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In Venezuela, The Financial Crisis Means Banknotes Are Cheaper Than Napkins

The financial crisis has made even empanadas a luxury.

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On Monday a Reddit user uploaded a photo of an empanada with a napkin substituted for a two-bolívar note.

The average price of a pack of 100 napkins is around 500 bolívars – a single napkin costs around five bolívars.

This cash-for-napkins substitution is the result of the country's spiraling inflation rates, which are driving up prices and making currency effectively useless.

En un café de Barinas, Venezuela usan de servilleta un billete de dos bolivares porque sale mas barato. Aunque ud no lo crea!


In a cafe in Barinas, Venezuela, two-bolívar notes are being used as napkins because it is cheaper. Although you may not believe it!

People have already been sharing photos of the wildly varying price of paper towels.

Con este precio de la servilleta; quedan 2 opciones usar el mantel o la manga de la camisa como los niños! #Venezuela

Some posts show packs of napkins costing more than daily minimum wage.

Reportan que nuevos precios de servilletas están por encima de un día de salario mínimo. #Venezuela #PreciosJustos

Twitter reaction has been mixed: Some users are disgusted by the idea of using a public banknote on your food.

Rezando por esa pobre alma que se comió una empanada envuelta en un billete. Suerte con esa bacteria en el estomago.

Praying for the poor soul who ate a pie wrapped in a note. Good luck with that bacteria in your stomach.

Prefiero comer una empanada con cubiertos que usar un billete de 2BsF como servilleta, asco.

A mi me dan una empanada con un billete de servilleta y le devuelvo una cachetada con la misma empanada, si esta caliente mejor.

If you give me a pie with a napkin for a note, I'll give you a slap with that same pie - even better if it's hot.

Others are lamenting the unfortunate financial situation of their country.

En Mi Pais sale mas barato agarrar una empanada con un billete de 2 bolivares que con una servilleta, que triste realidad.. Y todavia existe

In my country turns out cheaper to grab a pie with a two-bolívar banknote than with a napkin, that's the sad reality... And yet it still exists.

Sabes que un pais esta en hiperinflacion cuando su billete de mayor valor solo puedes comprar una empanada

You know a country is in hyperinflation when the highest-value banknote can only buy a pie.

Rachael Krishna is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Rachael Krishna at

Greta Álvarez es redactora de Buzzfeed Español y trabaja desde Los Ángeles.

Contact Greta Alvarez at

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