Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Shopping for Groceries and basic items in Sweden

The first day i went to a glocery shop in Sweden i got scared of prices and ran out of the shop,took a deep breath and went back inside. You might think i saw something scary but that was not the case. After looking at prices of various items in the shop, I immediately converted them to my local currency . I could not believe those were the prices because they were, way to expensive for me and i did not think of gloceries as being so expensive in Sweden. I ask myself if i was at the wrong place.I kept on multiplying all prices of articles by seventy(exchange rate of my Cameroonian currency to the Swedish kronor). After my mathematical calculations and brain storming in the shop i got tired and ran out.

You might guess what happened next. I told some guy we lived in the same corridor and he advised me not to convert anything to my local currency and he kindly took me to a cheaper shop in town. I did not do any more brain storming that day and bought the things i needed. I mistakenly got cat food that day, thinking i wanted to try somethng new and because it was cheap.

My tip to every one who will like to move to Sweden or has just arrived in Sweden is that, stop converting prices to your local currency while in Sweden and instead seek advise by asking your neighbours the location of low- priced glocery shops. Do not expect much for there is no really big difference between them. Nothing is really cheap in Sweden and it is an expensive country to live in. Buy what you need and avoid subscribing for unnecesarry things that will not help you.

You can ask people around you to tell you the cheapest shops in town for groceries and other articles you want. They are also second hand shops and you can visit blocket or your local newspaper pages to buy or look for furniture or whatever you might need for housing equipment. You just need to somebody to be shown them. There are also many shopping centers in the bigger towns and you can be lucky to make good deals that suit you. Here are estimated prices of certain basic items you will need:-
(1 Euro = approx. 9 SEK )or ( I dollar =approx 6 SEK:)
  • Milk-(Mjölk) SEK 8/litre
  • Bread- (Bröd) SEK 10-20/loaf
  • Cornflakes box: SEK10- 30
  • Margarine/Butter: SEK 20 /500g tub
  • Cheese – (Ost) 30 to 50SEK 30-50/kg
  • Lamb: SEK 60-90/kg
  • Beef: SEK 70-140/kg
  • Pork: SEK 50-100/kg
  • Chicken:(Kyckling) SEK 30-50/kg
  • Chicken Legs(Kyckling klubbor)SEK 20-30/kg
  • Eggs: SEK 2 each
  • Rice: SEK 30-35/kg
  • Pasta: SEK 12/kg
  • Soda: SEK 5/33 cl
  • Cigarettes: SEK 35.50/packet
  • Beer: SEK 6-10/33 cl, 2.8 to 3% alcohol at a Grocery shop
    Beer: SEK 10-20/33 cl , 5.2 to 7% alcohol at Systembolaget - the Swedish alcohol retailing monopoly(Opens Mondays to Satudays) The cheapest beer is 33cl, 5.2%alcohol and cost 9kr.
    Wine: SEK from 55 /75 cl bottle ( Systembolaget - the Swedish alcohol retailing monooly
  • Newspaper: SEK 12Cinema: SEK 85Theatre: SEK 50-200
  • City-centre bus ticket: 16 to 20 Kr
  • Dinner with wine or beer:200 to 300kr
  • Pizza: 55 to 65 kr
  • McBurger:20 to 58 kr
  • Bananas:14 to 19kr(kg)
  • Apples:12 to 16kr (kg)
  • Dinner is an average resturant with wine cost about 250 kr

I hope you do not buy cat food mistakenly like i did or get items and because you read the prices wrongly and be forced to give it back to the cashier because you cannot afford for it. Take all your time in the world if you have it to look for the best deals.Finally it is very expensive to get drunk in Sweden.


Rosanna said...


I was recently in Sweden as a bit of a live-in person type thing. Being an Australian in Sweden was hard (even with a Swedish background).

The price of groceries is INSANE.

However, enjoying reading your stories. Keep them up!

The Editor said...


Kim said...

I see that this posting is from Jan. 07, are the grocery prices still pretty accurate? I am going to live in Sweden this summer and I looked at a menu online. According to my calculations, a hamburger cost $20 USD??? I'm not planning on dining out at all I guess. But I wanted to figure out how much I will spend on groceries.

Snöskottning nyheter said...

very useful blog...thanks

Anonymous said...

Thank you man for this useful blog. Keep it up!

furqan84 said...

Hey there,

Interesting blog. I've recently moved to Gothenburg from London and I find grocery insanely expensive. I think everything is about 30-40% more expensive than you would find in the UK. Now personally, I strongly believe that most own brands are usually the cheapest. For example in the UK, you will find Sainsbury's and Tesco's own products, usually in two quality ranges. Those two quality ranges do not necessarily differ in quality. And the best part is, the lower quality range out of the two, often is not much lower in quality than a proper expensive brand, because it has to come up to a certain standard to be made available to the consumer; well atleast in the UK. So I'm a strong supporter of own brands.

Although I haven't been here long enough, but I've noticed that most "Eldorado" products are the cheapest by far, and I don#t have any major complaints yet! I've tried Willys Hemma, Lidl and Hemköp; the latter being the most expensive. Also, it may be cheaper to find a bigger packing of a product, for example milk is about 9 SEK a litre, but 12 SEK for 1.5 litre. Now the price difference isn't "much", but if you follow that on most products, it will amount to savings of 40-50 SEK per week! Also, since you don't really get any change back, its worthwhile to buy things in a bulk, instead of 1 or 2 items every couple of days, because that will waste "change money" everytime!!

What's most shocking for me is how expensive haircuts are, and I'm still considering going back to the UK to get mine! lol.. any suggestions? Because I'm here for atleast 4 years and I would need a permanent solution!

Ngala T. said...

Services are very expensive here in Sweden .When i was a student we did exchange services for each other .If you have a friend who has a skill in something come together and help each other .When i came to Sweden i wanted to shave my hair but the price was really scary that i went and bought a shaving machine and learnt how to shave my hair my self. From that day learnt how to shave myself using two mirrors and i have helped some friends with this skill. If you can learn something, learn it and do it your self .Pay for service when you are actually desperate or cannot really do it your self or when you need it urgently.