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€


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€


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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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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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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London Friendships

London has surprised me with the most unique friendships and I am so grateful for this.

For some reason that I cannot pinpoint relationships happen differently here. Maybe it is the fact that you can find people from so many different backgrounds in London. From all over the World really.

It takes time to adjust when you come from Portugal. Where the way people think and act is way more uniform than here in London.

Some relationships are short-lived but others do last longer. Everything is fast paced here. And some will become long distance as not everyone stays in London forever. Actually not many people stay long at all.

Friendships didn’t happen until I started my first job in telecoms here. Back in September 2008. That job gave me three long-lasting friends.

One of them actually got me that job. And I only met him because of my blog (back when I wrote in Portuguese). Crazy to think how my life would have been so different if I hadn’t started a blog. Even though we don’t keep in touch that regularly we know we are available for each other anytime regardless of how long it has been since we last spoke. We have visited him in Madeira and more recently in Amsterdam and he has also come to visit us in London more than once. He has always been so honest with me and so supportive of everything I do and I love him for that. We had the craziest and funniest conversations ever back in the London days. I miss having him around.

Another one is a Sri Lankan born in Germany and raised in London. Super smart guy. We did a few Sunday cinema sessions at work. Had some crazy nights out. And even learned Portuguese history with him. He went to live in Australia for a while and we lost contact then. Last year we met to catch up on the last 3 years or so. And maybe it will be another 2 or 3 years until we meet again. But I am sure it will feel just right.

The last one is this so special and so stubborn Polish girl. She is like my external conscience. She is the best at listening and I think that is why she knows me so well. We had our fights back when we were working together. It was hard at times. Maybe because we were so close and because she is so stubborn too. We now have a less stormy relationship as we no longer work together. As she is living in Southampton we don’t get to see each other that often anymore. I miss having her around but I know she is only a train journey away from me and I can always count on her. She was also the first person I took back to Portugal.

I didn’t build any significant relationships on the following couple of jobs. Just got a few extra Facebook contacts and met some cool people in Sri Lanka. Guess the jobs were too stressful and I didn’t get the chance (or the time) to make new friends.

Now that I have been in the same company for a while I made new friends. Still, it took me about two years. I pretty much kept myself to myself at work until I met one of my best friends in 2014.

We bonded pretty quickly and I don’t even know exactly how it happened. We had some crazy nights out (mostly at the pub). Shared everything about ourselves with each other. Had great times together. Had our fights. Our relationship has been a bit like a roller-coaster. More drama in it than what I would like (she knows this) and we might not be as close these days but we still know we have each other anytime we need.

It was mid 2014 when a newbie decided to start talking to me out of the blue. He asked if I spoke Portuguese. I said no. He got confused and then I said I was joking. He knew a few words in Portuguese and has a holiday home in Portugal (in the middle of nowhere). We bonded over that I guess. Must have been as we haven’t got much else in common. We worked together for less than 6 months and even though he is not great at keeping in touch we do see each other every now and then. It is good to have a male friend as it gives me a good insight on how guys think. It is quite entertaining sometimes. Also it is refreshing to spend time with someone who I can just be myself with. No filters. He can always handle my honesty and I love that.

More recently I became really close to another girl. She is also a Gemini and pretty much like me she hates drama. Even though I was not always nice to her she was always nice to me and was there for me when I really needed a friend. She is one of those people anyone would be lucky to have in their lives. As soon as I realised that, I didn’t let her go! She was the first friend I went on holidays with (without my boyfriend) and we had the best time together.

There are more people who I value in my life since I moved to London but these ones I mentioned are the most relevant ones.

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pink smoke grenades portrait

My First Photography Meet Up

Meeting new people, being around strangers and taking pictures around more experienced photographers with real models was definitely out of my comfort zone.

Still, I went out by myself and headed to central London this past Sunday for my first photography meet up. Someone I used to work with told me about it so at least I knew one person that was attending.

When I reached Kings Cross there was already a crowd around the swing cage. I was super shy so I just waited for the only person I knew before we started talking to more people.

Everyone was super friendly and excited to be shooting models around London and also to meet new people.

We got asked to leave the meeting point by security and moved on to the next location. In central London any gatherings with a large number of people seem to be closely monitored.

The models spread around the place and started posing for the photographers. I walked around trying to get some shots of different models. They were all super friendly and great at posing.

I had never shot real models before and really enjoyed it. Even though it was a struggle sometimes to get a good angle due to having so many photographers around them.

There were colorful smoke grenades and fire flares so we could get some cool pictures of the models. Those were very popular so it was even more difficult to get good shots.

It was really nice to meet new people. Being out shooting all day was very tiring but I loved the experience and cannot wait for the next one. For now I have loads of pictures to go through and edit.

Big thank you to @uk.shooters for organizing it.

For more pictures taken at the photography meetup just keep an eye on my Instagram and check out the hashtag #ukp_summertime. Follow the model in this picture here.

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