With living in a new country, it took kind of a while to get used to food shopping in NZ. I am not a foodie by any means. I love a good meal, especially when someone cooks it for me. I like a nice restaurant, but I can eat the same thing every day for weeks on end and probably not even notice it. New Zealand was perfect for this because while they have good restaurants, shopping at your local Foodtown was perfect on a day to day basis. One thing I did in NZ that I don’t do at home is buy my lunch every day. My office had a large caf (short for cafeteria or cafe, never really found out) with decently priced sammies (sandwiches) amongst daily specials, so I got lunch in the caf every day. There was also a pizza place across the street, just in case the specials were shite and they ran out of sammies. One of the weird things they did was put cranberry sauce on like all their sandwiches! So weird!
In supermarkets, there is like not choice for anything. Cereal, biscuits (cookies) and crackers all share the same aisle. What the hell?!?! In the US, all three of these things would have their own aisle! The only Cherrios I could find were Multi-Grain (Blah!) and everyone made fun of me for buying Special K. It doesn’t taste very good in NZ, but it was better then nothing. The flakes were just really hard. In the way of sweet snacks that I like, but was probably a good thing they didn’t have was chips that end in ‘ito (Frito, Dorito, Cheetos). I ate so many when I got to Australia! and raw cookie dough. They had this in Australia, but it didn’t taste as good as home, so I didn’t eat it again. My first year in New Zealand, I got my parents to send me 2 packages as well as they brought what we called “the brown bag” full of food when they came near the end of my first year. They didn’t send me anything my second year (though my sister sent me a Reese’s heart for V-day and a small bag of Cheese-itz before I left for Australia but neither was requested) and I survived. I actually got used to the generic brand of cheese crackers Foodtown sold and then once in Australia I discovered the joy of cheese Shapes. Fuck, I can practically smell them now, so good! And of course, Tim Tams, I ate by the tray, especially when they were on sale. Since I am boring with my diet, I would take note when things were on sale and check to when the sale would end and stock up on certain things each week and after a while, know what would sell out fast and try to shop early in the day when everyone was at church (Sunday mornings were the best!).
Moral: If you like a limited choice for food, NZ is your kind of place. I mean, they have everything (sort of) but when it comes to brands, they usually only have two options. Great for those indecisive people!