10 Things That Are Cheaper in the U.S. Than in Britain

Gas is surprisingly cheaper in the U.S. compared to the UK. (Photo via AP)

The cost of living in America depends on your location. But wherever you are, some products are reliably cheaper than back home. 

1. Petrol
Americans moan incessantly about rising gas prices but don’t feel bad for them; they pay a fraction of what we do back home. Petrol is up to 75 percent cheaper in the U.S. compared to Britain.

2. Bed linen and towels
As I trawled expat forums researching this piece, these were repeatedly flagged as bargains. However, my own investigation revealed that prices are similar on both sides of the Atlantic. The only difference is that here you tend to get a higher thread count for your money.

3. Restaurant food
Now I get why Americans eat out more than they eat in: supermarket convenience food is poor quality and not especially economical. So if you’re feeling lazy it’s easier and cheaper to let someone else do the cooking.

4. Wine (but only from Trader Joe’s)
Overall, plonk – especially anything non-American – is more expensive here. So that’s why discovering Trader Joe’s Wine Shop is such a treat. They stock cheap own brands, including an ultra-economy (and dangerously drinkable) range, lovingly referred to by fans as Three Buck Chuck.

5. Meat
Okay, if you want to eat hand-reared, organic beasts then you’ll pay the same – or slightly more – than you would back home. If, on the other hand, you’re okay with gorging on hormone and antibiotic pumped flesh, you can do so for pennies.

6. Hard liquor
Store-bought spirits are a little cheaper in America than in the UK.  But order a whiskey or vodka in a bar and you’ll really notice the difference. Barkeeps don’t use measures here so if your pourer’s feeling generous, one voluminous drink will see you through the night.

7. Apple products
Don’t, whatever you do, go on a Mac binge before you leave home because you will save a packet stateside. iPads, for instance, are $125 (£80) cheaper in the U.S. 

8. Designer clothes
Regular Americans never pay full price for fancy threads. Instead, they head to creepy outlet malls, like Woodbury Common in New York, and snaffle genuine bargains.

9. Sunscreen
America gets more sun than Britain, so it’s only fair that you can protect your skin for less in the U.S. Buy drug stores’ own brands and expect to pay half what you would in the UK.

10. Painkillers
The trick here is to buy in bulk, which you’re not allowed to do in the UK. My local Rite Aid sells tubs of 500 ibuprofen tablets for a smidgen over ten bucks.

 Have you found any great discounts?? Please share!!

Ruth Margolis

Ruth Margolis

Ruth is a British freelance journalist who recently swapped east London for Brooklyn. She writes about TV for Radio Times and is working on her first novel.

See more posts by Ruth Margolis