Grocery shopping is something people love or hate. Which side are you on? Back in the USA, I loved checking out all the new products and browsing the aisles. When I moved to France, my love for grocery shopping was taken to a whole new, delicious level. From the new-to-me products and all the little discoveries around every corner, my love for French grocery stores over the years hasn’t faded a bit. Here’s a look at what groceries cost. Read on to find out what US$20 buys you at a French supermarket.
What $20 buys you at a French supermarket
There are a bunch of French grocery store chains, so no matter where you live in France, you’ll have no problem finding a grocery store that has everything you need. Some of the most popular ones by me are Super U, Intermarché, and Leclerc. Some other chains are Monoprix, Auchan, and Simply Market.
In addition to traditional supermarkets, many French people also shop at the farmers’ market (video) and my personal favorite, Picard, a frozen food store that’s more awesome than it sounds.
Don’t forget your chic shopping cart on wheels to do your shopping like the French!
Let’s take a look at 8 random items I bought on my last trip out: Strawberries, bananas, Muscadet wine, milk, a dozen eggs, coffee, cookie sampler, and butter with the corresponding prices below.
1. Strawberries: 2.09 €
These are from Spain because it’s a little early in the season to buy French ones. If you can find them, they’re a bit expensive at the moment.
2. Bananas: 1.18 €
A bunch of 5.
3. Muscadet wine: 3.55 €
This is my favorite wine and one I discovered only after moving to France. It’s a dry white wine and local to the Nantes area where I live.
4. Organic milk: 88 centimes
This is a small 1/2-liter bottle.
5. 1 dozen eggs: 3.77 €
See my note on eggs below.
6. Organic ground coffee: 2.99 €
7. Cookie sampler: 1.90 €
On sale. This is a simple box of cookies perfect with tea, coffee, or chocolate mousse.
8. Salted butter: 2.45 €
Popular brand made in France.
TOTAL: 18.81 or US$20.57
(exchange rate of $1.09 on day of purchase)
A few things to note:
1) I don’t live in Paris so prices aren’t Paris prices. Items were purchased from a regular Intermarché grocery store — not a specialty store, minimart, or discount store.
2) You can find cheaper and more expensive brands. These are just prices that I’ve paid recently in my area but you can find a range of prices for most items depending on where you live, where you shop, and what you buy.
3) I’m loyal to Poulehouse eggs because they are ethical, but since the store that sells them is too far with the current quarantine restrictions, I bought the 2nd best option. Yes, you can certainly find cheaper eggs in the 2-euro price range.
Personal note on eggs: I’m a conflicted meat eater so I try to make better, more ethical choices where I can. I was horrified to learn last year that most commercial egg companies (even the “good” free-range ones) kill chickens at the 1.5 year-old mark. This is due to lower production (perfectly healthy animal) as they age and it didn’t sit right with me. I had no idea.
I even asked the egg vendor at my farmers’ market if his eggs come from chickens that will be killed prematurely due to it affecting the bottom line and the answer was yes, it’s just how it is. I was shocked. So now I pay for expensive eggs for animal welfare reasons. I feel it’s the second best option short of having a coop in my yard. Might be heading that way. If you know better and can make a better choice, do it.
4) Bio means organic. It’s short for biologique, but you’ll most commonly see “bio” on packaged goods and produce signs.
Want to get your hands on some French groceries in the US? My one-stop shop is myPanier for all kinds of grocery and artisanal products from France. Get $10 off w/code OUIINFRANCEMP at checkout. I did an entire review post here.
How are grocery store prices by you? What do you think of French grocery store prices?
Love grocery stores and food content? Read these posts:
My top tips for grocery shopping in France
How not to embarrass yourself at the French farmers’ market
Why the French grocery store will turn you into a vegetarian
Taste of France says
No Spanish produce for me. Too much industrial agriculture south of the border. Huelva, where a lot of it comes from, is an environmental mess. Local strawberries go for 3.50€ per barquette of 250g but you get a discount if you buy 4…for 12€.
Big difference in price between the supermarket and the market. Red peppers, for example, are 2.50€/kg at the supermarket and 1.50€/kg at the market.
Slim pickings during this difficult time. Took what I could find given the circumstances. Of course the gariguette are amazing and my top choice when there are options. 🙂
Wow! That’s amazingly well priced! I live in Australia where everything is watered artificially and water is very expensive so our food costs much more! It is very high quality and we have a fantastic choice year round! I tend do do my shopping at the local producers and I only go to a grocer when I run out of toilet paper! We have a dairy just up the road with milk, cheese and butter, fruit and veg growers all around us, and two of the best bakers anywhere, (one German family and one French family) plus three butchers! Plus I have my own chickies. My girls never live past 5 years or so. As you can well imagine, my favourite place in all France is the Arles market! I love reading about your life! Once kids come and school starts, moving stops! And we ended up here!?!??