shelves of the ShopRite grocery store, but it's here. - Jan 2019

Groceries are available, but expensive (e.g., whipped cream and beef bacon are the equivalent of US$10.00). Mostly European products available in stores and boutique shops. Items are available, but you will pay for it. There is no commissary at post, so if there are particular American items you like they should be sent via CNS. - Dec 2018

Cost is cheap. Good produce is available. You can get a lot locally but I order a lot from Amazon. - Dec 2018

I would say that you can pretty much find anything you want here. There are several supermarkets as well as many farmers markets around the city on varying days. If you HAVE to have a specific brand of something then DPO is the way to go. This was previously a consumables post and I feel that I unnecessarily spent a lot of money on things I could have found locally. The things I was grateful to have brought are, cleaning supplies, beer, and shampoos/soaps. While you still can get these items here, those are the things I am picky on when it comes to brands. - Oct 2018

A lot of things are available in Kampala but you pay the price for having good food. Items can be available for a few weeks and then gone for months or forever. Most people stock up on things and freeze them when they're available and then order a lot through DPO. Quality of many foods like meat and dairy is questionable. The quality of meat and dairy has caused me to cut them out almost entirely. - Sep 2018

Awful, we typically have to drive to four different stores to complete our grocery shopping because one store has no butter or no milk or is out of something. We just bought a jar of peanut butter for $12. Certain items like fruits and vegetables can be cheap but you have to know where to go. They will try to upcharge you because you’re an expat. Household supplies are horrible. Bring all your own cleaning supplies. - Sep 2018

Readily available! Several large grocery stores within 15 minutes drive. - Aug 2018

Certain things are more expensive, yet other things (fresh fruits & veggies) are cheaper. Overall, it evens out. Almost everything that you need is available year-round, supermarkets are generally well-stocked, farmers markets are available at different locations, and there's even a store that important all Costco & Sams Club products from the USA (a bit more expensive due to importation/transportation cost, but still great to have!). - Jun 2018

Fruits and veggies are delicious, plentiful and very inexpensive. Meat is of poor quality and relatively expensive. Staple products (flour, oil, sugar) are available. "Bud light" quality beer, wine and other types of alcohol are available. Virtually no other snack foods besides potato chips are available. Low quality household cleaning supplies are available. I bought a breadmaker and make my own bread because I'm not fond of the bread here. - Jun 2018

Inexpensive unless you are looking for Western foods, which cost a bit more. - Aug 2015

Produce is cheap if you have your housekeeper buy it for you at the local market. Better yet, grow it in your garden! Imported items have imported prices (but are often worth it, in my opinion). Sometimes things that are plentiful in the grocery store one week completely disappear the next. We can usually get sour cream (imported from South Africa) and cheddar cheese (imported from Ireland), two luxuries I've never enjoyed at any other post. - Jun 2014

Expensive. COLA has increase -fold since our arrival and it still does not cover the overage. Fuel is approximately US$6.80 per gallon. LOCAL fruits and vegetables are cheap, but it's expensive for imports. - Oct 2013

Depends on what you are buying. You will find tons of fresh fruits and vegetables cheap at the local markets. There are large western-style grocery stores that have everything you need, but you may pay a premium for it. Good meat is available at decent prices from the grocery store or butcher's shops....or you can get a REAL bargain at the open-air roadside butcher...YIKES! I splurge on imported cheese and occasionally important fruits (grapes and strawberries) but the local fruit (pineapples, mangoes, passion fruit, etc.) is really fantastic. - Mar 2013

Local food is cheap, and imported food is very expensive. $10 for a block of cheddar cheese. Still, good food is available - Quality Cuts, the Belgian-owned butcher had meats, cheeses, and deli. - Sep 2009

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