The Big Felafel

Is the cost of living in Israel going up?

SuperSol Deal

Every time I go to the supermarket (usually Super Sol Deal) and nervously approach the soymilk, unsure of how much it will cost, it turns out that sure enough the price is higher than the previous week. Same with cheese, charif, teas, wine, and I’m sure plenty of other stuff. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can even spot a higher sticker price slapped on over the previous one, the cheaper one sticking out just enough to taunt you and say haha. My salary isn’t tied to the escalating price of soy milk and tea and I have a feeling that other people’s aren’t either- so how do people afford to feed their families?

dollar exchange rate

I really don’t know much about how the economy works, but my own logic would say that since the dollar is so low (~3.7) , prices would stay the same since people are getting less for their dollar and our economy is pretty strong. Recently however, I heard it explained so eloquently, “In Israel, the prices go up in a good economy and the prices go up in a bad economy. ” So true.

Let’s go back to discussing Super Sol or shall I say ShuferSal, which is how it’s spelled on their website and sounds quite ridiculous. It turns out that SuperSol Deal has been fined for ‘price gouging’ or manipulating and cheating their customers.

Haarretz says:

A Haifa court has fined the Super-Sol supermarket chain NIS 471,000 for misleading consumers and for 17 other offenses, including using prices at the cash register that didn’t match price labeling on products. The offenses were discovered throughout northern Israel, at several Super-Sol outlets. It was the highest fine ever imposed in the country for these types of offenses. Five top Super-Sol executives were personally fined a combined NIS 9,000 in the case. This chain may have problems learning its lesson: It was fined NIS 450,000 for misleading consumers in October 2006.


So when it says on their website “Everyone is looking to save” I think they are referring to upper management and how they can save more money for the company – by making more money off of us. At least now I understand why the prices at the supermarket keep rising – someone has to pay for all their customer manipulation fines and who better to take the burden than… the customers! Keep your eye out as you bag.

While I’m on the subject of supermarkets, I see that someone is posting organized tours of supermarkets on Janglo to alleviate frustrating shopping experiences. I’m not even sure what to make of this. I don’t really think it’s possible to avoid a frustrating supermarket experience, especially now that there is proof that the supermarket intentionally wants to fool you.

But, if these tours turn into an Israeli Supermarket Sweep. I’m in.

If you’re interested in an 80 shekel tour (seems a little steep) :

The “Welcome to Israel-Supermarket Savvy Tour” will make your grocery shopping a pleasant experience rather than a totally frustrating one. Guided by a registered dietitian (olah vatika),the Welcome to Israel-Supermarket Savvy tour provides clear explanations and translations of unfamiliar foods, aisle by aisle, with nutrition tips, written handouts, recipes and other surprises.Start feeling really at home in your grocery store! The one time tour lasts approximately 2 hrs and includes a printed booklet with translations, recipes, and other helpful guides. All this for only NIS 80! A minimum of 3 people is required for the tour to take place. For maximum benefit and enjoyment for the participants group size is limited to 5 per tour, so register today!

Sorry for such a long rant. Maybe I should open a supermarket…


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Israelity » Check & Double Check pingbacked on 15 years, 4 months ago


  1. * Dave says:

    You mean you don’t believe the official inflation figures!!! Just take a basic purchase of bread, milk, flour, eggs etc. – someone is making a killing out of the average citizen.

    | Reply Posted 15 years, 4 months ago
  2. * aliyah06 says:

    Yes, the prices are going waaayyy up. My neighbors told me that despite the strength of the shekel, there’s inflationary pressure at work–I’ve watched the price of the same bottle of wine go up every week for 2 months now. My neighbors are worried because so many of the people in our building are pensioners and they see this eating into a pretty much fixed-amount pension.

    Hey, my pension is in dollars—unfortunately, not fixed at all at this point.

    The solution? Same as in the States—know thy supermarket. I go to Armon HaNatziv’s SuperSol or whatever it’s called (next to Hapoalim and the Post Office) for cheaper yoghurts, milk, bread, canned goods, cereals etc…..and I go to Mega for the slightly more expensive meats but better quality….if its uniquely American and I absolutely have to have it, I’ll pay Moshava Germanit prices and shop at HaMoshava Supermarket…I’m going to try Shikmah (cash only, no delivery), next–supposedly the discount, cheapest place in Jerusalem, even cheaper than Rami Levy.

    And no, the working poor of Jerusalem are NOT making it with these prices. They feed their kids protein (eggs, cheese) and the parents skip lunch. Meat is served maybe once a week on Shabbat. Rice, beans and potatoes are staples that can be combined in wondrously filling combinations… makes me angry that we can spend millions on beautifying the city for Bush’s visit alone, waste money on a Religious Affairs Ministry we were getting along just fine without, yet there are no adequate after-school programs for children, lousy wages for teachers, and no enforcement of the labor laws so workers get a fair shake and might be able to feed their families adequately.

    | Reply Posted 15 years, 4 months ago
  3. * Rebecca says:

    aliyah06- where is the armon hanatziv supersol? Where is Shikmah? I am definitely interested.
    Maybe we can make a chart that shows which supermarket carries which items cheaper. I noticed that Mega usually has cheap fresh sliced cheeses that are plastic wrapped.
    I agree with your anger that a teacher’s salary of 2-3000 shekels is not sufficient to put it mildly.

    | Reply Posted 15 years, 4 months ago
  4. * beverly says:

    Where is the closest SuperDeal to Herzilya?
    What else would you suggest for cheap groceries in the Herzilya area?


    | Reply Posted 15 years, 3 months ago
  5. * Rebecca says:

    Beverly – I really don’t know about supermarkets in Herzilya but try the Supersal Deal website or call them –

    | Reply Posted 15 years, 3 months ago
  6. * Muthu says:

    Hi I’m traveling to Israel (tel aviv)for a short term from 4 months to 6 months. being a vegetarian i’d like to know with how ease i’ll get veg foods.? and will it be a problem being Indian hindu there? hope no offences met with questions.

    request you not to publish my mail id.

    Thanks in advance for valuable suggestions,

    | Reply Posted 15 years, 2 months ago
  7. * Rebecca says:

    Muthu – Being a vegetarian or an indian Hindu will not be a problem at all in Israel, especially in Tel Aviv. There are a bunch of vegetarian restaurants, or at least vegetarian options in regular restaurants. And the supermarkets are just like anywhere else. I did a quick search on google and found the following list of vegetarian restaurants in tel aviv and some are even Indian. I don’t know how updated the info is but you can always call them up:
    Actually, most of the Israelis you’ll meet have been to India or are planning a trip there soon. After the army, people want to get away from it all and go backpacking around the world, many going through India and bringing back the food, clothes, music, etc. Hope that helps.

    | Reply Posted 15 years, 2 months ago
  8. * Wm.Meier says:

    Can a person lived in Israel on $2000.00 a mo. ?

    | Reply Posted 13 years, 6 months ago
  9. * Ace says:

    The minimum wage in israel is 5.5$ dollar per hour, meaning 11,000$ for a year. After tax about 850$ a month. A 2 bedroom apartment (+ living room) in Beersheba or Haifa costs about 450$ dollar a month, meaning 225$ for each roomate. Electricity: 100$ a month. City tax + water: 125$. Tv + internet: 90$. Building tax: 20$. Cooking gas: 15$. altogether: 350$ a month, meaning 175$ for each roomate. Food: Its depend, maybe 45$ a week a person. Health care: practically free (except dentel etc.). Transportation: 1.5$ for a bus ticket, 1.75$ for 1 liter of gas.

    An average family in Israel lives in a 300,000$ apartment and spend 40,000$ a year.

    Yes, a person can live in Israel on $2000.00 a month.

    | Reply Posted 13 years, 6 months ago
    • * Rebecca says:

      Wow, Ace, thanks for the detailed answer! I agree, I think you can live in israel on $2000 a month.

      | Reply Posted 13 years, 6 months ago
  10. * Wm.Meier says:

    Thanks for the quick response,Bill

    | Reply Posted 13 years, 6 months ago
  11. * Tony says:

    Thanks, Ace! That answered my question, too.

    | Reply Posted 13 years, 3 months ago
  12. * vishesh says:

    hey…i am looking at israel as an option for doing my higher studies in maths..wud like to know if the cost of living there is suitable for an indian(middle class)…and also are there any race issues…no offence meant..just a question thanks for the answer in advance

    | Reply Posted 13 years, 2 months ago
    • * Rebecca says:

      Vishesh, I think it really depends where you want to live and study – living in Haifa or Be’er Sheva will be much cheaper than living in Jerusalem. You’d have to find out about the different schools’ international programs to find out about their policies for overseas students. Good luck!

      | Reply Posted 13 years, 2 months ago
  13. * sukha says:

    what is the living cost at haifa?
    can i survive with 1000 USD a month?

    please help

    | Reply Posted 12 years, 10 months ago
  14. * Emily says:

    How much has the cost of food risen? My husband and I were told that we could visit here comfortably with a budget of $500USD (for both of us, not each) a month for food, bus tickets, some gifts, etc. Now we get here, and here talk of inflation, prices skyrocketing, etc., and we are struggling to eat more than just rice, carrots, potatoes. No meat (we’re vegetarian, so that’s ok, but we wouldn’t be able to afford it, even if we wanted to). No dairy. It’s like water, bread, hummus. And forget traveling around.

    Just wanting to know how much prices have jumped in the last couple of years?

    Thanks for any insights.

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 8 months ago
  15. * oren says:

    Dear Emily,
    please visit the following website:
    this is the website of the major grocery store in Israel located in many cities across Israel. You can view the prices of any groceries that you will require.

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 7 months ago
  16. * Ishara says:

    Hi, I am an indian female and would like to live in Israel for 6 months to learn the torah, culture and language. I would like to live in a safe but reasonably priced place in Jerusalem. I would appreciate some suggestions please. toda.

    | Reply Posted 11 years, 7 months ago

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