A while ago I decided that I was going to start doing some posts about the cost of living in Seychelles. It is a topic I get asked about a lot! Recently, I covered the cost of utilities; electric, water and gas. This time I’m covering food!
Cost of living is, I think, a very personal thing. This is perhaps most true when it comes to food!
Because of that, I asked a couple of friends to give me their budgets for food too. I hope that will help to give a little more well rounded idea of the cost of living in Seychelles.
I think it’s worth saying as well that you can definitely live ‘cheaper’ than what we are doing…..But, we love our food!!
Practicalities of food shopping
First of all, I should let you know that you are not going to be online food shopping here in Seychelles! It just doesn’t exist.
Secondly, you are almost certainly going to be visiting more than one shop for your food shopping….Typically, I go to about four or five different shops to get the different things I need! I’ve written a post about things to buy to make expat life easier here and transport is on there for this very reason! (transport costs are lined up for a future cost of living post!)
Also, it’s pretty important to be flexible with your shopping lists! While I love meal planning for the week ahead, that is not always possible. There are often times when you get to the shops and not be able to get what you had planned.
As I just mentioned you need to be aware that not everything is available all the time.
Something we were always advised, and we always tell people new to living here is if you see something you like, buy it all – you may never see it again!
Having said that, availability of produce is improving all the time. It’s immeasurably better then when first arrived back in 2012.
Mahe, being the biggest and ‘main’ island to live on, has the best choice and availability. However, for us living on Praslin, there is very little that I feel we are missing out on here. Although, there is not a large amount of specialty items such as gluten free goods or specialty health foods. Again, this is getting better all the time. It’s the kind of thing to stock up on when you head to Mahe!
I think a big shock when you first arrive is that most of your cooking will be done from scratch. There isn’t really a lot of pre-packaged meals or anything like that.
We have a little international shop on Praslin, which we definitely visit a little more than we should! But the prices in general are really not SO bad that you feel like you can’t go there. Obviously, when we moved here and Mark was on a lower salary we visited there less than we do now.
What we spend on food
We don’t give ourselves a budget as such each week or each month. Until I started writing this post I really didn’t know how much we were spending on food (not very organised of me, I know!).
I worked out that we were about 13,000 scr for food and drink for October (2018).
Around 10,500 scr was on actual food shopping and about 3,000 scr on eating out on weekends.
I asked my friend her budget for her family of 4 and she said that they budget 3,000 scr a week for their food (which roughly coincides with our costs.) Obviously some weeks more of that is spent than others, so that amount can sometimes include lunch out on a weekend with the kids. (I’ve just made a note to myself to write a post about my favourite places to go for lunch on Praslin so keep an eye out for that soon)
I also asked another friend who is here by herself and is vegetarian. She reckons she spends about 500- 700 scr a week on her food. There are a fair amount of vegetarians here now.
Obviously, local goods are much cheaper than imported goods. You’ll get incredible fresh fish here for unbelievably low prices! Many imported items are very reasonably priced too especially outside of the international supermarkets. You won’t see offers like you do in supermarkets elsewhere in the world though. No 2 for 3 special offers or buy one get one free here!!
I think its fair to say that when people first move here it takes a little time to get used to food shopping, and where to go for different things. But after a little while you definitely settle into it!
I hope that this has given a little bit of an idea of the kind of costs to expect for food here. Let me know if you have any more questions about food costs or availability!