7 useful tips to enjoy Japanese grocery store!

7 useful tips to enjoy Japanese grocery store!

Have you visited any Japanese grocery stores? Supermarkets in my home country, Japan are often very clean and their services are wonderful. Here, I would introduce 7 tips that you can use when going to Japanese grocery store!



 

7 useful tips to enjoy Japanese grocery store!

 

1. Price tags

As you might notice, what they print on the price tags is different from the one that you can see in your home country. In the United States, for example, prices per lb. and/or oz. are written on the tags –so I was always confused since I couldn’t figure out how much the products are immediately. On the contrary, grocery stores in Japan usually put prices per product so that you don’t have to scale and/or calculate the prices. For example, when looking for sea food, you would see various price tags put directly on packs of salmons –the prices of which are decided depending on how much grams each package contains. Knowing the system, your shopping at Japanese grocery store will be much more convenient!

 

2. Eco bag

Have you heard about Eco bag? It is a shopping bag that a lot of people bring when going to grocery stores. Why we call it “Eco bag” is because the more frequently we use the bag, the more we can reduce the waste of plastic bags –in other words, it’s very eco-friendly. A lot of Japanese grocery stores now make customers pay for the plastic bags if they don’t have their own bags –on the contrary, the stores have some rewards for those who bring their eco bags (usually the shopping places give us reward points that we can change into cash/coupon). Although some super markets overseas have their own eco bags, Japanese grocery stores usually don’t have one –or they might have some that is very unfashionable. So a lot of people buy their own bags at 100 yen stores and/or other fancy shops. Find your favorite bags and enjoy shopping even more!

 

3. Reward card

Not only at grocery stores but also other shopping places including department stores usually have what we call “point card” –which might be known as reward cards. The way how it works is that when buying something, let’s say a 150-yen-rice-ball, you put this reward card with your bills. The shop clerk then is going to add some points to your card (usually 1 point for every 100 yen). When the points come to a certain point, you can change the points into cash, coupons, and product and so on. For example, I got 200 points for my reward card at a grocery store nearby and changed them to 200 yen coupon that can be used at the store. So in addition to just buy what you need, store the points to get extra. Each shopping place has different card depending on which companies the store belongs to, so I would recommend you to go shopping at the same stores every time in order to store the points. Check your local grocery stores out to get more rewards!

 

4. Delivery service

Have you experienced the situation that you bought too much to bring only by yourself? Yes, I have –but this delivery service helped me a lot then! This is a service that many grocery stores have in order to deliver shopped products to your house as soon as possible. Since it is common to take public transportations to go grocery shopping in Japan, I have seen a lot of people having too much luggage to bring. In that case, please remember the delivery system –they are going to pack your stuffs up and soon send the things immediately. Here, you don’t have to worry about the freshness since it’s pretty fast and you can go out with your friends after shopping! Why don’t you check out for the system?

 

5. Discount

Not only at shopping malls, but also grocery stores have discount sales. How frequently they have sales varies depending on which companies the store belongs to. For instance, at the super market where I often go, they have discount every Tuesday, 20th and 30th of every month. Moreover, some stores give more reward points on certain days. Besides, for some of the products such as sushi and other delis, many super markets have discount sale at the end of the day –so that they are not going to waste them. It is very popular for those who are very lazy and busy since they can get meals for discount. Try going to super market in the evening when you don’t want to cook next time!

 

6. Private products

Although there are so many products at Japanese grocery stores, have you seen/heard about what we call “Private Brand”? It is the products that the company that owns the supermarket sells. This private products are often more inexpensive than other stuffs since the stores don’t need to buy them from other retails. Some products are doing really good job while others taste very different –Let’s compare the private products with other companies’ and find your favorite!

 

7. Relationship with convenience stores

Did you know that relatively big supermarket chains are often owned by companies that also run famous convenience stores? For example, AEON group owns Ministop and Ito Yokado runs Seven-Eleven. These stores often have mutual services including reward cards and private products. So it might be much better to use the same companies’ stores to get more benefit. However, be careful not to use convenience stores too much –although they are very “convenient”, the price range at most convenience stores are relatively higher than supermarkets. It might be smart to buy most of the stuffs at grocery store and use convenience stores when you need something right away.

 

Conclusion

Not only selling products normally, Japanese grocery stores have so many service systems such as reward cards, delivery services and private products. The next time you are going to Japanese grocery store, don’t forget to bring your eco-bags and check the date of discount. I hope you’ll enjoy shopping more!

 

7 useful tips to enjoy Japanese grocery store!

1. Price tags
2. Eco bag
3. Reward card
4. Delivery service
5. Discount
6. Private products
7. Relationship with convenience stores