Prologue to a series: My new project for the next six months will be branding this site and making it a resource for travelers and researchers on Japan. Firstly, the internet is flooded with information on life over here. Many of the sites/blogs explore the dynamics between foreigner and native from a linguistic and cultural points of view, to racism and how that makes any sense at all. What you'll find is that my site will be very insightful, totally presenting a more natural and realistic element to the Japan experience.
Where to shop, what to buy, cost performance. I run several stores here and here. here.
Mondays and Wednesdays are great days for shopping round the greater Yokohama area. Especially with larger chain super markets which offer big markdowns on frozen food. We're talking 50%~70% in some stores: York Mart, Ito Yokado, just to name a couple.... The thing with frozen food in Japan is that there is so much variety to choose from. Frozen veggies, meats, ethnic cuisines, and more. If you are like me, I have an American size fridge, so I'm able to store a lot of stuff in it. On a Wednesday, I'll usually pack my grocery basket full with just frozen food only! I think I pay something like 3000 yen / $35.00 for a weeks worth of frozen goods. And then, I fill another basket full of noodles. Japanese markets sells all kinds of noodles for under a buck in some places.
The thing to get is packs of yakisoba. You can buy dozens of packs of yakisoba for under 2000 yen; each pack has about four serves of noodles with mix included. Meats and diary products are always expensive here, as well as fruits and veggies. However, bean sprouts are about the cheapest veggies to buy at about 78yen 80 cents. Tofu is also very cheap. The rule of thumb here is to stock up on dried goods like rice which has become more affordable since TPP. Stock up on cereals, canned goods, and pastas which are all a little on the expensive side. The pasta is cheap though and you can never run out of pasta and rice here. Water is the cheapest and most delicious beverage in Japan, whereas juices and soft drinks , which taste good, are expensive.
The point card system in Japan is great. There's a card for just about everywhere and everything. Use these point cards and accumulate points for discounts. They really do work!
Japanese markets are small but stock very fresh produce. I especially love the food corners with all the tempura, and sushi, and fried foods.