How Much Does Food Cost in The Netherlands?

Whether you’re planning to visit or live in the Netherlands, it’s good to know the food prices. As of a recent report by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), food prices have increased 11,2% since the previous year. An increase in dairy prices has caused a lot of food products to rise in price. The affected items include fish, oil, vegetables, grains, and fruits. 

A family of four spends at least $17 per day on food which is about $510 monthly and $6,120 annually. Generally, a budget of between $210 – $530 (€200 – €500) per month for basic grocery shopping is recommended. A simple evening meal can set you back $11 to $16 in a cheap restaurant and $18 to $70 in an average restaurant. 

When buying groceries in the Netherlands, opt for cheaper supermarkets or stores to save on food costs. Some popular food chains you could visit are Albert Heijn (AH), Aldi, Lidl, and Jumbo.

One of the most expensive supermarkets in the Netherlands is Albert Heijn. In this article, we’re going to look at the different food prices in the Netherlands and how much you should budget.

Also read: How must does it cost to live in the Netherlands as a family?

Food prices in the Netherlands in 2022: how much to budget?

According to the Dutch Nibud (National Institute for Budget Information), the absolute minimum that should be spent for adults aged between 14-50 years old is $7,92 per day or $238 per month in 2022.

However, this is a minimum amount; to live more comfortably and have a balanced diet, at least $320 per adult is recommended.

Food and groceries can seem pretty expensive in the Netherlands if you compare them internationally. Stores like Aldi and Jumbo have a good amount of supply for everyday meals at lower prices, unlike general and higher-end supermarkets.

Your monthly food budget depends on where you decide to source food supplies and where you live. Expensive cities in the Netherlands include Amsterdam, Haarlem, Utrecht, and Alkmaar, while the cheapest cities include Enschede, Tilburg, Almere, and Nijmegen.

Expat families in the Netherlands should spend an average of $319.41 to $532.34 per month for essential food shopping, while singles could live on way less. These numbers don’t include eating and drinking out.

A person spending most of their day at work where lunch is catered for or subsidized could spend about $200 monthly on food items. Three people living in the same house can pay around $425 a month on food expenses shopping in standard supermarkets. 

A local student living alone spends approximately $181 or less per month on food, while an international student spends an average of $159.70 – $181.

On-campus accommodation usually offers meals and food billed on the monthly housing cost. When you decide to rent accommodation privately, your monthly budget for food and eating out will increase. 

In Amsterdam, the daily minimum average price of food per day, per person, is $10.72, which is approximately $332 a month.

In Tilburg, the average minimum cost is $10.57 per day ($327.58 per month). The daily food average in Groningen is $10.50, which is $325.31 monthly. The average food cost in Rotterdam is $10.67.

Cooking food for one person can be expensive, especially if you don’t have proper storage facilities. Here’s how you can save on your monthly budget and cut down the cost to around $200 a month:

  • You can decide to have a mix of eating out and cooking food at home, maybe on a 3:4 ratio.
  • Buy bulk food supplies with a longer shelf life, such as rice, potatoes, spices, and vegetables. 
  • Store excess food and consume it the following day.

Head to Aldi or Lidle if you’re on a tight budget because you can get a lot of supermarket brands there for reasonable prices.

Read more about the cost of living in the Netherlands.

Grocery prices in the Netherlands 

The average cost for groceries is $53.23 – $79.85 per week for a single person living in the Netherlands. The monthly grocery costs come to approximately $212.92 – $319.40.

The cost of groceries for two or more people is usually cheaper per person compared to buying groceries for one person.

In the Netherlands, the most popular supermarket is Albert Heijn, and it’s where most people in Amsterdam get the majority of their groceries.

Here’s a table containing average grocery prices for a day in the Netherlands:

ItemAverage price
Local cheese (0.10 kg)$1.18
Tomato (0.20 kg)$0.54
Potato (0.20 kg)$0.22
Lettuce (0.20 head)$0.085
Oranges (0.30 kg)$0.45
Apples(0.30 kg)$0.83
Beef round (0.15 kg)$4.02
Chicken fillet (0.15 kg)$1.29
Eggs (2.40 kg)$0.44
Rice (0.10 kg)$0.49
Milk (0.25 liter)$0.27
White bread (125 grams)$0.19
Onion (0.10 kg)$0.096
Bootle of water (0.33 liter)$2.13
Total per day$10.48
Total per month$325
Source: numbeo.com

Here are the average prices among common grocery items in 2022:

ItemPrice (€)
Milk full fat1.50
Loaf of bread 2.50
Eggs 61.40
Butter2.50
Yogurt full fat1.55
Cheese (young gouda) 0,5 kg7.30
Oat milk2.25
Broccoli 1 2.20
Potatoes 2.40
Mushrooms 250g1.40
Avocado 11.30
Bell pepper 1 1.00
Apples 1,5 kg2.80
Bananas 1 kg2.00
Minced beef 0,5 kg4.90
Pork fillets 260g3.60
Chicken fillets 300g4.50
Salmon fillet 300g8.70
Tuna steak 250g4.50
Pasta 0,5 kg1.20
Basmati rice 1 kg2.20
Couscous 0,4 kg 1.45
Peanut butter 350 gr3.00
Muesli2.00
Wine bottle3.00
Beer 6 pack5.60
Source: amsterdamtips.com

Fish and vegetables are usually cheaper on day markets; the average price for meat such as chicken and minced meat is $4.26 a kilo.

You can cook most of your meals at home and order out about once a week. To save on groceries, consider getting pre-packed items containing an assortment of ingredients. 

The boxed ingredient is available in several stores in the Netherlands. It’s cheaper and more convenient when you want to cook a complex meal but don’t want to buy all items separately. Examples can include:

  • Enchilada kit
  • Curries
  • Tomato soup
  • Dutch stamppot

Cost of eating out in the Netherlands 

The cost of eating out in the Netherlands varies from region to region and also the type of restaurant you visit. Unfortunately, most cities in the Netherlands are known for expensive street food.

Famous fast food establishments like McDonald’s, Burger King, Domino’s Pizza, KFC, and Subway are also available in the Netherlands. There are also restaurants with lower prices. 

In Amsterdam and The Hague, restaurant prices are the most expensive than in other areas; however, unlike other cities in the Netherlands, they have great food and many restaurant options.

According to the independent research group Food Service Institute, eating out is more expensive in the Netherlands than elsewhere in Europe.

Main course dinners cost an average of $20.16 to $37.14. Supermarket meals could set you back $5 to $20 per day, depending on the meals you take. Breakfast in fair-priced restaurants costs $5.31 to $20.06. A Big Mac from Mcdonalds’ costs $4.24.

The price of coffee varies from place to place. A cappuccino costs an average of $3.73 in Amsterdam and $3.19 in Maastricht and Groningen. Bakery snacks to accompany coffee cost around $5.32. 

In Amsterdam, the main course meal at a standard restaurant costs anything from $15 to $25. The average price for a meal at an inexpensive restaurant is $15.92. 

According to Numbeo, a three-course meal for two people costs around $68.98 in a mid-range restaurant. A 0.5l Coke or Pepsi costs $2.61.

Domestic beer costs $5.31 for 0.5l and imported beer costs $4.24 for 0.33l. House wine costs around $5.32. The average price for all alcoholic drinks in the Netherlands is $3.40. A cappuccino would cost about $3,5.

Eating out in the Netherlands is inexpensive if you stick to the less costly chains or eateries. The price of a typical evening meal can range from $15 to $20 per person in a budget restaurant to $40 to $90 per person in a more expensive one.

Netherlands restaurants also offer foreign cuisines ranging from Chinese, Japanese, and Indian, among others. Here’s an average price for a meal for two people:

  • Asian restaurant: $30.88
  • French restaurant: $45.78
  • Chinese restaurant: $23.42
  • Mexican restaurant: $21.29
  • Pizzeria: $25.55
  • Japanese restaurant: $30.88

Source: hikersbay.com

Most Chinese eateries in the Netherlands are referred to as “Wokrestaurants,” which are self-service restaurants where you pay one price and can eat as much as you want.

The Netherlands is not one of the places where food prices are low compared to other countries like the US. However, you can save on your monthly food spending in many ways. For example,

  • Plan on your food and supply trips to know what you need before heading to the stores
  • Be flexible with food prices and always choose the cheapest option, especially for groceries
  • Check for bonuses and use discounts in the most advantageous ways
  • Have an idea of the cheapest stores around your area
  • Don’t focus on the brand; always check for the best and more affordable option. 

Fresh vegetables and fruits are always reasonably priced. If your grocery shopping experience is expensive, you can reduce the overall cost by shopping at less expensive alternatives such as the market or stores such as Aldi.

Nicholas

Anna is an enthusiastic expatriate with experience of living in Germany, Austria and Greece. She shares her passion for living abroad on this website.

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