10 Cheaper Alternatives To Expensive Items In Lebanon

@mymaccase | @BurgerbrosLebanon

With a tanking economy and the collapse of Lebanon’s local currency, prices are continuing to skyrocket on a daily basis, especially on imported products.

Sometimes, it might be worth splurging on expensive products if you can afford it, but for the majority of the Lebanese population that has been plunged under the poverty line, it just isn’t.

Everyday necessities have become a luxury, even though it’s one of those things where spending tons of money shouldn’t be the case.

Luckily, most affordable brands will do the same job as their more expensive counterparts, with the advantage of saving you cash at the same time, offering you the freedom to meet your daily needs. 

So, here’s a list of 10 cheap alternatives found in the Lebanese market, that will produce almost the same result as their expensive counterpart.

#`1 For books, download online PDFs or do book-exchange

Buying hard-copy books from the nearest book shop has become a fantasy due to the soaring prices. However, you can always resort to e-books.

But if you believe there’s nothing compared to a physical book, then it’s always a good idea to exchange your pre-loved books with book lovers all over Lebanon. Many people like to donate books they don’t want anymore, so take advantage of that.

You even have the option to choose second-hand books through the many Lebanese Instagram pages dedicated to selling pre-loved literature.

#2 Instead of fast fashion, go for thrift

Besides all the negative affects of the fast fashion industry, it has become extremely expensive to shop from clothing stores that import their products.

Shopping malls in Lebanon have become similar to an empty desert, as people aren’t stepping foot in stores like Zara, Bershka, or even H&M, which used to be somewhat affordable to most but are now risking the option of closing down due to their high prices.

With that being said, thrift shopping during this tough economic time might just be the solution. It’s cheap, stylish, and environmentally friendly.

For highly recommended thrift shops, check out the must-visit thrift shops for vintage clothing in Lebanon!

#3 Instead of a pricy laptop, get a tablet

Unless you’re filthy rich, buying a laptop in Lebanon’s economy has sadly become a dream.

However, if you substitute a laptop with a tablet, you’ll realize that both electronics get the same job done, with the tablet costing way less.

Besides being more portable and better for casual activities, such as browsing the web, watching videos, or playing mobile games, tablets tend to start at much lower prices than laptops do, going for as little as $60, while the cheapest laptops begin at about $200.

In most cases, not only are tablets cheaper in general, but a cheap tablet usually runs smoother than a cheap laptop, so that’s something to keep in mind if you’re on a tight budget.

#4 Try Ted’s Chocolate Spread instead of Nutella

Nutella used to be a must-have staple food item to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings. Things are different now, and looking at the price of this heavenly delicious jar at the supermarkets is just heart-aching.

Luckily, there are different alternatives for Nutella.

The most popular alternative, and the one that comes close to competing (maybe even winning) against the worldwide famous chocolate spread, is Ted’s chocolate spread with hazelnut!

This Lebanese brand prices the 600-gram jar at only 15,000 L.L., half the price of Nutella’s 250-gram jar, which is priced at almost 30,000 L.L.

#5 Instead of a gym membership, build your own workout space

For all fitness enthusiasts, paying for a gym membership on a monthly basis has been drying up wallets.

However, purchasing the right equipment to help you build your own workout space at home makes for a cheaper and more sustainable option for the long run.

For your cardio exercise, you can buy a jump rope if running outside isn’t an option. A great alternative, which costs you nothing at all, other than some healthy sweats, do burpees, a full-body exercise:


For weights, a pair of dumbbells will cost you less than a month or two membership at a gym. Alternatively, you don’t have to pay anything to boost your muscle growth, regular bodyweight workouts will ensure you that.

#6 Instead of international sportswear, shop Lebanese sportwear brands online

While it is up to no debate that Nike, Adidas, and Puma make quality sportswear, their brand names have become so popular that people automatically assume the cost is reasonable.

Instead, check out local online shops that sell amazing quality sportswear for prices that won’t break your wallet.

Winner force Sportswear is one of the fastest developing Lebanese fitness brand. All the cloth are made in Lebanon, and they even offer worldwide shipping!

#7 Ditch imported peanut butter for Lebanese Peanut Butter brands

As much as we love Jiff’s Peanut Butter, the imported peanut butter brand has become an extra budget, costing around 40,000 L.L. at local supermarkets.

Luckily, for delicious snacking, Lama Mosleh, a Lebanese food scientist, has brought to the Lebanese market Nutshell Peanut Butter. A tasty and cheap alternative that costs only 25,000 L.L., almost half the price of imported peanut butter.

#8 Go for homemade skincare instead of luxurious brands

Self care lovers, don’t break a sweat as there are many existing options that will complete your skin-care routine without making you worry about your finances.

A body scrub, a popular method to exfoliate the skin, can be easily made at home using ingredients you’ll most probably have at home! At least you’ll know they are chemical-free!

There are many recipes to choose from. But a basic, must-try one, only needs the following ingredients: sugar and an oil of your choice, such as coconut, jojoba, olive, almond, or grapeseed.

After all, our grandmothers have radiated in beauty thanks to their own homemade skincare!

#9 Instead of McDonalds, try out the Lebanese Burger Bros

The days of choosing McDonalds as an affordable meal have long gone for most Lebanese residents, as the minimum charge of only a small McDonalds meal will cost you around 25,000L.L., which will definitely not satisfy your hunger nor your pocket.

But, there’s always a cheaper, and even better alternative.

Burger Bros, a Lebanese fast food restaurant in Mar Mikhael, specializes in juicy burgers and is all the rage when it comes to street food.

The heavenly burgers will definitely be worth the price that will challenge your love for McDonalds.

#10 Go for Black Gold coffee instead of Nescafe

Nescafe Gold jar, the refined blend of coffee beans, is a signature of every Lebanese household. Yet, with the dire economic conditions, a jar of Nescafe gold now costs almost 50,000 L.L., while its coffee mate companion costs around 30,000 L.L.

80,000 L.L. in total to enjoy a rich taste of instant coffee, that sounds like a bit too much.

On the bright side, Lebanese markets offer a range of affordable alternatives that won’t disappoint, such as Happy that produced their own Black Gold coffee jar.

The store’s version sells at 9,000 LBP for 100g, which is significantly cheaper.

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