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Are Groceries Cheaper in Neighboring Countries?

Hungary Today 2023.08.02.

Chicken breast for 3,000 forints (€7.75), cooking oil for 1,000 forints (€2.58), and eggs for almost 90 forints (23 euro cents) – these are the prices you can find in shops in neighboring countries. Using online shops and discount magazines, what is true about shopping in Romania, Slovakia, or Croatia costing much less than in Hungary was revealed – Világgazdaság reports.

Since last year, food prices in Hungarian shops have risen significantly, inevitably leading to comparisons with products in neighboring countries, especially after numerous reports that people living along the border regularly go shopping in the neighboring country for the weekend.

Photo: Pixabay.com

The recent rise in the price of Hungarian food is undeniable,

but our recent experience does not support the claims that we are the most expensive place to go shopping.

To be clear, Világgazdaság is not saying that this might not have been the case in the past, but the situation had certainly changed by July, partly due to various government measures such as compulsory action and price freezes, which some estimates suggest could have brought food inflation down by two percentage points within a month.

Looking through the discount magazines and online shops available on the internet, they found some really surprising things (prices are calculated at 380 euros and 78 lei respectively).

On the last weekend of July, chicken breast was on sale in several supermarkets in Slovakia, with Tesco offering the lowest price at €4.65 per kilo, followed by Lidl at €5.

The normal price was €7.5, or 2,850 forints, which is almost double the fixed domestic price, but much higher than the price after the price freeze, too.

In the German discount supermarket’s special offer newspaper, 600 grams of tomatoberries were advertised at €1.89 (HUF 700), chicken wings at €2.5 (HUF 950) instead of €3.5, and minced pork at €2.19 (HUF 832) instead of €3. In addition to meat, margarine was on sale at Billa, where 400 grams of Flora margarine was on sale for €2 (760 forints).

In Konzum, Croatia, the cheapest chicken breast per kilo in the last week of July was €5.55 (HUF 2,090), a notch cheaper than the better quality fillet version, costing €7.55 (HUF 2,869). Minced pork started at €5.87 (2,230 forints) per kilo, but the cheapest bread was even cheaper at €2.7 (1,026 forints), while

white bread is already under 600 forints (€1.55) per kilo in this country.

In our neighbor to the south, they could not find 10 eggs for less than €2.19 euros (832 forints), which is much higher than the 500-600 forints (€1.29-€1.55) in Hungarian shops.

If you look at Lidl’s special offers, bananas were available at a very good price of €0.89 in the week leading up to August 1, and Milbona Tilsiter 400 gram cheese was also cheaper at €3 (HUF 1140) than the same price at Lidl in Hungary (HUF 1299). On the other hand, 10 eggs cost €2 (HUF 760), more than the Hungarian price, while store-brand spaghetti was €1.19 (HUF 452), slightly cheaper than the Hungarian Lidl price of HUF 469. Also close to the domestic price, bunched tomatoes were sold at Plodine for €1.39 (HUF 528), while

a liter of cooking oil at the same store cost €2.55 (HUF 950), almost double Hungary’s domestic price.

In the Romanian Auchan webshop, the cheapest chicken breast cost 25.90 lei (2,028 forints/€5.24), fillets were more expensive at 33 lei (2,574 forints/€6.69), 400 grams of Rama margarine cost 12.20 lei (951 forints/€2.47), 125 grams of Mizo trappist cheese cost 13 lei (1,014 forints/€2.63), and Tagliatelle Barilla pasta cost 12.66 lei (987 forints/€2.57).

Sugar is a little more expensive than in Hungary (6 lei, or 486 forints/€1.22), while eggs are cheaper, at 10.4 lei, or 811 forints (€2.1), for a packet of ten. Milk is more expensive as well in the Romanian Auchan, where 1.5% own-brand ESL milk costs 4.9 lei, or 382 forints (99 euro cents), compared to 314 forints (81 euro cents) in Hungary.

The reporters also checked Kaufland, where they were selling L-size eggs for 11 lei (858 forints/€2.23) instead of 13 lei (1,014 forints/€2.63), and the cheapest boneless chicken breast was 23 lei (1,794 forints/€4.66) a kilo.

Photo: Facebook/Kaufland Romania, 21 July, 2023

Onions, on the other hand, were much more affordable than the local prices, especially when on special offer: they were sold for 3 lei (234 forints/61 euro cents),

not to mention cabbage, costing only 2 lei (156 forints/41 euro cents), while in Hungary you cannot find it in shops for less than 400 forints (€1.03).

Egg Prices Fall Dramatically in Just One Day
Egg Prices Fall Dramatically in Just One Day

According to the data of the online price monitoring system, the price of eggs has fallen by almost 30 percent in a single day.Continue reading

Featured image: Pixabay.com

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