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Old 30.07.2011, 08:48
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Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

Hey all, can anyone recommend where is best to go in Germany for cheaper food, especially Meat, and also how I could get there from Basel. I've been told the cost of food over there is only 1/3 to 1/2 of the price, but theres limits on what you can bring back etc. Anyone have any suggestions as to where to hit maybe?

Thanks,
Mike.
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Old 30.07.2011, 09:15
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

Hi Mike

I have been to Hieber Frische Center at Lorrach, train from Badischer Bahnhof takes 10 minutes to Museum Burghof stop (15 or so from SBB), cross the train tracks when you get off, keep walking down and it's kind of tucked under a shopping centre. Also a good place to buy wine . Apart from the prices, it's the choice that's a draw. There's also one at Grenzach apparently, on the no. 38 bus route I believe.

Alternatively, get the 11 tram to St Louis Grenze and it's a 20 min walk to Geant-Casino (France, obv).

Limits, I don't know, although someone told me this week that you're only allowed to bring 500g of fresh meat over per person. Oops. No Zoll at SBB though... and I haven't got the hang of the green tax back forms. Lots of people have been through the process on other threads on here, and I think posted stuff about limits, but I still don't get where you get the damn things from, and what you do with them when you're there. I understand you have to get them stamped at the Zoll and then go back to the shop to get the money back.
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Old 30.07.2011, 09:32
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

Here are the limits for food:

http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en
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Old 30.07.2011, 09:39
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

If you do a 'Google' search on here (one of the three options under the search section) there are about half a dozen threads. Have a look there for other folks' tales.
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Old 30.07.2011, 17:43
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

Thanks everyone, turns out we ended up in Lorrach, just a few miles North or Basel. Was wonderful and a bit cheaper too!

Thanks,
Mike.
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Old 30.07.2011, 17:56
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

Don't know if you bothered with the VAT/MWST thing, but this from another thread explains it best.

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Ok. Once again and slowly: I am not talking about any green form, but a standard bill any shop gives you that states clearly the VAT you paid. You get it stamped, export your stuff, go back to Germany to the shop, present your stamped bill and they will pay out the difference in cash. This is what many completely normal shops along the border seem to do. I have to admit that I never did it myself as all the supermarkets, MediaMarkt and so on are better prepared anyway. But a friend who likes to shop at a small Turkish corner shop somewhere just over the border told that it works this way...
I went over the border a few weeks ago with a friend and it worked perfectly, in a number of different shops, including Lidl and some other big supermarket. And it really is no hassle.

Last edited by i_like_turtles; 30.07.2011 at 17:57. Reason: Added link to other thread
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Old 31.07.2011, 13:47
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

i do grocery shoping every week in germany. i love hieber, it's the greates,but also the most expensive...so i only shop there when i really deserve it,lol

i do a lil mix(this makes it easier with a car), i go: aldi(for basics: flower,sugar,eggs,milk,meat,chicken,bread,cans and juice), müller(for cleaning products,cosmetica,bodycare products and perfumes) and penny markt,open til 22.00 mon-sat(for trademarked goods and lactose free products) also rewe for the same reasons as penny markt,rewe is just a bit more expensive.

there is a shopping center called 'die einkaufinsel' it combines aldi,müller and rewe (and more)under one roof and it's reachable with the bus the crosses 2 basel borders,let me know if you want more info
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Old 06.08.2011, 20:49
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

We went to REAL in Singen as we were there furniture shopping and I was swept away by the choice and low prices. We bought lots, 3 huge bags and paid 130 Euros. They have a lot of choice and products hard to find here like nice bagels, American sauces, cheddar cheese, etc.
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Old 06.08.2011, 21:09
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

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We went to REAL in Singen as we were there furniture shopping and I was swept away by the choice and low prices. We bought lots, 3 huge bags and paid 130 Euros. They have a lot of choice and products hard to find here like nice bagels, American sauces, cheddar cheese, etc.
Sounds good, will definitely try there next time.
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Old 06.08.2011, 21:43
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

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We went to REAL in Singen as we were there furniture shopping and I was swept away by the choice and low prices. We bought lots, 3 huge bags and paid 130 Euros. They have a lot of choice and products hard to find here like nice bagels, American sauces, cheddar cheese, etc.
Yes I liked the Real a lot too!
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Old 07.08.2011, 06:08
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

We always go to Kaufland...but we also go to Waldshut. not sure if there is a Kaufland where you are.
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Old 07.08.2011, 06:53
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

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Hi Mike

I have been to Hieber Frische Center at Lorrach, train from Badischer Bahnhof takes 10 minutes to Museum Burghof stop (15 or so from SBB), cross the train tracks when you get off, keep walking down and it's kind of tucked under a shopping centre. Also a good place to buy wine . Apart from the prices, it's the choice that's a draw. There's also one at Grenzach apparently, on the no. 38 bus route I believe.

Alternatively, get the 11 tram to St Louis Grenze and it's a 20 min walk to Geant-Casino (France, obv).

Limits, I don't know, although someone told me this week that you're only allowed to bring 500g of fresh meat over per person. Oops. No Zoll at SBB though... and I haven't got the hang of the green tax back forms. Lots of people have been through the process on other threads on here, and I think posted stuff about limits, but I still don't get where you get the damn things from, and what you do with them when you're there. I understand you have to get them stamped at the Zoll and then go back to the shop to get the money back.
Wow... I'm going to have to check out this Hieber. LeClerc in St. Louis and Marktkauf in Weil have just been making me sick lately.

www.hieber.de lists all of their locations in our local area.

Thanks for mentioning them!
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Old 07.08.2011, 07:15
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

It would be interesting to see where all this is going. I had this conversation with my Swiss husband over the weekend because we were planning another trip to Germany to stock up on cheaper food.

Everyone we talk to is either going over the border or ordering stuff on the internet from overseas. Perhaps more cheekily, people are going to the shops here, having a good look at the stuff they like then nipping home and either ordering it from t'internet or picking it up in Germany for a fraction of the cost. I include myself as one of these cheeky types...

OK, so the authorities could check you at the border but we don't normally exceed the limit and, anyway, it's rarely manned. As for the internet, yes, they can pick up the tax when the stuff is delivered but, more recently, I have noticed that internet firms outside of Switzerland have started, where possible, sending your order in smaller packages which are under the taxable threshold.

The Swiss businesses must be feeling the drop in turnover. Konstanz was bursting at the seams the other week with cars from Switzerland.
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Old 07.08.2011, 08:01
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

We have friends coming over for BBQ today. Needless to say I went to Austria (I'm 20min. away from Feldkirch, and there's a huge InterSPAR there), and pretty much filled a cart (3/4 actually). I had 1.6kg of meat, cold cuts, sausages, breakfast cereal and all the other typical big ticket items. Spent €130, out of which I will get €24 back (InterSPAR offers shoppers the DUTY FREE option). It means I spent €106, some CHF115 or so. That is probably what I would have paid on meat alone in my local Migros or Coop. I met 2 colleagues while shopping. If this is a generalized trend I can only imagine shops moving further inland.
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Old 07.08.2011, 08:08
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

I think everyone in CH went to Waldshut yesterday - the traffic was impressive !!
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Old 07.08.2011, 08:33
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

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We have friends coming over for BBQ today. Needless to say I went to Austria (I'm 20min. away from Feldkirch, and there's a huge InterSPAR there), and pretty much filled a cart (3/4 actually). I had 1.6kg of meat, cold cuts, sausages, breakfast cereal and all the other typical big ticket items. Spent €130, out of which I will get €24 back (InterSPAR offers shoppers the DUTY FREE option). It means I spent €106, some CHF115 or so. That is probably what I would have paid on meat alone in my local Migros or Coop. I met 2 colleagues while shopping. If this is a generalized trend I can only imagine shops moving further inland.
A kilo of ribeye of beef is around CHF 60 to 80 in Switzerland for "normal" beef, around CHF 90 for Irish and up to CHF 140 for organic (the latter seen by me at Coop Sihlcity, at first I thought CHF 14.90 was strangely cheap but then realised it was for 100 grams). Over the border, in cheap places the same cuts are from around EUR 16 (in cheap places) to EUR 30 in posh butchers for "normal", EUR 35 for Irish and EUR 40/50 for organic. If you're having a barbecue, that's a bargain even if you declare it and pay the CHF 20/kilo duty. Don't get me started on cheaper cuts like braising steak or stewing steak that retail for under EUR 10/kilo in EU-land. The last Rindsvoressen I bought here was over CHF 20 and hardly edible, even after the treatment that braising steak deserves (very long slow cooking).
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Old 07.08.2011, 08:38
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

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I think everyone in CH went to Waldshut yesterday - the traffic was impressive !!
Interesting .. we live near the border round Basel way and whilst all my ex pat friends are border hopping for their shopping, it seems very few people in the village we live in go - or at any rate admit to going over to Germany. Indeed a conversation last week with a school teacher friend of mine went along the lines of

"guess what, I did what you keep telling me to do and went to Germany for my shopping. I can't believe how cheap it was ... but I didn't get everything I neeed, I mean I'm not sure if the meat or the frozen stuff is really the same quality, although I think milk from the Black Forest should be similar ... and cans of tomatoes from Italy should be the same"
"Will you go again?" "Maybe ..."

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Old 07.08.2011, 08:51
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

I think with the strong Frank, customs have stepped up their searches, got stopped by customs yesterday, second time in six years at Diessenhofen http://maps.google.ch/maps?hl=de&q=D...ed=0CDIQ8gEwAQ coming back from Gaelingen. Luckily only had a few Kg of meat, there were two of us and a child. We have a huge turkey joint, they were only interested in the pork !! Luckily we got away with a caution, but it would have been a CHF20 fine!
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Old 07.08.2011, 08:56
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

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"guess what, I did what you keep telling me to do and went to Germany for my shopping. I can't believe how cheap it was ... but I didn't get everything I neeed, I mean I'm not sure if the meat or the frozen stuff is really the same quality, although I think milk from the Black Forest should be similar ... and cans of tomatoes from Italy should be the same"
"Will you go again?" "Maybe ..."

I have Swiss friends who went on a boat trip in Alsace and went to a local butchers. They refused to buy meat there because "it all sits like this in cold storage, and the butcher simply cuts off a piece for you and wraps it in greased paper and in a bag, whereas in Switzerland, the meat is nice and vaccum-wrapped, and at the meat counter, it is nicely decorated". No use telling them that the stuff in Coop and Migros is vaccum-wrapped for extra shelf life
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Old 07.08.2011, 09:32
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Re: Border Hopping to Germany for Cheaper Food

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We always go to Kaufland...but we also go to Waldshut. not sure if there is a Kaufland where you are.
Yeap, we go to Kaufland in Waldshut too. Not too far for Zurichers - max 1 hour drive (one way). Ironically, we dont buy much meats but more of the household stuff, snacks, pasta, etc. 3 big bags the other day and cost us 80 euros. Happiness.

Be careful of buying meats - do check properly what the limits are as preserved meats (like salami etc) do add towards the limit.
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