Thursday, February 26, 2015

Reverse Cost (and Culture) Shock

It’s no secret that Switzerland is expensive. But The Frau is surprised by some of the prices in the U.S. In fact, there are certain things here that are much more expensive than they are in Switzerland.

Here are a few amazing ones:

Decent Cheese

Good cheese is a good price in Switzerland
The Frau somehow knew her American repatriation would be fraught with processed cheese. So she avoids the rubber Americans call cheese by spending way too much money on Gruyère and Emmentaler. Any cheese that is decent in the U.S. costs a lot of money. Think about $44 a kilo. Or more. And also: Why do American cheese sellers cut Raclette cheese in triangles?


What is up with the yogurt prices in the U.S.? The Frau used to be able to buy 1000g of plain yogurt at Migros for about $2. In the U.S., this same amount of yogurt can be $7 or more. Huh? Not to mention, Switzerland offers much more selection when it comes to yogurt. It puts the U.S. to shame. The Frau sees a yogurt maker in her future.


Decent coffee is super expensive in the U.S. The Frau bought some Starbucks Christmas coffee–after Christmas–and it was still about double the price she used to pay for a package of coffee in Switzerland.

Sparkling Water

Sparkling water is so expensive in the U.S. that The Frau asked for a SodaStream for Christmas. She loves it, by the way. In Switzerland, The Frau used to pay 25 cents for 1.5 liters of bubbly water in the grocery store. In the U.S., sparkling water is about five or six times that price. The Frau has no idea why.


Toddler M still wears diapers. This is unfortunate since diapers are never on sale in the U.S. Never. Ok, maybe sometimes they are $1 off. But otherwise, they are the same price they are in Switzerland—but without that lovely buy 3 for the price of 2 sale that used to happen every month. Since The Frau almost always waited to buy diapers during Swiss sale time, she now spends at least a third more on diapers than she used to.

Conclusion? The U.S. is not cheap, especially considering how much lower the salaries are here. However, there are still many things that are cheaper in the U.S. than in Switzerland. The ones that are amazingly so will be discussed next week. Bis dann, mitenand.

Anyone else see things that are a lot more expensive in their home country than in Switzerland?


Anonymous said...

Snow skiing!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should shop at a different store and live and learn!

Arielle said...

In Canada, milk, cheese, wine, beer, sparkling water are way more expensive. On the other hand, I was told that diapers are cheaper. And toilet paper or Kleenex cost 3-4 times more in Switzerland than in Canada. Here, these days, prices tend to get lower while there are increasing in Canada.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting when comparing life in the US and CH, the similarities are occasionally more shocking that the differences.

Charlotte said...

In California I find a much bigger variety of yogurt than in Zurich. It's a little more expensive than what I find here in Coop and Migros, but the individual containers are also bigger. I wish I could find more Greek yogurt here. I would pay more for it than the sweet runny stuff.

Anonymous said...

Do it! Best purchase ever! We missed Swiss yogurt so much that we bought that same yogurt maker and were delighted because we could get yogurt very similar in style and consistency to the yogurt we got in Zürich.

Thien Lan said...

Costco! That's where you'll have thousands of diapers for the price of hundreds!

Thien Lan said...

Costco! That's where you'll have thousands of diapers for the price of hundreds!

Susan said...

Walmart has cheap diapers but you'd have to shop at Walmart. I was just back in the US at Christmas and find it generally much cheaper.

Chantal said...

Yeah, generally still adverse to huge stores and especially Walmart. Thanks for the tips though.

ahmed said...

مؤسسة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالجبيلومع انتشار الحشرات في جميع مقر لا يبقى سوي حل واحد دائم وفعال وهو التواصل بمؤسسة مكافحة حشرات بالجبيل وهي مؤسسة ذات خبرة طويلة في بخ المبيدات الكيماوية الامنة علي الانسان ولكنها مواد تقضي شركة رش مبيدات
شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بحائل
شركة مكافحة حشرات بحائل\
شركة رش مبيدات بحائل


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