Going to the supermarket in Barcelona may not be the same straightforward experience as going to your home town supermarket. Here are a few helpful tips.
Bring Coins for the Shopping Carts
To take a shopping cart, you have to insert a 50 cent or Euro coin which pops back out when you return the cart. Shopping baskets are also available and don’t require a coin.
Bring Your Own Bag
It’s common in Barcelona to bring your own re-useable shopping bag since some supermarkets charge for plastic bags (usually just a few cents). To ask for a plastic bag at checkout, simply say to the cashier before paying: “¿me pondría una bolsa por favor?”
Weigh Produce Before Checking Out
All produce must be weighed and marked with a price ticket BEFORE checking out. If there is not a store employee doing this in the produce section, you will need to do so. Just place the produce on the scale, press the assigned produce number on the scale and stick the printed ticket on the bag of produce.
Show ID if Paying by Credit Card
It is required to show your ID (preferably passport if you do not have a Spanish ID card) when paying with a credit card. Most stores accept MasterCard and Visa.
Buy a Carrito
To avoid carrying a lot of bags, many locals have a “carrito” or a little shopping cart that looks like a small suitcase. Carritos are left at the entrance of the supermarket. To lock up your carrito, you have to insert a Euro coin, which is popped back out when you return the lock.
With most supermarkets you can place an order online through their website. It’s worth it to pay the delivery fee especially if your apartment is on one of the top floors and you don’t have an elevator. It’s also useful to place a monthly order for standard supplies (i.e. water, toilet paper, cleaning products, etc.), especially in roommate situations.