In Colombia there are thousands of small neighborhood tiendas where you can save money on groceries compared to shopping at Exito or larger grocery stores.

The easiest way to grocery shop in Medellín is to go to a big store like Exito or Jumbo where you can buy everything. But this won’t be the cheapest option. By smart shopping you can easily save over 30 percent compared to the prices at Exito or Jumbo.

We previously provided a guide to grocery shopping in Medellín.  We also looked at the discount stores where you can save money on groceries compared to shopping at Exito or Jumbo including:

We now look at shopping at the small neighborhood tiendas in Medellín and another cities in Colombia where you can also save money on groceries.

A small neighborhood tienda in Sabaneta selling groceries

A small neighborhood tienda in Sabaneta selling groceries

Neighborhood Tiendas in Colombia

In Medellín and other cities and towns in Colombia there are literally thousands of small neighborhood tiendas (stores) selling groceries.

Many of these small stores are family owned and they won’t have as big as a selection as found in the large grocery stores like Exito, Jumbo or Carulla.

However, in these small shops you can find selections of fruits and vegetables, eggs, bread, drinks, rice, milk, cheese and other dairy products, meats, snacks, oils, many other staples, cleaning products, and many other things found at larger grocery stores.

Inside a tienda, rice, sugar, oils and many other products

Inside a tienda, rice, sugar, oils and many other products

Also, some of these small shops offer domicillio (delivery) services. So, you can get groceries delivered from your local tienda.

Inside a small neighborhood tienda

Inside a small neighborhood tienda

In addition, you can find small tiendas selling many other products including clothing, cell phones, kitchen items and many other products.

Dairy products and meats in a neighborhood tienda

Dairy products and meats in a neighborhood tienda

Where Can You Find Tiendas Selling Groceries?

In most neighborhoods in Medellín and in other cities and towns in Colombia, you can find many of these small tiendas selling groceries, sometime several on the same block. These small tiendas are conveniently located.

For example, where we live Sabaneta there are four small neighborhood tiendas selling groceries within a block from our casa (house).

A small tienda selling groceries in Sabaneta that is also a cafe

A small tienda selling groceries in Sabaneta that is also a cafe

So, these small neighborhood stores selling groceries act like an extended pantry for us. When we need something, we can walk a block and buy what we need – very convenient.

Also, in our experience, one benefit of most of these small tiendas is they won’t ask for you cedula or ID on Pico y Cedula days. So, you can go shopping any day of the week. In larger grocery stores like Exito and Jumbo they will ask for your ID on Pico y Cedula days, so you are restricted.

However, not all neighborhoods have these small neighborhood grocery stores. For example, in the upscale area of El Poblado in Medellín, you won’t find many of these small neighborhood tiendas.

How Much Can You Save?

In general prices in these small neighborhood stores are less than what you will find at large grocery stores like Exito or Jumbo.

Prices in neighborhood tiendas tend to be about 10 percent to over 30 percent lower, depending on the item. For example, eggs we purchase in a local tienda are about 20 percent cheaper than at Exito.

One of many small tiendas selling groceries in Sabaneta

One of many small tiendas selling groceries in Sabaneta

The Bottom Line: Shopping at Tiendas in Colombia to Save Money on Groceries

Smaller neighborhood tiendas selling groceries tend to have lower prices than in Exito and larger grocery stores.

So, you can save money and while having the convenience of shopping at a neighborhood tienda. However, you won’t find the selection that you can find in larger grocery store.

The bottom line is the easiest way to grocery shop in Medellín is to go to a big store like Exito or Jumbo where you can buy everything. But this won’t be the cheapest option.

We have a guide to grocery shopping in Medellín showing how you can save money on groceries.

If you shop at neighborhood tiendas you can save money, have convenience and support small businesses.

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