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Orihuela Costa Web Guide - Food in Orihuela Costa, Spain
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Food in Spain

One question which is asked by many contemplating moving to Spain is "how much does food cost"?  For reasons not apparent to the writer, many ex-pats claim it is far cheaper than the UK.

However, this does not seem to be the case. Butter, cheese and milk are all about the same price or a little cheaper. Vegetables, the quality of which are far better than that in the UK are considerably cheaper but this is more than compensated for by tinned food which is far more expensive.

A tin of beans for example will cost in the region of 60 - 70 cents or 44p. Tinned spaghetti, pasta etc. are similarly priced. If you can get hold of them! Frozen foods are similar or slightly cheaper to that in the UK.
The Spanish are famous for healthy eating and because of this, buy a lot of their food fresh. This no doubt explains the paucity of tinned produce.

If you include alcohol in with the food bill, then prices are certainly far lower. Include cigarettes and the price drops even more. Spirits are well below half the price, with Spanish brands even cheaper.

 

The quality of Spanish meat is excellent and the prices are less than you would expect to pay in the UK. Bread is more expensive and should only be bought for consumption on the day of purchase. Spanish bread does not keep. Even if frozen, it still ends up stale. Spaniards buy bread for consumption within a few hours.

Spanish bread is similar, if not identical to French bread but the large presence of foreigners ensures that a wide selection is always available. Some of the larger UK bakeries allow bread to be produced under licence in Spain which means that UK type bread is available but you will pay almost twice the UK price.

 

Poultry is excellent, either on or off the bone. In both cases it is sold by the kilo and in most cases it is fresh, not frozen.

It goes without saying that there is an abundance of freshly caught fish in all Spanish supermarkets, markets and food stores. Fish prices are reasonable.

Overall, you may pay less for your food but you will certainly eat far more healthily.

There is a year round abundance of fresh fruit but unlike the UK it just will not keep unless refrigerated. Bananas will go off in a couple of days as will peaches. Apples and Oranges will last longer.

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It has been suggested that the reason most fruit will not keep in Spain is less to do with the heat than the fact that most is refrigerated prior to and during delivery which shortens the keeping time. However, the writer has no knowledge regarding the fact of the matter.

When it comes to living costs in Spain, there can be no doubt that things are far cheaper than is the case in the UK. May this well be the case, it would seem that spending habits are hard to break as many report spending as much in Spain as they did in the UK. Significantly, most claim a far higher standard of living!

 
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