Life in China


Aid to grocery shopping in China. Key product label information translated. Photos with each entry.

These pages are organized alphabetically by categories.  Each page has it's own alphabetically ordered menu of items within that category.  I have tried to have categories similar to those you will find in many stores, but sometimes it's just my own warped logic. 

picture: Ruth with shopping cart, grocery shopping

I am not a shopper by nature.  For me shopping is not a hobby, it is a means to an end.  I want certain stuff, therefore I shop in order to get it.  Often I not only want certain stuff, but specific, certain stuff.  This is where being a foreigner in China can be challenging.  When product labels are in Chinese my literacy level plummets.  Perhaps you have noticed this too.

Though there is a surprising amount of English on items available in super markets in China, not everything has English on the package.  And the smaller the store the less you can count on finding English.  Pictures on the package can be helpful, but they may not give you the whole story.

You can always use a Chinese English dictionary, but that can be frustrating and time consuming.  Wouldn't it be nice if there were pictures of the things you want, with translations of the key information to look for to guide you in getting exactly what you want?  I thought so too, so I have put together some photos of common items from Chinese stores with the Chinese highlighted, and the English and pinyin provided.  Useful descriptive words are also pointed out (things like 'fresh', 'black' and 'pure') to help you find that specific, certain stuff you are looking for. Here is grocery shopping (in China) help you can see.

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Baking Supplies

Bulk Food

Canned Goods

Chinese Specialities




Household Items





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