Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Buy Groceries in Argentina…

Good news, bargain hunters: if you need dollars, there’s a sale on! Just be sure to bring your travel mug to fill up with groceries in Argentina for a bargain price in US dollars.

After the economic crisis in Venezuela, which forced many sellers to put their products up for sale in US dollars, some places in Argentina are now pricing items in US currency too. That’s because their finances are in a precarious position, and dollarization (or ‘dollarizing’) is their only choice for survival.

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What’s the Impact?

The practices of everyone from small shopkeepers to large supermarkets are changing. For example, supermarkets are now asking customers to pay in dollars, which naturally drives prices up for those who use the Argentine peso.

However, it’s a win-win situation for those who have access to US dollars – they get cheaper prices. And while it’s not ideal to expose low-income people to the burden of additional costs due to foreign currency, it’s the new reality in Argentina right now.

Where is Dollarization Happening?

As of now, here are some of the places where you can shop in US dollars:

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  • Grocery stores
  • Clothing stores
  • Electronics stores
  • Cigarette stores

This is a new development for the country, so it’s safe to assume the list will soon be growing.

So Far, It’s a Private-Sector Phenomenon

For the time being, dollarization is a practice of the private sector in Argentina. The country’s government has not officially adopted the US dollar, so it remains unregulated.

But, it’s still a sign that economic times are tough in Argentina. For now, shoppers will just have to watch their wallets and enjoy their savings while they last.

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