Belgium cheaper than SA

South Africa used to be a 'cheap' country. 1Eur = R9,50

Paid the Belgium physio today, and also received last account from SA physio. SA physio charge R222,50 for half hour session, Belgian charged me R195 per session.
SA doctor charge between R250 and R300 for a consultation, Belgium
doctor consultations are set at R180.

You can by a dozen large eggs for R8,50, in SA it it R14. Milk is
R5,50 here, in SA R8,50. Now of course you can buy 'free range' milk and eggs for R22/l and R36/doz, and that is the strange thing here, the huge discrepancies between the same product with just different labeling, even though it is well known they come form the same

Pork is much cheaper here than in SA, chicken slightly cheaper and
Turkey a lot cheaper. Beef is slightly more expensive and lamb
somewhat more expensive.
Bread and staples are about the same, BUT it depends heavily where you buy. The same thing can easily cost three times the price, just depend on what shop and what label, with almost no discernible difference in quality.

Eating out is very expensive in restaurants but take away places is relatively cheap. There are no burger places here, no McDonalds, Burger King, Steers etc,. You have to go to a big city to find one and then they are scarce. Fruit in general is cheap and they have this thing called Witloof or Chicon that I love... between onions and cabbage but not quite. It is closely related to chicory.

Cars are cheaper and houses (considering that the quality is generally much better) are similarly priced. Rental is very similar and interest rates are much lower, which is one of the reasons everybody is driving nice new cars and you can get second hand ones very cheap.

Cheese and wine is the same as in South Africa, you pay for quality.

Beers are the same price, just MUCH better. You can get a very good beer for R5 in the shops, but easily pay R25 for the same beer in a bar or restaurant.

People with small incomes lives well because working couples only need one car as public transport is so good. So the family budgets are small, and that probably sums up the Belgian people. They are physically dwarfed by the giant Dutch to the north, the strong Germans to the east, the flamboyant French to the south and the 'superior' English to the west.
Belgians are quiet, hardworking and modest people that are the 16th largest exporter in the world with no natural resources and a tiny, heavily divided population.


Im a capetonian hoping to soon soon move to Belgium for a year or so. Any advice? How did you end up there? Not sure when last you were in SA, but prices are sky high and its getting even more crazy every day! nice sum up though, good to be able to generally price what ill need salary wise etc.. thanks!

Hi Liela,

I live in the 'countryside' so accomodation is cheap, but stay away from Brussels, very expensive, unless you work in Brussels then your salary will correspondingly be higher and then Brussels is actually quite nice to live in.

You have to learn to deal with the weather (which is better than UK imho), otherwise the place is great. Dunnow if I could live here forever but for a 1-4 year stint, it as they say here Prima!

Am here for four year contract. Came here because I needed to get out of SA for a while, will probably go back when contract's finished... but I am the wrong skin colour, so will see what the situation is in SA then.

Good luck. The minimum wage here is about R12000 pm (more than a qualified teacher in SA), but profesionals are paid less. As an engineer I get half here than what I got in SA. Very equal society where a buss driver and a post-doc gets almost the same salary.

Hi, thanx for the reply. I've heard its like that with salaries, crappy for you but I am doing the exact same, taking a break from SA and because I was in the film/creative industry here and its mostly freelance its difficult for me to get work overseas in my field so im going to be doing some au pair work. will be living in Beerzel, about 40km from Antwerp and a little further from Brussels. I think I am going to freeze in the winter coz I am your typical sunny south african and everywhere I've been over seas was either tropical or in summer. I will have to crochet myself a cucoon!

Super excited now, just need the visa. Oh, do you know if I will be able to travel on my visa? It makes sense that I will be allowed to travel from country to country but coming from Africa Im alwyas scared, never know how it is really in the First world countries.

Oh, what type of engineer are you? In SA im libing in a house full of them, I know how tought it can be here now, unless you studied Chemical...

I have to fully agree with this topic, after visiting Belgium last year for a few months and now living here officially for a few weeks I have to say I find the cost of living, to be significantly lower. However, if you want the full size double story house with white picket fence, Volvo SUV, etc etc, things can get expensive, but if you are happy with a small 50sq/m apartment, a diesel Ford Escort that uses 6L/100km, shopping at Lidl and Colryt, and NOT Del Haize then you will be fine. A 50cl German Pils at Colryt: €0.38 OK, Belgian beer is better, and a little more expensive, and I could give a lot more examples, but 1 is enough, for now. I will be happy with €1500/month, after tax, paying €400/500 month rent, but considering I am looking for an international heavy truck drivers job, I can look forward to an even higher salary, to fund my snowboarding/skiing addiction:)

I'm not sure why you're singling out Delhaize? Lidl & Aldi are discount stores, with cheap products, so of course a "regular" grocery store will cost more than that, but you also get what you pay for. I won't buy most food items at those, because the quality is lesser. Delhaize is not overpriced in terms of grocery stores at all. Carrefour, on the other hand, has higher prices for most items. You just need to shop wisely. Go to the markets for fresh produce, herbs/spices, stuff like that, where you're not paying the middleman for it. Get canned/dried stuff from discount stores, and get other fresh things from regular stores. Shop around and see where has the stuff you want in a high enough quality for the best price, as you'd do anywhere.

I wasn't singling out Del Haize, was on my way out for a sunshine bicycle ride and didn't get to type everything I wanted to, anyway, my wife does the shopping, I just push the trolley. We do shop around, she's from Belgium, so she knows where to go. We have bought stuff from everywhere. I get my favourite chips from Del Haize, beer from Lidl, meat from Aldi. I have even been known to shop at Woolworths in South Africa, 100% agree that you get what you pay for.

Hi all
Can someone please help me. I would like to move to Belgium ASAP and live with my girlfriend, Im only in my first year at University of South Africa doing IT, how can i proceed with this i have some working experiance iv been saving for it i just dont know how to proceed,

Please help im Desperate to know.

Okies well this is just my brake down of costs for gent for you it could be very different this is for me and my partner living togeather
food 300 a month
Water Ele and Home Insureance and councail taxes avages out at 220 a month
Rent 670 a month
Phone 15 euro for me and 15 euro for him a month
Car 100 a month basic insureance and car tax
Then we have extras like drs bills etc

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