For this guide we have used the Province of Alicante, a popular destination choice for ex-pats and second home owners from across Europe.
The prices cover day to day commodity type items such as food, fruit and vegetables and that important item wine. Also covered is eating out during the daytime and evening including the many types of dining experiences on offer.
Information on costs for housing, transportation, technology (wi-fi etc), personal care, health care, entertainment and clothing will follow in subsequent articles.
All costing indicators are current as of the beginning of January 2021 and are reliable as they come from a continuously updated survey of various active consumers living in the area.
For example, and to headline an average.
The estimated monthly outgoings for a family of four are €2,531 and for a single person the estimated monthly cost of living would be €1,147.
‘Keeping heart and soul together’
Food is the first item highlighted and we have a basket of products that contain most of the day to day purchases that make up a list of normal dietary consumables.
In Spain a lot of people make lunch-time the opportunity to ‘take advantage’ or ‘que aproveche’ in Spanish to stop for a simple lunch time menu with a drink included. This goes for the business districts of the larger towns and cities but is also very popular among holidaymakers and beach goers. Around mid-morning you will notice many restaurants setting up for this ‘Menu del Dia’ and by 12.00 noon all the tables will ready for the lunch-time guests.
A basic menu del dia with two or three courses including a drink will cost around €15.
There is a similar menu available for those dining in the evening called the ‘Menu del Noche’. This is based around but not exactly the same as an ‘a la carte’ menu offered by the restaurant and is a very good option for the night-time diner. A three course meal with a bottle of wine would cost €35 for two people.
Should the ‘a la carte’ option be taken there are large numbers of restaurants offering Spanish, Italian, Asian and European cuisine. With very good dining experiences across the region to be enjoyed that would cost anything from €25 per person upwards for a three course meal with wine.
If an after dinner drink or a cocktail is also on the entertainment agenda there are several places to enjoy the experience and a good well made cocktail would cost around €7.
For those looking for a simpler meal there a growing number of ‘Gastro Pubs’ that offer a fast food option of a burger, fries and a beer for €7.
Add in the tapas bars and “cervezerias” that all offer good quality food, beers and wines, a meal and a drink for under 10€.
‘Home is where the hearth is’
Dining at home is also an opportunity to create a good experience for friends and family and the cost of dining in is inexpensive whether ‘al fresco’ for most of the year or inside during the winter months.
The quality of food here in Spain is high and not expensive, there are several good supermarkets and a high number of smaller and specialist (delicatessen and patisseries) shops that offer a wide range of very good produce.
Below we have 10 items with the average price that would typically be chosen when buying food and drinks:
500gr. Bone less chicken breast. €3.45
1 litre of fresh milk. €0.90c
A dozen eggs. €1.80
A kilo of fresh tomatoes. €1.50
500gr of locally sourced cheese and there are dozens of different types. € 5.09
A kilo pf potato. €1.09
A kilo of apples. €1.50
Bread (baguette or small loaf) enough for two people/day. €0.90
Lager/beer a tray of 12 33cl cans. €5.50
A bottle of locally produced good quality table wine red or white. €4.80
A 2 litre bottle of soft drink (orange, lemon or cola). €1.20
In summary this snapshot highlights what you could expect to pay for eating, drinking and entertaining year round here in the Costa Blanca.
Directly compared to the UK cities of London and Manchester the cost of living here is 28% less.
The total cost of living across all sectors shows that living in Province of Alicante compared to these two UK cities costs 51% less.
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