Re:Anyone else do this?
Like Kaszeta, I do this on international trips. I have done some speaking abroad for the State Department, and I love walking around near my hotel to find the local supermarkets. In some places, like Rwanda or Azerbaijan, we're talking small mom-and-pop-type places. In Asian cities like Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, there are usually large supermarkets that are part of an international chain, like Tops, in the huge shopping centers near Western hotels, and they carry a wide variety of food, both domestic and upscale imported. I often buy bottled water there (much cheaper than using the minibar in the hotel, or even the hotel gift shop), as well as other foods (cookies, crackers, cheese) to sustain me, especially when I have a full schedule with little time to go out to eat for dinner.
And the great thing is that there's no language barrier at self-serve markets.