Welcome to another edition of Dear Frau. It's kind of like Dear Abby, but with an international twist. If you have questions about life in Switzerland, don't hesitate to contact the Frau and maybe your little Frage will be in the next edition of Dear Frau.
You’ve discussed grocery shopping in Germany a few times on your blog. But how much can I really expect to save? Will it make up for the cost of my train ticket there?
Curious in CH
Dear Curious in CH,
Good timing. The Frau just went shopping in Germany (Waldshut) again over the weekend. But before we look at a few price comparisons, let’s talk in general. In 2009, Blick am Abend reported that Swiss grocers averaged 33% higher prices than German ones. Since then, the franc has gained on the euro, so the prices in Germany are even more advantageous to the Swiss shopper. I don’t know what your train ticket costs, but let’s take a look at a few prices, using the current euro-franc exchange rate, which is roughly 1 euro = 1.34 francs.
Note: In this example, Migros, Coop, Denner, and Manor are shops in Switzerland. Kaufland and Müller are the shops in Germany.
Note 2: When possible, exact brands have been compared. These are noted with an *.
Two ring binder:
at Migros: 3,50 CHF/at Kaufland: 1,33 CHF
at Coop: .98 CHF per bagel/at Kaufland: .44 CHF per bagel
at Migros: 3,50 CHF/at Kaufland: 1,60 CHF
at Denner: 4,95 CHF/at Kaufland: 2,67 CHF
Poco Loco Salsa Dip*:
at Denner: 2,45 CHF/at Kaufland: 1,33 CHF
Moevenpick ice cream*:
at Coop: 9,90 CHF/at Kaufland: 4,00 CHF
1 kilo chicken:
at Manor: 34,50 CHF/at Kaufland: 13,20 CHF
500 gram broccoli:
at Manor: 2,45 CHF/at Kaufland: 1,33 CHF
at Coop: 4,75 CHF/at Kaufland: 4,00 CHF
at Manor: 3,95 CHF/at Kaufland: 1,33 CHF
at Denner: ,75 CHF/at Müller: ,33 CHF
at Denner: 1,20 CHF/at Müller: ,87 CHF
TOTAL in CH: 72,88 CHF/TOTAL in DEUTSCHLAND: 32,43 CHF
Shopping Savings in this example: 55%
Note 3: This example may not reflect an average savings as for obvious reasons, the Frau tends to stock up on things she knows are cheaper in Germany.
Note 4: Prices include local taxes. If you shop in Germany but live in Switzerland, you can have the German taxes refunded, making shopping even cheaper.
Note 5: Remember that you have a CHF 300 spending limit or customs will fine you if caught, average fine is CHF 300 + duty. Also, there are limits on the amount of certain items you can bring into CH, for example, each person is only allowed 500 g of beef. For exact amounts allowed, click here, print it out and take it with you when you cross the border.
Do you border shop?