05 March 2010

food prices

For the curious, and those who've asked how expensive food is here, I've itemized our two shopping trips (from last weekend) below. As far as cost of living, food is the least expensive, comparatively speaking. It's everything else that's expensive.

Shopping at store in city centre:
1381 roubles (about $46)

  • 4 litres 2.5% milk (Finnish & fresh)
  • brown sourdough-ish bread
  • 4 seeded rolls
  • 1 package (4 rolls) loo roll
  • 1 box (less than 1 liter) juice
  • 4 yogurts
  • 7 mandarins
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 one-liter bottles Coke
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 cans white beans (brand that we don't like, but that's all they had)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • 6 loose packets instant oatmeal (sold as impulse items along side the chocolate and dried fish) (*Lexi refused to eat it.)
  • cheese
  • rice (that we don't like, but that's all they had)
  • 1 package Zara spaghetti
  • 1 package Zara small shells

Big grocery store stock-up:
8024 roubles ($268) (We usually spend about $125/week.)
  • 3 packages boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 packages turkey "medallions" (which means random chunks, but I'll grind it anyway and it's white meat--fyi, turkey is expensive and about to go "out of season")
  • frozen strawberries
  • 2 200g packages (French) butter
  • 4 packages cheddar cheese (expensive--and no telling if it's mild or sharp until it's open)
  • 3 liters skimmed milk (Finnish & fresh)
  • 12 yogurts
  • 2 bags potatoes (French)
  • cherry tomatoes (Argentina)
  • strawberries (Argentina--and wrapped in plastic so you can't see that half of them are...fuzzy. But, Lexi loves strawberries, so I got them knowing they'd never all be eatable. I was right.)
  • 2 bottles ketchup
  • 2 lettuce plants
  • 2 containers humus
  • 2 cans white beans (Spain--our favorites after the ones that are no longer available)
  • 2 packages flat bread
  • 1 loaf "grandmother's" bread
  • 2 peppers, orange and yellow
  • baby cucumbers
  • carrots
  • 3 granny smith apples
  • beet & fish salad (selected by Lexi--usually she likes this but doesn't this time)
  • carrot salad (selected by Lexi--and no surprise she didn't like it as she's still anti-carrot)
  • 2 bottles laundry detergent (big--30 loads each) (UK)
  • 1 bottle fabric softener (UK)
  • 1 bottle dish soap (UK)
  • 1 bag cat littler (UK)
  • 2 tubes Aquafresh kids
  • 3 bottles Colgate Plax
  • 5 boxes instant oatmeal (Ukraine--Axa brand, Dawn--and I say Aha! every time we eat it)
  • 1 box cereal
  • 2 packages rice (that we like)
  • 2 packages Barilla fusilli
  • 2 packages Barilla spaghetinni
  • 4 packages (4 rolls each) loo roll


julian said...

I guess that seems about right...I know that when ever I was in Moscow, the thing I spent a lot of money on was CocaCola Lite...
And I drink it like water.

What things are you talking about that are really expensive? Cell phones? Clothes?

I was in Guum? Goom? GUM, and since AugustRose's feet were twice the size of the several pairs of shoes I got her, I decided to buy her some in Russia like I did Anna.
We went to a store and I found some gold tacky mess shoes that I adored!!!!! They were over 200 hundred dollars. She wore snow boots. That belonged to her 4 year old sister instead!!

Tina in CT said...


We normal people cannot afford GUM to say in the least. When we were there in Dec. walking through, we spotted a small children's store with 2 of the most beautiful girls' jumpers. Massive embroidery and equally massive price $1,000 US Dollars! Can you imagine anyone stupid enough to buy something like that (or having the money to).

After having been grocery shopping with my daughter, I know how expensive food is. What she bought at the fresh veggie booth in the marketplace almost knocked me over as I think it was around $125. Granted we had a lot but wow.

Holly said...

Anti-carrot people rock. :) I knew I liked Lexi!

kate said...

You're right, Tina. Produce is extremely expensive...and is often damaged and doesn't last long.

And parmesan? It's about $10 a wedge.

Julianne, everything else. And not only is it expensive, it's shoddy. Clothes, housing, electronics (a small cd player that is about $20 in the US is $65 here--if you can find it), etc.

Elizabeth said...

I find the food here extremely expensive! At least compared to a few years ago. Maybe not compared to in the States, but $125 a week x 4 weeks=$500, which I think is close to the average monthly salary!

Rent and transportation are pretty expensive too, though. And I guess you could get by on oatmeal if necessary, but you can't really avoid paying rent.

Barb said...

It makes me smile to see that we have the same milk in our fridges:->

Unknown said...

We seem to be spending the same amt. here that we spend at home (generally) weekly, but we get a lot less...and fewer things that any of us really like :)

Went to a gourmet grocery store the other day here in Irkutsk: Maple Syrup = $20 (about 570r). Celery about $10, small bag of pretzels $7, block of sharp cheddar cheese about $10. Admittedly, we got the cheese and pretzels...I have needs ya know! LOL!

Unknown said...

oh ya, and on the produce - make friends with a garden. That is what we've done, and have a HUGE supply of potatoes, carrots, celery, home made salsa, pickles - all SO GOOD we can't stop eating them...and the best part FREE (although I plan on reimbursing her for some of her hard work!)

Lindy D. said...

Wow, you are such a disciplined grocery shopper. No cookies, potato chips or ice cream, just Coke. Very impressive.

How frustrating that the quality of food is not good. When I visited St. Petersburg, I was on a cruise ship and we ate all of our meals on board. Just as well, I guess.

kate said...

Elizabeth, I agree that food is expensive here. I just think it's the least of the daily living expenses.

The sad part is, the shops in the centre are MORE expensive than the big supermarkets. (Don't you think?) So, if you don't have a car, you're paying even MORE than I am.

J. said...

We always felt groceries in Angarsk to were comparable to prices in the US, if not slightly cheaper. YOu don't of course get the variety you have there - but it seems each trip we made the variety expanded. Never found fresh strawberries though - bummer!

After awhile you get used to the food and there were LOTS of things we absolutely LOVED - and now miss~!

Annie said...

I read this but didn't comment. Then I was at the store and found myself wondering what you do with those white beans? I don't believe I have ever bought any.