Let’s talk about a hot topic in the Netherlands – inflation. An easy conversation starter for you as an expat, as the Dutch could keep talking about the current cost of living in the Netherlands. And you might have noticed it yourself as well: according to NOS, the inflation rate in the country has risen again. And brace yourselves–higher food prices may not stabilize until the summer.
But no worries, we’ll help you get through it.
Let’s first define inflation to get an idea of what we’re talking about – it’s the rate at which the general prices for goods and services rise. When this happens, the value of money goes down, so you won’t be able to buy as much with it as you used to. So, in simple terms, inflation means that the same amount of money will buy fewer goods and services than before.
Why is this happening? One factor is the rising cost of raw materials, such as oil and gas. This cost increase can lead to higher prices for goods and services, including food.
But before worrying, take a deep breath and look at the bright side. First, the Dutch economy is still stable. Moreover, the government is taking steps to reduce the effects of inflation by implementing things like a temporary reduction in VAT (value-added tax) on specific items and services. That said, it always helps to learn about ways to save money.
So, what can you do to save some cash on food? Here are a few tips.
Keep an eye on weekly deals at supermarkets like Albert Heijn and Jumbo. They offer weekly discounts featuring different items each week. You usually need a loyalty card to benefit from the discounts, which you can get for free. Who doesn’t love a good deal?
Go veggie. Meat and fish tend to be pricier in the Netherlands, so why not switch things up and try some vegetarian meals? Not only will it be cheaper, but it’s also super healthy. It’s a win-win!
Are you looking for total Dutch immersion? Prepare larger portions and freeze leftovers. This way, you have a meal on days when you don’t feel like cooking. Saving money as an expat in the Netherlands is about more than just spending less on food.
There are many other ways to cut costs:
- Consider using a bike instead of a car or public transportation. Cycling is a great and healthy way to save money on transportation. Not to mention bikes are environmentally friendly!
- Join expat communities or groups. These groups often organize events and activities that are free or at a low cost, and it’s a great way to meet new people and make friends.
- Take advantage of the many free or inexpensive cultural offerings in the Netherlands. For example, visit a museum on a discount day or check out a free concert or event in your city.
While inflation in the Netherlands may sound scary, don’t let it get you down. With some creativity, you can save money and keep enjoying all the country has to offer!