When you think of shopping in France, leisurely strolls through the weekend farmers’ market and window shopping at chic boutiques probably come to mind. While you can find both of those, I’ve come to enjoy a different kind of shopping experience from time to time… quite a bit off the tourist track. A place I visit weekly called Noz is a store that’s all about the deals on everything from food to housewares to wine and more. I’m talking deeeeeeep discounts.
Ever shop at Noz?
Anyone who knows me well knows I love a good deal. Promo codes, sample sales, early-bird specials… all of those take me to my happy place. Why pay more when you don’t have to? I’d rather save money where I can to use it on other things like vacation. But sometimes sifting through bins and racks can be a waste of time. Back home in the USA, I used to steer clear of places like TJ Maxx because the racks gave me anxiety and I’d head to the mall instead.
But now? I look forward to the deals.
Truth be told, the first time I visited Noz I’ll admit that I thought it was absolute garbage. I didn’t go back for several years… until about 6 months ago when I decided to give it another chance. Why? A guy at my other favorite place — Picard — told me Noz was selling Amy’s Kitchen products at a majorly discounted price. SCORE! So I drove over and was pleasantly surprised.
(My in-store pics aren’t too great because I was trying to be discreet with my iPhone, but you get the idea.)
So what is Noz?
It’s kind of a souped-up dollar-store-meets-discount-overstock-store with bins of all kinds of things that are majorly discounted. They have weekly arrivals of a variety of items included food, home decor, personal care items, cleaning products, clothes and accessories, decor and more. You can find everything from cans of tomato sauce, to dish soap, to books and DVDs, to mugs, plants to Haagen Dazs, to wine and more. I even found a kettlebell once! And decorative washi tape. And Ciaté nail sets. You never know what you’ll find and that’s part of the fun.
The brands are ones you know from the regular supermarket most of the time and the prices are fantastic. These aren’t products with expiration dates from last week! Noz buys huge quantities of unsold products from their suppliers across Europe and then extends the savings to us, the customers. I promise you’ll find stuff you like at clearance prices. Sometimes you’ll find products from other European countries so that adds to the variety.
If you pop into Noz quickly, you may not think it’s worth your time. That’s what I thought the first time. Bins are often unorganized and items are strewn about. If you’re a neat freak, Noz may give you anxiety. You have to be ready to rummage through stuff. But after my second attempt at discovering Noz and taking the time to really look, I’ve realized it most certainly is worth this deal lover’s while.
Here’s a sampling of what I picked up the other day:
Wine. I tend to grab the bottles that have a special award sticker on it of some sort otherwise 2-euro wine can be a bit hairy and taste like horse piss (or what I’d imagine horse piss would taste like). So far, so good. I’ve found some great bottles that do the trick. In fact, I’m writing this after a glass.
Cookies. Tom loves dipping these in his little pudding desserts and they’re double the price at the supermarket.
Ice cream. Tom loves the strawberry cheesecake flavor so I picked up as many Haagen Dazs as I could grab. Also, I’m not vegan, but the Amy’s Kitchen chocolate, which is made with coconut milk, is really good. And also 99 centimes per pint.
Notepad. You never know when you’ll need to jot something down.
Soap. Clean hands are important.
Orchid. A beautiful purple color and 5 euros to boot.
Pens. All of mine seem to disappear whenever I need to write something down so I stocked up on some BIC.
Tips for shopping at Noz
Go on the day when the new arrivals come
At my local store, new deliveries come on Tuesdays, so I try to go Tuesday afternoon to scoop up the best buys before they’re gone. Each store receives limited quantities so the hottest items will sell out. You can check the arrivals in your area here.
Take your time
There are bins, bins, and more bins. If you whiz through the store, you might miss something. I’ve found cool notepads and pens hidden underneath oven mitts, so don’t rush.
Sometimes you’ll strike out. Because the stock is always changing, it pays to be persistent and shop at Noz often. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find much the first time you go.
Don’t go on Saturday afternoon
Like most places in France, Saturday afternoon shopping is a nightmare. Crowds, screaming kids, huge cash register lines. Just avoid Saturday shopping at all costs.
If you’re into deals like me, check out Noz. The hunt is part of the fun!
Have you ever been to Noz? Is it your type of store?
Disclosure: This post isn’t sponsored. I just like the store. 😉