If you don’t know how to cook, it’s a great time to learn! Give yourself a few hours to become acquainted with the supermarkets, corner stores, and your local fruit/vegetable stand. These stands offer the most affordable food items in Beer Sheva. Unlike in the States, fresh produce in Israel is cheap and packaged goods are expensive. You can walk away with bags of produce for the same price as a box of cereal. The Shuk (central market) can be fun to explore, it has the best prices on fruits and vegetables, and absorbing all the noises and smells and yelling in Hebrew, Arabic and Russian is a quintessential Beer Sheva cultural experience.
You might find it tricky in the beginning to learn where you can track down certain items. The Israeli liaisons will take you to a major grocery store during orientation and help you navigate the store. You might feel compelled to do a lot of shopping right away, but it might be easier to carry heavy or perishable things home from your local store. Use the trip to look for things you want and if you have trouble finding something, the liaisons can help. The big supermarkets are also convenient for cheap housewares (towels, etc.) that you may not have carried to Israel.

Stores carry most of the same food items that you have back home, but sometimes it’s hard to decipher the packaging and choose amongst the many brands (particularly for dairy), so be prepared for some trial-and-error. Some examples of prior confusion include: sour cream sold in yogurt containers, cottage cheese vs white cheese, milk sold in bags, banana milk is not egg nog, soy meat, strawberry marshmallows only (no white ones), weird chocolate chips, lack of baking chocolate, and things you didn’t know you had to rehydrate.

Seasonal foods: Unlike in the States, sometimes you’ll find items only when they actually grow.
Summer to Fall: mango, grapes, plums, figs, cherries, watermelon, melon, pomegranates
Fall to Winter: squash, citrus, pomelos, apples, pears, sweet potato, pomegranates, broccoli
Winter to Spring: strawberries, citrus, zucchini
Spring to Summer: peaches, nectarine, citrus, zucchini, cherries, apricots, watermelon

Supermarkets: All supermarkets are Kosher except Tiv Ta’am. Of the markets listed here, most MSIH students prefer Eden Teva, Tiv Ta’am, and Supersal Deal.

Supersal - The cheapest. Not always best selection but good enough. Also called Shufersal:
‘Supersal Deal’ - Rager (near Courthouse/Mall) is the cheapest with a wide range of items, usually the busiest, and variable quality produce - long lines. People will try to cut in front of you, be prepared.
“Shufersal G” - Directly next to the main train station
HaOrgim zone- Off Sderot Ben Gurion, (~1 km southeast of the Sport Center) has a cheese and meat counter, much less busy

Mega - Reliable and good quality kosher supermarket. Four locations:
The BIG
“Mega-Bul” - Just past the HaOrgim/Ben Gurion Supersal (see above)
“Mega Ba’Ir” - In the Merkaz Oren in Dalet, off Rager

Tiv Ta’am- This is an expensive, non-kosher market, open 7 days a week - has a large variety of international items you won’t find elsewhere, including non-kosher (pork, seafood, etc.) products, and bread and beer during Passover.
Two restaurants (Street Food and Churrasco) featuring great 35 NIS meals for students
On Derech Hevron, west of the BIG

Eden Teva Market – Newly opened, organic, “Whole Foods” style market with the widest range of international food items and great “bulk” buys. Very popular with MSIH.
More expensive but often higher quality. Lots of imports.
Quick serve restaurant inside (like Whole Foods)
Location: the BIG under the bowling alley/Interpool

Machsani HaShuk - notable for its locations:
Just past the Shuk on Beit Eshel St, can easily combine with a trip to the Shuk.
Also on HaOrgim with the other supermarkets

The Shuk - Central Market for all of your fresh food needs, including fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, honeycomb, cheese, meat, baked goods, etc.
Open every day except Shabbat
Definitely the cheapest option around, especially for fruits & veggies
Location: Between the Central Bus Station and the Old City

Delivery: Don’t want to carry all those bags home? At the checkout line, major stores will offer to deliver your purchase for a small fee, and some allow you to order online (in Hebrew) so you never have to leave home. Mega: 19NIS online, Supersal 28NIS (free over 750NIS purchase). When you’re at the cash register, ask for “mishlo’ach,” but know that the service is only offered until ~4 or 5 pm (earlier cutoffs on Shabbat and holiday eve). Online stores charge more for the food in addition to the delivery fee.