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.
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?
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