Posted on 21 July 2018
Living costs in Turkey
Once you make the move to Turkey, you will be amazed at how much money you can save on your overall household spend – there will be a huge difference in your weekly shopping bills for a start. Most people shop for fresh produce at the weekly markets which are found in every village, town and city across Turkey. There is always the fall back of the large supermarkets where you can buy other items, should you wish.
At the weekly market
Here, you can buy fresh bread, fruit and vegetables, a wide selection of cheese and a variety of freshly caught fish. A large sea bream, for example, which is more than enough for two people, is 25tl (£4.00).
The average weekly fruit and veg shop for two from the market will cost from 70tl (at today’s rate 6.24) which is around £11.22.
You can also buy clothes, shoes, costume jewellery, pots and pans at the market.
At the supermarket
A weekly (essentials) shop including milk, tea bags, butter, chicken, pasta, sauces etc will cost from 150tl (£24.04) – obviously the amount you spend depends on what you buy.
As a rule, most expats don’t buy convenience foods as it is more cost effective to buy fresh and make their own meals. During July and August, cooking usually goes out of the window as it’s too hot and therefore your appetite diminishes.
You can buy lots of well known brand names, such as Heinz, Hellman’s etc but for these there will be a premium.
- A pack of four large chicken breasts is around 13tl (£2.08)
- 500g of minced beef is 15tl (£2.40)
- A large chicken to roast is 20tl (£3.21) although sometimes chickens can be on offer and if you spend more than 60tl in the supermarket, you can pick up a fresh chicken for just 2tl.
- A good piece of beef steak is 17tl (£2.72)
Bottled drinking water
In some parts of Turkey you cannot drink from the tap; however you can have a 19L bottle of water delivered to your door from only 8tl (£1.28) per bottle – the same as the water you have for a cold water drinks dispenser. You keep the empties and give them back on your next water delivery.
- A nice bottle of white, rosé or red wine costs from 16tl (£2.56) but obviously you can buy more expensive options if you wish.
- A bottle of Prosecco is 25tl (£4.00)
- A nice bottle of champagne is 125tl (£20.00)
- Four bottles of local beer is 30tl (£4.80)
- A bottle of local vodka is 70tl (£11.22) and a bottle of local gin is around the same price. Again you can buy known brands but you will pay more for those
A pack of 20 Turkish brand cigarettes costs from 10tl (£1.60) whereas branded cigarettes cost from 15tl (£2.40).
- A Nescafé coffee costs from 6tl (96p) and English tea is from 3tl (48p)
- A soft drink costs from 5tl (80p)
- Snacks such as a toasted cheese sandwich served with chips will set you back around 13tl (£2.08)
Restaurants vary so it depends on what you want to eat:
For lunch, you can have a traditional Turkish meal for two (consisting of a free meze starter served with bread, pide (similar to pizza) and fresh salad with two beers) for just 50tl (£8.00).
An evening out for two at an upmarket restaurant with a couple of bottles of excellent wine and three courses will only cost you 200tl (£32.00).
If you just want a drink, local beers cost from 12tl (£1.92), a glass of house wine is from 12tl (£1.92), a gin and tonic or vodka and coke is from 14tl (£2.24). Cocktails start from 22tl (£3.53). Obviously different areas have different prices so this is just a guide.
In conclusion, the beauty of living in Turkey is that the cost of living is so much lower than European countries, which in turn affords you a great lifestyle.
If you are lucky enough to live near the beach, in general the cafés there are inexpensive, so grabbing a spot of lunch in between catching the rays is easy. It means you can go out and meet up with friends several times a week without worrying about how much you are spending
So the big question is, when are you moving to Turkey?