Grocery Cost in Shanghai, 2007

What is the grocery cost in Shanghai? This is the FAQ people have before moving to Shanghai. Let me show you some details, and I know some of you may love it.

I went to supermarket today – the Hymall (The one on Jinxiu Road, and Chengshan Road, 锦绣路成山路乐购) to purchase some grocery for the next week – it is sunny. The wind is mild and cool, and the sunshine is hot. Prefect weather to visit Shanghai, or go out for a walk. I get everything I need, then I took picture of each of them, and list the price along with it. Hope you get some idea about the living cost in Shanghai.

Please note: supermarket is fine tuned for convinience, not neccessary for price, or quality. If you want more fresh vegetables, and fruits, many some local market is better, such as the Beicai Market nearby. (Some one asked me how to visit this market via email. I laughed. It is nothing similiar with Xiangyang Market. It is just one of thousands of local markets in Shanghai.)

Cucumber: 12.00 RMB/kg

In this picture: 0.500 kg => 6.00 RMB

Tomato: 12.00 RMB/kg

In this picture: 0.435 kg => 5.22 RMB

White Gourd: 2.00 RMB/kg

In this picture: 0.650 kg => 1.56 RMB

Chicken Wings: 24.50 RMB/kg

In this picture: 0.390 kg => 9.56 RMB

Pork: 19.80 RMB/kg

In this picture: 0.165 kg => 3.27 RMB

Vegetable: 2.80 RMB

I don’t know the name of this vegetable. They don’t list the unit price or weight. In this picture, it is 2.80 RMB.

Pork: 29.00 RMB/kg

In this picture: 0.204 kg => 5.92 RMB

Green Pepper: 3.00 RMB/kg

In this picture: 0.210 kg => 1.89 RMB

Pumpkin: 12.00 RMB/kg

In this picture: 0.480 kg => 5.76 RMB

Mushroom: 15.80 RMB/kg

In this picture: 0.210 kg => 3.32 RMB

Stawberry: 3.98 RMB/box

In this picture: 3.98 RMB

Red Pepper: 10.00 RMB/kg

In this picture: 0.130 kg => 1.30 RMB

Daily Life in Shanghai

To go to a grocery store in sunny Sunday brought me much happiness. And to post it on the blog to help people to have some ideas (maybe not precise concept, just ideas) of how expensive it is to live in Shanghai makes me even happier.

Please note: this is just my personal experience of one single shopping, and in one supermarket at this specific time. The price may change (sometimes dramatically) over time, or from location to location. Quality of the grocery is also a factor to consider.

Happy living!

52 thoughts on “Grocery Cost in Shanghai, 2007

  1. Wang, I have lived in Shanghai now for 1 year and originally from NY. The prices that you paid for the groceries are a bit expensive from the supermarket. I think you can get similar items in an wet market for as much as 1/2 of the prices on veggies and 3/4 of the price on meat. The veggies in these wet markets are fresher than the supermarket and there is even room to haggle.

    Although I have heard that the items in the wet markets can be a bit untrustworthy. Can anyone confirm this?

  2. 啊,有中文哎,看着好亲切!英文有”西葫芦”这个词儿吗?他们吃这个吗?(我就不费劲写英文了…… -_-)


  3. It is expensive if we base on the local income 1RMB to S$1 in Singapore for comparison.

    Monthly income : 1,500 RMB vs S$1,500 (ordinary income)

    Cucumber : 6.00 vs S$1.50

    Tomato : 5.20 vs S$1.00

    Chicken Wings : 9.56 vs S$3.00

    Pork : 5.92 vs S$2.50

    Vegetables : 2.80 vs S$1.50

    Strawberries : 3.98 vs S$4.50

    Red Pepper : 1.30 vs S$2.00

    Taxi fare(Basic) : 10 RMB vs S$2.50

    Exchange Rate S1.00 = 5.00 RMB

    So a ordinary income singaporean can have comfortable life in Shanghai.

  4. JS, yes the price went up. I used to buy this bread brand which cost RMB8 before the spring festival. After my return from my home country after the festival the loft of bread cost me RMB10 now! That is a 20% increase of price!!! Too much…

    Does Shanghai has consumer affair that monitor the market price and the same time protect the consumer’s right?

  5. The vegetable you were unsure of looks like what we would call “lettuce” — specifically “loose leaf lettuce” (as opposed to something like “iceberg lettuce” which has the leaves formed tightly together in what’s called a “head whihc is also the way most cabbage grows) No worries though, Jian Shuo — it’s all “rabbit food” to you ;-)

  6. Yes, wet markets are cheaper and as far as I could tell the vegetables are even fresher. Yes, the leafy green vegetable is loose leaf lettuce, and what you call a pumpkin, Americans would probably call a zucchini or some kind of squash. Pumpkins are round and almost always orange and get carved into funny faces for Halloween. But maybe the dried pumpkin seeds that everyone eats come from that long green plant and not the orange Halloween pumpkins.

    Thank you for the prices. You really are good at anticipating travelers’ questions.

  7. I have long time not go to buy grocery,because I live in company that supply us.

    There is a ONE thing more expensive than it ,that is Estate Price of Shanghai!

  8. Maybe my house is not far from yours, I often go to Jinxiu Road Hymall to buy daily necessities but never buy vegetables there, I feel it’s a bit expensive compared to local market.

    In my area there is a Ziye Market which only opens from 6:00-11:30 every day and supplies enough vegetables at reasonable price.

    e.g. Cucumber: 4.00 RMB/kg, Tomato: 4.00 RMB/kg, White Gourd: 1.50 RMB/kg, Pork: 16.00 RMB/kg, Lettuce 2.00 RMB/kg much more cheaper than Hymall, If you go to a local market to buy all of these stuffs which only cost 25-30 RMB.

  9. Pumpkin or Zucchini/Courgette ? Depends how it spells in Chinese, but watching the photograph, I don’t see any pumpkin ;-)

  10. The vegetable you don’t know is “lettuce” which is the green leaves in Hamburg(esp. KFC Hamburg).

    In Chinese we call it “生菜”.

  11. Yes, iWorm. It is some kind of “lettuce” call “生菜” can be eaten raw or dip in the hot pot.

  12. Hehe. Anyway, for the names of the vegetables, I really don’t know too much, even don’t know too much about the Chinese name.

    Wet market is definitely cheaper, and fresher, however, they don’t open after 8:00 PM. I typically go there after I am back home. How can I complain if it is not as fresh as morning or even yesterday?

    Carroll, the difference of “rabbit” food is it is uncooked. I bought the green vegetables and cook it, and it turns into normal dishes (normal for me only). I think salad tastes good, just not used to it yet. :-)

  13. after reading you articles. I have gain some information about the grocery cost in shanghai. compare with the other city,I also think that we must pay some more money to get the same gorcery.we have to earn more money in order to live in that city.

  14. no need to compare Singapore and Shanghai, just think about the humid and hot weather all year long there, and the veggie and meat deteriorate very very very fast, nothing taste fresh in Singapore

  15. Hey joyce and oncerest,

    are you a singaporean or did you migrated from china?


  16. I stayed in Singapore for a while, frankly, if you earn 1500 in singapore or china, the life sucks.

  17. Hi lionroars, my parents migrated from China and I born in Singapore.

    Hi, oncerest, don’t be so negative. It was just an example for comparison. I did not say life in Singapore is better than Shanghai. You don’t like the hot weather in Singapore, too bad we can’t change the weather for you. Do you know that refrigerator can keep your food fresh??? If you are not satisfied with life even if you earn tens of thousands your life is still sucks.

  18. Hi Joyce,

    Yeah I thought so. Could tell you aren’t Singaporean just from the way yoou write and think. Thinking don’t change just within one generation but that aren’t necessarily bad… so yeah… You are very much still Chinese than Singaporean.

    Nice meeting you.

  19. Hi Oncerest,

    I could tell you have a difficult life. Don’t complain so much. There are people who like the tropics and if you don’t like island life then no one is begging you to stay in Singapore. My suggestion is for you to get out of Singapore coz frankly no one likes you there… and you could prehaps choose the Antarctic as your new host country??? Its nicer and cooler there…

  20. Hi Joyce,

    I don’t know about the average price of grocery in Singapore (well..i don’t shop) but I believe you would have a better life in Shanghai if you earn $1500 per month rather than the other way around. After all, cost of living in Shanghai is still generally lower (i mean “cost, not quality”) and you don’t have to pay the CPF, medisave/bank/care whatever… cost of childcare and education is also lower, you can’t just compare the price of groceries which China has plenty..and yes..they are one of the world’s main exporter of fresh meat/ veggies… Basically I would say you can still have a decent life and keep a family with $1500 in China but not in Singapore. I don’t know how you came to the conclusion that $1500 is the average wage in Singapore but yeah… even a new diploma grduate earns at least $1800 full time (talking about the 18 years old here)….degree holder starts from $2200 (usually the 21 years old) for the most basic degree… most of the people I know start from $2800 unless they are foreigners/holders of foreign qualifications (which varies accordingly to where these people are from)…

    Kind regards,


  21. For those who arent aware, Singapore has a tendency to call any foreigner an expat even tho they are not. So a guy from China who works in a family own company as a receptionist earning $1000 per month is an expat… a British man employed by HSBC as their managing director in Singapore, earning $30 000 a month is also an expat….

    Basically if you came from a third world country and ain’t invited to work in singapore by either the MNC/ govt agency (but rather applied on ur own basis to work in Singapore)… You are just another cheap labour for small family own companies… this is something many people arent aware…the name “expat” sounds good but it aint in actual fact

  22. see, this is a typical s’pore attitude. they live in a tiny island, and think tiny. wake up, not all chinese came to yout tiny earn so little, it is not 20 years ago. all of my chinese friends earn 5k-8K month. yes, the average income is 1500, your government said.

    how the first immigration generation talks doesnt matter, because singlish sucks big time(not include those have UK/US education background)

    I am not in Singapore anymore. It is a beautiful country, but people’s life is far away from a so called developed country. I own a car, and income is above SGD 10K/month, can I count as a expat? I dont care. The low standard HDB, dirty food court, 60, 70yrs old s’pore working in food court.

    yes, now you have frige. What I am saying is – you buy a pack of sliced ham, eat some, put rest in refrig, within 2 or 3 days, the ham smells. If you dont put it in frige, with half day, you can throw it away.

  23. oncerest, stop insulting. “不知足” your life sucks even you earned S$10K/mth. I bet, most of your country men can’t earn this and you should not complain. I am glad that you are not in Singapore anymore, you must have found a place you like. Why you are so unfriendly?? We are here to share and discuss, not to insult.

    I feel sorry for Jianshuo, his intention just to update the cost of living in Shanghai. I used S$1,500 as an example only. The fresh ‘U’ grade will get a salary range from $1,500 – $3,000. The latest MBA grade from SMU can earn up to S$12K/mth.

    My dad is an engineer, our household income is S$20K/mth. I earn within the range of fresh grade and live with my parents. Life will not be comfortable if I move out.

  24. Joyce, all just because of your stupid post. I dont get your point. Do you mean a SGD 1500/m spore can have a comfortable life in singapore, or a RMB 6500/m spore can have a comfortable life in china, or something else?

    Read the LR posts, you will know how second or third generation chinese spore think about the first generation of chinese in singapore. How sad for this mindset, with over 70% chinese in singapore.

  25. Joyce, now you call Chinese as ‘most of your country men’, sadly, local Spore like LR think you are chinese, not spore. So what are you?

  26. oncerest, I don’t to urgue with you.

    I meant with the Xchange rate of S$1 = RMB5. (S$1,500/mth = RMB 7,500) A S’porean could have a comfortable life in China.

    I am a typical Chinese Singaporean. When my father was 5, he and his mother (my grandma) came to S’pore to join his father (my grandpa) in 1950. My mum came from China when she was a baby. Both had education and grown up here in spore. Both met in the university and married in the 70’s. After trying hard for many years, they had their 1st child, that’s me. My dad can speak few languages like English, Indonesian, Thai, Mandarin and Malay. I think many Singaporeans are having the same story like mine.

  27. Jianshuo

    Thanks for your reminder. I like the story of the blind men and the elephant.

    oncerest, please don’t use the word “stupid’ anymore. It’s rude. Thank you.

  28. Hi Joyce,

    calm down. We don’t want to talk to dickheads like that. Oncerest just demostrated to us why all the chinese women are rushing overseas to marry foreign guys. Sorry, Jianshuo, my comment don’t extend to you..I am just getting fed up with how “bird brain” someone is…


  29. BTW, with your level of english and low-class (yes..undeveloped) mentality typical of undeveoped nations…I don’t see how you are able to earn 10K/ mth…who’s the big time sucker who employed you for 10k/mth? Or perhaps you work as the male equivalent of “chicken” in geylang?

    Excuse me, the average chinese in singapore erans 800 bucks… go and count your RMB… you dun deserve to live in singapore. personally i don’t think you deserve a place on planet earth at all….


    Forget about him Joyce. I’m sure you can be both chinese and singaporean at the same time coz of your heritage. Shame on oncerest….

  30. Show me evidences when you speak…show me where the hell did you get the stat that the average income in SG is 1500? I was already earning 1750 SGD when I was 16, working partime after the O’s in Taka….and that was 7 years ago…. Your pathetic counterparts who work mainly as receptionists, chinese tutors earn a mere 1000 on average..and the construction workers maybe 700? Just shut up..if you are having such a high wouldn’t waste your time on this BBS…and ur attitude and behaviour just demostrated to everyone here what kind of person you are….

    I have nothing against chinese but it disgust me when people like you ahve no right to comment on the people who feed you when you ahve got nothing to feed yourself….

  31. Hey oncerest do you have HDB there? would china be able to provide HDB to everyone? no..your govt is not yet capable of doing that and no developed country in the world other than singapore has done so well on public housing (providing more than 90% of its citizens with their own housing at 30% the real market cost). The quality of HDB is actually very good compared to most private housing in china…

    I am not saying china is poor or that china housing sucks..but unless you have a comparable or BETTER public housing service in china..I think you really OUGHT TO SHUT UP. I grew up in a HDB estate and I am thankful for the experieces I had growing up in one.

    How about you? You probably grew up in some slum somewhere in china eating rotting vegetables.

  32. sorry, joyce, i shouldn’t be so mean on you and your post.

    LR, about the salary, google your MOM site. other than that, your posts show well what’s in your mind, and very typical.

    in case you can’t find it, read below

    Jobs requiring professional and specialist skills continue to command higher salaries, reflecting the premium employers place on knowledge and skills. In June 2005, professionals received the highest median commencing gross wage at $2,500 per month followed by technicians and associate professionals at $1,703. New entrants in less skilled jobs started at lower wages eg. clerks at $1,335, sales and service workers at $1,100, plant and machine operators at $1,250 and cleaners and labourers at $755. Among employees across all years of experience, the median gross wage ranged from $1,000 for cleaners and labourers to $5,699 for managers.

  33. LR, about the salary, google your MOM site. I heard it on radio one day when I was driving. Other than that, your posts show well what’s in your mind, and very typical. No wonder Singapore is ranked on the bottom for happiness and sex life, but top on rudeness and careless to elders. The posts say sth.

    in case you can’t find it, read below

    Jobs requiring professional and specialist skills continue to command higher salaries, reflecting the premium employers place on knowledge and skills. In June 2005, professionals received the highest median commencing gross wage at $2,500 per month followed by technicians and associate professionals at $1,703. New entrants in less skilled jobs started at lower wages eg. clerks at $1,335, sales and service workers at $1,100, plant and machine operators at $1,250 and cleaners and labourers at $755. Among employees across all years of experience, the median gross wage ranged from $1,000 for cleaners and labourers to $5,699 for managers.

  34. Hey guys,

    Can some one please tell me how much is red meat in Shanghai… like maybe the kilo of rump steak?

    Much appreciated!

  35. Hi Joyce…

    just ignore oncerest…hes trying to flatter you after all the discriminatory comments he made..just another bloody idiot to left china for another shore..if you are so good then prove it bloody idiot….

  36. just get out of singapore and whatever other developed country u are in to farm in china…yes…go back to your dear beloved mao

  37. Thank you Wangjianshuo!!

    I am thinking about working in Shanghai teaching english next year and am researching the cost of living in Shanghai- your site has the best information! it is great that you have put in so much effort with pictures etc….now i can get a really good indication of how much I will need to live comportably.

    Thank you once again, it its the best site for informationi have found so far :)

  38. Hello from Melbourne Australia,

    Thank-you for your blog, it is very helpful!

    I am coming to Shanghai in a week and will be doing an inturnship with a shipping company. I will be paid 1500RMB per month. It seems very little when I compare it to Australian dollars.

    I do not need to buy expensive things, just the cost of living, but I am still a little worried.

    I will also need to buy some warm clothes in December when it starts to get cold as I cannot take winter clothes with me. Could you please give me an indication of how much clothes cost in Shanghai. Will I be able to buy a winter jacket? I am quite small like Chinese women so I can buy the same clothes that the locals buy. Is it better to go somewhere else in China to buy clothes?

    Thank-you again for your help!

    Luv Leonie

  39. hey can someone please tell me how much ot costs per week for all of the household groceries in china and how much more it would cost during a festival season? thanks!!

  40. hy guys,

    i am going to get 2500 yuan per month with free accomodation will it be enough for a single person in shanghai

  41. Hi Leonie and Ayesha:

    1500 (200 USD) and 2500 (330 USD) RNB per month is decidedly low. I know someone who just started a job with a local company at RNB 11,500 (USD 1,500) per month – just think, I thought that was low. Maybe you need to lift your gaze a bit.

  42. I have een offred a job in Shanghai for 17 000RMB/month (before tax). Will that give me a comfortable life. i pay for my own accomodation and bills. And how much is 1bedroom apartments generally please.

  43. Im going to work in Shanghai and i get RMB 4000/monthly, also the company that I will work for provides accommodation, meals and laundry. Is 4000 RMB enough to live in Shanghai? Everything is paid, this is only for me to live.

    My friend gets RMB 2000/monthly, and also gets RMB 2500 allowance for find her own accommodation. She also gets meals and laundry provided at her future company.

    Is this enough? (This is an internship! not a work… during 5 months time)

    Please, if someone knows answer my question as it is the first time we go to China!


  44. Do CHINAS’ supermarket items tend to be full of genetically modified ingredients? for example meat and that fish has been injected with hormones and water and actually contains a very small amount of true authentic product, vegetables and fruit which are full of added chemicals and hormones to aid colour, growth and taste, convience ‘junk’ foods with man made ingredients? Overall do the products tend to be bulked up with fillers,are the ingredients in the lists are given ‘scientific’ names instead of truthfully being labelled? Because they are in the USA and UK.What is the overall level of food quality in CHINA?

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