Making your cash stretch further in France

When you are moving over to France to start your new life there, you will soon find that saving money will still be an important part of your life. The France Property Guide has put together some general money saving tips to help you make the most of your money in France.

Image
Before you even get to France, my number one tip is to use Smart Currency Exchange for all your transactions during and after your property purchase! There is a fantastic team there, you can register with them freely and easily, and you will instantly be assigned your own personal trader. This is what we did when we bought our house in France - and I soon discovered that we actually saved €8,000 when I compared the rate we would have got through our bank! 
 
Food shopping in France
When you have arrived in France and need to go food shopping, the most important thing I can recommend is to shop in local markets; you will not only benefit from very fresh produce, but you will also save a great deal of money. You will usually find a market each day in almost all French villages and towns – and it’s always great fun to browse through the stalls. Don’t forget:  it is often not just foodstuffs that are for sale here, but also household goods, including beds and furniture, too.
 
For bulk shopping, it’s definitely recommended to visit one of the larger supermarkets (supermarchés) or the larger hypermarchés. We have found Carrefour and Leclerc to be the best value – and if you sign up for their loyalty cards, you will be surprised at how quickly the points add up - then you can save even more! Most stores also have regular promotions on various products and give out “money off” vouchers at the till. You’ll be surprised at how all these mount up.
 
"Before you even get to France, my number one tip is to use Smart Currency Exchange for all your transactions during and after your property purchase!"
 
Filling up your car
For petrol, make sure you use the larger supermarket petrol stations: again Leclerc is often the cheapest. If you need to fill up for a long journey, make sure you do so before you hit the motorway! Petrol is expensive here, as it’s for a captive market.
 
Second hand offers great value
Take advantage of the many “brocantes” and “vides greniers”. Brocantes are antique and second -hand stores, and you will usually find them dotted across the country, usually on the edge of towns and villages. There are often bargains to be had; don’t be afraid to make an offer on the price marked. Vides greniers are like car boot sales and again, you will be expected to make an offer on the goods that you choose here. All sorts of household items are sold at both of these and even if you don’t buy anything, it can be a super way to mix with the locals.
 
"The vides greniers is similar to a car boot sale, and great bargains on numerous items can be found"
 
Hit the sales
Look out for the sales. In France, there is a large sale during the months of January and July at most general stores, and around Christmas time too. You usually find genuine reductions with no “bringing in” of goods just because it’s sale time.
 
Rewards for your loyalty
Many individual shops have a loyalty system too, whereby a card entitles you to a 10% or 20% discount after, say, ten shops there. Both our local flower shop and beauty salon do these, and again, it does add up.

Further reading for Living In France

Image

Finding work in France

There are a number of ways that UK expats can fund their lifestyle in France.
Read more...

Image

Education in France

Are you emigrating to France with school-age children?

Read more...

Image

Social life in France

The best way to get settled in France is to find out as much as you can about your new community.
Read more...

Image

Healthcare

The French healthcare system is one of the best in the world...

Read more...