The Price is Right
I don’t want to go on like a broken record about how expensive New Zealand is, but now that I’m back in the land of cheap and cheerful I am even more gobsmacked at what it costs to live there. So gobsmacked that I have to do a little price comparison to make my point.
Yesterday, I made a quick run to the supermarket, which in New York is like playing an Olympic sport. The good stores – Whole Foods, Trader Joes – are always packed with neurotic New Yorkers who pay no mind to trolley etiquette or manners, or the fact that they are actually out in public dressed like a scarecrow, as they make a beeline for non-fat, non-dairy frozen yoghurt or whatever other weird non-food food item they are subsisting on that week. To survive the whole experience you have to limber up, resolve to stare straight ahead and reach your goal (e.g. the chocolate aisle) without allowing anyone else to get you off-course, and steel yourself for a lot of ducking and diving down crowded aisles, one or two arguments with lunatics, and a lot of queuing at the end of it all. Even if it’s 11 p.m. and you only popped in for a loaf of bread.
Anyway I was after basics only as I’m on a diet this week. And:
- A dozen free-range eggs cost me $2.19 US. In New Zealand the same would cost me $8.88 US.
- A small bottle of water was .17c US. At home that would be $3 US. A markup of about 3,000 per cent.
- A small chocolate bar (I told you, I’m on a diet) was .90c US. It would be more than double that at home.
- A thingy of Greek yoghurt was $1.69 US. I’m not sure, but I think it would be at least $4 US in New Zealand.
- Three bananas was .90c US. That’s three breakfasts – for less than a dollar.
It confirms for me that New York City may be one of the most expensive cities in the world, but it’s relatively easy, once you’ve paid the astronomical rent, to live cheaply. That is not possible in New Zealand. I really do not know how entire families manage to eat in New Zealand. Or rather, eat well. Kiwi readers, how do you do it?