Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Supermarché 101

leclerc docket

I've had many emails asking about the shopping, the wine and cheese. Hopefully this post provides some insight into our French shopping & supermarket experiences to date.

Most shops are closed on Sunday and Monday. Nearly all shops (except large chain stores) are closed for lunch between 12-2pm. Banks are only open in the mornings (till 12:45) on Tuesday - Fridays.

The weekly shop: Every week we travel to Fumel around 26km or a 30 minute drive. While there is one other closer supermarket, the LeClerc at Fumel/Montayral is a good size store with a wide selection of goods, it is open every day except Sunday. The supermarché is also the cheapest place to fill up the car: diesel (gasol) is around €1.25/litre and petrol (essence) €1.50/litre.

Some supermarché facts:

  • To get a shopping trolley you have to insert a €1 coin to release the lock. You get this back when you return the trolley to the rack, very efficient.
  • There are no free plastic bags. You have to pay for reusable bags or use the trolley. They have reusable freezer bags to keep frozen goods cold, which is handy as we have to travel a bit further to get home.
  • Imported NZ Lamb (Agneau €6/kg) is cheaper than French Chicken (Poule €9/Kg)! I think this is because all chicken is farm or free range.
  • The selection of cheeses is really impressive. There is a whole row of pre-packed cheeses in the chilled food section and a huge selection in the deli section.
  • Fran & Liane your favourite Blue d'Avergne is less than €1/100g and Roquefort is around €1.8/100g. We are consuming a lot of this stuff, as a result I'm having to drink extra large quantities of red wine to keep my cholesterol levels down.
  • Ange thinks that meat is quite expensive over here, mince for eg 350g costs €3.50.
  • There are some interesting anomalies, dairy products for example: cheese is very cheap whereas butter is expensive.
  • We stay well clear of the imported stuff like Coke/ Pepsi. Most soft drink is very expensive.
  • UHT milk is the status quo in France. Ange buys fresh milk for the coffee machine but we use UHT for everything else.
  • Our weekly shop averages around €100 ($200) which is quite similar to what we were spending in New Zealand if we exclude items for school lunches and the like.

The quality of the following pictures is a bit dodgy, I was trying to avoid looking like a total dork taking photo's in the supermarket.


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