By Anita Graafland

Supermarket aisle – photo by nathalia-rosa-unsplash

About a year ago, your newsletter team toyed with the idea of an article about price differences between the United Kingdom and other countries in Europe, triggered by a contribution from one of our readers, John Holloway, about the massive price gaps between France and the UK. At the time, I drew up my own shopping list – which was highly idiosyncratic and not at all representative – and did a bit of research myself. My conclusion in July of 2022 was that the UK and the Netherlands were equally expensive.

When returning to the UK in March of this year, however, I had a strong sense that the gap had widened: it felt like I was spending way more on my shop in the UK than I normally do in the Netherlands. Granted, I allow myself a little bit more luxury here in the UK than I do in Amsterdam, where I live two minutes from the city’s biggest market and spend hardly anything on driving instead of filling up every week just to be able to see my friends and daughter here in Cornwall.

So, return to my personal basket of shopping I did. Here’s what it looks like – I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

ProductAlbert Heijn online, July 2022Sainsbury’s online, July 2022Albert Heijn online, May 2023Sainsbury’s online, May 2023Comments (if any)

Crisps (Lays*), Thai Chili, 150g€1.75£2.00€2.29£2.50
Cashew nuts, organic, unsalted, 200g€3.85£4.20€4.29£4.10
Pears, conference, four€2.29£2.00€2.79£2.00
Pukka* tea, three mint€4.75£3.30€5.29£4.00
Fresh orange juice, 1 litre€2.99£2.90€3.29£3.10
Always* dailies, panty liners€2.59£1.90€2.99£1.90
Sanex dermo deo€3.49£1.50€3.99£1.50
Coca Cola original taste, 12-pack€7.79£6.75€7.99£6.25
Eggs, organic large, x6€1.90£2.05€2.29£2.80
Lindt Excellent, plain, caramel and sea salt€2.15£2.10€2.89£2.45
Avocados, ready to eat€2.59£1.50€2.79£1.60
Smoked cheese, slices€1.59£2.50€1.99£3.00Own brand; Applewood smoked cheddar
Strawberries, 400g€3.69£2.25€3.99£2.25
Bonne Maman, strawberry conserve, 370g€2.75£2.80€3.79£3.30
Pellegrino*, 6×1 litre€7.40£6.50€7.49£7.00

Grand Total€51.75£44.25€58.15£47.75
At Wise exchange rates£44.25€50.58£50.66€55.28
*Branded products, as these are easier to compare across countries; same weights or units, unless otherwise observed.

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