Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Today, was grocery shopping day!

I had to laugh this morning when I read Kevin and Ruth's post Grocery Shopping in Mexico --- which they did yesterday. Hey - great bloggers think alike.

So - today was our turn. We had stopped for groceries last Thursday when we arrived in Zihuatanejo. However, at the time we didn't know that our fridge was going to start working once we got here. (And YES it is STILL working!) We hadn't stocked up much on meats and such. 

The one itty bitty downfall about being parked here at El Manglar on Playa La Ropa is that we are a distance from the stores. We either need to go to the downtown Market (which we are going to visit soon) or to the Commercial Mexicana.

Neither are really walking distance .... well they are ..... there ...... but definitely not back. But with Cassia we find that it is even a hard walk in. So this morning we decided to take the bus there and the taxis back. 

Derek speaking with the other bus driver about getting to the Commercial Mexicana. This one was leaving soon so we hoped aboard. The price? $13 pesos for Derek and I.

Our FIRST time taking a bus in Mexico!

The driver and his assistant were having? Breakfast? Lunch? Snack? It was around 10:00 am so who knows. 

Since we had the bus to ourselves we each took a seat.

Here's a movie of the bus heading out with our singing bus driver.

Too funny!

And Derek and Cassia.

Scenes from the drive ..... looks like a construction project gone wrong!

The bus stopped at the round about - we still had a bit of a trek to get to the grocery store.

Along the canal in the hot sun ....

As I mentioned in a last weeks post - this is the first Commercial Mexicana we've been to - the rest have been Soriana's, Walmart, Bodega Aurrera and Mega. Although we go to these large stores for the convenience and ease of shopping - we enjoy the atmosphere of the markets.

Entry into the Commercial Mexicana.

All the larger grocery stores carry household items, clothes, toys and on and on in addition to food items.

Now wouldn't this set be just GREAT along side our van! Oh dare to dream!

Enough choices of hot sauce?

The pricey Organic section.

No shopping trip is complete without a stop at the Panaderia. We prefer the specialty Panaderias but the grocery store ones do ok. Except for the Panaderia at Villa Corona - hard to beat that one.

I realized I had taken some pictures grocery shopping WAY back in Mazatlan at Soriana's. This is their Panaderia - much larger.

We were in Mazatlan before Christmas so they were making their Christmas themed cakes.

Cassia had wanted the carrot cake - which I LOVE also - so we got one. I was a bit worried about the icing being too sweet but it wasn't - it was coloured - but tasted like whipped cream.

In ALL the Panaderias you take a tray and tongs to choose the items you would like. You then take them to the counter where they are wrapped and bagged. This was the very nice lady in Mazatlan - we went to Soriana's there a few times - she was always smiling.

This was today at the Commercial Mexicana. The items are priced with a sticker placed on the bag. We bought bolillos also but they were on a separate tray.

While I was doing that Derek and Cassia were helping themselves to the cake samples. Doubt Derek will like it too much that I used this picture. DEREK - whip cream!

We then made our way to the meat section. One of the things we wanted to load up on was meat. Fruits, veggies and bread are generally easy to find, but meat needs to come from the grocery store or the market. I HAVE posted pictures of the meat at the market - right?! 


A lot of people have negative things to say about the beef in Mexico. We haven't found it to be that bad - the steaks are generally sliced very thin which is ok with us.  The meat selection at the Commercial Mexicana is one of the best we have seen - you don't see this at smaller non tourist grocery stores. 

And the fish section - all laid out on ice.


And last the produce section. We generally don't buy much produce at the grocery store but since we aren't going to the downtown market for a few days I thought I'd get a few items to tie us over. Again - the selection here is ok - can't BELIEVE that I couldn't find cilantro!

This is another picture from Soriana's showing the nopales that we use in our breakfast.

And the eggs. As Kevin mentioned they are not refrigerated in Mexico. It seemed a bit strange at the beginning but not anymore. We still put them in the fridge when we get back to the van but guess we really don't have too. Although it IS pretty hot here.

(Obviously Cassia wasn't up for yet another picture at the time!)

Waiting to check out ...... I took this picture to show our bag boys. Not usually two - most often a young man or an older person. We ended up waiting for a while as this lady in the dress had an argument with the teller. Of course we have no idea why. Funny - the lady behind me starting talking to me in Spanish - not sure what she said either. I just smiled.

We always tip the person who bags our groceries. I know that a few pesos is the going rate but we like to splurge on them and generally give $5 or $10.

We finally made it out - only $85 Can lighter. Being a tourist resort, you see lots of non Mexican's there.

Right at the exit door of the store - and I mean RIGHT at the door - we were greeted by two boys inquiring if we needed a taxis - which we did. They lead us to the taxis which was a mere 10 ft away and began to load our groceries. Funny - right?! True entrepreneurialship ..... because of course we have to tip them as well. Wish I'd gotten a picture but I was too busy getting out my change!

Back to the round about and on to Playa La Ropa.

One of the fancier Hotels along the way.

Bet that's one great view from that Penthouse!

When Derek had asked the taxis driver at the Commercial Mexicana the price to Playa La Ropa he had said $35 pesos which was good considering we know that the rate is actually $40 pesos. When we got back to the van I handed him $50 pesos and asked if he had cambio to which he nodded. He came back with $5 pesos and quickly got in his car. I had to laugh because he had given himself a $10 pesos tip. I would have given him a $10 pesos tip also so I didn't say anything. Ahhhh Mexico how I LOVE thee!

The one thing we didn't buy more of at the grocery store was cheese. We still had some but more importantly I now know that Bernie comes by with fresh Oaxacan string cheese. Try to have some in your lifetime if you are a cheese lover!

I missed getting a picture last time but not this time! Bernie even posed for me. 

 Like I said, right out of the bucket.

I ordered $35 pesos worth. He wraps it around his hand, cuts it off and places it in a bag.

Oh! And by the way and before I forget - I realized that when I have been talking about going for ice cream, like Sunday night or in Patzcuaro, it isn't actually ice cream - well, it is but it isn't. I had kinda realized it wasn't but I wasn't sure what else to call it! Mystery solved! Derek found this article about nieve - Mexican Nieve Along the Highway. Yup - that's what we've been LOVING!

A busy morning but we were back by lunch time. A trip to the beach for the afternoon and then burgers and salad for dinner. We took a nice beach walk at sunset but I'll keep those pictures for another time. 

Turns out we missed the water truck this morning. Thankfully, Art our neighbour has a spare so he let us have it. Thursday we'll replace it. 


TODAY'S INTERESTING LINK: I was pretty happy that Derek found that post about Nieve because it led me to the author's site. Karla Diaz Cano is in to all sorts of things that I am interested in - colour, design, food, packaging design, interior design, and photography. LOVE her site - Color & Spice!


  1. I usually remember to ask the price when getting a cab but I forgot once in Cancun. We took a cab a couple of KM from the ferry dock to the RV park. We had been over on Isla for three nights in a hotel. I asked how much and was told, "Twenty US dollars"!

    I laughed and told him we were not Americans. He stuck to his price and refused to open the trunk where our bag was. After both of us threatening to call the police we settled for 200 pesos, still a ridiculous amount!

    Always negotiate!

    1. Oh NO! Darn! Good advice of course - I learned the taxis one wayyyy back when I was in my twenties in Mexico.

  2. An egg farmer told my sister in law that eggs do not have to go into the fridge but once they are in the fridge they have to be kept there. I had never heard that as ones you buy in th US are always in the fridge. I just figured they had to be cold from the time they were gathered. Interesting! Thanks for the grocery store tour!

    1. Yes! I learned that from Kevin and Ruth! Amazing that I NEVER knew that either! Still - I like the cold idea....

      You are SO welcome!

  3. Donna & I so love your blog, we hope we can meet up you next year when we head to Mexico for the winter, tell Cassia she can have a free rental of a Grandpa spot when we go to the beach, and Sam looks like the world famous Klaus, yes Santa, show her our blog so she knows, and we also have Rigg's a black lab. he will be with us for sure. You guys are providing an education money can't but for your daughter, Please be safe out there. Sam & Donna

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Really! I LOVE that you love the blog!

      Very exciting that you are coming this way next year! We hope we are too! Cassia is going to LOVE you, I can tell already.

      Roadschooling Cassia - it's what we want most for her - to see further than the backyard!

  4. We took the pulmonia in Mazatlan many times over two months and always had fun negotiating with the drivers. And loved shopping for groceries to see what we could find.

    1. If you come to Mexico not knowing how to negotiate -- you will when you go home - right?!

  5. The panaderia I went to near our old house had the big silver trays like this! And, when we had chickens we didn't refrigerate our eggs. I do with the ones from the grocery store though. That CHEESE looks divine! We can get Oaxacan cheese here but not fresh out of a bucket!

    1. Ahhhh LOVE Texas too!

      GREAT cheese, nothing like the packaged stuff interestingly enough - much saltier and pulls apart into very thin strings.

  6. I am not sure but thing Commercial Mexicana and Mega are the same company or the same parent company - they both have the pelican.......

    1. THANKS! Derek was wondering who owned it! Makes sense!

  7. When we used to go to Akumal, Q.Roo...we had lunch (numerous times) with local mexican people we became friends with. They taught us a simple recipe for the thinly sliced beef (it doesnt matter which cut)...try this it's awesome....
    Look for the spice mix, brand name "Tajin" it is a "salsa en polvo". Marinate the beef in lime juice and some nice fresh crushed ajo (garlic) and cebolla (onion), sprinkle on the Tajin. Let it marinate for an hour or until you've finished a couple cerveca. Then grill on a BBQ on low heat. It wont take much grilling as the lime juice "cooks" the meat similar to ceviche....Enjoy with family and friends and a big margarita!

    1. Man Mark - you RULE! THANKS! Really - we are going to try that as soon as we can get our hands on the Tajin! You are a STAR!

      I'm going to put that in a post for sure!

  8. Teresa, thank you for showing us what it is like to experience the every day things, such as grocery shopping.

    We did not know that there were modern grocery stores like that.

    That cheese sure looks awesome !!

    Take care ... TnT

    1. My pleasure! Yup - that's why I did it. I don't know that many people know what shopping is like here - besides the markets. I should have showed the Home Depot pics too - just the same as at home.

      You can try some of that cheese - you just need to come here first! ;)


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