Anyone that lives outside of their home country knows that trips back home means shopping for all of the things that you have missed and/or are not available in your country of residence. Here is [part of] my U.S. shopping list for my trip to Chicago next week:

Crest Whitestrips

Crest Whitestrips

Whitening products are extremely rare in Germany, and Crest Whitestrips in particular are nonexistent. So, these are always a must-buy whenever Marco and I travel to the U.S.
Carrot Cake Mix
Carrot Cake
As a kid, my birthday cakes were always carrot. I never actually missed carrot cake since I have been living in Germany, but after purchasing something called Möhrenkuchen (carrot cake) at a German bakery recently and being incredibly disappointed with how dissimilar it was to American carrot cakes, I have a serious craving.
Yankee Candles
Yankee Candle Votives

Ever since I brought a ridiculous amount of Yankee Candles home in my Christmas USA haul, I have become addicted. Marco is concerned that breathing in all the fumes isn’t particularly good for the health, but I just love having nice warm scents swirling throughout our apartment all the time. Also, Yankee Candles are available in Germany (I have ordered them online from here, and see them occassionally in Müller), but they are much more expensive. So, we will definitely be bringing back a few votives.
Salty popcorn
Salty popcorn is very difficult to find in Germany (the Germans like their popcorn sweet). I do find salty microwave popcorn occasionally, but my source is not very realiable. Therefore, I would like to pick up at least one box when I am at home (maybe with movie theater butter… mmm). I have also begun just making it on the stove with plain popcorn seeds, but it always seems to be missing something (even after adding lots of butter and salt). So, I think I will also pick up some kind of popcorn seasoning. Oh, I also need a bag of cheese popcorn!
Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract

Instead of a liquid extract, it is most common to use a sugar that is infused with vanilla aroma when baking in Germany (unless you are hardcore and buy the actual vanilla pods). Since I have been getting a little more into baking lately, I am thinking about bringing a small bottle of vanilla extract back with me.
Peanut Butter Candy
Reeses & other peanut butter candy
This one is so obvious for my friends, family, and frequent readers of my blog that I don’t even think it is necessary to say more.

Fellow expats: what do you always purchase when you visit your home country?
Non-expats: what would you miss most if you moved abroad?