I stopped in at Stockmann's, the Finnish department store, on Tuesday morning to pick up some cheddar (couldn't get it anywhere else and I really wanted it for chili and enchiladas). Not only did they have cheddar, but it was also ON SALE (Um, if you consider 690 rubles per kilo/$12.55 per pound a bargain...)! And they're celebrating "New York in Motion" month!
I also ran into a good friend and got to chat with her for a while! She told me a story about how when she first moved here, she asked for a kilo of hamburger meat--and was shocked to then notice that it was going to cost her SEVENTY FIVE DOLLARS--$34 per pound! She was so embarrassed that she snuck it out of her cart and left it in the poultry section! Stockmann's is NOT known for low prices--but their sale items are always a nice surprise.
I was tickled pink to see so many American items there, things that are usually non-existent here. Some of the prices were much higher than I'd willingly pay, but you know... If any of those more expensive items had been something I really, really love, I'd have been glad to buy them anyway... (The Chips Ahoy cookies cost 245 rubles/$9.80 a bag--I passed on them... But I did indulge in Pepperidge Farm Nantucket chunky cookies and milk chocolate/pecan cookies for 130 rubles/$5.20 a bag! I'll keep those on hand for "Ugh! I can't stand being here and need a break!" bleak days). I observed one other woman who giddily threw a variety of Paul Newman's salad dressings, mustards and bbq sauces at 245 rubles/$9.80 a bottle into her cart.
The biggest surprise of all was Shop Rite mac 'n cheese. I'd never buy that in the USA, preferring Annie's organics, but I gladly snapped up 25 boxes at the bargain price of 35 rubles/$1.40. Convenience foods aren't commonly available here, and you can't easily get take-out or delivery. Now that I'm working, I wanted to have a stash of easy dinners on hand. I also picked up many bottles of Shop Rite honey barbeque sauce and K.C. Masterpiece spicy barbeque sauce. (They were a real bargain, too, at 85 rubles/$3.40 and 105 rubles/$4.20). I also stocked up on Campbell's low fat "Cream of Mushroom" and "Cream of Broccoli" soups since they're so easy to use in casseroles.
Other "Yay!!! I actually found this here in Moscow!!" items were fruit roll-ups (I need a box to make the straps on the flip flops cake I'm making for Katya's birthday party) at 185 rubles/$7.40 and a graham cracker crust/pumpkin pie filling (don't remember the price, truthfully didn't even look). I've made my own pumpkin filling in years past, but you can't get all the necessary spices here--allspice, clove, etc.
Here's my list of items worth checking out during their sale (either based on great price for Moscow or the "how lucky you can find it" factor). Advertised prices are significantly cheaper than they were at Stockmann's in the center; go to the Mega locations for these listed prices:
- Stove Top stuffing/ 95 rubles
- Newman's Own salsa/ 95 rublesLea & Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce/ 85 rubles
- Hershey's Chocolate and Strawberry syrups/ 99 rublesmini pastel marshmallows/ 45 rubles
- Hershey bars/ 25 rubles
- Pepperidge Farm Dark Chocolate, Nantucket and Sausalito Big Chunk cookies/ 110 rubles
- Maple Grove Farms Maple, Blueberry and Raspberry Syrups/ 115 rubles
- Aunt Jemima Buttermilk Pancake Mix/ 85 rubles
- Skippy Super Chunk and Creamy Peanut Butter (small jar)/ 135 rubles
- Wishbone salad dressings/ 80 rubles
- Campbell's Soups/79 rubles
- Newman's Own Salad Dressings/ 170 rubles
- Hellman's Mustards and Mayonnaises/ 125-135 rubles
- Hershey's Kisses/190 rubles
- Marshmallow Fluff/ 80 rubles
- Big White Marshmallows/ 60 rubles (for roasting, smores, or Rice Krispy Treats)
- KC Masterpiece Hickory Brown Sugar, Original and Spicy bbq sauce/ 110 rubles
- Shop Rite Mac 'n Cheese/ 29 rubles
- Betty Crocker Cake/Muffin/Icing mixes (didn't catch the price b/c I do my own baking)
- Pumpkin Pie Mix/forgot price
- Keebler Graham Cracker Pie Crust/forgot price