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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Frugal French Lessons from Monoprix

Frugal Son learned a good bit of French at the market in Nantes. Being frugal--we're not sure if it's by nature or nurture--he also paid attention to prices. He noted that, while in the USA, some meat is very cheap (chicken, pork), some is medium-priced (beef), and some is very expensive (lamb and veal), in France, all meat is about the same price: expensive. He advised us to buy the meat that's expensive or unavailable here. Good point for our own sojourn in Nantes.

Now that I've discovered the Monoprix site, I can peruse it to practice my French. I was looking at a tank top and learned a new verb. That's not so unusual for me, whose French was forged in an American high school (excellent teachers, btw), but it was new for Mr FS also and his French is or was at the level of fluency.

On craque pour ce beau débardeur à cotes en coton. Indispensable pour l'été, on le porte dans toutes les couleurs et on l'associe avec toutes nos tenues estivales. Une jupe, un pantalon, un cardigan ou une petite veste : il va avec tout !

Craquer pour: Google translates as "We love," but it seems stronger than that in context. Also of interest: the price. This cotton tank is under 5 euros. Similarly, a cute striped tee shirt (very French, a mariniere) is under 10 euros. Remember that in France, all tax is included. These are far less than similar items would be in the USA, even on sale.

Other items on the site are much more expensive, at or-usually above--prices here.

Not that we bring much back. We are one-bag travelers. We usually bring back sea salt (in a neat box), sugar cubes (ditto), and almond-scented soap (Frugal Son likes this).

By the way, two elegant bloggers have recently given their imprimatur to Monoprix: see A FEMME and UNE FEMME. In fact, they went to Monoprix together: how I wish I could have tagged along.

Here is the French sugar. See why we bring it back from France?

So...any other bargains to be found in France for the frugal traveler?


Deja Pseu said...

I purchased two of those tanks! The quality seems to be quite good for the price. I LOVE Monoprix, wish we had here.

Duchesse said...

You an get VAT back- as I am sure you, a frugal traveler know. But you have to spend a certain amount- check rules before you shop. Monoprix: you can pick up some cute things and gifts, but it is not made to last...depends how on our budget and whether you want quality or fun stuff.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Deja--At least you have Trader Joe.

@Duchesse--I've never spent enough in one place to get the VAT. We really bring almost nothing back. I am going to try to get some prescriptions filled while I'm there.