Cost of Living analysis

Some of you may remember the economics lesson about comparing cost of living between two places, especially internationally. Consumer Price Index, Cost of Living Index, whatever and all of the above. My professor used the example of taking out a shopping basket and buying the same products in both areas, and comparing the prices. Before we get the complexity of determining the definition of “same products” let’s keep it simple, OK?

Here’s my unscientific, unofficial experiment.

To me, I compare whether a place is cheaper or more expensive by going to the local generic drug store or equivalent of CVS and to the supermarket or whatever type of venue locals go to to purchase their groceries, be it wetmarket or Shaws.

As I start traveling within the region, I’m going to create a list of products and take down the cost. I’ll report my findings here.

Challenge
– I need you to help me create the shopping list.
– Limit: 50 items, max. Hopefully we won’t get that long of a list. Because we don’t have three days just doing this research in every place we visit.
– I want YOU to do the same for places you visit or live in. If more than one person reports on a same locale, we’ll average your findings.

Rules and Criteria
– Everyday products or services that you use.
– Mid-range generic products. No special brands or features. Sometimes that means stuff that YOU personally may not use.
– Put aside trends. Like organic. Or locally grown. Or brand favoritism.
– If it’s a product not even used with no similar replacement, mention it.
– Necessities only. Cosmetics? Don’t even bother. Keep it gender neutral as much as possible, or use equivalents.
– Use the scenario of a single young professional. Don’t go into family expenses.
– We’ll keep rent, mortgages, utilities for the most part out.

I’ll create a page for a running list and your comments. Hopefully I can nail a master checklist down by September. Reasonable enough?

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