I had an exciting day on Wednesday 14th July; while Captain Caveman had gone to Son Doong for another 4 days I was booked on the Phong Nha Farmstay’s weekly shopping trip at 8.30am. I had a very small budget to work with this week so I had to be really careful if I wanted to be able to go out for some meals as well as cooking at home. Bich picked up Veronika and I from Elements Collection and already in the car were 2 other passengers. One was a customer who was very nice and friendly and so we had a good chat while we drove to Dong Hoi, I was particularly interested in her home country of Bhutan and why her and her family were moving to Ethiopia. Our first stop was the Organic Shop where I was absolutely delighted to find they had popcorn kernels, unfortunately they were expensive but I decided to get them anyway and popped back the brown rice biscuits I was going to buy. I really wanted to buy the juicy looking cherries but, even though they had come down in price, they were still 400,000vnd (£12.80) per kilo – instead I sensibly bought some carrots. 
Our next shop was the VinMart supermarket where the girl on the reduced veg and fruit weighing machine counter had started to recognise me and pointed out the pumpkin which I got as well as a selection of other cheap produce. I didn’t manage to get everything on the shopping list but I still got quite a few things before putting our stuff in the car then joining Bich at QB Casa cafe.

For those of you who do like a good shopping list and a nosey here’s what I bought and the cost in dong:

Organic Shop
4 carrots 14,310
500g popcorn kernels 124,000

Total spent 138,310vnd (£4.42)

VinMart Supermarket
1 pack of pumpkin 2,778
1 pack of pumpkin 2,999
1 pack of white cabbage 5,472
1 can of soda water 6,500
1 baguette 9,500
1 pack of broccoli 15,232
1 can of coconut milk 16,000
2 cans of diet coke 19,000
2 packs of pineapple 23,000
Washing up liquid 23,000
1 jar of tomato pasta sauce 27,000
500g of penne pasta 30,000

Total spent 180,481vnd (£5.76)

It wasn’t a thorough shopping trip but interestingly I didn’t buy any item that was over £1 in VinMart, do you think you could do that in your local supermarket and get most things for the week? What did I miss?

After shopping, Veronika, who likes a coffee in a morning, had taken herself off to the Vinpearl Hotel reception for a cappuccino, when she saw we were all in QB Casa she came over and ordered another cappuccino and found not only was it cheaper but it was better! Bich had ordered steak and chips for her breakfast so I decided to have the same, and I also ordered a fresh coconut. I was thoroughly impressed with my meal, the service was good even though the staff are a bit shy and not too confident speaking English, but that didn’t matter to me. I paid 200,000vnd (£6.40) for steak, chips, a warm baguette and veg, a fresh coconut, water and included a tip, I was very full and left there thinking I would definitely go again.

When we got in I popped my shopping away and realised I still had a small amount of almond milk left so I made myself a dairy free white russian to have with some gluten and dairy free chocolate brownie. My eczema on my face was still bad so I avoided putting my face in the water as much as possible while swimming and didn’t stay in too long. I watched some Netflix and made some popcorn, I had some of the old kernels left and when I popped the new and old together it was clear to see the organic shop was much better quality so I didn’t feel so bad for spending too much on it – it still works out better than crisps.
After dinner, of a chicken sandwich, I found a cockroach in the bathroom and was a bit anxious about trying to get it as they are usually indestructible (this one was massive and extremely fast) but I sprayed it with Mosfly before bed and hoped it would be dead when I got up.

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