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View Full Version : Grocery shopping for villas


JanMary
11-17-2005, 10:02 AM
Hi, sorry if this has been covered but I can't find info I am looking for.

We are staying in a villa and plan to stop for some basic groceries at a 7/11 on way from airport. To speed up this process it would be helful if somone could tell me of the following:

- the US equivalent of semi-skimmed, full fat and skimmed milk.
- what make of bread do you buy?
- any particular juice/cereal to look for?
- do you usually buy bottled water?
- is there anything else you usually pick up on way to villa (beer and wine of course included)

On the topic of groceries, what other foods do you always look for when doing your 'big' shop in a main supermarket - best crisps, biscuits and other yummy things.

Are there any items you always buy to bring home - BBQ sauce or salad dressing etc?

FizzyPop
11-17-2005, 10:22 AM
There is so much to choose from but the one thing my kids always insist on for there cereal is Lucky Charms :) Crisps we normally buy Lays but once again there is so many to choose from.

paul_sheps
11-17-2005, 10:26 AM
Buy Italian bread I find the others too sweet.

JohnnySharp2
11-17-2005, 10:37 AM
I normally do the shopping as I am the driver.

Publix is my choice.

Bread - they do nice freshly baked rolls and bread at the bakery section.
For sliced we like the Butterbread, it IS sweet and not ideal for sandwiches but it is perfect for toast.
Milk - we buy T.G.Lee's in a red plastic bottle, = full fat, very nice.
Juice - Tropicana , massive range, I buy the Grovestand type which has plenty of pulp
Bottled water definitely - do not drink the tap water.
I buy packs of 6 bottles which are great for round the parks and for the villa very large square shaped bottles of spring water, less than a $ a bottle.
beer and wine - very good selection, obviously the likes of Budweiser are very popular and cheap also.

The main brand of crisps(potato chips) are Lay's - often they have a buy 1 get 1 free offer on the very large bags, tend to go through a few packs (well my son does). Ready salted/bbq/salt and vinegar available.

Chocolate muffins, fruit loaf, Ice Cream , butter etc - the usual stuff, the Sorbet ice cream is usually nice - cereals tend to be similar to that in the UK.

Tin's of stew/ravioli/spaghetti for our son....Austrailan Gold sun tan lotion...pizza for my wife..Bacon tends to be all streaky but we like it....Pepsi..fruit..etc etc

It may be a good idea to take your own black refuse bags and bin liners as they do not take up much room in your suitcases and come in useful.....gravy, they do not DO gravy very well at all(we take our own Bisto, my lad cannot do without it).....

Publix has an ethnic aisle that sells Heinz Baked Beans/HP Sauce and other stuff, Tea included, same comments apply to the American tea as for the gravy, the british goods are very expensive though...you can tell I do the shopping can't you? phew , that was harder than shopping at the store itself... ;)

SimonV
11-17-2005, 11:16 AM
As regards milk, our semi-skimmed is Americans' 2%; skimmed is either 1% or Fat Free; and full fat is Whole Milk. Don't get fooled by 'Half and Half' either - that's a mixture of milk and cream that is almost invariably used with coffee (and is terrible in tea!!).

Publix supermarket is one of the better choices for groceries; Goodings can be expensive in comparison (and their fresh produce isn't great, we find), while Winn Dixie varies quite a lot. Albertson's is a decent chain but, for fresh produce, you absolutely cannot beat Whole Foods (up in Winter Park) or the wonderful Fresh Market (at the junction of Dr Phillips Blvd and Conroy Rd). Chamberlin's is a neat little healthfood/deli store in the Dr Phillips Plaza (and in downtown) that stocks more health-conscious choices. For bread, we like any of the Panera Bread bakery/restaurant chain, where they have a HUGE choice (and not all of the American over-sweetened variety). Most Publix, Winn-Dixie and Goodings supermarkets also stock a limited range of British goods - marmite, HP sauces, Heinz beans, Robinsons squash, Branston pickle, Kit-Kats and Cadburys chocolate, McVitie's, etc.

JohnnySharp2
11-17-2005, 11:33 AM
For bread, we like any of the Panera Bread bakery/restaurant chain, where they have a HUGE choice (and not all of the American over-sweetened variety).

Never heard of Panera, do they have a store near the 192?

SimonV
11-17-2005, 11:40 AM
Hi Johnny. I haven't noticed any yet down on the 192. There are 5 other locations I know of in Orlando, including on Sand Lake Road, John Young Parkway, at the Florida Mall and Mall at Millenia. We do recommend Panera very highly, not just for their bread (and great muffins and pastries!), but also for their excellent soups and sandwiches, which make a great meal at very good prices.

Check out their website here: Panera Bread (http://www.panerabread.com/default.aspx)

JohnnySharp2
11-17-2005, 11:42 AM
Hi Johnny. I haven't noticed any yet down on the 192. There are 5 other locations I know of in Orlando, including on Sand Lake Road, John Young Parkway, at the Florida Mall and Mall at Millenia. We do recommend Panera very highly, not just for their bread (and great muffins and pastries!), but also for their excellent soups and sandwiches, which make a great meal at very good prices.

Check out their website here: Panera Bread (http://www.panerabread.com/default.aspx)

Thanks Simon - will do.

JanMary
11-17-2005, 11:54 AM
Thanks everyone - keep the info coming.....

Can you get Weetabix? -fills up our 13 month old every morning!

Anything else weird or wonderful to look out for in the supermarket aisles?

Anything else to avoid?

SimonV
11-17-2005, 12:30 PM
Yes, you can get Weetabix (and Shredded Wheat) at most Publix and Goodings. They also stock the biggest range of American cereals you could ever imagine!

Other things to look for? How about Krispy Kreme donuts, cinnamon bagels, Oreo cookies (in about 20 different varieties these days!), American bacon (either Dearborn or Boars Head; if not, just look for a thick-cut variety), Maple Syrup (look for the 'pure' kind), a million varieties of peanut butter (and you have to try apeanut butter-and-jelly sandwich at some stage :teeth: ), and hash browns.

Miffy2003
11-17-2005, 01:45 PM
We love Oreo Double Stuff cookies (twice the filling!)

Mountain Dew - a citrussy drink, you could buy it here for a time but not for years now (in my area of the UK anyway)

Panera Bread is excellent. I had a most wonderful toasted sandwich from there which was this:

Smoked, pulled white meat chicken, red onions, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, chopped basil and our chipotle mayonnaise, grilled hot on our Rosemary & Onion focaccia.

I have always wanted to bring home some honey & mustard sauce which I am addicted to, but have never been brave enough to put in my suitcase - in case it cracks (the ones we saw were in glass jars).

I have to say, I know this is a really sad admission but I love going grocery shopping in Florida. I find the range and variety fascinating and doing price comparisons etc. we have found a few times that things we spot turn up in UK stores a year or two later :)

JohnnySharp2
11-17-2005, 02:05 PM
Thanks everyone - keep the info coming.....

Can you get Weetabix? -fills up our 13 month old every morning!

Anything else weird or wonderful to look out for in the supermarket aisles?

Anything else to avoid?

The weetabix is slightly different, it's organic but certainly does the trick for our son.

I have never liked the tomatoes personally - and generally have found the fresh fruit not up to the standard of UK supermarkets. Apart from Strawberries which are always pretty good quality.

The Publix vanilla ice cream is really nice.

The cooked meats not up to the same quality as here, best buying the packs of ham from the deli department.

erm , what else...when you arrive at the villa it may be worth checking what has been left behind in the kitchen area. You may need to buy things like Washing Up Liquid/kitchen towels etc - it can actually cost a fair bit stocking up on all these provisions.

That's enough for now, my wife thinks I am turning into a fruit cake with all of this info.... ;)

ely3857
11-17-2005, 03:53 PM
DO NOT buy US teabags!!!!!

We took some of our own but then saw some 'Tetleys' at Publix so bought a pack and it was grooooosssss!

We stuck to the few we had taken with us after that!

:flower:

Jodie

JohnnySharp2
11-18-2005, 01:33 AM
DO NOT buy US teabags!!!!!

We took some of our own but then saw some 'Tetleys' at Publix so bought a pack and it was grooooosssss!

We stuck to the few we had taken with us after that!

:flower:

Jodie

If you bought them from the ethnic aisle then they are supposed to be UK imported.
Maybe all that hot sun affected the taste ;)

paul_sheps
11-18-2005, 06:03 AM
We had a Wal-Mart near us which was great. Loved the hot lemon chicken which made a very cheap meal for us in our villa.
The cheerio's were different as they were the one thing that wasn't sweet.
My wife was pleased that the Pringles were exactly the same as at home.
Wal-Mart is good for clothes too.

disneyholic family
11-18-2005, 07:49 AM
we like the Publix and Winn-Dixie--

we also buy bottled water...
we get those giant ones with a dispenser spout (the store brand as it's really inexpensive) for use in the villa and packs of bottles to carry around in the parks.....this saves a lot of money, since you need to drink drink drink (if you're going in the summer)..

personally, i wouldn't do any major shopping in the 7-11.....i'd stick with the big stores (like publix)...actually, the only thing i ever buy in a 7-11 is a slurpee....

MazdaUK
11-18-2005, 08:34 AM
We found Goodings very convenient as we were staying onsite. Some of the rolls were a bit sweet but were great for the kids to eat for breakfast and/or on the go in the park. I also took resealable sandwich bags (though you can get them there anyway, but I only took a handful) and put dried cereal in for DS(5) - now 6 :earseek: ) to snack on while sitting in his buggy - he adored cinnamon Frosties. Definitely take your own tea, also if you have room (*** your cases are going to be empty ready for bargains :rolleyes1 ) squash - we did manage to get Robinsons, but it was something ridiculous like $4 for a bottle (compared to 50c for fresh orange juice!) as DS(5) won't drink soda and is not so keen on fresh juice. We bought big bottled water for base and small bottles for the park, which we refilled from the drinking fountains with no complaints (apparently the chemicals get worse in the summer, so out of season you sould be OK) but any drink stand should give you iced water for free, or you can get a jug in a restaurant and refill. Also, as they mostly do big bags of crisps take some of those clips to fasten the bags or buy Pringles (readily available)

To bring home check out the fantastic range of sprinkles for cakes and ice-cream - we bought Scooby Doo and Spongebob - and, strangely, a HUGE range of character plasters, from Pooh and Princesses to Cat in the HAt, and about 30 in between :faint: - great lightweight gifts and a fun reminder to take the pain from a ****oo :rotfl:

gbrchill
11-18-2005, 10:38 AM
To bring home check out the ... HUGE range of character plasters, from Pooh and Princesses to Cat in the HAt, and about 30 in between :faint: - great lightweight gifts and a fun reminder to take the pain from a ****oo :rotfl:

We have found that US plasters are also much stickier than the variety we get in the UK. They stay on for ages and ages.

:) Chris.

patdavies
11-18-2005, 10:38 AM
My wife was pleased that the Pringles were exactly the same as at home.
Wal-Mart is good for clothes too.

Not exactly surprising since Pringles is a US brand :teeth:

They make Persil too ;)

JanMary
11-19-2005, 02:53 AM
we like the Publix and Winn-Dixie--

personally, i wouldn't do any major shopping in the 7-11.....i'd stick with the big stores (like publix)...actually, the only thing i ever buy in a 7-11 is a slurpee....

We are only going to get the few things we need to get us through the first night at the 7-11. We will all be shattered from the flights and DH will have limited patience if I start browsing the aisles of a big supermarket!

I am finding all this info excellent. I do love finding unusual items in supermarkets abroad to bring home - plasters - great idea!

Anymore?

MazdaUK
11-19-2005, 03:04 AM
Watch out for PS2 games as they're region 1 and we're region 2, but my DSis found some good GBA games which we'd never seen over here for about $10 in the Walmart clearance. We also found some unusual rodeo toys - obviously the names meant nothing to us, but they were a poseable bull with a little figure with a magnet in his bottom so you can pose him on top, plus a standing figure of the same bloke. They were about $5, and small and well-packed so could make great gifts even for hard-to-buy-for adults (C&W fans :earseek: ?) DH also found great T-shirts in Walmart with hockey and football names on, for $5, and DS(12) got a street hockey shirt for $10 - a smilar one with Stitch on for DS(6) cost $24 in AK!! They would make a great gift for teens too cool for Mickey - I suppose they were last seasons (like buying an old Chelsea shirt) but they're well made and wash great.

I can't think of any more unusual grocery items - as we were onsite we didn't buy that much. I've heard goldfish crackers are very popular and want to try to get some for DS(6).

http://www.wdwinfo.com/photopost/data/500/73452boyspiglet-thumb.jpg (http://www.wdwinfo.com/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=6610)