Money saving shopping

We have found we spend far less if we have a week long meal list. We plan 7 meals then buy just what is needed - it is actually quite relaxing to know you have the ingredients for 7 full meals.

I also tend to do the supermarket shopping as I don’t browse. It is always expensive if we both go to the supermarket. I have found recently if I go to the supermarket at 1pm it is very quiet with no queues at the tills - but keep this quiet!


We do exactly the same and the bonus is that there’s no food waste.
Lunchtime in the supermarket and there’s often only 1 checkout person but still no queues!

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Lidl and Action, what more do you need?
Have to visit intermarche for Francine bread mix and yeast.

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Not forgetting 30% discount on perishables when close to sell by at Lidl. Best time to visit is later on Thursday or Saturday for reductions and fill our freezer.

Good point Dan. But not just the fuel. The first five minutes of driving causes the greatest engine wear and the most pollution.
But as the average baguette becomes inedible in less than 24 hours, many people regard the daily visit to the boulangerie as a necessity.
We make our own bread, using multi-cereal flour and live yeast. A 500g loaf lasts two or three days for two people and remains edible for that time. Although the entire process takes a few hours because the dough needs time to rise, the actual preparation time takes less time than the trip to the shop. Very easily done by hand, you only need a bread machine if you spend long hours away from home.

“Tablier Blanc” bread flour from Leclerc and Super U own brand are good and a bit less expensive, but we only find live yeast at Leclerc and Carrefour.

We always make a list and stick to it and will have shopping ‘expeditions’ where we make a trip to our nearest town and visit several shops in one hit to cut down on fuel costs.

Hi Mike, we have tried numerous brands and mixes of ready to bake flour and settled on Francine multicereal as our favoured taste. 1.5 kilo bag for around 2 euros which produces 3 loaves and each good for 2 days so cost around 35 cents per day. Using rapid yeast and bread maker from start to finish we have a loaf in 1 hour 15 minutes.
I used to drive every day for our daily bread which invariably included the purchase of something sweet that took my eye but not any more and blood sugar is now normal!
And we spend much less on fuel👍

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To be fair, you need to take into account the electricity used by your machine and amortize the purchase price over its expected life, but you are still quids in.
My understanding is that the standard baguette must, by law, only contain flour, water, salt and yeast to prevent adulteration and to ensure that people have access to wholesome bread at a controlled price. The downside is that it doesn’t keep.
By contrast, British bread can be kept in the fridge for about a fortnight without going hard, but will eventually have to be thrown out when it starts to go moldy. If you are interested in knowing how they achieve that, here is the whole horror story -

We make sourdough bread which keeps for ages, and for white bread buy baguettes and pop them in the freezer.

I have to drive every day to get to and from work and very conveniently pass by the biocoop, a maraîcher and a good bakery so that’s where I go for fruit/veg/herbs and bread. I go to the supermarket only when I need to refuel, and use refillable containers for cleaning stuff, we buy pretty much everything en vrac.

Quandary over purchase of new cooker.

Price on line for one my wife wants €869.

Price in local électroménager for same one €1099.

The proprietor of the local business is immensely helpful, helps with little plumbing jobs at short notice, cleans our chimney and runs a delightful store and quinacellerie in town. His wife sold me the 8 tiny cable clips I needed for 20 cents.

I asked them if we could negotiate a reduction in the price. They said, regrettably, no. The business was their living. The choice of where to buy was mine. The price difference is wide for a reason. I did not feel it necessary to ask what it was.

My wife and I have decided to buy from the local business, on principle and out of solidarity. But we are not well off, and will have to wait. Would you do the same?


Yes, because he will deliver install and problem-sort later on if need be, and local businesses deserve support. Maybe you could pay in instalments?


If the price difference was say 50E then I’d buy local but 230E, no.

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He deserves our support. He once spent 20 minutes putting together the glass door of our old oven which I had dismantled to clean it, and failed miserably to put it back together. It was a nightmare to reinstall.

He has also fixed plumbing leaks for us without a grumble. I feel shabby having asked for a discount now. But I thought it worth a try, and was not offended by his refusal.

I did ask about instalments, and his wife said, perhaps - but only two.

Thanks, Véronique.


We do the same. It has paid off as like you we have had loads of help, and they will come out to repair things, often quickly. Presumably that cost is for it to be delivered and installed? Not left outside your door as a 120kg dead weight wrapped in plastic.

But I do sometimes despair of small local businesses for not being a bit more flexible in the face of the threat of online shopping. They usually have something that they could have sweetened the deal with.

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I always buy locally whenever possible. Buying online is a last resort for us.

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I hope the price doesn’t go up before then.
Darty are also excellent for after sales service, being UK owned.

Jane, I agree Darty are excellent (no idea about UK link)… but the local man wins in this sort of situation.

If my oven breaks down, I want to be able to have the chap drop by asap… and, being local, he will do just that… :upside_down_face:

We use local trades for most important bits and bobs and have never regretted it.


We try to use local wherever possible, but sometimes the range is limited.

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