Munich - Food Shopping
Food shopping in Munich can be quite a complicated business. There are not very many large supermarkets, so instead of going to buy everything under the one roof, you generally need to go to a number of different premises to pick up everything you need.
Large supermarkets are not necessarily cheaper than the smaller ones close to where you live, but do have the advantage of a wider range of stock:
Smaller supermarkets have a pricing hierarchy. From cheapest to dearest this goes something like Aldi, Penny-Markt, Tengelmann and Edeka (Krone and Interspar are somewhere in the middle). The department stores Kaufhof and Hertie also have expensive grocery departments in their basements. Aldi and Penny-Markt save money by selling the products straight out of the delivery carton, rather than stacking the items individually on the shelves. If stock runs out, it runs out and you simply have to wait for the next delivery. (They do not organise top up delivery runs).
Although you can buy fruit and vegetables at the supermarket, you will get better quality from a greengrocer, Viktualienmarkt or one of the many vendors at a stand on the street. Often in supermarkets the fruit and vegetables are pre-packaged in large quantities. At the more expensive supermarkets the quality is much better. You may have to weigh the goods yourself which is fun! You place your fruit on the scales, select the button with the picture that most closely resembles your fruit, press it, and stick the sticker the machine prints out onto the fruit. Take note that some items are priced by the unit, so you do not need to weigh these. You can also get nice, fresh produce from a 'Feinkost' delicatessen, along with a good selection of preserved vegetables, meats, cheeses, sauces and wine.
There are many processed meats for sale at small supermarkets. Bigger supermarkets will also have cuts of meat for sale. These are also available from a butcher 'Metzgerei'.
For tofu and other organic foods and meat substitutes, go to 'Reformhaus'. These shops are all over the place and have green and yellow signage.
Baby food, along with toiletries, detergents, cosmetics, etc are available from either Schlecker or DM.
Although shopkeepers freely give out bags when you buy clothes, stationery and other non-consumable goods, you have to pay for bags to carry groceries. Always take your own supply of bags along, and be ready to pack them yourself. This is a truly strenuous activity, as the checkout chicks get some peverse delight from scanning your goods and throwing them to the packing end of the conveyor belt faster than you can pack them. If you want to get them back for being so mean (and it's not really mean, it's just the way they are), then take your time counting out the exact change for your purchases. Clicking their tongues and rolling their eyes is a sign that you have won the checkout competition.