Wednesday, September 23, 2009

So far, I've only found 2 things cheaper....

in Switzerland than they are in the United States: Nespresso machines and Ski lift tickets.

I've checked the prices on the Nespresso machines (budgeting for things we must buy/replace when returning back to the States) and they are about $30 - $50 dollars higher than in Switzerland. However, I would guess that perhaps they go on sale in the States occassionally and absolutely DO NOT over here.

That machine is on the needs list vs the wants list. Bart and the girls will agree that I am human after that first cup.

Ski lift tickets. Kendra and I are already wondering when we'll have the first snow. A little sick, I know.

You can buy a daily lift ticket in Switzerland (Davos, St. Moritz, Flims) for $46 - $55 (50 - 62 CHF) . A daily lift ticket at equivalent skiing in the US (Heavenly, Vail, SunValley) runs at $75 - $80+.

Should you come over during the winter, bring some gear and take a run or two on the slopes. Seriously.

These price comparisons lead me to briefly touch on Target (oh, how I love thee, let me count..). A thanks to M(IA) who blogged her love of Target - just a little torture for me. I'm running out of Ziploc baggies and miss their 2 boxes for $5 specials!

My aunt returns from nearly two weeks in Italy and one of the first things out of her mouth "Oh, honey! I miss Target." Yes, I know. I did my best to console her and commiserate with her. Love you Aunt E.

See, she was suffering from a cold/congestion and would go into the pharmacies and be offered one remedy item. The price - about $14 - was also a factor.

She said "I'm used to choices and the store staying open until 10pm." "And on Sunday" I added.

There will come a day when we will once again live in a land where stores are not closed by 6-8pm during the week, 4-6 on Saturdays and closed entirely on Sundays. When we will no longer import a small pharmacy on return trips. However, one does adapt and I am very tuned in to what I need and when I need to get it. We have more planning and fewer one-off errands - that's a good thing, right?

It's really hard to communicate these kinds of things without the experience to go with them. It's hard to say " Oh, the stores aren't open as long and things cost more here." Aunt E was getting the full experience.

I try not to cost things to death but we are still too practical to throw our coins to the wind and say "Sure Rachel, you DO need new shoes so lets get those VANs." Because the VANs over here are 100 - 130 CHF and I know that Uncle Jason & Aunt Kris can hook us up with a VANs outlet when we're in SoCal come December. I'm talking a basic VANs shoe - not the tricked out leather versions.

There is also the shock that occurs when visitors open their first menu and realize how much it costs to eat here - Switzerland and Europe in general. We highly recommend grabbing sandwiches/drinks at bakeries or buying snacks at a market and really eating out only once a day. A family of four eating out for lunch and dinner can easily spend $60 - 80 (lunch) and then $100 - 140+(dinner) depending on what they have. And our family of four includes 2 girls who still order off the children's menu (they don't like it when adults order off the childrens menu OR when adults try on kid's shoes..........) Drinks (3 soda's & 1 water) will comprise $15 - 18 of the bill.

So as you think of your trip to Europe (I know you are!), budget accordingly for food and enjoy yourself out on that beautiful mountain with that cheap lift ticket. As ski season starts, I will be reminding you all of the hazard known as a "Swiss lift line." Really, that's an oxymoron as 'line' or 'queue' don't really belong in that phrase.


MOM E said...

One of my favorite short poems ends with..."And never ever regret anything that made you smile". The good times, wonderful food and adventures we've shared in the Alps compared to the extra dollars spent...Priceless. Then there are the can't get those at TARGET! Can't wait for my next cup of Nespresso..

Makila said...

I wish I could just send you a big Costco sized box of baggies.

Half of the food you can buy at Costco probably wouldn't even fit in your oven! :)

Susan said...

I am so with you regarding the Target love. And my favorite color is red! It's a match made in heaven!

Coming back from visits to the U.S., my suitcase has so many Target-brand over-the-counter meds, it's a wonder I get away with it!

Part of enjoying life in Switzerland is being able to vent - and laugh! - about the little things. I'm here for ya :-)

Susan said...

P.S. Forgot to add ... my dog's visits to the Vet are cheaper here than in Illinois! And the price of his dog-food is basically the same. For this I am thankful!

Olson Family said...

Makila - you're absolutely right. Not only would many things not 'fit' in my oven - you will recall how I must bake one cake layer at a time - but I don't have the room to store 6 months worth of TP and Bounty! :)

Jolyn said...

We found the same thing in Italy: MUCH cheaper to ski there, in the little mountain resort "Piancavallo". Even when comparing with the weak dollar and especially when comparing to Colorado.

I like that the limited retail hours takes the focus off shopping as entertainment, as can be the case in the U.S. I think we could all do with a little more window shopping;)