Moving to Spain has had a bad press recently but these ex-pats thinks it is still a great opportunity.
This article follows on from Retire to Spain and gives more good reasons to live the good life in the sun.
More Great Cost Saving Opportunities in Spain
FOOD CAN BE HOME HARVESTED 365 DAYS A YEAR
With the generally wonderful climate you can grow your own vegetables and fruit throughout the year for daily harvests and to do so ecologically. Luckily the generally benign climate provides Mediterranean areas of Spain with two Springs – one the regular Spring and the other the Autumn.
For new comers our books ‘Growing Healthy Fruit in Spain’ and ‘ Growing Healthy Vegetables in Spain’ are easy to follow and essential guides. The former explains how to grow over seventy different fruits and the latter over a hundred different vegetables. Naturally all cannot be grown in all seasons or at all altitudes but there are plenty for all and the books explain how to cope with different soils, patterns of rainfall, temperature variations, varieties etc..
Rabbits and chickens can also be reared for home grown protein in shady sheltered situations.
SUPERMARKET TROLLEYS CAN BE LOWER
Your weekly shop can be less provided you buy local produce and brands, If you insist on buying British brands meats and frozen sliced loafs for instance you won’t save as much as is possible.
VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Five litres of extra virgin olive oil costs only 15 to 25 euros depending on the village mill and season. Just compare that with your local supermarket!
WINE CAN BE EVEN CHEAPER
Drink local young wine and good wine can be purchased for as little as a euro a litre. Why spend ten times or more for an international brand for the expenses incurred in blending warehousing transportation fancy packaging quality control expensive supermarket displays etc..
EATING OUT CAN BE LESS EXPENSIVE BUT!!
Eating a good meal is now much more expensive than it used to be and quality becomes harder and harder to find. But it does still exist. Late breakfast meals and midday menu of the day meals are best value. Many restaurants no longer offer an inexpensive evening menu at lunch time prices.
Unfortunately genuine regional cooking has been transcended by international menus and nouveaux cuisine. In recent years many family bar restaurants have closed as the younger generation sought new pastures in the construction and tourist industries.
Naturally the international fast food chains exist if that is your choice.
Petrol diesel buses and trains are less expensive in Spain than the UK and within a few years Spain will have the most modern rail system in the world.
For internal travel we use the train in preference to planes especially as we get 25 to 40 percent over 60’s discounts depending on the time of travel.
HOLIDAYS AND FIESTAS
If you decide to work in Spain straight holidays and extra national and regional public fiesta days are considerably more than in the UK. Indeed the average days off in the UK is 28 and it’s 41 in Spain according to the recent uSwitch.com European Quality of Life analysis.
CONCLUSION – QUALITY OF LIFE VERSUS STANDARD OF LIVING
As pensioners we have a significantly lower euro income than I expected when retiring from the UK but we can live a fuller more open air life and eat and drink better. Supporting our experience the survey above reports that the average working wage in Spain is half that in the UK but in spite of that the Spanish Quality of life is significantly higher.
Article © Clodagh and Dick Handscombe November 2009
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