Shopping for Food & Produce in a Supermarket in Israel.
Hebrew: רשתות סופרים בישראל
There are a few things your need to know,about shopping at a supermarket in Israel. Some of the large supermarket chains are Shufersal, Mega/You, Rami Levi, Yayin Bitan, Osher Ad and Victory. These supermarkets are all kosher but some like Tiv Taam and Stop Market are not kosher. There are plenty of supermarkets that cater to the Russian community and mostly these are not kosher. Arab run supermarkets are also not kosher but they do stock kosher pre-packed goods.
Within a supermarket chain, you will find different grades and sizes of stores; there is the suburban mini-market, large suburban supermarkets and hyper-stores which are often located in the industrial area or on the outskirts of a city or town. Prices vary between stores of the same chain - the mini-markets are the most expensive and the hyper-stores are the cheapest.
The large supermarket chains have their own house-brands. There are some savings to be had here but there are also differences in produce quality.
Supermarket delivery services
The large supermarkets, like those mentioned here, have a fantastic delivery service. For around 25 shekels you can have your groceries delivered right to your front door. In the supermarket, your groceries will be sorted into perishable items that require refrigeration and items that do not require refrigeration. They will then be crated accordingly. Supermarkets generally deliver on a 4 hourly cycle with the first delivery leaving at midday. Check actual delivery times with your local supermarket. Although tipping the delivery person is not mandatory, consider giving a small tip to show your appreciation.
Shopping online for food
Shufersal, Mega and Rami Levi have websites that offer on-line shopping options. This is a wonderful solution for hardworking families. It takes a while for English speakers to navigate these sites but once you save your basic list online it becomes easier. It's a great way to learn new Hebrew words and their spellings.
Must-know Shopping Tips for Israel
-Lots of stores offer club-cards; some are free, others are not. Some are combined with credit cards. Check the small print before you sign up for them.
-Be prepared for shoppers who will try anything, or give any excuse, to jump the queue at the check-out till.
-The definition of the "express queue" varies from supermarket to supermarket - 4 cartons of milk and 8 yogurts may be considered as 2 items rather than 12.
-You can buy groceries by installment at the big supermarkets. At Rosh Hashanah and Pesach you can generally get between 6-10 interest-free payments.