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Old 12-14-2012, 12:42 AM
 
3,035 posts, read 2,889,195 times
Reputation: 3380

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A little tool I like to play with on occasion:
Cost of Living Wizard | Salary.com

I put in Orange County compared to Anchorage, and OC came out more expensive!

Can this be right?

Perhaps the housing is less expensive in Anchorage than in Orange County? I've heard basic goods and services (coffee, soap, milk etc. etc.) are triple the price though, is this correct?

Just curious... thanks!
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Old 12-14-2012, 02:09 AM
 
Location: USA
16,702 posts, read 16,387,667 times
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Housing is much cheaper in Anchorage, but basic goods and services are more expensive. However, they are definitely not 3x more expensive or even double for that matter.
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:00 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,561 posts, read 3,954,880 times
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We just spent some time in Palm Springs & Vegas. When you factor in the sales tax, prices on a lot of stuff was fairly comparable for groceries and what not. Gas was cheaper there.
I think where the real difference would be is if you hunt for it down there you can find some real deals that you wouldn't find in Alaska.
Here's another way to compare... Go to the websites for Fred Meyer, Carrs, Target & Walmart. Use 99501 as the zip code and look at their weekly sales ad. That'll give you an idea of some of the prices.
And this discussion only counts if you are talking Anchorage or the MatSu Valley... maybe for Fairbanks and Soldotna/Kenai. As you head out in any direction from these places the prices go up and go up fast.
Also do a little more research on these forums. The cost of living has been discussed often.
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Old 12-15-2012, 02:28 AM
 
3,035 posts, read 2,889,195 times
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Default Thanks!

Thank you for the replies...

I was surprised Anchorage came out less expensive, but I also forget how dang expensive it is to live here in So. Cal! I guess I'm just used to it.
We're pretty happy with our "cheap" 1 bedroom apartment for now, and we're reluctant to buy. Don't want a condo with the HOA hall monitors, but don't want to be house poor either buying an SFR (don't want to get into nearly a half mil of debt for a fixer upper.) so we'll just keep saving and see if we do end up staying here or who knows?
Oh well, it's fun to explore and read about the different lifestyles in this great big country of ours!
Cheers!
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Old 12-15-2012, 06:07 AM
 
Location: interior Alaska
4,005 posts, read 3,000,398 times
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Well, Anchorage is a fairly major shipping hub. Outside of Anchorage, Alaska is much more expensive.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:22 PM
 
4,986 posts, read 8,307,961 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Podo944 View Post
Thank you for the replies...

I was surprised Anchorage came out less expensive, but I also forget how dang expensive it is to live here in So. Cal! I guess I'm just used to it.
We're pretty happy with our "cheap" 1 bedroom apartment for now, and we're reluctant to buy. Don't want a condo with the HOA hall monitors, but don't want to be house poor either buying an SFR (don't want to get into nearly a half mil of debt for a fixer upper.) so we'll just keep saving and see if we do end up staying here or who knows?
Oh well, it's fun to explore and read about the different lifestyles in this great big country of ours!
Cheers!
I was born and lived 40 years in da OC, I can definitely tell you that basics like food and fuel are much more expensive up here. After that it gets a bit more complicated though. Obviously housing used to be spectacullarly more expensive in OC than here. The recent bust however really did a number on OC, though it still may be a bit more than here. For example, the house I used to live in down there topped out around $700k at the peak of the frenzy, but is now down in the low $400k's, comparable with my place up here (which is much nicer though).

However, it's likely that calculator thingy is taking into account all of the Government fees and taxes you guys get taken for in everything you do down there. What is sales tax in OC, something like 10.5% now? Zero up here. Same thing with California's confiscatory income tax. Probably another 10% down there, 0.0% up here. And that extends into everything else you pay for down there - Homeowner association fees, Mello Roos fees, California recycling fees (CRV), grocery bag fees...I could go on and on. Heck, my old Pathfinder that I brought up here when I moved used to cost a couple hundred bucks a year to register in CA. In Anchorage it costs about $40 for a two year tag!
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:56 AM
 
13,755 posts, read 22,959,856 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Podo944 View Post
A little tool I like to play with on occasion:
Cost of Living Wizard | Salary.com

I put in Orange County compared to Anchorage, and OC came out more expensive!

Can this be right?

Perhaps the housing is less expensive in Anchorage than in Orange County? I've heard basic goods and services (coffee, soap, milk etc. etc.) are triple the price though, is this correct?

Just curious... thanks!


This might be a place to start:

Food
AC
Vons
FRED MEYER

Gasoline
Anchorage Gas Prices - Find Cheap Gas Prices in Alaska
Anchorage Gas Prices - Find Cheap Gas Prices in Alaska


Do realize that prices in Anchorage or Fairbanks are a lot more reasonable than most remote locations.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:14 AM
 
287 posts, read 485,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Do realize that prices in Anchorage or Fairbanks are a lot more reasonable than most remote locations.
Yup - when I was in King Salmon - most everything came in by plane. At the time it was ~0.58 a pound for freight... I'm sure it's more now.

1 gal milk ~12 pounds... 12 x 0.58 = $6.96 for shipping plus the cost of the milk...

Anchorage prices were more along the lines of what it cost here in San Antonio - gas is higher right now we're at ~$3.00...
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,191 posts, read 27,577,536 times
Reputation: 11847
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
This might be a place to start:

Food
AC
Vons
FRED MEYER

Gasoline
Anchorage Gas Prices - Find Cheap Gas Prices in Alaska
Anchorage Gas Prices - Find Cheap Gas Prices in Alaska


Do realize that prices in Anchorage or Fairbanks are a lot more reasonable than most remote locations.
Also, gasoline is a lot more expensive in Fairbanks than Anchorage. And then a few miles out, in North Pole, it's anywhere from fifteen to twenty cents more expensive than in Fairbanks.

Something else that adds to the cost around Fairbanks is that since it's spread-out all around the city center, it takes a lot of driving in you don't live in Fairbanks just to buy groceries and such. All the driving around adds adds a good chunk of money to the cost of living, specially during the winter months.

One of my coworkers drives a Ford F-250 30 miles each day to work and back. He is spending around $100.00 per week on fuel. I am driving 40 miles each day with an older GMC Sierra (350 Motor TBI, with a 5-speed shifter). My cost would be around $100.00 per week, but what I do is to buy groceries at Fred Meyer and save a fuel cost. I spend anywhere from from $70.00 to $90.00 per week instead. For example, in a day or two I will fill enough gas cans for 35 gallons of gasoline that's discounted by $1.00. That should bring it down to around $2.50 a gallon.

But it gets a little better during the summer since with warm temperatures idling time is reduced by quite a lot. We are having a steady-cold winter this year, with -40 and colder for days. Over by North Pole, near Chena Lakes, it has been around -48.

Last edited by RayinAK; 12-22-2012 at 10:51 PM..
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