Average figures for the cost of living are useful for trying to see if you could afford to live somewhere on a fixed income. It would be no good moving to another country on a set income if the cost of essentials such as food , heating , clothes etc were too high.
The Irish Central Statistics Office do an annual survey of household expenditure in Ireland - and the figures from that can be used to give a good idea of the average cost of living in Ireland. Of course your family may not be the "average family" - but some figures are better than nothing at all. All the figures shown below are from Ireland in 2009 - 2010. Inflation since then has been in the region of 2% a year - so the figures will not have changed significantly in 2012 .
The figures below are average weekly amounts per household ..
Food : €131.28
Alcohol € 26.40
Household Non Durables (Cleaning products , toilet paper , cosmetics etc) €16.49
Heating/ Lighting : €35.35
Transport €68.40 (This includes petrol , car tax, insurance, bus and rail fares and taxi fares.)
Telephone €24.98 (Mobile and Landline)
TV € 9.77
Medical Costs € 53.00 (Includes health insurance , medicines, doctors dentists, opticians and hospital fees.)
Home Insurance €8.20 (owners)
Refuse Collection €3.69
Note: Medical costs will be lower for lower income households - because if they qualify for a medical card they will pay no doctors fees and only 50c for a prescription. They will not need insurance either)
There are some figures here on the cost of living in Ireland - how much does it cost to maintain a miminum standard of living in Ireland