Holy Inflation!

We’ve now been back in Buenos Aires for a little over two weeks after being in the States for just over three months. The first thing we noticed upon being back (aside from the poor paper towel and toilet paper) was the amount that prices have increased.

We didn’t imagine that prices in three months would have gone up so much, but after being away, the price changes were very apparent:

  • Our normal order of a pizza and a dozen empanadas from La Guitarrita (with the La Nacion discount) went from $75 pesos to $98 pesos. (30%)
  • Our usual weekly grocery shopping went from $550/week to $700/week! (27%)
  • My haircut is now $65 pesos. This was actually a bargain as it only went up from $50 pesos a year ago. (30%)

And the official government numbers show 9% inflation? Sure it is.

While Buenos Aires may be affordable (if you’re earning dollars), it is definitely no longer cheap. Coming from New York City, you may find things to be a bit of a bargain, but comparing it to many smaller suburban cities, I’d say prices are pretty close when you’re shopping for groceries or goods. The one place where BA still beats the US is in services. House keepers, nannies, health and beauty services, etc. are still a bargain.

Not missing these

No Cheese Balls in Argentina?

Anyhow, we had a great time in the States, but it’s nice to be back, especially as the weather starts to warm up.  We are still missing many of the things we grew used to having in the States though (even if this is the normal whiny expat list)…

  • TJ Maxx, Walmart, Home Depot and Hannaford – variety, variety, variety and much cheaper prices
  • Sugarfree Red Bull. For some reason, only regular Red Bull exists in BA.
  • Organic, pre-washed salads
  • Deli lunch meat…turkey, roast beef and all the other options
  • Stonyfield Farms Organic Yogurt – nothing in BA compares to the creaminess of this.
  • Sushi (not any cream cheese to be found)
  • Good Chinese food
  • Dill pickles
  • Peanut butter – we’re out of the jar we brought back already
  • Online shopping, especially Amazon.com who somehow can ship me a couch and loveseat in two days
  • Streaming music and video – Pandora, Hulu, and HBO GO
  • Electronics purchases – $50 for a refurbished Vizio soundbar that is now in BA with me. $99 for an HP Touchpad. A new Kindle. Ahhh…I am going to save so much money now.
  • The mountains of Vermont (minus the flooding)
It’s amazing that after three months we have to go through this adjustment period, but that just goes to show that even after being here for almost three years, there are a lot of differences – both good and bad.

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