Where to Shop for Groceries? 2016-03-02
Eating out all the time is costly and can be unhealthy. Because many people have several restrictions when it comes to what to eat, they will often cook at home instead. They can choose to make whatever they want, and more healthy and enjoyable options are available. Cooking at home and making one’s favorite recipes can bring up nostalgic memories. But in order to cook, ingredients are first needed. Where can you buy such goods? It is actually quite easy to buy fresh fruits and vegetables in Taiwan. You may purchase them at many locations. Some of these locations include traditional markets, supermarkets, hypermarkets, and even roadside stalls.
1.Traditional Markets:
Taiwanese traditional markets are unique and interesting places full of surprises. Usually every residential area will have a traditional market. Some are stealthily tucked away inside small alleys, while others are more sizeable and well planned out. Traditional markets sell not only fruits and vegetables, but many other products such as garments and groceries as well. They are typically sold during the morning or the evening, with the former called the “morning market” and the latter “evening market”.
The characteristics of a traditional market are their fresh ingredients. The fruits may have been picked just a few hours ago, and the meat slaughtered on the same day. When visiting a traditional market, you may also participate in bargaining. You can always hear many people shouting prices out loudly. Or you may stubbornly try to convince a shop owner into giving you an extra bundle of vegetables. If you have the opportunity, you should shop at a traditional market, and also try your hand at bargaining.


Supermarkets are a more modernized market. In comparison to traditional markets, supermarkets are relatively bright and clean. They are usually operated as chain stores. In addition to seeing their neat and tidy storefronts on display throughout the city, sometimes you may find higher-quality luxury supermarkets inside a department store or shopping center. These luxury supermarkets specialize in selling imported food and goods. In general, supermarkets will sell vegetables and other ingredients; some will also sell everyday groceries, hardware, and much more. Customers will be normally provided with a small carrying basket or cart so that you may shop comfortably in a small, yet cozy space. Of course the biggest difference between a supermarket and a traditional market is the inability to bargain for lower prices. Don’t be expecting the cashier to give you an extra bundle of vegetables any time soon!
Some common supermarkets in Taiwan are Pxmart, Wellcome's, Matsusei, and Jason's.

3.Hypermarket (Wholesale Store):
As the name implies, they are a relatively large store with all the combined functions of a supermarket. The amount of goods sold are large and diverse. General groceries, hardware, and local imports of food can all be found at a hypermarket. Some hypermarkets even have an electronics section. Because hypermarkets and wholesale stores generally import goods in large amounts, the prices tend to be a bit lower. In the past few years, foods have undergone strict inspections and regulations, so that consumers may purchase them without any worry or concern.
Some common hypermarkets and wholesale stores in Taiwan are Carrefour, RT Mart, A-Mart, and Costco.

4.Roadside Stalls:
In Taiwan, many people own small farmlands for growing their own vegetables and fruits. These people typically sell their products in nearby neighborhoods, with their customers being area residents. Some farmers associations will regularly set up stands at a designated time or location. Others farmers are more casual, and will only set up shop occasionally. They usually come and go around various street intersections, both large and small. You may leave home one day and find one of these vendors setting up their stalls near an intersection just around the corner. The goods sold at these stalls are all grown by the farmers. The crops will vary depending on the harvest season, so the produce that can be found will always be different every time.

5.Convenience Store:
Taiwan’s convenience stores are always changing and evolving. They are constantly striving to provide faster, more convenient, and wider variety of services. As a result, some convenience stores have launched fruits and vegetable sourcing and delivery services. This way, one can buy the freshest fruits and vegetables directly in store. Yet such services are still limited. Coupled with the problem of freshness, convenience stores usually are not the most popular option. Products are not always in available in stock, and sometimes the shelves are empty. However if you want to cook at home but there are a lack of places nearby to buy fresh ingredients, you may head to your local convenience store and try your luck there.
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