I am already a month in China, how crazy is that? Time just seems so fly by.
When I talked with my mom on Skype a couple of days ago, we both noticed that China has become more expensive to live in.
This has various reasons, one being that the Euro is pretty weak at the moment, compared to 5 years ago where it was 1 Euro=10 RMB, or even 2 years ago where the exchange rate was somewhere at 1 to 8.
The other reason being that living standards at least in Shanghai improved. If I compare it to my first visit 7 years ago, it is astonishing how much changed, I have a hard time recognizing certain areas.
But then how expensive/cheap is China nowadays?
I figured I just show you my grocery shopping as an example.
You get to peak into all the stuff some random stranger (me in this case) buys and you get an idea what is cheaper, what is the same and yes, what is actually more expensive than at home, so that you can figure out what to take with you, when traveling China =)
All in all I spent 231 RMB, which would be a 31 Euro and a couple of cents.
My biggest expense being Bathroom utensils with 115 RMB, basically I spent half of my money on Shampoo, shower gel, some hair definition spray (which is crap… should have gotten the foam, but nooooo I wanted to save money-.-),razors, and other little stuff.
The Shampoo alone cost 38RMB, more than 5 Euro!!!!
I do know it’s a big bottle, but really???
This my dear friends is the most expensive bottle of Garnier I ever had and just if you are curious, nope the local brands where not much cheaper.
Other stuff on the other hand like the wet wipes (great if you are on the go and want to clean your hands before eating street food f.e. or toilet seats 😉 ) and the q-tips where super cheap, 20-30 cents.
Next big expense was my breakfast stuff. As I do not want to eat the weird rice porridge in the canteen I, being a spoiled foreigner, bought some chocolate cereals and jam (which where already 35 RMB), Yakult (just 11RMB, I could swear they are more expensive at home) milk, sweet buns, some bread and coffee(Chinese brand, let’s see how good it is, otherwise I’ll get the Nestle Coffee the next time 😀 )
All in all I would say the price is totally ok. Not the cheapest, but I would think I would pay the same in Germany, if not even a tiny bit more.
Lastly my snacks and spices. Spices where 15 RMB, consisting of 3 soups (just add hot water, love to have them sometimes instead of drinking plain water), sugar and soja sauce.
Now at home I would have already paid twice as much just for the soja sauce. So if you have a kitchen, buying spices, oil, noddles and rice is amazingly cheap in China.
Veggies are too, you just have to know where to get them, preferably at a local market (the supermarkets tend to be more expensive).
The rest, 27 RMB I spent on snacks. A girl need something to snack when she’s studying (well or blogging :D) got spiced beans, mountain dew, red bull, two kind of cookies, mentos and a snickers for a little less than 4 Euro.
I would say this is rather cheap. If you stick with Chinese snacks you will get amazing deals, if you want imported snacks you will usually pay slightly more than at home, depending if it is completely imported or if it is a version
for the chinese market, which will be a bit cheaper.
Looking at all this stuff I think it is safe to say take your hygienic articles with you when traveling to china.
Leave the chocolat and snacks at home, they will cost around the same here or are even cheaper and if you are scared of local products expect to pay more.
Milk products are generally not so cheap and sometimes even more expensive than in Europe, especially cheese.
All in all I did buy quite a lot for my 30 Euro and I am pretty sure in Germany I would have gotten less for my money.
So did China become more expensive? Yes it did, BUT it is still a lot cheaper to live here then in Germany.
I think I will stay a while 😉