Spain isnt cheap

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Pamela1
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Spain isnt cheap

Postby Pamela1 » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:30 pm

Spain once was cheap but i dont think it is anymore...i can get a lager in uk for 1.50..in many parts of spain its over 2euros...Apart from the large gin and tonics etc its no cheaper to eat out in Spain than the uk...Electric in Spain is extortionate and groceries in the suppermarket are no different to uk.....Perhaps they caught up with wages amd cost of living..Ok so i already know someone is going to condradict ñme but these are my findings...

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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby BENIDORM » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:52 pm

Pamela,
An interesting topic, and I agree that prices of many consumer items have risen over the last few years in Spain, however of course the weak pound/strong euro will affect anyone who has any kind of funding from UK, so shopping will appear more expensive.
Personally and probably because we now have more time on our hands our shopping bills are lower than 10 years ago, and that is mainly because we buy more local produce and use 'own brands' from the supermarkets and we've not compromised the quality of the goods, if anything we can purchase more selection and better quality items now.
We are 'all electric' and our monthly bill is now half what it was 10 years ago, again some of that is probably due to more care taken by us with appliances etc.
What I do wonder and worry about is what will happen to UK prices if and when 'Brexit' does happen, will goods cost much more in the shops.?
Regards,
Gordon

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country boy
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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby country boy » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:11 pm

Oh yes it is!

elusive
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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby elusive » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:19 pm

I guess it depends on what you compair. Ie the standard general bills like council tax, gas, water are alot more in the U.K .and eating out certainly wasnt cheaper than spain where we lived unless you went to the £4 carvery! You wouldnt get three courses for a tenner! Even more so when we visit non touristy places inland.

Shopping wise we find meat is very cheap compaired to living in the uk. Cant really comment on fruit and veg cause tbh its not really something i took notice of.electrical goods seems more expensive here and the poor choice of years old models been sold instead of the most recent release.lack of choice is a big problem.

Wages here are still very low compaired to the uk.certainly in andulucia although recently searching through U.K jobs the low wages advertised made me go wow. No wonder theres so many classed as the working poor.

When we first moved here we talked to someone who had been here ten plus years and said how he thought things were alot more expensive now. As new arrivals everything was cheap to us so we wondered how cheap it must have been then!

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costakid
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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby costakid » Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:18 pm

I would like to know where you can get a beer in the UK for £1.50. Must be up the grim north.
I think:
Supermarkets are about equal to UK
Spanish Markets or local shops are cheap for fruit and veg
Food and drink is cheaper in Spain by quite a lot.
Electric water gas and rates are cheaper.
Banking is more expensive as no free banking even when in credit by quite a lot
Bus fares much cheaper
Trains cheaper
Petrol more or less the same depending on exchange rate

Overall I would say Spain is cheaper than the UK.

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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby Miro » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:05 pm

Pamela1 wrote:i can get a lager in uk for 1.50

So can I - in a can from Lidl!
costakid wrote:I would like to know where you can get a beer in the UK for £1.50. Must be up the grim north.

Must be the North East, Costakid - certainly not over here in the North West.
Strange findings Pamela, especially considering last time I went to Granada (the city - I imagine elsewhere in the province it's generally cheaper) I literally ate out all weekend for free. Every time I ordered a beer (for roughly half the €2 you say it costs), I got fed! :thumbup:
Anyway, I won't get into this debate here because I've already posted extensively on other threads about my findings re: Spain v UK since returning a few months ago. I keep detailed records of our regular outgoings (rates, utilities, insurance etc.) and our overall expenditure (cost of living), but until we've been here longer (maybe a full year) I won't bother posting comparisons. So far, it looks like the difference may be less than I expected (feared!) but I would be extremely surprised if our outgoings in the UK came to less than they did in Spain.
Watch this space! :wink:
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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby Free at Last » Tue Oct 03, 2017 8:14 pm

As residents who get at least €700 per month paid into our Spanish bank accounts with Sabadell, we do get free banking and also a small amount of cash back in relation to direct debits for utilities.

Of course some things are more expensive in Spain than in the UK - anything made of wood, new doors for example, is much more expensive in Spain than in the UK. Postage costs have gone up an awful lot in the past couple of years. The costs associated with buying and selling property (as has been brought home to us this year when we sold and bought a new property) are hugely more expensive in Spain, although a property of equivalent standard will almost always still be cheaper overall in Spain because of lower property prices (apart from a handful of property hotspots such as Marbella or San Sebastián).

But overall, despite the poor exchange rate, we still find the cost of living here quite a bit less. The biggest savings are in Council Tax, public transport costs, wine, food and eating out, plus the cost of having jobs done on the house. Whenever I go back to the UK for a few days it is incredible how much more I spend when going out for meals and drinks, and just getting around. When we first moved to Spain in 2006 I started drawing €70 each week out of the bank to pay for groceries (which doesn't include wine or any other drinks). In 2017 we're still drawing exactly the same amount and almost always have some left over to go towards a meal out. As food is zero rated for VAT in the UK whereas here it is not (although a few items including bread are at the super reduced rate of 4%) it is surprising that food isn't much cheaper in the UK than here.

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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby firsttango » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:00 pm

Fully agree with Free at Last on the items covered. We find the vast majority of our weekly food shopping is way cheaper than in the U.K. especially if you use local fruit and veg shops combined with in our case Mercadona and Supersol, Supersol usually only for Chicken breasts which they regularly have on Special at €3.99 a kilo and often €3.29 a kilo. A 12 pack of lager in Merca for €2.64 a reasonable bottle of red or white wine for under €2.50.
At the bar in the sq here when we moved here in 2004 a coffee was a €1.10 its now €1.20 a glass of white wine was 1€ and today is still 1€. Our equivalent council tax here is 395€ against £1900 in U.K. Over the counter medications also are a lot cheaper here in our experience (example a Ventolin inhaler €2.60 against the U.K £8 prescription). It used to cost approx £800 a year to heat our U.K house (gas fired CH) here in Spain it is normally the cost of 4 gas bombonas at approx €60 a fraction of the U.K. Yes there are going to be items that are more expensive but on the whole Spain imo is a much cheaper place to live and eat well.
N.B Also the average Water Bill in the U.K for 2017 is £395 per annum ours here in Spain is under half that with last year at €180.
Last edited by firsttango on Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Miro
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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby Miro » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:09 pm

I would tend to agree with pretty much everything you say, FAL.
We also had free banking with Sabadell (but they're still a nightmare compared to UK banks).
Don't know about wood - the only wooden things we've bought have been from IKEA, and the prices are pretty much identical UK - Spain.
Postage - wouldn't know about Spain, tried to avoid the post altogether because it's so bad. Still getting used to the postman actually appearing everyday here :lol:
Definitely true about the costs of buying property. Selling - well, we sold privately in Spain & didn't use a lawyer, and our buyer actually paid the plus valia as well as all notary fees etc., so we were lucky. But if we had paid a lawyer, estate agent and the plus valia, we probably couldn't have bought the house we did in the UK!
Council Tax, public transport costs, wine, food and eating out...yes, definitely agree.
Strangely, though, I can get from Southport to Liverpool & back on the train for a very reasonable £5.10, but a bus to my sister-in-law's house a mile from Liverpool city centre costs me £4.20 round trip. But her local chippy/Chinese is much cheaper than the crappiest one near us! Had a take-out for two at lunchtime today for around £7.00, and haven't wanted anything else to eat tonight at all, so that compares favourably with a typical Torrie menu del dia :thumbup:
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BENIDORM
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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby BENIDORM » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:33 pm

We've just arrived home after spending a couple of hours trying to support the local economy in our local bar ...

6 x good size glasses of El Coto vino tinto plus 6 x large tapas = 9.60 euros.
We also bought a kilo jar jar of the local honey ( best I've ever tasted ) for 6 euro and 3 x large rustic barras 1 euro and a local gave us 12 large fresh eggs--free and another gave us a big bag of walnuts..free..
And more importantly we feel accepted and safe and secure, everyone friendly, no jealousy, no resentment, a simple but happy lifestyle...
Regards,
Gordon..

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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby sujee » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:31 am

OH just returned from a short visit to UK. He paid 115 for a meal(including drinks) for himself and daughter. He thought it costly but worth the money while she said how reasonable it was! He also took a carton of cigs for son having heard that it was twice the price in UK.
We shop at local shops and veg market and I cook everything from scratch and have to say we eat better here than we did in UK for a lot less. We eat out several times a week whereas in UK we only ate out once a month.
Yes we live inland and have noticed prices increase steadily the nearer you get to coast or tourist areas. We are often given lemons, eggs and veggies for free.

I have to agree that council tax is amazingly cheap here as is water. I cannot comment on electricity as OH deals with those bills but he rarely complains.
I spend far less on clothes than I used to as here you are not judged on what you wear. My hair colour and cut is 1/10 of the amount I used to pay in Leeds and just as good! The same applies to cars... you drive what is suitable for where you live not a status symbol.

Our only regular outgoing more expensive than UK is internet.

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costakid
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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby costakid » Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:38 am

I forgot, Internet is bloody expensive

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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby elusive » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:25 am

Must be the North East, Costakid - certainly not over here in the North West.
-------------------------

And certainly not in yorks. Personally i doubt anywhere bar a lidl can as miro said.agree re the internet thats expensive in spain but .for the last few months we have listed everything we have spent to see how much it costs to live here and for three people we spent around 12000 euros.that includes eating out alot. One person couldnt surive on that in the uk

We rent here so theres no community or IBI but other than that its the same as the uk without huge gas and council tax bills to contemplate

Pamela1
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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby Pamela1 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:35 am

Yes costakid,in the grim north! Still better than the rip off south! :lol:
Agree about water and ibi prices being cheaper but in my experience electric def not cheaper in Spain

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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby Free at Last » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:00 am

sujee wrote: My hair colour and cut is 1/10 of the amount I used to pay in Leeds and just as good!
Our only regular outgoing more expensive than UK is internet.


I forgot about the much lower cost of hairdressing bills, mine are far less even after 11 years than I was paying when I left the UK (and I was no longer using a very expensive city centre salon by that time otherwise the contrast would be even greater). My gym membership here for a club with excellent facilities including a large indoor pool is €25 per month (if paid 12 months in advance) which is less than half what I was paying in the UK.

We're happy with our internet costs, we have 30mb (upgraded from 20mb at no extra cost after we originally signed up) with unlimited downloads for €18 per month including IVA, no need to contract for a landline which we don't want.

We've always been lucky with postal deliveries here, we do get a daily service and were delighted to find that the best post lady we ever had has had her round changed and now covers our new home, she's still stopping us in the street if she sees us and handing over whatever she has for us.

We used to use bottled gas for heating in our old home and like Firsttango found that very cheap indeed, but we're about to find out how much more electricity costs as the new place has airconditioning which we'll use for heating. We had it replaced with the new inverter type for greater energy efficiency and everyone seems to say that is reasonably cheap to run, but we'll see. We will also be using electricity for cooking so fully expect to get much higher bills, especially as we've upgraded the potencia to avoid the supply tripping so our standing charges will be considerably higher than we paid before. We only need to heat our home for 4 months of the year here, though, whereas it was 8 months of the year when we lived in the UK.

Benidorm, we stopped off for a drink yesterday evening after running an errand and invited a couple of new neighbours to have a drink with us after they stopped to chat. The bill for 3 large glasses of wine, 1 soft drink and 1 coffee came to €7.20 with a couple of snacks (including a plate of manchego) thrown in. 2 glasses of wine alone in the UK would have cost more than that. I have smiled at Miro's reaction to coffee prices in the UK, I find them outrageous and what you get usually tastes like dishwater.

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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby Wicksey » Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:08 am

I am always shocked at the pub prices in the UK. We rarely eat out here so tend to drink at home and the small cans of Lidl lager are about 35 cents each, and a reasonable white Rueda can be bought for around 2€. When we go to a pub in the UK (because we like a real ale) we are horrified as it is at least 3.50 pounds a pint. We usually now go to Tesco and stock up with beer and food and eat at our rented accommodation.

If you don't have community charges in Spain then the cost of living can be much cheaper and we certainly could not afford to return to live in the UK even if I wanted to. Our total cost here of electricity, gas, water, firewood, IBI, insurance, phone/internet comes to 1800€ for the year ending 28/2/17. I would spend near to that alone on council tax in the UK. That is the advantage of living in a small campo house! The biggest expenses are electricity and internet/phone costs, and I think the electric has gone up a lot in recent years. Obviously there's the car costs, food etc on top of that but purely looking at the running costs of a house here, it is by far much cheaper.

Oh I forgot the PO Box .... a bit of a rip-off at 93€ a year .... one of the disadvantages of living in the campo :thumbdown:

Vets bills are much lower here too .... just as well when you have 4 cats.

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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby truebrit » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:21 am

Definately much cheaper here in Spain, I think I could quite happily live on my State Pension here, definately not in England. When we go back to England the prices are horrendous, particularly in the East End of London. Malaga is much cheaper. We try to buy locally Mercadona or local shops. No Iceland or English type shops. The exception to the rule being the English butcher, but only for things that I cant get locally. All utilities here are much cheaper than in England. Also, I know where I would rather be! Dont drink Alchohol or smoke but I do know that the prices here are so much less than England. Eating out is also much cheaper than pubs and restaurants in England.

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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby masterob » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:43 am

We have been back in the U.K. now for almost three years and the comparative costs really play no part in our daily lives. It seems rather pointless in trying to make comparisons - you pay whatever it costs in the country you choose to live in!

Making comparisons based on a short holiday to either Country is one thing but I would say that as “tourists” most people tend to spend more than they do “at home” wherever that is.

To make meaningful comparisons you have to compare like with like. For example water bills in the U.K. include sewerage disposal, environmental services such as flood prevention etc. The water from the taps runs freely at all times and can be safely drunk without worry! No need to lug large containers of bottled water from the supermarket, indeed they don’t sell those large containers we had to buy in Spain! Council Tax covers services unheard of in many towns/villages in Spain - well at least where we lived! The electricity supply is constant with no need to protect equipment against cuts and surges! I could go on...

Clearly alcohol is considerably cheaper in Spain but paying more in the U.K. for a pint of decent bitter or a bottle of wine is hardly a staple element in the weekly shop.
.
As I said, this seems to me to be a rather pointless comparison beyond giving a dubious “feel good factor” regarding the choice made about which Country to live in. Surely all that matters is where you want to live warts and all!

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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby El Cid » Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:52 am

masterob wrote:.
As I said, this seems to me to be a rather pointless comparison beyond giving a dubious “feel good factor” regarding the choice made about which Country to live in. Surely all that matters is where you want to live warts and all!


You are probably right, but the original poster, Pamela1, made the statment that in her opinion, Spain isn't cheap. Clearly a significant number of members don't share her opinion.

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Re: Spain isnt cheap

Postby Free at Last » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:22 pm

masterob wrote:
To make meaningful comparisons you have to compare like with like. For example water bills in the U.K. include sewerage disposal, environmental services such as flood prevention etc. The water from the taps runs freely at all times and can be safely drunk without worry! No need to lug large containers of bottled water from the supermarket, indeed they don’t sell those large containers we had to buy in Spain! Council Tax covers services unheard of in many towns/villages in Spain - well at least where we lived! The electricity supply is constant with no need to protect equipment against cuts and surges! I could go on...



We have always drunk the water from the tap here in Spain and have never been obliged to buy bottled water, although I know some areas have had problems with the quality of their water supply. But then so have areas in the UK, at times. There was one instance pretty recently, somewhere in Derbyshire I think it was, where residents had to be supplied with bottled water as the mains supply had become contaminated, and of course the very serious case some years ago in Camelford when the mains supply was found to contain aluminium. We don't have a problem with intermittent electricity supply nor power surges here, either.

The problem in Derbyshire was in March 2016, more recently there were similar problems in an area of Manchester and this one in Yorkshire:-

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/t ... ar-BBv2Wet


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