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Ten things in Norway that are actually quite cheap

The Local Norway
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Ten things in Norway that are actually quite cheap
Nappies are cheaper in Norway than almost anywhere in the world. Photo: Shutterstock

Norway is more expensive overall than any country in the EU, but some things are surprisingly good value.


We asked our readers what things they are think are, if not a bargain then at least fairly reasonable in Norway. Here is what you told us. 

1. Diapers/nappies. 

Whatever you call them, Norway has some of the cheapest in Europe. "Diapers are way cheaper here than in the states," says Mehgen Jean. "Diapers are the cheapest I've seen anywhere!!" agrees Molly McDonald.

Rather than being the result of a government program, this is mostly down to the free market. 

After the Kiwi supermarket chain 20 years ago started to heavily discount nappies to draw in families, an on-and-off price war between the chains has led to some of the cheapest nappy prices in Europe. Nappies continue to be supermarket's favoured loss-leader.

Someone even wrote a Masters' Thesis on it, and the resulting 'diaper-smuggling' gangs. 



2. Electric cars 

Researchers for the International Council for Clean Transportation found in a report last year that the Norway's generous tax breaks for electric cars make them 27% cheaper to buy and run over four years than a diesel car.

This compares to the UK, where electric cars are only 5% cheaper, Germany, where electric cars were 11% cheaper, and The Netherlands, where they are 15% cheaper. 

A lot of this came down to the higher taxes on diesel vehicles.

But after VAT and registration tax, the researchers found that a VW e-golf sold in Norway for about €34,000, compared to  €36,000 in Germany and the UK,  €39,000 in The Netherlandsm and €40,000 in France.

Some of the tax advantages for electric vehicles are set to expire next year, so snap one up while you can! 


3. Salmon and sushi

As the source of much of the world's farmed salmon, it would be surprising if salmon was not cheap. But foreigners living in Norway seemed divided over whether it actually is. 

"Sushi is like half the cost of LA," claims Sean Stordahl Percival. "Is salmon cheap though, really? I'm sure Salma's more expensive than in the UK,"  questions Russell Morgan, while Ivete Leite Magalhaes claims she's seen Norwegian salmon sold cheaper in Portugal. 

4. Electricity 

"Norway wouldn't be the same without its cheap electricity," says Viktor Šafář. In the second half of 2019, power in Norway, at €0.1744/kWh, was cheaper than the average in EU countries of €0.216/kWh and a lot cheaper than in Denmark, which at €0.2924/kWh has the most expensive power in Europe. 

5. Gyms and sport

"Going to the gym is pretty inexpensive.. a little more than an hourly wage for a monthly fee," says Johan Gerdin, from Sweden. "In the US we pay so much for gyms," agrees Aslan Williams. 

Football pitches are free and sports clubs for squash, tennis etc are usually cheap. 


6. Mooring a boat 

"Renting a mooring for a boat in central Oslo through a båtforening," says Ben McPherson. "Less than £300 a year, for something that would cost you thousands in the UK." 

7. Renting (or buying a cabin). 

"Renting cabins and really cool Airbnb’s are often cheaper than they would be somewhere else!" says Aslan Williams. 

8. Housing

"Actually, weird as it may sound, but houses!" argues Mark Courtney Francombe, a graphic designer from the UK. "I know many folk in the UK who rent, houses/or apartments at about the same price as in Norway, they just cant get on the ladder. Here... if you have any kind of OK full time job, you will, with careful planning, and a good relationship with a bank, afford to buy, something, somewhere. Maybe not Oslo Sentrum, but somewhere." 

"Rent in Oslo is much cheaper or the same price as towns or cities in he UK and I’m sure London is much much more although I’ve never lived there," says Madeleine Hill. 

9. Internet and mobile phone contracts 

"Mobile service and home internet is insanely more affordable here," says Alex Macdonald from Canada. "We pay up to 4x more at home and have to pay long distance fees usually for anyone you call who lives more than an hour away." 

People from countries in Southeast Asia, or indeed from many countries in the European Union, might disagree however. 

10. Second hand sports equipment 

Norwegians love flea markets and buy a lot of sports equipment, meaning that its easy to buy cross-country skis, mountain bikes and other outdoor sports gear second hand, either on the website or at flea markets all over the country.  

Other respondents' suggestions 

Other things that foreigners suggested weren't too pricey included: canned tuna, tinned mackerel, public transport, electronics, milk, instant coffee, almonds at Christmas, McDonalds cheeseburgers, supermarket sweets, motorbikes, vegan skincare, knitting wool, Maille Dijon mustard, Tacobox, coop frozen pizza, loff bread, baked goods through the Too Good to Go app, disposable barbecues, tap water, and fresh air. 

Things in Norway that are free. 

It's probably worth remembering that many of the best things you can do in Norway don't cost anything at all.

"Being able to camp two nights more or less wherever you like as long as its 150m from a house," is, says Simon Orchard, a former British army soldier, worth quite a lot, particularly when so many of the places you can camp are so stunning.

Then there's the cross-country skiing trails, mountain tracks and subsidised ferries. 

And OK, so it's mostly funded by your taxes, but cheap, high-quality kindergartens are one of the best things about living in Norway, as is the high-quality healthcare, libraries and everything else laid on by the country's generous welfare state. 












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