Guest Post: Mind Running Wild

M&S, high quality food and clothing

Hi there! I’m Hannah and I blog over at Mindrunningwild. Jemma  asked for some guest posters and I jumped on the opportunity. I love her blog for her fresh perspective, upbeat writing, and delicious looking eats. Thanks so much Jemma for letting me do this guest post!

Being an American studying abroad in London this year, I’ve decided to talk to you all a bit about the major differences I’ve been finding in supermarkets between the US and the UK.

To begin with, they are much smaller. We don’t see many huge supercentres like WalMarthere, even the larger stores tend to be quite small. To get larger shops, the suburbs must be reached.

Shops shut quite early here, and the shopkeepers remove the fruits and veg from their posts. Granted, I’ve never seen what is done with the produce in the US, but I’ve seen them stack and unstack these boxes in the mornings/evenings here.

*please note that this is all based on my experiences living in Upstate New York and in London this year. It is by no means representative of the whole of the US or UK!

All your green leafy veg at Sainsburys!

Shops come in many varieties, such as Express, Metro, Super, and Local. I love the local shops because they source many of their products from inside the UK- nothing like Carrots from Scotland!

The frozen food section is much smaller. This could be because Brits prepare more of their own food? I know many people in the US eat prepackaged frozen mealsand I think we could all take a page out of this book- prepare from scratch! In a pinch, though, frozen does save time.

Get your frozen veg!

One of my favourite differences is the idea of Reduced foods. I don’t know where these foods go in the US, but here they are usually shuffled off to an end cap where they are marked with a sticker saying “Reduced” and their new price. The food products have most likely simply fallen off the truck and been marred in some way.

Slim pickings that day


I love the reduced section, and have found some great deals, including tinned beans for £0.35 and Porridge oats for £0.60! I’ve also gotten bread on reduced for £0.16, which is a major steal, considering it runs for around £1.00 here.

My favourite section

Another change here is the bread. The US has miles upon miles of bread in the bread aisle, and still more in the bakery section. The bakery section is IN the bread section and the selection of breads is far less overwhelming.

Get your bagel on

Many loaves are sold uncut and my shop offers a bread-slicerto make your job easier. I’ve been thinking of making my own bread but taking it here to slice. Do you think they’d mind 😉

Slice and Dice

Similar to the US, the section of biscuits and sweets is massive. I think this must be a global thing 🙂

Cakes, Biscuits and Sweets

One of the things that really stumped me when I first arrived, is why on earth the eggs were not next to the milk and cheese in the refrigerated section!? I never knew eggs were shelf stable.

Happy Eggs are shelf stable eggs?

The UK supermarkets do not use many manufactured coupons, much to my dismay, but I’ve got many a rewards card, such as Nectar from Sainsbury’s and a Tesco clubcard. Coupons will be printed off often at the end of checkout which can give you extra points, as well. As far as I can tell, Waitrose does not have one, although I’m on the lookout. These cards enable you to get points as you buy, to be redeemed as cash value off subsequent shops!

No matter which store you choose, it’s always fun to compare grocery shopping around the world. I love finding new places to do my weekly shop and even frequent the London markets!

Feel free to stop by and say hello, I’m always please to meet new people!
Thanks again, Jemma, for allowing me to share my experiences and I hope you’re having a blast in the US!

Love, Hannah



Filed under guest post

11 responses to “Guest Post: Mind Running Wild

  1. Awesome post! Now I’m really interested to see the differences in the markets when I’m in Europe next semester 🙂

  2. Awesome post Hannah! I am a bit of a supermarket junkie, it’s my favourite thing to check out when I’m abroad. I love seeing the different varieties that are available, and what they have that we don’t have here in the UK. I went a bit beserk when I visited the US, I must say. Trader Joes was fantastic!! 🙂

  3. Great post today. I love grocery shopping, no matter where I am. 🙂

  4. Haha – I agree with Skinny Latte – I love checking out supermarkets. I used to spend hours in them in China looking at all the differences.
    I used to work in a supermarket (I’m in the UK) and at the end of the night we would reduce the bread to a few pence. There are hypermarkets in the UK, but they tend to be way out in the suburbs and are few and far between.

  5. I love going to supermarkets when I am on holiday- in Europe it is even more so that you have small shops and not the big chains so much- you have to hunt down the bigger shops (and in cities they are often hidden underground/ in a train station!).

  6. Fun post! I think its really interesting to look at the differences between countries shops!

  7. So interesting to see things from a different perspective, expecially about the frozen and vegetable sections… I love the reduced section too – and I never keep eggs in the fridge!

  8. I saw a sign saying “Christmas cakes” in the cookie/candy/sweets isle! Is the UK that dedicated to the Holidays, just like the US pictures it to be? If so, I’m there! 🙂

  9. Great post! The grocery stores here in Singapore are rather much like those in UK, I think, except with waaay more Asian vegetables and condiments!

  10. Jenny Bridger

    Hurray for the yellow sticker sections! (reduced shelves) I have a habit of checking each one – produce, chilled & cupboard – each time i visit a supermarket just in case 😉

    I also got the bargain of the week yesterday (proving it pays to complain) The label by the clementines said £1 a bag, but got to the till & was charged £2 a bag with the offer of 2 for £3 (bought 3 bags so cost £5) Went back to the shelf after – They were in the wrong space! The whole crate should have been put up one slot by the sign that said ‘2 for £3’.

    So found a manager lady & she sorted me out a customer service – £2 over charge (i was expecting to pay £3 in total) & the tesco double the difference so a £4 refund meant i only pay £1 for the lot!!!!! DEAL!! 😉

    Hannah if you want to find a few coupons to use try the magazines – sainsburys has one for sale (£1.60) and tesco has a free one every couple of months with another foodie one each season/few months. Both have a page of coupons (more in sainsburys) and then a few more dotted through the mag. Always coupons to be found printable online too.

All of your comments make me smile :-)

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