I’ve been thinking about writing a “what it costs to live in Bangkok” post, both as a way to record our time here and for people who like to know how much it costs to live in different places (i.e., people like me). I think most people would be surprised to learn just how low the cost of living is here in Thailand, which is just one of the reasons we like living here.

When we buy groceries, we normally go to Big C. A Big C Supercenter, which is pretty similar to a Walmart, is a 15-minute walk from our condo and has much of what we need. We do buy all of our fruit and vegetables and some of our meat from the local market, so we probably go to Big C only about once a month. For imported American products, I go to Villa Market, which sells enough American products to make you feel like you never left the US.

Without further ado, here’s what we pay at Big C for the products we buy most often. Unless otherwise noted, the products are also available at Villa Market and Foodland, a grocery store chain that stocks some imported products. (We don’t go to Tesco Lotus — Thailand’s largest supermarket chain — much, so I can’t say for sure what they have or don’t have. Tops Market, a grocery store whose imports are mostly from the UK, isn’t a favorite either as it can be quite expensive.)

Benjarong jasmine rice, 5 kg (11 lb): 198 baht ($6.31)

Thailand is the world’s third largest rice exporter, so we have a lot of choices when it comes to rice. I can’t really tell the difference between brands, but Worchihan can, and this is the one he likes the most. Also, rice at Big C is almost always on sale; I don’t think we’ve ever paid full price.

Farmhouse sliced whole wheat half loaf, 250 g (8.82 oz): 22 baht ($0.70)

Mitr Phol sugar, 1 kg (2.2 lb): 22 baht ($0.70)

Thailand’s is the world’s fourth largest sugar producer, while Mitr Phol is the world’s third largest sugar producer. We buy this brand because it’s the brand I bought from the start and because I used to teach English at the company.

Kellogg’s Frosties, 300 g (10.58 oz): 125 baht ($4)

Mission tortilla chips, 170 g (6 oz): 99 baht ($3.17)

Big C has begun carrying Mission products in the last couple of years. I was happy to see them because I grew up eating their tortillas. Big C doesn’t sell their tortillas, but does sell their pizza crust (which I like) as well as their wraps (never tried them) and their naan (didn’t like).

Also available at Villa Market

Herr’s Chunky Salsa, 16 oz: 159 baht ($5.09)

Also available at Villa Market

Haitai saltine crackers, 140 g (4.94 oz): 67 baht ($2.15)

Casino bretzels, 200 g (7.05 oz): 65 baht ($2.08)

Big C has lots of Casino products, like cookies, jam, cereal and chocolate, in the imported food aisle of my local Big C. Groupe Casino, a French company, used to own a large stake in Big C.

Only available at Big C

Double Stuf Oreos, 147.7 g (5.21 oz): 30 baht ($0.96)

Sante Crunchy cranberry & raspberry muesli bar, 40 g (1.41 oz): 23 baht ($0.74)

Fun fact: These muesli bars are from Poland!

Only available at Big C

Malee apple juice, 1 liter: 69 baht ($2.21)

Tipco Cherry Berry and Grape, 1 liter: 69 baht ($2.21)

Juice at Big C is often on sale, so I generally buy whichever brand happens to be on sale.

Allowrie salted butter, 227 g (8 oz): 114 baht ($3.65)

Dutch Mill milk, 830 ml: 45.50 baht ($1.46)

Dutch Mill also makes low-fat and skim milk.

Mainland Tasty cheddar cheese, 250 g (8.82 oz): 209 baht ($6.70)

Mainland is a New Zealand company. Several other varieties of Mainland cheddar cheese are available at Big C.

Caroline sour cream, 150 g (5.29 oz): 39 baht ($1.25)

Dutchie plain yogurt, 4 x 135 g (4.76 oz): 54 baht ($1.73)

Prung Thip salt, 500 g (17.64 oz): 7 baht ($0.22)

Cook sunflower oil, 1 liter: 74 baht ($2.37)

Kawan plain paratha, 14 oz: 105 baht ($3.36)

We love this paratha. Paratha is an Indian flatbread that is popular in the countries around India, including Myanmar and Malaysia (this brand is Malaysian). I use this paratha as tortillas when I make tacos and Worchihan likes to make them with bacon and eggs, which I turn into a breakfast taco.

Note: Flour is missing from this list because Big C doesn’t stock the flour I buy.

That’s the Big C round up. Please let me know in the comments if you’re interested in learning about the cost of anything here in Thailand.

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