Buenos Aires - Post Report Question and Answers

How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?

Argentina has exceptionally protectionist economic policies, so unlike other places where imported products are merely expensive, imported products difficult to find at all in Argentina. At the same time, Argentina does not produce most of the products they block from being imported, so there is simply a void in the market for many products, like, for example, sour cream and any deli meat besides ham and mortadella. Argentine-made grocery products are generally of very low quality (lower even than products made in China, which is not something I ever thought I would say). The exception is beef, which is good quality and extremely affordable compared to the U.S. We bought whole beef tenderloins for about $15 at least once a week. “Chinatown” is pretty much the only place where you can find imported ingredients, from fish sauce to brown sugar, but supply is unpredictable. We used Amazon and Walmart.com for virtually all non-perishable and paper/plastic goods. Cost of anything locally is in constant flux because of the crash of the peso. Grocery shopping was always an extremely frustrating experience because stores would not allow you to spend more than 5,000 pesos at a time. It always caused such a production of the cashier having to get a manager and giving us dirty looks for having the audacity to buy more than $40 worth of food, as though we must be laundering money. - Apr 2022

Fruits and veggies are plentiful and low cost, especially if you go to fruit/veggie mini-stores (better quality than supermarkets). Any imported goods are more expensive (think peanut butter, breakfast cereal). The price of everything "went down" significantly while we were there as their currency crashed. - Jul 2020

There is a lot that you can find here, and right now, because the dollar is strong here, most food items are cheaper for us to buy here. Basically, all of your needs can be met here, however, some items are costly, like: children's toys and clothes. We buy clothes, toys, and some household items from the Internet and have them sent here because it's cheaper to do so. The household items that we buy here (like toilet paper or paper towels) are more for personal taste rather than necessity. - Jul 2019

Some things are cheaper than in the U.S. like meat and chicken but due to import restrictions by the current government, most things are made in Argentina. This just means that cheese is only provolone. Argentines don't like spicy so food tends to be bland. Make sure you bring spices with you because they are not here because there is no demand for them. - Jun 2015

I usually shop at specific stores rather than going to the supermarket (because this is cheaper). For example, for vegetables I go to a vegetable stand, for meats I go to "carnecerias" (butchers) and for chicken I go to "granjas", and for spices and other stuff I go to spice/diet shops. Jumbo is the best quality supermarket here but it's really pricey and anything imported is laughably expensive (like US$9 for a bag of Goldfish, for example). - Jan 2015

We are at 40% inflation right now with it rising every day. There are very few imports here, so the cost of the few that make it through are very high. Think US$8 for a regular size jar of spaghetti sauce or US$5 for a bad of goldfish crackers. This a DPO post (currently), so most embassy employees patronize amazon and sites like that vey heavily! I thought it was crazy to order toilet paper and Lysol wipes and basic items via DPO but the lack of variety and the quality of Argentine products make it necessary. I caveat this to say that we did not move overseas to try and recreate the American experience. However, some things are necessary for the health and mental well-being of your home and its members-- and we cannot find those items on the local market. - Aug 2014

Expensive. - Aug 2011

Local meats, and fruits/veggies are good quality. Prices are similar to US. Imported goods are hard to come by, so if you have a favorite brand (mac&cheese, cereals, snacks) you may want to bring it with you. - May 2011

Groceries are definitely getting more expensive. Again, if you have dollars, the city still remains a relative bargain. Supply is good in the larger chain supermarkets (Jumbo & Disco & Cotco) - Jul 2008

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