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Cost of self catering holiday in France for a week

(37 Posts)
Realitea Fri 12-Aug-16 11:33:07

We have just £250 to go on holiday with this year sad
It's a week self catering in France.
How am I going to do this. There are 2 adults 2 children.

Allalonenow Fri 12-Aug-16 11:41:09

You should be fine if you eat mainly vegetarian meals, pizza, pasta, salads.
Meat can be expensive, as can fish, but if you shop carefully you will be OK.
Have a great time! wine

ChippyMinton Fri 12-Aug-16 11:41:27

What does that need to cover? Are you flying or driving?

ChippyMinton Fri 12-Aug-16 11:43:55

Buy alcohol and treats like ice cream in the supermarket to have at the accommodation rather than paying café prices.

jenpetronus Fri 12-Aug-16 15:29:04

Is this just for food and outings while you are here? I'm assuming you've already paid for your accomodation? We've had a gite here for ten years, and as a result of the £/€ exchange rate I've started putting together a list of suggestions as to how to keep costs down for people who are on holiday - it's not a finished document yet, but includes cheap places to eat/what's in season/what's cheap to cook etc - obviously it's aimed at our guests so assumes certain equipment is available, but happy to send you the suggestions I have so far?

228agreenend Fri 12-Aug-16 15:33:22

Plan plenty of free days out such as to the beach, walks etc.

Buy food from supermarkets and don't eat out.

Wine is cheaper in France so you don't need to skip on that...

Realitea Fri 12-Aug-16 17:46:47

Jenpetronus, that is really lovely of you thank you ever so much!
Please message me!
Thanks all for making me feel a bit better about it now. There is a supermarket nearby so we'll stock up there for the week and do picnics and spend a lot of time on the beach or exploring rather than expensive days out. I quite enjoy cooking on holiday it's more exciting.
I didn't even know wine was cheaper in France. Fantastic!
We're driving but the petrol's covered. The 250 is just for spending, so food and whatever else happens.
We already paid for our gite and ferry luckily. We thought we'd get to save more than we have since booking but both being self employed it's tricky sometimes. At least we get to go away albeit on a budget.

froomeonthebroom Fri 12-Aug-16 17:54:59

I love France. Whereabouts are you going? When we go we mainly eat salad, bread and cheese! We also do BBQs and one of the supermarkets had 2 whole chickens for about a fiver (if you're not fussy about your meat provenance). I spatchcock the chickens, marinade and the. BBQ them.

jenpetronus Fri 12-Aug-16 18:21:54

Sent. Hope it helps, have a great time smile

BoaConstrictor Fri 12-Aug-16 18:42:43

That should be fine but you'll need to plan a bit more.
Ferry crossings - what time are they? If you need to eat & food isn't included (I doubt it is), take a picnic. How long is the crossing? If one of the longer crossings, perhaps allow a bit of money for a coffee so you can go to the cafe.
Drive - French motorway services are very different to UK ones and provide little in the way of useful food we found, eg baguettes & packets of Brie but not actual sandwiches so, again, take a picnic.
Basic household bits - unless you know your gite comes with things like salt, pepper, sugar, oils, herbs, take them with you as you won't want to buy all of them new. Same with things like dishwasher tabs, washing powder & dishcloths.
Supermarkets - do an Internet search before you go to see if there is an Aldi or Lidl in the area.

justaweeone Fri 12-Aug-16 21:11:32

I would take as much food as you can as at the moment the exchange rate isn't great
I also have frozen a few nights meals ie chilli, curry etc as you can make at home using what you have in the cupboards
Wine , beer and cheese buy there
Haven't been to France for a few years but always used to when Dc were younger and always took as much as we could to make it cheaper when there
Enjoy

frenchfancy Fri 12-Aug-16 21:14:23

You'll be fine with that budget. Some great advice here. Definitely picnic where you can. Reasonable wine can be be bought for about 3€ a bottle. Pasta is cheap. As is fresh fruit. Pâté and baguette makes a very cheap lunch. Add in a melon, some tomatoes and a bit of cheese and you have a feast.

justaweeone Fri 12-Aug-16 21:14:46

Oh and forgot to say picnic for journey, flashes of tea/ coffee refill when you go out for day and journey home
Refillable bottles for children as well as a big bottle of squash if they drink it

apintofharpandapacketofdates Fri 12-Aug-16 21:18:17

I'm going to be in a similar budget OP and would second bringing stuff Dom home:
Herbs/spices
Coffee - Americanos
Ice cube bags if the water is potable
Cereal
Stock pots
Washing up liquid
Washing powder
Sandwich bags/tin foil
Large shoppers for picnics etc
Loo roll

Also def but fresh stuff when there. We bring a cool bag on our overnight crossing with
Yoghurts
Bread
Ham
Cheese
Fruit
Some drinks

Use this for tea/dinner on boat. iIRC the breakfast is pretty cheap in boat.

Have a great time!!

jenpetronus Fri 12-Aug-16 21:33:14

Depends where you are going too - yes to all the above if you are camping or it isn't provided. I would be horrified at the thought of guests coming here with things like washing powder! shock (though I send an inventory, so hopefully people know!)

Allalonenow Fri 12-Aug-16 22:14:36

Don't forget that you will need to factor in the cost of the tolls on French motorways.
If you go to the Via Michelin website, it will work out a route for you, including the cost of the tolls required. You can pay in cash or by card.

I'd say that while the wine is cheaper, it will be a nicer wine if you can trade up a little, maybe spending 5 to 8 euro, you will then get a wine which would cost you £10 or so here.

If you have the money for a treat towards the end of the holiday and plan to have a meal in a restaurant, go for lunch rather than dinner. often the lunch menu is more or less the same as the dinner menu, just a little less choice, but much better value, especially if you choose the set menu.

In bars try to stick to local drinks for economy, water and flavoured syrop rather than coke for the children, Kir or Souz for adults rather than G&T for
instance.

228agreenend Fri 12-Aug-16 22:44:43

Silly question time - can you drink French tap water straight out of the tap. When I was a teen, you had to buy bottled water.. Thanks.

jenpetronus Sat 13-Aug-16 06:23:02

No, it's fine. Apparently, lots of French people drink bottled water (Hepta) because it's great for their constipation!! But the tap water is perfectly safe & tastes fine (here in anyway)

Realitea Sat 13-Aug-16 09:50:45

Thanks for all the advice. Luckily the gite is 20 minutes from the port so not too much driving or tolls while there.
We've got a cool box so will definitely be taking that.

LifeGotInTheWay Sat 13-Aug-16 09:57:19

Second pp who said to take spices, herbs, cleaning stuff as these can get expensive to buy but having them means you can cook lovely real meals.

You'll be fine. Bread and cheese every day for lunch with cheap wine? What's not to love?

BarbaraofSeville Sat 13-Aug-16 10:19:51

Baguette and brie is useful food and you can just break a chunk off the brie, pull off a lump of bread and squish the brie inside the bread.

However, it might be worth keeping a knife and chopping board, napkins and plastic plates in the car (or picnic kit) if you want to be a bit more civilised about this - maybe that's how French travellers do it?

Eat French food and if your DCs can't do without Heinz beans or anything else that will be expensive there, take your own if you can.

If you have a slow cooker, you could take it with you to make a cassoulet type meal while you are out for the day with tinned or bottled beans, veg and sausages - eat with crusty bread.

Bottled water (big basic bottles not Evian etc) is probably pennies in the supermarkets so don't worry about buying that if the tap water doesn't agree with you.

Could you boost your budget a little by using the money you would have spent on food at home or is that already included in the £250? Also make your money go furthest by reading the moneysavingexpert article on travel money - there can be a 10% difference between the best and worst ways to exchange money.

Also, as it is quite late in the season, friends and family may already been on holiday and have euros left over - why not offer to buy them off them at the official bank exchange rate (currently 1.158 Euro to the pound - see www.xe.com/). You won't get any better than this and they may prefer to have UK money now, rather than having it hanging around for their next holiday bloody hell that exchange rate has dropped a lot bastard brexit

FinallyHere Sat 13-Aug-16 10:24:09

MN never fails to entertain me, highlighting the differences between us. Im stuck on a motorway waiting for the recovery services to take me away, so reading everything this morning.

PP saying that french services 'only sell baguette and brie' rather than 'actual sandwiches' is the highlight of this thread for me.

ThomasRichard Sat 13-Aug-16 10:29:20

grin love these tips!

My parents took us self-catering in France one year when I was about 12. My best memories of it are picnics on the beach, playing in the pool at the gite and family games of cluedo in the evenings. We did one big excursion to a theme park but that was about it during the 2 weeks and we had a lovely time.

Rio2016GB Sat 13-Aug-16 10:53:03

3 years ago I went away with friends for a week in a gite 3 adults 3 kids .... we each put 70 euros in the kitty each 210 total..... had a fantastic time and had money left over.

We made picnics each day, and bbq at night with local sausages and meat. We also bought a paddling pool for the gite. I also drank wine !!!!

It was a great holiday and we were amazed how little we spent considering we didn't stop ourselves having treats.

Have a great time wine

EmilyAlice Sat 13-Aug-16 11:04:06

Yes I was a bit hmm about the no sandwiches comment. Loads of them in autoroute service stations - though Paul's are the best.
We live in Normandy (am guessing you might be up this way) and I would say your best bet is to shop in Lidl. You will find one in most towns now. Good fresh fruit and veg, some good wines, meat is reasonably priced (we like their Charolais steaks if the budget goes that far) and excellent ice-creams.

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