Everyday Shopping in Russia
In general it is easy to spend money for shopping in Russia, not only in its capital, but in any other city. It seems like stops are scattered all around Russian cities. For example, as opposed to the U.S.A., in Russia you do not need to drive anywhere in order to buy some essential food or in some cases even clothes – most stores are located inside of the urban residential areas, right in front of people's houses. There are various groceries, bakeries, dairies, etc. So food shopping in Russia is usually done right in the neighborhood. If you are lucky, you may even live next to a small food market where you will find anything you need.
However when it comes to shopping for clothes the best thing is to do it in Russian clothes markets (or as they call them “flea markets”), which are less widespread but still always available. There are small stores that sell clothes in residential areas. However, they are either second-hand stores, specialty clothing shops or very expensive stores selling designer clothes. That is why common people prefer shopping in Russia at flea markets, which sell almost everything one can be looking for (not only clothes) at moderate prices.
Recent tendencies and foreign influence is bringing many-storeyed shopping malls and huge (by Russian standards) supermarkets to Russian cities. However, they are a real novelty for Russian people in some cities because people are not used to “supermarket-sized” shopping in Russia. They are not used to walking with big shopping carts and buying large amounts of food. With small stores so well-spread and closely located to their homes, Russians prefer buying little amount of food every day for one day, instead of buying it to keep it stored. Another peculiarity is that prices at new, big and shiny shopping malls are much higher than at markets and little stores, that is why not all Russian people may afford to shop there.
If you are a foreigner who wants to try shopping in Russia, you need to know Russian currency and how to exchange it. Dollars and any other currencies are not accepted in Russian stores.