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Old 25.01.2012, 04:00
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grocery bill

how much can an average family of 5 (2 adults, 3 kids-ages 6, 10, 12) expect to spend on groceries per week. what are savings if you go to france or germany?
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Old 25.01.2012, 04:21
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Re: grocery bill

Do you eat meat? That could make a huge difference to the answer.

Shopping in Germany could reduce your grocery bill by 50% after you claim back the MwSt (VAT), especially if meat is on the list (within import limits, of course).

For a family of 5 meat-eaters, I'd guess CHF 300/week shopping at Cogros (or Miop). Realistically, CHF 200ish if shopping in Germany. But as always, it depends on what you buy and where (what sort of store/s: discount supermarket/Hieber's-style expensive/specialty shops like butchers, etc).

Sorry to be so how-long-is-a-piece-of-string-ish. If you give us an idea of what you typically buy every week/month, maybe we can give more precise estimates.

By the way, prepare yourself for a considerable lack of choice in Switzerland, and for shopping every second day or so unless you have the resources to rent/buy a very large apartment or house with room for a large "American-style" fridge and freezer.

Are you related to e.e. cummings?
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Old 25.01.2012, 04:52
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Re: grocery bill

Quote:
Do you eat meat? That could make a huge difference to the answer.

Shopping in Germany could reduce your grocery bill by 50% after you claim back the MwSt (VAT), especially if meat is on the list (within import limits, of course).

For a family of 5 meat-eaters, I'd guess CHF 300/week shopping at Cogros (or Miop). Realistically, CHF 200ish if shopping in Germany. But as always, it depends on what you buy and where (what sort of store/s: discount supermarket/Hieber's-style expensive/specialty shops like butchers, etc).

Sorry to be so how-long-is-a-piece-of-string-ish. If you give us an idea of what you typically buy every week/month, maybe we can give more precise estimates.

By the way, prepare yourself for a considerable lack of choice in Switzerland, and for shopping every second day or so unless you have the resources to rent/buy a very large apartment or house with room for a large "American-style" fridge and freezer.

Are you related to e.e. cummings?
What the hell was that? Mr Mod, don't go doing ridiculous anagrams to poor unsuspecting people...!
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Old 25.01.2012, 07:49
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Re: grocery bill

Hi there, we're only 3... but I just thought I'd give you a bit of my experience since I've been here. I used to be floored as to how expensive the food is here... until I realized I was shopping at the "wrong places". Okay, they are the right places for the Swiss because they are used to Coop and Migros, but sorry, they are (in my opinion) WAY overpriced. I find it amazing that I can pay 1/3 or 1/4 of the price shopping at places like Aldi or Lidl. I could walk into one of those stores with a 20franc bill in my hand and come out with 10 things. Walk into Coop or Migros and you are lucky if you can afford 3.
Just my observation. Of course the selection at Coop and Migros is much bigger and some things I buy there, but for the most part... fruits, veggies, meat (Lidl), fish (better from Aldi), yogurt (Aldi), cheese (Lidl), drinks (Lidl), all Lidl and Aldi... I spend a max of 100sfr a week.
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Old 25.01.2012, 09:01
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Re: grocery bill

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Hi there, we're only 3... but I just thought I'd give you a bit of my experience since I've been here. I used to be floored as to how expensive the food is here... until I realized I was shopping at the "wrong places". Okay, they are the right places for the Swiss because they are used to Coop and Migros, but sorry, they are (in my opinion) WAY overpriced. I find it amazing that I can pay 1/3 or 1/4 of the price shopping at places like Aldi or Lidl. I could walk into one of those stores with a 20franc bill in my hand and come out with 10 things. Walk into Coop or Migros and you are lucky if you can afford 3.
Just my observation. Of course the selection at Coop and Migros is much bigger and some things I buy there, but for the most part... fruits, veggies, meat (Lidl), fish (better from Aldi), yogurt (Aldi), cheese (Lidl), drinks (Lidl), all Lidl and Aldi... I spend a max of 100sfr a week.
I also used to buy at Aldi/Lidl and yes they are generally cheaper than coop/migros but not 66 or 75% cheaper.....they are maybe 20% cheaper and that difference is mainly due to them selling generic brand goods. Which is fine, nothing wrong with generic but its the reason for the difference. Lidl, which also carries a lot of name brand items is not really cheaper than either coop or migros (for those items)

The advice about going to Germany (or France depending on your language comfort) is probably the best one. You will save heaps on food and household items, name brand and generic...both are quite cheap, The selection is very good as well.
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Old 25.01.2012, 10:02
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Re: grocery bill

We are a family of 4 and might I suggest an extra freezer. I tend to cook in mass homemade soups and spagetti sauce and freeze extra portions. It's also handy for when meat is on sale to stock up or in the summer for Aldi's ice creams
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Old 25.01.2012, 10:09
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Re: grocery bill

Going into Germany isn't always the best solution. I will not drive 1.5 hours just to save a bit of money.
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Old 25.01.2012, 10:18
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Re: grocery bill

I agree with the advice of a second freezer we are a family of 5 and have 2 freezers. WE go shopping once a fortnight spend about 200 euros in france approx and just top up in the week between at migros for bread, salad and fresh milk.

At the moment we seem to get a lot more for our money than we do when we shop here. They seem to have a great selection of meat than i can find here. We are quite close to france so the travel isnt an issue but i agree 1/5 hours i wouldnt bother!
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Old 25.01.2012, 10:29
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Re: grocery bill

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Going into Germany isn't always the best solution. I will not drive 1.5 hours just to save a bit of money.
Good for you, but we are responding to the OP now. His posts seem to indicate that he will be living in the basel area
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Old 25.01.2012, 10:32
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Re: grocery bill

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Good for you, but we are responding to the OP now. His posts seem to indicate that he will be living in the basel area
Do you have telepathy abilities? I've read both of the OPs posts and not one mention of Basel.
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Old 25.01.2012, 10:35
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Re: grocery bill

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Do you have telepathy abilities? I've read both of the OPs posts and not one mention of Basel.
his other post is called Basel Rental Housing Costs
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Old 25.01.2012, 10:36
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Re: grocery bill

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Do you have telepathy abilities? I've read both of the OPs posts and not one mention of Basel.
No, I am assuming since his first thread was named Basel Rental Housing Costs and his second post referenced shopping in France/Germany, something which typically people in Basel do
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Old 25.01.2012, 10:37
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Re: grocery bill

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his other post is called Basel Rental Housing Costs
I didn't read the title. Thanks for the heads up.

Since I'm from Central Switzerland, I'll bow humbly out of this thread.
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Old 25.01.2012, 10:38
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Re: grocery bill

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how much can an average family of 5 (2 adults, 3 kids-ages 6, 10, 12) expect to spend on groceries per week. what are savings if you go to france or germany?
1) As said by someone else, "going to france or germany" implies driving (= additional cost)

2) help yourself with the 2 "big shops":
Make a fake account and test with similar products...

France:
Carrefour:
http://www.ooshop.com/

Switzerland:
Migros:
http://www.leshop.ch/leshop/Main.do?...8%26q%3Dleshop
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Old 25.01.2012, 10:42
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Re: grocery bill

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1) As said by someone else, "going to france or germany" implies driving (= additional cost)
not a significant one though if you live in Basel, even if you don't have a car, Geant and Leclerc can be easily reached by public transport.
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Old 25.01.2012, 11:54
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Re: grocery bill

Depends whether you drink wine too.

Savings can be made by going over the border to France, even bearing in mind additional customs charges where relevant.
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Old 25.01.2012, 11:56
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Re: grocery bill

I have a family of 3. Each week I make my grocery list and head to Aldi. I get whatever I can from there because the prices are significantly cheaper. What you can get does often vary from week to week as well. I then leave Aldi and walk over to Migros and get the remaining items that I could not get at Aldi. When I lived in the US, I could usually get by on about 100 USD per week no problem. Here my goal is 125-150 CHF. Some weeks, I can do the 100 I did in the US. Realistically though, since our salaries are MUCH higher here, I actually pay less of my income on groceries here than I did before. Use Aldi, I cannot overstate the discounts you can get there (on non food items as well like bedding and clothing accessories)
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Old 25.01.2012, 12:25
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Re: grocery bill

My wife and I spend about 100-120 chf / week at Aldi. If we choose to go to Lidl instead it's pretty much the same.
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Old 25.01.2012, 13:06
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Re: grocery bill

Thanks. what is the process for VAT return if you shop in france/germany?
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Old 25.01.2012, 13:38
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Re: grocery bill

ALDI is not only cheap, but their products compete with the major brands, quality wise. They are streets ahead of Coop's "Prix Garanti" or Migros' "M Budget" range.

Re VAT:
Germany: Aldi, sign up to their refund scheme, get the money into your bank account. Most other places: Get export documents at the till, have them stamped by customs upon leaving Germany, get the money back next time you visit the shop.

France: Run up a really really large bill, otherwise places aren't interested. Then same as Germany.
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