Cultural: Prices

When we first came to Poland, I thought that everything would be cheap. 


People told me that they only made a little bit per month. I figured that meant that if they were going to survive, then things had to be inexpensive in order to live.

It didn't really work that way. People here in the big city just lived a bit differently than I was used to.  That was all part of the "culture shock" thing.  That's not what this is about. Not today.

I did want to mention briefly, however, that some things in Poland ARE cheaper than in the US. Definitely.

Some things are not.

Here are a few examples of things that are cheaper in Poland than typically in the US:

  • Courier service - I can send something to almost anywhere in Poland for about $5 (to about 40 lbs.)
  • Telephone - prices have plunged since we've been here and now our basic telephone/internet service is down to about $30/month.  When we were first here, making phone calls was one of the most expensive in Europe since you paid for every minute - land lines. Phones were not used for chatting - they were used to set up meetings.
  • Fresh fruits and veggies from Poland - you name it, if grown here, it is probably cheaper than in the US.  Obviously "in season" is the best time. Potatoes are about $.15/lb. in the fall.
  • Medical care if they have what you need. I had an ultrasound done for about $13 back when I was pregnant with my third son (child #5).  Super cheap for me - when one in the states several years previously had been over $200.
  • Manual repair work that you need to have done.  If you can find someone to fix your car, mow your lawn, etc. it is probably going to be cheaper than what you would pay for the same thing in the US. Our van needs an engine. The engine is going to cost about $500, and the labor to put it in,  under $300. I didn't think that is too bad.
  • Cell phone service - prices have plummeted and I have an offer from T-mobile on my desk right now that involves 5 gb of internet and unlimited talking and texting for about $14/month.

Things typically more expensive than in the US

  • A notary stamp for an official document at the US embassy costs $50!!!! (compare that to your local bank doing it for free or a couple of dollars)
  • Gasoline/diesel fuel varies by the time of year, but plan on about $4-5/gallon - it had been close to $8 a few years ago.
  • Specialty equipment/supplies for crafts/hobbies - yes, that means quilting fabric is more than in the US, but there are so few places that have "quilting fabric" that it is hard to even compare properly.  I have to admit, prices in the states have skyrocketed though, so it's pretty pricey there now. But mostly these things are unavailable.  
  • Parts for imported vehicles
  • Name brand clothes.  A pair of Levi jeans were about $100 when we first came here. I've not checked in years. We just buy them when we go back to the states since I've a husband who is very specific in his taste for jeans (Levi 501 shrink to fit - indigo blue).  We just got them for under $35/pair in the states.

I could go on, but maybe another time!

I had hoped to make better progress on a couple of projects today but got a little bit sidelined helping someone for a few hours this afternoon - which is okay too.

And if you need something for your current projects, be sure to check out what my sis has in the shop!



Becky Petersen2 Comments