Grocery Shopping on a Budget in Finland

Grocery shopping on a budget in Finland can be a disheartening experience after accepting the lack of variety, high prices, sterile atmosphere, and not-so-fresh products. Why is this and how can we break away from this?

Why?Finland Supermarket Share

Grocery and some household goods can be bought at hypermarkets (Prisma, K-Citymarket), at department stores (Anttila, Sokos, Stockmann), at bigger food stores (K-Supermarket, Lidl, S-Market) and at smaller food stores (K-Extra, K-Market, Sale, Siwa, Valintatalo) in Finland.

However, K-Market and S-Market have the majority of the market share on food retailing in Finland (see the graph on the right). Simply, this means that they have the power to be more generous when it comes to setting their prices.

Do we need to write further about the underlying effects of being dependent on a so-so~”monopolized” food retailing industry in Finland? We didn’t think so.

Shopping on a Budget Techniques

Here are some of the things that consider using when grocery shopping on a budget in Finland

  • Avoid buying on impulse. Make a grocery list before you go shopping; it will get you out of the store faster and prevent you from spending money on things you don’t need.
  • Take the farmer’s market approach: Buy products that’s fresh and in season. With less middlemen involved you get good buys and your family gets the freshest food.
  • Buy in bulk when possible. Farmers’ markets often offer substantial savings on seasonal and bulk items.
  • Be a member of the supermarket that you use the most to get their discount card. It will make a difference! They will also mail you discount coupons from time to time.
  • Cooking with certain ingredients can raise the cost of a recipe. If you know how to substitute expensive ingredients for less-expensive ones you’ll be better able to adapt your recipes to fit your budget.
  • Try to shop when you’re alone. Those little helpers can quickly boost your bill.
  • Look for family packs whenever possible as the price per pound is much lower and it’s very easy to repackage the poultry into cooking portions.
  • If you / your family won’t eat it don’t buy it – at any price! Even if you are tempted by rock-bottom prices these products will be no bargain if nobody likes them.
  • Swap branded products for the supermarket’s own brand.
  • Don’t shop for food when you are hungry. Everything will look good and you may end up buying more than you can afford.
  • Don’t grocery shop when you’re tired. Then you’ll buy more sweets and more high-carbohydrates. When you’re angry you go for crunch food – the junk food.
  • Try local and ethnic shops for variety.
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