Tag Archives: Carrefour

Groceries – ir de compras

Most things are new to me here in Tenerife. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to a few places, but I haven’t seen much of Europe, and I haven’t shopped in many countries either. All this with the added ‘allure’ of a different language means recognising food brands has been something of an adventure.

As far as supermarket chains in the UK go, I had no real loyalty to any of them. I was a member of pretty much every loyalty scheme going, but convenience, need and the occasional deal (probably in that order) were the main drives in where we shopped. Tenerife can be different for us.

I have to say that the cost of living has been difficult to gauge so far and I think that there are several contributing factors to this. The fluctuation of the value of the British Pound has meant that on some days, the exchange rate to the Euro has been  down to £1: €1.05. On days like that, any card transactions looked comparable to the UK. The euphoria of just having arrived, and still feeling a little bit like we’re on holiday has also meant some unnecessary spending. It’s also difficult and seems unfair to compare a week’s worth of shopping from UK- mid-winter (including ingredients for stews and bakes – good, warming, comfort food), to a week’s supply of lollies, aftersun lotion and vests.

Our first shopping trip in the south was about familiarity. We went to a Lidl. They are the same everywhere. Pleasant enough, plenty of products, many that look like brands you know, but that’s not what Lidl’s about! They also have the “Once it’s gone, it’s gone” clothes and items. I thought it was a bit expensive for what we went in there for. Nothing that will break the bank, but it felt like I was shopping in a UK shop. I don’t think I’ll be going back there often,

We have a mini – Hyper Dino in our town (village? I don’t know… I’ll find out what where I live is.) which we have been into several times. It’s a holiday maker’s trap as all the smaller shops tend to be. The shops are in the most convenient of places (it’s our local milk run if necessary). The bigger hyper-dinos are pleasant enough to walk around. We have been in several now, all along the south, including the one at Siam Mall and the large one just before the exit for Adeje (from the TF-1). I would happily shop there.

Orange juice maker at a local super market
Most of the larger supermarkets have fresh orange juice machines. This makes too much sense to me.

Mercadona supermarkets appear to be the most popular as it seems to be a little busy every time we have been. The range of goods on offer is good, including some that I recognise, and enough that look familiar enough to try. We have one fairly close to us and I currently consider it my favourite super market. The fish counter in our branch has so many different types of fresh sea food that I could lose a few hours just looking and watching.

Tu Trebol was our last discovery. We have a large one near us and, as it looks like a warehouse, we just drove past it without giving it too much thought. Curiosity got the better of us, however, and we ended up going in to explore and see what the place was about. Our local branch is fairly large so they have furniture there, as well as the usual stock. It seems comparable to the Dino prices.

I’m looking forward to the next few weeks when I feel less restless and so more willing to think of interesting food to make. Hopefully, I can make things that are worth adding to the I Enjoy Trying pages and get that going! I’m off to gather tools to grow ingredients!

Do you have any tips for grocery shopping in Tenerife for me? Anywhere you avoid? Let me know in the comments!

Be good or be good at it!


The Adventuring Begins

For our first week on the island, we’ve hired a car to help us get around, get our bearings and to do some exploring. So on our second day here, we drove up to the capital city – Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The roads in Tenerife are such a pleasure to drive on. Keep in mind that I’m Zimbabwean born and naturalised as a Brit – so good roads have not been a feature in my life.

Road to Santa Cruz


The drive up north was scenic, as expected, with the sea beckoning on one side, and Mount Teide looking threatening with the first grey clouds we saw on the island on the other.

We drove through Santa Cruz and the layout is so functional yet typical it’s fantastic. It’s a city. There’s no point talking it up. However, nostalgia bells tolled as we drove down one of the streets – an avenue of palm trees masking city architecture.

Driving ’round town..

We explored the town, taking turns that upset the satnav, and even (accidentally) going the wrong way up a (very quiet) one way road. Aiming to get to town at the start of siesta may have made a difference… We made our way to the biggest Carrefour (supermarket) and stocked up on some supplies. Not that we needed much – the house (rented or buying) comes fully furnished – a pleasant surprise and ideal for packing! So we got some sheets and toiletries and food to make the place more like home.

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Stock and range of things is not a problem. I find that I keep having to remind myself that although Tenerife is an island, it is part of Spain. So all the creature comforts of home will be readily available. For example, we picked up an LG sound at and and subwoofer for €120 and an electric toothbrush is ~€30. General cost -pretty much was the same as the UK. I suppose I keep tempering my expectations with the fact that we live in a very small residential town. I can also hear my London friends saying, “Rumbie, you lived in Reading.” And I hear this. But our town almost feels (even more) rural now I’ve been to The City for a day.

Anyone who knows me is aware that I am always looking for a bargain (how do you think I ended up here!?) and I am pleased to say I am satisfied with the prices I saw for clothes and shoes. I don’t have many clothes with me. In anticipation of the move, there was a great cull. Many a charity bin was filled with the contents of my wardrobe. My In-laws at Household J are very kindly keeping some key pieces that I couldn’t bear to gift or face the prospect of replacing on return to the UK so I only brought over clothes I cannot buy – like my tailor made ‘African’ pieces. I don’t actually have many of these. As a result, I used up most of my luggage bringing my worldly goods, including some gifts from friends and family that are irreplaceable and make this home, my camera and my most essential crafting tools. Judge not – I challenge you can to pack for 6 months in 40ks!

Our lives fit into one suitcase and 3 boxes…

U.K. Price tags often have euro prices printed on them too. That’s exactly what it it costs in Euros. But the local chains seem to be a bit cheaper. Reviews on quality versus cost to follow. The point is, the things I will need while here are readily available – if not somewhere local in our town, it will be here in the City which is only 40 minutes away by car.

We took some detours on the way home, stoping in towns along the way to see what selection of shops were available. Our landlord mentioned to us that there are a lot of specialist shops around so if we are patient, we will find everything to be very affordable. So far, with The Pound weakening, prices are quite comparable. I’ll keep you posted on this as shopping becomes more real. We seem to be on a diet of fast food as we settle. So, as the sun sets on a wonderfully sunny Monday, I hope you’re having your own adventure and must insist:

Be good, or be good at it.

Rumbie xo