All posts, Food and drink

Meals, markets and maths

Orgiva market vegetables

In an interview once, we stated that costs here were around 10-15% cheaper than the UK and 25% than Ireland. It got retweeted several times, so people seem interested in the cost of living in Spain.

There was nothing scientific behind our percentages but it did make us wonder how much we spend on meals. We tend to have a drink or two at lunchtime and get tapa, which keeps us going.

Thursday’s market in Órgiva is where we stock up on vegetables for the week. We then decide what to eat on a day-to-day basis.

All the vegetables in the photo cost €5.60. Over time you get to know which stalls sell the best, or cheapest produce. And it’s always fun to bag a kilo of peaches from the foghorn-voiced wheelbarrow man.

Here are eight meals with the additional costs of some ingredients:

Chilli con carne and salsa: The usual stuff including tomatoes, chillis and onions – additional cost of minced beef (350g) €3.00 and cheese €0.50. Meal cost = €4.50.

Roasted red pepper soup: Including tomatoes and paprika. Meal cost = €1.50.

Fish soup with herby croutons: Including garlic, onions, paprika, lemon and herbs from the garden – additional cost of 12 prawns and cod €2.40, bread €0.39. Meal cost = €3.50.

Brinjal saag and bombay potatoes: Including aubergines, spinach, potatoes, ginger, garlic and spices. Meal cost = €3.00.

Chicken cassoulet: Including potatoes, garlic and fresh thyme – additional cost of two chicken legs €2.50, white beans €0.60. Meal cost = €3.50.

Cous-cous with roasted almonds and whole green peppers: Including tomatoes, fresh mint and basil – additional cost of roasted almonds €0.75. Meal cost = €2.00.

Tarka dhal: Including lentils, coriander, garlic, ginger and spices. Meal cost = €1.75.

Homemade spinach pasta with pesto: Including flour, egg and spinach for the pasta; olive oil, garlic, fresh basil – additional cost of roasted almonds and Parmesan €1.00. Meal cost = €2.00.

Total cost of eight meals (three include meat/fish) = €21.75 (£18). That’s around €2.70 (£2.30) per meal for two people.

In summary, the vegetables make up a quarter of the meals’ cost, meat a third and the remainder stuff like rice, lentils, bread and cheese. Hooray for the market!

Chopped tomatoes


 Chicken cassolet

Related posts:

When in Spain, make pizza

Órgiva market

Supermarkets in Órgiva

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About con jamón spain

All about Granada, Órgiva, La Alpujarras, Las Alpujarras, Andalucia, Spain – tapas, history, local guides and more.


2 thoughts on “Meals, markets and maths

  1. Mmmmm … I’m hungry now!

    Yes, lots of people seem interested in the cost of living in Spain 🙂

    Posted by Marianne | March 29, 2014, 6:36 pm
    • Guess it’s the one thing you can’t avoid to survive. Buying food. Needless to say, we do buy the occasional jar if Marmite. Life isn’t worth living without the black stuff (oh, and Guinness!)

      Posted by con jamón spain | March 31, 2014, 8:29 am
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