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  #21  
Old 25.01.2012, 12:43
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Re: grocery bill

I am just one person, but I only buy certain things at Coop or Migros here in Switzerland because I like the quality (e.g. bread, dairy). Outside of that I try to go buy other things over in Germany as often as possible and buy as much as possible.

There is one store over in Germany that's kind of like a Super Wal-Mart. I went there on the weekend and spent 150Euro for enough supplies to last me for a month, including meats. I also get my detergents and cleaning supplies there. Sodas, snacks and beverages are about half the price they are in Switzerland. The same total in Switzerland would have run well over 300CHF.

You can save even more by reclaiming the VAT at the border. I'm lazy though and never reclaim it.
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Old 25.01.2012, 13:10
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Re: grocery bill

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Re VAT:

France: Run up a really really large bill, otherwise places aren't interested. Then same as Germany.
Right. In France, you need to spend €175 in one transaction to claim the VAT back. That's why I recommended shopping in Germany, even though Géant Casino has a never-ending stream of bargains and 2-4-1 offers.
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Old 25.01.2012, 13:11
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Re: grocery bill

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What the hell was that? Mr Mod, don't go doing ridiculous anagrams to poor unsuspecting people...!
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  #24  
Old 25.01.2012, 13:27
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Re: grocery bill

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Right. In France, you need to spend €175 in one transaction to claim the VAT back. That's why I recommended shopping in Germany, even though Géant Casino has a never-ending stream of bargains and 2-4-1 offers.
Can you claim VAT on food? Was not aware of this.

For my family of 4 we spend at least 200 Eur per week at Carrefour or Intermarche.
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Old 25.01.2012, 13:29
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Re: grocery bill

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Right. In France, you need to spend €175 in one transaction to claim the VAT back. That's why I recommended shopping in Germany, even though Géant Casino has a never-ending stream of bargains and 2-4-1 offers.
thought it was 145?

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There is one store over in Germany that's kind of like a Super Wal-Mart.
which store - marktkauf?
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  #26  
Old 25.01.2012, 13:38
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Re: grocery bill

We spend 400-500CHF per month for a family of two. We rarely eat "out" and if we do it's for a crepe or kebab (classy huh?) and would not be part of that budget. My partner also has all breakfasts and lunches provided for by his employer. We shop mostly at Denner, Coop, and Migros as they are within walking distance and we don't have a car. I would like to eat better than we do, but can't justify the cost. I'm impatiently awaiting the new LIDL being built nearby.

If you have a swiss salary the prices are probably not so bad. If you do not, you will cringe inside when you do the grocery run.
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Old 25.01.2012, 13:39
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Re: grocery bill

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ALDI is not only cheap, but their products compete with the major brands, quality wise.
So True. I buy my chicken and ground beef there and it is WAY cheaper than Coop or Migros. 5.35 CHF for a package. Twice that in the other stores. Plus you would never know the difference.
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  #28  
Old 25.01.2012, 13:43
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Re: grocery bill

The cost of your grocery bill will also depend hugely on whether you are prepared to adapt and adjust to local products. If you want to have all the 'exotic' products from 'back home' your bill will be twice or possibly more than buying more local products. Same all over the world.

We live very close to France so do much of our shopping there, but beware that there are strict limits and guidelines on the amount you can buy abroad per trip. 300CHF per day maximum, and 1/2 kg of red meat and 3.5 kg or prepared meats and poultry, per person per day.
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  #29  
Old 25.01.2012, 13:51
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Re: grocery bill

I think for us (2 adults, 2 young children) we spend roughly 300CHF per week on groceries. However I blame that mostly on my husband...he's a terrible shopper! I think we could probably easily get by on half of that.

Most of his coworkers go into Germany to shop (we live close to the border). It's supposed to be much cheaper there.
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Old 25.01.2012, 13:55
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Re: grocery bill

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I think for us (2 adults, 2 young children) we spend roughly 300CHF per week on groceries. However I blame that mostly on my husband...he's a terrible shopper! I think we could probably easily get by on half of that.
Sounds about right, I figure about CHF 100 /per person /per week, not counting wine.

Tom
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Old 25.01.2012, 14:28
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Re: grocery bill

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Can you claim VAT on food? Was not aware of this.
Is there even VAT on food in France? There isn't in the UK for example. Can anyone who regularly shops in Germany/France let us know?
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  #32  
Old 25.01.2012, 14:55
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Re: grocery bill

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Is there even VAT on food in France? There isn't in the UK for example. Can anyone who regularly shops in Germany/France let us know?

Yes in Germany the VAt on food is 7% and i believe in france its 5.5%
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Old 25.01.2012, 15:02
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Re: grocery bill

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Is there even VAT on food in France? There isn't in the UK for example. Can anyone who regularly shops in Germany/France let us know?
There is, but at a lower rate. In France, VAT on (most) foodstuffs is 5.5% (as opposed to 19.6% standard rate), and in Germany, it's 7% (as opposed to 19% standard rate). If you're unlucky enough to require medication for which, were you insured in the French social security system, you would be reimbursed by your medical insurance (médicaments remboursables par la Sécurité sociale), French VAT for these is only 2.1%.

The situation for food in the UK is complicated because some foodstuffs are standard-rated, e.g. alcoholic drinks, confectionery, crisps and savoury snacks, ice cream, soft drinks, and mineral water (!).
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Old 25.01.2012, 15:03
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Re: grocery bill

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I am just one person, but I only buy certain things at Coop or Migros here in Switzerland because I like the quality (e.g. bread, dairy). Outside of that I try to go buy other things over in Germany as often as possible and buy as much as possible.

There is one store over in Germany that's kind of like a Super Wal-Mart. I went there on the weekend and spent 150Euro for enough supplies to last me for a month, including meats. I also get my detergents and cleaning supplies there. Sodas, snacks and beverages are about half the price they are in Switzerland. The same total in Switzerland would have run well over 300CHF.

You can save even more by reclaiming the VAT at the border. I'm lazy though and never reclaim it.
What will you do when all the shops close in Switzerland? If we were all like you and went over the border for everything, it will happen!!
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Old 25.01.2012, 15:09
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Re: grocery bill

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What will you do when all the shops close in Switzerland? If we were all like you and went over the border for everything, it will happen!!
You're Swiss, aren't you?
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  #36  
Old 25.01.2012, 15:09
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Re: grocery bill

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What will you do when all the shops close in Switzerland? If we were all like you and went over the border for everything, it will happen!!

thats quite funny i hear a lot of swiss saying the same, however i have difficulty finding a car park space in the marktkauf in germany in the first 5 levels as its full of swiss cars

free trade/market forces and all that, reduce the prices a bit and people wont go to germany
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Old 25.01.2012, 15:13
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Re: grocery bill

Common sense has no nationality!

We never ever intended to do most of our shopping in France when we came here. We are NOT on Swiss salaries, but on UK pensions which has dropped value by half due to exchange rate. We do use our local shop and butchers regularly too, for the very reason expressed above. Small shops near the border are really struggling.


I understood, and I may well be wrong so would love to know the definitive answer, that you can claim back VAT on food bought in Germany, but not in France? Is that so? We have claimed VAT back on furniture bought in France, but is is quite a complicated process, as we need to get the forms stamped at the border, and take them back to the shop. As we live so close, it is not a problem for us.

Last edited by Odile; 25.01.2012 at 15:27.
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Old 25.01.2012, 15:14
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Re: grocery bill

We are a family of 2 adults and 2 adolescents. We put aside 2000.- per month for groceries and petrol and it always gets spent, even though we my wife does a lot of shopping in Aldi/Lidl. We don't drive huge amounts, so the petrol is maybe 300 - 350 per month.

I've no idea what she spends it all on
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Old 25.01.2012, 15:14
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Re: grocery bill

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thats quite funny i hear a lot of swiss saying the same, however i have difficulty finding a car park space in the marktkauf in germany in the first 5 levels as its full of swiss cars

free trade/market forces and all that, reduce the prices a bit and people wont go to germany

For real. Seriously. 30CHF/kilo of processed lunch meat??? who are we trying to fool?
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Old 25.01.2012, 15:22
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Re: grocery bill

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What will you do when all the shops close in Switzerland? If we were all like you and went over the border for everything, it will happen!!
Ask importers why wholesale prices in Switzerland are often higher than retail prices in F/D, including for Swiss made stuff such as cheese or Emmi yoghurt.

Oh, they like a monopoly? Tough.

Higher prices for local stuff are OK. I'm very happy to pay CHF 1.55 per litre of milk direct to a farmer in Horgenberg. I will not compare Swiss prices for Swiss meat with mass-produced EU stuff, but with meat that's produced using similar standards (it will still be cheaper in France or Germany - and a lot of the meat and poultry in Migros or Coop is not Swiss). I'm also happy to pay a premium, say 25%, to account for higher Swiss salaries and rents. Anything above that, well, Laufenburg is 50 mins away.
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