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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Frugal in France: Grocery Shopping

In Your Money or Your Life--a foundational text for frugalites--the authors ask of vacations: If you are content in your life, why do you need to vacate?

Good question. I have noticed that since I have been in France, the frugal buzz in my head is quieting down. Something is being vacated.

There are so many ways to be frugal in the USA: coupons (which I don't use), deals at the grocery, Big Lots, Dollar Stores, freebates at Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS, and on and on.

Here, while there's an occasional "Buy one, get second half off" (yawn), one is frugal in traditional ways: buy what is in season; buy the amount you need. So I knew cherries were on sale when a gaggle of women surrounded them in the store. I knew those skinny green beans were cheeeep when only a few remained in the bin. Ditto for peaches, pineapple, and those wonderful melons.

Also, dairy products are much cheaper than in the USA. I have been blissing out on fromage blanc, creme fraiche, camembert, and so on.

Frugality at the grocery is simpler here. I'm on vacation from my usual frugal ways. Who knows if I will ever return to them when I am back home.


Duchesse said...

Frugal, you will be so disappointed in the US cheeses, as raw milk is not allowed (unless contraband). I loved "Your Money or Your Life", it changed mine.

Funny about Money said...

Ahhh.... I remember shopping in London, too: stopping at the butcher or fishmonger, the greengrocer, the pharmacy, the wine shop on the way home from the Underground. Can't say we could have been accused of frugality -- but we sure ate well!

Funny about Money said...

Hm. This is interesting. When I'm in Safari, Blogger lets me sign in as FaM without trying to dragoon me into signing up for a new blog. Must have something to do with Firefox!

Shelley said...

I have thought about 'why need to vacate' thing as well; it was a question also posed by the Tightwad Gazette. Her premise was that as long as you are financially responsible you can have whatever priority you wish, so I go with that. Now that I'm retired I could likely do without vacations for the most part as I am very content in my daily life. However, I want to see family members, do local family history research and I do want to experience summer. Bill also craves seeing exotic places, having travelled very little until the last 10-15 years. Where we live is shaped my many factors such as jobs and family. The lifestyle in YMoYL and some other financial advice resources suggest one can just up sticks and move to the 'ideal' place, but I don't think it's quite that simple. So we travel instead.