Tips on Grocery Shopping in Jakarta

Jakarta is one of the most vibrant metropolia in the world, thus shopping for groceries is quite easy. However, moving to a new city means you don’t quite know the best places to shop. Or how to shop. So please take note of our top five tips on grocery shopping in Jakarta!

 Tip #1: Bring your own grocery bag

The overconsumption of single-use plastic is happening all over big cities across the world. Jakarta is definitely one of them. However, Indonesia has recently seen the light at the end of this tunnel. Bali recently established a plastic-ban in 2019. This regulation applied to large supermarkets, mini-marts, restaurants, and even stores. If you order food via delivery services, you won’t see them giving you the food with plastic bags like the old days anymore. 

Rumor has it that Jakarta will soon implement this plastic ban in 2021. But even if they haven’t banned plastic bags fully yet, there’s still a fee you need to pay when using a plastic bag (200 rupiah per bag). Therefore, using a reusable grocery bag will not only contribute to saving the earth but also more cost-efficient for you. Before it’s all too late, why don’t be become the trendsetter by bringing your own grocery bag whenever you go shopping? It’s much more fashionable than the plastic bags anyway!

Tip #2: Go to local traditional markets for cheaper goods

There are many local farmers across Indonesia due to the fact that we could grow many things here in a tropical land. If you’ve read about the colonial history of this country, then you’ve already heard about how rich the island is because of all the spices. The Europeans brought more modern techniques on agriculture, which has been useful for every farmer then until now. 

Farmers who don’t sell their own goods usually come very early in the morning to drop some fresh goods at traditional markets for the city dwellers who often visit these markets. Although they already have more convenient grocery shops like Carrefour or Hypermart, many would still go to these traditional markets because there are the only places where they could get fresh goods at much cheaper prices. It’s also still acceptable here for you to bargain smartly for lower prices. Other reasons why these traditional markets are still crowded include the convenient walking distance from where they live and even interestingly because the vendors have been the family’s favorite vendor for generations. So the quality doesn’t need to be questioned!

Tip #3: Online grocery shopping

If going to local markets isn’t something you’re confident in doing yet or maybe your schedule is too packed for routine grocery stops, then go ahead and try online grocery shopping. There are a couple of great online grocery stores that are almost as complete. All their products are fresh and ready to be delivered. Another upside to shopping online for your groceries is that it’s time-efficient and you can find more international options compared to going to traditional markets.

Tip #4: Go to the nearest grocery store

Jakarta is a terribly packed city with traffic jams everywhere—worse during rush hours. This would be a problem if you have only one errand to complete. But waiting in 30-minute traffic is not worth getting a couple of snacks and fruits for. This is where Google Maps comes in handy since it’s able to locate nearby grocery stores for you.

If it’s haply not that urgent for you to go to big supermarkets like Carrefour, try going to Indomaret or Alfamart (which are probably available per a few meters from each other) because they now sell complete groceries, including vegetables, eggs, and fruits.

Local mini-marts

Another option is to visit home-based kind of stores called kelontong, which also opens until night. However, don’t look for meat here because it’s unlikely that they have any. Last but not least, going to a traditional market is a great option if you’re a morning person. You’ll get to see lots of fresh and super cheap groceries.

Tip #5: Buying in bulk

Buying in bulk has lots of advantages, which is why it’s one of the greatest tips on this post. Other than minimizing plastic waste, prices are much lower when compared to buying groceries in retail supermarkets. Some bulk stores provide proper containers for each good so that the customers could buy as much as they need. Buying groceries in bulks is perfect if you’re a busy person and want to save money without skimping on your groceries. You could easily just go for some basic groceries like rice, pasta, seasoning, shampoo, or liquid soap monthly rather than weekly. 

Save money by buying your groceries in bulk!
Save money by buying your groceries in bulk!

So, those are the five tips we got you, dear beginners. At the end of the day, this is all about training your survival skills in our beloved Jakarta. You need to have the perfect grip on how it’s done. First thing’s first, of course, grocery hunting. Ready, set, go!

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