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Old 29.04.2013, 12:30
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Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

First and foremost, this is not a rant about cost of living.

It seems like about twice a week, somebody stumbles across this forum after a google search and the first question is typically about cost of living. For whatever reason, a lot of people seem to not want to use the cost comparison tools than are available online, or maybe are just looking for corroboration from some of us who have been around for a while.

For the last couple of weeks I've been noting the prices on some stuff that most people will buy at some point in their lifetime. This is obviously not all inclusive, nor is it all stuff that I buy on a regular basis. Hopefully, it's a good enough cross section of dry goods, groceries and services that it will give a good frame of reference and help when you're trying to guestimate a weekly grocery budget, or decide how you might have to change your entertainment habits if you make the big move.

Everybody knows that Switzerland is crazy expensive compared to North America, But my hope is that, for new people who are contemplating a move to Switzerland, this might be more helpful than just seeing a comment that "Switzerland is 1.8 times more expensive that the republic of where-you-came-from."

In some cases, the products or services mentioned have more expensive and less expensive alternatives, but this is typical "middle of the road" pricing from a coupe of big chain stores. Unless noted, all pricing is in Swiss francs, in or around Geneva. Sizes are metric. I'm not doing the conversions for you, look it up.

Changing over from snow tires to summer tires
and storage of off season tires at the dealer 139.50

Movie for a family of 4, with no snacks (includes 12.00 for
purchase of 3d glasses) 95.00

Big Mac meal at McDonalds 13.00

Pizza lunch for 2 around Rue de Rhone 60.00-80.00

Chinese lunch for 2 at Globus food court 60.00-80.00

Dinner for 4 (including desert- drinking water or coca cola)
at a restaurant with real silverware but paper napkins 250.00 (approx)

3 scoop ice cream cone 10.50

1 litre of 95 octane petrol/gasoline 1.77

Hot dog or panini lunch from a street cart 6.00-8.00

Dry Cleaning for a 2 pc suit - 2-3 day turnaround 34.00

Starbucks Cafe Americano (large) 6.80


"Grocery/Department store ABC"

Deli fresh Spinach Ravioli (bulk, price per kg.) 29.50
Broccoli (per head) 2.95
Pellegrino sparkling water (6 pack 1 liter bottles) 5.60
Pampers diapers (size 3-6kg, 74 pack) 19.95
Toilet paper (9 roll pack) 8.90
Colgate toothpaste (75ml) 3.95
Head & Shoulders Shampoo (regular- probably about 500ml) 7.40
Natural flavor potato chips (300g) 4.80
Energizer AA batteries (16 pack) 15.80
Eggs (10 pack) 4.60
Sugar (1 kg) 1.25
Chocolate Syrup-like hershey's (200ml) 3.30
Flour (2kg) 1.80
Trident chewing gum (2pack) 4.80
Nesquick Chocolate drink mix (500g) 5.35
Coffee- chocco Traditional- ground beans (kg) 15.95
Barilla Penne Pasta - dry- (500g) 2.80
Spaghetti- store brand- (750g) 2.40
1 litre of milk 1.65


"Grocery/Department store XYZ"

Levi's 501 bluejeans 149.00
Nivea spf 30 sunscreen spray (200 ml) 19.95
Kelloggs Corn Flakes (500g) 4.60
Kelloggs Frosted Sugar Smacks (500g) 4.60
Marshmallows (300g) 4.90
Snickers bars (6 pack) 2.45
original potato chips 2 pack (2x170g) 5.95
Old ElPaso Chunky Salsa (100g) 4.10
Old ElPaso Nacho corn chips 6.95
Calgon dish washer powder 2 pack (2x 1500g) 35.90
Ariel liquid laundry detergent (1.30 liter/ for 18 loads) 9.95
Woolite (1.5 liter) 8.95
Sun dishwasher tablets (box of 30) 12.70
Vanilla Ice Cream (700ml) 2.70
Heinz Ketchup (570g) 2.60
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Old 29.04.2013, 12:32
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

Your list appears to exclude fresh fruit and veg.
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Old 29.04.2013, 12:35
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

Yeah, for some reason I missed the produce section. Feel free to add it in.
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Old 29.04.2013, 12:36
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

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Your list appears to exclude fresh fruit and veg.
Those fluctuate a bit, so why bother?
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Old 29.04.2013, 12:39
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

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Yeah, for some reason I missed the produce section. Feel free to add it in.
Why? It is only really valid at the current date - although low inflation means it doesn't change much.

There is also a difference between Geneva, Zurich, and somewhere in the arse end of nowhere.

This sort of thing has been tried before BUT is poorly managed/maintains and drops off the radar.

There is also a vast range in prices - a haircut can cost to 30chf to 300chf (alright girls 3,000chf).

The idea is good - but the amount of research required to execute this properly is huge.
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Old 29.04.2013, 12:55
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

You are probably right, but I'm not interested in making a career out of it. I went to the effort of recording some pricing as I went about my daily life, and hopefully it will help somebody understand what they will need to deal with as they are trying to get their head around the idea of moving to a place where you pay as much for milk as for premium gasoline, and both are 300% of what they cost where you came from

If not, it will sink to the bottom.
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Old 29.04.2013, 12:57
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

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.....the idea of moving to a place where you pay as much for milk as for premium gasoline, and both are 300% of what they cost where you came from .
And a place where you buy a car that is 50% more economical and drive half the annual distance.
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Old 29.04.2013, 12:59
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

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And a place where you buy a car that is 50% more economical and drive half the annual distance.
Or you don't even need a car... I can get around Greater Zurich for about 1000CHF/year.
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Old 29.04.2013, 13:46
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

Childcare.
In the local (Gemainde) centre. Chf110 per day per child.
Babysitting by local teenagers. Chf 15 to 20 per hour (hourlz rate is normally the same as their age ie 17 chuffs for a 17 year old.
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Old 29.04.2013, 13:52
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

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Your list appears to exclude fresh fruit and veg.
And wine, which is 1/2 the price compared to the US.

And the fact that two vehicles can share plate/insurance/taxes, and that you can register/insure a vehicle for only a few months (or even weeks)/year.

Tom
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Old 29.04.2013, 13:54
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

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And wine, which is 1/2 the price compared to the US.

Tom
I believe that trumps the increase cost in fuel and milk.

You also can't buy Pabst Blue Ribbon here - which must garner Switzerland some extra bonus points.
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Old 29.04.2013, 14:01
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

but in the US, you can score 40oz bottles.
One all?

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Old 29.04.2013, 14:05
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

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but in the US, you can score 40oz bottles.
One all?
Nothing worth drinking can be bought in a 40oz plastic bottle.
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Old 29.04.2013, 14:06
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

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Nothing worth drinking can be bought in a 40oz plastic bottle.
the good stuff starts at 64oz!
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Old 29.04.2013, 14:14
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

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the good stuff starts at 64oz!
Quantity does not out weight quality
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Old 29.04.2013, 14:29
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

3.2% Malt Liquor?

Tom
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Old 29.04.2013, 15:12
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

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I believe that trumps the increase cost in fuel and milk.

You also can't buy Pabst Blue Ribbon here - which must garner Switzerland some extra bonus points.
If Switzerland did get some bonus points, they got wasted on Feldschloessen...

There's Swiss Miss, which isn't terrible


and then there's Swiss Piss, which is terrible...

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Old 30.04.2013, 23:51
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

anything with service is automatically at least 2x more expensive in Switzerland. But the raw materials are usually the same price as North America I found... thus the reason why I rarely ever go out to eat. I just buy the ingredients and make it myself.
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Old 01.05.2013, 00:06
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

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anything with service is automatically at least 2x more expensive in Switzerland. But the raw materials are usually the same price as North America I found... thus the reason why I rarely ever go out to eat. I just buy the ingredients and make it myself.
Up to a point I thought you were talking about garages and cars.
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Old 01.05.2013, 11:49
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Re: Cost of living in Switzerland-with examples

Keep in mind the tax and tip is already included here. For Americans this can be quite a novel concept. I was accustomed to rounding up my estimated grocery bill by at least 6% to allow for various local and state sales taxes, and any restaurant bill by 18% to allow for tax and tip.
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