Ho Chi Minh City - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Groceries are plentiful; you can find pretty much any and everything you might want, but you also will pay a premium for anything imported outside of SEA. I repeatedly order corn chips (or make them with the stiff corn tortillas I get for $6/bag), cereals, dried berries (Craisins/blueberries). Reasonably-priced beef is hard to find, and berries will be costly, as well - but all the tropical fresh produce you can dream of will be ready pretty much year round, at a good price and delicious quality! Allergy-friendly foods are decently easy to find, at a specialty (expat) store, with dairy-free being harder to find. Soy or nut free would be hard to handle here. I'm also glad I brought a bulk supply of paper towels, as the local ones are not very good quality. TP is just fine, though. - Sep 2021

If you dare to shop in the local “wet markets,” food can be ridiculously cheap. However, there is the real and great danger of buying food that is contaminated from ground pollution or the over-use of pesticides. Organic produce in grocery stores is a safer bet. Quality is good, variety is average. Produce spoils very fast due to the lack of a cold supply chain in Vietnam. Produce is harvested and brought to market as quickly as possible, but not in refrigerated trucks. Bananas, for example, go from green to brown in three to four days. Expect to go grocery shopping several times a week if you need fresh vegetables. - Jul 2019

Things have improved so much in the past few years. If something isn't available at the moment it will be in a matter of weeks. You can get lots of safe and natural cleaners as well. - Mar 2016

We can get most of what need here. I am gluten free, and other than gluten-free soy sauce you can find many options here at the expat stores. You will pay double the price, though. Produce is cheap, meats and salmon are pricier than at home, and anything that is imported will cost you more. - Aug 2015

Many things here can be found cheaper than in the States unless it is a specialty or brand item. - May 2014

Produce is super cheap. Household supplies are cheap as well. Get your domestic help to buy as much as possible. You will be taken advantage of as a foreigner, no matter how good of a price you think you're getting, the locals pay less. - Jul 2011

I buy all my veg and fruits from (Vietnamese grown)the local markets and supermarkets, I have a Vietnamese housekeeper 2 mornings a week and she does all my shopping for me, as you really need the language for the markets and the patience for the pushing crowds. Imported goods are available and expensive, nuts, breakfast cereals, Olive oils, bread is wonderful here and Coffee is good. You can save if you want. - Sep 2010

You can get so much more than before, but of course you pay a lot. What is wonderful is the Canadian organic produce delivery service - reliable and they are opening a retail shop very soon. - Nov 2009

Groceries, for "American" or foreign brands can be twice the price of the U.S. Meats, seafood, vegetables and fruit all VERY inexpensive, plentiful and delicious...but you have to be careful with quality and cleanliness of the veggies/ fruits. - Dec 2008

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