Grocery shopping in Taipei
A question I hear often is 'Where do you get your groceries?'. We go grocery shopping at multiple stores. Some of them are big hypermarkets and some of them are small convenience stores.
Here is a list of the supermarkets we visit most.
There are about 20 Carrefours located all over Taipei. Carrefour has everything: groceries, furniture, school supplies, household goods and import products. You can get stroopwafels (a famous Dutch cookie) at Carrefour as well. One package costs about 173 NT$ (which is €5,-), so very expensive.
You can get a Carrefour membership card, with which you can earn points and redeem coupons.
Whereas Carrefour is a French company, RT Mart is a Taiwese company (大潤發 - Dàrùnfā). If you think Carrefour is big, try going to RT-Mart. At RT-Mart they have endless choice of products. For every product you can choose between at least four different brands. For noodles and rice you can choose between over 15 brands and kinds. You can find RT-Mart at 6 different locations in Taipei. If you want to go shopping after 9 pm, no problem, RT-Mart is opened until 11 pm.
Costco is the go-to store when you have a big family. You can get family-size packages of about anything. You want 20kg of rice? That's fine. You want to take 10kg of flour? Also no problem. At Costco they like it big. One disadventage to Costco is that you have top pay NT$1,150 (€33,-) a year to receive a personal membership card (with photo) and be allowed to go shopping there. Whenever you go there you can only bring up to 2 persons with you. Luckily you can receive two membership cards per membership: one for you and one for your husband or wife.
7-11, Family Mart, Hi-Life
These small convenience stores are everywhere. In some streets there are even multiple of them. If you just wanna grab a drink, a magazine, some snacks or lunch you should go to one of these three convenience stores. They're not too expensive, but they are slightly more priced than a hypermarket. Convenience stores really are just for a quick bite. There is not a lot of choice in products nor brands. Only in iced tea you do have a lot of choice.
This is a supermarket that is biger than a conveniece store but still a lot smaller than a hypermarket. You do have everything you need for dinner and cleaning in a Wellcome, but there is not a lot of choice. Also they don't have a lot of fresh products like meat and fruits. The upside is that there are 20 stores all over Taipei. We live pretty close to one so we often go to Wellcome if we forgot something at a hypermarket.