Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What? You thought Europeans didn't roll in luxury?

   There have been countless times since living in Germany where I was caught off guard by something I didn't expect to see. Some of these times are just due to our extensive travel around most of Europe, Greece, Turkey, and some Eastern European Countries as well. Yet, some occurred right here in Germany.

  It is remarkable how during just a simple drive to the local Military post you can see old castle ruins on top of a mountain, and then the most modern looking Big Rig on the same stretch of road. sometimes, Germany can be like a looking glass into the past and others a sneak peak of the future. As I am sure most of you are aware, some of the cars we consider luxurious in the United States, such as: BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, and Mercedes, are just every day commuter cars to the Germans.

 Did you know the most common car used for basic Taxi service in Germany is the Mercedes. They are not old cars with rust and scratches either, the majority of them being models I would love to own myself. In a different color of course :)

Also, our children ride luxury tour buses to school here. No more yellow school bus rolling down the street. They ride in 4 and 5 star tour buses used by celebrities and bands on tour in the United States....to SCHOOL!

What are some of the strangest things you have heard about Germany? Seen?

~ C

Friday, April 3, 2015

Groceries in Germany. Where to shop...and When!!

To be quite honest, and after cooking for a family of 5 the majority of days in the last 2 1/2 years, I will tell you this: Most food is cheaper, more fresh, and taste better if bought off-post. However, as many of you might miss some good ol fashion American candies or brands, the Commissary can come in handy.....sometimes.....maybe.

It is no easy task to replace ingredients you have probably been using for many years with foreign brands or equivalents. But it can be most rewarding for many reasons if you do. For example, replacing sour cream or mayonnaise with a Greek yogurt (low fat) bought off post can:

o lower calories by half or more
o virtually eliminate the fat grams you are using
o add healthy by products of natural fresh yogurt
o save you money
o and probably make it taste even better!

Not all items will be less expensive off post though, but a lot are. Here is a list of many common grocery items which can be found off post for cheaper. These are normally more fresh as well.

o Breads (There are so many varieties here, it will blow your mind!)
o Meat ( Of course your normal Oscar Meyer, etc. brands will not be available)
o Vegetables ( Most grocery stores such as Netto, Rewe, etc. will have tons of vegetables for cheaper than on post and are normally super fresh)

So, where do you go to get your groceries off post? As mentioned above, there are normally grocery chain's in most decent size towns and include: Netto, Rewe, Lidl, Aldi, etc. Some even take American debit cards with a straight exchange rate ( No mark up) like the Rewe.

Also, there are certain stores which specialize in specific items such as:
B├Ąckerei ( Bakery) These can normally be found inside the major grocery chains as well.

o Metzgerie (Butcher) For your discount ad fresh meats like Brauts and such.

Remember: Bring your own bags, or you will have to buy them at the store!

I hope this has helped some. If you have questions about specific products or areas please message me on the Military Life in Germany Facebook Page or comment below.

~ C