Aside from Buenos Aires’ obvious charms – its friendly people, delicious food, brilliant wines, laidback lifestyle, and its cool factor – the affordability of the city is what has also made it so appealing in recent years and so popular with second-home-buying North American expats in particular.
We found Buenos Aires to be an incredibly cheap city to live in when we rented an apartment here a few years ago, and unlike many places we’ve returned to this year as part of our grand tour, we haven’t noticed any significant price increases here.
Our Porteño and expat friends who live here have, however, complaining about the inflation and arguing that it’s cheaper these days to eat out than at home. Well, that’s their excuse anyway!
Admittedly, Terence has cooked at our apartment here far less than he has in other cities, and it hasn’t been because we’ve had a bad kitchen – in fact it would have been a lovely place to hold a dinner party. We did have Vicky Baker, freelance journalist and Going Local blogger, over for drinks, but then of course we went out to eat. And drink.
Everything seems to have gone up ever so slightly in price, including Argentina’s famously fabulous wine, but the vino is still far better value here than it is in most places in the world, especially when you take into consideration the fine quality. Don’t believe us? See what Nigel Tollerman of 0800-VINO has to say here.
While there are tiny family-owned grocery stores and compact mini-marts on almost every block, the big supermarkets like Jumbo and Carrefour are still the best places to shop for price, quality, and variety, with superb fruit and vegetables, a great range of deli products, including Patagonian cheeses and salamis, and a good bakery and wine section.
The closest supermarket to our apartment, Jumbo, is just a few blocks away around the corner on Paraguay 4302, and very close by are specialty shops for cheeses, meat, fruit and veg, and wine.
The only downside is that there are no fresh food markets within walking distance, as there are in San Telmo and other areas, but that’s just a good excuse to get into a cab and go to one!
Shopping List — what things cost in Buenos Aires
|2 litre water||ARS$1.40||£0.22||US$0.35|
|1 litre milk||ARS$3.70||£0.58||US$0.94|
|Bottle of local wine||ARS$18.00||£2.82||US$4.55|
|250g coffee beans||ARS$18.00||£2.82||US$4.55|
|50 tea bags||ARS$11.90||£1.86||US$3.01|
|1 kg sugar||ARS$4.00||£0.63||US$1.01|
|Jar of jam||ARS$8.90||£1.39||US$2.25|
|1 loaf of bread||ARS$12.50||£1.96||US$3.16|
|250g quality butter||ARS$5.60||£0.88||US$1.42|
|500 ml oil||ARS$18.90||£2.96||US$4.78|
|1 doz organic eggs||ARS$14.80||£2.32||US$3.74|
|1 kilo tomatoes||ARS$10.50||£1.64||US$2.65|
|1 kilo onions||ARS$1.55||£0.24||US$0.39|
|1 kilo apples||ARS$4.50||£0.70||US$1.14|
|250 g pistachios||ARS$21.00||£3.29||US$5.31|
|1 jar Dulce de Leche||ARS$11.90||£1.86||US$3.01|