The fact of what is happen is harsh and many expats want to deny the reality. The truth is the cost of food in the Philippines is on the rise. It is not just in the restaurant that this is happening, either.
Many will stand by their sermons that the Philippines is “dirt cheap” and you can “live like a king.” This is a complete denial of actual facts. A common sense look at data shows that the inflation of prices is higher than it has been since the 1980’s.
The days of a cheap Philippines to eat in are long gone and inflation is here and is in full effect.
Cost of food examples
I was talking with a friend that is the manager of a supermarket in Kansas City. I asked him two questions: What is the price of potatoes for a 5 pound bag (2KG) and what is 2.2 pounds of ground beef costing? These are stables to any meal. It is how we became known as the meat and potatoes people, after all.
According to him, his store (Price Chopper) is selling potatoes from Idaho for $3.79 for 5 pounds and Beef for 2.3 pounds would be $5.40. That works out to 75 cents a pound for the potatoes and the beef is $2.45 a pound.
In the Philippines, we are currently seeing 110 pesos for local potatoes or $1.05 per pound. Ground Beef (local meat) is about 320 pesos a kilo or $3.09 a pound.
As you can see, the prices of basic stables are more for the Filipinos than they are for the American. This should be concerning to us.
Over the course of a week if one person eats only one kilo of potatoes, that is a cost of over $16 compared to $5.25 in America.
It is not just the stables either (nor imports)
Some guys will try the “you are eating imports.” Not true. I am comparing local potatoes grown in Baguio City and the beef is local to Luzon and Mindanao. This is the local prices. They are just that high.
A trip to the super market is just 30-50% more than it was last year. It is about inflation.
The cost of food does not respect diets either. Rice and fish are both costing more today than it did 12 months ago as well.
If you are coming to the Philippines, you better re-think your grocery store budget because the cost of food will break it. I promise you that.