Cape Town Cost of Living

Grocery Prices in Cape Town

Cape Town Cost of Living update: 11 March 2011

For your Cape Town cost of living calculation you will need to know the real cost of products available in South Africa.

Here you will find prices for some basic products you might want to use for your comparison.

In South Africa the cost of living is still lower than in many countries overseas. In the most recent documentation of the IMD, the World Competitiveness Yearbook 2009 lists South Africa as the No. 1 in their Cost of Living Index.

What does this mean for expats who often compare the living standard with the standard they are used to have in other cities around the world?

Naturally the living expenses for expatriates in South Africa are often higher than those of the locals as they do not only buy local products, but the brands known from overseas, buying "delicatessen" which are staple food in their country and often are used to a different diet than the locals.

Therefore I want to give you some real info about real prices.

You crave for some of the foods you know from home like Italian Gorgonzola cheeses, Spanish ham or German rye bread or maybe your favorite Tim Tams or Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Chocolate? Then your cost of living in Cape Town can reach astronomic levels here like everywhere else around the world outside the country of production.

Shopping for Food in Cape Town

So to keep your expenses at bay and enjoy all that Mother Nature in South Africa offers, you will start to try to keep to local products too. But that doesn’t always work when you crave for your favorite things from home…

To give you an idea about the cost of living in South Africa I took notes of the prices when shopping and adjusted this list with the most recent costs when shopping in February and March 2011.

I went shopping in several Cape Town suburbs in various supermarkets and tried to research an average price for each of the mentioned items.

Expat Cape Town Cost of Living Survey

Dairy Products:

• 2L full cream milk R17.95• 250g local unsalted butter R16.95• 250g Lurpak unsalted butter R26.99• 250g Kerry Gold Irish salted butter R21.99• 500g Rama Margarine brick R15.99• 250g sour cream/crème fraiche/cottage cheese R14.45• 100g local camembert cheese R16.99• 100g French brie R18.49• 300g local Mozzarella cheese R34.95• 1kg local Greek Yoghurt R19.99


• 1kg German bread (70%rye) R29.00• 1 loaf toast bread R11.95• 1 Bread Roll (Portuguese Roll) R6.60• 1 Ciabatta Roll R7.96• 1 Croissant R6.59• 1kg Jungle Oats R19.99• 500g Kelloggs Corn Flakes R19.99• 284g St Dalfour jam R29.99• 400g Nutella Chocolate Hazelnut spread R35.99• 200g glass Nescafe Coffee Granules R54.99• 500g Italian Coffee beans (Local brand) R36.99• 500g Nestle Milo Chocolate Drink R34.95

Meat products:

• 1kg chicken breast R67.00 • 4 Chicken thighs free range R34.95 • 1kg pork meat R75.99 • 1kg beef soft shin R64.95 • 500g lean beef mince R27.95 • 100g Italian salami R21.95 • 100g local Salami R11.99 • 125g local Gypsy ham R26.95 • 70g Italian Parma ham R38.99

Fish and seafood:

• 100g Norwegian Salmon smoked in slices R47.99• 1 kg local hake R119.99• 32 Fish fingers (800g) R35.99• 170g can John West tuna in brine R15.99

Various cooking and baking products:

• 6 free range eggs XL R13.95• 750ml vegetable cooking oil R8.49• 1kg sugar R8.99• 2.5 kg cake flour R11.99• 2.5 kg maize/corn flour R11.49• 1kg Italian flour ‘00’ R21.95• 1kg Tastic rice R12.99• 1kg special rice: Risotto/Basmati/Jasmin R47.95• 500g Spaghetti R9.95• 500g Italian Pasta R17.99• 10 burritos tortillas R59.99• 1kg frozen Mc Cain Chips R18.99

Sweets and snacks:

• 100g Ritter Sport chocolate bar R26.99 • 100g Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar R8.99 • 210g Nestle Mars Bar/Bar One 5pack R20.99 • 100g raw nuts (Hazelnuts, Almonds, Pecans etc.) R16.99 • 500g raisins R13.89

Fruit and Vegetable:

• 1.5kg Granny Smith apples R15.89• 250g local raspberries R29.99• 500g seedless white grapes R12.99• 500g carrots R4.99• 600g Rosa tomatoes R23.99• 1kg potatoes R9.99• 1kg bananas R8.49• 1kg onions R9.99• 1can of peeled tomatoes R9.99


• 5l local spring water still R18.95• 1.5l sparkling water R8.49• 1l 100%FruitJuice R 9.95• 2l Sprite/7up/Coca Cola R11.99• 1l Rice milk R19.95• 1l South African Chardonnay R32.00 and up• 6x330ml Windhoek Lager R32.50

Toiletries/Household items:

Here are just some items. Do you need to know more for your own cost of living comparison? Please contact me.

• 2 Rolls Kitchen Paper Towel R15.99• 9 Rolls Toilet Paper 2ply R53.99• 250ml Palmolive Shower Gel R23.49• Colgate Tooth Paste R11.95• 2kg OMO Washing Powder R64.99

With these given items I hope you can have an easy comparision with my Cape Town cost of living Information and your local goods at home.

Simply add the selected price in the Currency Converter here:

Currency Converter

In South Africa the food prices have risen in the last year around 10%. Furthermore the living expenses have risen considerably due to the higher electricity rates which climbed 25% and higher medical aid expenses.

The CPI (consumer price index) for urban areas shows the Headline Inflation rate was at 6.2% as at January 2010. However the CPI is expected to rise again further above the target of 6% in 2010.

I will adjust the prices in my Cape Town Cost of Living Survey when significant changes to the above mentioned prices occur.

Please feel free to contact me if you search for a certain product, so I can help you to track it down.

Should you need more info for your own Cape Town cost of living comparison please also let me know via my contact me page.

If you want to know more about where to go shopping, find specialty stores and get the best prices in the Mother City, then please go to my Expat Cape Town Shopping Guide

Do you want to read why expats choose to live in Cape Town, if not for the low living expenses? Then read on here where I will tell you about the Expat Lifestyle in Cape Town.

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