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Cost of Living in Korea

August 29, 2008


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One of the main reasons why we moved to Korea was to pay off our debts. Korea provides a very lucrative opportunity for the both of us as teachers, and – having double income and no kids – the deal seems so much sweeter for us than for others who are coming here alone. We’ve also been praising how cheap everything is here, how the Korean Buses and Subways do not cost even half of what they cost in Canada, and how Korean taxis are dirt cheap as well. Eating in restaurants is also very cheap, as 10 bucks without tip can easily feed two people.

The same can’t be said, however, for Korean Grocery Stores. We recently mailed Simon’s father a flyer from Home Plus, and had him compare the prices of similar items from a Canadian grocery store flyer released on the same day. The results that he found were quite surprising:

Cost of Living in Korea 1

Korean Cost of Living 2

All Korean prices are roughly calculated as $1=1000 won. Now here’s where the disclaimers come in; neither of us are statisticians, so please don’t criticize us for the flaws in these charts. Yes, we know that every week a Nintendo Wii is not going to be on the grocery bill, and – yes – we know that we will eat more than just fruit during our stay here in Bucheon. In fact, at times it is cheaper to eat out than it is to buy groceries, carry them home, and then cook with them, and clean, and so forth. The Dok Bok Ki that we prepared a while ago cost more than the Dok Bok Ki on the streets. Prices fluctuate as well. The first week that we got here Watermelons cost $18 while now they are at around $12. Anyhow, all that we can say about these two charts is that, during this specific week, everything cost more in Korea, so it’s not all perfect here in Korea, though it still is really quite nice.



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Cost of Living in Korea


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  1. 45?!?!?!! WOOOWWW That's absurd! It was $12 in Canada and I was outraged! But $45!!!???

    9 years ago
  2. Most definitely: we can't really think of anything from North America that's not expensive here in Korea. Same rule applies the other way around. A bottle of soju here can cost you a buck or two. In Canada, it'll set you back $10!

    10 years ago