No matter where a family lives, groceries are a regular expense. How much produce and household essentials cost varies from country to country based on the local economy and what’s in demand.
During the pandemic, we saw hand soap and hand sanitizer fly off the shelves, but now manufacturers have adjusted and those aren’t quite the rarities they were before. However, essentials stay the same. We took a look at the price of a carton of eggs, a pound of boneless chicken breast, 16 ounces of local cheese, a liter of milk, two pounds of potatoes, two pounds of apples, and two pounds of tomatoes.
Based on how much those staples are valued at internationally, here’s a look at the cost of groceries around the world.
Most Expensive: Switzerland
Basket of essentials cost: $46.90
The cost of living in Switzerland is quite expensive, so it makes sense groceries would be as well. A one-bedroom apartment in the country costs the equivalent of about $1,844 on average. Swiss cities Zurich and Geneva were all ranked among the world’s 10 most expensive places. On the flip side, the average wage is comparably high, coming in at about the equivalent of $5,858 per month.
Basket of essentials cost: $34.30
In the East African country of Djibouti, you’ll spend $372 just on utilities in a studio every month. That’s compared with $148 in the United States.
Basket of essentials cost: $31.56
You’ll find groceries less expensive in Iceland than in Switzerland. Iceland is the third-most expensive country in the world to live in. Regulations on farming contribute to the high cost of living, and specifically high grocery prices. All farm equipment is imported, as are many foods, which will both be reflected in food purchase costs.
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Basket of essentials cost: $22.01
A loaf of bread is only $1.18 on average, but cheese will cost upwards of $5. Compared to Switzerland, it’s much cheaper to live in Greece. A one-bedroom apartment in the center of Athens will cost you about $375 per month on average.
Basket of essentials cost: $18.08
The average daily yearly salary in Cambodia is only $7,000.The reason for the high grocery costs have to do with a decline in trade and the rising prices of imports over the years. Cambodia spends nearly $1 billion annually to import meat such as pork, chicken and duck, plus vegetables from Thailand, Vietnam and China.
Basket of essentials cost: $12.93
Shopping for groceries in Moldova is quite cheap. A loaf of bread costs $0.25, and two pounds of apples will run about $0.72.
Basket of essentials cost: $11.34
A loaf of bread is only $0.41 in Paraguay. In Asunción, the largest city in Paraguay, a one-bedroom apartment in the city starts at $256, while a three-bedroom apartment in the city starts at $657. The average monthly salary in Asunción is $360; so, although $11.34 is cheap in comparison to the United States, it’s still a chunk of a Paraguay worker’s monthly check.
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