Shopping Basket

Shopping Basket Cost London vs Lisbon

Following up from my previous post on the cost of living in London and Lisbon I have now researched some common shopping items to compare the prices. This will give you a deeper insight on the cost of living in both cities.

Food items

Fresh Milk        £0.66 per litre     vs 0.79€
Oats                   £0.13 per 100g   vs 0,25€
Bread                £0.7 per 400g      vs 0.65€

Apples               £2 per per Kg      vs 1.59€
Bananas           £0.76 per Kg        vs 0.99€
Black Grapes   £4 per Kg              vs 3.49€

Chicken Breast £6 per Kg             vs 5.99€
Salmon               £16.35 per Kg     vs 9.99€
Minced Beef      £8 per Kg             vs 8.48€

Spaghetti            £1.70 per Kg       vs 0.85€
Basmati Rice     £1.43 per Kg       vs 1.79€

Broccoli               £1.30 per Kg       vs 2.59€
Sweet Potato     £1 per Kg             vs 0.99€

Lettuce                  £1.25                     vs 1.59€
Tomatoes             £2 per Kg             vs 1.29€
Cucumber            £0.5                        vs 0.59€

Olive Oil                 £4 per Litre         vs 5.59€
Sea Salt                  £2.14 per Kg       vs 0.19€

London Total £54 or 59€
Lisbon Total £43 or 48€

Household Items

Fairy Liquid                       £2.17 per litre                  vs 3.88€
Ariel Liquid                        £5.5 for 24 washes         vs 8.99€ for 27 washes
Cif Cream Lemon            £5 per litre                        vs 4.99€

London Total £13 or 14€
Lisbon Total £16 or 18€

Toiletries

Sensodyne Original Toothpaste         £4.5                               vs 4.79€
Garnier Shampoo                                     £6.30 per litre            vs 12.48€
Nivea Shower Gel                                      £4 per litre                 vs 7.99€
Nivea Soft Moisturiser                              £4                                  vs 4.69€
Tampax Tampons                                      £2.85                            vs 3.99€

London Total £22 or 24€
Lisbon Total £31 or 34€

Summary

London Total £89 or 98€
Lisbon Total   £90 or 99€

It looks like your basic needs when it comes to grocery shopping, household products and toiletries cost pretty much the same in both cities. Needless to mention again the difference when it comes to the minimum wages in both cities as you can check that here.

Hope you found this information useful!

Note: I have used the current exchange rate of £1 = 1.10€

The prices shown are for similar products and no items on offer were selected. Sainsbury’s and Continente were the chosen supermarkets for this research. 

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father and baby at the beach

Daddy’s Girl?

Growing up I never really had my father around. Well, I’m kind of grown up now and he’s still not around.

You see and hear all this people talking about how children of divorced parents get damaged in the process. Honestly I always brushed that off my shoulders like I could not relate at all. Still not fully agreeing with the most extreme opinions on the matter but as everything else in your life it does affect who you are or who you become up to a certain point.

child sittingMy dad was pretty much out of my life by the time I was three. So I don’t really have a lot of memories with him. There are pictures of him holding me as a baby, a couple from a trip to London when I was a little older and another one in his boat. That’s about it.

I was lucky enough to have a stable and safe environment at home growing up with my mum, her partner and later my little brother.

kids playing gamesHad the best childhood I could wish for in a quiet little village outside Lisbon in this super pretty house on top of the hill where my mum threw the best birthday parties. No joke, we even had live shows setup by my brother’s dad, a theme and plenty of games and activities to keep kids and adults entertained. Not to talk about the amazing birthday cakes and all the delicious food.

It was the perfect life for any kid.

Because I was so young when my father left I didn’t think much about him or even asked many questions. My grandma was always present in my life so I knew about what was going on in his life. As in when he got married, moved to a different country or when I had a new brother. She always tried to get us to be closer but I don’t think he was that interested. From my side I didn’t make an effort either as I didn’t feel he wanted me in his life anyway.

Even though I often tell my brain I don’t care I guess deep down I do. Otherwise I can’t explain why I went to uni to study electronic engineering! Either I wanted to impress him or I thought it would be easier for me as I must have gotten some of his skills in my genes. Unsurprisingly it didn’t work out as planned, life got complicated and I dropped out of uni and got two jobs!

Later in my life my grandma died and my father was back in my life for a brief period. I actually enjoyed his company and he made it seem like he was going to be there for me. Sadly it was just an illusion and we quickly got back to normal.

Nevertheless I can’t say I don’t wish from time to time to be able to have my father in my life. Even if he’s clearly not the best at being one.

I am his only daughter but I was never a daddy’s girl.

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portrait of model with pink and orange hair and man tattoo with roses and orange eye shadow

My Photography Portfolio

It is finally up on the blog! My photography portfolio. I managed to start getting the pictures from the photo shoots together and now you can see my photography up there in the Portfolio.

I am super excited about this. If you couldn’t tell.

Thank you to everyone that has encouraged me to keep working. It means a lot. I am super in love with photography and the editing process.

Contact me via the Facebook Page or via direct message on Instagram if you’re interested in shooting with me.

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COST OF LIVING IN LONDON VS LISBON

Cost of Living in London vs Lisbon

I have lived in both cities so I have a rough idea about the living costs. For the purpose of providing you with more accurate information I have carried out a thorough research on the cost of living in London vs Lisbon. If you are considering living in one of these two cities this information should be helpful.

The minimum wage in the UK is roughly £1300 (1430€) and in Portugal it is 650€ (£591) per month. Please note that for the Portuguese minimum wage I have included the extra salaries you get in the Summer and in December. These amounts are both before taxes.

In Portugal it is very common to be given an extra daily allowance (not taxable up to a certain amount) usually in vouchers to help with the costs of any meals during working hours. This is currently set at a minimum of 4.52€/£4.11 per working day. As this is not mandatory I will not be taking it into consideration. If you want to do so just add roughly 100€/£90 per month to the available budget.

You need a place to sleep:

London: 1210€ or £1100 (to this amount you should add about £100 / 110€ of Council Tax)
Lisbon:   700€ or £636 per month

I have looked at 1 and 2 bedroom apartments with good transport links not more than half an hour away from the city center.

And you might have to pay bills:

Electricity:         39€/£36 in London and 45€/£41 in Lisbon
Gas:                     30€/£27 in London and 45€/£41 in Lisbon
Water:                 30€/£27 in London and 29€/£26 in Lisbon

Utilities’ Total:  98€/£89 in London and 118€/£107 in Lisbon

I have estimated the usage at 2200 kWh a year for electricity, 8000 kWh for gas (686 m3) and 125 m3 for water.

If you want to watch TV in the UK you need a TV license which will cost £12.25/11€ per month. In Portugal this is not optional and even if you don’t watch TV you have to pay 3€/ £2.7 per month (this will show up in your Electricity bill).

Also in the UK you have different options when it comes to cashback, you get a percentage of what you spend in certain places as a discount on your bill, at the moment this saves me about £20 a month. I have not taken this into consideration on the numbers shown here.

Can’t forget you need Social Media in your life

Phone and Broadband: 32€/£29 in London and 23€/£21 in Lisbon
Mobile Plans SIM only:   20€/£18 in London and 23€/£21 in Lisbon

So the basic bills (including 2 mobiles) will cost you around 1502€/£1365 in London and 887€/£806 in Lisbon.

Maybe public transports too. Unless you can afford a car

If you don’t want to be at home all the time and assuming you are commuting to work a monthly travel pass will cost you 164€/£149 in London and 60€/£55 in Lisbon.

These costs are for zone 1 to 3 travel card in London and zone 1 to 2 in Lisbon. This is because the zones in Lisbon cover a bigger area than in London.

So far (without food, clothing, toiletries and household items) these are the figures you will be looking at if you are a couple living in one of these two amazing cities and earning the minimum wage:

London: Take home 2546€/£2315, spend 1666€/£1514 and have 881€/£801 left
Lisbon:   Take home 1156€/£1051, spend  947€/£861 and have     209€/£190 left

In conclusion, things are looking pretty grim for Lisbon with not much money left after covering the basic living expenses. London does have the fame of being a very expensive city but in this comparison it doesn’t look too bad after all.

Food, toiletries and household items are covered in this post. Might even write a post on the health services for both cities. It will be interesting to give you (and myself) a good picture on how these two cities compare.

Note: I have used the current exchange rate of £1 = 1.10€

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Tagus River

My Secret Trip to Lisbon

Yes. I did it. After thinking about it several times before I finally had the guts to go to Lisbon and not tell anyone about it.

It was my first holiday with a friend and I took her to meet my lovely city, Lisbon.

Being a tourist in my own city was amazing. We used public transport and Uber a lot, visited some of my favorite places and even discovered new ones.

We stayed in a very central hotel and loved the place. The beds were so good that we were fine with an average of just 5 hours’ sleep per night.

Day One:
We dropped the bags at the hotel as it was too early to check in and headed to Belém for lunch. We had steaks with river views at Portugália. Grabbed some “pastéis de Belém” and visited the tropical gardens nearby. We got a Uber back to the hotel as we were super tired then and needed to recharge our internal batteries to be OK for the night ahead of us.
Tagus RiverSteak at Portugalia

 

 

 

 

Casinha ChiadoTemplarios Bar XPTOLater we had a light dinner at Chiado before our big night out with live music at Templários bar with XPTO.The show was incredible and the fact that we can smoke inside mind-blowing for my friend. Even though we were tired we stayed up until pretty late that night.

Day Two:
OceanariumParque das NacoesWe spent endless hours at the Oceanarium and strolled around Parque das Nacoes enjoying the sunshine. I was pretty much dead by the end of the day and needed to lay in bed for a quick nap before going out for dinner. We had a lovely fondue, good wine and chocolate mousse for dessert in great company. The conversation flow was great even with the non-fluent English.

Day Three:
Alfama Street ArtBasilica da EstrelaThe 28 tram! What a mission it is nowadays to get to ride on it. I used to take this to and from school every day and I swear it was not nearly as busy. We still did it but it was not the best experience. We visited Basilica da Estrela and got the stairs all the way to the rooftop. Back on the 28 we headed to Alfama and from there we walked to get the boat to the other side. It was a cute short boat ride on the old “cacilheiro”. It was cool we got an old boat and not the new ones that might be faster but like in character.

CacilheiroCosta da Caparica BeachWe used Uber from Cacilhas to my favorite beach. We had lunch at the beach bar and decided to walk a few miles back to town by the sea. Walking made us hungry so we ate some “caldo verde” (cabbage soup) and “pao com chourico” (bread with chorizo). I thought I wasn’t going to be hungry to have dinner but after a spa session back at the hotel and close to 11pm I decided I wanted to have dinner! Got Sanam to put on some clothes and we walked around the corner for delicious burgers and Caipirinhas at Honorato.

Day Four:
Galapos BeachBeachWe were lucky enough to get our own personal tour guide for the day. He drove us around the Arrábida area, we walked the most beautiful beaches, visited cape Espichel and Sesimbra castle. Chilled at the beach before a dinner of grilled sandwiches with the most entertaining service. And finally had drinks at Fonte da Telha at a beach bar. I never expected to do so much in one day! I don’t get to visit that area very often so it was amazing to revisit and share it with friends made it even more special.

Cabo EspichelCastelo de SesimbraCabo Espichel

 

 

 

 

 

Day Five:
Sintra! We got there by train and it was an easy and cheap journey. The first stop was Quinta da Regaleira and the queue was of a decent size. We walked around one of the most photographed places in Portugal and enjoyed it. It was my first time there believe it or not. From there we decided to get a Uber to Palácio da Pena and were lucky enough to get one with a panoramic roof! If you’ve ever done that road you will know how amazing that is. The queue for the palace was not as bad and we got in pretty quickly. Visited the palace and after that we were dead and ready to get back to Lisbon.

Quinta da Regaleira Pena Palace Quinta da Regaleira

Day Six:
Easyjet Planetime to go snapIt was time to leave so we chilled at the hotel after a good breakfast at our usual spot around the corner at Delta. We finished packing and checked out. On our way to the airport we stopped at Vasco da Gama shopping center for lunch outside in the balcony with river view. From there it is a quick tube ride to the airport.

It was an amazing break in Lisbon in great company. Cannot wait to do another holiday like this one!

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My Fitbit

Fitbit Love

Since July 2012 I have been wearing a Fitbit every day! Don’t think I have forgotten it at home more than a couple of times.

Fitbit UltraThe Fitbit Ultra was my first one and it lasted 16 months until it started to fall apart. I was hooked on it. The app worked well and because I love numbers knowing my daily steps was quite cool. In my opinion the Fitbit doesn’t play a major role in you becoming fitter or in losing weight but it makes you more aware of your daily activity level. That might make you walk to the next bus stop or taking the stairs just to bump up your numbers. Unfortunately that novelty is likely to wear off and you will eventually be OK with lower numbers as your daily goal.

Fitbit OneIn late 2013 I bought the Fitbit One. I noticed it was more accurate in counting steps and it was considerably less bulky. This one also tracked my sleep when wearing it on my wrist during the night. The wrist “pocket” was not the most durable though. I don’t think I made use of that function very often. I was wearing it without the case inside my trousers’ small pocket or inside my bra if I had no pockets. Even though this one is tiny I never lost it. As it started to gain a gap between the back and front panel I looked into getting the next Fitbit on the market. It was still working just fine after 32 months but I wanted a new toy.

Fitbit AltaMid 2016 I bought the Fitbit Alta. I was not keen on wearing a wristband but that was the direction Fitbit was going and I did not find a better alternative to move on from the Fitbit One. I lost the floor tracking with this one but sleep tracking was easier. It is not the most comfortable wristband ever. Also I had plenty of issues with accuracy on the step count. I used the Fitbit One along with this one to check for accuracy and the difference was sometimes shocking. When I contacted the Fitbit support about it they were pretty useless. I accepted wasting £100 and got back to using my trustworthy Fitbit One that ended up being in use for just over 3 years.

Fitbit Charge 2Christmas 2016 I bought a Fitbit Charge 2 for a friend. The reviews were pretty good. A few days later I could not resist and bought one for me too. Tracking the heart rate was taking it to a whole new level and got me excited to have more numbers to analyse. The wristband is very comfortable and the screen is very clear. Accuracy seems pretty good too. The sleep tracking function is amazing and you end up learning a lot about your sleep patterns. Knowing your heart rate at anytime is great and makes the calorie burning information a lot more accurate. Very close to the numbers I was getting on my Polar watches.

These days many people are using Fitbits which makes it more fun as you can add friends. I think this is where you can get the real benefits of tracking your activity. By doing challenges or just trying to beat your friends’ step count you become more active!

Fitbit IonicNow with the launch of the Fitbit Ionic I am so tempted to get one for Christmas. It is finally waterproof and it also packs a lot of new features. The only downside is the price. At £299 it is a little more than my usual Fitbit budget.

So far I have recorded 13,528,264 steps and about 8,939.75 km. Add me as a friend if you have one too.

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London Eye Big Ben

Lets talk about Terrorism

I don’t really watch the news. Nowadays I believe that ignorance is the best way of going about your daily life without obsessing about all the evil that is out there. But of course I find out about any major news through people at work or by just quickly checking Facebook.

If something bad happens in London I usually find out through messages from my family and friends asking if I am OK.

When I lived in Portugal terrorism was a reality in places far far away. It was not on my mind at all. Even though I watched the news almost every day back then terrorism was not on my mind at all when I was out and about.

Terrorism news even if in London did not make me fear being out there either. Did not stop me from using the London transport system or going out to a live show. Or having my brother visit and taking him around to enjoy this beautiful city. Even though that was shortly after the London Bridge attack.

It did make me more vigilant and more cautious though. I have stepped out of the tube or train to wait for the next one when something didn’t seem quite right more than once. Even reported a bag left alone at the airport in Lisbon. Everyone else did not seem to care or notice that. I guess you get that from living in London.

Sadly these events are becoming more and more frequent and going about your life in the city without terrorism being in the back of your mind is almost impossible.

My love for London is undeniable and I have felt safe here for the most part of it. Unfortunately at the moment I don’t feel safe anymore. It makes me so sad that I am letting terrorism win by feeling afraid but I can’t keep pretending it will all be OK. It just doesn’t seem to be getting any better and I can’t accept terrorism acts around me every now and then as the new normal!

The last news of terrorism in London were watched while having breakfast in Portugal in a café near the beach. Strangely enough it seems that that was the turning point for me. The moment I realised I might struggle to go to central London in peace. The moment I lost hope in this city I love.

Fortunately we live further away from the city center and don’t have to commute to London on a daily basis but still I don’t know if that is good enough to be “safe”.

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