Monday, October 04, 2004

Comparison shopping

Today in one of my classes the topic of shopping came up. It was in the textbook, and for once it was dealt with in a fairly interesting way. There was a comparison of how much things cost in the U.S. and in Japan. (I would have liked to see other countries, but the textbook writer was American.)

I can't remember the details now, and I left the textbook at school, but I was thinking about this as I was coming home. I know that when I travel, one of the first things I do in a new country is to look for a local supermarket. Wandering around a foreign supermarket is an education in itself.

I thought it might be fun to do a wander around the blog supermarket. We have a lot of different nationalities here. When I popped down to the supermarket after work to buy tomatoes, I took notes in the vege and meat section. I didn't note many things, just a few. I thought it might be fun to compare how much we pay for things in different countries.

Here's my list. Sometimes different varieties of fruit or vege were more expensive. I chose the cheapest on offer if there was more than one option.

I have converted the amounts to Euro, UK pounds, US dollars, Canadian dollars, Australian dollars, Singapore dollars, Malaysian Ringgits, and New Zealand dollars. I did all the conversions through the Universal Currency Converter®. If I missed your country, I apologize.

6 apples: ¥600 (€4.38; UK£3;5.40; US$5.40; C$6.85; A$7.50; SGD$9.12; MYR20.55; NZ$8.08)
3 medium-sized onions: ¥98 (€0.72; UK£0.50; US$0.88; C$1.19; A$1.22; SGD$1.49; MYR3.36; NZ$1.32)
1 lemon: ¥78 (€0.57; UK£0.39; US$0.70; C$0.89; A$0.97; SGD$1.18; MYR2.67; NZ$1.05)
8 small potatoes: ¥168 (€1.23; UK£0.85; US$1.51; C$1.92; A$2.10; SGD$2.55; MYR5.75; NZ$2.26)
3 medium-sized carrots: ¥98 (€0.72; UK£0.50; US$0.88; C$1.19; A$1.22; SGD$1.49; MYR3.36; NZ$1.32)
1 head of lettuce: ¥148 (€1.08; UK£0.74; US$1.33; C$1.69; A$1.85; SGD$2.25; MYR5.07; NZ$1.99)

10 eggs: ¥179 (€1.31; UK£0.90; US$1.61; C$2.04; A$2.23; SGD$2.72; MYR6.12; NZ$2.41)
Steak: ¥690/100 grams (€5.05; UK£3.47; US$6.21; C$7.87; A$8.61; SGD$10.47; MYR23.60; NZ$9.29)
Chicken pieces: ¥80/100 grams (€0.58; UK£0.40; US$0.72; C$0.91; A$1.00; SGD$1.21; MYR2.74; NZ$1.07)
1 litre of milk: ¥230 (€1.68; UK£1.16; US$2.07; C$2.62; A$2.87; SGD$3.49; MYR7.87; NZ$3.09)
5 kilos of rice ¥2300 (€16.84; UK£11.58; US$20.71; C$26.27; A$28.78; SGD$34.92; MYR78.71; NZ$30.99)

I was getting hungry by that stage so that was all I noted. I also noted that 2 large onions were ¥168 and 6 brown free-range eggs were ¥279, but I already had the cheaper ones.

Sorry about the odd amounts. The fruit and veges are usually packed already, and don't display the weights or give you a choice. You have to buy how many are in the bag. But as you can see the bag is usually small, so this is not a problem. If you need more you get two bags.

Must remember to do coffee and tea next time. How could I have forgotten the staples?

What surprised you the most? (Besides rice, I mean, which I already know is phenomenally expensive here.)


tinyhands said...

The apples seem expensive, which I wouldn't expect. I'm not surprised that the steak is expensive but that is VERY expensive. The chicken is more than I would have thought, but it's nowhere near as outrageous as the steak. I don't buy much rice in bulk so the roughly $2/lb you're paying doesn't sound that much.

If you'd like prices from my market, I'll bring a notepad next time I shop.

Badaunt said...

I'm interested in comparisons, yes. I don't have a clue what things cost in the US.

Pkchukiss said...

6 apples are far cheaper right here in Singapore, around SGD$ 3 for 6 imported from Australia, though I am not sure. Will post the exact price when I get to visit my local wet market (the most budget-priced food can be found there).

The rest are around the same, except for the rice, and eggs. Currently, the ban on the import of eggs from Malaysia (where we get most of our fresh eggs) has only just be lifted, so prices are slightly higher than what you have posted, around SGD$4 for a dozen.

Badaunt said...

How much is rice in Singapore, and where does it come from? Malaysia?