Halloween has been and gone. The candy has been either eaten or unopened bags have been returned to the store. Almost as soon as Halloween was over with, I began to see Christmas ads on television. OK so there have been Christmas/Thanksgiving stuff in stores for weeks but it is now that it actually starts to settle in my brain. After all Christmas is NEXT month! The Weather Channel are even playing Christmas music during the "Local on the 8" forecast! This morning it was some of the music used in Home Alone.
So, it only makes sense that it is now that my mind starts thinking about food and what I can and cannot buy here in the US. Things that I would always, without fail, buy when I lived in the UK but cannot find here for love nor money.
Step forward into the gap online shopping. I mostly prefer actually being able to touch stuff and pick it up when I shop. I guess that is very old fashioned now. However, there are times when online is the only way to go. I buy a lot of my books and dvds through Amazon. (A lot of people do that and that may be a big reason why Borders went out of business!) I can get some British food in the Carmel area in grocery stores like Meijer, Marsh and Kroger. These stores have a somewhat limited selection of grocery items but between them I can get stuff like Jaffa cakes, Heinz baked beans, Bounty bars, Sarsons Malt Vinegar, HP sauce and Ambrosia Devon Custard.
Throw into the mix World Market and that opens up a realm of chocolate fabulousness also. After a friend mentioned on Facebook a week or so ago that they had been into World Market and saw that they had all the Christmas goodies out, I sped round there and bought a few goodies myself. I even took photos of what they had on sale. Yes it can be that exciting for an Expat when they see food from the 'Old County' in their 'New Country'!
If I wanted to drive for a while to Ohio then I could go to Jungle Jim's International Market and shop in their UK department. I do draw the line at spending $5 for 1 can of Ambrosia Devon custard though!
As I am also on Twitter, I have recently (meaning today) noticed I am being followed by someone called "StuffBackHome". I checked out their profile and then clicked on the link to their webpage. O.M.G! It is like hitting the motherlode! Not only do they have chocolates and biscuits but it seems you can also buy stuff from Tesco, M&S, Sainsburys, Waitrose and Boots. They even have a mini section called Christmas! I will say that I have not ordered from them myself....yet. However, I will soon. It is too good an opportunity to not! They have been in operation for just over a year and in a few weeks are launching their new website.
I've just done a sample shop in their Christmas section (including the obligatory tin of Cadbury's Roses, Terry's Chocolate Orange and M&S Mince Pies.
The total was $52.45 and shipping (DHL Worldwide by Air) to the US was $56.38.
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