How much of your shopping do you get from the UK or outside of France?

I have spent quite some time researching the cost of weekly food shopping items, building materials, car parts & other items available on the internet(practically everything really) & comparing them with the same or very similar in the UK & other E.U. countries.

Many items here are extremely expensive in comparison to the UK; Royal Canin dog food is 50% more expensive here, it's a French made product! Thus I buy mine from the UK.

I order my tyres for both cars from the UK as they are so much cheaper, even with delivery costs, same with car parts for my Landrover & Peugeot.

I have made comparisons with online companies, comparing against the UK & Germany, always cheaper elsewhere. Compare books on Amazon, there's no competition, we buy elsewhere all of the time.

After all, isn't that what the E.U. is all about, breaking down the barriers between member countries in order to benefit from the economic market, making it easier to trade between member countries?

It seems everyone has the same idea, after living here nearly 7 years i always buy the basic foodstuffs here . but can't belive how much cheaper it is at asda and morrisons, but When i drive over i always buy diy products , clothes not from the 70's like here and shoes,

I liked the comment from the person who enoyed going into italy so that he could get a good meal and customer service when in a restaurant and cheaper,

i totally feel the same,even in the uk they rush around to take your order and serve you (most are polish lol) and for a sunday lunch bar meal for under 10£ compaired to here with bad service and bad manners,i assumed it was only in the limousin here,

Hi All,
well I hit the sales at Carrefore with a vengence 80% off everthing in the clothes section I bought all my grandkids inthe UK, christmas and birthday presents, It was so exiting, knowing how outrageously expensive kids clothes are, I got brand disney outfit shouldve been 20 quid I got for 4 euros, shoes, heavy coats 3.60, I was like a rat up a drainpipe, so I cant wait for, the July ones.I agree when we go back visiting I do load up, as it cost up to 400 on brittany ferries, our car is usually groaning. and I miss the £1 shops for bits and bobs although here in Normandy, carrefore has started doing shelves of bits and bobs for 1 euro and 2 euros, sorry to advertise but its where we shop!And ive just ordered a washing machine part from a shop near where we used to live in England so yes I also agree phone and tinternet godsend… thats if you can get on … but thats another frustrating story… hope you are all keeping warm outthere,

General shopping here in France can be a lot more expensive but it does depend on where you shop. The low cost super markets can be great for doing the weekly shop. Of course you may not be able to get all of what you want and that trip to one of the bigger places maybe needed. Even the larger places are so different in there prices. Just like in the UK we have to shop around.

Car's and car parts we know are expensive but I've started to shop round, recently bought 2 tyre's for my Fiat fitted and balanced 35 euro each. Which is a great price. Haggle if they want the business a better price will be given. I personally run a RHD car as I cannot bring myself to pay such ridiculous high prices for second hand cars. seems better on price but still nowhere near the prices in the Uk. I have been told recently by a French friend that buying in Germany works out a lot cheaper and of course LHD. Its all down to what you can afford and want to pay. If you are going to spend a fair amount on a car it probably would work out better to buy a low market budget range car. At least get a good warranty and a new car. Plenty of bargains to be had on new cars.

On a note I have some English friends who buy through one of the many company's who transport shopping over to France from the UK. They buy things like wine and bread which I personally find crazy. Each to there own.

I have used eSpares for replacement parts for my UK sourced double oven (Creda), excellent service.

One thought occurs to me that eSpares offers a lot of replacement parts for electricals and so on that you can hunt yourself silly looking for here in France - even for French things. Have a look people and note how relatively cheap they are, postage not bad either. I am on their mailing list and just as if telepathy a message popped up five minutes ago and prompted me to add this.

@Glenn. Where do you buy your tyres from in the UK ?

Toys are half the price in the UK... especially with the sales - they are 75% cheaper in some cases ...

spray starch for my white pillowcase....from uk.

LIME AND lemongrass cordial from belvoir in Uk....A great little

helper in the kitchen.English mustard and Picallili.....and Hellmans mayo

is and adequate...GREAT with a momentry meeting with harrisa..

makes great friends with any seafood.

It is an interesting question. I have had some stuff via Sterling Shopping and so on. I order books at Amazon UK because most of the ones I would order from UK or France come out from Luxembourg anyway! Cheaper mostly, but not always, so always means checking. I also use Chapître but their site is not secure and reaps a crop of spam, but can be cheaper than Amazon. Buying computers and so on, well yes, shop around. I need to have an English language based system so buy unloaded and get my software from legitimate SE Asia suppliers where it is often around 40-50% of UK prices. Postage and waiting still make it worth it. We even buy a few things on the ground in Switzerland to get cheaper than UK or Fr, so it gets more complicated the further we dig.

However, if I was still in the UK I would be doing exactly the same since I used to buy from Chapître in Fr and Kiepert in Germany frequently then. Shopping around is the answer, patience goes with it.

computers I've bought here in France (4) have been very good value and cheaper than the UK... but interesting thought, especially concerning building materials from what some say, but then you need to get them here... ;-)

when I look at wine, ski clothes, and equip.. and then go on to food, i can say it's cheaper here for the first two, but my veggies are local, and not being shipped from brazil.

We also use BFGs, and paid the same for them last time... never thoguht about getting them shipped, but remember they were cheaper in Australia

@Suzanne, your website looked interesting but you need to keep on top of the dead links - the 'Baby' section contains approx 40-50% dead links that just land at a referrer's holding page. Otherwise some nice ideas so will keep checking back.

When we were in Chamonix, we used to border hop all the time to go for lunch and shopping, 20mins through the Mont Blanc tunnel and we saved a fortune just on everyday stuff. Fortunately I worked for the Compagnie de Mont Blanc so we got discounted travel through the tunnel and it made it really worth while, especially with a cheap yummy lunch - Chamonix was a very expensive place to live - and cold too!

Interesting to hear all your views on the price comparisons between UK and FR for what seems to be a wide range of items. But how did all this compare before the exchange rate sneaked up to 1.20E/£1 ? I remember working in Belgium and Germany when it was almost 1E/£1 and therefore UK seemed very expensive by comparison.

@ Michael,

I don't know how far you have to go to "your" border, but we would be in Switzerland, which is probably more expensive then France.

Hopefully without getting a slap from Catharine & James for blatant advertising that isn't my intention - I just wanted to say this is a common finding and the reason why I set up my website because I found prices in France so much higher than the UK - have a look on there for retailers who deliver to France. I need to update the site as it's a little behind since I've been having babies.

There's been quite a few discussions about this on SFN in the past so might be worth having a look through for them.

Since being back in the UK for a while I've been ordering furniture to take back to France when we go back - it's so much cheaper here for excellent quality, especially beds. What is it with french beds? I've just ordered bunk beds for the girls with decent mattresses.

I've also stocked up on kids shoes (and as Tracy and I have agreed in the past - kids shoes are so much cheaper in the UK - startrite is another cheap kids shoe site)

I'm making the most of Ebay too to find my favourite Catimini kids clothes for a fraction of the price in France, most of them are from small UK retailers selling off past stock so they still have tags on for the full price but I end up paying 25%.

One last word - if you see one of your stores advertised on SFN try to remember to go back and click through that advert when placing an order as it supports SFN.


yep, cdiscount are excellent and about the cheapest, I've bought computors, cameras, printers all sorts from them usually buy other stuff direct in conforama or but, usually conforama who tend to be cheaper - just depends who's the cheapest when I need something. I prefer buying here in France for the guarantee and being able to take it back just up the road if there's a problem.

will bear in mind m&s and the others for other things next time we need any thing

Jane makes a very good point about the electrical goods and the guarantee, it's also handy not to have to change all the plugs.

Beds and bed linen are a classic thourgh, my parents used to have a bed shop and I can't believe the outrageous cost of beds here - we have a friend with a van that comes back and forth fairly regularly so a bed will be coming out soon. Along with the myriad of tools that my husband uses for his work.

One thing to remember though, I ordered clothes on line for me 5€ for delivery - 13€ for me to return them though when I didn't want them -oops