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Food budget in France

(22 Posts)
SoullessButSunny Sun 21-Jul-13 09:28:14

We're off to Les Valades in the Dordogne soon and wondered how much money we should take for food? How does French prices compare to ours?

We're a family of 5 and I'm lucky that the DC eat pretty much anything I'm a fussy bugger though.

Sorry for the boring thread!


Rattitude Sun 21-Jul-13 13:54:23

I have found the price of food on France much more expensive than in the UK, by at least 20-25%.

One way of mitigating the cost would be to shop in Lidl or Aldi whilst over there.

Hopefully, in the Dordogne, fruit and vegetables may be cheaper though.

The markets are usually very tempting but the stuff will often be more expensive than in supermarkets.

Lucycat Sun 21-Jul-13 16:46:17

There is a Lidl and an Aldi in Le Bugue as well as an Intermarche - they tend to be open from 9am to about 7pm and until 11.45am on a Sunday. They are across the river on the main road and really easy to find. Or heading down the hill from the site to Siorac there is another Intermarche (or maybe a Carrefour I can't remember) which is a bit closer - again easy to find across the river - this one sells newspapers if you want a UK one.
as for the cost - meat is definitely more expensive than in the UK but we eat simply, local tomatoes, courgettes, melons etc with pasta, rice, couscous. If we do buy meat then we go for merguez sausages & whatever is on offer in the charcuterie. try looking at this catalogue to give you an idea of prices
Cheese is relatively cheap & pate...and of course so is the wine smile
We are heading off on Thursday - just put the roofbox on the car and hoping that the forecast thunderstorms don't emerge!

SoullessButSunny Mon 22-Jul-13 10:28:52

Rattitude I shall add 25% to my weekly food budget for here and see how I get on. I read somewhere else that the markets can be a lot more expensive for food. I always assumed that the markets would be cheaper!

Lucy Thank you for that link and directions to the aldi/lidl. We will head into Le Bugue for our food then. Does the campsite have a shop? I read somewhere that it only sells fresh bread?

Are you off to Les Valades on Thurs? How exciting!

I've just ordered our roof box, been trying for ages to find one on ebay but they're going for nearly new prices at the moment. Same to hire, local company was only £30 cheaper to hire then it was to buy one in Halfords!

Enjoy your holiday!

Lucycat Mon 22-Jul-13 14:42:25

The campsite has a v basic shop - well more of a shelf really, but they do sell water & wine. There are new owners this year so things may have been tweaked a bit. I'll try & post to let you know smile

Theas18 Mon 22-Jul-13 14:55:20

French markets are expensive and they have the really top notch produce here ( unless you find an ancient chap with the misshapen but totally delicious tomatoes from his garden!). Especially don't buy the amazing tempting rotisserie market chickens, or rather DO they are lovely but are £8 or more!

hillbilly Mon 22-Jul-13 18:28:11

Thanks Lucycat for all this info - we are going there in August!

MaccaPaccaismyNemesis Mon 22-Jul-13 18:33:26

We're going next year- are the Aldi's as cheap there as they are here?

crazymum53 Mon 22-Jul-13 19:38:08

Watch out for the French supermarket equivalent of the "Value" range for products such as cereal, biscuits and cakes. If you are a tea drinker take your own tea bags as these are hard to find in France. Coffee is good value though and so are all alcoholic drinks!
If you drive a diesel car then fuel is less expensive in France (am not sure about unleaded) and this tends to balance out the cost of food.

tim6587 Mon 22-Jul-13 20:57:29

If you need help finding the supermarkets mentioned by Lucycat have a look at this iPhone and Google app. It's got various supermarket locations near to various campsite in France and the Lidl and Intermarche ones on it! Hope it helps!

hillbilly Mon 22-Jul-13 21:25:45

Thanks tim - that looks like a good app.

shirazplease Mon 22-Jul-13 22:10:47

thanks Tim, downloading it now

alisonjjo Mon 22-Jul-13 22:55:33

Thanks tim looks really good

ShoeWhore Tue 23-Jul-13 13:02:00

We found it expensive last time we went - spent a month's food budget in 2 weeks! shock and we weren't even being extravagant!

I do wonder if some of it is eating habits iykwim? I think it works out cheaper if you eat more like a local if that makes sense? For example, breakfast cereal is quite expensive and the French don't use fresh milk much - I'm sure things like this bump the bill up.

We're off to France this year as well and I'm considering taking some cereal with us blush as my dcs get through tons of the stuff.

Munashe Sat 27-Jul-13 13:51:05

We came back on Wednesday from France and yes food is expensive. They certainly have better quality meats but it cost an arm and a leg. You will also be in holiday so you'll buy a few luxuries and treats sometimes that you don't but at home. I would say double up your budget at home.

If you are driving and have space, carry some basic stuff. We carried things like sugar, a salt, tea bags, dried milk etc.

We found Lidl 2 days before we left and we were so happy there. Prices we much more reasonable compared to the other French supermarkets but still slightly more than UK. Even the fresh croissants don't come cheap.

I think the food quality is generally better, even the meat on the burger in McDonald was far much better but then it is 7 euros.

Sausages in a packet of six were about three euros and that was about the cheapest. Burger meat in a pack of two almost same price. Bottled water was so cheap though but that's about it. We spend about 150 - 200 euros for the week for 2 adults and 2 children on supermarket grocery shopping. We could have cut cost had we found Lidl earlier on.

NobodyPutsTomArcherInTheCorner Sat 27-Jul-13 13:55:30

I def second the Lidl/Aldi suggestion and live on cheeses, olives, French bread and pate.

Arcticwaffle Sat 27-Jul-13 15:38:21

We find food prices quite similar to the UK -we shop at Carrefour a lot, and sometimes Intermarche, when we're camping, but only as Shoewhore says if you change your eating habits a bit.

So wine is cheap (which is our most important grocery, and that's quite a significant saving for us). Crepes in packets for breakfast rather than breakfast cereal, say. Grape juice can be much cheaper than in the UK and we find it a bit exotic. UHT milk and cacao for hot chocolate. Some of the fruit and veg is a lot cheaper than others and different items are bargains in France compared to the UK so you can save a lot by choosing the right fruit and veg for the region. Melons are often cheap, for instance.

There are multipacks of cheap chocolate and biscuits, but buying what British children think of as normal packets of sweets is expensive. You can get multipacks of ice cream at the supermarkets too which saves a fortune on buying them separately.

SoullessButSunny Sat 27-Jul-13 22:15:47

Lucy Water and wine? What more do you need?? Hope you're having a nice time smile

Tim Thanks for that app Tim, DH has downloaded it.

Whore A month's budget in 2 weeks?? I'm taking some of those Kelloggs variety packs with us for the kids. They only get to have porridge or rice snaps here mean mummy so they're a treat for them. Tesco have them on offer at the moment for £1 something.

Munashe We are driving so will take some basics with us I think.

Arctic We're taking some cereal with us and then when that runs out we will have crepes/waffle type stuff for breakfast. I'll look out for the cheaper fruit and veg.

Good idea about multipacks of ice cream.

Thanks everyone smile

fossil971 Sun 28-Jul-13 14:32:05

We're just back from France and for once we have done surprisingly well for food. This time we
- discovered a Leader Price where everything was cheap, otherwise we shopped at Super U. (Remember your own shopping bags)
- bought bottles of "Sirop" to dilute for the kids drinks (in metal bottles)
- bought supermarket multipacks of croissants for breakfast rather than ordering from the campsite, although baguettes really do need to be fresh we didn't have them every day
- bought ready-to-BBQ packs of kebabs etc and just had bread and salad with them
- Several pasta-sauce-sausage type meals
- If you take a good non stick pan you can get a packet mix for Crepes and make your own.
- Restaurant/cafe food costs a fortune - if you can avoid eating out your budget will go further. We spent €50 on one lunch for 2 adults and 2 kids at a very ordinary roadside bar/brasserie. It was lovely, but <phew>.

You have to sort of go to the supermarket and see what's cheap rather than with a preconceived idea of what you're going to eat. Also when camping we do tend to have convenience or simple meals more than at home.

dufflefluffle Sun 28-Jul-13 14:37:13

I live in Ireland and found France much the same in terms of food prices (ie expensive) however we did realise that making baguette sandwiches for lunch or having a crepe out and salad in the evenings meant we didn't spend so much. Plus in the heat we were not inclined to be hungry. Bonnes Vacances!

SoullessButSunny Sun 28-Jul-13 20:13:47

Thank you for all those tips fossil.

duffle I shall be making our own baguette sandwiches as well

Thank you!

HairyMaclary Mon 29-Jul-13 11:53:01

Brilliant advice, thanks all. We are of to les Valades too so have downloaded the app and made boys on the shop locations!

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