October 4, 2011

10 Ways We Save Money in France

Café Chairs

France can be expensive.
The price of fuel alone makes me want to cry tears of frustration every time I fill up our very economical VW New Beetle.
€1,35 a liter? Seriously?

Fortunately there are some things that don't cost and arm and a leg.

Minervois Vineyards

Here are 10 things that we save money on by living in rural France.

1) Health Care - Yes it costs, but it is nothing compared to what it would cost us in the States. A visit to the doctor is €23 and an X-ray is about €46. And the state picks up 70% of that

2) Wine - Local AOC red or rosé is about €2-4 a liter


3) Three course lunch menus at local restaurants - They average about €13-15, usually with wine. Coffee is extra and cost about €2 more

4) Cheese - Sometimes it might seem un peu cher, but compared to the French cheese prices I saw at Whole Foods last year, I don't feel guilty about satisfying my cravings

5) Internet - I still think that €34 a month, including free calls within Europe and to North America, is a darn good price

Marseille Market

6) Fruit and vegetables - Buy what's in season and you'll get your Five A Day for about a Euro a day

7) Caudalie - While I wouldn't call this range of skincare "inexpensive"...the prices are definitely better here than they are across the pond

8) Bread - Our local boulangerie charges 85 cents for a baguette and €1,15 for une flûte

du Pain

9) Café drinks - Wine, pastis, beer on tap and most coffee drinks are still fairly reasonable, but prepare to pay a premium if you're craving a Coca-Cola or a Gin & Tonic

10) Olive oil - I'm sure this is a regional thing. We live in the south of France and there are olive groves all over the place, so the price of a liter is a bargain

So, I may grit my teeth every time I pay the EDF bill or fill up the car, but I always know that I can eat well, have soft skin, call my friends and family in the States and see the doctor when I need to without breaking the bank.
You can't put a price tag on that.

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