Dar Es Salaam - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Local items are very reasonably priced and widely available. Imported items on the other hand are very expensive, something like say a small price of Parmesan cheese could be $15-30. - Jan 2022

Reasonably available but specialty items are more expensive. We frequent about three stores. Its not uncommon to got to one then realize they do not have what you are searching for, and then to need to go to another store. Funny example: I bought Kirkland Organic Corn Chips (yes, from Costco). The kind you can get for about $5-6 in the US. They cost about $18 and were quite broken but surprisingly they were not that stale. - Oct 2021

You can find most things locally plus we have Amazon thru DPO. The challenges is having to go to 3-4 stores to do all your shopping. Sometimes things will just appear - the day we found sour cream at Shoppers was magically, I think folks from the US Embassy bought up the entire stock within hours, may be months before we see it again. South African brands are common. Imported American staples - think ricotta cheese or A-1 steak sauce - are quite expensive. The main supermarkets are Village, Shoppers, and Simply Fresh (formerly Food Lovers). There's also a South African Butcher shop where I buy all my meats. SA imported steaks are tsh 50,000 per kilo ($10 per pound). Simply Fresh has the best Fruit & Veg - prices for local in-season items like mangos or pineapples or avocados are quite cheap. things like strawberries are outrageously expensive. Many folks hire a chef named Mama Lu (she's $20 for a 4 hour shift and she's incredible) she can get you produce and other staples for local prices. - May 2020

Expensive and inconsistently available. That said, if you hit the routine 5 spots most expats shop, you can tend to find most stuff. Combined with a solid consumables shipment and DPO, it is manageable. - Jun 2017

you can get the majority of things that you would find in the U.S. Things are pricey and I used amazon a lot to purchase household items. - Dec 2015

Most things are available (except for that exact brand you want, of course), but it will cost you. Butter US$5/pound; milk US$7/gallon (UHT); ground beef US$9/pound; chicken a bit less, and fish is cheaper than U.S. Vegetables are relatively inexpensive, and there is a new grocery store that has a GOOD selection and supply of fresh fruits & vegetables. Regulated items (bread, rice, sugar) are cheap. Imported items (processed & packaged foods, cheeses, etc.) are DC prices times 2. That said, we order anything lighter and non-perishable from Amazon and anything heavier through consumables. A smart person would mail themselves a box of stuff before coming to post so that when they get here, they have a few comfort foods and place a consumable order within the first 6 months (especially for families). We even order our TP and laundry detergent tabs through Amazon. (We load up our suitcases on R&R with frozen turkeys & hams & deli meat & cheese because they're not readily available) - Jul 2015

Groceries in Dar cost a fortune but you can find most everything you want/need if you go to a couple of stores. Canned items are really quite expensive. Do a consumables order if you use a lot of canned items. There is a great butcher shop with wonderful cuts of meat but you will pay for it. Chicken breasts run about US$15 a kilo. Minced beef is about US$10 a kilo. There is also a great deli that imports meat from Germany. They get great sandwich ham and turkey and cheeses but that will cost you about US$30 a kilo. The fresh produce in town is reasonably priced. Locally produced yogurt is inexpensive and pretty good. - Mar 2014

Groceries and household supplies are quite expensive except for fresh produce, which is good and relatively cheap. Bring your own paper goods, toiletries, and cleaning products. You can get good wine for low prices from South Africa. Juices, sodas, and bottled water are pretty cheap. Alcohol is so-so in price. - Feb 2013

Vegetables and fruits were very cheap, but imported goods could be very expensive. We were able to find what we wanted and needed, but sometimes we had to go to a few places to find what we wanted. There was also an EXCELLENT South African butcher shop that had great meat and other produce. Otherwise, you can find what you need. One interesting point is that the TZ government subsidized alcohol, so we found alcohol to be generally much cheeper than in the U.S., particularly hard liquor. We could also get great South African wine. There was a woman who imported good wine from SA and would deliver to your house. - Feb 2013

Groceries are very expensive, but you can find everything (down to Keebler cookies and Purina Dog food). It is all imported from the UK and the Middle East. Local meat is of decent quality, and there's a fabulous Italian deli that sells good eggs and wonderful home-made pastas. Bring Mexican staples if that is your thing. - Aug 2011

Fresh fruits and vegetables are priced within reason; canned goods and other such items are imported from the middle east and south africa, which makes them expensive. Dairy products are very costly. - Jun 2010

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