Groceries are one of the biggest daily expenses for most people and you might be wondering how much it will cost to do your weekly shopping in Portugal. Most people assume it will be cheaper – after all, wages are lower in Portugal – but it often depends on where you are from. Groceries are much cheaper than in the US, but that’s not necessarily the case when you compare grocery costs in the UK or other European countries.
Making this kind of comparison is extremely difficult and fraught with pitfalls, such as:
- Prices are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change
- It was not always possible to find an identical product in each of the shops
- Sizing differed (US products were generally larger and priced by the pound or ounce rather than the kilo) and equivalent prices often had to be calculated manually
- US prices are based on costs in Colorado, but may be different in other US states
- Reduced prices or loyalty cards have not been taken into account
- Prices are taken from Continente (Portugal), Tesco (UK) and Walmart (US) simply because they are the main stores in each country, but you can normally shop elsewhere. In Portugal, for example, Aldi and Lidl are often cheaper
- If you move to Madeira or the Azores, where large supermarkets are less common, your grocery costs will likely be higher
With all that in mind, however, this article will hopefully give you a better idea of how much shopping in Portugal costs.
Examples of grocery prices
|Mainland (PT)||Tesco (UK)||Walmart (US)|
|Green pepper (individual)||€0.75||£0.48||$0.88|
|House brand chopped tomatoes||€0.89||£0.45||$0.88|
|6 large eggs||€1.49||£1.59||$2.74|
|Heinz Top Down Ketchup 460g||2,39 €||£2.80||$3.97|
|Self-rising white flour 1 kg||€0.89||£0.53||$1.31|
|Store brand olive oil 1 liter||€4.39||£4.25||$6.33|
|Chicken breast (price per kg)||€6.49||£6.07||$6.48|
|Kellog’s Corn Flakes 500 G||€3.99||£1.99||$4.28|
|Store brand Salted Butter 250g||€1.89||£1.99||$3.52|
|House brand crispy peanut butter (price per kg)||€6.29||£3.00||$3.40|
|Canned red beans 400 g||€0.74||£0.33||$0.78|
|Total||€31.26||£24.57 (€28.59)||$39.79 (€38.4)|
While this comparison is by no means a conclusion, it confirms what many expats are likely to experience: those coming from the UK will find grocery prices slightly higher while those coming from the US will find them lower. United. These are Walmart prices: if you shop at other stores like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, you’ll notice a much bigger price difference. However, you won’t necessarily be comparing like-for-like products, as most products in Portuguese supermarkets are not organic (although due to EU laws they are often produced to higher standards than non-organic products). similar in the United States).
While purchase costs often increase for those coming from the UK, the UK is not necessarily representative of all of Europe. Those moving to Portugal from other European countries may not notice a significant difference.
Once you start adding toiletries, brand name household products and imported products, the cost of a weekly store in Portugal increases. If you stick to basics, products made in Portugal and the type of products that the Portuguese buy, you will keep your weekly budget low.
One area where it was difficult to compare was the cost of wine. This is also an area where Portugal is significantly cheaper than the UK or the US and where the quality of cheap wine is much better. €5 is often enough for a perfectly drinkable bottle of wine. The same cannot usually be said for wine in the UK or the US.
The quality, selection and availability of fish and seafood in Portugal is also much higher than in other countries. It would not be fair to compare a piece of fresh salmon from a Portuguese supermarket with a vacuum-sealed piece of several days old from a supermarket in another country.
What is clear, however, is that groceries in Portugal are not much cheaper. Many people assume that since wages are lower here – in 2020 the average Portuguese gross annual salary was €18,396 compared to €59,981 in the US and €40,753 in the UK. https://www.ine.pt/xportal/xmain?xpid=INE&xpgid=ine_destaques&DESTAQUESdest_boui=458529551&DESTAQUESmodo=2&xlang=pt– that the cost of food will be proportionally lower.
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