IKEA: It´s Swedish for self-assembly furniture

OK, OK … I lied!

IKEA is really an acronym comprising the initials and location of the founder of IKEA – Ingvar Kamprad; Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up) and Agunnaryd (his hometown in southern Sweden).

The company is the world’s largest furniture retailer, with stores in many countries, including Spain.

Car park solar panels at Ikea, Malaga

I wanted to pop along to IKEA to pick up some photo frames for a forthcoming Art and Photography Exhibition in Torre del Mar, where I will be displaying some of my photos in June.  I haven’t visited my nearest store in Málaga for almost a year, but since my last visit some rather excellent solar panels have been erected as sunshades for cars parked on the 1400-space free car park.  

What a innovative idea!

IKEA has invested €4.6 million installing solar panels not only on the car-park sunshades, but also on the roof of the Málaga store, which will produce 2,821 MWh per year – 64 per cent of the amount of energy the store used in 2012.

solar panel

Opening hours at Ikea, Malaga

Did you know that the IKEA logo is blue and yellow to reflect the colours of the Swedish flag?  Well you do now!

welcome to Ikea

So, if you’ve recently moved to the Málaga area, and are looking for somewhere familiar to buy your stuff – this might be the place for you!

Ikea yellow bagsThe Málaga store has the usual frustrating one-way, anti-clockwise layout, typical of every IKEA I´ve ever been in, whereby you have to walk around the whole store (and it´s a long way) to get to the exitunless you spot the craftily concealed short-cuts.

kitchen display

IKEA is situated in the Bahia Azul commercial area near Plaza Mayor.   If you know where Málaga airport is – well, it´s close by, just off the same road – MA-21  at Exit 2.

Opening hours:  Monday-Saturday 10am – 10pm  (The store is also open some Sundays and Public Holidays, but it’s best to check the website before you set off)

Address:  Av Velázquez, 389, 29004 Málaga, Spain

Phone:+34 902 40 09 22

Website: IKEA website for the Málaga store (in English)   

Do you have a degree in IKEA self-assembly furniture?  I know I don’t!

 

Whilst you’re here, why not have a look at:

Spanish football: Estadio La Roselada, home of Málaga CF

AVE: Taking the Fast Track from Málaga to Madrid

CBBH Photo Challenge: MULTI-COLOURED

Cost of Living: East of Málaga, Spain – April 2013

Shopping trolley in Lidl supermarket, Spain

Edited to add: When you’ve read this article, make sure you also look at my up-to-date Cost of Living in Spain: (Málaga edition) for July 2015, now available HERE.

Whenever I travel, I´m always interested to know how much things cost and, every day, people from around the world find my blog by searching for the cost of living in Spain.

Back in August and November 2012, I posted some receipts for groceries I had bought here in southern Spain, which proved to be very popular articles. 

But I wanted to do something a bit different, so I decided that rather than post the prices of random items of shopping that you may, or may not be interested in, I would come up with a list of standard grocery items, which I will update the prices of, two or three times a year.   This list can easily be changed, so if there are any other basic items you would like me to include, please let me know in the comments section, below.  This way, if anyone else wants to do something similar, we can have a direct comparison between countries.

To make such direct comparison simple, I have once again used the Spanish Supermarket – Mercadona in Torrox Costa.

This month’s prices are a bit of a mixed bag, with some prices remaining stable, yet others increasing or decreasing.

So, here´s the Standard Grocery List I used previously.  The first prices are as they were in August 2012 – the second prices (in bold) are as they were last November, with this month’s prices in RED alongside.

Standard Grocery List

Milk (semi –skimmed UHT, own brand), 1 litre  0.54 €      0.54 €     0.53 €

Loaf  (white, baguette 250g)   0.45 €    0.45 €     0.45 €

Eggs (12, own brand caged, medium) 1.35  €     1.35  €     1.35  €

Chicken breasts (1kg, boneless, skinless)  5.50 €     5.50 €     5.80 €

Apples (1kg, green, Golden Delicious) 1.35 €     1.00 €     1.65 €

Oranges (1kg) 1.39 €     0.89 €    0.79 €

Bananas (1kg) 1.25 €    1.15 €     1.35 €

Potatoes (1kg) 0.92 €    0.89 €      0.96 €

Lettuce (1 head, Iceberg) 0.85 €    0.85 €    0.85 €

Water (1.5 litre bottle) 0.45 €    0.36 €     0.42 € (for a 2 litre bottle)

Domestic Beer (1 litre bottle, Cruzcampo) 1.29 €    1.20 €    1.20 €

Fish  (1kg Salmon steaks) 8.75 €    8.75 €      9.50 €

Toilet rolls (pack of 6, own brand) 1.95 €    1.95 €    1.95 €

Washing powder (Box, 35 washes, Elena brand) 5.94 €   4.87 €     4.87 €

Olive oil (1 litre, extra virgin, own brand) 3€    2.75 €   (5 litres 12.99€)    2.99 €   (5 litres 13.99 €)

Coca-Cola (1.5 litre) 1.09 €    1.00 €    1.00 €

Butter (250g, own brand) 0.98 €    0.98 €     0.98 €

Sugar (1kg, white) 0.95 €    0.93 €    0.93 €

The following two items were only introduced in November’s grocery list:

Coffee (ground, 250g, Santa Cristina)  1.79 €      1.89 €

Beef mince (Store brand, pre-packed, 1kg)   5.43 €    3.80 € (for 700g)

New items added to the list:

Red Peppers (1kg, loose)  2.29 €

Green pointed “Italian” Peppers (1kg, loose)  1.99 €

Tomatoes  (1kg, loose)  1.19 €

Currency Conversion from XE €1 = 1.31   USD
0.85   GBP
1.24   AUD
1.33   CAD
1.53   NZD
11.66   ZAR

Inside of Lidl supermarket, Algorrobo, Spain

Other household expenses

Gas:  We don´t have mains gas here – we use bottles of butane gas.   In August, a 12.5kg bottle of Butane gas cost 16.45 € – falling to 16.10 € in November.  They are now 17.15 € .   One bottle used to last (on average) 21 days (for two people… though around 4 weeks in summer) for all hot water, showers and cooking on a gas hob.  Last September we had a new gas water heater fitted and, even though it has a larger capacity for water heating than the previous one, it appears to use significantly less gas.  It´s early days yet, but the first bottle lasted five weeks (rather than three weeks).  I´ll keep my eye on how that goes.

Electricity:  For a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom detached house in the countryside with a swimming pool, we pay an average of 100 € per month.   The cost of consumption for us is slightly lower in winter with heating/lighting, as opposed to air conditioning/lighting/swimming pool pump running for 8 hours a day, in the summer months.

Water: We are not connected to mains water, so when we bought our house part of the purchase cost was for a share in a local water company.  We have a 14,000 litre water deposit in which to store our house water.  Our water share gives us an allowance of up to 17,500 litres of water each week at reduced cost, though if we use more than this, the price rises steeply.  Needless to say, we don´t use this amount of water, even allowing for swimming pool top-ups and garden irrigation.  The water company, Patamalara, doesn´t always sent out their bills regularly and much of the cost appears to depend on the amount of repairs that have been undertaken on the system, but over the past twelve months our annual water bill has amounted to 92 €.

Village house in Torrox pueblo, Spain

IBI – Council Tax:   Paid yearly to the local council.  Last year´s bill was 338€

Internet:  29 € per month with unlimited downloads (within reason).  Speeds up to 3 Mbps

Petrol/Gasoline:  In August 1 litre of 95 octane petrol was 1.49 €.   In November 2012 the price had fallen to 1.40 €.   The price is now 1.48 €

Vehicle excise duty:  We have a Peugot 307 and pay 51 € per year.

Eating out:  Glass of wine or beer, including one tapa is 1 € – 1.50 €.  Menu of the day (three course meal, served at lunchtime, including bread and one glass of beer, wine or a bottle of water) 8 – 10 €

How do prices compare where you live? 

You might also enjoy these articles:

Menú del Día: Great food at a budget price

Cost of Living: East of Málaga, Spain  –  August 2012

Cost of Living: East of Málaga, Spain – November 2012

Goats on the road: I kid you not

Cost of Living: East of Málaga, Spain – November 2012

Shopping trolley in Mercadona supermarket, Spain

Whenever I travel, I´m always interested to know how much things cost and, every day, people from around the world find my blog by searching for the cost of living in Spain.

Back in August, I posted some receipts for groceries I had bought here in southern Spain, which proved to be a very popular article. 

I also wanted to do something a bit different, so I decided that rather than post the prices of random items of shopping that you may, or may not be interested in, I would come up with a list of standard grocery items, which I will update the prices of, three or four times a year.   This list can easily be changed, so if there are any other basic items you would like me to include, please let me know in the comments section, below.  This way, if anyone else wants to do something similar, we can have a direct comparison between countries.

For this month´s prices, and to make direct comparison simple, I have once again used the Spanish Supermarket – Mercadona in Torrox Costa.

I must admit – I was pleased that I had noted down these prices in August, or otherwise I wouldn´t have known about the pleasant surprise awaiting me – THERE HAD BEEN NO PRICE INCREASES AT ALL, AND MANY OF THE ITEMS HAD ACTUALLY COME DOWN IN PRICE!  YAAY!

This was even more of a surprise as there was a hike in IVA/VAT tax rates at the beginning of September.  Whilst it´s fair to say that four of the price-reduced items are “seasonal fruit and veg” ,  six others are not, including a whopping 1.07 € off a packet of washing powder!

So, here´s the Standard Grocery List I used last time (with prices as they were in August) – now with November´s prices in RED alongside.

Standard Grocery List

Milk (semi –skimmed UHT, own brand), 1 litre  0.54 €      0.54 €   
Loaf  (white, baguette 250g)   0.45 €    0.45 €  
Eggs (12, own brand caged, medium) 1.35  €     1.35  €
Chicken breasts (1kg, boneless, skinless)  5.50 €     5.50 €
Apples (1kg, green, Golden Delicious) 1.35 €     1.00 €
Oranges (1kg) 1.39 €     0.89 €
Bananas (1kg) 1.25 €    1.15 €
Potatoes (1kg) 0.92 €    0.89 €
Lettuce (1 head, Iceberg) 0.85 €    0.85 €
Water (1.5 litre bottle) 0.45 €    0.36 €
Domestic Beer (1 litre bottle, Cruzcampo) 1.29 €    1.20 €
Fish  (1kg Salmon steaks) 8.75 €    8.75 €
Toilet rolls (pack of 6, own brand) 1.95 €    1.95 €
Washing powder (Box, 35 washes, Elena brand) 5.94 €   4.87 €
Olive oil (1 litre, extra virgin, own brand) 3€    2.75 €   (5 litres 12.99€)
Coca-Cola (1.5 litre) 1.09 €    1.00 €
Butter (250g, own brand) 0.98 €    0.98 €
Sugar (1kg, white) 0.95 €    0.93 €

New items on the list:

Coffee (ground, 250g, Santa Cristina)  1.79 €
Beef mince (Store brand, pre-packed, 1kg)   5.43 €

Till receipt from German supermarket Lidl in Spain

I´ve also included my store receipt for a few groceries I bought from the German supermarket Lidl which has stores throughout  Spain.  Most of these items not included on my standard grocery shopping list.

Currency Conversion from XE €1 = 1.27   USD
0.80   GBP
1.22   AUD
1.27   CAD
1.55   NZD
11.15   ZAR

Inside of Lidl supermarket, Algorrobo, Spain

Other household expenses

Gas:  We don´t have mains gas here – we use bottles of butane gas.   In August, a 12.5kg bottle of Butane gas cost 16.45 € – they are now 16.10 € .   One bottle used to last (on average) 21 days (for two people… though around 4 weeks in summer) for all hot water, showers and cooking.  During September we had a new gas water heater fitted and, even though it has a larger capacity for water heating than the previous one, it appears to use significantly less gas.  It´s early days yet, but the first bottle lasted five weeks (rather than three weeks).  I´ll keep my eye on how that goes.

Electricity:  Last time I told you that for a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom detached house in the countryside with a swimming pool, we paid an average of 90 € per month.  I may have underestimated this a bit.  The cost of consumption for us is slightly lower in winter with heating/lighting, as opposed to air conditioning/lighting/swimming pool pump running for 8 hours a day, in the summer months.  Our electricity company Sevillana Endesa has raised their prices significantly recently and monthly bills now appear to be averaging 120€.

Water: We are not connected to mains water, so when we bought our house part of the purchase cost was for a share in a local water company.  We have a water deposit to store our house water.  Our water share gives us an allowance of up to 17,500 litres of water each week at reduced cost, after which the price rises steeply.  Needless to say, we don´t use this amount of water, even allowing for swimming pool top-ups and garden irrigation.  The water company, Patamalara, doesn´t always sent out their bills regularly and much of the cost appears to depend on the amount of repairs that have been undertaken on the system, but over the past twelve months our annual water bill has amounted to 92 €.

Village house in Torrox pueblo, Spain

IBI – Council Tax:   Paid yearly to the local council.  This year´s bill is 338€

Internet:  29 € per month with unlimited downloads (within reason).  Speeds up to 3 Mbps

Petrol/Gasoline:  In August 1 litre of 95 octane petrol was 1.49 € – now that price has fallen to 1.40 €

Vehicle excise duty:  We have a Peugot 307 and pay 51 € per year.

Eating out:  Glass of wine or beer, including one tapa is 1 € – 1.50 €.  Menu of the day (three course meal, served at lunchtime, including bread and one glass of beer, wine or a bottle of water) 8 – 10 €

How do prices compare where you live? 

You might also enjoy these articles:

Menú del Día: Great food at a budget price

Cost of Living: East of Málaga, Spain  –  August 2012

Goats on the road: I kid you not

Menú del Día: Great food at a budget price

Pinchitos at Ferrara Asador, Torrox Costa

For much less than the cost of an evening dinner, most restaurants in La Axarquía have a cheap, fixed-price meal available at lunchtime only.

Because the normal Spanish working day has a 3 hour break in the middle, many Spanish workers take advantage of this time (often referred to as a siesta) by catching up with friends or colleagues over lunch.

Why eat a sandwich at your desk when you can enjoy a leisurely lunch with friends?

Ferrara Asadaor, Torrox Costa, Spain

Roast pork at Ferrara Asador, Torrox Costa

Drinks and bread included

Known as Menu del Día, you can usually enjoy a two or three course meal, including bread and your first drink, for around 8 – 10 euros.  It´s usually a set menu, though there is often a choice of three or four dishes for each course.

A typical menu might include soup or salad to start, followed by fish or pork with flan or coffee to finish.  Bread, plus your choice of first drink (beer, wine or water) are usually included in the price.

Typical board advertising Menu of the Day, Spain

Look out for a board outside the restaurant, advertising the Menu del Día, which will usually be written in Spanish, and always remember to look out for restaurants and bars frequented by locals rather than tourists.

My choice in Torrox Costa:

** Ferrara Asador on the N340, near to the Repsol garage.  At only €8 with great service, good choice and quality of food, it´s well worth a visit, but go before 2.00pm as it gets very busy, especially in August.

** Fancy something a bit different ?  Try the Jing Chinese restaurant on the Paseo Maritimo along Ferrara Beach.  Their menu del día is even cheaper at €6, but drinks cost extra.  Again, excellent food and service.

Where´s your favourite place to eat, east of Málaga?

Love food?  You might like to drool over these posts:

Slice of Life:  Spanish bars

Let´s talk about tapas!

Fresh Figs Stuffed with Goat´s Cheese and wrapped in Smoked Bacon

Playing the Spanish Markets

Busy market stall at streetmarket in Spain

Terracotta cazuelas at a Spanish streetmarket

Colourful purses and handbags for sale at a Spanish streetmarket

Olives for sale at Spanish market

Especially in these times of austerity, everyone is searching for a bargain. 

Open-air street markets offer a true cultural experience, where you can really get amongst the locals whilst trying to make your euros stretch that bit further.   Prices may not always be clearly marked so you may be able to negotiate a lower price.  It´s worth a try – you can always walk away.

The stalls are often covered with makeshift shades to protect the goods and customers from the fierce heat of the sun.

Huge fat onions at the Spanish streetmarket

Herbs and spices at a Spanish streetmarket

Many coloured tee-shirts on sale at the Spanish market

Fresh cherries only €2 per kilo at Spanish streetmarket

Spanish street markets are more informal than supermarkets, but bear in mind that the vendors are salespeople, not just cashiers, so they may approach you to sell goods you may or may not want.  Keep smiling!

Click HERE to discover where and when there are street markets in the Axarquía area, east of Málaga. 

Girls flamenco shoes for sale at a Spanish streetmarket

Nuts and dried fruits for sale at Spanish streetmarket

Lots of ladies clothing for sale at the Spanish streetmarket

Fresh fruit and veg for sale at a Spanish streetmarket

Colourful Spanish fans at the streetmarket

This post is my response to the Travel Theme: On Display

Related posts:

Streetmarkets around the Axarquía – when and where

Cost of Living in Spain – east of Málaga

Photographs I love, and why