Getting to grips with grocery shopping can be one of the more challenging aspects of your relocation to London. Again, it’s always the small aspects of your international relocation that can cause you distress and even an unpleasant experience. If you can learn as much as you can about life in London as a Londoner then your settling in process will be so much easier.
Considering that you’ll be using public transport for much of the time while you are living in the city, it may be an idea to ask your London relocation agents about the distance from your new flat to the grocery store, and what type of public transport you will have to use. You just cannot understand the pain and utter frustration of lugging home the week’s groceries on two tubes a bus and a train. It happens.
Many neighborhoods in London will have a selection of grocery stores, but if you absolutely insist on buying in bulk and many Americans moving to London do, then you may have to hire a car to get to some of the large super stores on the outskirts of the city. Ordering your bulk items online will be come your saving grace.
Online grocery shopping is very popular in the UK and all major chain stores have an online department and home delivery. They’ll even unpack it onto your kitchen table with a smile.
That said there are some little foibles that are unique to shopping in London and you’d do well to learn them before you’re standing at the check-out. You have to pack your own groceries in most grocery stores in the UK. There are no friendly bag packers here, and it often comes as a bit of a shock for expats after relocation to London to have to do it themselves. You will also have to bring your own bags to some grocery stores which is a corporate attempt at going green.
Don’t expect to find the same products on the shelves as you do back home. You may find a couple of ‘international brands’ while doing your shopping, but you’ll have to spend some time getting used to British packaging and names before you really settle down and enjoy a trip to the shops after moving here.