The price of groceries vary widely across cities and especially in different countries. Today I'm sharing the details of how much basic grocery items cost in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the city I'm currently calling home (for the next month or so).
In my last post, I shared my Cost of Living and Expenses for Chiang Mai, Thailand. And today I'm digging even deeper into the details for those of you who might be curious or want to consider Thailand as a living option for yourself. And when it comes to planning expenses, knowing the cost of groceries is essential.
Where to Buy Groceries in Thailand
In Thailand there are two main places to buy groceries: local markets and traditional grocery stores.
There's also the option to buy fruits and vegetables from stalls on the street.
For me, I don't strictly shop at any one of these places. Instead I regularly buy groceries at all three types of stores.
Local markets are filled with fruits and vegetables, prepared dishes, and even raw meat and fish.
When shopping at local markets, it's good to have some sense of what the prices should be. For example, when I buy fresh fruits, I find the prices at Muang Mai market lower than Siri Wattana. But not all markets are created equally, I prefer Siri Wattana for prepared foods since they have a good selection of snacks, spring rolls, desserts and more.
Prices here are definitely cheaper than a traditional grocery store but I can't find all my shopping needs at the markets.
The traditional grocery stores are pretty easy to find in Chiang Mai, and usually have a good selection of imported items. Of course since many items are coming from overseas, many can carry a bigger price tag than they would in the States. The great thing about grocery stories, is how transparent the pricing is. No need to worry about overpaying or being charged a premium for being a foreigner.
Also check this out! Being here in Thailand, the selection of ramen noodles is vast. This Tops Market has an entire row of ramen!
Roadside stands sell bunches of bananas, mangoes, pineapples, and a few other local fruits. Many stands also sell grab and go food, like meat on a stick for easy consumption while driving a scooter. This is the cheapest place to buy fruits and vegetables. I buy a bunch of 12 mini bananas here for 15 baht, and sliced pineapple for 20 baht.
Here is a list of grocery costs in Thailand.
Imports are noted, and weights are converted to U.S. for easier comparison where it makes sense.
Fruits and vegetable Costs:
I usually try to buy fruits and vegetables outside of a grocery store, either at the market or along the road. Organic is super inexpensive at the local markets!
Generic Staple Costs:
One thing you may notice is there are not a lot of canned options here for beans and vegetables. Locals buy fresh veggies instead, which is perfect since it's affordable and more healthy and natural!
Wanting a breakfast from the States? Cheerios come with a much higher price tag here... $13.95 USD. Who knew a basic cereal could ever be so expensive!
Condiments and Sauce Price:
Note: Coca-Cola is not an import because it is made here in Thailand.
Of the above drinks, the only thing I buy is water. And I try and avoid buying individual bottles of water since it would create so much trash! Luckily there are lots of water filtration stations all over Chiang Mai where I can refill my bottle. And it's only 1 baht (3 cents usd) to refill for each liter.
And luckily for me, lots of shops and restaurants also sell kombucha (fermented tea) for about 90 baht ($2.75 usd) per bottle. Although kombucha is fairly easy to find in Chiang Mai, that's certainly not the case for other cities in Thailand.
Anything on this list surprise you? Something I missed you want to know the price of? Leave me a note in the comments and let me know!
And for info on costs to Travel Around Thailand, check out this helpful blog.