Cost of Shanghai -May 28, 2013

Last year Jennifer at My Sardinian Life posted the cost of some things she purchased at the grocery store. A few others also posted on weekly purchases. Marianne has posted many times on the subject and it has been pretty interesting to compare. To see one of her shopping posts you can click here.

Yesterday I went off to the grocery store and bought a few things. I went to escape the drilling of the renovations 2 floors below me and ended up coming home with more than the original plan of the organic salad mix and flavoured coffee that I went for. As you know you should NEVER go shopping while hungry.


I decided to take my time and wander the aisles of the small shop. This shop caters to Expats and carries many Western products from Europe and The United States, all at a price. I enjoy browsing the two for 1 shelf and getting some good deals on products that we normally would avoid since the price is so inflated. I came away with 2 bags of chocolate crispy chocolate chunks for less than $3.00. I have been craving cheese Pringles that normally cost me 7-8 RMB, but here were 13! I haven’t been able to get them at my regular shop in weeks, so I splurged the extra 75 cents. Imagine my delight when I found my crunchy cheesies (OK I was hungry AND tired).  It is hard to find them here and the local brand of Cheetos is meat flavours… not so delightful, especially when you are expecting that salty cheese flavour! These are a bit expensive, but baked and gluten-free. It has also been a year since they have been in stock, so I grabbed them before they were gone again. Inside I was doing a little happy dance, since people may stare if I was dancing in the aisles 😉 Who knew such little things could bring such excitement to my day? (again did I mention I am tired and in the middle of writing report cards?).

My favourite weekend flavoured coffee, a caramel cappuccino, was next on the agenda and for 23 RMB for 10 packets it is WAY cheaper than a plain cappuccino at Star Bucks, or any other Western coffee place. A quick glance around and up and down the chocolate aisle (about 3 times) I left and went to get what I came for. First I grabbed some apple chips which are dehydrated apple and great to put in my hot oatmeal. Oatmeal here comes in plain, some purple chestnut, red gogi berry and corn flavours. Yes I did say corn… so I make my own with a little sugar, cinnamon and apple chips. Making my own is much cheaper than buying the Quaker which is shipped in from the US and is sold here for a whopping 30 or 40 RMB  a box (that is about $4.50-$6!). Next was a big container of salad mix which is mixed organic greens and some small tomatoes. The salad mix costs 10RMB ($1.50) and it is a bargain price and good quality. It will last me all week for lunch, so a super cheap meal to beat the heat. The tomatoes were 6.90 RMB, so about $1.00.

DSC03735Today I didn’t buy any meat, so my total purchases were low. Temperatures started to rise yesterday and the humidity levels are stifling already. Lots of rain is forecasted, so the humidity will only get higher. When this kind of heat comes along I can’t eat, so I avoid rich and heavy foods and go for the cool crunchy salads which are much more refreshing. Sometimes I add nuts or chicken, but I already had some at home, so no need to buy more. The total came to 160.60 RMB which is about $24-$25 Canadian.


What are the prices like in your neighbourhood?

Stay tuned…

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12 thoughts on “Cost of Shanghai -May 28, 2013

  1. Ah – I keep meaning to do this too, and I save the receipts and then by the time I get round to looking at them there’s been some big price increase and I figure I’d best begin the research again.

    The latest thing is electricity – with the sinking rupee the the cost of imported fuel has skyrocketed and the government’s trying to make the electricity board’s books balance. Fair enough, the higher your consumption, the higher the tariff, so that the family with a couple of lights and a television can still afford to switch them on. I was floored, the other day, though, to get a bill of around $150 for the month!!!

    • Yikes! That would be a shocker! Here I find utlilties cheaper than home, but I don’t think there are all the taxes on things here. Although, a local teacher said it is expensive for them based on our salary differences. They are not paid to Western standards, which seems unfair sometimes, but that is a whole other issue.
      The first winter here was very damp and the apartment drafty, so our electricty bill was close to $200! We had the electric heaters, blankets and heat going all the time. We quickly learned to close doors to close off rooms and only heat the one you were in.
      Thanks for writing and you should post before you leave and go back to Australia and then compare with prices there!

  2. It’s very expensive to live here in England!

    • Yes I hear that… but is it relaitive to your salary?

      • Not personally because I earn a pittance, its a struggle and getting harder!

        • How do they expect us to live when the cost of everything goes up except our salaries, but the company profit usally gains! Don’t get me started on that issue! I am still angry about the fact my job has asked me to take a course and they will pay for it BUT I had to pay up front. I won’t get my money until August, or later if I miss the deadlines. Which puts me in a pickle since I now have my flight home AND this course on my credit card. I asked them DO you think the bank will wait since you haven’t paid me yet? My only answer… that is our policy. I was so frustrated, so after a few more words I get well maybe next time we should make that more clear that you will have to wait a few months. So a company that is making millions can’t afford to pay me now, but me on a low salary should? I’ve given up trying to explain the logic to myself.

  3. Great comparison, Diana – OH boy – you WERE hungry whilst you were shopping, weren’t you? LOL

    How do you get on for the price of electricity in Shanghai?

    • I was just commenting below to ‘Gene’ about the price of electricty. I am not sure what it is per kilowatt since everything is in Chinese except the numbers 😉 I have learned to read the due date and the amount. I can pay at the local shop and I pay the amount shown. My last bill (April) for eletricty was 320.68 RMB so about $48 for the month. We have used the A/C a few times in late April, heat just in the evenings when needed (it is all electric wall units), lights, TV, computers. I guess it isn’t too bad. May will probably be lower since we haven’t used the heat and A/C only really needed to be put on this past week.
      So what makes you think I was hungry 😉 After a long school day I had the munchies and was craving my favourite snacks. I was happy to see some that haven’t been in stock in ages, so that was a MUST buy. It is funny here things randomly come and go and may not be available any more, so you need to stock up while you can.

  4. Freda Goulet

    Food is very expensive here too…$3.69 for a loaf of bread,$ 2.49 a pound for apples all winter. $4.69 for 2 litres of milk. I just don’t know how a family of 4 or 6 can afford groceries! Oh yes, eggs are almost $4 a dozen!

    • Wow that is crazy! Prices have really gone up since I left. I have found prices here also have gone up quite a bit. When we first arrived we would take money out of the bank and we would have lots left over before the end of the week. Now we sometimes have to take out more mid week!

  5. I love the grocery posts. I am not sure why but I do. I pay .99 for a bag of Apple Chips here but commodities have really gone up.

    • These apple chips are imported and for 43g I paid about $1.80 and the smaller bag about $1.20.
      Things have really gone up in price for everything and now I can start to see it refelcted in restaurant prices too.

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