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Food prices and groceries in Germany

Food and grocery shopping is an important part of anyone’s weekly budget, and it’s important to include it when you’re calculating how much you need to live on when you move to Germany. Luckily, shoppers enjoy a relatively low cost of groceries in Germany, thanks to plenty of homegrown produce and competitive discount supermarkets.

Read on to learn more about the cost of groceries in Germany and for some money-saving tips.

Food prices and groceries in Germany

How much does food cost in Germany?

Food prices in Germany are generally considered to be quite low, especially compared to those of neighboring countries such as France, Italy, Austria, Sweden, and Belgium, where food is much more expensive. This is especially true of meat, cheese, bread, beer, wine, and vegetables, largely because Germany produces and grows a lot of its own food within its advanced agriculture industry. Food costs per month in Germany can be kept to under €20.

Food prices in Germany, from Berlin to Munich, are pretty much the same. For example, there is only a small difference between the cost of a liter of milk in Munich (€0.84) and a liter of milk in Berlin (€0.81).

You may find some differences in price for regional products, however. German Beer, for example, is always cheaper when bought close to where it is brewed. The biggest differences in price are not between different cities but rather between large cities and small towns; you will likely pay a premium for shopping in a city center, where business rates are higher.

Where should you shop for groceries in Germany?

Groceries are readily available in Germany wherever you live. Even small villages will have a local grocery store, whereas towns and cities will have a mix of small grocery stores, farmers markets, food halls, and supermarkets (e.g. Edeka, Rewe, Lidl, Aldi, Carrefour, Kaufland).

However, shops in Germany are generally not open as late as shops in the UK, US, or other EU countries, and trading laws mean most shops are always closed on Sundays (except for a handful a year, and these dates change from year to year and city to city).

If you want locally grown food, head to farmers markets; shoppers pay a little more, but the quality is better and the environmental impact is lower. Seasonal items are generally cheaper, so buying them is a good way to save.

Shopping bags

Wherever you go to Einkaufen (grocery shop), remember to take your own shopping bags, as German shops usually charge for plastic bags. If you are going to a supermarket, you will also need coins (returnable) for the shopping cart.

List of common Food prices

How much do groceries cost in Germany?

Basic food prices vary according to where you shop, but these prices are the average for Germany.

  • 1 liter of Milk - €0.70
  •  Loaf of bread - €1.30
  •  12 Eggs - €1.82
  •  500g of local Cheese - €4.45
  •  1 kg Chicken breast - €7.32
  •  1 kg of Rice - €2.09
  •  1 kg of Apples - €2.20
  •  1 kg of Potatoes - €0.97
  •  1 bottle of mid-range wine €4.99
  •  0.5 liter of local beer - €0.76
  •  1 pack of Cigarettes - €6.40

A single person who plans meals carefully, doesn’t eat too much meat, and shops at discount supermarkets can do their weekly shopping for less than €50 a week (not including alcohol or toiletries). This makes the daily cost of food in Germany around €7 provided you eat leftovers for lunch and avoid eating out.

Tips for saving money

If you can make savings on your food budget, then your monthly income will go a lot further

Where should you shop for food at a low cost?

Luckily, getting the best deal possible is thought of as quite a traditional Germany trait. Germany is well known for its discount superstores, namely Aldi, Netto, and Lidl. Basic foods, fresh fruit, vegetables, wine, and beer are much cheaper at these supermarkets than general grocery stores.

Discount vouchers

Look out for discount vouchers which are often printed in free newspapers or bulk-buy offers on essentials that you can share with your housemates or friends.

What is Germany’s bottle deposit scheme (Pfand)?

Familiarize yourself with the Pfand scheme. In Germany, you pay a deposit on almost all glass and plastic drinks bottles, which is incorporated into the original price (usually around €0.08 - €0.25).

Make sure you collect these bottles up and either take them back to the retailer you bought them from or to a large supermarket (which usually takes any bottle with the Pfand logo on it) to have this deposit refunded.

If you do this once a month, you will get back a few euros which you can use towards the cost of your food shopping.

What is the DeutschlandCard?

Rather than collect various loyalty cards for different retailers, apply online for a DeutschlandCard which rewards loyalty points when you shop at a number of outlets including Netto and Edeka as well as 400 online shops.

You can save up your loyalty points and use the awarded value against the price of your food shopping. If you download the DeutschlandCard App, you will also be able to find a range of additional discounts which can help you save money off your weekly shop.

Learn More about Expatrio

Having lived abroad ourselves, we know that finding the right information on how to relocate and settle in a new country can be difficult. We know that the lack of digitization and personalized support can make navigating German bureaucracy a very frustrating process. Motivated by these issues, we built a fully digital platform that provides all the general information and services to make your relocation to Germany easier.

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