Irish Food,  Opinion,  Reviews

Are Groceries More Expensive In Ireland?

I believed that grocery prices in Ireland are expensive; I felt they are steadily on the rise again, spurred on by the report from The Guardian published on Saturday, I’ve revisited my grocery shopping list from a few years ago to see how the prices differ.

One of the things I have noticed is how much prices vary when you move away from a main supermarket. Convenience stores have a far higher mark-up for various reasons but you can expect to add at least 50c onto the price of a loaf of bread if you buy it from a corner shop.  I went into a large shop attached to a petrol station a few weeks ago, (It was big enough to house its own bakery) yet after buying a block of own-brand cheddar and teabags I had no change from €7.

I took exactly the same shopping list and put it through the online shopping facility that Tesco has. That is what I originally did in May 2011. You will recognise a number of items on the list that I don’t buy anymore! Last year I applied it in an identical way and found that the prices had significantly increased.

This year. My survey says…..

Hmmmm this is interesting. It actually comes in just around that magical €70 mark that I had managed to budget at in May 2011. What? How can all the grocery prices drop so much in the space of a year.

This year there are a wealth of budget items available to choose from when you’re shopping. For example, there are no less than 51 different ways to buy baked beans in Tesco, the cheapest being 29c for a 420g tin.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that fruit and vegetables have dropped in price alot compared to last year. While the consumer is winning at the till, I can’t help but wonder how farmers are managing to provide food at this low price, if at all.

Last year I noted that I couldn’t buy a 250g block of cheddar and that pack sizes had reduced to 230g. Interestingly, pack sizes now seem to be 200g on average so there is a pack decrease there.

I rarely buy brand names anymore, but if I was to buy based on established brands in Ireland the cost would increase.

What’s my advice?

  • If you can afford to shop around, then do!
  • Don’t buy branded items unless you absolutely want to.

Would I buy all of the budget items on my shopping list today?

  • In short, NO. A number of the own brand products, while cheap to buy, have high levels of salt and sugar.
  • Before you pick up a cheap product and put it in your shopping basket, pause and read the ingredients and nutritional information. It may be cheap now but it could cost you later.

I'm an Irish mother to 2 boys, born & bred in Dublin, Ireland. I like to cook simple & fresh food for the family, with the family on a budget.


  • Sara

    Interesting that things are around the same price but smaller packaging.. I tend to get most of my basic items own brand and have stopped buying ready made sauces and that, I’ve a lot more confidence in my kitchen now so it’s easier to have a good stock press as you have suggested and whip something together from that 🙂

  • Spody

    The problem is that many of us there are no Tescos or other major supermarkets within walking distance. Every 6 – 8 weeks I do an online supermarket shopping, after that I have to shop locally. Where you live can hugely affect the price of your household shopping.

  • lookingforbluesky

    As well as the same price/lower weight products, I think some products are now lower quality too – e.g. I used to buy own brand coffee, but I think the supplier has changed and it now tastes awful, and I’ve noticed a similar trend with other products too. I still find it worth my while taking a monthly trip to Newry to stock up 🙂

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