How Much Do Groceries Cost in Portugal?

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Published: November 2022 & Last Updated: November 2022

Groceries are one of the biggest day-to-day costs that most people have and so you may be wondering how much it’ll cost you to do your weekly shopping in Portugal. Most people assume it’ll be cheaper – after all, wages are lower in Portugal – but that often depends on where you’re coming from and where you shop. Groceries are cheaper when compared to the US and Canada, but that’s not necessarily the case when you compare grocery costs to the UK or other European countries. 

Making this kind of comparison is extremely difficult and fraught with caveats, such as:

  • Prices are accurate at the time of writing but are likely to change
  • It wasn’t always possible to find an identical product in each of the shops
  • Sizing differed (US products were typically larger and priced per pound or ounce rather than kilo) and equivalent prices often had to be manually calculated 
  • US prices based on costs in Colorado, but may be different in other US states
  • Discounted or loyalty card prices were not taken into account
  • Prices are taken from Continente (Portugal), Tesco (UK), and Walmart (US) simply because they’re the main shops in each country, but you might normally shop somewhere else. In Portugal, for example, Aldi and Lidl are often cheaper
  • If you move to Madeira or the Azores, where large supermarkets are less common, your grocery costs are likely to be higher

With all of that in mind, however, this article will hopefully give you a better idea of how much groceries cost in Portugal. To get a more accurate idea of how much your weekly shop would cost in Portugal, try doing a sample online shop with Continente or Pingo Doce.

Sample Grocery Prices

Continente (PT)Tesco (UK)Walmart (US)
Green Pepper (individual)€0.75£0.48$0.88
Store Brand Chopped Tomatoes€0.89£0.45$0.88
Broccoli (individual)€2.99/kg£1.92/kg$4.034/kg
6 Large Eggs€1.49£1.59$2.74
Heinz Top Down Ketchup 460gm€2.39£2.80$3.97
Banana (individual)€0.22£0.14$0.27
Self Raising White Flour 1 kg€0.89£0.53$1.31
Store Brand Olive Oil 1 Litre €4.39£4.25$6.33
Chicken Breast (price per kg)€6.49£6.07$6.48
Kellog’s Corn Flakes 500 G€3.99£1.99$4.28
Store Brand Salted Butter 250 g €1.89£1.99$3.52
Store Brand Crunchy Peanut Butter (price per kg)€6.29£3.00$3.40
Tinned Kidney Beans 400 gm€0.74£0.33$0.78
Spaghetti 500g €0.84£0.95$0.92
Total€31.26£24.57 (€28.59)$39.79 (€38.4)

Conclusion

While this comparison is by no means conclusive, it does confirm what many expats are likely to experience: those coming from the UK will find grocery prices slightly higher while those coming from the US will say they’re lower. These are Walmart prices: US shoppers that normally shop at other stores like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods will notice a much bigger difference in costs. However, you won’t necessarily be comparing like for like as most products in Portuguese supermarkets are not organic or made to the same standards (although due to EU laws, are often produced to higher standards than similar non-organic products in the US).

While shopping costs often increase for those coming from the UK, the UK isn’t necessarily representative of all of Europe. Those moving to Portugal from other European countries may not notice a significant difference.

Once you start adding toiletries, branded household products, and imported products, the cost of a weekly shop in Portugal jumps up. If you stick with basics, products that are made in Portugal, and the type of products the Portuguese buy, you will keep your weekly budget low.

One area where it was difficult to compare costs was the cost of wine. This is also one area where Portugal is significantly cheaper than the UK or US and where the quality of cheap wine is much, much better. €5 is often enough for a perfectly drinkable bottle of wine. The same usually cannot be said for wine in the UK or US.

The quality, selection, and availability of fish and seafood in Portugal is also much higher than in other countries. It wouldn’t be fair to compare a fresh piece of salmon from a Portuguese supermarket with a vacuum-sealed, several day old piece from a supermarket in another country.

What’s clear, however, is that grocery shopping in Portugal isn’t significantly cheaper. Many people assume that since wages are lower here – in 2020 the average gross annual Portuguese salary was €18,396 compared to €59,981 in the US and €40,753 in the UK [1]https://www.ine.pt/xportal/xmain?xpid=INE&xpgid=ine_destaques&DESTAQUESdest_boui=458529551&DESTAQUESmodo=2&xlang=pt– that food costs will be proportionately lower. This isn’t the case.

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Comments

  1. Moving to Portugal Made Simple is now available on Amazon
  2. We live half the time in Northern Ireland, UK, and half the time in the Algarve. We find food prices extremely expensive here. We shop in Aldi, Lidl, Pingo Doce, Apolónia, and Intermarché.

    Reply
  3. > Don't also forget that there is no iva on food in the UK and anything from 6-23% in Portugal.
    Not true. Prices of food products in the UK always include a 20% VAT, and you can see this on a separate line (VAT) in itemised till receipts from Aldi UK supermarkets in particular. The prices you see on the shelves in all UK supermarkets already include 20% VAT.

    Reply
  4. Continente is the most expensive supermarket, even more expensive than Pingo. However it is worth trying the various COOPERATIVAS, they sometimes beat the prices of the supermarkets by a wide margin. And generally the fruit and veg is much better and cheaper as they get delivery basicaly every morning!

    Reply
  5. Moving to Portugal Made Simple is now available on Amazon
  6. We have a house in Portugal that we are planning to be our home and residence when we retire in 3 years time. We have been visiting Portugal for over 20 years.
    We mostly shop at lidl, sometimes continente, Pingo doce, intermarche and most importantly the markets. We also use our village shop when we run out of something or have forgoten something. We also feel it is important to support village businesses.
    I do our shopping back in the UK so I can easily spot the difference in prices. Baked beans in Portugal are very expensive so I don't buy them. Instead I buy dried beans, re-hydrate them,cook them and them add tomato pulp with some interesting spicy flavours. The result is a big sealed container of delicious baked beans without any perservatives, huge amount of sugar or salt and very cheap to produce. They keep in the fridge for about 10 days. They pass the kids test when the grand children are with us. What I am saying is that adapt and improvise where necessary, look out in lidl for food with reductions and cook it that day. If you don't want to eat it that day you can freeze it. Buy friut and veg at the wonderful markets in Portugal as well as fish and meat. Great quality and prices. If you live in Portugal and have a garden have a go at growing you own food like my neighbours do. Then you could make your own ketchup, chopped tomatoes and freeze other stuff for the winter. Eu amo Portugal.

    Reply
  7. Here're some more examples from the UK: Lidl own brand Bellarom Instant coffee 200gms glass jar - price in Lidl Portugal today is 2.89 EUR; price in Lidl UK is £1.85 // Teabags 160 bags - £1.09 (very much more here in Portugal for 160 bags of black tea) // Baked beans 420g tin - £0.22 (22p) // Loaf of white bread 800g - £0.39 (39p) // etc.
    Other price examples from UK supermarkets this week: https://www.lancs.live/news/cost-of-living/baskets-aldi-lidl-morrisons-asda-25569209

    Reply
  8. We have been holidaying in Portugal for the last four years, always staying in self-catering accommodation, so I hope I am well placed to comment on supermarket food prices.

    Most prices, such as butter, milk, bread and so on are similar. It's not surprising that Kellogg's prices are higher as I assume that their products are imported, their cornflakes are manufactured in the UK and hence cheaper.

    Some items are surprisingly expensive, like avocados. But mostly, we find the prices similar or less and the quality of, for instance, produce like tomatoes is vastly superior. And wine and beer are significantly cheaper and again the quality of wine in Portuguese supermarkets is incomparably better.

    Similarly, going out is much cheaper. A galao rarely costs more than 1.50 euros, compared to 3 euros in England. Pizza is probably 2 euros cheaper in a restaurant and a beer about 1.50 euros, compared to Pizza Express where it's 6 euros.

    In summary, Portugal is overall cheaper, better value and better quality.

    Reply
  9. Moving to Portugal Made Simple is now available on Amazon
  10. Don't also forget that there is no iva on food in the UK and anything from 6-23% in Portugal. The foreigners, of which I'm one, come here mainly because it's cheap, cheap for them but not for the Portuguese who suffer a lot. NHR means the millionaire is often paying less tax than his cleaner and that can't be right for an equitable society...

    Reply
  11. Having just returned to the US from 3 weeks in Portugal (Faro in the south and Oliveira do Hospital area in the mountains in the north,) we noticed a couple other things. Most of the produce is fantastic - super fresh and delicious! The sheep and goat cheese we favor had exceptional flavor and a reasonable price. These things were consistent across all sources: tiny village shops, big stores like Aldi and Lydl, and farmers markets. The growing season appears to be longer there. We're missing Portugal already, especially the cheese!

    Reply
  12. Hello James
    Your report/analysis is not very rigorous, I am afraid. I suggest that you reference a website such as www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living for a more comprehensive coverage of this topic.

    Reply
  13. With all due respect, this is an amateurish attempt at the subject. Just direct readers to the numbeo.com website that analyses cost of living differences around the world based on real input from people living in those countries. Very informative and constantly updated.

    Reply
    • Hi Brian,

      It is a very amateurish approach at the subject, yes, however, I would also be cautious with Numbeo data. When I've looked at it in the past I've found it to be inaccurate and the comments from people in the comments section don't fill me with confidence.

      Reply