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Bargain buys in France?

17 replies

giraffe · 13/05/2003 16:30

Can anyone suggest bargain buys to bring back from supermarkets in France, apart from the obvious booze and cigs. I heard tin foil is supposed to be cheaper in France, but I buy own brands anyway so I can,t see that making much difference.

OP posts:
HZL · 13/05/2003 16:42

Tin foil is cheaper, but not of the same quality usually - fine for wrapping sandwiches, but you wouldn't necessarily cover your turkey with it. My parents always buy huge boxes/containers of soap powder, dishwasher tablets and fabric conditioner as it's cheaper. Also toiletries - shower gel, shampoo etc., but check prices here before you go. Dh is a fan of Castorama, which is the French equivalent of B&Q, and we've picked up quite a lot of stuff there a lot cheaper than here. Whenever I'm on holiday in France (haven't been for a few years though), I'm always surprised at the cost of supermarket shopping - it always seems so much cheaper then here.

janh · 13/05/2003 17:15

Saucepans - Le Creuset etc and also Tefal non-stick stuff.

I think things like olive oil and mustard and other store cupboard goods are cheaper - checking prices before you go is def. a good idea though!

bettys · 13/05/2003 17:29

Bonne Maman jams and compotes, pudding mixes for creme patissiere and flan, packets of puree powder (like mashed potato mix but cauliflower and carrot), bottles of cassis or creme de mur.

pupuce · 13/05/2003 17:55

Cheeses are cheaper and FAR more choices. Also if you go for the day I always bring my dinner back or the next day's lunch so I buy a good bread and things that you don't find easily here (but I am continental so I may have a different taste!)

I find it worth checking if they have a special offer (30% off or so) on Petit Bateau or Absorba vests (if your kids of the age of wearing them) same for pyjamas.

Condoms are FAR cheaper actually !

Nappies are more expensive.

I enjoy shoppping in France because I get to buy things which are a bit different.

Marina · 13/05/2003 19:56

Agree with all that has been said before plus dried goods such as couscous (and it is much BETTER quality in France), riz de Camargue, green lentils (look for the Puy appellation), tinned sardines and bottled anchovies (Connetable and La Monegasque brands respectively are about half the price charged in the UK), ground coffee (instant is dearer there). If you like Badoit mineral water that is under half the price in the UK.
If you are going for a day trip to Calais and shopping at Carrefour I'd also recommend their own brand organic range, covering goods from biscuits to chocolate to jam to tinned toms to pasta. The quality is excellent and the prices risible. Why do we let the UK supermarkets get away with it...
And, like Pupuce, we take a coolbag and treat ourselves to some good guinea fowl or fish for supper. Not to mention some superb locally grown salad veg like endives and frisee, if they're in season.
Happy shopping.

BearintheBigBlueHous · 14/05/2003 11:34

What are the best kids clothes shops to look out for - not the top-end or bargain basement, but good quality and value. And are the clothes better priced than here?

Marina · 14/05/2003 12:12

Petit Bateau is much cheaper out there and lovely quality, Absorba is also good - and underwear/babywear for both these ranges can be found in supermarkets.
We also bought from Natalys when ds was small and Du Pareil au Meme (a bit like Adams/Next but funkier) when he was older. Both labels are nice and good value.
Generally children's clothes seem cheaper on the continent but what I especially like is that most manufacturers, even "ordinary" chainstores, provide bright, attractive colours for boys' clothes after the age of two.
The only thing I personally don't like about some French babywear is their tendency to pad winter garments out with polyester wadding, even sleepsuits. Maybe central heating is not as universal throughout France...

BearintheBigBlueHous · 14/05/2003 12:14

Merci beaucoup Marina - we'll look out for them.

pupuce · 14/05/2003 15:32

One of my favourite shop is Sergent Major.

nappybrain · 27/05/2003 08:57

We are just back from France - grobags are a very good buy - £15 each in the supermarket - good quality and fit 6mths to age 3 as they are adjustable. you can find petit bateau clothes in the supermarkets too - especially t-shirts and baby grows and it is v reasonable. also bought ds some nice clothes from a chain called okaibi (sp? ) - stores were a bit like Gap - and the already mentioned du pareil au meme. printemps stores have good own brand clothes too - especially t-shirts.

Marina · 27/05/2003 15:17

So are we, Nappybrain! We were just in Calais for the day but wanted to tell Pupuce that Sergent Major is now open in Cite d'Europe (they must have four or five childrenswear shops in the Cite now). It looked lovely but superstitiously I wouldn't go in the shops this time round.

CumbrianLass · 27/05/2003 15:27

Personally, I find children's clothes expensive in France.

My family always get orders for cheese and Ice Tea when they know we're coming to the UK. My mother has a thing about French mayo in a tube too ROFTL

codswallop · 27/05/2003 15:42

car seats - my sister says

pupuce · 27/05/2003 21:49

I knew they had SM in Cuite Europe - it is one of the main reasons I go
I have to tell you, they have cute stuff for girls Marina ! You'll go when you are good and ready!

pupuce · 27/05/2003 21:50

Okaidi have good jeans and pyjamas - from experience

Marina · 28/05/2003 09:41

Ds has an adorable pair of Okaidi long green checked shorts, tres francais. We were actually stopped in the street about them by another mum a couple of weeks ago...I promise I will nip in to SM next time, Pupuce!

mmm · 28/05/2003 20:35

There's a really good chain called 'du pareil au meme' (can't put chapeau on 'e' which sells lovely baby clothes and up 'till young teens.

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