What I Buy In The States


About once a year I travel back to the states, with half empty suitcases. Usually I have my handy-dandy list of things I want to take back home to Austria, but for the most part it’s been boiled down to a science. The things I bring back are either completely unavailable in Austria (or at a ridiculous price) or the quality from the states is just better.

Without further ado, my list

1. ) Tapatio hot sauce.

(photo credit: https://www.dollartree.com/Tapatio-Hot-Sauce-10-oz-Bottles/p309857/index.pro  )

I’m pretty sure this doesn’t even need an explanation, but whatever. I load up on Tapatio because it is my all time favourite hot sauce because it’s cheap and tasty. The only ‘hot sauce’ I’ve been able to find in Austria is either Tabasco (HA!), some insane-burn-your-tongue-off sauce from the Turkish markets, or the wannabe hot sauce the Germans try to pass off as “mexican.” This time around I bought two large bottles, and will be hiding one from my husband who doesn’t appreciate real hot sauce.

2.) Starbucks VIA instant coffee sachets

(photo credit: http://intl.target.com/p/starbucks-174-via-colombian-medium-roast-instant-coffee-8ct/-/A-12190967 )

Being from Washington state, Starbucks coffee is basically a nucleotide in my DNA. (I also had a brief stint working for them.) While we DO have Starbucks in Austria in Vienna and Salzburg, those two cities are just too far for me to get my typical double tall coconut milk latte. These little handy sachets are 24 for ten dollars at Costco, and I whip them out when the homesickness is rearing it’s ugly head.

3.)  500 Ibuprofen tablets

(Photo credit: http://www.discounthealthproducts.co.uk/ibuprofen_200mg.htm)

This is just me being silly, but I would rather fly to the United States to buy ibuprofen in a large package than walk down the street to the pharmacy and get a small pack of paracetamol for the same price. #convienceofstayinghome

4.) Carters footie pyjamas

(Photo credit: https://www.macys.com/shop/kids-clothes/carters-baby-clothes/Kids_apparel_type/Pajamas?id=16342 )

Obvs these are not for me, but for Lily. We can totally get footie pyjamas in Austria but I’ve only ever been able to find the ones with buttons that allow Lily to rip off the suit in the middle of the night. Also, Carters hold through tons of washes,  the sizing allows her to grow into the suit without any problem and they are so damn adorable. Always grab about three or four different ones depending on what season is coming up at home.

5.) Lawrys seasoned salt

(Photo credit: https://www.amazon.com/Lawrys-Seasoned-Salt-40-oz/dp/B0087ASM6E)

This cheap salt is my favourite spice in the kitchen, and despite my feeble attempts to recreate it, it’s always fallen short of the real thing. It pairs best with potatoes and olive oil.

6.) The eyebrow kit from ELF

(Photo credit: https://www.elfcosmetics.com/p/eyebrow-kit)

Makeup lover with a Dior taste on an ELF budget. Need I say more? This little kit keeps my brows looking fleek all day. No, seriously, if you’re on a budget but want to keep your brows looking fly- this is your new $3 best friend.

7.) Victoria Secret bras

(Photo credit: https://www.brandsoftheworld.com/logo/victorias-secret-0)

Get measured, get new bras. Everyone wins. When you’re a fan, you’re a fan. I know they are the best quality bras or all the special, but they are predictable and that is worth a lot to me when it comes to something so intimate.

8.) American Eagle Jeans

(Photo credit: https://www.ae.com/women-jeans/web/s-cat/6430042?cm=sAT-cEUR)

Same thing like the bras, the jeans hold and I always manage to get on the “Buy one get second pair half off” sale. I like that I can buy two pairs of jeans that will last me all year for around sixty dollars. It’s a deal. Also since having a c-section, I can only wear high waisted pants and let’s face it- though this brand is meant for teenagers, they make amazingly comfortable jeans.

So there you have it! The half of my American MUST buys.  Any other expats out there who have a list similar to this for when they head home? Or people who live away from their home in another state, I would love to hear what you guys take with you!




  1. Haha, love this Mackenzie! Looks like my suitcase when I travel back to South Africa. Starbucks Via, chili powder, taco seasoning, ranch dressing, Victoria’s Secret bras and underwear are all regulars in my suitcase. And sometimes I sneak in some corn tortillas.

    1. Lol! I’m glad I’m not the only one “smuggling” the goods in! Always worried that customs agents will stop me and inspect my bag. Corn tortillas are a good idea, next time I’ll have to bring some. Just brought back 1.5 pounds of chipotle powder.

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