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Grocery Store prices, same as USA?

North Carolina
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Grocery Store prices, same as USA?

Title says it.

In the states a loaf of wonder bread costs $3, a 12 pack of pepsi $4.50. A box of cereal $3.

Can I expect those prices in France? I plan to buy a bunch of groceries and do my own breakfast and lunch but go out for dinner, this way I conserve money.

Prices about the same, cheaper or more expensive. I know the brands will be different, I dont care as food is food.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Grocery Store prices, same as USA?

Well for a start you won't buy wonderbread. You will go daily to the boulangerie and choose a different bread or roll each day, maybe a breadstick (baguette) or a small naroow loaf (ficelle) or a sour dough or whatever takes your fancy.

At the supermarket, should you go, you will also find these breads in abundance. White sliced may be there somewhere but it doesn't even rate a look. Then you look for butter and choose from about 15 varieties, some of which are DOC, just like wine. And the deli counter will have pates and rilletes and terrines and jambon and all manner of goodies to slip into the roll. And the cheese section of the cold area will have a special section for pre-packaged local cheeses and the deli section will cut what you want and wrap it very carefully.

And breakfast, (sigh), just go to the corner cafe and have coffee and a pastry. They are soooo good. Or pop out and buy a pastry from the local patissier.

The thing I couldn't fine easily was crackers, the sort you might eat with cheese on top. And Coke was a few euros for the big bottle. Wine is VERY cheap at the supermarket. And we have developed a taste for tiny sausages sold pre-packed in the cold meat area of the fridge, 6 to a pack. We had one each with breakfast egg in the morning.

Then there are the food markets...and that's a whole different thing. If you can get to one you can buy the freshest of fruit, punnets of raspberries or tiny fraise de bois, fresh asparagus, peaches, multiple different potatoes. The list goes on.

Eating in France is different. Food is regarded differently. Each shop specialises. You won't be able to buy butter in the bread shop and may be lucky if you can get a soft drink there. Just go with it, it's a whole new experience.

the big blue marble
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2. Re: Grocery Store prices, same as USA?

Prices are higher for all three of the items listed, although a fresh baguette from the bakery would be cheaper.

To conserve money, lunch in restaurants and dine out. The lunch menus are considerably cheaper, most people can use the break during the day and the quantities can be so large that sometimes you wont even need a dinner.

Picnics make for ideal dinners as sunset isn't until around 10pm these days.

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3. Re: Grocery Store prices, same as USA?

This is a pretty good question. We have been grocery shopping here quite a bit and can probably answer this. The biggest network of grocery stores I have seen in Paris is "FranPrix" they are everywhere. There are others like Champion and such, but you will find FranPrix on every block almost. Their store brand is called "Leader Price" and so if you can usually find something you need in that brand you can get it pretty reasonably priced. Now the main answer to your question is what city are you pricing your goods in? I would relate most of the prices in the grocery store to a larger city in the U.S. So based on your initial cost of bread, soda, cereal I would say it is a little bit more here. Remember you are buying it in Euros so if a box of cereal is costing $3 Euros (which is about right) it is costing more like $4.26 USD after the exchange which to me is like NYC type prices as a closer reference. Also, stuff here have a tendency to come in smaller container sizes so keep that in mind.

On a side note, consider buying some of your stuff at the frozen food stores called "Picard". If you have a freezer in your apartment it will make it easier to shop here. This is pretty good food at a reasonable cost for lunches or dinners.

Metro Vancouver
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4. Re: Grocery Store prices, same as USA?

Of course not, especially in Paris where everything is more expensive than in Provincial France. Actually I live in Canada and have not seen a medium size box of cereals for 3$ for many many years... Wonder bread??!!! Pepsi??? not in Paris please...this is your chance to try something totally different.

Some foodstuff will be cheaper, other much more expensive. It also depends where you shop.. You definitely MUST have a look at Fauchon and Hediard, both on the Madeleine square. After you have screamed and fainted in shock at the prices..look at amazingly beautiful and unusual their displays of fruits and vegetables are, not to mention their deli food.

Street markets in working class areas and the Monoprix stores that are often discussed on this forum are good value. You do know, I hope, that you aren't allowed to touch unwrapped food, like fruits and vegetables. Always ASK the staff to pick them up for you. You should also buy bread in a boulangerie near your place..

North Carolina
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5. Re: Grocery Store prices, same as USA?

Thanks for all the great replies and so quickly to!

I of course was using Wonder bread as an example, I like bread any kind, as long as theres nothing moving in it hehe.

And I would eat at a french coffee shop but I doubt a pastery would fill me up and I would end up ordering another.

I did not know you ask someone who works there to pick up the fruit? Odd.. But I guess thats better.

Im 19 so, im not used to heavy drinking as im sure I will be forced to do as wine seems to be cheaper than bottled water there haha.

Again thanks for the great replies and keep them coming!

New Hampshire
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6. Re: Grocery Store prices, same as USA?

Prices are much higher in Paris, especially with the current exchange rate. You will not find a liter of Pepsi for $.99. And, you won't find Wonder Bread!

Prices will vary enormously from one supermarche to the next.

And, you'll need to know a certain amount of French to select things, such as milk (whole, skim, 2%?), or find what you're looking for if you need to ask.

One really interesting place to shop in Paris is Picard (they have stores all over), a frozen food emporium - but not what you would presume - really good products and an amazing assortment. Directions in French are easy to follow.

We've stayed in a apartment many times. For sure, you'll save considerably on breakfast, snacks, especially beverages, compared to purchasing those things at a cafe or while out and about. But, except for salads, it's often quite the chore to collect everything you want/need to prepare meals.

Another good resource are the many take-away shops - some with roasted chickens (and potatoes), often offering sides (other vegetables), hot foods, and shops with sandwiches/quiche/breads/pastries.

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7. Re: Grocery Store prices, same as USA?

just got back from paris last week.Stayed in apartment and did quite a bit of grocery shopping, here is an idea of prices of a few things,

-Franprix [all prices in euro]

soft drink (agrum) 1.67

limonade 1.42

1L pineapple juice 1.84

ketchup 0.74

6 eggs 2.10

green tea 25s 1.65

2L milk 2.79

pack 4 muffins 1.39

cereal 375g 2.39

chocolate biscuits 1.31

1L soy milk 2.28


6 fish fillets 6.75

2 pizzas 3.10

rice and vege mix 2.45

sorbet pyramid 16.00

frozen berries 3.70

2 chicken fillets 1.95

500g potato dauphines 1.55

Bedoin, France
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8. Re: Grocery Store prices, same as USA?

Don't forget that when buying the store brands, you can save yourself a small fortune - and - they are normally very good.

You can actually get a store brand coke (1.5 litres) diet or regular for between .59 and 1.00 euro. If you are a stickler on brand names, that will cost you.

Charlottetown, PEI...
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9. Re: Grocery Store prices, same as USA?

We tried a few different grocery stores and found Franprix seemed to be the best price for our needs.

Pepsi was 1.31 euros for a 1.5 litre bottle.

Washington DC...
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10. Re: Grocery Store prices, same as USA?

Food is food? Sacrilege! I suspect after eating bread in Paris, you will never be happy with Wonder Bread again.