Cost of living in France

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French supermarket
French supermarket - Super U

In order to work out how expensive it will be to live day-to-day in France I thought I would compare a sample online shop in the UK and in France. We usually shop at Tesco which is probably the most prevalent supermarket (though not necessarily the cheapest) in the UK and when we were in France we saw more Super U supermarkets than any other (certainly within the Poitou-Charentes region), so they are my two chosen examples. However, if anyone has any comments about the different supermarkets in France I would be interested to hear them.

I’ve tried to compare equivalent products, so if I have selected own brand in one, I’ve compared with own brand in the other. And I’ve covered a range of different products from dairy to toilet roll and from kids cereal to dog food. There are a couple of products that didn’t exactly compare in terms of weight so I have gone and done a little bit of maths to work out the equivalent price for the equivalent weight. I’ve listed the two comparison shops below. However, in short it is cheaper to feed the family in the UK, but cheaper to keep clean and feed the dog in France, and overall (based on this trial at least) the cost of living in France and the UK works out much the same.

 

Product Super U (France) Tesco (UK) Tesco match price
18 x mini fromage frais €2.32 £3.00 £3.00
1 litre semi-skimmed milk €1.09 £1.00 £1.00
12 free range eggs €2.42 £1.95 £1.95
250g local butter €1.77 £1.40 £1.40
1kg granny smiths apples €1.99 £1.87 £1.87
2.5kg white potatoes €2.99 £1.75 £1.75
1 standard round lettuce €0.99 £0.40 £0.40
½ white cabbage €0.99 £0.55 (whole) £0.28
1kg carrots €1.90 £0.75 £0.75
1 cucumber €0.99 £0.49 £0.49
1kg cooking onions €1.49 £0.79 £0.79
250g dried apricots €2.60 £2.10 £2.10
1.5kg whole chicken €5.98 £5.00 £5.00
3 x chicken fillets, 400g €4.79 £4.00 £4.00
500g minced steak €5.93 £4.00 £4.00
280g salmon fillets €6.95 £4.00 (220g) £5.09
12 Birds Eye / IGLO chicken nuggets €2.54 £1.69 £1.69
1kg oven french fries €2.09 £2.00 (900g) £2.22
8 rainbow ice lollies €1.99 £1.00 £1.00
500ml olive oil €2.89 £1.95 £1.95
250g squeezy Heinz tomato ketchup €1.21 £1.00 (340g) £0.74
400g basmati rice €1.70 £1.19 (500g) £0.95
500g fusilli pasta €0.39 £0.95 £0.95
6 x 25g meaty crisps €1.84 £1.68 £1.68
4 x Kit Kat chunky €1.73 £1.75 £1.75
1kg granulated sugar €1.26 £0.79 £0.79
50 Tetley teabags €2.69 £1.19 (40) £0.95
400g Coco Pops €2.37 £2.39 (350g) £2.73
White farmhouse loaf €1.15 £0.80 £0.80
Pack of 64 sensitive baby wipes €1.72 £1.00 £1.00
Sensodyne Daily Care toothpaste (75ml) €3.79 £4.49 £4.49
20m aluminium foil €1.59 £2.80 £2.80
6 basic toilet rolls €1.65 £1.95 £1.95
4kg Pedigree beef & veg dog food €6.83 £6.99(3kg) £9.32
Total cost €84.62 £71.63
= £67.74
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We are thinking of moving to France – we being me and my husband, our two children, and my mother-in-law (and two dogs). The current plan is that we’ll spend the next year plotting and planning and if everything goes well we will make the move in the summer of 2015. I plan to document the whole process so that I can look back in three years’ time and marvel at how well it all panned out! If, however, it proves a fated endeavour then my comprehensive blog will no doubt be snapped up by some Hollywood director for untold millions – it’s pretty much a win-win situation, right? Well, I’ll keep you posted…

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