What is the true cost of living in France?

It always was, I’m on my way over now so I’ll have a look. 1664 €1.49/litre in Netto this week.

Silver bay is pretty disgusting , I have definitely had better for cheaper in France. Lambrini well…

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Hey guys hang on - are we saying wine and beer are the defining items when comparing cost of living ??? Seriously…? I know the UK drinks but is it honestly that important??? Are the streets still flowing with gin…?

Does anyone move countries based on the price of beer, wine , alcohol ??? Do they ??? Did you??? Surely not… :roll_eyes::roll_eyes::roll_eyes:

(PS - not an issue for me as I just pop up the road to tax free Andorra or Llivia lol!)

It’s not a defining cost but are good indicators for sure David and I like good heavy reds (Merlot, Rioja, Cabernet) so getting a good comparison is always good we average around £5-7 a bottle usually Lidl or Aldi who it has to be said have an excellent selection.

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Frankly… I find it difficult to break the budget down… to weigh one country against another…because we live so differently here to how we lived in UK.

I do know that if we were in UK now… we would not be enjoying life on our pensions nearly as much as we are…:thinking:. (although I would love to spend more time with daughter and grandson)…:roll_eyes: but that is another matter.

Our pensions come in… the bills get paid… and we don’t seem to go short of anything… not that I am extravagant. I shop carefully, stock up on items on special offer and have a full freezer…

I do watch the finances … but that is nothing new… habit of a lifetime.

@fabien is wonderful for Health Insurance and all Insurances come to that…

I’ve just seen Brian’s comment on heavy reds: Once you know what you really enjoy… wait until it is on special… then buy a lot… that’s what we do 4€-8€ will get you something delicious… or even something extra special at the right moment…

For general quaffing, the Boxes are very good value and we won’t pay more than about 2€/litre. Again, the choice is huge and everyone will have their own preference…


I’m with you Nellie silver bay is disgusting

You will definitely find Lidl Merlot way cheaper here!

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Really @cat ? Lidl UK and French websites don’t show much difference between their lead-in Merlots - maybe it’s different in store? (bit naff if you’re in Scotland though - higher prices!)

Lidl UK today:

Lidl France today:

If I lived in England putting 5 children (well, 4 so far and the 5th in a year and a bit) through higher education would be costing me an arm and a leg.
So I am glad we live in France.


Things have gotten progressively more expense since we moved here, from fuel to food it is certainly not cheap anymore. Maybe the UK is spoilt, I wish France had something like Wetherspoons - £8 for steak and chips and a pint of beer, can’t beat it.

"I wish France had something like Wetherspoons "

Is that the chain that belongs to that ghastly man?


@Brian_Wheeler Brian firstly what you and your partner plan to do in France with that property is genuinely exciting. I’ve said before that it will define you. I am a bit of a carpet bagger in the sense the driving imperative in my life is not to work. I’m not lazy (like other British :innocent:) but I’ve had enough.

With France the immediate attraction is property prices. They can be very cheap compared to the UK. You paid 15k Euro for your place if I remember correctly. If I were you I’d be sensible on the budget required to renovate. I’d also be looking into tax implications over my pension and broader financial profile. In short spend and sustainable income. From my analysis France isn’t too bad on income taxation, one off tax take on pension drawdown. Their tax allowances are far more realistic than Spain for example.

Two people and no kids with chickens and vegetable patch sounds brilliant in terms of growing your own etc. 4.50 euro for a cauliflower on markets in Normandy is bewildering when 79p will buy you one in UK. We’ve spent 15 Euro on markets for a few olives and sun-dried tomatoes.

You know the “float” creator is the equity from your house versus cost of your new one.

Personally if I were you I’d do up the house, patch up the barn, get a camper van and tour Europe :grin:

Ping your best buddy on here and ask for a list of their DDs unless info already provided.

Really?!!! Why tf are you in France?


You should join an amap.

Thats the Merlot I drink from Lidl it’s not half bad!

The UK is not that cheap the cost of living has been going up rapidly over all. My council tax went up significantly this year £68. Where as the uplift on my taxe fonciere went up €2 for the year!

Well except a weather spoons steak is usually like rubber totally over cooked! And servicebis usually crap. But with all things in life we all like different things and have different perspectives. It’s just not my kind of place.

Nope that was my error sorry that’s my weekly food shop not monthly so I’ve corrected it now!

Earlier you asked about health insurance and chronic conditions. This gives you the list of the 30 conditions that are covered 100%

Which is a huge help to me as otherwise my drugs bills would be high - overall 1,000€ a month so I’d have had to pay c300€.

However for the first 4 years here we didn’t have top-up health insurance. As as we are otherwise in good health we ended up spending far less on direct costs than we would have done on insurance. However other health concerns prompted us to take out a mutuelle last year, but we are now really questioning this again. We are the sort of people that are happy with public hospitals, don’t need private rooms etc and have eyes & teeth in good condition, so the only need for health insurance is as reassurance in case we need a hugely specialist operation. We are probably going to change for a cheaper hospital only policy at the end of this year.

As for the other costs, its pretty impossible to gauge as our life here is so different. I find local taxes high compared to London (2,700€/year instead of £1,400) but what we live in is not comparable! I reckon as long as you have the required minimum you can cut your coat to suit your cloth.

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I think there is one near us.
I will ask next week at Les Dames de Lundi.

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