A Shopping Trip in Poland

Looking over what I picked up at the grocery store today in Kraków, it was a typical shopping trip. Similar to when I am living in one place, there are some things I have to pick up ever 3rd or 4th trip like a bottle of olive oil, bag of nuts, or coffee, or detergent. I also like to buy meat, but I’ve avoided that on this trip because I’m cutting down on meat, and also I’m nervous about asking for 400 grams or anything in polish 🙂 I’ll warm up to it soon…

The list:

  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 2 Grapefruit
  • 6 Mandarins
  • 2 Russet Potatoes
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 8 Eggs
  • 1 Bag Chopped Spinach Frozen
  • 5 liter bottle of water
  • 500g block, butter (like 2 american sticks)
  • 500g bag, black beans

Total cost: 49,31 zł (11€/$13)

That’s enough food to have breakfast everyday for a week, 3 – 4 lunches, and 1 – 2 dinners – all together (those possible options).

The rest of my meals will probably be out, but as each time I eat out will only cost roughly $5 on average, assuming I have ten of those meals, my total food cost this week is about $63.00. Which is a little more than three lunches or three dinners, or one three course dinner back home (Palo Alto, LA, Chicago, or New York).

I remember doing my taxes the year after living in NY. As I looked over all the restaurant and bar receipts, with taxes and tip, things really added up. Compared to my lifestyle in Germany (which was definitely on a tighter budget), I was living like a rich person.

In some weeks I’d spent $500 on food and drinks. To be fair, this isn’t an apples to apples comparison, I’m not drinking alcohol right now, and I’m probably not dining at places like The Diner in Williamsburg usually… but still it’s impressive to see how I can spend way less by factors of five or more if planned carefully and in the right country.