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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 16th Apr 07, 3:53 PM
    • 8,111Posts
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    MSE Martin
    0 WOW
    Great ‘what to buy on a day trip to France’ Hunt
    • #1
    • 16th Apr 07, 3:53 PM
    0 WOW
    Great ‘what to buy on a day trip to France’ Hunt 16th Apr 07 at 3:53 PM
    ‘What should I buy on a day trip to France?’ is one of the most commonly asked questions on the Travel Chat Forum Board, so I thought I’d turn it into a great hunt.

    I want your top tips on bulk-buying cut-price French goodies. What are the best items to stock up on? How can you check what’s on offer before you go? Plus, are there any cheap ways to get the ferry in the first place?

    Please reply below to share your booze cruise bargains.

    Last edited by Former MSE Natasha; 08-05-2007 at 7:55 PM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

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Page 1
    • Heva2015
    • By Heva2015 16th Apr 07, 5:43 PM
    • 233 Posts
    • 86 Thanks
    Heva2015
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 07, 5:43 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Apr 07, 5:43 PM
    I always buy washing powder, it works out cheaper there at carrefour.
    • skr80
    • By skr80 16th Apr 07, 6:17 PM
    • 346 Posts
    • 176 Thanks
    skr80
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 07, 6:17 PM
    • #3
    • 16th Apr 07, 6:17 PM
    Aluminiium foil, dishwasher tablets, powdered full cream milk (for breadmaking), beer, wine, cheese, vegetables, fruit, are all a lot cheaper en France
    • pompeyrich
    • By pompeyrich 16th Apr 07, 9:13 PM
    • 3,064 Posts
    • 3,087 Thanks
    pompeyrich
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 07, 9:13 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Apr 07, 9:13 PM
    Diesel drivers should top their tanks up at around a Euro (70p) a litre, the pumps at the Carrefour petrol station now accept English credit cards so fuel is available 24/7. THIS site offer lots of tips and links to the main Hypermarkets in France.
  • alyth
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 07, 9:33 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Apr 07, 9:33 PM
    Depending on what part of France you go to, places like L'Occitane and Yves Rocher are so much cheaper for candles, toilletries and things like that. In my richer days, Louis Vuitton in Lille was also much cheaper for handbags than Harrods!!
  • Mrs Thrify
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 07, 9:41 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Apr 07, 9:41 PM
    Hi all. In France I buy boxes of wine from Tesco's in city europe or one of the wine warehouses. Pastries/breads/chocolate, sometimes clothes and shoes!
    I once brought a large box of washing powder from carfore and then found it to be the same as in my local supermarket, so won't do that again
    On a speciol occasion, I have shopped for a birthday pressant
    There are many perfume shops, but I always stock up in the duty free.

    I travel by coach from a local pick up point for approx £25 pp. I have been through the tunnel and on the boat quite a few times. (I prefere the tunnel) although it can be very HOT.

    Best wishes and happy traveling...
    Last edited by Mrs Thrify; 16-04-2007 at 9:48 PM.
    • taxiphil
    • By taxiphil 16th Apr 07, 9:45 PM
    • 1,902 Posts
    • 3,334 Thanks
    taxiphil
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 07, 9:45 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Apr 07, 9:45 PM
    Pure orange juice (the long life stuff in 1 litre cartons) is currently 0.42 Euros in all the major French supermarkets - that's about 30p give or take a penny, which is half the 59p currently being charged for the budget 'cheapo' ones in UK supermarkets. This is because Tesco, Asda, Sainsburys and Morrisons are operating a price-fixing cartel on orange juice in the UK (you may recall that it used to be 30p-ish a couple of years ago until the big 4 all suddenly doubled the price overnight without any explanation). If you drink lots of OJ it's worth stocking up in France as the Best Before dates are 10-12 months away.

    And the quality and taste of the French stuff is far, far superior as French consumers are far less willing than us to accept whatever low-grade tat is thrown at them.
    • taxiphil
    • By taxiphil 16th Apr 07, 9:47 PM
    • 1,902 Posts
    • 3,334 Thanks
    taxiphil
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 07, 9:47 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Apr 07, 9:47 PM
    There are many perfume shops, but I always stock up in the duty free.
    Originally posted by julie_d
    :confused: There isn't any duty free available when you travel to France.
  • Stephen Leak
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 07, 9:56 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Apr 07, 9:56 PM
    At most hypermarkets, there are usually boxes of 6 bottles of wine, one red and one white, at an obvious "loss leader" 2 for 1 price. OK, its not vintage, but even cheap French wine is quite drinkable. They send the undrinkable stuff over here direct!
    Last edited by Stephen Leak; 16-04-2007 at 9:59 PM. Reason: I can't type!
  • Mrs Thrify
    Thats funny just bought some at the end of March on Sea France cruise ferry Dover to Calais.
  • alyth
    We go to France usually every couple of months, and it's become a competition now to see who can find the cheapest bottle of drinkable wine, in the local supermarket in the area we go to the one euro white wine is actually pretty good, although I wouldn't try the red at that price, and there's usually something on offer at less than a euro!
    • livinginhope
    • By livinginhope 16th Apr 07, 10:14 PM
    • 1,805 Posts
    • 1,716 Thanks
    livinginhope
    We stock up on washing powder/softener,much,much cheaper in France.We buy chipolata sausages and merguez sausages,can't find anything like them over here,we get jars and jars of the shredded carrot salad,also the beetroot one.UHT Fruit compote,I used to get this as England didn't sell it and I was told by the hospital in France to eat 3 of these daily (this is the only fruit I can digest) but I don't bother now as Lidl has started selling them,yeah!!
    Other good buys are swimming pool chlorine tablets,crockery and Le Creuset pots and pans.
    Oh nearly forgot,for all us ladies,hair removing cream is nearly half price in France,as is shower gel.

    Last edited by Former MSE Natasha; 01-05-2007 at 5:53 PM.
    Debt at highest £102k
    Lightbulb moment march 2006
    Debt free october2017
    Finally sleeping easy in my bed
    • taxiphil
    • By taxiphil 16th Apr 07, 10:20 PM
    • 1,902 Posts
    • 3,334 Thanks
    taxiphil
    Thats funny just bought some at the end of March on Sea France cruise ferry Dover to Calais.
    Originally posted by julie_d
    Yes, the ferries do sell perfumes etc, but they're not duty free, as that was abolished in 1999. They market their perfumes in a way which plays on the misconception that they're still duty free, but in reality you can always find them cheaper on the UK high street in places like Superdrug and TK Maxx.
  • Mrs Thrify
    Oh, good job is was not for me then! I passed the bill on....
    I am going through Gatwick next month and thought I would do my perfume shopping there :confused: will that be duty/tax free? I thought I could look around their bigger shops!

    Thanks for the info....
    • rockyrose
    • By rockyrose 16th Apr 07, 11:28 PM
    • 1,461 Posts
    • 15,110 Thanks
    rockyrose
    Oh, good job is was not for me then! I passed the bill on....
    I am going through Gatwick next month and thought I would do my perfume shopping there :confused: will that be duty/tax free? I thought I could look around their bigger shops!

    Thanks for the info....
    Originally posted by julie_d
    yes-at airport you can get perfume duty free just not cigs etc if flying to eu(can outside eu) but perfumes ok any detination-bought loads last week flying to spain
    NI FEIDIR ACH LE DIA BREITHIUNAS A DHEANAMH ORM
    • lynzpower
    • By lynzpower 17th Apr 07, 9:00 AM
    • 24,746 Posts
    • 39,940 Thanks
    lynzpower
    We had some cracking deals of lager when we were there, 24 cans of red stripe or sanmiguels/ corona etc were about a tenner. bargain

    We usually go to eastenders ( just for fun) and usually we get some sort of freebie for buying over a certain amount.

    If you are travelling by ferry, do look out for the sun or daily express deals- we took a car over for a tenner on a day trip mid week, and its a quid usually for foot passengers. Saw a lot of foot passengers with huge rucksacks just filling up with the fags on board, not getting off at calais and jsut coming straight back to dover.

    Also at the ferry port 9 both sides) look out for booklets of vouchers for free this and that .

    dont forget you can gain your nectar & clubard points in the tescso & sainsburys there too
    Well aint funny how its the little things in life that mean the most? Not where you live, the car you drive or the price tag on your clothes.
    Theres no dollar sign on piece of mind
    This Ive come to know...
    So if you agree have a drink with me, raise your glasses for a toast
  • minomonkey2
    Wedding Booze
    I am suppling the bar at our wedding (dinner and evening) so have been on the look out for deals here or in France to cut the cost (not money saving I know but expected in our family!.)

    Most of the chains have a calais website e.g Tesco, Sainburys so you can research before you go.

    The best deals / sales we found were on Majestic for champagne and bottled beer + you could try in the UK and buy there....

    If you pre-ordered enough and booked the ferry through them the crossing would be free - this was around Christmas. We calculated we saved about £1300 on 1200 beers and 54 bottles of champagne the time compared to the shelf price in Tesco.

    If you can sample the wine before your get there so you know what you are looking for otherwise you can end up with 100 bottles of vinegar or panic buying. I find the smaller independant French warehouses are cheaper than Citi-Europe etc and have a better range of local French wines (plus quieter, friendlier and feels like you could be in France - not calais if you know what I mean)
    • misspoppy
    • By misspoppy 17th Apr 07, 11:21 PM
    • 1,006 Posts
    • 614 Thanks
    misspoppy
    I don't know what to buy but I know how to get there cheap.

    We are going twice this year and have booked flight with easyjet 6 months in advance for less than £100 return for two to Paris and then about £50 for singles back from Nice. We are flying from Luton. We are now in the position where we have a flight home in Sept but no flight out as we are flying into a different location and Ryanair are "too expensive" at £79 each at the mo!
    • wendyh
    • By wendyh 18th Apr 07, 9:52 AM
    • 110 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    wendyh
    We always buy prawns, pastries, chirizo sausage, celery salads, garlic snails (my kids love them), washing powder, hand soap (you can buy the refills which are in a plastic pouch for about 70c) So much cheaper than here. Usually go to Sainsbury's for the wine JP Chenet is dirt cheap - about £1 ish a bottle compared to £4 over here.
  • nickismith
    Mont Blanc Rules!
    I bought my hubby some "Mont Blanc" dessert several years ago on a day trip to France. Now, every single time we go, we HAVE to buy the stuff! It is like a canned version of blancmange, but not so set - probably the consistency of a good yoghurt. It comes in all sorts of flavours - vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, Grand Marnier...... my kids especially love the chocolate one. You can get it in baked bean sized cans, and also in smaller lunch-box sized cans. I have to say, it is rather lovely, and you cant yet get this in the UK. They also do a vanilla rice too, which is to die for..... I even found some Mont Blanc Icecreams this Easter, my husband almost passed out with delight!! If you have a sweet tooth, then try it, but please please please, leave some on the shelves for us!!!
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