Saving money on shopping

We’re lucky enough to be within striking distance of the border and for a few years, given the huge price differences between France and Spain, with most things being a lot cheaper in Spain, I’d got into the habit of doing a big monthly shop in the nearest Spanish hyper market. I’ve got French friends who go to Spain to get dental work done - apparently if you need anything aesthetic doing then this makes financial sense and I’ve also noticed that beauty salon prices for things like permanent hair removal and laser facial treatments are much, much lower too.

Yesterday I went shopping with a friend for the day and not having been for a while, was utterly astounded by just how much cheaper a lot of stuff is.

There’s a massive ‘one euro’ section as you walk in and having saved huge amounts of money here on vast bottles of shampoo and conditioner, multi packs of tinned tuna, notebooks, cereal and bags of cakes for Max and his never ending need for snackage, I obviously then blew all my savings in the wine section. Even allowing for having restocked the drinks cabinet, buying shorts, socks, toiletries and purchasing a six month supply of olive oil, I still spent a very reasonable amount of money for the quantity of stuff I returned with. There are big savings to be made on everyday items; soy milk is 0.88 centimes as opposed to a minimum of 1.22 in our local Leclerc, 1.5L of (good quality) cleaning product was 0.75 centimes and baby shampoo was 0.77 centimes. The other big plus is the availability of products which aren’t widely available in France such as Fairy Liquid, Oil of Ulay and talc, all of which are available at normal rather than ‘expat’ prices.

Your till receipt gives you a discount on fuel at the petrol station (which is already cheaper than in France) and as the car wash is also about half price, it’s worth arriving with a grubby vehicle and an empty tank! There’s a great selection of bars and restaurants within the centre so you can fortify yourself with tapas before and after shopping.

If you live too far away to make a regular shopping trip a viable option, I strongly recommend making a long list and calculating if you can save enough to pay for a long weekend in San Sebastián on the back of your shopping trip. You might well be surprised!


by the sound of it… the next Party will be at your place… and we’ll all come :heart_eyes:

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We’ve had a few SF ‘do’s’ here over the years. One Christmas lunch even involved the pompiers being called! Might be time for another one… :slight_smile:

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Couldn’t agree more Catharine! We also ‘break for the border’ pretty regularly and have a good stock up on many of the items you list. The choice in Spain is just so much better than in France - many more international brands and not just the French staple (aka protectionist) products. France is expensive for just about everything - supported by the fact the car parks in the border area Spanish supermarkets are full of French reg cars!! :es::es::es:


Yes! The place was full of French people exclaiming loudly at the prices! X


Yep - same thing happens in Andorra (just up the road) - it’s like a French principality!! :andorra::andorra::andorra:

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Had a wonderful Italian meal in Andorra many years ago… wonderfully friendly people…

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Yes Stella - lots of ‘international’ choice in Andorra served by smiley, happy people - whatever time you like! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

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where did you go shopping it I might have missed it but cannot see it.

My best tip to save money on shopping - cut the wife’s allowance.

Or, make a list :grinning:

Just back from Spain and the difference in diesel prices are huge! Puigcerdà (Spain) 1,18€ compared to Foix (France) 1,53€ around 20€ saving on a full tank!

What’s going on??

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Diesel is a lot cheaper than that around here. I emailed a friend in the U.K. who is coming over next weekend to warm him of the increase in diesel prices and he replied to point out that low to mid €1.40s a litre is still cheaper than England.
Different countries, different economies, different tax structures.

My daughter the student in Strasbourg takes the tram to Germany (3 or 4 stops) and does her food shopping there.
I bulk basic shop online for my student progeny and have it delivered. They can’t carry 20kg sacks of rice or 3 dozen tins of chopped tomatoes etc etc etc. So that way they won’t get get ripped off.

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Come 2020 diesel and standard unleaded will be the same price here.

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I wonder what she might cut in retaliation?

cheeky boy :wink: we wive’s are worth every penny :hugs:

I have recently found that by going into a shop without bags, I buy less… and thus save money.

It was getting to the stage where I would pop in for a loaf of bread and come out with a trolley full of “essentials”… :open_mouth:

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I don’t give, or get, an allowance.

You’ve got to keep women in check otherwise it’s ruination.


Woah Timothy… you are getting on very dodgy ground… do you have a death-wish or something similar… :wink::zipper_mouth_face::relaxed:

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