Groceries-just in case you don’t know how good we have it in the states


Groceries are really expensive in Dakar, Senegal. I just went to the grocery for a few items at a ‘reasonably’ priced grocery (Superplus L’Essential), spent 15, 000 cfa ($30 USD) and got 2000 cfa ($4) in change.  I bought:

1 litre Sprite 700 cfa

1 litre Fanta 700 cfa

2 litre apple juice 1700 cfa

small box ‘film’ (what we’d call Saran Wrap) 750 cfa

1 can Pringles 1500 cfa

can black beans 850 cfa

can black-eyed peas 775 cfa

can northern beans 775 cfa

15 eggs 1500 cfa

1 litre milk x 2 2400 cfa for both (UHT-can sit on a shelf)


now obviously Sprite, Fanta, and Pringles aren’t necessities, but we don’t have them every day, or week and the kids really wanted some. They are using the soda to try to make homemade popsicles.

Yesterday, I went to City Dia to get some other things.

Cheddar Cheese (1/2 kg)

Bread (small baguette good for sandwiches)

turkey for sandwiches

Other interesting thing-they don’t mess around with small coins. I gave them 15000 cfa, the total was 13050 cfa. The exact change would have been 1950 cfa, but instead they gave me 2000 cfa. If it had been the other way around, and the change had been more than 2000 cfa, but less than 2200, they would have rounded down.

IMG_0798The fridges and stoves are small here compared to the US. That’s my fridge-it’s tall and skinny. Next to it is a big jug of water with a hand pump that allows us to get the water out.

The washing machine is as well. The air conditioning that is available is mounted high on the wall with the compressor immediately outside. A/C is room by room, not central. For instance, in the one “mall”, the stores have a/c, but the corridors connecting them do not.


About bestbookihavenotread

Kristine has been in education since 1993. She taught fourth grade in Ohio from 1993 - 2008. She has been a Curriculum Coordinator for four years. She is relocating to Dakar, Senegal to be the Director of Curriculum for the International School of Dakar in August 2012.
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2 Responses to Groceries-just in case you don’t know how good we have it in the states

  1. Holly Michael says:

    Are all the groceries expensive or just the western style products like cerea, chips, soda, etc.? What do the locals buy? Are those products expensive as well? If so, how do they manage on such small incomes?

    • bestbookihavenotread says:

      Many local people buy a baguette when they can afford to. The bread is government subsidized (if I understand correctly) and sells all over from 200 cfa ($.40 usd). That might be all the eat during the day. Often you will see a group of workers sharing a meal together, sitting crouched around the bowl and using their hand as the utensil. The local dishes they might share are rice-based with some vegetables, fish or chicken or goat.
      Western style groceries are the most expensive and they would not purchase those items. Local fruit and vegetable stands are all over as are little ‘boat-iques’ that sell the bread. For a couple cfa more they can buy nutella spread on their bread at that same boat-ique. People are very hard working and entrepreneurial. A little stand selling just a couple vegetables needed for the local dishes, are all over, with the seller being at the stand often 12 hours or more. I’ll try to include some pictures.

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