The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

Personal experience: cheap and expensive in the USA



News and thoughts of the traveler, the writer Anton Krotov

In all countries, I study, including prices (I study and tell readers about them). Carefully examining America, one can agree with those who say: “everything is expensive in America” and those who consider “a lot in America is very cheap”. Indeed, the difference in the value of the same (seemingly) item can easily differ 5-10 times, depending on where it is bought and under what circumstances. This applies to a large extent clothing and footwear, but also books, fruits and vegetables, milk and bread, and even cars and other valuable things.

Photo: depositphotos

Such a variety of prices is difficult to find in small countries - in Hong Kong, for example, or Luxembourg, almost everything will be expensive; and in large countries, such as India, even though there are many expensive items and shops, there are only a few of them and you can only see them very much.

More important than the prices themselves will be interesting patterns. Remember that America is a big country, everything is big here, and often a liter costs almost as much as half a gallon, and that costs almost as much as a gallon; everything big (soda, milk, ice cream) is profitable to buy, but small is not. Also, remember that large, cheap items are sold in large supermarkets on the outskirts of the city, and public transport does not go there or almost does not go there, and to go by bus for three canned food - all profits from such a trip will be lost.

Supermarket food

Let's start with food, because without food - what kind of life? Very bad and limited. The most inexpensive food here, as in Europe and Russia, lives in large supermarkets, of which there is a large and cheap, which is called Walmart (Walmart). It is in all large and medium-sized cities, as a rule, far from the center, it is not easy to reach it with your feet. But there is the largest assortment of food, and there are also clothes, things, and then they will be told about them separately.

In addition to Walmart, there are other supermarket chains, such as Safeway and many others, in them the lower price is usually twenty kopeks higher (approximately). Some have special prices for those who registered and got a card of this store. All prices need to look carefully - then for a pound (0,45 kilograms), then for a piece, then for a box, a tax or even two taxes are not included, but if it is soda - then the bottle is not included. The size of taxes in different states is different, but everything seems to be within 3-10%. There are some Mexican, Chinese, Indian stores, super-discount stores, “all by 99 cents and more” and others, they are smaller in size, but can get caught closer to the place where you live.

The detected minimum prices are listed. This does not mean that you will find exactly the same on the first day - it may not be found right away. But the landmark will be. Also in the list are not only minimum prices, but also various others. So (everything in dollars, translate into rubles yourself).

(UPD: It's amazing how many scolders came up in the comments, with words like “everything is wrong”, “don't write nonsense”, “where did you come from”, instead of figuring out the issue yourself, visiting 5-6 stores and publishing prices for that or another in the United States or another country. If somewhere the prices for a certain group of goods are indicated incorrectly, you can post your observations.)

Bread: the cheapest is so far found only in one and only place, in Walmart-e, $ 1 loaves. And in ordinary supermarkets from $ 2, more often $ 3-4 (this is sliced ​​rectangular bread, convenient for filling holes in furniture with it, it is like glue). Loafs and gray loaves, more similar to Russian ones, are sold in markets and bio stores, $ 4-6. All bread within a pound usually weighs, more often a pound, a three dollar chopped loaf - two pounds. As a rule, black bread is not sold here (well, only in a Russian store); all white and gray.

In some cities in the supermarket there are Mexican tortillas, in dollars per kilo, in packages of two kilograms or more.

Bean canned food: The cheapest food, there are in many forms, different types of beans. From $ 0,7 (Walmart) up to $ 1 (Mexican stores and smaller supermarkets), sometimes $ 1,2. It weighs about a pound. There are beans for pork, harmful to Muslims, I saw it for $ 0,50, the very minimum of all those found (I have not tried it). There are canned goods with vegetable soup, the price is also about a dollar.

Corn canned: from $ 0,7 (Walmart) up to, usually $ 1. Food and water there is one pound.

Cucumbers in banks: There is a different, large $ 2,50 can and above, water and cucumbers there with about a liter approximately. It is often written on cucumbers that they are kosher. In the US, there are special canned cucumber: in some they are already sliced, and in others they are crumbled into fine dust, and this salted cucumber jelly can cost $ 1,5 per can in Walmart.

Milk: starts at $ 2 per gallon (3,7 liters) (low-fat), $ 3 per gallon (medium-fat), 2 liters are also $ 3, liter, if there is one on sale (more precisely, gallon) - then it can cost $ 3 , it will be something "bio", "special" milk. Farm milk can be obtained and $ 5 per liter, something like this. By the way, it is forbidden to sell unpasteurized milk from people under the cow for drinking; if bought on a farm, you need to say "for cats", "for animals".

In general, if you want to drink - prepare three rubles; it is not easy to pour a gallon into one belly, half a gallon is OK, but it also costs three rubles.

Yogurts: come in small containers like ours (the lowest is $ 0,4), come in large, almost liter (a quarter of a gallon), sweet from $ 2,5 to $ 3,5 (often the second value in medium supermarkets), unsweetened - at least $ 2. One person can gradually eat such a liter yogurt, it is thick and tasty, it eats with a spoon.

Kefir: what they call "kefir" costs $ 3-4 per liter, but it's not exactly kefir. Closer to kefir and yogurt - some kind of also white liquid, it happens in the same section as milk, $ 3,5 for half a gallon (1,85 liters).

Eggs: here they are measured in dozens (for example, 30 eggs are denoted as “2½ dozen eggs”). 12 eggs - $ 2,50, 30 eggs - $ 5,50; they sell the same farms on the farms, but it’s as if the ecological ones, the chickens themselves flew, did not graze in the incubator, and therefore their eggs are $ 10 for a dozen, almost a dollar per egg.

There are eggs for the lazy, already broken and without husk, in packets, as from milk or from yogurt, a quarter of a gallon of eggs can be taken ... There are separate proteins, there are separate yolks, who want something one.

Rice: minimum dollar per kilogram, $ 1,1-1,4, can in Chinese stores cheaper. It is more profitable to take large packaging (20 pounds from $ 9).

Beans: the minimum is usually $ 2 per kilo, $ 14 per 20 pounds (9 kg) in Walmart.

Oatmeal: in different fashionable bourgeois packs. In large - I have not seen. Average price of $ 2,5 per pound ($ 5 per kilo), minimum $ 2,5 per kilo (Walmart).

Sugar: from $ 1,8 per kilogram, if taken in a large package; pound - $ 1,5. There is gray-brown cane sugar, there is white very finely ground sugar, the price is about the same.

Flour: from $ 1 to $ 2 per kilo, if you take a kilogram of 2-4 right away, just what to do with it, don't you have to fry loaves at the stake later?

Pasta: from $ 2 per kilo.

Candies: from $ 4 per kilo is the simplest, most often from $ 6.

Mayonnaise: there are different, even in large packages, for $ 10 I saw a whole gallon of mayonnaise (4 l), or $ 3,75 for about a liter can. This I mean good, fatty mayo; skim empty is cheaper. The USA is not a mayonnaise country, they have their own sauces, are used instead of mayonnaise, one of them is called Ranch and costs about the same.

Ketchup: from $ 1,5 (lowest price, once seen - $ 1) per bottle, usually from $ 2.

Cakes: $ 10, $ 5 cakes, $ 0,6 donuts, but the price varies depending on the size and store.

Fruits: the cheapest fruit in the supermarket is a banana, from $ 0,5-0,7 per pound ($ 1-1,5 per kilo). Peaches, nectarines, apples and others depend on the season and the supermarket, but in general, in every supermarket you can find some delicious fruit for $ 1,49 per pound ($ 3 per kilo approximately). Many are sold by the piece - pineapples for $ 2, for example. In Mexican wreck markets, you can find small watermelons or melons for $ 1 apiece, but it is difficult to find the wreck market itself. The usual price for a watermelon is $ 3-5 at the supermarket and even up to $ 9.

The meat of dead chickens: for some reason, it costs almost the same as fruit, I saw from $ 1,5 per pound ($ 3 per kilogram), but these are not bio-hens. Bio-chickens are more expensive than four times and are sold on farms or in the section "Bio-food".

Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut, like in Germany, but the price is two to three times higher, from $ 0,8 for a small jar of cabbage, and more often $ 1,5, and cabbage in it is a pound.

Vegetables: as many types of them, on average per dollar per pound of inedibles (requiring cooking, such as potatoes, or onions), $ 2 per edible (such as tomatoes). In ecological, farm stores, the markets can be three times higher. Potatoes in large grids come from $ 0,5 per pound. Avocados - from $ 1 apiece in the supermarket, to 4 or even more per dollar in Mexican ruins. Corn by season, today $ 0,2 apiece in Walmart, corn state.

Soda: in all cities you can buy soda, it is interesting that the minimum price is one dollar, or you take a tin 0,4 or 0,8 liter, or a liter plastic, or 2- and even have 3-liter plastic bottles of good soda also for a dollar. Not immediately, but you can find. Less than this price is suspicious tinted water for half a dollar per bottle. Usually, 5-10 is additionally charged for a bottle of cents, which can then be handed over somewhere.

Beach packages: from 20 cents, and often half a dollar for the smallest, or a dollar for a glass with this instant noodles.

Vegetable oil: from $1,5 up to $ 2,5 per liter and up.

All products have their expensive counterparts, “Bio”, “non-GMO”, “gluten-free”, “kosher” (but halal - no such inscriptions). It happens that the same box with cookies has all these inscriptions at once.

Food in eatery: it is expensive, much more expensive than the supermarket one. McDonald's, Starbucks, Subways, and Burgerkings offer thick sandwiches with some kind of meat or other filling, typically around $ 5. You can take ice cream for $ 1,1-1,3. Some coffee or soda - $ 1 per glass. Mexican eateries or stalls may be a little cheaper, where there is nowhere to sit, and there is no wi-fi or toilet. In general, no decent food cheaper than $ 4 was found, and for this money only a small person with a small stomach can eat. On average, to eat in a cafe - you need $ 15-18 per person, something like this. (In Vietnamese-Chinese establishments it can be cheaper, $ 10-12).

In addition, Americans love to pay a tip in a couple of dollars, and the staff of institutions - to receive such.

In general, all simple food in America is more expensive than in Central Europe and significantly more expensive than in Germany, Poland or Russia.

Interesting bias compared with Madagascar, Indonesia and other proletarian countries. In those, products from the gardens, self-grown, in the markets are cheap, and the supermarket is expensive, everything is there twice, three times higher. Here, on the contrary: the supermarket is three times cheaper, and in the markets - expensive, elite, self-growing.


Like many well-fed countries in Europe, the United States has a huge variation in the price of clothing and footwear. In all cities, there are second-hand stores or similar thrift stores, where Americans carry numerous things that they don’t need, and they are put up for sale at a price around 10% nominal or even lower. Sweatshirts and pants for $ 3-4, shoes and sneakers for $ 3-5, as well as books for $ 0,5-1-2, household items, even furniture, are sold at these stores very inexpensively.

You can also buy clothes inexpensively in Mexican markets, or - on weekends - at the next garage / yard sale, they appear in all large and many small cities. There are usually announcements: YARD SALE 06/19 there ... There and for $ 1 you can take an item, I saw things for $ 0,50, but then this is some kind of bullshit.

As for the price of new items, they vary greatly depending on the place of purchase. The most inexpensive, it seems, promotional Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Hollywood T-shirts, which for $ 5 or lower are sold in souvenir shops. The remaining new items are more expensive than might be interesting to readers. I took the new sneakers in San Francisco for $ 28, until I found out that there is for $ 5. That, firstly, was the reduced price at the store, and secondly, it turned out to be the highest price I paid for a piece of clothing / shoes in my life in general. Well, let's see how long they will last. In the stores of the network Walmart There are also shoes, pants, shorts, socks, T-shirts, look for something for you.

In general, there is clothing for every pocket, some Americans simply throw out unnecessary good things, spread them around an urn, or put them in special charity tanks, as happens in Western Europe.


As for small things, they cost about as much in the US as they are in Russia, or one and a half times more expensive. About two times more expensive than in Asia. What are these things? Needle threads, soap shampoo, bags, scissors, glue, stationery, all sorts of such items. To buy them you can go to two kinds of places.

A) There are shops “Everything for 99 cents” and similar ones. True, with the growth of inflation there gradually appears the postscript “Everything from 99 cents” or “Everything for 99 cents and above”. There and take all the small household items, it happens that a few pieces for a dollar (for example, soap). In addition to things, the same stores sell chips, soda and canned food, which corresponds to their price range.

B) In Walmart and other large supermarkets, too, these things exist. Prices are not space.


Transportation in the US is not cheap, but prices also vary quite a lot.

Drive to the city transport - $ 1,75-2,25. The journey usually includes the possibility of transfer to another bus / tram for two hours or even longer, so with a certain flexibility, you can go on a single ticket for three hours on a tricky route to explore the city. Suburban buses, electric trains, - from $ 3,5-4 abroad to the main metropolitan area, maybe $ 4 both on 5 km, and on 50 km.

Intercity buses there is not everywhere. The western and eastern parts of the States are served by Megabas, where there are trips for both $ 1-5 and $ 10, if you buy them in advance via the Internet. Drive on "Megabas" (, for example, from New York to Florida can not be directly, you need to make three transplants. The “East Coast” begins with Omaha, I took Omaha — Chicago — NY, just in case, just $ 25 (2000 km), but I took it in advance. He was not useful.

For those who want a more expensive message, there is a Greyhound bus monopolist (, serves 3800 directions; from New York to Florida $ 100 (1800 km), from New York to Omaha $ 130, to San Francisco as much as $ 250-280, with transfers for three days to get involved, please (4500 km).

In addition to these two extreme options, there are also “Chinese buses” connecting the Chinese districts of large cities. Schedules and plans are written in Chinese, they speak Chinese in the checkout, but anyone can buy a ticket. Who will understand the schedule and find the cashier. Prices are roughly intermediate between Greyhound and Megabas.

Trains to the USA there is not much left; there is the Amtrak passenger company, which operates the remaining passenger trains. A trip to a neighboring city / state costs $ 50, drive away $ 100, and cross the country (in a seated carriage) from $ 150, for an amateur. In the summer, many trains are full, especially the cheapest tickets, they are redeemed in advance.

Aircraft in the USA not that very cheap, but for $ 100 you can fly anywhere in the country - look on the Internet for various air ticket search engines. Maybe $ 200 one way, halfway across the country or from the coast to the coast (for long distances - cheaper than the Greyhound bus). You can find it for $ 100 to fly to Alaska if you do not have a Canadian visa and want to go to Alaska. And it happens that the demand is very high for some dates and tickets cost $ 300 one way.


Interestingly, the price of gas in the United States is highly dependent on the state. It is measured in dollars per gallon (a gallon is a little less than 4 liters). At the moment, it appears that $ 2,5 in some central states is about $ 3 in New York, over $ 3,5 in California and Alaska. San Francisco and Los Angeles are almost the most expensive gasoline (in some places I have seen even more than $ 4), not because of the difficulties of delivery, but because at this price taxes constitute a significant part, different for each state.

As a result, in the country, it is $ 0,65-1,05 per liter; half the European price, three times lower than the Turkish, higher than the Russian and significantly higher than the Indonesian and generally average Muslim.

The price of gasoline varies significantly depending on world oil prices; when oil was twice as expensive, gas was about $ 1 per gallon. Also, the price is slightly different for different grades of this fuel.


The cost of renting a home in the US varies many times, firstly, depending on the city, secondly, on the place in the city (agglomeration), thirdly, on the size and properties of the dwelling itself, fourthly, on how a long time a person already lives here and how well versed in rent. Most rented houses here, apartments are less common; the size of living space per person is larger than in Russia or Asia.

The most expensive for home use is San Francisco; the minimum price you can find here for a separate house is $ 2000 per month; in New York we will assume $ 1500, in Los Angeles you can already find it for less than $ 1000, in provincial towns there is $ 500 / month or even less.

Utility payments (electricity, water, Internet, garbage, extortions of the local house committee or local council) are added to this price. Electricity in each state has its own cost, and it depends on consumption, about 15 cents per kilowatt-hour. Requests for a local council may be $ 100 per month, and the Internet $ 40-50. Garbage: all tanks have their own, garbage is taken out, it happens once a week, so that it does not rot and stink, you need to fold it into bags, and keep tanks away from the kitchen, especially in summer. Who has a lot of garbage, more tanks and he pays more.

It's all usually people take off for a year, or for another long term; if a person lives 10, 20 years in one removable home, then he usually pays less than those who change housing to another each year.

For short term travelers, such options are hard to find; those who come for a month or a couple of months often look for roommates or rent an apartment / house of a temporarily departing person, as is common in New York and other megalopolises. Ads are found on fences, on the houses themselves, in stores and on the Internet on sites like craigslist.


Communication in America is not cheap for small consumers. In the very minimum case, incoming calls will be paid, incoming SMS is also paid. In the unlimited case, you need to pay $ 30 per month - and then everything will be included. If you plan to call a little, two or three times, then you can probably get by with the Russian number options. There are unlimited, including many minutes of conversation with other countries of the civilized world.

When you purchase, for example, a $ 30-month package, calls are included and released free of charge throughout the United States. There are some other more expensive packages that include the Internet too. The package for economy will cost $ 10, but calls and SMS will be $ 0,1. It is not clear whether it is possible to buy an 10-dollar package right away, or for a SIM card anyway, they will rip off more. $ 10 put on the bill will be burned in a month; If you want the number and money to be saved for a year, put $ 100. This observation relates to the system. AT&T MobileOther operators may offer their tariffs, but usually starting at $ 30 per month (or at $ 2 per day).

Internet here in the form Wi-Fi found in Starbucks, McDonald's and some other common eateries. In libraries, too, there are libraries in every town! In all the dwellings of people, too, there is the Internet. When you buy the Internet in the phone (for owners of bourgeois phones) - you will get some megabytes, use it for health.


Prices for expensive items in the US have not been studied in detail. However, people need to warn that there is very expensive medicine, everyone knows that. To cut off any organ, make an X-ray, break a hand-leg here - save Allah, with this it is easier in Russia or Asia. If something is wrong, for example, it is cheaper to fly to Moscow or Belarus to make new teeth there than to treat it.

All Americans pay a lot of money every month for medical insurance, and who does not pay - is obliged to pay a fine. For example, Brandon pays the cheapest insurance, which costs $ 60 per month, its conditions are as follows: if something is wrong with you, you pay the first $ 6000 to the doctor yourself, and the rest will be covered by the insurance company. He told me that some friend broke his heel without being insured, and the fact that they counted such an account for his heel that he had already paid 8 for $ 300 a month for this body for years that he had it repaired. Any appendicitis, a fracture here may cost more than a house in a town in central Russia.

In general, everyone here is insured, reinsured, except, probably, the homeless! But about the rest, we may still have a topic of conversation, and in general, everything about food is clear: here, ordinary simple food costs from Russian or Polish twice as much, only bananas and fruits as well. And yet, that is also worth it - the corpses of slaughtered chickens, but I strongly warn you against these hobbies!

Eat oatmeal, yogurt, bananas, and you will be reduced from this cost, health and happiness.

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