Where to do grocery shopping in Turkey
The most important for me when i visit a new country or city is always searching for the best supermarket where i can do my groceries. Especially since i travel as an Erasmus student is very important to find a market big and economic because we are all on a student budget so we know how that is .
As i am currently doing my internship at the Erasmus Office all the new incoming students ask me where they can find a good market to go food shopping . So i guess this post will be just on point for them and also for new comers in Turkey .
We all know how important food it is and how hard is for some to accommodate in a new country , there are so many things when you go first time in a new place , just small things like find your close supermarket , restaurant and your day to day activities.
For me the most important is food just because every 3 days i need to go food shopping and supply my fridge . I don't know about you but i rather cook everyday home meals so for that i need a lot of ingredients and the best deals buying them . Before i used to eat to much outside but i guess after you get older you prefer staying in and watch everything you put in your body .
Even though i can say openly that most of my Erasmus grant is mostly all going on food , i do spend a lot on soda drinks and energizer such as Red Bull which i am addicted too , and sweats because who doesn't like them right ?! .
I guess my biggest challenge coming in Turkey was finding the best place to do my grocery shopping . In Romania especially in my hometown doing this things are pretty easy because we have very big hipermarkets and there is variety , what i always go for is one big place where i can do all my shopping inside so there is no need to visit 2 markets in one day .
In Turkey things can be pretty hard that way , in cities like Trabzon or Elazig where i usually spend most of my time they do no have hipermarkets , just supermarkets and often i find myself frustrated because i need to go 2 or 3 shops in order to get what i want . For example Elazig the city in which i am currently it has a Carrefour which is not the European which we all know Carrefour , is more like a small shop which so little products and they are all adapted to Turkish cuisine , meaning that is hard for me to shop the things i eat at home in Romania .
We all know that pork you may not find in Turkey , is not a problem because i do not eat it anyhow , but there variety of products are so poor that i always get mad once i go grocery shopping .
Another supermarket they use in Turkey is Bim which is like an economic small shop for low budget but whenever is small usually you cannot find many things , which is true as well in this case . Usually i just get cheap oil and rice or chicken from there , no big deal.
And the third and biggest supermarket they have in Turkey is called Migros , is a huge franchise which you can find in all cities in Turkey .Usually it comes with letters as double or triple the M next to it's name which means the size of the store . Here in Elazig there is a 3M Migros which is a medium size shop . It is a bit far from where i stay but is so worth it , is a place where i go once time and i get all my things , of course i cannot compare it to one of my places in Romania such as Auchan or Kaufland but is still the best i found so far in Turkey , and i am here more than one year !
Yes is the big orange one you cannot miss it if you ever find yourself in Turkey !
As you may see this one in the picture has a 3M size as i mention about it , this is my go to place 3 times or more per week . As a tips you can ask for a discount card once you are in the cash register , no fee nothing the card is absolutely free and as a matter of fact you can get great deals with this card . And sometimes the prices inside the stores can have double price ,meaning one is the regular price and the lower one is the price with the card.
For example in Romania's supermarkets we do not get this discount card so this is definitely a plus for shopping places in Turkey . In my wallet i gather all cards from Migros , Carrefour and other shopping places .
The Money Club card and the monthly discount magazine which always comes in handy , i do like to check new products make a price analyze and funny thing about it whenever we finish our grocery shopping my boyfriend Muhammet is always checking the bill for the discount deal we have made .
I don't know how your grocery list look like but mine is always including first vegetables and fruits , drinks and sweats and meat and garniture . But the most important for sure is the drinks and sweats . I hate drinking water , i really do so since i was little i drink like crazy lots of Coke and other bad sodas , but i love them so there is no stopping from that .
Usually in a city you can find up to 5 Migros shops depends how big or small is the city , but for sure there is one next to your corner . I totally recommend it , they always have great deals for every pocket .
Inside the shop
The vegetables and fruits section is big enough and you can find basically all you want from exotic fruits to local vegetables and good thing about it all vegetables and fruits are coming from Turkey , very rare you find something imported . In my country most of the things are imported so is very hard to find local products .
I do wish in time they will open franchises of Lidl or Auchan in all cities in Turkey but for now i just say in Istanbul , in other cities we must settle with old buddy Migros , which is fine for now !
Everytime i go shopping at Migros i never pay less than 50tl ( Turkish lira) to tell you the truth , usually we go shopping every Sunday and we try to buy groceries for an entire week , which is never the case because we are back at it less than 3 days . I don't like to go and just for one juice or something , when i go i overbuy as my boyfriend likes to say , so we always spend a big deal of money .
But as comparing with my time in Portugal when we were going shopping and always spending around 40-50 euros i think Turkey is way better economic speaking , this way i always try to go in countries where they use local currency not the euro. As a Erasmus student is not always easy depending on the grant we received . So financial i am happy in Turkey , they do have lower prices than Romania as well !
Just a bunch of products on discount this month and just so you can make an idea of the currency , 100 euros is about 330 Turkish lira . If you spend let's say 100 tl you may fill all your bags for an entire week worth of groceries , which i cannot say the same in Europe.
As like a negative thing in Turkish supermarkets is that meat you can find just beef or cow and the price is expensive , around 40tl per kilogram, and as i said before you cannot find pork as they are a Muslim country they do not eat . Also for the alcohol lovers the prices in Turkey are at least 3 or 4 time higher than usual for the same reason that Muslim people do not drink . I do enjoy from time to time to drink my Corona which in Migros it cost 7,50 TL and in my country is around 4 Lei ( Romanian currency) .
Useful price list :
- Oil 1L 5.50 TL
- Water 1L 1.5 TL
- Bread 5 TL
- Tuna 7 TL
- Red Bull 4.25 TL
- Coca Cola 2.70 tl
- 1/2 kg chicken breast 5 TL
- 1kg tomatoes 4 TL
- 1 pair Koton Jeans 50 TL
- 1 pair Nike shoes 300 TL
- 1 bottle Smirnoff Vodka 90 TL
- 1 package Malboro cigarettes 8 TL
- Iphone 6s 16GB 3000 TL
I hope this post is helpful for those traveling to Turkey and as well for those who plan to come with Erasmus!
Wish you all a nice shopping spread !
Content available in other languages
- Polski: Gdzie robić zakupy spożywcze w Turcji
- Español: Dónde hacer la compra en Turquía
- Italiano: I migliori supermercati per fare la spesa in Turchia
- Français: Où faire ses courses en Turquie