Shopping per unit: The cost of survival in Serbia

There is an appalling trend going on among Serbian consumers whereby they are resorting to buying groceries and household items like nappies and toilet paper per gram or piece.

The reporters from the Blic daily have found out that oftentimes people in Serbia cannot afford to buy a whole package of a certain article and resort to buying minimum quantities like one two or three cigarettes, a handful of apples, or one or two pills.

In the town of Niš, in southern Serbia, a price of a cigarette varies from 10 to 30 dinars, depending on the brand, a roll of toilet paper (taken out from a package) goes for 13 dinars, 500gr of washing powder sells for 500 dinars, while an ordinary hard sweet goes for 5 dinars.

Pharmacies are already used to selling medication not per box, but rather per pill. Also in Niš, a blister packaging of indigestion pills retails for 180 dinars, while the whole box sells for 360 dinars. Anti-pain medication goes for 10 dinars per pop.

Chocolate and sweets shop are not exempt from this trend either. For instance, grandparents often come to buy only a few sweets, instead of the entire bag, for their grandkids. In Kraljevo, a toilet paper roll sells for 20 dinars, and things are no different in Belgrade either.

Citizens of Belgrade usually buy nappies and medication per piece. The situation on Belgrade’s green market is no different. “Many people buy a few pieces of this, and a few pieces of that. One carrot, or two onions. They even buy one pepper for 20 dinars. People just don’t have money”, a vendor at the Kalenić green market in Belgrade says.

Smaller local groceries often sell eggs per piece, and the price varies between 10 and 15 dinars per one egg. The same goes for bubble gum and hard sweets.

(Blic, 28.01.2017)

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