There are 9 replies in this Thread which was already clicked 227 times. The last Post () by Rice.

I went shopping in Jumbo, Olivos

  • I am getting confused

    Your quarter bottle of champers costs you less than GBP 1.50 - this alone would cost more than a Tenner in the UK.

    Your total bill today for food and drink was just over a tenner, or am I missing something?

    Also, your point about local supermarkets being cheaper in general terms than formal chains is true.

    The formal chains load the prices to deal back with false discounts - 4 X 3 , 3X2 , 2X 1 Offers . second item at 70/80% discount

    You need an MBA in Mathematics to work out the deals.

    Both Jumbo and Coto do a 3x2 wine promotion almost every weekend. Carrefour and Dia join in once a month. . The net prices are very similar to the prices of a Chines supermarket that sells decent quantities of wines.

  • Two items that strike me, @Bombonera —

    1) 90g tube of toothpaste looks about the same as in the US.

    2) Those half- and quarter- sized bottles of sparkling wine are always disproportionately expensive, compared to 750 ml bottles. Chandon, while in my opinion not the best Argentine sparkling wine, is far better than any Prosecco I’ve had (and Prosecco is cheaper than most Cavas or sparkling wines in the US; I don’t know about the UK).

    (Anyway, that’s just an :offtopic: aside, but next time, try Salentein Extra Brut!)

    I agree that grocery prices are generally closer to prices we pay at home, while restaurant prices are a pleasant surprise. Not sure what makes the difference: greater distance between wholesale and retail prices? Lower labor costs? Lower rent, utilities, etc? All of the above?

  • I don't want to get into a tit-for-tat argument with you, @Bombonera but I think you need to revisit your figures. If your income is derived entirely from peso earnings or retirement then I agree you will be having an extremely tough time of it right now making ends meet but if your income source is from US dollars or GB pounds then you ought to be riding out the inflation wave and hardly noticing the changes.

    I haven't shopped in the UK since sometime last year but based on my memories of prices as they were then nearly everything I buy here and now is cheaper than I was paying there and then. In the meantime 'm reading that overall inflation in the UK is still struggling in the region of 10.5% whilst grocery inflation is running around 17%. I dread to think what food prices I am going to see when I return to the UK next month.

  • I can't compare with prices in the UK since I haven't been there for close to a decade, and I am also out of date on prices in Italy. Jumbo is the fanciest supermarket chain in Argentina, so it is likely the worst prices you can get.

    However, truth to be told, mom&pop's stores here make their own prices out of thin air, so certain items are probably more expensive in some smaller stores.

    We are still cost conscious even now in Argentina, so here are my tips/observations:

    1) Supermarkets are more expensive than smaller stores. However, you have the convenience of parking, wide selection, and range of products. The fancy ones (Jumbo & Disco, same chain) even sell imported food, although the selection and availability is a hit or miss.

    2) Vegetables and dry nuts are definitely cheaper at the local grocery shops (verdulería & dietética). Spices are far better in brick & mortar stores. We are blessed to live in the Armenian part of Palermo, and they are heavy spice users, so we find good quality ones. I was told that industrial spices sold in supermarkets are cut with non-spices to keep the costs down. It is not hard to believe it, given the economic trend...

    3) We used to buy bottled water, but when we bought our place we installed a water filter. We replace it once a year for about 30 USD. The chloride taste is still lingering, but the water quality is okay anyway. Some expats have installed filters even in the shower head. Apparently, we have hard water here in Buenos Aires. We have a water filter installed in the washing machine and dishwasher's inlet pipes, now that I think of it!

    I have never calculated the cost savings, as I did it mostly for the convenience of not having to drag bottles of water for 5 blocks.

    4) Repairs are cheap but they don't always fix the problem forever. Here fixing clothes, shoes, appliances, luggage is very common and inexpensive. In Europe, it is cheaper to buy a new item.

    You may have noticed the number of showmakers and seamstress which are still in business here. In the small town where my mother lives, you have to travel two towns to find a shoemaker who could repair your shoes.

    On the same tune, plumbers are much cheaper than in Europe, however they either aren't skilled or are bound to work with crappy spares. I didn't even had a plumber in Italy, as it was such an extraordinary even to have to call one... Here in Argentina, we "meet" ours at least 2-3 times per year, and always for the same issue (something is leaking or not draining properly).

    5) I can't comment on the price of dairy (which I find barely edible in supermarkets, they are tasteless) nor meat in supermarkets vs. small stores, as I buy maybe 5 steaks a year at the local butcher. My family tells me that Coto has good cuts of meats. For them, good = cheap, so I am quite confident that it is true.

    There are some good dairy brands & producers, but they are almost artesanal and on a whole other league.

    6) Imported goods are insanely expensive most of the time. If you play it well, you may be able to get a discount on those. For example, once there was 25% or 30% on alcohol at Coto, and we bought a bottle of Jack Daniels for about the same price as in supermarkets in Italy. However, you can't always have it a discount. The wisest choice is to abstain. :D

    If you compare locally produced alcohol vs imported alcohol, the price difference is huge.

    7) Spares for imported good can become an issue. We have a Bosch dishwasher that we brought over from Europe. They are also sold here (imported), however, spares are not imported. Our model, which was the cheapest entry level dishwasher sold in Italy at the time, here costs 3 times more (300 EUR -> close to 1000 USD). When we have to change the racks due to oxidation, we kept our eyes open on ML for someone spelling their faulty dishwasher for spares. We finally found one and saved the racks and other small parts that could become useful in the future. However, we didn't have the room to set aside a whole faulty dishwasher.

    8) There are locals with money and there is a market for them. 

    We are shopping around to furnish a property, and there are HUGE differences in prices and items such as chairs, tables, decoration. I understand quality and craftsmanship, however a chair can be from 8,000 ARS (cheapest plastic Eames replicas that you have to assemble by yourself) to 130-160,000 ARS (upholstered modern chairs).

    It also seems that most places are reselling products and apply a markup, whereas some are actual producers and have more reasonable costs.

    For example, at the local plant shop on Scalabrini, a fake ficus plant 1.50-meter-tall is sold for 56,000 ARS (approx. 145 USD), whereas in a place selling only fake plants, a slightly lower quality plant of the same height is sold for 14,000 ARS, and they apply a 15% discount if you pay cash (approx. 30 USD). Both are imported from China, so it is not an imported vs. local product issue.

    If you want to have a glimpse of the "crème de la crème", look at the stores on Av. Libertador in La Lucila.