So far I've been staying at my dad's place in Lomonocov and also done a lot of eating at my babuska's place. That's why the first time I really tried to do grocery shopping was today, and can say it wasn't quite the same as in Finland.
I've already noticed that a russian salad isn't really a salad since it doesn't have any lettuce in it. Reason could be explained by the shortage of lettuce, or just bad quality. In Finland you're quite used to bying the cheapest you find, right, because the quality should at least be eatable. Here though it's actually quite common sense not to go for the cheapest alternative. Comsuming the cheapest usually means (for a foreigner at least) a bad case of diarrea or just the worst taste imaginable. So I don't know, but I just go for the pricier stuff and also the Finnish stuff. Russians tend to favour especially Finnish butter and milk products. I also bought Valio cheese and butter for myself. (As for margarine, it's not really popular here in Russia, since during the Soviet times the quality was really terrible. So no one really buys margarine, it's usually butter or just nothing on the bread)
Also, Bellarussian products are preferred here. There's a food chain dedicated only for Bellarussian meat and milk products, since in Russia equivalents tend to be quite unreliable. I also saw a Bellarussian beaty store one day, so I think everything imported there is concidered to have higher quality.
Though the quality in general is quite poor the prices can be pretty much the Finnish level. Or maybe I just went to the wrong grocery store, because my one bag of chai and butter etc bread cost 553 rub. Which is something like 15 euros. I'm guessing it's only the alcohol and cigaretters that's cheap in here.
Obviously you can't drink the tab water (though the water should be drinkable when it leaves from the water department) and it's actually because of the pipes. They haven't been renovated since God knows when (the Sixties maybe?) and contains all kinds of bacteria and heavy metals. I've been drinking the tab water only boiled with tea or insant coffee (another hit in Russia: insant coffee) and so far I'm alive. Boiling can kill the bacteria but not the heavy metals so I don't know how healthy that is, especially for the locals who drink it all the time boiled. Even when taking a shower the water smells horribly penicilin. Prescription drugs in your water, oh how nice!
Otherwise I have no idea what I'll be eating here for the next five months. You should buy all the green stuff from the street where it's fresh and the quality's good as well, but not with my russian skills! Majonnaise is reaaally popular here, could be my thing (not). You really have to think what you're buyng since the milk can easily be out of date, like everything else too. I found a pile of a week-old crab salads today, while a girl next to me was carefully picking the best eggs to her basket. I have no friggin' idea how to tell a good egg from a bad one, so I'm screwd.
Finally I came home with (and these were the only safe things I could buy really) a bag of pasta (russian, not tried yet) smetana (obviously), cheese (Finnish, expensive), Margarine ( looks like Flora, but has a different name on it and is made in Tsekkoslovakia), butter (Finnish), tea, 5l of water, pickles ( one of the only things in Russia besides smetana and Borsh-soup you can really rely on imo) , Borsh, rye bread ( Finnish bread it's called here) and really delicious cranberry juice. Did try to buy cucumber (looks totally weird here) but since I didn't know which button to hit on the scale I gave up. Did contemplate on asking help but my russian failed me again. hehehe.
Ps. Hate my network. I have a portable net (mokkula) which is totally crappy. They have a wi-fi here where I'm living, but unfortunately the guy who knows the password is currently in.... CHINA. nice.