Helsinki - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Slightly more expensive groceries but better quality and no hidden chemicals, sugar, etc. With the current inflation in the states, plus our interest in organic/healthier options, we don't see a difference in our grocery bill after moving back to NoVA. Plus you get the VAT back. Only exception is alcohol, which is significantly more expensive than in the states but not prohibitively so and generally also better quality. - Dec 2022

Groceries and household supplies are more expensive than the Washington, D.C. area, although when you submit VAT for reimbursement, that gives you a decent amount of money back, and Helsinki also has a generous COLA currently. Luckily, prices aren't as high as some other countries in the region, like Oslo. A few examples: 1.5 liter bottle of soda: 2.89 Euro Loaf of bread from grocery store bakery: 5 Euro Small carton of strawberries: 6 Euro Bunch of bananas: 2 Euro Box of cereal: 5 Euro Single serving of yogurt: 1 Euro Restaurant and delivery food, however, are considerably more expensive than the U.S. For instance, a large Pizza Hut pizza is 25-30 Euro. As a family of four, when we order takeout (Thai, Indian, Italian, etc.), we usually pay between 60 and 100 Euro. - Oct 2021

There is an abundance of excellent grocery stores, including several large 24/7 supermarkets. Prices are higher than the U.S., but quality and selection are excellent. - Oct 2018

Groceries are about the same cost as they are in the U.S. Maybe a little more. I thought the quality of the groceries was much better. Fish and deli meats are definitely better quality. - Jul 2012

In Helsinki i costs at least double what it does in the States to buy anything. I order a lot online and buy from the country store at the embassy. - Jan 2011

You can get almost everything here. Even tortillas and tofu at the corner market. But like I said before, everything costs more -- although they did just lower the food tax from 17% & 22% to 12%. - May 2010

Groceries and household supplies are more expensive here than most cities. However, you can buy everything here including most American products. - Apr 2009

If you get don't get pay in euros, yens or pounds, you'll suffer here because of the currency exchange rate. Average price of groceries for a family of 4 is like 200 euros a week. There are plenty of well-stocked grocery stores although American products like peanut butter, mac & cheese and chocolate chip cookies are virtually nonexistent. - Mar 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More