The cost of living in the Netherlands


The cost of living in the Netherlands 2024: what prices food has and how you can reduce food costs

When you arrive in the Netherlands with a job through DB Work, it is important to have all the information about the lifestyle of the Dutch, their habits, but also about the cost of living in the Netherlands. Regarding this last aspect, those who have a work contract in the Netherlands through DB Work already know that we provide accommodation with utilities included, as well as local transportation to and from the job, with company cars.

As for managing food costs, besides the fact that you will be able to cook at the accommodation, we offer in this article information about the cost of living in the Netherlands in 2024 regarding food, but also practical advice for reducing food expenses.

How much do basic foods cost in the Netherlands in 2024?

To efficiently manage monthly expenses with the cost of living in the Netherlands 2024, DB Work employees are encouraged to compare prices between different supermarkets and to take advantage of special offers and discounts available. The list below reflects the average prices at which you can purchase in the Netherlands, in March 2024, the following products:

  • Potatoes 1kg - €1.40
  • Onion 1kg - €1.52
  • Tomatoes 1kg - €1.80
  • Fresh white bread (500g) - €1.60
  • Greek yogurt 4 pcs (total 600g) - €2.36
  • Slices of melted cheese 10 pcs - €1.59
  • Milk 1.5% 1L - €1.09
  • Chicken breast 300g - €4.59
  • Eggs (12 pieces) - €3.98


Comparing these prices with those from other food chains in the Netherlands, price variations between foods are observed, which shows the importance of smartly choosing where you do your shopping. Considering the price difference between the most expensive and the cheapest options, you can even see a difference of about 6-7 euros in the weekly shopping basket. This difference may seem minor at a single purchase, but over the course of a year, the savings can be significant, especially when the budget is a major concern.

Where do the Dutch shop for cheap groceries?

When it comes to food provisioning in the Netherlands, residents and expats have a variety of options to balance costs. The Dutch consider that, among the cheapest supermarkets regarding food products, are:

  • Dirk: known for reasonable prices, but also for tempting offers.
  • Aldi: known for low prices and for its no-frills presentation.

  • Lidl: offers competitive prices on a much wider range of products.
  • Jumbo: often has good offers and discounts.
  • Albert Heijn (AH): although not always the cheapest, it offers affordable options for small budgets and sometimes has special promotions.

In terms of profitability and quality, the Dutch have shared their personal strategies: some prefer meat from Turkish stores for lower prices, others choose to buy organic products with significant discounts through premium subscriptions at supermarkets.

Costs if you dine at restaurants in the Netherlands

Dining at a restaurant where traditional Dutch dishes are served is an experience that can significantly vary in terms of costs: between 15 and 25 euros, with prices increasing in major cities like Amsterdam.

However, you can choose bistro-type restaurants or cafes that offer meals at more friendly prices, around the sum of 10-15 euros.

Fast-food options or international chains can also be more economical, with lunch menus and promotional offers bringing the costs of a meal to a range of 9-14 euros. On the other hand, for those who prefer to enjoy a local beer along with their food, the price for a mug of beer starts from 3.10 euros and can go up to 7 euros.

Last but not least, food markets and street food options are excellent for enjoying diverse foods at prices starting from 5 euros per portion.

Practical tips for reducing food costs

-The advantage of accommodation provided by DB Work. One of the biggest benefits of working through DB Work is the provided accommodation, with utilities included. Cooking at home saves you from the additional costs that would result from dining at restaurants, where prices are significantly higher. Preparing meals at the accommodation is not just a saving option but also a preferred lifestyle for many of the DB Work employees.

-Looking for discounts and offers. To save on food expenses, DB Work employees in the Netherlands can choose 2-3 supermarkets to follow the weekly promotions or shelves with discounted products (specifically, products whose expiry date is approaching in a few days and which will need to be consumed quickly). The most important thing, however, is to have prepared a shopping list necessary for meal preparations, to avoid purchasing discounted products that are not necessarily needed.

-Using apps and specialized websites. Many online platforms offer access to discount coupons, special offers, and price comparisons between different supermarket chains. Among the useful apps and websites are:

  • An excellent platform to see the latest brochures and offers from supermarkets and stores in the Netherlands. You can search for specific offers and plan your shopping according to the best discounts available.
  • Scoupy: The Scoupy app offers discount coupons and the possibility to receive cashback for certain purchased products.
  • Too Good To Go: This app is ideal for buying quality food at reduced prices, which otherwise would have been wasted. Users can buy "surprise packages" from restaurants, cafes, and supermarkets at much lower prices. For example, with the help of the app, you can reserve at certain supermarkets crates of reduced-price products, collectible at noon or in the interval 17:00 - 19:00, containing a variety of products, from meat and dairy to vegetables and pasta, all for a cost of only 5 euros.

End-of-day offers from local markets and weekly fairs. The Netherlands has a lot of local markets and weekly fairs where you can find fresh, quality products at affordable prices and which offer the opportunity to experience authentic Dutch culture. Many stalls at markets offer significant discounts towards the end of the working day, to sell as many products as possible before closing, and you can save money while buying fresh food at the same time.

For DB Work employees in the Netherlands, smart management of the budget allocated for food can make a significant difference in monthly savings. By adopting strategies such as planned shopping, home cooking, exploiting offers, and making the most of local markets, they will substantially reduce food costs, sending more money home to the family or saving for other future plans.

A position through our agency for mediation and placement of labor in the Netherlands offers naval welders, as well as any professional, regardless of the chosen job, access to a wide range of benefits: