Now, I'd like to talk about something that I'm really familiar with in the US of A:
Here in Korealand we have three main ways to buy food to cook at home: a Mart, a Mom and Pop Shop, and a Convenience Store.
Convenience stores are small, some are chains and some are Mom and Pop. These are basically the same as convenience stores in the US of A, minus the usually attached gas station. You can buy a few essentials, but most of the food there is ready to eat or only in need of a microwave (which is almost always found in the store). I have two of these within a block of my apartment.
Mom and Pop shops are sort of like what some of my older readers remember from their childhood. They have a good variety of food, but not a huge selection. Also, there's no bakery, deli, or fresh meat and seafood. Casey has one behind his apartment (which took him almost 6 months to realize).
The main place to get your food here though is a Mart. There are three main Marts here in Korealand:
Lotte Mart - Like Wal-Mart, they have their hands in EVERYTHING in Korealand.
E-Mart - Feels more like a US of A Wal-Mart, but they haven't really diversified like Lotte has.
HomePlus - Owned by the UK company, Tesco. They have a good variety of foreign and local goods.
Lotte Mart is one I go to the most since there's one located on B1 of City 7. They carry everything you might find in a Wal-Mart. From fresh baked bread to microwaves. It's been really convenient to have one on my walk home from work.
E-Mart is downtown and a not too long bike ride away. They're bigger than Lotte Mart and carry more things, they even have an okay organic section. I went there several times when I first got here, but tend to avoid it now.
HomePlus is located a short bike ride away, right next to the Changwon Bus Terminal. It's just as big as E-Mart and tends to have more foreign products (only place I've found Goldfish). HomePlus is usually where I shop for things I can't find at Lotte Mart. It's much closer to my house then E-Mart and the public transportation there and back is more convenient and less crowded than it is to E-Mart.
So, there's the low-down on grocery stores in Korealand. I have more to say about the differences between Korean grocery stores and American grocery stores, but I'll save that for another post.