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The Best Grocery Stores in Mexico: How to shop like a local down south!

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Traveling to Mexico is a great way to take in the sights and explore your favorite cities. You’ll likely want to hit some restaurants to save time and try the local cuisine. Eating all of your meals in restaurants can add a lot to your travel budget though, which is why many people want to know about the top grocery stores in Mexico before their next trip.

These stores are a little different from American ones in terms of what you might see on the shelves and behind the counters. Make sure you look at some of the best places to buy supplies in a grocery store before your journey.

Stores for Members

Though you might think it’s odd that you need to become a member to shop in some stores, it’s no different than getting a card to shop at Costco or Sam’s in the United States. When you get a card, you often need to buy in bulk but can save quite a bit of money. If you plan on spending more time in the country, Mexico grocery stores and wholesale clubs are a good option.

Sam’s Club

Named for Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart, Sam’s is a store that sells tons of merchandise. You can shop for food and drinks along with clothing and books. Getting a card to Sam’s in Mexico costs less than $30, which is much less than you would pay in the States. Sam’s is the best grocery store to buy in bulk.

Costco

If you already have a Costco card, you’ll love that you can show it in a Mexican store and gain entry. You don’t need to worry about getting one before you go because you can actually sign up for Costco once you arrive and save money on the annual fee.

The number one reason to shop at Costco is that you can find your favorite brands on the shelves. You don’t need to worry about buying a different cereal that your kids might not like or trying to find your favorite soda.

Buying Online in Mexico

The chances are good that you might not think about buying your essentials online and shipping them to your Mexican resort or hotel. Believe it or not, online shopping can help you save some money. You also don’t need to worry about driving to the store and trying to find a parking spot just to get the supplies you want.

MexGrocer

MexGrocer is the best online grocery store for shoppers who need specific items made in Mexico. The shop stocks tons of ingredients from Mexico and Latin American regions. You can pick up some new spices or spice blends to try and snag candy that your kids will love.

The only downside to MexGrocer is that it only sells nonperishable foods like canned goods and dried spices. You won’t find meat or dairy products. It is a good place to pick up Mexican cookbooks that help you make delicious and authentic dishes at home or on vacation.

Deli Mexico

You should think of Deli Mexico as the ultimate Mexican deli. No matter what you’re on the hunt for, you’ll likely find it on this website. It stocks tons of perishable goods like chorizo, which is a rich and slightly spicy sausage that goes great in savory dishes.

You’ll also find unique ingredients such as pork stew meat and mole. Deli Mexico is also the top choice for shoppers who want to pick up gifts and fun decorations as it has salsa bowls and gift baskets.

American Grocery Store Chains

Whether this is your first trip to Mexico or you visited the country before, you might find it helpful to stick to some of the stores that you already know. Mexico is home to quite a few grocery store chains that also have locations in the United States. While you likely see some different things on the shelves, you’ll also find some of your favorite products.

Walmart

As Mexico has Sam’s stores, you should not be surprised to learn that you’ll also find Walmart stores. One of the nice things about this retail chain is that it stocks so many products sold under the Great Value name, which is the Walmart store brand.

Not only can you pick up canned fruits and veggies sold from Great Value, but you’ll also find Great Value ice cream and other treats along with frozen foods and items like peanut butter.

You’ll even find that some products sold in Walmart are cheaper in Mexico than they are in the United States. Walmart is the best store to choose when you want a taste of home but still need access to Mexican favorites.

H-E-B

Known as both H-E-B and HEB, this grocery store chain has locations all across Texas and Mexico. Many shoppers love that they can pick up house brand products like chips and ice cream along with a wide range of produce.

When you shop at HEB in Mexico, you’ll find that it is the best store to find organic and local produce. You won’t have any problem finding apples and all of the other products you usually buy at home along with cactus paddles and other unique ingredients that Mexican families love.

HEB is also the best place to hit if you want to buy produce from local farmers.

Mexican Grocery Chains

Frequent travelers often recommend that you skip the chain restaurants and try the local cuisine on your journeys. You should consider doing the same thing when it comes to grocery stores.

Why settle for the familiar when you can go exotic? Mexico grocery stores offer all of the unique and unusual ingredients you can use in dishes on your trip and offer canned and dried ingredients you can take home at the end of your trip.

Soriana

Thanks to its low prices, Soriana is the best place to save money. You will usually find that its prices are lower than even those found at Walmart. This discount grocery store is always looking for new ways to help its shopper save.

You should start at the meat counter where you can buy meat and seafood at lower prices than you would find at home. Make sure that you sign up for a rewards card, even if you only plan to stay in Mexico for a few days.

Rewards members get points every time they shop and can use those points to get amazing discounts. You’ll also want to look at some of the package deals. Soriana often has deals where you get one or more items for free when you buy a package.

City Market

Fans of popular shows like Top Chef will feel right at home in a City Market store. You can think of City Market as an upscale shopping destination. It’s no different than buying from Whole Foods and similar stores in the United States.

City Market stores have gorgeous wood floors and displays designed to catch the eye. Workers are always on hand to add more products to the store displays and to keep shoppers happy. You may not want to do all of your grocery shopping here though as prices are on the high side.

City Market is a good place to check out if you want to find fish caught off the coast and rare meats that aren’t available in other stores.

Casa Ley

With more than 300 locations around Mexico, the chances are good that you’ll come across a Casa Ley store. The chain started in 1954 and is quite popular with shoppers on the hunt for baked goods.

Pick up some of your favorite pastries along with Mexican dishes from the bakery department. Casa Levy also has a huge produce section with lemons and limes along with other fruits and vegetables like guavas and papayas.

This is one of the few chain stores with a large selection of liquor too. You can also pick up fresh meat and seafood from butchers who will cut into the sizes you need on the spot.

La Comer

The company that opened City Market found that some shoppers just couldn’t afford the high prices and launched La Comer in response to the problem. La Comer sells some of the same foods that City Market does but at slightly lower prices.

When you join the rewards program, you have the chance to save even more. Every time you spend $100 or more, you earn bonus points that you can redeem to get free food and coupons. Another reason to shop in this store is because of its prepared food counter where you can pick up dishes that are ready to eat when you don’t have a lot of time.

La Comer is also a good choice for online shoppers. Using the website or the app allows you to pick all of the foods that you want and pay for them. You drive to the store to check in and let someone bring your order to your car.

Super Chedraui

Many of the Chedraui grocery stores in Mexico have a vintage look that reminds you of a bygone time. Other stores are more modern and have large parking areas. No matter which one you visit, you’ll find a large selection of products that are suitable for all types of shoppers.

The chain opened with a single store in 1927 and expanded to hundreds of stores in both Mexico and the United States. Chedraui is where you go when you need general merchandise along with groceries.

While you can pick up a new swimsuit and a hoodie, you can also grab all of the ingredients and canned or frozen goods that you need.

Other Places to Buy Groceries

While American shoppers often rely on traditional grocery stores, you have many more options beyond those stores. You might stay in a location that is off the beaten path where you can’t just head to a large market. Smaller stores usually offer fewer items but have some of the essentials in stock.

grocery stores in mexico
Fresh Vegetable Market in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico

Grocery Stores in Mexico: Farmers’ Markets

The farmers’ markets you find in the United States are usually a mixed bag. Though some focus on local farmers, others sell products from around the world. You may even find stalls that sell fruits and vegetables from grocery stores at higher prices. Mexican farmers’ markets are different because they allow local farmers to see their goods to the general public.

Most are only open until 4 pm though and some are only open a few days a week. Farmers’ markets are a good place to find vegetables and fruits grown by farmers in the area along with homemade goodies like soaps and cookies.

Mexican Convenience Stores

Convenience stores in the United States are usually gas station combos. You can fill up your tank and pick up a fountain drink or a few snacks. Though convenience stores in Mexico are similar, they often offer more essentials.

You should not have any problem picking up a bottle of shampoo or some bath soap along with milk and other dairy products.

As a bonus, many convenience stores also stock a lot of fresh produce for those who love cooking. While prices are a little higher than you would see at a grocery store, they are often open when grocery stores are closed. You’ll find both supermarket chain stores like Oxxo along with smaller stores owned by locals.

Buying from Mexico Grocery Stores

One of the things you should know about grocery stores in Mexico and the Mexican supermarkets is that the workers who bag your items are not store employees. They are usually young boys who make money off the tips that others give them.

No matter how much you buy, always tip the person who bags your groceries. You’ll also want to stock up on your favorites when you see them because there’s no guarantee they’ll still be on the shelves later.

Don’t forget to check the meat counter on your shopping trip. The meat counter offers a large selection of fresh seafood and meats along with specialty items and imported foods. Shop like a local when you know which stores are the best grocery stores in Mexico.

So what’s your experience with mexico supermarkets? Have you shopped like a local? Let me know in the comments below.

Next: The Best Fast Food Restaurants in Mexico: Cheap Eats South of the Border


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