The World of Grocery Shopping in Amsterdam

Albert Heijn

Not sure why I have been putting off writing about the grocery store. But now that it’s part of our (almost) everyday life, I guess it’s time! Our closest grocery store is a large chain called Albert Heijn. They are everywhere, including train stations.

You have to keep in mind that we have smaller fridges than what is normal in the United States, so you can’t keep a whole lot of food, or leftovers. We have one leftover container which has worked for now. I’m not even sure milk comes in a gallon size, but we always got half-gallons at Friendly City Food Co-op in Harrisonburg anyway. So, now we by 1 ___ every 4 days I think.

milk

Milk, cold juice, and yogurt area

 

So, like Martin’s or Food Lion, we have a bonus card. It took us a while to figure out that all you had to do was ask for one at the customer service desk. There aren’t as many bonus deals that I’m used to, but it does help (until you forget it’s in your pocket and don’t use it…oops). The other way I find deals are the 35% off deals. These are items that have a sell-by date that is usually the next day or two. But really, when you shop every 2-3 days anyway, it’s no big deal.

They have carts, but most people use the baskets (some have wheels!), or the kid-size carts when their kids are with them. Really, you don’t usually need much more than would fill a basket. We usually buy a pizza of some kind, milk, eggs, bread, cereal, cheese, salads, meats, and whatever else we’d need to make dinner and lunch for a couple days.

shopping basket

There is not a large frozen section and what is in there isn’t much variety. You’ll have pizza, some frozen snacks, a couple varieties of veggies, and breaded fish. Of course there’s another section for desserts. The only thing I’ve paid attention to is ice cream. They have these great one-serving tubs of deliciousness. There are big ones too, but it helps us not to eat much and we only get them every once in a while anyway.

Another easy and cheap meal is pasta and sauce! You can get fresh pasta or dried and there are jarred sauces to choose from or sauces made in the store. We mix it up and sometimes get jarred tomato-based sauce with curly dried pasta and sometimes we get store-made pesto with fresh tortellini filled with cheese. Lots of options and combinations.

pasta

Fresh pasta and sauces

A couple fun notes, and things I haven’t figured out yet

There is an orange juice maker from oranges that you see. Haven’t tried it yet since I don’t know how to work it.

There’s a scanner device you can use to scan as you shop then pay at a machine when you leave. But you need the type of debit card they use here. I also don’t know how to use this yet either, but I hope to soon!

Eggs are not refrigerated. Not everywhere needs to refrigerate eggs. Though, I will admit that they go in the fridge when we get home.

Eggs on the shelf

Eggs on the shelf

Milk and other items like that are behind that heavy plastic sheets instead of a door. Honestly, it’s probably more energy efficient that way.

Bread is baked on premises constantly and you could walk home with warm bread.

There are toiletries and some household items in the store, like deodorant (they don’t seem to use a lot of solid deodorant here, but opt for sprays) and toilet paper.

toiletries

Wine is probably the item with the largest selection.

We love many of the pre-seasoned/almost pre-made items including ground beef and chicken.

I can’t find breadcrumbs, so I bought bread sticks and used the food processor-type machine to make crumbs.

{So sorry about the quality of photos! I was trying to be discreet with my phone in the store}

Not sure if this answers questions. If not, leave the questions below and I will get back to you!

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