Shop 'Til You Drop
Want to do some cooking of your own during your stay in Barbados? Perhaps you just want a few snacks to see you through the day?
Rest assured, there's plenty of good supermarkets and convenience stores on the island for groceries, to household items, to just a quick snack for the road.
For snacks like sandwiches, fresh bread, canned food and milk you can simply stop at any of the rum shops or convenience stores island-wide.
For healthier snacks, there are various health food shops that can cater to your needs. You'll also find raw and roasted peanuts on sale from street vendors dotted all over the island or salted nuts, sweet breads and other such snacks in gas stations island-wide.
If you're coming to Barbados on a self-catering holiday or seeking to stay longer-term, then you will definitely need to find a supermarket to buy your groceries and other essential living items.
You will find most of the larger shops and supermarkets on the west, south and southeast coasts of the island.
In St. Philip, you'll find a large shopping complex at a place called Six Roads. There's also a supermarket there called Emerald City which has a good selection of meat, dairy and general dried goods.
For larger supermarkets, look no further than the chain of Supercentres on the island. These stores are always well stocked with lots of imported brands, as well as locally made products.
You'll find the biggest Supercentre on the island located at Warrens on the ABC highway. This is also one of the biggest supermarkets on the island with an excellent selection of cheeses and fresh meat.
In Worthing in Christ Church you'll find a Big B Supermarket, also part of the Supercentre chain. This store also has a wide selection of goods, especially if you are looking for specific products for a recipe or imported products. There's also a newsagency where you can find magazines, greetings cards and stationery.
Just on from Big B, up Rendezvous Hill, you'll find JB's Supercentre in Sargeants Village.
There's another outlet in Holetown - this branch really caters to the expats and therefore you'll see a lot of English brands for sale here.
In Oistins, you'll find a smaller Supercentre however it still has most things like fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, and essential household provisions.
Note: All Supercentre stores are now known as 'Massy Stores'. Some locals still call them Supercentres or Big B however the name officially changed over in 2014. For more information, visit www.massystores.com.
Another chain of supermarket on the island is Trimart. These stores have a good fruit and vegetable section as well as all the necessities, and it's reasonably priced. You'll find stores in Worthing, Haggatt Hall, St. Martins and Mile and a Quarter.
Just on the outskirts of Bridgetown, in Fairchild Street, there's Jordan's Supermarket. You will find the prices here very reasonable compared with other supermarkets and many locals also shop here.
Tip: Jordan's is also located in Fitts Village in St. James, Speightstown in St. Peter, and Baxters Road in Bridgetown, St. Michael.
In Black Rock and Collymore Rock, both in St. Michael, you'll also find the smaller Channell Supermarket - another budget conscious supermarket.
Also located in Black Rock is Carlton Supermarket. Carlton, like many of the larger supermarkets in Barbados, has a large array of local and imported foods. In addition to this, Carlton is located in the Carlton complex which is also home to its own bakery, deli and pharmacy, along with several other businesses, including clothing and beauty supply stores, a bingo lounge and arcade, and a bank.
In St. Lawrence Gap there's a great convenience store called Dover Market, where you can buy fresh vegetables, fresh meat, and a variety of 'holiday' essentials like sunscreen.
Hint: The majority of products sold in Barbados are imported therefore you may find the prices slightly higher than what you are used to paying. You may wish to buy local produce where possible, as this is significantly cheaper. Try Cheapside Market in Bridgetown for great local produce at great prices.
What About Buying In Bulk?
You'll find a PriceSmart store in Warrens in St. Michael selling goods in bulk - cost effective if you are self-catering for a large group. You pay a joining membership fee of $50BBD, but you'll save a lot of money, especially if you're doing a big shop here.
There's also ShopSmart store that sell bulk items. Here you'll find imported goods, dried foods, and household appliances, among other things. Membership is $30BBD and there are stores located in Brittons Hill and Bridgetown in St. Michael, as well as Holders Terrace in St. James.
Recently opened in Welches, St. Thomas, CostULess boasts a wide variety of shopping options from food items to electronic devices. Just like PriceSmart and ShopSmart, CostULess mainly sells items in bulk, with a few exceptions, like fresh produce. There is a membership option available but it is not essential when purchasing items.
Cash Or Credit?
If you shop in rum shops, the method of payment is generally cash but they do accept both US dollars and Barbados dollars.
If you shop in one of the island's supermarkets, you can generally pay by cash, credit card, some debit cards, and local cheques. At Supercentre stores, they'll also accept any currency of cash.
And, don't forget, if you're presenting a cheque or using a debit/credit card, you'll need to show a photo ID.
Tip: Many stores in Barbados are closed on Sundays - be sure to check the opening hours of each individual store before heading out on your shopping spree.
Author: Brett Callaghan