Today’s guest post comes to us from Rob Tucker of Lotus Events, who will soon be relocating here from Canada with his wife, Andrea.  You can follow their ongoing progress at lotusevents.blogspot.com, and they can also be found at Got Craft? and Granville Online (where they share clever-n-crafty ideas and updates on the DYI scene!).

Hello! We are two Canadians preparing to move overseas to the UK in February 2011. I have been chatting with Colleen over email for the past few months about our plans to relocate and she has been kind enough to spend a great deal of time answering our questions about finding a flat. In fact, you can find our entire Q&A interview about relocating to London by Colleen over on our lotus events blogpart 1: http://lotusevents.blogspot.com/2010/09/london-relocation-pt-1.html, part 2: http://lotusevents.blogspot.com/2010/09/london-relocation-pt-2.html and part 3: http://lotusevents.blogspot.com/2010/09/london-relocation-pt-3.html.

We wanted to post about our experience moving to the UK, because as Canadians, we couldn’t find that much information out there. Most of it was geared to Australians looking to move abroad and with our feline friend making the big move with us, we wanted to talk about the steps that went through from our point of view. One thing that we always came across whenever we mention that we are moving, is generally the comment of “Wow, it’s so expensive there”. Yes, it isn’t cheap, but according recent reports (http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20100126/housing_vancouver_100126/), Vancouver (where we are from) is the most expensive city in the world to own a house. That’s right, folks. I have spent a great deal of time looking at the costs associated with our move including transportation, flat rentals, mobiles and food. One element that I was always frustrated with was finding out the realistic cost of grocery shopping each week. Most webpages offer general pricing on what you might spend each week, but the pricing was always quite generic. So, we decided to do a little experiment of our own.

After grocery shopping the other day, I decided to see if I could pin down some true figures. I visited the Sainsbury’s website (http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/groceries/index.jsp?bmUID=1285653286712) and discovered that they list the price of every single item they have for sale. You can browse grocery items by category such as fruit, meat, bread, cereals and almost every other item you could possible purchase at a store right down to bags of ice cubes. I thence took our grocery bill and checked each item line by line to compare the prices from our local Save-On-Foods to the prices listed at Sainsbury.

Below are some price differences:

Avocado- $1.89 vs £1.19 ($1.91 conversion)
Broccoli Crowns- $1.70 vs £0.61 ($0.98 conversion)
Block of Jarlsberg Cheese- $5.49 vs £1.45 ($2.33 conversion)
Organic Eggs- $5.99 vs £4.00 ($6.43 conversion)
Gala Apples – $2.86 vs £1.00 ($1.62 conversion)
Chicken Thighs- $6.67 vs £3.00 ($4.85 conversion)

At the end, our Save On Foods bill was $128.83 vs £75.00 ($120.52 conversion) from Sainsbury. Pretty interesting, eh? Of course my excitement about this is tamed by the fact that we pay £712pm for a rather nice one bedroom apartment. Can’t wait for the big move!