Adapting to Inflation: Czechs Embrace Discount Shopping and Overseas Purchases

Despite grappling with inflation and declining real incomes, the situation for Czech households is slowly improving. A contributing factor to this improvement is that Czech citizens have learned to take advantage of discount sales and travel abroad more frequently for cheaper groceries.

Data from a KRUK Czech and Slovak Republic survey revealed that over 38% of families spend between five and ten thousand crowns on monthly food. Less than a third manage to survive with an amount between three and five thousand crowns. Only 19% of Czech households spend over ten thousand crowns.

The survey also showed that food expenses increase with customers’ education, which could be related to higher income and a greater focus on quality food. “A quarter of respondents also stated that they began to buy only basic food items, and rising prices forced 16% to buy lower quality food than before,” said the company director, Jaroslava Palendalová.

Interestingly, compared to last year’s survey, there’s been a slight improvement among Czech households that can only afford essential food items. Last year, they made up 28% of households.

Specific improvements for low-income households might not necessarily be due to increased earnings. Instead, some food items have slightly decreased in price after a significant increase earlier this year. This applies, for example, to butter, milk, or mentioned sugar. According to the Czech Statistical Office, food and non-alcoholic beverages have become about two percent cheaper from January to October this year.

A factor in reducing food prices is that people are looking for discounts using comparators or paper flyers more than ever. The survey confirms this. More than half of the Czechs see the opportunity to save on grocery shopping precisely in discount actions. They are used more by women than men and often by parents on maternity and parental leave.

Year-on-year, the number of Czechs who travel abroad for cheaper groceries has also increased. Last year, it was ten percent; this year, it’s already 14 percent. Over a fifth of respondents do not have to limit themselves and shop according to their eds. “These are mainly people aged 45 to 54 and respondents working in the financial and insurance ser” ices,” added Palendalová.