What Can You Buy in Venezuela with One dollar?

On Monday, #SeCompraConUnDolar became one of the top trending topics in Venezuela on Twitter. We share with you some of the most outstanding responses.

An employee stocks a shelf at an imported goods store in Caracas, Venezuela.
August 17, 2021 | 04:50 PM
Reading time: 2 min.

Caracas, Venezuela — On Monday, August 16, Venezuelans have been sharing on Twitter what they can buy with $1 dollar, using #SeCompraConUnDolar (#OneDollarBuys).

The hashtag quickly became one of the main trends in the country. And by Tuesday morning, it was still in the top ten, in the seventh position.

Many, however, claimed to be like the user identified as Glamyr Lanz, who claims to be a public administration employee.

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“When I saw today’s deposit of my paycheck from the public administration #SeCompraConUnDolar”

Like her, there are around 2.4 million civil servants and 5 million senior citizens, who are on the payroll of the Venezuelan State, and have as a calculation basis for what they receive, a minimum salary of 7,000,000 bolivars, equals to $1.7 dollars, according to the official exchange rate on Tuesday.

Together, civil servants and pensioners represent about one third of Venezuela’s elderly population. And they are not the only ones. That minimum wage is also the basis for calculating a part of the private formal employment.

However, according to data recently shared by economist Omar Zambrano in a meeting with correspondents in Venezuela, 15% of Venezuelans receive remittances and more than half of the salaries have some degree of dollarization.

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But this is no assurance for Venezuelans. In this country, with an inflation rate that accelerated to 19% last July, according to unofficial data, life is becoming more expensive, even in dollars.

As explained by economist Angel Alvarado, there is a primary expansionary policy, which issues money through liquidity, and a secondary restrictive one, through the legal reserve, which makes prices move faster than exchange rates.

Therefore, it is not surprising that many, when arriving at the supermarket looking for what to buy with 1 dollar, find themselves like this user:

“#SeCompraConUnDolar this is how I am when I go to the market”

In any case, this is what Venezuelans can (and cannot) buy with US$1.

Food

“#SeCompraConUnDolar (#OneDollarBuys) 30 breads (15 french and 15 sweet) in the local neighborhood store”

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Drinks

“#SeCompraConUnDolar (#OneDollarBuys) a latte”

“#SeCompraConUnDolar (#OneDollarBuys) 2 Polarcita beers for US$1”

Fuel

“#SeCompraConUnDolar (#OneDollarBuys) two liters of gas at an international price and one liter of overpriced gas”

Others

“#SeCompraConUnDolar (#OneDollarBuys) two bus tickets”

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“#SeCompraConUnDolar (#OneDollarBuys) a half of a cigar package”

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“In Venezuela, #SeCompraConUnDolar (#OneDollarBuys) one period pad. It’s unbelievable.”

“In venezuela, there´s possibly not much to know on what #SeCompraConUnDolar (#OneDollarBuys).”

What you can’t buy with a US$1

“Corn flour can´t be something #SeCompraConUnDolar (#OneDollarBuys), the venezuelan is the only one that devalues the currency that isn’t from their country, does not accept dirty money, neither folded nor deteriorated. In any other country they would accept it, but we are too fancy.”