Product prices in the USA compared to prices in Poland
In this article, I would like to present the differences in prices of similar products like food and beverages, fuel, clothing, cars or electronics in the United States and in Poland.
It should be clearly stated that prices in America are lower than in Poland, and this is due to much lower taxes. In Poland, VAT tax is added to each product, which standard rate is 23%. In the United States, instead of VAT we have a sales tax, which ranges from 6 to 8%, depending on the state. In states like this: Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon the sales tax is 0%.
It is also worth noting that the average salary in the USA is 4x higher than in Poland. This is very important information, because you can realize how many products you can really buy for American salary and how many for Polish.
Food and beverages prices
American shops are slightly different from Polish ones, especially in the USA everything is bigger. We can see larger product packages on the shelves and larger cars on the roads. The drinks are mainly sold in multi-packs.
The prices presented are from November 2019. Pictures of groceries were taken at the popular Walmart shop in St. Augustine, Florida. The sales tax in this state is 6.5%. However, you have to be aware that the sales tax is only charged to the bill, so the prices shown on the products are not the final prices.
There are other units of measurement in the United States:
1 ounce (oz) = 31 g
1 pound (lbs) = 0.45 kg
1 gallon (gal) = 3.78 litres
USA: coffee 200 g = 4.96 $/19.09 PLN
PL: coffee 100 g = 12.99 PLN
USA: Coca Cola 2 l = 1.25 $/4.81 PLN
PL: Coca Cola 1.5 l = 5.29 PLN
USA: Lipton 100 bags = 3.48 $/13.39 PLN
PL: Lipton 92 bags = 25.99 PLN
USA: avocado = 0.62 $/2.39 PLN
PL: avocado = 5.99 PLN
USA: bananas (price per 0.45 kg) = 0.42 $/1.62 PLN
PL: bananas (price per 1 kg) = 5.99 PLN
USA: eggs 12 pieces= 1.11 $/4.27 PLN
PL: eggs 10 pieces = 5.99 PLN
USA: sugar 1.8 kg = 1.59 $/6.12 PLN
PL: sugar 1 kg = 4.59 PLN
USA: cherry tomatoes packaging = 2.68 $/10.31 PLN
PL: cherry tomatoes packaging = 11.99 PLN
USA: apples (price for 0.45 kg) =1.12 $/4.31 PLN
PL: apples 1 kg = 2.99 PLN
USA: mango = 0.98 $/3.77 PLN
PL: mango = 6.99 PLN
USA: papaya = 1.18 $/4.54 PLN
PL: papaya = 9.98 PLN
USA: Haagen-Dazs ice cream 414 ml = 3.88 $/14.93 PL
PL: Haagen-Dazs ice cream 500 ml = 23.99 PLN
USA: iceberg lettuce = 1.48 $/5.70 PLN
PL: iceberg lettuce = 5.99 PLN
USA: spring water 40 bottles 500 ml = 3.98 $/15.32 PLN
PL: mineral water Muszynianka 600 ml price per 1 piece = 1.99 PLN
USA: cucumber piece = 0.58 $/2.23 PLN
PL: cucumber piece = 6.99 PLN
USA: Lay’s 226.8 g = 2.98 $/11.47 PLN
PL: Lay’s 240 g = 6.49 PLN
USA: Oreo 240 g = 2.88 $/11.09 PLN
PL: Oreo 170 g = 4.99 PLN
Undoubtedly, clothes of well-known brands cost much less than in Poland, so it pays off to come to the United States with empty suitcases for holidays.
Clothing of more popular brands is also much more available than in Poland. In the USA there are large shopping malls in every city, even in those small ones, where you can find well-known and popular clothing brands.
Moreover, outlets of specific brands are also very popular, offering much lower prices than in normal shops. An example is a women’s handbag called “Michael Kors”, which can be bought in outlet stores for about $100. Some claim that the quality of products in outlet stores is worse than in regular shops.
Personally, I like to shop at TJ Maxx (in Poland known as TK Maxx). In this shop you can buy products of such brands as: Guess, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Armani, Ralph Lauren and even Valentino. In Polish Tk Maxx it is difficult to find “luxury brands” products.
I must also add that service in shops is definitely on a different level than in Poland or Europe. The shopkeepers will make sure that the customer leaves the shop with full shopping bags.
Cars in the United States are at least 30% cheaper. Why? Taxes, taxes, and again, taxes. In Poland, excise duty and VAT are almost one third of the car price.
There is also a lot of competition in the USA and the car dealerships offer big discounts. It is also worthwhile to buy a car in such a state where there is no sales tax. It’s extra saved money that stays in your pocket.
In the United States, petrol taxes are small, so the price is half as low as in Poland. A litre of petrol costs about 77 cents. Prices may of course vary from city to city or state to state. The Americans do not have to save on petrol, so they refuel their powerful and fuel-eating cars without any remorse.
The situation in Poland is a bit different. When buying one litre of petrol, Poles pay about 2.65 PLN in taxes. According to money.pl, taxes and other levies collected by the state, including environmental fee is PLN 2.65 – i.e. 55 percent of the retail price of a litre of petrol 95. The government also plans to increase the tax on fuel from 2020.
The difference in price for electronics literally knocks you off your feet. We will pay about 35% less for electronics than in Poland.
In the United States you can also hunt for big promotions, e.g. on Black Friday, because many shops offer big price reductions at that time.
As an example, let me give you the latest iPhone 11 Pro Max 256 GB
The price for an iPhone in Delaware is $1249, with the current exchange rate of 3.85 PLN the price in Zlotys is about 4808.
In other states, a sale tax of 6 to 8 % will be added to the price, depending on the state.
In Poland, you have to pay for the same iPhone about 6500 PLN
After a longer stay in the USA, I can see huge differences in prices, that is why I do more shopping (like phone, camera or luxury brands clothes) in the USA.