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Bulgaria-Cost of Living Guide 2010

If you are considering making Bulgaria your permanent home, it’s worth considering how much you will need to set aside each month for living costs.

 

Throughout the last few years Bulgaria has experienced rising inflation, a common problem in developing countries. Energy and food prices have showed

the highest increases overall. Bulgaria is however still significantly cheaper to live in than the rest of its E.U neighbours.Every shopping basket contains personal choices and essentials. Since Bulgaria joined the European Union (E.U.), the choice of goods is much wider with foreign products particularly from America, France and Germany flooding the market. The costs of some of these luxury items is high and often works out higher than if you were to purchase them at home. This is one of the hazards of expat living,but there are some foods that we just can’t live without no matter what the cost.

Families with children will find that they may rely on these expensive western brands and for some, Bulgarian alternatives just don’t match up. The choice is simple however,either cut them out or pay the price!

Food basket 
No matter where we live, there are certain foodstuffs that are considered essentials. In Bulgaria such basics are comparatively cheap. Taking into account a well balanced diet and no special dietary needs, a weekly shopping basket can work out far less in Bulgaria. However brand named breakfast cereals, baked beans, butter, and tomato ketchup can cost twice as much,
making the weekly shop more expensive.

Luxury items
Everybody knows how easy it is to wander around a supermarket and add all those little extras we love. What is considered luxury in the U.K. is often inexpensive in Bulgaria. A bottle of good red wine costs about 4 euros. Smoking, an expensive pastime in the U.K. is relatively cheaper varying from 1.50 -3 euros, local brands costing less.
Bulgarian beer is significantly lower priced at only 0.50E for 500ml bottle, imported beer such as Stella Artois or Becks cost 0.80E.
Fresh meat and organic fruit and vegetables cost less and are of very good
quality.
Clothes, toiletries, make-up and electrical items can be considerably more expensive than the U.K.
Fuel prices are approximately unleaded per litre 1.10E and Diesel per litre 1.05E and LPG 0.52E.

Utility Bills
Water costs about 0.70e per cubic metre, and 20% tax is added to this bill. It is read and paid each month. The bill can be paid by direct debit, Post Office,Epay.bg or direct to the water company, but you may pay a small amount to set up the account. Many supermarkets now have a payment desk for utility bills.
Electricity prices over the past few years have increased sharply,and tariffs are different for businesses and residential customers.
As in many other countries tarrifs differ in prices according to
1. summer and winter times
2. Peak, Day and Night units, 
To find out more on price tables,and checking your bill online etc, see the E-ON Bulgaria website.This can be a very helpful website when sorting dealing with Electricity problems and payments out in Bulgaria.
Wood is a very popular fuel throughout Bulgaria. It is probably the most economical and effective way to heat your home during the harsh Bulgarian winters. Price is about 25E per cubic metre, and you can pay extra to have it cut to sizes to suit your log burning heater. This method can be hard work, and not as reliable as electric, but remember, mountain villages can have frequent power cuts so it is not always a good idea to rely on one type of fuel. In Bulgaria it is best to have alternative forms of cooking and heating.
Remember the dream to live a more laid back lifestyle can cause a considerable amount of stress when daily necessities you were used to in your home country fail in Bulgaria!

Here are some of the updated approximate prices for food and drink in
Bulgaria for summer 2010:
These prices can vary depending on where you shop, but this is a guide to what you can expect to pay

Prices in Euro:


Loaf of bread                                        0.50e
1ltr Carton milk                                      0.80e
1kg Yellow cheese                                 4.50e
1kg Apples                                            1.50e
1kg Potatoes                                          0.50e
Carton of 10 eggs                                  1.20e
1/2 ltr Olive oil                                       2.50e
1kg Onions                                            0.70e
1kg Tomatoes                                        0.50-1.00e
1kg Chicken breast                                4.50e
0.250kg Butter                                       1.00e
1/2kg Flour                                            0.60
Chocolate                                              0.50-1.00e
2ltr Coco-cola                                       1.00e
1.5ltr Mineral water                               0.80e
200g Coffee with brand name 200g       4.00
Coffee cup of                                        0.50e
Wine 750 ml                                         2.00-upwards
Beer 0.5l                                               0.50e
2ltr Beer                                                1.20e
Cigarettes                                              1.50-2.80e