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Grocery shopping in Paris.. prices??

Fairhope, Alabama
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Grocery shopping in Paris.. prices??

I've rented a flat for a couple of weeks of April, in the Republic area. I intend to shop for groceries and cook our meals, in an effort to stay within a practical budget. We're a family of 5.. any suggestions, information on average pricing, etc.? Thank you

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Crocojazz
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1. Re: Grocery shopping in Paris.. prices??

I lived in France for a couple of years while we were on a very tight budget, and I can vouch that you can eat quite well for little (if any) more than it would cost you in the U.S. I can also vouch that grocery shopping is a joy in France, especially if you're prepared to cook somewhat differently from they way you do at home.

You can get some great French cheeses, breads and deli meats for a very decent price; the markets have a huge array of beautiful fruits and vegetables, as well as olives and nuts, sold by the kilo (or fraction thereof). French potatoes are wonderful---look for Charlottes for everyday cooking, and Francines are delightful in salads. I like fromage blanc, a yogurtlike food that comes in small cartons, and can be served at breakfast or, enhanced with sugar and fruit sauce, as a simple dessert----and it's dirt cheap. As for seafoods-----the markets offer a huge array of every kind you can think of, as well as many that you've never heard of.

Then there are the usual premade dishes and ingredients: spaghetti sauces, soups, regional specialties like cassoulet, you name it. For dessert, of course, there are plenty of patisseries, and also many different flavors of sorbet.

Now that we no longer live in France, we often stop in at a grocery store and buy whatever takes our fancy for a picnic: charcuterie, bread, yogurt, fresh fruit, sausage, and wine (you can get decent bottles of wine at the grocery store for just a few dollars). Invariably, we end up going nuts, and spending far more on our picnic foods than we would ever have spent if we'd just gone out to lunch at a restaurant. ;>)

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Albuquerque, New...
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2. Re: Grocery shopping in Paris.. prices??

If you get tired of cooking a full meal, consider getting some wonderful food from Picard. They have everything from appetizers to dessert and it is all first class. It is frozen and many need only microwaving. And this is not your typical US frozen food; it is high quality and quite tasty. There are several locations: http://www.picard.fr/

Puget Sound
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3. Re: Grocery shopping in Paris.. prices??

I have found that grocery store prices run about 25% above what I pay in the U.S. for comparable items. But this could be a function of the fact that I stay in the St. Germain area, which is both affluent and well-touristed.

The big three grocery chains in Paris are Carrefour, Monoprix, and Franprix -- you may want to Google them to learn more, including locations.

And I fully agree with Duck's comment above -- grocery shopping in France is a true joy. The street markets (both the permanent ones and weekly versions) are great fun -- not to be missed.

Edited: 26 February 2012, 02:18
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New Hampshire
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4. Re: Grocery shopping in Paris.. prices??

I think you'll fnd everything somewhat pricer in Paris than at home. Prices vary considerably from one supermarket/market, etc., to another.

I've learned to bring a few things with me such as packets of dried herbs (in those tiny zip locks for pills), garlic powder, white peppercorns, etc., because an assortment of full sized containers in a Paris supermarket is quite the investment. I also toss a couple of ice cube trays in the bag (left over from prior to having an icemaker) because there are never enough in the apartment and they are not easy to find or cheap. Also pack a decent knife.

When making your grocery list, be sure to survey the kitchen to make sure you'll have the pans, utensils, etc., you'll need for what you plan to prepare. Things are often missing or not that high quality.

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Madrid, Spain
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5. Re: Grocery shopping in Paris.. prices??

I've been eating pretty well on a modest budget by preparing meals at home (that said, I'm only 1 person and a vegetarian.) Pasta/rice, dairy, eggs, jam, bread... these are all inexpensive staples. My favorite is the wonderful, wonderful bread... I would be happy just buying a fresh baguette every morning (for less than a euro!), and eating it with butter and jam for every meal :) The thing that made me gasp when I arrived was the price of salad greens and many vegetables... why are these so expensive?? How are cabbage and potatoes -- the most classic peasant foods of all time -- over 2 euro a kilo?? Gah. I actually ended up switching to frozen vegetables, since those are dirt-cheap in comparison (a euro and change for big bags of frozen spinach, brussels sprouts, broccoli.) For a family of five, I imagine that egg dishes, pasta dishes, and soups/stews (lentil, tomato, etc.) would go far for very little.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Grocery shopping in Paris.. prices??

the markets (not market streets, but street markets) tend to have foods including prepared foods that are much cheaper. when we shopped the Belleville market held Tuesday and Friday mornings food was about a third what it was in the Rue Levis market street near the apartment we rented.

for such a short stay, I agree that bringing a spice cupboard of mini bags of things will be helpful. some apartments are well stocked and others not. I am not a fan of Picard food especially in a city with such great fresh food choices but they have really good frozen herbs - I always get a carton of basil and parsley.

we found food prices comparable to what we pay in the US -- but the quality is just so much better, particularly fresh produce and meat -- the pork in particular

and that bread every morning --

Boston and...
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7. Re: Grocery shopping in Paris.. prices??

Don't forget the herbed rotisserie chickens with roasted potatoes, as is. Not exactly starting from scratch, but not restaurant prices either. Oh, so good... And they can be made to go a long way in soup with those vegetables mentioned above.

Edited: 26 February 2012, 04:03
Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Grocery shopping in Paris.. prices??

yeah -- we always got two dinners, a lunch, and then a big pot of chicken vegetable soup from one roast bird -- so even with a big family like yours, you could probably get a great dinner and then the base for a nice dinner soup the next day -- great with bread and cheese -- we thickened the soups with split peas which are practically free

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9. Re: Grocery shopping in Paris.. prices??

Those roasted chickens are not inexpensive, usually €7-9 (or more) which is about $9-12. At my local supermarket, they're $3.99, and a 5-pound bag of Yukon Gold potatoes is also $3.99.

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Grocery shopping in Paris.. prices??

the chickens are in fact pricey -- but my they are tasty -- more expensive than starting from scratch but a lot less than eating out -- and they are really good -- we always just bought the bags of potatoes rather than getting deli potatoes --- prepared foods for take out are generally pricey so we reserved that for things we couldn't easily make --