Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Won't Miss #311 - buying by the case

One of the best resources for homesick or thrifty foreign folks in Japan is the Foreign Buyer's Club. It is a mail order seller that imports food from the United States and sells much of it by the case. If you need specialty foods or items (like sugar substitutes or sugar-free foods for diabetics) or simply would like to buy things which cost a fortune in Japan as individual imports at a price somewhat closer to "reasonable", then the FBC is a very helpful option. For my husband and I, we use the FBC to buy things like American pumpkin, Splenda sweetener, and chickpeas. The former can't be had in Japan (and I use it in baking) and the latter is often outrageously priced when and if it can be had. The only problem is that you often have to buy a huge quantity of these types of items. It can sometimes take years to get through a large amount of canned goods and I often wish I could just buy a can of something when I needed it instead of having little option than to buy 12 or 24 of such things. There's also the issue of a small apartment with little storage making buying in a large quantity a hassle.

I won't miss having to buy basic foods by the case, paying a fortune for one unit as an import, or choosing to never have them again.