I’ve been living and traveling in Europe for 2 years — here are 9 things that are cheaper abroad than in the US

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Published 9:14 am PDT, Wednesday, July 31, 2019

natalia lusinski portugal streetNatalia Lusinski

  • There are several items in Europe that are much cheaper than they are in the United States.
  • I’m an American who’s been living and traveling through Europe since January 2017, and I’ve noticed several big price differences between European and American products.
  • Groceries, housing, and even Uber rides are cheaper in Europe, as well as several other things.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

I’ve been living abroad since January 2017, and my friends back in the United States constantly ask how I can afford it.

Simple: It’s cheaper to live abroad than in the US if you’re doing things right.

As a digital nomad who works as a remote journalist throughout Europe, I tend to change countries every one to three months. I’ll be living near the aqua blue Adriatic Sea in Dubrovnik, Croatia, one moment and riding picturesque Lisbon trams to my coworking space the next.

Not everything is cheaper overseas, of course. I’ve had to pay $8 for a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer in Switzerland versus the $0.99 I could have paid at Target, and doing a load of laundry in Madrid costs $7  (and $7 more to dry).

But the fact remains that several products are much cheaper in Europe than their equivalent in America.

Here are nine items I’ve personally found to be less expensive abroad than in the US.


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Whether I’m in Lisbon and order an espresso for under $1, or an Americano for just over $1, many European café prices seem far less to me than grabbing the equivalent at an American coffee shop.

I’ve also noticed that if you go to an American chain overseas, it’s more expensive and closer to US prices, so I tend to avoid them.

Eating out


For breakfast in Sarajevo and Zagreb, I’d grab a burek (a pastry made from flaky dough filled with meat or cheese) from a bakery for about $1 and it would fill me up for hours.

Since they’re very popular among locals, they’re usually piping hot, coming straight out of the oven.

When you compare the cost with a pastry from an American bakery or coffee chain — which doesn’t necessarily come right out of the oven either — Europe wins.

Restaurant meals, too, are often less expensive in Europe, particularly the eastern countries. For instance, in Krakow, there’s a 24-hour pierogi restaurant, Przypiecek, where you can get 10 pierogi for around $4. And for lunch in Madrid, you can get a four-course meal for approximately $11.


Shutterstock/Michael von Aichberger

Overall, buying groceries abroad seems cheaper abroad — though this may vary depending on what you purchase. Some weeks, I spend about $20 on groceries, while other weeks, I spend more.  

For instance, in Warsaw, I’d spend $1 for a loaf of bread from the bakery, $1 for a multi-pack of butter, and $1 or $2 for a pack of cheese with 10 slices.

Farmers’ markets also seem to cost less overseas and many people barter with the vendors to get even lower prices, such as a bag of oranges for $2 in Split, Croatia.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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