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Old 18.01.2011, 00:04
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Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

Hi, I've heard that many people who are on a strict budget buy a cheap train ticket and then make a monthly trip to the nearest German town, take a suitcase with them and stock up on food which is considerably cheaper in Germany than in Switzerland.

Is this somewhat of urban myth? Has anybody done this? Or would anybody either recommend this or suggest ways of keeping food bills down?

I won't have a job straight away when I move to Zurich, so any realistic way of saving money would be a plus .

Also, are Lidl and Aldi in Switzerland still considerably cheaper than the other supermarkets? I lived in Germany for nearly a year and did most of my shopping from them as I could save 50% compared to other supermarkets.

Thanks,

Rachael.
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Old 18.01.2011, 00:11
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

yes,

Drive to Konstanz or Singen.
It's sometimes about the price (meat), sometimes about the amount of choice ....

But it's every now and then ... not every week!
And the beer is way better than CH offerings
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Old 18.01.2011, 00:56
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

I have made that shopping trip plenty of times - albeit by car - while I lived in Zuri.
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Old 18.01.2011, 01:27
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

Individuals are only allowed to bring back 500 g of red meat, and 3 bottles of wine. Processed meat, bacon, chicken, fish about 2,5 Kilos. I think the total value mustn't exceed CHF 300,--

Pick up a leaflet at the border on the way there and learn the limits. Keep the supermarket till receipt and show it to the Swiss Zoll on the way back. Then you should have no problems at all, and have a nice lunch there as well.
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Old 18.01.2011, 01:27
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

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Hi, I've heard that many people who are on a strict budget buy a cheap train ticket and then make a monthly trip to the nearest German town, take a suitcase with them and stock up on food which is considerably cheaper in Germany than in Switzerland.

Is this somewhat of urban myth? Has anybody done this? Or would anybody either recommend this or suggest ways of keeping food bills down?

I won't have a job straight away when I move to Zurich, so any realistic way of saving money would be a plus .
Don't buy meat.
Cook your own meals.
Drink tap-water.

Limits on imports:
http://www.ezv.admin.ch/zollinfo_pri...x.html?lang=en
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Old 18.01.2011, 11:51
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

I live in Geneva and I buy 100% of my groceries in France. I don't know German prices, but I save a lot of money this way.

I never had a problem with the police, people cross the border so many times that they never check anyone.
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Old 18.01.2011, 12:02
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

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yes,

Drive to Konstanz or Singen.
Waldshut is also a viable option.
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Old 18.01.2011, 12:13
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

Thanks, but I won't have a car so I need somewhere easily accessible with public transport.
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Old 18.01.2011, 12:24
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

I live in Baden (close to Zürich) and I take the train to Waldshut weekly or biweekly. I have been stopped once at the border crossing in the past 6 months. I just happened to have several times the limit in beer. I played the "I didn't know any better" card and I went on my way.

I do save a lot of money this way, though.
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Old 18.01.2011, 12:52
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

Yes, we do it occasionally. Not for regular shopping, but to fill up the fridge or freezer, or if there are things we want that aren't readily available here.
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Old 18.01.2011, 13:46
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

A really good indication of this growing trend can be seen by taking a look at the development of the retail and restuarant opportunities in Jestetten nestled in an enclave between ZH and SH.

I go there about once a month for Turkish stuff I can't find in my local Turkish place in Wallisellen (spicy butter for example).

10 years ago it had an Aldi and not much else, now it has a DM, Edeka, Penny Markt and lots of restaurants plus a Big Ben pub some open til 10pm 6 days a week. It's also reachable from Bülach by train.

Of course the majority of numberplates in the parking are Swiss, and I've noticed the catchment area now extends to Bern.
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Old 18.01.2011, 13:49
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

There are very strict rules on bringing in meat from EU. I know plenty of people leaving bundles of sausages at the border because of the small amount you are officially allowed. But then again I have never been stopped...

I know of 1 Aldi in Zurich that is very cheap. I have never used it so cannot comment on the quality...
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Old 18.01.2011, 14:34
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

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Individuals are only allowed to bring back 500 g of red meat, and 3 bottles of wine. Processed meat, bacon, chicken, fish about 2,5 Kilos. I think the total value mustn't exceed CHF 300,--

Pick up a leaflet at the border on the way there and learn the limits. Keep the supermarket till receipt and show it to the Swiss Zoll on the way back. Then you should have no problems at all, and have a nice lunch there as well.
So under processed meat I can bring in 2.5kg of sausages or just 500g?
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Old 18.01.2011, 15:30
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

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Hi, I've heard that many people who are on a strict budget buy a cheap train ticket and then make a monthly trip to the nearest German town, take a suitcase with them and stock up on food which is considerably cheaper in Germany than in Switzerland.

Is this somewhat of urban myth? Has anybody done this? Or would anybody either recommend this or suggest ways of keeping food bills down?

I won't have a job straight away when I move to Zurich, so any realistic way of saving money would be a plus .

Also, are Lidl and Aldi in Switzerland still considerably cheaper than the other supermarkets? I lived in Germany for nearly a year and did most of my shopping from them as I could save 50% compared to other supermarkets.

Thanks,

Rachael.
About "are Lidl and Aldi in Switzerland still considerably cheaper than the other supermarkets"
They are more expensive than their German shops but less than Swiss.
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Old 18.01.2011, 15:38
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

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About "are Lidl and Aldi in Switzerland still considerably cheaper than the other supermarkets"
They are more expensive than their German shops but less than Swiss.
As a general rule, yes. But I have noticed many products in Aldi at about the same price as Migros, so it would be worth the OP doing homework and recon. When you do not have a job, and are tight on cash, sometimes it is worth it to spend some time.
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Old 18.01.2011, 15:39
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

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Hi, I've heard that many people who are on a strict budget buy a cheap train ticket and then make a monthly trip to the nearest German town, take a suitcase with them and stock up on food which is considerably cheaper in Germany than in Switzerland.

Is this somewhat of urban myth? Has anybody done this? Or would anybody either recommend this or suggest ways of keeping food bills down?

I won't have a job straight away when I move to Zurich, so any realistic way of saving money would be a plus .

Also, are Lidl and Aldi in Switzerland still considerably cheaper than the other supermarkets? I lived in Germany for nearly a year and did most of my shopping from them as I could save 50% compared to other supermarkets.

Thanks,

Rachael.
Yes, people definitely do this. Just go to some of the places across the border on a Saturday and see how many Swiss cars you see.

Is it worth it? This is a personal question. To me my free time is more valuable than losing a half day of my valuable weekend to stressful shopping expeditions. Other people may have other opinions.
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Old 18.01.2011, 15:45
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

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Yes, people definitely do this. Just go to some of the places across the border on a Saturday and see how many Swiss cars you see.

Is it worth it? This is a personal question. To me my free time is more valuable than losing a half day of my valuable weekend to stressful shopping expeditions. Other people may have other opinions.
Also depends very much where you live; in my case the nearest big German supermarket is about the same distance away as the nearest big Swiss supermarket.

About "As a general rule, yes (that Lidl & Aldi are cheaper than Swiss shops) - I agree, you have to be specific. For example, electronic goods are generally cheaper in most shops in Switzerland than in Germany, petrol, cigarettes & cigars are also cheaper here.
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Old 18.01.2011, 15:54
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

It is definitely worth it. Also I find you get more choice of interesting stuff in the French supermarkets. In Mulhouse there is a great supermarket and also worth it for clothes and shoes at the surrounding stores.
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Old 18.01.2011, 15:54
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

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So under processed meat I can bring in 2.5kg of sausages or just 500g?
3.5kg, not 2.5 kg.

Tom
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Old 18.01.2011, 16:27
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Re: Living in Zurich and food shopping in Germany. Do people actually do this?

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Individuals are only allowed to bring back 500 g of red meat, and 3 bottles of wine. Processed meat, bacon, chicken, fish about 2,5 Kilos. I think the total value mustn't exceed CHF 300,--
The value can be greater than CHF 300 per person but then you have pay VAT on the full value at the Swiss customs office.

BTW at most stores in Germany you can ask for a form called "Ausfuhrschein". Fill in your address, get it stamped by German customs at the border and the next time you return to the German store they'll refund the German VAT.
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