A look at food costs

One of the key considerations when you are evaluating whether to live in another county is what the cost of food is. Not dining out. Daily meals.

I’ve been meaning to post typical food prices in the local grocery, so here it is, finally (The

The vegetable section at the Hypermart

market in question is a well-stocked supermarket in the middle of a mall, so the prices are higher than you would find going stall to stall on the streets.):

No brand peanut butter (small) – $2.30

Whole milk liter – $1.80

Butter (8 oz) – $2.50

4 small tomatoes – $.60

Red bell pepper – $1.00

Strawberry jam (380 grams/13.4 ounces) – $1.25

Can of beer (Bintang) – $2.80

Pears (2) – $1.40

Frozen scallops (8.8 oz) – $2.75

Bratwurst (4) – $2.80

All of the above are produced in-country except for the butter, which is Danish. Beef and

A look down the main aisle of the Hypermart. This store also carries electronics, washing machines, linens, auto supplies, plastic goods, toys, etc.

pork are fairly expensive and sold by the 100 grams (3.5 oz), chicken a little less. Fish, surprisingly, is also expensive, although the frozen kind is cheaper than fresh. The scallops on the list would feed two people as a main course.

Basically, like in all the countries I’ve visited, the locally produced fruit and vegetables, and canned and packaged goods, are fairly cheap. Anything imported is, of course, more expensive.

If you go across the straight to Singapore, food prices, at least in the supermarkets, are at least 50% higher than in Batam. Rib-eye steaks, for example, sell for about $30 a pound, a pound of Hormel bacon goes for $12.

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
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