We have all heard the myth that the cost of food in the West is even cheaper than food in Romania and East Europe, despite the fact that salaries are about 4 times higher than in the East Europe. How much does food cost in England UK? Living in UK England and seeing every day the prices in pounds I could never figure it out, so I decided to make a detailed comparison.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to ask for any receipts from folks back home, today we have online groceries shops in both countries. I compared the same food products from 2 large chain stores, respectively Mega Image in Romania, and ASDA in UK England. We went for products of medium quality or cheaper lower end, because let’s be serious, both the Romanian and the English do this. On the below list we have on the left side the online shopping cart from England with the prices of the products in British Pounds with their converted values into Romanian Lei currency below (at the exchange rate of the day: 1 GBP pound = 5.43 Lei), and on the right side the same products (or their similar equivalent in terms of weight and quality) with their price in Romanian Lei and their converted values into British Pounds to see the difference.
Keep in mind, that the average monthly NET salary in Romania is according to statistics 3189 Lei or 587 pounds GBP – (I find this hard to believe this, I know very few people who earn so much NET salary in Romania). And in the UK England the average monthly NET salary is somewhere around 2000 GBP or 10860 Lei (but this is also very hard to believe when you look at the wages in a city like Hull where we are now). * There is also a table with the summary of prices below pictures. [click on the picture to enlarge]
We can see so far that there is a noticeable price difference at alcohol products. The same bottle of Vodka costs 3.4 GBP more in England. Pringles was on sale so I won’t judge it, but instead we see that the same bag of Lays Sensations (Walkers in UK) costs 0.61 GBP more in England.
Instead, we have a surprise when look at the cabanos smoky sausages: the price is exactly the same in the two countries, despite the fact that wages in the UK are 4 times higher than Romania, and pretty much all the cabanos sausages in England are imported from Eastern Europe. We find almost the same price for pasta, but rice costs almost double in England. A bottle of plain water costs the same in both countries, and in Romania a packet of coffee costs the same as in the United Kingdom. Let’s move on to meat, beer and vegetables. [click on the picture to enlarge]
We notice that the kilogram of pork costs exactly the same in the two countries. A kilogram of beef, on the other hand, costs twice as much in UK than in Romania. A can of domestic production beer costs significantly more in England, but not so much if we think of consumption units (Romania 1 Leu, England 1 Pound). Imported beer however, costs the same in both countries. For potatoes, we have another unpleasant surprise for Romania: we pay the same price per kilogram as consumers in England! Let’s see some more vegetables, bread and the total. [click on the picture to enlarge]
Again we notice that vegetables such as onions and tomatoes cost about the same in Romania and England. Exotic fruits vary, but basic items such as cheese or milk cost almost the same. We find a price difference only for eggs, that cost in Romania only half compared to England. Sliced bread however, has the same price in Romania and the United Kingdom.
We see at the end that our British shopping cart costs 30% more, that is 24.5 GBP more than the Romanian one. But if we look at the products we see that the difference is caused exclusively due to alcoholic beverages, snacks, sweets and beef meat. If we cut these items, we have a difference in the price of basic food items basket of only 4.8 pounds between the two countries. Here is the difference between the two lists.
And now the list of basic food items only:
So how much does food cost in England UK? Is the myth true that food is cheaper in the West? Well certainly not, but it does costs about the same as though. Taking into account the salaries, the difference in purchasing power is huge. What do you think about this situation, does it seem right to you? If you have comments or additional questions, I am waiting for you in the comments or message section on the GarciaCalavera.com fb page. If you like the page please drop a like and share the article to help others in this situation.
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