Everyday grocery shopping in Cyprus may seem a little daunting at first. The main problem that foreigners encounter is the language.
Getting Accustomed to the Greek Language
Most products are written in Greek, as would be expected, with signs throughout shops and stores also written in Greek. However, many of them do write signs in both Greek and English.
The best way to get around these problems is to learn a little Greek, and then you will have a better idea of what you are looking for. Its also recommended because some products will have the cooking instructions written in Greek too.
Try to learn Greek for your essential everyday products at the very least.
All is not as bad as it may seem, because most of the big hypermarkets and supermarkets also stock products imported from the UK, and there are also franchise outlets for some of the known UK food chains. Buying imported foods is not going to be the cheapest way to feed the family all year round.
Buying local products is going to more economical, however, if you want your UK products, there are a range of new UK food discount shops that have opened up recently, with prices often below those of the major supermarkets.
If you walk around your local fruit and vegetable market, you will likely find that most, if not all of the sellers speak perfect English, and will be happy to answer your questions on any products that you are not familiar with.
The majority of fruit and vegetables are the same as you can get in the UK, except these will be locally grown, and are far better quality.
Another problem often encountered by new arrivals to Cyprus from the UK, is the currency of the Euro. If you are not familiar with the Euro, it is best to buy yourself a currency converter calculator which are available in many shops or at the airports. This tool will help you to become more familiar with Euros and British Pounds conversions.
Typical Food Prices
The price of meat, fruit, and vegetables is reasonable in Cyprus, with all being of high quality. Fish can be a little expensive, but most of it is freshly caught, making it more worthy of its cost.
Local milk, cheese, and yogurt are good value, and there are several major producers, which means there is no monopoly on pricing.
Some of the hypermarkets offer ‘Bonus Card Reward Schemes’ to regular shoppers, which vary in their reward incentives. It is worth participating in these schemes for all the stores you shop at regularly.
You will be surprised how fast your points add up, usually allowing you to purchase something at a discounted price, or occasionally for free.
‘Buy one get one free’ (BOGOF) has recently become more popular in Cyprus, mostly with the hypermarket chains, and you will often come across ‘buy 2 get 3rd free’ offers.
Superstore vs Local Markets
Some people prefer to buy everything under one roof and will head to the nearest hypermarket to do all the shopping in one. However, others will use the local butcher and the local baker, etc.
This idea is often a better one, because you will find them very friendly, and it gives you the chance to build a rapport with them.
*Please note that as of 10th January 2011, the Government imposed a 5% VAT duty on all foods.