Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Greece vs. USA price comparison 2008

Euro vs. Dollar
Photo from the Kuwait Times

The Living in Greece price comparison between Greece and America started in 2007, after a trip to the United States made clear we were being charged considerably more in Athens for groceries and double the price for things such as milk, mouthwash and shampoo.

Is Greece expensive? It isn’t cheap to live anywhere these days, but fuel prices have come down and the euro-dollar exchange rate is back at levels from last year, so it’s an excellent time to publish a price comparison for 2008 and you can see for yourself.

Author’s note

Prices have risen 10-25 percent since doing this chart, salaries have fallen 25-40 percent, everyday VAT/sales tax rates now reach up to 23 percent, the price of fuel skyrocketed in 2011 and never came down, public transport ticket prices doubled, and the unemployment rate is now 27.6 percent, the highest in the EU as of May 2013.

*Last updated August 8, 2013.

How it was compiled

New York City and Athens were used to determine costs because Mercer ranked them #22 and #25 respectively on their Cost of Living survey for 2008.

To determine grocery and product costs:

I used whatever price was higher from stores in New York or California for the U.S. price. New York was chosen for the reason stated above, and California was selected because it is the 8th largest economy in the world and historically the most expensive American state. Both U.S. cities (#29 and #49) have considerably higher standard/quality of living than Athens (#77), according to the Mercer 2008 survey.

Shop Rite was selected for New York, Safeway for California and Alfa Bita for Greece. The New York and California supermarkets are superior in quality/selection and located in comparable suburbs on par with the northern Athens suburb in which we did our survey to equalize demographic and affluence. Many argue that Alfa Bita is the most expensive Greek supermarket chain, but I found this to be untrue as prices are often the same or lower than Sklavenitis and Carrefour for the same products.

The same brands of the same quality and same circumstances were compared. Either both products were home grown or both imported — I also allowed a home grown Greek/EU product against an imported product for the USA, even though this is technically unfair to the USA.

To determine service costs:

In comparing ‘service’ costs such as Internet or cell phone subscriptions, I took everyday costs not special limited-time packages, since it would give America a deeper advantage than is already shown. Other carriers may have lower prices, however the same carriers were used from 2007 for consistency.

What about clothes and furniture?

Things like clothes, shoes and furniture were not included because competitive pricing would again favor America.

Are costs higher/lower elsewhere in Greece?

Prices in more remote villages and islands tend to be higher because of fuel costs involved in transporting goods. In tourist destinations, many vendors use location and convenience to their advantage by inflating prices (some to the point of price gouging), in hopes of earning sufficient profits during summer to offset closing in winter.

Can cheaper prices be found?

Yes, but this survey is not about finding the cheapest possible price; it is about comparing the same quality brands with each other in two countries. If I’d used the absolute cheapest price without regard to brand, quality, location or supermarket, America would have won by a wide margin.

Protocol and explanations pertaining to this survey are shown at the bottom, and they are more than fair. In fact it is highly unfair to the USA where prices of 10-40% lower are possible with the same quality, even in affluent neighborhoods. Athens prices could only go another 10-40% lower at lower class supermarkets with significantly compromised quality, i.e., razor-thin toilet paper. It is important to read the fine print that follows the table before crucifying the comparison.

How do prices compare to last year?

Tables illustrating U.S. inflation and Greek inflation in one year can be found at, “Greece vs. USA: Inflation in one year.” If you’d like to see the original survey from June 2007, click “Greece vs. USA price comparison 2007.” This article was plagiarized by a Greek newspaper in May 2008 without crediting me as the author, and a number of Greek TV programs on the same subject followed, coincidentally or not.

Why is everything shown in metric?

Greece and most of the world use the metric system. Therefore, all weight and volume measurements in ounces or pounds were converted to liters and grams, and prices were scaled accordingly. Please keep this important fact in mind if doing a comparison of your own.

Why isn’t the table in dollars?

The price comparison is not in U.S. dollars because the target country is Greece, and Greece uses the euro. If you would like to calculate prices in dollars, use the price shown and multiply by 1.3. For example, a 1.5 liter bottle of Coke in Greece is €1.42 x 1.30 = $1.85. The same 1.5 liter bottle of Coke in the USA is €0.87 x 1.30 = $1.13. (Note: Coke is bottled in Athens, so paying 39 percent more in Greece is not due to importing).

If prices were listed in U.S. dollars, the difference would appear more dramatic.

Prices in the EU

For those unfamiliar with the EU, these prices do not necessarily reflect the rest of the member states. In fact, Greece was found to be the most expensive or second most expensive EU country by both Greek and EU institutions conducting independent surveys. Therefore, prices will be lower in other European cities.

The Table

All prices shown in euros (€).

ITEM Greece USA
Beverages
Fanta, 1.5 liter 1.42 0.87
Coke, 1.5 liter 1.45 0.87
Orange juice, 1 liter (packaged) 1.19 1.04
4.06 2.78
Dairy
Milk (pasteurized), 1 liter 1.49 0.78
Plain yogurt, 200 g 1.18 0.43
Salted butter, 250 g 2.96 1.49
Unsalted butter, 250 g 1.89 1.49
Margarine, 500 g 0.82 0.43
12 Large eggs 2.82 2.15
Philadelphia cream cheese, 200 g 1.65 1.68
Cheddar cheese, 200 g 2.40 1.68
Ricotta, 250 g 1.85 1.35
Sour cream, 150 g 2.79 0.65
Haagen Dazs, 500 ml (pint)
6.32 3.07
26.17 15.20
Basics
Rice, 500 g 0.55 0.67
Sugar, 1 kilo 0.84 1.08
Brown sugar, 500 g 1.41 0.84
Fructose, 400 g 1.95 0.76
Flour, 1 kilo 0.89 1.08
5.64 4.43
Complex carbs
Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, 500 g
3.79 3.45
Bread (white sliced), 350 g 1.65 0.85
Bread (unsliced oval loaf) 0.69 0.76
El Paso Tortillas (8 ) 2.16 2.53
Lay’s Salt vinegar chips, 130 g 1.16 0.99
9.45 8.58
Pasta
Tomato Sauce, 1.5 liter 1.56 2.03
Barilla sauce, 380 ml (both from Italy)
1.96 1.34
Barilla spaghetti, 1 kilo (both from Italy)
2.08 1.08
Whole peeled tomatoes, 400 g 0.72 0.75
6.32 5.20
Meat
Chicken breast, 1 kilo 8.10 5.57
Chicken drumsticks, 1 kilo 5.67 3.36
Ground beef, 1 kilo 9.39 4.55
Pork top loin boneless, 1 kilo 11.19 4.22
Turkey breast, 1 kilo 6.23 7.09
Bacon, 1 kilo 9.67 5.08
Cooked ham (counter), 1 kilo 14.80 6.76
Hot dogs, 340 g 1.89 1.44
66.94 38.07
Fresh produce
Broccoli, 1 kilo 2.19 1.48
Zucchini, 1 kilo 0.98 2.45
Green beans, 1 kilo 4.47 4.72
Carrots, 1 kilo 0.82 0.68
Mushrooms, 250 g 1.09 0.81
Spinach, 1 kilo 1.57 3.03
Yellow pepper, 1 kilo (both from Netherlands)
6.49 3.39
Onion, 1 kilo 0.58 1.41
Potatoes, 1 kilo 0.47 1.44
Tomatoes, 1 kilo 2.39 2.54
Apples, 1 kilo 1.89 2.37
Bananas, 1 kilo (both from Latin America) 1.67 1.52
Pears, 1 kilo 1.79 3.03
Red seedless grapes, 1 kilo (both from Chile)
3.07 3.37
29.47 32.24
Condiments
Salt, 500 g 0.65 0.41
Pepper, 50 g 0.46 2.03
White vinegar, 500 ml 1.26 1.04
Ketchup Heinz, 340 g 1.70 1.84
Knorr chicken cubes 1.66 1.53
5.73 6.85
Frozen
Frozen Pizza, 320 g 3.10 1.34
Frozen green beans, 450 g 1.55 1.34
Frozen peas, 500 g 1.55 1.48
6.20 4.16
Toiletries
Colgate med head toothbrush, massager 3.02 2.30
Oral B satin floss, 25 m 3.16 1.89
Colgate total whitening, 75 ml 2.49 1.32
Listerine cool mint, 500 ml 6.55 3.84
Fructis 2 in 1 shampoo, 400 ml 4.58 2.39
Dove beauty bar, 100 g 0.87 0.81
Mach 3 Turbo, 8 refills (GR sold only in 4-packs in 2008) 17.98 13.84
Gillette shaving gel Ultra comfort, 200 ml 3.23 2.58
41.88 28.92
Kitchen & Paper
Palmolive ultra, regular, 1250 ml 3.58 3.30
Scotch Brite blue sponge 1.11 0.82
Kleenex toilet paper (12) single rolls 6.15 2.50
10.84 6.62
Media
iPod Nano (8 GB) 159.00 114.64
Apple keyboard 59.50 37.70
TDK CD-R 700 MB 52x (50) 10.95 13.46
Spindle of DVD-R Verbatim (50) 13.49 23.84
Sony memory stick 1 GB pro duo (no longer sold in USA) 24.00 -N/A-
Sony 4 GB pro duo 39.00 40.00
Sony 8 GB pro duo 70.00 76.93
375.94 330.57
Medical
Private doctor’s appt
>60.00 60.78
Chiropractor 85.00 42.31
Birth control pills, 1 month >2.80 16.89
Botox injection 350.00 192.35
497.80 312.33
Maintenance
Men’s haircut, no tip 15.00 11.54
– N. suburbs Greek stylist vs. Manhattan stylist
Women’s haircut, incl 20% tip 70.00 42.32
– UK stylist in Glyfada vs. Manhattan stylist
85.00 53.86
Transportation
Bus, metro/subway, tram
– All modes single ticket (valid 90 min), ATH vs. NYC 0.80 1.54
– All modes monthly pass: ATH vs. NYC 35.00 62.32
– L.A. (comparison only,not totaled) 47.70
35.80 63.86
Communication
Cable (Nova vs. Comcast) 56.40 46.12
– 48 Nova channels vs. 615 Comcast channels
Basic Phone Service 14.76 25.38
– OTE: 34.91 install, per call charge.
– AT&T: no install fee, unlimited nationwide calling 24/7
High speed internet, “24 mbps” vs. 12 mbps 24.90 33.05
– Forthnet vs. Comcast
Cell phone subscription
Vodafone vs. T-mobile
– 300 min 44.50 23.07*
– 900 min 113.00 34.62*
Cheapest domestic sms 0.10 0.01**
Cheapest overseas sms 0.20 0.27 (send)
*includes unlimited nights/weekends 0.15 (receive)
**also has unlimited plan for 11.99
253.86 162.67
Room with a view
Hilton Hotel, “King guestroom plus”
during same Sept. dates
all in the city center
all European style
all non-smoking
DSL, newspaper, breakfast
– with prepayment, ATH vs. NYC 345.00 360.84
– L.A. 191.58
– without prepayment, ATH vs. NYC 415.00 360.84
– L.A. 191.58

Comparison protocol

1. A selection of both common and uncommon products/services were used for diversity. Products deemed ‘rare’ in Greece were not used as to not unfairly bias the comparison, i.e., Lactose-free, gluten-free, organic, tomatillos, peanut butter, 100 kinds of breakfast cereal, lemongrass, fresh rosemary, etc.

2. It is a proper comparison of one product/service in Greece and one comparable or identical product/service in the USA with a euro figure shown for each. It is NOT a list with one price in both euros and dollars.

3. Weight (kilo, lbs, gram, ounces) and volume conversions (liter, ml, fl. ounces) were calculated using www.conversion-metric.com

4. A standard euro – dollar conversion rate of 1.00 EUR = 1.30 USD was used throughout for consistency, though the daily rate fluctuates.

5. All prices are shown to two decimal places, rounding the third in the traditional way (1-4 down, 5-9 up).

6. AB, Safeway and Shop Rite all offer free customer cards with incentives to holders. Prices were figured without taking this into consideration.

7. The same brands were compared when possible, otherwise generics were used to obtain the most inexpensive price possible, with attention to equal quality at all stores.

8. Brand name items in Greece were made in Greece or the EC (Coca-cola, Lay’s, Kleenex, etc.); there were no transatlantic imports, except for things that are imported almost everywhere, i.e., Bananas from South America, and media from Japan/Asia. For America, transatlantic imports were consistently used if not made in America because it’s unavoidable (year-round availability is central, and many consumers care about authenticity).

9. If a U.S. item of larger size was used, it was scaled down and calculated equal to the product in Greece. America practices responsible bulk packaging and uses recycled material, so smaller sizes are rare or simply don’t exist. Greece could do the same, which would benefit consumers and the environment, but doesn’t. There is no such thing as Costco in Greece or any warehouse store for grocery shopping.

10. The laiki or local manabis in Greece and many open/farmers’ markets in America all offer cheaper prices on produce, but were both omitted for the purpose of equality.

11. There is no tax on food items in the USA; non-food items carry a tax of between 7.00-9.00 percent, depending on U.S. state. There is tax of 9 percent in Greece. Adjustments were not made for tax because the price of food is what it is.

12. Taking into account there is price variation by area and company/stores in both Greece and America, I realize one can do better or worse at different places in both countries, so I called it even.

13. Since Greece has little or no selection and America has a wide variety of choices and sizes, I used the American item or service most comparable to the item or service in Greece. In doing this, the comparison is more fair to Greece since the USA has “value packs” at huge discounts that would have favored the USA if used.

14. Online prices for things like computer equipment and media were used since they offer nationwide pricing and do not discriminate according to area or individual store owner.

15. Prices for all products were surveyed on June 22, 2008 and again on October 22, 2008.

Related posts

Athens, Greece: Cost of living 2008
Mercer quality/standard of living survey 2008
EU minimum salaries vs. cost and quality of living

* This price comparison took days to research, compile, calculate and code, while consulting others for fairness and accuracy in reporting before publication. Please respect that, even if you may not appreciate it. Republishing information from this article must attribute this website as the source. Thank you 🙂

Eleftherotypia

Kathimerini.gr

Letter

54 Comments

  panos wrote @ November 10th, 2008 at 08:19

good one, i would be very much interested to see two additions to this list: 1) accomodation cost (rent price, purchase price/sqm) and 2) average and lowest wage. That would give me a more complete picture of the cost of living.

Kat Reply:

P – Legal minimum salaries are already listed in, “Minimum monthly salaries in the EU.” The lowest possible wage is impossible to list because of the black market and exploitation of illegal workers. There is also a comparison I compiled on, “EU salaries vs. cost and quality of living,” which already gives the picture you seek. Please search more carefully next time.

As I said last year when someone asked for this information, rent and home prices are too far ranging by American and Greek city/suburb and neighborhood, age and condition to list. Greek homes really don’t compare in quality, professional planning, architecture or construction to American homes besides that. I’m a private citizen with a full-time career, not a real estate agent or institution paid to spend my time doing this research. You can easily open the the Chrysi Efkairia and another newspaper pertaining to New York/California, and take a look or feel free to compile your own research.

  Vasileios wrote @ November 10th, 2008 at 10:04

Kat,

Very good job on the research of the numbers.

Living in the US I would also like to give another aspect of the problem. Manhattan as you well know is not the norm in the US when it comes to prices and the cost of living, where only 5% of the US population lives around that area. Yet there are other US cities and States where prices are 2-4 times lower than Manhattan, while the salaries remain about the same (isn’t that wonderful?).

On the other hand a bit more than 50% of the population of Greece is conjucted around its capital, Athens; being the only place in Greece that people can find “better” salaries.

My point is

1. Americans have far better choices of more affordable places to live.

2. The difference of prices between the average American and Greek City is wider than the stats show.

Now when it comes to real estate, there is not a true comparison between the US and Greece, because of the way cities have been developed. The truth is that in the US you get a far more for your money in terms of square footage. I would have said that you get a lot more in terms of outter space also, but that depends on people’s taste of living as there are many who prefer the heavily urbanized areas over the suburbs. In Greece unfortunately we don’t have that choice either since all the greek cities are over-urbanized with masses of concrete everywhere.

Kat Reply:

V – NYC (not Manhattan specifically) was selected purely because it was ranked #22 on the Mercer cost of living survey, which is a mere 3 places higher than Athens at #25. When you consider how high cost of living is, and how low quality/standard of living is (#29 and #49 vs. Athens at #77), I think that says it all.

Manhattan is not representative of U.S. cities, let alone the surrounding boroughs of NY (Queens, Brooklyn, etc.). Athens is not representative of all Greek cities, villages and islands. But they were selected for the criteria I mentioned. I make reference to some of the points you mentioned prior to the table, and I agree with you on the rest because they are accurate.

  Cωνσtantίnoς wrote @ November 10th, 2008 at 11:29

Great effort,
especially if you compare it to a similar survey we carried out back on June within Europe (http://ub0.cc/4b/M), where our conclusions were quite similar to yours. (it’s in Greek though)

Kat Reply:

C – My first comparison was in June 2007, then Greek media plagiarized me in May 2008. I intended to publish this in June on the anniversary, but the euro was really strong back then and would have made Greece (and the entire EU) appear more overpriced than it is now. Plus I was buried in work. Thanks for the link. I and many of my readers read Greek, so there will be interest.

  Cheryl wrote @ November 10th, 2008 at 15:01

Great job Kat! It’s nice to see that some of the produce is less here but, wow, the meat is so insanely expensive here! Good time to cut some of the red meat out of my diet 🙂 It’s also interesting to learn that I’m probably paying less for Heinz ketchup here. And, I’m really surprised to see the difference in the cost of DVDs. I would have thought that we paid more for those here…but I guess I was wrong. You’re fantastic! Awesome research once again!

Kat Reply:

Ch – Dairy products, meat and toiletries are nearly double in Greece, so I guess we should be vegans who stink 😉 As you, I and many familiar with the USA know, we could indeed find DVDs and other electronics cheaper — in addition to produce, food products, clothes, etc. — at known discount stores (Wal*Mart, Trader Joe’s, BestBuy), warehouse stores (Costco) or a bevy of online stores, but I didn’t use those sources to make it fair to Greece because of course we don’t have those options in Greece. It’s technically unfair to the USA, but I had to level the playing field as much as possible. I attribute the cheaper price of ketchup, tomato paste and red pasta sauce to the abundance of tomatoes grown in the EU, namely Greece and Italy.

  A wrote @ November 10th, 2008 at 15:46

Why are there no Costcos or Sams Clubs in greece? Are there laws that prohibit these types of places? Doesn’t Carrafour have a similar warehouse shopping facility in Europe?

Kat Reply:

A – Before going to Carrefour, everyone kept telling me what a great selection they had and how cheap it was. It’s not that cheap, the selection isn’t better food-wise than Alfa Vita, and they are not widespread so you need to have a car. Also, some are largish and called, “mega” (though small by U.S. standards); most aren’t any bigger than a normal store here. Lidl is cheap, but at severely compromised quality.

My theory about warehouse or discount stores not coming here or being denied licenses has to do with the red tape involved (which you’ve read about), corruption, profiteering, excessive taxation, severe delays in import/export process, strikes, laws protecting businesses, the difficulty in being paid by vendors, permits, parking is an issue, etc. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. An established Greek company would likely need to step in, as Marinopoulos did with Starbucks; and the fact it coincided with Athens 2004 didn’t hurt.

  A wrote @ November 11th, 2008 at 02:31

Yeah, I wondered about those factors and I bet labor cost doesn’t fit their model either. I think costco and sams have branches in the UK, and I think they once had partner relationships with other EU companies (to try and meet the ownership requirements). But I assumed that price controls in the various countries also came into play. I wonder whether the “membership” feature played a role as well; I wonder if that form of club shopping works with access laws in Europe. I would bet that in some countries, there must be a prejudice against this sort of thing, for fear that it will destroy the mom and pop shop, and also, I bet that walmart’s business plan doesn’t square with a consumption tax base.

I have a friend who deals with the Walmart process (Sam’s Club is the walmart wholesale club but we have about 6 membership wholesale buying clubs in most of the US), and he describes it as degrading – every year another cut, every year an endeavor to shave the production cost, because Walmart’s rule is basically a profit share on every unit. When people think they are selling a porsche, this doesn’t work (although a few years ago, Costco was the number one dealer for Ford cars). He’s had to move his production from the balkans to south america to china to meet the unit cost ceiling. But by selling to Walmart he keeps the lights on and the bills paid for his other products.

But the thing is – Costco and Sams have an incredible record in some areas of sourcing local, because it literally creates their sales volume by giving them customers. So its like having a captive audience that takes all of your product, if you are willing to cut your profit margin. For the vendor, this is a riskless transaction and that is why so many companies make the Arkansas rounds. Now that we are in a full recession here, Walmart is one of the only stores to post YOY gains. The last figure for same store sales was something like up 9%.

I saw a survey last week of the cheapest grocery stores – of something like 70 items, on about 55, Costco was the cheapest. Its sad that everyone can’t have access to wholesale pricing in that way.

Kat Reply:

A – It’s too bad we don’t have access to a lot of things here! 😉

  rositta wrote @ November 11th, 2008 at 02:47

You’ve been busy…I found Lidl to be good for staples but not for meat and veggies. I also found prices incredibly high compared to both Canada and northern Germany. That together with the low (comparatively) wages makes me wonder how most people can survive…ciao

Kat Reply:

R – True, Lidl’s vegetables and meat often look like they’re rotting, but even staples can be of poor quality. It sounds like you looked them over and found some good stuff. We cut costs by taking advantage of in-season items, buy when there’s a real “doro” (gift) on a product we already use and get fresh meat from an uncle in the village who is a butcher and fresh eggs from the family’s chickens. We do not economize by buying cheap items because…

  Phillip wrote @ November 11th, 2008 at 08:02

good grief, this is just sickening. and the monthly minimum wage in greece is something like 660. the only way i can make good money is by having three jobs, and i’m under a lot of stress over responsibilities that i have work wise. i just don’t understand how stores can get away with charging so much. or, i don’t understand how companies can pay their employees so poorly. such a strange reality here. where is this going? everyone’s complaining about how expensive it is, but i don’t see anything happening.

i don’t buy greek milk anymore, i buy german milk or wherever it’s from. the quality’s not as good, but if you can buy it for 89 cents vs. 1.40 for greek milk. if you buy things cheaper here, the quality is like not even usable. so you can’t fight the prices by bargain shopping. because the bargains are trash. anyway, i’ll keep my three jobs, because that’s the only way i know to fight against the cost of living.

Kat Reply:

P – As you rightly say, the cheap items are of incredibly poor quality. I really feel for you working three jobs! I know a few people who have two jobs, but I also know the opposite case of people who don’t work and live off property and money given to them by their parents. Must be nice!

  maria wrote @ November 11th, 2008 at 10:30

1.49 for milk? we can pay much less in crete for good quality milk, and I’m only talking about fresh milk in the fridge, not UHT or canned.

MEVGAL EXEIS GALA KATHE MERA costs 0.98 per litre;
NOYNOY FAMILY costs 2.02 per 1.5L (1.35 per litre).
There are also the ‘luxury’ brands of milk which are sold at a premium: KRIARAS goats milk (Cretan product) at 2.20 a litre, and NOYNOY CALCI milk at 2.02 a litre; clearly if you’re trying to economise without forfeiting quality, you can easily go for the NOYNOY FAMILY brand. I buy both MEVGAL and NOYNOY.

Either you’re being charged too much at AB (which I remember being the most expensive supermarket in Athens in the 1990s when I lived there – there was an outlet close to Egaleo where i used to live), or AB stocks only expensive/luxury brands of milk (as i remember it did concerning other products – for instance, you could buy cadbury chocolate and marmite, products never stocked at the time in other supermarkets).

I;d be interested to find out how you calculated the price of milk in the AB supermarket – it seems far too high for a generic brand

Kat Reply:

M – Alfa Bita has all the normal brands of milk — Mevgal, Delta, Fage, NouNou, etc. We buy Delta or Mevgal, and the price shown is from Delta (and that’s with a, “150 ml” doro, which I suspect is not really a doro); it’s the same brand I used last year. AB does carry the American Farm School’s fresh milk from Thessaloniki in glass bottles, but we don’t buy it because it’s upwards of 2 euros a liter and expires quickly. One can buy generic AB fresh milk for .89 a liter, however it expires in 2-3 days, and we don’t use it. The price shown is for pasteurized in both countries. I’ve never heard of “luxury brands of milk.” Maybe cows in Athens are made of gold, I don’t know.

As I stated, I used Alfa Bita because it’s the only supermarket that even comes close to being on par with American supermarkets, except the latter still have better selection, variety and service. We are not comparing outlets in this survey because an American outlet store would stomp Greece. I did it this way to make it as fair as possible.

Selection and price wholly depend on where the store is located. Our store in the southern suburbs has far less selection and is more expensive than the northern suburbs, and I went north to do this survey because it was used as the location in 2007.

  melusina wrote @ November 13th, 2008 at 00:38

Of course I never think about how much more things cost here until your posts come around! Still, compared to salary, prices in Greece are way too high.

As for the Alfa Bita being the most expensive store issue, here in Thessaloniki it is on par with Carrefour prices (if you are a brand whore like I am) and is actually cheaper than Masoutis. We alternate between AB and Masoutis, and since we buy pretty much the same stuff each time we go shopping, I am always comparing our receipts from the two stores.

I still find it hard to believe that a private doctor’s visit in Manhattan is only 60 euros – I was paying $150 to my rheumatologist in Nashville before I moved!

Kat Reply:

M – It’s good to compare to check for a better deal, but of course some items are available at one store and not at others, so it’s a matter of timing and taste. About the cost of doctor’s appointments, the price shown is not for a specialist, it’s for a general practitioner, and one can do better or worse; I chose the middle of the road for both prices after sampling 10 doctors. I think that’s more than fair.

  KT wrote @ November 13th, 2008 at 02:36

how can anyone afford to live in Greece anymore, ?? oh wait, most of them have massive ammounts of land, or rent….anyway, i thought that AB was the best supermarket when I lived in greece, i always bought AB products because they were cheaper and better, (Yes i did get looks and laughs from the cashier and people infront or behind me because greeks dont like store brand names) i trust the germans over greeks anyday…LIDL was okay but it was too far for me to walk to, and i didn’t want to take a cab. but even when i went, i didn’t see what the big deal was….AB all the way !! The city i lived in was way too expensive, it was less stressful because it was quiet and calm, but there were no jobs and prices were outrageously expensive. for instance, i went to athens to buy a scooter for 799 when in my town they we’re asking for almost 1100 . Kleftes.. i dont know what to say ypomoni, hopefully things will get better….

Kat Reply:

KT – And don’t forget tax dodging, the black market and “everyone having olive trees” as a reader once claimed. 😉

  vaios wrote @ November 13th, 2008 at 02:42

Well, everything is so expensive here and quality sucks. Weren’t you supposed to move to some other country some time ago? Please hurry…

Kat Reply:

V – This may come as a shock, but your personal thoughts have no impact on my life. Passing the extra time with a book is a worthy endeavor, as you seem to have a lot of time on your hands. Besides that, how would anyone but my friends know if I’ve left Greece or not?

Telling the truth is called reporting news and sharing experiences, and it’s done by everyone everywhere — why not tell everyone with a contrary opinion of your perfect country to cease and desist? All countries are imperfect, including Greece. Stalking/monitoring a stranger you don’t know or like through her website is indeed fixating.

I hope you find happiness to replace your misery.

  thundera wrote @ November 14th, 2008 at 12:23

Did anyone saw recently at the News that Carrefour, Carrefour Marinopoulos, Atlantic and another brand i dont remember right now (i believe it was Veropoulos), got really big fines from the Greek government because they were tricking their customers?

… And what i mean by tricking is that they had for the same product other price (or no price) on the shelves, different price at the cashier, and a different third price on the advertising flyers they distribute door to door.

Even before this happened i stopped going to those supermarkets because i compared the prices with Sklavenitis and AB and they were cheaper at least in the things i usually buy. Lidl is also good, the quality is not always the best but they have cheap smoked salmon!

Really good work Kat

P.S. If anyone tries to steal your work again i will curse him! No “κουκου” for 3 years at least! xaxaxaxaxa!

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