France Property Guides shows you how to shop well and save money
Shopping is somehow different in France: there is less of an idea of doing one weekly shop to stock up on everything and much more of a laid back style, seeking out local markets, local small shops, and in our experience far more emphasis on fresh ingredients grown locally. Although “peel off lids” are around in the larger supermarkets, the average French household cooks from scratch, taking full advantage of the lovely fruits, vegetables and herbs which can be found in every supermarket and outdoor market.
Market shopping is of course a way of life here in France.
As for wine, most local wine caves have an excellent variety of wine at incredibly low prices and you can even buy one of their plastic containers for a fill up each time you go. You will soon be shocked at the price of wine in bars and restaurants in the UK compared to here! Most restaurants offer a “pichet” or “demi pichet” of wine which is perfectly decent for every day drinking. The cost? A pichet is likely to be no more than around €9.
Market shopping is of course a way of life here in France. Practically all villages have at least a once weekly market and you will often be able to buy not only fresh food stuffs but clothes, beds, furniture, pots and pans: the lot! It is not only cheaper to buy in local markets, but it is a most enjoyable experience. Indoor covered markets are also superb.
Shopping at the one in Les Halles really means a day out. Here, you can buy fresh meat at one of the stalls and take it to one of the small indoor bar/restaurants to have it cooked right in front of you! This is also a great way of mixing with the local people. Everyone seems to have time to linger. But then that is the Mediterranan lifestyle for you!
Everyone seems to have time to linger. But then that is the Mediterranan lifestyle for you!
You will ususally found the cheapest and the largest supermarkets oun the outskirts of major towns. All will also have fresh food counters as well as a huge array of household goods including garden furniture and pool equipment. A loyalty card is always worth having and many work on a cash basis so that after a few visits you have built up a wad of cash which you can use against future purchases. Many will also deliver heavier goods such as washing machines etc if you live locally.
Shopping is an altogether enjoyable experience here in France with less frantic buying up ahead of a holiday or weekend.