Freetown - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Quality and variety can be pretty limited at times. Most people pack consumables or do orders through IDS or Mano River. Also most expats bring back additional groceries in their luggage after international travel. There are a number of supermarkets in town, but you can't depend on them always what you need at any given time. That said, fish and seafood are always available and comparatively cheap. - Jan 2022

You can get almost anything you may need here but you are going to pay for it. There are two grocery stores nearby the residences of most people that stock everything from peanut butter and soy milk to Pringles, but the prices will be higher than you would pay in DC. I would recommend people bring their favorite eco friendly cleaners and specialty spices. Amazon or Walmart can make up for almost anything you cannot find here. There are lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. I would also recommend people take advantage of their consumables shipment to make sure they get their favorite wine/ beer or BBQ sauce. - Sep 2021

You can find most of what you want, just might need to visit several stores. As a prior poster said, pricing doesn't seem to have rhyme or reason. Amazon makes up for anything you miss. Use consumables for specialty condiments, liquids, detergent, soy (or other specialty) milk if you need it on a regular basis, PB, good beer and wine. Good dairy is forever lacking; It's all the box shelf stable stuff. You can still make ice cream with it, but really miss greek yogurt. - May 2018

The selection varies store to store but honestly you can get what you need here in terms of basics. Use consumables for the specialty items, good cleaning products, and the snacks you will crave throughout the tour. You can order flours, spices, good coffee etc. all online if you can't fine what you need in stores. Sometimes things are surprisingly expensive, and then you can get fancy European jam for a buck. Can't figure out rhyme or reason in the grocery store pricing. - Sep 2017

Many western food and household supplies are imported and available but the price is at least double that of the USA. We rely heavily on the pouch and consumables shipment. - Sep 2014

Groceries are expensive, about 100% more than in the U.S., sometimes more. There are fresh fruit/vegetables, and those are cheaper. A lot of people plant a garden in their flower beds or make raised beds to grow more vegetables. Laundry soap and cleaning items are very expensive. Everything in Sierra Leone is imported, and the prices are high. We have consumables, and people use it well. Even canned goods are 100%-200% more expensive than the U.S. So while you can get pine nuts, and granola, do you want to pay US$100 for a Costco bag of them? Pre-arrival shopping is key, and then you can also order consumables from ELSO. - Jun 2014

Western items are available at a premium price. - Aug 2013

Very limited. Imported goods will cost almost double for most items that in the DC area. - Sep 2010

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More