the things I have learned

It pays to read the labels. They put sugar in the canned tomatoes and sauces. (FYI,the term 'tomato sauce' covers anything from flavored cooking sauces to ketchup). They don't put sugar in peanut butter. 

There is no 'finding a better price'.  I have learned that if I want something, I'm talking really want something, I should buy it any time I have the chance. It is very likely that I will never see it for sale again.  How sad is that?  Since there are no Walmarts here (talk about having it rough!), I can't find a better price down the road. Even the 'big' (meaning NZ owned and operated--they like to keep it in the family, I guess) grocery stores don't keep the same things stocked all the time. Very strange.
Brand names from America are scarce.  I have found: 
  • Ritz crackers (but the local Jatz brand is exactly the same) 
  • Purex toilet paper 
  • ActII popcorn
  • Vanish stain remover 
  • Palmolive dish soap 
  • Electrolux appliances 
  • Ford cars (but no models I recognize except Falcon) 
  • Shell and BP gas stations 
  • Uncle Ben's rice 
  • Kraft peanut butter and mac and cheese 
  • Nescafe (of course) 
  • Coffee Mate creamer on very rare occasions (no flavors) 
  • Colgate toothpaste  
  • Macleans mouthwash and toothpaste 
  • St Ives lotions and soaps
  • Glad storage bags
That is a pretty exhaustive list as I remember. Now consider all the brand names in just one aisle of Wally World, you can see how life is different.  A lot different. But then, I think I've been here so long that it doesn't really matter to me any more.


Deb said...

wow no Walmarts hard to believe!

Debra Howard said...

I would have a hard time without Target, Ross and my Market Street United's. It goes to show you we forget to be thankful for things that are common to us. What a beautiful country you live in though. I look forward to getting to know you more. Thank you for your kind encouragement on my texastumbleweed blog today. You made my day.

Unknown said...

Thanks for swinging by my blogs! Wow, from KS to NZ...what an amazing leap! :D I'll be reading more for sure!

Bitsa Lit said...

That is a pretty small list of American stuff you have in NZ! Thats AWESOME! My favorite things are the randoms that you find hiding in a farmers market. I live in New Brunswick, Canada and, while we do have a lot of name brands (almost to the point of being overpowering) I never really use much that I couldnt do without. The best places are always the local shops and markets...always the most interesting things and rescipes and cultural foods. Youre really lucky to be in a place that dosnt seem to have too much of the world melting pot in it. Think of it as an oppertunity to find something unique every time you go out the door :)

Connie said...

Most of the time I can do without brand names and chain stores, but I hurt for certain silly things... like packs of socks. I wear socks out like crazy (because I tend to wear them like shoes... yes, I'm a sock abuser) and so I like to have lots of plain white ankle socks. I do not like to pay expensive prices and buy one pair, or a pack of 3 pairs - no, I want a BAG of socks. It seems very silly, but that is the kind of thing that reminds me that I no longer live in WalMartland! ;-D

naperville mom said...

It's somewhat similar in some parts of India too:( The family- owned stores don't always carry everything all the time... and the prices never really're rebated like it's here...Comparatively, it's a shopper's paradise here:)

Hey Betty, thanks for cruising thru my place:)

Connie said...

Since my hubby developed diabetis we have to figure out what has sugar-what sends his level up.One day he ate nothing to make it soar-we went over everything he had that day-then he said read that jar of pickles-I said that's silly-but I read that it has corn syrup-not all brands but this'Walmart' one did... and also aspartame sends it sky-high-go figure...oh if I had to do without my Hazelnut creamer-that would be roughing it,LOL....

K.Pete said...

It's not quite so bad in Australia - but pretty close! when I was in NZ recently for a holiday I saw ACT Microwave Popcorn and was SO EXCITED!!! They don't have that here in AUS. :( I tried to sneak some in but customs made me throw it away. :(

Annie Jeffries said...

Hi betty - I like the simplicity of the choices you have. I go shopping and feel regularly overwhelmed by all the choices. I often end up looking for "classic" labels products. They are generally on the bottom shelf of an aisle's worth of, for instance potato chips, choices.

I wish they would design stores so there would be an original or classics section for all lablels. I'd probably do all of my shopping there.

Unknown said...

I can't imagine if I couldn't bargain hunt. I would be so sad! Next thing I know you are going to tell me that they don't have coupons there either!

maryt/theteach said...

It must be interesting living in NZ. All I know about the country is what I learned watching the incredible movie The Piano. :)